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Private lost in your eyes

Discussion in 'Cascade Bay' started by Egwene al'Vere, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Egwene al'Vere

    Egwene al'Vere The Wheel of Time

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    July 22nd, Year 108 || @Mat Cauthon
    There had been a good amount of cleaning that needed to be done around Nynaeve's house. Not that Egwene was exactly a slob but emotional exhaustion had gotten things out of sorts more than she intended. Dust had built up in corners and those wooden floors needed to be mopped. Having a day off from Schola and no desire to go out into company, Egwene had finally taken time to tidy up where it was needed most, instead of just basic items.

    One clean kitchen, living room, and she was airing everything out too. Cleaning rugs was easy with giant weaves of air doing all her hard work. She could carry entire loads of laundry without lifting a finger. Using her "magic" for this sort of thing might have been frowned upon somewhere else but Egwene had taken to using it daily with what was needed.

    Floors cleaned, everything wiped down, laundry done. Everything was dusted, windows thrown open, and glass cleaned. All in all, Egwene felt quite productive. It was oddly cathartic, though she had been someone who preferred things tidy, she had always been too busy to care either. Head of DoMA, running her own business, dealing with her double... more important things to be handled than making sure every corner was dusted. Having twins had really put that kind of life into complete perspective and she had had Mat's help!

    Thinking odd, stray thoughts about Matrim was completely normal for Egwene. Since her heart had started to heal before he had shown back up, Egwene had not shied away from memories. Little things would sometimes remind her of a moment she had treasured with her husband. Whether they were married, engaged, or even just dating. Good and bad together, because it still hurt... but distantly so for now. She stopped on her porch and glanced as Nynaeve's garden. Things had over grown there and having a green thumb wasn't exactly her strong suit, but trimming she could manage.

    Small, sharp slices of air cut back bushes and trimmed grass. Blunter ones pulled up weeds and moved items back into place. She cut a few flowers as she went, things in bloom that had been in over grown sections. Something for her desk at work, perhaps. Nice, bright, wonderful smelling. She did prefer lilies but roses and jasmin flowers were nice in their own right. Of course they were right next to the medicinal herbs, but Egwene knew how to care for those because of Nynaeve, so that wasn't difficult for her. Egwene carefully removed every rose's set of thorns before taking it in hand, and she had just finished arranging a decent bouqet when she realized there was someone at her garden gate. "Matrim?" He was looking at her oddly and she couldn't help but think that something was wrong.
     
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  2. Mat Cauthon

    Mat Cauthon The Wheel of Time

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    Race:
    Human
    Age:
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    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Mat hadn't intended to see Egwene again if he could help it when he'd walked her home a while ago, and yet here he was, wandering down the street towards her house. He wasn't sure at all whether this was a good idea at all, but... Well, things had taken an unexpected turn.

    The memories had started coming back a few days ago. At first, they'd been nothing big, just remembering a couple of people he'd apparently had dealings with, but then, after he'd left the hospital after visiting Toby Daye to see what their connection had been, more memories had come to the surface, and these ones hadn't come to him in dreams.

    He'd seen himself, and Egwene, but Egwene had been unlike he'd ever seen her. He saw her battered, bloodied and bruised, saw himself scooping her into his arms and sprinting towards a canal boat with her. He saw - blood and ashes, but he saw himself, fully clothed and sopping wet in the shower, sitting on the floor with a naked Egwene in his lap as he tenderly washed the blood from her body and drew tangles out of her hair. That had been a shock, sending Mat stumbling to the ground with his mouth agape, finding it hard to believe that that could be a real memory. If it hadn't been for meeting Toby, he would have refused to believe it at all. The weirdest thing was that from what he could tell, washing Egwene in the shower had not been accompanied by any kind of feelings.

    What in the Light had happened had happened to her?

    A memory of him lying in a bed while Egwene curled up beside him had swum to the surface, too. She'd seemed frightened, and Mat had seemed... careful. Tender. And he remembered... Light, but he remembered feelings. For her. He remembered feeling a growing attraction to her.

    Blood and bloody ashes.

    It had taken some time to decide whether or not he ought to talk to her. He didn't know what this meant, or whether he would get all of his memories back, and he didn't know if he wanted them either but... These memories had brought changes. He wasn't so baffled about what his previous self would have seen in Egwene any more. Or at least, he was, but he did actually remember feelings for her, as though they were his own. He supposed... they were his own. Were they? He didn't bloody know.

