The Shadow Rising: Chapter 7
Author: Manora al'Sara
Playing With Fire
Chapter Icon: Wheel and Serpent
Point of View: Egwene
Setting: Rand's Quarters in the Stone of Tear
The next morning Egwene and Elayne visit Rand in his quarters. Elayne is dragging her feet about seeing Rand, she is all dressed up and Egwene is deliberately plainly attired. Rand's quarters are being guarded by six Aiel and they ask admittance to investigate Rand's wounds. Gaul informs them that Rand is in a foul mood and has already thrown out a group of High Lords that morning and actually physically shoved Torean down the hall. Egwene sees this as a change in him. He was not usually a violent person. Once they enter his rooms Egwene looks for more changes in him and finds them. His once open face was harder and he looked much more like an Aiel. He thinks Moiraine has sent them. They tell him that she did not and they came to help him with channeling. Rand is suspicious but Elayne convinces him to at least give it a try. Egwene embraces saidar and asks Rand if he notices anything. He feels nothing and asks if she is really channeling and she is holding as much of the Power as she can manage. She rates her channeling against Moiraine's for the first time and realises that she is the stronger. Egwene then reaches out with the Power to Rand's wound and describes it as evil festering.
This is when Rand realises he feels goosebumps when women channel. At first he thinks its because he is nervous around channeling women but Egwene thinks not and tests him again to see if he feels them. Then they ask him to embrace saidin but the girls cannot sense anything. He proves to them that he is channeling by pinching Egwene so Elayne pinches him back. Rand lifts them up using the Power and they cannot feel anything holding them. Egwene tries to embrace the Source and realises that he has shielded them as well. He starts to do other things and move random objects with the Power. Some of the moving objects burst into flames and he extinguishes the flame by spreading out the heat, much to their surprise, he then releases saidin. Egwene realises that Rand is much stronger than she is when he demonstrates his use of the Power. They discuss how each of them goes about embracing the Source and start to realise the differences between men and women channeling and in saidin and saidar. That women have to surrender to the Source whilst men struggle to grasp it and constantly fight it and how each uses the flows differently to do the same thing. Elayne remembers and incident in her training where she tried to do what Rand did with the flames and was burnt.
Egwene tells Rand she doesn't love him anymore and her feelings have changed and that she loves him more like a brother. He says his have changed too although Egwene thinks he is just trying to hide his disappointment.