Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kit', Aug 17, 2019.
Great stuff. Now I'm gonna have to put something together.
I know this is already pretty well underway, but would it be possible for me to join in?
You are more than welcome! Part of usjs ethos is never turning away someone who wants to participate
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
All right. Here it is. Apologies in advance for
a) any unintentional character assassination (writing characters I did not originate always makes me nervous)
b) possibly throwing the story as it was intended off track (if I need to edit things or even delete this just let me know)
c) leaving a cliffhanger for someone else to resolve (I can probably wrap it up in some innocuous way if nobody else cares to)
d) making this post so damn long
Spoiler: Characters I introduce (or else re-acquaint myself with after 20 years):
Name: Castin Ling
Appearance: Silver boi; eyes and ears and mouth and nose (and hair)
Apprentice to: Master Star Dansill
Personality: Generally quiet and a bit prickly, keeps to himself, small circle of friends; he is not unkind, but circumstances and the general vagaries of adolescence leave him increasingly cynical, which may manifest as unfriendliness. I think he is starting to question his beliefs about the Jedi order being infallibly correct and just, in the way that teenagers raised in religious faith may see doubts start to crop up around this time. When he warms up to someone, he's very loyal and can be fun to be around.
Name: Jisky Missoo
Gender: Female, or at least she/her
Appearance: Serpentine of demeanor; angelic, in an infernal sort of way. White skin, white hair, willowy figure, black eyes.
Apprentice to: Master Fan'tarth "Fan" Tyrul
Personality: All Graffians are born as twins; they have such a strong psychic bond that on their homeworld every pair of twins is referred to by one identity. The death or separation of such twins is devastating, often resulting in the death of the other. Jisky's brother died when she was only months old; Jisky, being a rare Force-inclined Graffian , survived the trauma and grew into a girl who has a burning desire to be independent, to prove her strength as an individual, but also has the old Graffian need to be latched psychically to another. Castin and her master serve in some ways as surrogates for this. Graffians evolved vocal cords fairly late in the species' development, only requiring vocalization after Graff became, in spite of its isolated people, an important hub in spice trading and bootlegging; they consider speaking a clumsy method of communication and only utilize it when absolutely necessary.
Eena floated on her back, staring at the trees overhead as they swayed in the mild breeze. She felt, for the moment, content. The water pushed up against her gently so that the exertion required to stay afloat was minimal. It enveloped her like a shroud, a cocoon. Growing up with sisters more beauteous than she had exacerbated in her a sense of bodily self-awareness; for as long as she could remember there was always a voice in a dimly lit part of her brain whispering that her hips were too wide, her stomach wasn’t flat enough, her hair too dull. She was Etta’s reflection in a distorted mirror, all of her sister’s genetic traits recognizable in Eena but just slightly out of proportion, to grotesque effect in culmination.
In the water, though, Eena was without those thoughts. She was bodiless, unbound by matter and superficial symmetry. Here she could be Eena-in-herself. And now, after two days of constant anxiety and self-doubt, she was at the epicenter of jubilation as her new friends made sounds of reverie around her. Kithera, the one she had only just met, flew through the air like grace personified, even with her joyful screams and laughter rippling behind her, buoying her up farther into the air than Eena had thought possible, even after the demonstration with the remotes. She could hear Eiko swimming placid laps somewhere nearby, and the last time she had taken note of Jazz and Theo and T’lor and Kellmaura they had been learning some game that required the girls to perch upon the shoulders of the boys; Eena did not know to what end, as before that objective could be explained Theo had accidentally let T’lor slip off his shoulders and into the water with a wet slap, and Jazz had followed suit by throwing Kells backwards as well, and the set-up had devolved into a dunk-and-splash battle from which no productivity was likely to emerge.
Eena closed her eyes. She wasn’t a Jedi, not by a long shot, but she thought she was beginning to understand what they had been explaining to her about kinesics approximating telepathy. She could sense in the atmosphere around her an encompassing feeling she had never experienced before: total acceptance. In the glow of it, and the pleasant warmth of the day, she could even believe that her problems back home would somehow work themselves out without her needing to worry about them here.
“Young Mistress Plum.”
The booming voice that carried the words to her half-submerged ears did not rise to the level of a shout; certainly it had the volume and authority of such, but entirely without the strain. Eena opened her eyes and shifted herself to a more vertical position in the water, looking around for the source of the call. She found it quickly. A tall, dark-skinned man, a Jedi Master of some description, Eena guessed, stood on the black rocks of the shore nearest the ‘fresher. His eyes were night, but serene as the water; there was no threat in him, though his air of power was apparent.
Around her, the sounds of teenagers enjoying themselves in the midst of the Thousand Waterfalls gradually subsided. There was no fear or awe in the new silence, only respect. Not even Jazz nor Kithera had anything insouciant or facetious to say to the man.
“Yes?” asked Eena, her voice cracking. Bobbing in the water, her head was at about the level of the man’s knee, and she felt equivalently diminutive.
“I am to gather you for a summons,” said the man. His smile was as gentle as the waves that broke against the rocks near his feet, but Eena felt inexplicably nervous again.
“A summons?” piped up Kithera. “From whom?”
The man hesitated. “A party of whom you would surely not approve, young Padawan Rinani.”
Kithera’s energy immediately shifted from carefree to angry, and like all of her emotions it filled her to running over. For all of her friendliness and the immediacy of her kinship, Eena thought she would not very well like to ever find out the boundlessness of Kit turned enemy. “Pynde-gard, then.”
“Master Pynde-gard, if you please,” said the man tolerably.
Kithera didn’t hear him, or didn’t acknowledge if she did; she was already swimming for the nearest shore like blonde lightning. Eena stayed floating where she was, believing Kit had all the requisite ferocity to push back even a Jedi Master; she’d rather throw in with Kit now than the man on the shore, at least until it was proven Kit could be cowed.
The latter girl was on the ground now, moving toward the man with an angular audacity Eena couldn’t imagine displaying in front of an elder. But this was not the first time she’d been surprised in such a way.
“What does she want with my exchange student?” demanded Kithera. “To turn her against me? To act at her whim as her own personal wind-up spy? She has it out for me and Master Zahalin and now she means to turn this novel exercise of good will into some coercion of espionage! I won’t stand for it, Master Buthu. It’s degrading to the Jedi order! It’s bureaucratic nonsense to an intolerable degree! It is the apotheosis of all the deplorable and execrable atrocities against which we purport to stand!”
