Author: TaelynHawker PM
LSF Revan & Carth. Carth finds a way to forgive, and Revan finds a way to continue on her path. Please read and review!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Words: 9,477 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 08-24-06 - Published: 01-18-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2758579
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not Revan, not Carth, nor any other Star Wars characters. If I did own Carth Iw ouldn't be wasting time writing about him, I promise.
Author's Note: This is my first time posting any of my fanfiction. I hope everyone enjoys. It's full of fluff, but I just can't help it.
Feedback: Please review! I am still not sure if I am going ot be continuing this story at all, so feedback will greatly help! Thanks!
The first time it happened it was after a particularly bad day in the dueling arena of the Upper City Cantina on Taris. She had been wounded, bleeding, and slightly delusional from it. When she had caught his eyes and brushed a hand over his cheek he had assumed she was just too out of it to realize what she was doing. He had ignored it, and never brought it up again.
The second time was just after a rakghoul had nearly bitten her head off. She was bleeding, which she seemed to do an awful lot of. He had injected her with a medpac and ripped a piece of his own shirt to wrap around the wound. He had been about to lift her into his arms when she had stopped him with a hand on his. She had stared into his eyes for a moment, as if searching for something and then brought her hand up to cup his cheek. Her surprisingly smooth fingers had caressed the roughness of his face for a while before she let her hand drop. He had lifted her with ease, her slight body molding to his as he rushed back to the village. Mission led the way, the vial of cure held tightly in her hand.
The third time was after an especially heated argument about his trust issues. He had been shouting by the end, and she had been speaking in the most quietly deadly tone he had ever heard her use. Though they had both agreed to drop the subject for the time being they were both still fuming. They had begun to continue their walk back towards the base of the Hidden Beks when she had abruptly turned on her heel and grabbed his face in both of her small hands. The suddenness of the move caught him off guard and he found himself staring into her dark violet eyes while her fingers traced the outline of his jaw. She had shaken her head that time and stalked off, leaving him to follow her in confusion.
After that it became something of a silent communication between them. She rarely did it in front of the others, almost always waiting until they were beyond sight to raise a hand to his face. Sometimes she traced his jaw. Sometimes she brushed the two stray strands of dark brown hair off his forehead and held her hands in his hair for a moment. Other times she would simply cup his cheek in the palm of her hand. For reasons he could never bring himself to fully try to understand he never questioned why she did it. After Taris, sometime in the middle of Kashyyk he had begun to be able to read her eyes. He often only had to look into them to know what her next crazy plan would be. It was around then that he realized he fully trusted her. There was no deception in those big, bright eyes of hers, no lie in the soft smiling lines of her dark face. There was only calmness, sureness, and peace. He found himself envying her that. And he found himself taking solace in it. And after she had helped with his son, there had been no more question of trust.
The last time she had done it, it was just after the moment her inner peace had been shattered. She had reached a hand to his face, her eyes filled with tears, and confusion, and a silent plea for forgiveness. He had grabbed her wrist roughly and angrily pushed her hand back down to her side. He couldn't hear the words she had cried out to him as he had walked away from her. He could only hear Saul Karath's voice in his head… '…don't you know who she is? The woman you trust with your life…?'
He'd locked himself in the cockpit for a full day. For the half of a week it took them to get to Manaan he simply avoided everyone. It was a feat really, considering that the Ebon Hawk wasn't an especially large ship. But he managed to see them sparingly and usually only when they saw him in the cockpit. When they landed on Manaan he never even offered to get off the ship, and took no part in the meeting that happened before hand. Revan took Jolee and Juhani with her and he heaved a sigh of relief to watch her leave.
When he was sure they were gone he wandered the ship. His hands ran over the walls as he walked. He was somewhere near the port dormitories, having wandered that way out of habit, when a hand grabbed his shoulder and shoved him.
"When are you going to let it go?" Mission demanded one hand on her hip. For once Zalbaar was not at her back. Carth stared are her for a moment, not immediately understanding what she was talking about.
"I can't." He ground out, his voice harsh sounding to his own ears. He hunched his shoulders in an unconscious gesture of avoidance.
"We… we all talked about it. A couple of nights after." She said haltingly, watching his face for a reaction. But his face was tired and passive. She noticed, however, the deep rings of purple around his lightless eyes. She had seen him in happier days. When a well meaning taunt from Revan, though that hadn't been her name then, would have brought a happy shine to his honey brown eyes.
"We all figure that she's not that person anymore. That the Jedi, they gave her a chance to be so much more than that. To be better. And she… she really does want to be better. We've all seen that. Seen her give so much for no hope of any reward other than making someone else's life better. You've seen it too, I know you have." He had turned from her as she spoke. His shoulders fell and he put one hand over his face and took a deep breath.
"She is what she is, Mission. She's Darth Revan. Nothing can change that. And I… I… can't." He shook his head and he stuttered into silence. Mission put a hand on his shoulder and turned him to face her.
