Author: Rian Sage PM
Strolling through the Temple, recalling times past... truly realizing her loss.Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama - Words: 1,497 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Published: 03-03-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2827532
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Nothing in this galaxy belongs to me. It's all Lucas and Bioware.
A/N: Sorry, not beta'd before posting.
Coruscant – Jedi Temple, Several Months After Destruction of the Star Forge
It was late at night and most of the Temple's inhabitants had retired for the evening. One lone figure walked casually through the halls. She looked upon the grand architecture with a faint smile…home. At least, it used to be. The memories seemed as if they were in a whole different life. She chuckled to herself as she thought how true that was. How many lives have I lived?
She looked down the empty halls with a sad smile. She could still see two younglings race around the huge columns, seemingly unaware of who they disturbed along the way. She could still hear the laughter echo throughout the corridor as her heart filled with joy and her eyes filled with unshed tears. She quickly blinked them away.
She liked to wander the Temple at night. It was only then all that looked upon her were memories. Daytime was full of curious eyes, varied looks of disapproval, hatred, and masked admiration…whispers that weren't whispers among Jedi. Taking so much effort to block it all out left little room for quiet thought.
She passed through the doors leading to the Jedi art gallery. Proud sculptures sat upon their posts. The walls were lined with various sketches and paintings from Jedi through many millennia.
She paused at the one she was most familiar with…Warrior. He had painted that one. He'd said it was of her. She stared at the eyes he knew so well…the last ones he saw for all eternity. Did he somehow know? She looked down at the bottom right corner and raised a hand to slowly trace the letters of his name. She swallowed to force down the lump that had emerged in her throat. Her eyes drifted to the floor in shame as her arm fell limply to her side.
She closed her eyes and stood there for a long while, basking in the trace that remained of him. When she opened her eyes to look back at the painting, she was startled. Through the bleariness of her damp orbs, she thought she had seen his reflection in the ones looking back at her. The Force was surely playing tricks on her…with good reason.
She took a deep cleansing breath before she continued her journey toward the upper chambers. There was one room all Jedi revered as a place of peace and serenity: The Room of a Thousand Fountains.
She entered the lush room and was immediately assaulted with the unique sensation she hadn't felt in years. A warm smile graced her lips at the beautiful sight before her. It was filled with fountains, waterfalls, and exotic plants from the far reaches of the galaxy. So many memories had taken place there…mostly good.
However, the not so good memories seemed to be the ones that presented themselves. She began to walk towards the source of them. Each fountain had its purpose among the Jedi. Each either told a story or taught a lesson. She knew where to find hers.
Her pace quickened with a girl-like eagerness to find the one thorn in her side since she was nine: The Fountain of Patience. It was said it took a full Coruscanti day for a drop of water to make its way from the highest point all the way to the bottom. She had spent enough time with it to know that was true.
The young Padawan held her head up in defiance as she followed the Master to the supply room. There she found the necessary tools to, once again, clean the fountain. The rules were not to use the Force or droids to assist her.
She picked out the bucket, brush, and tools that were in the same spot she left them last time she made Master Vrook mad. It only confirmed her suspicion that she was the only one ever dealt such punishment.
She turned to face the Master and asked, "Can you carry the ladder?" She always asked.
His frown deepened, "You can come back for it." He always said no.
She rolled her eyes, which was greeted with a scowl. Yes, of course, the lesson was patience. She had all the time in the galaxy to clean that fountain…and make an extra trip for the stupid ladder.
He lectured her for the entire walk to the fountain. She listened to very little of it, occasionally catching phrases like, 'If your Master were here…' and 'Do you know the consequences of underage driving?' Oh, and, of course, 'The Council will not always be there to bail you out.'
Yeah, yeah, yeah…if my Master were here, I wouldn't be doing this. I know that!
He finally left her alone and she began the tedious work of cleaning every little crevice of the intricate piece of art. It always amazed her how much gunk could build up in the short amount of time since she last cleaned it. Furthermore, the water moved so slow she spent half the time trying to push it along.
After two hours, she reached her secret spot. It was the place she had engraved an 'R' the first time she had been given the task. Ever since, she had left a tick next to it.
She was just about to enter another mark when her closest friend approached. He set down a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of sweet-sand cookies…her favorite. She gave him a big smile of appreciation.
He leaned in to look at her secret markings, "How many times is it now?"
She reached and added her newest mark, "That makes seven." She felt rather proud, though she still had much work to do.
He looked down at the ground and said, "Sorry you got in so much trouble for this."
She shrugged, "It was worth it."
He stayed for a short while to keep her company while she worked. She shared her hot chocolate and cookies with him.
Their time was interrupted when the tone sounded for all Padawan's to be in their quarters.
He stood to go, "I'll see you tomorrow."
She smiled, "Thanks for the cookies, Mal. Goodnight."
When it came into view, her smile faded…her steps slowed…her heart lodged in her throat. The majestic form that once stood out as a beautiful gem now blended in with the green landscape around it. The years of neglect left its spiraled crevices covered in moss. Her fountain…left to wait patiently for her return.
She couldn't believe the condition it was in. She felt an irrational concern for the inanimate object. What if she hadn't returned? What would have been the fate of her fountain? Would they have just let it crumble to the ground?
In the back of her mind she knew the state of the fountain proved they hadn't given up hope on her. But she didn't allow those thoughts to come forward…yet. She was still at odds with them for what they did to her…for what they forced her to do.
She ran her hand along the slick surface and made a decision. She quickly left for a small room outside the chamber. After a couple of trips, she had everything she needed to begin. She made a mental note to be sure to program a cleaning droid to perform regular maintenance. There was no telling when she would return…if she would return.
She would make sure her fountain stood proud among all the others in the room. It was her responsibility…her penance.
She began her diligent work on the monument. The familiarity allowed her the extra time to live in the past…pretend it all hadn't happened yet. When she reached her special spot, she smiled and paused as she counted the ticks. Her smile grew as she added her final one…fifteen.
She continued to scrub away the years of abandonment. She was interrupted when someone approached. She turned to see Master Vrook set down a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of sweet-sand cookies. He never met her eyes and walked away as quietly as he came.
She set down her tools and paused in quiet remembrance. She stared down at the offering and felt her throat tighten. One lone tear slid down her cheek for the one who always was…and never would be.