We are the people that you’ll never get the best of.

Are we all we are
Cut to now holy wow
When did everything become such a hell of a mess?
Maybe now maybe now
Can somebody come and take this off my chest?
I know you think it’s not your problem
I know you think that God will solve them
But if your shit is not together it’ll never be
You and me
Plant the seed
Open up and let itbe
We are the people that you’ll never get the best of
Not forget the rest of (rest of)

Caers expression was tense as she stood on one foot, the other cocked high in preparation for a kick that never came, the pose forcing all her concentration on her form. The weight of the woman all on her toes as she kept her hands out straight out before her, palms up and her light saber resting mere centimeters above her outstretched palms. The sheer amount of concentration shone in her very form as each muscle trembled with the strain of the pose.

The sun beat down heat on her like an open flame. Sweat beaded on her face, creating small rivulets down her face to come to a point on her chin and drip off onto the hot rock below her feet, the sting of it hitting her cracked and dry lips as she forced herself to not lick them. The scream of the water falls next to them drowned out any bird call or the howl of any wind.  Her body was clad only in a sports top that covered the essentials and a pair of tight form fitting leggings. Her feet were bared save for tape that wrapped around the heels and lower ankle and the balls of her feet.

Raiyden stood next to her a perfect mirror of his sister. Leg poised, hair blowing freely in the wind that blew up on the high cliffs. His own body was shirtless, smooth and comfortably loose leggings adoring his lower half, tape also adorning his feet the same way as his sisters. His double bladed saber hovered mere inches above his palm in the same way as Caer held hers. His was more stable, it did not move and there was no indication he strained other than an occasional twitch.

The wind was not enough to cool their bodies, making their minds sluggish if they relented to the heat. The twins had climbed upon this spot sometime before sunrise and it was just past noon, yet they still stood. Their minds and bodies as one on the tall cliff, the flat bluff in the middle of nowhere on Tython just outside the Temples grounds. If they chose to, they could see the grounds as a spot far below them, the trail the followed winding like a snake down the mountain side.

The smell of pine and sweat permeated their nostrils, the salty sting of the sweat and the crisp pine smell making their noses hurt. It was only with the faintest of movements that either of them sensed what was about to happen.

We’ve had our fill
We’ve had enough
We’ve had it up to here
Are we all we are
Are we all we are
We are the people that you’ll never get the best of
Not forget the rest of (rest of)

They spun as one and sabers ignited, the smell of ozone mingling with the other smells. Caer came in at Raiyden with a flurry of merciless blows and feints that drove him back but only a tiny fraction before he recovered. He had never been the strongest of saber fighters, but he could hold his own and she damn well knew it. Raiyden struck back, his double bladed saber, hitting and striking back each blow his sister pelted him with. He stepped back, closer and closer to the cliff before striking back, palming his hand outward and thrusting his hand open and forward, driving her back with the sheer will of his mind.

It was a dance made for people who only know each other so well that the steps were flawless. Spin, thrust, jab, parry, stab, twist, push. Harder and harder each move became, the dance step more and more intricate and real as the last. Caers moves were all power and movement, Raiydens steps were light and flowing like the water they danced around.Their own bodies glistening with dripping sweat , the hiss of sabers clashing echoing off the hills like the echoes of a battle from ages ago.

Seven seconds
Seven seconds
That is all the time you got to make your point
My attention, my attention’s like an infant tryin’ to crawl around this joint
I know we’re better than the masses
But we’re all followin’our asses
And if our shit is not together
It’ll never be
You and me
Plant the seed
Open up and let it be
We are the people that you’ll never get the best of
Not forget the rest of (rest of)

A blood curdling scream sounded out above the roar of the falls and a body burst down from above them, the form of a third person with two sabers ignited broke them from their intricate dance, the twins turning as one, Caer stepping in front of Raiyden and crouching low, Raiyden coming up high with his double bladed saber sweeping over Caers head as she ducked.

