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A Visit Home (Estel)


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Orion’s hand slowly slid along the slick surface of the stone wall that was the hallway of the palace where he and Estel were now staying. They’re time together had grown easier even with the approaching birth of Estel’s son, it was soon now everyone was sure of it. And while Orion was coming to grips and beginning to accept Estel and her new son no matter how awkward it may be, this stay had not been easy.


Being blind always made new placed a problem, he had spent the first two weeks never far from Estel or someone elses side as he would be easily lost and made a fool of without. He had been doubted by the household guard, ridiculed by some, for him still carrying a sword while blind, and two at that. Of course that had ended when he had nearly broken a man’s arm in a spar. Though he had been through it all before, had endured enough remarks to become almost immune to them by now.


But in all he was happier than he had been for a long time, finally he was beginning to warm again to Estel to a reflection of the days before he had been raised to Tower Guard. He had professed his love, and while he had yet to hear the actual words come back, he could see that there was a returned feeling in Estel. What else could have gotten them this far? The sweet pain of the roses thorns was long since faded into memory to leave but the beauty of the blood red petals behind. Leaving naught but the love he felt behind, hardened and tempered, as any steel would be.


At least the reception had had received from most people was warm enough, he was from the tower and escorting Estel after all. Her family had been warm for all he could tell though he had spent little time actually speaking with them preferring the atmosphere of the guard’s quarters or simply walking around the palace to learn it’s layout of which he had slowly gotten down.


Which was how he found himself now, walking down a familiar path from the barracks towards the rooms he and Estel had been given, one hand on the wall beside him to keep the map he had created in his mind accurate. He had spent the majority of the morning with the House gaurds but was making his way to check on Estel, make sure she was doing fine in his duty as a Tower guard, and as a man in love with a woman.




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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest Estel

For the first time in a very, very long time, Estel felt completely content. The warm Domani sun was streaming in through the window and she basked in its warmth, staring out at the puffy clouds over the sea. Reclined as she was on silk pillows, she wouldn’t have been able to move herself off them if she wanted to- which, luckily, she didn’t. She gently laid a hand on her belly where she could feel the child there, almost fully matured and ready to be brought into the world, kicking as if to let her know it was ready.


She should have listened.


However, how was she to know that such a beautiful day would end with pain and blood? There had been no way and no real foreshadowing and so instead of worrying herself into a fit, she shifted her awkward bulk to find and impossibly more comfortable position. Satisfied, she filled her head with thoughts of the last month of the trip with Orion. It was strange still, lying down next to him and knowing that he would be there when she woke. There had been a few mornings when she still pinched herself as she saw him lying next to her because surely this was too good to be true and it was a dream, not reality.


Here, completely relaxed, reality seemed surreal; as if all the nightmares of the last few years had suddenly been lifted. Back in her own childhood home, she didn’t have to deal with reality. The question of where the spirited and stubborn but naïve girl who had left for the Tower had been answered: she had never left. Estel had left that girl behind with her old life but here she had regained it, suddenly reverted back to her old self. The Tower’s hand could not touch her here and once more she could be all fire and passion with no thought for the consequences. The adage “There’s no place like home.” had never meant so much.


Such was her state of relaxation that she dozed off to sleep…


Her eyes snapped open, shooting to the lump that was now her stomach. Nervously, she felt the fabric of the dress between her legs: wet. Panic coursed through her. “Orion?” she asked the empty room. “ORION!”


ooc: her water just broke, she could use a hand :D

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  • 2 weeks later...



Orion froze in his step, the assault of noise on his senses was incredible. Panic, urgency, all the emotions that could get Orion's panic level rise to levels that only the woman he loved could, especially when she was pregnant. There was someone beside him and he lashed out and grabbed the person's arm. It could have been the King of Arad Doman for all he cared, he still spoke gruffly and gave the person a sharp shove. "Get a nurse or dictor or whatever to Estel Sedai's room. NOW!"


Orion then set off at a dead run. A dead run. The world around him ws only a dark veil and anyone thing could stop him as he crashed into it. Many people ran blindly, not many blind people ran. The hallways that he had so carefully mapped over the past few weeks. He skidded to a hault in front of the door and shoved his way through the double doors.


“Estel?” Orion turned where his name was called once again and set off, rushing to where Estel was reclined in her bed. "I'm here Estel, I called the doctors your voice said something was wrong, what is it?" Orion took Estel's hand in his, grimicing as she squeezed it enough to nearly break the bones in his hand.




