Cosmic Love- Florence + The Machine
Despite the festivities in the air for the farewell ball, a handful of people could not share in the joy given their circumstances. Asajj Ventress was one of those people as she dressed for the tonight's event.
The linen skirt felt smooth against her skin. Hooking in the front, the fine fabric was a medium blue with silver trim that complimented her white skin. Stopping just below mid-thigh, the garment offered her a range of movement despite its cling. The brassiere she pulled on was halter like in its coverage of her breast. Scales embellished the top, matching the color of her skirt despite it being a shade lighter. With silver bracers and arm bands, the only thing left to put on were her anklets which were adjourned with tiny bells.
Grabbing a brush, Asajj brushed and brushed her hair until her curls fell in soft waves. Deciding to change it up a bit, she pulled some of it up, and secured it with silver accented pins that stood out nicely against the dark color of her hair. Staring at her reflection in the mirror, Asajj was pleased with the results. She looked very much like an ice deity of fantasy.
She'd already gone over everything with the hired orchestra. After helping them capture the sound she wanted to perform to, she'd wandered around the ballroom getting a feel for her performance and escape routes. The palace ballroom was huge and amphitheater like in layout. There would be a lot of people watching, meaning her chances of staying unrecognized were just that much lower. Granted she looked a lot unlike her former self, she still decided to err on the side of caution.
Sighing, Asajj turned to stare at the small bag she had packed. There was a supply shuttle heading out later tonight and Ventress was making it a priority to be on it. She was no stranger to the type of 'malfunction' she knew the ship would experience with her on it.
Even though, the thought of leaving weighed heavily on her mind. The sadness that filled her chest was suffocating. Last night had been amazing and as much as she wanted to pretend nothing bad would come of this arrangement, she knew that was unlikely.
Trying to clear her thoughts, she was interrupted by her blonde friend with a tap to her shoulder. Staring into her mirror, the former dark lady frowned at the woman behind her and the anxious guard in her company.
Palpatine watched with a satisfied smirk as Anakin stared at the conversing figures of Obi Wan Kenobi and Queen Amidala. He could tell the boy was dying to confront the older man about whatever he had seen last night. The confusion and hurt he felt rolled off in waves, whether he realized it or not. Ready to poke around the flames, the Chancellor adopted an expression of neutrality before addressing the young jedi.
"Ready?" he asked making his presence known.
Visibly cringing, Anakin turned realizing he'd been caught. "Chancellor," he greeted trying to save face. "I didn't realize you were standing there."
The Chancellor chuckled good-naturedly, "I noticed." Anakin rubbed the back of his neck embarrassedly. "It's quite alright. Is everything alright between you and Master Kenobi? You seemed to be in a bad mood yesterday after you talked to him."
Anakin sighed, as the two began to walk away from the doorway of the ballroom. "I…. I don't know. There's so much going on now. It's like there's all this… stuff between us that we don't want the other to know that we barely recognize the other." He pictured Obi Wan kissing that unknown woman again.
Palpatine hummed thoughtfully. "War has a way of changing a person. It's not uncommon for people to drift apart with age and distance."
Another sigh, "You're right, but I still don't like it. And the worst part is that I don't know how to bring it up."
"Come with me to the security room, Master Kenobi and Master Offee are more than capable of watching for danger. Maybe a little time away will help you clear your thoughts." Anakin looked unsure. "We'll be watching the same thing they'll be watching… Just with better views and angles."
Checking over her reflection one more time, Ventress smiled at the bloodied figure barely breathing on the floor behind her.
"I would go and do my job if I were you…" she warned the wide-eyed guard holding the other unconscious woman.
Tossing her darkening locks over her shoulder, she gripped her accessories tightly before stepping out of the dressing room and getting on with her objective.
The Jedi Knight was glad he taken the Chancellor's offer. If he were with Obi Wan, he'd be grilling him the whole time instead of keeping an eye out like he was supposed to. Normally, he'd be all about the mission, but it wasn't every day the Jedi's resident golden boy did something like this.
