"Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya" –
"Train your sons to be strong but your daughters to be stronger."
Canderous was the one that found her there. She was lying in the cargo hold, tears streaming down her cheeks like rain from the skies. Her small form shook and shuddered with every quiet sob. Her skin was pale, her hair greasy and unkempt.
It had been two days since the episode after the Leviathan. Everyone on the small ship was still on edge after Carth's confrontation with the woman who they all now knew as Revan…
"Carth, please!" she screamed, begging.
Republic snatched the cord from around his neck, slinging it at her feet. Canderous recognized it as the necklace she had fashioned for him on Dantooine out of one of her lightsaber crystals. It was supposed to bring him protection. Canderous found it amusing that she had given the pilot a protection charm, but given himself only a sturdy vibroblade. He took it as a testament to skillfulness in battle, a token of her confidence in his strength.
"You're a Sith Lord!"
"I'm not that woman anymore, Carth!"
Onasi, being the di'kut he was, ignored her pleas for him to understand. He ranted on about how Revan had destroyed his homeworld and murdered his wife. Canderous reminded him that Malak was the one to blame for Telos, but it was to no avail.
The crew had given their leader her space during the past days, knowing she needed it. Carth stayed in the cockpit, opting to sleep there instead of in his usual bed… with Revan. However, the choice was of no consequence, seeing as she hadn't been in said bunk since the fight.
She'd been here, on this floor, crying over a di'kut Republic pilot. Canderous felt the fire of anger stirring in his chest as he watched the woman sob quietly into the durasteel plates of the floor.
The Mandalorian crouched next to Revan, turning her to look at her face. Her eyes, usually so sharp and vigilant, were puffy and red. She looked pitiful, a pathetic shell of the woman she once was… And what a woman she was.
"Udesii cyar'ika." Canderous murmured gruffly, using his native tongue.
He slid an arm up under her torso, propping her up. She writhed in his grasp, sobbing weakly.
"Nooo!" she whimpered, her voice feeble and whiny. "Stop, Ca-Canderous, stop… Leave m-me b-b-be. Just let me g-g-go… f-forget about me…"
A sob broke into her plea, causing her 'me' to become a 'me-he-heee,' and Canderous felt the flames of his anger burn a bit brighter because of it. He gave her a shake, telling her to open her eyes and look at him. She did, hiccupping tearfully.
"You. Are. Revan." he said, looking deep into her eyes. "Maybe not the warrior you were once upon a time, but you are Revan. You can't fall to pieces because one stupid pilot doesn't like that. You can't lie there and let it happen."
She just let out a sob, hiding her face in his chest. She made small whimpering sounds that vibrated through his chest. Canderous felt his anger burn, flames swelling again, threatening to engulf him. She was trying to hide from the world instead of save it. That was enough. That was the final straw.
"I won't let you," he stated. "I won't let you die."
The Mandalorian stood, jerking her up to stand with him. She hung limply at his side, too weak from all her crying and the lack of nutrition. The woman gasped as he swung her up into his arms, hooking an arm under her knees and carrying her towards the refresher.
"What are you doing?" she asked weakly, whining.
"You're takin' a shower."
The 'fresher door slid open, revealing the thankfully empty room. The twi'lek would be watched the holovid with the Wookie and the old man, no doubt. The droids were making repairs or plotting the demise of some unfortunate soul. Cat Woman was meditating. Onasi, of course, was in the cockpit. No one would be around to ask pesky questions and interfere with Canderous' trying to get through to this stubborn woman that she wasn't about to get off that easy.
Canderous looked down into her sleepy, bleary eyes and almost felt sorry for her. Almost. He turned the water on in the shower, making sure it was cold. Once he was satisfied with the intensity of it, he set Revan on her feet and began to undress her.
He shed her of the heavy utility belt first, where her saber and grenades were still hooked. Next were the boots and socks, her dainty feet standing out against the gray background of the floor. He began to shed the layers of her Jedi robes then, his heartbeat picking up just a bit. He dropped her breeches to the floor with the rest of her clothing, leaving her clad in a very stale set of skivvies.
Canderous decided, against his own impulses, to leave her underclothes on. The last thing he needed was for her to try and murder him. Bounty hunters and Sith soldiers he could handle, ex-Sith Lord turned Jedi was another thing altogether.
