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Beyond - Legends Our Weakness Is the Same (2021 Fanfic Olympics - Allana/OC Decathlon - Enter!verse AU)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ViariSkywalker, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Title: Our Weakness Is the Same
    Author: ViariSkywalker
    Timeframe: 43-61 ABY, in my Enter!verse
    Characters: Allana Djo Solo/Darth Festus (OC)
    Genre: AU, dark romance, drama, introspection, angst

    Summary: She can’t escape his orbit, and he can’t escape hers.
    (Or, Allana Djo and Darth Festus spend ten years trying to kill each other and/or falling in love, maybe.)

    Notes: I’m back with another entry for the 2021 Fanfiction Summer Olympics, this time featuring the pairing of Allana Djo Solo and Darth Festus (an original character and not-quite-former Sith Lord who first appeared in Enter the Foreign). Let’s just say it’s a very complicated, tangled web that binds Allana and Festus together. I hope this decathlon will be enjoyable without a lot of background knowledge, but if you’re interested in more info or stories about this pairing or the Enter!verse in general, see under the spoiler tag below!

    The title comes from the song “Ten” by Jimmy Eat World.

    This ‘verse branches off from the Legends timeline early in the LotF series and veers into wildly AU territory. In this world, Darth Caedus rose to power but was eventually defeated, leaving the galaxy ripe for conquest by Darth Krayt’s One Sith. In the years after EtF and the defeat of the Sith Empire, Allana Djo has become a full Jedi Knight, and Darth Festus has become a particularly murderous bounty hunter. And for those who aren't familiar with That Scene* from EtF... yeah, Festus totally tried to kill Allana once upon a time. But she kinda saved his life a couple of times after that, which stirred some weird and very unwelcome feelings in the young Sith Lord. So now, here we are.

    *It occurs to me that there are actually two scenes in EtF that have been called That Scene, one in Chapter 11 and one in Chapter 12. I'm referring to the first one here.

    Allana/Festus stories:

    Where the Waves Shatter – feelings are hard, especially for a not-quite-former Sith Lord; Festus & Allana (54 ABY; vignette)

    What If This Storm Ends? – five times Darth Festus definitely wasn't in love with a Jedi princess, and one time she definitely wasn't in love with him; Allana/Festus (43-61 ABY; one-shot)

    Forces of Gravity – no matter how hard you fight it, gravity always wins; Allana/Festus (55 ABY; one-shot)

    In Dreams We Dwell – Allana attends a masquerade ball and deals with a dangerous uninvited guest; Allana/Festus (59 ABY; short story)

    Other Enter!verse stories:

    Enter the Foreign – in which Anakin Skywalker winds up in Ben Skywalker’s crapsack future and joins his fight against the Sith Empire; also featuring Allana Djo Solo, Tahiri Veila, and many more (51 ABY; epic; in-progress)

    The Lands of the Dead – origin story for the Super Evil Chaos Twins of Evil (43-49 ABY; short story)

    Here There Be Monsters – Dorian Starskip almost dies (twice) and has a nice chat with Jacen Solo; (47 ABY; vignette)

    HK-47 and the Super Evil Chaos Twins of Evil – Festus buys a droid, Ferrus is annoyed, and HK-47 is surrounded by meatbags (52-53 ABY; vignette; humor/crack!fic)

    The Way Out Is Through – my Ben Skywalker decathlon for the 2021 Fanfic Olympics (42-51 ABY; in-progress)

    Thunderbolt and Lightning – my Festus & Ferrus decathlon for the 2021 Fanfic Olympics (33-58 ABY; in-progress)

    Disclaimer: I don’t own Star Wars, and no profit is being made. [face_peace]

    Thanks for going on this dark little journey with me, and I hope you enjoy! [face_mischief]





    Index of Decathlon Events


    I. “We Ratify the Silence”400 Word Cross Country | 54 ABY

    II. “Stupid Girl”110 Word Hurdle | 54 ABY

    III. “Nothing Would Have Made Us Ready”4x100 Relay | 43 & 55 ABY

    IV. “Come to Me in the Night Hours”Fantastical Fencing

    V. “Closer Than a Friend, I Can Be Your Enemy”Prime Time Coverage | 56 ABY

    VI. “Taris”100 Word Sprint | 58 ABY

    VII. “If a Dream’s All That I’ve Got”200 Freestyle | 59 ABY

    VIII. “Falling Down a Wave”Water Polo Poetry | 59 ABY

    IX. “Where You’re Still in Love with Me”AU Archery | 51 ABY

    X. “I Loved and I Loved and I Lost You”1500 Word Dash | 59-61 ABY


    ~~
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2021
  2. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Notes: I’m going to kick things off with the 400 Word Cross Country (400 words about your couple with any theme).

