==In Memoriam==

The stone angel reached towards the stormy heavens, her wings spread, her feet almost leaving the pedestal. A true work of art. She would have loved it.

This wasn't supposed to happen.

Tenderly, his fingers brushed across the words etched into the pedestal, as he remembered. Remembered her smile, her laugh, her optimism, her idealism…

Things should have been different.

He'd discovered her affiliation with the Rebellion over a year ago. He'd lived with the dread that, someday, he would capture a Rebel group and she would be in the midst of it.

Now, he wished he had.

Instead, his men had destroyed a Rebel outpost. Her name had appeared in the list of casualties.

It had been a long time since he'd taken a blow that had knocked him off his feet. Not even his exile had accomplished that. This, though… this one left him reeling, broken inside.

The hardest part was that he could never let anyone see it. He was an Imperial admiral—she was just another Rebel.

Not just another Rebel.

He hadn't even seen her in thirty years. Now, he'd never have the chance again. Not that they could ever have been together. He would never have left the Empire, and she would never have left the Rebellion.

He leaned back to rest on his haunches, his eyes roaming over the once-foreign Aurebesh script carved into the pedestal.

Maris Ferasi

Born 35 pED, Died 20 ED

Beloved Daughter, Beloved Sister, Beloved Friend

No husband, no child, no record that she had ever loved a man. No record of the man who hadn't told her he loved her when he had the chance.

Thunder rumbled in the sky above, and a twenty-kilometer wind swept through the Corellian cemetery. He began to rise to his feet, then froze.

Lines of script emblazoned the foot of the pedestal, no longer hidden by the tall grass. The script was Cheunh.

As day overcomes night, and light darkness,

So love overcomes hate,

Joy overcomes grief,

And hope overcomes despair.

The sun will always rise.

She had that written for him. Only two people she truly knew could have read those words, and to one person only could those words have been directed.

He surged to his feet. In that moment, a drop of saltwater touched the earth.

Admiral Thrawn left the cemetery as the rain began to fall.

The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins—but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back.

Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.

Author's Note:

Oddly, I didn't cry over this one. …Give it some time. I will, eventually. Poor Thrawn and Maris. They never had a chance.

This was a quickie. Came to me after lunch, and I plopped down to type it out about an hour later. It turned out maybe slightly different than I'd originally imagined it, but, sadly, that hour-and-some-odd-minutes that passed between thinking and writing were enough to erase some of the details from my memory.

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