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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Jagen Sedai

A Resentful Meeting (ATTN: Liitha)

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There was not a single black thread in all of Tar Valon. It would not be found on a seamstress' thread rack in a housewife's basket. Aes Sedai did not wear black at all, and that tradition carried into the grand city itself. No one wore a lick of the color, not in lace nor cord nor thread.

Yet, Tar Valon had men dressed in black coats not only in the city itself, but the White Tower. Well, their uniform was black, but they certainly weren't wearing it now. But it didn't change the fact that it was their uniform, marking them. Oh, they had not walked through the city, no, but remembering it made her head ache. Jagen wanted to rub it away, but she stayed her hand. She could feel Aslan there. A man, bonded to her. A man who had bonded her. A man, using saidin, had…

Jagen looked up at the sky. It was overcast, and for this she was grateful. It matched her soured mood. She had been trying to calm herself since that… incident. She had had one other meeting with that man, one that was shorter than me expected, perhaps. But today, that had to change. If she was to be bonded to him, whether she liked it or not, she had to get to know him. It had taken her a week to finally decide to have a second meeting.

She did not wear her shawl today which, though she had been Aes Sedai for a long time, was unusual for the woman when she met with visitors or guests who were not of Tar Valon. She smoothed her dress, one of maroon and cream brocaded clinging silk, walking down a main corridor in the Tower. She had sent a message through a White Tower servant to Aslan, to have him meet her at the Tower's main grand entrance.

The Taraboner—in her people's style of dress, with her hair in dozens of braids and a veil over the lower half of her face—inclined her head towards an old couple, perhaps petitioners who were seeking Healing or some other matter. Well, in truth, Jagen was older than them, but she was always grateful not to look the part. She passed through the main hall and made her way to the Red Quarters. From here she chose a sitting room available to the sisters who did not want to meet in their rooms. The room held a dozen comfortable chairs and had two marble fireplaces. A servant was tending a single, lit fire when she entered. Jagen dismissed her with a short word.

 

Now she would wait. The Sitter pursed her lips, her jaw tight; it was not the waiting she minded, but the thought of being in a room with a man who could channel. Oh, she could, if she really wanted to, sever him on her own. But such a thing was against Tower law, and she'd be severely punished. Perhaps even stilled herself, and sent to a farm for the rest of her life. It was not worth it. Not unless she deemed him dangerous. At least here, where novices, Accepted, servants and visitors went about their daily tasks, she would not be alone in meeting him again. In public she felt more at ease and more in control.

Soon enough, the Asha'man entered. Jagen turned to face him, standing regally. Jagen needed to appear strong; she was strong, she reminded herself. "Enjoying the city, Aslan?" She asked in a way of greeting. It wasn't a friendly tone, but neutral as she could make it.

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Aslan missed his uniform, he gotten used to wearing it and these clothes felt strange, not to mention they were probably outdated and they sat a bit thought as he filled out more in the time since he left home. Luckily he wasn't going to any court though so it didn't matter they weren't the latest fashion.

 

He did not like the meeting spot picked out, but no one knew what he was even if he felt like he was itching from walking were he was, he only just heard the news of change in locations that were to take place and presumed it was the reason he was called to the tower by Jagen. He was not so sure he agreed it was a change to the better, but at least he learned a bit more since their last meeting about the bond from communication with those who had wives bonded, though he was still unsure what he thought about using it. He wasn't going to fail his superiors though and had decided to try for now and handle it as any other mission.

 

Asian finally got to the tower and started walking the stairs while mulling over once again his previous thoughts of how important it was he succeeded in making this work, as one of the few bonds going this was thus far. After all in the end the cooperation was about the last battle and he knew how important this would be based on what happened in the borderlands.

 

He finally saw Jagen and being in the void helped him keep a focus on her as he approached her, ignoring everyone else around him. He put on a smile for her greeting, pulling on old learning again from his childhood and greeted her as he once would a fellow noble, "I regret I haven't quite had the opportunity to do so in fullness, mishaps a chance to do so will come in the future. I would certainly be delighted if you could point out some places to start Jagen Sedai." Asian was aware of where they was even if he chose to block it out, and knew he had to mind what he said and how he behaved to try and appear to be just another visitor.

