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This is (Never) How It Goes

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The woman who was once Revan picked up the lightsaber, twisting it over and over. The crystal was a crisp, fine blue, the color of a cloudless Dantooine sky, double-bladed and entirely wrong (right, so right) in her hands.

"You are troubled," said Bastila, coming to stand at her right shoulder.

"Nothing for you to worry about." She dropped the lightsaber lightly on the workbench and turned to face Bastila. They stood too close, Bastila's robes rustling gently forward to rest against her wrist, bidding thoughts of temptation and nothing like a feeling of peace.

"I'm here," Bastila said in a careful tone that was becoming entirely too familiar, "if you need to talk."

Bastila would listen, as she always did. Bastila would listen to her unease, her unsettled dreams (memories), her suspicions grown to certainties; Bastila would speak in turn quiet platitudes and the importance of trusting in the Jedi masters, in the Force, in their unexpected connection. But it was unlikely Bastila would do more than dance around any revelations or truths of her own.

"I know." Long before their confrontation with Malak, she had known.

Revan (not Revan, never quite Revan again) brushed past Bastila, knuckles sliding for the barest spark of an instant against the back of Bastila's hand. There was much they left unsaid these days, so many conversations she was waiting for a better time to have.

--

For all that she was not the same, though, for all that she could never regain that cold mindset, could never again accept the cruel calculations of necessity she once made and followed with ease, she was more Revan than the hollow, fragile shell the Jedi masters had once tried to convince her was a person. She grew too attached, felt too deeply to be another Jedi master drone. Whatever the council had taken from her, they had not taken that.

Bastila held out a hand, and Revan wanted to clasp it in her own, to follow where Bastila, beautiful Bastila, led. She was Revan, still, and she wanted so much to have this, have her, but--

This wasn't the Bastila Revan wanted. Malak had never understood, had seen only strenth and power and pain--and, in the end, a most petty sort of envy. This Bastila, inculcated with his teachings, would be just as dangerous, just as lost. Taking Bastila's hand now would lead her further down a path into the dark for its own sake, with no truer purpose. The galaxy could not be served this way, and concerns greater than her own longing were nearly at the galaxy's doorstep.

Bastila left. Carth and her other companions were (mostly) relieved that Revan had not followed. HK-47 was, she could tell, disappointed and deeply regretful at the loss of opportunity for further violence, but his lust for bloodshed would be sated soon enough. There would soon be more than enough blood shed for them all.

Her heart settled in her stomach, and the stars stretched too long in front of the Ebon Hawk.

--

"If you could do it over," Revan asked of Jolee, knowing this would hurt and unable to help herself, "would you walk the same path?"

"Why would I," Jolee said in that acerbic, near sympathetic way of his, "when I've got you to do it for me?"

--

Revan once did what was necessary. She would sacrifice a city, a friendship, a planet, whatever was required of her, to complete the mission at hand by the most efficient means possible.

Revan had grown soft. She would take hours to learn a slave child's Mandolarian pidgin and days to return the child home. She freed wookiees and stood steadfast by her allies. When Mission turned her pleading gaze on Revan, saying, "I don't know, they're kind of cute," Revan had even spared the gizka, finally finding them a home on Manaan. It was little wonder the guardians hadn't recognized her.

She'd been able to take Malak's jaw without qualm, but now she could barely lift a hand against Bastila without feeling something break inside. Striking her down was beyond Revan entirely.

It was for the best, then, that words swayed Bastila more than blows, that the Revan-of-now did not have to call on the Revan-that-was and give her free run once more.

--

After the battle with Malak, after killing her fellow Jedi so Malak could not--and maybe Revan was more herself than she'd thought--after closing Malak's eyes for him and taking his lightsaber in memory of the friendship they'd once shared, she found her way to Bastila once more. The space battle was over, and Bastila sat slumped against a steel wall, the toll taken from so much use of her battle meditation apparent in her posture, in the exhaustion clouding her eyes.

"Is it finished?" Bastila asked.

Revan levered herself down next to Bastila. "I've found it never is."

To Revan's surprise, Bastila leaned in first, placed her head on Revan's shoulder. It was not--quite--an admission, but neither was it their usual distance, a failed step in their dance around the truth.

"There will be a ceremony," Bastila said. "And medals. The council is fond of medals." A lock of her hair slid exquisitely smooth and soft against Revan's neck as Bastila shifted, resting more of her weight against Revan's own. "And after that, I shall come with you."

"What?" Revan asked, startled out of the half-doze Bastila's presence and the drop in adrenaline had lulled her into.

"You're leaving." It wasn't a question.

Revan considered and discarded a half dozen lies, a dozen more obfuscating jokes and half-truths. Finally, she settled on, "I am."

"We are." Bastila placed her right hand on Revan's knee, palm facing up.

This time, Revan could not resist. She was never the emotionless Jedi, free from worldly passions; the tales of her Sith days that called her heartless had been wrong entirely. Bastila's hand was callused from lightsaber work, her fingers warm and strong wrapped around Revan's own.

There wasn't time, not really. The dark approached from beyond known space. Her comm buzzed from Carth's and others' calls. As Bastila had said, there would be a ceremony and medals. After that, Revan had as many conversations as companions ahead of her, none of them easy.

Revan didn't care; she cared too much.

"Bastila--"

"Shut up," Bastila said, her left hand coming up to cradle Revan's cheek, "and kiss me."

Again, Revan decided conversation could wait. This time, she made the decision smiling.