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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Full House [Repost]


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Guest Estel

Isha

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007

 

~About now would be an excellent time to wake-up, boy~

 

‘One’s mind isn’t usually the place from which one hopes to receive a wake-up call.  One begins to doubt one’s sanity’

 

~You’re already insane, boy, quit avoiding the fact and accept it~

 

‘Shut up, you!’

 

~Says the man talking to the voice in his head~

 

‘I hate you’

 

~I do too~

 

‘Would you like a medal?’

 

~Shut up!~

 

A muffled groan broke the morning’s chorus of happily singing birds.  Rolling over, the giant growled to find his clothes soaked through and he laying in wet grass- the reason why was a moment in coming.  In the meantime, Isha contented himself with pulling the blanket off of himself and noticing the sun’s first rays.  He had woken late.

 

The “why” of all this came as his singular eye looked down from its preoccupation with the time of morning and to the carnage surrounding his sleepy form.  A handful of blanketed lumps, such as he had been a moment before, lay scattered around the gory field.  These, the Attack Leader assumed, were the unconscious forms of those Healed during or shortly after the battle and whose conditions were not serious.

 

However, the Andoran sunrise alighted on a great many corpses, lying uncovered on the field, strewn between the sleeping survivors.  The sun’s first rays reflected on congealing pools of blood, casting the entire scene in a ghastly red that shook the hardened soul of the only eye to behold it.  It was one thing to see a field littered with the corpses of half-charred, dismembered Shadowspan and quite another to witness the chaos and violence human being unleashed on one another.  Even the grizzled veteran Isha left a pool of water and saliva on the ground beside him as he look on in morbid fascination.

 

Wiping his mouth, a hazel eye fell upon the hoary face of a boy he had trained only a month former.  Isha wracked his brain for the deceased’s name and cried in anguished grief, unable to recall it.  Perhaps if there had been more than just that head to identify it by…  Another body pulled at his heart, an unknown Dedicated he had seen newly raised only that morning, recognizable only for the rare, brilliant red hair only he had had.  The flesh of his face had been melted away and his wounds cauterized at the moment of death by the Fireball that had killed him.

 

Tears ran freely down the scarred cheek, hastily wiped away for fear of weakness.

 

~It is no weakness to grieve for the dead and the sins of humanity~

 

‘Not, now.  I don’t want your wisdom’

 

~There is no better time than now~

 

Isha muted The Voice, furious that it intruded on his private weakness and from It he felt pity which enflamed him more.

 

Retreating to the Void, the ruffled black-coat turned an emotionless eye on the field, letting the horror of the gaping wounds and obliterated lives skirt the edges of his mind while it callously evaluated the death tolls.  It was sometimes difficult to tell, but he could see three dead Aes Sedai, while the number of their armsmen and black-coated men scattering the field were roughly equal.  ‘EQUAL! Light blind the Tower!  How many dead?  A dozen?- two?  And none more than boys!  If we cannot even withstand a small party from the White Tower, how are we to fend the Dreadlords off?  I though Aginor had opened our eyes.’

 

Fury beat with his heart at the edge of the Void while saidin called his name sweetly.  The Power demanded vengeance; demanded their blood.  It would be easy too, how many Sisters lay dreamfully oblivious to his dark intentions?  Perhaps Linten was right in all this; perhaps the boy’s righteous hate was justified, for how could they justify this massacre?

 

A knot of emotions beat with a separate rhythm in his mind though.  She was still peacefully unconscious, unaware of the hateful eye that watched her breathing move her blanket up and down, up and down.  Not a bit of her showed from underneath the blanket and, truth be told, Isha was unsure he could pick her out from a group of other women her minute size.  Despite this, he knew with a certainty that this was her: the Aes Sedai who had tried to kill him, Healed him and whom he had Bonded.

 

The events and thought processes surrounding that particular choice of action were rather fuzzy.  In fact, Isha couldn’t remember doing it at all!  The only bit the big man remembered from after the Bonding had been a brief flicker of consciousness while she Healed him; when he had first realised their new relationship.

 

His former hate for her, and her kind, slowly ebbed as he watched, enthralled by the steady rise and fall of the blanket and the beating of her heart, felt through the Bond.  Besides from what his hazy memories could recall, she had been so small, so frail, what chance did she have against a giant like himself?  And, Light be damned, there had been far too much death already, no need to add another.

 

With awkward gentleness, Isha picked her up, blanket and all, and with the ease of carrying a small child, cradled her in his massive arms.  His legs were stiff from sleeping on the unforgiving ground and he did not have the state of mind to ignore the chill, so his huge frame shivered from the damp clothing.  Finally, after a few yards, his legs, mutilated as they were, managed an easy rhythm that carried them quickly towards the Black Tower proper.

 

Despite his long legs and gentle jog, which would have to substitute the usual morning run, the mile to the Farm took a good ten minutes.  It would have taken longer had his house been on the opposite side of the Black Tower’s rural epicentre but luckily his fortress-like home lay directly in the path between battlefield and “town”- such as it were.

 

Isha’s “house” was modeled loosely after most Borderland habitations.  This fortified structure was built on the foundations of his first and second homes and was, in fact, the third, and consequently stronger, version.  The first version, much smaller and only the foundations of stone, had been destroyed in a Bubble of Evil roughly a year before.  Its rebuild was destroyed in the battle with Aginor.  Frustrated with the constant work of rebuilding the stupid thing, the Attack Leader threw his rank and built himself one of the biggest houses in the Black Tower and by far the strongest.

 

Made completely of stone quarried a half-mile from the “Tower”, the public living areas, namely the living room and kitchen, separated only by the dining table that was a part of both rooms, consisted of the north wall of the place.  The east wall was taken up by four rooms in which he housed his two mentees and into which the Aes Sedai would be set up.  A small courtyard, entered by a thick, wooden gate, was formed by the stables on the west wall.  On each of the north corners stood a square tower, its flat top some thirty-five to forty feet above the ground and these were connected by a shorter room which doubled as Isha’s bedroom and study.  The entire house was built to suit the giant’s incredible size and he mused on how this tiny woman would manage with the steep stairs and abnormally large chairs.

 

Shifting her to his shoulder to free a hand, Isha finally got her set up in one of the vacant rooms.  It was a bit musty from unuse but that was quickly amended by opening the window which framed a still-rising sun.  Setting her down on the bed as gently as he had first lifted her up, the big man crept out as silently as a big man could and shut the door.

 

As the rest of the house came alive, the other occupants found him softly snoring, curled up on his favourite chair in the living room by a dead fire.  Having not bothered to change, it was odd to see the usually proper Shienaran in damp clothes, creased from being slept in and still blood from the day before.

 

 

Lih-Lyh

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007

 

Sleeping in the company of others is evidence of trust.

- Blair the Flayer

 

Swooping, dipping into his senses before abandoning him: caw!

 

Caw, caw, caw, yet he still remained in bed as he tried to catch the surreal. The bright vision that Ful immersed his dreams in flickered as the calling went on. Lashes fluttered rapidly. Reddened lids felt heavy but as he rubbed the sand away from the inner corners around the single pale welt across his cheek, these dark brown eyes blinked and then opened wide, taking in the view above. He laid flat on his back in the narrow bunk, surrounded by the thinnest covers, his dark hair a bird nest. As he sat up his head was swimmy but he climbed out of bed, steadying himself along the cold length of the floor as he disrobed, draping a lazy tunic over the back of his chair as he rubbed the sleek black leggings.

