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Don´t fool me (Nerome)

Guest Faile1987

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Guest Faile1987



“There will be a time that you´ll be separated. A time you´ll have to live without your brother, Dorian”


The voice of his father still droned in his ears, somehow not having left his mind in it´s ever-returning reminder since the day his brother Danian had died in his arms, perished from this world and had him left behind, fulfilling their father´s words like some dark prophecy neither of them had been wanting to believe until the inevitable actually happened.


As if to mock himself, now, on his first day off after the “grievous incident” as it was officially called, Dorian was finally let off the confinement of the walls of the White Tower again, after having been released from the omnipresent white of the infirmary seeming to choke him, taking his breath as much as Moridin´s blade had when ripping his throat open, only leaving him alive for some fortunate coincidence, as some called it, a curse as he would call it himself. A curse of a lonely life, without his brother, without his eyes, and even without Tiegan who he hadn´t seen again since he remembered having woken in the care of a dozen Yellow Sisters in the Infirmary. So he was to walk his life on his own, bereft of anything that had ever meant something to him. So be it. He didn´t need anyone, he had tried to tell himself, only to find how wrong he was. He didn’t need someone to be there for him, he longed for it desperately, more than anything. Someone who wouldn´t regard him with eyes filled with pity, that even he could recognize, blind as he was. He just had to get out. Out of the Warder's Yard, out of the Tower.


Unaware of the fact that he was clenching his fists as he strode through the narrow corridors of the trainees´ barracks, a way that had became familiar enough to him in the last eight months he had spent here now, that he don´t even have to reach out to feel his way anymore, Dorian struggled with the urge to just rush after Danian and get him out of the claws of that wench that was likely to kill him one day. A sigh of frustration escaped him though as he knew all too well that this was their only chance. Having been forced to leave their native Altara, their widowed mother and the House they were the rightful High Seats of behind now, assassins at their heels, the Warder’s Yard had been the only way to find shelter and begin a new life. A life that was far from living in a sanctuary, yet far from a bad life on the whole.


Saluting to the Tower Guards at the massive wooden doors enclosing the Wiredraws Yard, Dorian´s feet unconsciously led him downhill on the sandy street, feeling the heat of early noon sun tickling on his face as his path led him to Tar Valon, the city of the Aes Sedai and Warder, the city he had been visiting with Danian before, the same place that had intimidated and yet fascinated him so when he had reached it with his brother for the first time. A city promising shelter and discretion for the two desperate and hunted boys they had been then. Two boys who had been less than promising at first, possessed by their doubts of being accepted among the daily hardship of the Warder´s Yard even despite their disabilities.


A faint smile suddenly broke the cold sterness of Dorian´s face that had been troubled like a cold clouded winter morning. A smile in reminiscence of the time they had spent in Tar Valon now, somehow feeling like having grown up tenfold in the last eight months than they had before, even with the awareness of being the potential victim of any vile plot their rival Houses or even those of their own kin could think of. Dorian knew now what he hadn´t thought possible before. Despite the longing for his homecountry and his family, a family seeming more scattered and unstable than ever before, Dorian realized that he had found something else here, hard training that sometimes brought him to the edge of physical surrender and having to stand silent witness to his twin brother´s suffering under that self-righteous witch Deneira or not: he had found a new purpose in life, something he knew he was working for, the red cloak of the Tower Guards an achievable aim, if he tried hard enough, possible even with his blindness though he knew he would have to work and fight twice as hard and twice as well to get there. Yet he would. He would do his family and his House honor. He would do himself honor, fill a gap of incompletion that he felt wasn´t only due to his blindness although it prevented him from much in his life. A painful stab reminded him vividly of just what he was missing because of his disability as he suddenly felt Tiegan´s touch on him again, her hands closing around him, laying them on her face without embarassment or shame so he could see her on his own way, take her in by feeling and scent, still smelling her, the herbal scent of her hair filling his nose again as he suddenly even seemed to taste the sweetness of the sensation about feeling her lips on his again. Refusing to acknowledge that all of this should have been a mere memory, Dorian filled himself up with the moments with her he had sealed so deep in his conscience, now savouring every bit of it as he walked through Tar Valon´s streets, seemingly detached from the world and everything around him, mechanical moves like a sleepwalker wandering to some destination only he knew of.