 

Her meeting him here at least meant he didn't have to dig around to find her, though surely it would been easier if she came to the inn and they traveled here. He waited on her to take the lead though, even if she didn't seem to be in a hurry, he was glad he had traveled light and everything he got with him fitted in a small backpack, it would surely stood out if he had to bring a large bag with him.

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Jagen moved to the door of the sitting room and closed it pointedly. She did not need nor want anyone looking in on this meeting. As it was, his respectful tone annoyed her to some extent. Oh, he was expected to be polite, but he had done the most impolite thing to her already, and that was bonding her! Not for the first time, she mentally cursed the Highest for making her go on the wrong end of the bond.

 

Still, she did not want to lose control of her emotions. She felt fairly calm, actually, considering the circumstances. The door to the sitting room opened, and she turned her head enough to note a servant coming in with a tray and two cups. A small pitcher held wine, and a bigger one cider. She moved to the tray and poured herself some cider, then sat down, gesturing to a chair across from her for Aslan. "The city, it holds many shops, and I do not know what would interest you." She hated forced small talk--or perhaps it was not so small, after all, she needed to know this man. She told herself she needed to learn about him, to get a sense of who he was. Her dark blue eyes were studying his every movement, like a wary cat watching a strange dog. "I suppose whatever interests you have, you may surely find a shop or place in Tar Valon to suit your needs." She sipped her drink, looking at it before moving her gaze to him again, a finger tapping her glass thoughtfully.

 

"The bond, we must discuss it," she stated, changing topic. "There is a way to mask feeling each other, yes? I will know how this is done. If it can be done, considering you made the bond." She had thought to ask a Green sister about this, but she wanted to ask Aslan--first, to know if he knew how, and secondly, to let him know she planned on doing it at certain times, if it was possible. Times she needed totally privacy. A thought of Akshel, an attractive Sea Folk shopkeeper, flitted in her mind before she quickly dismissed it, focusing on Aslan instead. Now was not the time to let distracting thoughts into her head.

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Aslan followed Jagen from the hall through the tower, he tried to pay attention as they walked but soon lost track, indoor hallways was harder then outdoor forest where you could find so many more landmarks to navigate by. He knew he could easily get lost in here on his own, luckily he was strong enough to travel so it would not be the biggest problem over time.

 

Aslan took a seat after pouring himself some cider, normally he would done it the other way around using the one power, but he had a feeling Jagen would not like it and the last thing he needed was for her to get upset again, albeit it should be possible to mask the bond, he had not quite had time o figure that one out, instead relying on the void he was so used too anyway to keep his emotions in check.

 

He waited till the servant was gone then wove a ward against eavesdropping, as far as he knew their female counterparts unlike them could not feel the other gender channel, so as long as he didn't weave anything leaving visual proof she would be clueless. He had no illusions that it would count for anything, but had been holding onto said in all the same as it felt a bit better having it at hand in this place, even with the taint.

 

"You need not worry, my time for interest in city activities are in the past, I prefer the woodlands when I got free time." He put his cup down and tried a smile, they needed to get to know each other so they could find some common ground to get along over. "I do also agree we need to talk about the bond, but there are more important aspects to it then masking for this to work." He tried to pick his words carefully, though the training in the black tower aimed at going straight to the target so he felt somewhat out of practice. "It was a rule for the bindings that they were voluntarily, I do not know your motivation, but to me our duty seem clear, for the sake of our towers and the future of this agreement we need to lead the way as good examples." He took a sip of his cup, not sure how she would react to his next words, but it was the best solution he saw, and he had plenty time since their last meeting to attack the problem.

 

"Maybe it would help if we got to know each other better, I do not know of your Warner bonds, but certainly it's normal when the bond is used in the black tower that the people know each other quite a bit better then what was the case for these bindings." He neatly left out that the bonding normally was between spouses, he did not need to remind her about the details around their bond, Jakar as ever had not been very tactical.

