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Summer Lessons
Sat Dec 9, 2006 14:42 (XFF:

I do not struggle in your web
because it was my aim to get caught
But daddy longlegs, I feel that I'm finally growing weary
Of waiting to be consumed by you

It was a perfect just-before summer day: drowsy heat swathed Tar Valon like a thick blanket that couldn’t be shaken off, and the Gardens were the last hope of hundreds of white-clad bodies for a cool breeze and a chance to wipe sweat from their faces. Mia had been lucky: no classes, no lessons, no reasons to wish she’d never tripped out of that Third Arch. Heat laid on her like a golden aura, and she wriggled on the tree branch that was supporting her slight weight some few paces off the ground. The tree’s dappled shade was preventing a sunburn for her milk-fair skin, but Mia was quite willing to let it at her face. The warmth felt so good after the long and confusing winter, and the tense, terse spring: she was atop her troubles today, and delighted to be doing so very well. Her book slid through the branches as she wiggled, and she spared a glance downward: Sora had caught it without looking up. It wasn’t the first time it had fallen.

Her arm flashed downward, taking the slender tome from his long fingers: they had said “study” as the goal for their day, but Mia was doing very little study. Against his palm, she signed “sorry” for what had to be the millionth time: she couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t study even if the fates depended on it. Sora’s book was open to yet another anatomical sketch: she peered downward, disinterested in the network of veins and arteries that the tome disclosed in gory detail. Her book was on something else: she was busy studying, with much disagreement from Sora, something she called “aerodynamics” and he called, “foolishness.” But then, Sora never had liked anything except Healing, and Mietatte’s interests changed by the hour.

He had taught her herbal healing, showing her patiently how to mix a hundred different decoctions. She could not always tell which was necessary for what function, though: she could neither Heal nor Delve. That had been why she’d demanded to study outdoors: given Sora’s lead, she would be in the Infirmary again, feeling out of place except when he smiled. They were almost inseparable, save for two things: Sora’s adoration of Healing and Mia’s acceptance into the advanced-logic classes that were offered by the Whites, exciting bazaars of bizarre thought and reason that she threw herself into wholeheartedly. Soradrelle had not been invited to the classes, but then again, Mia had never been invited into the Infirmary: she was only suffered because of Soradrelle.

She was a million miles away from the frightened and shaking creature he’d met years before: at a self-professed twenty, Mietatte was bright, vibrant. Her initial nervousness had worn away to a blithe self-assurance, and she had even conquered some of her more terrifying nightmares: she was, in short, a model Accepted, except that she couldn’t hear. Soradrelle, for his part, was still gaunt, still gangling, still blond and still cheerful: in short, time had not touched him. The sea of Mia’s white skirt hung nearly down to the top of his head, but he only brushed it out of his way when it touched him: she dragged it back up under herself again, and wished, very briefly, that the Accepted could wear breeches as the female Dedicated did.

What would it be like, she wondered, if all the Novices wore pants? Chaotic! She supposed it was something that propriety demanded: Sora had so many feminine friends that perhaps he would find himself in trouble a hundred times over for his already unsavory reputation. She’d said she was sorry for that too, but it hadn’t solved the issue: Soradrelle the Novice Lover was still a name heard on a hundred different wagging tongues. It annoyed him to no end. It annoyed her too, but for an entirely different reason. While Sora was sorry the rumor had ever begun, Mietatte had found herself wishing that there were some truth in it! That was not a recent development, either, but Sora was ever blissfully unaware: he had not even noticed at the Feast of Lights, when she had dressed all in yellow to catch his eye, because it was his favorite color.

She was beginning to think that he’d never forget the way he’d met her: she had once seen him as a brother and a friend, and he might be caught thinking of her as his…as his pet! In her eagerness to be near him, she had let him treat her any way he wished: she wanted his touch, but other than a pat on her head, a hug, or a gesture of his fingers, her wishes went unanswered. Some days that made her angry: a few weeks before, she’d tossed a book at him and stormed off, but they had made up within the hour. She had no one else, and he always made time for her: that was the decree of their fate. Desperation it might be, and misguided to boot, but she was quite certain her heart was set on bloody Soradrelle, the Tinker boy. Tinker man now, she supposed: he was almost thirty to her twenty.

Of course, it was foolishness to think of her heart at all, but as her book tumbled back through the branches, she let out a sigh and reached back down. Sora only gained his feet, one eyebrow up, and she shrugged from their eye-level position. This would, she thought, be quite the perfect opportunity for him to kiss her: she leaned forward and he simply presented her with her book, holding it out to her like it was his shield.

Give me the first taste
Let it begin, heaven cannot wait forever
Darling, just start the chase
I'll let you win, but you must make the endeavor

She cast a glance at it, then at him, and sighed: he really just didn’t understand. Did she need to spell it out for him? Did she want to? What way was there to bring this up without him immediately suspecting her of some trouble? How did you tell your best friend, who happened to be discernedly male, that you thought you might just be madly in love with him?

“Sora,” she said, abruptly, swinging off her branch in a flurry of white skirt and rainbowed hem, “do you think you’ve ever been in love?”

Oh, your love gives me a heart contusion
Adagio breezes fill my skin with sudden red
Your hungry flirt borders on intrusion
And I'm building memories on things we have not said

    • And Hard QuestionsAccepted Soradrelle, Sat Dec 9 14:44
      Soradrelle lounged comfortably with his back against the tree Mietatte was perched in. Climbing trees was very well and good, but it was difficult to study in them - something Mietatte seemed slow to ... more
      • On Love and AerodynamicsAccepted Mietatte, Sat Dec 9 14:46
        She frowned at the introduction of this new concept: the idea of Soradrelle lusting after anyone made her stomach clench in hard knots. How could he? Worse, she was rather sure it was her sometime... more
        • Back to the BasicsAccepted Soradrelle, Sat Dec 9 14:50
          They walked for a few moments, Soradrelle uncomfortable, until he finally schooled himself to stillness. He was Accepted. He was an heir of the Da'shain. He was not the confused Tinker-Novice who had ... more
          • Spreading WingsAccepted Mietatte, Sat Dec 9 14:52
            The one composed of two. She fastened on that, a small and dreamy smile touching her lips. Yes, that was an apt description of the way she wanted to feel: she wanted to feel as though she belonged.... more
            • Taking FlightAccepted Soradrelle, Sat Dec 9 15:02
              Soradrelle fled from Mietatte’s bush as if the Dark One himself were after him. Perhaps he was - Soradrelle had resisted the temptation presented to him in the form of his friend and student,... more
              • We'll Fly AwayAccepted Mietatte, Tue Dec 12 15:55
                Regression: it was what it was called when the world crashed on your head and you retreated to the first safe place you could think of. In Mietatte’s case, it was underneath her bed. She guessed she... more
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