As if literally his nose had guided him there, Dorian subconsciously was aware of entering the inn he had stayed for a drink and a bite with Danian more than once, dim surprise nagging his awareness that he had found his way there not only completely on his own without getting lost even once, but even more so without running into major obstacles or more people than was usual in the packed streets of Tar Valon, buzzing with activity. Shaking his head about himself and the effect this trancelike stupor seemed to have had on him, Dorian sat down at a small table in a corner in the back, as the table next to it, the one he had memorized having sat on with Danian as they had come here before, was occupied and Dorian´s apologies for practically running into the man sitting there, from the smell wafting over to him enjoying some richt stew, were countered more than gruffly as the boar-like figure in front of him told him off rudely.


Taking a deep breath as his light-headed feeling had come to an abrupt end, Dorian ordered some wine and listening to the loud rumbling rumour in his stomach, feeling much more like a hole than a stomach in fact, bread and cheese as well, waiting for it while he struggled against the urge of revoking the sweet memories reminding him of the one night he had spent with the woman he knew he was unlikely to ever see again, not after what he had told her, how he had destroyed everything they might have had by a couple of sentences. Sentences he had felt he must tell her though, unable to bear the thought of deceiving her with false pretenses. Dorian knew unlike anybody what he was able to do and what he wasn´t. A good Warder apt to protect and care for her clearly counted to the latter though, he knew, even if knowing that felt like tearing himself apart as he remembered Tiegan´s reaction of his decline to become her Warder. But the Light knew he would never be able to offer her the things she needed, thus it was best to make a clean cut before they got even further involved with each other. He had known before that it would hurt, had in some way anticipated it as he felt he deserved every bit of pain for how he had hurt her, the mere thought of it making him feel like an iron fist was clenching his heart. Yet they would have to get over it. Still this had been six months ago and up until know the searing pain he had felt hadn´t lessened at all, only intensified in fact when memories crashed down on him, memories of the greatest bliss and the greatest sorrow he hd ever felt. Memories-


“Two silver marks. Tar Valon weight, mind you!â€, the voice of a more than corpulent serving man boomed at him, jerking him out of his daze as the man thumped a pitcher and a plate in front of him. Dorian looked up in disbelief. “Two marks? Dear Sir but this isn´t even worth one, you must have made a mistake here.”, he said in as polite a tone as he could, feeling the other man´s eyes on him, the smell of his fat, sweaty body suddenly filling his nostrils making him nearly lose all his appetite he had had before.


§Two marks and no copper less”, the barking voice retorted sharply, already about to grab the pitcher and the plate again. Dorian shook his head, still smiling politely as he inclined his head to look up to the massive man in front of him. “I honestly don´t think so good man and I´d strongly advice you to treat your customers in a way that will keep them at your inn. Cheating them certainly not belongs to that.” Dorian felt angry heat boiling in his veins as the only answer he got was just a cackling laughter and the man remaining still beside him, silently glaring at him. “I may be blind, but I´m no fool”, Dorian´s voice had suddenly gained a sharpness far beyond his usual pleasant friendliness as he realized what game this one was intending to play with him but before he could even rise and just leave the inn, restraining from reaching for the dagger he carried hidden inside his boot even if he wasn´t supposed to carry any weapons outside the Warder´s Yard, he suddenly was gripped by the collar of his coat as a fat yet strong arm dragged him up, close enough to the man´s face to be able to smell the disgusting odor of his foul breath as he squirmed against the death-grip on him. “Two marks, blind one or you´ll have your food outside in the streets were your sort belongs”, the voice hissed again, before a hard punch into his stomach knocked him out of breath and the ability to reply or do anything to avoid inevitable conflict looming ahead of him.