Master Buthu waited patiently for Kit’s impassioned soliloquy to reach its natural conclusion, bowing his head in amused deference, and when it was finally his turn to speak, he said, “Political Debate has certainly given young Padawan Rinani a more formidable vocabulary for her invective since last I was at the receiving end of it.”
Kithera crossed her arms to accentuate her impressive pout, clearly unable to be sincerely angry at Master Buthu and therefore projecting all of her situational ire into the air around them. “Thank you.”
“Nevertheless. With all due esteem and admiration, young Padawan Rinani, which quantities you know are ever-replenishing.” He turned again to Eena in the water. “I must borrow you, young Mistress Plum. I shall have you returned to your friends before maths.”
Sweeping a quick glance around the scene as if asking her new companions for permission, Eena saw reactions ranging from nonchalance to bemusement to Kit’s temporarily quiet simmering; but there was nothing in it that had the potency to dissuade her from obeying a superior, so she swam the awkward length of the water to the shore beside Master Buthu and hoisted herself into his charge, leaving her friends and the amiably babbling waterfalls behind.
By the time they had regained the hallways of the Temple, Eena had hastily thrown herself back into her clothes, doing a sloppy job of it so as not to keep Master Buthu waiting. Beads of water were still rolling down her skin wherever her clothes were not tight enough to absorb the moisture. She could only presume that her hair was drying in a most frightfully untamed fashion. Being in a setting as officious as school in this state was not entirely far removed from the dream of suddenly realizing one is in a public space with no clothes.
As it seemed to be a free period for many of the other students as well as Kithera and her group of friends, the hallway was bustling with activity. Prior to entering the school, Eena had imagined the crowds of young Jedi would be stoic and monastically silent, but outside the rigorous discipline of their studies the teenagers surrounding her now were virtually indistinguishable from her peers back home, save for the strange narrow braids that swung pendulously with the vigor of their animated interactions. Eena made a mental note to ask someone who wouldn’t take offense about the hairstyle; she suspected it wasn’t merely a misguided stab at fashionability.
And what if the student has no hair? Do they have clip-ons?
Searching in vain for a bald species, Eena practically bumped into Master Buthu when he came to a halt.
“Young Padawan Ling,” the man was saying, nodding to a pair of students situated on the yawning-wide but short staircase leading up to what seemed to be a library. “Young Padawan Missoo.”
Owing to the scale of the staircase in its lateral dimension, the padawans were not blocking the traffic that shuffled into and out of the library; in fact there were several such small gatherings dispersed at intervals across the length of the stairs. These two were at the furthest right-hand corner of it, draped partially in a veil of thin shadow. The boy was on the bottom step, leaning back on his forearms with his legs spread open over the right-angle of the marble; the girl was above him, reclining horizontally, propped up on one elbow, with one leg fully outstretched and the other bent in an upward triangle so that her right foot rested on the ground at the same latitude of her left knee. Her mouth was close to the boy’s ear, as though she had been whispering something to him when their repartee was interrupted, and the boy was smiling at whatever it was. Eena had that unpleasant certainty creep over her again, that they must have been laughing about her.
The pair looked up in unison now and returned Master Buthu’s nod. “Master,” returned the boy.
Eena wished he would stop smiling. She couldn’t exactly say that it seemed cruel, but it did not read as welcoming, either, especially since he hadn’t even looked at her. The girl was staring at Eena now, with a detached feline interest; her black eyes didn’t blink. Eena felt herself growing warm in spite of the cool drops of waterfall still evaporating off her body.
“I find myself tasked with the pleasure of relieving your idleness,” said Master Buthu.
The boy stared up at him, expression flattening to neutral as he slowly sat up straight. “Wonderful.”
Eena once again felt a flash of awe at the lax nature of the relationships between the Masters and Padawans at the Temple. In some of the holovids she had seen depicting the style of training here, students were beaten with reeds at the slightest lapse in decorum. From what she had seen since she had arrived, however, nothing could be further from the truth; padawans frequently seemed to regard Masters with indifference, humor, sass, even irritation, all without consequence. It was often her mother’s estimation that kids behaving in such fashions required what she referred to as “attitude transplants.” While it could not explicitly be said that this boy was treating Master Buthu disrespectfully, neither was he reverent.
Master Buthu now gestured to Eena at his side, as though she was some subtle change in the layout of a room to which he wished to draw attention lest it escape the attention of his guests. “Young Mistress Plum is one of our revered exchange students. She has been summoned to the chambers in the eastern spire to hold palaver with Master Pynde-gard.”
The boy looked at Eena now for the first time, gritting his teeth into a sympathetic grimace to let her know this was not an ideal meeting. Eena felt her stomach drop. Have I already done something wrong? Have I broken a rule I didn’t even know about? Am I going to be punished? Expelled? Everything depended on her remaining here.
“If you would please escort her there, Padawan Ling,” Master Buthu prompted when the boy made no further sign of action.
Padawan Ling, as he was called, looked back to Master Buthu with deflating irritation. “I thought the exchange students all had maps equipped on their datapads.”
“Does Mistress Plum have the look of one in possession of her datapad?” asked Master Buthu.
Eena flushed again. In her haste to dress she had left the device in the locker of the ’fresher. Once the shock of being called out for it had dissipated, though, she realized Master Buthu was not passive-aggressively lecturing her; if anything he was dressing down Padawan Ling, though not vindictively so, as that did not seem to be a part of his character.
Padawan Ling got reluctantly to his feet, grumbling. “I thought I got out of handholding transfers when Star declined to adopt one.”
Master Buthu smiled patiently, letting slide the boy’s informal reference to his Master. “Perhaps it is your very reticence to perform the task that ensured its assignment to you in the first place?”
Padawan Ling sighed irritably as he dusted off his robes, resisting the moral.
The girl behind him also began clambering upright, but before she had even finished swiveling from repose into a transitory sitting position Master Buthu addressed her with a shake of his head. “Although I do note and respect your wont for proximity This task does not also extend to you, young Padawan Missoo. In fact I believe there may be some need for you in the aviary?”
