So remember that time when Misty wrote stories? I am one of those people who squirrel their writing away on their hard drive forever and constantly whine about how scary it is to show it to people. But I am attempting to Man Up and post it. This fanfiction is about Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I don't think you need to terribly know the plot of it, though this does contain spoilers. Even if you have no idea what goes on in the game I think you can still enjoy the story though, and I'll be happy to paraphrase the plot for you. Or make you play the game kekeke. It is my first multi-chapter fic, and is still a work-in-progress. It is, in the grand tradition of Fanfictions Written by Misty, angsty and sappy and all that wonderfuk things I know you guys love reading. <3 If some of the formatting is off it is not my fault, KHV doesn't like to accept my copy+pastes. D; I fixed what I could but if you find something more let me know! Any comments & critiques are welcome. c: Chapter #1: Opening Spoiler: Opening They had one year. The Star Forge had been destroyed, Malak slain, and a relative peace restored to the galaxy. A man was redeemed. The amnesiac former Sith Lord Darth Revan returned to the Jedi Order; a paragon of light, a warrior, a hero. A woman had been redeemed as well, but her story was not nearly as brilliant—an accomplice to evil, a traitor, a villain. The salvation of the two were nonetheless irrevocably linked, as were their destinies. The Ebon Hawk's crew was lauded as heroes of the Republic, yet whispers constantly surrounded Bastila Shan—seen as the Jedi Order's sole hope in turning the tide of the Jedi Civil War, she forsook all that to pledge allegiance to Darth Malak, the very cause she fought so valiantly against. It preyed upon her self—her every breath, motion, movement, and moments—following her return to the Jedi. The crew at first remained on Coruscant, welcoming a chance to rest without the weight of the world on their shoulders. But each of them possessed their own demons to face, and slowly drifted apart—Mission and Zaalbar returned to Tatooine in search of Mission's brother, Canderous all about the galaxy, analyzing the status of the scattered Mandalorian clans, Carth to reunite with his son—soon, Bastila, Revan, Jolee, and Juhani became all who remained on Coruscant, no doubt due to the Jedi Temple there. Jolee, who induced a self-exile several years prior, still refused to return to the Order, to Bastila's displeasure—throughout their time journeying together, she frequently sought guidance in him, and the wisdom he imparted upon her seemed to become more evident with each passing day. She firmly believed that he deserved to be accepted back and possibly even advanced to the status of Jedi Master, despite his… unorthodox beliefs. Juhani, though she too bore a troubled history with the Order, was promoted to the status of Jedi Knight and allowed to take on a Padawan. Handling the cases of Revan and Bastila had been a much more difficult process for the Council. Both carried much to answer for: Revan, for his past, though his memories as the Dark Lord of the Sith were seemingly buried in the deepest recesses of his mind; Bastila, for her fall; and both, for the intimate relationship that they wished—nay, planned—to pursue. In the end, however, the old Jedi concept of forgiveness weighed through, and the two were allowed to resume their careers as Jedi Knights. Glad that Revan finally realized what they thought to be his full potential, the Council repeatedly sent him off on missions and the like. He took to his work with a gusto, but much to Bastila's and his own dismay, they saw very little of one another. They were not given a chance to actually talk since their encounter on the Star Forge. In a way, even though Revan—and the Ebon Hawk's crew, though she felt that may have been more so due to Revan's influence than genuine forgiveness— welcomed her back, and she was allowed to remain a part of the Jedi Order, she could not shake her feeling of an interminable guilt. She betrayed her oath to the Jedi, but it was so much more than that—she turned on the man she loved, the crew she found friendship and acceptance in, and to a greater degree, she indulged herself and crossed all she worked towards for over half her life. Forgiveness was, after all, one of the Jedi lessons that her pride could never quite allow her to swallow. ~&~ Revan lifted his hood as he exited the governmental building on Aldera, motioning a goodbye to the Senator as he took his leave. The Senator had requested a Jedi escort during his journey from Ord Mantell, and the Council had declared it a fit task for the newly promoted Knight. When first placed upon the mission, he couldn't help but scoff a bit. The reformed Darth Revan, once a Sith Lord, now the savior of the Republic, sent on a mission that would have been suited to a Padawan learner. For the past month he had been sent on equally mind-numbingly simple journeys; escort this politician, mediate this minor conflict, send the Council's goodwill to systems not yet in the Republic, and so on. It was almost insulting. He quickly rebuffed such haughty feelings, of course, knowing them to be petulant; he was a Jedi, after all—happy to help, with no mind towards status or renown. As if he needed either. The only bitterness now left inside him was regret; firstly, regret that he had not seen off the majority of the Hawk's crew as they left Coruscant and scattered about the galaxy. After all they'd been through, he would have liked to at least say goodbye. He had run into a handful of them, on his small ventures about, but it was not nearly close to what he desired. These feelings had, however, been overshadowed by his want of a