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Umm ... yes. Attention Lillian, not that it matters as I'm posting your posts


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Sinking into the chair behind her, Lillian had a hand over her mouth more in shock of what she had been told than shock at having let her exclamation slip through her lips.  She always came to Darienna when she returned from her travels so she could find out what had been happening in the Tower, in particular what had been happening with those that she kept an eye on.  She was, of course, aware that it was always possible that things could happen while she was gone from the Tower, but she had not expected to come back and find out that Rory had nearly killed Arette of all people!  With a prank no less?  What sort of prank?  What was she thinking?!


It was a good thing Darienna chose to speak because Lillian was too shocked to form words.  "It was stupidity on her part, she didn't think through what she was doing.  She decided she'd give Arette a fright, conjured up quite a convincing image of a Trolloc before her.  You know that Arette isn't exactly the most alert person, its not as if she's the target of pranks often.  She apparently jumped back and slipped, that was when she smacked the back of her head on the floor and it wasn't a good fall at all.  If Rory had delayed in getting me, she would have likely had permanent damage.  If she hadn't told me at all, Arette would have most likely remained undiscovered and bled out.  As it was, she recovered well enough if a touch warier."


She almost died...  All because of a stupid prank!  Lillian had to admit, many of the pranks were amusing, but to think that Rory had taken no precautions whatsoever seemed so reckless.  It was reckless.  It had almost killed Arette.  Raising the hand from her mouth to her eyes, Lillian dragged the hand down as if it would wipe away the worst of the feeling that pervaded her, light, she felt sick at the thought that Arette might have died, and so carelessly.  "What happened to Rory?  Where is she?"


"She isn't at the farm."  Darienna drew deep on the pipe before she continued.  "I've isolated her, completely.  The only people she talks to are me or anyone that takes a class specifically for her.  Her quarters have been moved into the Tower itself, she lives in the room right next to mine.  She eats with me or alone, and I've cut her off completely not only from her peers, but from Saline.  She needs the time to grow, and Saline needs time away from her as well.  Rory has become too dependent on Saline, and you, bailing her out of trouble and keeping her in line.  She needs to be able to discipline herself or she will never be fit to be an Aes Sedai, and she'll be a danger to those around her until she learns responsibility."


"Responsibility?"  So irresponsible, the very thought of Rory having gone so far and that she had kept pushing.  Why had Rory not done the right thing while she was gone?  Why hadn't she changed?  Was it her fault?  Had she sheltered her too much?  Had she been too soft with Rory and nurtured this weakness in her that had almost killed Arette?  Why hadn't Rory listened to her?  That very thought angered her, she had done the right thing by Rory hadn't she?  She had shown Rory what was right and what was wrong, she'd given the girl someone to turn to and confide in, someone that she could trust whenever she had trouble keeping her temper or simply when she was unsettled by deeper hurts and problems that she never quite seemed to shake.  Or had she just seen what she'd wanted to see?




Looking up at Darienna questioningly, the Mistress of Novices was emphatic as she spoke again.  "No.  This was not your fault and don't even think to try and put it on yourself.  You were there for her, she just wasn't ready to listen, didn't have enough reason to do it.  She's always thought herself better than just about everyone in the Tower, and its only now that she's done something truly stupid that she can be fixed because now she realises she does need fixing.  And no, no you are not seeing her."


"Pit of Doom I'm not."  Getting to her feet, Lillian ignored the palms that Darienna was showing her to calm herself.  "Where is she?"


"Li, you aren't goi-"


"Don't you Li me!  I am going to see her and talk with her."


"Not like that you are not, not unless you can control yourself."


Narrowing her eyes at Darienna, Lillian nearly said something but she simply got a hold of herself instead, with difficulty.  Taking a deep breath, then a second one, Lillian forced herself to relax as paradoxical as it sounds.  "I can control myself, I just wish to talk to her and makes sure she knows how disappointed I am with her."


"Is that a good idea?"


