That Which Behooves
Thu Oct 26, 2006 08:50 (XFF:

She simply couldn’t figure out why she should feel so subdued, but as Sinurin Allavich always put it—it never mattered why; what mattered was that it was. The pale green depths of her gaze probed the crowds before her without much passion, picking out occasional sights that caught her vague attention. Some young Gaidin-in-training was capering atop a cleared table, and another fool was climbing aboard it to join him. Novices and Accepted were scattered around, laughing and clapping in beat to the boisterous tune, and even some of the Aes Sedai were smiling and tapping their feet—many of them Greens, Menaihya saw with displeasure. She didn’t mind people having a bit of fun and gaiety now and then, here and there, but must Aes Sedai disgrace themselves so? Shevina Coriale was giggling like a farmgirl, hanging on that Gaidin’s arm like that! However, she had to wince when she regarded her own situation. Pigs would fly before she could deny that she had carried herself with less dignity tonight. It was not my enacting! Somebody treated me so! She wondered whether the First Oath would prevent it if she tried to say that aloud.

Presently Dedicated Zander Kilgas returned to her site with two glasses of Andoran red wedged in hand, by whose time she had seated herself in a stray chair she found near. She had summoned it towards her with a few flows of Air, and now she lay lodged in it, legs casually sprawled beneath her skirts and hands loosely folded on her lap. Her face was expressionless. “I know about toh you know,” Zander Kilgas spoke all of a sudden, and without turning her head she realized that he had also taken a seat. A spark of curiosity kindled in her as to how exactly a wetlander had learned to know about the aspects of ji’e’toh, but her mind wasn’t entirely in it. “I’m not just a pretty face after all.” She made a wry face and turned to finally look at the Black Tower initiate. “I can be quite smart when I want to be. And I can most assuredly tell you that I owe you more toh than you think I do.”

Her brow rose, and she truly wondered whether the man had actually figured it out. “If you had turned me in, Asha’man Girvan would have punished me very severely indeed. As it is, he will probably just shout at me after failing to get a straight story out of me tomorrow or the day after.” The name meant nothing to her, but she was more disbelieving that the man was truly telling her this. Very unpredictable person, this Zander Kilgas. Did he have somewhat of a conscience after all? Her eyes probed him. “And so I owe you I guess, though I am not sure how much, or what I could do to amend that toh as it were. I was only ever taught the basics, as the specifics are left till they think I’m ready for it.” They? Speculation ran through her mind. “And I thank you for not turning me in, he was never that fond of me after all. Too troublesome for him. And I am sorry that I baited you so much, even un-knowingly. I just can’t help myself when confronted by superiors. I hate authority.”

She stared at him wordlessly for a long moment, before she pressed her lips and then found the words to respond with. “You may owe me, but I am not sure how you could negate your toh, or even if I want you to yet.” Which was true. New developments. If the perpetrator, or victim, in the Dedicated’s case, actually admitted to his toh… “I will have to think on it for a time. But I accept you apology, Zander Kilgas.” Not the proper ji’e’toh way to do it, of course—the proper way would be to receive the price for that toh and then forgive him—, but then again, when had been the last time even she had followed Aiel ways? Even her accents and articulation were thoroughly neutralized now, and had become so long ago. I am just as Aiel now as the next person, she thought as she held Zander Kilgas’ brown gaze. A thought that is a little sad for me.

“Well, this place is too crowded now,” the man replied, and she was genuinely surprised—and was that relief?—to hear a tone that had….softened. She could not find another word to describe it. Strange. “We can’t even dance for all of the throng, not that I would ask you again after the refusal I got last time.” Her brow quirked. Really now. “Not in a hurry anyway. But perhaps you would like to retreat to somewhere quieter? The forest is always a secluded place, and would afford us enchanting views as well. It is my favorite place at the Black Tower to be sure. And I would love to learn more about you, Menaihya Sedai of the Green Ajah.” Interesting fellow. Without an incredibly long hiatus she accepted his proffered arm and was led off the green with all the procession and decorum of an average gentleman with his lady. Again, the man surprised her. Or, more specifically, the air of gallantry he suddenly summoned up from thin air. So. Like Tyaoris, you also have hidden talents. There. That pang of sadness again. She embraced it, in the process quashing it sans mercy.

