The land was arid and water yet scarce, but she committed herself to the atrium garden all the same. In no time at all, succulents grew thirsty for the sun and amid the gravel pebbles small seedlings were sprouting fierce.
There was a pattern to the chaos, with footpaths cutting between the swiftly growing green. It reminded Atrus nothing less than of the Ages she had written, obvious yet beyond reckoning.
He helped her as he could with installing an aqueduct. He brought her seeds and bulbs from other worlds; they never grew quite the same, and some indeed grew quite differently – for all that neither of them were certain the plants would grow at all. But she tended them, and entwined them with what already grew, and they flourished strong and full of color.
At times he would simply watch her work, for he couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen her so content. For when all was said and told, it was Katran’s project. Her sanctuary.
And when the plants had taken root, and needn’t as much tending, he would at times join her as she sat in quiet reflection among them, in soft words and comfortable silence.