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Saga Tales of Lasan: Short Stories in the Lasan Series | "I am my prayer to you" (6/13)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by The Lasan Series, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. The Lasan Series

    The Lasan Series Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 11, 2017
    [​IMG]

    Authors: Raissa Baiard and Findswoman
    Timeframe: Saga (various sub-eras)
    Characters: Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, various Lasat OCs and ECs

    :zeb:

    Greetings, readers!

    This thread serves two main purposes. First of all, it serves as the main index thread to all the stories of the Lasan Series, by @Raissa Baiard and @Findswoman. As of this OP, all of the stories are set in various parts of the Saga timeframe; details will be given in the index below.

    Second of all, this is the thread where all one-shot stories that are part of this series will be posted. That means that the links to multi-chapter stories in the index below all link out of this thread.

    These stories are centered around the fanon lore on Lasan and the Lasat developed jointly by Raissa and Finds, which in turn grew from the lore established in the Rebels episode “Legends of the Lasat” (season 2, episode 14). They are also rich in OCs created by both authors, though established minor Lasat characters (e.g., Gron, Chava the Wise) will appear occasionally as well; please see the notes to individual stories for details.

    Any questions or comments about the series as a whole may be sent to this sock.

    Many thanks, and enjoy! @};-
    Raissa and Finds
     
  2. The Lasan Series

    The Lasan Series Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 11, 2017
    INDEX
    of the Lasan Series

    :zeb:
    In order of posting:​
    :zeb:
    In chronological order in-universe:​
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Sleeping Honor
    Era: Saga—PT (about 25 BBY); directly after chapter 3 of @Raissa Baiard ’s The Beginning of Honor
    Characters: OC, Zeb Orrelios (at age 19), borrowed OC (see notes below)
    Genre: Vignette, early romance—and all right, fine, mush.
    Summary: A young Zeb, recovering in the infirmary of the Lasan High Honor Guard base after the events of The Beginning of Honor, receives a visitor.

    Notes:
    A postscript to The Beginning of Honor, referencing the events of that story from a different character’s viewpoint. As such, part of the Lasan Series by Raissa Baiard and myself.

    Zeb’s younger brother, Garashai (Shai) Orrelios, is Raissa’s OC, whom I borrow here with gratitude.

    This is one of my first attempts at writing romance or mush, so I ask for the patience and forbearance of my readers. :p

    Many thanks to Raissa Baiard for collaborating on the Lasat fanon surrounding this story and giving me the go-ahead to dovetail it with her own; and to both @Ewok Poet and Raissa for feedback, beta reading, and encouragement. @};-

    :zeb:

    Sleeping Honor

    Storms’ End had been yesterday—as had the storm.

    That storm had been bigger than any that had occurred during the Dust Season proper. It had blown up suddenly in the middle of the day, just as the Storms’ End fair was in full swing on the Royal Lasat Parade Grounds. Fairgoers had scattered in desperation, young kits shrieking at the top of their lungs as they clung to their parents. Booths and tents had been flung apart by the heavy winds. Any wares that vendors had not had time to stuff back into their crates or boxes lay scoured and shredded on the ground. Broken glass and crockery were strewn everywhere. Grimy dust covered everything.

    Through this landscape of chaos and gloom walked the young initiate shaman, wrapped in her scarlet cloak with her satchel over her shoulder. A slight breeze ruffled her long purple-black hair as she stepped carefully over shards, debris, and spillage. The grit chafed the pads of her toes, but she kept walking. As she walked, her thoughts went back to the day before.

    Two of the other initiates, Rishla and Yhazi, had prevailed upon her to come out with them to the Warrior, the mighty stone spire overlooking Lira Zel, in order to watch the young males make their yearly climb. (“Oh, Shulma, you have to come!” they said. “All the young men will be climbing!” they said. “I bet that cadet will be climbing,” they said.) She remembered how her friends had clapped and cheered and hooted for each of the climbers, and how flighty, flirty Yhazi had swaggered off with that lieutenant who had made it almost to the top. But Shulma had had eyes for only one of the young men there: that cadet, the handsome, muscular first-year with the swirling dark-purple arm-stripes. She recalled how he had smiled at her from afar—how the sun had glinted off those leaf-green eyes, those razor-sparkling teeth—and how her heart had skipped a beat.

    She recalled his climb—how he had climbed so high—and then, all in that single dreadful moment, how horror had palled his face, how he had lost his grip, scrabbled desperately at the rock, fallen to the ground, and hurried off back to town! It was as though he had forgotten someone or something. She had gazed after him until Rishla prodded her to pay attention, as some other cadet with a huge, bushy beard was starting his climb. But by then her heart was no longer in it, for he was no longer in it.

    Later, when the storm siren sounded and they were all hustling back toward town, she had seen him running back toward the Warrior, directly into the building winds, shouting something about his younger brother who was lost out there on the trail. She had signed the Triangle and whispered a prayer to the Ashla for his and his brother’s safe return. They had all taken shelter in the Honor Guard base and stayed there for what must have been hours, huddled together, waiting, hoping, until a speeder pulled up at the gate—

    —and he had jumped out, caked with stormgrit, limbs abraded and bleeding, his injured little brother curled up in his arms. He had run with the wounded kit into the infirmary himself, declining the stretcher offered by the medics. Ah, that image of true courage and honor!

    That was the last she had seen of him that day. She had made up her mind that she would visit him and his brother in the infirmary the next day at her earliest convenience. And that was precisely what she was doing now.

    At the far end of the parade grounds Shulma shook the grit from her feet and descended the broad stone steps leading to the lower part of the canyon, which was dominated by the massive complex of the Honor Guard base. To refresh her memory she consulted the directory map that stood beside the guard station: the infirmary was on the far west side. The security drone in the guard station signed her in, performed a quick security scan, and searched her bag. As soon as it declared her all clear, she made as quickly as she could for the infirmary.

    She was greeted at the front desk by a uniformed female secretary a few years older than she. “Good day, ma’am. May I help you?”

    “Yes, please. I—I am here to—to visit someone.”

    “Right.” The secretary gestured to a datapad lying on one corner of the desk. “Please sign in here with your name, the time, and the room number.”

    “I’m sorry, I don’t know the room number.”

    “I’ll look it up. Patient’s name, last name first?”

    “Orrelios, Garazeb.” The shaman shuffled her feet nervously; it always made her heart flutter a little to say that name out loud. Not that there had been many opportunities yet...

    The secretary, who had scarcely begun typing on her computer terminal, suddenly looked up, narrowing her eyes quizzically at the pretty, long-haired, female visitor before her. “You’re not a family member, are you?”

    “No, just... a friend.”

    “Mmm.” The shadow of a smirk flitted over the secretary’s face as she began typing again.

    “A-and of course as a shaman of the Academy I—I am willing to offer him any spiritual assistance that he may desire—”

    “Yes, I’m sure you are.” The secretary hit one final, decisive key on her terminal. “He’s in 206.”

    “Thank you.” She signed in quickly on the datapad, avoiding the secretary’s gaze.

    “The stairwell is down this hallway to your right. Go upstairs, turn left, and 206 will be at the end of the hall.”

    “Thank you,” Shulma said again. Without looking back, she made for the stairs.

    Room 206 was a double room. Its two cubicles were separated by a partition, with a curtain covering the opening between them. The cubicle closer to the door was occupied by a young male of about fourteen dust seasons, still young enough to have a full head of dark purple hair, who lay asleep with one leg elevated in a thick cast. This was certainly the younger brother who had been lost and rescued. Shulma took a piece of chalk from her satchel and marked a few mystical glyphs on the floor surrounding the bed, all the while chanting prayers of healing under her breath. Then she pushed aside the curtain and entered the next cubicle.

    There he was! She tiptoed over to look more closely. He too lay in tranquil sleep, motionless except for the gentle rise and fall of his chest. They had cleaned him of the dust and grit, but there were bacta strips all along his arms, partly obscuring the handsome pattern of his stripes. A blanket covered him from his chest through his lower legs; the strong, prehensile feet that had grappled so deftly with the Warrior and run so swiftly along the trail were now wrapped in bacta dressings up to the ankles. And his face—

    That face! Shulma sank with a sigh into a chair beside the bed, her eyes fixed on the vision before her—on the rippling sideburns the color of the night sky, on the swirling deep purple stripes that edged the forehead and cheeks, on the chiseled, deep-set features that were now steeped in slumber. A large bacta pad stretched from his temple down to his cheek, another crossed part of his forehead, and the corner of a third poked out from one of his ears. This indeed was the face of courage, of bravery, of honor—and oh, how it deserved that sweet rest after such a trial!

    Shulma sat there gazing for several more moments, her face warming and her heart surging. The wisp of a thought crossed her mind: what if she tried to—? No, a kiss would be too much for now. A touch? His cheek, his beard, the edge of his ear? Tempting, certainly, but possibly also a bit much. But his hand lay across his chest...

    She reached over and drew two fingertips across the dark purple stripe that crossed his knuckles. That strong hand that had snatched a child from danger! So solid, and yet so soft...

    “Mmmmrrfff? Wha...?”

    He snorted and shifted heavily. At once Shulma pulled her hand away, dropped to the floor, and began chalking healing glyphs around the bed. If he really was waking up—and the continued sounds of shifting hinted that he was—this was at least a way she could buy herself time until her blushes went down. When she returned to the chair, he was sitting up in bed, fully awake, glancing all around with wide green eyes—which nearly jumped out of their sockets when they fell on the young shaman sitting beside him.

    “SHULMA! Karabast! I... um... er....”

    “Hi, Zeb.” She waved timidly. “How are you feeling?”

    “Oh, er... um... well, all right... had worse, had better...” Again he shifted and glanced around. “What... er... are you doing here?”

    “I just... thought I’d come visit you. And Shai too, of course.”

    “Right! Of course! I mean... hi.”

    “Hi,” she said again, the glint of a smile illuminating her face.

    Both were silent for a moment. Zeb’s face fell as he looked down at his bandaged limbs. “Aw, karabast... I... I’m sorry... I look terrible...”

    “It’s all right,” she consoled him. “You’ve been through a lot.” You only ran out into the middle of the biggest dust storm of all this past year to find your little brother and bring him to safety, she wanted to add.

    “Suppose so. Still...”

    “Not everyone would have been able to do what you did.” You are a true Honor Guard and warrior of Lasan.

    Zeb lay back, clenching his fists. “Too much I didn’t do. Shouldn’t have left Shai behind in the first place. If I’d stayed at the fair and watched him like I was supposed to, none of this would’ve happened and my kid brother wouldn’t have a broken ankle and I wouldn’t be such a miserable scraped-up mess.”

    “Zeb. Don’t blame yourself.” Shulma resisted the urge to reach over and gently unclench those strong hands, to lay them back across that broad chest. “The main thing is that you made things right again. You went out there yourself and rescued him from the storm.” You will be your brother’s hero forever. As you are mine.

    “Aw, you have no idea... he was so mad at me when I found him... almost wouldn’t let me take him...”

    “I don’t see how he could possibly still be angry with you now.”

    “I deserve it,” Zeb growled, pounding a bandaged fist on the bed. “I deserve for him to hate me. I left him. I failed him. And to think it’s all because I wanted to—” He broke off.

    “Wanted to what?”

    “Well...” Zeb heaved another sigh. “When the others were tryin’ to get me to go out to climb the Warrior, I... I only went because...”

    “Because what?”

