A Deliberate Suicide
Sat Oct 28, 2006 03:54 (XFF:

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 the fact that he was sidling closer to her with every word, his form rearing up over her like some sort of towering shadow. “Secondly, the lake will never be as beautiful as it is tonight, so why waste it?” His sauntering step brought him near enough to touch, and Menaihya regarded him with her brows coolly askew. What in the— “Thirdly, it’s cool in there and I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty warm and also—” What else the man was, she never got to find out, because all of a sudden his bearlike arms were slung around her and she was shoved into his chest in a rough embrace, mouth pressed to the man’s own in a…in a kiss—? What reprehensible act of atrocity is this—! She didn’t have time to think, or react, because in the time that her mind and common-sense were shoved into the far back corner of her skull with the shock, her own—daresay—passions had been drawn from their own accord.

…Seconds passed…

No way. The force of her grunting shove propelled them apart, and her fist arched low to meet its mark against the man’s chest. She whipped her incredulous gaze up to the man’s own eyes when her second fist was trapped in midair, straining against the man’s enveloping hand as he held it suspended there. By reflex her knee made to ram its way into the man’s groin, but she stalled. “How dare you!?” she said instead, her eyes icy, and her anger pulsing in a steady rhythm inside, “What would make you think—” Zander Kilgas drew back, and she in turn withdrew into herself. Her eyes visibly sheared through him as she crossed her arms and hammered silent judgment. I cannot believe… As if the night had not been humiliating enough… And yet for some reason I do not want to hurt him for it. It was a revolutionary thought, and it cooled the temperature within her a good several notches. She had to be going insane tonight.

“Well, I will be damned if I’m going to waste the opportunity to swim,” Zander Kilgas broke the silence, drawing her gaze towards him, “You can just stay up here on the bank if you must, but I’m going for a swim.” Fine, she felt like throwing back, You do just that, and may you have a great rest of the night. I hope we never meet again. And yet the terse words stuck in her throat, and she was instead finding herself watching with expressionless eyes as the man unbuttoned his shirt and revealed a laudably muscle-strung torso. As all women’s must, her attention was invariably drawn to the breadth of shoulder, and yet her appraisal was well hidden. Not that he could have noticed anyhow, considering his back was towards her. And speaking of his back… That is impressive for a wetlander. The ridges of scars cast shadows against what would have been a smooth surface of back, and they stood out markedly in the cast of the moonlight. She found herself strangely compelled to step forward and reach out with her fingertips.

“How under the Light could you get that many?” she found herself saying, though her voice sounded unlike her own, “You are only what? Nineteen?” The man spoke to point out that he was in fact twenty, then commenced to speak of the Seanchan and being sent to ‘stop’ them.

“What can I say? I didn’t want them to come to harm like I did. I’m a sentimental bastard sometimes. And more fool me, because it always gets me into trouble.” She couldn’t make up her mind as to whether she thought him an implicit braggart, or… Or something else. She couldn’t exactly make out her thoughts, but for some reason she felt the urge to smile, if dryly, at the man. Zander Kilgas turned his face towards her, and his face was a blend of enigma and a touch of…sadness, was it? She couldn’t figure out why it should be that latter, if it was, but in holding his gaze she felt a sudden dawning register in the encompassments of her mind. Was he shy in admitting his past to her? Or what he did in his daily happenstances, now? Her head found itself a small tilt as she regarded him cannily—could this be the small sole crack in his flippant persona? We all have pasts that we wish to keep divulged. Could you actually be anxious of what I would think of you? Her expression froze as they continued to hold their gazes locked. Does it matter to you what I think of you?

An awkwardness slid over her peace of mind, trembling the inner calm that had been in her. Although, admittedly, that ‘calm’ had been threatened many times this night, and ultimately in the event of the man actually thinking to kiss her in that sort of undignified way, the real inner calm hadn’t. It hadn’t even been brushed upon. But now, she felt shaken, like the deep, long-untouched feelings of vulnerability within her were being tapped, with the speculation that perhaps… Be yourself, woman. Just because that open brown gaze is unsettling in its intensity, does not mean that you should start assuming things. Especially things as instable as the motive behind an intention. Did it matter to him what she thought of him? Fool. All he wants is a taste of your lips again. But she wouldn’t be so unwilling to give that to him, would she? Her strange, strange longing, of being in a man’s arms again, suddenly come, scared her.

They were so close, her fingertips placed coolly on the hard skin of his chest, and half an arm’s length away stood he… Tyaoris, this young man who reminds me of you is shaking my inner calm. Even when he remained a world away from her did he still affect her. But I cannot relive you again.

Her inner tempest subsided.

