#suiraine Tumblr posts

  • asha-mage
    08.02.2022 - 3 monts ago

    Which one of you is the semi-responsible authority figure who would also burn down the world for the person you love, and which one of you is the gallivanting chaos gremlin who is secretly guided by an unfailing sense of duty and honor.

    #to be perfectly clear #this about both #suiraine#wangxian #wheel of time #mzds #these two ships have the same dynamic change my mind #grandmaster of demonic cultivation #I especially think Moiraine and Wei Wuxian would get along like a house on fire #and I may or may not be writing a fic with that exact premise
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  • spectrum-color
    02.02.2022 - 3 monts ago
    #wheel of time #wot #wot book spoilers #siuan sanche#aes sedai #this is literally a third of new spring #the other two thirds are suiraine and uncomfortable sex stuff with lan #and snarky moiraine and lan #there are four thirds ok
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  • elliethefanficwriter
    11.01.2022 - 4 monts ago

    Fanfiction Update Schedule:

    For the Love of a Martyr (AO3): So Imma try really hard but it's going to be maybe next week around Wednesday, mostly due to the fact I just recently got sucked back into MMAD and just idk where to go with it right now, but I'm trying.

    Forgiveness and the Art of Reconciliation (AO3): I love this idea and I'll probably have an update within the week for it.

    Being Raised by Minerva (AO3): Again, the end of the week but I'll let you know if it changes, gonna try and do some more relationship building before I jump ahead again (bc toddler speak is horrid).

    The Other Side of Twilight (Wattpad): Maybe next Monday but I'm not quite sure.

    Little Touch of Heaven (Wattpad): I don't really know but maybe around the same time of FtLoaM.

    Side Note: I am going to start cross posting within the week idk why but I put HP on one site and Twilight on the other but Imma change that.

    Wheel of Time fic: I know I start shit and never finish it and I've only read The Eye of the World (waiting to get the second from the library) and I've only watched the show but Suiraine fic maybe..? Lemme know what y'all think.

    #wot#ftloam#BRbM #forgiveness and the art of reconiliation #the other side of twilight #LToH#elliethefanficwriter #moiraine x siuan #suiraine
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  • peixesoluvel
    29.12.2021 - 4 monts ago

    Chaotic babies in love

    #WoT Fanart #Wheel of Time #Moiraine Sedai #moiraine x siuan #suian sanche#suiraine#new spring #its not a spoiler i just love their dynamic
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  • moghedien
    23.12.2021 - 5 monts ago

    something that just FUCKED ME UP rewatching episode 6:

    when Moiraine gets exiled and all the other Aes Sedai turn their back on her and don't watch her leave, Siuan is the ONLY one who remains facing her and they make a point to do a close up on her face to show that she is turning her head as Moiraine walks away to make sure that she can watch Moiraine go

    #IM CRYING OVER GIRLS LOOKING AT EACH OTHER #wheel of time #wot on prime #moiraine damodred#siuan sanche #moiraine x siuan #suiraine
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  • bowtieinbellingham
    15.12.2021 - 5 monts ago
    #wheel of time #amazon prime wheel of time #the wheel of time #unreasonably attractive fandom #moraine x siuan #suian sanche#suiraine
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  • lunamond
    14.12.2021 - 5 monts ago

    The last Wot episode really inspired me!

    As much as I enjoyed Suiraine, I have to say those Aes Sedai dresses really blew me away!

    #wheel of time art #wot on prime #suiraine#wot show#moiraine damodred#suian sanche #it’s definitely been a while that I drew realistic faces #and you can definitely tell #also pls don‘t look at those hands #fanart #wheel of time on prime #wheel of time
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  • roman-writing
    11.12.2021 - 5 monts ago

    kept impulse dormant (2/3)

    Fandom: The Wheel of Time

    Pairing: Moiraine Damodred/Siuan Sanche

    Rating: T

    Wordcount: 13,023

    Summary:  The White Tower is not at all what Siuan expects, and neither are the  people she meets within it. A prequel to "New Spring" covering the three  years of Moiraine and Siuan as Novices.   (some minor book spoilers)

    Read it below or read it here on AO3

    She rubs at her eyes, hearing Moiraine pull the notebook across the table and flipping through it. There’s a scratching sound, of a quill nib against paper. “Are you changing my essay?” Siuan accuses, her head still tipped back against the chair. 

    “You misspelled ‘Manetheren.’” 

    “The letters keep getting jumbled up.”

    “I know. My father had that problem, too. He used to ask me to proofread his work for spelling errors.” 

    “I thought it was just because I was bad at it.”

    Moiraine hums and flips another page. “I don’t think so. His condition was worse. Sometimes he would accidentally write words backwards.” More scribbling noises, then the sound of the notebook being placed back on the table, more gently than when Siuan did it. 

    Siuan straightens and sits forward. “What’s the verdict?”

    “Your handwriting is still terrible,” says Moiraine. “But if I received this paper on my desk, I would give it full marks.” 

    “Which means it’ll barely pass with Charis. Fantastic.” 

    Patting Siuan’s knee beneath the table, Moiraine says, “Come. Dinner will be starting soon. You’ll feel better with some food in your stomach.” 

    “No, I won’t,” Siuan whines when Moiraine stands and tugs gently at her wrist to urge her to her feet. 

    Somehow Moiraine’s voice has a smile though her expression doesn’t change at all. “You will. I know you will.” 

    Grudgingly, Siuan allows herself to be pulled upright. She packs up her things while Moiraine puts away the books they’d been using, and soon they’re chatting amiably and walking out of the library. Demira Sedai gives them a little wave in passing, and they drop a quick curtsy in return before continuing on. Out in the hallway, it doesn’t take long for them to be happened upon by other Novices. Sheriam and Myrelle are the first to spot them, followed swiftly by Coladara and Alanna. Moiraine falls quiet when they approach. 

    “Did you finish that paper?” Alanna asks. “I was going to start it tonight.”

    “It’s due tomorrow,” says Coladara accusingly. She speaks in cool, clipped tones. It is, Siuan had realised a while back, just how Cairhienins talk. 

    “And I’ll have Siuan to help me write it.” Alanna smiles sweetly at her, eyes large and imploring. 

    Siuan rubs her thumb and forefinger together. “How much is it worth to you?” 

    Alanna feigns shock and horror, pretending to faint slightly. Myrelle props her up and Sheriam waves a bit of paper in Alanna’s face like a fan, while Coladara laughs at their antics. Siuan grins and Moiraine’s mouth twitches. As they walk down the hall, chattering aimlessly on their way to dinner, others flock behind them. White-garbed Novices trailing in their wake like a shoal of fish.

    Siuan is talking animatedly with Sheriam when Moiraine murmurs, "Excuse me."

    Siuan stops. "Where are you going?"

    Pointing back the way they'd come, Moiraine says, "I forgot something back at the library."

    "I'll come with you," Siuan offers, and starts heading back at Moiraine's side.

    They've gone about halfway down the hallway, when Siuan looks over her shoulder. Everyone has turned around to keep following them. Even the other Novices who she only vaguely knows. At the head of the pack are the usual suspects, but Siuan's step falters somewhat to find that nearly twenty Novices are trailing in their wake. 

    "Huh," says Siuan.

    Rather than say anything, Moiraine hums a questioning note.

    "Nothing. Just surprised we have an audience," Siuan says, and Moiraine looks at her oddly. "What?"

    "Are you only just noticing?" Moiraine asks in a surreptitious tone.

    "Notice what?"

    "You're popular."

    Siuan laughs. "No. No, if anything they're following you."

    Moiraine's eyes dart towards Siuan, and there's definitely an amused cant to the way she does it. She doesn't even need to say anything. Siuan glances behind her again, nervously this time. Sure enough, their train of Novices has grown as more had joined them. Some jostle one another. Others ask why they're headed away from the dining hall, and someone points in her direction.

    Siuan whips her head back around. Her spine jams itself straight. She nearly trips on her hems. Where once Siuan was a nobody from Tear whose name none would mourn when she passed, now she can’t walk down the halls of the Tower without a small army of young women in white in her wake.

    At the library, Demira Sedia is still manning the front desk. She does a double take at the sheer number of Novices trotting by her, each stopping to bend their knees in a quick curtsy. Moiraine grabs the notepad she had left behind, and they all head back out, being stared at by a bewildered Demira the entire time.

    All the way to the dining hall, Moiraine clutches the notebook to her chest and walks in silence. Siuan is quickly distracted by Sheriam and Myrelle demanding her attention on the walk. They all go silent when they pass through the doors, Accepted watching them for the slightest peep out of line. 

    Moiraine starts towards the far end of the table, where she has eaten every day since they arrived at the White Tower. Before she can take two steps in that direction though, Siuan steers her gently by the arm to a spot right next to her. Moiraine appears puzzled but allows herself to be plonked at Siuan's side. To anyone else, her expression is unruffled, but Siuan can see the way Moiraine clenches her hands into fists beneath the table as everyone else takes their place around them.

    Reaching out, Siuan grasps her hand and winks. Moiraine's face doesn't change in the slightest, but as dinner starts she squeezes Siuan's hand in return.

    The pranks start out of sheer dumb boredom. They can only stand so many days of cleaning and eating and learning in silence. Something has to give. And that something is Sheriam and Myrelle noticing Alanna sneaking back into her room at night. 

