A.N: This is harder to write than I though it would be. But I love Star Wars so much. *Shhh* Don't tell the other trekies.
Quinn watched Rachel as she scuffed her boot against the ground before smiling at her shyly and waving a hand at the Enclave behind her, "This is it."
Quinn squashed the sudden and completely unwelcome flip in her stomach at Rachel's shy smile and replied gruffly, "Thanks I guess." She strode past the smaller girl and ignored the hurt eyes that followed after her. She closed her eyes as the doors hissed open and turned to see if Rachel was going to follow her into the Enclave. The girl was already gone.
Quinn shrugged despite her sudden guilt and headed further into the Enclave. She needed to present herself to the Masters.
Quinn smiled at some of the other Padawans as they entered the dormitory and received nods and smiles in return. She hadn't seen Rachel again since she'd left her outside the Enclave gates and she quashed the concern she shouldn't have been feeling so soon after meeting the girl.
One of the older Padawans, a boy who was tall and muscular with a strip of hair down the middle of his head leaned across from her and growled, "Where's Rachel?"
Quinn sat up on her bed and fought off the glare that wanted to form, "How should I know? I'm new here."
The boy crossed his arms, "Kurt said he left you alone with Rachel in the plains."
Quinn stood and allowed the saber at her side to glint in the overhead light, "She showed me to the enclave but she didn't come in."
The boy huffed, "Damn it. She probably went to the caves alone... again."
Quinn cocked her head curiously, "Caves?"
The boy rolled his eyes, "The crystal caves, where we get the crystals for our sabers."
Quinn ran a hand over her short, slightly shaggy hair and asked, "Are they dangerous?"
The other Padawan snorted, "Not for Rachel, not really, but if she did go she's sad and sad is a bad thing for a Jedi to be."
Quinn tried to quell the guilt yet again, "Why would she be sad?"
The boy shrugged, "Who knows, one of these," He raised his voice and waved a dismissive hand at the rest of the older Padawans, "Lice ridden banthas probably insulted her again."
Quinn schooled the wince that wanted to steal across her face, "Does she get insulted a lot?"
The boy's face darkened considerably, "She does. They're jealous because the masters train her privately."
Quinn reared back, she'd never heard of such blatant favoritism, "They sound like they have a reason to be jealous."
The boy shook his head stubbornly, "She is always happy to teach me anything they've taught her, I didn't have to ask, she offered, everyone else is just too stupid to take her up on the offer."
Quinn slid her outer robes on and asked, "Do you want company on your way to the caves?"
The boy cocked his head and considered her before he offered his hand, "Noah Puckerman but everyone calls me Puck, and yeah, I could use the company."
Quinn quietly introduced herself and followed on Puck's heels.
The caves were filled with Kinrath, giant arachnid type creatures that wanted nothing more than to poison the interlopers in their caves.
Quinn hated Kinrath. She didn't even care that a Jedi shouldn't hate anything, not really. She hated the skittering, giant things. They'd been in the cave for nearly half an hour and yet they'd found no sign of Rachel, and the Kinrath in the cave appeared unmolested.
Quinn shivered, how much time must Rachel spend in these caves for the spiders to view her as normal? Too much time in all likely hood.
She and Puck had masked their presence with the force, allowing them to pass the Kinrath without a struggle, but she couldn't be sure that Rachel had done the same.
Quietly she asked, "Who taught you to mask your presence with the force?" She knew where she'd learned to do it and how she was able. For a Guardian she'd always had an unusually high midiclorian count, and a strong tie to the force by extension, but most Guardians did not.
Puck replied softly with a small amount of pride, "Rachel taught me, after Master Sylvester taught her."
Quinn cocked her head to consider the boy's back, "She really will teach what she's learned?"
Puck nodded and turned to smile at her, the normal stoicism that most Padawans were meant to display vanished, "She will. She teaches me and Kurt. Though his lessons are more basic..." He frowned a second later, "Poor kid, Rachel says he's very connected the force, might even be a Sentinel when he get's older, but he lacks confidence in his abilities. Rachel taking him under her wing has helped though, the other little Padawans have started being nicer to him."