The girl, Padawan Missoo, reacted to the command with utter lack of reaction. She glanced at Padawan Ling, who returned the nonverbal shrug, and then uncoiled to a standing position. Her skin was bone white, hair an ever purer shade of the same, and it was styled in a thick braid, tied at intervals with ribbons of deep violet silk, that fell down her left shoulder to the middle of her torso. She wasn’t wearing the traditional robes of the Jedi students; instead her willowy frame was wrapped in a tight black outfit that spiraled at the sleeves into leather gauntlets that corkscrewed over her wrists and across her knuckles. Eena thought of the tentacles of a great submerged beast reaching out of the ocean depths. Despite Missoo’s animalistic visage, Eena had to admit she was eerily beautiful. Everyone here seemed to be beautiful, male or female or otherwise, and outside the comfort zone drawn by the borders of her newfound group of friends, she found her evanescent confidence faltering. How could any one of them even look at her twice with romantic notions when they were surrounded by the likes of Jazz and Missoo on a daily basis?
The girl in question was already halfway down the hallway, presumably in the direction of the aviary. She moved like a predatory liquid, and Eena wondered distractedly if the birds she had been sent to tend were safe in her presence.
“My gratitude for your service outshines the splendor of a thousand sunsets.” Master Buthu bowed again ingratiatingly to Padawn Ling.
“Yeah.” Padawan Ling half-laughed, trying to layer disdain over his voice, but it was clear that like Kithera he could harbor no ill will toward the man who inconvenienced him.
“Good luck, young Mistress Plum.” Master Buthu now bowed to Eena and then took his leave. Eena wished fervently that he would stay, that he would sit in on this meeting with the apparently dreaded and despised Pynde-gard.
“Well,” said Padawan Ling, looking again at Eena as though sizing up her particular lack of worth respective to the average exchange student. “I suppose we’d better get to it, then.”
He didn’t say anything else, but turned and started down the hallway opposite the direction Missoo had disappeared. Eena looked back one final time at the departing Master Buthu before scrambling after him.
He wasn’t particularly tall, but his strides were longer than hers, making it difficult to keep up. They were walking against the current of students, as though everyone else in the temple had the good sense to move away from this Pynde-gard and they were the only ones foolish enough to intentionally seek her out. A few times she almost lost sight of him, which seemed counter-intuitive given his radiant silver skin and hair. Eventually he turned down an empty corridor and the resisting crush of studentdom dissipated, so that she had merely to scurry rather than run in his wake.
He stopped at the end of the corridor before a lift, pressing a blue button, and then stood rigid with his hands folded behind his back as they waited. Eena took the opportunity to catch her breath, feeling as loud in the relative stillness as an asthmatic drair let loose in a meditation chamber. The way the boy was standing called attention to his wiry frame. While he wasn’t tall, he was a bit too skinny for his height, as though he had recently hit his final growth spurt.
“So,” she said, trying to distract at least herself from her heavy breathing. “That girl you were with. Padawan Missoo…”
“Jisky,” he corrected. “And before you creep me out by calling me Padawan Ling, my first name is Castin.”
“Uh. Right. Jisky. Is she your—?”
Eena waited, expecting more. There was no more. “Right,” she affirmed again. “Well. Um. Your—Master(?)—didn’t take on an exchange student, then?” Your Master. She couldn’t get used to such an antiquated title in this modern age.
Eena nodded, for lack of anything else to do. “And you didn’t wish to be sent to—to the non-Jedi school?” She couldn’t remember at the moment where that was, or if there was only one to which the Jedi students were being sent.
Castin blew air out the side of his mouth. “Not especially.”
Eena nodded again, searching desperately for a new conversational gambit. “Um—well, I’m staying with Kithera and Master Zahalin. Do you—know them?”
“I’m…aware of them, yes.”
“Oh.” What in the name of Sith was taking this lift so long? “So…not well, then. I mean you don’t know them well.”
“Star has I believe gone in for tea with Master Zahalin. They share a disdain for asceticism, as I understand it.”
Eena wasn’t really sure what he meant by that, but the lift finally arrived, sparing her the obligation to ask about it in the momentary distraction of boarding.
Castin hit another button. They started to move up. She gave him a moment to say anything he might want to say. He offered nothing.
Fine. If that’s the way he wants to be, we’ll take this ride in silence. She studied the white paneling within the lift, determined not to be the first to break the unspoken mutual pact.
After about ten seconds she broke. “So what do you think of her?”
Castin blinked at her, startled out of some reverie or other. “Of whom? Master Zahalin?”
“No,” said Eena. “Of Kithera.”
“Oh.” Ling faced forward again. “I don’t know her very well. We were paired together for a vine exercise a few years ago. That’s about it.”
“And how did she do?” Eena found she was eager to hear more about the exploits of the girl who had spectacularly defeated the dozen remote droids, though she had no idea what a vine exercise was.
The corner of Castin’s mouth twitched as he stared at the lift doors. “She did well.”
“Did she?” asked Eena, suddenly forgetting her shyness in the imagined spectacle of Kit fighting her way out of a mass of living vines, a whir of slicing spryness. “Was it amazing? Did she have to rescue you? Did you feel so lucky to be her partner? Was it as astounding as the remote exercise earlier today? Did you witness her altercation with the pole?”
Castin glanced at her, somewhere between dryly amused and almost pitying. She got the sense that he had knowledge he took for granted, which he was now realizing had yet to dawn on her. “No, unlike every other gossiping padawan in the temple, I did not witness that particular feat firsthand.”
“But—” Eena stumbled over the words, confused. Everyone up to now, at least everyone her own age except for Rujeno, had spoken of Kithera with warmth bordering on awe. The fact that Castin did not echo this left her somehow unnerved. “But don’t you wish you had?”
Castin took on an expression that suggested he was mulling over what to say. “Look, if you’re not going to rest until I tell you what I really think of Kithera, then I will. I think she’s a reckless showoff. I think she is desperate to become a legend in her own time in a way that does not befit a Jedi. I think she is probably about as amazing as she thinks she is, but until she learns she doesn’t have to keep proving it every five seconds in front of the entire school, she’ll never be as amazing as she wants to be. And yes, I agree with the elders, even Pynde-gard, that Master Zahalin is too easy on her and goes out of her way to rewrite history so that all of Kithera’s self-indulgent, undisciplined, showboating antics are colored as noble acts of virtue. And I hate, I mean I really hate having to agree with Pynde-gard about anything.”