    “Because I kinda thought you might be out there, watching.”

    Shulma’s eyes widened. “Zeb... may I tell you something?”

    “What’s that?”

    “Well... the only reason I went out there in the first place was... because I thought you might be climbing. I didn’t care about any of the others.” For you are a bristlecone among the shrubs of the timberline. “Though Ashla knows Rishla and Yhazi tried their best to get me to.” She laughed slightly, remembering her friends’ enthusiastic coaxing and their raucous cries of encouragement to the climbers. “You really did quite well, you know.”

    “Aw, yeah, I did quite well, all right... until I slid down the rock, scraped up my arms and legs, fell on my behind, and—WHAT WAS THAT?!”

    Zeb sprang back to a sitting position as the half-snort, half-snicker of unsuccessfully stifled youthful laughter filtered in from the adjoining cubicle. “Karabast,” he muttered. “Blasted kit’s awake, isn’t he?”

    Shulma gestured to the curtain. “I can... close this, if you would like.”

    “Yeah, go ahead.”

    She rose and did so, though despite her best efforts the curtain did not fully cover the opening between the cubicles. Indeed, Shai piped up with “I can still see you, Zebby.”

    “That’s great, kid,” muttered his older brother, shifting uncomfortably as he lay back down.

    Shulma returned to her chair and made to pick up her satchel. “Perhaps I should go.”

    “No no no! Wait!” Zeb’s hand shot out and grasped her arm, coaxing her back down. “There’s something I… um… wanna ask you.”

    “Yes?”

    “Well, yesterday... I’d been thinkin’ that if everything went well I would take you back to the fair and buy you a mug of cider... or some pastries... or something... and I just wondered...”

    “Wondered what?”

    “If... if I could still do that. I mean, there’s no more fair, of course. But I thought it would still be nice to—I mean, y’know, once I’m all better—”

    “Yes, certainly!” I will go anywhere with you, beloved warrior! Well, within the bounds of reason and propriety. But cider and pastries? Of course.

    “They said maybe two more days, one more if I’m—” The youthful laughter cut in again. “SHUT UP, SHAI! I KNOW THAT’S YOU!”

    “I’m sorry, Zebby!” came the giggling voice from the next cubicle. “I can’t help it! Just listen to you!”

    “Blasted fool kit,” grumbled Zeb, ignoring the additional giggle he received in response and turning away in embarrassment from Shulma. Even so, she noticed the dark flush that now filled his face, almost obscuring the tapered stripes that adorned it at the edges—and she felt heat and color rising in her own face too.

    “I really had better go now,” she said, getting up again.

    “NO! Please, no!” Again he put out a hand to stay her. “I mean—before you do, just one more thing, I promise—”

    “What?”

    “Could you, um—maybe give me—a blessing? Or a prayer? Or—something? Since you’re—a shaman of the Academy and all that?”

    “Yes, of course.” She thought for a moment about what would be appropriate. “Perhaps a few verses from the Consecration of the Valorous Wounded from the Wartime Rite?” I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.

    “Yeah, sure!... I mean, whatever you want.”

    Shulma took the chalk from her satchel once again and made one more mark, this time on the wall above the head of Zeb’s bed: a large glyph resembling three highly stylized crossed bo-rifles, one in rifle mode, one in staff mode, and one in the mode of the ancients. She glanced down at him as she drew; the glowing smile he wore as he relaxed back onto his pillow was not lost on her. She traced the Triangle on her breast, placed her hands on Zeb’s forehead, and began her incantation in soft, plaintive tones:

    Ashla, sovereign brightness
    of the highest reaches:
    o’er thy wounded Garazeb—


    “Hey! Stay still!” she chuckled, steadying him. He had jumped at the sound of his name.

    “Sorry, sorry... just wasn’t expecting—”

    “If you prefer I can use the generic group form, ‘O’er thy wounded warriors’—”

    “No, no, no... it’s all right... go on...”

    “Well, I have to start over now.” She winked at him, then began again:

    Ashla, sovereign brightness
    of the highest reaches:
    o’er thy wounded Garazeb
    spread thy veil of healing.

    Shulma paused and glanced down. Zeb’s eyes were closed; again he wore the tranquil face of sleep. Even Shai’s laughter was now silent.

    From his marks of valor
    cleanse the blood of struggle;
    fill his limbs with vigor;
    crown his might with rest.

    To thee I commend him,
    Ashla, light of warriors;
    may his honor waken
    to fight with strength renewed.


    Her last notes trailed off into silence. Looking down, she saw Zeb’s eyes flicker open and gaze up at her in half awe, half stupor. She bent closer, letting her hair ever so lightly graze his cheek.

    As they looked at each other for the next few quiet moments, she realized she was close enough to catch his scent. Beneath the sickly tang of the bacta and soap lurked something heady and woodsy, something of the ancient bristlecone forests...

    Just then the silence was rent by a youthful shout from next door: “Kiss her, Zebby! Kiss her!”

    Zeb’s dazed look morphed into a scowl, then brightened suddenly into a grin. “Suppose I shouldn’t disappoint the kit a second time.”

    “You certainly shouldn’t.” I am yours, beloved warrior of Lasan!

    Slowly, tentatively, he put up a hand to draw her close. She leaned down into his embrace, inhaling his scent; the pinelike musk had now fully triumphed over the tawdry, tangy bacta. Her hair cascaded over his face, caressing the midnight fringe of his beard. Closer, closer...

    And when their lips touched, the electric sweetness that shot through Shulma was like the most vivid of her visions, the most ecstatic of her trances. Oh, that your kiss were one of my rituals…!

    It was only after she had sunk back into the chair that she realized how fast her heart was beating. Zeb seemed similarly spent; his eyes were closed again. After taking a deep breath, Shulma collected her satchel and rose to go, then traced the Triangle once more on Zeb’s shoulder. His eyes opened and he took her hand in his.

    “So... um… Shulma…”

    “Yes?”

    “Day after tomorrow… about this time... cider? Whaddaya say?”

    “I say yes.” What else could I possibly say?

    “Or maybe even tomorrow if I’m better...”

    “I’m sure you’ll let me know.” She smiled and placed her other hand on his, again drawing her fingers over the purple knuckle-stripe. “Now rest well, Zeb. The Ashla will watch over you.”

    “You too, Shulma... and... thanks.”

    “Always.”

    He shifted and nestled back into bed. After one final, wistful glance, Shulma exited the cubicle. She could hear Shai’s laughter again as she crossed to his side of the room. The younger male’s grin shifted to a look of concern as she approached, but his face softened again as she smiled at him and placed a small kiss on his tousled head.

    “Hey, Zebby, she kissed me too!” she heard Shai exclaim as she left the room—and she beamed inwardly as her ears caught Zeb’s smugly chuckled reply: “Not like she kissed me, kid.”

    Then, with brightness in her heart and a spring in her step, Shulma left the infirmary and went out into the clear Lasan sun.

    * * *

    The next day, in that same clear Lasan sun, Shulma stood outside the security post of the Honor Guard base, waiting. She spun around and smiled as Zeb came up beside her—now fully recovered, crisp and spruce in his uniform vest and armor, and smiling a smile that drowned out the sun.

    Then they walked off together toward town. ¶

    On Storms’ End and its associated celebrations, see the Lasat fanon article by Raissa and myself. Raissa is the creator of that particular aspect of the fanon, and all the events about which Shulma reminisces take place in Raissa’s The Beginning of Honor.

    Shulma’s chalked glyphs are drawn (!) from the chalked markings made by Chava on the floor of the Ghost in the Rebels episode “Legends of the Lasat,” as part of the Lira San ritual. I see such markings as being a fairly standard feature of Lasat shamanism and part of almost all of its rituals, with shamans like Shulma and Chava keeping some of that chalk with them at all times.

    “some other cadet with a huge, bushy beard”: One of Raissa’s supporting OCs, Velibor, a fellow cadet of Zeb’s who convinces him to climb the Warrior in The Beginning of Honor.

    Shulma’s friends Rishla and Yhazi are my OCs. Raissa’s story mentioned the lieutenant who had climbed higher than anyone else and who had three girls trailing him back to town; that one of them was Yhazi was my own extrapolation, made with her permission, of course. :p

    “the mode of the ancients”: A reference to the unusual bo-rifle configuration used by Zeb in “Legends of the Lasat” as part of the Lira San ritual (“as the ancients used it”).

    The Consecration of the Valorous Wounded and the Wartime Rite are fanon; the proper name and pronouns in the prayer can of course be altered as needed.

    Zeb’s scent: Much is made in Rebels of how bad he smells, at least to Ezra. But might not a member of his own species might think differently—especially one who is in love with him? ;)
     
    divapilot, Kahara, yahiko and 3 others like this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    @Findswoman -- I have only one word for your mush debut. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! [face_dancing] =D=
    How delightful! I loved Shulma's inner monologue ;) very much and Shai's teasing laughter. [face_mischief]
    I so dearly want him and her to meet up again during official Rebels! Even if it has to be an AU, it will be my "canon."
    I am going to adore this series! I can already tell!

    Zeb and Shulma remind me of K'Tai and Obi-wan. :cool: :) So adorably drawn to one another and so shy about it LOL

    [:D]
     
  5. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    =D= Hooray! Can’t tell you how happy I am to see Shulma’s official debut! And I must concur with @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, the only possible reaction to your mush debut is SQUEE!

    Shulma is so sweet and sincere, both in her feelings for Zeb and her calling as Shaman. You do a marvelous job capturing the thoughts of a young woman who’s obviously smitten with but not quite sure how to properly express that attraction. She’s not the type to call out enthusiastic encouragement, the way her friends do, even though she’s appreciative of Zeb’s physical qualities as well as his strength of character. I have no doubt that Shulma really is prepared to look after Zeb’s spiritual welfare, even if the smirking secretary is clearly thinking “is that what they’re calling it now?” :p Indeed, she takes time to minister to the injured Shai even before seeing Zeb. And how cute is she, when she finally does get to gaze on her sleeping beloved? [face_love] Once again, Shulma struggles with attraction vs. propriety, only allowing herself the lightest touch—brief, but so sweet!—and, oops, wakes her sleeping warrior.

    And once he’s awake, it’s clear that Zeb is just as smitten with her! (Of course, I knew he was!) And why not? Not only is she lovely—with those eyes, that hair, those stripes!—but her sincerity and spiritual dedication make her a match for Zeb’s commitment to the Honor Guard and Honor itself. I love seeing their awkward “hi”s and fumbling attempts to say what they’re feeling without, y’know, saying too much. It doesn’t help that they are interrupted by a Certain Kit giggling at their awkwardness. Yup, that’s my Shai! :D Love how Zeb is sooo concerned for his spiritual welfare, asking for a prayer or a blessing or whatever, just don’t leave yet, pretty girl! (Though once again, Shulma is entirely sincere in the blessing she offers, and it shows in the effects).

    Perhaps nosy kit brothers aren’t entirely bad, because Shai comes up with an excellent suggestion—Kiss her, Zebby!—and serves as a handy way for these two to get past all questions of honor and propriety. They just don’t want to disappoint Shai, that’s all. :D And wow, what a kiss! The emotional, physical and mystical elements all come together at once. [face_love]

    I love how sweet and innocent Zeb and Shulma’s new love is, even when Shulma is appreciating his rugged good looks or reveling in his woodsy scent, there’s such a purity of emotion. Shulma is a wonderful match for Zeb. I know you have great things in store for these two, and I look forward to seeing them! :zeb:@};-
     
  6. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    I agree with the rest -- SQUEE! [face_dancing] Shulma and Zeb are rays of sunshine (yes, even Zeb! :p ) and just so sincerely head over heels for each other in a very endearing way.