 

"Personally I am born as a noble in Mayene.." He figured it would be best if he got this exchange started, and while his background before the tower was not something he usually would talk about, this was a give and take he knew, and hopefully in this situation a safer topic then his time in the tower.

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Jagen looked at Aslan as he spoke; observing his body language, the way he chose and used his words. He certainly was a noble, she could tell, and his demeanor actually put her a bit more at ease. Just a bit. Still, he was an Asha'man. And in some weird sense, she was his... Warder? She almost laughed at the obsurdity of it. She would have, had she personally not been on the wrong end of this horrid bond. She made a mental note to speak to a Green sister, to see if a Warder could somehow mask the bond as Aes Sedai could.

 

She shifted her focus to him in the bond as he spoke, and as they sat there. He was being open and honest. And... hopeful? There seemed to be no ill will there at all. But she still felt very suspicious and guarded, and knew that was coming through the bond. Still, she decided, she should make some effort. Not all men were to be suspicious of. Perhaps Aslan was even one of those who didn't want to channel...

 

"Me, I come from Tarabon." It was obvious, but she did not know how well traveled or educated he was, even if he was a noble. Mayene was such a tiny country, too, and in a far corner from her native land. She did not want to say more than that, though. She did not want him knowing her far past. "It is all that is important for you to know. It is this life, the life at the Tower, which matters to me, and all I do as an Aes Sedai. Since I learned I could channel, it is all I aimed to be." She had craved the position, the power, the mystery and legend that Aes Sedai seemed to have. It had been girlhood dreams; now she knew it was not so simple, or so easy. It had not been easy at all; far from it.

 

Years ago she had gentled a man, together with her Red sisters, and that had been a nerve racking experience in itself. Now she willingly--somewhat willingly--sat in the same room as a man who can channel, and gentling him could not cross her mind, not yet. Not unless she deemed him dangerous. She tapped her cup, her brow furrowing slightly. "Why... why did you go?" Her gaze became intense, as did her concentration, her puzzlement through the bond. "Why did you go to the Black Tower? Why did you want to channel?"

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Aslan sat back in his seat, the question asked was a though one. "I been told of how I came there, but in my own memory the details are fuzzy a t best.." He was not sure how s he would take this, but obviously her focus was on the life as a channeled, and she seemed a bit calmer. He figured if this seemed to work he would have to give it a chance, after all they were stuck with each other, hopefully if he gave a bit of himself she would do the same and maybe they could get somewhere with this mess.

 

"..as it were, I was already channeling, with what we learn I was sceptical in the beginning, but choose to stay and learn, because I wanted to gain control so I wouldn't hurt anyone unintentionally." He had some regrets he already had by that time though they were softened by the facts the bandits surely hurt others, the killings he done in service of the black tower was another case, he had no regrets over ridding this world of the dark ones minions. He figured all that was details she didn't need to know, at least for now.

 

"You say it's all you wanted to be, yet you had still many choices in direction of details in how you would work with what you aimed to be, why the red ajah?" Ok now to see if she was willing to come along, he given her some info, let's see he figured if she would repay that, it surely would be interesting to hear her answer and could say quite a bit about her.

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Jagen lifted her veil enough to sip her cider, appreciating the strong taste, both tangy and sweet. So he said he came not to hurt anyone else... was that all, if that was even the truth? He sounded genuine, and nothing in his behavior indicated otherwise. Still, she was naturally suspicious of him, and his motives. The bond was useful for helping to distinguish his feelings, though.

 

She knew his question would come of him eventually, if not so quickly. Perhaps he was just that eager to know. "Each of us, every Aes Sedai has a goal above all others we want to achieve," she began. "We are here to serve and help guide the world, in our own fashion." Blue eyes met brown, studying, watching.

