Man Until the End

Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic

I had never done something on impulse before. Instinct, certainly I had used that gut feeling over a thousand times since my birth. But impulse, that sudden completely different and odd action that you do with out thought, never had I been its victim before. Until I met her. She had a strong aura about her, power like I had never felt. The air seemed to crackle as she walked through it. And she was graceful. I had never seen such a tiny, polished soldier. Her movements were soft and gentle but, resulted in as much damage as I had done in the days of my youth. At first I had only wanted to meet her because she could get me what I wanted. The Sith pass codes to get off Taris safely. But, after we had fled the ruins of the planet I stayed by her side. Traveling with her was dangerous and pleasurable. The thrill of fighting the dark Jedi, the cowardly Mandalorian hunters, even those half crazed Selkath researchers was empowering. And still I stayed. I could have left her side on Tatooine, become a hunter of the desert and searched for the glorious battles of Kryt dragons and the other challenges on the dunes. But, I would not leave her. On Kashyyk, I could have stayed in the dark shadowlands under the vast trees. But, I didn't leave her still. It was the same on Dantooine, Manaan and even Koriban.

I watched her slumbering face cringe slightly; her fingers twitched subtly, something that over stuffed pilot would have missed with his dull senses. He didn't rely on his skills and training for honor and survival, like I had done once. And yet I know that he is more right for her than I. He was standing by her side when I first met her in the cantina. His gruff, flyboy attitude beside her serine and beautiful features. It was a…different sight than most other parties I had seen come through. Only after the battle on the Leviathan did I start to think I had a chance with her. He accused her of wronging him, but learning her true identity was thrilling. To know that I was fighting beside the most skilled and brilliant tacticians in the galaxy gave me pleasant chills that I can still feel. He could be right for her though, after all she is a Jedi and even I know that I cannot always follow the rules of the Light side. No, I have no place beside her in the future. And yet I cannot help but, hope that I still have a slight chance to persuade her passions.

She muttered something and shifted slightly, her face paling and beginning to sweat. It would be a few hours until we reached the Star Forge and she needed her rest, but not if it was going to give her nightmares. This also bothered me. For someone as strong in the Force and strong in spirit (and body as well) I can't help but wonder what she could have nightmares about. Her eyes flickered rapidly and she started to whimper a little. I started to reach out to her, then thought better of it and sat on the edge of her bed instead. She clutched at the pillow, her whimpering beginning to grow, and I couldn't help but think how oddly satisfying it was to know that she too was afraid of something. I touched my hand to the side of her wan face, brushing a few stray strands of pitch black hair back into place behind her ear. The noises stopped and her eyes flashed open before I could blink.

"…Canderous…?" Her soft grey eyes caught mine before I had time to look away, or even move.

"Yeah…" My harsh voice didn't match her sleepy soft one at all.

"Mmm," She closed her eyes and moved herself closer to me, "Tell me another war story, please?"

"How about the battle of Althire?" I watched her nod slightly, "But, only if you promise to go back to sleep. You need the rest,"

She glared up at me but, nodded in agreement and closed her eyes again as I began to talk about the battle. I had barely gotten to the end when I noticed her breathing had gotten very slow and steady. I stopped talking and watched her in silence. Feeling odd and a bit protective at the same time. As I said before, I have never done anything out of an impulse or whim. Always calculated always judged my actions until this moment. I leaned over and kissed her lightly on the temple. I noticed her mouth twitch up in a quick smile and then it was gone again, lost in the dreams of a woman at peace. Maybe she was dreaming of me and my men, high above the planet of Althire. Maybe she was dreaming about Carth. Or maybe she was dreaming of something else. Something long forgotten that had bubbled up to the surface once more to remind her of her glorious past. What ever it was, she was at peace and that was all I could ask for her.

What kind of Mandalorian dedicates his skill to protect one person? A mercenary? Easily bought off to assassinate by a competitor or enemy. A guard? Who can turn against their duty to sell information for some quick credits? Or can a Mandalorian even protect one person? Should I surrender to Carth Onasi and leave while I still have no hold over her. I looked up and saw the man whom I was thinking about in the doorway. His eyes watching the sleeping woman at my side like a man possessed. And I decide. No, I would win Revan because it was what she deserved. Carth had had a wife and son; he'd had the chance to live with a family. And he had left them to fight with the republic. No. I would see this silent, secret battle through until the end. I would protect my Revan from the loss of another person and the threat of an empty life.

I shifted, about to get up and go back to the garage to work on my blaster when a tiny hand snatched my shirt. I looked down at her fingers, clung tightly to my stupid shirt. I took her hand away from my shirt and held it in my own bulky grip. It was too late already. I was already hers forever, like that wookie Zaalbar I had already sworn an oath to her. To Revan the conqueror, Revan the Jedi, or even Revan the pacifist, I had already sworn to stay by her side. I was her Man until the end, always and forever.