Beyond Glycerine (J/TK, NJO AU) IMPORTANT! 6/20!!!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by _Tenel_Ka_, Mar 22, 2003.

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  1. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    Ahem... I've decided to repost this onto the new forum. So, Voila!

    Disclaimer: I owneth nothingeth. T'is purely for the saketh of enjoymenteth and appreciationeth thateth I writeth thiseth.
    Bush is a great band. Go download the song. It's from the Sixteen Stones album. Then make a shrine to them. All worship their music.
    Sorry, I'm tired.

    AN: This is from Jacen's POV after Traitor, on the way back to the NR. His thoughts are directed towards Tenel Ka (WITH WHOM HE BELONGS AND THEREFORE SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH IN DW.)

    Once again, I'm very tired.

    Glycerine

    Must be your skin that I?m sinking in
    Must be for real cos now I can feel.
    And I didn?t mind
    It?s not my kind
    Not my time to wonder why
    Everything?s gone white
    And everything?s grey
    Now you?re here, now you?re away
    I don?t want this
    Remember that,
    I?ll never forget where you?re at
    Don?t let the days go by

    Glycerine

    I?m never alone
    I?m alone all the time
    Are you at one
    Or do you lie
    We line in a wheel
    Where everyone steals
    But when we rise it?s like strawberry fields

    I treated you bad
    You bruise my face
    Couldn?t love you more
    You got a beautiful taste
    Don?t let the days go by
    Could?ve been easier on you
    I couldn?t change though I wanted to
    Could have been easier by three
    Our old friend fear and you and me

    Glycerine

    Don?t let the days go by

    Glycerine

    I needed you more
    When we wanted us less
    I could not kiss just regress
    I might just be
    Clear simple and plain
    That?s just fine
    That just one of my names
    Don?t let the days go by
    Could?ve been easier on you

    Glycerine.


    Maybe everyone in the galaxy is crazy, or maybe it?s just me. I?m not sure. I?m a lot less sure of everything that I used to be sure about and I?m more clear on what was formerly unconsidered.

    I thought about you when they were torturing me. When they were teaching me. When they were worshipping me. I thought about you all the time, though for different reasons and in different ways. At first, it was because I remembered that when I was with you, I was happy. I remembered that at one time in my life I had known laughter and joyfulness, and that during those times, I was with you. The memory kept me going for awhile.

    That was until I changed. When I started thinking like they wanted me to think. When I embraced the pain. I wondered what everyone would think, and what you would think. I wondered if you would still love me, or if you really loved me anyway and it wasn?t just a teenager thing that had passed over time.

    I wish I knew.

    But the question is more important than the answer. So when I asked myself whether or not you had loved me, I realized that I was admitting to myself that I loved you.

    So here I am, coming back to you. I?m coming back to a lot of people who love me and I?m wondering if you?re one of them. All I know is that I loved you, and I?ll still love you, if you want me too. I?m guessing there?s probably a lot that has changed while I?ve been gone, and maybe you?ve found someone more deserving of your affection. People develop new interests, Jaina?s feelings for Zekk have changed, and maybe yours have for me.

    I really hope not.

    I won?t say I need you. I know I could move on. Eventually. Maybe.

    But the point is, there are so many ways in which I?ve become different, that I can?t expect you to treat me like the old Jacen. I?ve grown up... or maybe I just think I have.
    Either way, you might not like him.

    Yet if I was to be really honest with myself, and not trying just to keep my expectations down to prevent being disappointed, I would say that you?re the best thing that?s ever happened to me, ever, and I know you don?t care. That?s the way you are, you?re just there for someone, completely loyal, no matter what.

    So keep holding on for me, and when I get back, I finally admit to something. We won?t have to pretend anything anymore. I?ll be honest, honestly. I know I don?t deserve it, but you were always a forgivi
  2. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter One: Dying

    Hollow.

    She felt hollow.

    There was nothing inside of her, only a colourless, featureless hole. It was void of space, void of time, void of dimensions or feeling. Because there is nothing and nothing is empty and empty is hollow.

    You couldn?t feel pain if you were hollow, for that she was thankful.

    Perhaps this was what dying felt like. Maybe, hopefully, she was already dead. Maybe her life wasn?t real and she wasn?t real and nobody, nothing was true. That would make sense, life couldn?t possibly be worse than this feeling. Or not feeling in her case.

    Then she opened her eyes and the brutality of life hit her and she decided maybe life actually was worse than being hollow.

    Reality bites.

    And with that thought she sat up in bed, swung her legs off the edge of the mattress and stood up.

    She wasn?t going to feel sorry for herself, she wasn?t going to complain, and she wasn?t going to think of Jacen or her mother. She would fight hard, she would do her job and she would continue this struggle to move on with her life.
    She liked to avoid self-examination at the moment. That opened wounds and anyway, she had more important things to do.

    Her grandmother had some notion that being Queen meant she had to marry, most likely a powerful, distinguished member of Hapan nobility, about as charming as a viper. Maybe someone else in her position would have succumbed to the will of the former queen, letting others sort out their direction because they no longer cared about anything, but Tenel Ka refused to sink that far into depression. Her grandmother wanted a lot of things of Tenel Ka; better attire, queenly manners, no military involvement in the war, and she wanted Tenel Ka dead. So, in spite and perhaps because of Faala?s ruthless ambition, Tenel Ka wore her lizard hide armor, spoke bluntly and to the point, contributed troops to the New Republic and strove to keep on living.

    She exercised, showered, and slipped on a robe to enter the room she used for meals. A secretary came forward with a datapad so that Tenel Ka could see what her Queenly duties required of her for that day.
    Donning her Dathomiri warrior attire, but with a golden tiara and dark violet cloak with the emblem of the Royal House of Hapes, Tenel Ka braced herself for the day. She built up her mental and emotional barriers and reminded herself as she did everyday that she had a purpose and a reason to go on.

    Tenel Ka had lost much as of late.

    She refused to be a sore loser.
  3. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter Two: Luminescent

    Tahiri Veila swiftly packed her few personal belongings into a travel bag and snapped it closed with determination. She scanned quickly around the room to see if there was anything she might have forgotten, and finding no shunted items, picked up her comlink.

    ?Control, this is Tahiri Veila, is my ship ready?? she asked with more assurance than she felt. Tahiri had been practicing more lately on the pilot simulations, at the prodding of Face Loran, but her skills weren?t anything to brag about just yet.

    ?Jedi Tahiri, your exit has been cleared and an X-wing has been prepared,? the smooth voice of military personal answered.

    ?Thank-you, I?ll be there right away,? Tahiri replied, then clicked off the communications device. She shouldered her bag, which was light despite her gender, and left the room she?d inhabited sporadically for the past few months. She was leaving Borleais, and probably not a moment too soon if the Vong movements were any indication.

