Gray Jedi Ch. 3
Gray Jedi Ch. 3
“Ok, here goes…”
Malik concentrated on the stack of rubber mats in front of him, trying his best to imagine them as a person in need of help. As they were dealing with lightning, an inherently uncontrollable force, he had decided using rubber mats would be the safest practice. He placed his hands on top of them, channeling the Force through his body and… nothing. Nothing happened. He tried once more, but still with no success.
“Huh… wonder what that means?” he asked.
“I think it comes down to your state of mind,” Serra speculated. “Remember, when you last used Force Lightning, it came as a reflex from your desire to save me, no matter what. You’ve got to find a way to replicate that feeling.”
Focusing once more on the mats, Malik quieted his mind and imagined them as Serra. He heard her labored breathing, saw her bruised body. He began to feel that same sense of desperation he had felt on Coruscant. She was dying, and he was the only chance she had. Either he acts, or she’s gone forever. Pressing down with his hands, a tiny electric shock flowed from them and into the rubber mats.
“WOAH!” Malik yelped, falling back onto his ass.
“Malik! You ok?” Serra asked, kneeling down next to him.
“Yeah… yeah, I’m fine. I think that worked.”
“We should probably take a break; don’t want to push yourself too hard.”
“Nah, I’m good. Once more.”
Now with far more confidence in what he was doing, Malik practiced for several minutes with channeling Force Lightning. Soon, he was able to provide low-level shocks into the mats with consistency, enough to save most dying persons should their heart need a jump-start. His body was also growing accustomed to the feeling of electricity flowing through it. Should he ever attempt to use a stronger version of Force Lightning, Malik could tell that it would take immense focus and resolve to ensure he was not hurt in the process.
“Incredible…” Serra marveled.
“And all without drawing on the Dark Side,” Malik replied with a grin. “You were right. Lightning is just a force of nature. It’s how it’s used that makes it good or evil. Though I can see how easily drawn to the Dark Side someone who uses this technique could be. It’s an incredible amount of power. Using this skill, you can literally hold someone’s life in your hands.”
“The power to give life… and the power to take it. Still, I know you of all people can be trusted to use it properly,” said Serra, kissing him on the cheek.
With a tired sigh, Malik responded, “We should be arriving in the Alderaan system within an hour or so. I’m gonna to take a shower, clear my head from this training session.”
Returning to their quarters, Malik stripped off his robes and laid them on the bed before entering the adjoining bathroom. Activating the controls, he increased the water temperature to be as hot as it safely could be. For several minutes, he did nothing but stand there, relaxing under the stream of the shower. All his fear and uncertainty over the last few days began to dissipate; though he did not know what the future held, he knew the role of the Jedi in the galaxy was far from over. As he soaked his blonde hair in the water flow, he heard the sound of the bathroom door opening behind him.
“Serra? Everything ok?”
“Um, yeah. I was just… wondering if I might could join you.”
Wow… she sure is forward.
“Uh… I guess, I mean I wouldn’t object or anything…” Malik stammered.
“Great!” Serra said with a sweet giggle.
Though Malik couldn’t see all the details through the fogged up shower door, the faint outline of Serra stripping out of her clothes was still quite a sight to behold. He gulped in anticipation, remembering well their actions from the night before. As much as he was worried about where their actions might ultimately lead them, he couldn’t deny how strong his feelings were for this woman. She meant the world to him, and he would gladly go to the ends of the universe to keep her safe. Soon, Serra opened the shower door and stepped inside, interrupting his thoughts.
“Ooh, you got the temperature perfect…” Serra purred as she stepped under the hot water.
“Yeah, I love it nice and warm.”
“Hmm. I bet you do…”
Realizing what he had said, Malik tried to backtrack. “Um, that’s not what I meant! I-”
“Shh, Malik you’re fine. I was just joking around with you,” Serra said, kissing him before he could protest. “You know me, I’ve got a bit of a mischievous streak. But only for your benefit.”
Malik smiled as he took in her breathtaking beauty. She had let her hair down, untying it from her customary pigtails and allowing it to flow down past her armpits. Serra just smiled right back at him as he stared; she didn’t mind his attention one bit. Leaning her head back, she wet her hair, creating a stunning vision of eroticism for Malik as the water cascaded down her milky white body. She soon opened her eyes, smiling at seeing him openmouthed.