Granted, he was doing the same thing, but the fact that he had seen Obi Wan daring to break a rule so sacred just put things on a whole other level. He still didn't know what to make of the hurt and doubt he was feeling. He just couldn't believe it.
He was roused from his thoughts as the Chancellor asked him if he knew who this dancer was. Focusing on the screen, Anakin stared on in obvious concentration.
There was something horribly familiar about the dark-haired woman on the screen but Anakin found he couldn't place her anywhere. He watched as she threw her arms in the air in a fierce pose, the light catching the objects in her hand revealing two curved hilts of unmistakable design.
He studied her face carefully as her full lips pulled into a harsh smirk. That expression evoked a wave of irritably that he only felt in the presence of a certain assassin.
"Shit!" The jedi's chosen immediately bolted out of the security room. His mind racing in fear as adrenaline kicked in.
Ventress phased the sabers on and began to spin creating waves of red circles. Throwing the swords in the air, she completed a series of flips and tumbling passes before catching them in a tuck and roll.
Winking at the ginger-haired jedi, she jumped curving her spine back before landing like a cat in a crouched position. Rolling forward and pushing off her heels she seemed to be flying in a vortex of red light. Her movements were playful and flirty… nothing like last night's primal style.
Tossing a weapon in the air, silver eyes glinted mischievously as she bided her time. Throwing herself into her next move, she back handspringed slamming her foot into the hilt propelling the pulsing blade towards the Naboo-ian monarch.
By the time anyone realized what was about to happen, it was too late.
Padme's eyes were bright with pain as the blade of the lightsaber cut through her dress and skin. The room was in a state of uproar as delegates and staff screamed in terror at the attack.
Reaching the room just in time to see his beloved impaled, Anakin's chest was tight as he screamed her name. Everything was moving in slow motion as he watched the assassin's smug form hover over his wife. His vision was bleeding red as his loathing increased. Before he could comprehend his actions, his weapon was ignited and his mind was on one thing.
"Long live the Queen," the face above her sneered.
Wincing as she moved away from the pulsing heat of the weapon embedded in her seat, Padme narrowed her eyes as she griped her personal blaster pistol. "Forgive me if I don't wish the same unto you!" She yelled as shoving the weapon in her attacker's face and pulling the trigger.
Ventress barely evaded the blast as it skimmed across her cheek before blowing out a pillar. All pandemonium broke loose as everyone tried to clear to room at the same time. The palace's guard jumped into the fray trying to calm the crowd while getting them out of harm's way.
Wasting no time, Padme immediately bolted not wanting to be around when the other recovered. Lucky her, the weapon only grazed her side.
Screeching at the angry mark on her right cheek, the assassin leaped at the fleeing queen. Just as she was about to attack she was tackled to the ground by a flash of tan and brown.
Groaning as her body was slammed into the hard marble, Ventress was dizzy as her assailant settled on top of her. "Who are you?" Obi Wan ground out, using his weight to hold her down.
The woman underneath him blew him a kiss, "Wouldn't you like to know…" she breathed mockingly. There was no way this was the woman he'd spent the night with. His Asajj wasn't supposed to be like this anymore. Their link was… off.
The Jedi Master opened his mouth to say something, but was distracted by the sound of Anakin screaming bloody murder. Looking over in his friend's general direction was just the distraction Ventress needed as she broke free of his hold, hammering him square in the jaw.
Surprised by the force of her hit, he thought he was hallucinating when the woman in question drew back a hammer as she rolled onto her feet. Blinking, it was a hand again as he quickly righted himself with light saber ready.
Smirking, Ventress had retrieved her weapon as well and was in a fighting stance of her own. "Come Jedi, let us see if you're worth all this fuss."
Barriss watched as the two leaped at each other striking and parrying blows in a deadly dance of combat. The Ventress she'd encountered was completely different from the vindictive woman fighting against her comrade. She really thought she'd convinced the other.
