Fighting with Monsters

Star Wars: The Bergeron Chronicles, Part 2

a fanfic by Sisiutil


Epilogue

It felt so real.

She could feel everything as though she were right back there on Cetachuya, in the ancient temple of that lost civilization. She could once again feel the sweat covering her body, running down her face, stinging her eyes; she was inhaling the hot, moist air that made every breath a labour; she could smell the stench of the rotting vegetation. And most of all, the light. The fierce red glare of her former Master's lightsaber, humming angrily mere centimetres from her face. Death was there, invisible but palpable, ready to take her, swallow her whole. She was defeated, all hope gone. She made one last desperate attempt to call upon the Force... and it failed to respond to her plea. It had abandoned her completely.

Then came Darth Mostrus' final offer. And in the face of certain death, with her lover slowly dying, buried alive only a few meters below her feet... she accepted. Yes, she said, yes, I will join you, I surrender completely to you, and to the dark side of the Force. Then his smile, his smile of triumph, and the sensation of the dark side taking hold of her, invading her body her through every orifice like a multi-tentacled beast until she was gone, subsumed, and she screamed and screamed as the marks appeared in black and red upon her face, upon her body, scarring her, until there was nothing left of her, nothing at all...

Kilu awoke suddenly from the nightmare and sat up. Her body was bathed in sweat, her lungs were gulping down air as though she hadn't drawn a breath for hours. Her long auburn hair hung loosely around her face. She ran one of her hands through it. Slowly she realized she was not on Cetachuya, but aboard Axel's ship, the Nomad, in his quarters--in his bed. It started to come back to her. They were safe now, traveling through hyperspace towards the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, a case full of once-lost Jedi lore in one of the cargo holds.

Gradually, her eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room. She sensed another person beside her: the weight upon the mattress, the warmth of his body heat, the familiar, welcome presence in the Force. She glanced at Axel's sleeping form, then closed her eyes and sighed in relief. When she opened her eyes again, they were filled with tears. She brought her fingertips to her lips, kissed them, then pressed them to his forehead. He stirred just a little, moaned softly, and a smile briefly appeared upon his lips. She so desperately wanted to kiss those lips, as she'd done so passionately only a few hours before, but she didn't want to wake him. He needed his rest.

Slowly, taking extra care so as not to wake her lover, Kilu rose from the bed. She pulled a light robe over her body, then lowered herself to a cross-legged sitting position on the floor. The dream had felt so real--so disturbing. She could still feel the emotional turmoil it had left behind. She took a deep breath and began to meditate, to make her mind still and center herself in the Force.

It didn't work.

She couldn't focus. The equilibrium she sought, that she had found so many times before, was suddenly elusive, like a distant star system she could see only indirectly in her peripheral vision, that disappeared when she tried to perceive it straight on. She tried harder, struggled to focus her mind, but could not, and her failure fed her frustration and made the peace she sought even harder to achieve. And in the back of her mind she felt a presence, swirling like a vortex, all her anger, all her fears, calling to her, begging, insisting to once again experience the power they had on that hot, humid, hellish world...

"Can't sleep?"

Axel's low, deep voice and his hand, so gentle upon her shoulder, startled her; she gasped. "Oh, you scared me!" she said.

"Sorry," he murmured, his lips against her ear, his warm breath caressing her cheek.

He wrapped his arms around her torso. She pressed her back against his chest. His lips were warm against the side of her neck. She placed her hands over his and felt the tensor bandage over his right wrist, reminding her of the ordeal they'd been through, but the memory slipped away as she leaned back into his embrace, felt his warm, strong body enveloping her own. There, in his arms, she looked for some semblance of the peace she'd been seeking. But her spirit remained restless and anxious.

She pushed herself up upon her knees and turned to face him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, then pressed herself against him, holding him tight, silently asking him to do the same for her, sighing when he complied. She leaned back from the embrace, then brought her face closer to his. She sought out his lips with her own, found them, and held him there, both of them captive to the kiss, each of them lost in the another. She broke the kiss and leaned back, her arms still wrapped around him.

"Axel...!" she whispered, though her tone was pleading, urgent.

"What?" he asked her gently, the message implicit in his voice that he could refuse her nothing.

Save me, she thought. Protect me. I'm so scared. I've never been so scared.

But she said none of those things. As he watched her closely, she smiled as though embarrassed by her behaviour, shook her head, and laughed softly, abashedly. "Hold me," she said, pressing herself against him again, into his embrace. "Just hold me..."

If he noticed the subtle trembling of her body, he didn't mention it.


End of Part 2...