    For this ficlet, we’re revisiting the events of Where the Waves Shatter, because I love me some moody ocean imagery. ;) As with WtWS, the title for this one comes from Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet IX.




    “We Ratify the Silence” | 54 ABY | 400 Word Cross Country


    For one terrible instant, she thinks she’s killed him.

    Yes, it’s only sand, and yes, he’s a Sith Lord with a knack for survival; but it’s still a long fall from the rocks, and he’s only human. She doesn’t dare stop to look, though, not until she’s safely scaled the nearby cliff. As she pulls herself over the ledge and stands, she turns and finds him below, struggling to escape the violence of the crashing waves.

    Relief hits her first, because she doesn’t revel in suffering or death, and she never wants to be the cause of it. She’s not sure she could take his life even if she wanted to.

    She flees before he can recover, and as she races through the tall, swaying grasses that line the cliff, her next emotion is pure elation. She won. She beat him, knocked him flat on his back, watched him tumble about in the surf like a helpless child. After how thoroughly he dominated her before, she actually defeated him, and doesn’t that feel pretty amazing? Still, she doesn’t want to imagine what will happen if he catches up to her again – so she runs.

    Wind beats furiously against her back as she sprints toward the open ramp of her small starship. She stops at the base of it and looks over her shoulder, searching; but all she can see is the wind raking through the grass in waves, and the dark line of the horizon that separates sky from sea. No sign of him.

    She leaves Kordros before the storm hits, catching a glimpse of lightning from her viewport. It forks through the sky, distant but still brilliant. It isn’t until she’s entered the safety and silence of hyperspace that she allows herself to reflect more deeply.

    He never said a word. Not one. And before he drew his lightsaber, there’d been a moment when he stared up at her, when she almost couldn’t breathe, when she felt more curiosity than fear, and she wondered…

    She pushes that thought aside and buries it deep, because he hates her, she knows he does. And she doesn’t think of how he hesitated to kill her when she stupidly left him an opening, because that doesn’t mean anything either.

    When Ben asks how her mission went, she says it was great. She doesn’t tell him about Festus. She doesn’t want him to worry.


    ~~
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb POV from Allana.

    He never said a word. Not one. And before he drew his lightsaber, there’d been a moment when he stared up at her, when she almost couldn’t breathe, when she felt more curiosity than fear, and she wondered…

    So many inexplicable feelings from Festus and her own reactions puzzle her. [face_thinking]


    She pushes that thought aside and buries it deep, because he hates her, she knows he does. And she doesn’t think of how he hesitated to kill her when she stupidly left him an opening, because that doesn’t mean anything either.

    No, of course not. ;)


    When Ben asks how her mission went, she says it was great. She doesn’t tell him about Festus. She doesn’t want him to worry.

    That's not the only reason. =D=
     
    Findswoman and ViariSkywalker like this.
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh, intriguing start! There are definite vibes of “it’s complicated” coming from Allana here (I am guessing that it’s her viewpoint here). She’s proud of vanquishing Festus, at least temporarily, but there’s a note of concern for him, too. Like @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha said, I think she has other reasons for not mentioning Festus when she reports back to her uncle. The Neruda quotes are a great fit for both this and the story it grew from—I get a feeling that “ratifying the silence” will be a theme in this relationship. Great work and thanks for sharing—I’m enjoying revisiting these characters! (Your Chaos Twins series is on my list, too! =D= )
     
  5. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Geat beginning. Allana and her thoughts on the Sith and not killing him
     
  6. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Wonderful look at Allana's feelings regarding her feeling for/about Darth Festus. =D=
     
  7. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
    Thank you so much for your kind words!

