Changes in the Tower:

Sorry it took so long, the real reason I updated is kinda cause Nightdweller updated after so long of a time Also I've been thinking about it for a long time…

So the story you are now reading is two options I cant decide and neither can Neela so…you decide …. SORRY BOUT THE WAIT!

Oh yea, remember Kai, well his name is now

Trial One

Tao sat on the floor, Marriiah's head in his lap. He was petting her softly, stroking her ear to calm down. Marriiah gave a slight whine at his touch and looked deep into his eyes. He sighed and smiled slightly at her, then continued to stare into space. He did that a lot these days, ever since Aria had…disappeared maybe less than a month ago. He didn't want to say that she had died, (and along with her, a part of himself,) for he himself couldn't face the facts.

He stood up silently, opening the door only to get it bumping back in his face.

"Oh, Tao, I'm so sorry," Alys exclaimed, flinging herself around her friend's neck, erupting in tears.

Tao put his arms around her and squeezed her slightly and soon her sniffles ceased. She gazed up at him.

"I'm sorry," she muttered, wiping her eyes with her sleeve.

"I understand," he said, trying to act cheery, for her sake.

"It's time for lessons," she said.

"Alright, let's go."

There was a slight tension between them, unanswered questions neither wanted to bring up. As they turned the corner, they saw Dar at Tala's door, doing the same thing Alys had been doing, except without the face-bashing knock.

"Ready for lessons?" Dar asked, turning to face his sister and best friend.

Alys nodded and then grimaced, sharing a pain her brother knew too well. They were to be taught by their mother today, who had been out of it, retreating from life as if in silent thought of her daughter. She would often gaze out into space and not realize it until she had someone call her name. Then sometimes she would just weep and everyone would sigh and start to mingle, getting used to the routine after so long. As for Lan, well he had distanced himself from them all, sitting on the bed, arms on his legs, staring into space. Of course, he greatly accepted his daughter, son and wife's comfort, but almost no one else's.

Tala smiled at the wolf who had been trailing behind Tao and Alys. Just then, Alys glanced up at Tao. She stepped forward and put her hands on his chest. "A journey awaits you soon, Tao."

He looked at her with a strange look, "What about the others?"

Alys squinted above everyone's heads and nodded. "Yes, all of you, and hopefully me. And, Dar…"

"Yeah, Alys?"

"I should have said this before, but now with Aria gone and the journey…" She was having a hard time trying to explain without sounding awkward.

"Please, Alys?" Dar stepped forward to gaze deep into his sister's eyes as he put a hand on her shoulder.

"You are to recover a lost kingdom."

Dar looked at her, a light in his eyes as if he was questioning it in his mind – as if he knew what was going to happen.

Tala coughed. "Let's get to class before we're sent to the Mistress of Novices, shall we?" she asked, switching the weight of books Alys had not noticed before in her arms.

Dar stepped away from his sister slowly and they all nodded.

Marriiah stood suddenly bolt upright and Tala turned to her.

What is it? She asked.

I thought I felt…

Marriiah didn't get to finish, for Alys, who had turned and gasped at something over Tao's head, interrupted.

"It can't be…" she whispered.

Tao glanced at the area above his head nervously.

"What?"

Alys shook her head. "Must have misinterpreted it," she said, though she knew that the small babe she'd seen looked a whole lot like her sister.

Aria grimaced at the blow she received.

"Come on lazy child, you're supposed to give us names, not how things work."

It was a voice from the shadows, a voice of a dreaded Forsaken. She felt like she was going to die here, working as a slave some nights, and being pampered like a pet others. She wondered what was to become of her, and if Rand knew that the Forsaken were back.

At night, she often sat in bed wondering why they were back and why they pampered her some times and other times not.

Something tickled the back of her brain, a calling perhaps, and she opened herself to it.

Girl, hold on. She smiled. A wolf. But out here? Well, she had to trust it; wolves would (and could) not lie. She was going to make it through.

