sonn4jam3s-lol, thanks. I like L/M as well, but Luke/Tionne is fascinating to me. I like her character and think she's been grossly underused.
Chapter Twelve: Finding the Past
The Millennium Falcon exited hyperspace with the city-covered planet in view from the cockpit. Han turned to his passengers and grinned. "Welcome to Coruscant. Please stow all personal belongings and return to your seat. Fasten all crash webbing and I thank you for flying Solo."
Tionne stared out at the city-covered planet below her, her eyes darting to and fro at the orbital stations, starships, starfighter wings and debris still left over from the imperial invasion nearly two years ago. "Is this left over from Palpatine?" she asked, mouth slightly agape.
Han shrugged slightly as he sent the Falcon into an inverted climb, avoiding a chunk of ship armor and the solar panel of a TIE interceptor. "From the ones who kicked us off of Coruscant even before Palpatine reared his ugly head. Their petty squabbling wrecked the planet and turned the orbital zones into one big junkyard."
A small voice came through a speaker grille embedded in the console in front of Han. "Millennium Falcon, this is ground control. You are clear for approach to Fleet Command and hangar bay seventy."
The Falcon entered the atmosphere, skimming across the city-covered planet. A large, pyramidal structure quickly loomed on the horizon, dominating the skyline from even this far out. "Is that the palace?" Tionne asked, silver eyes wide.
Han nodded. "That it is."
Luke leaned over from his chair and placed a hand on Tionne's shoulder, letting some of his strength flow through the contact. "Don't worry," he said. "I still get turned around inside that thing. Hopefully we won't have to go much beyond the hangar bay."
"What about Leia or the kids?" Tionne asked, glancing back at him.
Han shrugged. "Her highness is probably waist-deep in red tape and other bureaucratic shavit. She was in meetings when I left, and I don't expect much to have changed."
Tionne nodded, the corners of her mouth falling as the Falcon slowed down, entering one of the cavernous hangar bays. A flight-control droid waved lighted-up arms, directing the freighter to starboard and an empty spot. There was a muffled thud as the landing gear connected with the durasteel floor. Tionne unbuckled her crash webbing before rising and following Luke and Han out.
A cacophony of noise greeted her as technicians ran about and heavy machinery whirred, ground and hummed. Her hand reached out, grabbing Luke's for support. "This is... new," she commented.
Luke nodded. "I grew up around machinery, speeders and starfighters. To me, this is... normal." he turned to her and half-smiled. "A far cry from Yavin IV, I'll admit."
A dry chuckle escaped Tionne's lips. "Just a bit." She glanced around, taking it all in. "Are all hangars like this?"
Han nodded. He looked to the side and raised his hand, waving it. "Hey, over here!" he shouted. He looked back to Luke. "Make sure Tionne doesn't get swept off her feet," he said, winking.
A rather handsome man walked over, a ten-kilometer grin on his face. "I wouldn't think anything of the sort," Lando Calrissian said. He bowed, his cape fluttering a bit and his finely-tailored clothes somehow holding their creases. He looked Tionne over, nodding at her. "Well, what have we here?" he said, taking her hand in his. He looked to Luke, winking. "Good to see you, Luke. A friend of yours?"
Tionne's pale cheeks flushed red and her mouth hung open slightly at the darkly handsome man in front of her. "Well Luke's my boyfriend and we're really close and fought a Sith spirit on Yavin IV and we kissed and hugged and kissed some more and-"
Luke stepped forward, holding up a hand. "Better turn it down, Lando," he said.
Lando smiled and let go of Tionne's hand. "My apologies, young lady." He straightened out and turned to his right. "I've got a ship ready for you, Luke. Free of charge, too." He began walking off to the back of the hangar. "Just make sure to take care of her," he said as Luke, Tionne and Han followed.
The group stopped in front of a SoroSuub 3000 luxury yacht, a slate-gray ship more in use by dilettantes than anyone else. Luke looked over the fifty-meter long ship before turning to Lando and crossing his arms. "Okay, so is the ship you got for us behind the Lady Luck?"
Lando's mouth opened slightly and he placed a hand on his chest. "Luke, it is the Lady Luck!" He walked up and patted the ship on one of the engine pods. "I've managed to outfit her with more firepower, advanced shields and a better hyperdrive." He turned to Luke and spread his arms wide. "And you and Tionne deserve to go in style!"