    Lol, yeah, Festus is definitely a flaming-hot mess at this point, with no real understanding of his feelings or what they even mean; and I imagine Allana had to have sensed that something was off with him during this fight on the beach. Not that she has any clue what it means either. :p

    Pure dumb luck, that. He wasn't at all conflicted, nope. [face_whistling]

    Ha, I'd say you're right. ;)

    Thank you for reading, and I'm glad you're enjoying so far!




    @Findswoman
    Allana is a precious cinnamon roll who would never want to hurt anyone, surely that's the only reason for her to be concerned here, right? Riiight? [face_whistling] [face_batting]

    All joking aside, after the brutality of their fight in EtF, any victory over him would feel like the ultimate triumph. But then, certain events later on in that story might have made her look at him in a different light. Not romantic by any means, but different. It's complicated. :p

    I do think you're on to something there. [face_thinking] [face_mischief] I will say, this is the only encounter between Allana and Festus that neither of them tells anyone else about. Ben and the Jedi don't know anything about it, and Ferrus doesn't either. Make of that what you will...

    It's funny how so much can be said with silence, isn't it? I enjoyed the sonnet and am still so happy to have had such wonderful inspiration to draw from for WtWS and for this ficlet.

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments; I'm really glad you're enjoying this little 'verse, and it's great to have you aboard for this and the Chaos Twins' decathlon! ;)




    @earlybird-obi-wan
    Thank you! :D




    @JediMaster_Jen
    Thanks so much! It's a tangled web, but I do love exploring it with these characters. [face_mischief]



    More next!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  8. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Notes: Well, friends, I wasn't expecting to post again so soon, but it occurred to me that I have to fit nine more events in before the end of this month, so we're moving right along now!

    My next event is the 110 Word Hurdle (110 words in which the names of your couple aren’t mentioned). This takes place shortly after WtWS and the previous ficlet, “We Ratify the Silence”; and the title comes from the song of the same name by Cold.




    “Stupid Girl” | 54 ABY | 110 Word Hurdle


    He tries not to think of her after. He does everything he can to force her out of his head.

    He trains more rigorously than ever, impressing even his brother with his commitment.

    He scours the bounty notices, searching for everything – anything – that will keep him working, keep his mind occupied.

    He hunts down the escaped convict he failed to catch on Kordros and – after an admittedly ill-advised knife fight with the man – kills him.

    That last one doesn’t help, though, because it gets him thinking about that windswept beach and those gray eyes staring back at him, and what he wouldn’t give to be that close to her again.


    ~~
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= Love how hard he tries not to think of her without success. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
    ViariSkywalker likes this.
  10. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.[face_laugh] I still don't think he'll succeed in getting her out of his head, no matter what he does or how hard he tries. :D
     
  11. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    he can try what he want and doesn't get her out of his head
     
  12. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
    He's definitely fighting a losing battle. ;) :p




    @JediMaster_Jen
    This boy spends way too much time in his own head, there was no way he was going to get her out of it. :p




    @earlybird-obi-wan
    Yep, he's failing pretty miserably at that. [face_mischief]




    And it's already time for the next event! We're just moving right along... :p
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  13. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Notes: Today’s event is the 4x100 Relay (4x100 words on four types of love: affection, intimacy, friendship, and charity). The title for this set comes from the song “Steady” by Svrcina. Not an exact thematic match, but still some really great lyrics.

    For reference: “Affection” and “Friendship” take place concurrent with the final section of What If This Storm Ends?, when Allana and Festus were children in one of the hidden Jedi enclaves. “Charity” and “Intimacy” take place many years later, during and shortly after the events of Forces of Gravity.




    “Nothing Would Have Made Us Ready” | 43 & 55 ABY | 4x100 Relay


    Affection | 43 ABY


    She watches him from across the common space, wondering how she never noticed him before now. There’s a short flight of stairs leading into the room, with a hollow gap beneath that’s just big enough for someone to sit, and he returns to that spot after rescuing her from the bullies.

    Days go by. A week. Two weeks. She plays alone in her own corner, and she watches him curl up under the stairs, reading on his datapad. She wants to thank him again for what he did, like a princess should thank her knight. Soon, she thinks. Maybe tomorrow.


