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Fior's arms began to grow heavy as the shadows stretched long over the yard. He had barely been able focus on his forms all day. His preoccupation was due to the fact that yesterday had been the last day of Sahra's cycle, and tonight would be the first night in a week that they could be together. A raindrop splashed off his forehead, and he decided that it was about time to make his way to the cafeteria to meet with her.


He settled into an easy jog and only just beat the full onslaught of the rain as he slipped in through the doors. He scanned the room and easily picked out her red hair from among the throng. Sliding along the edge of the room, he threw some food on a plate without really paying much attention to what it was and headed towards the table where she sat conversing with Conor and Mahiko. Dropping his tray to the table, he nodded to both of them, pointedly ignoring Sahra, though he couldn't hide the hint of a grin on his face, and sat down. "Did you ladies have a good day?" He knew that they both had the same mentor, but he could never remember what the name was.


Sahra noticed Fior almost the moment he entered the mess hall. He had been on her thoughts all day as her period had ended and she was more than a little in need. It wasn't just for love making but the time afterwards when they lay cooling off in the arms of each others' and were almost close enough physically and mentally to be one. She arched her eyebrows when he ignored her and lifted her boot under the table beginning to undo the laces. She would show him that she wasn't going to accept that from him. She stuck her tongue to her cheek and slanted a sly look at Conor and he grinned knowing that he could expect something soon.


Sahra extended her leg until it met Fior's and she began to slide the sole of feet upward. She could feel him tense and she focused innocently to emptying her plate with a good appetite. She would need that energy. Fior and the guys were chatting even as she ate and brought her leg to his groin. She wiggled her toes and could feel him stiffen under her administration. It was most satisfactory when he dropped his spoon with a clatter to the plate splashing the soup around. She looked up with a feigned surprise and Conor asked in a mirth-filled tone if everything was alright with Fior.


Fior was having to try very hard to keep himself from throwing over the table and taking Sahra right there in the middle of the mess hall. He wasn't succeeding very well, and the strain was beginning to show through on his face. As his spoon clattered to his plate, he flashed Conor a dirty look. Conor caught it and burst out laughing while Mahiko looked at them with a shaking head and wide eyes of confusion.


Standing suddenly and stepping around the table, Fior grabbed Sahra's hand in mid-bite. Clearning his throat roughly, he attempted to angle his body so that his attention wasn't quite so... obvious.


"We... uh... we need to get back and... um... work on...." Unable to come up with a good enough excuse, Fior instead decided to pull Sahra to her feet and began heading for the door without another word.


Sahra's throat felt suddenly constricted when Fior stood up and dragged her on her feet. She had been waiting days for this. She did manage to look over her shoulder at Conor and Mahiko. Conor was still chuckling and held his both thumbs up for her whereas Mahiko was still trying to puzzle out what was happening. Poor innocent boy. Sahra would have to find someone sweet for him too since she had succeeded so well with Conor and her former work mate Susa.


The moment they were out of the mess hall, all she could think of was Fior. He had released her hand and they tried to avoid looking at each others. They did their best to keep their gait even and not rouse suspicion but a sense of urgency was building inside her. The short distance from the dining quarters back to the barracks and Aran's empty room, now their secret love nest, seemed to last like an eternity. They were in middle of the Yards when the sky blackened by storm clouds really opened and pouring rain soaked them wet like dogs. It seemed oddly fitting and Sahra stopped for a moment to feel the shower of heavy drops on her face and spread her arms twirling around a few times before she ducked inside after Fior.


Despite their good intentions, they were half running by the time they reached the door in the second floor. The moment it was shut on their heels, they were on each others, tearing off dripping clothes and entangling in a sizzling kiss.




Caught in the heat of their shared passion, neither of them noticed the door swinging slowly open behind them, nor the shocked look on the face of the one standing in it.


Fior and Sahra

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Returning to Tar Valon was a relief, alot had happened over the year and now that his tour of duty was done, it meant he had a chance to reflect and think on what things had changed and how to adapt to them. Even as he removed his saddlebags from his horse and made his way to the barracks, waving to those he knew as he did so and begging off chatting in favour of rest due to the long ride, he made for his room so he could drop his things off. Light but it was good to be back, Tar Valon didn't have a hold on him the way a certain something else did, but it was a welcome thing nevertheless.


