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Apologies are in Order...
Sat Oct 21, 2006 03:27 (XFF:

Zander waited expectantly, his hand outstretched, his cloak rustling slightly in the wind. He was merely waiting for her to accept, everyone usually did at a festival. He accepted every chance to dance, as he always enjoyed meeting new people, and dancing was by far the best way. When you danced, it was just you and your partner, twirling in a world of your own, your time directed to getting to know each other for your brief encounter. He was surprised then when Menaihya Sedai refused. And his eyes widened slightly when her voice finally passed her lips, in short bursts of heated anger.

“You may entreat me all you like, but if you will think for a moment that I will dance with you, you will be better off spending your time on that wine.” Here, Zander's hand fell to his side, a wry smile about to twist his lips as he remembered how often that had indeed been the case. Then she rose from her seat and straightened her skirts. This is where she walks away, but probably scowls at me for a bit first, all Aes Sedai regality Zander thought sadly, sighing to himself, squaring him up for whatever punishment she saw as befitting.

“I appreciate your….concern for my deprivations, Dedicated. However, what an Aes Sedai does or have or lack must follow the basis of what she plans and has in store for the general pattern of the White Tower. Even an Asha’man does not have the right to question that or the right and wrong of it. Upon my word, had you been an Accepted you would have been whipped to the White Tower immediately and made to howl like the pig at slaughter…” Menaihya intoned coldy, but with an edge of anger underneath. And suddenly she grabbed the right side of his collar, where his sword pin nestled amongst the black cloth. “But do not think that just because I have no writ of command over you that I cannot punish you. I know your military ways. I had plans to bond, a long time ago. The first was towards a man whom I fell in love with during my novice days, which was very childish, might I mention, and very egregious. Novices should stick to studies and studies only, but back in my time I knew no better. The man I loved turned out by some cruel twist of fate to be my blood brother whose existence I had harbored no knowledge of in my entire life, but that did not change things much. I still wanted to bond him. But no. He is an illogical choice and has been for much time, now, because his bond is not meant to be shared by me. It is reserved for someone else. There was another man to whom I inanely grew to love—very silly of me. Also during my initiate years, when I had become Accepted. He is a Gaidin now, a Warder-in-training back then, and our feelings for each other blossomed into certainty that I would bond him someday. There was no reason I could think of that I should not. But after I was raised to the shawl I was sent out for a series of travels that took me the better part of several years, and when I returned to the White Tower I learned that he had made plans with another sister in my absence to become her bond mate. Something about them having known each other well before and an affair during a festival. I never learned of the specifics. Aes Sedai do not bond for love, certainly not, and it is rare that they do. Love is something the sisters have no time for, and yet twice I have built up and decimated plans for Bonding because of love. It is ironic that it should happen to me, of all people. In the decades of being Aes Sedai I have not thought to bond, nor do I specifically plan to in the near future, because in element sisters bond because there is a need. Greens have multiple Warders because they face the most trouble in their missions and worldly activities, and thus need multiple protectors at their back. I have not felt the need to bond, the need to be protected, as of yet, so I have not. That is my reason, so how can anyone judge the right and wrong of it?" the tirade came down upon Zander like an avalanche, and he was more than surprised. As far as he knew, he had done nothing wrong at the start, but now he realised how callous he had actually been. He felt sympathetic, although he could have had no idea at the time. As she had raged, Zander's eyes had become sorrowful slightly as he remembered his own past, and his smile had disappeared.

“And do not ask me why I am telling you all this. I do not know what madness has possessed my head to, but considering you will run off and make tail when and if I let you go, I see no harm. No doubt, this is the longest explanation you have ever received to accompany a turning down of a dance proposal.” She finished with a deep breath, taking her hand from his collar finally. Before she could stop it from showing, Zander saw that a perfectly square hole had punctured her skin. It was bleeding quite profusely. She merely turned to the table; eyes turned inwards as she casually took a cloth from the table and wrapped it around her bleeding wound.