Eena was speechless. She was torn between a desire, borne of loyalty, to defend the girl who had so quickly and open-heartedly taken her in and a nagging uncertainty that she had only known said girl for less than a day, and perhaps it was far too quick to cement her own opinions about Kithera. “T’lor said Kithera isn’t a showoff. She’s just being true to herself. Raising the bar for the other students so no one give themselves slack in their training. Like a role model.”
“T’lor maybe has a more charitable perspective than I do.”
Deciding she was angry, Eena opted to give voice to the defensive impulse. “I think you’re wrong. I think she’s just as great as everyone says she is—better, perhaps. Maybe she outperformed you on this vine exercise and you’re still bitter about it all these years later.” She surprised even herself at the heat behind her words.
Castin regarded her ponderously. There was no malice in his gaze, and now that he had said his piece, it seemed he had no wish to continue along the lines of a confrontation either. “Could be,” he said with resignation. “Like I said, I don’t really know her all that well.”
They stood in silence for a few moments until the lift came to a stop and the doors opened. Eena looked at Castin, vaguely contrite for her outburst but unsure of what, if anything, to say about it.
“Last door down there,” said Castin, pointing to the end of the new corridor that stretched out before them. Looking down the length of it, Eena thought nervously that hallways leading to foreboding doors were probably architecturally calculated to seem longer than they actually were, to increase the anticipatory paranoia of all those fated to walk down them. She looked at the door, then at Castin, yearning for some word of assurance.
He raised an eyebrow, catching on to her distress, and in spite of the former tension between them, he melted into almost involuntary sympathy. “I’m sure it’s just standard procedure, some kind of protocol briefing. The temple hasn’t allowed outsiders this kind of access for over a century, so she probably just wants to meet one-on-one to impress the importance of it on you.”
Eena nodded, dread tying her stomach into knots.
The door started to close automatically. Castin caught it with his hand. “I know this is unlikely, since I just said some harsh things about your friend. But if you need someone else to talk to…” He shrugged, suddenly sheepish, and looked at the floor. “Anyway. Just putting it out there.”
“Thanks,” said Eena. It was difficult to stay angry at him when he did actually seem to be trying.
She looked again down the corridor and took a deep breath. The obligation wasn’t going to disappear just because she stood in the lift for a long enough time avoiding it. As Castin had said, it was probably nothing.
She stepped into the hallway and made her way to the door, hearing the bell ring behind her as the lift’s doors closed and its passenger began to descend, leaving her alone.
Love it @castin. The only thing I’d point out is Kit’s last name is Rinani. Also Jazz is unlikely to get in the water - being part cat and all. Although I can run with that and there shall be much teasing of Jazz that he finally got in there and he didn’t die .
The thing about Kit is that she’s only really good at lightsaber and dance. In old, outdated educational terms she’s a kinaesthetic learner and will struggle the moment that she’s asked to sit still for any length of time. You got Eena spot on though, she does feel overshadowed by just about everyone and hasn’t yet realised how powerful she actually can be.
Love both Castin and Jisky. I also love Master Buthu and the way that he speaks. It would definitely be hard to remain angry at someone who spoke like that.
Can’t wait to see what happens with Eena and Pynde-gard. Poor little Eena is probably not going to know what hit her.
Oops! Sorry, I had her last name right the first time. Was trying to juggle them all in my head without going back and checking every single time... RE: Jazz, I guess I forgot about normal cat behavior since my roommates have one who tries to stick his head under the water every time you run the kitchen sink. (I believe in Reddit thread terminology he's a cat who doesn't know how to cat.)
I admit I had a hard time writing Kit and while I did ultimately enjoy her tirade against Master Buthu, it definitely might come across more as my version of someone else's character. Sorry I didn't nail it.
Also, I hope that Castin-the-character's disparaging remarks about Kit don't read as me-the-author disparaging your OC. I was trying to put myself back in the head space of a high school student and, at least in my case, I maybe wasn't always the most tolerant person, so I'm trying to be honest to some extent and give Castin a bit of he-can-be-a-nerf-herder-sometimes, even if he ultimately means well. Hence why he is a bit of a loner. I think I am paranoid about creating Gary-Stu characters and don't want to create someone who is just flawless and kind to everyone all the time, especially if said character has aspects of me at that age. Also I remember high school as being kind of an adolescent Rashomon in that everyone had a different idea of who a particular person was, often based more or less on exactly the same evidence. So the TL;DR disclaimer is, those are HIS opinions, not mine.
Thank you for the kind words about my take on Eena, and my OCs.
Does this mean you're not going to bail me out and write that scene for me?
When Eiko paused in her laps, she found Kirsh languidly floating out of the fray created by T'lor, Jazz, Kit, and Kellmaura.
"Never thought I'd see the day when Jazz got into the water," he observed aloud in amazement. "He's not exactly fond of it, or rather, has been leery of giving the pool a try."
Eiko laughed. "I guess the awesome displays we were treated to in lightsaber class has emboldened him somewhat. The waterfalls certainly are lovely." She finished, indicating how the myriad cascades created a multitude of rainbows.
"Yes, it's very relaxing just coming here to observe the play of light and water," Kirsh agreed.
Suddenly, a distinguished Jedi Master, apparently, came and called for Eena Plum. His voice carried across the water; Eiko glanced at him. He had an air of gentleness about him as he addressed Eena. To her inner amusement, Kithera confronted him about something and then Eena departed with him.
"Who was that?" she asked Kirsh.
"Master Buthu. He's quite a .... character, not in an intimidating off-putting way. He's like the calm in a storm."
Eiko smiled. "My father is the same way, as is my grandfather. They have a way of soothing and restoring a sense of serenity."
Kirsh is beginning to strike me as that friendly guy who gets along with almost everybody. Almost, because we know there are some people (looking at you, Rujeno) who nobody gets along with.
Ahh, one of those cats. Think Jazz more like the cat who tries to get along the shower railing, slips and falls into the water and then freaks out. But then you come out three minutes later still hyperventilating and he's sunning himself and acting like he was never even near the bathroom and how dare you suggest otherwise!
She's a hard character to write. She's been my character for twenty years in some form or another and I still struggle. You did fine. Think teen girl who can turn on a dime (emotion wise) and can't ever sit still. That's our Kit.
