The Wounded

DISCLAIMER: This story is simply set in the Star Wars universe and existed mostly to answer a challenge-to write a story about Jedi without using the word Jedi once. So I went obscure what-if-y. It's not going to be something everyone'll be interested in. (It's not my fault if you don't like it, I don't write for everyone. Don't flame me because you didn't enjoy it, move on and read something else.) It's just a story, a one shot that I felt like writing. Therefore, the characters can be interpeted however you'd like; some see Star Wars characters in there, some see simple Jedi without names. Nonetheless, they were written to be original characters, and therefore belong to me, as nameless as they are, simply their stereotypes are not.

Rating for emotional-angst content.

Sweat ran in rivets down his brow, clutching his sword--your blade--all the more tightly; I could only find that I smiled slightly. It was raining, the water bouncing from the lightsaber's energy blade, evaporating the moment it hit the air. Occasionally a droplet would escape, though, and hit his arm. Sizzling hot, it left a bit of a white mark on his skin.

I watched him wince, attempting to shift the blade to a more comfortable position. It was also dark, bitterly dark, so dark that the dull gleam from the saber seemed barely enough to highlight the sweeping realm beyond him.

I don't know where you were at this point, only that he had your lightsaber now, clinging to its amethyst beam as if that were all he had left. Perhaps it was. Here, where I watched him, he seemed bitterly alone.

Wounded. He was wounded. Perhaps he thought he was the only one left now, and that with his own pains would either be enough to force him on, or cause him to lie down and die. But you already know what happened. What happens. At least, at the end. But you didn't see him here, didn't see him like this.

You didn't see the wounded figure struggling to cross against the pressing shadows, shadows so thick that they were nearly tangible. You didn't see him brush a hand against his brow, bringing it down fraught with crimson liquid that vanished in the rainfall, but still burnt an impression in his mind. Even though you saw him before, saw him afterwards, you've never saw him like this, with the rain plastering his short black hair against his flesh, his skin battered and burnt, his tall figure fighting even the elements.

You didn't see that expression in his gray eyes. The brief moment where he remembered everything, the moment where he looked back to where you were. He thought you were dead, didn't he?

Of course he did. And you knew he did too.

What had happened to his lightsaber? Did you steal it in that moment, in that clash of blade against blade? Reach out with the Force and send it flying back into the mists, vanishing into the deep gray rocks?

Maybe you did.

Maybe you didn't.

I don't know what you did. You never told me. I only know that sometime, somewhere in the rocky countenance of Sullust, you turned on him. Did you finally decide that it hadn't been worth it to go against the Code?

You didn't see him after the battle. You didn't see him like this.

You should have. Maybe it would've changed your mind.

She had turned on him, he thought, leaning against a taller rock. It wasn't tall enough, but it was taller, and therefore enough to provide the slightest degree of shelter from the overwhelming rainfall. He had never thought that the elements could prove such an extreme challenge to bypass. Or perhaps it was his own exhaustion, both mental and physical, speaking, delaying him from taking another step forward. No matter what the issue was, his legs had grown stiff, muscles so taunt as to prevent him from fleeing the scene.

He had never understood her before, but this was… an anomaly. No degree of calculation, of thought and of reason could explain why she had suddenly ignited her lightsaber, attacking him with an interminable vengeance. A predator, he thought. His wife had turned into a predator, as if the Emperor wasn't enough already.

He had never seen her like that before, at least directed towards him. Perhaps on previous missions, it had shown in brief moments--the hot headed, emotional fury. Her dark eyes flaring, lost in such sordid and turbulent emotions. So buried in those feelings that there was no possible manner that even the most comprehending, understanding human being could have ever read her mind.

After all, he hadn't been able to. He had just been able to defend, whipping his own lightsaber from his belt and returning the strikes.

He had only wanted to disarm her… to simply talk, to make her see reason!

It hadn't worked.

But there was no way he could allow himself to cry. She had fallen in her own emotions, she hated him! She wasn't worth the display of emotions; if she no longer cared, he didn't have to care. He only kept her lightsaber because his had fallen deep into the rocky ravine, vanishing from even the eyes of the Force, or so it had seemed. It wasn't safe to be without a weapon, at any rate.

There had been a watcher. She had noticed this from the moment their blades made contact, ozone gathering in the stormy weather. It had been a bad moment to attack, the rainfall slicking the panorama with blur and ice. Rocks were a challenge enough as it was, when they were doused in water it became even worse. Heat would've been one thing to deal with, but the deadly chill in the air was another.

The fact that there was a watcher had made it all the worse.

Nonetheless, once she had made up her mind, lighting the saber and swinging into his form, once he had parried and the battle carried forth, there was no turning back. It had been friend against ally, and here, husband against wife. Two people who should have eternally loved each other…

Had it been love? she remembered thinking during the battle. Or had it simply been their excuses to rebel against an order that pressed back all emotions and empowering possibilities? Perhaps it had, or at least she tried to convince herself.

He had been taller, stronger, a greater fighter. She had never loved the art of swordplay, and it was no surprise that in the end, he had drove her back, back into the rocks, his blade reluctantly at her throat.

And he had tried to make her see reason. He hadn't wanted her to pull a surprise attack, to have to shove her back into the depths of the canyon, sending her falling, screaming…

It was just his lightsaber that had made him yell out, she remembered telling herself on the way down. There were no remaining strings attached.

Once he had struggled back to his feet, balance back up, I watched him complete the trek across the plains. Down to the bottom of the canyon. He wanted proof, you know. Proof that you had died on the flight down to the bottom. After all, you were a Force-user. Perhaps there had been some way…

You had survived, of course, battered and broken, sitting on a ledge just outside of his vision. I have every reason to believe that you masked his vision, too, hiding yourself from him. Convincing yourself that the wetness on your face was simply because it was raining. Perhaps it was rain. After all, it was pouring, the rocks gleaming in the pieces of light escaped from the moon and stars. It was also black, tangible and moldable, those shadows.

I believe you used them to your advantage then, hiding in them and refusing to let him see you or his lightsaber blade. And I know that it worked, for a while. The tall figure of your human husband wandered the bottom of the canyon, looking more lost than anyone. His wounds had mostly closed up, mostly burns now, but there was still blood caked on his face, on his arms. His robes were torn.

I know that you watched him for the longest time, too, though you couldn't see him from behind your shadowy spell.

I know he sought you, searching even for a battered and twisted form that might have reassured him. Even your death would've been better than the emptiness, the trickery…

How could you have done this to him?!

I also know that when you fell asleep, he found you, clinging to a rock in the shadows.

I know you woke up with your own blade to your throat.

…Maybe you were just…

maybe i was just suicidal…


But that never did explain…

why i had to do that to him…

She stared broodily into a glass of… something. She wasn't sure just what it was, only that it was alcoholic and a couple glasses of it made her mind go strangely blurry. It made her forget. Forget whether it was just another bad dream, or whether everything that she remembered had really happened.

It made her forget her goal to move to Myrkr. After all, a planet where the Force didn't exist just had to be better, didn't it?

Oh, didn't it?

Mebbe… mebbe? Mebee? M'be it was his bad dream. Yeah, tha's it. Drunk with stupid bond to darling dearest husband… s'gotta be it… he had bad dream about tryin' to kill me…

Sure. Sure he'd'a cared. 'Ifn we fought? Nah…

Wounded. He was wounded. There was sweat running down his brow, face damp from ice, rain, and his own exhaustion. He had wounded himself.

He dropped the body, stared at what he had done...

She stirred; he ran.

"Wait! I'm sorry!"

He was wounded.