main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Saga - PT "Color Me Pink" | April Fool's Challenge | Song!Verse, AU; Ezra/OC; Short Story

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mira_Jade , Apr 1, 2020.

  1. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Title: “Color Me Pink”
    Author: Mira_Jade

    Genre: Friendship, Fluff, Drama
    Rating: PG
    Time Frame: 13 years post-ROTS; Song!verse AU
    Characters: Rhysa Zy-Elss(OC)/Ezra Bridger, Aayla Secura/Bly, Luke & Leia Skywalker, Mara Jade

    Summary: After returning from the crystal caves of Ilum, Rhysa Zy-Elss finds a surprise the first time she ignites her lightsaber – only, it’s not initially a welcome one.


    Author’s Notes: Hello, all! For the April Fool’s Challenge I am returning to my Song!verse to write about my next generation of young Jedi Knights! For a little bit of background for those of you who’d like to give this story a try: Rhysa Zy-Elss is a Zeltron Jedi, born right around RoTS – the events of which were subverted in this ‘verse by Anakin making smart life choices and refusing to fall to the Dark Side. With Palpatine’s plans thus thwarted, the Republic has since entered into a time of peace and prosperity, seeking reformations in an attempt not only to recover from the Clone Wars but to heal from the greed and corruption that led to the Secession Crisis in the first place. Also making changes of their own for the better, the Jedi have moved their seat of power away from Coruscant and back to Ossus in an effort to loosen their political ties to the Senate. As part of the Order’s reforms, the code forbidding attachments has been lifted in a reflection of the Living Force, with the Jedi refusing to ignore love and family out of fear of the Dark. Rhysa is one of the first students of the New Order, and has grown up as a close childhood friend of Luke and Leia Skywalker, Mara Jade, and Ezra Bridger. Eventually, she was chosen as a Padawan learner by Aayla Secura, and, with that in mind, here we are with this short story! Yes, I said short story – but really, who's surprised? :p This will have a second and third part, as I didn’t want to post an uber-long super-vignette that was too hard to read, so, here we are. ;)

    Stories of the Song ‘Verse

    “An Old Song, Re-Sung” | The original story; a RoTS AU.
    “Her Still, Small Voice” | The unfinished sequel; a Mara Jade origins story.
    "Even Without a Voice" | My WIP Ahsoka Tano diary, set pre-RoTS.
    "In That There That Isn't Here" | My WIP Sintas Vel diary, set 1 to 5 years post-RoTS
    "All That's Unsung" | A complete short story, set 3 years post-RoTS.
    "We Claim Our Own Landscape" | A WIP Han/Leia short story, set 20 years post-RoTS.
    “The Rest is Silence” | Ficlets set in this 'verse.

    And various odds and ends in my "Our Love of Constellations" ficlet collection.



    For the April Fool’s Challenge, my prompts were as follows:

    * The third line of dialogue from the last story I read was: “Yeah, that’s really pink,” from Anything But Boring, by @Raissa Baiard. (Did that really count as dialogue? You can argue it one way or another, but I am running with it anyway. It’s in quotation marks so shush, it counts. :p)

    * My random Wook page was the planet Ilum.

    * A stuffed animal is included in Part I.

    * I was able to use the words Flibbertigibbet, Cockamamie, Cattywampus, Gobbledygook, and Snollygoster in Part I, and Goomba, Woebegone, and Smicker in Part II.​


    I thank you all for reading and hope that you enjoy! [:D]


    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words!







    “Color Me Pink”
    by Mira_Jade


    I.

    Yeah, that’s really pink.”

    It was with horror that Rhysa Zy-Elss realized that she wasn’t alone. No, of course she wasn’t; since when had the Force ever been so kind? Instead, she had not just anyone, but him, there to witness the awful truth of her shame as it was revealed.

    “Ezra?!” she shrieked. Her voice was a high, unnatural sound as it was torn from her mouth. “What are you doing here? Get out, get out, get out!”

    Mortified, the Zeltron Padawan couldn’t move fast enough: she skid back from her desk by the window and then nearly tripped over her own two feet in her haste. She threw herself across her bed to stretch, and, with a gesture, made sure that the door to her quarters hissed shut with a final sounding thwack! that grated on the mechanism that operated the track. Thankfully, by some small miracle, she’d had the presence of mind to power down her newly assembled lightsaber before doing so, but that was apparently the only concession the Force was granting her then, fickle entity that it was.

    Oh no no no,” she moaned, sliding off her bed to melt down onto the floor. She drew her knees up to her chest and scrubbed the palms of her hands over her eyes as if she could somehow physically erase the remembered glow of her blade from her vision. But she couldn’t, no matter how she tried. “No,” she repeated again, still numb with disbelief, “this cannot be happening.”

    How had everything gone so spectacularly wrong? This was supposed to be a happy day – the happiest of days, even! But now that she'd reached this important milestone on her path to knighthood she wished that she had never gotten out of bed that morning. And, what was even worse: Ezra had seen.

    “Rhys?” she heard him from the other side of her door; he hadn’t gone away. Oh, why wouldn’t he just go away? “Rhysa, c’mon – open the door.”

    No way; never! She was going to sit right where she was until she became one with the Force. She was not leaving her room again, nor would anyone be allowed in. That was her current plan, and she was determined to stick to it.

    “Really, it’s not that bad – honest it's not. Pink’s a fun color!”

    Rhysa winced. The last thing she wanted, she thought darkly, was to have a fun colored lightsaber. That was not even in the same solar system as what she wanted, let alone the same galaxy!

    “It’s a unique color!” Ezra still tried in vain to reach her. “I’ve never seen a blade like that before; I didn’t even know lightsabers could be pink! It’s just like you.”

    Well, maybe she could move, just a little bit, to glance over her shoulder and glare at the door. Even though he wasn’t able to see her, her glower was scalding enough to melt through the laminasteel like twin laserbolts.

    . . . after all, she had seen the way he had smiled in that split second before she had slammed the door – quite literally – shut on him. He had smiled, and he had held his hand up to cover his mouth as if struggling not to laugh. Even Ezra had laughed at her, and he was her friend. If he laughed, then . . .

    (Yeah, that’s really pink.)

    All of the fight left her in a rush, deflating just as quickly as it first came over her. She felt boneless in its wake, left empty and defeated and so incredibly tired. Wretchedly, she let her head fall forward to pillow in her folded arms and stubbornly closed her now burning eyes to shut out the world. If Ezra looked at her like . . . like that, she forced herself to complete her thought, then how would the rest of the galaxy view her if she dared to ignite that blade anywhere other than within the secrecy of her own room? A Jedi with a pink lightsaber was no Jedi, at least, not a serious one.

    . . . but then, who would ever imagine that a silly little Zeltron girl could ever become a full fledged Jedi Knight in the first place? No one, she knew, not in their right mind.

    Rhys?” it was a long minute before Ezra tried to reach her again. A muffled sound came next, as if he’d thumped his forehead against the opposite side of the door and then left it there to rest. Even through the double panes, she heard him sigh. “I’m sorry, Rhys,” he said so softly. “I didn’t mean to laugh.”

    But, somehow, his whispered apology only made it worse. He had laughed, then . . . she hadn’t been imagining things; she couldn't even fool herself and try to insist that she was.

    Rhysa found that she didn’t have the strength to pull herself up into bed. Instead, she tugged her blanket down to the ground with her. She curled up on her side, choosing to ignore Ezra in favor of burrowing in on herself. Hiding as best she could from the world, she pulled the blanket over her head and cocooned herself behind what facsimile of a shield she could conjure. Along with her blanket, there was a stuffed loth-cat that had fallen too – a silly little toy that Ezra had won for her when they accompanied him home to Lothal to celebrate the Days of First Harvest with his family, just last year. She’d been so happy with her friends then, she felt an ache to remember, picking apart spun Chandrillan sugar with her fingers as they walked from stall to stall, arm in arm and laughing together. They rode the carnival rides over and over again and applauded as the award for the largest ulpkin gourd was announced and watched as fireworks lit up the night sky in bursts of color just after the sun set. She would, she knew with a resounding sense of certainty, never truly be that happy again; it wasn't possible, not now.

    (Yeah, that’s really pink.)

    The loth-cat may have been a silly toy for a silly girl – a silly little flibbertigibbet of a Zeltron girl, she thought bitterly, but still, she couldn’t help but hug the plush close, all the same. She drew it up to her face, and let its artificially stitched smile catch her tears as she finally gave into her grief and let herself cry.

    ( . . . really, really pink.)



    .

    .



    The Force, Ezra Bridger couldn’t help but think, had a sense of humor that wasn’t at all funny.

    He loitered outside of Rhysa’s room until his legs were numb and his neck started to ache from sitting pressed against her door for so long. Eventually, he gave up on trying to convince her to let him back in and just rested his forehead against the laminasteel, letting her know without words that he was still there for her, even when she didn’t want him to be. He’d hurt her with his reaction, he knew; he didn’t expect her to forgive him so easily. But still, somewhat selfishly just as much as he truly didn’t want to see her in any kind of pain – especially pain that he had caused – he wanted her to move on and forget his blunder. He wanted her to smile again; she had one of those smiles that was blinding, that couldn’t help but make you want to smile too; she wasn’t Rhysa if she wasn’t smiling, and now she was the opposite of smiling and it was all his fault.

    Eventually – when he could feel her misery in the Force sting his senses in a way that said that she was crying – Ezra finally gave into the steady pulse of go away she was projecting, and found his feet. Defeated, he turned and walked away.