Definitely didn't read it that way. I understand the worry about the Gary-stu/Mary-sue. It's a valid concern but I don't think you have to worry too much. Round-robin writing general tempers that fairly quickly as other's interpretations of your characters mean that they acquire flaws all by themselves. Me as a teen was a nerdier form of Kit. Like 5 personalities crushed into one body as I tried to please everyone even at the expense of who I was. Luckily I'm now older and I know better, but I didn't then. I've been called a walking contradiction on more than one occasion in my life.
My pleasure. It was a delight to read and I can't wait for more!
Hahahhahahaha. Nope! That's all yours
I think that trait was definitely passed on to Eiko too!
Yep, that's Kirsh. Big, loveable giant. It'll be interesting to see what he does if he's truly pushed though (and not necessarily by Rujeno) and what he does if his friends are in danger. I think less loveable and more a Big Terrifying Giant.
So he's basically Thor. Big and friendly and loveable, until someone threatens people he cares about. Then he beats the crap out of said someone.
My plan is to get back to Eena, but I'm still trying to work out what Master Pynde-gard wants (or says she wants). Hopefully @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 this gives you a good opportunity to introduce Kells to Kirsten and that I didn't get any characterisation too wrong.
“Get back in the water Kit,” Jazz called as Kit glared after the departing Master Buthu and Eena. She turned, throwing her hands skywards and flouncing back to the water’s edge.
“What does Pynde-gard want with her?” Kit grumbled sitting down in the shallows and tossing rocks into the water.
“What does Pynde-gard want with who?” Kit spun around and her face lit up.
“Kirsten! I haven’t seen you in ages, where have you been?”
The other blonde haired padawan raised an eyebrow.
“You saw me yesterday, Kit. Remember, right before you crashed into that pole.”
Kit shrugged ignoring the rebuke, “yeah, but you’ve missed so much since then that it feels like ages. Where have you been anyway.”
“Unlike Master Zahalin, Master Jinn believes that the best way to realign yourself with the temple rules is through many, many, many hours of mediation and contemplation. I mean at least he does it too, but still I don’t think I could sit for another minute.” The girl began stripping off her tunic and tabard to reveal a swimming costume. She stepped lightly into the water and then frowned at them all.
“Jazz, are you actually in the water? How are you in the water and not dead?”
Jazz, standing waist deep in the water next to Theo, put both hands on his hips, “I go into the water all the time.”
Kirsh laughed from where he was floating next to Eiko and then splashed Jazz with water, “you do not. Your Master has often complained that he has to drag you into any water based activity.”
“You don’t bathe?” Kell’s said as she edged away from him in mock horror.
“I bathe! I bathe!” Jazz said frowning at them all, “I just like the sonic showers more than water ones, that’s all.”
“Not enough, I think this is the first proper bath you’ve had in ages. I mean I can’t smell you for once,” Kirsh teased. Jazz glared at him and splashed an armful of water in his direction. Then he stormed from the water and went and sat in the sun. Kirsh sighed.
“Yep, yep, T’lor, you don’t need to say anything. I went too far. I’ll go apologise.” The bigger Jedi waded from the water and went and sat silently next to his friend on the shore.
“Did I say something wrong?” Kell was watching the two male padawans further up on the shoreline, concern etched across her face. T’lor shook her head.
“Jazz can be a bit sensitive sometimes. He and Kirsh are best friends so he’ll be okay in a minute. Also you got him in the water, so that’s a pretty epic feat for people who have been here for fewer than forty-eight hours.”
“What do you mean?” This time it was Eiko who spoke as she slowly paddled towards them.
“Jazz never gets wet. He says it’s his felacatian heritage,” Kit said standing back up and wiggling on the last words as she took two steps and then gracelessly plopped down again into the water, “so it’s kind of special that you got him in today.”
“Yeah but why.”
“Um, three pretty girls,” Kit said tilting her head to one side to regard both Eiko and Kells, “that’s really why Jazz does anything. Everytime he gets into trouble you know there is a pretty girl involved sometime.”
“Yeah, like the time with the ‘fresher and ‘lost earring’,” T’lor said with a giggle.
“Ohh, and the time where he managed to get hypothermia because he promised to protect the princess’ prize geese and then it snowed all night.” Kirsten said swimming slowly until she reached T’lor, “do you remember how proud he was of himself?”
“I remember him having bronchitis for like two months afterwards,”
“Yeah, but he was so proud right up until he realised the princess didn’t even remember his name. She called him Jacen in her communiqué.” The girls collapsed into giggles again. Noticing Kel’s and Eiko’s perplexed look, T’lor shrugged and quieted, “it’s a compliment. Trust us. Jazz might be a hopeless romantic but he has good taste.”
“Hey, Kit, you didn’t say who had to meet Pynde-gard,” Kirsten asked after a few minutes of quiet floating.
“Oh, please don’t get her started again.” Kirsh said rejoining them in the pool. Above them Jazz was climbing the rocks until he found a flat one in the sun. He lay down on his belly and rested his chin on his hands. In the pool beneath him Kithera humphed.
“Pynde-gard sent Master Buthu to collect Eena. I don’t know why she suddenly wanted to see her, but I do know it won’t be for anything good.”
“Whose Eena?” Kirsten asked quietly, “meditating remember. I’ve missed all the excitement post pole excursion.”
“Oh, sorry. She’s my exchange student.”
“She’s not your exchange student.” T’lor put in, she looked at her best friend, “she’s the exchange student staying with Master Zahalin.”
“Yes, and you.”
“So that makes her my exchange student.”
“Only in the sense that…oh never mind. You can’t claim something Kit, just because it’s in your vicinity. Eena’s going to have to learn to fight her own battles while she’s here.”
“Yeah, but I can protect her from Pynde-garde, evil…horrible…no good…” the rest of the sentence was muffled as Kirsh, who’d been swimming slowly towards his friend, reached her and pushed her head under the water. She surfaced spluttering and slapped him.
“I don’t want you to get into anymore trouble,” Kirsh said quietly, “and this room has ears.”
There was a long, drawn out pause and then Kirsten smiled again and looked at the new faces. “So if Eena’s Kit’s new project, who are you three?”
Eiko laughed outright at the banter and the tantalizing tidbits about Jazz' romantic side.
"I'm Eiko Kamu. I'm no one's project thankfully." She grinned. "Kirsh and everyone has been so friendly and helpful. I do know from all I've seen and heard whom to avoid like the Bothan Plague, Rujeno and Pyne-Gard!"
