Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters.
Summary: Set during KOTOR2 when Carth asks the Exile if she has found any sign of Revan. The Exile has - differs from the storyline of the game.
Note: I don't know whether to keep this as it is or add a couple of chapters - opinions on this would be very welcome.
The Exile examined the man standing in front of her carefully. He had just asked her a question and she didn't know how to respond. She had an answer for him; she just didn't know whether she could trust him with it. His question echoed in her mind: "Did you find any traces of Revan during your journeys in the Outer Rim?" The Exile had encountered Revan, albeit not in the flesh. But it certainly hadn't been in the Outer Rim; it had been on Korriban only a few weeks previously.
Although Revan fell to the Dark Side during the Mandalorian Wars, she redeemed herself by defeating Malek and destroying the Star Forge. The Exile knew this and accepted it. Others did not. Despite having saved the galaxy from destruction at the hands of the Sith, there were many who still wished Revan harm. There were many who, given the chance, would gladly punish her for the crimes she committed as a Sith Lord. The Exile had to decide whether this man was, as he claimed, a friend of Revan or an enemy.
She considered him carefully. Admiral Carth Onasi. By all accounts a good man. She had heard many accounts of his bravery and valor whilst on Telos. A very handsome man apart from the dark circles under his eyes and graying hair around his temples, which told of many sleepless nights and more worry than it was fair to be burdened with. When he had asked her about Revan there had been a note of desperation in his voice. The Exile didn't feel that this desperation arose from a desire to hunt her down and do her harm, but from a need to know that she was alive and safe.
Hoping that she was making the right decision, the Exile began to talk. "I have seen Revan." Carth's eyes widened and his jaw fell. Although he moved his mouth no words came out. The Exile continued. "Not in the Outer Rim, but on Korriban. We were there a few weeks ago. While we were searching the caves we came across a place teeming with Dark energy. I had to enter it alone and I was… tested." The Exile broke off, suppressing a shudder as she remembered what she had had to face inside. She shook herself. "While my companions were waiting for me they came across a computer terminal. Stored on this terminal were recordings of the trials that others had faced inside." The Exile reached into her backpack and pulled out a datapad. "One of the recordings was of Revan. They recognised her and transferred the recording to this datapad."
She held out the datapad to Carth and he took it with trembling hands. He stared at it for a long time, seemingly lost inside his own thoughts. Then he clutched it to his chest and raised his eyes to meet the Exile's. When he began to speak his voice was broken and trembling. "Are you sure it's her?"
The Exile nodded. "Certain. The recording was only a couple of days old when we found it."
"How can I ever…?"
"Thanks are not necessary." The Exile glanced over her shoulder at the door. "If you'll excuse us, it's time my companions and I were leaving. We have a lot of work to do and I'm sure you'd appreciate some time on your own." Carth nodded mutely and stared after her as she left the room.
In the privacy of his own quarters, Carth removed the datapad from his pocket and set it on his lap. Although he had been aching for news of Revan for years, now he had it a part of him didn't want to know what it was. What if the recording showed that she had reverted to the Dark Side? What if it showed that she was in pain or upset? What if it showed she was mortally wounded and dying? What if it showed that she needed Carth and there was no way he could help her?
He sighed and turned the datapad over in his hands. Whatever was contained within it, however it may make him feel, he needed to know what the recording would show him. He rose from his chair and walked over to the computer terminal. Slipping the datapad into it, he accessed the only available file. A few seconds passed and then an image of a person was projected into the air.
The person was robed and a hood obscured their features. They were walking quickly, not allowing their slight limp to hinder them. Finally they came to a stop. The person reached up and quickly jerked back the hood, revealing their face. Revan was just as Carth remembered her. Apart from the haggard signs of tiredness that were mirrored in Carth's own features, her beautiful face was just the same. A cut above her right eye bled slightly and a bruise blossomed on her small cheek, but apart from that there were no visible signs of damage. Wincing with pain, she shrugged out of her robe. Underneath she wore a simple pair of trousers and a tank top, both of which bore the unmistakable signs of recent battle. Her long dark hair, normally hurriedly tied up, hung freely down her back. Carth's eyes were drawn hopelessly to the jagged scar on her stomach. It looked recent, the inflamed red shocking against her pale skin.
