blue_ajah: (duty heavier than a mountain)
Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.

She has had her suspicions for some time now. Looking back, Moiraine cannot say for sure when it was that she first began to become aware of what would eventually need to be done.

What evidently must be done, if both she and her world are to survive.

It had been different once, of course. It had not mattered, before she had taken up residence within the Dreaming.

The World of Dreams. Tel'aran'rhiod. It has been believed to be a threat to your humanity...

Even then it had not mattered, not until her fall through a shining portal had shattered her link to Dream-- just as her fall through a redstone ter'angreal had once broken another Warder's bond, leaving her alone within the Tower of Ghenjei.

The Wheel weaves. All things are part of the Pattern.

She had not wanted to admit it, even to herself. She had accepted, years before, that none of the paths she had foreseen in the visions of Rhuidean had led her to Milliways, and had wondered if the change might not matter-- or might even be advantageous for them all, in some unfathomable way.

But time had passed, and events in her world have begun to spiral. The Pattern thins as Tarmon Gai'don draws ever nearer-- she knows it, Rand knows it, Nynaeve knows it-- they all do. And so she had thrown herself into her work in a very literal sense, without more than passing thought for what might happen.

You Blues. Always so ready to save the world that you lose yourselves.

Even when she had realized, she could not honestly say that she had been surprised. Somewhere deep within, she had known this day would come. She had once been warned, as it happens.

It is not given to mortals to love the Endless.

And now, she has waited almost until it is too late.

When she finds him, he is not in the Garden-- not that she had expected him to be. Nor is he in the chambers that they had once shared, or in the castle's great hall. Instead, Dream stands on a high balcony under a storm-darkened sky, pale fingers clenched tightly on a gray stone railing, wild black hair and robes both untouched by the rising wind as he looks out toward glittering diamond shores beside a sea of fallen tears.

He already knows what she has come to say. Being who he is, he cannot do otherwise. Still, there are rules, and some things must be spoken -- no matter how difficult.

In the end, it does not take long.

When Moiraine returns to the bar, it is with the knowledge that whatever hope of happiness she and the Endless who was once her husband might find together in the future, it will not come to pass until after the end of things. From this point forward, her life in her own world will be as that of Moiraine Sedai only, and no longer as the wife of Dream. She will never again set foot in the Milliways Dreaming as a living woman.

Unless she finds herself there in her dreams.

And even then, no matter how one might wish it otherwise, there is only one way a dream can end.

You wake up.
blue_ajah: (dark eyes aes sedai)
She is not in the Garden, nor by the sea of tears. For the better part of a full day, Moiraine has walked amid the trees and along the shores of the small lakes set like jewels in the Dreaming's new valley. Some of the hours she has spent asleep in the curve of a particular grassy hollow, but more of them have been spent wandering. There are new things to find here, when she looks, and she suspects she could occupy herself with this for some time.

But even the most pleasant escape can become wearing upon one whose mind is devoted in large part to duty, and it is because of this that the Aes Sedai finally draws herself from her apparent contemplation of the pattern of light through the trees. She slowly rises, and then bows her head slightly and disappears.

She reappears in her suite, and a short while later starts off toward -- even she is not certain. The Library, perhaps, or the Garden, or to walk the castle halls. But her glance falls on the open door to her study, and the desk there with her notes spread out upon it.

Among them are the leaves Joe had once given her, the few pages torn from the end of the book that detailed Roland's story. Almost unwillingly, Moiraine walks across the room and looks down at the illustration and the words written there, brushing her fingers lightly over the paper.

Coda. Found.

She very nearly turns away, but some deep inner awareness drives her to turn to the next page.

It is then that she discovers that the words have changed. Moiraine sinks into the chair and begins to read.

Some hours after that, journal in hand, the Aes Sedai vanishes from her room into Milliways.
blue_ajah: (dark eyes aes sedai)
You're pretty good at keepin' secrets. Joe had asked her that, before he had handed her a set of pages torn from a book.

