There were only a few things that Eijun remembered about the battle... like the pile of bodies at his feet by the time it was over. But the sight of Chris falling to his knees in agony was the most prominent, the... taste of metallic in his mouth still lingering, even now. Despite his memories being repressed, all of his emotions from that day still wracked his body when he thought about it.
The fear, the anger... the grief.
Yet he couldn't pinpoint the reasons for what his body remembered because his mind had shut them out. He could always look into the recesses of his mind and unlock it, of course. But did he want to? Did he want to remember what happened that night, what he had done? Chris had warned him not to look into it, to keep that door slammed tight and to throw away the key.
If there was one area Eijun excelled in, it was the mind. A person's thoughts, emotions, memories, personality... everything that made up who they were. He could crack the coding in anyone's hardware if he so desired. But at the same time, he could lock away the data of his own person. Which was what he'd done that night, albeit subconsciously.
So when asked what happened by the council, he froze. It was all he could do to simply tell them that something had gone wrong, that the intel was off. What he and Chris were assigned to... wasn't a mission fit for a new padawan and one Jedi knight.
Naturally, their next question was how they managed to get off the planet alive. And again, he couldn't exactly answer that. Most everything had become a blur after the fact. He remembered landing on the planet, doing the usual rounds of questioning about their target. Then there was the confrontation, and the ambush. Chris... losing his...
The next thing he remembered was his name being called.
And after hours of interrogation by the council, it was finally decided that he could tell them nothing more, and he was released to go see Chris. He must have waited in the hall for hours, waiting to hear about his condition. It wasn't until the next day that he was able to go in and see him, and even then he had been...
Well, that was water under the bridge as far as his master was concerned. Eijun though, not so much. And as he sat there next to Chris, three weeks since he'd been hospitalized, Eijun couldn't help but be overwhelmed with regret, with helplessness.
The feeling of being far too weak to protect what mattered to him.
"Stop what, Chris?"
"All of your worrying. I can feel it radiating off of you."
Sighing, Eijun leaned his had back against the mattress, shifting his position on the floor now that his butt had gone numb from sitting on it for so long. "I'm not worrying. Pouting, maybe, but not worrying." He turned his head to the side to see Chris, who was looking at him with a smile tugging at his lips.
"I remember you worrying two weeks ago. As I recall there were even tears shed on my behalf," he said, flicking Eijun on the back of his head. He started to deny it, but in the end there was nothing he could say to redeem the crying mess he became at that time. "And I can't have you in here everyday neglecting your duties- not that I don't enjoy your company."
"That being said, you also can't go off on your own. So, I've set you up to work under another knight for the time being."
Eijun immediately stood up from his position on the floor and hovered over Chris with a scowl on his face. "You what?! There's no way I'm going to work under someone else!" He grabbed Chris's shoulders, gripping them with what strength he could muster. Chris wanted to replace him? To be replaced? After everything, everything they'd been through?! While it was true they hadn't been together long, somewhere along the way they'd become quite fond of one another. And Eijun held Chris in such high regard...
"So why... how could you-"
"You know why. It'll take a long time to work through this, and I can't leave you untrained," he said, and Eijun cringed at the hint of sadness in his voice. He knew that Chris didn't want to give up training him either. And the fact that he couldn't any longer... because of Eijun, broke something inside of him. The left hand that Chris placed on top his head did little to sooth the emotions whirling through him in that moment.
"It's my fault, my fault that you..."
Chris sighed at Eijun's words, bringing back the sensation of a phantom touch where his right arm used to be. He continued to run his hand through Eijun's hair, trying to sooth the boy who clutched at Chris's chest. Feeling the tears from Eijun's eyes fall on his chest, Chris closed his eyes, allowing Eijun to cry into as much as he wanted. "It's wasn't your fault, Eijun."
It wasn't your fault.
Miyuki was completely and utterly confused at Yuki's request. Of all the people to be put in charge of another's life, they'd chosen Miyuki? He knew the council still had doubts about his loyalties, so the order had to be coming from someone else. But that wasn't important, because there was no way, no way, that Miyuki would ever...
"Aha! I see Kuramochi's been teaching you some new jokes, Tetsu! But seriously, what's my next assignment?"
With a simple nod of the other's head, Miyuki could feel his comfortable and peaceful world of solitude crash down around him. He had never taken on a padawan before, nor had he ever planned to. Miyuki felt he was probably the least fit person to take on a mentor role. "I know how you feel about it, Miyuki, but with the influx of padawan's this year, everyone has to take on a new disciple. Even you," he added after seeing the annoyance on Miyuki's face.
Leaning against the large bay window behind him, Miyuki let out an exasperated sigh. "I'm not fit for it, Tetsu. I never had a master, so how would I even know where to begin teaching another?" He asked rhetorically, looking out the windows at the stars beyond the station, and Miyuki realized he never wanted to get off the base more.