 

He attributed the dizzy feelings to the fact that there was once again a ceiling over his head. He was beginning to accustom himself to the house, the solidity of the place where he belonged. Barely was he settled, creeping like a battered wife before the opportunity came when he was alone in Isha's house. For hours he had snuck, then mockingly swaggered around being "man of the house, master of the swine" as the Attack Leader (Mentor? How easily that word comes to my lips.) and the Dedicated Linten were gone, called to duty.

 

Shuffle, shuffle, pause. My, he looked fine in the looking glass, but wondered whether he should shave. At ten and five he hardly the need to shave, but having to scrape at his face was an honour, and even the drying blood from frequent nicks were glorified badges. The danger made its act more worthwhile. But he needed to exercise, and where usually he'd go out to the forge and perform the palm to ground sets, his fondness of warmth had softened his resolve.

 

Prowling the kitchen confidently he brewed some tea before bouncing through the others to the drawing room, where Ful's face slackened in shock. Isha was back! Somehow the Asha'man's face was not as grotesque as he remembered, and the topknot was mussed up as it leaned over the arm of the chair, one that Ful had curled up with a book in for hours.

 

Building the fire up, he perched himself on a rickety stool and watched the glint of flames on the Dragon pin patiently. He did not like Isha, but he had missed the man, oddly enough.

 

 

Eqwina

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007

 

Warm waves licked at her feet, but it was the soft murmurs in her ear that held her attention. Wrapped only in her cloak, she shivered and before she could blink he was there; his strong arms wrapped tight around her and his broad chest pressed firmly against hers. She could feel his heat beat, beating in time with her own. Nevin’s soft lips brushed against Eqwina’s and everything but the two of them ceased to exist…

 

…Quietly she eased herself out of his arms and went to stand at the waters edge. The night air was warm but glad only in her Great Serpent Ring and her wedding ring she shivered. Eqwina had always loved the night, for her it meant a time of peace and a time of reflection. She sent up a silent prayer before slipping quietly back into her blankets and back into her husbands arms. As she settled back in she felt an incredible surge of love come through the bond as her whispered “I love you” and fell back asleep…

 

...Eqwina awoke shivering and alone. The shy that had been so placid the night before looked ready to open up any moment. Still wrapped only in a cloak Eqwina stood her eyes scanning the beach for her beloved. The beach and ocean were empty as far as her eyes could see! A scream crept up in her throat…

 

A breeze carried a musty scent to her nose. Slowly her emerald eyes opened, Eqwina’s small frame was coated with sweat that made tracks through the blood and dirt that coated her. As she sat up slowly she wiped away a single tear. She was accustomed to such dreams now; but that did not make them any easier.

 

In the pale morning light Eqwina could clearly see the blood stains that covered her and what was left of her dress. The memories of the night before rushed back to her; she had to clench her jaw to suppress a scream. The man was a ball of emotion invading her head. Unless she missed her guess he was asleep and less than twenty feet away.

 

Her small single cot was firm but without lumps. The room was small and slightly untidy. Cobwebs decorated the upper most corners and a thin layer of dust coated everything. A cracked pitcher stood next to it matching basin, on a table that was in desperate need of polish. A mirror hung on one wall and a chest completed the room’s furnishings. Eqwina stood slowly; her muscles still ached and her arm hung limply at her side. Reaching out she felt for the barrier she was sure would be in place and was shocked to fell the source flood into her. Quickly and with a slight regret she released Saidar. She did not know what awaited her on the other side of that door, but she did not want to give any more warning that needed. Another surge of anger gripped her and she reached down clutching her belt knife with white knuckles. WHY? That was all she wanted was a reason why; and to be released! But first she would get her answers!

 

Quietly she stripped down to her shift and filled the basin with cold water. She rinsed her mouth then proceeded to scrub away the remains of last nights blood from her arms and face. Her hair was a tangled mess; she kept a small comb n her belt pouch. She gripped it and awkwardly began combing her hair with one hand. It took considerably longer but she wanted to make sure she looked in control and that meant a presentable outward appearance. Returning the comb to her pouch she settled her barrettes back in her hair and adjusted the gem that hung in the centre of her forehead. With the rest of the wash water she tried to scrub away the dirt from her dress; but most had set in too long to be removed.

Setting on the bed she cut a few strips from the bottom of her shift before redressing. Eqwina redressed carefully; making sure everything was in its place. With a grimace she used to strips from her shift to fashion a crude sling. Her arm would need healing if it was to ever function properly again.

 

Steeling herself Eqwina walked to the door and cracked it less than an inch. The room she stared into was large and purpose built, resembling a borderland style. All the furniture was large enough for a giant. This had to be HIS house. Her eyes fell on him still asleep, and unless she missed her guess he was still in what he had worn yesterday.

 

One last deep breath and she stepped out into the room, her small size seeming more so in this room.

 

Eqwina’s eyes were deadly calm but her voice was edged with anger.

 

“WAKE UP!” Her voice echoed and reverberated through the room. “I thank you for your courtesy, but I DEMAND answers!” The large mans eyes popped open and they bore intently into Eqwina’s. For a moment all time froze and they simply stared at each other.

 

 

Faile1986

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2007

 

At some point everything had gone dark around her. She didn’t consciously remember tumbling forward, halfway toppling over Ged’s deadly still body, nor did she remember being carried away, carried to where she was to awake after all this…chaos. She opened her eyes slowly, not waking with a start, but from a long, oblivious sleep. Oh she wished. For one moment she just lay there, closing her eyes again and wished she truly could forget. It would be so easy to forget the fear, the images of the world burning and people killing and falling around her. Everything would just fade away, being shoved off her conscious never to appear again. What a mercy that would be. Unfortunately reality never had treated her with much mercy at all, making her doubt that something even faintly applying to the term actually existed.

 

Ged…the mere thought of him hurt. He was dead, Light she was sure he was dead, she had seen him die, had felt his heartbeat slow down as she had held his head, making herself look at the brother she had lost so long ago, had made her eyes stay fixed on his emerald-green gaze, eyes blazing like little green stars whose glow slowly faded as their light was about to be extinguished forever…She swallowed hard, closing her eyes, trying to fight back tears that wanted to flood her face. No, she wouldn’t cry now. She had done enough of that on the battlefield when he… No. She didn’t know what had happened. Light, maybe he wasn’t even her brother. Maybe…Light she did sound ridiculous to her own ears, suddenly feeling like a little girl having to go down into a dark cellar, singing to herself, making herself forget her fears. Yet she wouldn’t forget and remembering was even bitterer than the lies she tried to make herself believe.

 

However, there was one thing she wouldn’t be able to banish from her mind as it was constantly there, in the background and subdued, still in the grip of unconsciousness, yet it was there, a pulsing knot of emotion whose presents sent a cold shudder down her spine. No whoever He was, she wouldn’t forget him. He had made appropriate precautions that she never would forget what had happened. The prospect of a future being BONDED to this madman made her want to scream. She wouldn’t forget the madness in his eyes, the grip of his hands round her neck – a hand traced the purple marks she saw as she leaned over a wash basin almost without being aware of it, no she wouldn’t forget.