Coda. Found.

Moiraine walks the glittering shore of diamonds and fallen stars, beside the sea of tears, and the breeze over the water dries the silent, unceasing drops that fall from the dark eyes.

The price is high, to change the Pattern. Is it enough? Has it been paid? She cannot be certain. And now, memory is all that remains, memory and hope.

And so the Aes Sedai walks, remembering Roland Deschain -- in the bar, by the lake, in the Garden here in the Dreaming -- and grieves for the loss of a friend.

Endings are heartless.
blue_ajah: (Default)
It is very nearly a ritual, now. As she slips into sleep, Moiraine curls her hand around the amethyst key and thinks of the Waygate that leads to the Garden. In a few moments (or perhaps a bit longer, or maybe immediately- who can say for certain, in the strange timelessness of dreams?) she finds herself once again standing in the now-familiar, yet always beautiful, spring forest, listening to the melodic chatter of birds.

And then he is there, as well, as though he had never been elsewhere. Dream straightens from where he is leaning against a nearby tree and bows slightly. "Good evening, Moiraine."

Her eyes light with quiet joy, and she smiles, holding out a hand. "Morpheus. Good evening. Will you walk with me?"

"It would be my pleasure to do so." He takes her hand and laces his fingers with hers. Together, they move slowly through the forest, alternating between companionable silence and light talk of inconsequential matters. Warm sunlight filters through the trees as they walk, and wildflowers dot the grass. Over everything lies a sense of peace and contentment.

They arrive at the edge of a clearing, and Dream brings Moiraine to a stop next to a tiny hollow that is filled with blue flowers. The delicate scent of their perfume, which happens to be the scent of apples, floats lightly on the breeze. He reaches, and then pale fingers brush across her cheek as he places a single blossom in her hair.

"Moiraine." He hesitates, seeking the proper words. "I do not think it likely that I shall be returning to Milliways for the time being."

Her smile fades; dark eyes grow troubled, and she looks up at him. Moiraine is quiet for a long, long moment. "Why?"

He has never been good at explaining. "Things are unsettled. I find myself wanting the peace of the Dreaming."

She studies him thoughtfully as she speaks. "You have had a difficult time of late, Morpheus. Adapting to the link with Liz, for one; if it is affecting her so strongly, I cannot but think that you are influenced as well, and the misunderstanding between you has not helped, I am certain. Then there is the situation with James Potter, and your worry for Del. Finally, there is the recent sorrow in the aftermath of Sirius and Kassandra's departure. I do not wonder that you would wish a respite."

He nods, silently. All of these things trouble him, yes. He does not mention that which she has inadvertently left out; Rand al'Thor's return to Milliways, and Dream's fear that this time, Rand will take Moiraine away with him when he leaves.

She smiles up at him reassuringly. "Look there, do you see?" With her free hand, Moiraine indicates a single tree with trefoil leaves, growing at the center of the clearing. "It is Avendesora, the Tree of Life. When last I saw it in Rhuidean, it was damaged and nearly destroyed, but here in the Garden it has been renewed." She pauses, and it is clear that although her words are casual, their meaning is not. "This place is good for such healing, I think."

Gently, she pulls at Dream's hand and leads him across the clearing to Avendesora. There she draws him down to sit beside her on the grass. Moiraine hesitates for a moment, then says, "It is a lovely world, this Dreaming, and it is a pleasant one. While you remain apart from Milliways, I shall look for you here instead, if you do not mind."

"I do not mind. I am glad of it." Carefully, he puts an arm around her. She sighs, and relaxes into the gentle embrace, laying her head on his shoulder. They sit there, talking quietly of various things, as night passes in the waking world.

In the morning, when Moiraine opens her eyes to her room once more, she notices the scent of apples. Reaching up to her hair, she finds a familiar blue flower. Moiraine smiles and places the flower in a waterglass on the table, where it continues to bloom.

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Moiraine

July 2013

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