Standing outside his room, Aran was about to rip the door open when he heard a sound. From inside. Frowning, Aran used his key to quietly unlock the door and slip inside only to stop in shock. It had been a year but he recognised the two people embroiled in an alternative form of gymnastic endurance training. Of all the things he could have expected to find in his room, they most certainly were not it. And definitely not doing that on his bed no less.


They hadn't noticed him either, so intent on what they were doing. Frowning as he freed the key and closed the door noiselessly, the lock's click was inaudible over the rising level of noise in the room. Sitting his saddlebags by the wall as he contemplated what he was watching, several courses of action came to mind. A couple, admittedly, were rather violent as he noticed his room had been shifted about, they had been at this for awhile. While he didn't care so much about them breaking the basic rule imposed on trainees, he did mind them doing it in his room.


Something had to be done, and the decision came easily enough.


Sneaking over to the bed, a simple leap was all it took to land on Fior's lower back, getting two very different reactions from the occupants of his bed. Jamming his feet against the footboard to pin Fior where he was, the trainee's attempt to push up was ruthlessly dealt with as Aran ripped the lad's hands out from underneath him. As Sahra didn't seem aware of what was happening, Aran allowed Fior's panic and confused and alarmed splutter to get her attention before speaking with a lazy drawl.


"Not exactly what I expected to find." That got her attention. "And Fior, stop squirming otherwise something very beautiful or very terrible depending on your point of view will happen. No, you may not move, lets not throw all modesty out the window. So, who wants to start explaining the why of this to me? Whenever you're ready." Smiling pleasantly as leaned forward a little on Fior, Aran waited for one of them to answer.




Tower Guard

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(Edited for content)


Through the haze of slowly fading ecstasy Sahra thought she heard words, discussion and as her eyes fluttered open, she saw two familiar faces on top of her and the panic in her love's eyes. The other man smiled pleasently but she could see the glint of steel in his gaze.


"Aran", she exhaled in confusion.


"Aran?" The second time his name was laced with shock and she snapped to full consciousness.


"Aran!" The third was a roar that would have made any drill sergeant proud. Sahra had good lungs as she had amply demonstrated.


"You get off us this instant, you goat-loving pervert! Have you no decency?!"


She began to writhe and struggle but with no other effect but the tensing of Fior's muscles and a pained expression on his face. "Sahra, stop that", he pleaded and she realized with mortification that he was still...


"Yes, please stop that. You're going to break something if you're not careful."


Glaring at the third wheel in their bed, she lifted her hand and tried to strike Aran's cheek resoundingly with her palm. He was out of her reach as he was too short and she was definately at disadvantaged position. How she hated him again right then.


"You are a supreme bastard."


"Now thats hardly fair. If you think about it, if this sort of thing is to be happening in my bed I should be involved shouldn't I? You know, seeing as its my bed, and room for that matter. Now, you going to explain this or is our little porker here who is a step away from having his arms broken going to?


Sahra & Aran

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Sahra's eyes widenend in alarm as Aran gave his second threat. "You wouldn't do that. And fine", she spat. "You went for a long mission leaving a perfectly vacant room behind. I have kept it in order and in exchange we have... well, what harm can it be?" She tossed her head defiantly.


"I'm sure that passes for a convincing argument amongst your fellow trainees but if you think that mildly retarded mumbo jumbo is going to fly here considering the.... unusual circumstances I've found my room in, I think you'll understand that is not going to cut it. Even I, of all people, during my time as a trainee did not break the rule regarding trainees having relations even once. And this is my room, as in not your room and certainly not your playground, in fact I would have been perfectly happy to come to it dusty and untouched. Emphasis on 'untouched' in case you missed it. Now we get to the point where you get to explain to me why I shouldn't turn you in, not only for going through my room and turning it into a little love nest, but for getting caught. Well?"


As he spoke, the reality began to settle in and her anger faded leaving her scared. That was a feeling she didn't care for one bit and Aran would never see her like that and get the satisfaction of knowing he was the cause. Temerity and sass might land her to even worse trouble but it would at least salvage her personal pride. "Because this does not affect our training or dedication in any way. It is just one rule. And because..." She wet her lips. "... you are going to enjoy too much setting us the penance yourself and it will be much worse than anything Ginae could think of before booting us out. As for why... excuses are for wimps. We got caught pants on our feet quite literally so that's that. Stupidity and carelessness but we are still not hopeless cases."