"You were falling in love with her, Carth, we all saw it. I can't… begin to imagine how much it must have hurt to find out who she was. But… please Carth, for her sake and yours… find a way to let it go. She's going to lose without you. I just know it. She loves you. She needs you, now more than ever. More than anyone has ever needed another person. If you love her… forgive her. Remember who she is, not who she was." And then she turned to leave.
"She's a Jedi." His strained voice called. She turned back to him. He looked at her and she saw the faint shimmer of tears in his dark eyes. Her heart broke a little for him. "Even… even if I could forgive her… it was a dream. Even if I wanted to… if I did… care for her, the Council would never allow us to be together. They would say, that love would only lead her back to the dark side. I can't protect her." He finished in a whisper. She took a step towards him.
"She's not a Jedi. Not the way they want her to be. Not the way Bastilla is…" Her voice broke with sorrow and Carth was reminded of the fact that this was a young girl he was talking to. He sometimes forgot, in the heat of the moment, because even he had to admit she handled herself well for someone so young. "I mean… look at Bastilla. She's everything they say a Jedi should be. But everyone is still worried about her being turned. So maybe… maybe what Revan needs to keep her in the light is the very thing she didn't have the last time. Someone to keep her there. Maybe… what she needs is you." Mission met his eyes. He blinked rapidly, trying to stop the tears he felt. She smiled and turned, walking away. He stood for a few moments in silence and then made his way slowly back toward the cockpit.
She was small and graceful, standing all of 5'6. She was beautiful, with dark skin and long thick black hair and eyes a dark shade of violet. And Carth was sure, looking back now, that he had loved her from the moment she had pressed herself against him in an escape pod that was too small for two people. Especially since he himself stood over 6 feet. He loved her vivacity and her desire to look at the good side of every rotten situation they had gotten into from there to here. And he loved her fear and need, because she looked to him to dissolve the former, and directed the latter at no one but him. Saul Karath's words had nearly drowned out that love. He had made Carth forget who she was, and think only of who Darth Revan had been. And now Mission's words were making him remember. Maybe Mission was right. Maybe what Revan needed to stay on the side of light was someone who would be willing to do whatever was needed to keep her there. And wasn't he willing, as he always had been before, to protect her from anything? Even herself? He needed to be honest with her, he decided, at the very least they owed each other that. And they would see from there how it went. He sat in the cockpit and waited for Revan to return with the last map to the Star Forge. It had been three days since his conversation with Mission, and no word had come from Revan, Jolee, or Juhani. He could only assume that things were okay on the planet. But he worried. Maybe by the time she got back she would no longer care what he thought. He put his head in his hands and let out a sigh.
Three hours later there was a clatter and shouting at the entrance into the Ebon Hawk. He heard the excited and worried shouts of Mission and the roaring of Zalbaar. He wanted to go then, to talk to her even before he knew whether or not she had successfully recovered the Star Map. But he stayed glued in his seat until Jolee brought him the Star Map. The old ex-Jedi stayed with him while he put the coordinates into the Hawk's computer system.
"There it is then." Jolee said quietly, as the coordinates of the Star Forge came up. He looked at Carth. "She's gonna need a lot of help, boy. I hope you can at least give her that. We've got to come out on top of this one, or it's the end of the Republic you hold so dear." Carth gave him a hard look, but the old man left it alone after that. They studied the map together for a few minutes before they heard footfalls and voices in the hall. Mission and Revan came into the cockpit, but Revan stopped at the doorway, her wide eyes falling on Carth's suddenly pale face. She opened her mouth as if to say something but closed it again. She took in the Star Forge coordinates and something in her face died. Jolee and Mission shared an uncomfortable glance. They were about to excuse themselves when Revan bowed her head to Carth and turned on her heel to leave the room. Carth took a single step after her then stopped. Mission let out a frustrated sigh and turned on him.
"Don't." He said softly, with none of the anger she had expected. She sighed again but let it go.
"How long will it take to get there?" She asked instead. He looked grateful she thought, but it was hard to see through the misery that was so obvious in his face. She felt bad for the old guy.
"Two weeks, maybe a little more. It'll be good, give us time to rest and get ready. We need both. It's going to be a hell of a fight." He answered. Jolee looked at him sharply, as if finding a hidden meaning in those words, but Carth was already studying and plotting the coordinates into the autopilot. Mission looked at Jolee and shook head. She turned and headed towards the port dormitory where she was sure to find Revan.
"Carth says it's going to be almost two weeks before we get to the Star Forge." Mission said softly. She stood at the edge of Revan's bed. But Revan barely seemed to notice her. She was sitting with legs crossed in her lap, her hands rolling and unrolling a piece of fabric. She gave Mission the barest of nods. Her long hair, for once unbound, falling into her face. Looking closer at the fabric in Revan's hand Mission realized it was the blood stained piece of shirt Carth had used to wrap one of her wounds on Kashyyk. Mission's eyes filled with tears.