"I think you underestimate your own abilities."
Laughing, Miyuki turned back around to face the knight before him. It was like Yuki to think that. To believe everyone was more powerful than they believed, that they could overcome their weaknesses. But not everyone was like Yuki Tetsuya, the leader of the newest group of prodigies of the current Jedi. All of the knights in his year had advanced quickly through the ranks, and all because of hard work and determination, at least according to Yuki. But some of them hadn't been capable of achieving that.
Because some of them weren't human.
"It's kind of you to say that, but I'd have to disagree. Besides, the kid is Chris's pupil, right? I shouldn't take another's student on simply because they're out of commission for a while. It's a disrespectful move coming from the self-righteous order." He hadn't yet had a chance to meet Chris's pupil, since they'd only been together for a few months, but Chris often spoke highly of him.
"That's where you're wrong, Miyuki," he responded. "Chris was the one who decided to put him in your care," he said, handing him a file on the padawan in question. Well that was certainly unexpected. While he was sure that Chris had only the kid's best interests in mind, bond between a padawan and their knight wasn't something to be trifled with, even if they'd only been together for a short while. From what Miyuki heard, the two had already become quite close.
Whatever the case, having a change in masters would certainly disrupt the kid's learning. What could Chris be thinking, switching him over like that? Miyuki didn't want to have to train the kid anyway. "Will he go back to Chris once he's back in the field?"
"He didn't say, but I assume so," he said, shrugging as he turned his back on Miyuki and started down the hall. "You start next week! Good luck!"
"That's it. I'm gonna make a black hole."
The way his friends were staring at him suggested otherwise. "I'm serious, guys," Eijun said, placing his hands on his hips as he looked out the window, watching the ships fly past the stars at unbelievable speed. "I'm totally gonna make one. I'm artistic like that." He heard Kanemaru laugh from behind him and Eijun held his hand up just above his shoulder. Eijun flicked his index finger back, and heard a grunt as something hit the floor.
"Dammit Sawamura, you hit Toujou!" Turning at Kanemaru's voice, he saw Toujou lying on the ground face-first, holding up his middle finger while Kanemaru, Haruichi, and Furuya looked on in shame.
"Oh my God."
"I am so sorry Toujou-"
"Learn to control it, you idiot!"
Once he saw that Toujou had righted himself, Eijun turned back to the window. "Anyway, about that black hole..."
"Acting like nothing happened, huh?" Asked Toujou, now sitting behind Kanemaru, lest he be hit again.
"It's not possible, Eijun-kun," said Haruichi, ignoring Toujou in his response. "You'd need to almost completely deplete the internal density of a star to do that. Well, or smash a bunch of energy together, I suppose. But you can't even levitate a cup without dropping it on someone's head. Not to mention the amount of power you'd need is way beyond any one person's ability."
Eijun scoffed at his friend's answer. The power he'd need was all around and in them, but to be able to harness that power was a different problem. That required way more focus and intelligence than what he could muster...
"Why do you wanna make one?" Asked Furuya, who Eijun could have sworn was asleep. But before he could answer, Miyuachi walked into the room with Kawakami in tow. The others immediately stood and gave a slight bow, but Eijun opted to simply give a small nod. After the meeting with Chris in the hospital the week before... he wasn't in the mood to talk to any knights.
"All of you, except Sawamura, have kept your masters waiting on the port landing."
He smiled when he saw them all scramble up from their seats, except for Furuya who was being dragged away by Haruichi. He gave a small wave to his friends as they followed Miyauchi out the corridor. Left alone in the council room, Eijun let out a deep sigh. With Chris being in the hospital for the past month, he'd been stuck on the station the whole time, waiting for his knight to heal.
But apparently his waiting had been a mute point, as Chris had ordered him to be paired with another jedi for the time being. And that was absolutely ridiculous in Eijun's opinion. He'd only agreed because Chris had been so insistent, but it didn't mean he had to like whoever he was paired with, especially since it would only be for a short while.
Until Chris was better.
Turning his attention back to the view out the window, he paused, trying to avoid the thought of what his master was going through. Instead, he turned his attention back to the question Furuya had asked him, about why he wanted to make a black hole...
Each sparkle in the distance was its own star, own planet, own energy source. And on each planet there were life forms, each with their own energy field, surrounded by an even greater power. To be able to harness that energy to create something as beautiful as a star or planet would be something incredible. Not that Eijun wanted to create life, that is. Nor did he want to create a full-sized star. No, what he wanted was-
"Oi, are you Sawamura Eijun?"
