All think it's apparent I'm alive, though you might wish to kill me due to my absence. Again, I apologize profusely. College is...heh, well...quite the time consumer. At this point, I really don't know when I'll be able to work on things and update, so just bear with me. No, I'm not abandoning the story. No, I'm not putting it on hiatus; I'm just going to be rather slow with the updates and things of that sort.

So, with all of that said, here's the next chapter. Hope you enjoy, and as always, feedback is much appreciated!

Oh and before people think that I'm using the Force just to advance plot (obviously that's a reason), the Force has always been, to me, more than just this...'thing' out there, it's been kind of like an entity that has a will but, but it itself is not the executor of its own will. It's not without a voice to further the 'destiny' of things, basically. So it can 'speak' through another being by prompting/nudging thoughts, giving visions, etc. It's not as complicated as that sounds, I just don't want people thinking that I used the Force to further plot because I couldn't think of anything else - I wanted to use the Force; I like it that way.

I'll shut up now so you can read.

Bastila didn't know that she could feel so many emotions at once. She was horrified at what she had just done, but at the same time, there was a part of her that felt kissing Revan was the most incredibly enjoyable thing that had ever happened in her austere and simple life. Everyone wanted to know they were desirable and Bastila was no different, Jedi or not. Revan had initiated the kiss and she had returned it – he had wanted her, and she had responded. Bastila was also incredibly confused. Her entire life she had been told that emotions were wrong, that passions were to be overcome with serenity…

Then why had kissing him felt so perfect?

It was hard to think clearly when absolutely calm and gazing into Revan's eyes, much less when her heart was hammering against her chest and her emotions were so very jumbled. His smoky green irises were smoldering intensely making it hard for her to breathe, though perhaps that was a residual effect from when his lips were so wonderfully melded to hers moments ago.

"You kissed me."

His lips curved into a deeply wicked, pleased smirk. "That I did."

"You kissed me," Bastila responded quietly, unable to really think or say anything else.

"You kissed me back," Revan pointed out, his deep, smooth voice carrying traces of his amusement.

She stared at him with that smirk on his face, with those eyes that tempted her to come back for more and could only gaze at him with fractionally parted lips, attesting to how nonplussed she was for a proper response.

Revan's smirk deepened. "I dare say I've rendered you speechless," he said, deviously smug.

Bastila wanted to feel her usual urge to smack the smirk off his handsome face, but she didn't. She didn't know what she was feeling. Grasping for something, anything, Bastila forced her eyes away from Revan's face and looked down, thanking the Force when she noticed his bruise again.

"I wasn't finished healing you," she said, finally beginning to sound like her usual self again, her tone sliding towards patiently annoyed with him. Her blue-grey eyes glared softly into his. "I trust I won't be interrupted this time?" She could do this. She could pull it back together. She would not let him know how much his kiss had unsettled her.

Revan sat back in his chair again and let his amorous inclinations cool, knowing he would not get anything more from Bastila at the moment. "No, no interruptions. I got what I wanted."

Bastila's glare increased as she knew his words were the truth. Revan made it no secret that he desired her and he had often pushed her boundaries. Now he had crossed one, and though it was just a single kiss Bastila knew that Revan enjoyed it even more because of the knowledge that he had, in essence, stolen something she likely would not have given him of her own free will.

"Then be silent and let me finish." Bastila placed a single hand over Revan's now faded bruise and kept her eyes firmly locked to his, warning him not to try anything else as she again pushed the Force through his body, healing his injury. Finished, she stood and looked down at the self-satisfied man in the chair in front of her. "I'm going to bed. Good night," she told him a little stiffly, turning and exiting his room, taking safe haven in hers.

Revan watched her go and didn't bother to try to rationalize the disappointment he felt. He knew he had thoroughly enjoyed kissing her and that he wanted her to stay. He almost always wanted her to stay – she managed to calm him and, at the very least, distract him from the pressure and stress of his job. Taking a moment to replay the past few minutes' events in his head, Revan realized that Bastila had not reacted to his kiss in the way he had expected. He had decided to kiss her thinking that he would receive harsh words and perhaps a slap in return for his bold action – instead, he had been kissed back and she had done nothing to reprimand him.


Turning back to his computer, Revan saw that a new report had been submitted while Bastila had been in his room. It had to do with Malak. Opening the report and perusing its contents, the Dark Lord closed his eyes and let out a sigh. Drawing the hood of his robe up over his head, Revan made his way to the med-bay that Malak was in and silently let himself inside. His apprentice was sitting up and looking around, his yellow-grey eyes alert but clouded with subdued anger.

"Why am I in here?" the apprentice demanded.

Revan pulled up a stool and perched on it, looking over the man in the bed next to him. "On Rhen Var, you hit your head on the transport. You cracked your skull open; you've been in here since."

Malak touched his head, feeling were a bandage was. He remembered now: he had been making his way to the cockpit when they hit turbulence and his head slammed into the wall. "If that pilot's still alive, I'll kill him," the apprentice growled.

"I took care of him," Revan related in a rather bored manner.

"Shame," Malak commented. He would've enjoyed making the man pay. "When can I leave?"

"When the doctor says, I would assume. I haven't spoken with him. They only told me you were awake."

The apprentice set his head back against the bed. "It's a lesser hell to be awake, but a more painful one…"

Revan furrowed his brows. "What do you mean?"

Opening his eyes, Malak looked at his master and one-time best friend. "The brain has a funny way of bringing back memories you thought you forgot long ago," he said.

The Dark Lord snorted softly. "Those kinds of memories, Malak, no one forgets, even after they think they block them out. I still remember every detail about Malachor."

"What happened down there, Revan? You never did tell me."

Revan stared hard at the floor for a while. "I died," was his only reply. Standing, the Dark Lord walked out of the med-bay, leaving his apprentice alone. Malak watched his Master leave with a detached curiosity. He often wondered how Revan thought of everything that had happened since they both made the life-altering decision to join the fight against the Mandalorians. He wondered if Revan regretted things like he did, and he wondered if the man who used to be his closest friend would have gone back and done things differently if given the chance. Internally, Malak frowned. He had never really known Revan, he reminded himself. There was always something about his friend he had never seen coming, sometimes good, sometimes bad.

What was it that made Revan hide so much? He had always been that way though, the apprentice mused. Revan had always kept to himself, been very private, almost maddeningly so. Malak thought about how he had been drawn to Revan, about how the quiet, confident boy had made him so wholly dedicated to his new friend's cause. The apprentice remembered how he had always been so fascinated with how Revan could speak so easily, so passionately, and draw so many under his wing. The faction had proved that easily. Calling themselves Revanchists, they followed their idol, Revan, without question. In the war, those under Revan pledged themselves to him until death - and they delivered, many perishing in service to their vaunted savior. Little they did they know that their leader would be just as brutal as the very enemy they fought, even from the beginning. Even now, with Revan seemingly betraying the Republic and returning to destroy it, those serving him had amaranthine loyalty.

