This happens almost right after 'First Fight.'
Nerida was sitting up in a tree when Gilan found her. He looked up and saw that she was still crying. She tried to suck back the tears but when she wiped them away they were replaced by another set. Gilan felt a painful stab in his heart when he heard her stifled sobs. Removing his cloak and unbuckling his double scabbard which carried his knives. Tossing them aside he began to climb up the tree. It was easy and he was able to quickly climb to his apprentice’s side.
She was leaning against the trunk, her knees pulled up against her chest and her arms wrapped around herself. Gilan sat down on a branch beside hers. He waited, listening to her gentle sobs.
“Go away.” She whimpered. Gilan glanced at her and shook his head.
“I can’t do that.” He murmured. He dug into his pocket and pulled out some bandages. Because Nerida kept her face covered with her hands she didn’t see the movement. He very gently touched her wounded arm and she flinched. She looked up ready to pull away and jump down from the tree. But she glanced down at her mentor’s hands and saw the bandages. Gilan didn’t move for a moment worried that he might scare her away as if she were a small mouse facing a lion. Then he pulled her arm closer and lifted her sleeve. He gazed at the wound and began to clean it softly before wrapping the bandage around her arm.
Nerida didn’t pull away. She just sat there, grumbling softly to herself. Gilan ignored her grumbles and continued to wrap the bandage being as gentle as he could. A couple times when his apprentice winced at the tightening of the bandage around her wound he would squeeze her forearm encouragingly. She would then relax and go back to grumbling.
“There, finished.” murmured Gilan with a small smile. Nerida frowned at him.
“I didn’t need your help.” She growled. Gilan chuckled.
“I know. But I wanted to help you even if you didn’t need it.” He mumbled. Nerida carefully folded her arms and looked away. Gilan shifted on the uncomfortable branch he was sitting on. He let the silence between them stretch for a little bit, mostly because he felt that if he spoke too soon Nerida would blow up. But also because he was trying to gather his thoughts and figure out what to say to her. He glanced at his apprentice and saw tears begin to form in the corners of her eyes. He sighed.
“I’m sorry Nerida. I am so, so sorry about what I did to you. I’m sorry I hurt you.” He began slowly. That didn’t really catch her attention. She continued to stare into the forest without facing him. He sighed again.
“Yet, I know that won’t be enough for you. I’m sorry is not enough for me either. I don’t even know if you’re listening, but I’m going to speak anyway.” He continued. No response from his apprentice. Gilan leaned back against the trunk of the tree feeling his shoulder bump gently against hers. She pulled away slightly but he didn’t bother her about that.
“Nerida, I wasn’t trying to make you like me. That’s not at all what I was trying to do. And in full honesty, I’m not really sure what I was trying to do back there. But I don’t want you to think that I am trying to make you into something that you are not. What I am trying to do, is to make you a strong Ranger.” He paused for a moment gathering his thoughts once more. “I shouldn’t have treated you the way that I did back there. I was worse then Sir Rodney during battle. I don’t know what came over me to treat you that way.” He paused again, gazing into the lush green leaves of the trees. He felt Nerida move closer to him and felt a glow of happiness knowing that she was listening. Yet in his peripheral vision he could tell she was trying to look stubborn and apathetic. But he knew that she was listening to him explain himself behind her mask of anger. He held back a smile and continued.
“When I train you, I am not only teaching you because you want to learn to be the best Ranger you can be. I am teaching you because I have grown very fond of you and I want you to be safe. I can’t always protect you and I know very well that you can protect yourself. I believe that’s why I was hard on you. Because I wanted you to be able to take on any challenge. I wanted you to be…one big bad terrifying Ranger girl.” He smiled when he said that. A small giggle escaped her lips and he never felt happier. He finally looked at her smiling.
“I want what’s best for you.” He finished. She finally turned to look at him. Her warm brown eyes were still rimmed with tears but she gently wiped them away. Gilan waited. He wasn’t sure what he was waiting for but he waited. Maybe he was waiting for her to speak or maybe he was waiting for her to begin climbing down the tree. She then leaned forward and kissed him gently on the cheek.
“I forgive you.” She smiled.
Written by: Nerida Treaty