I don't own anything.

* * *

Had he been ignoring me? Or was it just my imagination. As I sat in the empty sleeping quarters of the Ebon Hawk, I snaked around reasoning. But it was undeniable. I sought to be alone. I was ignoring him.

I couldn't even look him in the eye. Something I had never really had a problem with, but now I was afraid. I had enough pain and anger of my own.I couldn't deal with his as well.

We said nothing as we left the Sith Academy. What was there to say? Dustil had agreed to meet up and speak with his father, should he ever return to Telos.but so what?

Dustil's anger and hate towards his father was still strong enough to fuel my own against Dustil.

Though how could I possibly expect to understand? I had never had children. I had never really known my parents. If one was to drop from the sky, would I be angry with him? Would I hate him?

It all depends on so many other things, that I couldn't possibly try to think of right now.

I had to turn away, at first. I couldn't stand seeing Dustil sneer at him. Carth stood helpless, pleading with his hateful son.

I could feel Jolee's eyes on me. He must have felt the anger and sorrow surging through me. I had been able to keep such emotion under taps in the past, but now, watching this.watching Carth.

Walking from the Academy, my eyes, nose and throat burned with the urge to cry, but I set my face and stone and led the way back to the Ebon Hawk.

Carth returned to the cockpit, Bastila greeting him with persistent questions. I watched him from the corner of my eye.standing in the middle of the common room, shoulders sagging.

It was some time before Zaalbar's movements reminded me that I wasn't alone. He was kind enough not to say anything. I nodded to him, and to Juhani who also stood watching me, before turning my back and finding solace in the sleeping quarters.

I knew I couldn't waste much time wading in this sorrow, but I couldn't go on until I had bled it from me.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, face emotionless, the tears fell silent and heavy. My only movement was the blinking of my eyes. I sat until no more tears fell, though my sorrow was far from gone. It felt as though it was something I needed to cut out.tear out.

Mission was the first to break my solace, though I had spent far to long with my face set to be able to reveal my irritation. It wouldn't have mattered. My back was turned to her.

"Hey, are you ok in there?"

Her words were filled more with a teenaged curiosity than concern. I could hear her move across the room. Somewhere, deep inside me, I fought the urge to lash out. Could she not see that I wanted to be alone? Why couldn't she just leave?!

"Hey." Mission's voice was suddenly filled with compassion at the sight of my eyes. I made no move to hide what I had been doing.

I could hear, as well as feel her hesitate. She slowly put a hand on my shoulder - a gesture I was so completely unused to that my tears began to fall again.

"Are you alright?"

I nodded, lying.

"I'm just really tired."

Nothing was said for several moments. Mission was clearly uncomfortable, and I wished that she would just leave.

"Bastila said that you were really upset."

//How would she know - \\ I started to think.but my pain was clouding my mind. //How could she NOT know?\\

"She said I wasn't supposed to bother you.but I just wanted to make sure, you know? Wanted to know if there was anything I could do, you know?"

I didn't reply. I never moved, my face never changed. Inside I was struggling to control the anger that kept edging up and threatening to take me.

After several moments, Mission patted my shoulder stiffly, and left.

* * *

In my spare moments away from the Academy, I would spend tinkering at the workbench or using HK's combat simulator. I would reflect on what little prestige I had accomplished on my journey to become a "Sith", but other than that, I kept my mind numb.

I was not a good companion. Even Canderous was unsure what to say, and Jolee no longer seemed so indifferent. But I was continuing with my mission. I was accomplishing things, was I not? This was enough for me.

But it was not enough for others.

While at the workbench, Bastila took an opportunity to confront me. I ignored her as she walked into the Swoop hanger. She must have given Canderous quite the look, as I could hear his heavy boots hit the grated floor as he left.

She stood behind me for quite some time, and I could feel my anger and irritation flaring again.

"What is it you want, Bastila?"

She didn't say anything as she moved to stand beside me. She stared until I turned to look at her.

"This has to stop," she spoke quietly, but with her air of authority, demanding I comply.

I said nothing.

"I understand you care very much for Carth, but you can't let it control your emotions like this."

Again, I said nothing.

"It is my recommendation that you let this pass. Forget about it. You did what you could, and now it is done. Do not let your feelings for Carth interfere with our mission. You must remember the Jedi code -"

"To Hell with your Jedi code, Bastila!" I hissed under my breath.

"Please," Bastila pleaded, looking incredibly uncomfortable. "Up until now you have had remarkable control over your emotions. Now your anger threatens to overwhelm you.Overwhelm us all."

I refused to comment. She was right. I had to control myself. What happened with Carth and Dustil was over. I did all I could. Carth could commiserate over it well enough without my help.

"I urge you to do what it takes to get over this. Even if it means speaking with Carth. This is hard enough on him as it is without knowing that you are suffering as well."

I smirked.

"Spoken with the true wisdom of a Jedi."