All except himself, Malak thought. How ironic that he who first followed Revan was now the one who wanted most to dethrone the man who had brought him to where he was. He was tired, so very tired of being in Revan's shadow. In everything Revan was first, and he second. In power, in prestige, fame, skill, intelligence, looks, charm - everything, and Malak was sick of it. He wanted to be free. Free of Revan, free of the loathsome title of 'apprentice', free of it all. He wanted to be the Dark Lord. He wanted to be the one in power. He wanted the women, the immediate respect, the fear that Revan's title delivered.

A frown settling into his eyes, Malak knew that he had already been so very close to having what he wanted. When Revan's ship had been attacked, he could've let his Master die. He could've let his friend die. But something told him to keep Revan alive, that it wasn't yet time. Malak may have been power hungry, but he wasn't a fool - he would let Revan do the dirty work and set up the empire, make it stable. Then, when the time was right, Malak knew he would strike and take his place as the Dark Lord of the Sith.

Disgusted with being invalid for so long, the apprentice sat up and began removing the IVs and patches that connected him to the machines monitoring his vitals. The machines began to beep frantically, indicating that the patient had flatlined, and a doctor hurriedly rushed in.

"What are you do–augh!" he said, his words cut off by Malak's chokehold through the Force.

"Leaving," he growled, his mechanical voice grating and gruff, contemptuously tossing the doctor across the room as he stalked out of it.

Worthless fool.

Bastila was staring at herself in the mirror, knowing that she was looking at a different woman now. This woman wasn't sure of who she was or what she believed. This woman didn't know what to believe. A little more than three months ago, she had been the epitome of a perfect Jedi who had fallen into an unfortunate situation, landing in the hands of the Dark Lord of the Sith. Now, she knew she would be an absolute disgrace to the name 'Jedi.'

The emotions she felt, she couldn't ignore. The desires she felt, she couldn't rise above. The things that Revan said, she couldn't refute. The things he did, she couldn't resist.

"You're weak…" Bastila whispered to herself, lowering her head and shutting her eyes. "That's all that he's shown you: you're weak."

Bastila could not make herself deny the fact that she wanted to feel Revan's kiss again, feel his touch one more time. He was the only man ever to have kissed her, and, she thought, darkly amused by this, the only man that could've gotten away with it. Why did he have such power over her?

Because you lo -

"No," Bastila said firmly, aloud, silencing that inner voice. It did not matter - it came back. It always did.

You know you do. It's in your nature.

"I can't…"

You already do. Now all that remains is to accept it.

"He can't…"

Who is to say what he can and cannot do? Revan is a mystery. He chooses to do what he wishes. Perhaps he may choose favorably. He is partial to you; you know this too.

"Partiality does not mean affection."

Are you so afraid of him? Of yourself? What else is stopping you?

"Sanity," she snapped, finding it absurd she was talking to herself. But she couldn't help the nagging curiosity - what if the voice was right? What was there to be so afraid of?

Revan absently twirled a shock baton in his hand, watching the Jedi beneath him struggle to get up. "I told you to answer my question," he said, his voice absolutely bored.

"Fuck you…" the Jedi spat, still half-writhing on the floor.

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to decline your offer," Revan replied calmly. "Now, I ask again: why were you on Tatooine?"

The Jedi had collapsed on his back and was breathing hard. "Why does it matter?" he snapped. "I have nothing of importance to tell you, and if I did, I would die before I let you know it."

Nodding slowly, thoughtfully, Revan tossed the shock stick away, tired of physically beating the prisoner. "We'll see about that," he murmured, using the Force to rape the Jedi's mind of anything useful, breaking past his abysmally pathetic defenses. His deep concentration blocked out the horrible screaming that made even the hardened cell-block guards wince. Sighing as he removed himself from his captive's violated mind, Revan spoke as if talking to a misbehaving child. "See? Was that so hard? The answers I sought were not outside of your capability to give; it would have been much less painful to simply tell them to me."

"And help you?" the Jedi grunted, laughing a little insanely. " You are delusional."

"I have to be to do what I do, Jedi," the Dark Lord returned. "As do you."

"I am not the same as you, Sith!"

Revan shrugged. "So you say. But I know the truth."

His prisoner glared at him. "What does that mean?"

The Dark Lord grinned. He wasn't wearing his mask - he wanted this Jedi to see his face. "You're acting just like me. Tell you something?"

The Jedi's dark brows furrowed. "What?"

Revan sighed in annoyance and waved his hand. "How you're reacting to me, my questioning, this," he said. "You're acting just like I might." Understanding bloomed in the man's dark eyes and he became silent. "See?" Revan pressed. "Not so different, you and I."

Standing, he retrieved his hooded robe and slipped it on, making sure any residual blood from the few times he had been forced to bludgeon the Jedi was cleaned away. He instructed the guards to give the prisoner food and water and that he would be back later. Returning to his room for now he pondered over what he had learned from the Jedi's mind.

They really didn't know if Bastila was alive or not. There were too many speculative rumors that she was or wasn't, but they were searching as if she was very much alive and in need of their rescue. He snorted. She was very much alive, just not in need of their rescue. She wasn't in need of anyone's rescue. Bastila's proper place was with him, and with him she would stay. He would make sure of it.

Bastila couldn't take being stuck in her room any longer, tortured by her thoughts. Thinking that checking on Sante would be a good idea, the female Jedi made her way to the med bay and easily found the gruff soldier, smiling as she drew close.

"Oh, the Princess pays a visit," he said in a good-natured manner.

Bastila laughed softly and rolled her eyes. "Yes Sante, I'm paying you a visit. How are you? The kolto's working, I hope."

The soldier nodded. "Yeah; they say I'll be outta here by late tomorrow. The injuries were mostly shallow." He gave Bastila a once-over. "You're looking a little drawn. Something unpleasant?"

She was surprised at Sante's perceptiveness and gave a wearily patient sort of smile. "I spend most of my time with Revan - there's bound to be something unpleasant on a daily basis."

Sante sighed. "I still think you judge him too harshly," he said adamantly. "Revan is a good man. Misguided perhaps, a little off-track maybe, but he's doing what he thinks is his calling."

"I know, Sante," she said quietly, indicating the subject was no longer open.

Sensing this, the soldier nodded and fell silent for a moment. "You know he's got that other Jedi, right?" Bastila nodded. "Do you know him?"

She shook her head. "Never seen him before that I can remember." She paused. "He's in the holding cells, isn't he?"

Sante shrugged. "I don't know - I haven't heard much of anything since I've been in here. I would assume so, though. Revan wanted information from him."

Bastila's eyes were distant. "That means torture," she sighed, remembering the promise she had made to herself to help her fellow Jedi in his captivity.

"Most likely," the soldier agreed warily, not liking the look on Bastila's face. "Princess, please don't do anything stupid. I actually like you, you know."