"You're the one that wants to isolate her.  She can't think I'm coming to her rescue, and I'm not going to, not after this.  I just don't understand why she did this to begin with, she was getting better when I left, I could have sworn she was."


"Around you, yes.  Thats partially my fault though, I've kept some of her more outrageous stunts quiet rather than taking some of the action I could have.  I won't say go easy on her, but, don't go too far.  She's in the room across from this one, her permanent isolation study save when I need to instruct her in something or the breaks I give her which she spends in here with me."


"Thank you."


Walking to the door calmly, inside Lillian was more than angry, there was more to it than simply rage that Rory could have done what she had.  She didn't care to think upon such things though, instead she let herself out of the office and strode across to the room where Rory was and let herself in, slamming the door behind her even as Rory looked up.  If Rory was in any doubt as to what was on Lillian's mind, the expression on her face and the words that came like a frosty blizzard were enough to communicate exactly what she was thinking and feeling at this particular moment and juncture.


"I'm not back in the Tower even half an hour and I find out that you nearly killed Arette?  Are you taken by the Dragon?  What on earth possessed you to do something like that?"


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Boredom: Rory knew all about boredom. Boredom was being under house arrest so long that she gladly buried herself in the work placed before her, regardless of how tedious it would appear at other times. The first day—the first few weeks—she had been too fearful, too timid not to commit to her studies; her will had begun to reassert itself and in the space of a further month a small seed of resentment began to grow: attempts to resist had been made. They had failed.


There was nothing in her small room to engage, occupy, entertain, excite, delight; stimulate in any way; nothing; except the small desk and its volume upon volume of malevolently luminescent text. She was quick to learn that if did well at her work in solitude, Darienna would reward her with human contact, a lesson from her own hands; if Rory did not, she was not and all she achieved was a dreadful isolation. 'Bored stiff' was a common expression; 'bored productive' was not. Rory would do the work. Rory was happy not to say it aloud: Darienna had won, and they both knew it.


This particular morning, midday, afternoon, or evening—it was difficult to tell them apart—she was bent over her small desk, quill in hand and smudges of ink all over her face. The topic was 'The Political Influence of the Tower on Foreign Nations and its Effects.' A laborious subject that Darienna believed would help instruct Rory on the responsibilities of Aes Sedai. Whichever sister had written the thesis had been meticulous in her approach and Rory found herself scribbling note after note, after note, after note….




"I do be studying, I do be!" Rory sat rigid in her seat attempting to rub her eyes without being noticed. It wasn't Darienna; it was Lillian, who looked mad—definitely mad, the question confirmed it. Rory was learning to hate that question, the one that had been posed to her by everyone; being forced to give the same humiliating answer each time it was asked was painful.


Lillian was disappointed in her as she had expected and rightly so. Rory had had much time to reflect on the decisions she had been making and knew better than to think Lillian pleased with her. This particular confrontation had been inevitable; Rory had attempted to prepare mentality, but having Lillian angry in reality was not the same as in her head and she knew disquiet.

"Hello Rory, how do you be Rory, good to see you, Rory." Looking into Lillian's eye she decided that that had not been the best way to start the conversation. Well done, Rory. She shrugged her shoulders and sighed a long sigh, "I do be sorry, I do be spending a lot of time studying now and it do be making me grumpy and tired."


"You do be disappointed in me, I know, I do be letting you down most of all and I do be letting down a lot of people. I do be sorry and I be knowing that sorry no do be enough. That do be in part why I be working so hard to be proving to you all that I do be changed; that I do be learning from my mistakes."


"The answer is: I no do be considering at all. I be thinking I be having a little fun and nobody do be getting hurt. I be wrong. I be hurting someone badly and I no be ever making it up to her but I be trying to earn her forgiveness."  