“Zander Kilgas,” she said, her voice falling low and soft. She withdrew her hands, and possibly for the first time that night, her lips curved in a smile. “Go for your swim.” For seconds following the man seemed as if to study her face—had he expected something else?—but in time he nodded, though not before shooting her a quizzical grin. Inquiring me of what? She watched, disquieted, as he turned his back upon her and began down the slope of the bank in his saunter. He even swaggers in that wide-legged way as Tyaoris did. Her eyes were on him in the muted dark as he approached the edge, looked outwardly into the lake for a moment, and then dived off. But then, maybe all men command that sort of walk. For some reason, an odd dread gripped her insides when his form vanished without extraneous splash of waterdrops into the black liquid surface, but that was the unease all Aiel got when watching someone immerse themselves in such a body of water. Her breath was short until she sighted the man’s face emerge once more, several lengths down from where he had gone in. The back of his head was towards her, and his ashen hair clung wetly to his scalp.

She suddenly felt very out of place, standing on the bank as she was, doing naught but fiddling her thumbs and witnessing a man wading around in a lake. She felt foolish almost, and yet her feet seemed to be rooted. Until she took a step forward, that was. Her silken slipper wrapped around her foot from heel to toe made a soft indentation in the dirt as she prompted forward towards the edge. She wasn’t exactly sure what her intentions of doing so were, but she was sure she would find out once she got there. “Terrian,” she spoke quietly into the thin air, “Is this suicide?” Crouching, she undid the various straps of her slippers that wound about her calves, and rising again, she stepped out of them. Her bare toes dug into the moist soil, and for a moment she reveled in the cool breeze that swept past her. It smelled like autumn roses. Not suicide, the thought skittered across her mind as she worked her fingers behind her back and undid the buttons lining it, I am simply crazy tonight, that is all.

Her heavy silken dress of varied colors on the skirts fell to pool on the ground in a rustle, and clad in her billowing shift, she laid an arm around her midriff and studied the lapping waters beneath her. A strange sort of excitement pulsing in her, she sat herself at the edge of the bank and reached down with her foot to touch the water. Glancing up, she saw that Zander Kilgas had done a length and turned around to regard her. She couldn’t make out his expression at this distance. She pushed forward.

The water met her like icy fire, its frigid currents searing past her with a ferocity that cinched her peace of mind. She opened her mouth, and water swept forth into her lungs. Saidar had sprung up inside her without her realizing, but despite the circumstances she didn’t exactly feel the urgency to put it to use. Besides, what could she have done? Channel a resentful fireball hurtling towards the pale, rippling moon that shone through the murky haze above? She simply felt warmer with its presence inside her. Funny. I have never felt the cold. Her feet kicked a few times futilely beneath her, but of course, this was no solid ground. This was different than anything she had ever experienced, and beneath her was nothing but insubstantial darkness. No Aiel has felt this despondency, of a cold, echoing, bottomless death…

A strong hand gripped her wrist. Took your bloody time about it. And a moment later she was hurtled upward, her head breaking the surface of the water in simultaneous act of her mouth spluttering a spray of water, causing her to be violently shaken with coughs. She held on to Zander Kilgas’ arms tightly, legs entangled in his beneath them somewhere, and Light knew what the state of her shift was. That did not matter. Aiel had never been worked up about nudity, as many wetlander women seemed to be. Finally when her lungs seemed to be relatively cleared of lake water, Menaihya calmed, tried in vain to control the shudders wracking her spine, and brought herself to some control. Her eyes as they found Zander Kilgas’ were as steady and level as they had ever been before. “Are you crazy?” the man said to her, though she did also sense the undercurrent of some sort of embarrassed sentiment at the fact that he held a woman like he was, whose drenched shift did nothing to conceal her. “If you had wanted to swim, why didn’t you tell me so? You knew you couldn’t on your own!”

Menaihya peered at him for a moment, then shook away a wet strand of clinging hair out of her eyes. “You found me a reason, Zander Kilgas,” she said finally, “for me to want to be here, more than up there.” Did I really… Am I really in the water…? She suppressed a shudder, and didn’t look at the lapping liquids around them. “I came to get your attention. Because I want to ask you something.” This whole thing might have been in a more formal sort of way, of course. But she never cursed the Wheel for weaving out events in scenarios that couldn’t have been in a different way. She was a very accepting person, she realized now with a modicum of surprise. When it came to things such as ‘fate’, she was. For example, when she had found out, all those decades ago, that Jostayn was her blood brother, she had folded her previous feelings for him and had accepted it without bloodshed or drastic remorse. When she had heard news of Tyaoris….she had given a nod and had moved on.

“As you have so graciously pointed out earlier, I am a Green without a Warder. I have not felt the necessity to have one in most of my Aes Sedai years, but I know that sooner or later I will have to begin my search for one. That search,” she said wryly, “is probably going to be arduous and a waste of my time.” Her tone was as such, roughly put, but what the man didn’t know was that in truth, deep within her, she was….earnest. Hers was just a spiky shell, was all. “Save me that effort.” Her gaze held his critically and practically. Well, there was never supposed to be sentiment in the asking. “Would you consider being my Warder, Zander Kilgas?”

OOC: And this was written in spurts and intervals, so its content is a bit obscure. So there’s the bombshell! I didn’t think it would happen during this string, but oy vey. Stranger things have occurred in this story already.

  • 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 Suicide — Menaihya Sedai of the Green Ajah, Sat Oct 28 03:54
      • 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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