 

Pulling herself up, muscles complaining against the strain, but except for bruises and minor cuts there had been no major damage done, apart from a headache that seemed to split her skull. Faile frowned hard, mentally blaming the man who she could feel so close while resolving to find out the whys and what of all of this. She had been bonded. She, a Red! The boy obviously had had no shred of sanity left, maybe hadn’t even known what he was doing. And yet he had seemed pretty clear in his intentions as he had locked her throat in his squeeze, as he had caused Ged to…No!

 

“WAKE UP!”

 

Jerked out of her stupor, Faile walked through the halfway-open door to examine the source of the anger reverberating in the voice. A Sister. Yellow…yet she couldn’t put a name to her, once again regretting her still being fairly new to her rank. Yet the anger she saw in the Yellow’s eyes so clearly reflected her own and just like that her voice seemed to ask what she wanted to know most of all. Like they all wanted to know.

 

“I thank you for your courtesy, but I DEMAND answers!”

 

Yes. Answers was what they needed. Desperately given the situation they were in and as there didn’t seem to be any possibility to squeeze any information of the unconscious Other, the …gigantic…man in front of her would have to make do. Looking at him, Faile felt Saidar leaping to her call as she observed one of the giant’s eyes opening and staring at the Yellow. She would be ready. He’d better not make any wrong move. Being in the midst of what they called the Black Tower or not. She wouldn’t let them do as they pleased with them.

 

 

Lih-Lyh

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007

 

A month ago he had been working his way down the North road not knowing where the future was to be, and now he could channel. He could tap into a power which alters the elements, and even affects the pattern! Something inside him had been ticking, and he guessed rightly when he decided not to follow his brother when Gavin signed up to be a Child of Light. Saidin, he cherished it, and nothing would deprive him of the opportunity to learn how to use it. It was his right.

 

To exculpate the boy from what Gavin called the dark, he would apply it to good, to help save the world. The current state of affairs were unsatisfactory, and to fight for one’s salvation, ah that was the thing he’d be proud of. Everything his teacher did was riveting, and he was happy as he hummed, striking a spark and feeding the flames.

 

Having already built the fire up, he was surprised that the goose pimples returned full-fledged. He crept closer to the fireplace, staring away from the Asha'man, tingly and snug in a dark cloak, brown with age and melding with the wall.

 

The fire licked eagerly and crackled as if laughing at his thoughts. Wincing as one side was hot, and his back was cold he turned to the other side so that he faced Isha again. A stately woman leaned over him, and he pinched himself to ward the succubus off.

 

Dark sleek head bent over the slumbering Asha’man: "Wake up!”

 

Realising it was no dream he saw in the doorway another pair of eyes, pretty and bright like the azure sky, her age nondescript, then she became nothing in his mind but the twinkle of her ring.

 

Serpents. They infiltrated his home slyly, and are going to cut him off from the Source, and he would never channel again. He knew fear, but it did not incapacitate him. Seizing Saidin with violence he tapped into the torrent and almost had to sick up while throwing oily flows of Air at both intruders, the first of whom demanding answers as she shook Isha from the land of Nod. But his threads never touched a hair of either creature as they snapped back, and a whimper escaped him as he recoiled from the pain.

 

Isha.

 

How could the Asha'man not see their ageless faces for what they were? Unless... the words the woman used reverberated in his head, your courtesy, he let them in. Traitor!

 

"They'll kill us!"

 

No Mentor for the Asha'man now. Saidin was his life, and taint or no, they would have to take him down. Then he felt the flat of Isha's blade on his hoopy-doopy.

 

 

Estel

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007

 

The small patio was made bright as day despite the black sky overhead, twinkling with thousands upon thousands of tiny balls of burning gas- stars they were called and they had been a mystery to the ignorants of former civilisations.  Ignorant no longer!  Humanity was at its prime; art and science joined hands to create a civilisation so advanced there was no end in sight for it.

 

Dozens of Glowbulbs, threads of saidin and saidar intermingled like their creators in the room, warded off the shadows of the night.  Irony lifted Abrem’s sagging cheeks as the classic “Twinkling of the Evening Stars” was played by a blotchy youth, enthralled by the company he played for.  Abrem himself was a virtual unknown here among the greatest stars of his Age…

 

“WAKE UP!”

 

To say that Isha was less than pleased to be pulled out of such a pleasant dream, even if it wasn’t his own, would be very much an understatement.  He was in the process of rolling over on his bed, which he soon discovered wasn’t his massive four-poster bed but was rather his giant armchair, and returning to his, or rather not his, pleasant dream when the unfamiliarly high voice went on.

 

Trying to ignore the voice, the big man snuggled deeper into his armchair only to feel saidar prickle the hairs on his arm and then saidin leap to reply.  In a flash of violent memories, Isha leapt to his mangled legs, drawing his blade with a loud roar and seizing saidin.  Unfortunately, he was momentarily dizzy from his rude awakening, surely it was not the Taint, which gave his unfortunate youngest mentee the time needed to do something very stupid.

 

Ful was always doing stupid things and Isha was forever punishing him for it.  This was life.  This was the flat of Isha’s heavy broadsword on Ful’s not-so-heavy behind.  This was Ful yelping and losing control of the Power he so stupidly grabbed at.  This was Isha slamming a Shield between the two.  This was Isha rolling his eyes at his mentee whimpering on the ground.  This was Isha wondering how he could have ended up with the two most difficult mentees in the Black Tower.  This was Isha cursing his luck while the mad Voice in his head taunted him.  Surely Isha was not mad…

 

“Anyone else want to do something particularly stupid?” growled the grizzled man whose threat wouldn’t have been nearly so threatening from any other face.  The prickling sensation had not left his arms and, this early in the morning, it was especially aggravating.  Feeling nothing through the Bond, he doubted it was the shorter of the two horribly short women in front of him.  Ignoring the petite black-haired one, whose anger and irritation for being ignored itched in his mind, he focused on the brown-haired one safely away from the group in the corner of his living room.

 

His hazel one-eyed stare met her brown eyes.  Hardening his irritated glare, he curled his lips, already twisted in a perpetual sneer, to a snarl, daring her to keep hold of the Power.  “That goes for you too, Aes Sedai.” he threatened, intentionally casual in the way he bounced his drawn sword on his other palm.  “My house, my rules.”

 

When he finally felt the tingling sensations subside, he gave her a final grunt to acknowledge her acquiescence.  Turning to the other two, Isha felt the familiar feelings of self-loathing float to the surface as he so easily topped their heights by a good foot for the youth and two for the irritated young-looking woman.  Flopping back down in his armchair evened this out- a thought not particularly helpful for his image-inflicted grief.

 

“You demand in my house, woman?” he snarled at her calm façade; thin if the burning fury in his mind was anything to go by.  Apparently his lack of the honorific did nothing for her temper and having been so rudely awoken, the Asha’man was full of such pettiness.  “Your gratitude is awfully hard to take seriously when this pulsing knot of emotions in my mind tell me you would much rather be strangling me.  Can your tiny hand even fit around this thick neck Aes Sedai?” he let his anger run free as he never would have done before the incident with Aginor.  This insulting sarcasm was new to him and he briefly wondered how much of it was his own.  “I rather doubt it.  So, since I appear to be in control of things, why don’t you show a little courtesy to the one who saved you from the fate your Sisters earned; hacked to pieces on the field I carried you off of this morning.”