    It’s Coladara’s idea for the lot of them to slip into Alanna’s room after she’s gone and lock the door behind her. And later when Alanna returns, rattling the handle with increasing apprehension, they all have to stifle their giggles behind their hands. Moiraine’s eyes gleam darkly through the night, but it’s Myrelle who breaks and laughs loud enough to be heard. On the other side of the door Alanna curses their families and wishes gruesome deaths upon them if they don’t let her back in before Charis comes back around for the midnight inspection. 

    None of them are so cruel as to wish Charis upon her. They let Alanna back in, and she immediately takes up arms with a pillow, smacking at the group of them and ordering them out of her room in furious whispers while they laugh and ask about her night, to which she replies that it’s none of their Light-blinded business. When Charis’ footsteps can be heard approaching down the hall, they scatter back to their own rooms, pretending to be fast asleep in their beds.

    From then on, anyone is fair game. Siuan discovers that Myrelle keeps a portrait of her family hidden beneath her bed. It takes Myrelle a week to figure out that they have replaced it with a poorly drawn portrait of Elaida. Myrelle comes storming out of her room one evening, red in the face, waving the picture frame and promising mercy to whosoever steps forward to return the correct portrait. To nobody’s surprise, Alanna hands it over with a shit-eating grin. Mercy is not an option. 

    After years of working on a ship and living in cramped quarters with more family members than she cares to count, Siuan can fall asleep anywhere. It is, she thinks, a talent. That is, until her newfound friends decide to capitalise upon it. She’s grabbing an hour or so of shut eye, curled up in a chair in the library, when it happens. A dreamless sleep grows dull and heavy, and when she jerks awake in her chair, a mountain of items that the others have slowly stacked up on her goes tumbling all about. Sheriam and Myrelle are both still standing there, holding out a notebook and a teacup that they had been about to stack atop Siuan’s head, and they go scampering off when she snatches up the notebook and chucks it after them. 

    Coladara will jump a span into the air at the sight of anything that creeps and crawls. After several unsuccessful attempts to sneak bugs into her room using cups, Moiraine devises a weave that lures all manner of spider and insect life into an area. The rest of them watch in a mixture of fascination and impressed horror as Moiraine makes a line of insects march like soldiers beneath Coladara’s bedroom door. The shrieks from Coladara’s room as a result draw all the rest of the Novices out into the open as she bursts through the door, sees the glow of the One Power still surrounding Moiraine, points, and gasps, “You!” 

    Moiraine laughs and sprints off around the corner with Coladara hot on her heels. They rest are too busy falling over themselves with laughter to follow and see what would happen if Coladara were to catch her. 

    Sheriam wipes a tear from the corner of her eye. “Light,” she hiccups. “I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard Moiraine laugh.”

    “I was beginning to wonder if she could,” Myrelle adds. 

    They all look at Siuan. 

    “What?” Siuan says, her face aching from smiling so broadly. 

    Sheriam exchanges a look with Myrelle, then shakes her head with a grin. “Nothing.” 

    In the distance they hear a dull crash and a high-pitched scream. 

    "Ohh." Myrelle winces. "Sounds like Coladara caught her."

    Sighing deeply, Alanna leans her elbows upon the balcony railing and gazes down at the city lights below. “I miss boys,” she says sadly. 

    A small group of them have escaped the stuffiness of the Novice Quarters in the late summer heat by taking tea out on one of the garden balconies. They had smuggled chairs and hidden them behind bushes and trees, so as not to be caught. Moiraine, Siuan, and Myrelle occupy the chairs. Coladara pours Sheriam another cup of tea and hands it over. Whoever had brewed the tea was liberal with the booze. Siuan is only on her second cup and can already feel her brain going pleasantly fuzzy at the edges. 

    Reaching out with her leg, Siuan knocks Alanna’s ankle with her foot. “What d’you mean? I see you talking to the boys training with the Warders all the time.”

    “I miss kissing boys,” Alanna corrects.

    “What do you mean?” Sheriam repeats with a grin, leaning her elbows directly beside Alanna in a similar pose. Her bright red hair catches the glimmer of the distant lights. “I heard the other day that you and -”

    “Finish that sentence, and you’re dead,” Alanna warns. Sheriam only laughs at the threat. Alanna turns around so that she’s leaning her back against the balcony railing instead and faces the rest of them. “Don’t you miss boys?”

    Cross-legged on the ground, Coladara sets down the teapot. “I prefer girls.”

    “Both are good,” says Myrelle, and Siuan lifts her cup out so that she and Myrelle can clink them together. 

    "What about you, Moiraine?" Sheriam asks. "Anyone waiting for you back home? Has your family picked someone for a potential match?"

    Alanna snorts at the idea. Pausing in the act of taking a sip of tea, Moiraine lowers her cup and says, “I was intimate with a young man back in Cairhien once. Otherwise, no. There's nobody."

    That has all of them looking at her. 

    “Really?” Myrelle asks, incredulous.

    “I stand corrected,” says Alanna.

    “Who was it?” asks Coladara too casually. 

    Siuan notices the odd glance that passes between the two Cairhienin women, but doesn’t have any idea what the fuck it’s supposed to mean. 

    “Colmanes Chuliandred,” says Moiraine, and a flicker of understanding passes over Coladara’s face, though she makes no comment. 

    When no further information is forthcoming, Alanna prompts, “And?”

    “And what?”

    “Are you going to tell us anything else about him? About how he was in bed?”

    Moiraine takes a sip of her tea. “No.”

    Sheriam rolls her eyes. “Classic Moiraine.”

    “Someone else is awfully quiet.” Myrelle pinches Siuan’s side. 

    Nearly spilling her own drink, Siuan squeaks and slaps her hand away. “Please. I had plenty of fish on the line back in Tear. Some people like a bit of grime with a pretty face. And if they dropped a few crowns into my hand afterwards, well — I certainly wouldn't complain."

    That has the others tittering and branching out into their own conversations, but Moiraine is watching Siuan in steady silence.

    "What?" asks Siuan without a scrap of shame. "They paid well."

    "Not well enough," Moiraine murmurs so quietly into her cup that Siuan almost misses it. 

    Siuan doesn’t know whether to be offended or flattered. She’s about to ask, when Myrelle stands, drains her spiked tea, and says, “All right! It’s official, then! We’re sneaking out!”

    “What?” Siuan and Moiraine both say in unison. 

    “That’s a very foolish idea,” says Moiraine.

    Coladara points to Siuan and Moiraine. “For once, I’m with them.”

    “What do you mean ‘for once’?” Siuan says and Coladara gives an unapologetic shrug. Siuan makes a rude gesture with her fingers, but that only seems to amuse her. 

    “I’m tired of being cooped up in here,” Alanna says, already dragging Sheriam from the gardens by the wrist. “Come on! Let’s go find a tavern in the city!” 

    Sheriam allows herself to be hauled away, giggling as she and Alanna nearly trip over a hedge and have to right themselves by leaning on the other. Myrelle follows, but stops to address the other three, “Are you coming?” 

    “I get birched enough, thanks,” Siuan drawls. 

    “You wouldn’t, if you didn’t swear so much.”

    “Fuck you.”

    Laughing, Myrelle points to Coladara, who shakes her head. Then, with a shrug, Myrelle goes trotting off after Alanna and Sheriam. The sound of their lively conversation fades around the corner and down the hall. Not long after they’ve gone, Coladara stands as well. 

    “Turning in early for the night?” Moiraine asks. 

    Coladara stretches her arms over her head before lowering them back down to her sides. “No. I thought I’d go see if Elaida needs someone to keep her bed warm.”

    “You,” Siuan points, “have an even bigger deathwish than they do.”

    “Maybe. But that’s half the fun.” And, grinning, Coldara blows them a kiss and walks off.

    Shaking her head in disbelief, Siuan turns to Moiraine. “What do you want to do? And don’t say go to the library. If I have to think in the Old Tongue for one more second today, I will scream.”

    Moiraine turns over her teacup and a few sad droplets fall onto the grass. She is wearing a small smile. “I’m perfectly happy just sitting here with you, but I would like another pot of tea.”

    Siuan is already pushing herself to her feet. “Give me a few minutes. I’ll be back.”

    Moiraine catches her hand as she’s walking by her chair. “No alcohol this time?”

    “Spoilsport.”

    “Thank you.” 

    In a single lesson Charis makes no less than three people cry. And there's absolutely nothing any of them can do about it. An impotent rage fills Siuan’s chest like seams taking on water as she watches yet another young girl wipe her reddened cheeks and sniffle into her sleeve, while Charis stalks back to the front of the class. 

    The rest of the lesson passes in a blur. Siuan takes notes, but the motion is automatic. She doesn’t have to think about the act at all. Her hand moves of its own volition until it’s time for them to pack up their things and depart for their next task assignment. 

    The class files out of the room. When they’ve gotten far enough down the hall that Charis won’t overhear them, Siuan grabs the three Novices and herds them into a quiet corner by a looming statue. They go without complaint, pliant as gulls that have had their glut of punishment, and they huddle together, shrinking away from Siuan as though half expecting her to dish out more again. 

    “Go to the kitchens,” Siuan says gently. “Ask for Laras. Tell her I sent you to fetch honey and cakes for Demira Sedai’s tea. Then I want you to take it back to the Novice quarters and relax for the rest of the day. All right? We’ll cover for you if anyone asks.”

