Disclaimer: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and its characters and such all belong to LucasArts and Obsidian. Not me, I'm just a measly average human being. –sigh- I'll get over it.

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Once He's Dead

Chapter One

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His death meant nothing.

Keep telling yourself that and you might actually believe it.

Okay. His death meant nothing… his death meant nothing… his death meant-

I still don't believe you! It meant something! You know it did!

He was just an irritating pilot. He was annoying and rude and…

He told you what he wouldn't tell anyone else. He confided in you.

That's only because I made him. If I hadn't made him he wouldn't have told me. I must've slipped some Force Persuade in there or something…

He was under Revan's command! He would've been trained against things like that.

His death still meant nothing.

It meant something you know it did. He was a friend. He helped you. He cared for you. He was honest with you…

He's a fool. Kreia was right all along. He's a fool.

So? You're a fool if you don't believe that his death hurt you. You know it did. You know his death struck a chord in you. You know Sion chose well when he decided to kill Atton instead of any of the others. Not Disciple, not Mira, not Visas, not Bao-Dur, but Atton.

I would've been hurt the same way if any of the others had died. Maybe more so.

Liar.

I'm not lying! I didn't care for him! He's a murderer!

You're a murderer too. You've killed. With each death you grow stronger. Every murder.

Shut up! SHUT UP!

It's true! You know it's true! You know you're a murderer. You KNOW he's a murderer. And you know you don't care. You have feelings for him regardless.

Yeah right! He's Atton Rand, ex-Jedi murderer turned Jedi. I wouldn't trust him with my credits much less my life. Just because he's got a lightsaber and the robes doesn't mean he's redeemed.

It's a bit late anyways. He's dead.

I know he's dead.

And it hurts doesn't it? It hurts that he's dead. It hurt that you saw him when he died. And it made your heart leap for the split second when he told you how he felt about you before he died.

Those were lies. He didn't love me. He only thought he did.

You loved him too.

No I didn't! He was barely even what I'd call a friend! He was a pain in the ass and the only reason I kept him around was to pilot the ship. Perhaps someone else could've managed piloting, but I kept him for it anyways because up in the cockpit he couldn't bother me.

You kept him around because you cared about him. You wanted him with you. To protect you.

Like Atton Rand could've protected me! I'm much more capable than he is.

But can you protect yourself against your own demons? From the fact that you're a wound in the Force? From the facts that Kreia and the Jedi Council laid on the line for you to see? You cannot. You need someone who shares the same demons of his own past for that.

Many other people have their own demons. I don't need Atton.

He's dead anyways.

It meant something.

You are correct. Atton may not have been the best person, the best companion or the best Jedi in the galaxy…

Obviously…

But he loved you. He would've been there for you. He would've protected you.

I don't need him.

Then why are you crying?

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The Jedi Exile, Sienna Vaas was prepared to die. She had asked Bao-Dur's Remote to activate the Mass Shadow Generator. The debate within her about Atton's death and its impact was meaningless. Soon enough she'd be dead too.

Unexpectedly however, the loud sound of engines roaring sounded as Sienna looked up and saw a ship entering into the deep hole in Malachor V that was the Trayus Core. It was the Ebon Hawk. And it was swooping down to rescue her.

The sudden curiosity of who was piloting the ship brought back the reminder that Atton was dead and it had to be someone else. The ship hovered next to the platform on which Sienna stood. It began shaking. The Mass Shadow Generator was activated.

The loading ramp lowered and Sienna, former thoughts fleeing from her mind as her instincts kicked in, rushed over to it and used the Force to make the jump as she leapt inside. But before any further thoughts came to her mind, she tripped and fell into strong arms as she fell into unconsciousness.

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"Is she even alive?"

"Yes. She's alive. And she awake now."

Sienna blinked and looked up. The voices speaking were none other than Mical and Mira leaning over her, the former looking concerned. She remembered what Kreia had said, about Mical loving her, and she ignored it. She didn't really care anymore. But what she was going to do next she didn't know.

"Where are we going?" Her voice sounded cracked and it came out as a whisper followed by a throaty cough. She tried sitting up but felt dizzy as she did.

"Telos," Mira replied simply with a shrug. "Where else? It seems all paths for you guys lead to Telos."

Sienna tried to smirk but she felt weak and drained of all energy. "Who's… who's piloting?" she asked, remembering that it wasn't Atton. Atton was dead, and so was Malachor V where his grave had been.

"Bao-Dur and T3 are piloting the ship," Mical replied, reaching into a drawer for a few bandages. Sienna idly realized that there was bloodstains on her robes and multiple cuts. Some of the blood was probably Atton's…

Stop it! she yelled at herself mentally.

The trip to Telos was quiet and solemn. Mical puttered around the med bay where Sienna laid on the bed, bandaging her up again and again, not speaking much. Mira had left to go somewhere else on the ship, Sienna wasn't sure exactly where to.