Serra soon fell into his arms, squeezing him tight and squishing her breasts against his hard chest. They kissed and embraced for what seemed like years, enjoying the simple touches of each other. After a few minutes, she reached over for a bar of soap along the wall and began to rub it against Malik’s wet chest, spreading suds over his body. He then took the soap from her and lathered up his hands, beginning to wash her breasts and stomach from top to bottom. Serra enjoyed that a great deal, and began to return the favor by cleaning Malik’s hard abs.
Before long, each had made it to the other’s pelvic region. Though Malik still explored at his leisure, Serra went for just what she wanted, beginning to stroke his hard cock with her soapy hand. He buckled for a moment, but regained his balance enough to return the favor, slipping his finger into Serra’s pussy. She threw her other arm around his neck to steady herself, moaning in pleasure from their actions all the while.
As inexperienced as they both were with their sexuality, they found themselves approaching climax rather fast. Malik braced his hand against the wall of the shower as he drew on his anatomical knowledge and found Serra’s clit, her moans now becoming screams of ecstasy. She in turn increased the speed of her pumps, jerking his cock with everything she had. Somehow, they managed to remain standing throughout this entire ordeal, though neither knew how. After several minutes of their feverish actions, the couple climaxed together, coating each other’s hands in their respective juices. They said nothing, simply resting in a soft hug for some time after.
“Wow… holy shit, Malik.”
“Someone’s got herself a little potty mouth,” he chuckled in reply.
“Whatcha gonna do about it? Tell on me to the Council?” she teased back.
After a long, passionate kiss, he said, “Not on your life.”
Serra grinned a huge grin, gazing deep into his eyes. To Malik, she seemed to want to say something, but couldn’t bring herself to say so. As she opened her mouth and took a breath in, the ship alerted them of their arrival at the Alderaan system. Though she looked disappointed for a moment, Malik was unsure what about. He dismissed it as she exited the shower first, drying off with a nearby towel. Once they had dressed, they took their seats in the cockpit.
“Ok, cutting to sub-light engines,” Serra said.
The ship decelerated with a lurch, and the pair activated their cloaking systems, prepared in the event they encountered any Imperial ships. Soon, the planet Alderaan itself began to grow large ahead of them. From the cockpit, they could see the beautiful mountains and seas dotting the surface of the planet; it was a wondrous sight to behold.
“Wow… incredible. Way different than Coruscant,” Serra marveled.
“Oh yeah, I forgot you’ve never been here before. Every city they’ve built is designed to complement the surrounding environment, rather than impede it. Look, there’s the Royal Palace, where the Organa family lives. We’ll land on the outskirts and try to make our way there on foot. No need to attract unwanted attention.”
The Jedi soon found a wooded area at the foot of the mountain containing the palace, parking the ship in the midst of a tree-covered clearing. This provided an easy spot within which to hide their ship without having to engage the cloaking systems. After each gathered a bag of supplies, they disembarked the ship to inspect the area.
“Wow… so calm and peaceful,” Serra remarked.
“Yeah, I’ve always loved coming here.”
The pair turned to see a group of men in light blue uniforms approaching, each armed with force pikes. Malik heard another group moving in behind them, surrounding the two Jedi. Though Serra was on edge, Malik knew better than to let his anxiety get the best of him.
“Officers. How did you manage to find us so quickly?” he asked calmly.
Their leader replied, “This is Alderaan, son. Do you really think we wouldn’t have sensors installed to detect any disturbances to our ecosystems?”
Smiling, Malik nodded in understanding. “I’ll cut right to the chase, officers. We need to meet with Senator Organa right away.”
“Fine. Turn around, hands behind your backs.”
Serra looked worried at this proposition, but Malik squeezed her hand. “It’ll be just fine, Serra. Don’t worry.”
A short time later, the pair had been escorted to a luxurious receiving room in the palace, adorned with comfortable chairs and sofas. After standing in silence for a few minutes, the door on the opposite side of the room opened, revealing a tall, elegant man with a look of quiet confidence in his eyes.