presence in Bastila's life since the events upon the Star Forge, especially in the last few days. Due in no small part to their intimate bond, only strengthened by their prior journey, Revan knew that she was in a weakened state. He could fully understand why—such traumatic events would not easily be overcome for anyone, even someone as strong as he knew Bastila could be: an excellent judge of character, he had her pegged within two days of meeting her. She was aware of her talent and skill, but having constantly been reminded of their existence, she'd become arrogant and headstrong. Underneath that brash exterior, however, he could see vulnerability lurked. She was young, but not youthful—the sort of person who had never been allowed to be a "child," at least, not for very long. And as hard as she tried to mask it, as hard as he fought to convince her otherwise, she was weak. Not physically, not at all—she was a fierce fighter, each swing fervently delivered—but inside, there was something eating away at her; slowly, but it was happening. Her training, she discovered, would ask her to keep this all inside of her. To be a Jedi, she had to be perfect. It was a goal she would run with all her might towards, and constantly fall short. He knew that these pre-existing issues would only be compounded by the more recent ones. He now felt her mind as broken and scrambled, desperate and needy. She needed him there, and he so desperately wanted to fill that gap. ~&~ She rarely left her room. The Council would still send her on rather simple missions, as if testing her allegiance, which rarely brought her outside of the city's limits; meanwhile, they sent Revan across all the reaches of the galaxy. In her more dramatic moments, she had to wonder if the Council was purposefully pulling them apart. In the hours not spent in the confines of her quarters, she walked the halls of the Temple—at times she observed the daily events and rituals, and others simply wandered, immersed in her own thoughts. Lingering in her meandering was an unshakable feeling of paranoia; where she walked seemed to be followed by a buzz of her actions, the looks of passing Jedi filled with judgment—and more shockingly—almost contempt. She tried for many days to convince herself that she was being silly, that Jedi were above such emotions, but she could not deny what was so clearly in front of her. She saw it in the eyes of the former crew of the Ebon Hawk, as well—their journeys occasionally brought them towards Coruscant, and while she never formed a deep connection with any of them, their conversations were thereafter awkward and stilted. It didn't take much effort for her to ascertain why. She had betrayed them. Time became static in the solitude that ensued. The sun rose and fell without much consequence towards her world. Facing her self-imposed guilt was difficult enough; when compounded with the disdain of others, it was simply unbearable. She could not stand to be the one who let everyone down. In such a remarkable tale, that would no doubt go down in holorecords for years to come, she would be the turncoat, and he the hero. How ironic it was, she thought! Him, the former Sith Lord, being the one loyal to the Order's doctrines in the end of it all. In his absence, she stewed. Feelings she had thought she had abandoned—envy, shame, incompetence—slowly bubbled to the surface. She loved him, to be sure—that much was certain, was always certain, would always be—but next to him, she would never be anything more than inadequate. Chapter #2: Frailty, thy name is woman Spoiler: Frailty, thy name is woman “Bastila? Could I speak to you?” spoke a voice from outside of her temporary quarters in the Temple. The question startled her for a moment—she was not used to having visitors in the recent weeks, aside from frightened looking Padawans telling her that the Council desired an audience with her; she never expected that of all the people, it would be Juhani, who in the past made no secret of blaming her for the destruction of her homeworld, Taris. Assuming that Juhani was delivering some sort of message from the Council, she replied cordially. “Of course, Juhani, come right in.” The slender Cathar slid through the doorway, carefully closing the door behind her. As Bastila gestured an offer for her to sit (which Juhani happily accepted), she attempted to remember a time when she had ever been alone with Juhani. She couldn’t recall one. “I haven’t very much time, so I apologize for being so brusque, but Bastila…” began Juhani in her accented speech, fidgeting slightly with discomfort, “I have noticed something in you recently that I believe I may be able to offer some guidance on, if you will allow it.” Bastila sat intrigued, wondering what it could be, and beckoned Juhani to continue. “You see, something of your manner and your mind lately remind me of myself, when I first joined you and the others aboard the Hawk. After I had been brought back to the Jedi,” started Juhani. Bastila’s defensive tendencies got the best of her. “I don’t really think it’s the same thing Juhani, I joined Darth Malak, you merely—” “A fall is a fall, no matter the circumstances surrounding it, Bastila,” corrected Juhani. Her pride getting the better of her, Bastila pouted; who was Juhani to lecture her? “I know well what you are going through… I merely hoped I could be of some help.” Bastila softened. Juhani had not come here to make her feel worse about herself, to pour salt on her still very raw wounds, but out of true concern. Though the two had their differences, Juhani had conjured the strength to put that aside and reach out to a person in need. And when she thought about it, really, their situations had not been that different—both turned their backs on the