    Moiraine and a few others have joined them in forming a protective circle around the younger ones. One of the Novices glances uncertainly at them. Her voice is watery when she says, “What -? What if Demira Sedai finds out we asked for something on her behalf and didn’t deliver it?” 

    “You let me worry about that.” Siuan reaches out and rubs her shoulder. “Now, off you go.” 

    The three young Novices take a few uncertain steps in the direction of the kitchens. Alanna makes a small shooing gesture, and they head off with a bit more surety. Once they’ve rounded a corner, she sighs. “Charis has a lot to answer for.” 

    “She’s been in a mood all month,” Sheriam adds. 

    “I hear a rumour she’s going to Test to be Raised to the shawl soon,” Moiraine murmurs. “Apparently she’s had a lot of sleepless nights, training and worrying.” 

    Alanna shakes her head. “Still not a good enough reason to take it out on poor helpless things like that.” 

    “We may not be able to change much, but we can still have our own slice of justice,” Siuan says.

    The others all look at her. “How?” Coladara asks, eyes narrowed with intrigued suspicion. 

    Siuan shrugs. "I happened to see the schedule in Merean’s offices the other day. Charis is supposed to be performing the guard rounds at night this week," she says, and watches as the realisation dawns on all their faces.

    The plan is simple: chill a bucket of water until it’s ice cold and balance it over a doorway. Tie the handle with a bit of rope, which is strung over the tops of pillars into a little hiding nook with a conveniently placed door to beat a hasty retreat, and wait for Charis to walk by at just the right moment. They can’t use the One Power, otherwise she’ll sense it. The entire operation has to be manual. Luckily, Siuan is just as adept at tying and stringing rope and line as ever, and they have the contraption set up in no time. 

    Night falls. The group of them huddle around the corner, shushing each other when they hear the clear clip of footsteps approach. Moiraine holds the end of the rope in one hand. A shadow appears in the doorway, cast by flickering candle light along the walls. They all hold their breath, and Moiraine gives the rope a firm tug. 

    They watch as the bucket of freezing cold water falls upon — not Charis — but a Green Sister. Glee turns swiftly to horror. The Green Sister stops and stands there, drenched from tail to gills, and everyone scatters. 

    Alanna and Myrelle nearly trip over themselves in their haste to retreat. Siuan has to push at Coladara’s back to get her to move faster. Sheriam’s copper-bright hair is already whipping around the corner and out of sight. And Moiraine —

    Siuan turns back in the doorway to find that Moiraine hasn’t moved at all. Siuan hisses her name, but Moiraine doesn’t look over at her. She simply steels herself, spine straight, shoulders back, hand tightening around the rope, and steps forward directly into the hallway before the Green Sister. 

    In no time at all, every single Novice in their class — even those not involved in the incident — have been roused from their beds and lined up in the Novice Quarters. Moiraine is at the front, slightly apart from the others. Merean stands beside the Green Sister, wearing her blue shawl over a pale lilac nightgown. The Green Sister has long since Channeled to rid herself of any water, but her stark grey hair is a mess in its bun and there is a wintry rage in her eyes, completely unconcealed. 

    “If the girl says she was the only one, Cadsuane -” Merean is saying.

    The Green Sister is unyielding, her eyes boring into Moiraine as though she were about to reach into her skull and dig out the information herself. "I know there were others involved."

    "Did you see them, Cadsuane Sedai?" Moiraine asks.

    The room is so quiet, Siuan can hear Alanna next to her stop breathing.

    "I don't like your tone, girl," says Cadsuane in a voice that should have made the River Erinin ice over. Moiraine lowers her eyes, but her back remains straight as a harpoon.

    Merean clears her throat and asks delicately, "Well, did you?" 

    Cadsuane crosses her arms and glowers. Finally she growls, "No. But I heard them."

    "I pulled the rope," Moiraine says staunchly. "Nobody else."

    The staring match between the two of them could’ve stopped the hearts of lesser men in their chests. Meanwhile, Siuan has to repress a shiver. She tries to step forward, but Moiraine glances over at her. It’s just a quick dart of her eyes, but it’s enough. Siuan stays put. 

    “Enough of this.” Merean steps between Moiraine and Cadsuane. “I will mete out the proper punishment, as is my right and responsibility. If you insist on taking this further, you may speak with Tamra. Otherwise, you may leave, satisfied in the knowledge that this girl will not be spared the rod.” 

    Drawing herself up, Cadsuane tugs her green-fringed shawl around her shoulders. She looks over at all of them, her cold eyes tracking down the line of Novices one by one. When she arrives at Siuan, she pauses. Her eyebrow ticks upward ever so slightly. Then, without another word, she turns and stalks from the room. 

    All of the Novices breathe a collective sigh of relief, only to snap to attention when Merean speaks, “Come with me, child,” she says to Moiraine, and the iciness in her voice is enough to rival Cadsuane’s. 

    Moiraine doesn’t look back. Moiraine doesn’t hesitate. Moiraine goes. Her hands are clenched at her sides, fingernails digging into her palms. Siuan wants to race after her, but is stopped by a hand on her shoulder. 

    “Come on,” Sheriam murmurs. “Let her go.” 

    Siuan shrugs off her hand and storms back to her own room, slamming the door shut behind her. Outside she can hear the others shuffle off to their rooms with quiet whispers. Siuan sits on the edge of her bed. Her knee bobs up and down. Almost immediately, she stands back up and starts to pace the room with restless feet. 

    Everything has gone quiet but for the swish of her nightgown around her ankles. Her feet are cold by the time she considers giving up and trying to catch a few winks of sleep. Then, head whipping around, she hears the pad of footsteps outside. Or perhaps that’s just her imagination. When it’s followed by the creak of hinges and the latch of a lock just one room over, she opens her own door and pokes her head out. Siuan frowns at the ground outside Moiraine’s door, where little offerings have been piled up, sweet cakes and hastily scribbled notes and whatever sundry gifts the other Novices could think to give. Slowly, Siuan picks her way through them all and opens the door to Moiraine’s room. 

    Novices aren’t allowed perfume, yet Moiraine’s room always smells faintly of cedar. Moiraine freezes in the process of lying down atop the sheets. Through the darkness, it’s difficult to make out her face, but there’s a tenseness to the way she holds herself that isn’t normally there. Siuan carefully closes the door behind her so that it doesn’t make too much noise. 

    “Are you all right?” 

    Moiraine opens her mouth to say something, only to close it again and nod in the least convincing display possible. 

    “Can I see?” 

    For a moment it appears Moiraine will say no, but then she lowers herself gingerly onto the bed, stomach-down and wincing all the while. Siuan crosses the room and sits on the edge of the mattress. Every muscle in Moiraine’s body is tense when Siuan starts to draw up the hem of her nightgown. Already the skin of her back and thighs has started to go blotchy, the skin red with welts in the shape of long narrow lines. Moiraine hisses through clenched teeth when Siuan’s fingertips touch too sensitive an area. 

    "You should've let me take some of it for you,” Siuan says. 

    Moiraine’s reply is muffled as she mumbles into her pillow. "What for? There's no reason why both of us should've been punished."

    “Because it’s not fair. And because I don’t like seeing you hurt.” When Moiraine doesn’t say anything in reply, Siuan says, “Do you want me to Heal you?” 

    That certainly gets Moiraine’s attention. She cranes her neck back to give Siuan a puzzled look. “How? We haven’t been taught the weaves yet.” 

    “I saw one of the Yellows mend a cut down in the training grounds.” 

    “And I’ll be the first you trial it on?” Moiraine asks. Siuan nods, and Moiraine sinks back down. “All right.” 

    If Moiraine doesn’t hesitate, Siuan does. She hadn’t been expecting Moiraine to say ‘yes’ so readily, to be so trusting so soon. Shuffling around a bit until she is half-kneeling over Moiraine on the bed, Siuan hovers her hands over Moiraine’s battered back. The rush of the One Power is as warm as it is sweet. She divides the threads of it, weaves it round and round in a pattern she had seen performed only once before. But hers are the hands of a fisherman’s daughter. She can tie any manner of sailor’s knots in her sleep. The One Power is no different. In the end, it’s just another bit of thread. 

    The welts on Moiraine’s skin wilt and shrink away into nothing. Moiraine breathes in, her ribs expanding until Siuan’s palms are flush with her shoulder blade and spine. The warmth of her skin almost burns, and Siuan releases saidar hastily. Moiraine slumps back down onto the mattress with a shudder. 

    Tugging down Moiraine’s nightgown, Siuan allows herself the indulgence of stroking a hand down Moiraine’s back once it’s covered up again. “Better?” 

    Moiraine sighs into the pillow then mumbles, “Much.” 

    "You'd do the same for me."

    The sheets rustle beneath Moiraine as she rolls over. “Will you show me?” 

    “Some other time when you’re not run ragged.” Siuan gently urges her to lie back when Moiraine tries to sit up. “Also I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but you may have a few admirers now.” 

    Moiraine gives a small huff of laughter. She sighs and shuts her eyes, her cheeks still slightly paler than normal, though the colour is slowly returning to her face. Siuan doesn’t know what possesses her to do it, but she pats Moiraine’s knee and says, “Move over.”

    Moiraine’s eyes snap open and she watches in complete bewilderment as Siuan settles atop the bed beside her. The mattress is so narrow that they’re pressed half atop one another, Moiraine’s shoulder overlapping with Siuan’s, their hips wedged together as they both lie on their backs. Moiraine is tense all over, but she says nothing. 