    Eventually, he'd headed to her home, feeling like at the very least, he wanted to know the context behind these memories. But even as he walked, he had second thoughts, and by the time he reached her garden gate, he was settled on turning back and going away again, until he realised that she was there, in the bloody garden, making a bouquet of flowers. For a few seconds he just looked at her, feeling like his mouth was dry, and fiddled awkwardly with the black scarf at his neck when she noticed that he was there.

    "Egwene," he greeted, clearing his throat as he put his hands on the top of the gate, though he didn't open it. "Never took you for the gardening type."
     
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  3. Egwene al'Vere

    Egwene al'Vere The Wheel of Time

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    He was standing there with hesitation written all over his face. Not a normal look for Mat. There was something about it that upset her but Egwene managed to keep herself in check. Her dark eyes glanced back down to her bouquet of roses and jasmine, one eyebrow arching as she did so. She really wasn't someone who would spend every day gardening, it had just felt right for now. Easy enough to do with her abilities to boot.

    She stopped what she was doing and then moved towards him, flowers still in hand. She might have looked tired but that was Egwene most days lately. Being tucked away from everyone was good for her and bad for her, all at once. But she was calm enough as she looked at Mat standing there. With a gate between them, as if it were some sort of shield they both were holding between each other.

    "No, but it needed doing." Gardening wasn't something she enjoyed, beyond enjoying just doing hard work and having everything tidy, but here she was. Her eyes traveled over his face again, puzzled at what she saw there. "What's troubling you?" He had that look about him. Like there was something he wanted to piece together but couldn't quite get there. She couldn't begin to guess what that was or why he was here of all places, but she would help him if she could.

    But would he want to speak out here? Nynaeve's neighbors were much closer than he might have liked. "Would you like to come inside?" Perhaps he would be more comfortable there. Mat didn't have to accept but Egwene was certainly watching his face to try and figure out what was going on. She could keep herself busy and put these flowers in a vase while he spoke. That would help both of them.
     
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  4. Mat Cauthon

    Mat Cauthon The Wheel of Time

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    What's troubling you? Mat's jaw worked, unsure how to word what was troubling him. What would she think if he told her that he was starting to get memories back? Would she start expecting things of him? Maybe she'd expect him to jump back into the role of husband. The very idea filled him with as much dread as the idea of marrying Tuon had. Marriage. That was just... not Matrim Cauthon. He had never wanted that.

    He had no bloody idea if it was better to just keep things to himself. Maybe, in the long run, it would hurt her less if she continued thinking he had no connection to the Mat she'd married. But he didn't like having these disembodied memories in his head. Light only knew he had enough of them from the snakes and foxes; at the very least, this was something he could learn the context of.

    "Sure," he answered after a few moments, when she asked if he wanted to go inside. He pushed open the gate, stepping onto the path and letting it swing shut behind him, imagining it making some loud clang like a massive thick metal gate slamming shut. Like the gates of a fortress. Or a prison.

    He followed her inside, looking around at the pots of herbs and flowers that he assumed were still left over from Nynaeve living there. She'd had much the same kind of thing in her house in Emond's Field. Feigning casualness, Mat leaned against the hallway wall, brown eyes settling on Egwene, taking in every bit of her face. Looking at her, he could feel what he felt in those memories. Fondness. Affection detached from how he had always felt about Egwene back home.

    Still fingering the fabric of his scarf, Mat cleared his throat. "I've started remembering things," he told her. Best to just get it over with, right? If you got a splinter, you didn't just leave it in there. You yanked it out. This was just a splinter. A really bloody big splinter.
     
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  5. Egwene al'Vere

    Egwene al'Vere The Wheel of Time

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    They moved towards Nynaeve's house and Egwene led him in with her flowers in hand. Finding a vase was easy enough and she filled it with water to place those blossoms in. Moving carefully, quietly, even as she waited for Mat to speak. He was leaning against a wall just inside and she placed that vase down on a kitchen counter.

    I've started remembering things.

    Egwene froze. She hadn't been expecting those words from his lips. Her heart sped up and then she forced it to slow. There could be many different memories that Mat was speaking of. Things about Tuon or his vision. Things about their relationship or perhaps their twins. Other details, like running Pandora's Pub. She couldn't just assume he was speaking on anything regarding their relationship, though her stomach certainly thought it was with how it churned.

    "What sorts of things?" Instead Egwene kept her voice perfectly smooth, looking away from Mat and concentrating back on her flowers. Removing a few leafs and things, then arranging them so they were in a more pleasant pattern. Or so she told herself. Really, it was just busy work. Since everything else was already clean, there was very little that Egwene could do to keep herself busy through this.... admittedly awkward conversation.

