A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

The everyday life of the inhabitants of the Grey Tower. This board is for general daily roleplay around the Tower, in the corridors, rooms and halls that make up most of the building.
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A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Elan » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:48 pm

Jaren

It was a slow day in the Infirmary. No emergencies, which was of course the desired state of things; no bleeding Warder trainees, no Novices who’d burned themselves playing with Fire. That left those within — a couple of Yellows, and Dedicated and Accepted assisting them — with ample time for all the other duties of the Infirmary besides Healing.

Jaren was working at the herb storage. Sorting and crushing dried herbs into powder, the powder into carefully labelled jars, jars into the shelves… It was methodical work, the scent of the herbs was soothing, and the best part was that it didn’t involve being stuck in the oppressive humidity of the laundry rooms.

Only a couple of weeks left. Light, the year was almost over.

He was focused on the task and barely noticed someone entering the Infirmary until the newcomer was talking to Asha’man Gareth; the timbre of his voice was difficult to miss though Jaren couldn’t hear the words from where he was standing. Not that he was trying to listen in; whether it was Tower business or family business that brought Tia Tomosan to visit her father in the Infirmary, neither was any of Jaren’s business… Though he did admit to some curiosity about the Aes Sedai herself.

She’d been the one to bring Andraste to the Tower, for one — and she was a friend of Jaryd’s. Friend, and if Tower gossip was to be believed, maybe other things. That still didn’t make it any of Jaren’s business… but he figured a certain amount of curiosity was natural. Anyone Jaryd considered a friend had to be a remarkable person in their own right.

Of course, she was an Aes Sedai and Jaren was a Dedicated. He couldn’t exactly just march up to her and strike up conversation… even if he could think of how to start one. Hello, Aes Sedai, I don’t know if you’ve heard of me but I got Jaryd in trouble with the Amyrlin Seat? Yeah, not likely.

In the end, he was spared having to come up with an excuse to talk to her. He looked up when he heard soft footsteps approaching… and smiled warmly. “Tia Sedai. Can I help you with anything?”

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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Roan » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:12 pm

Tia Sedai

Tia didn’t often find herself in the infirmary, but when she found herself in the area, she figured she’d swing by to say hello to her father. She wasn’t there in any official capacity, but just to chat. As their small talk came to a close, Tia caught sight of a familiar face. She’d known who Jaren was, but hadn’t yet met him.

A number of emotions seemed to wash over Tia when she saw Jaren, along with memories of a night in Jaryd’s chambers after the attack on Hama Valon. A night where Tia learned Jaryd’s heart seemingly belonged to the Soldier who was now Dedicated. The Dedicated who she was now approaching.

I could just leave, she thought to herself, but her feet carried her onward.

It had been several months since that night. Tia hadn’t been in love before, nor had she felt heartbreak, and in the course of that conversation, she’d experienced both. Being in love was heady as anything, but Tia could have done without the heartbreak. She didn’t begrudge Jaryd. He wasn’t responsible for her feelings and how she felt about him. Learning how to deal with them in the aftermath. . .had been a challenge. (One she wasn’t sure she quite mastered.)

Before she realized it, she was standing before Jaren.

“Tia Sedai, can I help you with anything?”

The Aes Sedai wasn’t entirely sure what she was doing. Could he help her with anything? She didn’t really know how to answer him. She tilted her head slightly and offered a small smile, “Walk with me, Dedicated.” She stepped aside and motioned towards the main exit of the infirmary. She had no idea where their conversation might go, but if it involved Jaryd, then she’d rather not be within earshot of too many people.
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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Elan » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:21 am

Jaren

“Walk with me, Dedicated.”

The Aes Sedai’s words were innocuous enough in their own right, but Jaren still felt an anxious twist in his gut. People didn’t ask you to go somewhere else to talk about the weather. Had something happened? But no, if it was anything serious, surely talking to Jaren wouldn’t have been an afterthought added onto a meeting with Asha’man Gareth.