She rushed to help Obi Wan but was interrupted by the rumble of thermal detonators going off, destroying beam supports and pillars. Focusing her abilities on panicky delegates, she used the force to catch the larger debris that was falling from the ceiling of the palace's ballroom.
Padme crashed into her husband just as the thermal detonators sounded.
"Anakin!" She cried as her arms wrapped around him.
The sound of her voice seemed to bring him back to present as he blinked and stuttered her name. The chosen one had no time to process as his instincts took over making him respond to the dangerous falling debris.
Following her weapons' attack with a turning hook kick, Ventress missed her opponent by a few millimeters. She quickly spun and ducked feeling his counter attack dig into her right shoulder. Before she could right her defense again, a strong force of something slammed into her knocking her down and leaving her breathless.
Cerulean eyes were hard as Obi Wan regarded the angry woman in a crouched position. "Now, I'm going to ask you again," he started, "Who are you?"
Snarling, Ventress pushed something on her bracer.
Before the Jedi master could move, bombs sounded all around the room causing him to stumble. Falling chunks of marble crashed around him as he tapped into the force to make sure it stayed that way.
However, when he looked back to face his opponent, she was gone.
After everything calmed down, staff rushed about the room trying to get everything in order and be of assistance to those still in the room.
Barriss was checking over the Naboo monarch to see how bad her injuries were. Anakin stood by watching the whole thing with restrained fury.
He'd kill her if he ever saw her again. He'd snapped her porcelain neck with his bare hands.
The young Queen could tell by the stormy look in his eyes that Anakin was seething on the inside. Her Ani was a passionate young man, most of the time she loved that about him, but not right now. Smiling thankfully at the Mirilian healer, she opened her mouth to say she was fine, but was interrupted by the voice of another.
"Are you alright?" Obi Wan asked looking over her as he made it over to the trio. He'd been talking with the guards instructing them to scour the halls and secure the security tapes. He had feeling that whoever made an attempt on Padme would be gone by now, but it still would help to look for anything the perpetrator may have dropped.
"I'm fine," Padme assured, "just a scratch. Lucky me she missed."
Obi Wan nodded, thankful the young woman was unharmed. Turning to speak to Anakin, the jedi master never got the chance as the room's door burst open revealing three palace guard and an unconscious Asajj Ventress.
"We found her in the great hall," one of the guards' said tightening his hold on the woman in his grasp. "It appears she was struck by some fallen debris."
Anakin narrowed his eyes as the other three stared on with mild surprise. Ready to react, he paused in his anger as he picked up on the barely contained emotion of Obi Wan.
Kenobi was a mix of confusion and anxiousness.
Stirring, the person in question blinked open her eyes looking about in obvious confusion. Nodding at each other, the guard placed her down and pushed her forward confident in her weakness and the skills of the three other warriors present. Asajj willed the floor to stop its spinning as she tried to find her bearings stumbling onto her knees. Her gaze briefly rested on Obi Wan in question as she took in her surroundings desperately fighting the darkness at the edge of her vision.
The last thing she remembered was Shuri and her dressing room. But something had been off about the doctor. Before she had time to question anything there was blur and sweet nothingness.
Obi Wan would've taken a step forward if Barriss hadn't discreetly grabbed his wrist holding him in place. Instead Barriss moved forward, checking over the ill woman like the good healer she was.
The Jedi's Chosen frowned at the action.
Obi Wan ripped a hand through his hair as he stared up at his friend, willing him to trust him. "Look, I know her…"
"You'd choose some hopeless wench over me? Your brother?
'There's no way…' he thought as his thoughts were slowly aligning. Suddenly, he realized why the woman from yesterday seemed so familiar.
He watched as the Jedi Master cradled her face in his hands before capturing her mouth in an intimate kiss…
This was the woman from yesterday. Ventress was the woman his 'brother' had held like he was in-love with.
It had been her the whole time… meaning Obi Wan had known… the whole time.