    But she was likely his best chance at getting clear answers, so Egwene understood. There had been a touch of Aes Sedai in her voice, but that was solely because she was trying to keep herself calm. All things considered it would be a test, but what about Matrim had ever been easy? He had been a struggle even at their best moments, at least... before their bond. That had made things so much easier.

    She washed her hands and then started to pull out items to bake. If they were going to talk, Egwene needed to keep herself busy. Honeycakes were easy enough to bake without thinking too much.
     
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  6. Mat Cauthon

    Mat Cauthon The Wheel of Time

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    He wasn't really sure he liked the way she spoke. She sounded... like an Aes Sedai. There was that cool, authoritative edge, that mild-mannered conviction that people would do what she wanted that Mat disliked about Aes Sedai. That was a large part of why he struggled to understand how he could ever have come to love this woman. She was the Amyrlin bloody Seat, and clearly whatever she said about titles not mattering, she was still Aes Sedai at her heart. Why would he ever want to marry the kind of woman he liked the least?

    But those memories swam through his mind, of Egwene far more vulnerable than he'd ever seen her, and he thought he'd seen her at her worst after Lanfear's attack in Cairhien. That must have played a part in peeling away the perception of Aes Sedai from how he looked at her. The only problem was that it looked like the kind of thing she'd never want to recount, but he didn't want to have memories that he didn't understand, either. He had enough of those, swamping his head.

    For several moments, he watched her arranging the bouquet of flowers and then beginning to pull things out of kitchen cabinets, clearly planning on occupying herself with some baking. Despite himself, he smirked. "I'm sure Mistress al'Vere would like that you seem to have taken after her more than any of us expected," he remarked. Her mother had been the best cook in the village, her honeycakes heavenly, but Mat had never seen Egwene taking more than a minimal interest in taking up the skill. She'd always trailed around after Nynaeve, instead.

    Knowing that he had to actually answer her question, Mat grimaced when her back was turned. "I've been remembering... you," he began slowly. "And me. Just a few things," he added hastily, incase she thought he had remembered everything up to and including their marriage. "Stuff from... early on, I think."
     
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  7. Egwene al'Vere

    Egwene al'Vere The Wheel of Time

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    Would her mother like to see her like this? Perhaps in some ways. "I think she might like it, but she probably wouldn't like many other details." There was a wiry sort of tone to her humor, as if she could easily weigh what was good about this situation against what was bad. Easily starting with what she was wearing and how her hair wasn't braided.

    Truthfully, baking honeycakes was something she enjoyed when she was feeling homesick. She missed her mother from time to time, as well as her sisters and her father, but they were safe and sound back home. Tucked away in Two Rivers and really, that was all that needed to be considered right then and there as there was nothing Egwene could have done even if they were in trouble.

    I've been remembering... you and me. She managed not to hesitate in what she was doing with measuring out ingredients, but it was a close thing. Things from when? Exactly when? What things? What memories? His lack of definition was enough to frustrate her but Egwene kept her calm and her cool. For now. "I'm afraid you're going to have to be more specific, if you want me to answer any questions regarding what topics you may be curious on." She had no clue. They had been together awhile and there had been many things at their start that might have seemed a little weird.

    "Were we on a boat?" Maybe that would be a good way to start. "Was I staying on that boat with you? Perrin was there for a time too, if that helps soothe anything." Because being alone with Egwene al'Vere in such a small space as a boat might have seemed like torture to Mat. At least, to this Mat.
     
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  8. Mat Cauthon

    Mat Cauthon The Wheel of Time

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    Mat frowned at her as she began to question him, and the way that she sounded like she was faced with a mildly puzzling conundrum that she was determined to pick apart and figure out. There was an impersonal manner to her that bothered him, but beyond how she sounded Aes Sedai-y, he couldn't really work out why it bothered him. Without even realising it, he snatched off his hat, scrubbing fingers through the messy brown hair beneath.

    "There was a boat, yeah," he answered with a nod. Had it been his? "And I saw flashes of Perrin, but mostly it's been you." He turned the hat in his hands, feeling the need to just keep fiddling.

    He hesitated on how to go about describing what he'd seen. Many people - Egwene included - had always considered Mat insensitive, but that wasn't really true. He usually knew when he should be careful with his words. Usually. Sort of. He at least definitely knew that whatever had been behind these memories would be of a sensitive nature to Egwene.