 

"I almost chose Brown," she went on, in something of a matter-of-fact tone. "Those who seek to preserve knowledge. To study, learn more, and save what has been learned. I am working on my own project, even though I am not Brown. I am not limited to just seeking men who can channel." She took another sip of her drink. That still was her main goal, even if gentling was not. Unless they were mad, perhaps. Did they know how to gentle each other? It would be a question to ask, certainly. "I also almost chose White, those who seek to study philosophy and truth. Both are important to me." She hoped Aslan would take it to heart that she was more complicated than the color reflected on the fringe of her shawl. She pointedly had not worn it today, though her dress was mostly maroon, a dark red, mixed with cream slashes and embroidery. "Yet more important, it is that the world stay safe. Nothing else can be accomplished if the world is being torn apart by male channelers." She raised an eyebrow. "I did not offend you, yes?" she asked, though she did not truly care. "It is--" She stopped, frowning, then continued, "was fact... if indeed saidin is cleansed as you all claim."

 

She frowned more, as if she regretted the cleansing. "My purpose has hardly changed, however. The Red Ajah has decided it will be our purpose to help guide and watch you. While we do not agree with the way you learn the Power," the stories made her uneasy, "we do agree that you still are hardly capable of running around by yourselves. With the ability to channel the Power also comes the responsibility of using it for good, in the name of the Light." Her eyes pierced him again; she did not trust any of the men to do good things on their own.

 

"Now, here is something you can answer me, yes? What is your procedure if a man has gone mad, or if he is still going mad? The cleansing did not get rid of this problem, if the man has already started going mad."

Edited by Jagen Sedai

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Aslan shook his head at the offence comment, it would take more then that to rill him up, especially now that he got more controll over Jakar, he was working on trying to meld himself together.

 

It was interesting hearing more about her, and a bit surpricing, though he admitted it sure would been useful if she had gone brown. He smiled at her question, he was looking to better this relationship, but he had not forgotten past word exchanges. "That has to do with the tower and not me personally, I believe I said I would answer your questions to the degree I could in exchange for knowledge.." He looked straight at her "..if you have interests in the directions of the brown it should perhaps not be that laboursome to find a few books"

 

He sipped his glass, he was unsure how she would react to the turn of the conversation, but also glad it had come up as it's been a topic ha had been unsure about how to bring about again, better just get it over with. He was sure sooner or later there would be questions, but he had yet to figure out how he would want to deal with those, was it better to keep it a secret, it seemed she was handling things a bit better, but it was clear she still didn't trust the idea of men handling channeling, how would she react if she found out about his talent and what he so far found out it made him capable of.

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Jagen was looking at her cup when he replied, and she began to trace the lip of it with her finger. The rim was painted in a thin line of gold. Her finger circled a few times before she stopped it, a bit of annoyance going through the bond to Aslan. "Is there a reason you cannot answer questions relating to the Black Tower?" The Taraboner shook her head just slightly, her annoyance quickly turning to mirth. "The Red Ajah, we are changing, as surely as men who can channel are changing. Of course, you do not trust us, yes? Of course not. Change takes time. But there are those who must realize, as we go forward, change is necessary."

 

She took a few more swallows of the cider, then leaned forward and set down the cup. Folding her hands casually in her lap, she finally made eye contact with him again. "Books again, hmm?" At least he liked to read. Jagen was often in the library. Her own notes, and eventually a book, would be in that library as well, one day. The White Tower was one of the few institutions to own a good printing press, and she meant to use it for her final manuscript. But that was in the future.

 

"You must work with me, Aslan." Her tone was a bit firm. "I told you before I would consider letting you go to the library--the Browns will not allow you in there by yourself, not without a sister--and I will do so, but in turn you must understand my questioning is for the benefit of us both. How am I, as a re purposed Red, supposed to help you, guide you, if I do not understand your... Black Tower ways?" She tilted her head, a thought coming to her. "Perhaps I may see it for myself. Is there any objection to me going there, as you have come here?" The very thought did make her nervous, and that spiked through the bond, but excitement at the thought of discovery matched it. How did they run and organize themselves? Was there really a 'black tower' there or was it just a name? How many men were actually learning, and how tight of a leash were they kept on, and for how long? She had so many questions. She was also sure not to be hurt if she visited, especially with Aslan accompanying her. "For that matter, I assume all of your Asha'man know of this Bonding agreement, not just a select few, yes?"