"I told you, the stuff you give me makes me forget," she said, feeling another blow rain down on her.

Trial Two

(Three years later)

Tao, now 18, wrapped his cloak around him in the darkness of the night and fingered the ring on his finger, marking him Aes Sedai – finally. Now, after so long, it was time for his journey to begin. He fingered his pocket lightly where a special ter'angreal lay. One to keep him safe and pure wherever he was going.

Glancing back at the White Tower, he proceeded to the area where a WayGate lay. Before he could climb onto his horse, though, he felt a sharp tug at his pants.

He looked down and warmth rose in his eyes. Marriiah.

"Marriiah, I can't take you where I'm going."

She yanked harder, and he felt like her teeth would ruin his pants.

"Please, Marriiah."

She started yelping.

"Don't do that, Marriiah! You'll wake everyone!"

"Too late." A voice came from behind him. Tao looked over his shoulder to see his best friend causally strolling down the steps, followed by his two female friends, one being his best friend's sister.

"We know it's been three years, Tao, but none of us have given up on her yet." Tala said, bending down to stroke the wolf. She was now one of the Yellow sisters, and Warder-less.

"You told her," he hissed at Marriiah.

Alys laid a hand on her friend's arm, a blue pendant swaying above her forehead. It had been a gift from Moiraine when she'd made Aes Sedai, especially since she had chosen the Blue. "It was to happen anyway, Tao, I know it."

Tao grimaced and accepted it, knowing about her viewing. From the stable emerged Kai, Alys' Warder. With him were all of their horses.

"You know how I'm going to travel, right?"

They all nodded and grimaced at the same time. "Then let's go," he said, turning to lead them all to the WayGate.

Alys gasped at something above Tao's head.

"Tao," she said. "She's still alive."

"How can you be so sure?"

"I just know…"

She was definitely sure that she knew the face of the babe above his head from somewhere, and three years couldn't make her forget her sister's face.

Aria awoke in a deep sweat. She was in her room, locked up. This was one of her pampering moments; she'd had a lot of them lately now that the Forsaken were beginning to plan how to come out more and more, and had less time for concentrating on information she still held onto after three years.

She combed her hand through her hair and went to the washstand for water. This was the third time in a row that she had woken up like this – all after dreaming of Tao. Each time was different, however.

First, he had become Aes Sedai, and almost failed and died. She thought they had all forgotten about her. Then it was him being her Warder; saving her but dying in the process. Now it was him, facing an evil hated by so many, but yet not, now that the world had 'broken' and everything was well again, or so they thought

Aria wondered if her sister was still had the Viewing, and if any of the visions involved Tao raising Malkier, or anything special. She wondered if Marriiah was still around. She wondered if Tala remembered her and if her brother and sister cried for her. She wondered if she had any new siblings. Light, she wondered too much.

Something was tickling her brain, building up to a yell – something she'd not known for a long time. She opened herself to it gladly.

Hold on. It seemed like a brief message, but it was all she needed, and she knew the risk of sending it.

Wolves were coming to help her, here, meaning her life must be changing for the better, meaning she was finally going to leave and see faces she had not seen in a long time.

She wondered if she would be recognized with open arms. With a fearful thought, she wondered if she could ever be accepted back to the tower, especially with threeyears of almost no work with the Power and 'running away' as a 'novice'. She fell back to her bed and wept.

Well, time for thank you's!

Neela: THANKS FOR BETAING AND PUTTING UP WITH ME. Hope the changes are okay. Think you could email me ideas for the next chapter? Thanks for the site name btb!

FantasyTraveler: Hope your still reading this! And I hope you like it! Getting interesting yet?

Lan's Mashiara: Thanks for reading both smiles hope this was a good chapter

Nightdweller: more Lan and Nynaeve later, I'll have Neela smack me if I don't put it in!

To All: Please choose one or the other so I can continue.