Pushing himself back to a standing position, the Jedi Master was just about to render his judgment when Jag interrupted him.
"Kyp, before you give your deciding vote, let me present my case in a different light."
Out of the corner of his eye, Jag saw Zekk roll his eyes, his silent 'here we go again' written all over his face.
There was something in his tone of voice that made Kyp cringe, and combined with the slow smile that spread across Jag's face as he began speaking, Kyp knew that he wouldn't like what was about to be said.
"If, on the off chance, we are detained by security, who would it be that you would comm to come and get you?" Jag crossed his own arms across his chest, his right eyebrow raised in question.
Kyp grimaced. He didn't even have to voice a response. They all already knew the answer to that question.
His beautiful, spirited, fiery, Liz. The love of his life. The only person who could actually make Jedi Master Kyp Durron squirm with just a look.
Kyp couldn't help the smile as he thought about Liz. Never in a million years did he ever think he would end up with a woman as incredible as she was.
A woman who never took no for an answer, had no qualms about speaking her mind and he had no doubt, given the right provocation, could do a fairly thorough job of kicking his butt.
Not that the two men in front of him had to know that. But judging from the smug look on Jag's face, it was already too late to worry about that.
Right. So. Not gonna go there.
"Alright, let's not get ahead of ourselves." Kyp walked around the side of the parked speeder to stand beside the other two dark-haired men. "We make life and death decisions almost daily…head up an elite group of pilots. How hard can it be to figure out how to get to one locked up speeder?"
Kyp spun in a circle, glancing around at the towering buildings and mazes of traffic surrounding them, looking for….what…he didn't quite know yet. "I mean, this must happen all the time. What do ordinary, everyday people do?"
"Break in," Zekk supplied causally
"We're not breaking in," Kyp and Jag exclaimed in unison, both men turning at the same time to glare at him.
"Alright, alright." Zekk held his hands up in a placating gesture. "Jeez, bite a guy's head off why don't you."
"Besides," Jag asked quizzically, "isn't there some line in the Jedi code about peace and only using your powers to protect and defend?"
Kyp turned to Jag, his mouth quirked in surprise. "Very nice, Fel. I'm impressed."
Jag tipped his head at his friend in mock salute. "Thanks. I've managed to pick up a few tidbits here and there over the years."
"Yeah, there is. There is no emotion, there is peace," Zekk answered distractedly, walking a short distance away to look more closely at a group of signs hanging on a nearby wall.
He spun back around to face his two friends, a wide grin on his face. "Don't know about you guys, but I'm perfectly capable of getting in there while being at peace and with no emotion."
Zekk only laughed at the exasperated head shake he got from his companions. "I know. I know. The media hounds would have a field day with two high-profile Jedi breaking and entering. Add to that the clubbing the three of us did tonight…yeah…fun times."
"Besides," Kyp piped in, glancing at Zekk, "that really won't be too much of a problem anyways."
Zekk nodded his head in agreement. "That's true."
Jag eyed his two longtime friends, instinct immediately telling him that he missed something very important in the exchange that had just taken place. He knew by hard earned experience that he was going to regret asking the question, but the words were out of his mouth before his brain could head them off.
"What won't be a problem?" Jag asked hesitantly.
Kyp and Zekk both turned, fixing him with a studying look, as if just remembering he was still standing there.
"Oh, huh. Yeah. I suppose we should probably tell him."
"Your right. He does have a right to know."
"He is standing right here, you know," Jag interrupted. "And what should I know?"
Zekk continued as if Jag hadn't said a word. "He actually should know, really. For his own safety and everything."
He should just walk away. Right now. Turn around, forget he ever met them. He could just imagine how peaceful, and safer, his life would be.
Better yet, Jag thought, massaging his temples against the pounding that had returned to his head as he tried to follow the roundabout conversation taking place in front of him, he could lose them. It would be easy enough in the overly crowded streets of downtown Coruscant. He could find himself some ysalamir. He knew enough scoundrel types that he could get his hands on some. Then they'd never find him.
"I'm actually surprised that he hasn't figured it out yet. He's usually great at picking up subtle things like that," Kyp added. He tipped his head towards Jag, "You must be slipping, Fel."
"Okay, I know I'm going to regret this, but I'll bite," Jag said cautiously. "What, in the name of the Force, should I have already realized?"
"Exactly," Zekk said, his smile making it quite obvious how much he was enjoying antagonizing the Chiss-raised pilot.
Jag pinched the bridge of his nose, repeating the mantra I will not kill my friends, I will not kill my friends, over and over in his mind.