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Aslan more felt in a way then heard Jakars growl of contempt, which settled his answer, no time for games then and hopefully that would keep things in controlled. "Can you answer for all tower politics, for everything your Cameron does..." He looked at Jagen, "I am no leader of the Black Tower, just a member, there are things I do not know, and others I would clear before giving up information on..which I guess can be done, but I am no noble anymore and was too young when I left to had much with politics to do.." He sighed and desired to be honest and forward, "and personally I would be happy to leave it so, but I will try to get you answers as best I can"

 

He sipped his glass, if she thought her mirth would bite on him she was wrong, he knew once it would, once he would been a lot more uncomfortable facing someone so high in rank as an Aes Sedai. Now his discomfort came from what her mind used to do with those as him, but battle did something with you, in her eyes he was probably young, but he didn't see himself the same after his training ing and experiences.

 

"I would much rather at any rate read in here, it is not again though Jagen Sedai, as I told you the price if you want to call it that for me putting up with your questioning on what I can answer, as for going to the black tower I would have to check with those in charge, but would for myself have no problems taking you.." He added with an afterthought "..it's quick enough with traveling"

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Jagen let a smile cross her lips briefly as Aslan finished. It would be quick and easy with traveling to arrive at the Black Tower. What a wonder, she thought, that with just one weave she could go so far, to arrive on the doorstep of a whole place of men who could channel. That brought on another thought--how far were they from the nearest town, or farming village? By the accounts of the Red's Eyes-and-Ears, the Black Tower seemed to be a large town onto itself, rather self-sustaining. It was important to take note of that. Not only men who could channel were there, she knew, but their family and friends who had not abandoned them. Oh, how the world was changing.

 

It was right here in front of her, that change, in the form of Aslan. Jagen set down her cup. She had to go with the change. What was it the Sea Folk said among themselves? If the tide is too strong, it must be ridden, not fought. Something like that. It seemed true enough, and she had to accept it, even if it was reluctant. "Perhaps a trip to the library would be beneficial," she said. "I myself was planning to go there anyway--you can come along, as I'm sure you wish to, yes?" She stood up, looking at him expectantly. The Sitter did not want to be in the room any longer with him, just him, though the meeting was going well enough. The library would indeed benefit them both, and especially, she thought, would appeal to Aslan.

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Aslan would preference to stay in the rooms, he was not sure he liked the thought of beeping around too many Aes Sedai, he was unsure if it might not increase the chance of some agitator in regards to Jakar. However as good as things were going he didn't want to do anything to change the track they were on,besides no one would know he was anything but a noble in company of a sister.

 

He got up and let Jagen lead the way, he tried to controlled his emotions so not to much unease would seep through the bond, beeing slightly agitated over her earlier comments on w h at she saw as her new mission helped. He knew he might seem young to her, he was unsure how old she was, but he lived through training and was doing well so far on his own he was silently thinking as he followed behind her, mulling over how to redirect her focus.

 

As they entered the library he stopped dead though, all thoughts flying from his mind. He had expected it to be large but nothing like this, forget I n g himself he didn't notice that he spoke his thoughts out loud, "how would you ever find something in here.." He could be old and grey before he found the info he needed and for a moment he felt lost, to shocked to keep a leash on his emotions they seeped through the bond. He had really hoped he would finally find something constructive and not have to guess his way blindfolded through the dark when it came to his talent.

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Jagen was silent and watched Aslan as he regarded the library. She knew, so long ago, she had a look of awe and wonderment. But right now, she focused carefully on the feelings coming through the bond, trying to peel each apart. Jagen looked over to see one of the Browns, a sister she was familar with, and gave a nod in recognition. The sister in turned dipped the smallest of bows; appropriate to her station compared to the Sitter.

 

Finally she turned back to Aslan and gestured. "Come with me a moment. You can let your shock ease away while I retrieve what it is I came for." She moved left, making sure he would follow, and kept her tone rather pleasant. "The smell of wood and books is always refreshing, and sets a mind ready to work, yes? It is at once both peaceful, and readying in mental preparation." The hallway was long, and down about half way, she cut across a small arched corridor down pass several other isles; then they went up a small, winding staircase. Though she could have asked a sister working here to retrieve the book she wished, but Jagen liked to conduct such business herself. Down another two isles, she finally slowed and began looking at the titles. "If my memory serves me correct.... ah." Delight went through the bond to Aslan as she picked up a book several centimeters in width. 'On Sailing the North Seas' was written in a fine hand.

