Lord of the Two Rivers

BY : CharonsPole
Category: S through Z > Wheel of Time Series
Dragon prints: 434
Disclaimer: I do not own the Wheel of Time series, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Rand was late to rise the next morning. Perrin was already up and about by the time he arrived in the inn’s common room, sitting with Zarine over breakfast. For a wonder, Moiraine and the other two Aes Sedai had spared the al’Veres and their temporary helpers the need to bring them their meals. The three sisters were cloistered together near the hearth, where a small fire heated the morning air. Merile had come down with them, but seemed to have abandoned their company in favour of Min’s. That was no surprise. As easygoing and cheerful as they both were, they’d gotten along well from the start; in truth, it was hard for him to imagine anyone not getting along with either woman. He certainly enjoyed their company. As he went to join them, he noticed Perrin scowling at him, so cocked his head at him curiously. The wolfbrother said nothing as Rand walked past his table, just stared at him and scowled.

Is he really mad that I sided with Anna? I never would have thought him the type to actually want to be a lord, especially not over our own homeland. Zarine was studiously not looking at him, as she often did. Rand didn’t like the Saldaean lady much, but Perrin obviously disagreed with him about that, and perhaps about more than he’d ever realised. He didn’t like to think that she had enough influence over his friend to make him buy into this whole aristocracy nonsense.

He stopped just short of the table Min and Merile sat at. It had just occurred to him, but some might have said that Morrigan was as bad, or worse, than Zarine. And others might have wondered at how much influence Moiraine or Elayne were having on Rand’s beliefs, what with all the armsmen and maids he had gathered. The worst part was that he wasn’t completely sure he could say they would have been wrong about either issue.

“Well?”

He blinked down at an exasperated Min. “I said, ‘Do you mind not staring at Merile like that? You’re making her uncomfortable’,” she told him.

Rand even hadn’t realised he’d been staring, and if he had it certainly wasn’t at Merile. But sure enough, the Tinker had lowered her head abashedly. That wasn’t like her. Merile was a bit awkward at times, but hardly shy. “Are you—” he began, but then he turned to glance at the Aes Sedai’s table and found two out of the three watching them with those icy, ageless masks. “Ah. I’ll talk to you some other time, Min. Lan will be expecting me for the morning sparring session.”

But by the time he was done taking his morning thrashing from Lan, they were both gone. Alanna and Maigan scrutinised Rand in a way that would have made him squirm once. Now he just ignored them. As much trouble as they caused, the Whitecloaks’ presence had at least limited the Aes Sedai’s meddling. None of them, or their Warders, stirred from the inn unless there was a Trolloc attack in the works. Even Moiraine had spent most of her time in isolation this past week. He might almost have thought she was keeping watch over the other two.

Saeri brought him his morning meal of bread, ham and milk. She smiled as she laid the tray on the table. “A fair morning to thee, Rand.”

“And to you. Thanks for bringing this. And give my thanks to the cook as well.”

“It was Berowyn. She’s nice. All the sisters are nice, but she’s the nicest,” she said happily.

Rand cut some bread and smeared it with butter as he considered her. “You seem happy here, Saeri. What do you think about staying? Once we get rid of the Trollocs, this could be a good home for you.”

She looked alarmed. “But ... Aren’t you leaving afterwards? I’m your maid. My place is with you.”

“Leaving?” one of the Aes Sedai said, before Rand could respond. “And where would you be planning to go?” It was the Green sister who spoke. Alanna. She rose from her chair, dark and pretty and clad in a fine wool dress that was—of course—green, and approached them. Her study of Rand had gotten oddly intent, but no more so than Moiraine’s study of her.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Rand said unwelcomingly.

Alanna didn’t seem to care if she was welcome or not. “Then let us discuss it. Have you seen Tar Valon yet, Rand? It is—and you may take my word for this, as I have travelled far—the finest city in the world. You would like it there, I think. If you’re good, I’ll even show you around myself.” She smiled brightly and, even knowing what she was, Rand had to admit that she was a good-looking woman, but he still set his jaw stubbornly.

“As famed as Tar Valon’s hospitality is, I’ll have to decline,” he said flatly, thinking of Mat’s long captivity.

Three sets of Aes Sedai eyes focused on him then, all of them catching his double meaning, and none of them liking his audacity. Bandying words, like so much else in their view, was for Aes Sedai alone.

“It is foolish to be so suspicious of us, Rand. You would be wiser by far to seek our protection. The world is a dangerous place. Especially for a young ta’veren like you,” said Alanna.