She grinned at him as insolently as she could. "This required special audacity and you have to admit, not many have it."


"You almost had me up until the point you said audacity. You weren't audacious, you were stupid and couldn't keep your pants on long enough to keep an ear out for when I'd be back. But, Fior's been rather quiet, probably because I'm contemplating doing something permanent to him and that he's realised that if I'm back, his mentor has returned as well. Why don't you ask him his opinion of all this? Then get his take on why I shouldn't turn you in. Go on, ask him."


Her eyes grew as big as saucers at the mention of Cairma. She had been merciful to them the last time something almost similar had happened. She still felt the stab of guilt at remembering how someone had gotten hurt that night instead of mere property being compromised like now. Sana and her were thankfully back on good terms, friends even, but if he ever found about this... he would make her life misery with his unceasing teasing. Cairma might be willing to cover up for them again since it woud reflect badly on her otherwise but they would so pay for it.


And Aran... she couldn't tell whether he was amused by this all and just wanting to make them squirm or genuinely pissed off. Usually his sense of humour always won but it was impossible to tell what was really going on behind those eyes and severe mannerisms. Giving Aran a vicious glance, she turned her attention to Fior who had been wrapped in the Void for a while already to keep his temper at reign. His position definately wasn't a pleasent one as Aran held his hands in a painful lock behind his back and he had to keep himself upright on abs solely. She brushed his cheek gently her demeanour visibly mellowing. She had been supposed to tell him that she loved him.


"Well Fior, what is your opinion of all this and do you have anything to add to why Aran shouldn't turn us in?", Sahra asked obediently. Her eyes held heat again as she turned to Aran before Fior could reply. "And you can release him now." She caressed his face again, sorry that their moment was so throughoutly ruined.


Sahra & Aran

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Fior had difficulty holding back the laughter that was threatening to overwhelm him. The initial moment of shock and panic had quickly been overwhelmed by the humor of the situation. Aran had caught them. Caught them in the heat of passion, with no clothes, on his bed, and was threatening them. He couldn't help but be amused. Perhaps it was arrogant, certainly it was stupid, but he felt certain that Aran would not have them kicked out.


In response to Sahra's question, he kissed her. He loved the girl, but Light did she ramble on. Breaking the kiss, he turned his head towards Aran as best as he could, and said with a short chuckle. "It may have been stupid, but not nearly as stupid as tossing water on a very drunk, scantily clad woman with a giant sword prone to bursts of temper. And you're right; This is your room, and your bed. You should be involved in whatever happens in it." Using every ounce of his strength he pressed his rear back firmly against Aran's crotch, drawing on his Ren'shai training to block out the pain. Turning his face back to Sahra, he gave her a look that said to trust him and play along... at least he hoped that was what she read. Looking back at Aran he smiled warmly around the pain.


"Care to join us?"


Fior Canain


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A flicker of a frown crossed his face but disappeared even as it appeared, retreating into his usual smile. He didn't play those games with trainees, definitely not these ones and he was fairly certain the only way he was going to get to the bottom of this was to take steps. Of course, Fior had made the first decision rather easy for him in particular, if one tactic didn't work then one simply changed the tactic. If two people were drawing strength of each other, then there was a simple conclusion and logical course of action to be drawn from it.


"A fisherman always throws the minnows back." Leaning back and off the pair of fools, Aran slipped off the side of the bed and made his way to his chair as he spoke. "Fior you will get dressed and go to your quarters. You, Sahra, will stay right there."


That got a look from the pair of them as they disengaged. Just smiling at them, Aran checked his seat to make sure it was clean before he sat himself down. He could hazard some guesses at the thoughts that were going through their minds but they didn't really matter, he had some firm ideas of what was going to occur and in the end they would happen. "I believe it was you that was told to get dressed Fior, do so and go. Hurry up." Lifting his right boot onto the left knee, Aran patiently worked at the laces. Light it would be good to be barefoot again.