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Lillian nearly snapped at the sass that Rory threw at her, but she had told Darienna that she was going to control herself, even if she was finding herself unsettled and off balance.  Light, not even the apology and the explanation did anything to alleviate the feeling that she felt like smacking Rory for what she'd done.  To know that all her time spent on Rory, trying to teach her to behave herself through example and always looking out for her, even when she herself had been an Accepted.


All the right words were being said, but they did little to alleviate the anger.  Rory had so many chances, so many opportunities to change, she couldn't understand why Rory hadn't taken them.  Why she had done something so incredibly stupid.  To say that she was disappointed in Rory was an understatement, it wasn't just disappointment she felt.  She was angry that Rory seemed to have ignored everything she'd tried to teach her, angry that she'd nearly killed one of her friends with thoughtless stupidity, angry that Rory had forced Darienna to take such measures, angry that it was the first thing she learned when she came home after months away.


"Why Rory?  Why?  After everything I've tried to do to help you, do you go and do this?  You didn't just hurt someone badly, you almost spilled my friend's brains out all over the floor of the Brown Ajah quarters!  What did she do to deserve that?  Go on, you tell me what she did to deserve it?  Or was this truly just a little bit of fun?  Some stupidly reckless and thoughtless idea of yours that nearly got Arette killed?  Or damaged.  Don't you know how careful you have to be?  If she wasn't killed, she might have been impaired.  By impaired I mean anything from losing her ability to think to her ability to move, it doesn't take much.  Well?  What do you have to say?"



Rory closed her eyes and took a breath. Having never known Lillian to act so emotionally, the Accepted saw it as an appropriate measure of her anger. The questions were rhetorical, Lillian was angry, justifiably; attempting to answer the questions had to be better than sitting in awkward silence.


“She no be deserving it. No body be deserving that, except maybe myself on occasion. I no do be intending to betray your teaching. It no do be like that. No one do meant to get hurt, I be telling you that already. It was stupid, I do be admitting that freely and you do be having a right to be angry but I no do be knowing what else you want to be hearing.”



She couldn't understand how Rory could just be sitting there, just sitting there as if nothing had happened.  She had nearly killed Arette!  Outwardly she was able to keep the rough sheen of an Aes Sedai, but inwardly she was seething as much as she was horrified by what had occured.  Everything about it struck at the core of her, and the feeling wouldn't dislodge itself.  "I want to hear why you did it in the first place.  Just a bit of fun?  Why do you keep doing things like this?  Why do you keep getting in trouble and now land yourself in this situation?  After you get so many chances, one after the other after the other.  Why don't you ever listen!"



Rory would never win a competition in patience. Looking forward—in the sarcastic sense—to this conversation for weeks had enabled her to tolerate the genuine ill-feelings she had made Lillian experience, but in no way had her self-restraint improved enough to handle the duration and tenacity of the accusations; however well founded.


“You do be right, I no do be aes sedai material, and in case you do be forgetting I never wanted to be here in the first place. Maybe if you be spotting that years ago I no do be in this position right now. I do be sorry that I am such a vast disappointment, and that by best no do be best enough. Darienna do be a shade away from forcing me to leave the tower as it be, maybe you do be able to persuade her to do it.


“This no do be easy from me, I do be having two people in the whole of this tower I do be knowing and I be separated from all of them. I do be up at dawn, asleep at sunset doing nothing but being lectured in between or left to study alone. I do be speaking to Arette and she no do be wanting me hanged or flogged. If you be thinking you can punish me better you do be welcome to throw in your piece, I no be getting out of here any time soon anyway!”



"Oh you are such a victim aren't you?!"  Now that truly made Lillian furious, after spending so long trying to show her she was capable, she was just shirking all of the work she'd done off and now she was inviting her to try and have her thrown out.  She had been so patient, she knew she had, she had tried so hard and she had helped again and again, helped her to channel, helped her to fit in as she could, helped to take care of her whenever she was in the Tower, and now all of it just wasted?  "You have a head on your shoulders and you can do so many good things but instead you just piss it all away!  Again and again, you could be doing so many great things but you do stupid things and you get other people hurt instead when you should know better!  And what now?  Poor you?  You only have two people?  You have the best education and security that anyone can get in the entire Westlands and you're doing badly?!  You're only doing badly because you've dug this hole for yourself, and its not because it couldn't be helped, its because you chose to do this!"