 

One eye stared back at two while souls passed identical emotions across a Bond neither wanted.  Like a beam of light hitting a mirror and then bouncing off to hit another standing directly opposite, anger, hate and irritation passed between the epitomes of physical prowess and fragility so fast no human eye would have been able to track the progress had it been tangible.  This build-up of emotion was getting so out of control it had The Voice in Isha’s head calling so hard for blood that the giant’s knuckles were white from gripping his sword hilt.  That weapon, however, was far less dangerous than the one The Voice struggled to gain control of.  Luckily for all, Isha’s self-control was still enough to hold It off.

 

Breaking the eye contact, the big man turned back to the woman in the corner after giving his mentee a quick disparaging glance.  “You.  Why are you here?  Ful?” the boy’s face betrayed his confusion.  “Where’s Linten then?  He survived the battle.  Didn’t he?”  The panicked concern evident on Isha’s scarred face seemed out of place amid the anger running so high in the room.

 

 

Eqwina

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007

 

The air in the room was thick with anticipation, and Eqwina’s self control balanced on a knife’s edge. There was no way to be sure, but Eqwina did not doubt that the two men in front of her held Saidin, she resisted the urge to embrace Saidar but held it at the ready. She searched gingerly through the emotions flowing through the bond, but they confirmed nothing; except for her biggest fear. The man nestled inside her head, the man who was a part of her, was less than half sane.

 

Eqwina shot a furious glance at the other sister who occupied the room, she did not know the woman well, and odd as it was the thought of another sister here with her was of little comfort. His voice filled the room every time her spoke and everyone in the room leapt to obey. Not Eqwina, no she stood their staring down at her captor meeting him stare for stare. It was hard to be intimated by someone who shared so much of themselves with you. He felt anger, and a sort of self loathing, one emotion after another wound tight into a ball, a ball the man kept a very tight hold on. Eqwina would have been impressed at his self control had the situation been anything but what it was.

 

The man’s taunts only fuelled her anger but she would not allow him to see it, she knew it was foolish, he could feel her every emotion but the outer appearance of control seemed to unnerve him, if only slightly. For a time it was all she could do to remain standing while his eyes bored holes in her, seeing into her very soul. The emotions from him to her seemed to mix until she could hardly tell them apart. Even standing half a room away she was as close to this man as she could have ever been, even to a lover. That thought curdled her stomach and caused her cheeks to flush, at that moment he broke eye contact and Eqwina was able to gather herself.

 

Carefully she manoeuvred down through the room, for all of her feeling like a child. Some of the chair backs topped her by a head a more; even the steps were unnaturally high. Unwilling to be distracted, she stepped once more into the man’s view. She stood so close her skirts brushed his boots as he sprawled in the oversized chair. “Do not think I will be so easily brushed aside, this may be your house but I still require answers.” The big man made as if to speak but she bowled him over with her words. “You saved me from no fate! Allow me to refresh your memory, you lay on that battle field dying, your last breath’s only moments away when I Healed you…” Eqwina heard a gasp from the sister behind her but she continued on. “It was me who saved you, what you did was little better than rape, take that in to account with my other sisters that you brought harm to and it is enough to send you to the heads man.” She took a step closer; with the man sitting she could stare him in the eye. “Now, I would like to know who you are… sir.” She stood waiting, staring into his eye unwilling to even take a step back. Her hands trembled slightly but she held her ground.

 

 

Tismeb4u

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007

 

One way or another this women now tied to him, in more ways then he had expected, would find her place and follow as directed or he would break her to the point of it. The glower still sat heavy on his brow though the rest of his face looked blank. He had preferred the thought of having his new toy close at hand; available for whatever whim moved him. But it seemed Isha would have other ideas. Separated even as they were he would never be able to keep her from him entirely. That intruding bundle in the back of his head spoke of muzzled awareness. Working to push notice of it from his mind as best he could, he finished dressing in a clean uniform. But Faile could not be ignored for long, still strapping the sword to his back his attention was pulled to the bundle.

 

Prickly, that was the only way to describe the thorn nested in the back of his mind. It seemed the harder he tried to play the calm, the more that thorn drew him into a further simmer of building rage. As if by the joining, her mood could be reflected through him, doubling in it's manifestation within him. He had to talk to Isha and see if there was some way to mask out the sensations that permeated his thoughts and claimed hold to a precious piece of his sanity. The voice in his head whimpered as it darted into the shadows of his mind, cries for her death a constant mumbling as if afraid the knot in his head would hear.

 

A thousand ants flashed over his skin as someone in the room grabbed Saidar. A horrible prickling sensation that brought the smell of burnt flesh and splayed out stomach contents to mind. Now joined to the sensation thanks to the battle no more then a day before. He was sure the cause was Faile, the change in the emotions from her; defiance, determination. Saidin leapt to his calling with the taint, a rotting stench that over powered the petty smells of battle and coated him in an oily ooze that tried to burn into his bones. His head swirled for a moment before clarity returned in sharp defined edges. The weave for the collar of air he like to have Faile linked on hovered just on the verge of forming as he made his way to the common space in the house; a shield weave ready and waiting should the need arise. Apparently the fool women had not learned her lesson yet, something he was determined to rectify.

 

The booming voice hastened Linten's feet briefly and then slowed them to a calm walk as he emerged into the room. The appearance of perfect calm sat his face while his vision, a frenzy for control, swivelled to the massive man who owned the house and called him mentee. Isha was a frightful looking man when he first met him, even more so since his return. He was still not sure what entirely had happened to the friendly giant. But he was anything but friendly at that moment as his gaze borrowed through each person in the room in turn. Reluctantly Linten released Saidin but held it on the verge of grasp as his head bobbed in a short bow. It was only after the sweet calling of Saidin had left him and returned to murmur it's love from just out of view that he noted the change to the thorny knot in his head. As if the emotions where perhaps being strangled and pressed back down but could not be completely contained. His eyes cut sharp to Faile as Isha addressed her and the sensation crawling over his skin left. Yes, further lessons in obedience were defiantly merited, strong lessons.

 

Even after Isha had regained his chair the room danced with barely contained edginess in the air. It was a tinder dry forest and lighting danced in the air above, one strike could set the whole forest ablaze; set them at each others throats again like the arrival of these women had done. His eyes studied the unknown Aes Sedai closely as she rounded Isha's chair to stand practically on his feet; her words cutting grace as she addressed him. Addressed him like he was little more then an inconsiderate spoiled brat. The statement of healing his mentor brought a flash of anger and shock through the bond briefly; a flash in a pan and then buried in the thorny existence of annoyance and anger once more. Shuffling his feet slightly, Linten stepping forward. He would straighten this belligerent women out and have her on her knee's at Isha's feet where she properly belonged. But he had moved no more then a faction when Isha's hand raised and stilled Linten's movements. He had never seen such a loose and fevered look in his mentor. A look of ... has the taint claimed him already? He was not confident enough in his skills to tempt the mans anger with such contempt and fury swirling in that one penetrating eye. He could sense Faile move, could point to her exact location without taking his eyes from the dark haired one matching glares with Isha. It seemed the Bond not only passed the others emotions through, it also gave him the ability to know her exact location. “Rape, she does not know the meaning. Something the enlisted could rectify if she does not learn her place.” The words were a soft mumble and should not have carried far but the ball in his mind flashed once more as Saidin sung sweetly to him.

