Forward and Together (Fic)

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"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 1191
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 3:13 am
PC: Leala Gymorraine, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah
SC: Torianin Soulane, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah
TC: Jhanic, Asha'man of the Indigo Ajah
QC: Abby Soulane, Novice
Location: Tel'aran'rhiod

Forward and Together (Fic)

Post by Leala » June 5th, 2018, 3:02 am

Torianin moved through her rooms to the sitting room. She drew the deep red curtains aside and looked at the horizon behind Hama Valon. The sun was beginning to set, and the orange light of the tired sun enveloped everything, letting all know it would soon be time to sleep. She cast her eyes down to what she held. A delicate silver chain that held a small fire drop. Abby’s prized possession that she had left in her care when she donned the novice whites glinted and glowed eerily in the light of the sky. This had been a gift from her father before he was killed. Perhaps she had clung to the girl so when Dezan died, because she had lost someone close to her through violence as well.

The Red Aes Sedai had lost her parents and sister through other means. Dezan was the first person she cared for as part of her life to be ripped away by death. He was the first one she had mourned.

Almost unconsciously, she embraced Saidar and began to weave Air and Spirit around the fire drop. A little Earth added to the Illusion, and now the fire drop was as blue as her daughter’s eyes. Maybe if she asked Miahala how Abby was doing, it would calm her down a bit. Changing the net of Air and Spirit to make a different shape, now the pendant was a small blue book with a quill. It wasn’t detailed, but she liked it. Changing the shape again, she now held a muted blue figurine of Abby, polished and ready to be displayed. She held back a sigh when she felt a presence suddenly next to her.

Looking up, Torianin saw Erishar, gazing out the window next to her. She unraveled the weaves and let go of the One Power. She had been so absorbed in her own thoughts that she hadn’t even felt her own Warder enter her rooms. “You wished to see me?” he asked. The question was formal, but his tone was gentle. Of course, she had asked him to come when he had time that day. She just thought it might have been later. She had kept to her rooms this whole time, and knew that she should be about and making a difference, but he had been keeping busy.

“I…” Torianin began, glancing back down at the little fire drop, “I should not have pushed you away.” Her voice sounded small, even to her own ears. She couldn’t bear to look at him, though she could feel him there. She felt his sympathy, his understanding, but… “I was afraid,” she admitted, her voice a little louder now, though no less strained. “I was afraid for you to see me so weak…” She did not move her gaze from the window, but steadfastly stared at one point. It was ridiculous, but a very real part of her was afraid of his response.

Within the pause, a small jolt of surprise and confusion was felt through his bond. Erishar calmed himself, then said, “Weak? How could…” He thought better of his question and she heard him turn toward her. To her surprise, she reached forward and took a small lock of her red hair between his fingers. She looked up at his smiling face then. “I could never see you as weak. You are made of a metaphorical sort.” He huffed as he let go of her hair. “The Three Oaths make it hard to speak poetically.”

She smiled, then looked back toward the window. “Thank you.” She stroked the small chain between her fingers thoughtfully. “And thank you for being patient with me.” This time, her voice was small, but it wasn’t strained, just embarrassed. Abby had been patient with her too, she knew. Though they both enjoyed being able to talk after she came back, she knew that her shy daughter would like to leave the rooms every now and then. She was back in the place that had given her a home, but things were not as she wanted them. Sometimes, it was overwhelming, and sometimes underwhelming. It was good to have Abby and Erishar there, but she knew she would have to move forward for herself as much as them.

Her Warder may have murmured something in response, but they stood quietly for a time, watching the sun set over the mountains. As Torianin’s thoughts wandered, she realized that she was thinking of the same things over and over, and not finding anything that seemed like a solution. Her face warmed and she felt hot tears begin to well in her eyes. She did not move or make a sound. She would find a way to move forward, somehow. In the meantime, this was all frustrating to her. Jumping slightly, she blinked when she felt Erishar gingerly wipe a tear from her eye.

The Shienaran moved his hand away, and they looked at each other. He seemed almost as confused as she was. Or at least, she thought it was confusion. His cheeks colored, and his blue eyes darted around, trying to find an explanation. She felt his heart trying to beat out of his chest, and hers seemed to answer in kind. Now, that was confusing. At her confusion, Erishar’s face colored even more, and at some point, so did his ears.

Placing a hand on her chest, she turned back to the window, wondering at this. She had never been this affected by his mood before. What under the Light was going on? “Ah, Peace…” he said, grabbing her attention again. “That was certainly embarrassing.” He chuckled a bit at himself. “I wasn’t planning on confessing any feelings this evening…” Turning his head to the side, he cleared his throat and waited for her to answer. He sounded very unsure of the situation.

Staring at the side of his face, Torianin tried to understand where he was going with this train of thought. “Feelings…?” she asked. They certainly were unusual feelings, but she wasn’t sure why he would have to confess anything. “What...feelings?” At her question, he seemed to grow more embarrassed, his shoulders rising, and his heart beating faster. He didn’t say anything, though.

Slowly, it began to dawn on her what feelings he meant. The emotions through the bond were more heated than usual, and not just from embarrassment. “Oh.” She made a face at how shrill her voice sounded at that. Clearing her own throat, she remembered years ago, a young man who had tried to confess his feelings to her, but had done so to Lumanin instead. It was from another lifetime. She hadn’t even thought of love or romance or anything of that nature to do with herself since she had become damane. It had just been another part of herself that she had given up in order to survive. And now, here it was again, catching her unawares.

Gathering the thin chain in her hand, Torianin stood silently. Erishar glanced at her, but also remained silent. The quiet stretched on for what must have been nothing but ten seconds before she spoke again. “I...I’m sorry, Erishar...this is something I haven’t thought on in Light only knows how long. Before I came to the Grey Tower.” The tension she felt from his bond eased a bit, and he nodded.

Crossing his arms, he fingered his red cord for a moment. “The last time I confessed any romantic intentions toward a lady…” he began hesitantly, “she laughed in my face.”

Torianin was taken aback by that. She was even more taken aback when she said, “Who is she?” automatically. She did not ask for gossip. She was angry that someone would have behaved so in front of Erishar. Blinking, she shook her head and shook off the initial anger. “F-forgive me, Brother. Continue.”

Erishar laughed at her outburst. “You are protective of me…”

“An Aes Sedai can be protective of her Warder as well,” she said defensively, but with a smile.

“Ah, well. All’s the better for me, I suppose.” She had to smile at that as well. “No, this was a young woman who did not make it to the rank of Accepted. You had not come to the Tower yet. I thought she needed protecting, someone to watch her back, but it turned out to be an act. Thinking back on it, it was a terrible act. She was trying to attract someone else’s gaze.” His blue gaze went to Torianin and lingered there.

She felt her face reddening. Trying not to sputter, she said, “What, um...what was it about me...then?” She covered her mouth, now thinking how that sounded. “It’s just that I haven’t tried, really.”

“You never had to,” he replied simply. “You do your best with what you have for the grace of the Light. You were dealt a raw hand, and you continue to move forward.” His gaze met her eyes again and he smiled. “And I can see the fire in you. It shone around you like a halo when I came in.” Erishar stroked a small lock of her hair as he spoke, and let it fall back down to her shoulder.

Torianin covered her mouth, wanting to cover her entire face with one hand in embarrassment. “I…” she started, releasing her mouth for a flash of a moment. “I will find her and make her pay.” There was no malice in her voice, and she began to laugh as soon as she spat it out. He returned the laughter and slipped his arms around her. As she rested her head on his shoulder, she began to see a way she could move forward.

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