    After how Zeb was teen angsting over Shulma in BoH (does she like me? does she know I exist? what if I climb this rock? will that make her notice me?), it's a wonderful discovery that Shulma has been noticing him just as much. And she is a delightful character, competent and dedicated but also really kind. What she sees in Zeb really speaks for itself about what kind of person she is. His courage and compassion are key, even if she's also quite fond of his leaf-green eyes and razor-sparkling teeth. ;)

    Swoon! :p But really, who wouldn't?

    As we see later, Shai is just eating metaphorical popcorn at this point. [face_laugh]

    And I love Shulma's thought to herself about why she went out there to see Zeb.

    Very poetic, and I like the associations with the perseverance and strength of the trees. If they're anything like their Earth counterparts, they're not just the tallest but the most enduring in the landscape.

    The kiss scene is really sweet and romantic, really capturing the newness and the depth of feeling between Shulma and Zeb at the same time. @};- They strike me as one of those couples that might seem unlikely at first glance, but they care so much about each other and value a lot of the same things underneath it all.
     
  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    YES. :zeb:

    A NEW OTP HAS SEEN THE LIGHT OF THE DAY.
    Make your way for Garazeb Orrelios and Shulma Trilasha, everybody! [face_party] And they are so.awkward here, like some sort of middle-school kiddos - I would give 'em a hug, but I'm not sure how that works with huge purple folk who have been said to smell bad to a homo (non)sapiens. [face_blush] Either way, what I'm trying to say is that their romance is natural. Seeing a softer side to Zeb's no-nonsense character in Rebels totally makes sense - his personality changed after everything he'd been through with the destruction that occurred on his home planet, but that does not mean that it was not there before and that it might not surface later.

    Shulma herself is adorkable - and no, that's not a spelling error, she's a wonderful dork.:-BOf course, this is the first time we see her in a lead role and her character has yet to develop in the further stories, but from what I have seen so far, she has a lot in common with Telfien and Glockel, yet she seems to be more down-to-earth than either of them. She's a badass shaman cheeka and she knows it! I bet she's learning from the best. :)

    ONEONEONEONEONEONE!!111!111!!!!11

    Seriously, you made huge-eyed bugs sweet (I will always have a lil' crush on your Zuckuss!), you're making purple giants sweet. [face_love]

    I keep on returning to this paragraph, because it sets Shulma's character early on. She's not afraid. She's determinated. She's strikingly beautiful for a female Lasat. She will go wherever her beloved goes, even at the stage when she is too ashamed to understand that it's mutual, which I think that this exact moment is.

    Okay, back to the further stuff...

    (reminder to self: leave that comment on "Beginning of Honor", FFS!)

    GIRL, EVERYBODY KNOWS IT ALREADY. IT'S VISIBLE FROM THE FAR EDGE OF THE GALAXY! [face_laugh] You're so, so, so obvious.

    I can't wait to see more of this, please. Perhaps even these glyphs drawn and explained. I'm sure that you, being you, at least have a vague idea on what is what.

    The description of Zeb from his true love's perspective is melty-melt. [face_love] Some of these little details are what we love about our men, too..chest movements when they breathe while sleeping, their eyes. But there are also purple stripes and the whole concept of honour becoming a slightly physical and not only mystical, philosophical thing as well. And I really like it. As if that were not enough, there's Shulma's inner dialogue, in italics, saying all the things she doesn't yet have the courage to say. Perfect!

    And then he wakes up. OMGZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

    Their convo is, once again, adorable. Zeb swears, then says "right" instead of "hi" at first and there's Shai to make things more fun. The lil' one, just like the lady at the desk, knows everything and isn't afraid to say it. I'm pretty sure that he acts as a catalyst here.

    Bet he doesn't even know what it is. Or, if he does, he's so enchanted by her being there and her being her that he cannot even focus on the chant proper. Heck, if she was to chant the Brave Little Banthas theme tune, he would be 100% sure it's a shamanic ritual.

    I.have.butterflies.for.purple.beasts. *squeals*

    Even Ashla knows that this is magic, and Ashla's blessings are with this new couple - whether they know it or not. This was such a beautiful, beautiful kiss scene and Shulma's inner dialogue throws in just a tiny, wee bit of desire, believable for this stage of their love and her character.

    Can't wait to see how the date will go. There's going to be a date story, right? Please?

    And yeah, I'm FINALLY hooked on the Lasat microuniverse and no longer thinking about that time we shall not mention. In fact, they're, like, healing me.
     
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Many thanks to you all for reading and commenting, as well as for taking a chance on my first attempt at mushy romance type writing! @};-

    Aw, thank you so, so much, Ny! If I made you squee that much, then I know I didn’t do too bad. :) I'm finding these two very enjoyable to write (and I have more stories with them in the offing); for some reason I find myself drawn to that gently, adorably awkward dynamic that in its way is so full of sincerity. And wow, what an honor to have these compared to K'Tai and Obi-Wan, whom I've always regarded as an absolute model for EC/OC relationship!

    As to their meeting up again, during the Rebels time period...

    ...ah ha, just you wait. ;)

    Oh, thank you so much, and I am so glad you're enjoying this still relatively new character so far. @};- But I really and truly couldn't have done it without you and BOH; thank you for all you did to set up the situation that made this story possible, and for all the encouragement you've given me into these early mush attempts of mine—anytime I'm not sure what to do when writing a romance story, I look to yours. <3

    Aw, I'm so glad you like this relatively new character of mine! I'm liking her quite a bit too. [face_love] You're 100% spot-on here about all those little tensions she's experiencing here about expressing her attraction to Zeb. And yes, at the same time, her spiritual commitment in no way a "front," whatever that secretary may think. :p In a way, as you note further on, the spiritual aspect becomes one of the main catalysts for the burgeoning attraction between these two. Those brief moments of tender contact, like that one little touch to Zeb's hand, can be so full of sweetness, especially (but not only) in the very early of a romance. (And notice that the possibility of a kiss crosses Shulma's mind even now—just the possibility, of course. ;) )

    These two are very conscientious, principled late teens—but they’re still late teens and therefore prone to the awkwardness that goes with that age. The draw that they feel toward each other is something new to them both, and both of them are feeling a mix of (a) enjoying the new feeling while (b) trying to make sense of it as best they know how. Which of course is going to lead to some hesitancy here and there, and which is naturally going to be very amusing to any Certain Kits who may be listening! And I thank you once again so much for letting me borrow this one—he’s so delightful—indeed, I have to credit you more than a little for this scene, as I believe you were the one who originally suggested having Shai listen in. (He wouldn’t want to miss it, of course!)

    And of course anything to get pretty Shulma to stay! Though of course she wasn’t really that determined to leave anyway, really. ;) And she does indeed mean every word she chants from the Consecration of the Valorous Wounded; sure, it’s the type of prayer in which one can swap out pronuns, etc. as needed, but in that moment, to her, it was written just for him, just for his situation.

    Here, too, I am indebted to your advice when I was first working on this—I’m learning from the best in this whole romance business, you see! ;) Naturally both of them are only going through with this whole kiss thing JUST to please Shai, of course, not because they actually want to or anything, riiiiight? :p This was one of my first attempts at writing a kiss scene, so I am glad that it came off well. The blending of the romantic and the transcendent is something that’s always fascinated me from a writer’s standpoint, and it’s going to be by way of a recurring theme for Shulma in particular in her perception of her relationship to Zeb.

    Oh, thank you so much! That’s such a lovely compliment to a first-time romance writer; I appreciate that immensely, and am so glad you like these two. But ultimately it’s your encouragement and support that’s made them possible, and for that I can’t thank you enough. @};- I definitely have more in the works with them, so keep watching this space!

    Thank you so much for your kind words; I’m so glad you are enjoying Shulma so far. :) Yes, she is of course just as smitten with Zeb as he is with her—but of course Late Teen Awkwardness has been preventing both of them from saying that to each other outright. And once again, her romantic attraction and her respect for his courage and compassion spill into each other, to the point where they become almost the same thing. @};-

    Who wouldn’t, indeed? How could an image like that not make an impression? [face_love]

    Oh, he is loving every single moment! Because Zebby is so hilarious when he’s feeling shy and awkward! :D

    Ah ha, I figured that you might pick up on the Southwestern-influenced flora! :D Raissa was the one who came up with most of our fanon around the landscape of Lasan, and she based much of it on Bryce Canyon, but I remember coming across a few bristlecone pines on my Colorado trip this past summer too; they’re very impressive trees. And apropos their enduring nature: Shulma’s comparison is prophetic, in a way—because Zeb, as one of the survivors of the Siege of Lasan, will quite literally endure much longer than any of those other young fellows who went climbing that Storms’ End. :(

    Thanks so much; I’m so glad you liked the kiss scene, because I went through a fair bit of angsting to the effect of, “but but but is it too corny/kitschy/early/saccharine?” And that’s spot on about what I have in mind for these two: they share very important commonalities deep down, even though are from different walks of life and have quite different personalities. I’ve always been drawn to “mismatched friendship” dynamics between characters, and I’ve really been loving this chance to translate that into the realm of romance. [face_love]

    Oh, thank you so much! :) I am so glad you like how these two turned out. When you say that a romance is a natural one, it’s a huge compliment, because you are such an ace at writing romances that are natural and in character, and I consider myself to be learning from you on that score. [face_love] That’s pretty much how I’ve long viewed Zeb’s personality too; a lot of his tough-guy persona seems to be a response to the Empire’s near-destruction of his homeworld, but even in Rebels one can see there are many layers lurking beneath, most notably a genuinely good heart. As to surfacing later… well, to that I say "[face_whistling]"!

    Glad you like her so far! Yes, she does have some similarities to Telfien and Glockel, partly by design; she too inhabits kind of a slightly rarefied spiritual world (which is quite different from the more physical, military world inhabited by Zeb), and that is perhaps part of what gives her a bit of a nerdy aspect. You’ll see more of her shamanic learning, abilities, and rituals in future stories. She is indeed learning from the best; her teacher is actually an established character, and I’ll definitely put her in future stories too.

    Awww, thanks!one1! These two are certainly the sweetest purple giants I know. [face_love] :D

    I like that interpretation of this scene! When I was first writing this I felt that the beautiful young woman walking through all the post-storm debris made for a striking image; though I hadn’t thought about it in quite that way before, but it definitely works. She braves all the messiness and pain (Lasat don’t wear shoes, of course) to visit the young soldier whom she hopes will become her beloved. And it becomes the first gesture of her love for him, even though neither of them knows that yet. @};-

    Yeah, you do that! :p ;)

    Oh yeah, that she is. She might as well be wearing a huge sign on her forehead reading “SMITTEN PITTIN!1!1!"