    ~~

    Friendship | 43 ABY


    He sits on the floor of the hangar, just beyond the open ramp of the starship that will take them to their new home. Veeran isn’t here yet, so no one bothers him about boarding the shuttle.

    He tried to find her, but there wasn’t much time. They haven’t talked since that day he rescued her toy, but he’s seen her watching a couple of times. He wonders if she knows he’s leaving. Would it make her sad to say goodbye? He doesn’t want to do that to her.

    Maybe he could write to her. Maybe she would like that.


    ~~

    Charity | 55 ABY


    This isn’t mercy.

    This isn’t kindness or concern or charity.

    This is a debt repaid, an imbalance corrected.

    This is him not wanting his enemy to be killed by a stupid blaster before he’s had the chance to defeat her, before he’s had the chance to show her exactly how much he doesn’t need her or her damned Jedi compassion.

    This isn’t panic or fear, or his heart pounding at the sight of her under him, a burn seared across her cheek. And it’s definitely not relief that she’s alive, or a desire to kiss her, just to be sure.


    ~~

    Intimacy | 55 ABY


    There’s no keeping it a secret this time. She couldn’t even if she tried.

    Allana looks up at Ben, at the concern roiling beneath a thin veneer of calm. If he knew this wasn’t the first time she’d encountered Festus, he’d never send her on a mission again. Bringing it up now will only make him wonder why she didn’t say anything sooner. And she doesn’t want his questions, his lecturing, his worrying. She doesn’t want him thinking this is anything other than what it is.

    (never mind that she still doesn’t know what this is, or what it means)


    ~~
     
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Intimacy -- excellently described as Allana cannot explain exactly what "this" is to herself much less anyone else.
     
    ViariSkywalker likes this.
  15. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    great with the children compared to the adults
     
  16. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Oh, Allana. Tell Ben the truth. [face_nail_biting]
     
  17. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    VIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!! I'm so glad that you decided to give in and run with the idea to write this. For purely selfish reasons, of course, but also for how perfectly this is fleshing out your EtF 'verse and building up to the sequel! [face_mischief] =D=

    Such perfect inspiration, again! :D

    Allana is such a dutiful Jedi with so much amazing Skywalker compassion and of course that's all it is. Of course. [face_mischief] [face_whistling]

    I could feel Allana's glee here! And you can't blame her: after the awful circumstances of That Duel there's almost something wholesome about her giddiness, even as she tries to reason with herself.

    How you can say so much just with imagry alone! That was the brilliance of WtWS and that continues here.

    Well, Festus hardly understands what he feels - how can Allana? [face_thinking]

    Nothing at all. [face_mischief] [face_whistling]

    I forgot all about Cold and this song too! Memories, I tell ya. :p

    Though we know that Ferrus has his own opinions and suggestions for how to get rid of that tension. [face_whistling]

    I love admittedly ill-advised. [face_laugh] But of course murder isn't the answer. We could have told Festus as much. :oops:

    Oh! The imagery of this was both heartbreaking and precious all at once!

    And then she ran out of time!!! :_|

    Oh, honey! This just hurt. =(( How quickly their bond formed and how much they're in each other's thoughts and it's always the wrong time!

    You need to get on that AU, stat. ;)

    Oh but of course! [face_laugh] [face_mischief]

    All that swimming upstream a river in Egypt. [face_whistling]

    But I do love how all that protective rage culminates in those last few lines. The format in your prose was beautiful on a technical level, too. Feelings are hard for anyone, let alone former Sith Lords for Jedi Knights. ;)

    What is it then, Allana? [face_batting]

    I can't begrudge Ben his worrying, though - or Allana hers! This is such a tangled web to make sense of, and there's no easy answer even if there's a clearly right answer and I just love how twisted this all is. [face_love]


    This is FANTASTIC so far and I can't wait for more! =D= [:D]
     
  18. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    She's such a precious cinnamon roll, Vi [face_love]

    The elation is understandable, but - yeah. Run.