"Maybe you should go up there and talk to him." Mission tried, watching her friend's face for some kind of response. Revan's eyes widened just the slightest, but she shook her head. Mission stayed for a few more moments before she decided she would get no further response from Revan. She left as quietly as she had come. Revan's eyes turned toward the door briefly after Mission had gone. Her eyes were weary and sad. She turned back to the fabric in her hands. She had made a decision. She eyes the dagger she had always kept handy, where it sat on the table beside her. There was nothing she could do to take away the monster she had been, nothing that would erase the atrocities she had committed, or that others had committed in her name. But to the one person who mattered most to her, she could give some small measure of piece. Revan could allow Carth to fulfill a promise he had made years ago. And maybe some day in the future his eyes would not be blank and cold when he thought of her, as they were now when he happened upon her.
He stood outside the door to the dormitory. Somewhere inside he could feel her on the other side. He wasn't sure if that made him comfortable or not. Finally he opened the door, closing it behind him. He locked it, not wanting any interruptions. He let out a startled grunt when he turned to find her standing in front of him. He looked her up and down quickly. She wore only a short, sleeveless robe and her feet were bare on the cold metal floor. With some small amount of guilt he found himself noticing the shape and tone of her legs, now that they were bared to mid thigh. He brought his eyes up to her face. Her dark hair was loose and shining and falling over her shoulders in thick waves. Her face was blank.
"Kill me." She said softly. He was so startled he didn't know how to respond. "Kill me. Now." She said, with more force this time. He felt cold metal being pushed into his palm and looked down at the dagger she had given him. He dropped it as though it had burnt him.
"No!" He exclaimed. Her eyes widened for a moment, but then the blank look was back. She looked down at the dagger on the floor, her full lips pursed. She turned and walked away towards the middle of the room.
"I found the last Star Map. My usefulness is coming to an end. And you have your revenge to take. So kill me." She said quietly, turning to face him again. He followed her, standing in front of her so that he looked down at her.
"I don't want to… Revan… please…" He reached a hand for her free one, but she knocked it out of the way and grabbed his blaster pistol from his hip. The movement was so quick it took him a few seconds to understand what had happened. He watched her carefully as she examined it. Seemingly satisfied she put her finger to the trigger of the pistol.
"I killed your wife, lost you your son. Telos… bombed because of me. Because of the monster that I am. You swore revenge, Onasi. You said…" she grabbed his hand and put the blaster in it, keeping her hand over his and moving it until the muzzle of the gun was at her temple. "… you would like nothing more than to put a blaster to Revan's head. Well… there's your blaster. And there's my head. So do it!" She snarled. She was careful, he noticed, to not make eye contact. And if he really paid attention he could feel despair rolling off of her in waves
"Why?" He asked, not pulling his hand away. It seemed to relax her that he was not fighting her. Her death grip on the hand that kept his to the blaster loosened a bit.
"Because I am a monster and I should die." She growled. He felt tears burning at the back of his eyes and fought them
"Why me?" He asked.
"Because of all the people on this ship, you are the one that I hurt the most. The one it hurts me the most to have hurt. You have a claim to my life, Carth Onasi. It's yours. Now please end it." She said, her voice soft. He pulled the blaster from her head and out of her hand, throwing it to the floor.
"I can't hate you. I tried… for Telos… my wife… Dustil. But I can't. I don't want to. I got the revenge I always wanted when Saul died. It doesn't… change the past. All I can think of now is the promise I made to protect you from what's going to come. It's given me a reason to look past revenge. And you… you've given me a future to look to. I want to give you one too." He said, his voice shaking. He was trying so hard to just be honest with her. She shook her head.
"If you don't kill me here I will die there. I have no future." She said sadly. She turned away from him.
"You have a future! You have this huge destiny, and I'm worried that if I'm not there, it will swallow you whole. I want to help you. Will you let me? Is there room for me in there? With you?" Her shoulders were shaking. He wanted to take her to him and hold her, but he couldn't.
"I don't want you to get hurt protecting me." She whispered.
"I think I'd be hurt worse if I didn't try." He took a step towards her and turned her back around. There were tears falling down her cheeks unchecked. "Please look at me." She lifted her eyes and finally met his. And he saw now, through the bond he was slowly coming to accept between them, the fear and pain and doubt. The self-loathing she bathed in now. But beyond that the hope, that he would stay, that he would love her and keep her safe with him. That he would be strong enough to anchor her in the light. Her hand reached up, her soft fingers trembling as she traced the features if his face. He shivered at the touch in a way he never had before.
"I've always loved your face. I didn't know we were forming a bond all those times I did this. I didn't even know I could. It was just… a comfort. The touch, the feel of you. And then… later, when it was stronger, the feel of you in my mind, in my heart. But I haven't felt you since you found out. There was just silence. I can't… I have no promises for the future, Carth. You may have to kill me yet." She dropped her hand but he caught it. His thumb ran lightly over her delicate wrist.
"I won't let you fall." He said, not knowing what other words he could give her. She looked up at him, more hope in her eyes than there had been. "I could love you, if you'd give me the chance." He said simply.
"Could you love me enough to kill me if I fall again?" she asked, and he had to look away.