Zander stared at her back with a sort of wary disbelief. He could have left, his instincts told him to leave, and he trusted his instincts. They had saved his life more often than not. Every fibre of his body told him to leave this harridan alone, that she would only cause him trouble. But for some inexplicable reason he stayed. He shook his head at his own foolishness. Well, if you're going to stick your head in the trap, might as well go all the way he thought wryly. He ghosted up behind her, his new boots-a gift from Ronan- making him silent as the grave. He took her wounded hand, and before she could get in a word edge-ways, laid the healing weave that he had learned into her palm.

"It's not much, but it will have stopped the bleeding and have partly healed the wound at least. I'm not that gifted, but I learn quick when I have a mind, so I will probably be able to fully heal something like that soon enough. “he casually stated, sitting down on his chair once more, leaning back and gesturing for her to sit also. She did not comply. In fact, she looked as if she were too shocked to comply in truth.

"Now, I do apologise most solemnly for any hurt I've caused you, but I must inform you that you are in fact incorrect. The longest turndown was when I asked the most beautiful girl in the Black Tower for a dance as a bet and got the 'why do guys bet about these things' lecture. Rest assured that I got to bed late that night, and not because I was enjoying myself either. Had a few good bruises on my ribs too as I recall" he said with mild humour. His voice was openly warm now, without a hint of sarcasm or mockery.

"Now, you speak of love having ruined all of your plans for a man to be your Warder, and perhaps even more from the way you were so angry about it. I understand, I do. But I must question the reason you drew in on yourself for so long, becoming a lone wolfette as it were. I have my own share of tragedy. I lost every single member of my blood in the great plague that swept across Andor about five years back, you may remember it. I have no relatives left, and few friends, and the things I did to survive will haunt me till my dying day. Yet do I seem sad to you? Okay, okay, the alcohol may have something to do with it, but I'm usually quite humorous and joking, as you would know if you knew me." he finished his inquiry with a welcoming smile and another gesture to the seat. She moved forwards and sat down, though somewhat hesitantly. She opened her mouth, but Zander gestured for silence, and launched back into his own diatribe.

"And do you know how hard it is to train here as apposed to the White Tower? At your Tower, they are all coddled, taught slowly but surely, never pushed in case they overextend themselves and you lose another initiate. Here they push us mercilessly. I have known ten men who have burned themselves out, died or ran away to be hunted like a dog. This place makes or breaks people. Every single day, my Lady of the Green, I have to get up a good two hours before sunrise so that I can go for a morning run and get some weapons exercises done before breakfast and my teaching is required. I teach all day, then I get taught, then I sleep, but only when it's full night to early morning. Do you have any idea what it feels like to be trained as the Soldiers? As the ones who will be on the front line at the Last Battle? I look around and wonder how many of my friends will be cut down by the Shadow before people like you will even arrive on the battlegrounds." he finished with a silent sigh, and a glance at her eyes. He rose smoothly, took two apples from the table, which he juggled absently as he talked to her once more.

"But you're right. You do have it the hardest out of we two, and so I apologize for any rudeness that I showed you once more, and I will take my leave, never to trouble you again" he finished, and turned slowly, snatching an apple out of the air. The other had mysteriously turned up in Menaihya's lap as he turned. He knew that this was the crunch point of their conversation. It was up to her now. If she wanted to know him better she would stop him, if not then Zander would do a few more of his tricks, dance with the lasses and fall to sleep in a hedge somewhere. He couldn't face walking the long, lonely road back to his house tonight.

OOC: Stop him! For the Light's sake stop him! *grins* That's okay, Zander's tough. I mean, even his 'leaving' her is an act. He hopes to be stopped as it were. *nudges conspiritorially* (is that even a word?) Anywho's Zander has just opened up a bit, if not much. Exploit that chink in the armour girl!

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