    How had such an important, happy gone so cattywampus as quickly as it had? To think that he was so thrilled to finish his own lightsaber, not even an hour ago – that was what he’d stopped by to show her in the first place. Instinctively, he’d wanted to share his joy over his achievement with her first – even before he formally presented his completed weapon to Master Caleb. It was a design of his very own making; rather smartly, if he did say so himself, it could double as a blaster of sorts, as well as a traditional lightsaber. He knew that more than a few Jedi would turn their noses up for the concept, with blasters being considered uncivilized and all, but he thought the idea was wizard; he knew that Rhysa would too. Sometimes, a blaster just made sense, especially when a long range weapon was better needed to fit a given situation. Grey and Styles had been giddy to help him find the parts he needed, at that, and he’d been elated to create something so resoundingly unique and his own; this, he knew with pride, was one of a kind.

    If he was so proud to have something that was so singularly his, then why wasn’t Rhysa?

    You know why, you nerf-herder, he continued to berate himself. It’s just different, and you had to go and reinforce that by laughing at her, didn’t you? Nice job, you brainbolted dweezer!

    Sure, he could admit it: he’d first had to scuttle a grin for the irony of the color when he walked in to find her staring, transfixed, at the molten fuchsia blade – but if she’d looked closer and taken more than a second to see, she would have noticed how his eyes lit up with amazement and wonder following. After all, the bright, intensely pink blade was unlike anything he’d ever seen before. It was just as special as Master Windu’s purple lightsaber, made from an equally one of a kind kyber crystal. Of course, a one of a kind crystal for a one of a kind girl had made nothing but sense to his mind; nothing else would do. The color was joyful and intense and brilliant, just the same as Rhysa was joyful and intense and brilliant. Her lightsaber was beautiful, just like she was, and for that thought of course he had to stutter and resort to humor. Instead of showing her what he’d really thought, he had laughed, and now -

    - on second thought, that wall over there looked like a convenient spot for him to stop and bang his head against. Laser-brained son of a gundark! How could he have messed everything up so brilliantly?

    Even without his conscious direction, his feet took him to his friends. Instinctively, he was drawn towards their joyful depressions in the Force then just as much as he ever was. They had gathered together in the gardens outside of the Temple, each one of them with their new blades ignited to practice the katas they’d only learned as initiates with their practice sabers before. Now, each as proper Padawans learners with Masters of their own, they'd triumphed over the Gathering and completed constructing their official lightsabers. Rhysa, Ezra thought with a pang, should have been there celebrating with them. But, he’d spectacularly ruined that, hadn’t he?

    “Ezra!” Leia Skywalker was the first to notice him walking down the stone pathway to the sparring ring. This particular clearing was carved into a tangle of jarthu bushes crowned with weeping purple flowers, a merrily trickling fountain with a singing waterfall cutting through the crest of the bed – their usual spot of choice when it wasn't being commandeered by the senior apprentices. Leia's lightsaber had produced a bright cobalt blue blade, he was happy to see, which he knew she’d first been hoping for. She’d made her hilt just as her father’s, mirroring his design almost exactly but for the bronze Nabooian everplating she’d used instead of the more traditional silver durachrome, a choice which had to have made both her parents proud.

    No matter how miserable he was in the wake of his blunder, Ezra couldn’t help but smile to see his friends with their completed new lightsabers. Luke, he noticed next, had a bright emerald green blade, while Mara’s was an intense cerulean blue, softer and warmer than Leia's vivid sapphire. (Just like each other’s eyes, he would definitely remember to tease them about later, but he didn’t have the heart to then.)

    “Come and join us!” Leia welcomed, just as Luke added, “Is Rhys with you?”

    Because she usually would be, wouldn’t she? But he, Ezra forced himself to own his mistakes, had ruined that. Thanks to him she was holed up in her room now and hiding. He had made her cry.

    “No,” Ezra couldn’t keep from mumbling, “she’s not with me.”

    Uncannily perceptive – in a way that went beyond the Force and its insight – Leia powered down her lightsaber and narrowed her eyes to fix him with a Look. “Ezra,” her voice wasn’t unkind, exactly, but it certainly had a honed edge that he knew to tread carefully around after a decade of friendship, “what did you do?”

    “Nothing!” was his instinct to protest – sounding for all the worlds like an errant youngling caught stealing an extra cup of pudding after dining hours – before his misery caught up with him and his head dropped in shame. “Well . . . not exactly nothing. I may have done a bit of something . . . something stupid.”

    For that, he had all of his friends’ attention. Luke looked at him in sympathy, at least – after all, it wasn’t an unusual thing when the boys found themselves taken to task over saying some stupid bit of gobbledygook or another, especially when they didn’t even realize that their words were stupid in the first place – while Mara patiently kept her own reaction at bay, reserving judgment until she heard his crime. Well, there was no sense delaying the inevitable: Ezra stepped right up and put his head on the chopping block.

    “Rhysa’s lightsaber has a pink blade,” he shared – earning a few surprised gasps and marveled looks from the other three, which was the correct response, he couldn’t help but think with a stab of bitter envy. “I,” he tilted his chin up, knowing full well the censure he was about to endure, “ . . . I laughed when I first saw it.”

    (Yeah, that’s really pink.)

    No matter how he wished they were different, an echo of his words continued to ring through his ears without mercy, mocking him.

    (Really, really pink.)

    “Ezra!” Leia gaped at him. “No; you didn’t! How could you?”

    “Oh, wow,” Luke's look of sympathy only deepened. “Yeah, that’s rough, buddy.”

    Mara, thankfully, didn’t join Leia in loudly calling him a bantha-brained snollygoster (wow, seriously? what even was a snollygoster?), but she did wince. “Poor Rhysa,” she said softly. “Is she okay?”

    “No,” Ezra admitted bluntly. “She’s not.” I really hurt her, he still couldn’t quite find a way to say aloud. The words tore at him too deeply. “I have to make this right,” he only saved himself by declaring, his eyes narrowing in fierce determination. “I will make this right.”

    For that, at least, his friends were quick to unite behind him in favor of beating him down for his mistake, for which he was unduly grateful. Leia nodded smartly in agreement, while Luke gave an eager smile – the kind of smile that usually made it hard for anyone to stay mad at him for too long. Briefly, Ezra wished it could be just that easy for him, all the while knowing that it couldn’t. But, what was done was done; there was no sense living in the past when there was only every moment in the here and now. But he could control his way forward from here on out; the future was still his to decide and shape. Or . . . something like that, his Master would say. But, then again, what did Master Caleb really know about girls, anyway?

    “So, do you have an idea?” practically, Mara was the one to ask.

    “Well . . . I have the beginning of an idea,” Ezra exhaled from deep within his lungs to say. It wasn’t going to be easy, he knew, and a part of him was flinching from the conclusion he’d already reached – but, for Rhysa, he’d see it through. “It may sound a bit cockamamie, and,” he welcomed his friends with a sweeping gesture, “I’m going to need some help to pull it off. But . . . it just may work.”



    TBC


    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] [face_dancing] Oh, I adore this 'verse of yours, like you didn't know that?! [face_love] [face_love] Fills my heart and soul with so much yumsiness. Sweet and funny all the way through.
     
    Findswoman, Mira_Jade and Kahara like this.
  3. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    More! I want to know about his cockamamie idea!
     
  4. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    What a unique and great use of the prompts! You've made such a touching story out of it. And I have to say, Rhysa's blade sounds beautiful. I actually love the idea of a pink lightsaber!

    Poor Rhysa, I just want to give her a big hug! There are so many bits I could quote (like Leia's Look and Luke and Mara's blades being the same colors as each other's eyes :D) but I loved this line in particular. Plushes can be so comforting, no matter how old you are or how broken your heart is.

    And can't wait to see Ezra's cockamamie scheme! Those are always the best kind, and I'm sure this particular group can pull it off if anyone can! :D=D=
     
    Mira_Jade and Findswoman like this.
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Aw, thank you so much! As always I appreciate your support and you continuously taking the time to leave your thoughts, my friend! It means more to me than I can say! [:D]

    Now, onwards with the sweet and funny yumsiness; that's really just what this 'verse is for! [face_love]


    We're almost there! [face_mischief]

    Thanks for reading! :D


    Thanks! I'm honestly having too much fun, and I so agree! A pink lightsaber sounds awesome, and Rhysa will get there too in the end. She just needs a little more time. [face_love]

    I completely agree! Plushes are perfect for broken hearts, no matter your age! And I just adore writing these kids, growing up in a bit of a different time and place here. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this, and hope that you continue to as the story goes!

    [face_love] [:D]
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  6. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Notes: Well, after a bit of reworking this story is now going to have three parts. Apparently my muse had lots to say about Rhysa and a few fanon and Song!verse matters in this update, so, here we are! I know, no one is surprised! Someday I will learn not to underestimate my muse. Why I keep doing these things to myself, I'll never know. 8-} :oops:

    But, I hope that you all enjoy reading this update as much as I enjoyed writing it! I'll be back with the third and final part in a jiffy. [face_love] [:D]






    II.
    Unfortunately, her original plan to stay in her quarters for the rest of her corporeal existence hit a snag as the afternoon turned towards evening. Namely: her stomach rumbled, loudly.

    With a grimace, Rhysa considered her options. Having decided that, regrettably, she would have to leave her room eventually didn’t mean that she was ready to face to her friends just yet. They’d all be in the cafeteria right about now, and each one of them would be going on about their own lightsabers as they sat down to eat together. Rhysa would summon her courage and share in her friends' joy later – and she genuinely would by happy for them, at that, but . . . she didn’t think she could manage so soon, not just yet.