Fior held no delusion that they would be getting out of this unscathed. He was certain that they would get in trouble, and likely have to suffer through Aran‘s unique brand of justice. Not that it was ever really just. There was never anything fair or fitting about it. Just Aran enjoying humiliating those who crossed him. “No.” Fior said simply as Aran began taking off his boots. “Tower Guard or not, there’s no way I’m leaving this room ‘till she’s clothed.” He wasn’t about to allow Sahra or himself to be bullied about… and he definitely didn’t feel safe leaving her here like that… especially not when Aran was undressing.


Sahra followed everything with confusion. Fior propositioning Aran and rubbing against him was definately a shock but his look told her that he had a plan. She trusted him but now she was doubting his judgement. It definately was something Aran certainly hadn't been expecting but she couldn't even start guessing how he would react. Her grand mentor got off them and Sahra did not miss the fact that she wasn't to put on clothes. She had gotten used to being naked around almost anyone in the Yards in the washing rooms but the situation was making it a bit awkward.


She sighed a bit when Fior protested. She should have expected it but it seemed like he didn't trust her ability to handle herself and the situation. And what was he thinking of Aran? He would never do anything like that with her. She sprung up the bed effortlessly and walked to cup his face. "Fior, I am going to be alright. I can quite take care of myself." She knew that he was going to argue and with a passing look of annoyance to Aran, she decided to go with the original plan and try to divert Fior. Her face softened to a smile as she twined her hands behind his neck. "I love you Fior", she said simply before kissing him in earnest.


When their lips parted, Fior stood for a couple of moments unable to form a coherent thought. Her hands on his face were warm and he could feel her heart beating through them. He couldn't control the flush of color that ran over his body as his hands reached up and pulled hers away from his face. Taking a step back, he let her hands drop to her side, and he cast a glance over at Aran. That insolent grin never left the bastard's face.


He stepped calmly over to his breeches and pulled them on without a word. Scooping up his boots and shirt from where they had fallen, he moved towards the door.


After opening the door, he looked back at Sahra for a long moment before turning back. He knew that it wasn't likely that Aran would hurt her, but he still didn't trust him. And he couldn't get over his irrational anger towards him.


As the door swung shut behind him, Fior tugged the shirt over his head and stuffed his feet into the boots. As he walked off down the hall, one thought plagued him. That should have been a beautiful moment.... burn Aran.






Sahra was trying to gather herself after the sweet but ardent kiss and the warmth and depth of feeling the genuined love confession aroused in her. It bothered her that Fior didn't say anything and just gathered his clothes and left even though he had been clearly as affected by the words and the contact. She hadn't expected him to say it back with Aran there, but still she had. She tried to mask her disappointment as their eyes met for a long moment and smile at him with assurance. As he closed the door, she cursed that the first time she had said those three words hadn't been as special as she had dreamed it to be. It was Aran's fault, if only he had come back an hour later. That was all they would have needed. Or maybe two hours.


She felt belligerent and Aran was the perfect target. She knew that she would loose a battle of words so she would have to use the weapon Aran had put into her hands. He might joke about it and play along even, but deep down she knew that Aran would be bothered of changing their relationship that way. And she never would either so he would likely see through her bluff, but it was still worth a try.


Turning to him, she placed her hands on her hips. No seductive poses from her, she felt more like challenging right then. There was a lazy smile on her lips and a purr on her voice, but her eyes were sharp. "Well Grandpa, would you like me to sit on your lap now or maybe help you with your clothes first?"


Narrowing his eyes at Sahra's words, the irritation that Aran felt was enough to prompt him to quick action. Freeing his left boot, he leaned back as if to drop it behind him only to jacknife forward in the chair as he hurled the boot, the heel catching Sahra solidly in the midriff and knocking her back onto the bed. It was an easy thing to do so there wasn't much pleasure in it, but he didn't do it to satisfy his irritation. During his time away, it was clear that certain things had gotten out of hand, and they were going to be dealt with now.


"Don't try me Sahra, you're an inch away from having your arse thrown out onto the street and the main reason I haven't done so is because of Ursana. Speaking of which, what does he think about all of this?" It was rare when Aran's voice was cold, but his tone was icy nevertheless which gave his smile a certain chill. "Put your clothes on, and as you're doing so why don't you tell me how you consider this becoming of a trainee? Is this really worthy of you?"