Lyrae’a wearing her Seekers clothing, the denoted outfit of blue and silver leather with the clips of where her sabers usually hanging glinting in the sunlight. Each buckle like a bright star on her body. Her body was as similar to her siblings that they could have been triplets save for the more youthful appearance of their younger sister by a good ten years. Her eye covering was an intricately carved piece of ivory that held if looked upon closely,would be of intricate interlocking patterns.

Caer darted forward and aimed a thrust which was blocked by the secondary saber as Lyrae’a twisted to the side, shoving Raiys saber to the side so they could move around and block Caers attack that followed in a violent and precise manner. It was only after the initial shock of the attack that Caer and Raiyden realized what was happening, the little sister coming to play with her bigger brother and sister.

They welcomed her.

The dance was one that was of sheer controlled chaos the flat rock barely enough to hold them all, each thrust and attack the twin-sabered being  driving the attack forward against the two of them. The bodies of the Miraluka twins working as one solid being. When one attacked the other counted that attack. Lyrae’a, hard pressed to find an opening always pushed back, constantly looking for a way to expose a chink in the twins armor, their feet dancing, bodies weaving, each an embodiment of the weapons they bore, their sabers the very extensions of themselves.

Raiyden pushing his body to the limit, Caer pushing her mind to hers, Lyrae’a pushing her skills to their utmost.

Four, that’s how many years it took me to get through the lesson
That I had to do it all my own
Three, that’s how many Hail Mary’s they would pay for me
Thinkin’ I was gonna end up all alone
Two, for second chances that you’ve given me
Can it be lucky me
Now let’s go
One, it’s what we are

The trio of Estherians broke off their attack at once on some unspoken word, Caer standing on the edge of the ledge her toes curling around the edge of it, her body flowing into a series of exercises that Raiyden to her right immediately fell into with familiarity, Lyrae’a coming up to her left and only a few seconds behind as she realized they were standard Seeker exercises.  Their bodies and sabers moving as one, weaving and turning so that none touched the other.  Shouting the trio stopped at once, Caers body blocking in a downward pattern, her arms arched above her head, Raiyden crouched with his double bladed saber crossing in a line in front of him his free hand stretched out in front of him, in a stop motion, Lyrae’a legs splayed apart, her sabers in an X pattern in front of her.

Their shadows stretched out behind them as the sun made it’s descent into the horizon, the sun setting, the chill wind picking up as they heaved and fought off fatigue that crept upon them like sand panthers. Sun setting they made their way off the cliff side and towards safer ground.

The night passed, the moon rose high into the air and the campfire crackled as they sat around it, none of them saying a word. The Estherian siblings sitting in solitude and reflection of the day.  Each one lost in thought about how they had worked as one unit, how each had known what the other would do and how they would react. The thoughts going through their heads were their own and no words of what had transpired passed between them.

Slowly Lyrae’a cracked a grin as she looked to each of the twins and wrapped an arm over each of their shoulders. Caer and Raiyden couldn’t help but grin in the darkness.

We are the people that you’ll never get the best of
Not forget the rest of (rest of)

We’ve had our fill
We’ve had enough
We’ve had it up to here
Are we all we are
Are we all we are

Cut to the future sing it loud and take the power back
Are we all we are
Are we all we are

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Crossing the fine lines we knew.

Look around
There’s no one but you and me
Right here and now
The way it it was meant to be
There’s a smile on my face
Knowing that together everything that’s in our way
We’re better than alright

Caer stood on the trail leading up to the falls, her head uplifted, her pose defiant as she gazed down at the glittering lights of the Jedi Temple, nestled in the valley on Tython.  The stubborn set to her chin was prominent as she stood there, watching, the echoes of the conversation of just a scant few hours ago ringing in her head, the smell of the soft earth permeating her nostrils, the find spray of mist flecking her skin, gathering on the dark caramel colored flesh of her face and arms, pooling and trailing slowly down her bared arms and face in cool droplets.

