So, there will be more! :D And you can all thank timewhisper for convincing me to write more. (All meaning the few of you that have actually read this... if anyone is actually reading)

So, um, here we go. I hope I'm keeping the characters in character, but it's kinda hard to slash two straight characters together and keep them in character. You have permission to call me out if they're OOC. (Particularly Rand because I'm less sure how to write him than I am Mat.)

Also (last thing) I am not a fan of Egwene. At all really. However, I don't like character bashing and I feel that doing so really jerks a person out of the story because you've essentially changed the way at least one character acts and thinks. So, I'm going to try and keep her in character and dealing with what's going on in her life and keep Rand from really liking her and I'm not sure if that's going to work. So, that's all to say that part of this chapter may come off as Egwene bashing and if it does tell me so I can try and fix it.

Rand was confused. Really, really confused. It should have been a simple thing. Boys like girls. Girls like boys. Rand was a boy, therefore he should like girls. That's all there was to it. Or, so he tried to tell himself. He couldn't help but remember the way Mat felt underneath him, the way he looked into his eyes like nothing in the world but Rand was important. How his lips felt, so firm, yet giving, unlike Egwene's soft, squishy lips. And, he thought, maybe it wouldn't be so bad if he only liked the way Mat felt. It wasn't that Egwene felt bad or anything. He liked the way her breasts pushed against his chest when they hugged, and the way she smelt, or especially her long, thick hair that he could run his fingers through. It wasn't bad just... different. But he liked Mat better.

He liked that Mat was closer to his size, and strong, but would still give into his embrace and let himself be held and vulnerable and protected. It felt so much better to be able to feel like Mat's protector than Egwene's. And Rand could press his body so much closer to Mat's than he could Egwene's and put more weight on him and not have to be quite so gentle.

But mostly it was the eyes. Egwene had beautiful, brown eyes, but there was a lack of depth to them. They were just... there. They were objectively pretty in color and size and shape and there was an honesty behind them that just screamed that she was safe. But, Mat's eyes were almost the opposite.

Rand never would have thought to describe his best friend's eyes as beautiful until he noticed that they were. Big and brown, like Egwene's, they seemed to hold so much more to them. They were a lighter shade of brown and his eyelashes didn't frame his eyes quite as marvelously as Egwene's did, but Rand thought that was okay. Any more attention drawn to his friend's eyes and they would have looked ridiculous. They were perfect as is. But, rather than that heart-breaking honestly Rand saw in Egwene's eyes, there were secrets in Mat's eyes. A promise that if you just looked a little closer you could figure out just what the boy was thinking, something Rand wouldn't turn down in a million years. Mat was excitement and Egwene was safety. Rand knew exactly which one he would prefer, but the one he liked better certainly wasn't as good for him as the other.

He sighed and rolled over in bed. It was getting late and he needed to sleep but the thoughts and memories of Mat wouldn't leave him alone and soon he found himself growing hard under the blankets. He groaned, caught between frustration and pleasure. He didn't want to jerk off to thoughts of his very male best friend with his dad in the room just next to him, but he was painfully aroused. He groaned again and realized it was going to be a really long night.

Rand awoke the next morning with the sun, as usual, loathe to move from his bed. Usually he was a morning person, unlike Mat who was perfectly content to sleep the day away, and was okay with getting up, but this morning he was exhausted. Sleep had been a long time coming the night before and now he had to get up and do his chores.

It was Sun's Day, which at least meant it was a day of rest, but on a farm the work was never done. Even if he didn't have to do all his chores, he still needed to milk the cow and feed the animals. That had to be done rather or not it was a day of rest. So, he got dressed, much more slowly than usual, and pulled on his boots as he went downstairs.

"Morning Rand," Tam said, as Rand walked into their kitchen.

"Mornin' da," Rand replied behind a yawn. His father always seemed to manage to get up before Rand, even if only by a minute or two and be dressed and downstairs earlier than him. When Rand was younger, they used to compete to see who could be up and ready first, but after Tam won every time, Rand eventually gave up and resigned himself to being marginally slower than his da.

Tam and Rand ate breakfast in silence before doing the dishes together, then going their separate ways to do chores. It really wasn't that bad, working on the farm. Rand never minded the work, though his friends, namely Mat, would whine like it was Tarmon Gaidon. It was nice, mindless work that was relaxing. You could just let it carry you away and think while you got stuff done, and never actually took too long.

It was only an hour later when all the necessary chores were done and Rand was running off towards town to find his friends. Mat and Perrin were walking around together, Mat walking backwards in front of Perrin and gesturing grandiosely as he spoke, while Perrin just looked amused and shook his head every now and then at Mat, no doubt telling him that he wasn't going to participate in whatever scheme it was that Mat was cooking up.