    Distantly, she wished that her mothers were there. She could use a hug from Za-Pasht just then, who was always so soft and warm and smelled like jozmin flowers. Za-Hebe would make her a cup of illa-blossom tea, while Za-Sofh would curl up in a nest of blankets with her, always better to cuddle with than any plush. Za-Nyene would read her favorite Princess Totoria Axrianella of the Twelve Planets stories aloud in her rich, velvety voice until she forgot all about her hurts and fears, while Za-Pyrha would undoubtedly have something wise and clever to say to sooth all her sorrows away. Together, they'd all try to make her laugh. But, her zys – her entire extended family of parents and siblings – wasn’t scheduled to visit Ossus until the end of the month, where they would be attending the celebration that was planned for her initiate clan, honoring the completion of their lightsabers and the next step they’d taken on their paths towards Knighthood. Oh no, she felt her stomach bottom out somewhere by her feet all over again. How would she look her zys in the eyes and show them the gaudy, silly blade her kyber crystal had produced? How could she bring them such shame through her failure?

    . . . well, Za-Pasht would love her lightsaber, she already knew with a huff of breath; she loved anything that sparkled and glittered, in true Zeltron fashion. So would little Syrea, who was so proud that her big sister was training to be a Jedi. But, having only just turned three years old, she was the baby of their zys and still learning about these things; she didn’t know any better yet. Her older sisters would understand; maybe later she’d contact Taia or Tapsa or Iseret or Kahi or Merte, when she was ready.

    When she couldn’t reach out to her zys, she considered her Master. But . . . she didn’t think that she was quite ready to show Aayla what she had made either. The last thing she wanted was to make Master Secura regret taking her on as an apprentice; she never wanted her to think that she'd made a mistake in seeing something in her, in believing that there was something about her spirit that called out to her to be answered in return. Rhysa wanted to make her Master proud so badly . . . only, what was there to be proud of with a pink lightsaber?

    Thankfully, Master Secura was currently busy with the Council. As one of the Jedi who still had ties to the GAR, she had official business to see to with High Command while she was there between missions on Ossus. In the old days, Rhysa knew, Padawan learners too had a place in the army, but not any more – not without proper training and rising through the Academy just like every other soldier had to do. Master Secura's decision to step down from being a commanding general to a liaison between the GAR and the Order who provided tactical support for Jedi on missions in the field was the entire reason she was finally able to take a student of her own in the first place. Rhysa was honored to be selected by such a powerful Jedi when she could have had her pick of any apprentice she so desired. Above all else, Rhysa wanted to be worthy of that honor – and she would prove herself worthy, if it was the last thing she did.

    It was difficult to duck the steady pulse of concernquestionworry that pulsed across their training bond the last few hours – just as difficult as it was to ignore Ezra’s painregrethurt, thrumming in the back of her mind, but Rhysa was stubborn enough to manage. Ze-Zipthah always said that she had all her mothers' stubbornness and then some. Oh, she could even use the warm assurance she always found in her father's arms just then. In that moment, she missed her zys so badly that it felt like a physical ache in her heart.

    But, then unable to call on her friends or zys or Master, Rhysa had one last option to turn to. She picked up her comlink and typed a simple: code blue before sending the message. She didn’t have to wait long to hear back.

    Nerf burgers? her reply read. Evac in ten?

    Yeah, she thought as she wrote back an affirmative, that would do just the trick.



    .

    .

    Rhysa was met in the Temple's speeder bay by Bly – Master Secura’s husband and long-time second-in-command in the GAR. The former clone commander now taught classes on hand-to-hand combat at the Temple when he wasn’t out on missions with his wife. Even without the Force he was more than a match for their younger ranks – and he could challenge their Knights and even a few of their Masters in sparring bouts, at that. Rhysa had known Bly as one of her teachers long before Master Secura formally took her on as an apprentice. Now, she’d been Master Secura’s official Padawan for about four months, and in that time Bly had come to regard her as a sort of shiny to train by his wife’s side. He was one of her few friends outside of the Order and her zys – he was her goomba, Za-Pasht would say; as dependable and easy to rely on as trusting in the tide.

    “Hey there, ad’ika,” was all that he said when she walked up to the speeder, well more than ten minutes later – as she’d taken the long way through the back corridors to avoid running into her friends in the more frequented common halls. Bly was casually leaning against the side of an already rumbling speeder, dressed in dark civilian clothes and a beaten brown-black leather jacket. In the shadows of the garage, the pale gold tattoos highlighting his cheekbones – underscored by a very familiar shade of blue – fairly glowed, catching her eye as they always did.

    “Heya, Bly,” she returned, lowering the hood of her cloak and shaking her short hair loose. She’d tried to hide the dark magenta color as she flitted through the Temple, not wanting to be seen and recognized. Even amongst the myriad species who made up the Jedi Order, her Zeltron heritage gave her a very distinctive look that was loud and . . . well, unique. She frowned for the thought as she got into the passenger seat, not even cajoling to be able to pilot as she normally would. Dejected, she tried her best to grapple with her self-deprecating mood, but to no avail.

    Their ride into Issosolli – which was commonly known as Temple City now for the community that had thrived for the return of the Jedi Order to their ancient seat of power – was short, and, above all else, thankfully quiet. No questions were asked when she was unforthcoming about the hows and whys of her code blue, and the silence was comforting as they made their way to the riverfront. Here on the banks of the Osirrus, a whole slew of restaurants, storefronts, and entertainment venues had sprung up over the last ten years. Each building was a confection of jewel-toned duraglass and twisting silver laminasteel and copper everchrome to match the high, regal summit of the Temple over the jungle canopy, even now visible in the distance. Traders and suppliers had long made Issosolli their home since days bygone, but now, family and extended friends of the Jedi also had permanent houses or rented rooms the city for when they visited. There were many smaller centers of study and worship for all sorts of traditions who served the Force all over the galaxy – from the Jal Shey philosophers to the Duros Star Searchers and the Fallanassi White Walkers. All were now gathering together on Ossus and sharing their beliefs and customs. Just earlier that spring, Rhysa had met a Lasat Shaman for the first time, and her own connection to the Force had leapt and swirled and sparkled for the ritual she performed, communing with what she called the Ashla. Someday, she wanted to visit Lasan itself if she could, and learn more about their ways. The Order was currently talking about arranging exchanges with other practitioners to share their beliefs and learn in return, and Rhysa couldn't wait.

    Though, she couldn't help but think, her spirits falling again, that was only if she was found worthy of such an honor in the first place. Remembering her lightsaber, she had every reason to doubt that she was fit to represent the Jedi Order to other cultures now.

    They arrived before she knew it, lost in thought as she'd been. One of her favorite eateries in Temple City was a diner called Dex’s the Second – which was made to resemble the original CoCo Town classic that many of the Jedi frequented back on Coruscant. Here, hearty portions were made with love and no small amounts of grease; butter and sugar and flavor was the name of the game. Dex’s classic comfort food was a go-to staple for many – and for her social circle, especially. Years ago, Dex, the Besalisk proprietor and head chef, had developed a soft spot for an old Jedi Master named Qui-Gon Jinn, who had died long before Rhysa was born. But that affection had carried down to Master Jinn’s Padawan, Obi-Wan, and then to his apprentice Anakin and then onto General Tano herself. Now, their entire extended line of masters and apprentices and friends – the zys of her heart – had made eating at Dex’s a tradition, especially when blue-milkshakes were needed as a pick-me-up.

    Rhysa most definitely felt like she needed a blue-milkshake then. And maybe a double serving of deep friend omajin-rings. At least.

    Bly held the old-style hinged door open for her so she could enter first, and they made their way across the checkered tiles to their usual booth in the corner. Rhysa tried to ignore, all the while, that this booth could easily seat a good twelve people total – and even more when they squeezed, as they often did when their entire group came in together. They had celebrated here just a few days ago after returning from Ilum, them and Masters Kenobi and Skywalker, and Anakin's wife Padmé and their youngest son Shmiq. Master Luminara had come with Obi-Wan, like they did often as of late – Rhysa could sense what was going on there as a Zeltron with all her senses about her. She knew a smicker when she saw one, even if they were so far quiet about the change in their relationship. Luke's Master Ahsoka had brought Rex, and then there was Master Secura and Bly, and Ezra's Master Caleb and Master Billaba and Master Windu – who had come to see the apprentice of his own Padawan's Padawan take such an important step on his path. Ezra and Luke and Mara and her together hadn’t been able to finish the huge Neuvian ice-cream cake Dex had made special for them to celebrate. There had been so much laughter and joy buzzing against her senses then, making her dizzy with giddiness. A part of her was now certain that she would never be able to experience such unfettered delight ever again – an anathema to everything that was Zeltron about her, maybe, but a grim truth she nonetheless couldn’t seem to shake – before she picked up the flimsi-card menu and stared at the familiar list of items to distract herself.

    When the WA-8 droid, a model that was affectionately known as Flotoo, came over and greeted them familiarly by name, they placed their orders. Bly raised a dark brow when she didn’t request her usual Zeltros pop-pepper sliders, but went instead with the classic Dex’s Double Decker and her usual preference of omajin-rings (she didn’t even want to look at pink lettuce then, no matter how even her zys said the burgers were just as good as those found back on their homeworld). The blue-milkshake she ordered was a given; beebleberry flavored, extra whip cream and bright red zherries on top.

    With their food ordered, the silence between them then turned heavy. Bly folded his arms on the table and fixed her with a good long look. Rhysa steeled herself, knowing that she was going to have to talk about just what was bothering her but dreading it nonetheless.