Bastila gave him an unreadable smile and patted the grizzled man's arm. "That all depends on your definition of 'stupid,'" she returned, getting up and exiting the med bay, searching out the holding cells. Finding who she was looking for was not difficult.

Revan's walk was purposeful and confident as always - or at least it was until he made it back to the holding cells. His mind raced, his heart making a very sudden, shocking halt for a split-second in his chest. What the fuck is she doing?

His eyes were seeing what his mind was having a bit of trouble comprehending: Bastila was in the male Jedi's holding cell, healing him and talking with him. Putting kolto on his wounds. His bare skin. Her hands, were touching that man's bare skin. And he looked as if he was gleaning pleasure from it. His eyes were roaming over her.

Revan's jaw twitched. The Jedi was going to die.

Somehow, through the blind rage that bathed his world in red, Revan kept his composure as he walked into the cell and removed his mask, glaring down at Bastila and the prisoner. Bastila had looked up quickly upon hearing the door open, cursing herself for not sensing Revan's looming presence earlier. Fear immediately froze her actions as she saw how vividly crimson his eyes were.

"Revan..." She had feared this might not go over well.

"Be silent," he growled, his voice as cold as she had ever heard it, his eyes sliding to lock on the man next to her. Bastila quickly backed away as Revan grasped the Jedi by the throat, dragging the man up to eye level and leaning forward to place his mouth next to the captive's ear. "Do you find her attractive?" the Dark Lord growled, his voice barely above a whisper and only audible to the Jedi, arctic and cutting with every syllable. "Do you lust after her? Wish for her? You can't have her," he whispered, his voice suggesting violence now for any similar thought entertained in the Jedi's head. "She is mine." Revan turned to Bastila, who had heard nothing of the exchange, and dropped the man roughly on the floor. "Healing him, I see," he snarled. "How very kind of you. Do not pamper my prisoners!" he roared suddenly, causing her to flinch in surprise. His voice became very low. "Because of you, he will suffer, Bastila."

Bastila opened her mouth to speak, to protest.


The word halted her voice and frustration filled her, knowing she had dug herself a hole and dragged the other Jedi down in it with her, burying him alive, it seemed. Bastila turned and left, seeing nothing she could do to salvage the situation.

The screaming started before she was out of the room.

Fists clenched, knuckles white, she stalked back to her quarters, seething. The nerve of that man to blame the punishment on her...

(2 days later)

His room was dark, throwing everything into silhouette as he gazed ahead of him, his eyes vacant. The only light was emanating from his desk, pulsing, almost matching his heartbeat. Revan, an old bullet slug in his hand, rippled it over the tops of his fingers, back and forth, back and forth as he thought. That Jedi was weak. It had been simple to break him, to exploit his weaknesses. The problem was, the Dark Lord thought with a smirk - the irony of it - that the Jedi was too much like himself. Too much like he had been before the Mandalorian Wars. Too impatient and angry. Too distrusting of the Jedi Code. Too in touch with emotions and willing to let them run free.

And that made him easy to turn.

It had helped that his anger burned nearly out of control at the Jedi for how he had looked at Bastila, but Revan did take a special pleasure in turning Jedi to his side, in showing them how he was right.

He had kept himself to his room and purposefully avoided Bastila for the past few days, his anger with her and over what she had done still too great. Seeing Bastila's hands on the Jedi's bare skin had awakened a wrath he had never quite had to figure out before. A pressure had formed behind his ears, and then behind his eyes, making it hard to focus his sight. His body had trembled and ice had tightened his core, tingling and buzzing through his heart and lungs and stomach. Breathing had suddenly been impossible, and his mouth had never felt so dry. And as he tried thickly and repeatedly to swallow, disbelief had set in at what he was seeing. Then confusion at his disbelief. Then jealousy, a pain that was almost phantasmal - he wasn't sure if it all hurt at first or not - and crawling, dripping, liquid-hot fury.

Part of him wished to avoid Bastila for a very, very long time. Part of him already longed to see her and missed her presence. Part of him wanted to make her pay for the pain she had caused, but that brought up a very interesting question: Why had her action stung so much? Revan sighed and shifted, the bullet slug still swimming hypnotically over his fingers. It was becoming increasingly hard to ignore the jealousy he felt whenever Bastila interacted with anyone else, especially if that anyone was a male. And Force forbid they touch - it sent him into a frothing rage to see that. Whenever Bastila was near and seemed to be pleased with him, Revan found himself...he dared not go so far as 'happy,' but he did find himself pleasantly satisfied with things. He realized that he was increasingly attempting to make Bastila pleased with him, even if Bastila didn't notice it - his actions were very subtle in nature.

And then the kiss…

Revan wasn't sure how he felt about that. He had enjoyed it, obviously, as it had been good, but there was something else nagging at his mind. Yes, he wanted to feel her lips again, he understood that. He wanted to feel that same heady lust and the excitement of it all, he understood that as well. None of that seemed to cover it.

His eyes looked up from beneath his dark lashes as the door opened, ignoring the surprise he felt upon seeing Bastila in the doorway. She looked quite irate.

"They say they can't get you over the com." They, meaning his Admirals.

"I turned it off."

Her eyes met his now, pools of icy silver-blue, frosted over. "Then perhaps you would like to speak to them through my com?" she asked tightly.


"Then tell them to stop contacting me to get to you," Bastila snapped.

Revan was silent, the bullet still rippling, his thoughts turning; Bastila's eyes watched the bullet, but he did not see. Stop contacting her to get to me...Yes, that is how they get to me, isn't it? Through her. I've allowed her to become my weakness.He snorted softly. And I don't care. This revelation dragged a darkly amused smile across his lips.

"Are you even listening to me?"

He turned his head to Bastila now, freezing her in place with his heavy gaze. "Of course I'm listening to you," he replied. Standing and slipping the slug into a pocket, he went to the com station in Bastila's room and flipped it on, bringing up a holo-view of one of his commanding officers. "Leave us alone," he said calmly, authoritatively.

"But sir–!"

"I said leave us alone. I shut my com off for a reason, Admiral. Do not annoy my prisoner as well. Whatever it is, I'm sure you are quite able to deal with it yourself." Flipping off the com and turning around, Revan found that Bastila was blocking the doorway still, and it didn't look like she was going to let him through easily this time.


"I am not a kath hound, Revan," Bastila replied stiffly, crossing her arms over her chest.

"No, you smell better."

She glared murderously at him. "You're an arse."

"Is that so?" he asked in a sort of bored, humoring way.

"Yes," Bastila nearly hissed, her eyes narrowing.

"Aha." Same bored, almost amused tone. "What else?"

"A bastard."

Revan nodded. "I've heard that one before, Bastila. Give me something new."

Bastila took a few steps toward him and brandished a pointed finger at him. "A sex-driven nerf-herder who can't keep his hands or his mouth to himself!"