Stopping Eijun's train of thought was a difficult thing to do when it had gone off-rail. But the smooth voice he heard had completely shattered it to the core. He spun around on his heel to see a someone not much older than himself standing on the opposite side of the room. His dark gray clothes and lack of a robe stood out against the white background of the room, but Eijun's eyes were immediately drawn to the lightsaber strapped to his left hip. Rather than having the normal grip, there was a guard protruding from only one-half of the hilt.
Wondering what purpose that could serve, Eijun decided to focus on the Jedi's face instead. His eyes were hidden behind the glare on his black-framed glasses, but Eijun could tell they were a deep amber. And while his hood covered the majority of his brown bangs, it didn't do much to hide the condescending smirk playing across his face. There was no denying that the guy was attractive, but there was something about him that put Eijun on edge.
And he could sense it, now that Eijun was aware of his presence. This person's emotions, his personality... what he was trying to keep hidden from everyone around him, Eijun could feel it all. At least, he started to, until the other but up a barrier so quickly that Eijun had only scratched a few paint chips off the wall that was the other's frame of mind.
Interesting, most people weren't able to sense when Eijun was picking at their mentality. He'd only peeked a bit over the cliff of the mind when he'd been shut out. Sensing some apathy, he was going to pull back until he caught wind of anguish and grief. But before he could delve deeper in curiosity...
"I should have slammed those doors earlier. Chris warned me about you," the other said, holding out a stack of papers. He glanced down at the one on top, then flipped to the next page. "Sawamura, Sawamura Eijun... a force sensitive kid with- holy crap is this midi count real?!"
Of course, the midi-chlorians in him were always impressive to a stranger's eye. They were the small life forms that existed in the cells of beings that could potentially control the force. The higher the count, the more connected to the force the being was and the stronger with it they were. And Eijun's count, one he himself didn't know exactly because of it's constant fluctuations, always floated above the twelve thousand count.
Reluctantly, Eijun gave a light nod and the other whistled in response.
"Jeez, you pack a serious punch, huh? Well, you would, if you were any good at actually using your power." Eijun could feel his patience ticking away at each word he spoke, which was a hard thing to take from him. "Yet according to Chris, you're incredibly honed in to the force, despite your lack of skill using it."
Scowling, Eijun pushed off from the window to approach the Jedi before him. Originally, the smooth tone of the other's voice was intriguing, soothing even. But now, he was just staring to get irritated.
"And who the hell are you to say that to me?"
"Miyuki Kazuya, your new knight."
Whatever insult Eijun was going to throw next was caught in his throat. He'd been avoiding as many knights as he could since Chris told him he was getting a new one, but to think it would be this... annoying looking guy, Eijun wanted to groan in frustration. He held up one hand up to his mouth, and the other toward the Jedi. "Just... give me a moment... I think my soul left my body for a second."
Miyuki laughed, appreciating the lack of respect for authority. Though a bit trying, it was also refreshing to have someone treat him... normal. As the kid, no, Sawamura, went off on a quiet tangent about not wanting to be stuck with a bastard, Miyuki took the opportunity to take a good look at the kid.
As expected, he couldn't sense much of anything on him. No anxiousness or anger despite the scowl on his face, not even a hint of any emotion. Miyuki had taken it upon himself to visit Chris the day before to get some information on the kid before meeting him, and the warning Chris gave him resurfaced in his mind.
"He's a good kid, too kind and straightforward for this kind of work but... don't underestimate him. People think that because he's an empath, he's useless as a padawan. But his ability to read people is unlike anything I've ever seen before. You probably won't be able to sense anything about him unless he's distracted, but don't let your guard down around him. He could look into your mind and know your life story in an instant."
"Eh? But what good would that be in a battle?"
Chris had laughed at that. "I never said those were his only abilities, but... you'd be surprised what he could do with just that."
He had wanted to know just what Chris had meant by it, but he had refused to tell him, leaving it up to Miyuki to figure out just what the kid was capable of. But he honestly didn't look like much at first... He had a mop of messy brown hair, slightly longer than Miyuki's that had begun to curl at the ends. Miyuki could tell he hadn't paid attention to it recently because of how messed up his braid on the right side of his head was.
But he supposed that was to be expected, as he was probably worried about Chris. Who had time to worry about their appearance when someone they cared about was hurt? Certainly not Eijun, considering the remnants of a serious lack of sleep. The bags under his eyes couldn't be hidden by a smile and a scattering of freckles across his face.
And his robes... a light shade of brown, they were completely disheveled Miyuki could tell by the size of them that Eijun probably wasn't good at hand to hand combat, since then he'd have apparel like Miyuki's- armor that wouldn't restrict his movement.
So, from what he could gather without reading Eijun's emotions at least, was that he was a kid who cared about Chris a lot and probably had no useful skill on the field, save for maybe gathering information. But... if that was all there was to him, then how had he even made it as a padawan? Even if he had a high midi-chlorian count, and was sensitive to the force, those skills would be useless without skill to back them up.