 

"Periline din Herin wrote this," she said to Aslan, though she wasn't certain he cared. However, she was determined to make their relationship manageable. "She was a scholar whose love for knowledge extended her steps from the deck of a ship to the docks of land, and finally all the way to the capital of Saldaea." She held the book close. "And what is it you are trying to seek? As a token of trust, Aslan, I will borrow a book for you. I am sure you will not damage it or let harm come to one, yes?"

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Aslan followed Jagen silently along the rows of books, catching a title here and there. He was glad they didn't run into too many Aes Sedai as Jagen wove her way further still into the library. He made an agreeable sound as answer to her question, not trusting his voice to be steady in the moment. He had to focus to not stumble in the stairs, his mind being preoccupied with consents how to find the info needed, yet marveling over the opportunities that must be here.

 

Aslan listened with half an ear to what she said, ardently wondering why she was picking out a book like that. His struggling brain somewhat landed on her last words though, and he took a deep breath, was he ready for this, on the other hand he would use forever without the help finding the info. He hesitated a bit, he w a s not sure how she would react, but maybe it would take her focus of providing about the black tower in general so much.

 

He let the void fill him, then struggled embraced said in, keeping his focus as he fought for control and channeled only the tiniest bit after looking around to make sure no one was in sight that would react to see temperament but not hear them. "You want to give a token of trust.." He took another deep breath "..how about your assurances that if I speak with you, it stays between us without any trying to get around your word" he waited to see what she would do, studying her to gauge her reaction. Oh n e thing was the slough of questions she might have, another still the possibility beeing prodded from every angle by a group of her kind, he was not up to handling that.

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Jagen cradled the book to her torso, watching Aslan carefully. She was positive that, just for a moment, he had channeled. She listened to his words, and then sniffed. "This means you do not want a book, yes?" She turned half away, as if her body could somehow protect the book from weaves of saidin. "I highly suggest you do not do what you just did, Aslan. You must promise me to not do that again unless it is a matter of utmost safety."

 

She frowned deeply, finally mulling over his words. The halls on each side of them seemed to be empty. Someone coughed some distance off, but no other sound came close other than the swishing of her own gown. "As for your request... some information must be shared, Aslan. It depends on what it is. I'm not exactly going to be asking for a map of your... home." Her lips tightened just slightly. "I'm more curious about how your organization functions. Forget for a moment the Ajah I belong to, and see me as a social scholar. Yes, that. I am rather interested in how such a town can spring up so quickly and how the day to day business goes. Now that hardly sounds harmful, yes?"

 

She turned away more fully this time. "Come; if you do not wish to get a book, I have what I need. We should return to the private quarters."

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Aslan felt disappointment, at the same time he felt lighter as he let go of thoughts of sharing his secret, well that may be stretching it, but there w as no reason to fear anyone else would say something about it, at least not immediately.

 

"Maybe something about weather, it would be useful to better predict it at times." Who knew what clues could be found anywhere, and even without it could indirectly help he was sure. This would take time, the question was more how much time did they have building this relation, and as he pondered he felt himself grow frustrated and a bit annoyed.

 

A sound brought him back to the present and he realised he had not been guarding his emotions as he should have. He took the book held out to him, and bit back a comment, then sighed inwardly before uttering a small thanks. He followed Jagen silently back to her apartments, debating more with himself, but making sure to be thightly wrapped in the void. He settled down in a chair but could hardly focus, ending up rereading the same page ten times before laying the book down on a table, getting up and walking over to a window to peer out. He had worked up the nerves to tell and then not gotten the reply needed, but it didn't need to be an end to it so why couldn't he just let it go for a while.

 

Aslan knew it wasn't like him to be this impatient, but then again the whole setting wasn't normal, as much as he tried to, he couldn't forget where he was with the creator knew how many women around him who could channel, and he was sure that Jagen far from represented the worst or most negative of them.