Revan's head jerked suddenly and her hands flew to the lightsabers at her side, although she kept them sheathed. Another figure was fast approaching. Although this person was robed they had not pulled up their hood. Even as Carth realised who it was, he could see the dawning of recognition in Revan's eyes. Her hands tightened on the hilts of her lightsabers. The figure came to a halt in front of her.
It was a different Revan. Not the Jedi Knight Revan, nor the Redeemed Revan, but the Sith Lord who had sought to bring the galaxy to its knees with the help of Malek. Her skin had a grey tinge to it, as if it was slowly decaying. Her eyes were not the warm brown that Carth knew so well, but a glowing yellow.
"Why do you come?" Darth Revan hissed.
Revan, Carth's Revan, straightened. "I have come to be tested." Her voice was little more than a whisper. Darth Revan gave a small, chilling laugh.
"Still searching for redemption, Revan? I would have thought that your activities in the Unknown Regions over the last few years, not to mention the slaying of our impetuous apprentice, would be enough."
"It's not redemption that I seek."
"If not redemption, then what….. Ahhh. I understand." A small smirk formed on Darth Revan's face. "You want to know if you are worthy to return."
Revan remained silent, only inclining her head slightly. Darth Revan chuckled again.
"Well, I will not stand in the way of your foolishness. I shall let you pass." With a mocking smile, Darth Revan gave a slight bow of her head, stepped backwards and disappeared. Revan relaxed visibly, but did not remove her hands from her lightsabers. She began to walk again, her limp now clearly causing her pain. Eventually she came to a halt. Although she was perfectly still, Carth could see how tense her muscles were. He could see her listening for any warning noises as her eyes scanned the distance.
Now another person, this one clearly male, appeared. Revan sagged immediately and her face became incredibly sad. "Malek." She whispered. It wasn't Malek as Carth had ever known him. It wasn't the powerful leader he had met during the Mandalorian Wars, nor was it the mutilated Sith Lord he had later become. This was a much younger Malek, one who hadn't even reached adulthood.
He smiled at Revan as he drew near her. "Hello Revan. You remember me, then?"
Revan nodded. "Of course I do."
Malek's smile broadened. "I hoped you would, but I thought that what happened between us may have clouded your earlier memories of me." He paused to let Revan respond, but when she remained silent he continued. "How much do you remember of our training? How many memories were lost when the Jedi Council obliterated your mind?"
Revan tried to speak but she couldn't seem to form any words. Eventually she managed to croak, "Everything. At least I think I remember everything. I didn't at first, but gradually things came back to me."
Malek nodded. "Do you remember the trouble we used to cause our teachers when we were together? They despaired of us sometimes. Or how we used to chase each other across the Dantooine plains? Or how you used to go swimming in the river? I always hated the water, but no one could keep you out. You used to splash me while I sat on the banks watching you."
Although Revan was smiling tears were forming in her eyes. "Yes. I remember. Malek, I'm so sorry."
But Malek just shook his head. "Don't apologise, Revan. As I believe you've told me once before, you may have started me on the Dark path but it was my choice to continue down it."
"I could have chosen redemption as you did. But I did not. That is my fault and mine alone."
The tears were now falling fast and freely down Revan's cheeks. "What do you want of me?" She whispered. Malek moved closer to her and placed his hand on her shoulder. His voice was so quiet that Carth could barely make out his words.