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There was no way Sahra could have dodged or parried the boot thrown at her at such speed. All air rushed out of her with a wheeze and it took a moment before she could breathe again and get back on her feet. Her own temper was soaring as she bounced up and she glared at him as she reached for her clothes. "This has indeed gone ridiculously far but you started this particular folly. I was just playing along as you played with Fior." Well, Fior had started that but it didn't mean Aran could take it on her. Her voice muffled as she pulled her shirt over her head. It was still wet from the rain and she grimaced.


"And no, this is not becoming of a trainee and I am lowering myself right now. As for Sana, he and I have long since worked things out between us and he does not disapprove this because what me and Fior are to each others does not interfere in any way with our training, just the contrary. We drive each others to train harder."


"Now what is this all really about? My worthiness?"

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"I started this particular folly?"


Raising an eyebrow at the student of his student, Aran betrayed no change of emotion despite his inner irritation increasing. Maybe it was his prolonged absence from the yards and serving along the border, or perhaps just the simple shock of having discovered what he had, but he was not nearly as patient as he normally was. Then again, this wasn't normal. "I have been serving in the Borderlands for months, risking life and limb. During this entire, you've been using my room as if its some brothel and you feel that my reaction is a little unwarranted? Tell me, if I'd died would you have made this room yours altogether? Or would you have just found it too odd having sex in a dead man's bed?"


Not giving her a chance to answer, Aran pushed on to the greater concern. "But lets talk about you. See, I remember you when you first came to the yards and your dream was to become a Tower Guard. One of the most important things about a Tower Guard is self-discipline, the ability to control oneself. You know this is flouts all the rules, but more than that I wonder whether, if you had to, you could put a stop to this. As a Tower Guard, your first priority is the protection of Aes Sedai, if you have to choose between your fellow guard and an Aes Sedai you have to pick her everytime. Can you do that?"


"And could your lover do that?" Giving a slight pause to let that sink in, Aran chose his words carefully. "Why do you think that so few guard's relationships last? You have to be able to give your all to the Tower, and even if you can will he? If you hadn't convinced him to leave, I would have had to throw him out of the room and break his jaw for good measure and that probably wouldn't have done it. Thats how much his feelings blind him. The pair of you are blind enough that you've clearly been flouting the rules of trainees for sometime, if you can't control yourselves then what use will you be when called to the crimson? Well? How does your dream hold up now?"




Tower Guard

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Aran did not give Sahra a chance to speak and she tried to refrain from exclaiming her comments and keep it all in order in her head so that she would sound even remotely rational. "I know who started this whole thing and I wasn't refering to that. We spoke of Fior's reactions which were prompted by your comment of joining us. I take full responsibility for everything else. And had you kicked the bucket, I would have grieved for you and yes, I would have found it too odd to be making out here after that."


She flinched when she remembered Aran's question about whether she could give up Fior. She didn't see why she would have to but if it somehow became a choice between him and becoming a Tower Guard... Light, it would be difficult and extremely painful but she would have to choose the career. She loved him but she would loose her self-respect and her respect for him if he let her to do it. They would be ruined by her ruined dream because she would be so unsatisfied. It would be hard to find a new purpose and as driving one as this one was.


"I could do it", she said quietly. "In fact, I have placed the Tower before the life of a man I cared deeply about. It wasn't a real situation but I didn't know it so it felt real. When we went to Cairhien, Sana let me to think that he had gotten lost or hurt or something and I was unable to find him and because of the importance of the mission I had to move on and leave him there. It was horribly painful but I did." Well, eventually she had. "And I believe that Fior could do the same. My inexperienced opinion is that you can't compare this situation to the heat of a battle. When your life and the life of your charge is at stake, you have to be in control of yourself and your emotions and worries. I would be able to focus on just us and the enemies and trust that Fior and his charge take care of themselves. Or am I wrong about that Aran?"

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  • 2 months later...

So young.


That was the thought that struck Aran as he listened to Sahra try and explain her way out of it, to justify her line of reasoning.  It was sometimes easy to forget how young trainees were, and that maybe they should be allowed to be young while they still could.  That thought of course was struck with the pointed reminder from within that Aran had been anything but responsible at her age, or for some years after...  But he hadn't trained to be what he was, hadn't aspired to it and wanted it more than the world, he had fallen into it and it had somehow kept its hold on him long after it had been prudent, or even necessary to continue.