Light, this just made his day, an open fight on top of anything.

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  • 5 months later...

A freeday. Coveted fruitful blessings! They did not come often for Trainees of the Yard, for while men and women under training were given chances to leave the sweaty confines of the barracks often, chores, laps and sparring were almost always the most steadfast companion of all. Freedays were especially rare for a certain Nerome Seshir, who in the peak of his training, was being pushed ever forward and not just by his mentor anymore. He had finally decided to stop playing the ever loved good for nothing, and all he had gotten was more training and sweat, and less time for pretty lasses or days in Tar Valon. Perhaps that was why, when he was told that the day was his own, Nerome had grinned wide but nothing more, and had hastened off to his room to get a little money so that he could set off and have his fun.


His home for the past three years, the ever self-absorbed city of Tar Valon was a welcome sight to him. Flanks of elegent white Towers, frigid noblewomen on their even more frigid footmen, short stout women selling him apples….Nerome took it all with a smile and something close to a sprint. An inn was what he sought, a noisy raucous placed packed with men with rounded bellies and an unhealthy liking for song and ale. It was not easy to find such a place in Tar Valon’s grandest streets, but Nerome knew of the perfect place just a little deeper in, and so he slipped through the bustle deftly, ignoring the yearning that called to him, telling him the exact number of vulnerable folk in the city, and how easy it would be to snatch away a bag here, or a delicate bracelet there. Idly Nerome wondered when the craving would end, as it had stopped for several months until this blissful day and the reappearance now, could not be taken as a pretty sign. He’d always been one for challenges, he thought with a wry smile.


The inn was a memory from once long ago. A place he had landed up at with Carth and boys when they had first arrived, their only want in life being a good mug and a cosy bed. Laughing as he had those years before when he saw the name, Nerome stepped into the The Children’s Light to find very little had changed since he had last visited. For one, the inn master was the same, a well fed Tairen with a dark face and a sweaty brow. Nodding at the man as he passed by, Nerome sat down at a table near the corner, for the corner that he wanted was taken by an Altaran, who seemed to be staring off in the distance as if all the world’s burdens were on his shoulders. Puzzled for a moment as he realized he’d seen the face before, Nerome dismissed the thought as he turned to order. Grinning at the serving maid who came up to take his order, a plump little woman with twinkling blue eyes, it was a rough voice coming from the corner that drew him away from both the thought of food and the woman. The Tairen man had moved onto the Altaran’s table, and it was only at a second glance that Nerome realized he was in fact, blind. “I may be blind, but I’m no fool.” Heated words, only to be greeted by a cackle from the Inn master, and Nerome couldn’t help feeling of pang of pity. However, when the man was pulled up by the Tairen and given a hard blow in his stomach, it was not pity Nerome felt, but worry and a fair share of anger.


Without considering what he was getting himself into, which was in fact nothing more than a tavern brawl, Nerome moved in, stopping the Tairen from landing yet another punch as he glared at the man. Perhaps it was the Seshir blood talking, because he spoke up immediately after, his voice ringing sharply and far more arrogant than he had meant it to be. “You have no right to charge this man two silver marks. A few good coppers for your good food, but nothing more.” Hopeful as he had been when the words were still coming out of his mouth, the moment he saw the look on the other’s face, Nerome knew the only thing to do, was duck. The man, with his heavy build was stronger than Nerome was, but he was little muscle and more fat, which gave Nerome the advantage of speed. Rising quickly from beneath, Nerome closed his fist and hit the man squarely on his jaw, only to receive a grunt and a hard blow on his left cheek. Turning for a moment to see if the Altaran was still there, he found the man was fending off yet another man who had joint the brawl, and Nerome turned back to lay a punch on the man’s nose, laughing as the Tairen’s eyes widened. They could take the four down, he knew, but it was when Nerome spotted the yet another three joining in that he realized they had to make a move for it. “Listen-” he said to the Altaran, before ducking yet another blow. “We -need- to move out. Come on, I know a way.” For a few moments the man continued in the dance of wallops and whacks, until Nerome tugged his cloak slightly and he nodded. Landing one last blow, Nerome moved swiftly out, pulling the Altaran with him.