Rand looked around, but only Saeri, Perrin and Zarine were close enough to hear, and they already knew. Alanna smiled knowingly, while Moiraine just watched in silence, her pale face giving away nothing of her thoughts.

“The world is a dangerous place for everyone, and growing more dangerous by the day,” Rand said. “But I don’t see how being ta’veren makes me more at risk than the rest of you. It’s quite the opposite, I’d say. The Pattern won’t let me die until it’s gotten what it wants from me. And will take steps to ensure that anyone who tries to thwart its plans come to a bad end. It’s like I heard someone say, one time, I can’t recall who: the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.”

That pleased them even less than what he’d said before. “This is what comes of broken homes, with no mothers to manage things,” Maigan announced, tossing her fair hair and pointedly looking away from him.

Alanna looked disappointed, but Moiraine just steepled her fingers before her. “Leave him to me. I will deal with him at a time of my pleasing,” the Blue sister said.

An expression flashed across Alanna’s face. It came and went so quickly that Rand could not be sure, but if she’d been anything other than what she was, he might have called it sulky. Whatever she thought of Moiraine’s claims, she returned to the table as though summoned.

“Someone should,” he heard Zarine tell Perrin in a low voice.

Rand snorted softly. “At least she’s found her tongue at last,” he muttered. Her lips thinned, and Perrin’s eyes narrowed in response.

Rand felt a scowl of his own growing. Perrin hadn’t reacted at all to Zarine’s jab at Rand, but as soon as he mentioned her—very noticeable!—reticence around him, suddenly that was cause for anger. I have to agree with Anna on this one, too. We were better off without that woman.

Zarine wiped her hands with a napkin and rose from her chair, leaving her half-finished breakfast on the table. “Please excuse me, Aes Sedai, Perrin. I must speak to the Women’s Circle about organising bucket lines, in the event that fires are spread during the next attack.”

Little Saeri swelled up at Zarine’s very deliberate omission of Rand’s name, but Rand himself just smiled and shook his head. The things people expected him to care about.

Perrin rose when she did, with either exaggerated politeness, or an unwillingness to be parted from her for even a few hours. His yellow eyes were as doleful as any hound’s as he watched her go.

“There’s nothing stopping you from running after her, if that’s what you want,” Rand said. He mustn’t have done a good job of hiding his displeasure, for Perrin scowled at him again. With a low growl, Rand shot to his feet. “I have business to see to as well. Later.”

He stalked out into the morning light. It was cloudy, but he saw no sign of rain as yet. Emond’s Field was abustle with activity, from villagers scurrying about their tasks, Shienarans and Aiel exploring the town they’d long since come to abandon their reticence towards, to volunteers riding out to gather what few supplies had not already been gathered. Those last rode alongside the latest Whitecloak patrol. Where Bornhald sent his patrols, and who led them, Rand had no idea. The Whitecloaks were among them, but unlike the other strangers, they kept themselves firmly apart. In all the days since Perrin made his bargain, Rand had seen not a single Child of the Light venture out of their encampment for any reason that was not directly linked to the Lord Captain’s orders, and those few who did were usually accompanied by Bornhald himself. He looked about, and was glad to see the watchers that Perrin had set still keeping their unsubtle eyes on the camp.

He wondered briefly if he should fetch his swordbelt, but decided not. He wasn’t planning on going far, and the Whitecloaks were not so great a threat as that, not here in Emond’s Field with so many allies all around. So he settled the collar of his coat—white and gold today, perhaps unfortunately—and went to meet with Uno and Geko to get their usual reports. They never had anything to say that Rand felt he needed to know; it was all stuff they were far better qualified to deal with than he was. But Elayne had impressed on him that he still had to meet them and hear them tell him that everything was under control, in order for everything to really be under control. It didn’t make any sense to Rand, but he trusted Elayne’s judgement.

Izana wanted to know if Rand would be inspecting the defences today, a suggestion Rand found very strange, though he was not so rude as to say so. He’d had nothing to do with erecting the defences, and contributed no more to their manning than anyone else. Why would he inspect them? Still, it might be nice to take a little ride around town. Not to inspect anything, but just to see his hometown. He suspected that when next he left, assuming he survived to leave, that it would be the last time he ever saw this place.

Bela was staying in the stables of the Winespring Inn these days; in a comfortable stall all of her own. She was another one who’d be better off staying here. He’d planned to leave her at home with Tam, but home was gone, and the Cauthons had given Tam a fine horse of his own. He was sure the al’Veres would take good care of Bela. And she’d have company here, of both the human and the equestrian kind.

