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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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[[ Sorry so slow ]]

 

Nox had not expected Merdyn to poke his head inside his place.  He joked that he wasn't in bed.  He was supposed to with Adrim.  Why was he here.  

 

Merdyn didn't really wait for Nox to come to grips with the panic that was rushing forward and dhdn't catch all of that but Adrim had sent him and he needed help.  No they needed help.

 

Nox gave an exaggerated sigh.  "I suppose I can spare a few moments of time to help you.  You know I'm very busy."  Nox grinned at Merdyn.

 

Nox stood up slowly.  He only winced a little.  "Are you sure Adrim isn't going to yell at me.  I'd rather he didn't."  Nox started to wonder if this was a test.  Was he supposed to say no?  Was he supposed stay here as he was ordered.  But Merdyn was here, why tempt him?  Nox hated this, he scrubbed his hand through his hair and sighed.  "We better go before I talk myself out of it."  Though he'd made the decision it was still gnawing away at him.  Blood and bloody ashes, Adrim needed to make up his mind.

 

They reached the travel grounds at Nox's slower pace.  He was still sore.  Healing was all well and good, but when you had a shard of earth through your gut it was still sore, even if it was more phantom pain than anything.  "Can you tell me how far to town?  Or what things looked like a little."  Nox asked of Merdyn.  He didn't want to open random gateways multiple times, Adrim wouldn't like that.  "Or you can do it now, and I'll make the return trip."

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                “Nox, do you really think that I would try to get you in trouble? You’ve been nothing but good to me. I have no reason at all to see Adrim upset with you,” Although, really, how much trouble could he get in? Their both Asha’man, “Light, if that were true, I could get in trouble for visiting you. Adrim made it very clear we were not to bother you while you recovered. No. He specifically told me to come to you…”

 

                Seeing his teacher in a weakened state brought back flashes of memories from that day. Merdyn was still guilted over the whole ordeal, but they had another issue at hand, and he couldn’t spare even a moment to feel sorry for himself or Nox. Instead, they hobbled back to the Traveling Grounds, however slowly. Merdyn offered an arm for support a few times, but Nox kindly refused each time.

 

                At the Traveling Grounds, Nox started asking questions. Merdyn began recounting their surroundings in great detail, although looking at his Teacher, he couldn’t help but feel guilty. True, Adrim had instructed Merdyn to fetch Nox; but, looking at his weakened state, Merdyn couldn’t ask the man to actually make the Gateway… Maybe on the way back, but not now.

 

                “No… Forget what I said… I’ve still got it in me… I think,” Merdyn said, smiling at Nox.

 

                Without wasting another minute, Merdyn wove a Gateway. They weren’t going to Travel, Merdyn still wasn’t sure if he had it in him to do that at this moment, but he could handle Skimming. That familiar silvery line snapped into existence and rotated into a square opening. Beyond the Gateway was utter blackness and a silvery looking barge.

 

                The pair stepped through the Gateway and onto the phantom ship. The opening behind them snapped shut and the barge lurched forward into the void. Merdyn turned to Nox, “Sorry about that… I seemed to have forgotten all decorum. How are you feeling, Nox? I hope we aren’t straining you by pulling you away from your bed… Ful and I miss you. It hasn’t been the same with you relegated to your chambers…I know you don’t think it’s my fault, but I am sorry that I did not shield you the other day… I wasn’t thinking about anyone else in that moment… It’s a fault of my own… It won’t happen again, Nox. In the future, I will do everything in my power to make sure that you and every other member of the Black Tower is safe… If you died… I don’t know that I could have forgiven myself…”

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Nox saw the platform beyond and shuddered.  Skimming was .... Nox had a few fears in life.  He had a lot of anxiety and other issues, but fears he had a few - and the dark depths of an endless fall in the world of skimming was one of them.  His innate fear of heights and falling was skyrocketed when he looked into the depths of the pit below.  

 

But it didn't stop him and Nox wasn't against using his student as a crutch.  He was injured and Nox took slow steady breathes as they stepped through the portal and it closed behind them.  Blood and bloody ashes.  Nox stood in the middle of the platform and without thinking grabbed Merdyn's arm.  His grip was tighter than needed but the fear and anxiety coursing through his veins Nox never noticed the inappropriate nature.

 

Merdyn's voice felt distance and Nox nodded and listened or tried to.  He wasn't fine, not at this moment.  He couldn't speak, couldn't do anything but stare at his student and anywhere else was going to make Nox tumble into the depths of his own panic.  

 

It felt like forever as they drifted in the endless black...