Jaren hid his uncertainty behind an easy smile. “Certainly, Aes Sedai,” he said. “One second, let met just…” He sealed the jar of herbs he’d been working on and placed it in its rightful spot on the shelf. Then a quick weave of Water and Air cleaned the mortar and pestle, and the table. He wiped his hands with a wash cloth — the scent of herbs would linger, but he liked that — and then smiled at the Aes Sedai again.

“I am at your service, Tia Sedai,” he said with a bow. As he followed the Aes Sedai out of the Infirmary, he wondered if he should ask what this was about, or simply wait for her to speak. Rank and etiquette would advise the latter, but… But he had a feeling that she hadn’t sought him out as an Aes Sedai requiring the services of one of the students. For one, they didn’t have any common areas of interest as far as he was aware; she was a Green and he was a Yellow in all but name. And if she needed a Healer, surely she would have sought out a fully ranked one.

So this had to be… something else, and Jaren didn’t want to jump into conclusions, but… “Is everything alright?” he had to ask.

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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Roan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:57 am

Tia Sedai
She’d asked him to join her. . .to walk with her, and as each step took them further from the infirmary, she found she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to say. So caught up in her thoughts was she, Tia didn’t realize the awkward moments of silence that hung between them until Jaren spoke.

“Is everything alright?”

The Dedicated’s question pulled Tia back to the present, and she looked to him, “What? Oh. . .everything is fine. I’m sorry if I’ve implied otherwise.” The Aes Sedai realized what it might have been like for Jaren to be summoned by an Aes Sedai, then have nothing said for several uncomfortable moments. She did her best to muster a weak smile.

Why did she suddenly feel completely tongue tied? What was she even doing? Checking up on the man that so captured Jaryd’s heart, that’s what. She had no claim to Jaryd, yet Jaren did, whether he knew it or not. Part of her heart ached with the realization, but there was nothing to be done for it.

Guiding the Dedicated until the pair were now outside, she walked along the path until she found a somewhat secluded bench and motioned for him to take a seat as she did the same. “I. . .truth be told, I’m not entirely sure why I’m here.” She hesitated, and clarified, “Here with you, that is. I know we do not know each other, though I am sure we know about one another.

“The Tower being what it is, I am sure you are at least somewhat aware that Jaryd and I were. . .involved for a time,” she admitted, and found she struggled to meet the young man’s eyes. Taking a deep, centering breath, she looked to him, “I do not know if you are aware of your importance to him. It. . .is not my place to speak too broadly of it, so I don’t know that I can say much more than that.”

Her brows furrowed as she let go a soft sigh, “Jaryd is a special man with a big heart that he doesn’t give so freely. When he does, he has his reasons, and those lucky enough to be on the receiving end. . .I am not sure they always appreciate the gift given to them.” Her gaze had wandered as she spoke, but when she finished, she met his eyes once more, “Perhaps I’ve said too much, but I think I felt I needed to say at least that much. Do with it as you wish, Dedicated.”
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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Elan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:31 am

Jaren

Jaren followed the Aes Sedai outside. He wasn’t particularly reassured by her assurances that everything was fine, but he merely nodded and returned the smile. She would explain when she was ready; he neither could nor would try to rush her. The sky was overcast and there was a bit of a wind, but it didn’t seem like rain was imminent and it wasn’t too cold; the bench Tia Sedai led him to was out of the wind and all in all it was quite pleasant.

And then… the Aes Sedai spoke again.

As he listened, Jaren was suddenly very glad they’d left the Infirmary. This was not something anyone needed to overhear. Especially as there was something about the Aes Sedai’s demeanour when she spoke of having been involved with Jaryd… Something Jaren might have missed if it didn’t strike such a chord in his own heart.

Oh, Light. Oh, no…

A part of him bristled at the suggestion that he might not know to appreciate his luck… But he shoved the feeling aside, hard. Tia didn’t know him, she’d admitted as much, and honestly? If their places were reversed, if Jaren was an old friend and Tia a new addition to the picture, he’d very likely be having this same conversation with her. He would want to make sure she wasn’t in it for just a moment of fun and entertainment.