"Kellmaura Solo. You can call me Kells. I'm staying with Master Kit Fisto, and Jazz is trying to finagle me into being his partner in crime. Also, I think I've become Rujeno's new pet peeve, and I am not sorry. That misogynist little **** is obviously the class bully, and it's high time somebody put him in his place."
"You're not wrong about that. But I don't envy your odds."
Kells turned to see that Jazz had joined the group. "Don't tell me the odds."
"Oh. My. Stars. Are you Correllian?"
"I knew it! We're gonna be great friends. I'm Kirsten."
Before Kells could answer, water hit her in the face. She glanced in the direction it came from to see Jazz smirking at her.
The splash war began.
@WarmNyota_SweetAyesha - love it. Is Eiko developing a crush????
@Cowgirl Jedi 1701 - I'm now a little worried that both Kells and Kirsten are going to use their Corellian heritage to excuse getting into all sorts of trouble.
A big thanks to @castin for bouncing ideas back and forth with me about how to make Pynde-gard evil, but not moustache twirling evil. T'was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to more of it
Eena faced the door at the end of the hall and looked doubtfully at the datapad. Jazz had said something about having to know the code to get in to a room and there being a ‘knock’ feature. She looked at the pad again and tried to remember which button she needed to press. Just as her fingers went to press the keys, the door swished open to reveal a matronly looking figure in the traditional Jedi robes. Eena straightened although when she did she managed to look straight over the head of the Jedi Master in front of her. The Jedi Master didn’t look like what Eena had envisioned on her journey up with Castin. She was tiny and matronly with a butterball figure and her hair up in a bun, not the fire-breathing witch of Eena’s imagination.
“You must be Eena Plum,” the Jedi Master said with a welcoming smile, “come in, come in, don’t dilly dally out in the hall way.”
Eena stepped inside, the nerves that she’d felt moments ago warring with the friendly, matronly appearance of the lady in front of her. The room she was ushered into was clean and mostly empty with only a small couch and little table in the space. Light filtered in from the windows and even though the room was minimally furnished it still felt lived in and comfortable. The only thing that upset the minimalist aesthetic was one wall which was filled with books, but unlike Kithera’s overflowing and cluttered shelves, these were arranged in neat order.
“You must be comparing it with Master Zahalin’s rather cluttered abode,” Master Pynde-gard said, “I’m afraid I live by more traditional methods Eena, which does lead to a rather definite lack of cushions.”
Eena closed her mouth which had been hanging open. She looked at the older lady and tried a valiant smile.
“It’s very nice,” she managed after a moment. The Jedi Master smiled and reached over to pat Eena’s arm.
“I’m sure after your swim you’re hungry. Would you like some Alderaan bundt cake?”
Eena smiled and nodded still torn between the lady Kit and Castin had described and the Jedi standing in front of her who was offering her cake in the same way the grandmothers did at home. Master Pynde-gard bustled off into another room that Eena figured was the kitchen. Eena took the opportunity to examine the bookcases. The books were arranged alphabetically and were on a variety of titles. Eena ran her finger along the spine, the smell of worn, loved books in the sunshine filling her nose.
“Do you like my books?”
Eena spun around guiltily and nodded.
“I love books,” she said quietly, “on my home world I think I’ve read every book in the library.”
“I can imagine that you’ve read most of them twice.” Eena felt her face heat again and nodded, biting the inside of her lip.
“This is my current book,” Master Pynde-gard said putting the two slices of cake down on the tabe and pointing to a thick tome. Eena read The Implementation of Optimal Taxation in the Dreyer-Formulatum Quadrant and Its Consequences Over Time and then read it again.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the most thrilling read,” Master Pyndegard said patting the couch beside her, “but the Jedi must stay appraised of all developments and sometimes that means some of us need to do the boring work. It’s not all the dashing adventures that some would like you to believe.”
Eena sat slowly down on the seat still unsure of whether she’d gotten the right room, or even the right Jedi Master. Maybe there were two Master Pynde-gard’s in the temple and the other one was this one’s fire-breathing, terrifying twin.
“So, let’s get down to business,” Pynde-gard said as soon as Eena had the first fork-full of cake in her mouth, “I was watching you and your family on the holo-vid-“ She was cut off as Eena loudly dropped the fork onto the plate, her face flushing with heat. What had she seen? What did she think of them all? Pynde-gard raised an eye-brow and bent down to pick up a crumb that had spilt off Eena’s plate.
“I don’t know where you were taught your manners young lady, but we shouldn’t spray crumbs”
“Sorry, so sorry. I…um…” Eena felt the heat rising in her face again.
“It’s okay. I was about to say that watching your mother with your younger siblings showed what a lovely, disciplined family you come from and, I was thinking, that it was that kind of discipline that my initiate class would benefit from.”
“Uh, okay?” Eena’s eyes went wide. What did she mean discipline? Her mother was hardly the disciplinarian and there household was more chaotic than organised. In fact some of the grandmothers had complained that Eena’s mother needed to run a tighter ship, but D’fa-una, Eena’s mother, had always simply smiled at them.
“So, I’ve taken a look at your files,” Master Pynde-gast touched a data pad on the table,” and I don’t know what Master Zahalin has planned for you…she has spoken to you about her plans, hasn’t she?”
“Um, Master Zahalin wasn’t really at home last night.” Eena said softly. Master Pynde-gard tilted her head to one side in puzzlement.
“Wasn’t at home? On your first night? Oh you poor, sweet dear, it must have been very lonely. I suppose she told you why she was out…?”
“She said she had a council meeting.” Eena frowned. The vision that Kit and Castin had put together of Master Pynde-gard and her dislike of Master Zahalin and her padawan seemed at odds with the care that she was expressing now.
“That’s very odd. I didn’t think the Council had a meeting last night. Never mind dear, I’m sure she was there this morning.”
“No, she wasn’t,” Eena mumbled and then gave a wan smile at Master Pynde-gards very concerned expression, “I mean I’m sure she was, she must have just left before I woke up. I’ve gotten the impression that Jedi Masters like yourself are always very busy.”
“We are my dear, we are.” Master Pynde-gard’s expression softened and she patted Eena’s arm again, “and I’m sure her padawan will take good care of you once she’s out of the infirmary.”
“Kit’s out of the infirmary, she was at the pool with me.” Eena corrected. There was a flicker of emotion on the older woman’s face that she couldn’t quite place, “but yes, she’s been taking excellent care of me. I really like Kithera.”