The predawn darkness, where the planet was at its darkest. Every good Padawan long since safely tucked away in their dorm rooms, dreams of saber construction and Knight robes in their dreams.  Grand Masters likely retired to dreams of their own. She turned away from all of that and walked up the trail, her boots barely making a sound as she made her way up the winding path.

Her mind wandered back to the events of the morning.

A desk, pristine with minimal amount of clutter. The implacable Satele Shan sitting behind the desk, her expression looking tired, as usual. The face of a person who has the weight of the galaxy on her shoulders, the fine lines of age pinching her face slightly- the nickname Pinchy Face Caer had given her ages ago seemed less appropriate now.

“This is,” she paused as she groped for the words. “A difficult situation for me to face in some ways. I first off want to let you both know that I appreciate all you have done for the Order and for the Galaxy. There are cases where you have both gone above and beyond the call of duty and saved countless lives,”

Tom had exchanged a look with Caer as both had been completely unsure of where things were going. Tom had of course responded with humility and standard Jedi platitudes.  Caer just stared ahead and seemed to tune out the conversation for the moment as she knew that this could go on for some time.

“… I came across your students out in the woods, Tomuraan.  Listened in on them quietly to try to get to know them better and.  They were talking about the two of you.  Mera was talking about the wedding you two had on Mirial,” Shans voice shattered the day dream Caer had been having.

Tom had visibly paled, the emerald skin tone going to a paler shade of green, Caer’s own dark skin tone turning somewhat ashen as she blanched, but she couldn’t help but smirk; her tongue darting between her suddenly dry lips, wetting them as she fought back the urge to nervously laugh.  Tom and Shan had both given her a look and she managed to temper her reaction to nothing more than a out of place smirk.

She watched through the force as the Grand Master continued, her smirk fading from her face as she fought the impulse to reach out and grab Tomuraans hand and squeeze it reassuringly. Not that it would have made a different either way. They were unified as they stood in front of the womans desk, almost like children being chastised for a Padawan crush.

Walking between the raindrops
Riding the aftershock we stand cool
Off into the sunset
Living like there’s nothing left to lose
Chasing after gold mines
Crossing the fine lines we knew
Hold on and take a breath
I’ll be here every step
Walking between the raindrops with you

“Obviously the Order frowns on such things though…I have some experience in it myself.  When I was younger and before I ever reached the rank of Master.  The Order would prefer the option of you two both going your separate ways and no longer continuing being together” The woman went on the same vein for some time, Caer and Tom pointing out that they would not be divided.  “It does not change one fact.  You two are romantically involved.”

Caer clenched her jaw and spoke in a cold tone. “Okay well for one. Yes, we are. There I said it. We are in love. Hopelessly stupidly, and saccharine style in love. And boy does it irritate Arten to -no- end; might I add though that I’m only here to teach Arten, my ties are really with the Luka Sene and while I hate to point that out, it’s fact.” She took a deep breath and continued. “That’s the problem we’ve had for ages is that everyone acts like romance is some unforgivable sin, yet we kill ourselves daily trying to show compassion to guys like Sith who’d rather see us flayed alive and tossed in vats of salt.”

Take me now
The world’s such a crazy place
When the walls come down
You’ll know I’m here to stay
There’s nothing I would change
Knowing that together everything that’s in our way
Were better than alright

Looking back, Caer realized her temper had snapped at some point and she had to hand it to herself that she’d kept most of the things she’d wanted to say behind her tongue.

Shan had listened, her expression serious and thoughtful. Caer had to hand it to the woman, she was capable of facing down the meanest Sith in the galaxy without batting an eye and she could face down a verbal assault from the irascible Miraluka. Particularly a Miraluka who was hell bent on making sure that the man she loved wasn’t disgraced out of the Order all over their love, their bond for one another.