“Look, run ahead and I’ll be right behind you, and listen to my directions as we go. Alright?” Giving him a slight push ahead, they began to run, Nerome directing and the other leading. Looking at his garb and cloak, it was with some surprise that Nerome realized that he was another Trainee, but he said nothing as they continued to wind their ways through the streets. He’d done this so many times before, except the man who he usually was being lead by was a different man with bright red hair and a perpetual smirk. And he was not blind, came the thought, more matter of fact than derogative. It seemed an age before they finally came to an opening. The Ogier Grove. The last time he had been in here, he was being taught of the Spring by Shawn. “We’re safe here,” he said panting. Sitting himself down beside a tree, he waited for a few moments to catch his breath before speaking again. “Do you know where we are?”



Good at the running stuff :D

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Guest Faile1987



For a moment the unforeseen punch knocked the air out of him and Dorian felt nauseous and like losing consciousness as the world seemed to whirl around him, brining him close to lose any sense of orientation that was left in the mess that his mind seemed today. Today? Well, for the last…days…weeks…since…No, he didn´t want to think about it. Refused to let his thoughts trail back to the day that had burned itself into his soul, his consciousness and changed his life utterly. The day he had lost his eyes, his omnipresent friend and confidante, the only person that he knew he would never lose. Never. And yet Danian was gone, his moral coil perished in his arms on the day that stood as a silent mournful reminder that they would never be safe anywhere. That their family wouldn´t stop their mad persecution and strife for power, not even refraining from slaying their own kin. No, they would never be safe. Even though Danian had died to protect him, given his life to save his, Dorian knew this wasn´t the end. Even though Morin Grey believed him dead, having cut his throat deeply enough to nearly make him lose his voice forever, it hadn´t been deep enough to rip his life from him as well.


Dorian Grey had always been a gentle child. Introverted and sometimes appeared to withdraw into himself entirely, only confiding and relying on his brother, not letting many people get close to him, but as caution often was mistaken as shyness, people often underestimated his presence of mind and stubbornness, never letting his handicap take the best of him, never giving in to what anyone said or did easily if at all. A stubbornness that more often had brought him in trouble than not and yet Dorian Grey had prevailed so far and would now, even disorientated and taken by surprise as he was. If he found out where his “opponent” was located that was…


“You have no right to charge this man two silver marks. A few good coppers for your good food, but nothing more.”


Words spoken by a calm, yet determined voice to his left, suddenly seemed to give him back a good part of his faded orientation, only to find feel something stir in the air when the man to his left, whoever he was, landed a blow on the innkeepers face – Jaw, Dorian thought somewhat absent-mindedly, and only seconds later the two of them, his unknown companion somewhat willy-nilly, found themselves in the middle of a tavern brawl that was growing much to fast for Dorian´s liking as he suddenly was fending off another faceless attacker almost subconsciously, yet both of them realized as the sound of fighting seemed to fill the entire inn, that it wouldn´t be them who went out of this without at least a couple of broken bones if not worse.


Aware that only his nearly two years in training at the Yard were enabling to put up with this sudden madness around him, Dorian once more cursed his blind eyes and inability to think of a way out other than fighting right through the brawl roaring and punching all around them. A sharp pang surging through him from where his ribcage ended reminded him sharply enough that they couldn´t keep going like that much longer, limbs becoming slow and weary and yet more men joining the rumble around them. They had to get out.