    "I admire your grit and raw talent," Moiraine finally blurts out, completely out of the blue.

    Siuan lifts her head to shoot Moiraine an incredulous look. "Is this your attempt at flirting? Light, how did you ever convince that guy in Cairhien to have sex with you?"

    Moiraine flushes an appealing shade of pink. "I am trying to compliment you."

    "Is that all?" Siuan wriggles down and tucks her head into the hollow of Moiraine's shoulder. "Shame."

    Moiraine says nothing to that for a good long moment. "I'm certain Colmanes slept with me because of my name and little else."

    "Then he's a wool-headed idiot. Besides, I should be complimenting you for what you did tonight. It was very brave. Stupid, but brave.”

    Moiraine shrugs the shoulder that Siuan isn’t tucked into. “It just felt like the right thing to do.”

    Siuan prods her stomach. “Shut up, and take the compliment.”

    Moiraine chuckles and leans her cheek against the top of Siuan’s head. She has to tuck away one of the ends of the scarf Siuan fashioned out of a spare nightgown when she’d first arrived in Tar Valon. “Why do you wear this at night?”

    “Not all of us have nice, easy to manage hair like yours.”

    “My hair is not easy to manage.”

    “Says the one who can dunk her head under water like it’s nothing,” Siuan says. “It should be silk or satin, but Novices make do.” 

    Moiraine hums a quiet note. Slowly her body relaxes, but every time Siuan moves she can feel the way Moiraine tenses up all over again, starting the process from the beginning, a halting thing, forcing herself every step of the way. If they hadn’t been pressed so closely together, Siuan wouldn’t have noticed at all, the microtwitches of muscle beneath Moiraine’s skin, the way she swallows past hidden nerves, the shakiness of her breathing. 

    “Are you sure you don’t want me to leave?” Siuan asks, but Moiraine’s arm immediately tightens around her. 

    “I’m sure,” Moiraine murmurs against the top of Siuan’s head. “Stay.” 

    By this point Siuan is used to having a small crowd around her. Especially in the Novice Quarters. It’s like gravity: the more of them there are, the more there are likely to be again. Moiraine is sitting at a table with a pile of notes and books before her, while Siuan stands at her side, packing said notes into a white canvas satchel. 

    “Wait, wait, Siuan -” Alanna grabs hold of Siuan’s notes before they can all be tucked away. “What did you say about Rashima’s influence at Kaisin Pass after the destruction of Aridhol?” 

    Siuan tugs her notes from Alanna’s hands. “I thought you were eyeing up the Green? Shouldn’t you be all over this battle rubbish?” 

    “Yes, but I was busy the other night, you see, and -”

    Coladara interrupts from where she’s leaning on the edge of the table next to Moiraine, cleaning her short fingernails. “Is that what the kids are calling it these days? ‘Busy’?” 

    Alanna’s expression is thunderous, but before she can speak they hear a voice behind them say, “Excuse me?” 

    Siuan jerks her head in a quick nod towards a waifish looking Novice that had approached them. “Can we help you?”

    The Novice is an unknown to Siuan, which is strange in and of itself. Siuan prided herself on knowing the names of everyone in their overall group. Her eyes are large and dark, her hair long and black, and her skin pale. Beside the likes of Moiraine and Coladara, the Cairhienin ancestry is clear as mud. 

    Her gaze moves from Siuan to Moiraine and then back again. She dips her knees in a brief curtsy that makes Siuan’s eyebrows hoist up like a sail, then says, “Actually, I was hoping to thank you for what you did for my friends the other day.”

    “Your -” Siuan says slowly. “- friends?” 

    The girl nods. “With Charis.” 

    “Trust me,” says Alanna with a grim smile. “It was our pleasure.” 

    But the Novice isn’t paying any attention to Alanna. Now, she has eyes only for Siuan, and flushes when Siuan cocks her head to one side. “And I was wanting to give you this.” 

    The Novice holds out a piece of paper folded and sealed with plain wax. Puzzled, Siuan takes it. “Uh - Thanks?” 

    She receives a brief smile in return, before the Novice darts away, vanishing among the throng of others in identical white outfits scattered around the large circular room. Siuan stares after her, frowning.

    “Looks like you have a rather ardent admirer, now,” Alanna says. 

    With an incredulous snort, Siuan rips open the letter and begins to read. If Siuan’s eyebrows had been raised before, they’re in danger of disappearing into her hairline now. “Well,” Siuan says lightly, “For such an innocent looking slip of a girl, she certainly has a filthy pen.” 

    At this news, Alanna grins, while Coladara appears thoughtful. Siuan hands the letter over to Moiraine, who reads it with a furrow in her brow. Something changes across Moiraine’s face when she gets to the name at the bottom, before her expression settles into something stony and unreadable. 

    “She wants something,” says Moiraine, giving the letter back to Siuan. 

    “Uh - yeah,” Siuan grins and packs the letter away with the rest of her things. “I got that impression, thanks.” 

    Moiraine stares at her as though Siuan has sprouted an extra limb. “You’re not seriously going to consider it, are you?”

    With a puzzled huff of laughter, Siuan continues putting their notes and books away. “What?” 

    Moiraine does not answer. Then, abruptly, she stands up. “Excuse me.”

    “Woah! Hang on.” 

    Moiraine has already started for the door. Dropping her bag onto the chair, Siuan moves quickly to block her way. There’s a coldness to Moiraine’s expression that she hasn’t seen since they first met. Colder, even. She tries to get around Siuan, but Siuan won’t have any of it, stepping to the same side Moiraine tries to go for. 

    “What the fuck is going on?” Siuan asks. “You’re not jealous of a chit like that, are you?”

    The look Moiraine gives her makes her feel small, like a child that has cut the net and let loose the catch of a lifetime. “I don’t care what you do with her, but I’ll not be part of it.” 

    Siuan's brows furrow in confusion. "I don't want to do anything with her."

    "And that's your prerogative," says Moiraine in that same wintry tone. “Now, move.” 

    She says it with such natural command, that Siuan finds herself stepping aside almost before she realises what’s happened. Siuan stares after her. Then, shaking her head, she walks slowly back over to the table to pick listlessly at her bag. Alanna and Coladara don’t even pretend they haven’t been listening to the whole thing. 

    “I wouldn’t worry about it, if I were you,” says Alanna. From Light only knows where she has procured an apple and now takes a big crunching bite of it. “Cairhienin are funny about sex in general. Isn’t that right?" Alanna nudges Coladara, who makes a face but nods in agreement. 

    “What? The fact that we’re both women or something? Is that not allowed or -?” Siuan trails off.

    “Well -” Coladara grimaces and tilts her hand back and forth in the air. “It’s not not allowed.”

    “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

    “It’s just — It’s Daes Dae’mar.” 

    “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Bloody Cairhienin and their bloody Great Game,” Siuan growls. “No offense.”

    “None taken. But I wouldn’t say it’s because of that. More that it’s because of who she is.”

    Siuan’s mind races like a chip log spinning out the line. “Who? The girl? Or Moiraine?”

    “Yes,” says Coladara.

    “Very fucking funny. Who is the girl anyway? The - you know -?” Siuan flaps her hand in the direction of the door “The flirty one?”

    Alanna snorts, “Coladara’s not going to know every single Cairhienin person who -”

    “Her name is Esyllt. She’s the daughter of a military officer of House Hamarashle,” interrupts Coladara without missing a beat. “A nobody compared to the likes of House Damodred. If I had to guess, I’d say her family wrote to her urging her to ingratiate herself to Moiraine somehow, but if anyone asks: no, I haven’t been poking through the mail before breakfast.” 

    Both Alanna and Siuan stare at her in stunned silence.

    Coladara shrugs self-consciously. “What? You wanted to know.” 

    Placing a hand on Coladara’s shoulder, Alanna says, “You must get better at lying without lying, if you’re going to take the Three Oaths.” 

    Siuan shakes her head as if trying to shake off a daze. “Un-fucking-believable,” she mutters. “You think Moiraine actually cares about something like that?”

    Coladara laughs, then stops abruptly when Siuan glowers at her. “Oh. Sorry. I thought that was a joke.”

    “It wasn’t,” Siuan growls.

    “Sorry,” Coladara says again with a grimace. “But even I grew up with Daes Dae’mar, and I’m a merchant’s daughter. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone raised in the Sun Palace. When these things are instilled in you from childhood, it can be a difficult habit to break. And in the Great Game, sex and romantic interests are a tool as much as anything else in a person’s life.” 

    “That’s -” 

    Siuan starts to say ‘ridiculous’, but stops. She thinks back to that night she’d climbed into Moiraine’s bed. How stiff Moiraine had been. How even the length of their clothed bodies touching had made her every muscle go rigid and still, as though Moiraine had been afraid to even breathe. How she had uncomfortably skirted around the topic of flirting as though it had fangs and were snapping at her outstretched fingers. 

    “Mhmm,” Coladara hums knowingly, watching Siuan’s dawning expression. 

    "Fuck this for a barrel of fish." Siuan grabs her bag and slings it over her shoulder. "I'm going to go talk to her."