As they traversed on, down cobbled paths and streets lit with dim overhung lights, she became more and more aware that Zander Kilgas was playing the gentleman, wrenching up ridiculous terminology in his talk and emanating that same aura of portliness that men of their kind did. More than once she directed him sidelong looks, and yet she was more amused than confused, and thus played perfectly along. She might have dared point out to him that she liked him better when he had been himself, and yet that would not have been completely correct. At least the arrogance was dimmed to nearly pleasant wit, now. She managed to laugh at his comments like the empty-headed lady would, but it truth she was really enjoying this. Somewhat, she was. The fact that I am strolling a dim-lit trail holding a not-so-bad-looking man’s arm— The thought stalled there. It simply could not go further. She neither had the strength of mind to continue, nor the will to. This weary heart of mine.

She could just pretend for one night, this moment, that she was nothing but a farmgirl enjoying her walk with a man.

The woods parted before them, and oddly enough neither of them made the effort to channel a ball of light. Perhaps the silence between them had instilled in them a recent urge for discretion. However, they did not need it as the forest path marked itself quite clear, and it was several tacit steps into the thick of the thick before she narrowed her eyes a fraction into the darkness in thought. “Interesting night, I would say,” she spoke into the hushed silence, “We got off on a very unique footing, you and I.” The dark shape next to her that was Zander Kilgas’ head shifted in turning towards her to face her. “But that in itself has transformed into something even more interesting—now we are on rather neutral, if peaceful, terms, and moreover, you owe me a favor.” ‘All advantages work for the Aes Sedai,’ went the saying. They both didn’t have anything to say to that, so a silence ensued for a short time thereafter. However, not long therein did the forest part again before them, and a gaping view of the Black Tower lake spanned out before them.

Menaihya held her breath. It was too true that she had sighted the view of the Erinin on either side of the White Tower in her daily proceedings, but it was also true that even so a large body of water such as this never failed to amaze her. Or, perhaps the ‘amazement’ had been hammered dull with time, rendering it to something closer to subdued admiration. As if I need to become any more ‘subdued’. The lake was black and silky tonight, and the moon—which had washed their forms with pale light the moment they stepped into the clearing of the bank—created its waves into thousands of gleaming pleats. On occasion the wind stirred up something more than a breeze, and the waters crashed against the rocks with swiftness. Her eyes regarded all with a cool serenity even as the drafts swept her pale strands of hair to sidle across her shoulders and behind her back, as well as rustling her silken skirts against her legs. It was then that Zander Kilgas turned to her.

“Would you like to swim?”

Her expression was wooden as she slowly shifted her face towards his. Was he taunting her again?

“Never,” she said adamantly, her voice fierce yet low, “Unless you find a way, Zander Kilgas, to somehow convince me that I would prefer that—” She jabbed a finger towards the lapping waters of unfathomable black depths. “—to the solidity of good, hard ground under my feet.”

OOC: I wasn’t aiming for length or quality in this one. Dude. It’s twelve forty-eight in the night, and I must wake at six thirty for my language classes.

  • A Punch can do Wonders...Dedicated Zander Kilgas, Tue Oct 24 14:17
    To his un-asked question, Menaihya merely directed a level stare at his eyes, daring him to say any more, even though she probably knew by now that he would respond in a more persistent manner, and... more
    • That Which Behooves — Menaihya Sedai of the Green Ajah, Thu Oct 26 08:50
      • As to That....Dedicated Zander Kilgas, Fri Oct 27 14:42
        Zander thought that Menaihya grew rather sad as they walked. She acted very pleased, laughing at his jokes, even though she must have known that it was all just a carefully crafted act. He was trying ... more
        • A Deliberate SuicideMenaihya Sedai of the Green Ajah, Sat Oct 28 03:54
          He finally pieced together an answer. “Well, firstly I can see that you are troubled by something, and what better way to forget than to do something relaxing that you can enjoy?” She wasn’t blind to ... more
          • What Under the Light are you Doing!?Dedicated Zander Kilgas, Mon Oct 30 03:11
            Zander looked down upon Menaihya with barely constrained concern. Few people knew of what he was and what he had done, but it had just seemed difficult to keep up the lying facade with her tonight.... more
            • I'm Bonding you. Don't object.Menaihya Sedai of the Green Ajah, Tue Oct 31 00:31
              The hilarity of the situation seeped out of her when he spoke of no more suicides, and she readily agreed in a tumult of laughter—it hadn’t even been one, and had it been, she would have been ashamed ... more
              • Why Would I Object?Dedicated Zander Kilgas, Fri Nov 3 16:33
                “No, I do not particularly wish to learn to swim. My purpose in the water was served. Good solid ground under my feet again would be nice.” Menaihya returned to his offer. He smiled, but he couldn't... more
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