Disclaimer: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and its characters are in no way mine and I do not claim any sort of ownership over them. Thanks for letting me borrow, though!
Evil. That's what she had become. She had been perfect. It was his fault for not knowing that perfection was the biggest fault she had.
She couldn't look at him. Not now, not yet. She couldn't look at him like this. She needed him, but she couldn't let him see that. If he could tell that she would change everything she had become because of him… he would try. She could not sacrifice him. She could not sacrifice this life. She had worked too hard to give up this glory, waited too long to do things right. He might see her as evil, but she still saw herself as a saviour.
The Force was an asset he lacked. If a Force-user had been chained to a slab like he was at the moment, they might easily be able to break the bonds holding them. But not him… he couldn't use the Force. Once, only once, she had told him that he had it easier. The Force made it more difficult to shut the world out. He never understood why she might want to shut the world out. But now he did.
Her gaze ran along his body, but upon reaching his neck, she looked away, refusing to make eye contact. She turned her back on him and stared at the viewscreen. Space was so beautiful. Too many stars to count, too much darkness for the stars to ever dare to light, but they lit enough…
He didn't struggle. It would be no use. He knew he was trapped. Why was he even alive at this point? She should know he would never turn to the Dark Side, not even for her, not even for anyone. She had to know. After all that time, after all they had done… she had to know.
"You will turn," she said plainly. There was no alternative. She could not kill him. Her eyes softened as she continued to stare at the wall. Please, Carth, I couldn't live with myself if I killed you. I could live with myself if I did anything save kill you.
He did not respond. He glared at her back. Was she too disgusted to look at him? Was she planning to surprise him? He knew what was coming, he could feel his bones begin to tremble with anticipation of the shock they would soon receive… he knew how the Sith liked their torture…
Her fingers crackled. She turned slowly and stared at his bare abdomen. She would not watch his face during this… she couldn't. The Force Lightning shot forth from her fingertips and the blue electricity crackled within his body. She watched him convulse involuntarily, but it gave her no pleasure.
He was in such pain. He could not describe the pain. The pain inflicted on him while on the Leviathan was nothing compared to this intense burning. His bones were on fire. He could not help but scream as it went on for several minutes, though it felt like hours to him. The pain would intensify occasionally, but it would never retreat to its previous level.
She hurt. Her heart ached with every volt she thrust into his system. But she could not relent. She would do this until he cracked. Everyone had a boiling point, even Carth Onasi. He had to… she couldn't just kill him and she couldn't let him go. She could never let him go.
He wished it would end. He could not live if he was to spend his life tied to this place, trapped in this hell, and he could never break. He could never change. He had loved her, but he wasn't sure he could love her anymore, not after this. Not after any of the cruelties she had committed since claiming her true identity. This wasn't right. How could he have let himself be fooled?
She relented. His screams would torture her sleep for months, even if she ever did manage to turn him. "I'll be back," she reassured him, trying hard to keep her voice emotionless and cold. Without a single glance at his surely pain-ridden face, she waved her hand to open the door and left the room behind.
He had forgotten what it was like to not scream. He was not sure how long it had lasted, but he felt too worn to wonder. His chest ached and his heart pumped rapidly, though it was beginning to slow down now that the invading electricity had ceased. He knew she would be true to her word; she would be back. But first, he would regain some strength and he would sleep.
She strode away from the room as rapidly as possible. Her feet took her to a location she assumed was familiar and upon entering the room she recognized it as her former chambers from merely a year ago, before she had lost any of her memory that was now back in part. She sunk down onto the bed and closed her eyes. But all she could see was the scene that had just occurred and what her imagination presumed Carth's face looked like as he screamed in agonizing pain.
What awoke him from his sleep was another dose of Force Lightning. His body, which had ached so heavily just before he fell asleep, now felt more energized, though the surges forcing their way through his body did not feel at all pleasant. He cringed and the death wish that had appeared in his head the previous dose returned. There was no hope of escape, only that she might show him mercy.
Mercy. She heard his thought echo in the room as clearly as if he had spoken it. She still did not dare to look at his face. His screams were weaker this time. She wondered how long it would be before he could no longer scream.
He was unsure of how long the pattern had continued or even how long the intervals were. He only remembered one occasion when he awoke of his own accord, his body still aching from the dose of Force Lightning for a few moments before he felt the now-familiar jolt of her entrance into the room again.
She was fortunate enough to have the luxury of tools that could tell her how long this had been going on. Three weeks. Every other day, she would have a short break to feed and water him to keep him alive enough to endure another day's torture. Everyday, she let him sleep more. She would watch his chest rise and fall, silent tears occasionally dotting her cheeks. Then she would wipe them away and continue her assault.
Every time, the sessions felt shorter. Or perhaps his body was adapting better to the pain, though the strength of the attack intensified each time. His body ached the same day after day, and his sleep grew restless.