    Except she doesn't ever get the opportunity. Moiraine avoids her all day. At every turn, Siuan tries to speak with her, only for Moiraine to slip away, to skirt around a group of Novices and vanish around a corner without a trace. Even when they’re paired up in a Channeling class they don’t talk. Not with Elaida watching them like a hawk. 

    At meal time Moiraine sits apart from the usual group and from Siuan, retaking her place at the end of the table, alone, ignoring the looks Siuan keeps casting in her direction. She goes directly to her rooms after supper is over, and Siuan glares at Moiraine’s shut door. 

    “Just leave it, Siuan.” Sheriam pats her on the shoulder.

    Shrugging her hand off, Siuan goes to her own rooms and closes the door hard enough to rattle it in its frame. Muttering foul curses to herself, she gets ready for bed. Then, dressed in a nightgown with her hair wrapped in a makeshift scarf, she lies atop the sheets and scowls at the ceiling. Outside, she can hear other Novices moving from the main Novice quarters lounge to their own rooms like sheep herded into separate pens. Siuan fiddles impatiently with the edge of a blanket, waiting for the sounds of Charis’ footsteps to complete their patrol.

    Once she’s sure the coast is clear, Siuan swings her legs over the side of the bed. The door creaks when she opens it too far, so she only opens it just enough to squeeze through. When she arrives at Moiraine’s door, she lifts the latch, pushes, and steps inside. Moiraine is seated in bed. There’s a book propped up in her lap, and a lamp on the bedside table bears a flame that flickers when Siuan shuts the door. 

    “We’re going to talk,” Siuan says in a quiet tone. 

    Moiraine flips a page in her book. “I’m reading.” 

    Crossing the room, Siuan snatches the book up and places it on the bedside table. “Not anymore.”

    “I don’t want to play this game with you,” Moiraine says, and there’s a cold snap in her voice now like the first hard frost of winter. “I’ve had enough of that to last me a lifetime. I thought you of all people might have understood, but clearly -”

    “I’m a fisherman’s daughter! Your stupid Game of Houses has nothing to do with me!” Siuan whisper-shouts.

    “Everybody plays,” says Moiraine. “From the highest of kings to the lowest of peasants.”

    “Nobody here cares!” Siuan makes a broad sweep of her arm towards the rest of the room. 

    Moiraine laughs and it’s a bitter sound. “Do you know how many times I’ve been approached, or propositioned in the White Tower? How many attempts at Daes Dae’mar I’ve had to rebuff since arriving here? I’m exhausted. Just -” Curling her knees to her chest, Moiraine shakes her head and gives a dismissive little wave that makes Siuan’s blood boil. “Leave me alone. Please.” 

    Without a shred of hesitation, Siuan marches over to the door, but instead of opening it, she wrenches the lock shut with a resounding click of metal. Then she turns and storms straight back across the room until she looms over Moiraine, who glowers back as good as she gets. 

    “Fuck your Great Game,” Siuan growls. “Fuck Cairhien. And fuck you. You think I only spend time with you for petty gains? Then what do I gain from this apart from a fucking headache?” Siuan taps the side of her head for emphasis. “Have you ever known me to say anything other than what I mean?” 

    The tendons stand out at Moiraine’s jaw. Her eyes are chips of black ice. She does not speak. She remains seated, and it’s infuriating; somehow Siuan still manages to feel like some unlanded bumpkin brought before their liege lady. 

    “Fine,” Siuan finally says. Anything to break this awful wintry quiet. “Fine. If it’s so important, then I’ll have you know: I’m not fucking that girl. I’m not ever going to fuck her. I can’t even remember her name, for fuck’s sake!

    “It’s no concern of mine who anyone sleeps with,” Moiraine says with that same aggravating forced dispassion.  

    “You Light-blinded fisher-bird! I’m not sleeping with anyone!” Siuan bursts out, and any concern about keeping their voices down is long gone now. 

    “Why are you telling me this?” Moiraine retorts. “What is the point of even having this conversation? You’ve already made it quite clear that -” 

    “Because I thought we were friends!” Siuan jabs a finger against her own chest. “But of course your bloody stupid Game has to get in the way! I should’ve known better than to think that snobbish royalty with a stick up her arse like you would ever stoop so low!"

    Moiraine goes very still. Her dark eyes widen and her face pales. “What?” she rasps.

    “Friends!” Siuan repeats, voice still raised despite herself. Her blood is up like the tide. She’s got the hook in her mouth and — Light help her — she’s not letting go. “You! Me! Remember the last eighteen months? Huh? Remember that? Where the fuck have you been, Lady Damodred?”

    Moiraine’s head jerks as though Siuan has just slapped her. She offers no response. 

    “What did you think this was?” Siuan gestures between the two of them. “If not friends, then what?”

    Moiraine’s mouth opens but nothing comes out. She struggles for words like a fish gaping out of water. “I thought -” she stammers, “I thought you wanted something from me. I kept waiting for you to want something from me.”

    “If I wanted something from you, I would just ask!” Siuan snaps. “Blood and ashes! What do you think I -?”

    Moiraine’s expression flickers in something like a flinch, quickly masked but not unnoticed. Immediately Siuan stops and takes a deep breath. She drags her hands down her face, then plants them on her hips. Moiraine’s shoulders are bunched up around her ears, fists clenched atop her knees and trembling. A silence lengthens between them like a body of choppy water, rife with things unsaid beneath the surface. 

    Heaving a great sigh, Siuan says, “Look -”

    "I’ve never had friends."

    Moiraine’s words are as blank as her face, but her knuckles are white. She is gazing at a spot just past Siuan, as if she can’t focus her eyes on what’s standing right before her. 

    "What?" Siuan gives an incredulous huff of laughter. "That can’t be right. Not even other nobles at Court, or -?”

    Moiraine shakes her head.

    “Well, what about that guy you said you slept with?"

    "Colmanes?" Moiraine’s smile is brittle as pig iron, like she’s ready to shatter at the slightest provocation. "Colmanes hates me." Siuan shoots her a questioning look. "He is a member of House Chuliandred," Moiraine says as though that were an obvious explanation in and of itself. "My uncle told me to extract certain information out of him by any means necessary. So, I did. I had little choice in the matter. I spent time with him. I grew close to him. And then my uncle had his aunt, Cerys Chuliandred, executed in a public square while we all watched."

    She says it as calmly as though discussing the weather. Siuan stares at her, aghast. All of the odd looks passing between Coladara and Moiraine, all of the little droplets of information shivering on the line, all seem to come together into a pattern that Siuan can almost read, but which she still lacks the proper context to fully understand. A glimpse of Moiraine’s life like a tangled skein, like a net that’s gotten itself all snarled up. 

    Siuan abruptly begins pawing at her own back and trying to look over her shoulder as if to get at something there.

    Moiraine is watching her in utter bewilderment. “What are you doing?”

    “Trying to get the target off my back your crazy family must’ve put there when everyone realised we were friends.” Siuan jabs a thumb over her shoulder and lowers her voice to a conspiratorial whisper. “Do you think they only cares if we have sex, or is friendship enough? I don’t know enough about Daes Dae’mar to tell.”

    Moiraine’s eyes widen and her jaw drops in shock. Then she bursts out laughing. Siuan grins, while Moiraine tries to stifle her laughter with a hand over her mouth. She laughs until there are tears in the corners of her eyes, until the laughter turns into something choked, until it isn’t laughter anymore. The smile slowly slips from Siuan’s face. She steps forward and reaches a hand out warily. When Siuan touches her shoulder, Moiraine flinches back, eyes squeezed shut, cheeks wet. 

    Siuan sits on the edge of the bed. Carefully, she cups Moiraine’s face between her hands. “Light,” Siuan murmurs with a gentle smile. “No wonder you’re as prickly as a bloody silverpike.” 

    Moiraine’s answering laugh is watery. She swallows thickly and takes a few deep breaths while Siuan wipes away a stray tear with her thumb. Sniffling, Moiraine tries to return Siuan’s smile with a faltering one of her own. It’s soon gone, though.

    “Sorry,” Moiraine mumbles. 

    “It's not your fault you have a shit family.” Siuan bumps her fingers beneath Moiraine’s chin. “Now, can we forget this whole thing ever happened?” 

    Moiraine nods.

    Siuan holds out her hand. “Friends?” 

    For a moment, Moiraine hesitates. Then, she grasps Siuan’s hand in quiet agreement. Her fingers are cold. They tighten when Siuan tries to pull her hand away. 

    “Do you want me to stay the night?”

    “You don’t have to,” Moiraine says, even as her hand continues to cling to Siuan’s like a lifeline.

    “That’s not what I asked.” 

    Moiraine’s teeth are clenched. Her head jerks in a near imperceptible nod.

    “All right. Shove over, then.” 

    It’s just as awkward as the first time they’d done this. The bed certainly hadn’t gotten any broader since then, and Moiraine hadn’t gotten any less stiff. Except Moiraine’s hands curl around the fabric of Siuan’s nightgown, as if afraid she would bolt at the soonest opportunity. They leave the lamp on and watch the dancing shadows cast by the flame in a draught. 

    The silence dwells like something crouched and heavy at the foot of the bed, looming over them with its presence. Then, slowly, Moiraine begins to talk. 

