Title: Miniature Disasters Characters: Kyp Durron Timeframe: ~12-13 ABY Summary: Kyp struggles with himself in the aftermath of going to the dark side. * * * His mother used to call him temperamental. Kyp remembers throwing tantrums, yelling at the top of his voice and slamming doors. He doesn’t remember the causes; they didn’t even matter at the time. They were small things, little things that pushed him over the edge of a feeling too great for his small body to contain it. He remembers the rush of adrenaline that came with slamming the door, the thrill of fear at doing something forbidden. The dread of repercussions. The urge to hide when his mother raised her voice and got angry in turn. It never lasted long. He would yell and cry until the anger left him, and then his mother would come in and he would say sorry and she would open her arms and hold him until the sobs stopped shaking his body and calm fell over him. He remembers, and he wants more than anything to go back. Back to a time when the worst thing he ever did was slam a door or throw a stuffed toy across the room. Back to a time when he could find forgiveness and redemption in his mother’s arms. But there is no going back to it. When Exar Kun’s spirit possessed Kyp’s body, it felt familiar, and even welcome. He had always felt like the anger was a foreign thing, invading his body, filling it to the brim and then bursting out beyond his control. A tantrum. The mark of a passionate child whose emotions had a tendency to run away with him, a child who laughed and ran and cried and hugged with all his heart. But this time, there was no one to come in and tell him that it was okay. This time, the havoc he’d wreaked and the destruction he’d caused was too great to find forgiveness in anyone’s arms. He’s tried; oh, he has tried. The others make remarks about it: ladies’ man, charmer, heartbreaker. (The last one sounds right; he breaks far too many things.) They don’t know what he’s really looking for. Even he himself never admits what he’s really looking for, although he knows it, deep down. He’s sought it in a woman’s arms, a bottle of whiskey, a blaster mouth, a hundred fights. He doesn't think that he will ever find it. He doesn't even think that he should. He has heard that the dark side of the Force leaves scars, but Kyp doesn’t feel scarred. He feels bereft, empowered, cheated, liberated, beaten. It took some of the blind rage, when it left him, but it didn’t take the blame, or the guilt, or the memories, or the dark anger that still simmers just below the surface. Kyp is never sure whether that is a part of him, or a leftover from Exar Kun, and he doesn’t know which would be worse. Anger is a constant temptation. A slow datapad, a stubborn door, a dropped mug, a broken light, all invite immediate retaliation. Miniature disasters that have turned into broken machinery and smashed furniture. Afterwards he finds himself sitting in the havoc he has wreaked, knees drawn up to his chest, trying to calm the raging beast in him and clutching his arms so hard they bear bruises for days afterwards. And every time comes with a harsh reminder that he is alone, alone, alone. Meditation frustrates him to the point of screaming, but fighting helps. He wears himself out in the sparring arena, running and leaping and kicking until he can’t move. He’s a menace in the field, reckless and ruthless, a one-man task force. Slowly, he learns control again. And he comes to realise that he will never be the serene Jedi he once expected to become. He doesn’t have that in him. There is a darkness inside him that will not go away, matched by a fire that never stops burning. They will always be in conflict. He will always be in conflict: with himself, with others, with the galaxy. He almost gives up, then. A Jedi must be calm, at peace, in control. Anger leads to the dark side. He despairs of ever ridding himself of it. He despairs of ever becoming a Jedi. But he can't quite give up, either, because it's the one thing he still wants, the one path along which he can still see a sliver of redemption. And then, one day, he is watching the Solo children and making hot chocolate in the kitchen, and he drops a mug. And the darkness inside him roars and the fire burns and he grabs another one and smashes that, too. And little Jaina Solo laughs. It’s a warm sound, and it shatters the cold thing inside him like a blowtorch drilling through ice. And he stops, and looks at her, and then he is laughing, too, and the darkness recedes and the fire goes back to smoldering quietly. And he thinks that maybe, anger does not lead to the dark side after all. Sometimes, anger leads to laughter and a little bit of warmth. He remembers that he did not turn back from the dark side because he forsook his anger. He turned back because Han Solo reached out to him and offered him forgiveness when no one else would. He turned back because he found a reason, because there was someone whom he didn’t want to let down. So maybe he doesn’t need to rid himself of anger. Maybe he just needs to control it and turn it into strength and warmth and even laughter. Maybe it doesn’t lead to the dark side if he can point it in the right direction. Maybe he can surround himself with enough reasons to say “no” to the darkness inside every day. Maybe Kyp Durron can still be a Jedi, after all.