“Well, that’s nice dear. I’m just a little concerned that her undisciplined ways will not give you the full idea of what it’s truly like to be a Jedi and that’s why I want you to come and work with the initiates with me. I’m sure there is much you could learn and that we could learn from you.”
Eena smiled and put the last spoonful of cake in her mouth. On the wall across from them a chrono chimed and Eena’s eyes widened as she spotted the time.
“Um, I have to go,” she said hastily putting her plate down carefully not to spill any crumbs, “I don’t want to me late for maths. It’s my favourite subject and I…” she trailed away as she realised she was babbling as she rose to her feet.
“I know dear, it’s fine.” Master Pynde-gard rose with her. Eena bent down to clear the plates away but the Jedi Master held up a hand. “Don’t worry my dear, it’s been my pleasure to have you. You’ve given me much to think about. I look forward to seeing you in the initiate hall and learning more about your adventures with Master Zahalin and her padawan.”
Eena nodded hastily and began to back towards the door.
“Um, thanks for the cake and the chat,” she said quickly as she reached it. “Sorry, I couldn’t stay longer.”
“It’s fine my dear,” Pynde-gard smiled at her sweetly, “anytime. I’m always open to visits from friends.”
Then Eena was out the door and into the long hallway again.
I will neither confirm not deny that at the current time. That said, that's what you chose to focus on?
Well, I can see it kind of being a thing like “have you ever heard of the corelian ****?”
“Heard if it? I was born to do that!”
“well, what are we waiting for then?”
I should have replied with the traditional “one. Two. Three. Four. I declare a splash war!”
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I just thought it would be hilarious if Jazz was the one to start the splash war.
Well there are cute girls to flirt with and vengeance for hurt pride to be had
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The door hissed open. Cross-legged on his bed, Castin didn’t have to look up to know it was Jisky. She likewise knew, even before seeing the InteliGlass in his hands, that he was ruminating once again over his ex-girlfriend. (Was Chloe his ex? Had she even been his girlfriend? There was an officiousness to these designations that didn’t seem to apply to a relationship that had bloomed with no christening and then withered without ceremony.) Browsing Chloe’s social media accounts was an indulgence in misery that Castin entertained when the mood for self-pity struck him.
//Where is she now?// The voice was in his head. Jisky didn’t speak aloud unless forced to do so. “Somewhere in the…I don’t know…Kilarium solar system? I’m not even sure where that is.” Castin flipped the ’Glass so Jisky could see the hologram. There was a smiling girl with wine-colored hair surrounded by splendorous green foliage. Dirty and sweat-drenched, with disheveled hair and ragged clothing, the girl looked as though she hadn’t bathed in days, yet she still beamed with royal-bred beauty. Small children with rusty complexions surrounded her, reaching joyfully with tiny hands. “Diplomatic mission, war-torn planet, humanitarian aid, etc.”
//You don’t seem impressed.// Jisky dimmed the light in the room until there was little but the magenta glow of the ’Glass over Castin’s face, and once the door shut behind her she removed the overlarge green-tinted spectacles her vision necessitated in any sun-soaked area of the Temple.
“Of course I am. Look at all the followers she has. I’m positively staggered.”
Jisky perched at the foot of the bed. //Are you being entirely fair?//
“No.” Castin fiddled with the ’Glass, flipping it vertically and horizontally in his lap. “I mock to disguise my pain.”
Jisky rolled her eyes, but somehow did it sympathetically. //I know, tragedian.//
“She could at least write me back.”
//I imagine being a princess does keep one busy.//
Castin tossed the IntelliGlass on his nightstand. “It would just be nice to know she hasn’t forgotten me. I’d like to think I belong in her memory banks for this life, not a former one, you know? Like I’m still…alive in there.”
//I don’t know that I understand. But I feel that it distresses you, and I regret that.//
It wasn’t much use talking to Jisky about such things. Graffians, by nature of their species, were accustomed to one lifelong bond with a twin and didn’t tend to form relationships beyond that, save for those that served a practical purpose. Jisky’s twin had died at birth, a trauma most Graffians didn’t survive; being discovered as Force-sensitive and raised in the temple had probably saved her life, and she had adopted many customs that would otherwise have been alien to her, but developing social bonds remained a challenge. It was difficult for Jisky to understand how Castin could have as many ongoing relationships as she had (which was to say, both had each other) and yet still have room to pine for this girl from his past.
Castin leaned back against the wall and changed the subject. “At least I made a good impression on that new student.”
//That seems in character for you. What was her name? Eena?//
//Poor girl. How did you ruin her?//
“Ruin is a strong word. I just sort of…nudged her toward cynicism. I think that’s a healthy thing.”
//Especially the way you do it.// Jisky pulled out her datapad as it began vibrating and flipped the screen on to see what the notification was about. Castin heard his going off across the room as well but chose to ignore it.
“I may have gone off on a tirade about the Padawan she’s staying with.”
//And who is that?//
Jisky looked up. //Oh? That’s the girl who almost killed those initiates, right?// She grinned. Jisky didn’t have much patience for Younglings.
“I don’t think that’s exactly…never mind. Anyway, yeah, that’s the girl. Everybody’s talking about her.”
//Including you, it seems. What did you say?//
“I said that I think Kithera is a showoff and many of the elders show her too much lenience.”
Jisky chortled. //I’m not about to instruct any courses on making friends, but even I know that’s a poor way to go about it. How did she take that?//
Castin reclined and stared at the ceiling. “She said I was probably just jealous because Kithera did better than me on that vine exercise we were paired up on a few years ago.”
Jisky’s eyes widened. //That was the same girl?// Her grin widened. //I remember that. She trounced you.//
“That’s not the point,” said Castin exasperatedly, tilting his head to look at her. “It wasn’t even a competition. It was supposed to be cooperative…”
//And yet there was a clear winner.//
“Shut up.” Castin threw his pillow at her. She dodged it easily. “I’m just saying, I let my mouth run away with me and now I feel bad that I said all that stuff and Eena probably just thinks I’m a jerk and she’ll tell Kithera what I said and then Kithera will think I’m a jerk.”
//You tend to suspect everybody thinks you’re a jerk.//
“Yeah, but usually it’s just because of what I assume they think about me, which makes them the real jerk. Now it’s because of something I actually said, which definitely makes me the jerk.”
