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smiling with his eyes, con your vantage
taishar_malkier wrote in milliways_bar
Lan is ensconced in a chair in a corner of the room, puffing slowly on a pipe. His posture is the sort of lazy slouch that looks to the untrained or superficial glance as if he might be half-asleep over his pipe, and to another sort of observer looks as if he's holding himself poised for a moment's action in any direction. The second perspective is a good deal more accurate.

A few tables away, Nynaeve is bent scowling over a stack of books. Her eyes flick to Lan every so often, and his land on her frequently as he scans the room.

[OOC: Lan is open for tags from anyone! Nynaeve is not, alas, and will probably only enter a thread if there's strong IC reason for her to react to something.]

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She is anything but unaware of their presence, as it happens, but she delays for some time.

But eventually, Moiraine finishes the letter that she has been writing, and entrusts it to a rat for delivery to the bar. Once she has done that, she catches first Lan's eye and then Nynaeve's, as soon as the latter looks up from her work-- then collects her little plant and rises from her chair, gliding toward Nynaeve's table.

Nynaeve keeps herself from stiffening at Moiraine's approach by a sheer effort of will.

Lately such a reaction is often less because it is Moiraine, and more because the news is rarely good.

A scant second later she begins gathering up her papers, closing the books and clearing off a space for both her husband and the other Aes Sedai.

Nynaeve knows her husband well, and besides that knows this kind of situation better than any of them might like.

He's already drifting over, with a unhurried liquid flow to his movements that's just as deceptive as the earlier slouch. When he settles down at the table, it's as ever between both Aes Sedai and the room at large, and with the chair turned slightly to give himself easy access to his sword.

His face, as usual, gives away nothing.

"Good evening, Nynaeve, Lan," she says, having settled gracefully into one of the cleared chairs and set the plant before her on the table-- with some care.

"How are matters with you both?"

She appears calm enough, although as they all know, her demeanor may mask any number of things. Still, in this case, it seems sincere.

"We've been faring well enough, Moiraine, and yo--"

This would be the point at which Nynaeve catches sight of the cutting Moiraine is flinging about so cavalierly.

"You are planning to get that in the ground sooner rather than later, I hope?"

Lan nods slightly in accord with Nynaeve's statement.

And then stays diplomatically silent, and diplomatically expressionless.

He's not getting in the middle of this. Because he has common sense.

"You are better skilled with plants than I am, I suspect," she replies tranquilly. "It was a gift from the child Mary Lennox, and one I should not like to see perish."

"I have little doubt of it, Moiraine."

The tone is, for the moment, less snappish than the words themselves.

It's an interesting change.

"And should you be inclined to trust my skill--Tom Riddle has seen fit to give me a sort of greenhouse in the House of Arch. I have a great deal of space to fill, at the moment."

"Perhaps it might be better so."

Carefully, Moiraine picks up the small cutting and leans forward to set it in front of Nynaeve.

"As I am not certain whether or not I may be summoned away."

She says this as calmly as if discussing the weather.

The only change in Lan's expression is the appearance of the very faintest of lines between his brows.

But suddenly he's watching Moiraine very sharply indeed.

Nynaeve's attention fairly snaps from the cutting to the other Aes Sedai.

"Summoned? Where might you be going, Moiraine? And how long might you be gone?"

The why is, at the moment, slightly less important.

"With Merriman Lyon, to the land outside Time in which he dwells," she answers, calmly.

"Should there be need enough; the matter is by no means certain, yet, and at present we merely prepare against what may be."

Nynaeve's eyes narrow.

"Outside Time?"

"Outside Time is how he describes it," Moiraine explains first. "It is difficult to explain in some ways, but he and Will Stanton, and those like them, have certain gifts that pertain to their passage through Time in the world that was both of theirs. But Merriman departed his world for another land entirely, after their Last Battle was won, and so I suppose that it may not be inaccurate."

There is a pause, and then, very quietly,

"And it is that land itself that is now in danger of being torn apart."

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