    Her breath caught in her chest as she entered the hangar bay and saw the gleaming X-wing waiting for her. She?d been given her own ship, and what seemed casual for some people was a big deal for her, as she?d never owned anything quite so powerful or expensive before. The painting, still shiny, was white, with red stripes running along the sides.

    Red like Anakin?s blood.

    Pain coursed through her and her heart clenched. Until recently, tears had always formed in her eyes, but Tahiri was beginning to think there were no more left. Yet her pillow was always soaked in the morning.

    Tahiri closed her eyes and gritted her teeth, warding off the fresh stream of grief. She stowed her bag, climbed the ladder and meticulously ran through the list of checks she was supposed to do as she strapped herself into the cockpit seat. Where Tahiri was going, there was one person that understood what she was going through. That person had suffered the same loss, experienced the same piercing pain, and had taken on even greater responsibility than Tahiri herself had, despite the ceaseless, unrelenting inner torture.

    Tahiri powered her repulsor lifts, clearing the sky and upper atmosphere, then set a course for Hapes.

    * * *

    The Royal Court of Hapes was grand and opulent, with ceilings held up by pillars that towered over the noble heads and an elegance that spoke of a millenia long tradition and treasuries full to bursting.

    Tenel Ka D?jo sat on an electrum dias, listening to the droning of two egotistical politicians, trying to decide whether she should simply motion for the guards to escort them from the chamber, or if she should step in herself. Usually, she merely presided over the Senate, but there were occasions she had to demonstrate her power to keep her subjects in obedience.

    As the argument escalated into a petty disagreement between the two men, with jibes the other?s history stirring each other up, Tenel Ka hit her scepter against the stone floor. The sound rang sharply through the room and most heads turned in interest towards the throne. Whispered conversations stopped, except for the two politicians, who were completely absorbed in their yelling match.

    Tenel Ka stood regally and made an expectant noise in her throat. Both men trailed off in mid-sentence and turned fearfully to face her.

    ?I suggest,? Tenel Ka said scornfully, ?That if the senators cannot refrain from sharing embarrassing personal details, they should exit immediately. Otherwise, I believe the floor now belongs to Arabanth.?

    Her tone was strict and no nonsense, carrying a slight note of threat that she hoped would dissuade the senators from behaving in such a manner again. It was unlikely to work but it showed her power to the rest of the dignitaries.

    The meeting was about to carry on, but the double doors on one side of the room flew open and a harried looking man scurried in.

    ?Queen Tenel Ka D?jo has just received a visitor, waiting for her on the private landing pad. The visitor demanded that
  4. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4


    Tahiri was waiting by the ladder of her X-wing when Tenel Ka entered the hangar bay. The Dathomiri warrior turned queen was escorted by armed bodyguards and the flustered messenger Tahiri had met upon arrival.

    Tenel Ka looked well from what Tahiri could see. Her friend was dressed in a resplendent violet cloak overtop of her Dathomiri armor, a jeweled tiara settled atop a mass of red-gold warrior braids that fell almost to her knee and her skin was a healthy tone. However, Tahiri knew there was more beneath the surface, mostly because she felt this way herself. Calm was outward, sorrow was inward.

    Reaching Tahiri, Tenel Ka stepped forward and embraced the younger Jedi tightly. Tahiri returned the hug, thinking of how long if had been since she?d had another person touch her affectionately.

    ?I?m glad to see you here, my friend,? Tenel Ka said softly. Her mouth smiled, but her eyes were sad. Tahiri knew she?d probably looked the same lately. Her own eyes were usually slightly red from crying.

    Tahiri smiled brightly, ?I hope you don?t mind that I dropped in unexpectedly. There isn?t exactly an ?official? reason I?m here.?

    Just a very important personal one, she added in her head.

    Tenel Ka made an off-handed gesture, ?No matter, I appreciate a distraction.?

    Tahiri raised an eyebrow. The old Tenel Ka would never have said something like that out loud, it was too much an admission of defeat for her. It just went to show how deeply affected she had been by the mission to Myrkr.

    ?So,? Tahiri said, walking forward with Tenel Ka out of the hangar, ?What?s been going on here? Anything interesting happening? Are you really busy??

    The corner of Tenel Ka?s mouth twitched slightly. ?I have been involved in the responsibilities of the Queen Mother for the most part. There is diplomatic proceedings and government meetings to preside over.?

    ?Sounds boring,? Tahiri commented, wrinkling her nose.

    This managed to get a full smile from Tenel Ka, but a laugh seemed a far thing. Then again, she had never been one to laugh easily. Jacen had been the only one who could do that.

    ?Guard,? Tenel Ka said in a demanding tone, turning to one of the bodyguards, ?Time??

    The big burly man that she had addressed bowed before speaking, ?Twenty standard minutes before the evening meal your Majesty.?

    Tenel Ka acknowledged this with a stately nod of her head, ?Tahiri Veila will be joining me, inform the cook and my grandmother and father. Take her bag to the room across the hall from mine. Promptly.

    ?Yes your Majesty,? the man said with another bow then hustled off.

    Tenel Ka turned back to Tahiri with her usual expressionless face. Tahiri stared at her with a bit of awe.

    ?What is it?? Tenel Ka asked, seeing the look on her face.

    ?The way you can order people around like that. You know, ?pick up my bags,? ?inform this person of this,? ?do that,? ?do this,? and ?oh yeah, wash my feet.? Promptly. And the bowing and ?Your Majesty,? ?Whatever you say your majesty,? ?Right away your Majesty,? ?Let me scrub your boots your Majesty,? ?Oh no, please your highness, let me scrub your boots??? Tahiri babbled.

    Tenel Ka grimaced, ?Yes, it is rather tiring.?

    ?Are you kidding!? Tahiri exclaimed, ?That would be so fun.?

    ?Ah. Aha,? Tenel Ka said, ?I suppose it could be.?

    Tahiri gave her an infectious smile, and walked along beside the taller Jedi. Conversation with Tenel Ka could be very one sided, with her to-the-point attitude and lack of contractions. It was hard to understand her in some ways, but Tahiri found Tenel Ka interesting. The toughness and strength had always stirred admiration and she?d had a similarly strange background, though being heir to the Hapes Cluster was just a bit more prestigious than being raised by Tusken Raiders.

    They reached the palace and Tenel Ka pointed out bits of Hapan art and architecture, the crystal fountains, the ceramic statues of magnificent creatures from all sixty-three worlds, the graceful buttresses holdi
  5. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter Three: The First Cut is the Deepest

    The hallway was completely silent, but the alien presence could still be felt. Her feet made not the slightest noise as she traversed silently to the spot where Jacen sat staring out the window to the night sky. Vergere took a seat beside him and still neither deigned to speak.

    At last, the quiet was broken, and Vergere said in her soft, amused voice, ?I am surprised that your family let you out of their sight for this long.?