"I can't promise you that. I can promise that I would try. But I won't let you fall. You trusted me once, and I trusted you. Trust me with this, Revan, please. I'll keep you safe. I'll keep you with me, always, in the light." His arms reached out to bring her to him and she came without protest, her own arms winding around his neck. He bent towards her until her face was inches from his, her breath warm and lovely on his face. He stared into her eyes, watching the light return, slowly to them. He smiled then, and she found herself smiling back. He lowered his head slowly, giving her the option to bolt if she needed. But she pressed closer to him, making him all too aware of how little she was wearing.
"I love you, Carth" she whispered against his lips, just before he captured hers. His lips pressed urgently to hers, his hands pulled her in closer with a fierce tug. She was molded against him, her lips parting in a soft sigh. His tongue plunged in, tasting hers. She moaned softly, her hands running up his arms and shoulders, to twist into his hair. He groaned softly, his hands roaming over her back, his knee slipping gently between her thighs so that he could bring her closer still. For long moments they stood together, learning the taste of each other, coming back to life in each other's arms. Carefully, he began to move them backward towards the bed, one slow step at a time. She was pushing at his jacket as they went, trying to get it off his broad shoulders. He let her go long enough to rip it off and throw it across the room. Then his hands were back on her, running over her body in a way that made her moan louder and pull him the rest of the way to the bed so that they fell onto it. He landed on top of her and shifted until he had settle himself between her legs. She pushed up against him, her small hands effectively tearing his white shirt off his body until he was bared above the waist. He chuckled softly at her before her mouth met his and she began to take small, enticing nips at his lips. Her hands traced his chest, running her small fingers through the sparse dusting of hair on his well-defined chest. He pulled back for a moment and his breath caught as he looked at her. She had always been beautiful, but in this moment he thought she was the image of perfection.
"Are you sure?" He choked out, though his hands were already untying the sash at her waist. His hands felt too big and unsure. She smiled softly at him.
"I need you." She answered. Her voice soft and sure. She guided his hands as they pulled open her robe. He let out a soft whistle and she quietly laughed. The laugh died in a gasp as his blaster callused hands moved slowly, and more gently than she ever would have expected them to be, up her sides to her breasts. Then she was tugging at his pants in a most distracting manner. His mouth found hers again as he kicked his pants off and resettled between her thighs. Her legs came around his waist, pressing him closer to the welcoming warmth of her body. He shuddered and let out a shaky breath at the nearness of her.
"I… are you…? I mean… it's… a long time…" he stuttered. She met his eyes and smiled again. And he felt the sureness coming from her, the belief that this moment was perfect and right and meant to be. And he smiled back at her. Her hands found his face, tracing his lips. He nipped and kissed at her fingertips. She sighed lovingly. Then raised her head to bring her lips to his.
"Please" she whispered. And all he could do was capture her full lips and answer her plea.
"It's been four hours! When are you two-OH!" There was an embarrassed squeak from the door. And a thunderous laughter further outside of it.
"About damned time." Canderous intoned. His arms were crossed over his chest as he assessed the mess of the dormitory. Their clothes were strewn about, and so too were the dagger and Carth's blasters. Canderous looked thoroughly approving. Mission gave him a scandalized look. Carth managed to pull the covers more firmly over the two of them with a good amount of dignity.
"What the heck is going… oh… well…" Jolee's voice dropped off in disbelief. Carth looked down at Revan, who was mostly protected from the prying eyes of their shipmates by the bulk of the sheet-clad pilot. She was giggling softly although her cheeks were a brilliant red and he could feel the warmth of her embarrassment on his own skin.
"All of you get out of here!" He growled. Mission squeaked and ran out of the door. From down the hallway Zalbaar's questioning growls could be heard. They couldn't make out Mission's muted replies.
"Listen, the kid just wanted to-" Canderous began, not moving an inch.
"OUT!" Carth shouted. Canderous held up his hands in defense, though he still made no move to leave.
"I don't recall that being part of the code." Jolee commented, his eyes taking in the clothes strewn about the room. A loud growl emitted from Carth. Jolee and Canderous looked at him in surprise. "Okay, sonny boy, calm down." Jolee said as he left the room, pushing Canderous out before him. The door closed behind them. Carth was shaking his head at the audacity of the rest of the crew when he felt a warm hand working it's way over his hip and across the sensitive skin of his stomach. He looked down at Revan.
"What are you-?" He was cut off by her lips on his. She pulled away for only a moment.
"Can you do that growl, again? That was just… wow…" The suggestive curve of her full lips took his breath away. Her tongue darted out to wet her lips and she lightly bit down on the bottom one. His control was lost. He rolled over and on top of her, thinking to himself that he could happily spend the rest of this trip right here, maybe the rest of his life.
"Anything for you, beautiful" His voice was husky with sleep and desire. His lips met hers even as he smiled.