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  • 1 month later...
Guest Estel

For those few moments, alone and completely helpless, Estel was completely unable to think.  Her breath came in short, quick gasps when she bothered to breathe at all; other times she didn’t even realise she was holding her breath until her brain began screaming for oxygen, at which point she began panting all over again.  This continued for some minutes and so Orion found her, her face crimson and her hair plastered to her forehead with sweat.


Orion’s face and face eased her panic only slightly.  He could do nothing for her but his mere presence was comforting.  She squeezed his hand with a power she didn’t know she possessed; likely thanks to Mat, back from her training in the Yards.  However, because of her uneven, heavy breathing, it took some minutes of him calming her down before Estel could manage to talk and even then it was between panicked gasps.


“I… I think… my water… it broke…”


It was roughly an hour before the doctor came and by that time, Estel was already well into her contractions.  Also by this time, she had just about broken Orion’s fingers but the condition of her lover’s hands was hardly at the forefront of her mind, her mind being occupied elsewhere- understatement.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

For the first time in months, Estel felt truly at peace. With everything that had happened in the last year, it was surprising. Quietly, she sat at a chair in her mother’s home, overlooking the ocean. She truly did look Aes Sedai with her serene face but in her arms lay a tiny babe, not more than two weeks old. In the young Sister’s heart stirred a deep warmth for the child- her child. She never wanted to leave here, never wanted to return to what awaited her in the Tower. What awaited her there was only more pain and humiliation, here was home. Here was her family. Here was peace.


A figure stood in the door and she had no need to look to see who it was. “How is he?” She could almost loose herself in that soft, deep voice. She did most nights, but now was not the time nor place to make love to the man she should have Bonded first. Everything would have been different had she just swallowed her pride and doubt and trusted him those years ago. The chasm created by the years, filled with emptiness, bitterness and hate had nearly been unbreachable. Estel had no idea what would have happened if Orion had not come to her just before she left. She could no longer bear the thought of going on without him. He was her rock, the firm place upon which she stood in the troubled waters she waded. She needed him, else she be swept away by the dark currents which threatened to drag her and her boychild down. Instinctively she held her baby closer.


”He’s sleeping.” she said, gently. Careful not to wake him, she turned him so her beloved could see.


”It’s like looking into a mirror.” She smiled warmly. Softly she began to hum a tune, one her mother had often sung to her when she was young.  Eventually the words came in a whisper


“Gently my little one, drift to slumber;

Rest now safely where I am.

Drift where problems don’t encumber.

Go to sleep my little lamb.”


Gently, so gently, she rocked him back and forth. Even the sea, lapping the shore beneath the window, seemed loath to disrupt the tender moment between mother and son, but both of them knew why he was there.  She knew, too, that wouldn’t be able to stay forever.


Tears welled up in her eyes, but she would not let them fall. To abandon her child. Letting him go after all she had gone through to give him life. The worst betrayal. Yet there was no other way. Sirayn had made her choices clear- the Shawl or the child. Her heart desperately wanted to scream at her mind, tell her she couldn’t leave her son- couldn’t abandon him. The fighting was fierce on both sides. Either way she lost. The son or the Tower. No woman should have to make that choice. ‘If you had been less stupid maybe you wouldn’t have to make it.’  That truth nearly sent tears rolling down her cheeks. Did she even deserve to go back to the Tower?


For nearly ten years she had struggled to deserve the name Aes Sedai. Could she abandon that now? Could she abandon her shawl now that she had it? What of her Oaths? Was she not inextricably bound to the Tower? Her heart tore as it did every time she had this internal struggle. The Tower always won but she didn’t want to return.


Her mind drifted back to her Arches:


She looked down at the two sleeping faces.  They were so beautiful, so peaceful and so innocent.  Who were they?


Startled, she thought about what she had just thought.  They were her children- her babies.  They were the only real family she had besides her mother.  The two sleeping infants were her life- her only life.


Her son, Ayende, would grow up to be the next high seat of House Liones, and would grow to be strong and handsome like his father.  Not like her husband.  Her daughter, Mera, was already more beautiful than she.  She wished only that her daughter could find love in life.  That she would not have to live the life of her mother.


Her marriage had been arranged by her step-father.  He had not cared that she hated her husband, he only cared that he was marrying one of the Royal Family into his House.  Her husband was a strict man, and one who would not stop to give a copper to the poor if his life depended on it.  He was greedier than her step-father, only cared that he wielded power through her.  There was no love in their marriage, except perhaps love of money and power.


Which was why she had turned to Matthias.  He was a handsome palace guard, who was a kind, understanding man.  Ayende had his dark hair and face.  If only she could run away from her miserable life here.  If only she could raise her babies in a place where she could be sure she could give them a chance at a choice in life.  “If only”, there were too many “if only’s” in her life.