    Jacen laughed gently, ?I had to sneak away.?

    ?No doubt,? Vergere conceded and after a pause continued, ?I sense there is another reason for this late night solitude.?

    Jacen smiled and nodded but didn?t speak for a moment. Vergere senses him gathering his thoughts together.

    ?Vergere,? he explained, ?When I left the land of the living, I left a girl behind.?

    He stopped at hearing the words coming from his mouth.

    ?I suppose she?s a woman now, girl isn?t really the right word.?

    Vergere knew where this was going. She had wondered briefly whether he?d had any romantic entanglements before his apprenticeship to her. She was also curious what kind of partner Jacen would eventually choose because she would have to be a very specific type of woman. Jacen had grown up with a hot-tempered, willful older sister and as a result, he would probably prefer someone quieter, someone that could keep him grounded from his day-dreams.

    Curiosity claimed her, but she did not allow it to extend to her voice, ?What is this woman like??

    Jacen considered a moment before answering and his tone was subdued.

    ?She?s like?? he stopped, ?Like the eye of a storm. Calm, serene, almost expressionless, but not cold or distant. All the action goes on around her. Jaina told me she?s a Queen now, though when I last saw her, she was a princess and she looked the part.?

    ?So your girl became a woman and your princess became a queen. You wish to see if her heart has changed as well?? Vergere said whimsically.

    Jacen nodded, ?I want to know if her feelings have changed. Anyway, she still thinks I?m dead, and when I felt for her, it was like a black hole.?

    ?When will you leave?? Vergere asked.

    Jacen pursed his lips speculatively, ?I won?t leave for a week or so, Mom just got me back and she?d hate it if I left right away. Dad would be pretty mad too.?

    ?I may accompany you,? Vergere decided, and then she slowly got up to leave.

    * * *

    Tahiri entered the dining chamber to see Fa?ael, Prince Isolder and Tenel Ka already seated. Walking forward confidently, she gave them all what she hoped was a winning smile and sat down neatly in her chair. She saw Isolder?s eyes flick briefly to her barefeet and smile slightly.

    When Tahiri turned to Fa?ael however, there was nothing remotely resembling a smile or humour. She wondered if arrest had had any effect on the former queen?s personality.

    Tahiri seated herself on the plush red cushion and did her best to look at ease. The supper was a Hapan delicacy. A flaky bread stuffed with herbs and cheese made the appetizer, roasted fowl for the main course, sparkling kiwahsi wine for beverage and flower-shaped sugar statues for dessert.

    There were some pleasantries exchanged between Fa?ael and Isolder as well as between Tenel Ka and Isolder, though the father-daughter relationship seemed slightly distant, uncomfortable in nature. Tahiri remained quiet, an unusual occurrence, but she was slightly hesitant to let anything slip in front of Ta?a Chume. The two experienced royals talked about the different economic situation on various Hapan planets and Tahiri lapsed into a boredom-induced coma.

    She was unexpectedly brought back to life when Fa?ael turned to address Tahiri.

    ?And to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit??

    Her words were carefully polite, but there was a greedy suspicion evident in the former queen through the Force.

    Tahiri swallowed the mouthful of food, which suddenly tasted very much like duracrete.

    ?I merely came to upd
  6. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter Four: Misery

    After seeing Tahiri safely to her room across the hall and two down from her own, Tenel Ka opened the door to her own silently. The glow panels came on and she slumped slightly because there was no one to see her, no one to care.

    That, perhaps, her mind spoke up, Is the root of the problem.

    Tenel Ka ignored her inner voice and slung off her violet cloak. She moved through the catacombs of little rooms before her sleeping chamber, staying alert despite her weariness. It always paid to be on your toes.

    She entered her room and let the cloak fall onto the bed. The material was thick and heavy, but she never noticed the weight until it was gone.

    Instead of curling exhaustedly up on the bed like she usually did at the end of the day, she felt compelled to keep moving.

    Unlatching the glass and metal work doors, Tenel Ka stepped out on the balcony adjoining her room. Lilies and magnificent blossoming plants crept along the walls and railing, filling the night air with their sweet perfume, while the stars and moons, now the complete three, filled the sky with a ethereal light. Nothing ever seemed solid at night, always more like the moonbeams that touched the earth. Everything was always so glowing, but at the same time dark, that depth perception and hard edges disappeared. Tenel Ka breathed deeply, trying to let the moist, warm air clothe her, protect her from herself.

    Just let it flow, her voice spoke to her again, Set it free, make yourself live again.

    She couldn?t be living anymore. She?d hardly been able to think straight in the past few weeks, and in that time, she didn?t remember feeling any emotion. Not until tonight when Tahiri had questioned her.

    If she could, Tenel Ka considered, what would she feel?

    Hate? Anger? A gradual lessening of pain?

    Mostly, she would feel alone. Alone without a real connection to her father, without her mother, without her great-grandmother, and most of all, without Jacen. That future stretched before her, desolate and barren.

    You feel barren now anyway, the voices chided, alone without anything to comfort you. Let the memories come.

    Like a painkiller, being empty only numbed the pain. Could her shocked system be washed clean of the painkillers by release of emotion? Could she deal with it? Would she break down, never to be rebuilt?

    Let them come?


    The stars above were cool and distant, seen through the chill emptiness of space. Yet the cold of that vacuum mattered little to Tenel Ka, because she was warm and content, held tightly in Jacen?s arms.

    ?So long,? he whispered in her ear, ?It?s been so long.?

    ?Forever,? Tenel Ka assented gently, trying to keep herself from coming completely undone with relief and happiness.

    They sat in a room on Eclipse, with one wall completely clear and open to view space. It was the only decoration the room had, but they weren?t looking at it. They sat on a lumpy couch in the center of the room, embracing desperately. His face was buried in her russet hair, and she leaned her head on his shoulder. His arms clasped her to him in an unbreakable vice, and she nuzzled his neck affectionately with her nose.

    ?A year, maybe a year and half it?s been. Kriff, I?ve lost track in this blasted war,? Jacen said remorsefully.

    ?Too long. But do not dwell on it now Jacen,? Tenel Ka spoke into his ear.

    ?Of course. What have you been doing anyway? I mean, I get your holo messages telling me you?re okay, but I don?t know anything else. What?s been happening?? Jacen asked, concerned.

    ?Well, the losses at Centerpoint put a great deal of animosity towards my mother and I. The Rodian, Jovan Drak, and I were given a variety of assignments from Master Skywalker. Since the battle of Duro and your encounter with Tsavong Lah, we were trying to rescue Jedi in need of help,? Tenel Ka explained.

    Jacen sighed. ?It seems like everyone in the galaxy is always out to get us. I mean, there was the great
  7. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter Five: Bloody Sunday


    An insistent prodding roused Tenel Ka from sleep the next morning. In an instant, a small stealth blaster was in her hand, leveled at her possible attacker.