    But: “So, what’s going on with Totoria now?” Bly asked, pleasantly surprising her. Instead of trying to get her to open up, he changed the subject completely to distract her. Princess Totoria and the Face of the Nameless had just come out just a few days before the Gathering on Ilum, and Rhysa had already devoured it twice and was on her third reread. The seventh book wasn’t nearly as good as the fifth book, which was her absolute favorite, but it was so much better than the absolutely horrific mess that Princess Totoria and the Son of Suns had left them with last time, so Rhysa was pleased. She already couldn’t wait until the eighth book was released, they had been left on such a cliffhanger.

    Her heart leapt, relieved. “Well, not to spoil you too much,” she began with a grin – Bly, after all, was a Totorian noob who had only just finished the first book, Princess Totoria and the Starless Curse, “but you’ll never guess what Totoria and Korvin found when they made it to the tomb of Cirsus.”

    She needed no further prompting to carry on from where she’d left off last time – ignoring, all the while, that she and Ezra were originally supposed to meet later to go through their read-through together and compare their thoughts. She found her worries and disappointments fading to the background as she shared the fascinating new bits of world-building and gems of characterization the novel had left them with. It was tricky without revealing the major plot points that he needed to hurry up and read already so that she could gush properly – especially before they went to see the holofilm adaptation that was coming out next summer, but she managed.

    By the time their food came her mood had lifted enough to let her dive into her meal with gusto. She'd skipped lunch while putting the final touches on her lightsaber, and she hadn’t realized just how hungry she was – especially when the food was as good as Dex’s. It helped, the indulgent meal and one of her favourite subjects and the familiar strengthfamiliarityfondness that pulsed from Bly, an aura that was as soothing to her innate senses as a Zeltron as it was to her perception of the world around her with the Force. She still couldn’t help the pang of sadness that came over her whenever she thought about what had happened with Ezra and her lightsaber, but those feelings no longer felt deep enough to drown her. She could swim along with those currents now; somewhat, anyway.

    Rhysa had just pushed her plate away, and was noisily slurping on her milkshake when Bly leaned back in the plastileather booth. After a moment's consideration, he finally asked outright, “Do you want to talk about your code blue now?”

    Nope; never!

    “No . . . not really,” she managed to sound slightly more grown-up than that, at least. Even still, she looked down at her milkshake, and couldn’t help but mumble. She peeked up through her lashes to catch the look Bly patiently leveled at her in reply. Even helmeted she’d seen that stare prompt his rookie troopers to confess every last thing he already knew they had to say – but he didn’t ask her again. If she wanted to speak, then she would speak; if she didn’t, then he would respect that. There were few beings in the galaxy who respected autonomy as much as clone troopers, after all.

    Rhysa fiddled with her metal straw, and considered. Finally, she loosed a deep sigh. “If I tell you, do you promise not to laugh?”

    He could have shrugged her words aside, disregarding them as juvenile – or, even worse, as silly. Instead, Bly held her gaze and said, “I promise.”

    Alright then, here went nothing.

    “I finished my lightsaber today,” she finally revealed. A wave of misery flooded over her, wilting her spirit and casting a shadow over her heart. “It . . .” she sucked in a deep breath, summoned her courage, and muttered in a rush: “thebladecameoutpink.”

    Bly, to his credit, only blinked – but that was more, Rhysa thought, him trying to figure out if he had heard her correctly more so than anything else.

    “Pink?” She waited, her senses straining, but he did not smile – not like Ezra had hid his grin behind his hand and laughed. There was no humor in his aura, she subtly reached out to gauge, no amusement or judgment, just a sort of confusion and concern as he tried to understand just why she felt the way she did.

    She exhaled and miserably confirmed: “Pink.”

    “Huh,” Bly sounded only thoughtful to repeat. “Pink.”

    “Yeah,” she slumped back against her seat, completely woebegone. “Pink. Because I’m not enough of a silly, flighty Zeltron girl already: let’s add a pink lightsaber to the mix.”

    For the first, she felt a moment’s annoyance spike from Bly, battering sharply against her senses. “Stop that, Rhy’ika.” It took her a moment to understand that he was not agreeing with her words, but rather frustrated by them – and on her behalf, it seemed. “Anyone who looks at you and sees nothing less than a dedicated, smart young woman and a more than capable warrior isn’t worth their opinion in the first place.”

    Rhysa fought the urge she had to snort in reply, incredulous. It was easy for him to say, she wanted to cross her arms and mulishly retort. He didn’t have to grapple with stereotype and prejudice, with people just looking at him and automatically assuming -

    - but her already pink cheeks darkened even further as she ducked her head to hide her blush. That . . . that wasn’t quite right, wasn’t it? Bly was a clone trooper; he had his own stereotypes and prejudices to contend against, even if they were different at the root than her own. And he knew what Master Secura went through, fighting her own battles against the ignorant, bigoted denizens of the galaxy – especially where disgusting, simple minded men were concerned. How many times had she heard the snide, lewd comments loudly voicing the only thing Twi’lek women were good for – and that was when she was at her Master’s side, even, right where they both could hear.

    “Are you proud of your heritage?” Bly asked, looking at her sharply as he awaited her reply.

    “Yes, of course I am,” she answered without thinking – because she was. She loved her zys and the traditions of her people. She was proud of how Zeltros was so focused on love and joy and happiness when so much of the galaxy was embroiled in everything but. Just because her people sought out everything good in life didn’t mean that they didn’t understand the bad; it didn’t make them silly or flighty or stupid; no, instead it took strength to look towards the light when there was so much shadow all around; it took bravery and courage and, above all, a supreme force of will. It was easy to be angry and close minded and bitter; but she, for her part, eschewed those emotions as part of the Dark and everything that went with it.

    She was proud of her talents for empathy and the joy her people held dear to value, but it wasn’t that simple. Sometimes, it was just so tiring when others looked down their noses at her and she had to work twice, three times as hard as Luke and Leia and Mara and Ezra to be taken seriously. It just, she had seethed so many times before – to herself, though, and never to her friends aloud – wasn’t fair.

    However, she didn’t have to tell Bly that. He understood everything she didn’t say, oh he understood.

    It was then, just as she was grappling to find her words – and the inward peace she normally knew in regards to her sense of self and who she was as both a Zeltron and a Jedi apprentice – that the bells over the door rang as another patron entered the diner. At first, she didn’t pay the sound any heed until a familiar wave of serenitygracestrength wafted over to her through the Force. She looked up, and saw her Master walking over with an easy, languid stride.

    Immediately, Rhysa snapped a narrowed look at Bly. “You,” she grumbled, “are a traitor.”

    “On the contrary, I’d call it loyalty – to both of you,” Bly only shrugged, a moment’s wicked, sharp humor touching his face before his expression warmed for Aayla’s approach. “Cyar’ika,” he welcomed his wife, reaching up to cover the hand she lightly brushed across his shoulders in greeting with his own. He squeezed once, and although Aayla didn’t say anything aloud, her lekku – left unbound from her usual leather harness here on Ossus, where there was only peace and friends to be found – were unconstrained to sway in an arc of affection. As always, Rhysa felt lulled from the pheromones and endorphins that mingled around the couple, feeling as she did around her own zy-parents; her ability to tangibly sense their love was comforting, and it soothed the raw edges she felt in her own spirit then.

    “I’m going to order another round of milkshakes,” Bly stood and let Aayla slide into the booth in his place, baldly giving them a moment alone to talk. She fought the very juvenile urge she had to make a face at him. “Another for you, too, ad'ika?”

    Mollified, at the very least, she chose to accept his peace offering. “Yes, please,” she accepted. No self respecting Zeltron would ever turn down a second dessert, after all.

    “Zwil flavored for me, please, and another order of fries,” Aayla added. “Thanks, love.”

    Bly left them to walk over to the long counter in front of the kitchen and place their order. Rhysa watched him for a moment, gathering herself, before she drew in a deep breath and looked up to meet her Master’s eyes. Though she didn’t know the hows or whys just yet, Aayla did know that she had been avoiding their bond all day. Now, in person, her concern was a dry taste on the back of her tongue that only compounded the gentle question she could feel pressing against her in the Force. Like Bly, however, Aayla didn’t immediately push her. Instead, she picked a mounder fry left from Bly’s plate and contented herself with snacking while she waited. In some ways, her Master was still a larger than life figure to her, and to see her so casually sitting there, out of her battle dress and in more traditional robes, her lekku unconstrained and completely at ease as she ate greasy diner food was still something of a novelty. She stared at the spiraled constellations of gesu-ozan markings on her lekku – with the traditional dark tattoos underscored with a sparkle of pale gold in a claim that was as bold and yet even more permanent than the Human custom of trading wedding rings. Rhysa fought the urge she had to frown as she stared; if her own Master was so comfortable with taking an aspect of her culture that could – and so sadly often did – have negative connotations and making it so uniquely her own . . . then why couldn’t Rhysa do the same? Why was she struggling with this so?

    “I take it you finished your lightsaber today.” A statement, and not a question.

    “Yes, Master,” Rhysa respectfully confirmed.

    Aayla paused, her brow ridges furrowing as she asked, “Why does that cause you such sorrow, young one?”

    Rhysa inhaled and said quick, to get it out and over with: “My blade came out pink.” She was proud that she was able to separately enunciate the words, at the very least. That was some progress.

    “Oh? And you think that it should not be?”

    Her question, thoughtful as it was, surprised her. Rhysa couldn't immediately answer; she was too taken aback.

    Aayla studied her for a moment, no doubt reading the incredulity from her face, and then continued with another question, “What did you feel at the Gathering on Ilum?”