    Such good imagery, Vi. I totally see it :cool:

    Isn't she sweet

    o_O

    Murder makes him think of her, it must be true love :p

    Our little introvert [face_love]

    Vi, we had this discussion, quit making me sad

    He's got red in his ledger :p

    Uh-huh o_O

    And this is exactly the way inexperienced young people get in trouble, and that's without a murdery Sith Lord in the mix :oops:
     
  19. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
    It's a very confusing situation for her, poor girl. :p




    @earlybird-obi-wan
    Thank you! Glad you liked it! :)




    @JediMaster_Jen
    There was just something about that fight on the beach, I'm telling you... [face_whistling]

    But yeah, hard to argue that she shouldn't tell Ben everything, because omigosh, murdery Sith Lord. [face_worried]




    @Mira_Jade
    Me too!!! It felt wrong not to do something for these two, especially after all the other fics I've written about them this past year. I hope it continues to do a good job of adding to the story and deepening what has already come before. :D

    I seriously can't get over how perfect it was!

    Of course that's all it is, Mira, how dare you imply otherwise. [face_not_talking] She's only acting as any Jedi would. [face_whistling] [face_whistling]

    I admit, that was fun to write. :p I thought back to FoG and how she remembered her excitement at beating him, so I enjoyed developing that more here. Despite everything she's been through up to this point, she still has a sort of innocence here that's refreshing to write. [face_love]

    I'm telling you, this whole scene - and WtWS - is so vivid in my head, that must be part of why the imagery is so strong. :p The sonnet definitely contributed to that imagery, as did my one and only trip to the Pacific Ocean, on a gray, rainy, windy day several years ago. Clearly it left a lasting impression. o_O And I'll say it again: there are just so many amazing words and sensations associated with beaches and storms and oceans, and I love being able to draw on all of those, especially as relates to these two characters. [face_love]

    And honestly, who would want to admit - even in their own head - to having any sort of conflicting feelings about a person who tried to kill them? She knows he's terrible. She may have intervened to spare his life, but that doesn't mean she forgives him or that she wants to see him or think about him at all.

    Right? [face_whistling]

    Nope, not a thing. [face_mischief] [face_batting]

    Lol, I don't think I'd listened to this song in close to 15 years, but oh my gosh, I came across it again recently and I was hit dead center with some Festus feels, lemme tell you. It's perfect for him right in this time period, immediately post-WtWS. Such a confused murder boy.

    He does indeed. [face_laugh] :rolleyes: (And he risks getting punched in the face if he ever brings it up. [face_mischief])

    Ha, that ill-advised fight was actually going to be my response to the OC fight challenge, but I ran out of time, and wasn't feeling the inspiration to write the actual fight. Let's just say, Festus was a bit reckless and decided it was a good idea to forego the use of his lightsaber and fight an experienced serial killer with that knife he keeps in his sleeve. :rolleyes: (He may have also gotten himself stabbed pretty good... Ferrus was not amused.)

    Right??? :(

    And then the next time she saw him, he tried to kill her. [face_plain]

    Such a tangled connection between them, throughout their lives. [face_whistling]

    *salutes* Already on it! ;)

    I seriously love it, and I need more hours in the day for all these stories beating against the inside of my brain, heeeelp meeee. :p

    Gotta love that self-deceptive reasoning. ;)

    He's still trying to cling to that denial, but he's already failing at it pretty hard. :p

    Aw, thanks! [face_blush] And I do enjoy his whole "I'm the only one allowed to defeat you" reasoning for saving her. :p He sure has a lot of feelings to work through, doesn't he?

    [face_whistling] [face_whistling] [face_whistling]

    Poor Ben. :p Bad enough to find out a crazy Sith Lord is after your cousin/little sister, but I have to think he can sense something is off in Allana's reaction, and that would definitely be worrying. [face_worried]

    I'm so glad you think so! Thank you for your lovely comments and for all your encouragement! ;) [:D] More coming right up!




    @Gabri_Jade
    I love her so much, Gabri. [face_love]

    [​IMG]

    Yay, success! [face_dancing] (I feel so accomplished. :p)

    Yep, she's totally thinking of Ben's mental health here. :p o_O

    Hey now, he's super grateful to that horrific serial killer because it meant he ended up on that backwater planet where he just so happened to run into the girl he's been fixated on for nearly three years.