She looked around the room in disgust.  Everything was covered in gold gilt.  Everything was carved elegantly to the point of perfection.  The cushioned chair she sat in was almost a throne, and the cradles that held her precious babies were covered in the most intricate lace available, so it seemed that her son and daughter were swimming in a sea of froth.  A pair of windowed doors led out to an expansive balcony overlooking the Royal Palaces’ gardens.  This was her prison- her gaudy golden prison.  She wanted to sick up.


‘The way back will come but once.  Be steadfast.’


Where had that voice come from?  She looked around the room, but no one was there, except her and her babies.


Her thoughts were disturbed by the sudden crashing open of the door.  Her husband, tall and lean, and as ugly as could be stormed in.  His beak of a nose, and hollow eyes flashed in one of his infamous tempers.  His scraggly beard, grown to hide his weak chin was twisted in rage.  Behind him, walked one of the Palace Guards.  She had seen him laughing and talking to Matthias.  She had thought the two friends.


But the two didn’t look like friends now.  The palace guard dragged Matthias behind him grinning sneeringly.  The man was much bigger than Matthias, and the father of her two children didn’t have a chance.  Matthias glared contemptuously at the other guard, and at her husband.  The looks her directed her way were filled with half-controlled fear.  Her heart was in her throat. ‘Light, what is happening?’


As she took a closer look at the blond-haired guard, she wondered why she remembered something about a wine bottle.  He looked strangely familiar, but not in the way that she had known him for years.  What has wrong with her?


Drawing his sword, her husband suddenly pointed the blade at her, and then at the cradles.  His face grew even more distorted in his rage as he at last held the blade against Matthias’s throat.


“They are not my children, are they!” he yelled.  “They’re this bastard’s, aren’t they!  You slept with him you cow!”


Before she could say a word, her husband drew his blade along Matthias’s throat.  Blood puddle on the floor.  Matthias gurgled his last sounds as he died.  His eyes stared hauntingly at her.  This was the father of her children.  He was dead.


‘The way back will come but once.  Be steadfast.’


When she looked around, she saw an arch, glittering across the room.  She knew she needed to go through it, but that would mean leaving her babies to her husband.


“Those children are bastards!  I’ll not have them in my house!  I’ll not have them alive!”


Blood dripped off her husband’s blade.  He was coming towards the cradles fast.  It was either her children, or the arch.  With a cry of pain and loss too deep to express, she took one last look at her babies sleeping faces, and launched herself at the arch.  She almost wished her husband would run her through before she made it through.  Light burned her to ash.


Tears leaked down her face.  She had made her choice back then, even before Sirayn’s "It is not possible to be both a mother and a sister of our great cause. I have seen cases like yours before and all attempts to balance them end in ruin. It's the shawl or motherhood; you must choose and choose fast.”  “All for the Cause”, “The way back will come but once”… why did it seem so easy to all the rest?  Light, she had chosen already and could not turn back, no matter the pain.


Faerthines, sensing his mother’s discomfort as he woke, began to cry.  Realising that she could not give over to weakness, not now that he needed her and this would be their only time together, she calmed herself down and then set about the task of nursing him.  To every other Aes Sedai the choice would have been easy.  No other Aes Sedai would sit, half on the edge of tears, wanting to choose her baby boy rather than the Tower.


“We have to leave eventually, Orion,” Estel winced, as if saying it finally made it true “don’t we?”

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  • 4 weeks later...

“We have to leave eventually, Orion...don’t we?”


It was never an easy thing to have to deal with the truth, it stung, bit deeper than any lies that were meant to hurt. A single truth could destroy someone more utterly than the wrath of any angry God, and charging army, and force of nature. But the truth was meant to be told, not to be locked away so those involved could live in such blissfull ignorance.


So why did orion feel as if he was holding a knife, and was about to thrust it into the love filled heart of the woman he held so dear by saying one simple word. But at the same time he couldn't bring himself to lie about this, to throw false hopes onto an idea that they both knew was wrong, just not easy to accept.


"Yes." And it was done, his hand had pushed the knife and he could feel the pang of sadness radianting from the woman in front of him, holding a baby that had almost torn them apart but she still loved too dearly. "Everyday we stay will only make it harder too Estel. We both made our promises to the Tower...and I don't you're one to abandon such things lightly." Neither was Orion, and that was one of the reasons he wanted to leave sooner rather than later. He did not want to have to make a choice between the Tower and Estel, settling down with her in Arad Doman and forsaking his oaths to the Tower. His heart had been broken once and had almost not been repaired, he didn't want to test those brittle metals again.




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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Estel

Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.