    For a moment Rhysa was lost in her memory of the frozen caverns. Was there a place more beautiful in the entire galaxy? she wondered. She found it hard to imagine. The Force was just so ambient and lulling on Ilum, even more so than it was at the Jedi Temple, in a way. The dancing play of the light shining through the shelves of ice, and the glittering of the crystals as her senses stretched and soared to find the one that was made for her and her alone . . . she didn't have the words to explain how spiritual and special the experience had been.

    “I could hear singing, everywhere," Rhysa tried her best to explain aloud, "but my crystal sang the loudest.” She'd felt as if her kyber crystal had plucked a chord from her spirit; it's melody was so perfectly in tune with the harmony in her own soul. This gem, she had known then even as she now knew, was always intended to belong to her, her very own, just as she belonged to the crystal.

    Only . . . why did her very own have to be pink?

    “Your crystal bonded with you, as is only right," Aayla confirmed with a small smile, no doubt remembering her own Gathering. "It chose you, and you answered that call.”

    "I suppose so," Rhysa looked down to mumble. “But, I don't understand: why couldn't I have been chosen by a normal gem? Why couldn't I have a traditional lightsaber, like everyone else?”

    It would just be so much easier . . . to be more like everyone else.

    "Why is Master Windu's lightsaber purple?" Aayla countered. "Why are the Temple Guardians chosen by yellow gems, with the crystals knowing their path before even they do?" she shrugged to continue. “The will of the Force is not always for us to know, but rather to discover in time – but I like to think that the Force views you as special as I do. Why not give yourself the chance to experience the destiny it has in store before you judge it so harshly for the worse?"

    There was no way she was as special as Master Windu, Rhysa wanted to protest. She was just silly old Rhysa, herself. But . . . she knew there was a thrum of rightness in her Master's words, little though she liked to admit.

    Deeply, she sighed again. She still couldn't look up to say: “But . . . people will laugh at me." Ezra had laughed, her heart clenched to remember, and he was her friend – maybe even her best friend.

    “If they do," Aayla's voice was firm to point out, "a green or a blue lightsaber would not keep them from their opinion." She paused for a moment, and the formerly easy lines of her lekku tightened. "There are small minds aplenty in the galaxy, ones who are inclined only to hate and narrow prejudice. You cannot control them; you will only bring yourself many pains trying to change their point of view. Instead, you can only choose how you view yourself, and how you view those around you in your own turn."

    Rhysa was quiet in response to her Master's wisdom. She was right, of course; she knew that she was right. Only, it was hard, then: making herself trust in the truth when her heart wanted to give into negativity and doubt instead.

    “Do you like your lightsaber?" a moment later, Aayla changed tactics to ask, her voice thoughtful. When Rhysa looked up, her lekku were soft and smiling even when her expression was gently serene.

    Rhysa took a moment to honestly examine her heart. “I think it’s beautiful," she finally answered in a hushed, solemn tone. "It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen." Her spirit, for the first time that day, thrummed with rightness for the honesty of her words. She thought it was perfect; that had never been the problem.

    “Then that's all that matters," Aayla nodded to say, decisive in her opinion. Because, it was just that simple; it should have been that simple from the beginning. "You’ll have to show me when we get back to the Temple," she turned teasing to say. "I regret that young Ezra was able to see it first."

    Rhysa winced. "Yeah," she agreed, "me too."

    “What's that about Bridger?" she heard as Bly returned, carefully balancing their milkshakes and a fresh plate of mounder fries and even more omajin-rings. His voice was playfully steeped in distaste – not quite unlike, Rhysa thought but would never say, how Master Vos still regarded Bly whenever their Master Errant was onworld at the Temple. But, she knew better than to ever point that out aloud.

    “Oh, nothing," Rhysa looked up innocently as Aayla scooted over to make room for her husband. The last thing she needed was for Bly to go even harder on poor Ezra during their next class. Ezra was talented at many things, but hand-to-hand combat wasn't exactly one of them yet.

    Aayla's eyes glittered as she met her gaze, but the bond between Master and Padawan was sacred; Rhysa knew she'd keep her secret. She smiled in return, feeling more content in her skin then than she had all day – maybe than she had in a long time, at that.

    “Now," Aayla smartly steered their conversation as she happily accepted her milkshake from Bly, "I'm having trouble persevering through Son of Suns. Tell me, what are Totoria and Korvin up to now? I need something to look forward to in the seventh book.”

    Rhysa needed no further prompting than that – happily accepting her own milkshake, she basked in the positive emotions surrounding her, and started to tell the latest part of Totoria’s tale.


    TBC






    Oh my goodness, but where do I even begin? I guess I'll just take it from the top:

    Zeltron Physiology - It's canon that Zeltrons can both sense pheromones and manipulate how they express their own; they're similar to the Falleen in that way. Zeltrons also have a limited telepathic ability that lets them sense and influence the emotions of others. They hold happiness, love, and pleasure in high regard, but shun anger, depression, and pain. They have a second liver, which allows them to consume large quantities of alcohol, and a high metabolism, which lets them enjoy rich food. Eating, drinking, merry-making, and sex all play a central role in a Zeltron's life for the positive endorphins they inspire, which is both essential for their health and necessary for their emotional well-being. Because of this they are known as a hedonistic species, and are considered flighty and gullible by many in the galaxy. Rhysa is sadly fighting against those stereotypes here, but who better to understand that than her Twi'lek Master and her clone husband?

    Zys - This is my fanon! According to canon, Zeltrons are far from monogamous. They consider it selfish to limit sexual pleasure and romantic love to only one partner, though they respect the marriage bonds of non-Zeltrons as sacred. So, that's where a zys comes in! A zys is made up of several adults who are in a collective tangle of relationships. They then raise all of the children born from their unions together in a single large household. So you have your ze-fathers, your za-mothers, and zy-siblings. Rhysa, for her part, is one of a whopping seventeen zy-siblings, born to five za-mothers and four ze-fathers, which is a modest sized zys on Zeltron. She neither knows exactly who her genetic parents are, nor has she ever really cared to find out; that's not important to a Zeltron.

    The Menu at Dex's - This made me so hungry for a burger and fries, lemme tell you! But: Zeltros sliders, Dex's Double, blue milkshakes, Neuvian sundaes, beebleberry ice cream, zherry, and zwil (a vanilla/cinnamon combo) are all canon! Only the omajin-rings are fanon, because, funnily enough, there are no onion ring equivalents on Dex's menu according to the wook. So, I obviously had to fix that! ;)

    Gesu-Ozan - I've been thinking thoughts about this for a while, so settle in, folks, and let me explain. There is some debate as to whether or not the markings we typically see on Twi'lek lekku are natural or artificial. Some, like how Aayla is usually portrayed, look like natural variations in pigment. Hera, however, has markings that are so perfectly uniform and unique and her father, Cham Syndulla, does have actual tattoos on his lekku:

    [​IMG]

    Then, there's this comic, where Aayla is drawn with a very interesting design, which is my preferred look for her:

    [​IMG]

    (Also! Lookie there, Aayla does have traditional robes - and that's a Heart of Fire she's holding, for anyone who may be familiar with my Sintas diary. [face_love] But, that's a side point.)

    The Twi'lek youngling here, contrarily, has no markings whatsoever. But, Aayla has a pattern that's similar in a lot of ways to Suu Lawquane's design:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And Suu, I feel, very clearly has tattoos.

    So, fanon time! I believe that Twi'leks are inscribed with lekku-markings as a coming of age ceremony. A male will have markings depicting his status in the tribe, while a female will take on the markings of her husband to denote whom she belongs to. (Eugh, that's the hard to stomach side of Twi'leki culture, as always.) Twi'lek slaves bear the markings of their masters, as a brand of sorts. On the opposite side of that coin, it's a growing trend for free Twi'lek woman (as they are fighting for their rights at this point in canon and especially in my Song!verse) to have varying patterns of 'constellations' to depict that they belong to no one but themselves. Suu is a free Twi'lek woman who's broken away from Ryloth, after all, and so is Aayla! So, I'm assigning their markings that meaning.

    For the name, I've decided to call these markings Gesu-Ozan, which is me combining the Ryl words Gesu, which means to give, and Ozan, which means worth.

    I have a whole Song!verse story in the works about Bly adding blue to his tattoos, before he confesses his feelings, and Aayla adding gold to her lekku after he's freed by the Republic to admit hers. I MUST WRITE IT SOON. [face_love] And, speaking of -

    Bly/Aayla - Blyla is one of my favourite ships and you can pry them from my cold, dead hands. I stumbled into loving them together years ago with reading the Republic Commando series by Karen Traviss, before TCW hit its stride. Even though they're Legends!canon in those books, Bly admitted that he loved Aayla and liked to think she returned his feelings, though they never progressed beyond mutual affection because of, well, the war and him literally being owned by the Republic and having no personal freedom and her vows as a Jedi and everything else in their way. And then, you know, his chip kicking in and forcing him to carry out Order 66, which makes this such a painful ship of pain until I take over and fix things with my Song!verse, because that's just what I do best.