    What? [face_whistling]

    He was such a sweet boy, Gabri. :(

    That's my role in this relationship: I make you sad, it inspires you to write happy!fic (relatively speaking :p). You're weeeelcome. :*

    Lol, he's the only one allowed to kill her, Gabri. o_O

    This idiot. :rolleyes:

    You do have to wonder if this all won't end very horribly at some point in the future... [face_whistling]

    [face_mischief]

    Thanks as always for reading, babe! [:D] ;)




    Okay, guys, next event incoming! [face_batting]
     
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  20. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Notes: Today’s event is Fantastical Fencing (a story of at least 100 words involving your couple in which something fantastical happen). I snagged the title from the song “War of Hearts” by Ruelle. There are two versions of this song, and they’re both great; but the acoustic version is my favorite. [face_love] (And I may have listened to that version a lot when I was writing IDWD, so there’s that… [face_whistling])




    “Come to Me in the Night Hours” | Fantastical Fencing


    He snaps his wrists up, tearing the lightsaber from her hands. Its hilt goes flying, and before she can duck away to retrieve it, he grabs her by the front of her tunic and pulls her close. Holds his saber at his side, ready to end this, to end her, to be free of her forever.

    Her gray eyes are wide and terrified and right there, and he can’t look away. He wants to kill her. He wants to kill her. He has to.

    Another wave crashes against the rocks, showering them both in a cold mist; and the lightsaber slips from his grasp, tumbling to the sand far below. He reaches for her throat with his empty hand.

    —just like you’ve always dreamed, it’ll only take a few seconds, don’t be weak—

    His fingers brush against her skin, wrapping around the back of her neck, tangling in the copper hair that has pulled loose from her braid. Her fear laps at his senses, as forceful as the surf against these rocks; but she doesn’t fight back. Why doesn’t she fight back?

    He pulls her closer, watches her lips part as she lets out a frightened gasp. This is what he wants. Her fear, her helplessness, her… he wants

    Wind whips up around them, herald of the storm approaching from offshore. It beats against them, trying to drag them from the rock. He releases her tunic and takes her by the waist, locking her against him; and his tongue finally loosens enough to speak.

    “I hate you,” he whispers, feeling her tremble in his arms, feeling her warmth, her softness.

    “I know,” she whispers back, breathless, afraid. Her hands pressed to his chest as if to push him away, and he can feel them through his shirt, and he hates her, of course he hates her. He’s not wondering what those hands would feel like against his skin, or how his hands would feel against hers—

    —stop it, what are you waiting for, do it, end this—

    “You don’t know,” he says, the words half-strangled in his throat. “You have no idea.”

    Lips still parted as she breathes in and out, and doesn’t that make him sick, watching her, wanting

    She swallows hard, and her hushed reply is nearly swept away by the wind: “Then tell me.”

    His chest is suddenly heavy, each breath a struggle. Tell her? Tell her what? That he hates how weak she makes him, that he can’t stop thinking about her, that he wants to taste every pure and beautiful inch of her, and that he might hate himself for that most of all, because someone like him shouldn’t ever dare to want someone like her.

    Lightning arcs across the sky, white-hot and dazzling, illuminating her for an instant; and he brushes aside all the words he can’t say as he surges forward to kiss her.


    ~~


    Darth Festus wakes slowly, staring up at the ceiling, feeling the cold creep of reality around him. He sits up and leans forward, holding his head in his hands. It was just a dream. Not real. Of course it’s not real. It’s never real.

    He laughs under his breath at his own idiocy, his weakness. As if she ever would have stood there and let him do that to her. As if she ever would have stopped fighting against him. She wouldn’t. She shouldn’t.

    He lies back and rubs his hands over his eyes, and he wonders what it would feel like if it were real. He thinks he’d give anything to know.

    Weak.

    He closes his eyes and plays it back in his head, over and over and over; and he doesn’t sleep for the rest of the night.


