A/N: Just a quick thankyou to everyone who read and reviewed Hindsight either here or at the lj community, it's been a huge help and I love you guys! Anyway this a bridge story between KOTOR and TSL with a LSF Revan, basically her saying goodbye to everyone. So it contains spoilers for both games. Um... should be about six chapters long, so a wee bit longer than Hindsight. And I know that some are asking for longer stuff, don't worry after this I'm getting started on a VERY long post TSL fic called Anamnesis so you'll get your long fix after this. Anyway enough rambling.
The warm feel of skin beneath her was something she would never truly get used to. She let a lazy smile cross her face as she went back and forth from a deep sleep into a morning drowse.
"I felt that," his voice rumbled against her cheek, and she enjoyed yet was also annoyed by the sensation all at the same time.
Damn, I've been caught. There was some shifting and she felt fingers begin to poke at her sides. "Caaaaarth," she groaned, keeping her eyes shut as she clung to the hope that she could still stay in that blissful state of slumber. If she did not move and he stayed still and acted like the comfortable pillow he was supposed to, then she could just go back into that calming warmth.
He chuckled and her head shifted against his chest again, "As nice as this is, we're wasting the day away."
She grumbled and shifted to move into the crevice of his arm, trying to shut out the light. He shifted his arm and she clung onto it, keeping it down. "Wha tim iz it?" she mumbled into his skin.
He sighed and she could feel the breath hit her head, only causing her to snuggle closer to him and the bed. "It's 1000 hours, gorgeous and I have things to do today."
She mumbled something incoherent and her shoulder twitched for a moment before returning to its previous position and she wrapped one of her legs around his. "AM still on clock," she murmured.
He chuckled fondly and tried to loosen her grip on him. "Come on, beautiful. You can't sleep the day away."
She felt him shift and unceremoniously move her over to side. She groaned at the lack of warmth and curled up in the covers more, shutting her eyes stubbornly. She heard him say something under his breath, but the only word she caught was 'immature.' She curled her legs up towards her chest and muttered, "I'm not immature."
She heard a sharp laugh, "You have selective hearing - and I think you're awake enough now to get out of bed."
He sighed and she heard some shuffling near a desk. "Have it your way."
She had to close her eyes as tight as she possibly could against the assaulting sunlight that suddenly attacked her. "Carth!" she screamed and threw the pillow over her head, trying to block out the sunlight that had already infiltrated her perfect half-sleep.
Carth laughed, "Hey if you want to keep sleeping, fine just stay there, but the sun is up and if you want to ignore it… then fine."
She sleepily turned her head and glared at him, "Bastard."
He put an arm on either side of her and leaned into her face. "I know it is your life goal to stay in that bed forever and as much as I'd like to help you fulfill that," his brown eyes smiled down at her, "I have some paperwork to get rid of… and if you wouldn't mind getting some groceries during sometime in your hectic schedule," he scoffed and she narrowed her vision at him, "And while you're at it… take a shower, staying in bed all day is giving you a stink."
Her eyes lit up in annoyance and she was about to protest this remark loudly, before his lips beat her to it. She reached her inactive hands up his shoulders and tried to pull him down as he kissed her, but he kept himself propped up by his arms. He pulled back, letting her head hit the pillow with a soft 'thud' and grinned. He winked. "I'll be back later tonight – please think about those groceries."
She stared up at the ceiling blankly, not quite ready to leave the warmth of the bed, as she heard him walk out of the room. She stared for a few more moments before letting out a breath of air in annoyance, "Dammit, now I'm awake."
She stifled a yawn as she looked warily down at the many different types of preserves and food items sitting in an ornately placed shelf. She batted around the idea of picking some of the fresher looking vegetables and cooking a homemade meal for Carth, so he would have something waiting for him when he got back from… whatever he was doing. Of course, with her cooking skills maybe she would poison him, but after his behavior this morning, maybe he deserved it. She let out a heady sigh, carefully scrutinizing her choices.
"You're not going to try and cook again, are you?" the sharp voice of the younger Onasi brought her out of her vegetable deliberations.
She stiffened and turned towards him, frowning as she realized he had shot up another inch and was now taller than her. "Dustil."