    More of me ranting about why I ship them, and one of my favourite TCW viggies I've written for them here, With Both Hands, definitely expresses what I love best about their dynamic. [face_love]

    Bly Teaching Hand-to-Hand Combat: THERE'S A VERY INTERESTING QUOTE FROM AAYLA'S WOOK PAGE, IN HER SKILLS SECTION: "She had also grown adept in unarmed fighting, especially while sparring with Commander Bly." (Yep, I bet she did. Oh, but I sooooo need to write a viggie about that too, now; you better believe I will! [face_mischief] [face_laugh]) Aayla is an amazing warrior to watch in motion, and anyone who can keep up with her can keep up with most Jedi in the Order, that I fully believe. Also, there's that little oft forgotten fact that Jango Fett once killed five Jedi in unarmed combat at the Massacre on Galidraan (where his Mandalorian forces were overran by Count Dooku's Jedi prior to TPM - but his skills impressed Dooku so much that he later sought Jango out to be the progenitor of the clone army - though that's Legends!canon now, of course). Obviously those poor souls were nowhere near the skill level of, let's say, a prodigy like Anakin Skywalker, or *cough* Mace Windu */cough*, but Bly can hold his own enough to teach even Jedi a thing or two. [face_thinking]

    Temple City: My fanon! As is the different Force orders coming together from around the galaxy to share their beliefs in the shadow of the Jedi Order. [face_love]

    Totoria Axrianella of the Twelve Planets: Also my fanon! Because there has to be a YA hero of choice for the pre-teens of this galaxy far far away! I'm enjoying letting these kids be kids as much as I can in my 'verse. [face_love] Now, though, I kinda want to read these books myself!

    Mando'a Translations: Ad'ika means little one, especially pertaining to a son or daughter. Cyar'ika means darling, or sweetheart. A good rule of thumb: adding 'ika' onto the end of any word or name always makes it a mark of endearment. [face_love]

    Obi-Wan/Luminara: Yep, I'm going there. [face_mischief] They were a favourite crack!pairing of mine when I first watched TCW, and now they're becoming official in my Song!verse. But, more about that in another story soon to come. ;) [face_love]

    Wow,
    but is that everything? I think so! If not, let me know, and I would be more than happy to chat about it in the comments. [face_love] [:D]




    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
    Kahara, Findswoman and amidalachick like this.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    OH, OH! Bly and Aayla are so wise and supportive without being patronizing! Rhysa's feelings are understandable but I love the maturity she shows in not whining or dismissing their words automatically. She really thinks about what they're trying to get her to think about, her own self-esteem, how the opinions of those who are her true friends won't be swayed by a pink lightsaber LOL and especially when she actually loves it! [face_dancing]
    Bly and Aayla are JUST sweet together. They deserve a short story/epic of their own love's journey :D [face_love]
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Mira_Jade like this.
  8. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    This has taken such an awesome turn! I'm still loving how you're weaving all these crazy prompts into such a sweet story.

    So glad to see Rhysa has such awesome parental figures to help and support her. And what better place to go for a talk and comfort than a diner with yummy greasy food? :D Love the mentions of Anakin and Padmé and the rest. It makes me so happy to know they are happy in this 'verse! And I love all the little details about Issosolli and the different Force users and just all this great world-building. It feels Star Wars-y in the best way, if that makes sense.

    There is so much I could quote, but this passage in particular is just gorgeous. I love the concept of a culture so focused on love and joy and positive things. And it's so true. It really does take strength to be happy and to fight back against the darkness, whether it's a personal darkness like depression or just the general negativity that the world sadly seems so full of, and find beauty and happiness and something to smile about. Sorry for rambling a bit there, it's just a really beautiful bit of writing and it really hit me on a personal level.

    Fabulous update, and I can't wait to see how it all wraps up! =D=[face_love]
     
  9. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I loved this part.

    But what about Ezra's cockamamie plan? I want to know!
     
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Caught up with this sweet, fun story at last, and I’m so glad I did! Not only did you do a wonderful job rising to the April Fool’s challenge (a seriously ambitious undertaking!), but you also packed this story full of fun, cute, and good feelings—and some mighty fine fanon, too! :cool: Wow, what you’ve done with the whole Zeltron zys system is really amazing and really adds a lot—that makes that species so much more interesting than the ALL S-E-X ALL THE TIME way they are so often portrayed (because, for one thing, this way we see what one of the realistic results of that is). It would be so, so cool if you shared what you’ve got with the Fanon Thread at some point—not to pressure you or anything, because I know you’ve got a lot to do, but it would be a great addition there! And of course I’m always thrilled to see the see the SongVerse back in action. [face_love]

    I really like Rhysa so far! She’s clearly a conscientious student who wants to be the best Jedi she can, but her unexpectedly LOUD lightsaber color has set off a lot of very understandable self-consciousness. Not only just out of being different, but out of being different in that very PINK, very Zeltron way—it looks like she’s still battling a certain amount of prejudice about her species, even here in the Jedi temple. She looks like a very sweet match for Ezra, and I can’t wait to see more of the two of them interacting with each other (and yes, I too am curious about that cockamamie plan of his!). But I also love the opportunity you gave her to bond with Ayala and Bly (and squeeeyay, they’re married! [face_dancing] ) over mounds of tasty food in a familiar and informal way—so glad the Jedi Order of the SongVerse allows for that kind of warm closeness! With their help she’s moving closer to an acceptance of her the very unique color scheme the Force has bestowed upon her, realizing that yes, she does indeed find it beautiful and suitable to her—isn’t that what a good mentor can do for a student! And also with their help, I think we’re starting to discern the real cause of her chagrin (hint: its initials are E. B.)...

    (And just as an aside, ohmigosh, a Lasat Shaman—you brought in a LASAT SHAMAN! Eeeee! [face_love] [face_love] [face_love] [face_love] [face_love] ! Indeed, I just love that there’s an entire Temple City district where several different other kinds of Force users peacefully coexist alongside the Jedi Order. It always makes me happy to see other kinds of Force users getting some love, too! Thank you for those touches! @};- )

    Can’t wait to see this continue and to find out what the denouement with Ezra will bring! Once again, great work on those tricky April Fool’s prompts—and what joy to be back in the SongVerse with you! =D=
     
  11. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Whew! For being a quick and simple April Fool's vignette, this story has certainly grown past its initial parameters and taken forever and a day to finish! Here I am now, though, with the concluding chapter of this rather silly tale. :p

    But first I have to reply to your lovely reviews! [face_love] [:D]


    Thanks for the wonderful comment! It really is hard being 13/14 years old anyway and figuring out who you are growing to be. Developing self confidence during those awkward pre-teen years is just hard in any 'verse! And then to top that off with the added responsibility of training to be a Jedi and, sadly, the far reaching effects of racism, even here . . . yeah! Rhysa has quite a bit on her plate. But she has an excellent support system of friends, family, and mentors to help see her through! She's mature enough to really listen to her Master and Bly, and reach the conclusion that was really right there all along. [face_love]

    And then Bly and Aayla, BLY AND AAYLA! Order 66, what Order 66? This is so totally how their story ended instead and I won't have it any other way. Though you're right! I really do need to write a story just for them in the Song!verse! That's definitely high up on my ever growing list of plot bunnies!

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave your thoughts, my friend! I always appreciate it so very much! [:D]


    Aw thanks! I can admit that none of this was planned at the beginning, really! I just wanted to write a simple, cracktastic vignette and then all of this came pouring out instead. But I'm glad it did! I don't think I could have come up with this without all of those crazy prompts otherwise! 8-}

    It makes perfect sense, and I am so glad to hear you say so! I honestly spent as much time brainstorming the world building and the setting and the feeling of Temple CIty as I did the plot itself! So that is really gratifying to know!

    Plus, greasy diner food is the best pick-me-up in any world. Milkshakes solve everything, and that's a fact. :p

    NEVER be sorry for rambling! This part of your comment just made me grin like an idiot, because that paragraph was so personal for me too. To have it reach out and touch one of my readers in the same way was really just one of those perfect moments as an author for me! Because it's true! There's so much negativity and darkness in the world that we fight from both internal and external sources. It takes strength to find happiness and smile despite all of the reasons we have to frown. It's not easy! And there's such a growing trend in mainstream media to be grimdark and edgy with showing how 'realistically' there is no such thing as long term happiness for the characters they write for. (That's a big reason the ST didn't work for me; nope, not my Star Wars.) I, for my part, love subverting that in my stories. And I know you do too! [face_mischief] [face_love]

    Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback, again! It really meant a lot to me. [face_love] [:D]


    Ha! We'll find out just about . . . now. ;) [:D]


    Thank ever so much! It's just like I was saying to amidalachick, I had no idea this story was going to go the way it has! But the zany prompts have really let me write something that I definitely wouldn't have thought up on my own, and I'm enjoying every step of the way. :D

    Aw, no pressure at all! You honor me, instead, with the mighty high compliment - especially when coming from our resident queen of world building! And you're right! I've yet to participate in the fanon thread at all, which is a serious remission on my part, because it's a fabulous resource; I'll need to type up an entry soon. :D

    But I couldn't agree with you more! A species obsessed with all sex all the time sounds like it's just made for fetish and objectification - which is already such an unfortunate trend in sci fi/fantasy. So it was fun to take that eye-roll-worthy concept and try to flesh it out for a little something more. Because sex is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to happiness and positive endorphins! Children and the tangle of actual, fulfilling relationships that result from their openly amorous lifestyles were really all too easy to imagine next!