    ~~


    In the Jedi Temple, Allana Djo startles awake, the memory of her dream so impossibly vivid, it feels more real than the bed or the pillows or the room around her. She lies there for several long seconds, breathing. In and out, quiet and slow. It’s not real, just breathe, it’s not real…

    She sits up, pulling one of the pillows into her arms. It doesn’t mean anything, she tells herself. It was just a dream, a bizarre dream cobbled together from unrelated fragments of thought in her waking life. It doesn’t mean anything.

    She hugs the pillow against her chest and takes another deep breath. As real as it might have seemed while she slept, it never could have happened that way. He wants her dead, end of story. He never would have held her like that. He never would have dropped his lightsaber in the first place.

    She presses her fingers to her mouth without thinking; and even though it never happened – it won’t ever happen, and it can’t ever happen, and she never wants it to happen – she can still feel him there. A kiss, lightning-burned across her lips.

    It doesn’t mean anything.

    It’s not real.

    Eventually she falls back to sleep, and she dreams of other things, and when she wakes in the morning, she doesn’t think of him at all.







    End Notes: Okay, I had artistic reasons for being deliberately vague about the timeframe for this ficlet, but I imagine it takes place in late 55 ABY or early 56 ABY. For those of you keeping track. ;) :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Delightfully intense and yet even though it "will never happen" "could never happen", you get the sense they wish it had/would. =D=
     
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  22. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    love the different POV's and her thoughts or not about Darth Festus
     
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  23. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
    You may be right... not that a certain Jedi would ever admit to that. [face_whistling] Thanks for reading!




    @earlybird-obi-wan
    Thanks! Glad you liked it! :)




    Thursday already? Guess that means it's time for another update... [face_batting]
     
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  24. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Notes: Next up is Prime Time Coverage (500+ words of action, adventure, or excitement with your chosen couple as the star). I took the title from the song “Stay Alive” by Hidden Citizens (feat. Remmi). For this event, we’re going back to the fight on Reialem (section III of What If This Storm Ends?), only this time we get to see it from Allana’s POV.

    Many thanks to @Gabri_Jade for her input on a couple of spots that were giving me trouble. :* [:D]




    “Closer Than a Friend, I Can Be Your Enemy” | 56 ABY | Prime Time Coverage


    There are a lot of things Allana Djo thought she might find in the jungles of Reialem. A Sith Lord is not one of them.

    Darth Festus stands halfway up a gently sloping incline, blocking her path back to civilization. Breathing a little harder than normal – how does she even know what’s normal with him? – as if he’s just finished running. He huffs out a heavy breath and grins. “You following me, Princess?”

    Oh, the nerve. She holds the hilt of her lightsaber at her side, gripping it hard enough to leave indents in her fingers. “Absolutely not,” she answers, lifting her chin. “In fact, why don’t you move out of the way, so I can definitely not follow you out of here.”

    He tilts his head and quirks one eyebrow. “You know that’s not how this works.”

    She wonders what would happen if she tried to run for it. He’d probably catch her without much trouble. She breathes in and activates her lightsaber, its resounding snap-hiss startling a flock of avian creatures in the canopy above. “Guess I’ll have to move you myself, then.”

    He draws his own weapon and ignites it, and his grin takes on a darker quality. “Be careful, Princess. Your boyfriend isn’t here to save you this time.”

    “Please,” she says, with way more confidence than she feels. Stifling the urge to tell him that Geridan isn’t her boyfriend anymore, because that’s definitely not something she needs to tell her would-be-murderer. “I put you on your back the last two times we fought, and I’ll do it again.”

    He inhales deep, catching his bottom lip between his teeth, and her stomach does a weird little flip at the sight of it.

    “Is that a promise?” he asks, low and eager.

    She raises her lightsaber in front of her. “You’d better believe it.”

    She isn’t sure who moves first, but there’s an air of inevitability in the way they collide, sabers clashing in a violent display of crimson and cerulean light. As if they were always meant to orbit each other like this, binary stars drawn together by a single point of mass, eternally bound in a celestial dance.

    She slices a horizontal path through the air and nearly catches him in the chin – is he not paying attention? – and as he brings his blade up to defend, she reverses course and crashes against it. He actually looks startled, as if he’s having trouble keeping up; and she has to admit, that feels pretty good.