“Well, well, well… it is good to see that there are more survivors of Order 66,” the man said. “Lieutenant, really? Binders? That is quite unnecessary; please release them. You may leave us in peace.”
“Of course, Senator.”
“Please, sit. I apologize for my guards, but they are rather cautious nowadays with the rise of the Empire.”
Now free of their restraints, the Jedi moved over to a sofa seated across from the man, a small table between them.
“Senator Bail Organa, I presume?” Serra asked.
“Yes, indeed,” he replied with a grin.
“Senator, I doubt you remember me, but-”
“Malik Ran, yes?”
“You do remember?”
“Of course! You’re the best medic in the Order, after all. We on Alderaan have long held Jedi Healers in particular esteem. The power to give life is such a magnificent gift, one that should always be celebrated,” Organa replied.
“Thank you, sir.”
“But of course. You have no idea how grateful I am to meet any Jedi that managed to avoid destruction. Now, I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure, young lady.”
“Serra Keto. What do you know of those events?” Serra asked. “All we know for sure is that Anakin Skywalker turned against us and led the 501st legion in an attack on the Jedi Temple.”
“Well, the only Jedi that I am certain survived, besides yourselves, are Master Yoda and Master Kenobi. My ship picked them up in space as they made their escapes. That was after I witnessed the attack on the Temple firsthand. Saw a young Padawan blasted into oblivion by a group of clones. It was, in a word, disgusting…
“The official story from the Emperor’s office is that the Jedi attempted to overthrow the government and assassinate its leader. Every last Jedi has been blacklisted as a result, with several intelligence committees being formed to try and track down any stragglers. I’m sure you know of my opposition to these policies, as well as the formation of the Empire, but I’ve had to be rather modest in my objections for the time being.”
“Of course, play your cards close to the vest,” Malik nodded in understanding.
“You know you’re risking execution with this game you’re playing, right?” Serra asked him.
“I am well aware of the potential consequences. The general public supports these measures, by and large. They blame the Jedi for starting the Clone War. But that will not stop me from doing what I know to be right,” Bail replied with conviction.
“Dear? You did not tell me we had guests!” came a sweet female voice.
The group turned to see a beautiful woman in her late thirties, walking with elegant grace to sit next to Senator Organa.
“My friends, allow me to introduce you to my wife, and the ruler of Alderaan, Queen Breha Organa. My love, meet Serra Keto and Malik Ran. They are friends of our Obi-Wan and Yoda.”
“How wonderful to have you here,” she said, shaking each of their hands. “I am so happy to see that you arrived unharmed. Sadly, that is no longer a guarantee for anyone in this galaxy…”
“Thank you, Your Highness. Senator, at the risk of seeming rude and forward, we need your help,” Malik said.
“I had a hunch,” he chuckled in reply. “How are you two surviving?”
Serra answered, “We managed to escape Coruscant in a ship the Jedi Council had hidden away for emergencies only. Got here by way of Ord Mantell, found some parts there to build a cloaking device, but we still need to find a safe port.”
“Well, you will always be welcomed as friends here, though I do not know how safe a port this will be for you,” Bail reasoned. “After all, Alderaan is one of the most frequented locations in the galaxy. Besides, the Emperor will be keeping a close watch on us, what with our political disagreements.”
“Still, we have not had any Imperial agents visit us yet, so I imagine you will be safe here for a few days at least. As far as I am concerned, you are welcome on Alderaan anytime,” Breha chimed in.
“That’s so kind of you,” Serra smiled.
“It is the least we can do after everything the Jedi have done for the Republic over the years. While I opposed the Clone War altogether, I have nothing but respect for the soldiers and Jedi that put themselves in harms way for the safety of the people. That is always to be commended,” Bail said. “Ah, but enough talk of unpleasant topics. Let us find our guests a couple of bedrooms to rest in.”
“Yes… thank you.”
Malik realized suddenly that his romance with Serra was still a secret. She took his hand as they followed the Organas, nervous for two reasons. First, she had no desire to sleep apart from Malik. Second, she feared the reaction when and if they told someone of their relationship. She was not ashamed of her feelings for him, but it was a taboo topic for Jedi nonetheless.
“Dear,” Breha whispered to her husband. “Do you not think they would be more comfortable in a room together? The way she is holding his hand… they appear to be quite close.”