He chuckled now. "I'll remember that in future arguments."

"Why? I just want to know why, Revan," Bastila demanded, both hands on her hips now.

A brow raised in response. "Why what? There are a lot of answers I could give to that vague question."

"Why did you kiss me?"

Revan thought for a moment. "Because I wanted to."

The woman glared venomously at him. "And so that gives you the right?"

Revan shrugged. "You didn't stop me."

"I was shocked! What did you expect me to do?" she demanded.

He shrugged again. "Slap me?" Which wouldn't have been wise, he mused.

Bastila rolled her eyes. "I should have," she grumbled.

Revan took a step closer. "Why didn't you?"

She shot him a warning glare as he moved closer, but he ignored it. "I have no idea! Fit of insanity, perhaps?"

"You know you enjoyed it."

Staring at him, livid, Bastila closed the small distance between them and stuck a finger in his face. "Don't you dare assume to know how I felt about what you did!" she hissed. So now he was Dark Lord of the Sith, and her shrink? Pompous arsehole...

Revan merely glanced at her finger, a lazy grin working its way across his lips. "You want me to do it again."

"Oh, you bastard!" she yelled, turning away from him for a second only to whirl back around in an effort to slap him as hard as she could. Revan caught her flying hand and Bastila merely tried with the other, having just as little success as he caught that hand as well. With a growl, Revan shoved Bastila against the wall right next to the door, keeping hold of her hands.

"That was very rude, Bastila," he grunted quietly. He had told her on Rhen Var not to slap him again, and she had just tried twice.

"So punish me," the woman spat with a roll of her eyes, greatly annoyed that she was stuck.

"I will," he rumbled back, leaning down and forcefully claiming her mouth with his. Bastila inhaled sharply through her nose, not expecting Revan's kiss. Her hands balled into fists and she tried to wrench them free of Revan's very strong grip, but to no avail. He pulled back as she jerked her face to the side, and she caught sight of his wicked smirk, the vision only making her lips and body tingle more intensely. She felt hot and her heart was beating a little hard.

"Get off me," she demanded, trying to land a kick on his shin. He easily blocked it and Bastila winced as he roughly yanked her arms above her head, pinning them there and effectively immobilizing her head. Her eyes narrowed for a different reason as she felt Revan's firm, warm body press against hers. "Get. Off," she said, her tone threatening pain if he did not obey.

Revan laughed. "Absolutely not," was his returned purr as his smoldering green-grey orbs gazed down into her furiously blazing silvery blue ones.

Oh don't you dare…

With another smirk he leaned down again, meeting Bastila's glare every centimeter of the way and slid his lips against hers in a much softer kiss than before, making the burning throb that suffused her body pulse much more intensely. His eyes slid shut after a second and he pinned her wrists with only one hand, freeing his other to slip into her dark, silky hair. Revan was surprised she wasn't resisting more as he kissed her, but he wanted her too badly to think much on it at the moment. His body told him he was excited, aroused, ready; his mind told him he would never get that lucky.

Every time Revan's lips met hers, Bastila felt her resolve to fight him weaken. He seemed to sense this and slowly let his grasp on her wrists go, freeing her arms. She grabbed his hair, pulling hard, trying one last time to force him away, but it only elicited a growl from Revan and another firm kiss. Using the Force somehow never entered her mind. Defeated, her senses enveloped with him, her grip slackened enough to end the pain it caused before her hands slid down to his chest to push lightly, a silent plea for him to keep his self-control. Her body wanted his to be this close - closer, even - and it reacted instinctually to his, making her afraid that if he didn't control himself, she might not be able to stop this.

Only a few moments later though, her body betrayed her once more and her hands moved of their own accord, giving in to subconscious desire. Sliding back, one hand grabbed a fistful of his shirt while the other pressed into his firm shoulder. Revan felt this and shifted closer, letting his left hand wander to her lower back to bring their hips together. Feeling Bastila push him closer was a gratifying shock and his mind ran through the possibility that she wanted this too.

Emotion that Bastila knew was not her own suddenly trickled into her being: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, a sliver of triumph, a sense of accomplishment...and all of it felt saturated with Revan's essence. What was going on?

"I want her...She'll never let you in - she doesn't love you, and you know that's what it would take."

Bastila made a soft noise at this, the sudden intrusion of Revan's voice into her head startling her. He took the noise to be one of enjoyment, and deepened the kiss he was giving her. Bastila did enjoy that, his action much more gentle than some of the other kisses he had been giving. A grunt came from Revan again, but this one was not of pleasure, and her lips suddenly felt cool as his left. His hand disentangled itself from her hair, the other slid away from her lower back and he stepped away, turning towards her room's door. It was surprising to her how cold she felt with Revan being gone.

A knock came at her door at that moment, and Bastila mused with a sort of dark humor that Revan, though so seemingly enraptured with her, still kept his senses quite completely about himself.

"Enter," the Dark Lord said, his voice hinting nothing at the tempered passion he had just been a part of.

"'s the Jedi prisoner…" a Sith stuttered as he haltingly stepped into the room, his fear evident.

"What about him?"


"Spit it out!"

The Sith cringed. "He's going into seizures!" he replied quickly.

"Seizures?" Revan said incredulously, his anger flaring. "Get a doctor to stabilize him you fool! Go! Now!"

"Sir, we've tried! Nothing's working!"

"Son of a bitch - do I have to do everything myself?" he snarled, whirling and stalking into his room, donning an outer robe and a cloth mask. He paused as he walked through Bastila's room again, turning to the female present. "Stay here," he ordered tersely, the remembrance of her hands on the male Jedi's skin still very fresh in his mind. Revan didn't want her anywhere near that man again. You're getting soft, his mind taunted and he frowned.

Not soft, he snapped back.

Then what?

Needy, he replied with irony, snapping around and marching in the direction of the Jedi's holding cell.

Bastila mouth turned down as she watched him go, annoyed that her body hadn't yet calmed from Revan's actions. She couldn't deny any longer that there was something between them, some sort of physical ardor, at the very least. When he touched her, her body ached for him; when he kissed her, it set her aflame. Bastila wondered if he felt the same, or if his actions were just a means to an end, the end being her in his bed. Then why was he thinking about me loving him? she wondered. Does he want me to love him just so that I might sleep with him?

Bastila knew Revan had his moral pitfalls so to speak, but she didn't think he'd be so cruel as to capture her heart solely for the purpose of sex. Then another thought entered her head: Why had she heard Revan in her mind? Why had his thoughts slid into hers? It had never happened before...did it have to do with kissing her? Even then, why would kissing her make his thoughts, his mental voice mingle with hers?

She rubbed her forehead, thinking back to a subject she had pondered only once before. If Revan's thoughts were simply popping into her head, that meant there was a link between them somehow, and that link was through the Force. We must be bonded then...there's no other explanation for it, unless he purposefully put his thoughts out there for me to hear, she surmised. And that isn't like Revan. She paused in her thinking for a moment. Did my saving his life really interlink our fates that much? Was I bound to be by his side as soon as I grabbed on to his fading life?