Smoothing her hands on the table, Shan looked up with Caer in a candid way, her lips forming an apologetic smile. “This is difficult for me because I would like to simply turn a blind eye.  But I cannot be negligent in the position I have sworn to uphold.  I apologize for that and hope you understand.”

“Yeah because lets totally forget the fact thousands of us fling ourselves into meat grinders daily without knowing what it’s like to have someone hold them at night, but when one person does all hell breaks loose.” Caer knew she had the bit in her mouth so to speak and her temper was rising. “I mean my brother’s totally shacking up with a Sith pureblood and that’d be worth the council tying people to stakes and breaking out the torches. But we let a woman die on Alpheredies trying to get information to someone and not bat an eye.”

Caer had to admit, she was even more impressed that the woman didn’t take the bait and she was quietly pleased that Tom didn’t openly face palm in the office right there. If anything he had stood there, watching the two and Caer quietly wondered if he had been enjoying the salvo between the women privately.

Shan cleared her throat and leveled a look at the two. “We only have three options. The first is the one I think is the least likely an the one that I mentioned which is that you two end your relationship. I. That would be the easiest on me but is, in many ways, wrong for me to even ask. Another option would be that Tomuraan would leave the Order though, I know there is a lot of reluctance to see that happen. I already lament that you are no longer one of us, Caer, I would not want to see you leave as well, Tomuraan, And the third, unless we come up with another option, is that you two have a Jedi marriage. I know the circumstances are unique. And it will receive some resistance since you are no longer a Jedi, Caer. But I might be able to finagle something.”

“You know as well as I do, Grand Master, that Caer and I will not be restricted to a single supervised visit a month.” Tom pursed his lips a bit, the markings across his face standing out a bit more in the office light as he clenched his jaw slightly.

Shan had nodded and exhaled slowly, “I have no doubt you would find ways around it that I would not want to hear about. I realize this isn’t any better of an option than the other two,”

“A Jedi wedding would all but require us to hand over any kids -if- and that’s a big if we were to have them right to the Jedi order!” Caer had snapped her mouth shut and bit the inside of her cheek as a spike of fear drove through her like ice shards in her chest.

“Yes. Yes it does,” Shan spoke softly her eyes lowering to her desk for a moment before she cleared her throat.  “these are the three options that can be easily accomplished. I realize they are not much. But I asked you two here to talk first. None of the rest of hte Council knows and I believe your students are far more inclined to be careful with their words,”

Tom nodded and glanced to Caer who had gone very quiet. “Thank you for that at the very least.”

The conversation had tapered off, mostly the attempt to come up with ideas or thoughts on how to bypass the rules that had been set in place. Caer didn’t really remember much of it after that. All she remembered was Shans apology- the sincere sounding apology as she escorted them out of her office.

Walking between the raindrops
Riding the aftershock we stand cool
Off into the sunset
Living like there’s nothing left to lose
Chasing after gold mines
Crossing the fine lines we knew
Hold on and take a breath
I’ll be here every step
Walking between the raindrops with you

They had two months to decide what they wanted to do with their lives. Caer and Tom had gone back to the ship docked and talked things over. They’d made love, perhaps in defiance of the discovery a private flaunting of their romance and their love for one another. It had been late into the night after Tom had fallen asleep- she’d watched as his breathing evened out, traced the outline of the muscles on his arm as he lay there, gently breathing. She’d watched as his lips parted his features relaxed and sated. She couldn’t help but smile a little as she slipped from bed and dressed quietly in simple clothes meant for light travel.

And here she was atop the falls in the pre-dawn light, waiting for the first rays of dawn to break through the cloud cover. Up here beyond all of the council meetings, the students and the rigors of leadership she felt okay. It all felt like it would be alright even just for a little while.

She didn’t hear the soft footfalls approach behind her. But then again, she didn’t have to. His signature presence was as ingrained into her soul as much as it was into her mind. Their bond forged  and strengthened through fire, violence and pain. Tempered with love, caring and devotion.