He seemed to realize that his height irritated her and he leaned back in his posture, still taller than her. "Because if you are, I think I should call the HASMAT team in early."
She folded her arms in front of her and frowned. "Did I ever tell you what a charming personality you have?"
He snorted and shook his head, some dark strands shaking free from their previously perfectly styled state. "I happen to be on good terms with my father at the moment – well better terms anyway, so I'd rather not have him die at your hands…" he grimaced, "And what a way to go."
She frowned and crossed her arms in front of her, trying to fight down the red that was slowly creeping across her face. She hated being bad at something. "You've only had my cooking once."
"Once was enough."
She almost pushed out her lower lip, but stubbornly crossed her arms tighter instead. "It was a bad batch."
He let out a sharp laugh and shook his head again, it was a harsher move than his father, but very familiar. "I almost choked. No, scratch that, I did choke. And what I was choking on tasted somewhat reminiscent of tar and permecrete."
She huffed moving her arm enough to push back some hair that was in front of her face. "Have you eaten that as comparison?"
He shrugged, "No, but if I had to choose between your cooking and that combination I think I'd rather break my teeth on something I could identify."
Her mouth went open for a moment and then she quickly closed it. She crossed her arms again. "Are you just here to irritate me, or do you have something better to do?"
Dustil let out an overly dramatic sigh. "Well I'd really rather father wasn't dead, well at least today I'm feeling that way, so if it will stop you – I'll help."
She blinked in confusion at this gesture and eyed him warily. "I don't believe you."
He shrugged again. "Okay, so I won't 'help' I'll just keep you away from anything that has to do with food, that isn't on a plate and ready to be eaten. Of course if that's not a service to humanity, then I don't know what is."
She did not move for a moment, trying not to notice the gesture and failing miserably. She looked down at her feet, feeling utterly inadequate and slightly embarrassed. "Um… thanks." There was a long silence, and she hated those so she shrugged and threw on a grin. "That means you get the ingredients while I check out the latest holonovels."
Dustil sputtered for a moment as she shoved the basket into his arms and spun around and toward the other end of the store. She could hear a few choice words under his breath and smiled.
Revan craned her neck to see the pot boiling slowly. It all smelled… wonderful. She was knowingly jealous of Dustil's skills. She knew it was stupid to be jealous, but it seemed every time she came near a stove it sparked and spited her, some things you just could not read up on and learn. She dangled her legs off the counter where she was perched and breathed in the aroma. "What are you making?"
Dustil turned around and she had to restrain herself from laughing at the apron… again. "Stone Soup Stew."
She arched an eyebrow and turned her head towards him. "None of those words should be in the same sentence."
He rolled his eyes and went over to the cutting board near her and started to chop up some cuts of meat. "It's from that old fable, about the soup that started with just a stone."
She snorted, "I might be a bad cook, but I never used a stone as an ingredient."
Dustil's mouth twisted for a moment, "Those biscuits, or whatever they were supposed to be, sure felt like some kind of stone." She folded her arms and had no response; Carth had nearly broken his tooth. He continued while his hands went to work on cutting up more meat. "It's a story about this rogue that just sets up in the middle of town and starts to cook a soup, but only has a stone in it. So all the townspeople start coming around curious and he acts like it's the best thing in the word, so they want to have some and they give him vegetables and meats, and other soup ingredients as payment. And in the end it turns out to be enough for everyone and it's a very good soup."
One of her eyes closed a bit and she focused on him out of the other one. "What?"
He sighed and picked up the cut meat and placed it in one of the other pans, letting it simmer in the heat. "I forget what the moral was, something about sharing or something like that, but anyway, it's a soup that has a lot of different ingredients from all over to come together and make a good, though unusual combination."
She was still staring at him when he turned around to grab some seasonings and wiped his hands on his apron. Revan shook her head and dangled her feet again, letting the tips touch the floor. "You sound remarkably like Jolee at the moment," she narrowed her vision, "If I'm supposed to be the stone, I'll throw my shoe at you."
Dustil blanched for a moment and snorted, "Look you wanted to know what it was, it's not my fault you didn't hear any stories when you were younger." He turned towards the stove to stir some of the vegetables and fuss with the meat.
