A/N : Thanks for reading this, I should just say it gets better as it goes on so please don't be put off by the somewhat rushed Chapter One!
As the four of them saw the ship approach, emotion welled up inside each one of them. None of them said anything, they just waited, all of them deep within their own thoughts.
For Carth and Bastila, it was figuring out what they would say to Elara now that they were together. For Atton and Mical it was the worry of who Orience would pick...
As they all stood quietly, the noise of the ship's engines suddenly became extremely loud. The ship touched the ground. The ship was finally home after 5 long years. They stood, stiff with tension, waiting. The door began to open and the loading ramp began to descend.
Their hearts began to pound in their ears as they heard running foot steps. Then they saw her; her white blonde hair streaming out behind her as she ran, grinning from ear to ear, down the loading ramp; the Exile.
Mical and Atton stood waiting, both having different feelings rushing through their heads. Atton was feeling doubtful; she had been flirty at first, but then when they had met the Disciple things had changed. She had devoted herself to his training and seemed to like spending time with him more and had always seemed to be more of an influence towards him. Yet still, there was hope; surely those nights of Pazaak had not been for nothing. Then he realized who she was smiling at, and who she was running towards. He saw her embrace Mical and whisper three words to him and he whispered something back that seemed to delight her.
Atton backed off into the shadows; he had seen enough. The better man had won. And now he thought about it, he wasn't even sure if he had ever really loved her. Love and lust, he was coming to realize, were two very different things. He had not felt love - not truly - since that Jedi who had changed his life, all those years ago. He decided to go, realizing he wasn't needed here in this sickening love fest.
Just before he went, however, he heard another lot of foot steps and he looked up, curiously. He assumed it would be Revan, the former Dark Lord of the Sith. Son of a schutta, he thought when he saw her. There was no way in sith space that this chick was Revan. He remembered Revan from when he had been with the Sith - scary, pale, veiny Sith Lord. This girl, this woman, on the other hand... She was... She was beautiful. As she stepped down he noticed that she closed her eyes, just for a moment or two, but she definitely did it. Strange. There was something so familiar... But no, if he had met someone like her, he would not have let her go so easily, would he? She was probably just some other friend of Orience who had helped them, he decided. Just another Jedi who was too good for him. He gazed up at her; her jet black hair, her almond-shaped, deep, almost black eyes, her perfect frame. He had a sudden urge to talk to her - there was something about her. Before he could muster up the courage to step out of his hiding place in the shadows though, he saw she was approaching the only other people who had come.
As she walked past him, towards the smiling couple, he suddenly felt a wave of emotion from her, a wave of great pain and sorrow. He could see it in her eyes, but no one else seemed to notice this, as she plastered a fake smile on her face. Her friends couldn't be falling for this, surely? How was he was picking up on this when no one else was? He saw her approach Admiral Onasi and his Jedi companion, who interested him as he had been sure Onasi had been together with Revan – wherever she was. The girl was still wearing the false smile. He glanced at Orience and Mical who seemed to be engaged in some very intimate catching up. He looked once more at the beautiful woman and decided to go, hoping he would meet her again...
Orience was ecstatic; he loved her! He actually loved her! They talked, still tight in each other's arms. Mical was talking about how glad he was to have her back, though somewhat distractedly as he was also busy staring at her lips, longingly. She smiled at him and put a finger to his lips, "Shut up and kiss me, you blabbering fool."
They kissed each other, their hands caressing one another, their lips meeting for the first time. Life is good, she thought to herself, touching her lips once more to his.
Carth smiled at Bastila, deciding that this was going better than he had thought. Elara was happy for them both; so happy, in fact, that she couldn't seem to stop smiling. The conversation had been a little awkward at first, and it had been weird addressing her by her name as opposed to 'Beautiful' or 'Gorgeous' - he had almost slipped there - but other than that, things were going smoothly. He told her of their recent engagement; only last night, in fact. At this news Elara was so happy she nearly choked up in tears. He was pleased that she didn't mind, because he really did love Bastila. But, now he looked at Elara again, after so long, and old feelings which shouldn't have been there began to return. Her smiling face seemed to be more beautiful than he could ever remember, though her eyes seemed deeper; a million new memories from the unknown regions made her seem more distant. He wanted to talk to her on her own, and find out what was bothering her, but he feared that this would become very awkward, very quickly. He decided to leave it, knowing that in time, if she felt the need to, she would come to him.
They offered her an evening meal at their place, but she declined, pleading tiredness and reminding them of the problems she would have to encounter with sorting out her apartment. At this, Carth looked at his feet, suddenly finding them inexplicably interesting - that apartment had a lot of memories. Elara looked at Carth for a moment, and then announced, suddenly: "I'm gonna sell it. Tonight. Find a new place."
"Tonight?" asked Carth, quizzically. "I thought you were tired? I mean, surely if you want to get some rest, moving apartments at such short notice isn't the way to go?"
"I do think you ought to reconsider, Revan - if you feel the need to move so desperately, perhaps it would be better to do it tomorrow. But not tonight, not when you're so tired."
Elara almost said something about Bastila's use of the name Revan, but decided to let it drop. She sighed. "Fine, tonight I'll sleep there, but after that I'm out."
After some more awkward conversation in which Carth inadvertently called Elara 'Gorgeous' several times, they decided to call it a day.
"Oh and Revan, I almost forgot" said Bastila, fumbling for something in her handbag.
"Her name's not Revan anymore, Bas'" said Carth quietly.
"I suppose that explains why you keep calling her Gorgeous," she smirked.
"Sorry, old habits, I guess. Besides, you know you're the only one for me beautiful", he said leaning in to kiss her. She giggled and reciprocated the kiss.
Elara thought she was going to throw up. Get a room, she thought to herself.
"Aww - you two are so cute!" she said aloud, smiling sweetly.
Bastila handed her an elaborately decorated datapad.
"What's this?" questioned Elara, dreading the answer.
"A wedding invitation! We expect you to be there as one of the main guests - you'll be staying the two nights at the hotel with everyone, of course." smiled Bastila.
"You guys don't waste any time do you? I thought you only proposed last night?" Asked Elara, eyeing Carth, suspiciously.
"Bastila got a little excited when she found out. Heh. She's quite the busy body", he said, smiling down at her affectionately.
"Besides, I think the last few years have taught us that time is truly of the essence, wouldn't you agree, Revan? I presume you will be there?"
Elara smiled again, noting that her cheeks were beginning to hurt. "Don't worry, I'll be there. What was that about a hotel though?"
Bastila explained that the guests were all staying at a hotel the night before and the night of the wedding. The night before, she and Carth would on separate floors and then the night after they would be in the same room. She blushed slightly.
"So the night before you and I can be room mates! I'm sure there's someone who will go with you the next night."
"Great - can't wait." Her sarcasm was lost on them both, and they smiled and said their goodbyes.
With that, they walked their separate ways - Carth and Bastila towards their own apartment and Elara, supposedly, to hers.