 

 

Estel

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007

 

Her emotions tumbled over each other like thousands of people stampeding away from some epicentre of disaster; each tearing down the ones in front and stamping over them to get out only to, in turn, be pulled down under the collective feet.  Fear, worry, anger, hate and yet a calmness and determination that surprised Isha as she met his stare.  Outwardly, the Aes Sedai showed nothing of her inner turmoil and her words were firm and portrayed a confidence belied by their Bond.

 

Unwillingly, the big man felt a certain amount of respect aroused in him for her courage.  After all, she was all but helpless here and unsure of her captors’ intentions.  ~Not to mention sanity~ giggled the Voice in reply.

 

“Rape, she does not know the meaning. Something the enlisted could rectify if she does not learn her place.”

 

The words were quiet, on the verge of inaudibility, but if Isha strained his damaged ears, he could just barely catch their meaning.  That meaning struck up a fear and anger in the big man so intense, he could feel the small Aes Sedai’s eyes bore into the back of his skull as his focus was shifted from her to the blonde man sulking across the room.  It took only a few strides for Isha’s long legs to cross the room over to his troubled mentee.  In that time, his naturally hard face set itself alight with fury while he tried to hide the fear creeping around his eye.  ‘Light boy, what in the Pit of Doom is wrong with you?’

 

~His sanity perhaps?~ he ignored Abrem’s exasperation.

 

Isha faced Linten, towering over him, his teeth clenched in anger.  He placed his big hand on the boy’s much smaller shoulder much in the fashion of an old acquaintance or friend.  His fingers spoke a different language, though, as the gripped the sensitive muscles between the boy’s shoulder and neck.  It was a warning, the sort a father might give a misbehaving son while remaining circumspect.  In this convoluted relationship it was unlikely to have that much effect.

 

“Don’t let me ever hear that out of your mouth again, boy.” he hissed, keeping his voice low and his mouth close enough to Linten’s ear that no one could over hear.  “If this is at all connected with what happened between you and Rion…” Isha left unvoiced threats hanging in the air between them and with that, he turned his attention back to the glaring Aes Sedai, all the time keeping a grip on Linten’s shoulder though not as tight as before.  “Thank you for saving my life.  I do owe you but circumstances…” the big man announced the entire room.  “I am Baijan’m’hael Isha Talcontar.  The two young men are my mentees; Linten is a Dedicated, he’s the blonde one, while the other is Ful who just arrived a few days before you and is a Soldier.  And now I return the question, who are you?”

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She eyed the hot headed young man coolly, and began weighing her options if this were to turn into a violent encounter. A glance at Faile and Eqwina was sure she would find no help there; it seemed she was utterly and completely on her own.

 

Three calming breaths and she was the rosebud warming in the sun. She did not embrace the source but she held herself ready. Three breaths and her stomach settled and her heart again began to beat in a steady rhythm. She was Aes Sedai and with that title came a certain confidence and self position. Eqwina was the embodiment of an Aes Sedai both outwardly and in her heart.

“Thank you for saving my life. I do owe you but circumstances…” the big man announced the entire room. “I am Baijan’m’hael Isha Talcontar. The two young men are my mentees; Linten is a Dedicated, he’s the blonde one, while the other is Ful who just arrived a few days before you and is a Soldier. And now I return the question, who are you?”

With Isha’s attentions once again focused solely on her, Eqwina felt her confidence waiver. With a firm hand she beat it back into the depths where it belonged. Slowly she crossed the room to an unoccupied chair and stood for a moment pondering a way to sit without looking a child. She could feel Isha’s amusement and anger and added a touch of her own. With as much dignity as she could muster she climbed awkwardly and unhurriedly into the over sized chair.

 

The large man stood eyeing her with no feeling on his face and she continued the charade by matching his unfeeling stare with one of her own. It was hard to maintain a stony exterior while anger and amusement and contempt flowed so freely from yourself into another and back again with such ferocity Eqwina was glad she was sitting down.

 

“I would like to say it is a pleasure to meet you Isha Talcontar but that remains to be seen” She took her time smoothing her skirts and waited until she felt his anger spike before she spoke. “ My name is Eqwina al’Caupthn, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah and without me you would be dead. I would say that I demand you treat me with more respect but I saw how much that ruffled your feathers before so I will put this simply..” Again she waited; Eqwina could see the fires burning in his eyes and she was sure she felt the heat from them in her head. She had his attention now it was time to tread carefully. “I will not over step my bounds and make demands in your house but I will tell you now I do not enjoy being yelled at or glared. And I am completely unimpressed by your gruff exterior. Our time together will be much better spent if you can learn to curb your tongue and control your mentee’s”

 

Now all that was left to do was wait.

 

Three deep breaths and she was the rosebud opening to the sun. She felt the room tense and the glow of Saidar sprung up around Faile. She channeled to bring a cup of spiced wine to her, and channeled once again to cool it. With that done she released the source and sat facing them all with cool composure. Her eyes met Isha's and she began to think that she had made a grave mistake.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Estel

ooc: I apologize for blatant abuse of the self-conversations, but I couldn't help myself :D  and the lyrics are more from Isha's perspective of the situation ;)

 

This shining city built of gold, a far cry from innocence,

There's more than meets the eye round here, look to the waters of the deep.

A city of evil.

There sat a seven-headed beast, ten horns raised from his head.

Symbolic woman sits on his throne, but hatred strips her and leaves her naked.

The Beast and the Harlot.

 

Isha was quite impressed with the cool façade Eqwina retained.  To anyone else in the room, she might as well have been in complete control of the entire situation.  In fact, Isha was having trouble imagining what was going on under that mask despite the rising and falling waves of fear, anger, doubt and resentment crashing against the shoreline of the giant’s mind.  He was hardly one to wear his heart on his sleeve, the fact that his face didn’t portray emotions other than anger and cruelty very well played a small factor in this, but the control she kept over hers said something for White Tower discipline.

 

~So these half-trained girls do have some skills.  At least this one has a sense of humour~

 

‘Is that so rare?  Your humour, so-called, seems intact’

 

~She lives in a world where her kind is denied nothing.  Most forget the simple pleasures in life like the odd joke here and there.  Neither Lews Therin and very few of the Forsaken had senses of humour.  Well, except Duram Laddel and Ishar Morrad~

 

‘I never appreciated Aginor’s sense of humour’

 

~It is rather twisted~

 

‘So I found out’

 

~Duram though was…~

 

‘Interesting?’

 

~You have excellent adjectives~

 

It would be unfair for Eqwina to accuse Isha of not paying attention, neither of the personae occupying the half-mutilated imitation of a human body knew enough of the Bond to tell whether or how much of their shared mind was transferred through the Bond.  He was paying attention… sort of.  Much like a husband paid attention to his wife prattle on about how her day went.  The words overstep… bounds… yelled at… unimpressed… gruff… stuck out while everything in between was a mush like what Covai served new recruits at the inn.

 

The jab at his lack of control over Linten’s behaviour though stung like a whiplash.  ‘HOW DARE SHE!’  The Yellow had struck a sore spot and by the sudden spike in Isha’s rage through the Bond, she knew it.  That she held this over him now was like stepping on a thorn while trying to extract one’s arm from a rosebush.  Abrem winced at the younger persona’s wild rage and attempted to calm him but succeeded only in making him drop their hand from where it was prepared to slap some sense into the woman.

 

~She’s right you know~

 

‘SHE HAS NO RIGHT’

 

~You bloody well Bonded her.  You pulled her into the middle of this, she has every right~

 

‘I BONDED HER?’