“I’m sorry girl, I didn’t think to bring an apple today,” he said, rubbing her shaggy head. He doubted she wanted for anything really. The Barran twins who worked the stable for Marin were a responsible pair. There was no sign of them today, or of the big Dhurran stallions. He expected they were out moving some of the wreckage from the burnt houses, or helping to clear those trees that were too big to chop into manageable pieces. Still, Bela was an old friend, so he made the offer anyway. “Would you like some hay instead?” She turned her head away from him in such a matronly disdain of that offer that he was almost sure she had understood his words. Rand laughed softly to himself.

“At least one of us is enjoying all this,” Perrin said.

He stood in the main entrance to the stable, clad in his usual Theren style coat and trousers. The light was such that Rand couldn’t really see his face, and it turned his eyes into two little pinpricks of light. His axe hung at his side.

“You’d prefer me miserable?”

“I’d prefer you showed a proper respect,” his old friend said as he approached. Rand stiffened. Proper respect!? Is that more of this lord nonsense? Blood and ashes, he really has let it go to his head, he thought, but Perrin’s next words put the lie to that. “People have died, Rand. Good people. It would be nice if you could spare a moment from jumping between beds to acknowledge that.”

Rand swallowed angry words. It wasn’t his family that had been butchered, and trying to claim he could understand Perrin’s grief would have been beyond presumptuous. But still. “I am well aware of the deaths, Perrin. I knew most of them as well as you did, and some I knew better. What do you want from me? Should I spend the rest of my days whipping myself over not saving them somehow? That wouldn’t bring them back,” he said tightly.

Perrin looked away. Underneath that beard he’d grown, his jaw set angrily. “I know that.”

“Then what do you want from me?” When Perrin did not respond, Rand lowered his voice. “I’m dying Perrin. And I want to live as much as I can before I do, or before I go too mad to understand what I’m losing. Is that so terrible? I mean, we’ve always known things were, ah, open between us.”

“It’s not that!” Perrin snapped. “I can smell Anna all over you, but that’s ... that’s just how things turned out. But ... Emi? Really? Emi!? After all she’s been through, you had to go and make things even harder for her. I thought better of you.”

He actually sounded disgusted at the end of that tirade. And through it all there was not a word of response to what Rand had confessed. That hurt just as much as the disgust in his voice.

“Emi is coping with her losses as best she can. She’s stronger than you give her credit for.”

“She’s broken, you fool!” Perrin growled. “She’s given up and is just ... just waiting for it all to be over! And ...”

“And trying to enjoy what time remains as much as she can,” Rand finished. “Is that so terrible?”

Perrin’s eyes went wide. “You know ... You ...”

Rand scrubbed a hand through his hair, wondering what Perrin was so upset about now.

He was still wondering when another hand touched his hair, one that seized it in a painful grip and pulled him farther into the gloom of the stable.

Rand took hold of Perrin’s wrist, in case he yanked out a handful of hair, which it almost felt like he might, he was pulling so hard. “What the hell, Perrin!” He planted his feet, but Perrin dragged him bit farther before they stopped, Rand’s boots leaving a wide track on the dirt floor of the stable.

“You stink of them!” he growled.

“We are not having this conversation. You were there when it started with Anna. It’s a bit late to get jealous. Or is this because you’re all lordly now, and too good for such things? Get your hand off my hair,” Rand said coldly. Blinking, Perrin released him at once. “But since we’re talking about things that stink, would you mind not selling the Theren’s future to some random lady we just met? I’d appreciate it.”

“She’s not some random lady and she didn’t want this! She’s trying to help. We aren’t the ones who started using those bloody titles! Maybe it’s you that’s jealous. You can’t stand not being the centre of attention for once.”

Rand laughed in his face, a face that darkened in response. He’d give anything to just disappear, to be able to live in a world where he was not the Dragon Reborn, and could be free to live a life of his own choosing. And Perrin thought he wanted to rule the Theren? It was too much. “That Zarine is filling your head with nonsense,” he said.

“Her name is Faile,” Perrin said angrily.

“That’s another thing that bugs me. I can’t believe you started using that silly made-up name of hers. ‘Falcon’.” He snorted. “Who calls themselves something like that? If I decided I wanted to be called ‘Magnificence al’Thor’ from now on, would you call me that, too?”

Perrin grabbed him by the collar. “You leave her out of this! Stay away from her!”

Rand scowled. “Gladly. I wish you’d do the same. Or get closer, perhaps, whichever stops you from acting like such an ass!” Perrin flushed, and Rand surmised that his guess had been right. Zarine was holding out for marriage. That was ... almost sweet, he had to allow, however reluctantly.

