He touches his breast pocket as he sits at his desk, his eyes trained out the window and towards a distant memory. A hand on his shoulder hurls him back to the present, and he glances upwards with a guarded countenance as he returns his hand to his side.

"Did you hear anything I've said to you?" Bastila asks, her brows furrowed with impatience.

Carth waits half a heartbeat before smoothly responding, "Of course," even though he hadn't.

The Jedi's frown deepens, but nevertheless, she continues speaking. "The Sith are encroaching on the galaxy, and not just the outer rim. They're beginning to infiltrate us…"

Carth's comm. Unit chirps, effectively interrupting Bastila.

"Sir, a Jedi is here who wishes to speak with you," a TSF officer's voice announces when Carth casually presses a button on the comm. to take the call. Carth's eyes go wide, and he swings his gaze to Bastila, hope seeping through every pore.

She closes her eyes, sensing for Revan's presence through their bond. Finally, she opens her eyes, and Carth knows without her speaking that the visitor is not the woman that he loves. His features harden against the disappointment, and he steels himself against the wave of longing that courses through him.

"Entrance granted," he says gruffly, and motions for Bastila to leave. The woman sighs, but nods and disappears.

The Jedi that enters is not what Carth expected. She is a young, slip of a thing, pretty, blonde hair swiped back into a low ponytail. She looks delicate and fragile, although the light saber at her side attests to the fact that this is not so.

She introduces herself as Scylla Jayle, the Exile of the Jedi Order. She speaks of Sith, of a betrayal, and a battle, all of which Carth forces himself to listen to. But her name strikes a memory… one of Revan speaking of a good friend. And so, when the Exile is through, Carth begins a conversation of his own. Not one of the present war, but of the woman who began the one that ended ten years ago.

"Have you received word from Revan?" he asks, touching his breast pocket briefly before forcing his hand down.

The Exile starts slightly, and then slowly shakes her head. "But I aim to find her," she replies, her dulcet voice at once serious and somber.

Carth nods once, briefly, before meeting the young woman's eyes. "Tell her…" he begins, but pauses, suddenly unsure as to trust this girl with his emotions. He reads her eyes and finds honesty there, so he takes a breath and continues. "Tell her that Carth Onasi is waiting for her," he finished. "That he'll always be waiting for her," he adds in a voice slightly higher than a whisper.

The Exile's eyes soften considerably, and she nods, a slight smile playing across her pretty features. "I'll do that," she says, her manner understanding. Then, she turns and walks out the door.

Carth sighs heavily, resting his hand on his breast pocket. The pocket in which the last letter she'd ever written him rested, as well as a small velvet box. He remembers the days he'd spent searching to find her the perfect ring, the plans he had made to ask her to marry him. And the heartbreak he felt when he had entered their apartment with that little velvet box in his breast pocket, only to find her gone.

"And word of Revan?" Bastila asks as she enters the room.

Carth trains his gaze out the window again. "No," he replies softly. But he knows that one day he will learn of her, and that one day she will return to him. Carth touches his breast pocket again, and smiles.

---

I attempted a new style with this one; not quite sure whether I like it or not. Please let me know how you feel about it. Thanks.

Sandra