A Final Kiss
This is for the First Sentence Challenge. If you haven't done this challenge, I highly suggest it.
He ran as fast as he could, knowing even as he saw her crumpled on the floor that it was too late and the love of his life was about to expire in front of him. He touches the Force, pushing more oxygen into his overextended muscles, making them work above and beyond their capabilities, causing him to appear as a blur as he rushes to her side.
He slides to a stop on his knees, coming to a rest perfectly beside her. He looks over her, the tears already starting to fall. Gently he rolls her over, seeing the blaster burn covering most of her chest. Her eyes flicker open, their piercing blue color stabbing deep into him.
"Oh, Jysella ..."
His mind casts back in time, to when he can first remember noticing her, really noticing her. It was a few years after his return from exile, and she was probably seventeen.
Jacen entered the training room, hoping to spend some time practicing the various katas, and is somewhat surprised to find a young woman in there, her eyes shut, and running through the training exercises he had wanted to perform. As he watches her with his back to the door, he recognizes her as Jysella Horn. Then, rather than turning away and finding another room, he stares, watching how she moves, how she dances in her training. Her every movement is economical and precise, a glory of balance between form and function. And he thinks she does it as gracefully as possible. Suddenly, the door behind him swings open, knocking him flat on his face. The sudden thump of him hitting the floor attracts her attention, and as he lifts his head, he sees her blue eyes staring at him, amusement flickering within them, and then she giggles at him. He just continues to watch her, as her brother apologizes for hitting him with the door as he helps Jacen up.
He looks around himself, wondering if all his plans, if all the things he has done, are worth this sacrifice. He glances towards the Jedi Temple, noticing that it now burns freely, and he can hear the dim screams and cries of the dead and dying. Steeling himself, he looks down at her once more, and sees the sorrow in those blue eyes. For the first time in years, since he was trained by Vergere, he finds himself questioning his choices, wondering if he did what he should have done.
With another glance at her blue eyes, he thinks back to the day he asked her out. Tenel Ka had been assassinated two years before that, and the experience in the training room, had occurred a year before her death.
He walked into a meditation garden, this one with the defining characteristic of a large flowering tree, the flowers of which were small, delicate, and pink. As he walked in, he sees her sitting there underneath the tree, covered in those small flowers. He smiles as stories of mythical wood elves flashes through his mind. He silently slides under the tree, and settles himself right before her, as he does so her eyes pops open, and he finds himself staring into her blue ones. She smiles at him, the mischief evident within them. "So, are you going to ask me what you've been wanting to for days now, or continue following me around like a lost bantha?"
Jacen can feel a blush start to creep up onto his cheeks and he stumbles out his request for a date. She leans back slightly, and stares at him. Just when he is about to despair, she leans in and kisses his cheek. Startled he looks at her, as she has once more settled into a meditation pose. As he watches, she opens one eye and quickly says, "Pick me up tonight at seven." Then she is once more in her meditations, lost to the world. And for the first time in years, he feels a glimmer of hope.
For the first time, that memory doesn't bring a smile to his face. It just allows more tears to flow, more questions to fill his head. Chief among them what she is doing here, he thought he had arranged for her to be off planet when the Temple was to be attacked.
Unable to not look at her again, he does so, the realization that it has only been a few moments since he slid into a stop next to her, flickering through his mind, and is quickly pushed away for another highlight of their life together.
Jacen walks beside her, a sweat on his palms which has nothing to do with the humid night air. He glances ahead, and sees her door just a few yards away, standing there like some type of sentinel, telling him he only has that short distance to work up the nerve to ask her out on a second date. Before he can even comprehend that thought, they are standing in front of the door. Her voice is clear and soft as she speaks. "I had a great time tonight."
"So did I, Silvan?"
She glares at him. "Forget my name?"
He laughs. "No, remember when I asked you out, that tree you were sitting underneath?"
"The one with the flowers?"
"Yeah, well you reminded me of these mythological creatures, that are supposed to be kind, beautiful and good creatures, and they were called Silvan."
As he talks Jysella smiles steps closer and looks up at him, her eyes appearing huge and needy. Everything in him screams for him to kiss her. And Jacen is not one to not listen to his internal promptings. He closes the final inches between them, wrapping her in his arms, and claiming her lips as his own. When the need for air becomes too great, he slowly lifts his head, and for a second she instinctively follows his lips with her own. Opening her eyes, she smiles coyly at him, and opens her front door, as she steps inside; she looks back at him and graces him with yet another smile. "Tomorrow night, same time?"
Jacen returns her smile with one of his own. "It would be my pleasure."
He leans down gently kissing her, and sobs once more. He looks towards the sky as another of his landing craft flies overhead, delivering more troops to decimate the Order his uncle worked so hard to build.
Finally, the memories of what was no longer come to him, and he turns his attention to her once more. Her voice is no longer smooth and soft and silky, now it is husky and harsh and filled with pain. "Who are they?"
Jacen lowers his face from her, as he lies to her. "Ni'Korish."
As she coughs, he can feel the pain that wracks her body due to the movement, and she glares at him accusingly. "Don' lie. Not Ni'Korish, and you know it."
He's not entirely sure what to say, and wonders just how his plans have ended up with her lying here in the dirt and the mud and surrounded by a pool of her own blood. He glances once more towards the Temple and the fires there. Then he slowly nods his head. "They are my troops; I sent them here to kill the Jedi."
Horror fills her eyes at his simple pronouncement. He acknowledges the horror and continues talking. "It's the will of the Force. We were supposed to start over, just me and you, build the Jedi up again from scratch. The right way. My way."
He watches as she tries to roll away from him, her body shaking from her uncontrollable sobs. He pulls her tight, and hugs her close, ignoring her weak attempts at getting away from him. Finally she finds her voice once more. "I loved you, and this is how you return that love? By killing everything and everyone I hold dear?"
Then to his amazement, she slips off his lap and struggles to stand up. He is staring at her wide-eyed as she finally gains her feet, a slight waver to her balance, as she does what she should not be able to do with the fatal blaster wound still slowly seeping blood.
He stands and faces her, ready to reach out and grasp her, when he sees her silver blade ignite. A sad, devastated look crosses her face. "I'm sorry my love, but I cannot let this happen."
Jacen glances down at the ground. "I'm sorry too, Silvan." Then he ignites his lightsaber, and assumes a highguard.
Then ignoring all the katas, ignoring all the training, Jysella does the only thing her battered and wounded body will allow her to do. She steps towards him, her blade still held low and to the side. Confused he watches as she slowly comes closer, no movement an attack, his danger sense strangely quiet. Finally she is standing right next to him, and her sabers shuts off as she lifts her face to his, silently asking for a kiss.
Startled he does so, and bends down, pressing his lips to hers, savoring the sweet bliss that kissing her always provides. So caught up in the feelings and emotions, he does not feel the feather light touch of her saber hilt pressing against his chest, until she thumbs the activator, sending her silver blade through his chest, boiling his heart in a flash.
As he crumples to a heap dead, she kneels down beside him, and lays her head down on his chest. Her tears mingle with the light amount of blood that escaped his wound before it cauterized. As the sun sets, her shallow breathing evens out and slowly stops as her body fades from view.
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