Title: A Dare on Dathomir Author: Anedon Timeframe: 48 ABY Characters: Titus Fenton, Daria Djo, Adrian Malek Genre: Romance, Adventure Summary: Young Jedi Padawan Titus Fenton is dared by the Dathomirian witch Daria to jump down the Misty Falls with her during the Night. This story is a part of the OTP Challenge 19, my prompts being 'dare' and 'younglings'. The stroy is loosley connected to the Marie/Adrian "verse", but can be read independently as well: From Slavery to Aristocracy Powers vs Passions YOU DID WHAT? Bedtime Story Mom´s little Warlock A Date with Destiny Manhunt If you leave now you, you get nothing Shadows Eve Manhunt Thanks to @Adalia-Durron for the beta and support. "Are you afraid Jedi?" Daria asked him as he stared down to the dark falls. It was considerably higher than he would have guessed. Why had he even agreed to this? Usually his mind would keep him away from stupid dares like that, but it seemed whenever he was with Daria his mind refused to work properly. "I'm okay, just need a moment." Titus said, and took a deep breath. Since he had barely survived the burning of Kashyyyk and the long climb down to the shadow lands heights made him nervous. And this time it wouldn´t be a climb, but a jump, at least twenty meters down into the dark pool below. "Well you should decide quickly, if the Misty Falls tribe catch us here I´m not sure what they will do to us." Daria continued with a teasing grin. "Aren't your tribes allies?" Titus asked, worried what else Daria might have not told him. The young witch shrugged, "they are, but still if they catch us trespassing on their land. That's a serious offence on Dathomir." Titus wasn't sure if she was serious on this, but given what he had seen on Dathomir before it seemed plausible. He took another look, they stood atop a cliff overlooking the falls and the pool below, the night winds screeching through the trees. Daria's Rancor was moving through the trees behind them, apparently seeking some small animals for a midnight snack. The danger isn't as great, Adrian is living at the Misty Falls, he would ensure nothing bad happens to us. But could he be sure of even that? His godmother, Ilona had told him her brother had fully 'gone native' on Dathomir, so he might choose the laws of his clans over the friendship of their parents. He saw disappointment in Daria's face, disappointment at his cowardice and uncertainty. He liked her, had always enjoyed her company since Allana had introduced her distant cousin to him when they had first visited the Dathomirian side of her family. They had been friends since then but over the years Tituss admiration for Daria had grown into a serious crush. A crush that had lead him to do things like this. He took a deep breath, "I'm doing it." Daria gave him a grin. "Well then let's get to it." Quickly the two young humans stripped to the swimwear they wore beneath their clothing. Titus took a moment to admire Daria´s muscular body in her two piece leather swimsuit and his face turned red as he saw her check him out as well in his shorts. As a Jedi Titus was reasonably well yet more slender than most of his Jedi brothers. The two young humans stepped at the edge of the cliff and Daria took his hand. "We do it together," she told him and he nodded. Relaxing himself he allowed the Force to fill his mind and drive out his fear. "One, two..." before even getting to three Daria jumped and Titus followed her, his hand still clutching to hers as they fell through the cold night air. For a second or two the winds blazing around them sounded like the laughter of an old woman, or at least it seemed like it for Titus. Then they hit the water, it was much colder than he expected and he felt how his heart began to race even faster. For a moment he and Daria remained there, floating beneath the surface, then they began to swim. As they returned to the surface both burst out into laughing, glad to have passed the challenge. "We did it," Titus said with a grin. "See wasn´'t necessary to be so panicked about it." Daria teased him as she shook her head to get the water out of her braided red hair. The two remained in the dark pond for a while together swimming and talking. "Have you done this before?" Titus asked her and she nodded. "Once with a few girls from the tribe, was really tight at the end, almost got caught." She threw and handful of water at him and Titus took the challenge. The two fighting each other with the force, the water and their own skills. Titus`s larger size and speed allowing him to hold his own against Daria´s strength. Eventually they made their way to the more swallow water and playfully wrestled with each other at the edge of the dark pool. Finally letting go of each other as they were both breathing heavily, but at they looked up, their laughter died. Six women, armed with spears and bows stood between the trees, pointing their weapons at them. "Get out of the water, and raise your hands." One of them ordered. Why did I agree to come here? Titus wondered a few minutes later. The Witches had tied him and Daria together, back to back, their tied hands in front of the others stomach. Cowering on the forest floor and in their short swim clothes both he and Daria shivered, not just because of the cold but also their captors. "What do we have here?" The leader of the Witches asked as she stepped closer to their captives. "Two brats defiling our sacred pool, you have done it before haven't you? Well this time there is no quick escape." Titus couldn't turn his gaze away from the long knife she played with while saying that. "Please, we didn't want to defile anything, we just.." "Silence," she yelled, cutting of his pleas. "So what shall we do with