A sigh of relief escaped him, when the other one called out to him, directing him to find a safe way out, without receiving more punches and kicks than could be avoided and suddenly Dorian found himself running ahead, feeling the breeze of fresh air replace the sticky smoke of the inn and cobblestones replacing the wooden planks beneath his feet as he ran on, following the other´s instructions only, literally blind and dropping all his caution. He couldn’t afford pondering whether to trust the man or not, trust or fight were the lots he could choose from and not even his blindness and the pain in his rips told him his choice clearly.


To him it seemed they were running in zig-zagged twists and turns, like rabbits chased by a pack of rabid foxes, only looking ahead, never back in their hurry to get out of the focus of attention as fast as possible. If he had believed to have regained at least some of his sense of orientation, Dorian had to admit to have lost it again completely only minutes after leaving the inn as the instructions he was given led him away from the small part of Tar Valon he had get to know so far, away from the center to something that appeared like a gate of moist, mossy greenery that made him stop in wonder. Yet only for an instant, he lingered, permitting himself to indulge in his own confusion until he succumbed to the other one´s urging him on to go further, leading the way.


His breath burning in his lungs and seeming to scrape his voice cords even more hoarse and raspy than they already were after they had been nearly cut and with his lower ribs afire, Dorian quickly dismissed every notion of distrust and ran on, shrouding himself into he oneness deeply, blocking doubt and worries as well as pain and weariness until they had reached their destination.


Panting, with every breath feeling like liquid fire burning his ruined throat, Dorian more collapsed than set down, not even hearing the other one´s question at first as he carefully felt his way around, finally finding the rough surface of a thick massive tree under his fingers, which he leaned back against, stifling a groan of pain as his ribs seemed to poke his lungs making him cough and for a horrible moment feeling like choking once again. But the pain only lasted for a moment and when his breath had eased down enough for Dorian to release the death grip he still had on the oneness at least enough to regain most of his wits, trying to figure where they where.


“I´m sorry”, he finally said, nearly grimacing as he had to clear his throat to get anything audible out at all, “I don´t.” Noticing that his hand was pressed hard against his lower ribcage as though trying to stabilize the damage one of the harder blows apparently had done, Dorian took a deep breath, before asking with an almost shy grin on his face, that revealed more of his embarrassment than he would have liked.


“I beg for forgiveness, but I still don´t know your name”, he said, noticing that his cheeks flushed a bit though his voice regained at least a bit of it´s former strength when he held out his hand into the direction where he had heard the other one´s voice come from. “My name is Dorian Grey. Glad to meet you and for…for you help. Thank you.”


OOC: There is a song this reminds me of by Blind Guardian...it´s called "Follow the Blind"...hehe...

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Raspy breath, coming in short breaks, as well as the sudden groan that was immediately muffled. Something was very wrong. Laughed though he had as he had fallen onto the grass, out of breath, it did not take any sort of training to understand that he was hurt. Sitting up, Nerome looked towards the Altaran, the Trainee and found him clutching his rib cage, his face a struggle between trying to control the pain...and getting controlled by it. Worry gripping him and making him wonder if they’d left the tavern a little too late, he was about to ask the man if he was alright, only to have him answer his previous question before he could. “I´m sorry.” Startled by the strangeness of his voice, Nerome cast his eyes down towards the grass as he tried to hide his shock, only to remember that he couldn’t see him anyway. However unnatural his voice sounded, his polite response gave Nerome the impression that it might’ve been a soft voice before…whatever grievous events came about.