    ?Kriff!? hissed Tahiri, her hands flying up to her head, ?Watch where you point that thing!?

    ?I apologize,? said Tenel Ka, lowering the blaster and wiping the sleep out of her eyes, ?Is there something the matter??

    ?You people are so paranoid around here,? Tahiri muttered peevishly.

    ?Call it habit,? Tenel Ka replied with a note of irritation, ?What is wrong??

    ?We?re going on a little trip. Get some stuff together, and take anything from this room that you really value,? Tahiri directed tersely.

    Tenel Ka was confused, but she rolled off the bed, still dressed in her lizard hide armour. Within moments, she?d thrown her other clothes in a bag, attached her utility belt around her waist, clipped her lightsaber on, and grabbed the pink crystal necklace that Jacen had given her after the Crystal Reef crisis from its place on her dresser.

    Tahiri was shifting from foot to foot anxiously, looking around nervously. Tenel Ka briefly touched her violet cloak before throwing it and her crown inside the clothing bag, then wrapped herself up in her long black Jedi cloak. She sensed danger from all around, but she couldn?t sense a direct cause.

    Swiftly, she nodded to Tahiri and they moved together through the antechambers to the wide hallway outside.

    Hustling inconspicuously down the corridor, both girls were suddenly thrown forward onto their stomachs as everything behind them erupted into flame.

    BOOM!!!!!!!!!

    Tenel Ka was the first to her feet, instantly alert and ready for any other dangers. She helped a coughing, sputtering Tahiri to her feet and picked up the luggage they had dropped. Both Jedi were covered in a fine gray dust, which filled the air around them, while debris littered the surrounding floor.

    ?That was my room,? Tenel Ka stated matter-of-factly, as if some evidence had just been offered to her.

    ?Yes,? Tahiri choked out, her eyes watering.

    ?Ah. Aha,? Tenel Ka said, grabbing Tahiri?s arm and pulling her along, ?Out of here. Quick.?

    Tahiri didn?t make any protests, only let herself be led along.

    Tenel Ka didn?t understand how Tahiri had been alerted to this threat on her life, and would make sure to thank her profusely later. Now, however, she had to take charge and get her friend out of any immediate danger.

    ?Where are we going?? Tahiri asked, recovered from the suffocating dust.

    ?You had an escape ship ready, yes?? Tenel Ka questioned, looking back at Tahiri?s face.

    ?Yes?? Tahiri answered slowly.

    ?Whoever caused that explosion may have the means and the network to sabatoge the ship you prepared as well. You will take your X-wing. I will take my Hapan VX-10 Dragon fighter. When we are in space, I will send you the coordinates over a private channel. You will jump to them. Understood?? Tenel Ka asked.

    Tahiri?s face had slipped into the trained, calm demeanor of a soldier. She nodded resolutely.

    ?Got it. I?ll see you up there.?

    ?Check for bugs on your X-wing,? Tenel Ka said with a worried glance.

    They split up, Tahiri heading in the direction of her X-wing and Tenel Ka towards the secret hangar where her personal ship was kept.

    The Hapan VX-10 Dragon was the latest in the ships being manufactured in the Transitory mists. Instead of being on the side, the wings of the VX-10 extended like claws over the cockpit and the beneath the fuselage. The engineers bragged that it made a harder target. The fuselage was a smooth, blunted-triangle shape, like a tongue sticking out between the jaws of a dragon?s mouth. It was complemented by quad-laser cannons, three proton torpedo launchers with a six torpedo carrying capacity, and state of the art targeting, manuevering, and engine-speed system. It was fast, sleek and deadly, just the way Tenel Ka liked a ship.

    She snapped open the storage hatch, threw her bag in, closed
  8. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    ***

    Breezes streamed through the darkened room, billowing the curtains of the windows into unearthly contortions and causing the royal occupant to shiver underneath the down-filled duvet. The winds smelled like salt and flowers, like life held together in precious shapes, each sacrosanct and unique.

    In the silence of the night, Tenel Ka slept.

    And she dreamed of the past?


    Tenel Ka gently rubbed the bacta lotion into Ulaha?s skin, being careful not cause any damage with her ministrations. Jacen stood behind her, still deep in thought, brooding.

    She finished and stood up from the bunk, Jacen thought he saw a flicker of indecision in her eyes, but then her lips quirked in a half-smile.

    ?My turn,? she said, the smile spreading.

    Jacen?s jaw dropped, then he shook his head to clear it.

    ?Oh, I see. You?re joking again.?

    Tenel Ka shook her head. ?I think not.?

    Jacen was struggling to contain his disbelief. He stared as Tenel Ka brushed past him, returning to the bunk they?d just been talking in. His body turned and his eyes followed her, but he stood rooted to the spot, waiting for his illusions to be shattered.

    Instead, she unzipped the top part of her jumpsuit, exposing the thin rags that they had been clothed in during their captivity. Jacen started walking towards her, still in a state of shock.

    ?Here,? said Tenel Ka, giving him the lotion, ?On my back.?

    She sat down on the edge of the bunk and Jacen sat down next to her, swallowing nervously. Tentatively, he poured some of the lotion into his hand, trying to remind himself that this was strictly for medical purposes.

    He rubbed the lotion between his hand then reached out to Tenel Ka. He figured the least presumptuous place to start would be her shoulders, close to her neck. Delicately he smoothed the bacta solution against her smooth tanned skin, feeling the corded muscles of her shoulders and suddenly realizing how fast his heart was beating. He was gravitating closer to her without even noticing it. Slowly he flexed and relaxed his fingers, massaging her shoulders in a steady rhythm. As he forgot about concentrating on the lotion and grew more focused on the feeling of her skin underneath his hands, his fingers slid under the straps of her flimsy shirt. Breath-rate increasing and blood seeming to race through his veins, Jacen leaned forward so that his chin was almost resting on her shoulder. He dropped his head and softly placed a kiss on the slope between the shoulder and neck. Her skin was warm, he imagined his own was rising in temperature as well.

    Tenel Ka sighed happily and slipped forward onto the bunk, resting her head on her arm. Jacen moved his hands to the bottom of the shirt and slowly applied more lotion to her lower back. His fingers ran lightly over her rib cage and traced a path up her spine. His hands ran over her skin tenderly, wary of the broken skin and devoted to taking the utmost care. Tenel Ka?s eyes were closed but a peaceful smile worked its way across her face.

    Jacen paused slightly, looking down at her with his brandy brown eyes. She was so beautiful when she was sleeping. It him weak all over, it brought him to tears. An ache formed in his chest, a prediction of the pain that he would feel if he were ever to lose her. A deep, profound sense of wonder settled over him brought on more quickly by his heightened heartbeat and rapid breathing. What had he ever done in his life to deserve her? Was he gathering the effects of his contributions in a past life? Did she realize how she made him feel?