She looked at her feet and brushed her toe against the tile on the kitchen. It was possible that she had heard the story before and it had been just another thing that had been swept away during her mind wipe. She sighed and tried to change the subject so as not to touch on that part of her life. She did not feel like making it awkward. "So where'd you learn to make this?"
Revan winced. Perfect, no this was a great subject change… not awkward at all. She placed her hands on the edge of the counter and eyed the back of his head carefully. "Dustil… um," she breathed out wondering how the hell she was going to start this conversation. She did not have to.
"Save it," Dustil said brusquely, still facing the stove. He sighed and she could tell by the intonation and the way his shoulders tensed he was weighing something in his mind. She might have tried to reach out and know what he was thinking, but the thought of even using the Force to sense even base emotions now disgusted her, so she just tried to wait out the few moments, until his shoulders relaxed and he turned around. He turned his head a little to the side and looked down at an angle. "Look, it's been four years. It's not like it just happened and he just got over her like that, hell he practically obsessed about it…" his face tightened for a moment. "She wouldn't have wanted that."
There was a silence that hung in the air for a moment as Revan sized the young man up. She let out a low whistle, "Man, you are a one mature seventeen year old."
He snorted, "Yeah, with how you act now I'd hate to see you as a teenager."
Revan looked up towards the ceiling trying to grasp that concept. She had a few fleeting memories that were obviously fake about her teenage days, but what she was really like was beyond her grasp. She let out a deep sigh and the reason she would never use any Force power on someone's mind came back to her. "I suppose I was a Padawan… they're usually mature, or something."
He looked at her for a moment and shook his head. He turned towards the cutting board again and started to wash it off and then put the cloth down. "Can I ask you a question?"
"You just did," she replied smartly.
He did not seem to notice, "Does it ever get any easier?"
"Does what get easier?"
"You know, it," he was looking down at the counter with a struggling conflicting between his eyes.
She eyed him warily. "Aren't you old enough to know about sex already?"
His face paled and he shook his head. "No! Oh, hell no!" he blanched and shuddered, "Oh that's going to put me in for a few years of therapy." Revan held back the urge to cackle and just tapped her fingers on the edge of the counter. She had a quick retort on the ready, but his shoulders tensed and he turned to look at her, leaning against the side of the counter. "I mean, all that stuff you did," he glanced away for a moment, "before."
"You mean being Dark Lord of the Sith?" she said, without any malice or snark.
He shrugged and leaned fully against the counter. "Yeah."
She turned her head towards her lap and closed her eyes. "Honestly, Dustil… I can't remember a damn thing."
He let out a puff of air and made a scraping noise against the counter. "Must be nice," he said bitterly.
She was about to retort with some off the hand comment, but it died on her tongue. "I don't envy you." He turned towards her eyebrow quirked. She continued, "I suppose I'm just taking this whole brain washed with soap thing for granted, but no memories… no guilt." She sighed and pressed her palms against the counter leaning back. "Standing on the Star Forge, looking at my supposedly former friend's lifeless body, do you want to know what I felt?"
Dustil folded his arms in front of him. "What?"
She let loose a sigh and caught him with a vacant stare, "Nothing. I felt nothing." She let her eyelids closed halfway over her eyes, giving her an inane sort of tunnel vision. "Everyone kept telling me afterwards, how strong I was and how hard it must have been, but…" she paused, "It wasn't any different than any of the Sith that had attacked me before."
"Oh…" There was silence for a moment before Dustil jumped a bit and ran towards the stove swearing and taking one of the pans off it, quickly. "Dammit, you are a jinx!"
Revan hopped down and glared at him. "Just because you can't pay attention to your food… I mean at least mine wasn't burnt."
Dustil turned around with his eyes wide, "It wasn't?" he shook his head sharply as he finished adding all the ingredients. "What the hell was that black stuff then?"
She crinkled her nose, "You know what, Dustil-" her impending tirade and flurry of words that would be sure to have him blubbering was cut off by the quick slide of the main door and Carth's entrance, followed by T3-M4 beeping behind him.
