A Turn About the Grounds
Thu Oct 19, 2006 08:19 (XFF:

The Aethan’Tar who called himself Tain bowed over her hand with a practiced gesture. It was either something he had learned upon coming to the Tower, or it had been instilled in him since birth. There was little hint of a roughness to his voice to indicate lack of culture, but any clever and quick witted person could easily work that from their speech with time. He stood still, watching her with a hint of something in his blue eyes—wariness? Giving him a blinding smile, she responded, “I could use a diversion, Tain Aethan’Tar.”

He took her hand and drew it through his arm, leading her to where the dancers were preparing to begin the next dance. Situated across from one another in the lines, the music began with the pitch of a solo violin that was quickly picked up by other strings instruments in order to thrum out the pace of the dance. For the first few steps they were silent, passing by one another in politeness before the Trainee asked, “Have you been an Aes Sedai long?” She arched a brow at the question, one that might be considered either rude or obvious, but he seemed to lack discomfiture at the query.

“For a short while, I would think the lack of agelessness would give it away.” Her response was light rather than chiding, however. Teasing, not austere.

“True.” He smiled at her, strands of his hair lifting with the motions of the dance.

“Have you been Aethan’Tar long?” She returned the question with a similar one of her own.

“Some time, probably much longer than you’ve been Aes Sedai.” She laughed at the statement, his cleverness amusing her. “Can I assume you’re from Mayene by the way you’re dressed?”

“Ah, but you’ve seen what happens when one judges by how one is dressed. I mistook you for a Soldier.” That statement seemed to stymie him for a moment and he was silent as they moved through the next few steps. “But yes, I am originally from Mayene, Aethan’Tar. Unlike you, I appear simply as I am without need for misdirection with my clothing.”

He didn’t frown at her, but his face went studiously quiet. “Are you saying I dressed like this on purpose?”

She shook her head, curls dancing along her shoulders lightly. “I’m saying that you made an effort to not appear to be Aethan’Tar, either by design or by happenstance. Others of your cadre seem to make little effort to conceal who and what they are. Yet you arrived at the Black Tower in a manner that would make you blend in to those indigenous of this place.” She pinned him with a violet look of amused and teasing curiosity. “So tell me, was the camouflage intentional?”

The final strains of music drew the dance to a close, leaving them in the same manner that they had begun, and the Aethan’Tar extended his arm. As she took it, he said, “It’s a little warm here, even in the open air, would you like to take a turn around the grounds?”

“I’ll accept your offer, Aethan’Tar, however I should warn you that I’m not the type to be pulled into a corner and kissed.” She chided, teasing him.

Evidently he’d taken her banter for gravity because his skin flushed and he stammered, “I didn’t mean—I would never—!”

“And I was merely having a little fun with you, Tain Aethan’Tar. Really, if you want to someday be Warder to an Aes Sedai, you should learn that interaction between men and women can remain on a friendly basis.” She let him guide her along the path that had been lit by lanterns, flames licking at the sides of the clear panes and enshrouding the darkening night into a warm ambiance. “That was something I could never understand among the Trainees and White Tower initiates. The need for intimacy among one another.”

“Some people like it. They need it, Aes Sedai.” Tain returned wisely. “It’s natural for two people to be attracted to one another and take it further.”

“Not us.” She disagreed with another shake of her head. “Not my group, not yours. We’re not here to find a husband or wife. We’re here to find a partner in battle against whatever cause we take up. I’ve spent the past eight years of my life dedicating myself to becoming Aes Sedai, earning the shawl. I wouldn’t give it up for something so trivial as love, Aethan’Tar. And neither should any of your compatriots.”

“Now you sound like the Head Gaidin or Mistress of Novices.” The statement was made melodramatically, hand over his heart in mock pain. “Please, spare me the hurt of your words!”

Laughing, “Alas, I cannot, Aethan’Tar! I speak the truth, I’m bound by it!”

His laugh was a little more natural this time as the walked in comfortable silence a moment, their stillness ensuring that they didn’t interrupt a couple who had sequestered themselves beneath a tree in an embrace. She recalled the incident from Gaemalyn and Teirangia—in fact she recalled the incidents. As a result, she had been raised to Aes Sedai quicker than either. The former had just earned the ring and the latter was still in whites, dealing with the penance of her foolish behavior. It punctuated how right her own decisions had been—to pursue her studies and the Shawl rather than the foolishness of love.

“Then tell me, Tain Aethan’Tar,” Medaea finally interjected the silence with her question. “Why did you come to the Tower as a Trainee? I would assume to protect an Aes Sedai, to serve him or her when you were chosen, but why? I would hope not for the prospect of falling in love with an Aes Sedai, becoming married and bonded and all that happiness.”

OOC: I hope that all his comments were okay, I didn't want to get too far out there, but I wanted to help establish a rapport with them. =) If any of them were out of line, I apologize. And! Feel free to talk for Medaea--if you're not sure how she'd respond to something, IM or email me and I'll be happy to let you know. Her bio gives a good idea of who she is and what she's like if you want to read up on her in the Study. =)

  • A well deserved escapeTain Aethan'Tar, Wed Oct 18 03:16
    “…. Bonded to Amelia Sedai you know Tain!” Dante paused only for a second, to take a small sip of his wine. Trust me to get saddled with this fool! Tain sighed shaking his head wryly. The boy had... more
    • A Turn About the Grounds — Medaea Sedai, Blue Ajah, Thu Oct 19 08:19
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