Revan woke slowly. She had been dreaming, she was sure, of Carth and warmth and the safety of his arms. She adjusted her head on her pillow and suddenly opened her eyes. Her head was nestled in the crook of Carth's arm. Their heads bowed so that they nearly touched foreheads, naked legs tangled together under the blanket. She raised her eyes to his face. He seemed peaceful in sleep, the bags under his eyes not so obvious. His hair was mussed and sticking out in all directions, falling into his face. Revan reached a hand up to his face. She traced the worry lines around his eyes, the sleepy pout of his lips, his stubbled cheek. She pushed the hair out of his face. His eyes opened slowly, and she drowned in the honey colored warmth of the gaze he directed at her. She loved his eyes. He blinked a couple of times, stretched his body out next to hers before wrapping himself around her again.
"Good morning, beautiful." he whispered, the sound rough and ragged. She pressed herself closer to him, basking in the heat of him as it protected her from the slight chill of the room. She was silent for a while, feeling safe and protected by his much larger body, feeling a physical comfort she wasn't sure she had ever known before, but had realized she had needed desperately.
"I love you." She said, desperation tingeing her voice. He squeezed her tighter, kissing her neck as he nuzzled into her. Her hands tightened on him.
"Carth…" there was fear in her voice. He kissed her lips softly and ran a hand down her back.
"I'm with you. I love you. I'm not going anywhere. I'll always be with you." He whispered. He pulled back just a bit to look into her eyes. "I love you, beautiful, so much it makes my heart hurt." He smiled at her. His large hand came up to caress her cheek. She leaned into the touch and closed her eyes. She felt her apprehension lifting. If he loved her then maybe it would be okay. Maybe they could do this and she wouldn't fall again. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes.
"I could get used to waking up like this." She said with a wide grin. It was the most relaxed expression he had seen her wear in a while. He smiled at her.
"Same here, darling. I think I'd like nothing better than to wake up every morning with you... like this." He looked down to indicate their current lack of clothing. She blushed and laughed. The way she had a long time ago, when they had first met, and he had first called her beautiful. "We should get up at some point, though. I think we've traumatized the kid, and Canderous is bound to try walking in again at some point." Her blush deepened as she remembered the previous night's interruption. "And I don't know about you, but I'm starving." She looked up at him. He grinned and started to disentangle himself. She leaned back in the bed, resting her head on her crossed arms and she waited for him to stand and get dressed. He looked at her as he sat at the edge of the bed with the blanket still around his waist.
"You aren't going to watch, are you?" he asked, sounding insecure. She grinned.
"Nothing I haven't seen already, flyboy." She purred. He flushed and she laughed. He took a bunch of the blanket into his hand and yanked as he stood, leaving her on the bed while he retrieved his clothes. She leaned back, not at all concerned with her lack of cover. He looked back at her and stumbled a bit with getting his pants back on.
"You're distracting, woman." He growled as he pulled his shirt on over his head. Revan sighed in disappointment as she lost sight of his bare chest. He laughed at her face.
"Nothing you won't see again, beautiful, if I have any say in it." He came over to sit on the bed with her and she reached for his hand. He looked at her face for a moment.
"Better get dressed or we won't be leaving this room for a good long while. I want to at least get some food. We can spend the rest of the two weeks in here if you want. I won't argue. Long as we have food with us." He kissed her hand. She smiled winningly and got up from the bed, making short work of getting dressed. She pulled on a pair of leggings under her short robe, for which he gave thanks. As far as Carth was concerned the rest of the crew and seen more than enough yesterday. Too much. He frowned. She was pulling her long hair into a loose ponytail as he stood. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"Ready, darling?" he asked. She nodded, slipping her foot into her loose sandals. She looked comfortable and relaxed. The blankness of the past week or so was gone from her face. He was thankful for that. Thankful that he had been able to let his anger go. She slipped her arm around his waist as they headed for the door and the main hold, where even as they left the room they could hear the clatter of breakfast.
Two weeks had passed quickly, Revan thought, as she ran a hand lazily over Carth's back as he slept. Soon they would be at the Star Forge. She shuddered and curled in closer over Carth's sleeping form. She took solace in knowing that no matter what happened no one would be able to take these weeks away from her. They had been the happiest she could remember. Though her dreams were sometimes plagued with nightmares, and though the battle ahead was a constant weight, they had all found some respite. She and Carth worked on their bond, though even she herself did not know how or why it had formed, so that now the sense of one another's emotions was stronger. He had told her one night, as they lay together, that he wanted her to always feel him with her. It had worked, all she had to do was concentrate and there he was, like a ball of emotion in her head. In his sleep there was contentment and satisfaction, and always love. She smiled against his shoulder and closed her eyes. She needed her sleep. The next few days, if she survived them, would be hell. A small frown creased her features for a second, but they smoothed over as Carth let out a small sigh in his sleep, and nuzzled his face into her neck. She had hope, and she would hold it as long as she could.