    Into the cool night air she murmurs stories in a hushed and hollow whisper, tales of growing up in the Sun Palace. Of being taught to dance, to ride, to walk without tripping over the hems of her dress. Of being estranged from her mother, who was despised by the nobility for being a commoner. Of trying to follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a life of scholarship, only to be dragged from libraries by her uncle’s men who wanted his potential successors to be seen engaging in the more worthy pursuits. Of bearing the brunt of her sister, Anvaere’s, temper. Of being scrutinised for her quickness of wit when her sister, Innloine, turned out to lack them. About learning she could Channel at the age of ten and being so afraid she was sick. Of finally telling the Aes Sedai advisor of her uncle, and being trained in secret until the age of sixteen, when she was carted off to the White Tower.

    "Yes, but have you ever been part of an assassination attempt?” Siuan asks at one point. “Apart from that thing with Coldman’s aunt?”

    “Colmanes,” Moiraine corrects.

    “Whatever. Fuck him. Tell me about assassination plots.” 

    Smiling, Moiraine shakes her head ruefully. “Inadvertently? Perhaps. Intentionally? Well -” Moiraine rolls onto her back, looking towards the ceiling with a sigh. “My brother tried to involve me with something once, and -”

    “Your brother?” 

    Moiraine seems surprised at Siuan’s surprise. “Yes,” she says. 

    “But -? Why? Why you?”

    “Anvaere and Taringail can’t stand each other. If you put them in the same room, they fight like cats and dogs,” Moiraine says. “And Innloine isn’t bright enough to trust with sensitive information. So, I was the only other one he could choose from.” 

    Siuan stares, then leans up on one elbow over her. “Light, that’s not what I -! I mean: why is he asking his little sisters — any of his little sisters — to take part in something like that at all?” 

    Moiraine simply blinks up at her. “Well, my father and uncles weren’t going to say ‘yes.’”

    Flopping back down onto the bed, Siuan covers her face with her hands and groans into them. “Impossible. Your whole nation. Fucking unbelievable. I hate Daes Dae’mar.” 

    "I think you're getting the wrong impression of Daes Dae'mar. It's not all knives and sex, you know. Mostly it’s very boring. And exhausting. Always reading into everything. Always second-guessing what people say, what they mean.”

    “But there are knives and sex.” 

    Moiraine huffs. “I’m sure fishing boats have just as much knives and sex.”

    “And you know this because of your extensive knowledge of fishing boats?”

    “I know this because some days you talk of nothing but fishing boats.”

    “What’s not to like?”

    “I don’t know.” Moiraine turns her head towards Siuan. “Tell me.” 

    Siuan shrugs. “Not much to tell. Not like you.”

    “I want to hear about it anyway.”

    Whereas Moiraine spoke bitterly, Siuan speaks with nostalgia. Of racing, bare-foot, through the streets of Tear on market days. Of spending half her life on a boat, hauling up nets with her father, either at the mouth of the River Erinin or at sea but not far from shore. Of learning how to fillet every kind of fish imaginable, how to crack every bone and shell and scale of anything that swam or dwelt in the sea, readying it for market days. Of how her parents died in a storm that dragged their dinghy off the coast, crushed beneath a wave, only flotsam bobbing to the surface. 

    Moiraine listens without interruption. When Siuan has finished she asks, “Can you teach me how to fish?” 

    It is, somehow, the perfect thing for her to have said. 

    Siuan snorts. “Yeah. Sure. With your bare hands, if you want.” 

    “That’s not real,” Moiraine says. Then she adds, “Is it?” 

    “Guess you’ll find out when we go down to the river.” Siuan shivers and burrows closer to Moiraine's body heat. "Only when it gets warmer, though."

    "It's a deal."

    It’s only the second time Siuan has ever experienced snow. The first time had been a strange affair. Cautiously sticking her foot out into the snow bank and grimacing when it melted through her sock. Siuan is accustomed to warm winters and wet summers. She isn’t built for the cold, nor does she ever want to be. The Novices are all given appropriate winter garb, but even the second time around, it’s not enough. She’s swaddled in a white cloak and a white scarf, white mittens and a white hood drawn up over her head, while she wraps her arms around herself. 

    “Bloody cold,” she grumbles.

    At her side, Alanna laughs and links arms with her. From the other side, Moiraine merely smiles, but allows Siuan to link her arm as well so that Siuan can pull the two of them into a sandwich around her and steal their warmth. 

    The five of them are walking towards the stables outside The Tower. Alanna, Myrelle, Coladara, Siuan, and Moiraine. The Mistress of Novices had given them all a free day, a rare occurrence which Siuan has only experienced five times in her many months here. The news had been met with excited whispers as the Novices all planned what they would do with this given time. Alanna and Myrella had grabbed her and Coladara and Moiraine immediately, and hauled them off towards the exit, barely giving them time to grab their things before beating a hasty retreat. Which is how Siuan finds herself here, now. 

    The road is mostly clear of snow from the sweepers that go through every morning, but the roofs are all crusted with white. The sky above is pale and overcast, and beyond the city all the fields are blanketed with snow, dotted with black-boughed trees bare of greenery. 

    “Do we have to go riding, though?” Siuan asks. “What’s wrong with walking, anyway?”

    "Riding is wonderful," Moiraine insists. "One of life's little pleasures."

    Siuan mimes being sick. 

    Moiraine nudges their shoulders together. "Stop that."

    "All I'm saying is," Siuan leans her shoulder into Moiraine's so that they both walk forward at an angle, Alanna dragging behind them with a giggle. "Why would you trust a great big beast with a mind of its own to carry you around when it could decide it just doesn't want you there anymore, thank you very much, and it'll smear you into a paste beneath it's hooves?"

    "Isn't Tear famous for its horses?" asks Myrelle behind them.

    "Isn't Ebou Dar famous for its duelists?" Siuan drawls in return. "Honestly, I'm a bit insulted you haven't tried to stab me yet, Myrelle."

    "I'm re-thinking that decision." Myrelle darts forward to poke at a ticklish spot on Siuan's flank so that Siuan yelps and has to hide behind Moiraine, unlinking arms with Alanna in the process. 

    Alanna laughs. “I hear you’re quite good at riding, Myrelle. Or was that just a naughty rumour?” And as she asks it, she wraps her arms around Myrelle’s neck and jumps onto her back. Myrelle yelps, startled and high-pitched, but hooks her arms beneath Alanna’s knees regardless, the two of them nearly pitching forward before Myrelle can catch her balance. 

    Coladara sighs and shakes her head, a sly smile playing about her lips. “Alanna, there’s little point asking questions when you already know the answer.”

    Alanna gasps in faux outrage. Myrelle cackles. Siuan guffaws and hears Moiraine beside her choke back a snort of laughter behind her hand. Outside the stables, a young boy is pushing a wheelbarrow full of straw and shit. He stops when he sees them approach. Or, rather, his head jerks up when he hears a shriek of laughter from Alanna channeling a weave of air to loosen a mountain’s worth of snow from a rooftop to fall directly on Coladara’s head.  

    Ignoring the chaos behind her, Moiraine steps forward calmly. “Good day. We need five horses saddled.”

    "I'm sorry, mistress," says the stableboy with a nervous little bow to her as he sets down the wheelbarrow. "But there're only four horses left today."

    "I'll walk," Siuan volunteers immediately, putting her hand into the air. 

    "Don't be ridiculous," Moiraine says, knocking her hand down.

    "I like walking."

    "You're not walking." Moiraine turns to the stableboy and passes over a few coins. "Please prepare just the four.”

    He mumbles something and bows his head. Then he darts into the stables and starts to rummage about, quick and practised with the animals. Alanna and Myrelle have managed to dig Coladara out of the snow and brush her off by the time he has the four horses ready for them. 

    “What’s the plan, then?” Myrelle asks, slightly breathless, while Alanna warms Coldara’s pink-tinged cheeks between her hands with small weaves of Fire. 

    “Thank you,” Moiraine murmurs to the stableboy, before turning to the others. “Each of you take a horse. Siuan?” 

    Siuan’s head darts around to find that Moiraine has grabbed the reins of a dappled grey mare and is leading the horse towards her. She pulls back on the reins, flips them over the horse’s head, then links her fingers together and holds her hands down low.

    “What?” Siuan asks dumbly. 

    Moiraine looks at her, then at her own hands, then back at Siuan’s feet. 

    Making a face, Siuan nevertheless steps forward. She tries to shake off as much snow from her boots as she can before placing her foot in Moiraine’s hands. She’s hoisted up, and awkwardly swings her leg over the mare’s back. The horse shifts beneath her, its ears flicking to and fro. 

    “Grab the reins, won’t you?” Moiraine says.

    Siuan does as she’s told, holding a long bit of leather slackly in each hand, while — with a single smooth movement — Moiraine hoists herself easily and gracefully into the saddle behind her. The horse grunts and begins to take a few sideways steps. Panicked, Siuan fumbles with the reins, but two gloved hands reach around and grab the reins just below where Siuan is holding onto them. 

    It’s as if Moiraine has some sort of strange power. She does something with the reins and with her posture, and the horse rights itself exactly so, neck perfectly arched, ears alert, awaiting further instruction. Behind her, Moiraine slips her toes into the stirrups, gently manoeuvring Siuan’s feet out of the way, then settles her arms low around Siuan’s waist in a hug. Siuan can feel the warmth of her pressed all against the length of her back, and Moiraine shifts her weight slightly so that she can rest her chin on Siuan’s shoulder and actually see what she’s doing. 

    “All right?” 