Kreia's words, all of them, replayed in her mind as she took off her grimy robe and set it on a chair. She had cuts along her arms, but nothing serious. "I'm… going to go clean up," she told Mical who hadn't said a word since Mira left. He nodded his head and muttered something she couldn't hear, so she just walked out of the room and into the 'fresher.

The grossness of Malachor V washed off of her, and she let it go gleefully. Once cleaned and feeling much fresher than she had felt recently, she walked back into the med bay to find Mical looking through some datapads. He looked up at her and began to speak, but no words came.

It was as if a giant wall had been set between each and every person on the ship. Mira had seemed normal beforehand, but through Sienna's weak bond with the bounty huntress, she sensed a bit of unease and uncertainty. Bao-Dur seemed a bit shaken, and Mical… Mical seemed a little anxious and worried… and as always, admiring of her.

At first when Sienna had met Mical, the bow was an interesting first impression. Once she learned she had known him beforehand, back at the enclave years ago, she was a bit flattered that he remembered her so well. She could feel his deepening feelings for her, never wavering emotion for her. Considering what a good Jedi he was, she was surprised he didn't contain his feelings better so. Or maybe he was just bad at throwing up walls.

"How long was I out?" Sienna asked, realizing she wasn't exactly sure.

Mical seemed a bit more comfortable now, on a topic he knew something about. "Not as long as we'd had expected. You were only unconscious for about a single day. Your injuries and fatigue seemed to overcome you as you boarded the ship. Luckily enough, I caught you before you fell onto the ground and injured yourself further. We were afraid you wouldn't wake up… at least not anytime soon."

Sienna felt slightly awkward again as Mical turned his head to one side and set his datapad down. "I don't think I expected anyone to die," she said bluntly. She had to tell someone what was going on inside her mind and it just so happened that Mical was right there, and that he was a good listener.

"I don't think any of us expected to die when we joined up with you," Mical said plainly. "Not that we wouldn't gladly die for you," he added quietly. Sienna sat down on the medical bed, across from Mical's position in the lone chair.

She sighed and looked down at the ground. "I gave him so many chances to leave, but he didn't take a single one, even when we were so angry with each other we were ready to stick lightsabers down one another's throats." She felt her eyes tearing and she held them back. She wasn't going to cry. She was fracking stronger than that. She was strong enough not to cry.

Mical reached forward and cupped her chin. "Atton… and I had our differences, but I'm sure he died nobly."

Sienna shook her head. "I know he didn't deserve it." She couldn't stop the tears now. She felt so weak and ashamed of feeling so weak. She wanted to slap herself and tell herself not to cry, not to show her pain. "Sion… he just killed him. Brutally. He just brutally cut him limb from limb."

She felt dizzy again, like she had when she had woken up. She wanted to go back in time, save Atton, and get angry with him for leaving the ship like the fool he was.

"He cannot help but love you… it is a pure, ideal love he has for you…"

Kreia's words were like a ghost haunting her. Sienna wondered if she would ever just leave her alone… no more voices, no more lectures, no more harsh facts.

"Mical…" she started tentatively, looking up into Mical's eyes (they were a pale blue), afraid of the answer to the question she was going to ask. She wasn't sure which answer she was afraid of though.

He nodded his head, waiting for the question to come. He seemed to know what she was going to ask. Am I that obvious? She wondered. "Kreia… she said that…" she cut herself off, sighing. She sat up straighter, tucking her wet hair behind her ears and looking down at the floor, away from Mical's curious eyes. "She said that you loved me," she finished, rather quietly.

She was half expecting Mical to ask her to repeat herself, since she had spoken so quietly, she was surprised when he answered her question. "Yes," he said simply. "She's right. I do."

Sienna wasn't sure what to do in response. Her heart leapt, in flattery, perhaps even in care, but she wasn't sure what to do. Did she love him? Perhaps… but it…

Wasn't the same way you felt for Atton?

No, she cut herself off quickly.

You're lying.

She ignored the voices in her head, and seemed to show them who was 'boss' by leaning forward, grabbing Mical's anxious looking face, and planting a kiss on him. He seemed surprised at first, but soon enough, both stood from their sitting positions, still embraces. His hands reached around her waist, holding her tightly, but not too much so. Her arms moved from his face to the back of his neck, ruffling up his hair slightly.

You wish this was Atton don't you?

No, she lied to herself again. I prefer that it's Mical. He's a much better person than Atton. He's better than Atton.

More lies.

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So, new fic, new ideas, this one isn't going to be very long most likely, just a little random idea. Obviously, this contains the cut footage of Atton's death as a part of it. And also, obviously, my Exile is a Light Side Female. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy it so far and will stay tuned for more! Feedback is always appreciated, but no flames and only constructive criticism. Thanks! XD

9-21-05