Thread: [Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:18 PM   #60
Bee Hoon
@Bee Hoon
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sydney
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Sabretooth, don't discount the role of Captain Baseball Bat Boy! :P

Note: Any funky grammar in the next part is entirely my fault, as I resisted Sabre's katana. As is the complete lack of action. I like emo fluff :3

Chapter 4: Love|Need

What is need?

She needed air, water and food. She needed to excrete waste products. She needed a place to sleep, preferably warm and dry.

These weren’t the only ones, of course, but she could live on these alone.

The others?

Eventually she ceased needing to speak, to tell the story that was quietly written into her mind. She grew accustomed to the emptiness without them, without him. The needs became wants, and then became nothing.

He needed the same basic needs that she had survived on for years. And he also needed to know that she was safe. There was no way of knowing, of course, except for what his wavering instinct whispered. She was safe, she was not. She was happy, she was sad. He had (on more than one occasion) reflected that he may as well sit on a park bench, all melancholy-like while plucking petals off a flower. If he did though, he’d be obliged to cheat (five petals, and start with “she’s safe”) which defeated the purpose entirely.

She would have said something like that. Then he would reply that he was too macho to do something like that. And then they both would laugh.

So some needs aren’t really needs at all; more like an addiction to another person’s proximity. You don’t really need love—you won’t die if you’re alone. And years later, you’ll wonder whether you really had felt so strongly, and whether it’s all just your imagination playing tricks on you.

But they were face to face and something was stirring; faint shadows of memory slowly coalescing into his smile, the brush of her hand. Maybe they were wrong. Needs never died. You just learned to ignore them and pretend that they never had been.

Unfortunately, this beautiful circumspection vanished with the advent of what would be known as The Great Space Battle.

“I told you we should have taken a military vessel!”

“Will you just quit dragging this subject up? We’ve flogged this dead bantha enough!” She waved a hand dismissively. A bolt of energy scored the plexiglass and she ignored it.

“We’ve spent the past hour dodging these damn things! This expensive hunk of metal is made for racing, not evading an armada!” Revan cursed the lack of any firepower for the twentieth time, while pulling a turn that sent bottles of liquor in the pantry crashing onto the floor (lavishly overlaid with marble. She liked it.).

“Shut up and pilot the damned ship.”

“Thank you for your contribution to our survival!”

“Hyperspace coordinates are in, and you’re welcome. Besides, how were you planning to take on dozens of veterans, as opposed to one drunk, rich brat?”

There was no reply as Revan concentrated. Two minutes later, his white-knuckled hand was pushing the throttle to make the jump to hyperspace. Their vision blazed blue as light was left burning in their wake.

“Lei.” It was more sigh than word.

“I believe this is the part where I use my feminine wiles to help you relax and to make you a slave to my will.” She grinned mischievously.

“You should.”

“Dream on.”

“I will.” He fully expected the smack that he received.

“I think I saw some Tarisian ale in there. Go on, get drunk. Then I can make fun of you.”

“Nope, that won’t distract me from stealing a ship that actually has guns next time.”

“Drop it, Revan.”

“Kiss me and I’ll think about it.”

“Sleaze. You’re just a dodgy old man now, and you’re even worse than Atton. Whatever happened to that idealistic boy who wanted to change the galaxy?”

“Who is this ‘Atton’?”

“Who is this ‘Bastila’? Same thing.”

“You mean you-!”

“No. But there, we have it—you took advantage of sweet, innocent Bastila. Tsk, Revan.”

He choked at that. Wiping his watering eyes, he asked hesitantly, “But you and him-“

“I care for him,” she stated.

Revan looked away, and a confused welter of thoughts bubbled up. I am sad. I am happy if she’s happy. At least she hasn’t been alone. I’ve lost her for good. Serves me right. You never had her in the first place. Jedi must not love. I’m not a Jedi. We aren’t any more. What does it matter?

“In another lifetime, maybe…”

In another lifetime we could have been happy together.

“I want you to be happy,” he finally said.

“Revan? You’re an idiot.”

Hazel eyes widened in confusion.

“I’m going to sleep. You should get some rest too. Sweet dreams.”

Maybe love is just need going both ways. Or a mutual need creates love. Perhaps love is just an illusion, and need was all there is.

An hour later, she stirred as a figure smelling of Tarisian ale leaned over her, tucking her blanket securely around her. She vaguely thought about how juma on a person’s breath smelled like vomit, but good ale wasn’t so bad.

Revan’s lips were so close to her skin that he could feel the warmth radiating off it. After a long moment, he pulled away and instead whispered, “I need you to be happy.”

Maybe love is the right kind of need.

The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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