Luke swallowed. He looked the ship over, rubbing his chin. "Wait, won't you need the ship?"
Lando shook his head. "I'm gonna be busy on Kessel with a Miss Shada D'ukal setting up operations there," he said, his grin somehow becoming even wider. He sidled up to Luke. "She's an... interesting lady. A bit standoffish, though."
A snort and smirk broke through Luke's lips. He covered his hand with his mouth. "And you'll be working your 'usual charms' on her?" he guessed.
Han held up his arm and glanced at his wrist. "If he's done that, only a matter of time before he's kicked offplanet and into the Maw."
Lando's right hand snaked out, swatting at Han. "It's a wonder Leia took you in, you pirate," he groused, even as his eyes twinkled. His left hand reached into his vest pocket and pulled out a thin piece of plastic. "Here's the key card. Don't scratch the paint, either."
Luke gave him a quick salute before Lando grabbed Han by the arm, walking off and talking about 'reliving the good old days.' He shook his head before looking to Tionne. "Lando's a smooth operator around the ladies. His casual conversation is considered to be a mating ritual in some societies."
Tionne pursed her lips, but a bit of laughter still escaped. She looked the Lady Luck over. "A lot different than the Falcon," she observed. "The hull is... smooth."
Luke grinned as he took Tionne by the hand and led her over to the starboard side . He and Tionne did a quick walk around the Lady Luck before they walked up the main boarding ramp. Luke swiped the card through a slot in a control panel on the hatch.
Indicator lights changed from red to green and the hatch slid open while a soothing female voice spoke. "Welcome, Luke Skywalker and Tionne. Master Calrissian has informed me of your taking possession of the Lady Luck for the time being. All command codes and authorizations have been temporarily transferred to you."
Luke nodded as he stepped into the main crew cabin. He whistled softly at the couches and soft amenities scattered throughout. He ran a finger along the fine greel-wood paneling. "This costs more than my X-wing," he commented.
Tionne stood next to him, eyebrows furrowed. "Why?" she asked. "It's just wood. There's an entire moon of wood back on Yavin IV."
Luke shook his head. "Depends on where you're from. Importing wood to, say, Tattooine, would be expensive since it's all desert. While finding spare parts for an X-wing or Z-95 headhunter in the local garbage dump would be rather easy." He walked to the cockpit and sat down, sighing as the chair's cushions conformed to his body. "This feels... nice."
Tionne sat in the copilot's chair, shifting a bit as the cushions moved. "This is... odd. I don't know what my life was like before Exis Station, but even I think she'd be uncomfortable with so much luxury."
Luke nodded. "I was raised on Tattooine, living the life of a moisture farmer with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. It was a hard life, but a good one. Lando... likes things." He raised his hand. "He's got a good heart, and has given up everything for his friends, but he's still more comfortable living the high life."
Tionne shrugged. "Nothing wrong with that. He's a... nice man," she said, settling back and smiling. She reached over and tugged crash webbing down over her body, securing herself. "Are we ready?"
Luke nodded. He pushed several controls on the ship, sealing it up and starting up the engines. The Lady Luck vibrated slightly as the ion engines powered up. Luke slipped on a headset. "Fleet Command, this is Lady Luck requesting permission to disembark."
A tinny voice came through his headset and a speaker grille mounted on the control console. "Roger, Lady Luck. You are cleared for departure."
Luke pulled back on the control stick and the hangar outside tilted down slightly. He pulled on the throttle, guiding the ship out of the hangar and into open space. He glanced down at the hyperdrive panel. "Got the coordinates for Exis Station?"
Tionne nodded. Her slim fingers danced across the keypad, typing in numbers and symbols. The computer triple-beeped and she nodded. "All set," she reported. The silver-haired Jedi breathed deep, smiling nervously. "Let's go find where I came from."
The Lady Luck cleared the atmosphere, dodging the debris hanging in orbit of Coruscant. Within minutes, the ship's hull elongated, the aft end 'snapping' forward as the entire ship vanished into hyperspace with a brilliant flash of white light.
Five days later
Tionne held Luke's lightsaber up, the blade humming and pulsing with an inner life. She reached up and slammed the visor of her blast helmet down, shutting out the galaxy. She held the emerald blade up and shifted her stance, sliding her feet apart. "I don't like this," she said.
Luke, standing off to the side of the main cabin, crossed his arms. "Don't like what?"