    Rhysa really is just such a dear, isn't she?? She's quite grown on me from being just a side character to this wonderfully conscientious young woman with a clear voice of her own. Writing from an OC's POV is a rather new experience for me, but with the fantastic collection of OCs we have on the boards now I just couldn't resist! She's at a hard age already with figuring out just who she is growing up to be and dealing with issues of self-consciousness and boys, all before throwing in her training to be a Jedi and the unfortunate fantastical racism she's facing. But she has a beautiful support system to help her through, which makes all the difference in the end. [face_love]

    Order 66, what Order 66??? I will ship these two to a happy ending, just you watch me canon! [face_mischief] [face_love] I loved writing these two in an established relationship and being there for Rhysa together. They both sadly understand prejudice and stereotype, each in their own way, and are perfectly situated to help Rhysa reason through her emotions. Especially with yummy comfort food and this warm familial closeness! Not to say that the Jedi Order didn't love and nurture their young ones before, but there's something to be said for allowing those attachments to grow and deepen even further in a more natural context. [face_love] Which was really what Rhysa needed here! She's come to peace with her very loud, very PINK lightsaber - now, let's see how she does grappling with her feelings where a certain lovable blueberry is concerned. [face_mischief] [face_love]

    I JUST COULDN'T RESIST!!!! I always thought it was a bit of a wasted opportunity in canon that the Jedi didn't interact more with other Force practitioners - after all the Force is the Force, no matter by what name its called or how it is served - so it was all too fun to address that lack here! I knew from the get go that I wanted to include a Lasat Shaman - not just because they are one of the only other Force traditions we've seen onscreen through Disney, but in no small part thanks to your and Raissa's wonderful Lasan Series! Shulma is ever near and dear to my heart and she was very much on my mind here! [face_love]

    And now you know that Rhysa will indeed get to go to Lasan to study in a few years! It felt like a wonderful way to bring everything I love full circle in this 'verse. :D [face_love]

    Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback, again! Hearing from you never fails to make my day. [face_love] [:D]



    Alrighty, all! The last part will be up in a jiffy! [face_dancing]


    ~MJ @};-
     
  12. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Notes: Before we go on, I have to give a big ol' shout out and thanks to @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha for being a fantastic friend and sounding board while I struggled through a rough patch in this scene. Your help was invaluable, my friend, as always! [face_love] [:D]

    Now, without further ado . . .







    III.

    The sun was just setting over the crest of the jungle when Ezra ventured into the Temple gardens, looking for his friend.

    He followed the thrum in the Force that was always Rhysa to his senses – the hum and the snap and the crackle that reminded him of a firecracker exploding against the late summer skies during the Days of First Harvest back home on Lothal. She felt . . . not happier, but content, which was nonetheless a relief in of itself. She’d felt so small and dim in the Force earlier . . . he made her feel small and dim; Rhysa should never feel small and dim, not when she was the furthest from.

    His senses led him to find her in the same dueling circle they usually preferred, testing out her new lightsaber. Watching from one of the stone benches carved into the tiers of garden beds, Master Secura called out katas and offered advice and encouragement as she dipped and spun and lunged. Glow bugs came out with the twilight, and their light flickered in soft, golden rhythms. A gentle breeze blew down over the gardens, carrying with it the heavy, wet scent of flowers and jungle musk. Beyond them, a convor called out in welcome to the night, announcing the approach of her hunt. Just beyond the ring, Master Eerin minded a gaggle of younglings from the crèche, and their laughter only added to the happy tranquility of the scene as they chased the bright glow bugs through the gardens. There were a few Jedi out for an evening stroll on the paths, enjoying the serenity as the day ended. Around them, all of them, the Force hummed in peace and contentment to bask in their shared harmony.

    A part of that peace as much as she contributed to it, Ezra had no idea how long he watched Rhysa. One kata simply flowed into the next, from the dancing krayt dragon to the sweeping mynock and the lunging nexu. Ezra couldn’t help but grin to watch her, knowing that he had nerf-eyes but unable to help himself. As the sun completed its arc through the sky and the shadows deepened, the pink of her lightsaber became all the more dramatic and pronounced against the din. The molten fuchsia blade threw vivid highlights across her already pink skin and caught in the deep magenta of her short cropped hair. Her blue-violet eyes were bright with exertion and giddy wonder to reflect the color of her blade. Watching her, Ezra couldn’t figure out how he had ever looked at her, her lightsaber held in hand, and thought even for a moment that the combination was anything less than the striking image it truly was.

    She . . . she was beautiful.

    Apparently, he wasn’t the only one to think so. As the pink of her lightsaber blazed against the dusk, Rhysa gathered quite the circle of onlookers. Master Eerin’s younglings quickly abandoned chasing glow bugs to watch her cycle through her katas. A little Gran girl and a green skinned Twi-lek boy were particularly enthralled, voicing their admiration aloud and wondering if their eventual Gathering would win them such an unique color as hers. When her display even won her the notice of a few of the senior members of the Order, Ezra could only watch with wide eyes, awestruck. Master Windu himself paused from where he was out walking with Master Billaba on the garden paths, and asked Rhysa if he could see her blade. Everyone gathered watched and waited as he ignited the lightsaber, testing its balance and construction with a famously exacting eye. Yet when he smiled one of his rare smiles – the one that showed his teeth and crinkled at the corners of his eyes – and handed the lightsaber back, Ezra could feel Rhysa’s pride and joy thrum through the Force like a solar flare shooting out from a young star.

    “The color of my crystal is a reminder of everything I overcame on my path to earn my lightsaber,” Mace locked his gaze on Rhysa and Rhysa alone. “My blade still reminds me of the fine line I continue to walk with my power. However, I feel that yours may be something else entirely. I look forward to you figuring out exactly what that is in the years to come.”

    “Yes, Master,” Rhysa’s respectful bow was more a giddy bobbing of her head. Her expression was proud and pleased. “Thank you, Master.”

    Master Windu smiled at her one last time, and then Depa actually winked at her before they turned to continue down the path.

    Soon after, Master Eerin gathered her younglings to return inside the Temple. Yet Rhysa continued with her katas even after her onlookers dispersed and night fell completely over the jungle. Caught in her rhythm, Ezra continued to watch; he couldn't look away. It wasn’t until Master Secura called an end to the session that the clone next to her turned and fixed his eyes right where Ezra thought himself hidden in the shadows.

    “Bridger,” the wry note to Bly’s voice let him know that he’d been waiting for the right moment to call him out, for which Ezra couldn't help but glower, “what did you do to your hair?”

    At that, Rhysa extinguished her lightsaber and spun around to face him. Her expression flickered between apprehension and uncertainty before settling on resignation, he felt a pang to notice. She’d been avoiding him since their horrible encounter earlier for a reason, after all, which was why she hadn’t sensed his presence in the first place. But now he could feel her question in the Force as loud and clear as any words she could have spoken aloud.

    Well then, Ezra summoned his courage: it was now or never.

    He slipped out from behind his hiding place and walked down the path towards the pool of light illuminating the sparring circle. Summoning a confidence he didn’t quite feel, not wholly, he stepped into the ring and flashed the brightest smile he could muster.

    “Wow, Rhys, that was quite the show,” Ezra meant his every word; he wanted nothing more then to convince her of his sincerity. “You were amazing.”

    Rhysa, however, could only seem to gape at him, her mouth falling open in stunned bemusement as she stared. Her brow furrowed, and then she looked back over her shoulder at her Master in an instinctive search for guidance. Aayla, however, only tucked a small smile away – one that bellied how her lekku swayed in what Ezra was pretty sure was amusement – as she stood to exit the ring.

    “On that note,” she said easily, hardly batting an eye, “I believe that concludes our lessons for today. I will see you in the morning, my Padawan. Have a good night.”

    Bly, for his part, looked like he had no desire to leave so quickly before Aayla locked eyes with him and an entire conversation seemingly passed in the space of a few seconds. Though he gave no outward sign that his wife had swayed him, he turned and looked at Rhysa. “If you need anything else tonight, just let us know, ad’ika.”

    Somehow, Ezra thought, the tips of his ears burning, there had been a threat – maybe even an insult – hidden in those words, though he wasn’t quite sure where or how.

    “Of course, Bly,” Rhysa assured him. “Thanks for everything, again. I really appreciated all your help today.”

    If the former commander was anyone else, Ezra suspected that he would have growled a warning before he left. Instead, Bly locked eyes with him and merely stared in a message that Ezra heard loud and clear. He stood up straighter and fought the initial impulse he had to give a lazy salute in return – he wasn’t that self-sabotaging, especially when he already dreaded tomorrow’s combat class as it was. Yet, Bly was apparently satisfied with his response. He looped an arm over Aayla’s shoulders and then the couple turned to depart, leaving them alone in the training circle.

    For a long moment they just stood in the pool of light, awkwardly staring at each other. Ezra knew what he wanted to say, what he needed to say, yet he had no idea where to begin. He opened his mouth, once, twice, but couldn't seem to find his words. Then, all on a rush he decided that he wouldn’t gain anything by holding back, so -

    “Rhys, I’m so sorry - ”

    “ - wow, that’s really pink.”


    They both cut themselves off, drawn up short as they ran over and intersected each other. Ezra felt his cheeks flush to hear his words from earlier turned right back at him. Maybe, he thought, there was a bit of symbolic irony there, which wasn’t exactly what he’d been going for.

    “Yeah . . . we may have gone a bit extreme picking out the dye,” Ezra reached up to run a hand through his hair – with the usual ultramarine shade now taken over by a very loud, vividly hot pink color. The gesture had seemed like a good idea at the time, when he was just eager to make things right and have Rhysa smile again. Now, he wasn’t so sure. What, exactly, was she thinking? She looked like she was fighting the ghost of a smile, but there was something almost tired about her expression. For a heartbeat, Ezra wondered if he’d missed the mark . . . again.

    “Luke thought it was a good idea,” Ezra knew he was starting to ramble to fill in the suddenly awkward silence, but just couldn't help himself. Silence with Rhysa was never awkward, and he wanted nothing more than to restore their equilibrium. “But Leia said I was a laser-brained moron and told me I should just talk to you like a normal sentient being. Looking back, I probably took the wrong advice.”