Kyp reached over and swatted Zekk's shoulder. "Be nice, Zekk. He's injured remember, not quite firing on all cylinders."
"I'm still perfectly capable of taking the two of you out," Jag admonished.
Kyp laughed, flipping one side of his cape back over his shoulder as he put his hands in his pockets. Taking pity on his friend, he explained. "The Force, Jag. Deciding to use it or not won't be a problem."
"The Force plus alcohol," Zekk elaborated further at Jag's confused expression. "Doesn't mix."
"Wait. Wait." Jag shook his head, trying to make some sense. He glanced at Kyp, addressing his next question more to him specifically; as he had been their driver for the evening. "I asked you both earlier if you were sober."
"No. You didn't," Kyp corrected. "You asked us if we were drunk."
Jag dropped his head in exasperation, rubbing his temples with his thumb and forefinger as he huffed out a breath. Sometimes it really was like dealing with children. He raised his head slowly. His brow knitted together as he tipped his head in tired confusion. "Not drunk means sober, Kyp."
"Your forgetting about in-between," Zekk added in obvious amusement.
Regret? Yeah, not at all. He wasn't having any qualms or misgivings about having these two as friends at all.
"You know that wonderful, pleasing plane of existence that exists after you've had a few drinks but before you get fall down, stupid drunk?" Zekk grinned. "In between."
"You're both Jedi," Jag said, as if he needed to state the obvious. "None of this should be an issue. Just use the Force to get rid of the alcohol."
"Nope, can't do that." Kyp explained with a shake of his head. "There in lays the problem."
"I have a headache," Jag muttered. He looked warily between the two Jedi. "Should I even ask why?"
Kyp put his arm around Jag's shoulder, "I'll let you in on a huge secret, Jag." He looked around, as if to judge whether or not it was safe to proceed, and dropped his voice to just above a whisper. "You see, it's only a myth that we Jedi are all powerful and have control of the Force at all times. You have to be able to concentrate to use it."
"Driving, everyday things like that," Kyp waved one hand, "pfft, no problem. But manipulating the Force, now that requires much deeper concentration."
"We lost that ability hours ago," Zekk added matter of factly. "You should have mentioned to us earlier that you wanted us to retain our ability to use the Force. We would have drunk less. Now, only a Force Trance would help"
Zekk looked around at the ground around them, his nose wrinkling at the smell and debris around them. "I don't know about you, but I ain't laying down on this."
"The way I look at it," Kyp threw a look Zekk's way, "this is all his fault."
"Mine!" Zekk said appalled. "What did I do?"
"The Black Hole," Jag supplied.
"Yeah. The Black Hole. The red head-"
"-the bouncer," Jag added.
"We would have been here hours ago if not for your shenanigans ." Kyp and Jag both quirked a reproachful eyebrow at him.
"Mmm…..C'leste," Zekk mumbled turning a huge grin towards his friends. "Well worth it. We had a connection you know."
"Well, okay then," Jag started, ignoring Zekk's wistful, far-away looks, "with this new information coming to light, looks like we figure this out like nice, normal, everyday people," Jag explained.
"Where's the fun in that?"
"You should have thought of that before you made your 'connection,' Zekk," Jag chided.
"Eh, what do you know about woman anyway, Fel?" Zekk shot back at him, as he turned to once again examine their surroundings. "Took you how long to finally ask Jaina out? You think you'd…" The rest of Zekk's words were cut off as he spied what he didn't realize he had been looking for. "Huh."
"Hey guys, come here," Zekk called, glancing over his shoulder. "I think I've found our answer."
Kyp and Jag crossed the short distance, stopping on either side of the tall, long haired Jedi to look at what he was pointing to.
The sign was small, the once vibrant lettering faded with age, half hidden amongst a half dozen other flimsi's that hung around it. Kyp tore a couple of them down that were covering it, allowing them better access to fully read it.
"In case of Parking Emergency
Follow the Southeast Walkway two blocks
Then proceed down three levels, following the signs to the Attendants office."
"Huh," Kyp echoed Zekk's earlier sentiment. "Well, that sounds easy enough."
"See Jag, no problem," Zekk slapped his friend on the back. "We'll have that speeder of yours out in no time."
Jag looked around, spotting a walkway a short distance away clearly marked with the word 'Southeast' written on the duracrete. He turned back and read the sign one more time, before turning and following his companions.
All the while, he could hear his father's voice whispering in his head, repeating to him the first lesson he was ever taught.
Jagged, nothing is ever as easy as it appears.