    "Something had happened to you," he continued, looking her way with a quizzical cast to his eyes. "I remember... picking you up and carrying you back to the boat. You were in a bad way." In all honesty the gentleness with which he'd carried her hadn't shocked him. He would have done the same thing right now if he saw her like that. He'd known her his entire life. Of course he'd care enough to act like that. Light only knew he had a habit of dropping everything to try and get her out of hot water anyway, no matter how she might treat him for it. "And I remember..."

    He cleared his throat, not really sure how to go about telling her he remembered holding her naked, battered body in the shower and tenderly cleaning her skin and her hair. Normally he would have liked nothing more than a shower with a beautiful woman, but there was no way Mat could look on that sudden memory in any kind of sexual light. It was still jarring, suddenly knowing what adult Egwene looked like beneath her clothes. Jarring, too, knowing what she looked like with almost her entire body covered in cuts and bruises.
     
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  9. Egwene al'Vere

    Egwene al'Vere The Wheel of Time

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    It had mostly been her and his boat? That was still a variety of times. They had had many moments on that boat. Mostly friendly, mostly while they were dating, but that was because Mat's boat had been a safe place to fool around in. Away from Perrin and his... wolf brother senses. A bit of privacy that required a little more work, basically, and there was quite a bit that normally would have put color on her cheeks. But she doubted Mat would be standing there looking pensive if he was discussing what had happened between their sheets.

    Something had happened to you. Egwene froze then. Her gaze flicked over to Mat and she stared at him for several heavy seconds before she returned to mixing her ingredients for honey cakes. Thankfully it wasn't a complicated recipe. She knew exactly what he was speaking about and there would be no denying it, not from how she reacted.

    Egwene let him finish speaking but her mind was racing on how to fill in all those blanks. How to tell him but... not tell him. Reliving it was not something Egwene wanted to do but now when she closed her eyes she could easily remember every detail. Semirhage and that pain. Three weeks of pain and suffering. It had been more than a person should have been able to live through, yet here she was. In part because of Mat. Because he always came looking, even when she had never thanked him for his help.

    "I was so dirty that you were worried about infections." She started to knead what she had created and simply decided to go a more... factual route, even if it was still vague. "You were gentle and I appreciated that. We were several hours away from any kind of Healer and I..." There was hesitation again. Trying to describe her emotions and her fears without telling her entire story was almost impossible. "I was kidnapped from Pandora's Hospital. Nynaeve was not here then. I did not want medical treatment because I did not know who to trust outside of anyone from Two Rivers." Would that be too much? Very likely. Mat would have more questions and Egwene didn't know if she could answer them all.

    A Forsaken in Pandora was something to fear, Egwene knew that. She also knew that there were others who were Forsaken like. This Salem, somewhere out in some woods somewhere, who had killed Ozpin. That was still troubling. "Everyone else had given up finding me. Had thought that Pandora had taken me away. You..." She lingered on her thoughts for a second before finally taking that dive. "You didn't give up. You kept looking. Even though we basically disliked each other as much as two people could without actually hating each other." That seemed factual enough. Never mind every other detail. Never mind how she had sobbed in his arms or how he had offered his boat for safety while she was recovering. Never mind how he had held her that one night. That had been how everything had started between them. He didn't need to know that.
     
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  10. Mat Cauthon

    Mat Cauthon The Wheel of Time

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    Somewhere along the line of Egwene speaking, Mat moved away from the wall and dropped into a seat at the little kitchen table, but he wasn't entirely sure when he moved. He was too intent on every word Egwene said as she explained that she had been kidnapped, and that Mat... Mat had been the only one who hadn't given up on her.

    He set his hat in front of him on the table, staring down at the grains in the surface. "Sounds about right," he said absently. He would never have given up on her, or anyone from home. That wasn't his way. When Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne had been kidnapped by the Black Ajah and taken to the Stone, Mat hadn't let something trivial like the fact that the fortress had never been breached deter him. He'd just found a way in where no one had before. That was Matrim Cauthon's way.

    Although he wanted to know more, he didn't ask. Seeing her that way in the sudden memory had been a shock, but he knew that it wasn't the kind of thing that she'd want to talk about. It was enough to know she'd been kidnapped and he'd looked for her.

    "I suppose that was when things began changing for us, huh?" he asked, looking at her again. If she hadn't reacted the way she had when he'd rescued her in Tear, then he could see why such a big event would change their less than pleasant views of each other. And he knew that that was where his feelings had gone now, along more pleasant paths. No longer was he doubtful that such a thing could ever have happened. He remembered beginning to look at her differently, and perhaps that was mirrored in his eyes as he looked at her.
     
