Disclaimer: This is a fanfic of the products of LucasArts. It is therefore non-profit and nothing belongs to me except the plot and how I've portrayed it.

Dark Guardian

Five years after the destruction of Malachor, she finally left the galaxy behind. She left without saying goodbye, which was proper, because she was always a mentor and teacher as much as she was a friend and sister to those she had gathered back then, and the final lesson she taught was that one does not always get to bid loved ones farewell. Mourn and move on, for the Force is ever turning, a myriad of lives and songs that are fleeting in the vastness of time. She, too, mourned and moved on, though carrying the heavy burden of the past that clung to her like an illness, that deep dark depression that embraced her heart when she witnessed the deaths during the Mandalorian wars, further blackened by the abandonment of the only family she had ever known, and the decade-long lonely wandering before she found friends again. Such wounds keep bleeding, the ache never recedes. She was too strong to be broken, but strength had little to do with happiness, and her purpose was done. The galaxy had nothing left for her, so she departed.

Sometimes I find it a bit ironic, that she convinced me to die when she chose to live for so long with the pain in her heart, but I think she did believe it would ease, with the love of those Lost Jedi she had gathered. They adored her, and she adored them no less, even the fool Darth Traya so despised. Like Kreia, they would sacrifice the galaxy for her sake, but the galaxy could not cure her heartache, so it was just as well that their love was not enough either. She was still stronger than me, anyhow—she left of her own volition, heading out with her advanced training to help her colleague, Revan, and perhaps do one last good deed before she joined the Force.

I suppose it had to do with pride, to a small extent. There were easier ways to die, more comfortable ways to die, yet it is fitting that the Exile chose the one method that would resonate through the universe. The True Sith were formidable foes, and she faced them on her own, one shining beacon of hope and beauty against the black blood of the Dark Side. She knew as well as I did that she would never return to the galaxy, would not survive the wrath of those whose blood she sought. I knew, too, that nothing I do would spare her from being cut down in the end, but it was like the first time all over again, on Korriban where dead things haunted the land in vain vengeance, and in the lobby of that academy, there she was, covered in dirt and blood and grime, ragged and exhausted and more radiant than holograms could ever hope to do justice. She was not like the other Jedi, who kept themselves clean by avoiding the shadows, so their presences were dilute like pale water, the light only from their life force that was unmarred by experience or wisdom. She was like a star—she dispelled the darkness around her, a bright warm glow that survived the taint of death and war. She had faced the dark and survived with her soul intact, even if her heart was battered, and even when I knew in my broken bones that she must die, I gave the order to wait. Let her live a little longer. The longer she lived, the longer the galaxy was blessed with her presence.

And now, in the Force, I find myself doing my best to ensure again that she lived for as long as possible. Let her turn here so the living Sith do not see her. Have them look the other way as she dances through the dark halls. Have their minds falter at that critical moment that will allow her to prevail. Cloud their vision of the future, so they know not that she is coming. Let the universe keep her for a while—she will die soon enough, too soon, and once she leaves I will never see her again. She chose the light, and it is fitting, because she is beautiful and the light shines beauty in everything. Once she dies, she will go where all light side beings go, and I will be left in the shadows I had chosen in life, where there is nothing, emptiness, black murk that we dark beings attempt to fill with anything from fear to rage to hate.

Beautiful souls always have beautiful, glorious endings. I know she wants to reach it, and I am keeping her from what would heal her heartsick soul, but she will reach it no matter what I do, and love…love is something I have never felt before. I want to spend as much time as I can with her, even if I do not deserve her. It is selfish of me, to want to treasure her a little longer, despite prolonging her pain. Yet strangely, I know that this lovely creature that is the Exile, who laid her fair lips upon the cold, rotting forehead of a gruesome, vile man to grant him comfort as he died when he had moments before tried to kill her, whose compassion was genuine and selfless unlike all the pretenders before her or since…I know that she would not mind.

And that is the most humbling of all.