    A vague idea, yes, though I’m still fleshing things out re the Lasat shaman rituals. Don’t worry, though: of course there will be more, and of course I’ll fill you in once I’ve established more in the way of details. :)

    Oh, I have to say here and now that I am a huge sucker for the whole thing of describing little details of the beloved, especially while sleeping. [face_love] And you nailed what I was getting at here: as she’s surveying him, his physical charms become emblematic of the honor and compassion he showed on that fateful Storms’ End (cf. what she says about his hands). Which of course is what’s behind the very title of this story. @};-

    Yep, that clever kit has got them figured out pretty much from moment one—he’s no dummy! ;) That’s pretty much exactly what his role is; Zeb and Shulma don’t realize it at first, but it’s not long before they do, of course. :D

    Oh, this, for sure! She’s totally sincere about her prayer, of course, but he’s mostly interested in the “pretty girl stay by me and sing to me in your pretty voice” side of things. And I think she can tell that that’s the case, to a certain extent. ;)

    Wow, I know I didn’t do too bad if I not only (a) gave you butterflies for purple beasts (who, again, are some of the sweetest purple beasts out there), but also (b) made you squeal. :D

    Oh, thank you! I am tickled pink to know this first kiss scene of mine (by which I mean the first scene I’ve publicly posted to involve a kiss though it also is a “first kiss” scene :p ) came off well to you. Yes, the Ashla is sparkling between the two of them indeed in this moment; see above about how the spiritual and the romantic spill into each other here, and how that will be a continuing theme in stories of this couple.

    I am (we are) keeping it under strong consideration. :D

    Wow, now I really know I did good! :eek: :) :D That’s a truly amazing compliment—one of the biggest, really, given all the difficulties and troubles that I know plagued you during that time. I am just so thrilled that this little story of mine could play some small role in helping and healing you. Thanks so, so much. [face_love]

    And once again, a big thank you to all of you for your comments and support! Keep watching this space; more there will certainly be. :zeb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    W...wow! Thank you so much! [face_blush][face_blush][face_blush][face_blush]
     
  10. The Lasan Series

    The Lasan Series Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Title: Purple Prose
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Timeframe: Saga PT—approx. 25 BBY
    Characters: Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, Shulma Trilasha (@Findswoman’s OC), Garashai “Shai” Orrelios (OC)
    Summary: Zeb tries his hand at writing a love poem for Shulma.
    Notes: Part of the Lasan Series, by myself and @Findswoman. Many thanks to her for letting me borrow the lovely Shulma for this story!

    Written as part of the Disney Quotes Challenge

    Thanks also to @Findswoman and @Ewok Poet for beta reading and suggestions.

    You know, I am so romantic, sometimes I think I should just marry myself." —Monsters, Inc.
    ———
    Shulma

    Dear Shulma,

    My dearest Shulma,

    Zeb looked down at the sheet of flimsi in front of him and chewed on his stylus. Karabast, this love letter stuff was harder than it looked. It had taken him fifteen minutes to get that much written and he had no karking idea what was supposed to come next.

    You are beautiful.

    That seemed like a good start. But maybe it needed to be more...poetical or somethin’.

    You are so beautiful.

    You are as beautiful as…

    As what? A flower? Nah...flowers were too fragile. They just faded and died the second you picked them. Shulma was made of better stuff than that. She had spirit. Something stronger, then. A bristlecone? Nothin’ stronger or more tenacious than that, but somehow it just didn’t seem...girly...enough. She was tough, but she was graceful, too, kinda like a prongbok doe who could skip lightly down the cliffs but still hold her own against a konculor.

    Ooh, that wasn’t half bad! Sounded almost like poetry, even! Zeb scribbled madly on the flimsi:

    ...as beautiful as a prongbok doe among the goats.

    Zeb frowned. Now what? He wracked his brains, trying to remember some of those karking awful love songs his older sisters used to get so moony over, the ones where the singer, who always sounded like a sick tooka yowling, declared his undying loooooove for some ravishingly beautiful, impossibly perfect female. What was that one, “I Get Lost in Your Optical Receptors”? Something like that anyway. Eyes, that was it. Those singers were always goin’ on about their females’ eyes and how fascinating they were, as blue and endless as the sky or maybe the sea. Except Shulma’s eyes were green. Hmm. He chomped thoughtfully on the stylus.

    Your eyes are as green as…

    So what was green? Leaves? Your eyes are as green as leaves...he snorted. He might not be the most romantic Lasat ever, but even he could tell that sounded lame. What else, what else? There were green minerals, right? Had to be at least a few. Zeb mentally ran through some of the more common ones… Ah ha!

    Your eyes are as green and sparkling as polished chrysoberyl.

    Good, he was finally getting somewhere! Now he all he had to do was list the things he thought were beautiful about Shulma. Huh. This was gonna take a while…

    Your hair is like...

    Like…? He pictured Shulma, the way her long midnight-purple hair cascaded down her neck, over her shoulders… The image distracted Zeb for several moments; he reluctantly dragged his attention back to what he was doing.

    like a flock of goats leaping down from Mount Straga.

    No, wait, that didn’t sound right. Or maybe it did. Zeb cocked his head and considered it, as if looking at the words from a different angle would improve them, and chewed on the stylus some more. He’d come back to that part.

    Your stripes…

    Oh, her stripes! How to do justice to those fascinating ribbons of wine-dark purple swirling against the dusty lilac of her fur, from the delicate stripes peeking out from her hair and wisping across her cheeks, to the wavy bands of color on her hands, her wrists, her arms, and...all the way down, probably… No, Zeb told himself, an Honor Guard must conduct himself with, well, honor—Velibor notwithstanding. As intriguing as the thought of her stripes—all of her stripes—was, he must not… Zeb took a deep breath and resolutely set the stylus to the flimsi.

    are like purple storm clouds against the summer sky…

    Er, no… Not quite.

    are like purple rivers flowing past the canyons of ….

    Karabast, no! What was he thinking?!?

    are like trails of wildflowers on the cliffs above Lira Zel.

    Not bad. Not bad at all! He was starting to get the hang of this poetry stuff! You know, Zeb reflected as he surveyed his work so far, sometimes I’m so romantic, I think I should just marry myself!

    “Hey, Zebby, what’cha doin’?”

    Zeb jolted upright at the sound of his little brother’s voice. He’d been so absorbed in finding just the right words that he hadn’t even heard Shai come into their room until he was standing right behind him. He covered his flimsi with an arm. “Nothin’.”

    “You’re writing something.” Shai leaned around Zeb’s shoulder to look.

    “I said it’s nothin’.” Zeb hunched over the desk, putting his other arm on top of the flimsi, too. No way was he letting Shai see this letter. Like the kit wasn’t annoying enough already without giving him prime teasing ammunition.

    Shai broke out into one of his impossibly wide grins, his eyes lighting up. “Ooh, I bet you’re writing to Shuuuuulma!” He stretched the name out into a sappy sing-song, and followed up by puckering his lips and making a series of increasingly obnoxious smooching noises. “Need some help?”

    “No, I definitely do not need any help from you,” Zeb snorted. “What would a kit like you know about anything anyway?”

    “Hey, I am very mature for fourteen dust seasons,” Shai answered indignantly as he plopped down on his bed. “Anyway, it can’t be that hard. ‘Dear Shulma, I love you. Let’s go have cider. Also, I want to kiss you. A lot…’”

    “Shai, go away before I thump you.”

    “But…”

    “Go. Away. NOW.” Zeb banged a fist on his desk for emphasis.

    Shai’s eyes widened and he scrambled up off the bed. “Okay, okay!” He paused in the doorway. “But if you do need some help…”

    “SHAI!” Zeb roared, and the kit finally scurried out of the room as fast as his stripeless legs could carry him.
    Zeb sighed and picked up his stylus. He really needed to finish this letter before there were there were any more fraternal interruptions. Now, where was he…?

    ———

    “Zebby?”

    Shai peered around the door frame into the room he shared with his older brother. When there was no answer, he tiptoed in and over to the desk. There it was—the envelope addressed to Shulma Trilasha in Flowstone Vale in Zeb’s untidy handwriting. He considered it for a moment, hands behind his back like a good brother, then gave it a tentative nudge with one finger.

    The envelope was unsealed.

    It wouldn’t hurt if he took just one little peek, would it? Shai slid the flimsi out of the envelope and unfolded it. As he read, his face screwed up into a strange mix of amusement and pity. Hair like a flock of goats?!? Shai shook his head. He loved Zebby, but really? Looked like his brother was a better soldier than a writer. It was a good thing he’d found this, because Zeb was wrong; he needed help big time! Shai rummaged through the desk drawer, found a sheet of flimsi and a stylus whose end was nearly chewed off and jotted his own note.

    Shai frowned. The note was a good start, but Zebby’s letter needed all the help it could get if it was going to impress Shulma. He reached under his bed and pulled out his secret cache of interesting stones. Sifting through them, Shai found a small, flat stone, pale pink with milky white swirls. He’d been planning to give it to his mom, but he thought maybe Zebby needed it more. He slipped it into the envelope, too, and smiled. Now maybe his brother had a chance.

    —————-

    “This came for you today.” Yokheva Barzellati Trilasha smiled as she handed her daughter an envelope.

    Shulma’s heart skipped a beat as she looked down to see her name in blocky, masculine handwriting. A letter from Zeb! She resisted the temptation to touch the precious missive to her lips, to see if it carried his scent, so earthy and woodsy, like the heady aroma of the tallest bristlecone. Later, she promised herself, she would, once she could take it up to her tiny attic room away from her mother’s curious eyes.

    Her hands trembled slightly as she opened the envelope, making herself go slowly so that she wouldn’t tear it, even though she wanted to rip it open to read Zeb’s sweet words at once. She eased the sheet of flimsi out of the envelope; as she unfolded it, two objects fell out: another scrap of flimsi that fluttered down to the floor and a small rock that dropped to her feet. She bent down to retrieve them

    The stone was a shard of rose quartz, its edges worn smooth. In the language of stones, the delicate shade of pink signified new love, the white veins swirling through it, purity. It easily fit in the palm of her hand with her fingers curled around it, a perfect token to hold or slip into a pocket to remind her of the one who sent it. Shulma felt her cheeks grow warm.

    The scrap of flimsi had a note scribbled on it:

    Dear Shulma,
    Zeb is not a very good writer. What he really means to say is that he thinks you are pretty and he loves you. He would also like to kiss you again. Probably a lot.

    Your friend,
    Shai Orrelios

    P.S. The rock is definitely from Zeb and not me.

    Shulma’s brow ridges rose as she read Shai’s note and she looked down at the stone she was holding with a pang. Shai had sent this lovely token and not her dear Zeb?

    And then she read Zeb’s letter, and found herself chuckling over Shai’s note. Dear kit! Someday, he’d understand about poetry and romance, and he’d realize that Zeb had never needed any help. Indeed, she treasured each word Zeb had written, and would have even if Shai’s assessment of his brother’s abilities had been true.

    On the other hand, Shulma thought, smiling to herself, she rather hoped that the observations he made about Zeb’s inclination to kiss her were accurate. She had a fair idea how to find out…

    ———————

    “I got your letter yesterday,” Shulma remarked as she and Zeb strolled together down the paths of the Royal Display Gardens. Zeb wasn’t too keen on flowers, but he figured Shulma might be, being female and all.

    Zeb’s heart thudded. What if she hadn’t liked it? What if she’d laughed at it? What if she’d thought it was the worst pile of goat droppings and bantha poodoo ever to stink up Lasan? Karabast, he knew trying to write a love letter had been a stupid idea. “Oh, heh… I hope… I mean, I’m not very….I don’t usually…”

    She turned and smiled at him, taking both of his hands in hers and leaning close. “Every word was perfect, because they came from your heart.”

    Zeb let out the breath he’d been holding. Perfect. She thought his letter was perfect! Karabast, he must be better at this mushy romance stuff than he’d thought!