them? Do you want to do it right here or shall we take them back to the tribe?" One of the other witches asked. Titus didn't dare to even think what she meant with 'doing it'. "Please," Daria spoke up. "He is my slave, I forced him to come here with me. You can punish me if you want but leave him out of it." Titus could have kissed her for this lie, but knew he couldn't let her take the fall for him. "It was my idea, I'm no Dathomirian, I insisted on us doing this." "Titus, please," Daria almost begged him to keep his mouth shut. "Lovely isn't it. Well lovebirds, our fate isn't for us to decide," the leader turned to one of her followers. "Go and get the chief." The younger woman nodded and disappeared into the night. "I'm off the Singing Mountain Clan, a relative to the matriach," Daria tried something else. "I'm sure they can get a ransom for us, whatever you want. Titus felt her panic as she struggled against her bonds. "A ransom? That might have been enough if we had just caught you trespassing but you have defiled our Falls. The only justice for that is a blade." "Sariah, they are still kids" Another witch suggested. Both Titus and Daria raised their heads, was there a glimmer of hope for them? "How old are you? Twelve? Thirteen? They could serve the tribe as slaves for many long years, it would be a mercy if we just kill them now." "That's true," the leader said, still playing with her knife. "They look like they could do a lot of work in the fields and elsewhere..." "Don't touch him!" Daria yelled, an anger in her voice Titus had never heard before. But a similar one rose inside of him, as well as fear. Would he die like this? After he had survived the bombardment of Kashyyyk and the Second Galactic Civil War, would he die because of a silly dare? It seemed so absurd to him he almost could have laughed as well. The next minutes he and Daria continued to struggle against their bonds, while their captors further discussed what would happen to them. Then finally, after what seemed like an eternity the messenger returned and behind her... Titus almost hadn´t recognized his god uncle. He knew Adrian as a shy and friendly young man, but this, Ilona had been right, Dathomir had changed him. He wore a leather armor and two swords on his belt, his hair was a bit longer, his arms and legs more muscular. But what surprised Titus the most was the reverence with which the witches turned towards him. He had never seen Dathomirian women give such respect to a male. "So these are the trespassers?" He asked and his voice was stern and authoritarian. "Adrian?" Titus asked, hoping he would notice him. "Titus?" Adrian asked, surprised but after a moment his stern face returned. "They have been playing in the pool?" "Yes," the leader of the hunters nodded. "According to clan laws their fate is to be determined by the matriarch." Adrian remained silent for a moment. "Marie attending a meeting of Clan mothers in Mountains, it might be weeks until she comes back. So this is on us." He made a pause, "the Rancors haven't been fed yet haven't they?" Titus felt how his world became dark, how he shivered uncontrollably. This couldn't be happening. What was Adrian doing? Their fathers where friends, this couldn't be real. As he continued to struggled he realized something, Daria was suddenly calm again, her feared seemed to have been gone. Or had she just gone insane from fear. "Then its decided, Fluffy gets herself a nice meal." Adrian turns towards them. "Which one of you shall be feed to her first? The second one can live a day longer but has to clean away the mess she made of the first." Then it broke out of him, as he could no longer control himself and instead started to laugh hysterically. Titus stared at him, completely in disbelieve but then, as the other witches joined in with the laughter, it began slowly to dawn on him that he wouldn´t end up in the belly of a Rancor. As he had halfway calmed himself down Adrian said, "you think you two where the first kids we catch in the pool? Hardly, the Singing Mountain Clan practices this kind of dare for generations now. Usually if we catch some of them we let them enjoy a week in our dungeon, but," he pulled out a knife and cut the ropes tying Titus and Daria. "in honor of the bond our fathers share I will spare you that." He turned to the other witches. "Titus is basically my nephew. Our families are kin not by bloodline but by oath. I decree that he, and whoever he brings with him have every right to enter our lands and bathe in our pools from now on." They remained with Adrian and his Witches for a while and talked a bit about this and that, before eventually parting ways. As they made their way back to Daria's Rancor Titus remembered something. "Why did you suddenly became so clam when Adrian threatened to feed us to a Rancor?" She laughed, "Rancors usually don't eat human flesh, or at least not anymore. In the old days they might have when they were starving or the ones driven insane by the dark side. But Dathomirian Rancors are empathetic creatures, they recognize a humans aren't prey. Once Adrian mentioned that I knew he was messing with us." At the top of the Falls again they threw one last glance down to the pool. Daria placed her hand on Titus's shoulder and the two exchanged a glance. "You have been very brave today, even saved me from a rather uncomfortable and embarrassing week." she gave him a twinkle. "You are a good friend you know? Glad to be with you." "Likewise, always looking forward to coming to Dathomir, to see you." Her smile grew, then she leaned forward and gave Titus a quick kiss. "Well then Jedi boy, we still have the rest of summer for further adventures." "Right behind you, little witch."