“You think so? I was given to understand that such feelings are forbidden in the Jedi Order,” Bail replied.
“Perhaps so, but such restrictions have never prevented those feelings from surfacing altogether. I find it quite plausible that two young Jedi such as they could have fallen in love in secret. And besides, the Order as it was is gone, giving them a chance to explore those feelings.”
Bail chuckled as they turned a corner, leading the group to a pair of doors at the end of the hallway. “Here we are. Serra, you shall have the room on the left, Malik, the one on the right. You should be quite comfortable, but please do not hesitate if there is anything we can do for you. Now, unfortunately, these two rooms do share a single bath, located between them, so you will have to work that out.”
“Thank you, Senator.” Malik smiled, seeing that the arrangements gave them ample privacy and allowed them to continue spending time together.
Seeing Serra a bit apprehensive, Breha wrapped her in a warm hug in front of her door. “Be at ease. You are safe here.”
“Thank you,” Serra whispered, grateful for her kindness.
Serra opened the door, finding the room to be far more than a bedroom. It was a luxurious suite with an eating and lounging area separate from the bedroom itself. She turned to profess it to be too much, but the Organas had already left. Plopping down on one of the sofas, Serra let out a huge sigh of exhaustion; she felt truly relaxed for the first time since leaving Coruscant. Soon, the sound of the bathroom door opening caught her attention.
“Perceptive, aren’t they?” Malik asked with a smirk.
“What? You think they set us up like this on purpose?” Serra wondered.
“No doubt. Didn’t you see the gleam in the Senator’s eye when he explained the bathroom accommodations? He knew damn well what he was doing.”
“So… I guess that means they know…”
“They suspect, but they’re too polite to confront us about it. Serra these are good people, and they’d never call us out like that; it’s unbecoming of our hosts.” He moved to sit next to her, unsure of what he was about to ask. “Does this mean… you’re having second thoughts?”
“No!” she replied instantly. “I guess… I just worry what people will think of us.”
“And since when have you worried about what others think of you?” Malik asked with a laugh.
“HAH! Ok, good point.”
Scooting closer to her, Malik took her hand. “Listen, I know I’ve been the slow one so far in this relationship; you’ve been practically dragging me along the entire way. But I know these feelings are real, and I do want to be with you. If that means we’re discovered and looked upon with disapproval, I’m just fine with that. But only if you are, too.”
“Huh… who’d have thought I’d be the hesitant one by this point?” Serra mused with a giggle. “I could use some fresh air to clear my head. Walk with me?”
Departing their quarters, the couple strolled leisurely through the palace, admiring the artwork and sculptures adorning the hallways. Serra was entranced by it all; she felt so at peace in spite of the turmoil plaguing the galaxy. As they continued their stroll, the Jedi soon arrived in a beautiful outdoor courtyard. A large, ornate fountain stood in the center, giving the grounds a feeling of serenity. Watching the sun begin to set over the horizon in the distance, a pair of voices soon broke their concentration.
“It is without a doubt the best decision you’ve ever made, Dear. Even if it was without consulting me.”
“You would have done the same thing. Ah, my friends! It seems you needed some fresh air as well?” Bail Organa called from the other side of the courtyard.
“Understatement of the century,” Serra replied. “Thank you again for your hospitality. Your home is so beautiful; I could stay here forever.”
“You are too kind,” Breha said.
Seeing a tiny baby wrapped in the queen’s arms, Serra cooed, “Aww, I don’t think we’ve met, little one.”
“Of course! This is our daughter, Princess Leia,” Breha replied.
“She’s beautiful…” Sensing a strange maternal instinct, Serra began to feel a desire to connect with the child. “May I?”
“Please do. Just mind her head.”
“Oh my, you are just a cutie,” Serra gushed, taking the girl in her arms.
“Impressive,” Bail remarked to Malik off to the side. “Leia seems to have taken well to Serra’s touch. Most people other than us cause the child to scream at the top of her lungs.”
Watching Serra hold the tiny child, Malik began to see her in a whole new light: that of a mother. He saw the love in her eyes, the dedication she would show towards a child of her own. Even after everything they had been through together, she had never appeared more beautiful to him than in this moment. No further doubts lingered in his mind.
