One-shot. Pretty short.
Mercedes Lackey fanfiction.
Disclaimer: Actually, I'm only using the concept. So. I'm not using any of Mercedes Lackey's characters or plot-lines; they belong to her anyway. THESE characters, all of them, are mine. "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride..." It'd be nice if we had Companions too!

The Black Silk Blindfold

"Argh! You idiot, that hurt!"

He smiled sweetly and said, "Yes, I know. It was supposed to."

"But why?"

"How else are you going to learn? 'If you don't come home with bruises, then I'll be worried'. Hasn't your father ever told you that? –And stop prodding your shoulder like that, Salin; you won't get that luxury in battle and you won't get it here. Now let's try that again."

I sighed and gripped my sword in sweaty palms. The Weaponsmaster was stickler for perfection, and not being able to see without thick lenses certainly didn't help matters much. If you didn't measure up to his standards, then he believed you had no business being in Grays. So a fellow trainee by name of Tarmic had agreed to help me. Nevermind the fact that he was a genius who shouldn't have considered me worthy of notice. Nevermind the fact that he should have been Interning now and was mere months away from getting his Whites. Nevermind the fact that he was totally blind.

I allowed myself a brief trip down memory lane, knowing that Tarmic wouldn't attack me for another moment or two at least. Tarmic (or Mic to his friends) was an unusual case. He had been orphaned as a young boy when bandits had attacked his farm and killed both his parents. For some reason, the brigands had taken him with them and raised him. He had fought with them from a relatively young age, and had shown promise as a budding leader. Until a fateful battle when he was twelve…

They were going to attack a small village, hoping for an easy mark. Unbeknownst to them, a Firestarter was visiting relatives when they hit. He drove them off practically single-handedly, killing a few and wounding more. As they retreated, Tarmic tripped over a hole and fell directly on a smoldering branch. He screamed loudly enough for the local herb woman to hear then fell unconscious. The bandits didn't come back for him.

The next few days were spent in darkness, pain and a voice in his mind, comforting him and telling him stories. When he woke up enough to speak rationally and felt bandages over his head, he asked what had happened, and was told that he had been injured in the fight and that he had gotten a head wound, nothing major. Content with this answer, he slipped back into sleep. But after a week went by and the bandages were still there, he knew something was wrong. Slowly the story came out: The branch had been directly underneath his eyes when he fell, and the heat had burned them beyond repair.

He wasn't as upset at the fact that he was blind now so much as at the fact that they had lied to him. He insisted that he be allowed to leave his room and live somewhere else, because he didn't want to live in a "house of liars". They were perfectly willing to let him go with nothing but jeers and a rough cotton blindfold to hide the burns. Then something made them stop. Tarmic didn't know at first, because he couldn't see, but he now knows that it must have been his Companion Jenille. He was shocked out of his skin, he said, "When I felt something gently poke my arm. I jumped and the thing disappeared for a second, only to return with a larger something attached." He ran his hands up and when he got to the ears, he knew it was a horse. When someone told him it was white, he suspected, and when it spoke in a familiar Mindvoice, he was sure of it.

"I can't Choose you fully, because you can't… see, but let all here know that I love you for who you are, Tarmic, and I Choose you!"

And the rest, as they say, is history. Mic became the foremost Trainee in almost everything, and he even learned to fight again with his sword, becoming the best by necessity. That had sent waves through the Collegia, but that's another story. He never gave up the blindfold, although now it was black silk. The girls, of course, thought it heightened his appeal, and it didn't help that he was 18 and the most good-looking guy in the Collegium. He appeared oblivious, and mostly, he was. However, he was by no means out of the loop. He was the one who volunteered to help me. He was the one who volunteered to tutor the twins when they were failing the course. Nobody had to ask, he just did it. He definitely wouldn't have lasted as a bandit. I smiled fondly at the memory of him standing there in the hall, seeming to look at me even through his blindfold, hesitantly asking me if I wanted to practice sword techniques with him. But I had to save that for another foray into the mists of the past, he was coming at me now in the beginning strike of the current pattern. A smile broke out on my face as I just barely parried him, moving directly into the next steps.

"Come on, Sal, if you don't concentrate, I'll get Jeni to ask Fasdun to buck you off next time you jump him!"

"Oh, yeah right, like Dun would ever do something like that!"

"Are you so sure, my dear? Your wandering mind may just be your downfall!"

"Ack! The world's against me! I'll just have to improve my aim to such an extent that the whole world trembles at my feet! Starting with you three!"

Light-hearted laughter filled the late morning air accompanied by the merry ring of metal on metal, adding another memory to the path that can only be found in the hearts and heads of those who care.

A/N: Finally! I can post! It's a little annoying that I had to wait over three days to post after I signed on…
Well, what do you think? I just don't know if it really qualifies as a fanfiction or not. I had fun writing it, so I guess that's what matters. The nicknames should be easy to place. I hope you enjoyed this; it's a cheerful little thing, no?
PS: Don't expect much else, I don't usually write fan fiction. Of course, you go to fictionpress (penname of aspiring author), where you will find tons of stories!

EDIT: Updated!