 

~You got us into that position~

 

‘DID NOT!’

 

~You sound like a ten year old~

 

‘Ouch, that really hurts my feelings’ Isha responded in furious sarcasm.

 

~Your feelings left you when they saw your face~

 

‘Ouch’

 

~Do I win?~

 

‘Go away’

 

~Not likely~

 

Isha didn’t realise how Abrem’s humour had calmed him down enough so as to handle the situation properly.  In any case, he wasn’t about to hit her now.  “If we’re talking about curbing tongues, you better be counting yourself right along with Linten and myself.  "Send me to the heads man”?” he sneered, quoting her earlier threat.  “I’m the one who holds that power right now, Eqwina Sedai, and I don’t appreciate threats or insults, whether to myself, my mentees, the Black Tower or the Lord Dragon.  As much as you might act as if you’re calm and in control, remember that I feel everything you feel,” he brought his face, marred nearly beyond recognition; empty eye socket, twisted mouth, shredded ear and all an inch away from her face “and I’m not the one who’s terrified.  You’re a midget living with a giant- take care to know your bounds or his foot will crush you.”

 

~Calm down boy, you’re only making things worse.  Despite every power you hold over her, she is more than capable of making your life hell~

 

‘You mean life can get worse than this?’

 

~“A woman scorned…”~

 

‘You just love quotations’

 

~Trust me, it can get worse~  There was a hint of bitterness which eluded to Abrem’s past, a thing Isha had had revealed to him rather unpleasantly.  The younger persona had enough respect for the intruder in his mind to take the advice and so walked away from his Bondmate in silence, pondering ways to fix the little groundwork he had just smashed.

 

“The rules apply to everyone in this house- myself included.  I have rebuilt this house twice already, I have no intention of rebuilding it if you lot blow it up.” he smirked at his own joke.  “By decree of the M’Hael, the Aes Sedai held on Tower Grounds are not to channel without expressed permission from their Bondmates.  I will not have my mentees abusing this,” said Isha, directing a meaningful glance in Linten’s direction and held the boy’s gaze “and they will be punished severely if they do.”

 

Having finished his mini-speech, and his stress-lever being at an all-time high, Isha sunk himself into another of the armchairs gathered around the fireplace.  It was a rather amusing sight and perhaps to avoid laughter, he and Eqwina should have switched seats as the tiny Aes Sedai had somehow picked his seat to sit in.  She looked ridiculous wearing the Aes Sedai façade while being dwarfed by her chain and appearing childlike in comparison.  Isha on the other hand had a feeling that if he stood up, the chair would come with him and he wondered just how he had managed to wedge his wide body into Ful’s tiny chair.

 

The out-of-whack proportions only served to mark how truly different the Aes Sedai and Asha’man were; one tiny and pretty, the other huge and hideous.  Physically, they were the antithesis of the other.  Through the Bond, their mind’s were mirrored; insecurities, fear, anger, self-loathing, resentment, bitterness and over all pain.

 

I don't believe in fairytales and no one wants to go to hell.

You've made the wrong decision and it's easy to see.

Now if you wanna serve above or be a king below with us,

You're welcome to the city where your future is set forever.

(Beast & the Harlot- Avenged Sevenfold)

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Shadows overcast Isha’s face like none he had seen before and Linten for a moment pondered the over step. But only for a moment, as the big man made short order of the distance before Isha’s over sized hands rested heavily on his shoulders. The twinge of pain that tried to leap forth from the grip was lost on him. As reaction from the training Isha himself had put him through had Linten wrapped in the void and separated from the pain. Saidin sung to him and he placed himself on the verge of its grasp. He did not want to come to blows with his tormented mentor; never wanted to be the cause of hurt or destruction to Isha.

 

~Yet he abandoned you so easily, with out thought or care~

 

The voice leached more poison to his mind but he paid it little heed as his eyes focused on glaring anger in the single eye of his mentor and began to plan his weavings. He did not want to hurt the man, but he would not go down without a fight if the need arose. The unspoken threats hovered over Linten like his towering mentor. But where Rion was involved it would be of no concern to his mentor. That was now a deeply rooted personal battle and no man, including his mentor Isha, was going to stand in his way. He remained motionless, his face as neutral as he could make it with Isha towering over him and the annoyance of emotions flooding through from Faile. A thread of urging caught his attention from the mass. She wanted him punished? Well she would soon find out that it was Linten alone who would be the purveyor of discomfort.

 

In short order he found his attention to the teaching of Faile slide away as he stared in part amazement at the Aes Sedai as she turned on Isha. The seething anger that had been simmering lightly in the back of his mind and trading jabs with the knot that shared it lurched to the forefront. How dare she make demands here. She is less then a guest, less then a trusted servant in this place, and she makes demands!

 

The sudden tingling sensation over his skin moved his mind to action. Without thought Saidin was in his grasp and a weave already beginning to form to hand before he quelled his desire. Only after the tingling stopped did he release Saidin once more and was happy that the fool woman had occupied Isha’s attention so completely he did not notice his mentee’s actions. At least he did not comment on it, but instead rounded on the women. Finally it appeared that perhaps the man who could so readily threaten one of his own. One trained and schooled under him was going to put this witch in her place and bring her properly to heel. But the thought was fleeting and gone quick as yet another comment was directed toward Linten.

 

Quickly raising his hands he shook his head in mock disbelief. Oh they would be punished alright, but it would not be mentee, no, it would be the bloody witches. That he silently swore and oath to ensure. Only after Isha broke their stare did he let his hands fall to his sides, lightly closed fists forming. Lecture her on her channeling, not me. If not for the bond that tells you her pain I would stripe her hide myself for it seems you have become far to soft my mentor. Visions swam through his mind as he released the void and embraced the anger that awaited him. Visions of the foolish yellow witch on knees in the center of the yard. Hair matted to her face as she hung in the lock, skin raw and chaffed in the blistering sun. She would not be so bold after a good humiliating flogging. Or perhaps to sever her touch to Saidar and turn her loose in the enlisted barracks. Indeed, both would remove the smugness on her face. But neither was possible with Isha holding her leash and fostering her as he was.

 

“That goes for you as well. Don’t think you are special any more then your wi .. your sister over there. I give no such permission, ever. His eyes swung from Faile to Eqwina and back again. He would have to tread lightly around Isha. But his witch at least would learn her proper place. Regardless of Isha’s view of him or the one he held bound. There was no way under the light he would become a sniveling fool around these Aes Sedai. He surged the bond with loathing and challenge. She could keep her mask of perturbed control. It was a mask, and masks could be removed, or broken.

 

“So now that we know each other Isha. How are we to work through the arrangements of the Black Tower and its misguided guests?”

 

 

 

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Eqwina sipped her wine, taking note that it was overly spiced. She had always found it odd how even the smallest things seemed important in times of distress.

 

She observed the entire room with varied interest; but Isha was her main focus. Insane was the only word that came to mind when she stared at the large man. All of her emotions were reflected in him, some stronger and some weaker but they were all there. It was what was laced underneath that gave her pause.

 

“If we’re talking about curbing tongues, you better be counting yourself right along with Linten and myself.  "Send me to the heads man”?” he sneered, quoting her earlier threat.  “I’m the one who holds that power right now, Eqwina Sedai, and I don’t appreciate threats or insults, whether to myself, my mentees, the Black Tower or the Lord Dragon.  As much as you might act as if you’re calm and in control, remember that I feel everything you feel,” he brought his face, marred nearly beyond recognition; empty eye socket, twisted mouth, shredded ear and all an inch away from her face “and I’m not the one who’s terrified.  You’re a midget living with a giant- take care to know your bounds or his foot will crush you.”