But there were some things he could not accept.  This was something he would never have done to anyone else, from Sahra or that fool of a boy.  Sahra he knew, but Fior he did not and the thought of that man in his room for months as if it were some playground he could simply assume because it was convenient...  It was only because he was Cairma's student that he wasn't tempted to put the boy in the infirmary.  There was a difference between a prank and pure selfish pigheadedness and after what he'd spent the last year doing, after everything that had happened, to come back to this was almost intolerable.


But patience would win out, it would have to because of what Aran had chosen to be as opposed to what Aran had been.  Patience did not mean tolerance, this he would not accept.


"You mean you picked your duty over your second choice, Sahra.  And if this is the measure of your lover then you chose poorly."  Standing, Aran was tired of all this and more than anything he wanted to be out of this room, knowing it had been used like this didn't leave it feeling like the same room he had known.  "Instead of saying that this isn't a battle and lives aren't on the line, maybe you should ask yourself whether you could choose in the heat of battle when you cannot choose now.  Think on that long and hard, and to be honest, think of it far away from me and don't ever come to this room again.  If you can't even see what was wrong about this, then I don't want to see your face."


Walking to the door, Aran let himself out as he said over his shoulder.  "I expect you gone by the time I return."


Shutting the door behind him, Aran took a few minutes to locate a blanket before finding himself in the common room.  Things there, at least, were thankfully unchanged and just as thankfully empty.  He didn't want to deal with anyone at the moment, so he curled up on the lounge and drew the blanket around himself.  At least he'd get a bit of rest until the shift change, by then he'd hopefully shake the irritation that nibbled away at him.




Tower Guard

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Fior didn’t care where he was headed, he just had to get away from that bloody room. The sound of his footsteps echoed through the corridor as he walked aimlessly through the barracks. Everything was happening too fast. Aran, the room - he and Cairma weren’t supposed to be back for another week.


Light! This is all snowballing out of control!!


He stopped where he stood and ran his hands through his hair, a low guttural cry tearing its way from his throat. He couldn’t take it anymore. He needed to talk to someone. He didn’t care if they got in trouble. He didn’t even care if he got kicked out.  He couldn’t take this… this…. GAH! Pulling his hair tight against his scalp, he turned a corner and started walking again.


I need to cool off.


Several minutes, three turns and a flight of stairs later Fior stepped out into the tumultuous downpour and rapidly put several paces between himself and the building. The shock of the cold rain on his skin sent shivers down his spine, but he thrust the discomfort into a small corner of his mind and forced himself to stop trembling. Spreading his arms out from his body, he turned his palms upwards and thrust his head back to face the sky.


His eyes closed as the cool rain splashed over his face, and he forced himself to take several deep, calming breaths. He had really screwed the stallion this time. He really couldn’t believe the depths of his stupidity. Why did he let her have this effect on him? He couldn’t think straight when she was around. He always felt like his head was muddled, and his ability to make decisi- No! This was as much his fault as hers, and only a coward blamed others when they were at fault.


Dropping his hands back to his sides, Fior sighed heavily. Time to swallow his pride and be responsible.


Two minutes and another flight stairs later, a dripping wet Fior knocked resolutely on his mentor’s door.



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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Arie Ronshor



It was odd to be back in the Yard after being away for so long. The weather had been far from welcoming, and the Yards nearly deserted with people crowding the Common Rooms. There were a few scattered Trainee's with their instructors pushing the limits to make the new ones stronger. Most Tower Guards, the ones Cairma knew well, were not around. And for once, Cairma felt relieved by it for a very simple reason.


It would take her a while to settle back into reality after her time away with Aran. Although it had been far from a dream, the last months had been wonderful. Wonderful enough for Cairma to dismiss that Beast was infact broken and gone. There was only a hilt left of her beaufitul sword, and it still felt odd to not have in strapped to her back as she always did. Not having people run up to her and ask her about it was a blessed relief. Her only real disapointment was not seeing her prized Mentees and Jaz. She had thought of him often after her talk with Aran. Her confession.


Maybe it was time to share her story with him too? Maybe not. Maybe it did not matter that she had attacked him, only that they were still friends. Maybe that was all that needed to matter. Cairma paused as she held a shirt in her hands, ready to put it away in her trunk.