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  11. Egwene al'Vere

    Egwene al'Vere The Wheel of Time

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    He had moved closer but Egwene tried not to think about that. She tried not to think about how he normally sat and slouched. How he held himself in a way that suggested he was relaxed constantly when that was so far from reality. She knew that now, even if she hadn't then, and it was difficult for her not to read into everything he was doing.

    Her eyebrows lifted when he mentioned change. "Yes. It's very difficult for me to assume a man is rude and selfish when he does something as kind as helping me clean up after three weeks of imprisonment and..." She trailed off for a second before clearing her throat. "Torture." Perhaps it would be better if he understood exactly what had happened. Why she had been that bad. Why it had been so startling.

    "It doesn't help when he also offers me what sanctuary he has and works hard to make sure I'm not alone with my thoughts during my worst periods of time. Going as far as to go out and buy me things so I don't have to face people... and..." Egwene trailed off, realizing that her voice had taken an emotional tone. She had stopped what she was doing and lifted one hand to her neck. She had had her wedding ring put on a chain, but she had also placed her Aes Sedai ring there when she had started gardening.

    "You had a replacement of my ring commissioned, as my first was taken away." By her captor. By someone who knew what Egwene was... and who she had been back home. Someone who had been able to trap her despite her strength. "We were able to move past some of our misgivings then. We were friends." Which was how it had all started, even if Egwene wasn't going to get into that. Nor how Mat had.... held her that one night. That had been a start towards certain feelings for Egwene.
     
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  12. Mat Cauthon

    Mat Cauthon The Wheel of Time

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    There was a tension to his eyes and jaw as she spoke. Although he had suspected something along those lines, hearing it out loud wasn't easy and he had to wonder who in th Light would have done that to her. For three weeks. That was almost an entire month of torture. No wonder she'd been in such a bad way. Bizarrely, there was a sudden impulse to reach out for her, to pull her into his arms and feel her softness in his embrace, and he blinked. It was because he cared for her as someone who'd known her his whole life. That was all.

    That he had gone out of his way to get a replacement Aes Sedai ring made for her was a surprise, but if his feelings had started by then, then maybe it wasn't so far-fetched. If he'd had feelings for her, he thought he'd have done anything for her, even if it meant handling a topic he thoroughly disliked.

    He continued watching her working on her baking, feeling a sudden sense of having done this several times before, as though this was normal. Scrubbing his hands through his hair he looked away with a grimace. This was strange. It was uncomfortable. He could remember and feel things that were completely disconnected from his own life. And what if he remembered more? What if everything came back? What would that mean then?

    "It's a good job my sisters aren't around," he said with a grin, not sure what else to say so falling back on his usual of making a joke. "They wouldn't believe a word of any of that."
     
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  13. Egwene al'Vere

    Egwene al'Vere The Wheel of Time

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    They wouldn't believe any of that. She knew that would be true, but only because Mat put on his act for almost everyone. He didn't need or want recgonition for things beyond a simple word or two of thanks. He was an odd man, but Egwene knew him. She really did know him. So there was a little more knowing in her smile than there should have been. "That's true. But I think they'd believe me as well." Because Egwene was a truthful person. She had no reason not to speak about who they had been before, even if they were not now.

    She managed to get her dough back into its bowl with a bit of flour coating everything. From there it would have to raise for a little bit. She dusted off her hands and then started to clean up, returning Nynaeve's kitchen back to how it had been. "And I do have paperwork stating I'm Egwene Cauthon." Perhaps because he remembered a little bit, it would be alright to say that. Again, anyone else could have told Mat before this point. "Or was." Perhaps best not to let him think it was still that. That was likely a touch too much.

    "I had it changed back a couple of months ago." Shortly after starting at Schola. Returning to her old name had been a step in her mourning process, because she felt so broken without him. Hearing his name had been difficult for her, even just that last bit. Egwene cleaned her hands last and then wiped her forehead, all while trying to think what would be best for this conversation.

    But she wouldn't be able to do anything else to keep herself busy now that everything was back to normal, there was little she could think of. "Any.... other questions?" Egwene didn't know if there was anything else to ask or share. He now knew more than he had before without any real details of it all. Maybe he didn't even know about her nightmares. Hopefully. Because for Egwene that was when things had really started and it would be very difficult for her to talk about.