As the picture became clearer, so did his anger and disbelief. Obi Wan had chosen her over him… over everything.
Padme recognized the distress that shone in her husband's eyes. "Anakin?" She voiced in concern, lightly grasping his wrist.
The emotion displayed in cerulean eyes was all the answer he needed.
If Obi Wan was surprised by what happened next, he didn't show it.
"You bastard!" Anakin snarled leaping forward slamming his fist into Obi Wan's bearded jaw. Obi Wan was knocked to ground as Anakin had thrown his whole body into the attack. Both landed with grunts.
Anakin was vaguely aware of Padme calling his name as he scrambled to follow up on the punch. But this time the Jedi Master was ready to defend himself.
"ENOUGH!" Barriss boomed, using the force to rip Anakin off of Obi Wan. "There are more important things to worry about right now!"
Obi Wan pushed himself up very much aware of his aching jaw.
The guards stood by awkwardly.
"It could've been anyone," Anakin spat angrily jumping onto his feet, "but her! You'd still believe in that even after all this?"
Asajj couldn't help but cringe at the ugliness of this fight as she leaned on Barriss for support. She didn't care in the least what Anakin thought of her, but she recognized the injury it caused Obi Wan and for that she was sorry.
"Anakin…" Obi Wan knew there was nothing to say that would make everything alright between the two of them.
"She tried to kill Padme and… and..." Tearing a hand through his hair, Anakin turned his back on the ginger haired man trying to reign in his rage. He caught the eyes of the assassin and glared.
Padme had finally gotten over her surprise and acted accordingly. She still felt in the dark about the situation, but recognized an unnecessary conflict when she saw one. "Anakin, I think you should leave." The passionate young man turned his angry gaze onto her, but Padme would not be intimidated. Her disposition was firm and unwavering. "Now."
Snorting, he left after throwing one last nasty glance at the 'couple' behind him.
The Naboo-ian monarch turned to deal with the situation at hand but was once again interrupted.
"Arrest that woman!" Came the voice of the Chancellor. Attention snapped to another entrance as the normally pleasant Palpatine was pointing accusingly with a hard glint in his eye.
"No!" Barriss said with a look of her own, handing the ailing woman off to Obi Wan.
"Guards!" The three who were, oddly enough, still there moved to take control of the prisoner.
Barriss wasted no time in activating her weapon daring the guards to try something. "If my memory serves correct, sith fall under the responsibility of the Jedi Council. Asajj Ventress is an enemy of the jedi and by extension the Republic. Not the other way around."
"And what of her crimes against the Republic?" The Chancellor boldly stated.
"The Council will judge her accordingly, and should they find her guilty she will be dealt with according to the severity of her actions." Obi Wan finally spoke up before addressing the guards for cuffs.
Palpatine narrowed his eyes, "Padme?" He acknowledged waiting for her ruling on the situation.
The young Queen found her eyes locked on the eyes of Obi Wan Kenobi wishing she knew exactly what was going on. She appeared lost in thought until she finally gave her decision. With a heavy sigh, she realized Barriss was right and said as much. "According to the Republic's charter in regards to jedi and force-wielding prisoners, I have no legal grounds to authorize the Republic's arrest of a sith acolyte." She gave Obi Wan a look that said, 'I hope you know what you're doing.' "With that being said, if possible, I'd like to be consulted and allowed presence at her trial since it was my life that she just so blatantly threatened." She flashed an apologetic glance at the Chancellor who shrugged, and called his guard off.
Barriss deactivated her weapon as the guard backed off. "The Jedi Order appreciates your understanding of the situation." The Chancellor and his men left in somewhat of a huff, while Padme glanced around her ballroom weary of the damage.
When their audience had left, Barriss turned to Obi Wan and the now restrained Asajj Ventress saying what both had been dreading. "The jedi council will have to be notified and a full investigation will be launched… Asajj Ventress, you are now a prisoner of the Jedi Order."
A/N: Fiiiinnaalllly! The end is near! Thoughts so far? Review please!