Perhaps that was all that really did matter. After all, Nothing changed, and she was simply back to train and be trained. She smiled softly to herself. Everything was still good.



Knock knock







Cairma Vishnu

Tower Guard

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Her voice sounded crisp as ever through the thick wooden door, but under his raging thoughts some part of Fior registered an odd note of contentment in his mentor's tone. He pushed the door open slowly, his hesitation causing his hand to slip on the cold copper doorknob. His attempt to catch himself was ungainly at best, and he managed an akward stumble into the room.


As his mentor's warm green eyes (Warm?) settled on him, he felt starkly out of place. He didn't belong here, in this room. There was happiness here. He fought the urge to turn and walk away. Instead he raised his gaze to match hers, squared his back, and faced his fate like a Ren'shai should, fueling his determination with his pain. He tried to pull on the Void but it wouldn't come, so he thrust it from his mind and attempted to drip as little as possible as he spoke.


"We... we should talk." His voice came out weaker than he intended, and he cleared his throat before continuing. "I screwed up. I knew it would come to this, but I tried to ignore it and pretend that I could keep it all balanced. Now I don't know what to do and I.. I know you've only just returned, but I didn't know where else to go."


Cairma's smile faded with the very wide look Fior gave her. He was not hesitant around her, or had not been a year before. Was he angry? No. Placing the shirt she held into the open trunk, she closed it shut and motioned for him to sit on it. Watching his steps with a calculating look she was was pleased to find that he did keep with his studies, but the sift in how he picked up his feet, it was obvious something was very very wrong. All thoughts of happiness fled her as her focus was completely on Fior.


"What happened." It was not a question.


The look of concern surprised him. Every other time he'd been in trouble she'd been nothing but cold eyes and hard looks. The compassion in her eyes broke him in a way even her hardest training had not.


He fought for control of his voice as he spoke, "We... Sahra and I have continued our relationship, as you said we could. But while you were away, we wanted a place to be alone. I thought it was a bad idea, but I let my desires override my sense... we used Aran's room... she said it wouldn't be a problem. I should have listened to my gut." His lip quivered as he struggled to hold back the wave that had poured past his walls, tried to hold it all together. "W-we were there tonight, when Aran came back... I realize now that I've been putting her before my duty to the tower. I've never neglected a day of training, but she comes first for me. I train so that I can spend time with her, n... not to get better." He forced back his rage about Aran.... whatever the man's tactics, Fior had been in the wrong. "He walked in on us, and got angry... I did too..."


His words trailed off and his teeth gritted together as he clenched his fists. He exerted all of his will to hold back the flood that he knew was coming. He was broken, but he would not crumble yet.


Fior was not done, Cairma's eyes grew very cold at the mention of Aran. "And Sahra?"


His resolve nearly crumbled when her eyes changed. "S-sahra's still up there with him. He wouldn't let her dress, but she was yelling at him. I tried to stop her before he threw me out."


Cairma turned away from him, looking to the broken blade of Beast that was set on a table. All the warmer feelings of before were forgotten. Closing her eyes, Cairma thought on Fior's words as the implication of his actions settled heavily on her shoulders. Her greatest mentee was her greatest failure. Why did she allow them to continue their relationship? What was she going to say to this? Her words were soft, and very controlled as she spoke without looking at him.


"You don't belong here." She looked to him. "You.. " Struggling, "Your actions have proven this. I have tried to teach you, Fior. It is not about personal gain. When you dedicate yourself to the Tower, your life is not longer than your own." She looked down at him, a sadness behind the cold in her eyes. How true this was, her own life given to the Tower over her love for Aran. How much she knew this. "But you seem to believe it is. You have no one to blame but yourself."


Her words broke over him like gale and, though he fought with every ounce of his remaining strength, he crumbled. Without thought or understanding he was on his feet, the torrent inside of him flooding his senses, tinging his sight red. And then he was yelling, without meaning to, he was yelling at one of the only people alive that he trusted completely.




The red started to fade from his eyes and he took several deep breaths before continuing. "I don't know what I was expecting from coming to you. You're right, I don't belong here... I don't deserve to be here..... I guess... I guess I was just hoping for some understanding before my life was thrown away.... Thanks." And with that he turned and left, the door bursting from its hinges and flying across the hall as his hand touched it.