Toms arms slipped around her waist, her own coming around to wrap around his own arms as he rested his chin on her shoulder, the tiny micro-braids clicking softly as he jostled her hair slightly.  No words spoken, just a silent affirmation that they were in this together.

There’s a smile on my face
Knowing that together everything that’s in our way
Were better than alright

Under pressure.

Closure is supposed to bring a sense of closure, right? It’s supposed to make you sit down and take a deep breath and feel like a weight has been lifted on your shoulders and you can laugh and smile and do all that stuff that makes you say “gosh, that’s a load off!”

I don’t feel that at all. If anything I feel like that I am responsible for much more now. That somehow I might have brought about the downfall of a person I thought meant a lot to me and just how responsible I am for that now. Just how much affect did I have on the outcomes of all these scenarios that have played out over the weeks and months.

Alpheredies leaves me with conflicting emotions. In this time I have forged new bonds with my crew and my brother. My lover and I’ve watched my Padawan become something greater than I think even he realizes he’s capable of. The temptations that have been brought before Arten have been many and he’s faced opposition, discouragement and even dislike from some with a squared shoulder and a lifted chin.

The tension is easing slowly now that I know what we’ve done is right.

This whole mess wasn’t about my sister; it never was. Lyrae’a did wrong in so many ways but she was never the murdering dreamer of becoming a Sith everyone had painted her to be. She was a woman who really lost her true love and couldn’t handle that. She was also the woman who saw past Sharise and her veil of lies and manipulations.  It was Lyr who saw the enchantment for what it really was and instead of  confronting Sharise for it, she fled. She would rather deal with her grief and hatred and pain on her own than try to deal with all that and a manipulative bitch with some chip on  her shoulder and too much love for alcohol.

Some part of me is glad that Lyrae’a is not to blame for any of this. That it was Sharises manipulations and the councils willingness to turn a blind eye to her manipulations and black mails that this all boils down to. Kheniath dug up the information about it all. The blackmail, the illegitimate child that she had, who the father was and most of all the fact that she was working with other council members to blackmail and manipulate others of high standing. It was a veritable who’s who of who’s screwing over who and why; the laundry list so dirty even I had to sit back and wonder why this was all happening. I think what really bothers me the most is that our own father was so unwilling to get involved he kind of threw Lyrae’a under the stampeding Bantha and just let it all happen for the sake of neutrality.

It’s kind of sad. It figures the one person I ever choose to look up to, to look at as someone I should strive to be… turns out to be a backstabbing, conniving whore. That’s all Sharise ever was and I let myself be dazzled by the fact she showed me one face for so long that I didn’t see or chose not to see her for what she really was and some part of me is horribly ashamed at that fact that I let myself be so willing to ignore it.

Now…? Now I feel a little bitter and jaded, as if I wasn’t that before. There are people, other seekers who blame Raiy and I for this. There’s whispers and talk about how we destroyed Sharises life, but it’s like they’re completely unwilling to realize that it was Sharise who destroyed some of theirs; it’s like they don’t stop and think that some of these things she’s done it’s to their families, their friends or loved ones. Sharise essentially killed her own son and for what? Pride? To get back at Lyrae’a? To get back at my family? Hell if I know. She helped harbor a Sith supporter, gave another a means to kill someone else. Hell she assassinated another person for money. All these things a Seeker cannot do.

It’s disappointing and I think right now I just need to focus on something else. Get off this planet and get the hell away from all these infuriating idiots who want to behave worse than a nest of Bothans. Sneaky and underhanded bunch of people who really want nothing more than to produce this idyllic life of grandeur that doesn’t really exist. There’s just a bitter resentment right now and I think I need away from this place for a while before I come back and face an ignorant family, an even more ignorant council and a bunch of ass backwards Miraluka who want to figuratively and literally turn a blind eye on things.