“You alright?” Bail asked.
“Huh? Oh, yes I’m fine.”
The man just smirked at him. “I see that look in your eye, my friend.”
“What do you mean?”
Giving him a light slap on the shoulder, Bail said, “You need to tell her how you feel about her. Believe me, you’ll live to regret it if you don’t.”
“Is it… that obvious?”
“Perhaps not as much as you fear. My wife and I are quite perceptive.”
“I… I’m certain I love her, Senator. That much is clear. Still, we both are hesitant in all this. After all, we’re breaking the Jedi Code, everything we’ve ever been taught. Even though we know exactly how we feel about each other, we still experience inner turmoil coming to terms with this,” Malik explained.
“Well, I am no Jedi, but I can speak with some authority on matters of love. In all the galaxy, there is not a more powerful force out there than love, I argue not even the Force itself.”
“But singular love is still an attachment. Attachments lead to jealousy. Jealousy leads to anger. Anger leads to the Dark Side. This is ingrained in every Jedi.”
“I cannot speak to that. As I said, I am no Jedi. But I would ask you to consider this: what if the proper application of singular love can allow you two to become far greater Jedi than you ever would have otherwise?”
“I had not considered that. I’ve always said that Serra is a good influence on me, and I try to be for her as well. We balance each other out,” Malik realized.
Watching Serra continue to play with the baby, Malik walked back over to where she and Breha sat. Serra beamed as he sat next to her on the bench and took the child in his arms, watching Leia sleep peacefully the entire time. In those moments, Serra felt the same things for Malik that he had felt moments before. She saw the kind of man he was deep within his soul. This was a man she knew she wanted to share her life with.
With a bit of reluctance, he handed the child back to her mother, and Breha left them for a moment to chat with her husband. Alone with Serra once more, Malik took her hand and kissed it sweetly. She felt a clear flutter in her heart as he did so; everything he did seemed to set her ablaze. They stared at each other for the longest time, never once breaking eye contact. Malik could hold the words in no longer.
“I love you, Serra.”
Giving Malik a mischievous smirk, she replied, “I know.”
The pair erupted into a giggle-fit at her response; they were almost unable to breathe, they were laughing so hard. Playfully slapping her shoulder, Malik finally managed to talk.
“You suck! Here I am, trying to be all sweet and romantic and you-”
Serra silenced him with a long kiss on his lips, cradling his face in her hands.
“I love you too, Malik,” she said as they parted.
“Told you so,” Breha taunted to her husband as they walked up.
“What? You two are spying on us?!” Malik asked, incredulous.
“Oh, this hardly classifies as spy work, my friends,” Bail replied with a grin. “But make no mistake, we are quite happy for you.”
“Thank you,” Serra smiled.
“Senator, is there somewhere that we could get some food to bring back to our rooms?” Malik asked. “It’s getting late, and I’m afraid we may pass out from exhaustion any moment now.”
Laughing, he replied, “Subtle, Malik. Subtle indeed. In truth, I sent word to my servants to deliver some food to your rooms as soon as I saw you walking out here. It should be there by the time you return.”
“Thank you. I think we’ll be turning in for the evening, then.”
“Of course. Rest well, my friends. We shall come to wake you at 0900 standard time tomorrow morning. Good evening.”
The Jedi arrived back in Serra’s room a short time later, finding a basket of fruit waiting for them. They each grabbed a couple of pieces before hurrying to the bedroom, which was no less extravagant than the rest of their quarters. The enormous, circular bed dominated the room, covered with silky, light green sheets. While Malik stood taking it all in, Serra leapt directly onto the bed in a graceful swan dive, landing face-first in the center.
“Isn’t that a little juvenile? Using the Force for such stunts?” Malik asked, adding a few tsks for good measure.
“Oh, you think I had to use the Force to do that, eh? Unwise of you to doubt my athleticism,” Serra fired back.
“And I am a Jedi Healer, master of all things related to the human body. Unwise of you to doubt my assessment of what’s possible without the use of the Force,” he replied with a smirk.
“I’ll show you what’s possible, mister…”
Malik awoke hours later, refreshed and renewed after his passionate night with Serra. As light poured in from the window, she began to stir next to him, rolling over to lay her head on his bare chest. He smiled at the sight of the gorgeous, naked woman embracing him, her raven hair shimmering in the morning light. A light kiss to Serra’s forehead was all it took to wake her.