    The warm murmur in Siuan’s ear makes her shiver. Nodding, Siuan tangles her fingers in the mare’s storm-grey mane and holds on like it’s a buoy, like it’s the only thing keeping her afloat. The other three are already atop their mounts. None of them have the same effortless expertise with horses as Moiraine, but they all clearly know how to ride. Better than Siuan does, in any case. 

    “Are we ready?” Alanna asks, but she’s already heeling her horse down the road before any of them can answer. 

    Moiraine squeezes her knees together and clucks her tongue, and Siuan can feel every twitch of muscle even through all these layers of wool. The horse is guided into a line behind the others, bringing up the rear as they make their way through the streets of Tar Valon, beneath the crenellated gates, over one of the arching bridges, and out into the vast white fields of snow. 

    “Where are you taking us anyway?” Siuan calls out to the others ahead of them.

    Myrelle twists half around in her saddle to yell back, “It’s a surprise!” 

    Behind them, the White Tower gleams like a pale spear, putting the snow to shame. Alanna and Myrelle ride ahead, chatting and laughing together, while Coladara slows her mount to ride side-by-side and talk with Siuan. Moiraine does not join in unless explicitly brought into the conversation; she seems perfectly content riding in silence. At one point, Siuan pulls back the hood of her cloak, but that’s a mistake because the cold tip of Moiraine’s nose brushes against her ear and she squirms, which only makes everything worse. 

    The surprise, as it turns out, is a little village called Eldone Market about an hour’s ride south of Tar Valon. The streets are unlined, and the thatched roofs heavy with snow. Even so, an eponymous market has been erected through the village centre, each stall stretched with a brightly coloured canvas to protect their wares from the soft drift of snow that has begun to fall from the sky in little clumps. 

    A goodly number of people mill about. More than Siuan would have expected, given the weather. But then again, people here are used to this kind of thing. If she had it her way, she’d stay wrapped up with multiple blankets before a fireplace in the Novice Quarters, cradling a cup of tea in one hand and The Travels of Jain Farstrider in the other. 

    They dismount and tie up their horses outside the local inn. Moiraine gets off the horse first, then holds out her hand to help Siuan down as well. 

    “Come on,” says Myrelle, waving them forward with a grin. “I know a stall over here that sells the best roasted hazelnuts.” 

    “Oh, I’m allergic to nuts,” Alanna says sadly, following regardless.

    “That’s not what you told me last week.”

    “Coladara!”

    Alanna goes chasing Coladara down the street while the rest follow, laughing. The five of them wind up huddle around a merchant’s fire, holding out their hands to the flame while he turns hazelnuts and scoops them into small paper bags for them to share. The other three are quickly distracted by the sight of pretty ribbons being sold at the next stall over, leaving Siuan and Moiraine behind to trace their fingers over lengths of multi-coloured silk and velvet and lace. Siuan shakes her head, listening to them bemoan the fact that they’ve had to wear white for so long, and what they wouldn’t give to add even the smallest splash of colour to their outfits. 

    Moiraine nudges her wrist and holds out their bag of hazelnuts. Fishing one from the bag, Siuan pops it into her mouth and says while chewing, “Do you miss wearing colour, too?”

    Moiraine hums around a bite of her own, finishing it before she replies, “I never wore much colour in Cairhien, anyway. This is a nice change of pace.” 

    Siuan can remember all too clearly how stark Moiraine had looked in her Courtly garb. Black upon black. Black unbroken but for those strange narrow bars like tabs of military rank denoting station. Siuan grabs another hazelnut. “I only wore hand-me-downs from my sister and uncles. But they were comfortable. And I never tripped on them.”

    “You trip less now.” 

    “But I do trip.” 

    “Only on stairs.” 

    “Because together stairs and long dresses are the Dark One’s own inventions.” 

    The corner of Moiraine’s mouth twitches in a smile. “There is a technique to walking up stairs with long hems, you know.”

    “And you’re only just telling me this now? After watching me stumble over my own fucking feet for nearly two years? The betrayal. The bloody outrage.” 

    Moiraine is biting her lower lip, and the merchant is startled at Siuan’s sudden burst of bad language. “What?” Siuan says, chewing on another hazelnut. “Never heard a Novice swear before?” 

    He merely lifts his eyebrows, but he sounds amused when he replies. “Better not let an Aes Sedai overhear you, young one.”

    “Young one, my flaming arse. What Aes Sedai?” And Siuan makes a gesture around them.

    The merchant points over her shoulder. “That one.” 

    Both Siuan and Moiraine go very still. Slowly, they turn around. Sure enough, there’s a white-shawled Sister roaming the stalls just behind them, camouflaged by her bloody stupid Ajah. 

    “Oh, fuck,” Siuan says, and the Sister’s head turns with a frown. “Shit.” 

    Grabbing hold of Moiraine’s hand, Siuan darts around the stall. The White Sister says something sharp behind them, but they don’t wait to find out what. They duck behind various stalls, dodging and weaving, and then racing past a well to hide behind the bulk of the inn, until the snow grows too deep, and Moiraine has to catch Siuan from pitching face-first into a tree. They stop, panting for breath and laughing. 

    “Light,” Siuan gasps. “I thought we were done for. Did you see her face?” 

    Moiraine leans against the tree and nods. “I think I recognised her. From a philosophy class. Falion Sedai.” 

    “Oh, no — that bitch? We only just escaped with our skins intact.” 

    Moiraine starts laughing and doesn’t stop. 

    “What?” Siuan asks.

    Covering her mouth, Moiraine shakes her head, her eyes glittering like dark stones surrounded by all this white. “We just left them there with her. The others.” Her voice is muffled. “They’re going to be so mad.”

    Siuan has to fight back the urge to laugh with her, but can’t hold back a grin. “Well, we’re already wearing white for their funerals, I guess.” Siuan steps forward but misjudges exactly where her feet are going. The bit of ground just to that side isn’t, as it turns out, actually a bit of ground at all, and her foot just keeps sinking down and down until — eyes wide and limbs flailing — she tips right over into the snowbank. “Fuck!”

    Thrashing her arms and legs about in a desperate attempt to gain any sort of traction and stand back up, Siuan can hear Moiraine wheezing with laughter. “Stop laughing and help me, Light damn you!”

    “Sorry,” Moiraine gasps, choking back a laugh to no avail. “I’m sorry. Here. Give me your hand.” 

    Moiraine appears above her, gloved hand outstretched. In the starkness of the black-boughed woods and the snow, Moiraine stands amongst it all like she belongs nowhere else, cheeks flushed from the cold, eyes crinkled at the edges with a broad smile. Siuan grabs her hand and gives a hard tug. Surprise flashes across Moiraine’s features as she pitches forward, and with a yelp lands half atop Siuan in the snow. 

    Siuan rolls them over so she can shovel snow against Moiraine’s scrunched up face. With a shriek of laughter, Moiraine flails, regains the upper hand briefly — just enough to stuff snow down the back of Siuan’s cloak — before Siuan manages to pin her between her knees.

    “Laugh at me again,” Siuan pants. “I dare you.” 

    Moiraine has to bite her cheek to keep the laughter at bay, but her eyes are bright and she is grinning in spite of herself. Her hair is damp and curling gently. Crouched over her on all fours, the snow seeps into the fabric around Siuan’s knees and hands, but she hardly feels it. Not with their breath misting in plumes of white between them. Not with Moiraine’s smile softening into something else, something tender. Not with a prickle of warmth gathering beneath Siuan’s skin, in a place between her shoulder blades and all throughout her chest. 

    “Siuan!” someone calls in the distance, followed by another familiar voice. “Moiraine!” 

    Siuan’s head jerks up. She hadn’t realised how close they’d drifted towards one another until she does it. In their scuffle, they had flattened a swathe of snow enough that they can clamber upright without any trouble. Siuan offers Moiraine a hand, which Moiraine takes and doesn’t let go of. 

    Siuan squeezes her hand back. “Shall we see what kind of trouble they’ve gotten into without us?”

    They may not have gotten Charis with the bucket of cold water, but Myrelle manages to sneak itchoak into her drawers, infecting all of Charis’ clothes, so that large rashes appear all across her skin. She needs to take a few days off to visit the Yellows and be healed, as well as clean all of her clothes.

    It should be a cause for celebration, but for the fact that it means all of Charis’ classes for that week are taught by Elaida. 

    “Next time,” sighs Alanna, as they trudge out of Elaida’s classroom, exhausted from Channeling so many weaves over and over to her exacting standards, “we should just steal her clothes and hang them from one of the garden balconies like I suggested.”

    “Why is it that whenever it’s your scheme, someone ends up naked?” Siuan asks.

    “Because I have the best schemes, clearly.” 

    “Here.” 

    They’re getting ready for bed, and Moiraine is holding out a small wrapped parcel, tied and knotted with twine. Frowning, Siuan takes it. She picks apart one of the knots and peels back the plain paper wrapping to reveal a square of silk, neatly folded upon itself. She pinches one corner and pulls, until the small square unfurls into a large silk scarf of pure white. Presumably so that if an Accepted or Aes Sedai waltzed into the Novice Quarters, Siuan wouldn’t get in trouble for wearing another colour.

    Sitting on the edge of Moiraine’s bed, Siuan turns the silk scarf over in her hands. “Where did you buy this?” 

    “Eldone Market,” answers Moiraine. While Siuan has been unpacking the gift, Moiraine had stripped out of her clothes — facing away for whatever idiotic Cairhienin reserve required — and is now sticking her arms into a nightgown. 