Quinn felt her jaw open a little as he loped off. Puck was far more open and forthcoming than any Padawan from Corrusant would ever be and she had to wonder why. Most Padawans, herself included, tended to be standoffish with anyone new.
She couldn't help but feel like this friendly openness from Puck would prove to be Rachel's influence. She suddenly felt shamed over her coldness towards the other girl. She'd had no reason to treat Rachel the way she had save for her own black mood, and had acted in a way that no Jedi ever should.
She was so involved in her own thoughts that she nearly barreled into Puck's back when he came to a stop. She peered past him and didn't try to stop her jaw from dropping at the sight before her. Rachel sat crossed legged, hovering in the air with the glowing crystals nearly vibrating as she channeled the force in her meditative state. Quinn had seen Masters channel the force this way, so that the force seemed to sing but never a Padawan, and from what she understood, most Knight's couldn't reach this sort of meditative state.
She heard Puck mutter, "I hate this stupid cave, but I love watching her do this."
Quinn had to agree as she felt the force flare to life in her own blood, as if Rachel's connection called out to her. The vibrating seemed to grow stronger as Rachel lifted higher in the air. Even with her eyes closed Quinn could see that Rachel knew something in her surroundings had changed. The brunette's eyes drifted open as she gazed at her and Puck.
She let her gaze settle on Quinn but spoke to Puck, "Malak... was there something you needed?"
Puck frowned, "I thought I'd come make sure you were alright."
Quinn frowned at the name Rachel had called Puck and mouthed the word, 'Malak'?
Rachel answered her silent question, "It's Mandalorian for brother."
Quinn nodded, "Oh... that's nice..." She trailed off as Rachel straightened her legs and drifted down until her boots were firmly planted on the uneven ground of the cave floor.
Rachel dipped her head, "You made it through the caves alright?"
Puck nodded and jabbed a thumb in Quinn's direction, "She knows how to mask herself with the force."
Quinn suddenly felt as if she was being studied as Rachel let out a hum and then bent to examine one of the crystals, "Did you want an orange crystal Noah?"
Puck beamed at her, "You found one?"
Rachel nodded and with a wave of her hand one of the crystals snapped off into her hand, "I've been in here for a while. Channeling the force... we could probably take a few more crystals."
Puck lit up and turned to Quinn, "The masters come down here every couple of months to meditate and draw the force further into the cave, kind of to feed the crystals I guess."
Rachel cocked her head, "Is there a color you'd like Padawan Fabray?"
Quinn schooled the wince that wanted to flit across her face as Puck glanced at her sharply at the use of her formal name, "I..."
Rachel eyed her for a long moment before her eyes softened and she waved a hand over a cluster of crystals, "These are cerulean, they're a deep blue green, still blue so you won't get scolded... but prettier."
Quinn couldn't help the smile that quirked across her lips, "Prettier?"
Rachel nodded firmly, "Nothing in the code says our sabers can't be pretty."
Quinn squinted, "I am pretty sure pride is in there somewhere..."
Rachel shook her head, "I don't want a pretty saber because of pride... I want one because it's pretty."
Puck let out a bark of laughter and then asked with a grin, "Did you find a crystal for Kurt?"
Rachel turned to him and dipped her head, "I did."
Quinn stepped forward, "Should a youngling have a lightsaber?"
Rachel shrugged, "He wants to start training with a double blade, so he needs a training saber and all the help he can get, I've received permission from the Masters to begin his training. I'm no Guardian, but I can teach him the basics with Noah's help."
Quinn nodded as she eyed the other Padawan, whose smile and gentle kindness she'd already rejected once today, and made a decision, "I am training with a double blade..."
Rachel cocked her head but didn't not ask for her help so Quinn continued, "I'd be willing to help you train the boy..."
The little Padawan was suddenly beaming, "Thank you Quinn!" She moved forward and proclaimed just before she enveloped Quinn in her arms, "I'm going to hug you now." Quinn wasn't used to open displays of affection or having her personal space invaded by near strangers but she still managed to wrap an arm around Rachel's back, and if she was a little stiff neither she nor Rachel mentioned it.
