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

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