 

His dramatic speech had as little effect on her as all the others; outwardly. Isha may feel every emotion within her but did he not consider that she could feel the same. His threat held no real weight and Eqwina smirked in response. She laid her tiny hand on her chest a pushed slightly and too her surprise the man moved.

 

“The rules apply to everyone in this house- myself included.  I have rebuilt this house twice already, I have no intention of rebuilding it if you lot blow it up.” he smirked at his own joke.  “By decree of the M’Hael, the Aes Sedai held on Tower Grounds are not to channel without expressed permission from their Bondmates.  I will not have my mentees abusing this,” said Isha, directing a meaningful glance in Linten’s direction and held the boy’s gaze “and they will be punished severely if they do.”

Eqwina cracked a smile when Isha took a seat. The chair was at least two sizes too small; apparently she had chosen his seat for her vantage point. But she could not vacate it now with out giving up ground, so she settled in and tried to keep one eye on everyone in the room.

 

She knew Linten was a dangerous boy no matter how well Isha thought he had him in hand. Eqwina would keep two eyes on that one; she had almost begun to feel sorry for the Red. She realized that do to that boy she would have to rely on Isha more than she had first hoped.

 

Taking advantage of the rooms silence Eqwina sat her now empty wine on the arm of the chair and slipped down with as much grace as she could muster. Her skirts were rumpled and blood stained but she took a moment to straighten them anyway. She held her back straight and walked over to wear Isha sat. Taking a chance she laid a petite shaking hand on his arm.

 

“It seems we have both said things that cross the lines of propriety, and for my part I am sorry. I will tell you this plain so you know it for true. I mean no harm to you, your mentees, your..Black Tower or the Dragon Reborn, but also I do expect no harm to befall me as well.” She stepped a pace back and turned so that Linten was forced to meet her gaze. “ Death and more is clear in that one’s eyes.” She said pointing to wear Linten stood. “I need…no I ask humbly for your promise to keep him firmly in hand” That came close to another demand in his house but she would not take any chances where that young man was concerned. Now it was time to see how far she could go. “Today has been hard on everyone” She walked over to wear she had left the spiced wine and poured more, once again embracing the source to channel it cold. When she turned around every face in the room carried a look of shock; but Eqwina did not even pause, she walked over and presented the cup to Isha, his face and the bond both carried shock and for a moment she thought she felt respect flow from his. “ Show me a place to clean up…I don’t suppose there are other garments around? No?” Eqwina grimaced at the blood stained dress. ”Show me where to clean up and I will see what  I can do about a meal”

 

Faile looked at her as if she were a Trolloc, and Linten’s eyes still held hate, but she did not care what they thought. Eqwina’s only care was Isha, she would bed the man if she had too, as long as it would serve her end purpose. Her heart raced with anticipation but still outwardly she held her calm.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, at least both sides seemed to have come to some sort of treaty- both sides of his Bond anyway.  Linten seemed unable to get past his hate of Aes Sedai enough to bend his pride enough to let Faile alone.  Something bad was going to happen there, Isha could feel it but there was little he could do to control Linten without estranging the boy.  At this point, Isha was about the only one who had any hold over the boy and he feared what her might do devoid of a controlling hand.

 

Eqwina must have realised that straight away.  As much as being reminded at his inability to curb his mentee’s anger and hatred stung, he could not abandon her to Linten’s thirst for revenge.  He was caught between a rock and a hard place.  The petite Yellow could make his life a living hell if she so chose but so also could the boy and there seemed no way to placate both sides.

 

“There is little I can do to stop anything you may plan to do to your Bondmate, my mentee, and for that I am supremely sorry.  For my part, I have no intention of doing anything but coexisting as peacefully as possible with my own Bondmate and while I may be able to do little to help Faile Sedai, should you touch Eqwina, I promise retribution whether or not that breaks whatever relationship we have left.  You know you’ve been as a son to me Linten, I won’t risk that for just anything and I pray you won’t either.” his words were directed toward the blonde Dedicated but he spoke for the whole room to hear.

 

She presented him with a cup of wine, which put a quick stop to the outrage he had been about to display over her blatantly ignoring his reasonably demands.  A peace offering?  He drank and then following her lead presented her with a cup of wine as well.

 

“Each of the Aes Sedai can claim a room on the same wing as my mentees.  Every service required will be provided to them.”  With this he dug a handful of coins from his pocket.  “The Farm’s seamstress can be found in the building next to Covai’s Inn.  Use the coin how you’d like, I’m sure she’s bored with unrelieved black and will jump at the chance to make dresses again.  I’ll have tubs sent to your rooms and you have my permission to fill the damned thing yourself, as well as your Sister’s.”  Isha glanced over at Linten who seemed positively furious that his mentor was undermining his authority over Faile.

 

He noticed her alternating surges of anxiety and determination but made no mention of it.  Instead he grinned in his lop-sided, smirking way.  “And it’s been far too long since I’ve eaten anything that wasn’t bad inn food or Ful’s burned messes that he passes off as meals.”

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What went for one Asha’man worked conversely for the other Asha’man in the Attack Leader’s House. As far as Ful was concerned, Linten could jump into a lake and drown for all he cared. Ful had not liked Isha, who was always beating on him, but in the brief interval of time he had interacted with the hulking giant in black Ful became fond of the Shienarian, liking the way his eye would go blank as it shivered with inner turbulence. Linten, however, was too focused, and controlled himself very well. Worse, he craved absolute power over others, and Ful, who had liked his first impression of the elegant Asha’man soon realised what ambitions lurked behind those mild eyes. Ful always liked people as they were, and the only person his mentor Isha ever was had been his sword happy self.

 

He would have liked nothing better than to declare his hopes for Linten’s death in the battle, but he had seen the concern twisting Isha’s already grotesque (but in a rather cute fashion, he amended) face. Instead he sat on the ground where Isha knocked him down like a touched child and insinuated one hand into the boot, covering the dagger as he rubbed it, in easy motions that carried out the blade, surely, but slowly. Inching himself flat he was almost prostrated on the ground, but it was the moment Linten entered and Ful made no attempt to rise or draw the other’s attention on him.

 

Isha certainly did not notice Ful’s dagger, or else he would have received another swat on the bottom. Stay low, the recruit comforted himself with his own feat of invisibility as his gaze, too was drawn to Linten, though he was crestfallen that the Asha’man had been one of the survivors. Still, students of one teacher must stick together instead of vying for the Mentor’s attention or whatnot, but a part of him did wish Linten would consider him a thread important enough to notice. Nothing seemed to exist for Linten except fury at the Mentor and at the Aes Sedai, and Ful could not help but jump when he realised that, in a very broad sense Isha’s students were united against the Aes Sedai, if not Isha for bringing in those horrible women.