He spoke in his sleep sometimes. She could catch his dead wife's name every once in a while. His son's came up twice. Another name was spoken nearly every time, and upon hearing it, she would wake him, terrified to hear it again. Terrified at what this was doing to her. She wasn't breaking him down; she was killing herself.
It happened again where he awoke on his own, with nothing jolting him conscious. He twisted slightly, albeit painfully, his skin pinched against the constraints holding him against the slab he was positioned on. He saw her looking back into his face and it terrified him. Her eyes were no longer the warm brown they had been, but instead they seemed darker, colder, with yellow edging in around the pupils. Her skin looked dry and crackled. Her former beauty seemed aged by a hundred years. But there was something familiar in all the hideousness of her new (or perhaps former) self.
This was why she hadn't looked at him for four weeks. This feeling that was welling up inside of her. This pity that made her stay her hand for the past half an hour which, at the beginning, she had planned to use to continue torturing this man. But a stray moment of foolishness which made her observe his tired and ragged, yet ultimately handsome and touching features, had stopped her. Mercy.
He hadn't properly seen her since before he had been dragged here. He remembered her as the beautiful woman he had fallen in love with, but now here was a monster in her stead, but there was a part of her still there that he still loved. Even after all of this, he still loved her.
She had loved him. She still did. Only for a fleeting second did she consider to use this love between them to manipulate him into changing sides for her. But she could not bring herself to do such a thing. She was not evil.
But he could not turn to the Dark Side, even for her.
She could not make him. She should have known from the start. It was all futile.
He could tell she wasn't going to electrify him. Not yet, at least. She had something to say and he watched her closely as her mouth twitched once or twice before, after an age, she finally spoke.
"Despite what I could possibly do to you, how much we love each other, and what honourable intentions I might have for becoming this, could you ever stand beside me on a side painted so dark and be the man I love?" She kept her eyes open, unblinking, as she fought back tears. She knew the answer before it was given.
"No." His voice was so weak. He hardly recognized it as his own. "I almost wish I could." They cracked, but he was sure that she understood what he had to say. After all that time of torture, Carth realized just how deteriorated his body was. He could hardly open his mouth or turn his neck to face her more fully. His body had a continual ache to it and he somehow doubted that, if told to stand up, or even sit up, he could ever do it.
Her cheeks were wet with tears and she did not bother to brush them away. She could only stare at Carth and wonder at her options. She could not continue torturing him; it would do no good. She had already hurt herself far too much by doing so. Was he beyond repair? And even if he wasn't, would she ever be able to let him just go? She couldn't leave him like this. She did not know what else to do.
Her eyes… were they merciful? She was crying, something he had never seen her do before. Even at her most upset, even at her angriest, he had never seen tears fall from her eyes. Would she listen if he requested death? Would she grant him the final pleasure of wishing his damaged and hurting body good-bye? Mercy…
…please. She shook her head. She wasn't strong enough to kill him. She was hardly strong enough to hurt him anymore. But by the sound of his pleas, she knew he had resigned himself to the fact that he could not survive if she let him go free. And she was far too selfish to ever let him walk free if at all possible.
He hadn't realized just how cold he had felt during his time in this room until he felt her lean in close to him. Her body radiated warmth he had forgotten existed and that he welcomed almost as much as he welcomed the feeling of her kiss again. Her lips brushed against him for the briefest of moments and he felt her eyelashes caress his cheek as a tear slipped off of them and onto his face. He felt his lips curve into a smile, even as her heat moved too far away for him to feel anymore. Just as long as that pleasantness was the last thing he felt. He didn't want to feel anymore… he didn't think he needed to feel anymore.
"I love you, Carth." She closed her eyes and finally wiped them clean.
"I love you, Navinne," he whispered, refusing to call her Revan. He refused to give in to this charade or truth, whichever it was. He refused to acknowledge the pain anymore.
"Good-bye." It was over within the span of time it took for her to unclip her lightsaber and decapitate him, giving him a more peaceful end than the prelude to it. She did not dare look at his corpse. She returned her lightsaber to her belt and took off, out of the room, at a brisk pace. She vowed to forget this, to grow as cold as she needed to be for the time ahead. Whether this was the single most selfish act she had ever committed or the greatest sacrifice she had ever paid, she could never decide. It was over now.
I was recalling my old ficlet, Traitor, when I remembered one review I had gotten that insisted that Carth would never turn to the Dark Side. Though I think it is still possible, it is perhaps more likely that this scenario would occur over the other, but I think that would depend on the personality of the Revan involved. Personally, I like this one more. Perhaps because this Revan has more personality. Heh, regardless, this is, in a way, a revamped and alternate version of Traitor. First ficlet I've written in a while too.
I hope that you have enjoyed this little fic and that you leave a review telling me what you think!