“Shut up!” Perrin snapped.

Rand’s heart was beating fast, but not from fear. He’d never feared Perrin in his life, no matter how strong he was. The back of the stable was dimly lit, and the door had drifted shut behind Perrin. “Why don’t you make me?” he said, staring him in the eyes defiantly.

A loud rumble rose from Perrin’s chest and he yanked Rand towards him. Their lips touched, and not tenderly. Perrin seemed to be trying to crush Rand’s mouth against him. He’d never kissed a bearded man before. It was odd, much softer and more ticklish than the stubble that came of going too long without shaving; it was quite nice actually, he could understand why Zarine preferred it. It looked good on Perrin in particular. As burly as he was, he suited it somehow.

Rand was the taller of the two, if only by a few inches, and in the mood he was in, Perrin quickly tired of craning his neck up to kiss him.

Growling, he leaned back and ripped Rand’s fine coat right down the middle, sending the buttons flying. His strong hands closed roughly upon the white shirt beneath and he tore at that, too, ripping the fabric easily as he backed Rand up against an empty stall door.

Standing with his chest and belly exposed, Rand went to work on the buttons of Perrin’s coat more carefully, while Perrin attacked the buckle of Rand’s belt. He’d barely undone two buttons before Perrin had the belt unfastened and was yanking Rand’s breeches down his thighs. Too proud to bend far enough to push them all the way down, Perrin set a muddy boot atop the loose fabric between Rand’s legs and used that to force the breeches down to his ankles. He’d never been like this before, but Rand didn’t mind it if he wanted to play rough. It wouldn’t change anything, so far as he was concerned.

There were still a few buttons left, but Perrin pushed Rand’s hand away irritably. “I’ll be that. You take care of the rest,” he said.

Blushing slightly, Rand fell to his knees before him, there in the dark and dirty stable. He freed the axebelt first, letting it fall to the ground with a thud, then undid the one that held Perrin’s loose brown trousers up. The coat was gone by then, and the shirt was on its way to joining it. They divided shirt and trousers at the same time, one going up and the other down, exposing the thickly muscled and thickly haired stomach, the equally hairy and very broad chest, and the thick brown thatch of hair from which Perrin’s hard cock jutted out, straining towards Rand’s face.

Perrin’s hand resumed its grip of Rand’s hair, insistently pushing his head towards Perrin’s crotch. “Suck it,” he gritted. “Get it nice and wet.”

Rand hesitated, a little more put off by the roughness than he’d expected to be. But it was Perrin, and if that was what he wanted, then Rand would do whatever he could to make him happy. As he pushed Perrin’s trousers the rest of the way down, he took hold of his thick cock, hot and throbbing to the touch, and held it steady. Rand opened his mouth and lowered his head over Perrin’s cock, taking it as deep inside as he could, where it began throbbing even more. He sealed his lips to the tender flesh and began sucking on his old friend lovingly.

He heard a shuddering hiss of satisfaction from the man standing above him, so he began bobbing his head along his length, while running his tongue back and forth across the bottom of Perrin’s shaft. The hand in his hair tightened its grip, and Perrin’s hips began moving in time with the bobs of Rand’s head, fucking his mouth as he’d so often fucked his ass.

Rand knew Perrin was going to want to bugger him, and he’d already decided he would let him, so he got the other man’s cock as wet as he could, slavering upon him and rubbing it all over with his lips and tongue.

Strong hands closed on his shoulders, pushing him back. “Enough,” Perrin said gruffly. He half-pulled and half-pushed Rand onto his hand and knees, facing the door of the stable, while he shuffled around behind him, his movement made awkward by the trousers and smallclothes still tangled around his heavy boots.

Rand seized saidin, and filled himself with the One Power. With it, he could do almost anything. Burn the stable, shake the earth, call lightning from the sky, throw Perrin through the walls. He used it to bind the door with bars of Air, in order to prevent anyone from walking in on them. Then he released the Power and waited there with dirt coating his knees and the palms of his hands, waiting for Perrin to fill him with something else entirely.

Prepared as he was, Rand still gasped when the light fabric of his smallclothes shredded between Perrin’s hands. He didn’t just tear a parting, he shredded the short braies such that they fell from Rand’s body in strips, leaving his bottom completely naked and his stiffening cock dangling beneath him.