Ten steps from her room the world started to spin. Eleven steps and the floor was rushing up at him. There was no twelfth step. There was only blackness.






Cold. She felt very cold, a dark shiver up her spine, as she watched Fior turn and the door to her room unnaturally spin away from its hinges. Her eyes wide as all of her instincts told her to run. Run far away and to keep away from her trainee as much as possible. 'You don't belong here...' were her words. How true could it be?


It was only a second since he left the room that she followed, seeing him fall down the last stair. Cursing under her breath, the door that had blown away was now forgotten, Cairma ran down the stairs to Fior's side. There was no blood but he would have a fairly large bruise on his head from the fall. Touching his forehead, he pulled her hand away as if she had been burned. Fever. Her mind raced as she proceeded to pull him off the floor and back to her room. Placing him on her bed, she looked down at him.


Wrapping her arms around herself, she looked down at him as the cold feeling continued to sink deeper and deeper. He did not do what she thought he just did. It was not possible. It could not be. Sahra. She must know the most of Fior, she would have to seek her out. And check on Aran.


Closing her eyes for a moment, bitting her lower lip. And why did she suddenly feel like crying? Pushing the emotion aside, Cairma took one last look at Fior and headed out the broken door towards Aran's room.








The world swam before his eyes. His head throbbed, sending shudders through his body, and causing his stomach to jump. He was in Cairma's room... on her bed......




The door was still broken as he stumbled out of the room, his feet tripping him up on the stairs. He had to leave. You don't belong here..........




The guards at the gate favored him with odd looks, but he simply ignored their comments as he stumbled past. The rain was cool on his forehead.  I don't belong........




Thunder boomed above him as he lay in the alley, trying to muster the strength to go on. He had none left. But he had to leave........




Nothing. Darkness and thunder embraced him, and he faded slowly into the black. Empty......






Cairma Vishnu and Fior Canain

Mentor and Mentee

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Guest Arie Ronshor


Torn, Cairma raced through the barracks towards Aran's room. Feeling rushed, it was almost as if the shadow was on her heels as the fought her way up and down stairs in search of the second culprit and the victim. Light only know what Aran would do to Sahra, but even worse, what Sahra would do to herself. The girl had an uncanny way of ruining any situation by simply opening her mouth. It things were bad and Sahra was invovled, it would most likely get worse. But only when Fior was invovled.


Fior.. No, she could not think of him just yet, not after seeing what she did. Focus on the now, and deal with it, worry about Fior when she can and he is awake. That was it. Deal with the now.


Turning the cornder, Cairma came to a slightly open door that lead to a room occupied by only one person. And she was only just getting dressed.


"Where is Aran? What happened?" Her voice demanded answers. Pausing she added anouther. "And why are you not dressed?"




Cairma Vishnu

A very pissed off Mentor

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Aran's words and the disgust he had felt definately returned Sahra back on earth. The guilt was starting to settle in and she had no idea why she had ever thought this to be funny. Light, it was idiotic and they were lucky if Aran let them go with this. And he likely wouldn't. At least it was a small comfort that he would not tell Ginae. She did not want to be here when Aran got back and the sooner she got out, the better.


Gathering her clothes from the floor she began to dress quickly, a practice she had developed over the two years spent in the Yards. Under wear and pants first, then socks and boot and finally her shirt. She had just pulled it over her head when she recognized the woman who had appeared in the doorway in the seconds her head had been covered. She let out an undignified squeak. So, Fior had gone straight to his mentor. Not very bright, not at all. This was the second time Cairma had been forced to get involved in her love affairs and that was two times too many.


Pulling down the hem of her shirt to cover the red print on her belly left by Aran's boot, she faced Cairma with trepidation. There was no other way to survive this disaster save but replying with alacrity and in a hopefully satisfying way.


"I do not know where Aran is, Cairma. He only just left but I think that he will be coming back soon and wishes me gone by then which I will be. Since Fior obviously came to fetch you, you already know what happened. If you have more questions about that, I'm sure that you will ask them. I am not dressed because Aran wouldn't let me. I believe that that was an attempt to make Fior and I both uncomfortable. A double success I believe." With that she snapped her mouth shut. There was no need to say anything more than was absolutely necessary.


Sahra Covenry

Naughty Trainee

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