He stopped by the door and took a deep breath, "Hey, gorgeous, that smells great! Did you order out?"
Revan ignored Dustil's raucous laughter behind her as she removed her shoe and threw it at Carth.
Revan's eyes came open suddenly and she had to blink back at the darkness in the room. Something had woken her up, but she could not quite place it. She lifted herself carefully out of Carth's arms and he rolled over with a muffled groan. She was alert and awake and tried to adjust her eyes to the darkness. She spread out her senses as far as their quarters and waited a few moments, before she was sure nothing was there. She felt off… and slowly crawled out of the bed, wincing as her bare feet touched the cold floor.
She scratched her bare stomach absent-mindedly as she walked. She brought her arms around herself and shivered in the chill of the night as she crept closer towards the refresher. She kept her senses open as she walked, not wanting to run into something and have a swearing fit; it would ruin her attempt at not waking Carth.
What had woken her up? She hadn't had a bad dream, she could not even remember having a dream at all, just the warmth of Carth around her before she drifted into sleep. She closed her eyes in frustration and leaned against the wall of the hallway. There was something different and she could not quite place it. It was like a buzzing in the back of her mind, nothing was inherently different, but something… something just felt new.
No, new wasn't the right word to describe it. She closed her eyes tighter and the smell of the air on Dantooine came to mind, but it wasn't the fresh air of summer she had experienced when she trained there for those few months, it was the crisp air of Fall. It was so subtle she almost did not notice until she focused fully on it and it came to her clearly. A memory… not brought on by a sweeping feeling of a sudden epiphany, but just a subtle tugging in the back of her mind to remind her that it was there.
That it… had always been there.
Revan held her breath against the breeze that was bringing the fresh scent of fallen leaves and crisp autumn air. She pulled her legs up against the slowly sloping hill and ignored the heavy footsteps behind her. She had told him she wanted a walk by herself to clear her head, he said he would follow her. She thought he would give up, but that was four hours ago. He hated long periods of walking with an intensity that knew no bounds; he would even take a speeder with her driving at the risk of his life instead of taking a long walk. Yet still, he was behind her walking an even pace with no complaints.
She gave up and stopped fully at the crest of the hill. She looked down to where her hands were still clenched tightly and released them with a wince at the deep imprints her fingernails had left. She let out a deep shuddering breath as she felt his strong presence next to her. "I said I wanted to be by myself, Malak," she said quietly, looking out over the view that held no beauty for her at the moment.
She felt him sigh behind her and a strong hand was at her shoulder. "What you want isn't always what you need."
She turned around and looked up at his face. He was partially smiling down at her, mostly to cover up his concern. She did not want any pity; she wanted to remain strong, to not falter. But looking at the emptiness around her, with no prying eyes, his arms looked awfully tempting. Malak must have been reading her thoughts, because he pulled her in with the hand that was still on her shoulder and held her to his chest. She let out a sigh. She was never a big crier and tended to stay away from small comforts, but after today she did not know what to think anymore. She swallowed her pride and wrapped her arms around her taller friend.
"Hmm?" He said his chin rested on her head.
She buried her head in his chest deeper; taking advantage of the nook his arm was creating. "Am I a jinx?"
His arms remained firm around her shoulders and back. "You are not a jinx, Revan."
She reluctantly broke the embrace and hugged her arms around herself. "This is the second one," she said quietly looking away.
Malak frowned and wrapped an arm around her as they both sat on the cool grass. "It wasn't your fault. Master Kae broke the tenants of the order; she lied for ten years and could have possibly caused a war. She wasn't even your master when any of this happened."
Revan frowned, she had really admired the woman, even slightly felt like her own daughter… maybe that was what Master Kae had been doing, surrogating Revan for the daughter she could never speak to and had hidden away for ten years. The teenager frowned again. "What about Mast–" the sharp look on Malak's face caused her to stop her speech. She licked her lips and began again, "What about my first Master?"
Malak's face twisted slightly, he did not like that name and had tried to keep Revan from mentioning it, for her own position within the order. "She was using ancient Sith teachings with a young Padawan, even if you begged her to show you them, it would still have been her fault."