There was only dark for a very long time. And then there was fire in her lungs, spreading through to her blood, to every part of her. And then there was numbness. For a long time she floated in the darkness, with no thought as to who or what she was. And then there was sound. A voice, harsh and tense. She wanted to respond, but found she had no way of doing so. And so for a while she hid in the darkness again. The fire in her body was banking, slowly fading to nothing. But it was a slow process and she was not inclined to rush it. And then… when the fired had finally cooled to a low burn… there was peace. A small bastion of light in the dark. It spoke of love and peace and comfort. And her wounded spirit embraced it and rested. And from that beacon of light did she wait for the rest of her to heal.
"Carth?" A low voice asked him. Canderous looked up at the sound of the voice.
"In the Ebon Hawk, using the 'fresher and getting some sleep. Finally convinced him he needed a break. Nothing's going to change in the time it'll take him to clean up and rest. Been three days already. Besides, we can all watch over her. Republic needs some hours of not watching her." He answered, looking back towards the ocean. There was a campfire not far off and the moons above shone on the waves of the ocean. The water was warm, it blew warm breezes inward to ward off the chill of the earth further inland. Canderous would never say it, because it sounded too superstitious for his liking, but he was convinced that cold came from that cursed temple. Mission came to sit down near him. He looked back to the other side of the campfire, where Jolee and Juhani were meditating. The droids were inside the Ebon Hawk making the needed repairs. Zalbaar was further down the beach, standing with his furry feet in the warm night ocean. Canderous looked at Mission. He thought, not for the first time, that he had to give the girl his grudging respect. She handled things well for one so young.
"She's not getting any better, is she?" She asked, reaching out to push back a stray hair that had blown into Revan's slack face. The Jedi was laid out on a cot, with two blankets to ward off the chill. Jolee had said that he could do no more, and the fresh air and peace of this world would be a better healing agent then any he could offer.
"Old man says to give it more time. And Republic swears he can still feel her in his head, though I still don't fully get how." Jolee had not been the happiest person to learn of that bond. He and Carth had argued for hours about the danger of forming bonds with no knowledge of what they were or what they meant. But Carth had maintained it was for the best and after a while the old man had been forced to agree.
"But… we're running out of time aren't we? I mean… it's only a matter of time before the Star Forge is activated, or Malak comes here to find us… or…" She trailed off, there were limitless possibilities for a bad ending for the crew of the Ebon Hawk. They all knew that. And time… time did snap at their heels. "Can't believe they turned Bastilla. It must have been terrible for Revan, to have to fight her." Mission grasped Revan's limp hand in hers.
"Worse for Republic, I think, sitting here feeling what was going on but not knowing. Thought he'd tear a trench through the main hold with his pacing. Hate to see how it'll be up there…" he paused and looked at Revan, "… if we ever get up there."
The peace was gone. There was love still and comfort for the taking, but where peace had once been there was the low thrum of despair. It woke her from her healing sleep, like someone calling her name from very far. She struggled to surface through the darkness. She saw a place in the stars, one she had been to before. Her mind struggled to put a name to it. Star Forge, she thought. And one more battle. That's where she had to go. It was time. It was past time to be…
"S'where… going… damnit." A raspy voice said. They both looked down to see Revan's face screwed up in pain.
"Whoa, whoa! Jolee!" A male voice boomed. Revan winced as the sound pierced her ears. Every nerve felt raw.
"… going." She muttered, as her eyes slowly flitted open. Someone was holding her hand, and there were low voices that were slowly getting louder. She struggled to stand, but large hands held her down by her shoulders. She let out an enraged shriek that came out as little more than a whisper.
"Calm down, woman, calm down." Canderous. She knew that voice.
"Canderous…" she muttered. His hands left her shoulders, she stopped struggling to sit up. The hand holding hers squeezed gently. The world was little more than a mass of shapes and shadows, so she closed her eyes against it. The events of a few days ago began to return to her. Saving the Elder Rakatans, fighting through the temple, Bastilla turned to the dark and waiting for her on the temple top. There were tears rolling down her cheeks but she didn't care. Bastilla. She had failed her. Nearly ten minutes passed as she relived those moments on top of the temple. She remembered, Bastilla's attempt to turn her, and the mass of emotions in her head that had made it so easy to refuse. The light of love and compassion, Carth. The mass of emotions in her head was jumbled. Despair, that was what had woken her, his despair.
"Carth." She demanded. Mission's hand left hers immediately.
"I'll go get him right now. He's going to be so mad he wasn't out here." The girl said, and there was the sound of running through the sand. Other voices were coming. Jolee and Juhani made their way towards her. They stopped Mission to ask what was going on. Revan could hear their whispered conversation. She opened her eyes again. The shapes and shadows had more definition now. She could recognize the mass of man that was Canderous, who was leaning over her. He let a rye grin break onto his face as she made tentative eye contact. At least her sight would be coming back. She closed her eyes for another few minutes. She heard Mission shouting at Jolee, something she had never heard happen before, but could not seem to concentrate on what was being said. She put a hand on Canderous' arm. He was frowning over at Jolee and Mission. He looked down at her.
"Help me sit up." She demanded and he put an arm around her shoulders to help her. She wanted to be up before Carth came out. Sitting up hurt, made her stomach and head flip-flop, but it made her feel more aware than she had been. She closed her eyes again.