It was fair.

Oh, it was more than fair… But that didn’t mean Jaren had the slightest idea what to say. “I appreciate your honesty,” he said at length. There was another pause as he looked for words, until finally he gave up trying to figure out what might be appropriate to say, or not, in this situation. “These past few years…” he began, trailed off, started again. “Sometimes I feel like… like I know him so well, yet at the same time, almost not at all.” He chuckled, a little helplessly. “Light, a man like Jaryd has a lot of… history, and there must be aspects to him I know nothing about; I’m aware of that. Yet I feel confident in saying that—”

Was he really going to say it? Was the first person to whom he’d ever say it out loud really going to be an Aes Sedai, this woman he barely knew and whose heart he’d possibly been complicit in breaking? Was he really selfish enough to be talking to her, of all people, about this? Yet… who else could he possibly talk to? There was nobody. And the fact that she’d come to him must mean that she was looking to establish a connection — and, Light, Jaren would much rather be in friendly terms with Jaryd’s other… whatever either of them presently were. Friends, at least. And ultimately that was the most important part.

“—I feel confident in saying that I love all of him.” There; he’d said it. He smiled; a light, open smile that lit up his face. “I don’t know if that addresses your concerns, Aes Sedai, but… Do with it as you wish.”

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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Roan » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:54 pm

Tia 'What in the Light am I doing?'
I feel confident in saying I love all of him.

The Dedicated’s words seemed to reverberate within Tia’s mind. Whatever it was between Jaryd and Jaren, it was mutual. It was clear enough in what the Dedicated said as much as it was in the look in the man’s eye when he spoke of the Red Asha’man. The look was akin to what was in Jaryd’s own eyes when he spoke of Jaren that night.

Tia felt her heart break sitting on Jaryd’s couch with him that night, and she felt it crack again sitting with the Dedicated. Another part of Tia, though, felt a strange sense of relief that the man before her felt as strongly for Jaryd as the Asha’man felt for him. She still cared for Jaryd, and part of her knew she likely always would. If Jaren could bring him happiness, who was she to stand in the way?

Giving Jaren a small smile, Tia found herself looking out over the grounds of the Tower, uncertain of what else to say. “I am not sure there is much I can do with it, Dedicated.” There was a hint of sadness to her expression, despite trying her best to put on the Aes Sedai facade. She seemed to struggle for words, and gave a soft, mirthless laugh, “This. . .I am sorry. I should never have approached you about this.”

Leaning forward, Tia rested her elbows on her knees and buried her head in her hands for a few seconds before resting her chin on her hands. “I. . .simply put, I care about him and do not wish to see him hurt. He does have a lot of history, and some of it is wholly unpleasant. He deserves happiness.” She looked to him once more with a small, but warm smile, “You seem to bring him happiness, thus he deserves you.”
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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Elan » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:05 pm

Jaren

This was not a situation Jaren had ever wanted to find himself in. He’d never meant to come between something he hadn’t been properly aware of, all Tower gossip aside. But this was one of those things that ultimately weren’t anyone’s fault; sometimes things just happened, for better or for worse, and the people caught in the crossfire could only live with it, make the best of whatever they were left with.

“No, don’t apologise,” he said; he wasn’t apologising, either, and arguably he had more reason to do so. “Please. I… understand.” He gave a slightly self-deprecating smile. “If things were different… if our roles were reversed, I would want to be sure of you and your intentions, too.” Maybe that wasn’t something he should have said to an Aes Sedai, but this wasn’t about rank. Aes Sedai Tia might be, but she was also a young woman — not that Jaren had any idea how old she really was — trying to navigate a difficult situation.

It wasn’t anyone’s fault, and though blaming Jaren would have been the easy way to deal with the disappointment and heartbreak… it didn’t seem like she was.