"I want you to remember." He murmured. "I want you to remember that before were teacher and pupil, before we were sworn enemies, we were friends. Don't ever forget that we were happy once." Silent once more, Malek pulled Revan into a brief hug. Even as his arms closed around her he began to fade. He soon disappeared completely, leaving Revan to crumple, sobbing, onto the floor. Carth couldn't tell how long she sat there, but eventually her tears subsided and she regained some control. With great difficulty she pushed herself back onto her feet and walked on.
She didn't have far to go until she came face to face with someone else. Carth was amazed to see himself walking towards her. Revan's face broke into a brilliant smile but she remained where she was, clearly aware that this was not the real person. When Carth reached her he didn't stop walking. He paced up and down in front of her, silent.
"Carth, what's-" She began to ask. He stopped her question with an icy glare.
"We're waiting. Be patient."
"Waiting for what?"
"I told you to be patient."
Revan shut her mouth quickly and lowered her eyes to the floor. Carth resumed his pacing. Out of the gloom, two other figures emerged. Carth came to a halt and turned to face Revan, while the other two people stood on either side of him. Mission stood as his right, Bastila at his left. Both maintained a stony silence.
"Why?" Carth asked, his voice seething with quiet anger.
"Why did you leave us?" Carth shouted. Bastila and Mission surveyed her carefully, watching her every move.
"I had to."
"You had to leave without saying goodbye?" Carth seethed. "Without even giving us a proper explanation?"
"If I'd have said goodbye you would have begged me to stay or wanted to come with me. I couldn't let that happen."
"Of course I'd have tried to do that!" Carth began his furious pacing again. "I love you, don't I? Like you're supposed to love me, like you're supposed to love all of us."
"Carth, I do love you." Revan moved forwards, her hands held out towards him. Carth just slapped them away. The real Carth, the one sitting in his quarters, felt his heart break as he saw tears rise in Revan's eyes again. "Carth, please." She whispered.
"You're just weak." He hissed in her face. "You were too weak to say goodbye, too weak to accept the help we would have offered."
"He's right, you know." Said another voice. Revan spun around, searching for the speaker. Behind her Carth, Mission and Bastila disappeared. Carth was shocked to see another Revan step out of the shadows, this one identical to the real one down to the fresh bruise on her cheek. "You are weak."
This time Revan didn't hesitate. She unsheathed her lightsabers and took and defensive stance. The clone Revan laughed. "This probably indicates some deep self loathing."
Revan narrowed her eyes at her. "I don't trust doppelgangers."
"Wise. But you can put those away. I'm not going to hurt you."
It was the real Revan's turn to laugh. "I'll keep hold of them, if it's all the same to you."
Clone Revan shrugged. "Whatever you want. As long as we can get to the issue at hand."
"And what issue is that?"
Clone Revan rolled her eyes. "The abandonment of your friends and lover without so much as a goodbye. I would have thought that's fairly obvious."
Revan paused for a second, then lowered her lightsabers. She switched them off and returned them to their holders. "I don't need to explain myself to you." She hissed at her clone as she pushed past her. "If you're really me then you'll know why I did what I did. If you're not me, then the only explanations I owe are to the ones I love."
The clone Revan looked shocked and staggered back a few paces. "Where are you going?" She called after Revan's retreating back.
"Home. Telos. As I said, I owe certain people explanations. It's time I stopped trying to prove myself worthy and went and gave them."
The Revans, both the clone and the real thing, flickered away and the recording ended. Carth pulled the datapad out and stared at it, unbelieving. Revan, his Revan, was alive. And coming home. After years of waiting he'd finally be able to hold her in his arms again, listen to her voice, taste her lips. Although he knew that it wouldn't be long before he had her again, he was even more desperate to see her than before. The pale recording of her had only fuelled his desire to have her back. There was a knock at the door, startling him out of his thoughts. Carth sprinted to the door and flung it open, almost expecting Revan to be outside waiting for him.
It was only a soldier, made very nervous by the wild look on his superior's face. "Ad, Admiral Onasi." He stammered. "There's someone here to see you."