This was something she had never really pondered before, that perhaps fate had destined that she would be near Revan. But why? So you could find yourself. Bastila frowned, though she knew the thought was true. Revan had indeed shown her more about herself than she had ever seen during her time with the Jedi. So she understood why she was here, but what was the purpose of this in Revan's life? What reason did fate have to put him near her? To remind him of who he is. Bastila knew that these thoughts must have been coming from the Force's prompting, because this knowledge was not hers. So she was here to show Revan back to who he was...but how? She knew nothing of how he thought about their situation; he never showed such things to her.

But now you can know - you can get in his head, that eerily omniscient voice prompted her. It was true; she could, if all held up like it had just a few moments ago. Her curiosity about him was certainly strong enough...and she had to admit that the physical gratification was better than she had anticipated. Now Bastila just hoped she could keep all of this under control.


The slap reverberated around the room, followed by a grunt.

"Think you're clever, don't you? That you can fuck around with me and get away with it?" The male Jedi spat at Revan's face in response and let his head loll back, tired and in pain. Revan laughed. "Having a bout of conscience, were we? Decided that maybe pledging allegiance to me wasn't what you should do, so you'd just go into fake seizures to keep my men from getting a hold of you? Pain does make one say funny things sometimes, but this is the most interesting display of cowardice I've seen in a long while," the Dark Lord mocked.

The Jedi gave a feeble laugh and Revan waited to see what was so amusing. "You''re not even a real Sith…" he forced out, still chuckling.

Revan yanked the man's head up by the hair. "And what do you mean by that?"

The prisoner smiled, his teeth smeared red, glistening wetly with blood. "You're a cheap mockery. Nominal in...relation."

"And this should be insulting to me why? I am fully aware that there was a race of Sith that came before, real humanoids. They've been extinct for ages now, so why should I give a damn?" Revan said, not playing all of his cards. He wanted to see if this would bait the Jedi into saying something about the True Sith.

The man laughed again, some blood dribbling out from between his lips and onto his chin. "Ignorant fool!" he spat weakly. "Extinct? Far from it. Hiding. Waiting. But not anymore."

Revan's body tensed, his muscles coiling in anticipation. "Not anymore? What does that mean?"

The Jedi shook his head. "Why should I help you? You're putting the galaxy under a tyrannical rule, just like they would. I hope you're destroyed by them."

"You speak as if this threat is imminent," the Sith Lord spoke carefully. "And you know little about me, Jedi, so keep such musings to yourself. If I wanted to put the galaxy under tyrannical rule, as you say, I would simply burn, pillage and rape everything that I could lay my hands on. The galaxy is in remarkably stable shape for such a tumultuous conflict, wouldn't you say?"

"Perhaps. But…" he winced, paused. "You are still wrong."

"It will seem so to many. Not to me."

Another laugh. "You're insane."

"That may be true. Now tell me what prompted this babble about nominal and true Sith," Revan demanded.


The Sith Lord's irises darkened to a dangerous green-grey, a storm all but visibly swirling in his eyes. "Because if you don't, I will cut off one finger at a time until you do," he snarled quietly.

The Jedi's face showed conflicted interests: resistance, but weariness at this game, and a creeping apathy for the galactic situation around him - his own pain wasn't worth caring about such things. "It's why I was on Tatooine. With mercenaries. I wasn't looking for Bastila - you already know that. I was sent to investigate the Sand People; a Jedi was lost to them a month beforehand. When...when I scouted it out, I saw that the Raiders were...zombies. Shells of their former selves. And they carried some sort of brand on their skin. I took images of the brand back to my enclave to see if it was a known symbol - they never told me...directly, but a rumor came around that it was an ancient Sith moniker, and that it carried an ill omen if it was being seen again." The Jedi took a shaky breath. "I was sent back to monitor things, and that's...when you showed up," he grumbled, wincing again, his speech halting.

Revan's mind was racing. The Sith were back. True Sith. Now. Exactly what had been foretold to him years before.

If the Jedi wasn't lying.

Roughly, he yanked the Jedi up by his shirt. "If you are lying to me, I swear I will kill you and anyone who bears your name," he threatened.

"No, no - I'm not lying!" the man insisted, coughing again. "I know what I saw, but that's it. If it's Sith or not, I can't tell you for sure. But I know what I saw. I'm not lying."

"Pray your masters were not lying as well. I will hold you accountable for their false words," he growled, dropping the prisoner and exiting the room, his thoughts consuming him.

Ancient Sith...ill omen….it all carried the same sense of foreboding and familiarity that Revan had felt upon seeing those Tuskans branded on Tatooine. And if the Sith were here...The Dark Lord grunted. He needed to pay his 'friends' on Dantooine a visit. Then perhaps Coruscant, if this extended that far, though he doubted it did.

Without warning, Revan's ship shuddered, and a reverberating growl vibrated his body, his ship snarling like a massive beast awakened from slumber. A blaring, deafening alarm sounded soon after, every inch of the vessel bathed in a red glow now - the power had been cut; the emergency generator had kicked in.

"Attention all personnel! We have been ambushed by a contingent of Republic vessels! Boarding capsules detected! Weapons free; I repeat, weapons are free!"

"Fuck," Revan cursed under his breath, snapping around and stalking back to the bridge of his ship, his black cape flowing like satin darkness behind him. The door whooshed open to reveal a chaotic room. "Report!" the Dark Lord barked, storming to the centermost part of the room.

"They jumped out of hyperspace right on top of us!" someone shouted back amidst the din. "We don't know how - we were sitting ducks! We've been hit by turbolasers and concussion missiles, and our shields are down - shit!" the voice cursed as the cruiser rocked again, sending men and women tumbling across the room.

"Right her!" Revan snapped, grasping a handrail to keep from ending up like the others.

"Damn damn damn! Someone get that power back on! We need those shields!"

Revan needed to visually assess the situation. "Open the view bay!"

The massive metal eyelids slid apart to reveal a scene he knew all too well. Red and green laser fire peppered across the expanse of the black backdrop that was space, fighters streaking and banking, explosions ripping crafts apart, the ships maneuvering and dodging as best they could. A few of the other cruisers in the group had fared much better, finding time to get their fighters out of the hangar bays and retaliate.

"Deploy our fighters! We need to divert laser fire from our ship! And someone get on restoring power!" the Dark Lord snapped, whirling as another alarm sounded and the female voice of the computer sounded over all channels.

"Multiple hull breaches on level two. Multiple hull breaches on level two. Depressurization in five minutes."

Revan's gut clenched as he realized that was the level that Bastila and her family were on.

"Sir! We've been boarded! Reports of Republic soldiers on multiple levels!" someone else shouted at him.