"I'm holding a plasma blade capable of cutting through almost anything while in a thin-hulled starship. One wrong swing and we both die." She stepped back as a remote whirled about, laser emitters powering up.
Luke rubbed his chin. "That's a... good point." His brow wrinkled as he sat on a couch two meters from Tionne. "I do wonder how training went with lightsabers. Was there a... a training mode?"
Tionne grunted as she swung the blade, deflecting several low-power blasts. She suddenly knelt down, twisting the plasma blade around in her hands. "I don't know, but it's definitely something worth looking into. Did I scorch anything?"
Luke chuckled and shook his head. "The setting's low enough so nothing will be damaged." He suddenly glanced around. "I think." He noted nothing damaged in the cabin and breathed a sigh of relief. "I wonder if Lando would accept an IOU for anything damaged."
Tionne backed up several steps, continuing to deflect the bolts. Sweat formed on her brow and her hands ached, but she kept the borrowed blade up. "Why wouldn't he? He's your friend, after all."
Luke half-smiled, but any reply was cut short as the comm beeped. "Hyperspace reversion in two minutes."
Luke stood up and held out his hand. The remote stopped in midair and shut down, flying off to the side and landing on the deck. He turned and exited the cabin, crossing the short distance to the cockpit. Tionne followed close behind, ditching her helmet and extinguishing the lightsaber. She sat down in the copilot's seat, strapping in quickly. "Oh, here you go," she said, reaching out with Luke's lightsaber.
Luke smiled and took the proffered hilt. "Thanks," he said, making sure to grip Tionne's hand before taking the hilt back and clipping it to his belt. He looked ahead at the swirling vortex of hyperspace. "Ready?"
Tionne nodded, throat suddenly dry. What will we find here? Anything? Nothing? Everything? "Yeah, she croaked out.
The Lady Luck emerged from hyperspace with a flash of croneau radiation. The small cruiser angled to starboard, heading for Exis Station where Luke found Tionne over a year ago.
Luke turned to Tionne and let go of the control stick. "Are you ready?"
Tionne nodded. She opened a small compartment on the console and pulled out a pair of pilot gloves. "Ready," she said, pulling them on before grabbing the control stick in front of her. She flipped a few switches, activating maneuvering thrusters. A holographic, three-dimensional HUD appeared in front of her, showing her the flight path of the Lady Luck. She pushed the stick down slightly, lining up the targeting reticule with the hangar doors of Exis Station and pushing forward on the throttle.
The station loomed, growing closer. Tionne aimed for the central core and the already-opening hangar door. The cruiser touched down, settling on the durasteel deck plating before the main hatch opened, allowing Luke and Tionne to exit.
Luke looked around. "Kinda wish I brought Artoo," he admitted.
"He's better off back at Yavin IV," Tionne said. "They probably need him back there more than we do here." She looked around, sighing. "I'm gonna open my mind and see if anything comes in."
Luke nodded. He walked around and faced Tionne. "I will help," he said, placing his left hand on her cheek.
Tionne's silvery eyes half-closed as she let her mind slip free, traveling with guidance from the Force...
..."Mommy, Talon won't play fair!"
A shadowy woman turned to a young Tionne and a young boy. "Talon, don't mess with your sister," she warned.
Tionne smiled, but it quickly dropped as she looked to Talon. The small boy's face contorted, his eyes aflame. "MOMMY!"
"It will hurt, but only for a moment," the scientist said before placing the mask over her face. "Not that it matters. You're only an experiment after all...
A gasp escaped Tionne as her eyes opened, widening. "No!" she shouted.
Luke kept his hand on her cheek, sending soothing thoughts into her mind. "Tionne, focus. Remember your breathing," he said. He locked eyes with her. "In through the nose, out through the mouth. Slow it down."
Tionne snorted slightly as she calmed down. "I saw... my mother," she murmured. She licked her lips. "And a small boy named Talon, but he wasn't nice." She described the vision she had, hesitating a bit at the end. "Maybe that man with the respirator wiped my memory."
Luke nodded. He finally took his hand off her face, letting it slide into her grip. "Did you see any distinguishing marks or characteristics? Did you see anything beyond him?"
Tionne shook her head, silvery hair trailing behind. "No," she said. "All I could see was him." She rubbed her chin with her free hand. "The person I think was my mother was in shadow, so I don't really know what she looked like. Talon was silver-haired, like me. But his hair was short and his eyes..." She shuddered, lips curling. "They weren't kind eyes.