“Hmm… morning, lover…” she murmured.
“Morning, Serra,” Malik whispered with a smile. “Sleep well?”
“Uh huh… thanks to you.”
“Well… I could say the same to you.” Kissing her lips sweetly, a thought occurred to Malik. “Serra, it’s possible that we could be making a little playmate for Leia. I just now realized that.”
“Wow… I guess you’re right. Would that… be a problem?”
Malik smiled. “The way you played with her yesterday? No way. You would be a fantastic mother.”
Serra ran her fingers along his cheek. “And you’d be an incredible father. I probably wouldn’t have given myself to you otherwise. When and if that happens, we’ll face it together.”
Though Malik was tempted to have his way with her right then and there, he saw that it was nearly 0900, and decided to dress for the day. Almost the instant he had finished tying his robes back around his waist, a knock came at the door. Malik went out to greet their visitor, closing the door to give Serra her privacy as she rolled out of bed. Opening the door to the hallway, finding Senator Bail Organa on the other side.
“Good morning, Malik.”
“Good morning. Please come in.”
Taking a seat at the table in the small eating area, Malik offered Bail some of their fruit, which he politely declined. A few moments later, Serra emerged from the bedroom dressed in a white bathrobe.
“Whatcha boys talking about?” Serra asked, sitting at the table with them.
“Good morning, Serra. Yes, I was just here to discuss a few things I had thought of that may be useful for a pair of Jedi on the run from the Empire,” Bail said.
“Cool. What’d you have in mind?” Serra replied.
“Primarily, I had thought that the two of you might want to make some alterations to your appearance. After all, your current attire just screams ‘Jedi’, doesn’t it?”
“That’s not a bad idea,” Malik said. “I mean I know Serra is thought to be dead, but looking a bit more inconspicuous never hurt.”
“Besides, the Emperor won’t be fool enough to assume us to be taken care of after his attack on the Order. He’ll send Skywalker out to hunt down any stragglers, especially once he discovers Obi-Wan’s message in the Jedi Temple beacon,” Serra agreed. “Anything we can do to remain hidden.”
“Excellent. As I had anticipated you’d agree with my sentiments, I have sent for my tailor. She should be here in a few minutes and will take good care of you both,” Bail said, standing to leave. “Oh, I also thought that you might want to change your appearances in ways other than just clothing. Possibly different hairstyles or something to that effect, but it’s certainly not necessary. Just an idea I had.”
“Not a bad thought, we’ll see what we can come up with,” Malik replied.
“Wonderful. I shall leave you for now, but if you need anything at all, ask any of the guards. They’ll be more than happy to assist you.”
As he departed, Malik turned to Serra. “It’s funny that he would mention changing our physical appearance. I’ve been considering shaving my beard since we first escaped Coruscant. My short hair doesn’t necessarily expose me as a Jedi, but this just might,” Malik mused, running his fingers through his stubble.
Just then, there came a knock at the door. “Good morning. This is the tailor,” said a female voice at the door.
“I’ll get it.”
Opening the door, Serra was greeted by a beautiful young woman with blonde hair, appearing to be perhaps a year younger than her.
“Good morning, my name is Nira. Her Highness, Queen Organa, has asked me to outfit you with new sets of clothes for your journey. I will need to take your sizes down, and get some information of your personal style preferences.”
“Of course! Please come in,” Serra replied with a smile.
“Splendid. This should take only about ten minutes for each of you. Whom shall we start with?”
“Why don’t you go first, Serra? I’ll get cleaned up and shave in the meantime,” Malik said.
“Sounds good to me.”
While Malik entered the bathroom area for his shower, Serra stepped into the bedroom momentarily to slip on her pants and shirt. This would make it easier for Nira to do her work, she reasoned. Nira spent the next several minutes taking Serra’s measurements. Serra was a bit uncomfortable as the girl measured her inseam and bust, but reminded herself that she was just doing her job. Nira even went so far as taking Serra’s shoe measurement.
“Nira, is there somewhere I can get a haircut?” Serra asked as she worked.
