Love Story

**

"I'm riddled with scars and I just don't want any more." – Freddie Mercury

**

The young Healer fairly raced down the corridor, a blond old fashioned Padawan braid streaming behind him. Please, let him be all right, he pleaded silently, unmindful of the knowing glances and sly nods the other Healers afforded him as he passed by.

Poor foolish Toa, they whispered. He doesn't seem to understand that he was just another passing fancy for the Ambassador's son. Kay'leb Canaille may have his mother's Healing gifts, but he has the roving eye of any pirate…

Kay'leb had been brought back to Corellia by his sister Aubé, a young Rebel pilot, after a supposed accident on the Capitol – some said it had happened at the ruins of the Jedi Temple – but the older Healers, those who remembered and even had trained there, said that it was impossible. No Force sensitive would willingly cross its threshold since the great desecration. It was a dead place, poisoned by the events of the past. Others may have tried it to their peril, but not Kay'leb, the Master Healer's son…

**

"Miss Aubé," Toa gasped, barely able to catch his breath as he burst unceremoniously into the small private room that Kay'leb's status had afforded him. "I came back as soon as I heard! Is he – "

Toa stopped short, taking in sight of the dark haired woman who was leaning over the sleeping man's bed. Her dark eyes were red and socketed from weeping, and Toa swallowed hard, fearing the worse.

"Master Kay'leb?" he gasped, unable to continue, but Aubé offered him a wan smile.

"He's just in a Healing trance, Toa," Aubé murmured, extending a welcoming arm. "Mother said it would be for the best, until we got him home, but he's going to be all right… we think." Without warning, she burst into fresh sobs as she fell into his embrace. "He's blind Toa! Something happened during… during the accident… and mother doesn't think he'll regain his sight without a radical procedure – even if then!"

With utmost care, Toa gently extracted himself and tried to turn his carefully sheltered thoughts to Aubé herself, even as he outwardly turned his attention to the young man lying prone in the bed.

It's not just her brother, he mused inwardly, even as his careful Healer's hands sought out impressions in the Force on his patient. Something else is wrong – no… different…

"I couldn't stay," Aubé whispered softly, more to herself than anyone else. "I would have been like a mynock around his neck. I would have held him back from what he needs to do!" She grasped the top of the young Healer's hand, causing it to gently caress her brother's chin. Involuntarily, Toa shivered. "Why does it hurt so much?" Her breath caught in her throat as she suppressed a sob. "Why?"

"Its love…" a new voice croaked softly as a shaking hand withdrew itself from the coverlet and covered their hands with his own.

"Kay'leb!" both of them exclaimed at once amid fresh tears, now those of joy.

"Oh by the Gods…"

"Master!"

Sightless, hazy blue eyes opened, and a smile graced Kay'leb's lips. "Toa…" he whispered. "My dear, dear friend…"

"Kay-sa…" Toa gasped, taking Kay'leb's hand in his own, and kissing the palm tenderly. "You will see again, I promise!"

Kay'leb shook his head weakly. "If the Force so wishes…" he replied, his voice lower and soft. He turned his attention to Aubé, and removing his other hand from their grasp, he reached for her midsection. "Bé… dear sister… you're…"

"Yes, I'm here, Kay," Aubé interrupted him gently, catching his hand. "But you need rest. I'll leave you in Toa's capable hands, at least for now, and I'll bring you some broth later if you're up to it."

Kay'leb sighed, and sank deeper into the pillows as his eyes closed once more. "I'd… I'd like that…" he agreed slowly, brushing away one of Toa's tears with a fingertip. "If Toa… is agreeable…"

"I am."

"Then I'll leave you," said Aubé, placing a wet kiss on her brother's forehead. "Mother and Papa will be home soon, and I want to have last meal on the table for them – you know how Papa eats so poorly away from home." It was an excuse, and they all knew it, but neither young man took her to task for it.

Once they had the room to themselves, Toa shifted uncomfortably in the silence.

"Master… Kay-sa…" Toa began hesitantly. "You could see again… I could see for you… I could be your eyes…"

"I thought I was the one who had been injured, Toa," Kay'leb laughed, a harsh barking sound. "Do you know what you're saying? Do you know what that would mean for you?"

"I do, Kay-sa," Toa replied, determination in his voice. I would do anything for you, Master… he thought. I love you, even though I can't bring myself to say those words. I always have…

"Think on it, Toa…" Kay'leb rasped. "You would be… forever…"

Toa held Kay'leb's hand to his cheek and nodded slowly in understanding. "Yes. I accept that, Kay-sa, and I embrace it…"

Kay'leb pursed his lips and said nothing. For a little while, they sat in the now companionable silence, and Kay'leb dozed a little. Perhaps Toa did as well, when all at once, Kay'leb suddenly spoke up.

"She loves him… still," he said softly.

"Jedi Skywalker? Yes,"

"And yet she left him behind…"

"Mostly," Toa agreed, "but she has a part of him with her too."

Kay'leb smiled. "You are already a gifted Healer, my friend," he murmured. "I don't think she even knows herself!"

"Will you tell her?" Toa asked, a wry smile spreading across his lips as he brushed an errant lock of hair from Kay'leb's fore-head.

After a moment, Kay'leb sighed. "No," he said at last. "I will leave that to mother…"

"I could see for you, Master… Kay'leb…" Toa repeated softly at last. "I can see the physical world, be your guide…"

Kay'leb turned his head away. "You have always been there for me, my friend…" he said softly.

"And if you would have me, I always will."

Kay'leb squeezed his hand as tears spilled from his sightless eyes. "It may take months, Toa," he said softly. "And I may not even regain my sight at all! Then what will you do?"

Toa smiled. "Then, Kay-sa, I will be your eyes, and possibly nurse-maid to Aubé's child. The future is full of possibilities, Master; I of all people know that."

Kay'leb fell quiet again, and at last, truly could see[/]…

Through it all, Toa had always stood beside him, and more importantly, stood aside for him. Through the lovers, and through the heartbreaks. When they thought Aubé had been lost, first to the teachings of the Empire, then to the war itself. Toa had been there for the glorious homecoming, and had willingly stayed behind when the family had been called to the Capitol world, committed to the Healer's center that Kay'leb would soon be the Master Healer of.

Would have been…

Toa walked towards the window, gazing out as if on to the future. "You still can be, Kay-sa," he said softly, as if reading his thoughts. "You do not need your eyes to see into the Force."

"But it helps, Toa," Kay'leb chuckled wryly from the bed. "Something that you should know."

Toa ducked his head, nodding in agreement, flushing as he remembered that Kay'leb couldn't actually see the gesture. "Yes, Master," he added quietly.

A few heartbeats of silence, and at last Kay'leb gestured for Toa to come close once again.

"Always in motion is the future, Toa," Kay'leb said gently. "It's a mantra that my parents and our fellow Healers have driven into us since the start," Kay'leb smiled as he pulled his friend close to whisper into his ear. "However, there are some certainties, that we will face them together is one of them…"