 

Perhaps it was a sign of just how confused Ful was that he would muddle his priorities like that, and he swung his attention back on the women on trial, glaring at them again. From his vantage point they looked huge, and he could only see their wide waists swaying as he frowned. Why was the high-voiced one not attacking them? Ful certainly had reason for the pre-emptive strike, for any dealing with the Aes Sedai was dangerous. Did his Mentor learn nothing during Training, or was he too brave for a mere Red Sister or two? Well, Ful would not have been so foolish as to bring those women were it his house. There was no thinking about whether he liked them, such as the deliberation involved in both his decision to like Isha, and his choice likewise to dislike Linten. He did not mind Aes Sedai when they left him alone, but now that they were to live with him (had he heard Isha properly?) it was rather difficult for him to ignore the fact that they could strip him of everything from his manhood to his ability to channel, which was just as good as eviscerating him. Perhaps one would be a decent housepet to tame, on Isha’s own agenda and leagues away from Ful, but hosting two women of Tar Valon was just asking for trouble. Women were trouble in general, but those who channel could cause more trouble. His hand caressed his dagger unconsciously.

 

Ful was not at all amused as he transferred his glare to Isha, staring long and hard as the Asha’man spoke at the Aes Sedai and Linten in turn. He ignored what high voice said, focusing only on the men before him. When Linten spoke in that soft tone that Ful had at first liked then disliked so much, Ful gathered that Isha had only brought high voice to the House. The bright eyed Aes Sedai had been captured not by Isha, but by Linten. Ful stared at Linten, transfixed with horror. He felt disgusted, not with bright eyes, who was certainly more demurr than high voice, but the very fact that Linten dared to bring another Aes Sedai, thus increasing their jeopardy manifold. Not really caring that both Asha’man had committed the same crime in his mind, Linten’s was worse; besides, this was Isha’s house after all. During this time, Isha stopped talking and squeezed his immense self into Ful’s chair, and the recruit could not help but to feel amused at the sight of a big man in a tight seat. Well, they were put into a rather tight spot weren’t they?

 

Whose fault was that? This thought was scathing, as were its followers. Ful certainly had not invited these women to his new home. He had trouble enough sharing with his fellow students, whose sole purpose in life was to so openly kill him. The waists that swayed before him, so much closer to him than he ever wished to see in real life, those waists daunted him. But as he peered further up he noted the heaving of their chests, the emotions that flickered almost too fast for him to catch. In those glimpses he felt a little sympathy for the enemy, as they did not seem too comfortable here themselves. The women were probably wanting the legendary sanctuary of their monolith right now, and as far as Ful was concerned it could not been too soon if they made way for the White Tower now. The feeling could not be too good knowing you were sworn to obey the men you hate, and he felt a moment of sympathy that he struggled not to express. They were the enemy. Despite knowing who the enemies were, he pitied high voice who could only shriek at Isha to ‘wake up’ and listen to her, and that pity grew for bright eyes who had to be slave to Linten. Yes, they were the enemy, but Ful in his small way felt sorry for the Aes Sedai.

 

That was, until Isha told one of them to cook for them; it was always high voice that he addressed out of the two strangers. Perhaps high voice was stronger in Saidar? Ful did not know of Aes Sedai hierarchy, but he was fairly sure that power amongst the Asha’man was measured by strength. If so, was Isha stronger than Linten? He never wondered that before, and was about to grab Saidin impulsively when Isha’s command to high voice hit him. Ful squawked. There was no way he’d permit any Aes Sedai in the kitchen while he breathed. Not that he had any doubts about their cooking, anybody probably made better meals than Ful’s burnt messes, as Isha so accurately dubbed it, and hey, let’s face it, Ful did not have fun eating his own concoctions while Isha and Linten rode off to battle, but the Aes Sedai’s culinary skills may come supplemented with poisons.

 

It was better not to take a chance. As Isha was trapped in Ful’s chair he could not do anything to Ful before the recruit patted his dagger back into place, and ran out of the room, into the kitchens where it was so quiet this morning before the Aes Sedai ruined it. He lifted the kettle from the little wood stove and dumped out the tea leaves, then swept the ashes before bringing in more fuel. Channeling, almost relishing the greasy feel of Saidin he started a fire, and still holding it, began chopping vegetables with a razor of air. Nobody had taught him this, and it was pride that imbued his steps as he reached for a larger pan. He could stirfry like a housewife; the knack had come from days of experimentation. While Isha was gone he had practiced not only his weaves, and knew that his Mentor would appreciate the difference. As he prepared the meal he thought of something else, an odd thing that finally registered in a red blooded fifteen year old. All the time he was down there, it never crossed his mind to peek up their skirts.

 

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Out of nowhere, a sudden movement near the ground at Isha’s right arm caused the enormous Asha’man to start.  This in turn caused the not-quite-as-enormous chair to give a loud creaking noise, protesting the sudden movement from its far too heavy occupant.  Alarmed that the chair might give way beneath him, an embarrassing situation he’d prefer to avoid especially in his present company, he let out a squeal and jumped to his feet.  If chairs could particularly hate people, this particular chair would have hated Isha.  In attempting to jump to his feet, the unfortunate chair ended up coming with the large man’s rear end as his hips were so tightly wedged into it.  It spent an embarrassing thirty seconds attached to the giant’s rump like a deformed hornet’s stinger before landing back on the ground with a tired crash and promptly breaking.

 

By the time that sequence of events had ended, leaving Isha standing in the room, red-cheeked- both sets- and spluttering, Ful was out of range.  Seizing the Source, which caused him to waver slightly, he sent a flow of Air in Ful’s general direction.  Satisfied with an unceremonious squawk, he began to fill the otherwise dead air with roaring laughter.

 

Once his abdomen started to ache and he had calmed down enough to talk, Isha went back and sat in his own seat, which Eqwina had finally vacated.  “It appears you have an enthusiastic assistant in the kitchen, Aes Sedai”

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  • 2 weeks later...

Isha almost made him burn the cauliflowers. The oil had been sizzling and it was through a stroke of fortune that he managed to catch its great white head before it too went into the pan. What was wrong with the man that he had laughed so hard for? Ful was surreptitiously rubbing his rump where Isha’s flow of Air flicked when the high voiced Aes Sedai graced the kitchens with her presence.

 

His eyebrows knitted together as he stared, before returning the vegetables he was dicing. It was hard to handle a dagger with her there, but if he had hurt the high voice then Isha would give him more than a twack of Air. More like, a dead-wire around Ful’s scrawny insignificant neck. No, Ful surmised as each swipe of his dagger hewed the carrots onto the board, it was better if he did not touch her. Maybe bright eyes would be an option, but the man she was bonded to… ugh.

 

Not thinking of Linten before the meal he handed the ingredients to high voice and supervised every move as she continued the work. She was more graceful here than when Ful was sitting down, and seemed quite familiar with the kitchens. Perhaps Aes Sedai had training in the kitchens? He supposed somebody must clean and cook in the White Tower. Otherwise, that renowned sanctuary for women would have turned Black ages ago.

 

He made no attempt to investigate the insides of high voice’s skirts as she rustled around him, but the stomach of a growing lad could not help its growling as he sniffed at the air appreciatively. High voice was a speedy and good cook, and when the meal was finished he scurried to set the table around the living room. He was wroth to bring in two extra chairs for high voice and bright eyes, but high voice had earned her seat by cooking, and bright eyes, well, she could be the Asha’man’s food taster. Ful was about the suggest this when he noticed the splinters, the ruined remains of his precious chair. An image of Isha squeezed too tightly in it came back to him, and he was suddenly incensed.

 

Lunch forgotten, he channeled at the broken pieces, trying to make them whole again.

 

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