“Of course, milady. Just one level down is the salon and barbershop, in the main shopping area.”
“Awesome. I’ll go there next…”
“Shall I tell your husband where you’ve gone?” Nira asked in a casual tone.
“Oh, um, no need. He’s not my husband,” Serra replied, a bit flustered.
“Oh! My apologies, milady, I was out of line to make such an assumption.”
“No apology needed. To be honest… I kind of like the sound of that. Malik Ran, my husband…”
“Well, if I may say so, you’re quite a lucky girl to have him; I am rather envious of you.”
“Aww… thank you, Nira. Anyway, if you could not tell him where I’ve gone. I think I’d like to surprise him with my new haircut.”
With Nira now finished with her measurements, Serra took a few minutes to peruse the style selections for her new clothes. She soon decided on an outfit that would be both flexible and inconspicuous. At Serra’s suggestion, Nira also said she could craft a place within the clothes for Serra to hide her lightsabers, keeping them close by yet hidden from view. Serra then exited into the hallway, heading towards the shopping area downstairs. Soon, Malik entered from the bathroom, dressed in the tunic and pants from his Jedi robes. His handsome face was now smooth and clean-shaven.
“Um, where’s Serra?” he asked.
“Not to worry, your friend stepped out for a little bit, but said she’d be back in an hour or so. Shall we get started, sir?”
Nira gave Malik the same instructions she had given Serra and began to take his measurements. Though she could tell the two of them were attached, she couldn’t help but enjoy inspecting his form. His arms and legs, though not bulging with muscles, were quite well toned, as was his strong chest. Nira would be lying if she said she wasn’t attracted to the handsome young Jedi, merely by his appearance alone, though she worked to remain professional. But as she took the last of his measurements, Nira began to feel a bit lightheaded from their conversations. This Jedi was so handsome, so kind. He had devoted his life to healing, one of the noblest professions in the galaxy, at least in the eyes of an Alderaanean. She stood face-to-face with him, withdrawing her tape measurer from his arms. Without even realizing what she was doing, she leaned her face closer to Malik’s, inching closer to his lips.
“Woah, what are you doing?” Malik asked, recoiling back.
Gasping as she realized what she had done, Nira stammered, “I… I-I’m so sorry, sir. I don’t know w-what came over me, I just… oh, please don’t think me for a whore! I truly didn’t intend to, honest!”
“Shh, it’s ok, I believe you,” Malik tried to reassure her.
“I shouldn’t have even been thinking that way. It was clear from the way Serra spoke of you that she loves you…”
“Nira, this entire situation is a whirlwind for everyone involved, yourself included.”
“Of course! The galaxy has changed drastically in the last few days. Here you are, a simple tailor on Alderaan, and suddenly you encounter a pair of Jedi on the run from the Empire! What you’re feeling is natural, but make no mistake, it is not love. It’s mere infatuation, brought on by the fantastic scenario playing out before your eyes. Trust me, these feelings are something that even we Jedi struggle with.”
“And I don’t feel any need to tell your superiors of this, just as long as you promise not to do it to anyone else in the future. Deal?”
“Deal,” Nira replied after a moment’s thought.
“Now, I will need to tell Serra. She and I have no secrets from each other, especially about our relationship,” Malik said in a serious tone.
“I understand. And… I will gladly face any wrath that she feels is appropriate for me.”
Malik laughed. “Wrath? Please. Serra may be a warrior, but she’s far from unreasonable. She will be unhappy, I would guess, but I doubt it will go beyond that. Nothing happened, after all.”
“If you say so, sir.”
Malik then took the same handheld screen Serra had used before to select her clothing styles. He soon found just what he was looking for, and noted his selections for Nira. At her suggestion, he also agreed for a secret compartment of some sort within the clothes for his lightsaber, just as Serra had requested. Now finished with her labors, Nira bade him goodbye and departed the room.
As she closed the door behind her, Malik slumped down on the sofa, his head in his hands. In spite of the way things had turned out, he still began to feel great shame. For a brief moment, as Nira had leaned in to kiss him, he had almost returned in kind to her. She was, admittedly, quite pretty. Still, she was nothing compared to Serra. Serra Keto truly was Malik’s dream girl. Strong, kind, and intelligent, she was everything he could ever want. No, pretty as Nira may be, he could never betray Serra’s trust. Yet, he almost had…
Young Jedi… conflicted, I sense you to be.