Despite her disheveled appearance, Canderous couldn't help appreciating her beauty. Alabaster skin, despite hours in the sun of Korriban and Tatooine both. Dark hair, gray eyes, pretty mouth… Her figure wasn't overly curvy, but she still had plenty to hide under those Jedi rags. There was a long scar on her left collarbone. He found himself wanting to touch it, but decided against it.
Canderous stripped down to his skivvies quickly, ready to get this over with before his control wavered. He took the woman up in his arms and stepped into the shower with her. He held her so the icy spray focused on her, dousing her. Canderous held her against him tighter as she arched her back, gasping sharply as the coldness of the water took her breath away.
She struggled against him, desperate to get away from the sharp clarity the water was awakening in her. She wanted to be numb. She wanted to get lost in herself again. She wanted to fade away and be forgotten.
"Stop!" she sobbed, clawing at the Mandalorian's flesh. "Let me go, you Hutt-spawn!"
"Yeah!" he exclaimed, a sinister grin on his face. "There's that fire!"
She screamed, wrenched her body out of his grasp, falling to the floor of the shower with a thump. Jumping to her feet, she punched Canderous in his nose. It hurt, blood gushed, but he didn't give up.
"You feel it, don't you? Your pain, your heart, your life… You can feel, can't you?"
"Shut up, Ordo!" she screamed, and he felt the walls tremble. "Leave me alone!"
"No!" he shouted right back, though the walls did not tremble at his contradiction.
Canderous watched her hot, angry tears burn down her cheeks as he snatched her up against his body again, his arms pinning her own to her sides. She howled one last time, her body shuddering forcefully with pain. Tears spilled down her cheeks, melding with the spray from the shower. She fell, unconscious, against his chest.
The Mando'ad sighed, turning off the spray and regarding the petite Jedi woman. He supported her torso in his arms, holding her head up with one of his big hands to inspect her face closely. He'd never really gotten a good look at her face after all their time traveling together.
She was stunning, no doubt. High cheekbones, slightly up-turned nose, and a cute freckle right above her lip on the left. Eyes that he'd presumed were slate gray were, of course, closed. Their lashes fanned out on her cheekbones, kilometers long. She had freckles on her eyelids, too. As though she'd slept in the sun and gained freckles rather than a tan. Her lips were full and plump, but not in a tawdry way. He wondered to himself if they were half as soft as they looked.
Canderous didn't ponder the question long before her eyes shot open, surprising him. They were not slate gray, but rather a silver color. Silver and ash, swirling together. As though the old her were the ash and she, the silver. She rose from the ashes of what she had been and became something so much more.
He kissed her. Soft, sweet lips under his own made him shut his eyes. He lost himself in kissing her and having her kiss him back. He'd wanted to do this since the day he'd watched her cut Calo Nord down in the depths of the Dune Sea.
She arched into him, pressing her wet body against his own with fervor. She didn't really want him and he knew it. She wanted comfort, assurance. She wanted to be numb, she wanted to die. He'd told her already, though, that she wasn't going down without him fighting her every second.
He loved her, he realized. In some strange way, Canderous was in love with this woman. Not because of her goodness and light, or because she was once a conquering warlord… But because she'd saved him. He would've been nothing more than ash now, had she not stepped in and accepted his offer. She'd saved him, and now he wanted to do the same. He wanted to let her know that, though she didn't feel the same way, he was here.
She tangled her hands in his hair, scraping her nails against his scalp roughly. He growled, a deep sound in the back of his throat, pulling her against him even closer. She moaned in response, her breasts pressing into his chest. Pulling back, she gasped for breath and pushed him away slightly. He looked down into her face intensely.
"You don't love me. I know you've chosen him," he murmured, "you don't have to love me, though. I just want you to know that I love you. I'm here, always, if you need my help. I don't expect anything more. I know how you feel about Republic in there, otherwise I'd have made my move a while ago."
She gave a weak smile, removing her hands from his shoulders. Canderous took his hands off of her as well. "I… I dunno what to say, Canderous."
"Just say you won't give up. Say you won't just lay there and let Malak win."
"I won't," she replied, the gravity of her oath hitting him in the heart. "I'm going to do the right thing now. Thank you. You… You've done more for me than the others could have. I don't think this wake up call would have been quite the same with Juhani."
The Mandalorian smirked at the thought of the two Jedi in the 'fresher together, deciding that would be a fantasy best left to ponder at a later time.
"I told you I'm here if you want something done right."