    Shulma led him over to the nearest bench and sat down, tugging him down next to her. The corner of her smile twitched mischievously. “Oh, and be sure to thank Shai for his thoughtful note, too.”

    Still dazed with the heady thought of his authorial prowess, it took her words a moment to sink in. When they did, they hit Zeb like the proverbial stone dropped from the top of the Warrior. “Shai wrote you a note?! And put it in my letter?!” Karabast! And karabast again! There were not enough karabasts on Lasan to express the karabasticalness of his kid brother. If Shai had put a note in his envelope, that meant he’d read the letter. And if he’d read the letter…. “I'm gonna thump the blasted kit when I get home!” Zeb snarled. No, thumping was too good for the nosy little sneak. He was gonna bash Shai, then thump him and then bash whatever was left again.

    Shulma loosened his hands from the fists they were clenched into, smoothed them flat, and squeezed them reassuringly. “Don’t be too hard on Shai. His note was rather sweet in pleading your case to to me.” She smiled again, edging a little closer to Zeb. “In fact, he said something about you that has me intrigued.”

    “Oh?” The Ashla alone knew what knew what kind of poodoo Shai might have told Shulma about him.

    “He said that you would like to kiss me, and I quote ‘probably a lot.’” Her eyes sparkled merrily—eyes like polished chrysoberyl. She was very close to him now, close enough that he could catch the herbal scent of the midnight dark hair that tumbled down her shoulders like a flock of leaping goats, close enough to count the wispy stripes that were as beautiful as the trails of wildflowers on the cliffs above Lira Zel.

    “Heh! Well, that’s...heh, that’s true,” he allowed, leaning towards her.

    “Good.” Shulma’s arms twined around his neck, pulling him down to her, and her lips met his. The intensity of her kiss suggested that Shulma fully expected him to follow through on the “probably a lot” part. Zeb couldn’t honestly say he minded. In fact, it sounded like an excellent idea to him, and better all the time.

    Maybe Shai knew a little something after all.
    ++++++++++

    Notes:
    Hair like a flock of goats
    : a reference to Song of Solomon 4:1

    @Findswoman thought it would be fun to include the entire text of Zeb’s letter to Shulma, so here it is for all you lovers of awkward Lasat poetry :D
    My dearest Shulma,

    You are as beautiful as a prongbok doe among the goats.
    Your eyes are as green and sparkling as polished chrysoberyl.
    Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down from Mount Straga.
    Your stripes are like trails of wildflowers on the cliffs above Lira Zel.
    Your teeth are like sparkling white bladequartz.
    Your lips are softer than the coat of a newborn konculor cub.
    Your smile is as bright as the sunrise over the mesas.
    Your neck is like the trunk of a slender aspyn tree.
    Your hands are lively and delicate as violet-green swallows darting after moths in the summer sky.
    Your feet are as strong and graceful as the roots of a geniper shrub on the ridgeline.

    When I’m with you, I feel like I could scale the Warrior in a single bound, with one hand and both feet tied behind my back.
    When you’re away, I might as well be tied to a boulder at the bottom of a limestone quarry.

    I had the best time with you last weekend (Though I’m still really, really sorry about spilling the tea on your dress and using your shawl to wipe it up. I hope all the stains came out, at least?) I hope that maybe we can get together again sometime? Maybe we could go get cider again? Or have a picnic? Or there’s that new holo-flick “Rodian Kisses” that looks sort of romantic I guess. Anything, really, so long as it’s with you.

    Yours always—
    Love,
    Garazeb
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEE OUT LOUD. LOUD. Happy evaporated me! Yes, Zeb sure knows how to write lovely poetry, was so like the "Song of Solomon" -- can't ever go wrong there. =D= =D= And Shai's note [face_laugh] [face_mischief] He was right and he definitely helped them indulge in what they both wanted. :D And the gorgeous stone --- truly an intuitive smart addition there. Because new love and all. [face_love] @};-
    [:D]
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Raissa Baiard like this.
  12. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Honoured (no pun intended) for having got the chance to beta this fun little story. This comes from the person who never nominates fluff in anything other than the OTP challenge and who finds it hard to identify with 100% cuteness. But...this is different, there's a hilarious, humorous age, a writer less talented than Threepio in your post-ANH AU, yet everything he says is good, too! It's a Schrödinger thing, right there - it may be laughable, but it comes straight from Zeb's heart. [face_love]

    And yeah, I'm sorry for being late, but last night I was so tired that I read "those swingers" and "polished chernobyl"... [face_tee_hee]

    Stay away from that bantha poodoo - you and your gal are SPESHUL! [face_love]

    But keep the goats. KEEP ALL THE GOATS. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A GOAT, FOR GOATS ARE SUPERIOR.

    I'd pay mooie credits to see that happen! :zeb:

    Poor TR Luke, he should've courted Shulma. Some girls actually like stones. [face_dunno]

    Melty-melty-melt-melt! Of course that his scent is amazing to her - she loves him. Those SOMs on Ghost, they don't get it, do they? I sooooo love this OTP, regardless of which one of you is writing it, @Raissa Baiard and @Findswoman. :zeb:

    Shai is also quite trendy. Rose quartz was Pantone colour of the year for 2016.

    For the end, I have to add this:

     
  13. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, this is so, so incredibly sweet—and at the same time so incredibly them! All possible purple squees! I turned to a complete goo puddle when you first showed me this, and I have done so every time I’ve read it since (which has been many times… are you surprised? ;) ). You just did such a wonderful job here with this little OC of mine and with this couple—just beautiful work here, and I am so glad this is part of the series. :zeb: @};-

    Ah, where even to start… Zeb’s attempts at This Whole Love Letter thing are so cute. There’s something really endearing in the whole image of such a “tough guy” character striving his utmost to do something as tender and affectionate as writing a love letter; one can fairly hear the gears churning inside that stripey purple head as he tries to come up with Just The Right Words. And it takes him some doing, but he manages to stumble on a tried and true technique: list all the things that you think are beautiful about her! Hey, it worked for King Solomon (and whatever other authors contributed to the Song of Songs)! I have to say, the way you worked in the semi-infamous “hair like a flock of goats” quote (yes, people, that is an honest-to-goodness biblical citation!) is just priceless; it even fits right in with the landscape and fauna of Lasan that you detailed in our fanon post and described so wonderfully in The Beginning of Honor. (As does all the imagery in his letter—so priceless!) Also I love the way Zeb thinks it over: wait, that doesn’t sound right. Wait, maybe it does. I’ll come back to it. Of course, the question of whether he does or doesn’t come back to it later is tantalizingly unanswered—but as we see, it turned out to be just the right thing, and it did indeed (like everything in his letter) come straight from his heart. And that right there makes him romantic enough to marry himself! :D

    Zeb is extra adorable in those moments where he sinks into little amorous daydreams of Shulma's long, dark hair and rippling stripes. [face_love] He’s clearly experiencing just that tiniest little hint of desire, and it’s worrying him just a tiny little bit, because he doesn’t want to be like that bantha-chopped Don Juan wannabe Velibor, after all. But that big purple darling doesn’t need to worry—he is on a totally different level from Velibor, and his feelings are 100% natural. I know we've talked before about how difficult it can be to get the balance right when writing about such things, especially with male characters, and you are acing it here. Zeb's feelings in these moments are portrayed so sweetly, and they are totally believable for him at this age and this stage of the relationship.

    And then who should show up but the Peskiest Kit Brother on Lasan! :D Shai is absolutely adorable, as always, and of course he adores his big bro so much that he just has to help him out in his quest for love. Once again, he is the catalyst, the one who's not afraid to put out in the open the feelings that Zebby's still self-conscious about. He immediately guesses what Zeb is writing even when Zeb covers up the paper, and of course Zeb wouldn't have gotten so defensive about Shai's "I want to kiss you a lot" comment if it hadn't been perfectly true! :D Of course we know that Zeb's words all came from the heart and he didn't really need any help with them—but like @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha says, it's Shai's note that provides the impetus for both Zeb and Shulma to indulge in a sweet moment they both longed for but were too shy to ask for.

    When the story switches to Shulma's point of view, I love how the tone switches too; this part is so her the way the opening scene was so him. I have no doubt that she took that letter upstairs to her room, kissed it, cuddled it, inhaled the piney scent clinging to it, etc., the first chance she got. [face_love] And naturally someone of her learning and sensibilities immediately knows the significance of the stone Shai threw in. Good choice by him, too, since "new love" and "purity" are perfect for these two right about now.

    And it all culminates in their beautiful stroll together through the Royal Display Gardens. (Hey, I recognize all these locations—her house and little attic room in Flowstone Vale, too!) Once again, both of them are so them. There's Zeb with his several rapid-fire emotional transitions, with at least one karabast for each. And Shulma clearly has a plan here: I just love love love all the details of her gestures, the way she holds his hands, pulls him down next to her on that bench, unclenches his fists so gently (he needs someone to do that for him from time to time, doesn't he?), leans toward him... and all those images from his letter come to life in that moment of closeness. And their kiss—so, so sweet—I melt everytime, and that's no exaggeration. [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]

    I love that you added the full text of Zeb's letter; what a wonderful bit of "bonus content"! :cool: Once again, all those images fit perfectly with the fanon landscape you devised as part of our Lasan fanon; of course he's going to write about what he knows, isn't he! :D (I'm reminded of Luke's tendency toward Tatooine and desert imagery in Teenage Rebellion). And how cool is it that you worked in a little bonus story of sorts about that sweetly awkward first date (or at least early date) of theirs; even just Zeb's terse account of it speaks volumes. ;)

    Thanks again for this wonderful, beautiful story—what a gorgeous addition to this series and this universe! How I love these two. :zeb: @};-

    P.S. Shulma asked me to pass this on, and I simply couldn’t refuse:

    O dearest, sweetest Garazeb!

    I think every day of our beautiful walk at the Royal Display Gardens last week... how I strolled with you through the groves of arboray trees, leaning on your strong arm... how we sat together on the bench beneath the seerflower arbor... even how your fists clenched up in that moment of anger, and how you let me unwrap them. And we kissed as the seerflowers sent out their perfume; and yours, my mighty bristlecone, flowed forth too.

    It still clings to your lovely letter of last week, which I still treasure with all my heart. Oh, how nervous you were when I mentioned it! I saw the unease in your eyes, I felt the Ashla tremble around you. But do not fear, dearest Zeb. How could I not cherish each and every one of the words that came straight from the good, honorable, loving heart of my warrior?

    Let it not be too long, my soldier-love, before I see your leaf-green eyes smiling down at me again. I long to rest my head on your broad shoulder, to melt into your rugged embrace, to feel the brush of your beard as I press my lips to yours. Or, to paraphrase that dear kit brother of yours (and please give him my greetings): I would like to kiss you again, definitely a lot.

    All you have to do, darling, is say when.