 

He missed being outdoors, maybe some fresh air would be good, he turned to Jagen "do you go for strolls or are you normally closed up for studies all day?" He looked at her book, it would take forever to read.

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Jagen sat down at her study table and was already flipping through the book, for the moment ignoring Aslan. It was not meant to be rude, but rather to let the man calm down a bit. He'd avoided saying anything about the Black Tower other than some utterance about the weather, so the Sitter decided to let it slide for now. Perhaps their meeting was overdue for an end.

 

"Do you go for strolls or are you normally closed up for studies all day?" he asked just as she marked a third area in the book.

For a moment she grinned, more to herself, and let it go back to her usual expressionless look before glancing his way. "Is there a particular reason why you're asking?" she inquired, genuinely wondering what on the earth would make him ask such a thing. Nonetheless, she answered, "Usually I study, and at night venture out. That is the time to study the stars and planets, after all."

 

She glanced back at her book and sighed heavily enough to make her veil flutter. "I think it's time you return... home, Aslan. I shall walk you to the garden where we have a Traveling area. Clearly, you wish to be outside, yes?" she guessed, letting a little smile return. She was a bit amused at how squeamish he must've been in the White Tower.

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Aslan blanched, so the reason he was here was not what he initially thought, she didn't know. Aslan drew a deep breath and couldn't help it as some of his discomfort of being the one needing to break the news to her caused him. He hesitated a bit as he started to speak "Jagen, I presumed the original reason for this meeting was that you gotten the same message as me about our relocation.." He really did not look forward to this next bit "I been told we were to move from the inn to the red quarters, which I take it to mean I can't really go far"

 

He continued on hoping to keep her from going into the roof, feeling his way forward "which means you are right in the bond needing to be discussed" he felt it wasn't enough, he had to do more "which is the reason for the conversation I tried to have with you in the library, but some things depend upon trust going both ways, and I said I would try to answer your general questions, sharing private information is different though.." He took a moment to collect his thought, "yet I hardly see how we are to get this to work unless we get to know each other, let alone benefit from the connection"

 

 

There he had spoken his mind as far as he dared without getting something in return, he was not ready to put his head out further without some insurances, he needed information, but he could only imagine how that inquiries it would result in from her, he would not deep with her dragging others into it too.

Edited by Liitha

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Jagen regarded Aslan silently for a few moments. So he had finally decided to bring up the relocation. The Sitter picked up her cup and sipped what little tea was left, collecting her thoughts. "The Black Tower, that is where you want to be, yes? When you are not here in Tar Valon?" She set down the cup and moved it and its saucer to the corner of her desk. "When you are here, it is best to have you.. Asha'man.. in the Tower, not in the city. The Aes Sedai are more than well equipped to--" she hesitated, "house you, yes," she said instead of saying 'managing', "and certainly you will not have to scare the common people. They may be used to us, but not you; not Asha'man. Even the sight of your black coats surely worries them."

 

"So where would you like to be? Here, in the Red Quarters? You are, whether I like it or not, bonded to me. We should be close. But should you need to be spending time at your... Black Tower... I will not stop you. As for the origination of the message of moving into the Red Quarters, who do you think began those discussions? I am a Sitter, Aslan. This conversation originated with me." Among others, she added to herself. But no conversation about a topic so important would escape Jagen. "We--the Red Ajah--will come to know as our Warders," she purposely left out that the bond was backwards in their particular case, "and recognize you, therefore, as companions in helping to fight the Dark One. We are on the same side. I hardly have ulterior motives you need be worrying about."

Edited by Jagen Sedai

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Aslan sighed, this was worse then court. He was here because he signed up, he wasn't shielded it wasn't as if she could have kept him going back it all felt like going in circles.

 

"Yes, I would like to stay here, maybe then I might learn something as it seems you are not very willing to work on this. I am not here as a prisoner but to make this work, to help out Jagen, from your words though one would not think so."

 

He decided to go on his slow carefull approach didn't seem to work, time to take a different approach, because this had to be resolved, he needed some stability in his life to keep himself in controll.