    Tenel Ka?s eyes opened as his hands stopped moving. He swept his hand under her stomach to roll her onto her back, facing him. Then he moved propped himself up with one elbow, bringing his other hand up to cup her face. Her grey eyes had lost that mischievous look and regarded him with the only trace of nervousness or apprehension he had ever seen. Was she wondering what his intentions were? He brushed the red-gold hair back from her face and then brought his
  9. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4

    Chapter Six: Even Angels Fall

    Love in fantastic triumph sate
    Whilst bleeding hearts around him flowed.
    For whom fresh pains he did create
    And strange tyrannic power he showed:
    From thy bright eyes he took his fires,
    Which round about in sport he hurled;
    But ?twas from mine he took desires
    Enough to undo the amorous world.



    ?All set Vergere?? Jacen asked as he powered up, with evident relief, the Lamba class shuttle.

    The brooding avian creature finished adjusting the crash webbing of her seat and then gave her alien version of a nod.

    ?You are sure about leaving early?? Vergere said in her neutral, observing tone.

    A frown shadowed Jacen?s face, and he looked speculative for a moment.

    ?I have a feeling something is wrong. I?m worried something is going to happen, and I?m not going to be there in time to make a rescue or something,? Jacen considered.

    ?This woman hardly seems to be the type that needs you to come to her rescue,? Vergere pointed out thoughtfully.

    Jacen laughed, a foreign, of late much unused sound.

    ?Yeah, that?s Tenel Ka. Still, Tahiri left to see her right before I came, and I have a bad feeling about that too. It just doesn?t seem like Tahiri.?

    ?They seem like similar people in some ways, are you sure it is not something harmless?? Vergere asked.

    ?I?m sure they?re in danger,? Jacen said without hesitation, ?Anyway, Tenel Ka is invited to the knighting ceremony, and Uncle Luke said it was okay if I went personally instead of sending a transmission.?

    Vergere gave a solemn affirmation. ?Let?s go then.?

    Jacen set about retrieving the coordinates and readying the ship while Vergere considered this mission from different angles. They had already taken off and Jacen was engaging the hyperdrive when Vergere asked suddenly, ?What is the name of this system??

    ?Hapes,? Jacen replied happily.

    Oh dear, wailed Vergere in her head, a sinking feeling settling in her stomach,
    Everyone is in for quite a surprise?

    ***

    ?Tahiri?? Tenel Ka asked, stepping through the doorway of the library.

    Tahiri, curled up comfortably in a recliner, reading a book of Ancient Hapan love ballads, glanced up with a dazed look.

    Of intolerable joys,
    Of a death, in which who dies,


    ?Huh?? she asked.

    Tenel Ka nodded her head in the direction of the hallway.

    Loves his death and dies again
    And would for ever so be slain


    ?I was going out for a walk on the beach. Would you care to join me?? she asked.

    Tahiri gestured to the book and replied with a wry smile, ?I?m absorbed, go ahead without me.?

    And lives and dies and knows not why
    To live, but that he thus may never leave to die!


    Inclining her head gracefully, Tenel Ka strode from the library and took a turbolift up to her own room. Not wanting to clean off the salt residue from her armor later on, she changed into loose cotton shorts and a grey tank top, and twisted her hair up into a large knot at the back of her head. She was about to leave the room, when she saw the crystal pink necklace she?d rescued from the palace sitting on her dresser top.

    And close in his embraces keep,
    Those delicious wounds that weep


    Without thinking, she reached out and tied it around her neck. Somehow it felt right to wear it, though she couldn?t put a finger on why.

    Balsam to heal themselves with. Thus,
    When these they deaths so numerous?



    ?What do you mean, ?she?s not here??? Jacen asked Isolder worriedly.

    They stood on a landing pad near the palace, Jacen having just gotten off the shuttle.

    Isolder looked weary and placed a hand on Jacen?s shoulder.

    ?Listen carefully Jacen Solo,? Isolder said, a hint of threat in his voice, ?You were my daughter?s friend at the Jedi Academy. You trusted her, she trusted you, you had many adventures in your teenage years. But my daughter nearly died yesterday, and you have just spent months in Yuuzhan Vong captivity. Her enemies here think she?s dead. They can remain in
  10. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter Seven: Stripped

    They walked slowly up the beach together, hands clasped tightly, shoulders rubbing against each other and Tenel Ka smiling more than she ever had in her life.
    Yet her smile kept disappearing as they neared the house, but an unimaginable guilt settled upon her spirit. She and Tahiri had developed a bond, a deep friendship brought about by similar circumstances and situations. They had both lost the dearest person to them in the universe and had chosen to keep on fighting. Now, she had Jacen back, really had him back, not a rumour or a holograph, but truly, overwhelmingly Jacen.

    Which left Tahiri alone again. The understanding she?d found in Tenel Ka would be gone, or so Tenel Ka thought.

    Nesaliquas came into view and Tenel Ka took deep breaths to brace herself. Jacen glanced at her.

    ?What?s wrong?? he asked.

    ?Tahiri,? Tenel Ka answered simply, ?How will she feel now??

    Jacen sighed remorsefully. ?Everything has a consequence, doesn?t it? There?s always a drawback.

    ?Yes,? Tenel Ka agreed sadly.

    He sighed again, then grinned for her benefit. ?It will be okay, you?ll see.?

    Tahiri sat on the front step of the mansion, her legs curled up to her chest and her chin resting on her knees. As Tenel Ka and Jacen came into view, her eyes went wide suddenly in disbelief. She got unsteadily to her feet, shaking visibly, as if she?d seen a ghost.

    Jacen kept walking towards her and they met halfway. His expression remained calm, but sadness radiated off him through the Force. Tahiri held out her arms and Jacen reached out to hug her tightly, as she began to cry. He rocked her carefully back and forth on her feet.

    ?I miss him too Tahiri,? Tenel Ka heard Jacen whisper, ?I miss him too.?

    He planted a gentle kiss on her forehead, then let her go.

    Tenel Ka felt the guilt welling up inside of her, more strongly than before, and her heart went out to the broken little girl before her. She stepped forward and embraced Tahiri too.

    ?Before memory of my pain fades, so much that I forget what it was like, and what you feel, let me say this, because I know it is what you fear,? Tenel Ka said hoarsely, her voice nearly breaking with emotion, ?You are not alone. You will never be alone. My friendship will always remain.?

    Tahiri cried harder, but a smile broke through the tears. She nodded and Tenel Ka broke away.

    When the three Jedi had pulled themselves together somewhat, Jacen spoke up, his voice quiet but strong.

    ?Vergere is here.?

    Tenel Ka stiffened and Tahiri gasped, but Jacen held up his hands to ward off any outbursts.

    ?She is here as my teacher and, I suppose, my friend. We escaped the Yuuzhan Vong together.?