The conversation was disrupted as a familiar and unwelcome tingle traveled up both their spines. "Trouble," Luke said, eyes narrowing. He dropped his hand from Tionne's cheek and held his hand over his belt. Luke's lightsaber quivered before leaping into his hand, igniting.
Tionne backed up, hands held up. She looked out past the still-open hangar doors to the void of space. "Someone's coming," she said. "Highly focused, determined... He's angry."
The Jedi Master gave her a short nod as a tiny speck of light quickly grew, taking shape as a skipray blastboat. Although smaller than the Lady Luck, it outgunned the cruiser by a considerable margin. It slowed down, passing through the atmosphere containment field and touching down. Thrusters fired and gas vented as it settled. The cockpit hatch opened, and Kir Kanos leapt out.
The Royal Guard stood in full armor, his face covered by the slit-eyed mask of his order. His staff twitched in his right hand as he spoke, voice muffled slightly by the mask. "Luke Skywalker, on behalf of the Royal Guard, I sentence you to death!" he shouted before jumping, double-bladed staff slashing at the Jedi.
Luke backpedaled, raising his lightsaber. He blocked Kanos' initial overhead slice and hopped back, avoiding the reversed swing at his legs. He jabbed at Kanos' armored midsection with his lightsaber, drawing the guard's defenses in. "Who the hell are you?" he shouted, projecting the Force through his voice.
Kanos blocked and parried the jabs away, quickly exposing Luke's torso. He brought one of the ends of his staff up in a sweeping motion at the Jedi's chest. The blade cut through Luke's shirt, also leaving a shallow gash across the skin. Blood seeped down, turning Luke's black shirt a muddy brown.
Luke gasped slightly, but shunted the pain away. He spared a moment to direct healing energy to the wound before turning his full attention back to his assailant. He brought his blade up with a two-handed grip, blocking a downward slice from Kanos' weapon. He pushed the weapon up, sending Kanos stumbling and falling back.
The guard fell to the deck, rolling a few times, but coming up on one knee. He scowled and untangled his cape from around his body. "I will have my justice!" he snarled through his mask.
Luke touched his wound. He felt dried blood, but the cut had healed enough to prevent further blood loss. He looked back to Tionne. "I've got this guy."
Tionne locked eyes with Luke for a moment before looking past to Kanos. "Why don't you answer Luke? Palpatine was an evil man, and a Sith! Why fight for him?"
Kanos looked past Luke to Tionne. "The Emperor brought Order and peace to a galaxy ravaged by the Clone Wars and a dying Old Republic. He saved the galaxy!"
"By bringing the order of the grave, the peace of the prisoner camp," Luke retorted. He straightened himself out. "Your actions, in their own way, are noble, but still wrong. Cease now."
Kanos stood back up. He hefted his weapon, but hesitated. The double-bladed staff lowered as confusion played out on both his face and in his aura in the Force. "That's what she said," he eventually mumbled.
Tionne's brow wrinkled. "Who?"
"Mirith Sinn," he responded. Kanos looked down at the deck plating, his face a mask. He finally tossed his staff away and dropped to his knees. "Kill me."
Luke stared at him for a moment, probing him with the Force. He shook his head. "I won't kill you," he finally said. He extended a hand. "You seem like a decent man underneath your gruff exterior."
Kanos stared at the hand, eyes wide. "But I tried to kill you just now!" he exclaimed.
Tionne spoke up. "That's happened a lot of times to Luke. Kam tried to kill him, and Mara said she was going to kill him. Both are back at the Academy now, learning how to use the Light." She smiled at the guardsman. "You can, too."
Kanos stared at her for a moment. "I am not sure," he finally said. He slowly rose to his feet. "I'm not sure of anything anymore..."
"Who's Mirith Sinn?" Luke asked, confusion crossing his face. "She's important to you... I can feel that. But it brings out guilt, too. Is she New Republic?"
A smile gradually formed on Kanos' face. "She is, yes. We met twice, during my mission to kill Karnor Jax and again during my mission to slay the Imperial Ruling Council." He looked away again. "She told me of her husband and what happened to him on Nez Peron."
Luke sucked in a breath. "I've heard about that. Vader went there and destroyed the new resistance cell, there. The planet was starving, but the Empire kept demanding food shipments from them." His eyes hardened slightly. "They just wanted enough food to survive."
Tionne stepped forward and stood beside Luke, not sensing any true danger from Kanos anymore. "You know Palpatine was evil, so why not abandon this quest of yours? You could do so much good."