 

He walked over to a window and looked out, "if not I could simply have gone, but that doesn't resolve anything. Hopefully with time you might decide to show me who you are behind that Aes Sedai mask of yours." 

 

It was getting late, and the sky was taking on some interesting colors, at least there was a nice view from here. He just wished he could fully enjoy it, but he couldn't help but feel that this could blow up in his face and that he might still have a long night ahead. He briefly wondered how the others were doing, was all the reds as prickly, he decided to ask next he had a chance to talk alone with one of them, whenever that might be. 

 

It started dawning on him that this might well become a lonely journey.

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Posted (edited)

Jagen nearly huffed when the man across from her suggested she was not being "willing to work" on their situation. What else did Aslan want? There was a prick of irritation, but she buried it. Light curse this bond.

At least Aslan wasn't implying he was in charge of their bonding. That was good; he could have been worse. Perhaps Jagen had lucked out among them.

 

"Such things, they take time, Aslan. You must understand that. Bonded though we may be," it was becoming easier to say that, surprising as it was to her, "that does not mean we know each other. I do agree we must become as... working companions, but it will take time. After all, only a few weeks ago, I would be trying to see how to gentle you, not asking how you take your tea." Her comment almost made her want to chuckle about the whole thing, but any amusement was quickly swept away.

 

"Many Warders stay in Tar Valon; others keep barracks with the guards. Since the first would be wise and I doubt you want the second, I will find a room here. I will write a notice to our Ajah head of where I put you--a few rooms down, or an open apartment closer to mine, might work well, yes? Quite an honor it would be for you."

 

Let him see she was willing to work with him, though she was worried about giving him too much he requested; it was why she told him that this was, indeed, an honor. Sitters did not jump to others' beck and call, after all! At least, they weren't supposed to. Everything is upside down, curse it!

Edited by Jagen Sedai

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Aslan sighed it was better then he hoped for, he turned around knowing his tiredness must surely show in his eyes.

 

 "Time is a luxury you learn to live without in my kind of life, time is something that so often feels like it died with my old life Jagen" 

 

They came from such different life experiences, how would they learn to handle this together he wondered, the creator know how old she really was. He tried to think back to his youth, they weren't really that far away likewise, but it felt like another lifetime. The time in the black tower felt like decades, he had to grow up fast and leave his youth behind training for the battle ahead. He realised he couldn't fully remember anymore the sounds of his family's voices, he hardly ever thought about them at all, they didnt belong in this life.

 

He wondered how things would have been if they had the same experience coming into learning about the one power, and it made him realize just how little he really knew about her background and experiences that shaped her into the woman infront of him.

 

"We really do come from two very different worlds don't we" he realized too late he spoke it out loud, and she would have no clue what he just thought about, what was it he said last, his brow wrinkled as he tried to recall to figure out just how incoherent he might have come of.

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Jagen's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, her lips pursing, as she wondered what Aslan could have met by that. Two different lives indeed. But getting to know someone--and in her case, getting to know a man, and one who could channel on top of that!--would need take a long time.

 

"The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills." She sipped her tea again, finishing it off. As she set the cup down, a knock came to her door. She quickly rose. "I will get that; you stay here." She glided to the door and opened it only partially. Whoever it was, she did not want Aslan seen in her apartments, bonded or no.

 

It was an Accepted who quickly curtsied and handed her a sealed note. "From the Amyrlin, Jagen Sedai."

"Thank you, you may go." She closed the door, sparing a glance at Aslan, wishing for a moment he didn't hear who brought her that letter. There was no use dwelling on it, though. She had to open it quickly, and did so. Her eyes scanned the letter.

 

"It seems I am being called for an important task that will take me out of the Tower." She met the Asha'man's gaze. "For me, I must go alone to this meeting."

 

She grabbed her shawl--needed for an audience with the Amyrlin--and opened the door. "For your room, it will be at the end of this hall, the last room on the left. The door should be open." She lips twisted into the tiniest of smiles as she added, "Go make yourself at home." An Asha'man at home in the Red Quarters! Unthinkable, not too long ago.

 

She drew on her shawl and held the door open, making it clear Aslan could not stay in here without her.

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