//What a complicated world.//
“Anyway, it doesn’t matter now. I’ll probably never see Eena again, and it’s not like I have any classes with Kithera this semester.”
Castin sat up straight, staring at Jisky. “No,” he said uncertainly. “I have Maths every other…tell me why you said that.”
Jisky made a performance of reading her datapad, miming throat-clearing even though she wasn’t about to use her voice. //“Padawans: Due to the recent influx of exchange students, it has become necessary to revise a number of class schedules to ensure that each exchange student will be able to attend classes in tandem with their paired Padawan. Needless to say this revision will mainly affect Padawans whose Masters have opted out of the exchange program, so that space can be allocated in classrooms with a high ratio of paired to unpaired Padawans…//
Castin was across the room now, digging through a pile of clothes of ambiguous cleanliness to find his own datapad. He unlocked it and found with full-hearted dismay that the notification was identical.
//You’re in Red Group?// asked Jisky, holding up her datapad and pointing to the indicative dot attached to the message.
Castin scrolled down. “Red Group,” he affirmed, nodding with an air of inevitability. The revised schedule for Red Group was attached and Maths was next, just as Master Buthu had mentioned to Eena. Same class. Fifteen minutes from now.
//At least you’re with me,// thought Jisky brightly. It was the first class they’d had together this semester.
Love it @castin! Poor Castin now second-guessing whatever he's said. What a bunch of anxious teenagers we've created!
Soon we'll get to the numbers and to the maths, but first one more swim! (Well, soon. Darth Real Life has come in and stolen my time, my muse and my concentration in roughly that order).
Based on a true story titled My Adolescence.
@K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku, glad to see T'lor pop up here! She seems really interesting from the parts of her history that I've read in your other stories.
@Kit' , @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 , @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, Nice to have all of the water-based bonding time for everyone -- even those not usually accustomed to swimming much! Really wondering what's up with Pyndie; there's definitely something shady about her dealings with Eena here.
And yay for the debut of @castin as Castin, who does seem very believable in the combination of cynicism and oh-no-what-did-I-just-say.
And kudos to anyone else that I've missed in the flurry of updates; it's really nice to see this story continuing to grow and grow!
Yep. Mine too for Kit. Poor girl. She never had a snowflakes chance in hell.
Thank you Pynde-gard definitely has plans for Eena. I mean the girl is so open with her information and so ready to just talk and it's really not Master Pynde-gard's fault if Eena lets something slip is it?
Next bit of the swim before maths. Also [mention]WarmNyota_SweetAyesha [/mention] I know Eiko is 5’7” but everyone is tiny to Kirsh.
Edited because I forgot to add the big above.
Kirsh ducked under the water so that Eiko could climb up onto his shoulders. When he came up Jazz was already waiting for him. The boy was grinning as he held onto Kells’ legs. The red-head was shrieking with laughter as she batted water at Kirsh and Eiko.
“No fair!” Kirsh said grabbing one of Eiko’s ankles with his hand and trapping the other ankle against his body so she woudn’t fall backwards into the water. He used his other arm to create a wave in the hopes that it would knock Jazz off his feet. The boy bobbed in the water momentarily unsteady but then recovered and grinned.
“All’s fair in a splash war.” Kells shot back from where she perched on Jazz’s shoulders. Next to them T’Lor, surfaced grinning evilly.
“All’s fair?” T’Lor asked swimming closer, she raised her hands which were dripping with mud and slime from the waterfall’s bank.
“Don’t you dare.” Jazz warned backing away furiously as he tried to keep Kell’s upright. Behind him Theo surfaced and Kirsh watched in alarm as the boy took aim and threw a mud ball straight at Jazz. There was a second which seemed to stretch forever as the streaking mud comet flew through the air and smacked Jazz right above the ear. The felacatian shrieked and threw himself back into the water spilling Kells behind him. The two of them came up spluttering and turned towards Theo who was swimming hard for the shore. Kirsh turned to face T’Lor.
“Don’t.” He warned. He didn’t want to drop Eiko like Jazz had dropped Kells. There was some part of him that wanted to protect the little Noorian. T’Lor grinned but as her hand came back for the throw there was a shriek from above them. Kit was plummeting towards them, flailing arms and legs as she fell. Behind her, at the top of the waterfall Kirsten was grinning, her hand still outstretched from where she had pushed her friend. The splash of the girl hitting the water was enough to drench all three of them and wash the mud from T’Lor’s hands. Kithera splashed her way to the surface and glared up at where Kirsten was still laughing.
“Padawan.” It wasn’t a shout but the voice still carried. Whatever profanities Kit had been about to yell were cut off. The girl spun in the water and Kirsh watched her face light up as she saw Master Zahalin watching them from a safe-distance on the shore.
“Who’s that?” He heard Eiko ask.
“That’s Kithera’s Master,” Kirsh said. He watched Kit clamber to the shore and talk quietly and hurriedly to her Master. He couldn’t hear them but he watched as Master Zahalin frowned at what Kit had to say. The Master said something and his friend bit her lip and dropped her head down to stare at the ground. Master Zahalin continued and Kit nodded a couple of times. Master Zahalin eventually turned and faced the rest of them.
“I think you have Maths starting very soon padawans. If memory serves, Master Delfig doesn’t like to be kept waiting. It would be a very poor introduction for your new friends if you were late.”
Around him the others were already heading to the shore. Kirsh ducked under the water so that Eiko could slide off.
“I think we won,” he said quietly as they made their way to the change rooms, “after all we were the last Jedi standing.”
Eiko was enjoying the "splash war" immeasurably. Kirsh was able to keep his balance and her from slipping off unlike Jazz who lost Kells in the water.
Kit was called to shore by her Master, according to Kirsh.
Eiko felt an instant liking for the latter. She exuded such a sense of easy approachability, like someone who would be easy to confide in but would also be the kind of mentor you could laugh and tease with.
Then Eiko's serene mood dissipated when she heard:
“I think you have Maths starting very soon padawans. If memory serves, Master Delfig doesn’t like to be kept waiting. It would be a very poor introduction for your new friends if you were late.”
Maths ... she had never excelled at that in her formal schooling. It made her brain hurt just thinking about it!
The others were already heading to the shore. Kirsh ducked under the water so that Eiko could slide off.
“I think we won,” he said quietly as they made their way to the change rooms, “after all we were the last Jedi standing.”
"Yes, I think you're right," Eiko agreed with a wink and chuckle.