“I no do be denying that! I do be messing up, I know it, I be admitting it. I hurt people, I disappoint people and I be angering them, too. I am aware of this, Darienna Sedai and everyone else have made that very clear. I no do be shirking my responsibility, that’s why I do be here, trying to learn, trying to show them that I do be worth the time and effort invested in me. I know you no do be believing that now, and I be needing to prove it to you, too.


“Fortune prick me, I do be trying, Lillian, what else you be wanting me to say?”



"I want you to try and give me something resembling reason Rory!  You're in your thirties and you've acting like someone less than half your age and now you're only finally doing something when you nearly killed someone!  What about before?!  Why didn't you do the right thing before?!  What in the Pit of Doom is wrong with you that you decided to nearly get Arette killed!"  She wouldn't answer, why wouldn't she answer?  After everything she had poured into the girl, Lillian at least wanted an answer to that.  Why she had just refused for so long, because clearly she musn't have understood because she thought that she had been making progress with her.”



“Reason? You do be wanting to talk about reason. Where do be the reason in abducting unwilling children into the tower? Where do be the reason in teaching them to submit to saidar when you do be just as easily severing her of her connection before it develops. Where do the reason in trying to brainwash and getting pissy when it no do be working.”


“Where do be the reason here at all? Nobody do be telling me of the dangers of saidar, no body do be telling me the dangers of the tests. Where do be the reason in throwing untrained girls into those blooming arches without even a heads up to the fact that there do be a very real possibility that one be dying in them. Where do be reason, then, Lillian, and where be you?”



Her fists clenching at the mention of abducting children, as if she were some thief or kidnapper, Lillian felt like she wanted to hit Rory.  Even more so when she mentioned simply stilling them out of hand, it was complete and utter stupidity.  The very thought of losing that aspect of her made her feel sick to the core, as it did every other channeler.  Yet here was Rory blithely railing against simple common good sense.  Lillian came within an inch of satisfying her urge when the Arches were mentioned.


Her fists unclenching as her face went white, Lillian couldn't even muster a response now.  She'd opened herself up too much as she'd argued with Rory and to have that button pushed, even unwittingly, it was upsetting and with her rage making way for guilt, the fact that she had almost hit Rory also struck her.  Staring at Rory for a moment, Lillian turned around and left as quickly as she came, the door slamming behind her as she made her way to her quarters.  She needed to pull herself together, away from Rory, and was as well as done with her now.



Rory had thought for a moment that Lillian would strike her and witnessing this had made her very anxious. Lillian was not disappointed, she was furious. Rory had not prepared for the level of what would be called in another as antagonism. She flinched as the door was slammed and Lillian left, too stunned to consider anything else. She had let her temper control her—again—and the expression on Lillian’s face led her to believe there was a very real possibility that the next time Rory spoke to her that she would be adding the honourific.


Rory grabbed the text book from her desk and hurled it at the door with a small yell of frustration. That was not how it should have been. She had expected, hoped, that Lillian would be the most forgiving, not the least. A selfish expectation on her part that was in no way honoured by reality, oh she’d really botched it this time.


What did Lillian want to her from her. She had said all that was necessary and more, answered all of questions—remained civil, but none of it had been the right answer, none of it had been enough. How could she give Lillian the answers she sought when the truth was not enough, how?


Out of the cooking pot and into the fire: one stupid mistake had lost her Saline, and a second Lillian. The day could not get any worse if she tried to escape Darienna’s cordoned off empire. Rory cursed, very loudly and then did the only thing any self-respecting female would do under the circumstances, threw herself down upon her bed and bawled her bloody eyes out.



Lillian & Rory in case you didn't notice, muppets!

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