Jedi, and both were turned around by Revan. The mere thought of him filled her mind; she felt a familiar tugging towards him, an insatiable desire to have him by her side. Somehow, she was convinced that she would be in better shape if he were only by her side… Bastila wished to ask Juhani how she returned, how she found the strength to face all the people she’d betrayed, but she could not allow herself to expose her wounds. “I’m fine, Juhani,” she lied. Juhani was silent, and simply sat looking at Bastila. She knew that Juhani was using the Force to search through her mind, but she cared not. She hadn’t expected her deceit to work, having never been skilled at it, and she knew full well that it was almost impossible to trick a Jedi. After several moments, Juhani started for the door, pausing in its frame. “I saw him, you know... on a nearby system. He said he would return soon,” whispered Juhani. Sensing a pang of withdrawal within Bastila, she mumbled a goodbye and glided out the door. Bastila regretted her treatment of Juhani the moment she left the room, knowing that she had slapped away the hand of someone reaching out to her, but the thought of opening up to another was unfathomable to Bastila—to admit weakness or a mistake to anyone but him was nigh impossible for her. The thoughts were quashed from her mind the moment Juhani mentioned Revan, and replaced with a hunger to see him, to speak with him, to have him reassure her that she would be all right, and most of all, to be held by him, wholly and utterly, without fear or hesitation. “Now you see, Bastila. The dark side can never conquer the light,” he stated firmly, withdrawing his blade as she fell to her knees. Her arm outstretched, supporting her weight, she knelt upon the metal floor; she was no match for him. With all the power of the dark side, all her strength, all of the Star Forge, he had struck her down with ease—fended her off, as if she were a mere child. She was a fool for being deluded enough to believe she could best him. “You… speak the truth. I am no match for you. Please, for the sake of what we once shared, do not make me suffer…” she pleaded. This was the end for her. She was beyond help, beyond redemption. He had defeated her—it was the only logical outcome. These ways must not be so foreign to him; when you strike down your enemy, you finish the act. Such was the way of the Sith! Surely the Jedi had not converted him so quickly, so flawlessly. “End my life quickly.” “Bastila…” he began, reaching towards her. Sensing his hesitation, she staggered away from his grasp. “What other choice do you have!?” she replied hysterically, eyes watering. “I have fallen to the dark side! The apprentice to the Dark Lord himself! You cannot let me live!” “You can be redeemed—” “No… I’m not strong enough,” she interrupted. “There’s too much anger inside me now; too much hatred and fear. I can no longer find peace in the Force.” “You can take your strength from me.” “You… always had more strength than I did. I told you that,” she said softly, turning towards the floor, choking back tears. “I felt so… helpless before your destiny. You were Revan and I couldn’t tell you… it was agonizing! Even worse was when I began to… to feel closer to you. I despised myself for it. And even now, I… I feel your strength,” she said, closing her eyes. “It… does help me. Thank you.” She smiled genuinely for the first time in weeks, and allowed a tear to roll down her cheek, resigned. “I think I can face the end now, if you are the one to do it for me.” “I…” he started. She looked into his eyes with all the determination she could muster, all her emotion flowing into the air between them. The atmosphere shifted; what was once tense became tender. Her expression implored him to have empathy, to consider what pain she was in, to bring an end to it. He drew back. “I understand, Bastila. You… won’t feel a thing.” He drew his blade, the single blue saber sparking with its proximity to the floors of the space station. She shut her eyes tightly, preparing for death. This was the close of her tale, the departure of Bastila Shan. She could hear each of his footsteps clatter against the metal, seemingly centuries apart, as he drew closer. Her mind raced, producing a surge of memories and emotions she never thought possible; recollections of her mother and father flashed into her eyes; next of the Ebon Hawk’s crew, of all those in the Jedi Order who had placed their faith in her, of the Republic citizens suffering under the tyranny of the Sith; finally of Revan, and the kiss they shared, the forbidden passion she held for the man about to end her life. Anguish washed over her body as she heard him inhale fiercely, raise his arms, and— She awoke with a start, clutching her pillows, grasping the sheets and mattress surrounding her, as if confirming she was indeed safe in her bed, and not on the Star Forge’s deck, having been so convinced of it not a minute ago. Panting as she left the bed, she settled at the window; the city was shrouded in darkness, the sole illumination at this level the moon’s light, the smog of the city obstructing the stars. A cool breeze swept her face and blew her hair, drying the cold sweat that had formed on her brow. Still slightly shaken, she couldn’t help but wonder what had caused that dream. True—on the Star Forge, she asked Revan to take her life, but he had refused. He’d brought her back to the light. The gravity of her request hit her now with full force: she asked Revan to execute her. She wanted to die. She was unsure if she suggested it more because it was the rational outcome of the battle, or because she would rather die than live with this regret. Was he so strong, that he could bury his past, or she so weak, that she was unable?