On Sensibilities
Wed Jan 24, 2007 23:27 (XFF:

As soon as she made to raise her hand to her face he knew that he had erred greatly. But then, he had had full knowledge of that beforehand, had he not? There had been one possibility in a thousand that he would be as eggheaded as to say what he had tonight, and yet the odds had played against him. Thus here he was, having unloaded from his chest what he had known to be irrational and insane, and now he felt quite lost. Watching the struggle play across Terrian’s features stirred inside him the greatest tension felt in a while. Perhaps ever. Watching Trollocs storm the grounds a dozen feet ahead of him had not incited such dread as now, at waiting for what would be her response of verdict. At the least in the former case he had had the insurance (that wasn’t even the right word; “guarantee” was better) of the One Power to blast his way clear. In this case there was naught to do but watch her. Hoping.

What ever had happened to inner peace?

He had never been susceptible to vulnerability in the past. Ever. Or had he? Perhaps a very long time ago, when he had been a Soldier, but back then he had been a youth not yet in control of his own adrenalin. He had matured in his aging, to be sure, but now he was doing it once again. Exposing his feelings. Had someone who read as many romance novels as Jorallein been there, she would have quipped, ‘For her, it is well worth the risk.’

“Up until tonight, Jostayn, I had no idea that you would even consider the possibility of something… well, something more between us.” Even the surprise at that was a small issue in comparison of the somewhat of a scramble his mind went through at trying to decipher what that exactly meant. She hadn’t ever considered the possibility? That must have meant she had never been able to visualize the sort of thing, which meant that she had never desired… No, wait. She had said ‘you’, not ‘she’. Sometimes it made life hard, having the mind of a Cairhienin diplomat. Too much cogitation made you crazy.


She had not known? How under the Light could it have been unperceivable? It was somewhat of a relief that he hadn’t been making an utter fool out of himself all this time, but still—? “I… I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t thought on it as well; that I wouldn’t be open to it.” He had yearned for her to look at him. To meet his gaze. But when she finally did, the hazel of her eyes was softer than he remembered it. His expression was… Well, he didn’t know what his expression was like. He had no way of knowing. Likely it was as wooden as usual, by the way his jaw felt so stiff.

“…I seem to have developed strong feelings for you as well…”

A weight, a huge, huge weight, lifted right off his shoulders and flew off into the night skies. Light, after all this time, it felt so, so relieving to hear those simple words—! But her expression spoke of things yet unsaid, things yet to be said, and things whose saying would be as grave as to affect her countenance to be like that, and that drew in him concern. “However,” she said, “I think we both know this isn’t the time, Jostayn.” He blinked once, slowly; his gaze remained on her face. “To start with, Menaihya and I will be leaving in no more than a few days, and it will be a long time before we return. That being the least of multiple reasons why this has to wait.”

The former excuse—no, reason—made thorough sense. Although Menaihya had never informed him that they were due to leave so soon (and it would be like her not to tell him), he had suspected and he had been prepared to send them off with farewells when the time did come. Leaving was leaving, and he hadn’t been expecting to think of Terrian any less just because she was staying under a different roof a hundred leagues away from him. But… Multiple reasons? He wished to hear of them. He wished he were not feeling a strange sort of sinking within him. He certainly had no reason to! What she is saying is that now is not the time, not that it is impossible, and had she been saying that all is impossible to begin with, I have no right to be unhappy even then.

After all, he knew fully that he had told her without daring to expect that she would return an utterance of the same caliber. That did contradict everything that had gone on in his head in the past several long (and yet short) seconds, and yet that had been the core of it. So when Terrian was unable to complete, “Jostayn, please say you understand. I…,” and several moments later said, “I need to know,” he leaned back in his chair, his heart simultaneously reaching out to her.

“Terrian,” he said then, expelling a long breath. For a few long seconds he stared between them at nothing in particular, his thoughts suddenly blank in sharp contrast to what they had been before. When he raised his head again, his look was gentle, his aspects softened. “Believe me, all I wished to do tonight was to let you know. If you had…,” he paused, “If you had responded immediately and in my face that you return none of my sentiments—I would have understood. I honestly think it would not have made my feelings any less real. Or any less in existence. It points to the fact that I don’t want to be as selfish as to expect something…anything, now. I am… I am only so grateful in the fact that my feelings don’t go unanswered. That in itself would be more—so much more,—than what I asked and bargained for.”

Could she understand? That I love her enough that waiting is inconsequential?

He bowed his head, his face slowly shifting to sedateness once more, as he addressed what was logic and inevitable. “Timing. I realize now that my timing could not have been any worse. I apologize for that. Of course we are both in the prime of our duties, and…” He raised his gaze, and directed a genuine smile towards her. “I won’t lie; I hope you will know that you will be in my thoughts. You always know where to find me. My house… It’s always open for you whenever you happen to pass this way.” He said this with a smile, but he knew deep within him that he would not be seeing her in a while.

OOC: Yay, I broke the trend! (; Here it is, though. Not so much progression, but I suppose I could blame that on Jostayn’s un-talkativeness. I loved your post. I was completely feeling Terrian’s state of mind.

And thanks! I actually have the rest of the PS-string chapter all mapped out in my head (believe it or not), but it’s such a struggle to get something written down these days. *in search for a cure*

  • On RevelationsTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Wed Jan 24 19:13
    She felt strangely relaxed, comfortable even, just sitting here with him in silence. For the first time she realized that she was able to simply be around him; no one was expecting her to act as the... more
    • On Sensibilities — Asha'man Jostayn Roen, Wed Jan 24 23:27
      • On WhimsTerrian Dy'ner Sedai, Thu Jan 25 22:53
        Say something. She bit her lower lip as the last words were uttered, giving her nothing to do but pray that his response would be favorable. It wasn't the time, not for her at least. As she thought... more
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