Too much time with nothing constructive to do and a strange love for Rand and Egwene's relationship at the beginning of the series led to this. *shrugs* Part of me will always root for them, although I know full well it'll never happen. And a discussion with a friend of how Rand feels he cannot trust Egwene really inspired the final piece. As per usual, reviews are greatly appreciated!
Disclaimer: The Wheel of Time and all related terms are property of Robert Jordan and Tor publishing. I'm just borrowing them to torture- erm, play with. Flame me for canon violation if you want, the spawn of Satan made me write it! Really, I need better muses.
The wind is biting cold here, the final resting place of the Dragon. Lord of the Morning, Prince of the Dawn, True Defender of the Light, and a thousand more fool names. Only one that matters: Rand al'Thor.
We won, you old fool. Spring hadn't come yet, but it will. Until then though, the wind cuts to the bone. I should embrace the power and keep warm, but I just keep standing here. It seems fitting somehow. Gawyn will be furious.
I must admit, this is never how I saw my life. Me the Amrillyn Seat of the Aes Sedai, and you dead and gone for the good of the world. I am standing at the foot of your grave. What am I doing? There are things to be seen to, and I have no right to be here.
Times have forced both of us to change, and not always for the better. Back home, I knew nothing about channeling, or Daes dae'mer, and now both are second nature. The thing I could never get used to though is you.
And yet at times, I can remember the way things the way they once were. You stumbling to find the right words, me taking extra time dressing when I knew I'd see you. Not that either one of us would admit it.
In those days, you were my dreams. But time wrecked havoc on those long ago. I always took it for granted we'd be married some day, with our own place. We'd have our sheep, and as much as I hate spinning, Light, I'd do it. We'd spend every night in front of the fire, sometimes talking, sometimes not. That's not what would matter. It would be being with you. Sitting in front of our fireplace, in our house, with our lives calmly plodding along in Two Rivers fashion.
And, burn me, I know we'd have our fights, we're too Two Rivers to ever change that, but every day would be a happy one. We'd never even dream of the luxuries we've both grown accustomed to, but what we'd have would have been our own. And no doubt we'd be happy too.
Maybe we'd be in Emond's Field, and maybe not. I really did enjoy studying under Nynaeve, and I doubt you'd have minded a Wisdom for a wife. Maybe I could have found a way to help you when you began to channel, without either of us knowing what we were doing.
And doomed the world, most likely. Why couldn't life be simple? Why did you and Mat and Perrin have to be bloody ta'varen? And why did I have to tag along? I wouldn't change who I've become now, but if I had foreseen the price…my life would be so very different Rand.
This adventure I thought I was embarking on destroyed my life as Egwene al'Vere. Everything I held dear was lost in the moment I made up my mind to accompany you. What a fool am I. Nothing is the same anymore. My own village is foreign to me. I manipulate people to my own ends, even on the simplest of matters. And every truth I held dear in my childhood is long lost. Some days I find it hard to see that big oak that stood beside the inn at home. Light! How many hours did I spend beneath its leaves? How can I forget something like that?
How could you, for that matter? But you forgot a lot. I was in love with you Rand al'Thor, and part of me still is. Not the Dragon Reborn, not the car'a'carn, but Rand al'Thor. Son of Kari and Tam al'Thor. The one I grew up with. The shepherd who's biggest joy was life. Joy! Did you even remember that?
In the end you became someone I didn't recognize. You made yourself hard, somehow inhuman. Was that the only way you could do what needed to be done? If so, I thank you.
You could have confided in me. Everything I did was to help you, but you made it so difficult. I was learning as I went along, but so were you. I would never have risked your life, though whether for the Last Battle or my own selfish purposes I cannot say.
Perhaps I should have made you see the truth. "A man never wants to be caught playing a fool', my mother used to say. I haven't forgotten that at least. But Light, you were. And worse then any man my mother ever referred to.
Three women! I don't know how they managed to put up with you Dragon. If it were just Rand al'Thor, I could understand. Rand al'Thor was a sweet man, but the Dragon was fierce and proud. But they did love you, and I hope they made you happy. I hope you found as much joy in your time as you could. And I wish I had been there to share it with you.
But it pained me to see you change so, and, oh, how you loathed me. You couldn't even see past my title to the woman you grew up with. I hated you for that, but I understood it.
I love Gawyn, never doubt that for a minute. But there are some things I know he will never really understand. Maybe it's me, maybe I try to cut that out of my life. But you understood, you were there. And I wish I could talk to you just once about that Sunday when I was seven. Remember? I still can't believe Mistress Lewin actually believed a swallow stole her honey cake from the window! In fact, I doubt she truly did. But she let you get away with that one.
I had a dream the other night. A Bel Tine, but not one I remember. The Spring pole is up, and I'm dancing. Dancing. Dancing. Dancing. And by the end, I'm out of breath. But somehow I can laugh when I see your face. There's this expression, and I know there is nowhere I would rather be. Maybe that's why I put my hair up today. I remember the first time I could braid it, how grown up I felt. And how I looked forward o showing it to you.
And the look on your face when you saw it! Making an utter fool of yourself, trying not to stare! And tripping over your own tongue when I asked you to dance at Bel Tine! Ridiculous! But that reminds me, I never did get to dance.
Maybe the next spin of the wheel will have us near each other once more. Perhaps things will be different, and I'll get my house and sheep. But at the very least, you owe me a dance. Maybe the wheel will give it to us, maybe not. I just hope that I can appreciate it if it does.
I close my eyes, and thank you for listening. I was hoping that this would make it easier, dealing with the death of my friend. I don't think it has, but I have made my apologies. I hug my cloak tighter for a moment, and listen to the wind howl. Then I open a doorway, and step back into my study. Brief as this moment has been, Rand al'Thor, it has been of some importance. I will visit when spring comes, to place flowers on your grave.
Thank you, Lord Dragon, for your sacrifice.
Thank you, Lord Dragon, for doing what needed to be done.
Thank you Rand al'Thor, for being you.