For just a moment, the situation threatened to overwhelm him. It would have been too much for any normal man to handle, such a sudden eruption of chaos with so many decisions to make, so many lives in his hands. For just a moment, it was almost too much for his mind to process at once.

Everyone on the bridge halted for precious seconds shivers and feelings of cold dread passing through all as they heard a slow, deep, rising laugh. It was controlled, calm, but maniacal, insane and evil, made all the more disconcerting by the expressionless mask it emanated from. Revan laughed from somewhere deep inside of himself, welcoming the fury and hell of the moment. If it was a fight these Republic ships wanted, then he would give them one for the HoloNet tomorrow.

With a disturbingly sharp snap-hiss, the Sith Lord ignited his crimson blade and faced down his bridge. "Kill them all," he ordered, his voice dead as he stalked out of the massive room, his very air predatory. With each heavy thud of his boots, his thoughts shifted, swirled, crashed together. He had a family to protect - his family, he thought with a twinge of dark irony. Revan snorted behind his mask. He would deprive the mothers of the Republic their sons and daughters to save a family who he pathetically attached himself to, who was only near him because of the violence and hell he had unleashed upon the galaxy. He knew little of Helena and Ryric, save that they both loathed him quite openly; his only true link into their begrudging acceptance was Bastila. Bastila, who he found himself closer to every time he saw her. Bastila, who was breaking down every wall he had ever thrown up to keep everyone and everything out.

The Dark Lord slipped though the sea of rushing men and women - his soldiers, followers, disciples - with surprising grace, though the black aura that rippled from him parted the frothing mass with ease. The sounds of battle reached his ears as he neared his destination and he cursed, his gloved fist clenching around his lightsaber more tightly, his pace increasing. Again, Revan tested the bond between himself and his prisoner.


"About damn time you showed up, Revan!" her sharp, accented voice snapped back in his head, making him smile. She must have known about their bond then, if she responded that quickly and easily. The smile turned to a feral snarl as he pushed his head around the corner to draw a bead on his enemies. It was a well-entrenched firefight, leaving Revan one simple course of action: walk directly into battle. His movement purposeful and sharp, his soldiers immediately held their fire as he drew in front of their line, watching as their Dark Lord decimated the Republic soldiers.

Revan, with unparalleled precision and grace, twirled his lightsaber in front of him, creating a blurred shield of red that blocked and deflected all blaster fire the Republic soldiers tried to fell him with. He Force-blocked a grenade as he advanced, the explosion ripping open the wall to his left and splattering the area with gore. A scream rose above the din of blaster fire, high, pained, frantic - a soldier that had been near the blast was staring at his right side, his eyes rolling crazily as he could not comprehend why he had no arm and the bloody ivory of his ribs were showing. With a swift movement that devoured the last few feet of distance between himself and his attackers, Revan thrust his burning blade forward, impaling a man before he could draw his blade to defend.

Spinning to his left, the Dark Lord smashed an armored elbow into another man's head and kicked backwards as another Republic soldier tried to knife him from behind. Slashing down in front and then turning on his heel, Revan cleaved the first man in two and decapitated the second with a flick of his wrist. As the two lifeless bodies fell, the Dark Lord emotionlessly advanced, parrying the strike of a vibroblade, turning his wrist in a circle to push the weapon uselessly aside and burn his crimson blade through the Republic soldier's neck. He collapsed, what was left of his throat gurgling in a feeble attempt to hold on to his life.

His path now clear enough to continue on, Revan left the few remaining soldiers to his men's hands, hearing the blaster fire commence again immediately and more bodies hit the ground.

"Where are you?" he demanded.

"With my family."

Revan had assumed as much. He cut down another foolish soldier who threw himself at the Sith Lord in a pathetic effort to kill him and crushed his weapon hand so forcefully into another enemy's face that he immediately collapsed. Whether he died, Revan didn't know and didn't care. Smacking the panel that opened the door to the Shans' family room his eyes quickly scanned from behind his mask and saw they were all present and all safe. Bastila was holding a vibroblade, her bright eyes alert.

"You're unhurt?" he asked quickly, knowing that his eyes may have missed something.

"We're f —watch out!" Bastila yelled. Revan started to turn but it was too late to avoid the blade; he grunted as he felt it lodge into the back of his armor, but no pain formed. His armor had stopped the metal before it reached him. Revan, annoyed, turned deliberately and stared down at the Republic soldier who could only gaze back at him in utter horror as his impending death became apparent. Reaching behind himself and yanking the knife out, the Dark Lord inspected it briefly.

"Next time, don't use a regular blade," he told the man. Faster than the soldier could see, he snapped his arm around and imbedded the knife into the man's skull to the hilt, watching impassively as the body dropped and twitched from the brain trauma, ignoring Helena's "No!" and Ryric's grunt. Deactivating his lightsaber and dragging the man's body outside, Revan locked the room's door for now, enclosing himself with the family. He did not wish to incur another interruption by his lack of foresight.

Helena's face was deathly pale, and Ryric only stared wide-eyed at Revan. The Sith Lord pushed back his hood and removed his mask, laying it on a table.

"What are you doing?" Bastila demanded. "Shouldn't you be fighting? Or is that beneath you?"

Revan attributed these caustic comments to stress. "I have been, and I will return once I have ensured that neither you or your family will be harmed."

"I'm not helpless, Revan," the female Jedi grunted.

"Would you kill your own men, Bastila? Men who fight on your side? No, you would not, because they would not fight you. They would take you from me, and hand you back to the Jedi. I will not have you taken from me," he replied evenly, his eyes more grey than green, attesting to their steely hardness.

There was something in Revan's words that made Bastila pause for just a fraction and look at him differently. "Revan, this is dangerous for you," she reminded him.

"I will not lose you," was his resolute reply.

"Even if they took me, you would not lose me, Revan. What you've done can't be erased by the Jedi," Bastila told him, searching his eyes for some sign that her words reached him, the him that was inside.

The man stared back at Bastila, thinking, with some amusement, that she never ceased to surprise him. "I still would rather not have to be troubled with the annoyance of retrieving you from their rapacious clutches," he grunted in an answer.

"Why in the hell are you two just staring at each other? There is a battle going on, in case you didn't notice!" Ryric burst, causing Revan's gaze to slide to the boy and silence him.

"Do not meddle in things you know nothing about, boy," he related coolly. "You are so eager to send me out to battle, but yet I am sure that if I handed you a blade, you would balk at the thought." The Dark Lord leaned down to get right in Ryric's face, his voice lowering. "Just remember, when all of this is done, that I risked my life for yours and your family's, like your father would have done, was he still alive. Remember that I did it in his stead, and yours, since you will not fill his shoes."

Ryric's face turned red with fury. "I can't fight my own brothers," he hissed back in a whisper.

Revan gave a soft laugh and a disturbingly lifeless grin. "I wasn't talking about now."