    As ever,
    with all my love,
    your very own Shulma
     
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    @Findswoman -- SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Shulma knows how to write some kind of yummy uumy eloquence too. [face_dancing] :) [face_sigh] It says something when the reviews for a fic make you melt and gooey LOL [:D]
     
  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, karabast, thank you, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha. I do try. :) As a shaman of Lasan, Shulma has extensive experience with ancient texts written in a lofty, poetic register—so it only stands to reason that she would draw on that experience in writing something as important as a letter to her beloved Zeb. [face_love] All I can say is, though, he had better not let Shai see this—or he'll never hear the end of it! :p ;)

    * * *​

    While I'm here, I'd like to express my gratitude for the two nominations received by “Sleeping Honor” in the 2018 Fanfic Awards:
    • Best Romance
    • Best Original Relationship (Shulma Trilasha and Zeb Orrelios)
    I was so tickled pink (or I guess in this case purple) to see this little story, and this little pairing, appreciated in this way—this really made my day. Thank you wonderful folks so, so much! :zeb: @};-
     
  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    All deserved, my friend. All more than well-deserved. <3 <3 <3
     
  17. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks! The Song of Solomon, with its similes that don't quite sound the same to modern ears (hair like a flock of goats, teeth like newly shorn sheep) was a definite influence. Zeb's trying his very best to be poetic and romantic for his dear Shulma-- there are so many things he finds beautiful about her, and if the similes are just a bit odd, well, I don't think she minds. Shai's a perceptive kit and he's got his Zebby's best interests at heart, always there to give Zeb a nudge in the right direction.
    I think Zeb's poetry probably works better if you're a Lasat. After all, rocks are terribly romantic gifts to them and goats are cool (okay, goats are cool in any universe). He's just got that adorably awkward, trying so hard thing going on...and in this story, he's about the same age as Luke in TR, who thought Threepio's poetry was SO ROMANTIC.

    Can't go wrong with a good goat metaphor.

    But then what would Shulma do?

    Had he but known... Of course, you can't give your girl just ANY OLD ROCK. There are rules. Pink and white is good...stones with black flecks, like the one Luke gave Mara, will get thrown back at the giver's head--black is for mourning, you know!

    Mmmm... yep, to Shulma that scent is intoxicating [face_love] To his cabin mate aboard the Ghost...not so much. I guess you have to be another Lasat (preferably female and in love) to truly appreciate Eau de Zeb. I'm glad you've been enjoying the series! And the song is perfect--all those words come straight from Zeb's heart and that, more than anything is what makes them perfect to Shulma!
    Thank you so much! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! I adore Zeb and Shulma almost as much as you do, so it was my very great pleasure to be able to add something to their romance.

    The idea of Zeb writing a love poem was hust too much fun to resist. He is such an outwardly tough and "manly-man" guy but inside, he's truly caring. Those two sides come into a bit of a conflict here. He wants to tell Shulma how he feels about her, but he's just not sure about All This Poetical Stuff. If I remember right, you were the one who suggested he might use the "flock of goats" quotation-- it was certainly also inspired by the description of a Certain Tragic Cupcake's hair. :D

    Thanks, I'm glad the balance seems right here. People (and Lasat!) do have those feelings and desires, so it would be strange if Zeb didn't think at all about the way she looks and the possibility of all those other stripes...but he's a gentleman at heart, in the best sense, with a strong sense of honor. So he can appreciate that aspect of her, but he's not going to let himself get carried away...much.

    I love Shai, can you tell? :D He's so enthusiatic and outspoken (and he really doesn't have much of a filter at this stage :p) but he's so perceptive when it comes to Big Bro. Of course he wants to help Zeb along! And you can tell he really likes Shulma, too. Good thing he's there, or these two might never kiss! :D
    You've made Shulma such a distinct and vibrant character that I feel like I know her[face_love] I picked up a little of your writing style for her section, again it's just so distinct that it feels like Shulma's voice and I could hear it as i was writing. Rose quartz does symbolize love in some mineralogy guides, so it seemed a perfect choice for sweetheart's token.
    Oh yes, Shulma knows what she's doing! She's definitely going to test her hypothesis about that "probably a lot" remark...though I must say that Zeb does not mind the experiment at all. In fact, he quite approves, even if the impetus for it came from the Peskiest Kit Brother EVER. And again, you've made Shulma so fully realized that it was easy for me to picture the way she would interact with Zeb and pull him next to her and into that kiss. :*
    Thank you for the suggestion to include it! Zeb's a very down-to -earth...er, down-to-Lasan kind of guy, so, yes he's going to go with the kind of things he knows.. and once again, it worked for King Solomon, with his images of goats, sheep, cedar trees and other images that would have been intimately familiar for the time and place. It was fun to imagine adorably awkward and earnest Zeb on a date--trying hard to be suave but spilling tea all over his beloved and compounding the error by mopping it with her shawl :D Obviously, Shulma forgave him!

    I love them, too, and I thank you for letting me borrow Shulma for this story. (P.S. Zeb would be embarrassed if I told her this, but he had her letter hidden under his pillow until Shai found it. Now he keeps it in his locker at the Academy and he runs his fingers over it everyday when he puts on his armor.)
     
  18. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    YKYAFFW when this...
    ...inspires the following mini-story...

    :zeb:

    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Letter Perfect; or, The Letter under Zebby’s Pillow
    Era: Saga—PT (about 25 BBY)
    Characters: Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, Garashai “Shai” Orrelios (@Raissa Baiard ’s OC), Herleva Orrelios (Raissa Baiard’s OC); mention of Shulma Trilasha (my OC)
    Genre: Vignette: family, a little humor, a hint of romance
    Summary: Zeb’s little brother has been reading his private correspondence…
    Notes: Part of the Lasan Series, by Raissa Baiard and myself. Many thanks to Raissa for looking this over before posting, and especially for letting me borrow two of the wonderful family members she has devised for Rebels’s honorable Lasat. @};-

    :zeb:

    Zeb slung his duffel down in the front hall of his family home. No one seemed to be there. Well, Pa was still going to be at work at this hour, Ma had probably just gone out for a bit, and Priska was still deployed up north at Honor Guard Station Yabsh (and of course Zefora and Signi had had their own places for a while now). But Zeb thought that at least Shai would be there to greet him as he came home from the Royal Lasat Military Academy for spring holiday leave. He looked around and listened.

    Then he heard it: laughter. Youthful laughter. Exuberant youthful laughter over something unbearably hilarious.

    Shai’s laughter.

    As quickly as he could Zeb stomped upstairs to the room he shared with his kit brother. The door was closed, but the laughter continued to filter from behind it. Zeb knocked.

    “Shai? That you?”

    The door swung open to reveal a tousle-headed teenage kit with a broad, mischievous grin on his face. “Oh, hi, Zebby,” he said. “Or, wait, maybe I should say”—and here he threw his arms around Zeb in an exaggerated hug—“O dearest, sweetest Garazeb!”

    Zeb pulled free and fixed his brother with a quizzical scowl. This sounded suspicious. “What the actual Bogan are you talking about, Shai?!”

    “Oh, don’t pretend you don’t know, my mighty bristlecone!” Again he threw his arms around his brother and continued in a high-pitched, singsong voice. “Oh, let me rest my head on your broad shoulder! Let me melt into your rugged embrace! Let me feel your beard brush my face as I press my lips to yours! Mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah!

    “Aw karabast…” Horror paled Zeb’s face as he pulled free again. He recognized those words from Shulma’s most recent letter to him. It was now only too obvious what had happened. “How’d you—where’d you—”

    “I have it right he-ere!” Shai pulled a folded piece of light pink deckled flimsi from his inner jacket pocket and waved it teasingly in his brother’s face.

    “Give that back! NOW!”

    Zeb tried to snatch the flimsi back, but Shai quickly pocketed it again. “Nope, gotta catch me!” he taunted, and took off down the hall, giggling mischievously.

    “GET BACK HERE, Y’LITTLE—!” Zeb shouted as he chased his little brother down the hallway, down another hallway, down the stairs, through the parlor, zigzagging perilously around the furniture. Zeb almost grabbed Shai as the kit ran into a footstool and knocked it over, but Shai jumped out of the way just in time. The kit made a mad dash for the front hall—and at the exact moment that his older brother faceplanted over the fallen stool, he slammed headlong into the figure that had just entered the front door.

    Their mother. The one, the only Herleva Orrelios, retired captain of the Lasan High Honor Guard, matriarch par excellence, fierce protector of her family, force of nature.

    “WHAT DO YOU BOYS THINK YOU’RE DOING?!” bellowed the voice that had once struck fear into a generation of Guards.

    Her two sons thrust simultaneous, accusatory fingers at each other. “He started it!”

    “Okay, you two. You can let go now, Garashai.” She pried her younger son from her person, then nudged his older brother with her foot. “Garazeb, get off the floor. You look ridiculous. And watch your language!” she added in response to her older son’s muttered “karabast” as he pulled himself up, massaging his cheeks and nose. “Now someone tell me what’s going on here.”

    Zeb spoke first. “He stole a letter from my—from—from me. And he needs to give it back.”

    “I didn’t steal it! I was just makin’ the beds up in the room and it—it just—slipped out from under Zebby’s pillow!”

    “YEAH, SURE IT DID!”

    “No, really, I swear!”

    Herleva raised one brow ridge inquiringly. “Letter, eh?”

    “Yeah,” came Shai’s reply.

    “Under his pillow?

    “Um, yeah.”

    She extended her hand. “Give it here, Shai.”

    Shai began to reach into this pocket, but Zeb gave a sigh of exasperation. “Aw kara—aw, Ma! Really?”

    “Yes, really. I want to see the letter that slipped out from under Zebby’s pillow.

    Shai stuck his tongue out at his fuming brother, then handed the pink deckled flimsi to his mother. She took it and begin to read. At first her eyes widened, and she drew in a sharp breath of astonishment, but gradually her features softened into one of her elusive smiles.

    “Mmm, that’s heady stuff.” She winked at Zeb, whose face had turned a deeper shade of purple, and gave him a thump on the back. “‘Dearest, sweetest Garazeb,’ eh?”

    Zeb buried his face in one hand and sighed. “Ma, c’mon, please…”

    “And you’re her ‘mighty bristlecone,’ are you?” She thumped Zeb again, whose face remained buried in his hand. “She’s got it bad for my boy, that’s for sure!”

    Ma…

    “Awww,” Shai chimed in in a teasing singsong. “Just lookit the mighty warrior of the High Honor Guard getting all blushy over a gi-irl!

    “SHUT IT, SHAI!”

    Herleva simply shrugged. “Hey, it happens. Now come here.” She gestured to them commandingly. “I want to show you boys something.”

    The boys had no choice but to follow her through the parlor, dining room, and kitchen to their father’s study, a small, cluttered office alcove at the back of the house. For several moments she rummaged through the pigeonholes of the huge, crammed rolltop desk that stood there. Finally she pulled out a yellowing sheet of noteflimsi, printed with a pattern of bright pink mazna flowers and covered with florid, exaggerated adolescent handwriting. “Ah, here it is.” She cleared her throat and read aloud:

    “‘Nerezeb! Darling! It was so sweet of you to take me out to Teepp’s Teahouse last week! And I loved our walk on the lakeshore afterward! The salt spray, the waves… and all those watergulls flying around… weren’t they so beautiful? It’s like they were there just for us! I just wish they hadn’t messed on your head during our kiss!’”

    “Aw, Ma, EEEEWWWW!”

    “Shai, let ’er finish.”

    Herleva simply continued. “‘But otherwise, it was SO SWEET and I really hope we can do it again! (Kiss, I mean, not get messed on by watergulls.)’” Shai rolled his eyes and tutted, but Herleva once again ignored him. “‘Let me know as soon as you can when we can go out again, because I miss you SO MUCH! All my love and kisses, Leva.’” She folded the letter again and looked at her sons. “Now what do you boys think of that?