    Tenel Ka wasn?t quite ready to accept Vergere without suspicion, despite Jacen?s explanation, but she didn?t say anything. Neither did Tahiri, they instead began walking towards the house, their stomachs alerting them it was dinnertime.

    * * *

    Gallond, the butler and chief care-taker of Nesaliquas was in a panic over lunch. As if the Queen Mother and her close friend weren?t enough to manage for, now there was another Jedi Knight, and the strange little alien creature to cater for. Still, he loved to entertain, to organize, and there had been quite a lull in that area over the past while. He was secretly glad for the company.

    He parked the platters of rich, steaming Hapan food, products from all over the sixty-three planets, on the large banquet table in the dining room. There was an air of relief and joy to the room?s occupants that made him linger for a moment.

    He regarded the white feathered alien over his shoulder as he sauntered back towards the door. A memory stirred, deep in the subconscious of his head, a story or a legend, told to him as a child and long since forgotten.

    He shook his head and pushed open the door to the kitchen, thinking himself crazy.

    But he had seen or heard of such a creature before, he was sure of it.

    * * *

    Night shrouded the planet of Dreena, wrappi
  11. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4

    Chapter Eight: Things I Never Say

    She strode purposefully towards the communications module, her grey eyes intent, her features hardening and walk growing more rigid as she grew closer. Jacen could feel her bitterness lurking close to the surface, and felt a greater sense of admiration and respect for her. After all, this woman was indirectly responsible for her mother?s death and had always been a constant needling force. Every move Fa?ael made was calculated to increase the success of her own selfish ventures.

    ?I imagine your grandmother had to call in a couple of favours to get out of jail,? he said with bitter humor as they climbed down the main staircase.

    Tenel Ka made a disgusted noise deep in her throat.

    ?I am quite sure it was bribes, actually,? she answered, then her mouth curved slightly in an expression of distaste, ?A sum of money, more than enough for a prominent political prisoner to be set free, disappeared a short time ago. Of course, I never discovered where it went, though the investigation was thorough. My grandmother is exceptionally good at covering her tracks and shifting the blame.?

    Jacen nodded, it sounded like the Ta?a Chume he?d known as a teenager visiting Hapes after Tenel Ka?s tragic lightsaber accident. And, if Jaina?s story of the drama following his capture at Mrkyr was accurately interpreted, the woman had murderous intentions.

    They reached the communications room and Tenel Ka resolutely adjusted the crown the Queen Mother on her head. She stepped into the holocomm?s transmission area and her grandmother?s image appeared on the projector in front of her.

    Fa?ael looked haughty and aloof as always, but with a slightly fluttery, harried look.

    Tenel Ka raised her chin.

    ?You wished to speak with me, Grandmother??

    Fa?ael drew herself up, seeming to tense for a fight, responding to the ice so frequently present in her granddaughter?s voice when being addressed by her. Jacen, from his position at the side of the room, out of range of the recorder, decided that he never wanted to make Tenel Ka as angry as the former Ta?a Chume did.

    ?Ta?a Chume Tenel Ka D?jo, I must first say how glad I am to see you alive and well.?

    Jacen kept the skeptical snort from escaping his throat. Fa?ael? Happy to see her barbarian, intractable, will-of-steel granddaughter alive? Unlikey.

    Tenel Ka?s face remained unmoving, so Fa?ael continued.

    ?Your father, in case you were wondering, was loathe to end your vacation. He did not tell me you were alive, let alone let me contact you. It was only because of recent events that he relented.?

    Jacen felt a peek of curiosity from Tenel Ka, yet her face showed only deadly seriousness.

    There was a tension-ridden pause.

    ?What, I implore you, were these event you speak of?? asked Tenel Ka in a slow and deliberately controlled voice.

    The holocomm failed in masking the gleam that came into Fa?ael?s eyes.

    ?Your Aunt Alyss?s daughter, Haleigh, has been murdered. Brutally murdered, in fact. The press hasn?t received word yet, it only happened an hour ago.

    Tenel Ka blinked once, the only lapse in her lack of expression.

    ?I see,? she answered carefully. She seemed to ponder this information for a moment. ?I will return home to deal with this matter immediately.?

    Fa?ael smiled, ?That is wise. There is other information that will interest you here. It seems in the explosion meant to kill you two days ago, that the bombs went off only in the front two rooms. Your sleeping chamber was unharmed.?

    Before Tenel Ka could reply to this information, the transmission suddenly ended.

    Jacen was already getting to his feet, his mind working at a furious pace. He paced towards her and stood with his arms crossed over his chest as Tenel ka glared dangerously at the holoprojector.

    ?Tenel Ka,? he said firmly.

    She seemed slightly startled, her eyes lifting suddenly to his in question.

    ?Yes Jacen??

    He narrowed his eyes in scrutiny.

    ?I heard about the attempt on your lif
  12. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    Chapter Nine: Sturm and Drang

    To Tahiri, it was a relief to finally bring the X-wing out of hyperspace. With only the mottled, sporadic patterns of the faster-than-light speed to keep her company, there was too much time to think.

    The procedures for entering atmosphere and making a landing were steadily becoming more familiar, she realized as she set the craft down beside Jacen?s shuttle. She began to hurry with her safety straps, her fingers almost shaking in near panic. Maybe if she rushed she could get out of the landing area before Jacen and Tenel Ka left their shuttle and leave without being noticed. Then she could find a place to be alone for?

    Snap out of it for Force?s sake, a voice suddenly scolded her out of nowhere, You?re being silly and childish. You have to move on with your life sometime. Sooner better than later.

    Tahiri sank back in her seat under the weight of this unexpected revelation. She squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head slowly.

    I?m not being weak and childish, she argued vehemently in her mind, The only person that ever cared about me is gone. Is it selfish to mourn?

    The other voice responded immediately, but more soothingly this time.

    There are people here who care about you. They may not be Anakin, but they are your friends and they want to help you. Don?t push them away. Not unless you want to be wretched and miserable for the rest of your life.

    Tahiri sighed. Whatever she was telling herself, there was still a part of her inclined to be sulky. Maybe it was because she was jealous, or maybe because she was depressed. She?d lived in both emotions for the past few months and her negativity was taking over, threatening to completely engulf her. Without resistance and some serious attitude changes, there was no doubt it would.

    Consider this a wake-up call, that sardonic part of her mind piped up.

    She smiled wryly to herself, the muscles used in the gesture stinging with disuse.

    She realized that the mechanics and technicians were probably wondering what was taking her so long and roused herself to get out of the cockpit. She couldn?t quite see the landing bay?s exit because Jacen?s shuttle blocked it, but doubtless there were people waiting to ambush Tenel Ka on her arrival.

    There was never a greater understatement.

    As Tahiri walked towards the hangar doors and the exit came into sight, she saw an enormous mass of holonews reporters. All were holding recording devices of some kind and being held back by barriers and armed guards.

