Innocence & Anger
Rating: PG

Mara Jade trembled slightly as anger coursed through her. A red-hot feeling that sliced through every nerve, every neural pathway, consuming her in the bright shining purity of rage.

On one hand, recognizing, feeling, that anger and rage was refreshing. It let her know above all other things that she was here and that she was alive.

Yet that anger scared her as well. It awoke something deep in the very core of her being. Something that was more animal than human.

Something that screamed and begged to be released from the shackles of her humanity.

She could feel her teeth grinding, and the sharp points of her fingernails as they sliced into the soft flesh of her palms. The hard, cold marble of the floor seemed incongruously soothing against her knees where she knelt, her legs tucked up beneath her, her buttocks pressed down against the heels of her boots.

She lifted her head, looking up towards the chair set on the raised dais before her.

There, sitting in that chair was the object of her anger. The being responsible for the rage that attempted to consume her. His black robes pooled around him, spread out from the chair. His cowl was pulled forward, the peak hanging low over his face; the shadows hid his face and his eyes and the power she knows that those eyes contained. Behind him were the wide windows of the Jedi Council chambers; brilliant golden light from Coruscant's primary streamed through those windows, backlighting him. He was the man she has spent most of her life emotionally entangled with. First hate. Then love. And now? Now, it was just that soul searing rage.

"You ... I'm going to kill you." She knew that the anger had contorted and twisted her face from the normally calm mask she wore, yet she did not care. The rage freed her from such concerns.

Amusement flashed in his eyes, making them shine slightly from the deep shadows of his cowl. "What is it? Remember, it's what you wanted. That absolution that comes from listening to someone, from obeying someone, from not having to think for yourself. It's what you asked me to do for you."

"All your talk about good and evil," she hissed out from between clenched teeth. "You really are no better than Palpatine ever was. He may have lied to me, abused me, treated me like a tool — but at least he didn't mind-kriff me every day."

She lowered her chin to her chest, turning her face away from him. His voice came at her from above, as calm and precise, as convincing, as ever.

"This is for the best Jade. You're happy as Mara. You make me happy as Mara. Give in, give up. Just live behind her, let me make you what you want to be, and regain your innocence."

Her head snapped forward again, her eyes found his almost instinctively. "That's not innocence — it's blindness."

His lips twisted into a smile, a smile that scared her. A fear that sliced through her anger.

"Is there a difference?"

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