    Zeb bit his lip and glanced over at Shai, whose attention seemed to have been suddenly captured by a random spot on the floor. It was profoundly odd for him to imagine their mother—the formidable military commander turned equally formidable matriarch—as a lovestruck young girl known as “Leva,” going all mushy over memories of lakeshore walks and kisses. And yet, if he was to believe what he’d just heard, that is exactly what she had been those many years ago. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.

    “It’s… really… something,” he managed at last.

    “Erm… yeah,” added Shai in a barely audible voice, his eyes still down at the floor.

    “Here, you two.” Herleva put her arms around both her boys’ shoulders and led them gently over to the settee in the parlor, where she motioned to them to sit on either side of her. “Let me tell you some things. First you, Garashai.” She put a hand on his shoulder. “All this blushy-mushy stuff you’ve been giving your brother such a hard time about? Guess what. It happens to everyone. One hundred percent of beings on Lasan. Me, your father, your brother, and someday you too, just you watch. The time will come when you’ll get all doe-eyed over sappy love notes, too.”

    “Yeah, sure, Ma,” muttered Shai, turning away.

    “Oh, just wait and see! And you’ll just have to hope Garazeb doesn’t find any of yours, heh heh!” She ruffled his hair playfully; he smoothed it back out with a grumble. Then she turned to her older son.

    “And you, Garazeb. Don’t feel so embarrassed, for the Ashla’s sake! For one thing, your girl’s a much better writer than I was.” She laughed, then put a reassuring arm around Zeb. “But for another thing… your feelings are nothing to be ashamed of. Remember what it says in the story of Rolmvar the Rugged and Radiant Lalma?”

    Zeb nodded as he recalled the familiar fairy tale. “‘The strongest warrior has the tenderest heart’?”

    Herleva smiled. “That’s right. Could have been written about my boy, as far as I’m concerned. Now, I bet you’ll want this back.”

    She handed him the pink deckled letter. He immediately and carefully smoothed it out; it had gotten just a touch wrinkled in the tussle with Shai (but fortunately not torn, because if it had been, there would be consequences). Then he slid it into the breast pocket of his uniform vest.

    “And just as a friendly tip,” his mother added, “you might want to find another place to keep this. Somewhere out of reach of prying kit brothers.”

    Zeb smiled. His face still felt a bit warm—but hey, that happened sometimes, right? “Thanks, Ma.”

    * * *​

    Indeed, after spring holiday leave ended and he returned to the Military Academy, Zeb placed Shulma’s letter very carefully into an empty compartment at the top of his gear locker, right beside the compartment with his bracers and shoulder armor. Every morning, as he came to his locker to suit up, Zeb would run the pads of his fingers over the soft, linenlike surface of the flimsi. Whenever he did, he would stop and reflect for a bit—not only on the sweet words of the one who had sent the letter, but also on the tenderness of his own warrior’s heart. ¶


    Nerezeb (Zeb and Shai’s father) and Priska, Zefora, and Signi (Zeb and Shai’s older sisters) are also the creations of Raissa Baiard and were introduced in The Beginning of Honor. Once again, many thanks to her for letting me bring them in.

    Honor Guard Station Yabsh: Per our Lasat fanon post, the saltwater Lake Yabsh is Lasan’s largest single body of water. My thought is that this base is located on or near its northernmost shore, almost directly opposite the capital city of Lira Zel.

    Teepp’s Teahouse: Fanon, named (not very cleverly) after the San Francisco-based Peet’s Coffee, whose frappé-type drinks I used to enjoy quite a bit in my California days.

    Rolmvar the Rugged and Radiant Lalma: Fanon.

    Finally, one more thank-you to Raissa: once again for letting me borrow the delightful Shai and the redoubtable Herleva, and for helping me when I was stuck on Herleva’s motherly advice to her boys. Herleva’s dialogue at that point in the story basically follows Raissa’s suggestions exactly. @};-
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEEE! [face_dancing] [face_dancing] Herleva is so wonderful to both her boys and certainly can relate to Shulma literally [face_laugh] Having written a love-struck letter of her own. ;)

    Delightful fun @Findswoman -- a true treat! =D=

    @};-



    [:D]
     
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  20. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Hooray! I’m just tickled pink...er, purple that my off-hand comment could inspire such a fun story! :zeb: [face_love] And you are more than welcome to borrow the Orrelios family any time. You’ve done a fantastic job with them here. Shai is his irrepressible self here. Oh poor, Zebby...or should I say “dearest, sweetest Garazeb”! Bad enough to have someone discover the tender missive your love sent you, even worse when it’s the Peskiest Kit Brother on the Face of Lasan. As much as Shai loves his big brother, there’s just something so hilarious about reading seeing his mighty soldier of a brother referred to as a “mighty bristlecone”. Really, I can’t quite blame him; he’s still at that age when he can’t decide whether girls are intriguing or ewwwww. And though he likes Shulma personally and wants his brother to get together with her, the direct evidence that they’re kissing “probably a lot” is just a bit much. More than that though, it’s such prime teasing material, why not put it to good use? :D And does he ever! Love the mwah mwah mwah smooching noises and the sing-songy voice (and hey, isn’t that the same thing that Zeb does to his other little!space!bro many years later? ;) )

    Shai leads him on a wild chase and then—oh noes!—runs straight into Captain Mom :eek: You’ve done a great with her, too, and really captured the fact that while she is an indomitable matriarch and a force of nature, she’s got her softer side, too. We saw it when she prayed to Ashla to keep Shai safe. “The Beginning Of Honor” and she really gets a chance to show it here. Who would have guessed she had a life before her kids? ;) One where she was a lovestruck girl kissing on the beach. I love, love, love her letter—now we see where Zeb gets his epic writing skillz! [face_laugh] (the part about the gull is priceless). And just like in “The Beginning of Honor”, Herleva has some good motherly perspective for her sons. All that mushy stuff is okay; it happens to everyone at some point—yes, Shai, even to you someday! And those tender feelings don’t make Zeb any less of a mighty warrior—Herleva is living proof of that you can be both strong and caring. Of course we know that Zeb keeps his compassionate heart, even if he hides it behind a crusty exterior later in life.

    Wonderful addition to the Lasat series and the Orrelios family saga. Keep the purple prose coming! :zeb:
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  21. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Uh-oh, Shai is such a bad, bad boy! Tut-tut, go back to your room, kit.

    Actually, don't. Who knows what sort of stuff you're hiding there, you little rascal, you! [face_rofl]

    It'a wonderful when great stories sprout from other great stories and as far as I can recall, that's exactly how many real good ones on this board came to be. Well, this one has just joined the cream of the crop. What I like as well is how Shai is a lot like my lil' Drall, Ebe, but faaar more obnoxious.

    Uh-oh, he used the B-word! Karabast!

    Wait, I used the K-word. [face_batting]

    I love, love, love Herleva. She's everything I hoped that Zeb's mother would have been an even more. I can see who bestowed the tough exterior and the warrior spirit onto him, but also his tender and caring soul. Did Shai have an image of the earlier only, assuming that his mother would join him in teasing Zeb or what? The moment when it turned out that her letters to their father were very similar to Shulma's, as poetic and as expressive, it looks like he's gone all GIRLS EWWW ALL OF THEM NOOO1!1! And then there is this realisation that there is no profession that would make a being immune of being a hopeless romantic, a puddle of mushy goo. Sure, Shulma is a mystic. But a tough Amazonian type can have a heart, too.

    And then, our favourite of the Purple People is complete - he can be the brave Honor Guard captain, but he can also be a loverboy who awwws and ooohs over anything that smells and echoes of his beloved girl. [face_love]
     
  22. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for reading and for your wonderful comments. For these responses, I’m going to take the topical approach, which means I’ll be taking parts of individual comments out of order, which I hope is all right:

    Herleva
    Thank you all! :) Oh, I love Herleva too. I’ve adored her ever since @Raissa Baiard first introduced her—she really is the perfect mom for both Zeb and Shai, and the source of so many of their good qualities. Just having the opportunity to write her here was pleasure enough, but the chance to sketch a bit of her "life before kids” was even more so. Yep, even that indomitable warrior-matriarch was not immune to those tender passions (nor to flowered notepaper and LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS!1)—no one is immune, it’s true! And even now Captain Mom still has that tenderness within her, saving it up in her heart for the right moment when her kits need it (and they’ll never stop being her kits, even as they grow up into mighty warriors). As EP put it so eloquently:

    Can only second this. Not mutually exclusive in the least! [face_love]

    Shai
    I love Shai, too, and was just as tickled purple (!) to have the opportunity to write him—he’s such a fun, mischievous little rascal, and makes such a wonderful foil to his “mighty bristlecone” of a brother. You’re right, EP, he has a lot in common with Ebe (whom I also love), and if Shai and Ebe weren’t from totally different eras and totally different ends of the galaxy, I bet they’d be great pals, and very adept at cooking up rascally trouble together! :D It was so much fun writing him teasing Zebby with all the exaggerated hugs and all those “mwah mwah mwahs” and leading him in that madcap chase all over the house (a new kind of writing for me)! It is indeed all part of making sense of all this GIRLS business; I imagine that Shai very well might have expected his mother would join him in teasing Zeb, which she does, just for a bit—but then she turns it all around and shows that side of herself that Shai probably never guessed she had. Which ends up being about as overwhelming to him as the notion of his Mighty Soldier Brother kissing a girl “probably a lot”! :p Yes, I agree that he must be hiding all sorts of wacky stuff in his half of the room—that he had better not let either Zebby or Captain Mom come across! :p And indeed, as we see, Zeb learned his own space!bro teasing technique from the best. :D (Hey, another pair of characters who could really have hit it off if they weren’t from two completely different parts of the timeline!)

    Thank you all once again! I am so glad you are enjoying these little purple tales, and I have been having a blast writing them. :zeb: @};-
     
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: “I am my prayer to you”
    Era: Saga–PT, pre-Rebels; two dust seasons after the events of The Sad, Sad Story of Porfozald Marballees! (about 22–23 BBY)
    Characters: a younger Zeb Orrelios, Shulma Trilasha (OC)
    Genre: Romantic vignette, mush
    Summary: Zeb accompanies Shulma on a pilgrimage to her favorite holy site.
    Notes: Part of the Lasan Series, and another postscript to The Sad, Sad Story of Porfozald Marballees!, again in an attempt to make things up to Shulma after her unpleasant experience in that story. Many thanks, as always, to @Raissa Baiard for much-appreciated beta-reading and feedback, and for helping me overcome a serious case of long-wait-to-post-itis. @};-




    The evening was chill as Zeb paced in the courtyard outside the tomb-shrine of Osthi the Storm-Dreamer, nestled in the northern mountain hamlet of Feldspar Falls. He felt bare, vulnerable, and a bit cold in his uniform vest and breeches without the customary armor. The caretaker of the men’s pilgrimage house, a gaunt, bespectacled Lasat shaman with sparse white sideburns, had brought him here a few minutes ago, and had instructed him beforehand to leave his armor, his bo-rifle, and his utility knife behind before approaching the tomb.

    At least Shulma would be joining him soon. Zeb was on leave from his first tour of duty with the Honor Guard, and she had prevailed upon him to spend a few days of that leave to join her on a brief pilgrimage to Osthi’s tomb. Now that Shulma had been promoted from an initiate to the second shamanic degree, she was authorized to go on pilgrimages of her own, as long as they did not interfere with her continuing studies. And of course—Zeb chuckled to himself as he remembered—she (and her fellow shamans) had carefully reassured her parents and brothers that there were caretakers and other pilgrims around and that nothing untoward would happen between her and the young soldier she loved.