    The commotion heightened as the boarding ramp of the shuttle opened with a metallic hiss.

    Tenel Ka, resplendent in a magnificent violet dress and a full silver cloak that trailed like ocean waves behind her, stepped coolly and confidently down from the ship. The reporters started yelling questions and badgering her immediately, but she didn?t spare them a glance. Behind her, Jacen strode casually down the ramp, flanking her like a guard without realizing it.

    Where?s Vergere? Tahiri wondered as no sign of the little bird creature presented itself. What could she be hiding from?

    Her thoughts were abruptly cut off by the increased clamor from the reporters.

    ?Your Majesty, what are your thoughts concerning the murder of your cousin??

    ?Your Majesty, is it true that you and your cousin were targets of the same assassin??

    ?Highness, what are the reasons behind your recent absence? Who do you think is behind these attempts on the Royal Family??

    ?Your Majesty, do you deny that you had your cousin murdered??

    At the last question Tahiri felt Tenel Ka?s surprise through the Force, though the warrior woman continued to walk calmly and steadily through the throng of harassers. Movement caught Tahiri?s eye as she followed the two older Jedi from the landing bay. Jacen had clenched and relaxed his hand violently, like he wanted to strangle the reporters, though he exuded only control and amicability through his Force presence. Tahiri smiled slightly at his protectiv
  13. JainaDurron Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2002
    star 4
    *waiting excitedly for more*

    ~~Jilly
  14. Saber-of-Light Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
    _T_K_: I'm quite happy that you've reposted, but you could at least inform your readers on the old board, and inform your official upper that she needed to continue her duties here! :p

    Awesome post/repost! :D
  15. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4

    Saber-Of-Light: Sorry 'bout that! Next time I'll give you warning!

    Chapter Ten: The Trick is To Keep Breathing


    Deep breath in, deep breath out.

    Inhale, exhale.

    Slow and easy. Fast and harsh.

    Deep breath in?

    Jacen held the lung full of air for a moment, interrupting his steady rhythm, like stopping time. He smiled with his eyes closed, holding the soft, exotic scent of a thousand flowers in his nose contently.

    Out?

    Meditation this time was unlike other days, for it had been a long time since his emotions had been in such disarray and tumult. But part of exercising your mind was simply letting it flow in the direction it desired, so instead of sinking through the chaotic, kaleidoscope layers of the Force, he let the surroundings sink into him, lulling him into a peaceful trance.

    In the fabric of a smooth, velvet Force, as simple, pure, and uncomplicated as a faerie pond, he felt a slight tugging at the edge of his perception. He turned his inner sense towards the ripple in his pattern and recognized the quiet, knowing presence.

    Vergere wanted to talk to him.

    He opened his eyes and combined the act of stretching with getting to his feet. Vergere was sitting on a stone bench in front of him, in the shade of a thousand soft yellow roses tinged with pink.

    ?There is a weed in this garden, Jacen Solo,? she said quietly, and slid lightly off the bench, beckoning that he should follow her.

    The garden was both radiant and gloomy. Trees and hedges grew in an intricate maze, unkempt in some places, and there were never any straight corners. Everything always curved, like a secret-keeper that called you to explore this one last bend. And one could never be sure what the garden was hiding, what was beyond the next curve.

    It was filled with statues and benches; old queens, their beauty and lethality captured in marble, seraphs with wings spread out in glory, guarding the precious blossoms that grew so abundantly, carved marble vines twining up the legs of a bench and intermingling with their real-life counterpart?

    The silence was only broken by the sound of fountains gurgling and bubbling, the chirping of birds, or once, every so often, a wind would pick up and rustle the branches of the trees. They scraped together as their leaves tossed in the breeze, the sound seeming vaguely like laughing.

    The area of the garden Jacen was following Vergere into seemed to grow denser and wilder, with more vines overtaking the statues and wild flowers covering the ground instead of neat turf. The stone walkway ended and a beaten dirt path, overgrown with disuse continued from where it left off.

    Vergere stopped next to a garden wall and pulled back some of the vines to reveal a tiny doorway. She smiled mysteriously, then disappeared through the opening.

    Jacen tread lightly over a hidden path after Vergere and stopped behind her as she entered a quiet glade. It was perfectly similar to every other nook, but it had an air of malignant stillness that seemed to abhor being broken, almost as if there was something dark sleeping there. Jacen?s eyes swept over the area and paused at the black granite statue in the center. It was the only male sculpture he?d come to face with, but that wasn?t what made it strange. It was three times taller than a person would be in real life, and even though the detail was in stone, it was plain that the clothes he wore had been rich and regal. The well-defined face was the most frightening feature, forbidding and scowling with hard, unmerciful eyes.

    ?This,? said Vergere softly, stepping up to touch the statue, ?Is a depiction of a man with the blood of millions on his hands.?

    ?Millions?? breathed Jacen in horrified awe.

    Vergere nodded slowly.

    ?The Fosh, my species, were originally from Hapes. And this man was the leader of a society, the Ni?Korish, who delighted in killing them.?

    ?The Ni?Korish? But Jaina said that the Ni?Korish had been created when Tenel Ka?s great-grandmother was in power.?

    ?T
  16. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4

    Chapter Eleven: Orphean Wing

    The petulant knock at the door was one of the many that would sound that night, and her unwelcome guests the first in a long series of visits that would have her up till the latest hours.

    ?Please answer that Aniva,? Tenel Ka commanded gently, seating herself in a chair that was slightly higher and more elaborate than the other three at the antique table set.

    Aniva, always fearful of royalty?s wrath, moved swiftly towards the double doors and opened them meekly, bowing to the three officers that stepped inside. The leader was a tall, brunette woman, who was beautiful even by Hapan standards, wearing the formal uniform of the Hapan Justice Wing. She had a serious, intelligent look to her, with deep brown eyes and an assessing gaze. The two men that stood behind her seemed to be little more than muscle in comparison to her calm, calculating demeanor.

    She strode coolly towards the table where Tenel Ka sat patiently and dropped down on one knee, bowing her head. Her followers respectfully did the same.

    ?Your Majesty,? she addressed Tenel Ka, ?I am Lieutenant Litara Rué. It is an honor to serve you.?

    Tenel Ka nodded, a signal for her to stand and she did, then took a seat without fuss.

    ?First, I will say that I have every confidence in your Majesty?s character and I only hope that this foolish display will be over promptly. However, in the meantime, I have a duty to uphold.?

    ?I understand that completely,? Tenel Ka conceded truthfully.

    ?Then I hope you will understand my orders, which I am instructed to set upon you,? Litara said with a hint of regret. ?The procedure is this: You are under a loose form of house arrest. You can go where you choose in Fountain Palace, however, you must take an escort of the Hapan Justice Wing, not the Royal Guard, with you wherever you go outside of these walls. Failure to comply with this will meet with greater restrictions to your freedom. You are to appear in the Hapan Senate tomorrow at nine hundred hours. The Hapan Royal Court will also be in session.?