The brother swallowed and took a step back. "You're insane," he grunted, his hazel-green eyes dark and wary.

"You would not be the first to think so," the Sith Lord replied as he turned away and put his mask on again, drawing up his hood and fingering his lightsaber thoughtfully. "Where would be the safest place for you…" he muttered. Suddenly, the ship was thrown into tumult again, spasms of the craft throwing Revan against the nearest wall, sprawling the Shan family out on the floor. "Dammit!" he cursed, scrambling to his feet. Static burst into his ears as his helmet's personal channel crackled to life.

"Sir, we're going to get blown to the Force and back if something doesn't change very soon," his Admiral, Saul Karath, informed him with only the barest hint of stress coming through in his voice.

Revan grunted. "Any suggestions, Karath? I can't do much but maneuver the ship and hope they miss at this point."

"They're telling me the shields are completely shot to hell; that there's no way we're getting them back up any time soon. The generator's blown, and our engines are beginning to fail. If they score direct hits again, it could tear our ship in two," the Admiral replied calmly.

"I'll think of something. Do what you can until then."

"Certainly, sir."

"Karath?" Bastila asked. "Wasn't that one of the Republic Admirals during the Mandalorian Wars?"

Revan didn't respond. He had the solution. "Bastila, come with me," he ordered, opening the door and walking out, dragging her for a moment by the arm, figuring she would not obey him.

"Wha–Revan, what the bloody hell are you doing?" the female Jedi yelled after him, following quickly as she was yanked out the door, ducking as things sparked and exploded around them.

"Hey!" Ryric barked.

"Where are you taking her?" Helena screeched, but was ignored by both.

"Your Battle Meditation - I need you to use it," he replied as he half-jogged to where he prayed his ship was free of Republic soldiers, cutting through maintenance passageways to avoid skirmishes and save time.

"What?" she all but screeched. "You think I'll just consent to that?"

Revan whirled on her, his blank mask staring down at her. "Yes," he said, "because if you don't, you will condemn us all to death."

Bastila felt her throat go impossibly tight and she thrust a hand out to steady herself against a wall as the ship rocked and shuddered again.

"Sir, that was cutting it rather close."

"I hear you, Karath! I'm working on it!" Revan focused on Bastila again. "Bastila, if you refuse, you will be killing yourself and your family. I cannot bring this battle back. A victory is out of my grasp at this point," he told her, his voice strained.

Somehow, Bastila noticed that he didn't mention that she would be killing him as well. Briefly, she wondered if he thought himself so unimportant to her. If he did, he was very, very wrong. "If I do this...where will you be?" she asked, still hesitating.

"I will fight," he answered.

Suddenly, it occurred to Bastila how empty her life would be if this man were to suddenly depart from it. With a frown, she grabbed the top of Revan's breastplate and pulled him down, pushing his mask up with her other hand to bring his face into view. It was relieving to see his stormy green eyes again, to let her eyes take in the familiar angles of his handsome face. "I will do what you ask, Revan, but you had better be around to catch the hell I'm going to give you after this is over," she told him firmly.

His mouth curved into a smirk. "Wouldn't miss it," he replied, pulling his mask back down and turning again, his voice authoritative now, the moment over. "What kind of atmosphere do you need to do this?"

Bastila ducked another sparking explosion. "All I need is an empty room. Everything else I can block out," she responded quickly.

Revan made a sharp turn and crashed into the wall as the ship groaned and trembled.

"Sir...not to be a nuisance…"

"I know, Karath - a solution is on the way. Trust me a few moments longer."

"My trust never wavered, sir," was the calm, self-assured, slightly sarcastic reply.

With another sharp turn, Revan ducked into another corridor. "I don't know that I can give you an empty room…"

"I'll work with whatever I get then."

Revan snorted as the doors to the bridge opened to reveal the utter chaos within. "This?"

"Might be a problem," Bastila muttered.

"I can put a barrier of silence around you. That should help."

She nodded. "It will. Just tell me where to sit."

Karath, who was at the head of the room, turned and eyed Bastila. "This is your solution, I presume?"

"She's the only chance we've got of pulling a victory out of this. At the very least, we can get our collective asses out of here in retreat and come out with our lives still intact," the Dark Lord replied, quickly pushing Karath aside and halting Bastila at the head of the room. "So you can see it all, if you need to," he murmured in her ear, stepping away and concentrating for a moment to create the sphere of silence around her. He nodded to her and watched as she sank down to sit on the floor. A blue glow rippled around her and then moved outwards, dissipating, and Bastila seemed to be frozen in place, deep concentration etched into her beautiful face. Revan grabbed Karath by the collar. "You make sure nothing happens to her. Our survival depends on it," he growled, his voice carrying with it the implication of a terrible threat if Karath failed.

"Her survival will be my utmost priority," the older man answered, his voice never wavering from its calm baritone. Karath pulled out a blaster as the Dark Lord left, fully prepared to carry out his orders. He respected Revan completely, and what Revan found important, Karath made important to himself. Revan knew this and felt no trepidation that Bastila would meet any harm as he left to aid his men in killing the Republic soldiers who had boarded his ship.

"Captain sir! The Sith are rallying!"

A gloved hand flew up to an earpiece in surprise. "What? How in the hell is that possible? We had them beat back on all fronts!"

"I have no idea sir, but they just crushed our left flank and broke our line!"

"Damn! Divert all available fighters to fix that gap! We have to drive them back!" the Captain grunted in response. How was it feasible that the Sith were suddenly one step ahead of every one of his men? Five seconds ago his pilots had been laying waste to the Sith fighters, and now it was like the entire will of the Force had shifted to decree that he would lose this battle - and from the way things were looking, lose it he might.

Revan waded his way through the dead bodies strewn about the corridors, seeing that he didn't have to do much in the way of fighting now that Bastila had boosted the morale and will of all his men. Her talent was truly amazing, and he smirked a little behind his mask as he mused that her strength of will to perform Battle Meditation likely bled into her strength of will and stubbornness with him. His soldiers cheered as he passed on his way back to the bridge, attesting to the importance of this victory that Bastila had provided.

The Dark Lord entered the spacious room and stepped up the semi-inclined ramp, stopping behind where Bastila sat. It was a beautiful sight, the view before him. His Sith fighters were decimating the Republic forces, and a Republic cruiser was breaking apart right in front of his eyes. The battle was all but over. The rest of the Republic forces were retreating, but they would not make it out alive. Placing a gloved hand on Bastila's shoulder, he gently brought her out of her concentration. She opened her eyes and looked ahead for only a few moments before they glazed over and she slumped to the floor.

Heart lurching at this and highly alarmed, Revan knelt down and ripped a glove off, feeling for her pulse. It was weak. Scooping her up, he swiftly navigated the corridors back to his room, using his COM channel to order his doctor to meet him there. The doctor was present when Revan arrived, concern etched on his wise face.