 

[[ sorry, Nox doesn't like skimming  :) ]]

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                Nox gripped Merdyn’s right arm with a hand that felt as if it had been wrought from iron. Eyes bulging, it was all Merdyn could do to prevent himself from jumping at the surprise. Nox was normally so reserved and distant. All words and thoughts escaped Merdyn, an awkward silence permeated the atmosphere. Judging by Nox’s expression, he didn’t notice.

 

                This would be a perfect place to make a move on me. No peaking eyes or ears… But no… That look on his face is not lust... not unless he’s nervous… But, no… I’d imagine that Nox would just take it if he wanted it…

 

                “Uh… Nox? You okay, friend?” Merdyn asked his teacher, looking over at him. Merdyn was taller than almost everyone at the Black Tower, but Nox matched him span for span. The man didn’t acknowledge Merdyn’s question at all.

 

                Merdyn moved his head a bit, to peer at Nox’s face. The man was staring right back at him, eye’s wide and the beginnings of sweat on his brow. If Merdyn didn’t know better…

 

                “Oh, Light! You’re afraid, aren’t you? Nox, I’m not one to judge, but you’re so incredibly powerful and talented. There shouldn’t be anything in the Pattern that scares you! Save the Dark One… Oh Light, Nox, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know!”

 

                But what is he afraid of? The Void? The ship? The silence? Falling? No matter…

 

                Without hesitation, Merdyn pulled his arm free and wrapped it around Nox’s shoulders. Pulling his teacher close, Merdyn ignored any possible signs of protest or tenseness. Merdyn was so quick in his motion that Nox’s head almost collided with his own.

 

                A few of Merdyn’s old tutors had said that physical contact between people was incredibly soothing, skin to skin was better, but Merdyn didn’t want to push his luck. He didn’t think Nox would appreciate the arm around the shoulder, much less holding hands or a caress along the face, but it was all Merdyn could offer. If he could fix it with the One Power, he would have, but he didn’t know what to do save for a sleep weave. Nox wouldn’t have been much use to anyone if he was unconscious.

 

                They rode the rest of the way in silence, Merdyn making comforting noises whenever he felt Nox’s body go tense. It was odd. Nox had been a beacon of strength and skill for Merdyn, at least in the Black Tower. This last week had torn down that image in Merdyn’s mind and replaced it with something more familiar. Something more human and flawed. It was endearing.

 

                What else don’t I know about this man?

 

                The ship instantly stopped in the void. There was no lurching motion or anything to signify the halt, Merdyn just knew. Still holding Saidin, Merdyn wove a Gateway and that familiar silvery slash quickly popped up before the ship. It was hard not to stare at it when nothing but blackness surrounded you. Merdyn removed his arm from Nox’s shoulders, well before the Gateway had opened. He assumed that Nox would be upset if the first thing Adrim and Ful saw was the comfort that Merdyn had been trying to give the other man. With a light pat on the back, Merdyn smiled at Nox, trying to make it appear genuine, caring, warm, friendly, and worried all at once.

 

                “Well… Musn’t keep our friends waiting,” Merdyn said to Nox, still holding that smile.

 

                The Gateway snapped open in the exact same spot Merdyn had departed from. Not far from the opening was Adrim, Ful, and the damsels in distress.

 

 

[[OOC: I would have never guessed! Been learning a lot about Nox lately. I love it!]]

Edited by Oddpositions
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Merdyn pulled free of his grip and Nox's heart went into panic mode pounding against his chest, his breathing rapid.   His knees started to buckle in the few moments it took Merdyn to wrap his arms around him and pull him against his body.  How many times had Adrim comforted him the same way?  How many times ...

 

Nox tried not to notice the warmth of the man's body.  The feel of his breathe against his neck.  The way the man smelled.  Nox tried, but there was no denying that his body had not truly been touched by the fingers of a man in a while.  Whatever self imposed exile Nox had put him self in over the years staying away from the men at the Tower.  And now his student crumbled the walls.  Rhys had come close, though he was more fun than anything, but none had he ever been this close to - other than Adrim.  Adrim was safe, he was home, but he was never going to think of Nox as anything more than his student, his underling.  

 

Nox was grateful for the embrace and while he knew he should move away his body was frozen in fear against Merdyn, his student.  He denied that it meant anything more than it was.  He denied himself - again.

 

Merdyn created the gateway and pulled away while it formed leaving Nox feeling chilled and alone in all this darkness.  But just the other side of the gate he could see ground and trees and Adrim and Ful waiting.

 

There was a panicked look on Adrim's face as he stood up and stared through the gateway into the blackness.  He was angry with me?  Nox thought to himself.  

