Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to George Lucas, not to me. I'm making no profit.

After-Battle Smiles

The shuttle was empty, or nearly so. Battle was over, the clone troopers resting in the shelter provided. Their two Jedi Generals, however, had just finished sending a report back to the Temple, to tell the other Jedi how the battle had gone. They were tired, and still somewhat tense from the adrenalin and danger of combat.

Aayla Secura slumped into a seat, rubbing her temples. "Well, at least this battle is won," she pointed out.

"This one, yes, and I am glad of it." There was a slight hint of moist sibilance to Kit Fisto's voice. "That gladness should persist until the next battle."

Aayla laughed. She did not reply, instead focusing on removing her headdress. One of the leather straps had twisted during the fight, pressing uncomfortably against her lekku. Kit moved to her side and assisted her in taking it off. Deft green fingers rubbed gently against the spot where the leather had dug in, mindful of how sensitive a Twi'lek's lekku were.

The blue-skinned woman sighed and relaxed. "Thankyou, Kit."

"My pleasure." The tall Nautolan nodded, and sat in the seat behind Aayla's, his back to her. He pushed his long head tentacles up over the back of the seat to avoid leaning on them.

Aayla tensed. Her lekku had brushed against his head tentacles. She resisted the urge to turn around. Through this small piece of contact she could feel that Kit had also gone very still. They were frozen in place, linked by the unexpected touch of skin on skin. No matter what they might have thought in private, they had always been able to conduct themselves well in each other's presence. Careful mental discipline let them work together, until contact was not given any significance if it should come about during their duties. Now, however, the unexpectedness had rendered even a minor touch charged with tension, fraught with meaning.

Slowly, the Nautolan's head-tresses began to move, twining around the Twi'lek's lekku. Aayla's eyes widened, but she remained motionless save for her lekku, which shifted slowly in reciprocation of Kit's motion. Neither Jedi spoke, their attention entirely drawn in by what they were doing.

Kit's dark eyes stared off unblinkingly, looking at the wall yet seeing nothing, his thoughts turned inwards. His tendrils were not as sensitive as Aayla's lekku in their own right, but they were filled with receptors. Combined with his use of the Force, he could feel exactly what she was feeling. What she was feeling...which was something they would not, could not vocalise. With no words, no conversation, nothing but the sensations that had their hands tightening around arm-rests and their bodies tensing in place...nothing to know guilt for if they did not acknowledge it aloud. So much easier to deny it afterwards if they said nothing, and so much easier to focus only on the moment, on what they were doing. Kit's hearts were beating faster, and he could hear Aayla's breath quickening.

Aayla's eyes seemed on the verge of closing, but she kept them open with an effort of will. That was a boundary she couldn't cross. It would mean too much if she allowed herself to sink so deeply into this that she could not prevent herself from closing her eyes. The Twi'lek was almost shuddering now with the effort of keeping herself still, and with the sensations reaching her on both physical and mental levels.

The Force sang within their minds as their heads dropped back further, backs arching, no sounds escaping through lips either bitten or pressed tightly closed. Finally they sat still and silent, breathing slowly and deeply as they regained their composure.

The two Jedi stood, preparing to seek their rest. Pure strength of will was required for them not to turn back. They could not face each other, after this. Sleep and duties would restore them to their usual behaviour, but for now they dared not allow their eyes to meet, lest something slip that they could not say.

Kit Fisto and Aayla Secura walked away from each other with a deceptive casualness. The only signs of the time they'd just spent were the smiles lingering on their faces.


A/n: Hope you liked it. Reviews are much appreciated.