"She collapsed?" he asked, quickly undoing Bastila's top and pushing it aside. Revan tried not to look, but failed rather miserably. Her skin was as pale as moonlight suffused with the pink of life, and it looked smooth beyond comparison, softer than anything Revan could remember seeing before.

"Yes," he answered after a moment. "I put my hand on her shoulder to wake her from her trance; she opened her eyes and crumpled."

His doctor checked Bastila's vitals and gave her a cursory inspection. "She's probably just suffering from exhaustion," he told Revan, pulling out a few syringes and preparing one of her arms. "I'll give a small shot of kolto and a two nutrient injections; it should help her body balance out again. Let her sleep for now. Everything sounds fine, just a little fainter than usual."

The Dark Lord nodded, thanking his doctor and returning his attention to Bastila's unconscious form once the shots had been administered and his friend had left. Quickly removing himself of his armor, Revan set about getting Bastila's confining, tight Jedi clothes off. He found himself bothered as he did this, arousal creeping up on him though he did not actively welcome it. Undressing her was a very sensual act; it brought him back to when she had undressed him on Rhen Var, and the entire cyclical thought train woke his body up. First, he removed her boots, unclasping them and working them off her feet. Then he set about the sash that was on her waist, and her belt. Lastly, he lifted her with the utmost gentleness and peeled off her bodysuit from the top down, tugging slowly as he went so as not to accidentally wake her.

As he turned back around from folding her clothes and placing them on the floor, Revan felt a sort of primal pull low in his gut when his gaze fell upon Bastila this bared to his eyes. Sight was a gift he had been given, but touch was something he had to take for himself. With a soft, careful pressure, Revan started at her feet and explored them for a moment, feeling how small they were in his hands, then her ankles and calves, surprised at the well-toned definition of her lower legs. His palms slid a little coarsely against her knees and thighs as he marveled at the silkiness of her pale skin; his touched glided inside and out on her legs, feeling everything, and then to her waist, where he thumbed her hips and realized just how little Bastila was compared to him - his hands covered a good deal of her middle. He let them slide up until his fingertips met the soft curve of the underside of her breasts, and he respectfully slid his hands around, not touching them. Bastila's shoulders almost seemed fragile under his hands, her collarbone too slender and polished to be for use - everything about Bastila seemed that way: too perfectly crafted to be for performance. It all looked, to Revan, to be purely for show, to be marveled at and appreciated.

A corner of his mouth curved into a smile as he thought of just how tough the woman laying unconscious on his bed really was, despite how much her body wanted to deny it. Bastila had saved his life twice, and given him so much more than just a listening ear that it forced Revan to sit on the edge of the bed as he realized how much Bastila was involved with...everything in his life. They were bonded - that was what came to mind first. A Force bond was not something to be taken lightly, and not something that occurred often outside of a Master/Padawan relationship. Yet here he was, the Dark Lord of the Sith, permanently bonded to a Jedi whose sole purpose for coming into contact with him had been to extinguish his life or imprison him. Such irony in that. There was such irony in everything between himself and Bastila, though, that he had come to see it as a part of life: if it didn't seem possible, it would probably happen - that was his philosophy now.

Covering Bastila's nearly bare body with the black sheets on his bed, Revan returned his reluctant attention to his job. Speaking with each of his ships' commanders, he assessed the damage, allotted repair funds and parts, reassigned men to different posts to replenish the number lost, and confirmed that the battle was over, they had won, and the aftermath of sore recovery could begin.

Forcing himself up out of his seat and to the shower to clean up, Revan rinsed off quickly and made a direct line for his bed. He felt both exhausted and energized; mentally, he was drained, but physically his body was just getting warmed up. Succumbing to his mental collapse, Revan climbed into his bed and shifted until he was next to Bastila. He draped an arm over her flat stomach, buried his face into her soft, clean-smelling hair and plummeted into blackness, sleeping like the dead.

Ryric, being the teenager he was, found himself very, very bored after all the excitement from the ambush died down. He was sitting on his bed, fidgeting and thinking - and there was so much to think about.

His father, Caedmon Shan, had died a month prior, and the loss still ached deep in Ryric's core. His mother's sickness had progressed rapidly as her grief robbed her body of strength, and then the news of Bastila's disappearance had struck, leaving Helena nearly catatonic from mourning for a good week. Ryric grimaced as he remembered those five days in which all Helena had done was barely pick at her food. She hadn't left her room on the ship, nor had she moved from her bed. And this. His teeth clenched together as he thought about 'this.' It would have hurt less, were his sister dead - or so he believed. Knowing that Bastila was in the hands of Darth Revan, knowing that somehow, in some way, his sister felt something for that…monster

Ryric stood jerkily and began to pace. It made him burn with anger, with hate, with the feeling of betrayal. How could she? He grunted angrily, his body tense as he stalked around the room. Helena's blue eyes followed her son's form worriedly.

"Ryric…" she trailed softly.

The teenager snapped his head around. "Hn?" he grunted, still pacing.

"What are you thinking about?"

"About how I can't believe my sister actually likes that bastard."

"Ryric! Language," Helena chided, then sighed. "I don't understand it either, but...Bastila isn't foolish. She was always a very cautious child. I doubt she would give this Revan a chance if he was completely gone."

"He's the Dark Lord of the Sith! He betrayed the Republic! He's plunged us into another war!" her son exploded.

"I know, Ryric, I know. It doesn't seem sane." She rubbed her forehead and sighed again. "Bastila is her own woman now. We may not agree with her decision, but I think we should trust her judgement for now, until we can learn more about Revan."

"I don't want to learn more! What's there to learn, mother? He was one of the greatest Jedi this galaxy's ever seen, and he decided to use that power to become one of the most powerful Sith Lords!"

"Stop yelling, Ryric," Helena ordered, enervated. "I know his history - everyone does. Bastila most certainly does. Obviously she knows things we don't."

"Or he's controlling her," the son snapped sullenly.

"Have a little more faith in your sister," Helena returned evenly.

Ryric huffed. "I'm going to go see how she's doing."

The sixteen-year-old boy quickly escaped the room he shared with his mother and crossed the short gap that spanned the breadth of a hallway, knocking on Bastila's door. His handsome but still slightly adolescent face dragged down into a scowl when there was no answer. Pressing the panel that opened the door, Ryric entered his sister's room and looked around. "Bas?" he called quietly, seeing and hearing nothing to indicate that Bastila was present. Checking the refresher cautiously, just to be sure, Ryric exhaled in frustration. Where was she?

As he turned, his eyes caught sight of the door that connected Bastila's room to Revan's. No...She wouldn't be in there...would she? Afraid and angry at the same time, he approached the door and pressed an ear to it, hearing nothing coming from Revan's room either. A tingle suddenly coursed through him, and he jerked his face back from the door. Revan was awake, this he somehow innately knew. Young face set in a near-snarl, Ryric smacked the door panel. His breathing caught in his chest.

No - anything but that...