    For that, Rhysa snorted. “Always listen to Leia,” she sagely agreed. “It’s . . .” she stepped forward and reached up to run a curious hand through the fringe of his bangs. Ezra felt an unexpected shiver race through him, as sharp and warm and electric as the new shade of his hair. “I hate to say it, but I don’t really think pink is your color.”

    “Yeah,” Ezra grimaced, “you may be right about that.”

    Her hand fell away, and she stepped back. Still, Ezra felt as if his chest was full of glow-flies. He watched as she bit her lip, and considered; it was a long moment before she reached whatever conclusion she inwardly grappled with. “You didn’t need such a big gesture to apologize,” she told him, which he knew, and yet . . . it had felt necessary, at the time. Words hadn't felt enough to say just how sorry he was. “It’s just me; you’re my best friend, you know that you can always just talk to me.”

    Ezra found himself releasing a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. She still wanted to be his friend, even after all of this. Rhysa was still his friend. Though he'd logically known that this wasn’t enough to come between them in any irreparable way, he’d hurt her earlier, and he’d been desperate to fix that. He still was.

    Yet, while he searched for the words to express what he was feeling – there was a reason it was easier just to go to such extremes with a tangible gesture, after all – Rhysa went on to say, “You don’t even have to apologize; not really. It’s okay if you don’t like my lightsaber; you don’t have to. I’m sorry for overreacting. I . . . I promise that it wasn’t you, not really. It was a whole bunch of other stuff that I’m trying to work through, and probably always will be. But it wasn’t you.”

    Wait, what?

    “Rhysa," he blurted, "I think your lightsaber is beautiful.”

    I think you’re beautiful, he felt bubble up from somewhere deep inside, but he swallowed the words before they escaped. Even so, Rhysa blinked, her violet-blue eyes wide as she stared at him. A dusky shade of red bloomed over her cheeks, deepening their already pink glow.

    “Thank you,” she said in a soft voice, looking down at the ground before lifting her gaze again. “It was a shock at first, but I . . . I think it’s beautiful too.”

    “Good; you should.” Ezra nodded smartly. “So . . . does that mean I’m forgiven, then?” still, he couldn’t help but ask.

    Rhysa huffed. “I told you, there’s nothing to forgive.”

    “But I made you sad. I could feel it, Rhys, you were - ”

    “ - I was worried what other people would think when they saw a Zeltron Jedi with a pink lightsaber,” she held a hand up to interrupt him. “For you to smile and laugh just seemed to confirm my worst fears all at once.”

    “And that's exactly what I want to apologize for - ”

    “ - but I didn’t give you a chance to react any other way,” she rushed to continue. “It was a shock, of course it was; it was a shock for me too! But . . . I know that I can’t control what other people think. There are some out there in the galaxy who will always see me as a Zeltron first and foremost, and what they think a Zeltron is, before they see a Jedi. A blue or a green lightsaber wouldn’t change that. I can only control how I view myself, and how I view others in my turn. I . . . I know that now; I just had to be reminded.”

    And yet, he thought with a pang, he hadn’t the one reminding her. When she feeling at her lowest, he hadn’t been there for her. He wanted to be the one she turned to when she was down, who helped her see that she was every bit as amazing and smart and bright and beautiful as she truly was. For that, Ezra felt a pang of remorse. Rhysa may not have thought so, but he knew that he had failed his friend. He never wanted to fail her like that again.

    But, there was no use crying over spilled blue-milk. What was done was done; he could only control his actions from here on out, and so he would. Personal growth, Master Caleb would call this – or something like that.

    “Can I . . . can I see your lightsaber?” he asked next, feeling unusually small and hesitant to voice his request. He wanted to apologize again but scuttled the urge, understanding that his doing so would be more for himself than for her. She was at peace; now, he just had to find his own peace too.

    There was almost something shy about the way Rhysa passed him her weapon, but she was excited, too. She leaned forward and held up her hands in front of her chin in an expectant gesture; she was all but vibrating as she watched him. This time Ezra really let himself look: the hilt was made from kendo steel – a nearly black ore that was flecked with iridescent shades that ranged from silver to blue to green and violet. He knew that Rhysa had saved her credits and did her research to fabricate her hilt, and she had been so pleased with her design even before they embarked on the Gathering at Ilum. The heft felt lighter than his own lightsaber, and the grip was narrower, but when he thumbed the ignition the blade felt solid and sure in his hand.

    “Wow,” he had a second chance at his first reaction and yet that one word really said it all: the blade was unique and bright and mesmerizing. It was like nothing he’d ever seen before. “This is . . . this is amazing, Rhys. Really, it is.”

    He meant his every word, and in return he felt her presence return to the back of his mind. He’d been so empty during the day while she shielded herself for him, and her joy and pride tickle against his senses now in a way that was as much a part of her physiology as it was their old friendship binding them together in the Force. At this point, it was hard telling where one began and another ended, but Ezra wouldn’t have it any other way.

    “How about yours?” she was eager to ask in return. “Did your crystal work with your design, or - ”

    “ - here,” Ezra was all too happy to share. “See for yourself.”

    With the same care he had shown, Rhysa held the hilt of his lightsber and turned it over with a thoughtful, appraising eye. He’s shown her his sketches when he’d first come up with the idea, and she’d been there when he rummaged from one scrap shop to the next looking for the perfect components to build his weapon. And now, here he was. He was proud with the finished piece he’d produced; it was everything he wanted it to be and more.

    The lightsaber, when ignited, was an electric shade of cobalt blue. Her smile, in answer to the sight, was even brighter than the blade.

    “And how does the blaster setting work?”

    “Oh, awesomely,” Ezra gave a sharp grin to answer. It was a pity they didn’t have anywhere to try it out in the gardens – not without the landscapers getting up in arms for the damage they’d leave behind. They’d have to -

    “ - you should meet me by the river in the morning,” Rhysa enthused, “and we can try it out properly!” Because of course they were still on the same wavelength, just like they always should have been. “Did your master approve?” she asked next.

    Oh, and wasn’t that a memory? “Caleb teased me for thinking too out of the box, and said that I was going to give a few of the more traditional Masters a conniption,” Ezra was nonplused to admit. “But in the end he agreed that it suited me. He was proud.” Master Dume had not, however, seen his hair yet. Ezra winced, and wondered just how permanent this particular dye actually was . . .

    “That’s because it does suit you,” Rhysa agreed as she handed his lightsaber back. “It’s one of a kind.” He felt his crystal hum in welcome as his weapon was returned to his hand, and he smiled for the sensation. That was still something he was getting used to, but now that it was here he felt as if it was a part of him in a tangible, almost crucial way.

    “So,” Rhysa offered, “did you still want to read the next chapter of The Face of the Nameless together, or - ”

    “ - uh, yeah, of course I do,” Ezra didn’t even let her finish her sentence. “Totoria and Korvin are about to enter the tomb of Cirsus; that’s the best part!”

    “I know, right?” Rhysa’s eyes sparkled, and her joy lapped against his senses like something tangible. After how truly awful that day had been, all felt set right again. He didn’t know how things could get any better, until -

    “ - thank you,” still cresting on a wave of joy, Rhysa sneaked forward, quick as a thought, to kiss his cheek, “for being my friend, Ezra.”

    Right on cue, he felt his face flush intensely enough to match the loud pink of his hair. Stupefied, Ezra met her eyes, and for the mischievous, happy look he saw there his blush only deepened.

    “It had to grow on me,” Rhysa grinned, “but I think that pink looks good on you too.”



    FIN


    ~MJ
    @};-
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful wrap up. Ezra's voice is so him [face_mischief] His and Rhysa's friendship, and whatever else develops between them eventually, is so incredibly sweet. =D=

    I adore the poetic lyrical description of the Force thrum/hum that is singular to a person, recognizable and distinct. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
    Kahara, Findswoman and Mira_Jade like this.
  14. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    He dyed his hair pink! [face_laugh]

    And even though I'm not that familiar with Ezra, knowing him mostly from fanfic, I still think that was such an Ezra thing to do.
     
  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, oh, PERFECT COCKAMAMIE PLAN IS PERFECT! Ezra with hot-pink hair to Impress a Girl--is there a more hilariously priceless image? [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] (In another universe, I could see him pulling such a thing to get the notice of a Certain Mando Artist! ;) ) And what's even more perfect is the way Rhysa repeats his opening salvo back at him as soon as she sees it: "Wow, that's really pink!" [face_rofl] But most priceless of all, of course, is the way it repairs their miscommunication of earlier and leads to openness and renewed understanding: for Rhysa it was ultimately about her concerns about being viewed as a stereotypical flighty Zeltron, and I guess for Ezra it was mainly just because he's a tease and his first instinct is, well, to tease. :p But a good-natured tease who's not afraid to make a bit of fun of himself, as his hair now shows! Though oh gosh, I too can only imagine how many gaskets Master Dume is likely to blow... :p Bly's reaction was a wonderful touch too (very cool how he was the one who alerts us readers to Ezra's hair color, well played there!), and I loved the bit about the advice from Luke and Leia: (1) of course Luke, who also has that teasy streak, would suggest such a thing; and (2) of course Rhysa's absolutely right about taking advice from Leia! :p And finally, very nice full-circle touch at the end, with the appearance of one more shade of pink that speaks volumes--on Ezra's cheeks, and oh yes, I know Rhysa knows how good that pink looks on him! [face_love]

    These two make such a sweet match--if you write more about them, I'll definitely be there! Congratulations on crafting this fun, tender story for them out of those zany April Fool's prompts! =D=