She stared down into his tiny eyes, imagining what his life would be like.  His first step, his first words, seeing him grow taller and taller into a full-grown man, all without her there.  How would he feel about this betrayal?  Abandoning him at birth?  How could she ever excuse it to him?  He would never know how strong both Tower and blood pulled at her heart, tearing it down the centre.  Light, she hoped he never knew.  The Tower was no place for the sweet and innocent.


He had fallen back asleep now.  Lightly, with the care a mother who wasn’t abandoning her own son , she kissed his soft forehead and laid him down in his cradle, tenderly tucking his sheets around him.  Estel could help the tears that leaked down the sides of her face and she bit her bottom lip to keep from crying.  Ashamed of her weakness, she buried her face in Orion’s neck, hugging him and crying silently.


“I don’t want to go.  I want to stay here with you and the baby.  How can I ever justify to him my leaving?” she cried on until the tears had run out and her resolve returned.  “We’ll go back.  But… not yet.


“Orion I… I want to apologise.  For everything; for Matthias and the fights.  I should have asked you a long time ago, before Matthias.  I wanted to but… I was scared.  Scared of what everyone else would think, scared of you, of rejection, of somehow failing you or failing myself.” Estel prattled on, beating around the bush in her nervousness.  “Anyway I’m… I’m asking you to be my Warder.” she chanced a glance up at his face as most of the speech had been made at his chest.  “Please.”

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  • 4 weeks later...

OOC: Ack I let this get away from me :$


Orion stood solemnly beside Estel's chair, impassive as he could be as his mind tried to take in everything, every admission, every apology...and the one question, the one pleading question. Bonded. The woman he loved more than life itself had just asked him to share the rest of his life with her...then why did he hesitate in his answer to the question, why was it that now of all times he was indecisive. It was his life's wish, to follow his Shinieran values to the extreme by devoting his life to protecting one woman but....


It was because of the small sounds coming from the baby that Estel was holding, Faerthines, and everything he represented. Everything that Estel had just apologised for. And something else...if they bonded it would be a final decision, Estel would have to leave the baby for the Tower. Orion knew that that was what must be done, but he did not relish having to tell Estel that and hurt her more.


"I...will. For better or for worse, I will. To spend my life by your side...I will."


And it was done, the most important decision he had ever made was done. He and Estel would be bonded for the rest of their lives, until his life vanished and the wheel moved on without him. But he would be able to spend it with Estel...Orion smiled slowly.




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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't get many things right the first time

In fact, I am told that a lot

Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls

Brought me here


And where was I before the day

That I first saw your lovely face?

Now I see it everyday

And I know


That I am

I am

I am

The luckiest


"I...will. For better or for worse, I will. To spend my life by your side...I will."


She almost said “I do” as tears of joy silently rolled down her cheeks.  His words, so close to the vow said at weddings, killed her knowing she could never say those words and never publicly admit her love for the man.  Damn the Blue Ajah and being “married to one’s cause”!  If they were the most worldy of Ajahs, why was it they still held themselves aloof from the people they were trying to serve?  Wasn’t the inability to marry and bear children just one more way to separate themselves from the general populace?  The rift bred misunderstanding and hate for the women with too much power, too much pride and not enough empathy.  To serve the world they should have been one with the world.  They failed in that miserably.


And yet for all her love and all her beliefs, Estel was too scared to throw tradition to the winds and risk the White Tower’s anger.  Whatever happened, she was still an Aes Sedai and she couldn’t bear to face more derision than what was already thrown at her by her Sisters.  Sirayn’s disapproving glare and Serena’s harsh words were still too fresh and painful to risk more of the same.


“Whatever else happens, I swear to love you and head your counsel, protect you as you protect me and honour you faithfulness.  For better or for worse.”


Her smile was tight with nerves and her hand shook as she reached out and placed it on his head.  Unbidden and unwanted, the memory of placing this same Weave on Matthias and the memory of the pain that ordeal had brought with it threatened to turn her words to ash but the First Oath held her course.  Nonetheless, it took a few minutes before she could calm herself enough to surrender to saidar and let the Weave settle into him.


Instantly a new pulsing knot of emotions woke in the back of her head to replace the once she had lost.  For all his words and pledges, the reassurance of that golden pulsing emotion through the Bond broke the last of her defences.  Throwing herself at him, nearly bowling him over in the process, she kissed him as passionately as she ever had before.  All she needed in the world were his arms around her and the sureness off his love for her pouring through the Bond.




Next door there’s an old man

Who lived to his nineties

And one day passed away in his sleep

And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days

And passed away.


I’m sorry I know that’s a

Strange way to tell you that I know

We belong

That I know


That I am

I am


The luckiest.

(The Luckiest- Ben Folds)

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