    ?So that is to be my trial?? Tenel Ka asked wearily.

    ?Yes, your Majesty,? Litara replied, ?You will hear the charges against you. You have the right to a lawyer, after which point the court will gather again.?

    Tenel Ka closed her eyes briefly, imagining all the fresh work this would give her to do, all the tedious paperwork, speeches, and careful plotting it would take to escape this trap.

    ?The rules are clear now,? Tenel Ka assured them, ?Is there anything else??

    ?No, your Majesty.?

    ?Then I must ask you to leave me to rest.?

    ?Of course, your Majesty.? Litara stood up and bowed again, very deeply, then went out with the same subtle determination she?d walked in with, the two men trailing behind her silently. Tahiri slipped in just as Aniva was about to close the door.

    ?Ugh,? she said decidedly, wrinkling her nose, as Aniva shut the door soundly, ?Who were they??

    ?Police,? Tenel Ka muttered by way of an answer, already trying to undo the zipper of her gown. By the gods she hated wearing dresses.

    ?What?s the news?? Tahiri asked, flopping down on the huge bed.

    With a sigh, Tenel Ka explained all of the accusations she had put up with and the case against her for the moment. Tahiri listened with wider and wider eyes, clenching her fists in angry balls at her sides.

    ?That?s ridiculous!? Tahiri exclaimed.

    ?It?s politics,? Tenel Ka replied regretfully, with a vague shrug.

    Tahiri muttered something explicit under her breath, then asked, ?What happens now?"

    Tenel Ka began to take of the hateful shoes she was wearing. ?House arrest. I can not leave Fountain Palace without an escort.?

    ?That sounds pretty tame,? Tahiri commented with a shrug.

    ?Of course,? Tenel Ka answered with a touch of sarcasm, ?But then there is the trial, with my grandmother and other relatives present.?

    ?Oh. Vrelts.?

    Tenel Ka hid a smile. ?That was my opinion on the matter too.?

    She ducked into the large, rather lu
  17. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    * * *

    ?Go away,? she groaned from behind the closed doors.

    Jacen grinned, she sounded exasperated.

    ?Tenel Ka, it?s Jacen,? he explained loudly so she could hear him.

    ?Tell him to go away,? she said, still sounding exasperated.

    He opened the door instead, stepping in silently and closing the heavy wooden portal behind him.

    ?Very funny,? he said indignantly, then his face changed to form a devilish smile, ?But you?ll not be rid of me so easily this time, your majesty.?

    Tenel Ka seemed to wake up at the tone in his voice and opened her eyes to regard him suspiciously.

    ?I suppose I may have a moment or two to spare,? she admitted thoughtfully, then winked almost imperceptibly at him.

    ?Only a moment?? he asked with a mock-pout.

    She smiled wickedly, a glint of amusement coming into those limitless grey eyes of hers. ?Oh, just sit down, Jacen.?

    Still smiling, he walked over and casually seated himself in the chair beside hers.

    ?Long night?? he estimated.

    ?You have no idea,? Tenel Ka remarked decidedly.

    ?I might,? Jacen said ruefully, allowing a note of seriousness to enter his voice.

    Tenel Ka?s eyes met his, concerned and suspicious.

    ?What happened Jacen?? she asked bluntly.

    He sighed. ?You first.?

    She closed her eyes. ?I have been accused of collaborating with the Yuuzhan Vong and am facing a conspiracy charge. I am under house arrest, my trial is tomorrow morning, and I have no idea where to look for a lawyer. I would sincerely like sleep.?

    Jacen whistled. ?I give up. There?s no way to win an self-pity contest with you, is there??

    Tenel Ka gave him an outraged look.

    ?Self-pity?!? she seethed.

    Jacen was already laughing, his eyes twinkling in delight at her anger.

    She let out an angry breath and shook her head, the red-gold hair swishing in annoyance.

    ?Oh, Tenel Ka,? Jacen pleaded, ?It was only a joke.?

    She raised an eyebrow at him. ?Ha.?

    Jacen broke into a grin, before his face became serious again, remembering why he had come to talk to her.

    Sensing his change of mood, Tenel Ka faced him inquiringly.

    ?Now,? she asked, ?What was your news??

    He did his best to keep the sinking, twisting feeling in his stomach from showing on his face, but Tenel Ka apparently sensed his emotions and her body became tense, rigid.

    ?Vergere had a little talk with me today,? Jacen began, ?Though I suppose you could call it more of a lecture.?

    Tenel Ka?s eyes showed the slightest trace of fear.

    He sighed inwardly. He couldn?t really beat around the bush in this instance, there was nothing to do but come straight out with it.

    ?She doesn?t think I should consider marriage at this point in my life,? Jacen said softly, not meeting her eyes, but looking at the arm of her chair, where her hand was rested demurely. Her hand clenched tightly at his words, then quickly relaxed as his own was placed gently over it.

    ?Tenel Ka,? he whispered, running his thumb delicately over her skin, ?I?m not going to obey her on this. What she says doesn?t even make sense. If I?m supposed to lead the Jedi Order to some sort of destiny, then I don?t see why I shouldn?t have a woman that I love more than anything, with the strongest spirit in the galaxy, right there beside me while I?m doing it.?

    When he looked at her face, her eyes were closed and her mouth was set in a straight line. She seemed to be concentrating very hard on keeping her face controlled.

    ?Tenel Ka,? he whispered again, bringing his hand up to brush her cheek slightly, ?C?mon, look at me.?

    She turned her head towards him, and Jacen saw that her eyes were sparkling with conspicuous drops of moisture, kept from falling from her sheer strength of will.

    ?It?s alright Jacen,? she answered hoarsely, ?You should obey your teacher.?

    ?No!? he exclaimed angrily, ?Not in a billion years. You deserve more than that Tenel Ka.?

    He leaned closer, he face intense.

    ?Listen, Tenel Ka. You are strong, incredibly and unbelievably strong. Look at your
  18. rogue11lovesjag Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2002
    star 4
    AWESOME!!! I love it!

    ~Rogue
  19. _Tenel_Ka_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 4
    rogue11lovesjag: Aw, thanks! Glad you liked it!
  20. Saber-of-Light Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
  21. JainaDurron Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2002
    star 4
    Wonderful post. :) More yes?

    ~~Jilly
  22. The_Hooded_One Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 4
  23. The_Jedi_Obi-Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2003
    star 3
  24. Agent_Jaid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2003
    star 5
    I loved the part where TK tell Jacen to send him away.

    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh]
  25. Obi_Wans_love_child Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2001
    star 4
    Great couple of posts TK. I am glad you found your voice again. :)

    Hey I posted the sequal to Sands flow by Softly. Link is in profile.

    OWLC
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