Kanos shook his head. "My training, my indoctrination into the Guard was... thorough, young one. I was shaped into a weapon, serving His Majesty until my death." He clenched his gloved hands. "Maybe someday... " Kanos abruptly turned on his heel, but stopped. "Wait, what are you two doing here? This station's been abandoned for a long time." He looked to Tionne. "And who are you?"
A sad smile crossed Tionne's face. "We're here to find out the answer to the second question..." Her brow furrowed. "What's your name?"
"Kir Kanos," he replied. "And yours?"
"Tionne." She waved her hand around the hangar bay. "Luke found me here almost a year ago. I have no personal memories prior to our meeting. So after getting the Academy established, he and I are taking a trip, trying to find my memories." A sad smile crossed her face. "It started to work when you showed up."
Kanos' cheeks flushed slightly. "I'm sorry. Memories can be a burden, though. Are you sure you want them back?"
Tionne's lips twitched. She walked up to Kanos, standing a half-meter from the well-trained, armored man. "At this point, yes!" she cried out, throwing her arms out. "My entire life before Luke doesn't exist, and the mystery behind it is gnawing at me." She tapped the side of her head. "Who am I? Why am I here? Why did Luke find me here? Why is my hair naturally silver? I need to know the answers to these questions!" She panted slightly. "It's just... " She trailed off and looked askance, covering her mouth with her hand.
Luke was beside her in a second. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled Tionne in for a warm embrace while also sending her soothing thoughts through their bond in the Force. Tionne wrapped her arms around Luke's waist and shuddered slightly, letting her emotion bleed out. She pulled away slightly and sniffed. "Thanks. I'm sorry about that, it was-"
"Don't apologize," Luke said, half-smiling. "We all have our breaking points." He stood there for a moment, relishing the feel of Tionne in his arms. Her bright eyes, her long hair, her...
Both Jedi suddenly turned their heads, seeing a rather embarrassed Kanos standing off to the side. He had his hands clasped behind his back and was looking up at the ceiling. Luke dropped his arms to his side. "Kir, are you all right?"
Kanos looked back down. "I'm sorry. I'm not used to that level of... intimacy between two people."
Tionne's eyes widened. "A hug?"
The guardsman sighed, his shoulders drooping slightly. "So... have you experienced any other flashes of memory prior to coming here?"
Tionne hesitated before shaking her head. "Nothing, I'm afraid." She looked around. "But in time..."
Kanos nodded. "In time." He looked to Luke. "My vendetta... is postponed, and perhaps ended. I shall leave you now." He turned and walked back to his blastboat, pausing only to retrieve his staff.
The Jedi Master felt a twinge in his spine. He held up his hand. "Kir, please wait." The guardsman stopped and Luke continued. "Please, stay. There's a reason for you have found me here and to still be alive. Let's not waste it. Please, stay."
Kanos turned around. He glanced to Tionne while speaking to Luke. "Shouldn't you two be alone?" he asked, the ghost of a smile on his face.
Tionne snorted. "It's a big station, Kir. And we've got two ships." She paused and stood stock-still for a moment. Tionne looked to Luke, locking eyes with him. "And we both feel you should stay..."
Kanos shifted his weight slightly. "Two Jedi feeling I should stay." He cocked his head to the side. "Very well."
Luke smiled and tossed him a salute. "Welcome to the Light, Kir Kanos."
One week later
Kanos sat in front of his ship. His legs were crossed, despite the light armor he wore on his shins. He breathed in slowly through his nose, and out through the mouth. His entire body sat still, save for the slight flaring of his nostrils.
Tionne approached him. She stepped lightly on the deck plating, not sure how to approach him. She finally cleared her throat. "Kir? Luke and I are having lunch and... we thought you could join us, if you want." She tilted her head slightly as she looked at him. "Kir, I know you can hear me."
Kanos opened one eye and looked up at her. "Sorry. It takes a moment to come out of my meditations." He uncrossed his legs and, with no aid from his arms, stood straight up. He looked down slightly at the silver-haired Jedi, his mouth a straight line. "I prefer eating alone, Tionne. I am used to it." He turned from her, but stopped and looked back. "Thank you, though."
A small smile crossed Tionne's face. "You're welcome. But if you want, we're three levels down. Luke and I have the intercom system working so you can find us."
