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And Hard Questions
Sat Dec 9, 2006 14:44 (XFF:

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 learn. But, he supposed, she was learning other things, like a sponge soaking up water she soaked up knowledge. Her current book was on something he couldn't begin to fathom, full of curving lines and strange shapes. . . it might have been artwork, but he couldn't understand half the words alluding to it, or follow the concepts. He shook his head in bafflement - no wonder Mia was growing bored with it! Who knew why she didn't pick something more interesting? But ever since she'd first begun to understand that the Tower was safe, she'd thirsted to learn, and he wasn't about to discourage that. The only thing he regretted was that there was little left for him to teach her - as a Novice, he would have been able to teach her many subjects, but she was written in the Novice book shortly after he had fled the Tower, and Raised to Accepted not long after he returned. Now most of her pursuits beyond him, and Sora regretted the lost years. Her studies in logic and arguments were no less comprehensible - to him, it was as simple as acting on the things that made sense and avoiding those that didn't, and trusting your intuition. Perhaps, he mused, if he was as intelligent as Mia he would be able to reason things out more and never would have fled the Tower, but the fact was that he wasn't. Besides, his interests lay in other directions.

Absently handing her book up to her he turned his attention back to his own book. Here, in the diagrams of how the body worked, was meaningful artwork. Artwork modeled after that of the Creator Himself, the code to making things whole and well. The beauty here was understanding how everything living worked, and his further studies into this had only made him appreciate life - living, breathing life, all the more. Even fish, he'd learned, partook of the breath of life through water, and he had begun to wonder if plants did as well. He wasn't sure exactly how useful this knowledge was with the aid of the ancient weave that restored the entire body, but he did dream of understanding the secrets of that weave - how it worked, how it knew what to bind together and what to keep apart. Perhaps, somewhere in these ancient books, there was the secret to preventing death. He knew that that was ridiculous, of course, since even in the Age of Legends men and women had died, but his heart lead him on in pursuit of that secret, as elusive as the Song.

The book fell to the ground again, landing beside him, and he glanced up, inadvertently catching a glimpse of smooth, white leg. He quickly looked away, forcing the thoughts from his mind. Terrible thoughts, which he blamed mostly on Aisor Kithar, but also partially on himself. Why, under the Light, had he named her after Aisor Kithar's lover? And why couldn't he forget how she'd looked six years ago - was it that long, already? - just after he'd dumped her in the barrel and bathed her? He'd never thought twice about that before he'd fled the Tower, but now her clean, innocent shape haunted his dreams and even waking moments. Even now she was Accepted, he dared not touch her in any but the most chaste manner - after all, he knew from sad experience how girls who had been violated loathed the touch of men. Moreover, he wasn't entirely sure whether, if he allowed his hand to linger on her cheek he would be able to keep from kissing her. If that happened, he knew, he would never see her again. He couldn't bear that thought, and she couldn't hear him sigh, so he didn't bother concealing it as he picked up her book and stood to hand it to her. Once he was facing her, though, he only raised an eyebrow - if she had somehow detected his sigh (and he did not care to underestimate her perceptiveness) she would hopefully only attribute it to exasperation.

She didn't take the book, but rather gracefully swung off of her branch to land beside him. He'd half expected that - it was clear she was not interested in studying, but if he'd expected her next question he would have excused himself quickly before hand. Once she asked, however, it was too late. "Sora, do you think you've ever been in love?"

He felt the heat rising to his cheeks as soon as the words were out of her mouth. If he hadn't been in the White Tower for a decade already, he might have thought she'd read his mind. But he knew by now that even Aes Sedai could not read minds - they only had an uncanny ability to ask the most awkward questions at the most uncomfortable times. Mietatte learned quickly. Looking away from her, he took care to sign clearly - he knew of her dislike of not seeing someone's face when they spoke to her, even if it was by signing, but he couldn't bring himself to look her in the eye. Perhaps he answered, Once upon a time. But perhaps I have only known lust. He learned some things quickly, as well - he had not said that his love, or lust, was in the past, but perhaps with all the rumors about that was what she would hear. It wasn't, of course - he knew that. He'd thought he'd loved Tira, but with twenty-twenty hindsight he could see that that had been nothing but youthful infatuation. Perhaps, though, if he was in love with Mietatte, rather than merely lusting her, he was not entirely beyond redemption.

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    • And Hard Questions — Accepted Soradrelle, Sat Dec 9 14:44
      • On Love and AerodynamicsAccepted Mietatte, Sat Dec 9 14:46
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