She did not wish to see Jaryd hurt. Light, that was a sentiment Jaren wholeheartedly agreed with. Truth be told, sometimes he was a little afraid. He’d never been in a committed relationship — before? could this be counted one already when he was barely allowed to look at Jaryd until he gained the Dragon pin? — and though he always cared about his partners, no matter how brief or inconsequential their association… He’d never felt anything like this. This was new territory and sometimes he was afraid he’d fail somehow—

But one couldn’t spend their life avoiding things that might go wrong, paralysed by fear, forgetting to live. “He deserves happiness,” Jaren agreed. He looked at the Aes Sedai and returned the smile in kind. “Light, I wish we had met under different circumstances, Tia Sedai. But for what it’s worth… if there’s anything I can do… ever…” He trailed off with a helpless gesture. The words felt wholly insufficient, empty even, but he hoped that the Aes Sedai could see that he meant what he said.

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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Roan » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:29 pm

Tia Sedai
If things were different. . . But things weren’t different. Tia couldn’t blame Jaren or even Jaryd, as neither were responsible for her feelings. Even she wasn’t to blame, truth be told. Emotions weren’t something a person always had control over, as she’d come to learn. Naive as she might be, she was mature enough to see the situation for what it was, not that it eased her heart ache any.

Would it have been any easier if she didn’t like the man before her? Perhaps, though perhaps not. What Tia knew of Jaren (both from conversations with Jaryd and this particular interaction, he was a good, kind man. Letting go a soft sigh, Tia shrugged, “Sadly, circumstances are what they are, Jaren. I appreciate your offer, though there is nothing I would ask of you. Knowing you care for him as you do is enough.”

Looking out over the Tower grounds, Tia slowly rubbed her hands together. “Though . . .if I was going to ask anything of you, it would be to get that Dragon Pin sooner rather than later.” She furrowed her brows, “I haven’t spoken with Jaryd in. . in some time, and while I know he is a patient man, I am fairly sure he missed you even before you were sent to serve penance. Knowing the restrictions placed upon you both. . .the sooner you can overcome those restrictions, the better for both of you. . .not to state the obvious.” She gave him another small, but wry smile.
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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Elan » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:20 am

Jaren

Not to state the obvious, indeed. Jaren leaned back, tilting his face up towards the sky and released a half-sigh, half-chuckle. “I’m working on it,” he said softly. Light, had it really been less than a year since the ball, since… that night. Since his Three Arches. Since the conversation in Jaryd’s office afterwards.

It had been an interesting three days, all told.

He ran a hand through his hair before looking at the Aes Sedai again. “My fate right now is in the hands of a… Velanya Sedai?” he said, amusement clear in his voice, with a small amount of exasperation. “The Mistress of Novices.” He shook his head and chuckled again. “Don’t get me wrong, I… fully understand why. And I trust her to be an impartial judge of my readiness to face the test. Of course.” He smiled, a little wryly. “Though I do wonder if wearing a dress would make her more favourable? I could grow out my hair, too… add ribbons…”

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Re: A Friend of a Friend... or something [attn: Roan/Tia]

Postby Roan » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:44 pm

Tia Sedai
Tia raised both brows, “Velanya Sedai?” It made sense, though. The Amyrlin believed there was a conflict of interest for Jaryd when it came to Jaren, and the Master of Soldier’s judgement might be clouded. She wasn’t necessarily wrong. Even Jaryd would likely admit he wasn’t the best choice to determine when Jaren would be ready to face the Great Stairs.

Giving a half shrug, Tia replied, “Velanya Sedai is nothing if not objective when it comes to those in her charge.” At mention of wearing a dress and growing his hair out to put up in ribbons, Tia laughed and shook her head, “One never knows, though I suspect it would only hinder your cause.

“Patience is certainly a virtue, but I know when I’ve been told that before, it only seems to make me more impatient,” she admitted. Pushing herself to lean back on the bench, Tia gave him a warm smile, “Though a sense of humor will certainly serve you well.”

Thinking back to the time leading up to her own Great Stairs, Tia gave another shrug, “I know that I started to wonder if I’d ever get raised in the few weeks before my test. I knew I had more to learn, but I felt like I’d proven myself ready. I think patience is one of the final tests.” She gave another wry smile, “Just be steadfast, and you will be fine.”
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