"Easy there, lass. You been through a lot. Best to take it easy." Jolee warned as he came closer. She smiled in spite of herself.
"No time for easy. It's time to be up." She answered. She looked to Canderous, and this time she could see the outline of his face. That was better, much better. "Get me on my feet, before he gets out here." Canderous laugh and helped her up faster than she had expected. She reeled, leaning against him for a moment before she felt safe enough to stand. He held her elbow as she tried out a step. Her legs were weak, but that would pass. It was already passing. She could feel it. She closed her eyes again and opened them to find her vision back to normal. Or close to it. She smiled at the people around her. Jolee shook his head at her. She looked around at the campfire, the Ebon Hawk, the sky. Her eyes narrowed as she looked over and saw Mission standing with Zalbaar, kicking at the waves and sand. They seemed to be in a heated discussion. She looked at Jolee.
"What did you say to her? Where's Carth?" She asked. Jolee gave her a grave look.
"I told her not to get the boy. He's finally resting and he needs it. And you do too. I want you back on that pallet and then you are going to get some more sleep." He answered, clearly expecting no argument.
"I've been resting! How long? How long have I been out?" She demanded, turning too quickly to look at them all and nearly falling. Canderous caught her by the arm.
"Three days." He answered, his face was a careful mask.
"We've got to get ready for the Star Forge. Three days is three too many. We haven't got the time for me to lay out anymore." She said angrily.
"You were nearly done with three days ago, girl, and it took all Juhani and myself could do to keep you with us! You'll sleep tonight and if you wake up we'll talk tomorrow, but right now you are getting back in that pallet!"
"We have… we have to leave tomorrow. We have to get to the Star Forge. It won't be long before the Republic fleet shows up. We need to get in there and get Bastilla and take care of Malak before then." She growled, though her voice was weak and already tired.
"You need real sleep! Not just the healing sleep you've been in! You won't be of any use if you die on the way up there!" Jolee shouted. She opened her mouth to argue, but was interrupted.
"Rest now, Revan, and when you awaken again we will make sure he is with you." Juhani said softly, as she took a step forward. Her hand came to rest on Revan's arm. "And when you are ready, we will travel to the Star Forge together. And we will face this last battle, together. But after you have rested more." She made it seem so reasonable. Revan wondered briefly if she was using her force persuasion on her.
"Fine. I will rest. But we are leaving once I awaken, and… tell him… please. I can feel him worrying in the back of my head." She said sadly. Canderous helped her to lay back down. He sat with her for a few moments while Jolee and Juhani headed back to the fire. He gave her a grim smile.
"Make sure he knows, Canderous." He nodded his head and looked up at Mission as she approached with Zalbaar.
"Me and Big Z, we've been real worried!" Mission exclaimed as sat down beside her. Revan reached out and took Mission's hand.
"Sorry I worried you. I just… needed the time to heal. But I'm better now." She smiled at the teen. Zalbaar let out a low rumbling growl of comfort. She smiled at him too.
"I'm sorry they wouldn't let me tell him." Mission muttered, glaring over at where Jolee sat by the fire. Revan chuckled.
"It's fine. Just a few hours, right? And he probably does… need his rest." She yawned and felt her eyes dropping.
"You rest too, Revan, okay?" Mission said. Revan nodded slowly, and then sleep took her.
She woke a small time after the sun had risen. Canderous was sleeping on a jacket in the sand, leaning against her pallet. She smiled. He was softer inside than he liked to admit. She would never say that to him, of course. Mission was curled up on a blanket next to Zalbaar not far away. She seemed to be using the Wookie as a blanket. How she could sleep so close to someone who made such a racket while sleeping was beyond her. The Wookie's snores ripped through the morning air. Revan pushed the blankets off of her and swung her legs over the side. She took a deep breath and tried to stand. She managed it with a good amount of surprise. She felt much stronger this morning than she had last night. She stretched, feeling the muscles of her body unwind and loosen. Carefully, taking one step at a time she headed toward the water. For long moments Revan stared out across the ocean. She was lost in her own thoughts when the sounds of running feet through the sand made her come to the present with a start.
"Revan!" A desperate voice tore through the morning air, startling awake all of those sleeping on the beach. She started to turn, but was lifted without warning into strong arms, her head pressed into a familiar neck, nose taking in the familiar scent of him. She could hear the cries of protest from those just waking up around her, but they were over taken by the sound if his laugh, which was more than half sob.
"You're awake." He gasped out. Her weak arms found the strength to wrap around his neck. She kissed whatever bits of skin she could reach. He was not wearing his thick jacket and for that she was grateful, for she could feel the pounding of his heart through the thin fabric of his undershirt. There was a burst of pure joy from the knot of feelings in her head. He set her down, pulled away just enough to look into her eyes. His honeyed eyes were full of tears, but he wore the biggest smile she had ever seen on him. She was surprised at how much stronger she felt just having him near her, and wondered for a moment if it was another effect of the bond they'd formed.