Revan winced, "I didn't…" Malak's face lightened up a bit at this and he squeezed her shoulder in reassurance. "Though," Revan trailed off a bit, "it was nice not to be underestimated," she scoffed under her breath, "for once." They sat in silence as Revan enjoyed the company and the view that matched her melancholy mood. She rested her head against his shoulder and let out another sigh. "You think I'll be a Padawan forever?"
She felt him stiffen for a moment. "Why would you say that? After the first time the Masters were practically fighting over you."
Her eyes were heavy and she started down at her knees. "The only Jedi exiled since Jaal Sha'en and they're both my Master, I don't think anyone is going to be very willing to take me on," she shut her eyes against the bitter sting of defeat. "I was so close, only a few more years."
Malak held her shoulders a little tighter. "You'll be fine."
She shook her head. "If they… I don't get another Master…" she choked back on a sob that was threatening to escape her throat, all sense of composure lost. "I don't have anywhere to go, Mal," her voice was tinged with a bitter desperation and a vulnerability that she had never shown anyone else.
Malak's body was completely stiff for a moment, before he pulled her against him and turned his legs so he could get a better hold on her. She did not cry into his chest, but a few dry heaves escaped and she clung onto his shoulders. He just held her until she quieted down. "Well… I did talk to Master Zhar…" he said softly.
"What?" she said, though it was muffled against his chest.
"He said that since it was towards the end of both our Padawanships that he would be more than willing to have two students," Revan stiffened against him as Malak continued, "Personally I think he's just bored of me doing the same exercises everyday and wants some variety."
Revan pulled away to look at him; her eyes were raw and she felt a lump forming in her throat. "Mal…" she said softly.
He shrugged and rested his forehead against hers for a moment. "Don't worry about it, Revan. It's nice to be able to do something for you for once… besides he really did want to train you, and well…" he looked away for a moment, "I guess I was just being selfish, I mean… I've missed you and this way I can be greedy and see you all the time instead of whenever you can make a visit."
A small smile crept over her face and she threw her arms around his shoulders, causing the older Padawan to let out an uncharacteristic yelp. She buried her face in his neck and felt the smallest bit of wetness on the corners of her eyes. "I love you, ya big doof," she murmured good-naturedly into his shoulder.
Malak's voice was tinged with something she would not notice, not even consider until she was older and thinking back on this, "I love you too, Revan," he whispered softly into her hair.
She let out a deep breath and started to giggle. She snickered more, holding her side as she fell back against the grass. "Oh, man Vrook is going to lose the bit of hair he has left when he hears I'm staying on Dantooine…" her eyes were alight with their usual vigor and vim as a grin snaked across her face. She lifted herself to her elbows to face Malak fully. "Oh the ideas I've been saving for him. Think we could get some pink dye?"
Malak shook his head. "Maybe I should tell Zhar to reconsider, I don't quite miss all those cleaning duties we got assigned for your schemes."
She grinned impishly. "Then we just have to not get caught!"
It was like old times again, Malak was trying to talk Revan out of doing something perpetually stupid and genius at the same time and she was ignoring him and coming up with the details. All thoughts of her previous Masters fled her mind and she fell into the comfortable routine of her youth, the previous vulnerability on the grass pushed to the back of her mind.
"Nothing. I felt nothing," Revan repeated to herself as thoughts of Dantooine and the Star Forge twisted around her and brought new meaning. She felt dread in her stomach at this, would she just wake up the next morning and remember everything? What if this was not the only time that Malak had been like this, like… like a friend. She leaned against the cool wall holding her arms to her chest.
It had been told to her by Bastila countless times, she had read up on it in the archives, he had even mocked her with it during that last fight, but she had never truly felt their words and knew their meaning until now.
She lifted herself off the wall and splashed some cold water from the refresher on her face and padded her way back to the bedroom, putting her finger to her mouth as she passed HK-47 making his rounds. He was still at attention when she walked away from him, but made less noise than she did. She slowly made her way back into the bed; almost hesitant to curl back up into Carth's arms, but upon entering the bed he sleepily wrapped his arms around her anyway.
She stiffened slightly, anxiety reeling inside her. She did not know what things would happen or what that memory had meant, but what she did know…
This was only the beginning.