Kanos looked back at her. "No need. I am Force-sensitive and can track you two if need be." A glimmer of amusement crossed his face at her open shock. "How did you think I tracked Skywalker?"
Tionne opened her mouth, closed it, opened it once more and slowly nodded. "I figured you were simply a good tracker. Luke told me about Boba Fett and other bounty hunters." She grinned and looked away for a moment. Him, Dengar, IG-88 and others. I almost wish I'd met some of them."
A bark of laughter came from Kanos. "You still might. There are still bounties on Skywalker's head, as well as his family. Some of them might try their luck."
Tionne tilted her head back slightly. "Good point." She looked back over her shoulder, past the pressure doors and to the room where Luke waited. "Luke says I should be ready to begin construction of my own lightsaber soon." She looked down at her hands as they clenched slightly. "I hope so. I don't like feeling helpless."
Kanos' eyes looked over Tionne's body. "How much self-defense training do you have?" he asked, walking around her. "You're in good shape, but do you know what to do with it?"
Tionne's pale cheeks reddened slightly. "L-Luke and I spar as often as possible, and of course he and Kieran took me through my paces back at the Praxeum. Although I'd be the first to say how badly I do at it," she admitted, embarrassment coloring her aura in the Force.
The Imperial Guard motioned to his ship. "Meet me here after lunch. If you'd like, I can start showing you some basic moves. Nothing spectacular, but you'll be able to defeat about ninety-nine percent of all sapient beings out there with what I show you."
Tionne's mouth slowly widened in a grin. "Thanks!" she exclaimed. She suddenly turned back to the hatch and rolled her eyes. "Gotta go. Luke just said my food's getting cold." She looked back to Kanos and patted him on his armor-covered forearm. "May the Force be with you." And with that, she dashed out.
A small smile formed on Kanos' mouth. He patted the armor that Tionne touched and shook his head before turning back to his blastboat.
Tionne speared a chunk of meat with her fork and brought it to her lips. She savored the smell of it before biting and swallowing it. "Force, this is good." She looked over the table to Luke as he ate his own lunch. "Thank you."
Luke looked up from his meal and smiled. "You're welcome. Aunt Beru made sure I had the basics of cooking down early in life. Out in the desert, being able to make your own food is survival 101." He looked down at his plate and sighed. "She and Uncle Owen... probably would've liked you. Uncle Owen had a thick skin, but he was a good man."
Tionne reached across the table and gripped Luke's hand, even as it stretched out to meet her's. Their feelings flowed through the simple physical contact. "They raised a good man," she said, flashing a toothy smile at him.
Luke returned the smile. "Thanks." He let out a sigh. "Any insight into your latest visions of the past?"
A scowl crossed Tionne's face. "Nothing. Still seeing that creepy Talon, and that doctor, or scientist. Or whatever the stang he is." She looked away from Luke, across the empty cafeteria. "I just see him lowering that mask over my face. Although I'm more certain than ever that the woman I see with talon is my mother. If only I could make out her face!" she said, balling her free hand into a fist and slamming it onto the table.
Luke tightened his grip on the hand he held. "You will, Tionne. We've only begun the process. You just need patience."
Tionne sighed. She propped her head op with her free hand and blew a stray lock of hair from her eyes. "I just wish I had more patience now."
Luke barked a laugh. He ate some more food and drank some water before speaking again. "Yoda would not have liked hearing you say that." He cleared his throat and scrunched his face up. "Patience you must have, but not right now. Earn patience you must have."
Tionne smiled at him, barely holding in laughter. "Did he really talk like that?"
"Early on," Luke said. "Not all the time, though. I think it was just some affectation to throw me off. Although he lapsed into it on occasion." He finished the food on his plate and looked over to Tionne's equally empty plate. "Full?" he asked, already knowing the answer.
Tionne pushed away the empty plate. She wiped her mouth and rose from the chair. "Thanks," she said, walking over to Luke even as he stood up. She hugged and kissed him lightly on the lips. "Kir offered me some self-defense lessons. Are you..." She trailed off as she sensed a bit of hesitation through her bond with Luke. "Still don't want to push it?" she asked, confusion on her face.
Luke sighed. "I just don't think it would be a good idea to push things too fast with Kir. He has a lot to sort out, and doesn't need me butting in. He'll find his own path."
Tionne nodded. "I suppose." She kissed Luke again before breaking the embrace and heading out. "I love you."
Luke smiled as she left. "I love you, too."