Dorian Grey. Did the name stir any memory? Any occurrence in the Warders’ Yard? Nerome was drawing a blank. He was noble born though- Nerome could tell it from the way he spoke, the words he had chosen. It came like a fresh blow, stunning him into silence for a few moments. Now here was a story that would certainly be worth listening to, but he had never been one who could soothe people, especially, particularly the grieved ones. And gut instinct told Nerome that there certainly was grief behind this. Blood and Ashes. Was this some sort of joke? Mockery for his own mockery? “There is nothing to forgive, friend, you’ve hardly had your time for a breather. I am Nerome, from Cairhien.” Few would recognize his House name now, but nonetheless ridding himself of it until necessary was best. “As for my help, it is what any Trainee would do for another.” Laughing as he extended his hand in return for the offered one, he spoke on. “That’s right. I didn’t notice until I was halfway bruised ‘course, but it makes sense anyway. How long’ve you been training? There were some good blows you landed there.” Especially since he didn’t have sight to help him, but of course, saying that would almost be asking for a ‘good blow’ right then.



As blind as Dorian in many ways :D

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  • 5 months later...
Guest Faile1987

He still felt much more disoriented than was to his liking. No, he didn’t only not like it, he right out hated it, being dragged somewhere, running, not knowing where he was…all of this. Something like that had never happened before and would never have unless Danian…Light, he couldn’t think of him now or he knew the old grief and despair would overwhelm him again. An emotion that seemed to have had him in its grip forever but it hadn’t been that long ago at all when he had held his head…dying…fading… No! He suddenly pressed his hand on his ribcage hard, making himself clench his teeth hard to prevent himself from crying out loud. And yet the pain was a relief, a welcome distraction from the pain that had torn his heart apart on this one fateful rainy day. Nothing could equal the pain he had been feeling since then. Nothing would mend the bond that had been irrepairbly torn. Nothing.


With a sigh he leaned back against the tree he had been slumping against. The other’s words seemed to come to him from somewhere far away and yet the voice had something calming about it. Something that told him he was safe for now, even though it had become increasingly difficult for him to trust anyone since…This time he pressed so hard that he couldn’t hold in a faint moan.


Light, pull yourself together!, he berated himself. This couldn’t go on forever. No, not like that…the Light knew how it would end if he carried on like that much longer…


Pulling himself halfway up, Dorian felt the shock on the man who had introduced himself as Nerome’s features, even though he couldn’t see it. Man, you’d be much more shocked if you’d be able to take a look behind that scarf of mine… He thought bitterly for a second, but then somehow managed to smile. “I’m sorry my friend…I don’t mean to scare you, even though I may have this…effect on quite a few people lately…I’m really glad you helped me out there and it’s much less self-evident than you might think.” He shook the offered hand, before slumping back again. Dimly he felt sweat running down his spine even though they were in a cool place and he could smell the trees surrounding him, feel the grass and the forest ground under him, his fingers tracing a nearby root. He remembered that Nerome had asked him something but the words eluded him like anything else. His head felt hot and heavy. So heavy. He seemed to be barely able to utter coherent words, yet somehow he held on.


“Forgive me, but I must have lost orientation even more completely that can be usually expected for a blind man…but where are we? This place feels…familiar… though I’m certain I’ve never been here before.”

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  • 4 weeks later...
Right now it is Spring, and here in the city of lights, we let Spring stay just as long as she wants to.

In Tar Valon a young woman would not be bothered if she wore white; the cardinal law for the ones in an initiate’s dress, and the strength of the Tower behind them.


It was in such confidence that a student by the name of Saline ventured into the city, one that had been housed her for the last decade and a half.


Her free-day began with a smile. Normally withdrawn, it felt strange to be smiling again, but she had reason to. People moved aside with the dancing feet of those who knew they could be tied up if they offended those who had not taken their Oaths yet, not unlike how they would step quick for a cart of overturned potatoes. Wariness drew respect; as she walked, men would touch their forelock, and hawkers would wear friendly grins, or offer pretty ribbons solemnly (she demurred). Always, she paid them mind, acknowledging them, returning a bright smile. It was a habit she had developed from her childhood, as her lord had told her, that people are best tested when they are in power, and their actions must not abuse that power. Though she was exiled, that lesson had stuck, and true to father’s words, Saline tried to leave some of the happiness she brought to the welcoming shops with her custom.