Rand couldn't but notice how different they were. Even though Mat by all appearances should have been moving far faster than Perrin with his quick steps, they moved at the same pace, Perrin's long, strong strides moving him far faster than he seemed to be. Perrin's height and immense shoulders dwarfed Mat's narrower stature, and Rand was sure, if Mat ever wanted to, Mat could easily stand behind Perrin and disappear completely from sight. However, the differences hardly stopped there. Perrin thought everything through, while Mat rushed into things half-cocked. Perrin always looked content with life, constantly observing everything around him, while Mat looked as though there was something hilarious going on constantly, never without a smile that looked like it could become full out laughter at any second. It was enough to either drive you insane or make you love him. Rand had come to love that little look.

The one thing they did have in common is that they were both underestimated. Constantly. People assumed Perrin's easy going, slow moving nature made him slow. It didn't. Perrin was very intelligent, if people only took the time to see it. And Mat's rash decision making ability to completely ignore the consequences of whatever it was he was about to do seem, well, flat unintelligent, but Rand knew that couldn't be further from the truth. Mat was practically a genius, one of the smartest people Rand had ever met, he just never had a chance to put his amazing mind to something useful.

Perrin looked up over Mat's shoulder at that moment and caught Rand's eye. His broad face lit up in a smile.


At Perrin's exclamation Mat pivoted around clumsily, far too quickly to look at all natural, stumbling and having to grab onto Perrin's arm to catch his balance. Rand rolled his eyes and jogged over to meet his friends. Perrin was laughing loudly at Mat and Mat was doing his best to regather his composure. He met Rand's eyes and immediately blushed ten shades of red. Luckily for them, it could easily be passed off as embarrassment that he wasn't able to keep his balance.

"H-hey Rand," Mat stuttered, doing his best to look a lot more relaxed than he actually was. It made Rand want to roll his eyes. For as good a liar as Mat was, he just couldn't get it through his head that trying to hard was just as bad as not trying enough. But, then again, Rand was pretty sure he could feel his cheeks heating up. And based on the confused looks Perrin was shooting the both of them, so far they were failing at keeping their kiss a secret.

"I'm not going to ask," Perrin eventually said.

"Ask what?" Mat replied.

"Whatever you two did to make you blush like you have a secret. As long as it doesn't involve me or Master Luhhan, I'm just as happy to remain ignorant."

"What are you talking about, Perrin? We don't have a secret. Are you feeling okay?" Mat asked.

"Rand, why do let him talk you into his hare-brained schemes?"

"Hey!" Mat squawked indignantly. "Who says it couldn't have been Rand's idea?!"

"It wasn't," Rand and Perrin said simultaneously, grinning. Ribbing Mat was a favorite pastime, mostly because he never took it too seriously.

"Hmph," Mat grunted, looking put out, making Perrin and Rand burst into peals of laughter. "I don't know why I hang out with you two. All you do is abuse me."

"Maybe it's because you get into so much trouble no one else is allowed to?" Rand suggested.

"Well," Mat said. "I suppose I'll just go hang out with Dav from now on. He's more fun than you two anyhow!" Mat made this threat everyday, so Rand and Perrin just rolled their eyes.

"Whatever you say, Mat," Perrin replied with a smile. Mat just glared. Then, his eyes seemed to just light up with mischief in a way Rand knew all too well and his lips curved up into a half-smile. That was the look he got whenever he was about to cause trouble, usually the kind that Rand would get dragged into. But, as he watched his friends smile grow as whatever it was he was planning developed in his mind, Rand felt his heart start to beat double-time against his chest, in a way he knew he could never feel about Egwene and realized that he was undeniably attracted, and maybe, just maybe, in love with Matrim Cauthon. Light help them all.

End Notes:

So, I'm not overly happy with the ending, but I suppose it'll work :/

Ages- So, I looked it up and someone was amazing enough to gather information from the books and extrapolate all the characters ages: . and what they claim is Perrin, Rand, and Mat were 21 at the end of the books, which would have made them 18 at the beginning. That would make Egwene anywhere between 15-17 at the beginning. (I've always liked to think of her as 16.) However, for the sake of this story, she's the same age as Rand and Mat and Perrin, which I will get to the why of that in a moment.

Now, I'm starting this about 4 years before the books took place, so the main characters are all 14 or 15. I think that's a fair age to start discovering your sexuality, though I initially thought 16. However, if we look at the setting of WoT and match the time period it seems to be set in with the times in our own society, this is time when people reach their sexual maturities more soon than we would being that a woman can be considered eligible for marriage at 16 and having babies soon after. So, 14 seemed a more realistic age. That being said, the reason I decided to make Egwene the same age as the others is because it seems okay for an 18 year old and a 16 (maybe 17) year old to be in a relationship, and it is necessary to the story for Egwene and Rand to have had a part relationship, but a 14 year old and 12 year old is very inappropriate to be. Even 14 and 13 sounds bad to be. So, they're all 14.

Times- I am not a history expert. I cannot tell you what time period the WoT books correlate with in out world, beyond that I think they do. Maybe early 1800's? I don't know. Because of that, expect some anachronisms. If anyone can give me council on what types of farm machinery they would have had access to or what they would eat for breakfast, feel free. This is just a disclaimer saying that at some point, expect something that doesn't quite belong where it is.