 

The moment the gateway closed behind them Adrim was in front of them both,  "Ful, Merdyn, help the ladies into their stretchers."  He looked at Nox with a frown and whispered. "Are you alright?"

 

Nox gave a slow nod.  "How can I help?" Nox asked.

 

Adrim smiled.  There was no reason to let my fears control me.  Even though my heart was racing and my breathing rapid I could still help.  I had to help.  "You can form the gateway and stand there, you shouldn't be out of bed."  He smiled at me then went off to help the others with the two ladies.  

 

This wasn't something natural, what had happened?  But more importantly why?

 

Nox formed a gateway just a few feet from where he stood, and another one formed a short distance away.  It was the easiest way to know the area he was in. Nox let go of the gateways and they snapped out of existance with a giant pop.  Adrim glanced at Nox and then went back to work.  "I'm ready when you are."

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  • 2 weeks later...

It was a long while before Ful had recovered enough to get back on his feet and help Merdyn move the ladies.

~~

Adrim was exhausted. And Merdyn left for the farm. The platform wavered, then began to glide away, out of sight behind the shell of the broken wagon. As soon as it was gone, Ful sank onto his hands and dry-heaved violently into the burned grass. 

 

He closed his eyes, resting them . . . after some time, he heard their voices. Merdyn. And Nox! 

 

He had hoped for this . . .

 

Unsteady, he looked up, rose to his feet, succumbed to a spell of giddiness, and slumped against the bent trunk of a tree for support. 

 

He shook his head, trying to straighten up. Boots crunched across the road dust towards him. 

 

Ful raised his hand in greeting.

 

“Hey Merdyn. Thanks for bringing Nox. And coming back.”

Edited by Lih-Lyh
edit: spelling :)
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                Merdyn nodded at Adrim’s direction. Moving away from while the older man spoke quietly to Nox. He really would have liked to know exactly what was going on there. Nox wasn’t the type to just open up to her underlings though. The moment they shared while Skimming very likely would never happen again. Merdyn just wanted to comfort Nox, it was apparent that the man had lived a hard life. A few at the Farm even said that Nox had succumbed to the Taint, but Merdyn didn’t see it.

 

                Ful greeted Merdyn as he made his way over to the trees, “Why wouldn’t I come back, Ful? You’re my friend, remember? And these ladies still need our help. Good to see Nox out of bed, but I’m sure he’ll wind up back in it before the day is out… You know anything about Adrim and him? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think there was something there… No matter. None of my business is it?”

 

                A whimper sounded off to the left and Merdyn noticed the ladies; they lay on the ground, still sleeping. Ful didn’t look like he was in fit enough shape to help with the women. Merdyn would likely have to drag the stretchers through Nox’s Gateway. Didn’t matter to him, he’d rather not overextend Ful, and this would be a perfect enough reason to take a nice long bath later. It would be better if he had someone to share that bath with, if only to scrub his back.

 

                “Yeah, you’re not doing anything, Ful. Sit back down, I got this. There’s only two of them and I am stronger than I look,” Merdyn said to his friend with a light chuckle. He knelt down in the dirt and began shifting the first woman to a stretcher. It would likely take him a few minutes, he didn’t want to lift her up in his arms; no telling what state she was in. No. Better to shift her over little by little.

 

                This would be a lot easier if I just channeled a few flows of Air… Can’t take the risk. I might hurt her more…

 

[[ooc: it's not letting me change my font color in this thread for some reason...]]

Edited by Oddpositions
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[[ nah I see it.  You're javascript broken? ]]

 

Adrim left Nox and headed to help Merdyn.  He only seemed slightly perterbed at having seen him with someone else.  Adrim had been more afraid of the panic attack he knew Nox had gone through.  Adrim knew full well how much he had hated heights.  It was a good thing you couldn't learn to fly with Saidin, Nox thought to himself.  He'd never learn that one.

 

Nox stood there like a lump on the wall while Adrim wove a plank of air to help Merdyn get the first woman on to the stretcher.  The gateway stood wide open for them to walk through and Nox felt the tender skin stretching as he shifted feet.  Maybe this wasn't such a great idea.    But he wasn't about to show weakness.  Merdyn had already seen enough.  Though there was a moment, that might be worth exploring - later, maybe.  Nox stole a glance at the man who had just brought him here through a gateway.  He was a man, but he was a student... still a student.

 

Nox would be ready when they were all ready to go and then maybe he'd collapse back in bed.  It was a lot harder work than he ever remembered to stand upright.

 

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