Miyuki couldn't see how being talented at using the force would apply to being an empath, so what then? What was his secret? There had to be something, and Miyuki was going to find out what it was. He hated being in the dark about these things, and he'd be dammed if he was going to take a kid with unknown powers under his wing.
Snapping his fingers, Miyuki recaptured Eijun's attention, but only for the split second before he was thrown back across the room, tumbling over a chair. Grunting, Eijun got to his feet quicker than Miyuki thought he would. "Gah, what the hell, Miyuki?!" He exclaimed, now on edge, waiting for another attack. Smiling, Miyuki flicked his wrist, sending the chair Eijun had just tripped over flying at him.
He managed to dive out of the way before it hit him, and he rolled back up to his feet before running around Miyuki in a circle. So he's trying to get way from the furniture, smart kid. There would be nothing to trip over, and more time to dodge objects being thrown at him. "Consider this a test, Sawamura," responded Miyuki, pulling the rug under Eijun's feet, causing him to fall. "I want to see what you're made of."
With another flick of his wrist, the chandelier above Eijun came unhinged, and fell towards him. When Eijun looked up, Miyuki felt a small shock wave send out from where Eijun stood. A moment later, and the chandelier collapsed in itself, disappearing into thin air. Miyuki stared at the spot the light vanished from, perplexed as to what the hell just happened to it.
Jumping back to his feet, Eijun laughed, placing his hands on his knees as he bent over, trying to catch his breath. "A test? Yeah right, I can feel it radiating off of you. You don't what to test me... you want a fight." Eijun took at step forward, a deadly smirk playing at his lips. "So let's play, Miyuki Kazuya." Before Miyuki could respond, a shiver ran down the back of his neck. Every one of his instincts told him to retreat, and he immediately backed up.
You're going to die, Miyuki.
He's going to kill you!
Miyuki looked around the room, wondering what had caused him of all people to retreat. What had Sawamura done to him? He hadn't felt that feeling in a long, long time... the one of being terrified, the feeling that you were going to die. He looked back at Eijun, expecting to see some sort of monster in his place. But it was just him, just Sawamura Eijun, standing there with his hands on his hips, his head cocked to the side in confusion.
"Eh? Why'd you run?"
Laughing nervously, Miyuki ran a hand through his hair. "Why indeed," he muttered, rubbing the back of his neck. The sensation seemed to wear off, and Miyuki no longer felt he was in danger, but... what exactly was that? Had it been his imagination? Was he just too riled up from not having engaged in combat in a while that his instincts got the better of him?
Well whatever the case, he was done trying to rile the kid up. He'd save that for another day. But Sawamura had certainly piqued his interest. Chris had been right when he said there was much more to him that met the eye...
"We're done sparring for now. Let's pick this up again later."
"What?! But we just started!"
"I'm tired now. You tired me out."
"YOU CAN'T JUST BEAT ME UP AND THEN LEAVE!"
Laughing, Miyuki walked over to the padawan and wrapped his arm around Eijun's shoulder. "Sorry sorry! But hey, since I'm your master now, you can just forget about it!" He felt Eijun stiffen next to him, and Miyuki paused. Had he said something he shouldn't have?
"You... you're my... my new master."
Ah, so that's what this was about. He felt that by accepting Miyuki as his master, he was betraying and replacing Chris. Miyuki had to hand it to the kid, he was pretty damn loyal. It made Miyuki a bit jealous of Chris, to have someone like that...
"Hmm. Actually, let's say we're partners."
"Yup. I don't like the formal stuff anyway. I mean, you'll have to keep up the act around the higher ups, but let's make this an equal thing, okay? Besides, you don't need another master. You already have one, right?"
Eijun perked up at the thought of Chris. "Yes!" He smiled, a grin that was infectious enough to even spread to Miyuki. It might not actually be so bad, sticking with the kid for a while, Miyuki thought.
"Once Chris is better you and I will go our separate ways, but until then-"
"We're partners, Miyuki Kazuya!"
Nodding, Miyuki used the arm around Eijun's shoulders to herd him out of the room. He'd said that, but what now? There was something about Eijun that set him on edge, something that the kid's stupid friendly grin couldn't hide. Miyuki wondered what Chris had gotten him involved in as he listened to Eijun laugh away, seemingly oblivious to the threat he possibly was.
"Be careful with him Miyuki," Chris said, gripping his shoulder, thinking it odd to not feel the weight of the limb that was once there. He looked out the window of the station, gazing at the stars in the distance that Eijun had told him the names of. "You have to keep him under control, keep him safe."
"Chris, he's just a kid, how could he pose any danger?"
"Because," Chris said, turning back to face Miyuki. "He doesn't even know how dangerous he is."