    “But that - that was ages ago!” 

    Moiraine pulls the nightgown over her head and sweeps her hair out in a long wine-dark tumble around her shoulders. “I couldn’t think of an appropriate time to give it to you.”

    “And now was a good time, because -?”

    “Just because.” 

    With a small noise in the back of her throat, Siuan starts to shake the scarf out, but stops. “This isn’t a prank, right? The fabric isn’t laced with something that’ll make my hair frizzy, right?” Siuan asks, eyes narrowing. “Because my hair is off limits. I’m warning you.”

    Moiraine shoots her a look that is both amused and exasperated. “It is not a prank.” When Siuan merely squints suspiciously at her, Moiraine laughs softly, takes the scarf, and proceeds to rub it all over her face. Then she holds it back out with a smile. “There. You see? Safe.” 

    “Can’t be too cautious,” Siuan grumbles to herself. 

    Moiraine laughs softly and picks up a jar of lotion from her bedside table. Siuan has to wrap her hair twice with the new scarf; she isn’t used to the slipperiness of the silk fabric. When she’s finished, she shivers. "It's freezing tonight. Do you have a pair of socks I can borrow?"

    Moiraine gestures vaguely. "In one of the drawers."

    Standing, Siuan crosses the small room and begins opening drawers. She rummages through neatly folded items, and stops when her hands hit something with a hard edge. Sweeping aside a dress, she pulls out a box of fragrant cedar that smells of sherry and woodsmoke. It’s thin but as wide as her shoulders. Her thumbs toy with two golden latches holding it together. Burned into the top of the lid is an ornate crest — a crown and a tree. She opens the lid and inside is a pristinely folded dress. It is one of those uniquely Cairhienin affairs, black silk with intricate green and red stripes. 

    Siuan can remember it clearly from the first day she ever saw Moiraine. How sleek and expensive she had looked, how vaguely silly, like a gem-studded knife — sharp enough to cut but needlessly baubled. 

    Siuan holds the dress up and says, “I can see why you hid this one away. What a bloody eyesore. Do you -?” 

    A hand darts out from over Siuan’s shoulder, and Moiraine snatches the dress away. Startled, Siuan stumbles back a step. Quick as a minnow, Moiraine takes her place before the drawers. She shoves the dress back into its box and slams the lid shut. Hunched over the box, she isn’t looking at Siuan, but her face is deathly pale and tendons stand out against her jaw. 

    "I'm sorry -" Siuan begins.

    "It's fine," Moiraine says curtly. 

    "Moiraine -"

    "It's fine." The sharpness has been tempered from Moiraine's voice but only just. Her hands are white-knuckled around the edge of the box. Moiraine draws in a shaky breath. One of her hands drifts over the crest seared into the lid. She traces the curve of a branch and says, "I don't even know why I kept it. It's not like I'll need to attend Court any time soon. And if I ever do again, this will be out of fashion by then."

    Feeling foolish, feeling like she’s absolutely stepped in it now, Siuan flounders for what best to say. “It’s all right to be homesick. I wish I could’ve kept something from Tear, but I didn’t bring anything with me worth keeping.” 

    “I’m not -” Moiraine starts to say, but has to stop and swallow past a burr in her throat. “I’m not homesick.” 

    "Don’t you miss anything about home?” 

    “That place isn’t home. This isn’t home. People are home.”

    “Then who do you miss?” 

    Moiraine's throat works. She straightens, box gripped between her hands, and hides it back where Siuan had found it beneath a few spare slips. She closes the drawer with a quiet but final click of wood against wood. Then, she walks over to the bed and sinks down onto the mattress with a sigh. "I miss my father," she finally says. “And you? Do you miss Tear?”

    “Honestly? Yeah.” Siuan shrugs. She sits beside Moiraine, the thin mattress dipping beneath their combined weight. They’re seated so close their shoulders and knees brush. “Life is simple when all you have to worry about is hauling a net. Never had to worry about shit like grammar.” 

    “Speaking to you in the Old Tongue tells me you still don’t worry much about grammar,” says Moiraine wryly. 

    Siuan prods her ribs in retribution, and Moiraine squirms away from her with a small grin. And just like that, the tenseness has bled from the air. Neither of them make any comment about the way Moiraine slips beneath the covers and holds a corner up for Siuan to join her. Somehow — Siuan isn’t sure exactly when — this has become a habit. One of them following the other into the room at the end of a day. Squeezing the two of them onto the same narrow mattress, even though they both know they could sleep more comfortably apart. The bed frame creaks slightly as Siuan clambers in beside her, pausing only to blow out the flame of the lamp on the bedside table. 

    They’re still settling into place, lying facing one another, when Siuan asks suddenly, “Do you want to burn the dress tomorrow?”

    Moiraine laughs, the sound as bright and soft as her smile. Shaking her head, Moiraine reaches up and tucks one of the ends of the silk scarf away so that it doesn’t flop down onto Siuan’s brow. Her hand lingers there, thumb drifting against Siuan’s temple, then down to the roundness of her cheek. Moiraine’s eyes gleam, warm and dark, her hair sprawled across the pillow they share, and with the warmth of Moiraine’s hand against her cheek, Siuan is taken aback by the sudden and demanding urge to kiss her palm, her fingers, the softness of her inner wrist. 

    “Are you all right?” 

    Siuan blinks, the murmur of Moiraine’s voice dragging her back above the surface, but the impulse is still there, gripping her by the sternum in a tight, clawed fist. She smothers it down, tries to shove it back into the place where it once slept, but it seeps out, like trying to trap the sea in a chest. Slowly, Siuan covers Moiraine’s hand with her own and pulls it from her face. She settles their hands on the small stretch of pillow between them, and forgets how to breathe when Moiraine laces their fingers together. 

    “Yes,” Siuan exhales. Inhales. Smiles weakly. “Why wouldn’t I be?” 

    Moiraine doesn’t pry. Moiraine never pries. Siuan, rather insanely, half wishes she would, half dreads the very idea. 

    Clearing her throat, Siuan unlinks their hands and rolls onto her back rather than face her a moment longer. It doesn’t help. Not a whit. Not when Moiraine curls up against her side, forehead bowed against Siuan’s shoulder, arm cautiously reaching around Siuan’s waist as though still waiting to be rebuffed. Siuan holds her arm in place with her own, and Moiraine lets loose a sigh that tickles her neck. 

    The night seems to go on forever, and Moiraine’s breathing deepens, while Siuan stares at the ceiling, hoping beyond hope that Moiraine doesn't hear her treacherous heart hammering away in her chest.

    --

    NOTES

    -we know basically nothing about Colmanes, which means it’s my city now.

    -Cairhien isn’t explicitly homophobic in the books, but they are uptight about sex in general. My personal HC is that sex and a person’s sexuality (whatever that may be) is used as yet another weapon in the arsenal of The Great Game.

    -because we don’t know much about Siuan’s childhood from the books, I’ve taken a bit from ep 1x06 of the show and sprinkled a bit of my own ideas in there, too. However I should point out that both Moiraine and Siuan are quite a bit older when they came to the White Tower in the books than what is portrayed in the show.

    -I don’t actually know if it snows in Tear or not, and the wiki doesn’t say shit on it, and I’m NOT reading back through 4 million words just to check. *(vader voice)* I am altering the lore. Pray I do not alter it further.

    -I know Cadsuane and Moiraine meet for the first time after Moiraine has been raised to the Shawl, but the idea of them accidentally dumping a bucket of water on Cadsuane’s head was too funny to pass up, and I think it would make the New Spring scene where they meet in canon even funnier.

    #moiraine x siuan #moiraine/siuan#suiraine#moiraine damodred#siuan sanche #wheel of time #the wheel of time #wot#roman writes
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  • amemoryofwot
    10.12.2021 - 5 monts ago

    So Moiraine kissed Siuan’s ring like that cause that was the last time she would ever kiss her

    And Siuan touched Moiraine’s finger under the Rod like that cause that was the last time she would ever touch her

    #no I haven’t been thinking about this all night why would you ask #be careful what you wish for cause you might just get it ie canon suiraine #wheel of time #wheel of time spoilers #moiraine/siuan#Moiraine damodred#Siuan sanche#siuaraine#siuraine
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  • stormstressed
    10.12.2021 - 5 monts ago

    I KNOW THE RITUALS ARE INTRICATE I KNOW IT I KNOW THEYRE INTRICATE

    #wheel of time #wot prime spoilers #suiraine #wot on prime #wheel of time on prime
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  • stormstressed
    10.12.2021 - 5 monts ago

    OH GOD THIS EPISODE IS SEVERAL HUNDRED TIMES MORE GAY THAN I EVER HOPED OR DREAMED IM DYING

    #wheel of time #wot prime spoilers #suiraine
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  • wafflelovingbatgirl
    10.12.2021 - 5 monts ago
    #moiraine damodred#suian sanche #the wheel of time spoilers #the wheel of time #wheel of time #wheel of time spoilers #wot #wot on prime #the moiraine/siuan agenda only #suiraine
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  • vorbarrsultana
    03.12.2021 - 5 monts ago

    wait... if suian was in caemlyn, she would have met elayne already. and you can't convince me that she didn't use that opportunity to corrupt moiraine's well-mannered niece by teaching her some tairen swear words.

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