    Zeb had never been to a holy site like this before. He had been inside the Royal Academy of Shamans on Mount Straga a few times, but only to the wing with the study chambers—never to the inner shrines where the rituals were performed—and most of the time when he came to walk Shulma home, he simply met her at the funicular station at the mountain’s base. A few times Shulma had tried to explain to him the arcane writings and ancient prophecies she was studying, and he had found it all more confusing than anything else. But he knew that this Osthi, whoever else she had been, was a by way of a role model to his love, and that Shulma had long wanted to return to this holy site. Zeb remembered what she had told him about her first visit to the prophetess’s tomb, how what should have been a tranquil, uplifting retreat experience had been all but ruined by the objectionable advances of that Porfozald Marballees character. That sleemo, harassing her that way! Even now the very thought made Zeb gnash his teeth and snarl. But he had taken care of matters, oh yes he had…!

    And now that she was here again, this time with him by her side—he resolved, on his honor as a Guardsman, that this would be the beautiful pilgrimage his beloved so richly deserved.

    “Hello, Zeblove.”

    Zeb turned to see Shulma’s scarlet-cloaked form come rustling up beside him. The moonlight glinted in her stone-green eyes, on the shamanic ring-medallion in her hair, and on her hair itself—that glorious, flowing, purple-black hair. Karabast, she was lovely...

    “Hey there, darlin’.” He took her hand and kissed it.

    “So, this is the place.” She gestured around with one hand. “What do you think so far? First impressions?”

    “Well, erm... it’s...” Zeb glanced around at the low, squat, tile-roofed buildings surrounding the central courtyard: the men’s pilgrimage house, the refectory, the women’s pilgrimage house, the library—then at the shrine before them, with its high arched roof and the colored-glass window set into its front like a gem—and beyond it at the tranquil darkness of the lake. All very pretty, but he knew what he thought was the most beautiful thing there....

    “It’s... er... very nice,” he said at last.

    “Has Shaman Vossplath been treating you well?”

    “You mean the ol’ white-bearded fellow back in the men’s house?”

    “Yes.”

    Zeb shrugged. “Seems all right. Always squintin’ at me funny, though.”

    “Oh, he squints at everyone.”

    “While I’m at the washstand trimmin’ my beard?!”

    “You’re probably the first Guardsman he’s seen here in a while. His wife is on duty in the women’s house and has been doing nothing but asking me questions about you.”

    “Aw, great,” Zeb rejoined with a sigh and a roll of his eyes.

    “All good things, I promise.” Shulma stroked his upper arm. “Even so, I get the feeling that it is not common for members of the Lasan High Honor Guard to make pilgrimages to tombs of ancient female mystics.”

    “Yeah, that’s right, I guess. Not unless we’re dragged here by our own female mystics,” he chuckled, edging closer and tracing one of her cheek-stripes.

    “You raised no objection.” She smiled and ruffled one of his sideburns. “So, shall we, my love?”

    “Yeah, sure.”

    She looped her arm through his, and they walked together into the shrine.

    * * *​

    “And here we are,” Shulma smiled.

    Zeb glanced around, taking in the stark beauty of the tomb chamber: the flat stone walls, the flickering glow of the lightning torches in the corners of the room, the recumbent sculpture of the prophetess with the Ashla’s blade piercing her heart, and the bursts of jewel-like color from the four windows, one set into each wall. The windows intrigued him. On three of them, the ones with the blue, green, and yellow backgrounds, he could discern the images of the Warrior, the Child, and the Fool—familiar, storied figures known to every Lasat kit. But he wasn’t sure about the fourth window, the red one at the far end of the room, which showed a female shaman gesturing to a book that she held open before her. Was it a portrait of Osthi herself? Whoever it was seemed to be staring straight at him, straight through him. He became aware of how nervous he was and how out of place he felt.

    “Right, er, so I guess I’ll just stay here while you, er, pray or whatever you’re gonna do,” he managed at last, shuffling his feet in the entrance alcove.

    “Oh, no! You don’t have to do that!” Shulma tugged his hand pleadingly. “Won’t you come? Please?”

    “Aw kara—”

    “Please, not here, Zeblove!”

    “Sorry, sorry… but darlin’, I just…” He trailed off with a sigh.

    “Just what?”

    “I—I don’t know what I’m supposed to do… I’m just a simple Lasat... I don’t know any, er, prayers or chants or any o’ that sorta thing.”

    “It’s all right, love. You don’t need to. Your very presence is a prayer.” She gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “Just stay beside me. I know you can do that, can’t you?”

    “Aw, when you put it like that…” He squeezed her hand back, and let her lead him toward the center of the room. There, she took a piece of chalk from her pocket and began to draw a semicircular pattern of glyphs on the floor: a chain of flamelike or petallike shapes that began and ended on the same side of the sarcophagus. She stepped inside it and motioned to Zeb to do the same.

    “Right, so, er, now what?” he asked.

    “I told you, love. Just be here.”

    “If you say so.” Zeb watched as Shulma approached the statue and placed her hands on one of its hands—the one encircling the piercing blade. She closed her eyes and began to breathe rhythmically, shallowly at first but then more and more deeply. Then, with one very deep, sighlike breath, she sank to her knees and rested her head on her forearm over the statue’s breast. Zeb immediately knelt beside her and placed his arm around her—

    —and just as he did, she began to chant softly, arcane words in an ethereal undertone. Zeb started at first, but then smiled. He pressed her closer and interlaced his foot with hers.

    For several minutes they stayed there together: Shulma leaning on the prophetess’s tomb, immersed in her chanted prayer; Zeb beside her, holding her and marveling at her and not knowing what to do. He could not enter the trance she had entered, for the Ashla did not fill him the way it filled her. He could not join in her chant; it was beyond his knowledge. So what could he do? What could he say? Anything?

    Well, she had asked him to stay beside her, and he was doing that. And even if he didn’t know any of those fancy, shamanic prayers… still, maybe he could manage somethin’. ’Course, who knew if it would do any good—but it couldn’t hurt to try, right…?

    He closed his eyes and thought very hard.

    Er… um… hello, Ashla, if you’re there… Junior Lieutenant Garazeb Orrelios here, Third Honor Guard Division, Eighth Squadron… I guess, erm… well… see this absolutely amazing woman I’m holdin’? Yeah, well… thank you. For her. She just makes me so happy, and… and y’know, if you could please watch over her, keep her safe, that sort of thing. And don’t let any harm come to her, because if it does I’ll—

    At that moment Zeb heard a rumble like distant thunder; he thought he felt the ground shake, too. Shulma shuddered against him but kept chanting. He clutched her tighter.

    …er, sorry, Ashla, sorry. What I mean is… just, well, watch over her and… bless her, or whatever it is you do. Because I… I just love her so much… and I hope—I really, really hope someday she can be my bride… aw yeah, how awesome would that be… so yeah, er, thanks again, Ashla. Orrelios out.

    Zeb paused, listened. All was calm again. The only sound was Shulma’s sweet voice, still chanting, as she nestled closer to him. He leaned over, gently nuzzling her, and planted a kiss in her hair.

    And they stayed there, as the torches flickered, the light from the windows faded, and the shadows lengthened.

    * * *​

    Later, the stars gleamed down on them as they lingered together in the courtyard, hands clasped, green eyes fixed on green eyes.

    “Thanks for coming here with me, Zeblove,” Shulma said at last.

    “Aw, heh heh…” Zeb kissed her hand. “Anythin’ for you, darlin’.”

    “It means so much to me. Especially since the first time…”

    “I know, darlin’, I know. Least I could do for ya.” Zeb slid his arms around her and pressed her close. She nestled into his embrace.

    “Oh, and Zeblove…”

    “Yeah?”

    Her next words were almost whispered. “May the Ashla grant your prayer.”

    “Whoa, now, what?!” Zeb jumped, almost letting go of Shulma. “Prayer?! I mean—how’d you know I—I didn’t say anything—did I? Aw ka—I mean—how couldja possibly—”

    “Don’t worry, dearest. I know. Because you are your prayer.” She edged closer. Zeb caught her sweet scent as her cheek brushed his beard. “And you are my prayer.”

    “There you go talkin’ your mystic talk again…” His voice was husky as he drew her in. “Can’t we just kiss or somethin’?”

    “A fine idea.”

    Their lips joined in the starlit courtyard, in the shadow of Osthi’s tomb. Then Zeb walked back to the men’s pilgrimage house and Shulma to the women’s pilgrimage house, and all was quiet and dark once more. ¶

    “I am my prayer to you”: The title is taken from a phrase in the Jewish liturgy: “Ve-ani tefilati lekha Adonai eit ratzon,” which is often rendered in prayerbooks as something along the lines of “and I have prayed to you, Lord, at this time of grace,” or “may my prayer to you, Lord, be at an acceptable time,” but which can be interpreted literally as “and I am my prayer to you, Lord, at an acceptable time.”

    Osthi of Feldspar Falls and her tomb are fanon and are first introduced in The Sad, Sad Story of Porfozald Marballees!

    The Warrior, the Child and the Fool are the three figures in the Prophecy of the Three, introduced in “Legends of the Lasat.”

    Zeb’s rank, division, and squadron are all fanon; this is, of course, a while before he becomes captain of the Honor Guard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
    divapilot, Ewok Poet, Kahara and 2 others like this.
  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEE OUT LOUD. TOTALLY. There goes that saxy melodic effect again. =D= =D= [:D] [:D]
     
  25. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Awwwww! :zeb: [face_love] All purple hearts here! I'm so tickled purple to see this posted at last! Aw, yeah, this is definitely the beautiful experience that Shulma deserves. Here she is, back at Osthi's tomb, but this time, there's no overbearing, snobby misogynists to ruin things for her. Instead, she's got the support of her Zeblove, who despite being totally out of his depth when it comes to shamanic rituals, comes because of his love for her. It just goes to show the depths of his affection that he makes it a priority to be there on his limited leave time.

    As always, your descriptions are so vivid that I feel like I'm there. Osthi's tomb has this wonderful Renaissance/ Baroque cathedral feel with the stained glass windows and the ornate statue, and indeed Osthi's statue puts me in mind of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa and Blessed Ludovica Albertoni (#ArtGeek :sabine:) And of course, Zeb is drawn to those jewel-like windows, especially
    Of course, I know who that unfamiliar figure is meant to be in Lasat prophecy
    and who her avatar will be, nice hint with the color of the window ;)
    , and I can see where all the grandeur would make Zeb feel just a little self-conscious. But he puts his own discomfort aside when Shulma asks him to stay,

    And I love Zeb's prayer! There aren't enough purple heart emojis to express how perfect it is for him. It's plainspoken and a bit rough around the edges, just like him, but that is what makes it so beautiful. He doesn't have any ritual forms, so he talks to the Ashla like he would a friend...and wow, that's more meaningful than if he had just memorized the forms [face_love] Don't get me wrong, I do love and appreciate sacred liturgy, but the honesty and sincerity Zeb shows here is just....[face_love][face_love][face_love] It truly is him-- a reflection of his heart and soul.
    This made me smile, laugh, and squee all at the same time. So Honor Guard Garazeb Orrelios!

    Shulma sums it up so beautifully:
    And of course, Zeb's response is perfect :D
    Another beautiful addition to the Lasan Series! Keep the Purple Prose coming!