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Previous scene: Gone Too Long ~~~ Merdyn stepped through the Gateway that his Warder had created. His feet landed firmly on the packed earth of the Embassy's Traveling Grounds. Nox was right behind Merdyn. The Gateway disappeared without ceremony. He glanced over to Nox and smiled warmly, still feeling relaxed from their night together. The pair had awoken well before the dawn. Merdyn had thrown together a large meal and Nox had made a Gateway to a hot spring located somewhere in the north. They had broken their fast together and bathed each other there before returning to their hut to dress for the meeting with Calder. It had taken a little over an hour and Merdyn had found himself wondering why they had not done something like that sooner. He was positively beaming. Dawn had just started to break over the horizon, casting a hazy glow to the violet sky overhead. The air was crisp and smelled of nature and the green things that surrounded the Citadel complex. Merdyn looked around, impressed with the structure that had been erected for the Asha’men. He had only ever been to the Citadel once and he had still been a Soldier at that point. It felt like that had been a lifetime ago to Merdyn, so much had happened since then. He had never actually even been inside the Embassy, so he was not sure what to expect. Merdyn took Nox’s hand and gripped it firmly. He spoke warmly to his Warder, “Do you know anyone in the Band, love? The last time we were here, I don’t think I spoke to anyone but you or Ful… What sort of people are our comrades?”
The house was too empty. Merdyn hadn't been living there long, and all the fancy frilly things he liked had slowly taken over Nox's small one room mud house. It was all he'd ever needed but with Mer here it looked crowded instead of comfortable. But it was still empty without the man himself. He'd been gone to Tar Valon. It wasn't long, Nox had been alone before, but Nox had come to rely on the man and his presence. It was difficult make that change. Difficult to see his way past the sadness that dwelled when he was alone now. Mer had become ingrained in his soul and he missed him. Nox wasn't a pacer, but he felt the itch to move. To run to walk, just to move, but he couldn't make himself get out of bed. Mer's scent was fading from the blankets, and Nox tried so hard to preserve it. The panic was always so overwhelming. Adrim had tried to occupy his mind with tasks. Nox had even created gateways to Tear and back, and had wandered the muddy streets for a short time before he had to return home. Things would be different when Mer returned, he kept telling himself that. But Nox sank deeper into the despair that was all made up in his mind. All the bad things that could have happened to Mer, all the things he could be doing - the fear was the biggest part - losing Mer would be like losing a part of himself. And in that fear Nox saw more fear, how would he survive with Mer gone. He couldn't exist like this. In constant fear, in ever perpetual silence, even Adrim was failing at occupying his mind and had given up. It hadn't been long. Mer would be back soon. It wasn't much longer. Nox curled up in his corner with one of Mer's blankets and his pillow and Nox tried to feel safe and secure, but every time the wind blew across the roof Nox would jump. Every sound made him withdraw even further.