Rachel pulled away and seemed to have let go of Quinn's earlier coldness as she turned to Puck, "She helped me fend off a pack of Kath hounds earlier, and she seems to have mastered the leap you have such problems with!"
Quinn glanced at Puck, hoping that he wouldn't be angry or jealous and was met with shrug instead, "I have a lot more mass to lift Rach."
Rachel paused, "Hmm... true." The little Padawan smiled at Quinn, "I was very impressed with it though. I am adequate with a saber but my force abilities are much stronger."
Quinn reached out a hand and caught Rachel's elbow, "Maybe while we're training Kurt, I could help you with your saber skills, the force jump is more about the force than the blade."
She watched as Puck perked up, "Could you? I'm great with a blade, but I'm not a very patient teacher."
Rachel nodded furiously, "It's true, and I am a perfectionist so I need to drill again and again before I'm willing to move on."
Quinn smirked, "I think I'll drill you plenty." She blushed to the roots of her hair as her words registered in her brain and Puck barked out a laugh.
Rachel glanced between a laughing Puck and a red faced Quinn and asked curiously, "I don't get it? Noah why is Quinn blushing? And why are you laughing like that!"
Quinn shook her head at Puck and sagged in relief as he clapped a hand on Rachel's shoulder, "Nothing Rach, just a poor choice of words."
Rachel pouted for a moment before shrugging and handing Quinn the deep blue green crystal she'd spoken of, "We should be headed back. I don't want a lecture from Master Sylvester about being out and taking risks when I have a responsibility to the galaxy."
Quinn cocked an eyebrow, "You can't be older than seventeen, how much could the galaxy really need you?"
Rachel rolled her eyes, "I've tried telling her that but then she starts muttering about destiny and I get a little lost, which admittedly makes me feel bad because I certainly don't like it when people don't pay attention to what I say."
Puck let out a long suffering sigh, "I fell asleep once Rachel, once."
Rachel leveled a glare over her shoulder at him as she led the way out of the caves, "And now you'll never understand the theory behind battle meditation."
Puck waved a hand, "I'm a Guardian Rachel. I think I'll leave that sort of thing to the Sentinels and Consulars."
Rachel huffed, "That's right, leave us to do the heavy force lifting."
Puck flicked the back of Rachel's ear, "You like lifting things with the force." As they entered into the moonlit plains Rachel turned on him and narrowed her eyes, "Rach…"
She purred, "You're right Noah, I do like lifting things with the force." She flicked her wrist and suddenly Puck was caught by the ankle and jerked into the air, left to dangle upside down as Rachel blinked at him placidly, "I think I'll lift something the whole way home."
Puck let out an indignant squawk but he kept pretty quiet as they walked back to the enclave so he wouldn't attract Kath hounds because he needed to yell. Quinn walked slightly behind Rachel and her dangling friend, privately marveling at the level of control and strength Rachel was able to exert all while pointing out landmarks to Quinn and giggling as Puck's glare became more and more poisonous.
They made it to the enclave unmolested and as the doors sealed shut behind them a few younglings came running, "Rachel! Rachel!"
Kurt was smiling up at the brunette, "Do me, do me!" He was pointing at Puck with bright eyes. Without setting Puck down Rachel lifted her other hand and brought Kurt into the air, only he was right side up much to Puck's disgust.
The tall boy grumbled, red faced, "I see how it is, and here I always thought I was your favorite Rachel."
The little boy being lifted blew a raspberry, "Pfft, everyone knows I'm Rachel's favorite."
Rachel let out a tinkling laugh, "You tell him Kurt."
Quinn could do little else but watch as Rachel held two of her fellow Padawans in the air with a bright smile and no sigh of strain.
As the little brunette turned to offer her a beaming grin Quinn returned it while trying to ignore the very unwelcome flip in her stomach.
She was so involved with staring at her new friend that she didn't hear what was so troubling to the pair of Knights that rushed past the young group and further into the enclave.
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