    Still riding high off of that realization, she allows herself a small smirk. “As much as I’d love to stick around and get murdered,” she says between blows, “I have somewhere to be.”

    He laughs at that, their sabers sparking against one another as they clash again. “You think I’m going to let you go that easy?”

    Before she can respond, he flips his wrists over and up, nearly ripping the lightsaber from her hand. She holds on, but just barely, and is forced on the defensive as he renews his assault. He pushes her backward, overwhelming her, preventing her from gaining a solid footing. It’s all she can do to fend off his attacks as she steps blindly through the dense undergrowth. Low-hanging branches drape around them, adding a strange intimacy to their surroundings, as if they’re the only two people in this whole jungle – on this whole planet, even. Leaves rain down on her shoulders, scorched and sheared off with each swing of their sabers.

    She senses the tree the instant before she slams into it, his weight and her own momentum pressing her hard against the wide trunk, driving the air from her lungs. She gasps for breath; hears him do the same. Their crossed blades inch closer to her, then hold. She strains against his attack, her muscles burning, screaming in defiance of the effort, and she tries not to think of how much stronger he’s gotten. The wiry boy from Vjun is well and truly gone; the man in his place is nearly a match for Ben in terms of physicality, and even with the Force as her ally, she’s not sure how long she can keep this up.

    The mingled light of their sabers reflects in his eyes as he stares right at her. Right into her. And then his cocky grin falls away, replaced by something she doesn’t understand, something that sends a shock of heat through her center, something terrifying for how it pulls at her, all but demanding to be answered.

    Don’t look at me, a small voice whispers from deep inside her, don’t look at me, don’t look at me, don’t, don’t, don’t—

    “Come on, Princess,” he says in that same low tone, the one that rumbles through her. “Is that really all you’ve got?”

    And there’s the insufferably smug smirk she’s come to expect. Force, she wants to wipe it right off his face. She calls on every ounce of strength to shove him backward, hitting him with a kinetic blast the instant their blades break contact. He nearly loses his balance as he stumbles back down the hill, and a thrill races through her to see him so unsteady.

    “Not even close,” she answers, brushing her bangs from her eyes with one hand and flourishing her lightsaber with the other. She drives forward, trying to press her advantage before he can recover. He raises his saber to block, and she can feel the durasteel behind that move. He’s definitely not making this easy.

    He parries her next swing, then pushes her back with a series of quick, tight blows she can barely keep up with. Each one beats her back, beats her down, making her feel every bit of the disparity in their sizes. How in the worlds is she going to get out of this?

    His next strike is the hardest of all, and he holds his saber against hers, looming over her, staring at her through the light of their weapons. That strange feeling in her stomach again, but only for a second, because as she feels his weight bearing down on her, she suddenly remembers the perfect trick for this situation.

    She smirks up at him, anticipation making her feel lighter already. “Now pay attention, because I’m only going to do this once.”

    She deactivates her lightsaber and sidesteps as he pitches forward, unable to correct his balance in time to stop his fall. Before he can use the Force to slow his descent, she darts behind him and brings both fists – still curled tight around the hilt of her lightsaber – down between his shoulders as hard as she can. He slams to the ground, and she hits him with a wave of energy to keep him there while she escapes. She hears his head smack the ground with a muffled thud, but she runs anyway.

    Her heart is pounding all the way in her throat as she scales the hill. She didn’t mean to hit his head like that. What happens if he doesn’t get up?

    What happens if he does?

    She knows she shouldn’t slow down, not even for a moment; but as she reaches the trees at the top of the hill, she turns back to look at him. He’s standing there, fingers stained scarlet from the gash on his forehead, and he looks slightly dazed as he stares up at her. There it is again, that heat from earlier – not that it ever really left. Force, she has to get away from him.

    She runs, back to civilization, back to Ben and the Jedi, safety and sanity. She’s not thinking of how he looked at her as he held her against the tree, because even if she saw what she thought she saw or felt what she thought she felt, it still doesn’t mean anything, and it’s definitely not real. She runs because she has to, because no matter how closely they orbit one another, they’ll never be anything more than enemies.


    ~~
     
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Marvelously written duel of sabers and emotions! =D= Your writing is at once on point and eloquent!
     
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