The only places she avoided were inns, and having seen a hunt for some straggler who did not pay his travel fare in front of a tavern. The mob ignored her, but it seemed eager for blood, even in the well-lit daylight. Clutching her purchase, she scuttled away from the debauchery, secure in the symbolism of her uniform. When she first saw her dress she loathed the dull whiteness, its seven-banded hem providing the only relief to an otherwise stark outfit. Yet now her dress protected her, and she was grateful to the Aes Sedai who had provided generously -- it, and in turn, her with such patience and grace.


Bells tinkled merrily in her sunny curls as she recovered her good mood, and she ploughed along humming to herself, and feeling content, if not full blown happiness at the price she dickered for in the bread shop. The kitchen would have leftover loaves to soak in the soup, and she gladdened to think of Rossa’s project succeeding, even if it meant more gratification for that irritable Estel Sedai…


For the first time in a long while, she was comfortable with who she had become, and it was that crisp, clean security Saline felt when she pursued the stumbling shape into the grove, more curious than anything, and bold because she knew nobody in his right mind would deliberately harm her, not when it would bring down the swift wrath of the Sisters.


In the dark she lost him, but the hunt was not done. She would wait until he came out again, before asking him if he needed her help. Smoothing the immaculate folds of her Accepted dress, she rested her hands into her stomach, leaning an elbow unto her staff.


An ungainly – was her impression -- slip of a lad ran out as if chased by Mina Daryl, his dark hair wild. She suppressed the laughter which bubbled to the surface as she watched the horrified boy scamper, then rose from her niche. Reaching for the candy in her pouch, she said: "Oh honey, care for a sweet?" He seemed perfectly fine, if clearly frightened out of his wits, and her lips curled at what tremulous fancy had overtaken the boy when a rasp captivated her. Head swiveling, stare errant, back straight she dared not breathe, so intense was her attention. There, there it was again. Sandpaper, no, sawing a board crossgrain, a wheezing came from inside the gates.


A dying animal, perhaps? She could only hope as she glided, as if in a lucid dream.


Heart in her throat she saw Dorian; his thick black scarf not quite hiding the twists underneath, as he stared at her unseeing, blanching as if he heard the whisper of a ghost. Nonsense, ghosts are only in our memories, she thought as she hitched up her skirts, ditching the staff as she hurried to his side, pressing a cool hand against his. There was no visible damage, except in the impossibly fast rise and fall of his chest. “Tell me where it hurts. I can heal you” She could have sworn, was it disappointment that flittered across his visage? Pushing that away, she Delved him in the efficient motions that Nynaeve Sedai demonstrated, except much slower as she channeled, and then pursing her lips, she took his head roughly, murmurring soft nothings while weaving together strands of Water, Air and Spirit. Almost too intricate for her control, but she held on to the ends as the flows slipped into messy knots. A shudder rippled the muscles under her touch, and she laid his head down, very still, exhausted by how much she had drained to repair the hemorrhage inside. But his breathing seemed better now, and she heaved a heavy sigh.


What was that?


Lingering near was the boy who tried to run. He must have been the perpetrator. His voice would have surprised Saline with its clipped accent had she permitted him breath to speak. Instead she lashed out, angered by her incompetence. Dorian was her friend, and she could not always protect him from bullies. “You brute” Though Rory’s favourite insult came easily to mind, she did not call him a goatkisser, “how could you attack an unarmed man?”  The verdant green eyes of his, like sparkling gems set in a pearl, widened at her in increasing alarm. They infuriated her further, and stabbing a finger, the hand waving her Great Serpent under his nose as if it were smelling salts, she told him exactly how disgusting he was. Then, a loud indignant voice inside declared that merely brandishing was not enough, it demanded for her to punish him for it. It was absurdly easy to give into the temptation, and five fingers connected into his fragile face. Smack! The look of a livid palm printed on the pale canvas of his cheek pleased her, though she stuck her fist behind her back. The blow had pained her too.


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