"Carth…" she whispered. He ducked his head to take her mouth in a passionate kiss that left her light headed and dizzy in a most delightful way. When he broke the kiss she reached out her hand to caress his face. He leaned into the touch, his eyes locking with hers. She smiled and he pulled her into him again.
"You had me so scared, so scared, so scared." He murmured into her ear. His hands were lost in the loose waves of her hair and his lips were caressing her ear as he spoke. She shivered against him. A discreet cough that sounded like it came from Juhani reminded them that they had company. She pulled away reluctantly. He smiled shyly at her. Everyone was awake. Jolee had a look on his face that said he might start to argue over her resting more but she put a hand up.
"Carth and I need to talk. Alone." She said sharply, as Jolee opened his mouth to interrupt. "I told you. We'll be leaving this planet soon, by tonight, at the latest. And there will be no more arguments about it. We have a battle to fight. And I've rested enough. Time has never been on our side, and it is against us now. But right now Carth and I need to talk." Canderous barked out a rough laugh.
"You call it what you want, captain, but I'll make sure we all find something to keep us busy out here so you two can have your 'talk'."
Carth would have carried her in if he had had his way. But she had insisted on retaining some dignity. So he put his arm around her waist, stooping just enough to allow her an arm around his shoulders, and they made their way slowly into and through the Ebon Hawk.
One inside the port dormitory, the door locked, Carth kicked off his boots before settling them both on the bed. He pulled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her.
"Revan…" he whispered against her hair. She shifted against him and nuzzled in under his chin, taking a deep breath. He tightened his arms around her. "Hey, beautiful, are you sure you're okay?" He asked, concern was evident in his voice.
"I felt you." She said. "When I was on the temple. When Bastilla was trying to turn me. I could feel you. And I never once wavered. It made me sad, to have to fight her. But I never once doubted what I was doing." She felt him shiver. She looked up at him. He caught her eyes and held them.
"I could feel you too." He answered. "I know… you never faltered. But when… when they brought you back and I saw what she had done to you. And Jolee said he couldn't do anything more than what he has done. I… I… I felt so lost, Revan." She brushed her lips over his cheek and his jaw, rubbing his neck with her small fingers. He sighed and kissed her softly.
"I felt you the whole time, my light in the dark. Tomorrow, I know I won't fall. Whatever else happens, I will walk in the light… with you, the whole way." He caught her mouth again as soon as the last word left her mouth. He was desperate and hungry and she kissed him back with a matching passion.
"I love you." He said fiercely when he broke their kiss. "I can't let you die tomorrow. I won't let you die. I won't." He kissed her again and she lay back and brought him with her so that he was laying half on top of her. He brought the blanket up to cover them both. When he pulled away there were tears on his cheeks and he couldn't meet her eyes.
"Carth… Carth look at me, please." She whispered, her hand cupping his unshaven cheek. He met her eyes. He looked ashamed.
"If I fear this much, how can I keep you in the light?" he asked. She smiled softly and sweetly.
"It's because you fear for me that you keep me in the light. Never doubt your compassion, your goodness. You keep me in the light. Please don't doubt that, not now." She pleaded. He took a deep breath and nodded.
"I won't doubt. I won't doubt it." He promised. He smiled at her, and though it was shaky it was sincere.
"Carth… whatever happens up there, no matter what, I love you. You have to know that, you have to remember it, always." She told him, her eyes sad. He touched her soft cheek, running his fingers over her lips.
"I won't let you leave me, beautiful, I promise you that. I love you too much to let you go." He answered, his voice was rough and broke over the last words. "You should rest. We… we should rest." He lay back down, his large body curling protectively around her smaller one. She sighed and kissed his neck as she drifted off to sleep. For a time they both slept peacefully.
Sometime in the very early hours of the afternoon she woke him with hungry kisses, and insistent hands. There were no words between them for none were needed. She pulled him on top of her, as he pulled his shirt from his body. They made love, quietly and passionately. And when they had exhausted themselves they held each other tightly until the sounds of the others re-boarding signaled that their day had ended.
It was time. Clothed now in the warmth and light of the Star Forge Robes she entered the center of the Star Forge. In front of her, down the narrow walkway and surrounded by the floating, nearly lifeless bodies of the Jedi he had captured, was Malak. But there was no fear in her. In the back of her mind was the fiercely burning fire of Carth's love and light. She would not falter or fail or fall, and if she could help it she would not die. She knew when the door closed behind her that is was locked. She stopped moving, took a moment to take a deep breath. Malak seemed content to wait for her to come to him. He would have strong words, she knew, words that might have turned her back once. She felt the pang of worry in her head that could mean only one thing, Carth had finally caught up and had realized he had no way of getting to her side. But that was how she preferred it. If she was to die here with Malak, she would rather Carth be out there, where Jolee would surely get him out of here alive. He was her light and her one chance at redemption, whether in life or death, and she could not risk him. She began walking again, head high, and back straight. Yes, it was time.
That's it so far. I hope everyone enjoyed it! Please review and tell me what you think! - Taelyn