“That’s what I like to see,” Perrin grunted. He knelt behind Rand, lined himself up, and shoved his cock against Rand’s ass roughly. Rand fought the instinct to resist, or to wince or cry out at the sudden discomfort and pain. He took Perrin’s cock in silence, arching his back when he felt the thick head pop past his outer defence. The rest of the shaft slid into him more smoothly. Perrin didn’t stop his rough penetration until his balls were pressing up against Rand’s. “And feel,” he added.

He wasted no time before he began fucking Rand in earnest, his hips slapping up against Rand’s bottom as his cock pumped in and out of his ass. It hurt a little, despite all he’d done to get Perrin ready, but Rand still found himself smiling, simply because of how obviously into it Perrin was. He was usually much more reticent than that.

“You’ve gotten all commanding suddenly,” he said, and despite himself, a light moan punctuated his words. “Would you like me to call you ‘Lord Perrin’ as well?”

“Shut up,” Perrin repeated, but his pace increased even more, and Rand, who was enjoying teasing him, spoke on.

“You liked it when I sucked on your big, lordly cock didn’t you? I bet you’d like it if someone walked in that door and saw us like this, too. Or maybe the lord would be embarrassed at having his secret lusts exposed.”

Perrin gathered the torn remnants of Rand’s shirt and coat and used them to pull his arms behind his back. He bundled them all up and held them tightly together as his cock continued to ravage Rand’s now almost numb ass. “Stop talking. And I’m not a lord,” he told the man held in place before him, his weight supported only by his knees and the cock lodged in his butt.

“Yes, my Lord Perrin,” Rand groaned.

The movement of Perrin’s hips became frantic, the quick slapping sounds filling the stable just as Perrin prepared to fill Rand’s ass with his seed. Rand was nowhere near ready to come himself yet, but that was fine. He was happy with being the vessel for Perrin’s pleasure.

“And why would I be the one embarrassed?” Perrin groaned. “You’re the one taking it. My Lord bloody Dragon indeed.”

Rand closed his eyes. “Yes, but I already know everyone is going to scorn me, fear me, and hate me. There’s only so much value in delaying the inevitable.”

Perrin’s hand closed upon Rand’s hair once more, as his thrusts became erratic and his breath hitched in his throat. He pulled Rand’s head back, arching his back even further, until his beard brushed against Rand’s shaven cheek.

“I wish it wasn’t ... I wish you weren’t dying,” he said softly, and with those words, his come surged out of him, his hot seed pumping into Rand’s body again and again, just like the now-still cock it came from had been doing. Rand took it in silence as well.

Despite everything that had passed between them lately, the quarrels and disagreements, their differences over the Theren’s future, the relations disapproved of—on both sides—Rand found himself profoundly moved by Perrin’s words. It might be only the meanest scrap of affection, but it was an affection he hungered for deeply.

The hands that held his arms and head in place relaxed their grips, and the man behind him sat back on his heels, the thick cock still lodged in Rand’s soiled ass pulling him back as well, until he found himself sitting in Perrin’s hairy lap. The remnants of his finery fell forward to shield his hard cock from sight.

They knelt there, joined together, for a few minutes longer. The stable rested in silence save for their slowing breaths and the curious wickers of the horses, until Perrin’s voice disturbed it.

“Sorry if I hurt you. I got a bit carried away.”

“I forgive you. And I’m glad you don’t want me dead,” Rand admitted.

Perrin sat still for a moment, but then his arms came around Rand’s waist and he pulled him back against him. It took Rand a moment to realise that it wasn’t sexual this time. Perrin was hugging him. “Light, Rand. Don’t be glad about that. That should be just the way of things. Find something more to be glad of. You deserve it.”

A tingle ran through Rand’s body, one greater than any their coupling had invoked. He didn’t trust himself to speak, and the opportunity to do so passed too soon. Perrin lifted him up off his softening cock and shuffled out from under him, leaving Rand kneeling there alone.

He didn’t dress at once, instead he just sat in the dirt and watched Perrin pull up his trousers, hiding his thick legs and wet-looking cock from view, before crouching to gather his axe and shirt and coat. He was still sitting there when Perrin finished dressing and looked down at him, curiously rather than angrily.

“If Za—If Faile is the one you choose, then I hope you are happy together,” Rand said, with a wan smile.

Perrin grinned through his beard, and actually shuffled his feet in embarrassment, an act so bizarre, after what they had just done, that Rand found himself laughing softly.

“Thanks,” Perrin said gruffly. “You’ve always been a good friend.” So saying, he strode towards the stable door. Rand seized the Source long enough to undo the blockage he’d erected, and let Perrin walk free. We wished it didn’t feel so much like goodbye.



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