"Do not joke, please." She wasn't unimpressed. She was sorrowful.like us all. I had to apologize.

"I will try not to let this get in my way, Bastila. I'm sorry."

* * *

Again, sleep evaded me. I brought a hand up to my forehead, cringing at its iciness. I was incredibly hungry, though the thought of food repulsed me. The pain in my stomach diverted me from the pain in my heart.

But I could not ignore my thirst. Swinging my feet over the side of my bed, I got up and tiptoed out of the room. I didn't want to wake up any of the other women.

As I moved into the common room, I could see up the long corridor that lights were on in the cockpit.


He would be alone. No one else would be up at this hour.except the droids.but they were powered down.

I would leave him be. He was up now because he wanted to be alone with his thoughts. My presence would not help him any. I wasn't sure if his presence would help me.

I moved to make myself a hot drink, something that would put me to sleep. Yet all the while I was gnawed. By what? I could only speculate at guilt.

Perhaps I had made a mistake the whole time. Perhaps by keeping my distance I had caused more damage than if I had just been supportive of him. If I had just asked him how he felt, if he was ok, if I could do anything.

My face suddenly burned. I had been so stupid. So selfishly absorbed in my own anger and misery. How could I possibly admit to caring for Carth.even loving him, if I couldn't even put my own selfish problems aside to help him?

I knew I had to go to him. I had to say something to him. Anything. Preferably an apology. A very big apology. And if he didn't accept, I couldn't blame him. My actions were unaccountable.

But I would try.

I carried my hot drink with me as a peace offering, hoping perhaps that he didn't already have something. If he did, I could do little but express more, sheepish apologies.

He must have seen me in the reflection of the cockpit window, for his back was to me yet he spoke when I entered. I had tried to be as quiet as possible, with the slight chance that I would chicken out.but he knew.

"What's on your mind?"

Always asking after others. Yet this time I was taken back. After all I had done, and failed to do, he still asked what was on my mind.

I fought back tears and the anger I directed towards myself, moving to stand slightly behind him. My hands were shaking, and I had to set the mug down before I spilt its contents.

I stood for several moments before finally finding the courage to speak. It took even more courage to look down at him as I spoke.

"Do you think you'll get to see him again?"

I cursed myself as my voice faltered, but I didn't let my tears fall. I watched Carth close his eyes and take a deep breath. He brought a hand up to rub his eyes. I wanted to run away.

"I don't know," he spoke quietly. "I hope so, but only time will tell."

I nodded, though Carth didn't see me. He never looked up.

"I can only hope for the best, and that things will turn out alright. When this is all over, I can only return to Telos and hope that he'll be there."

He looked up at me then, offering a smile laced in pain.

"Whether or not he will be my son again." His voice trailed off, and I felt my throat constrict and my eyes burn furiously. Yet I could think of nothing but putting a trembling hand on his shoulder, the smallest comfort I could offer, perhaps.

He surprised me by raising a hand to place over mind. He didn't start by the iciness of my skin, but instead, held it and pulled me so that he sat me sideways in his lap. He continued to hold my hand with his. As I relaxed, I rested my head on his shoulder, my forehead against the warmth of his neck. He stroked my hair with his other hand.

"I'm sorry," I muttered, though so softly I wasn't sure he could hear.

"For what?"

I didn't know what to say at first. I felt I had so much to apologize for. I breathed in deeply, the scent of him both relaxing me and filling me with more sorrow.

"For everything."

Carth said nothing, and I thought that maybe he was waiting for me to elaborate.

"I'm sorry it had to be so hard -"

He stiffened, and perhaps I should have taken that as my cue to stop, but I couldn't.

"I'm sorry that I couldn't do anything, no, that I wouldn't do anything -"

I sat up as I spoke, and I could feel the anger rising once more. I had to turn to look at him, to let him know how much this was affecting me, how much I had failed him.

"I'm sorry that I just left you alone. If it had been me, you would have made sure I was all right. I was stupid, and selfish, and I'm sorry. I should have been there for you. I was just so stupid, so -"

I didn't get a chance to continue my cycle of apologies and excuses. Even the slightest touch of his silent mouth against my ranting one shocked me into joining the silence.

It wasn't really a kiss. But we spent several minutes of silence; our foreheads pressed together, listing to each other breathing.

"I'm sorry," I finally whispered again, but he shook his head, pulling back so that he could look me in the eye.

"Without you, I may not have even had the chance to see Dustil again."

My breath hitched in my throat, and I opened my mouth to speak, but Carth brought his lips to mine again; firmer, longer, and more insistent. I could do nothing but respond.

I wanted nothing but to respond.

We spent a long while in that embrace, caressing each other's pain away, though much of it would remain for some time.

The sorrow will perhaps remain the longest, far after the anger and hatred abates. I don't know how long I will have to wait. With Carth, the wait may not be so burdensome - I hope it will be easier if we're together.

Together, we'll wait for Sorrow's wake.

* * *

The end.

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