Malik sat up, startled at the ethereal voice he now heard. He looked around the room and even reached out with the Force, but found no intruders.
Confide in me, you should. What unrest troubles you?
“No… Master Yoda?”
Time for that, there will be later. Speak with me, Malik.
Swallowing hard, Malik said, “Master… Serra Keto and I… we have fallen in love with each other. I know this is against the teachings of the Council, but I do believe our relationship to be a healthy one. I’m a positive influence on her, as she is on me. We believe this is the will of the Force, Master.”
Hmm… alone in these feelings, you are not. Many Jedi struggled their entire lives they have with such feelings. Resolute, I can tell you to be. Change your mind I could not if I tried. Yet… doubt I still sense within you.
“It… it is because of the events of a few moments ago, Master. Another woman had become attracted to me and attempted to kiss me. I resisted, but… I almost didn’t. I feel ashamed of myself, Master Yoda.”
Plan do you to tell Serra of this?
“Yes, the next moment I see her!”
Then feel ashamed you should not. To resist temptation is the life of a Jedi Knight, Malik. Though given in to one form of temptation you have, resist a darker form of temptation you managed. If, after committing yourself to Serra, you allowed another woman to come between that bond… stray towards the Dark Side, I fear you would. Be at ease, Malik. Shame you must not feel.
“Thank you, Master.” Sitting in silence for a moment, he asked, “I suppose you will be expelling Serra and me from the Order, then?”
Heh. What Order do you speak of? Fallen the Jedi Order has.
“All because of Skywalker…”
No. Skywalker’s fall, tragic it was. But the reason for our downfall it was not. Consumed we were by our own fear and arrogance. So eager were we to fight in the Clone Wars that blind we became to the rise of the Sith. No… blame nobody but ourselves, we can. Myself most of all.
“That may be, Master, but I still believe we can do some good in this galaxy. With the rise of the Empire, we are needed now more than ever.”
Ahh… such optimism. One of your greatest qualities, it is. Understand I can how Serra would fall so deeply in love with you.
“So… you aren’t angry with us?”
Angry? No, Malik, never angry. But concerned I do remain. See your relationship with my own eyes, I must. If believe you do that this is the will of the Force, seek me out. Come to Dagobah. There you may put to rest all your fears and doubts.
“We will. And Master… I’m so happy to know that you survived.”
Pleased I am as well at your survival. Needed, you and Serra will be in this new galaxy of ours. May the Force be with you…
As Yoda’s voice faded from the room, Malik heard a knock at the door. Thinking it might be Bail or one of his assistants, he rose and strolled over. As he opened the door, he was struck speechless at the sight before him.
It was Serra! He knew that from her clothes and face, but her hair had been cut short into a pixie style. Its dark black color still complemented her porcelain skin, but the short locks now framed her face in a compact, playful way. She retained the slight waviness of her longer hair, with the strands reaching down to her jawline having a tiny bit of twist to them. This resulted in a look that was still stunningly beautiful, yet also appeared like a bit of a wild child.
“Well, whadaya think?” she asked, showing the back with a playful twirl.
“I… I-I love it!” Malik stammered. “Wow, you look fantastic!”
“Thank you,” Serra blushed, turning bright red. “I was afraid I went too short, but the stylist downstairs was just masterful. You, by the way, don’t look so bad yourself,” she murmured, running her hands up Malik’s now clean-shaven face and neck.
“Thanks,” he smiled, accepting a kiss from her. Taking a deep breath, he continued, “So listen, a couple of things happened while you were out, one good and one not so good.”
“Ok?” Serra asked with a quizzical look. “What was the not so good?”
“Nira… tried to kiss me as she took my measurements.”
Serra stood in silence for a moment, backing up a step or two. “I see,” she said quietly at last. “I take it when you say ‘tried’ that she didn’t succeed?”
“Correct. I backed up immediately and told her I wouldn’t betray you like that.”
“Hmm… well, thank you for being honest with me, Malik. I appreciate it.”
“Now then, perhaps I need to teach Nira a lesson,” Serra seethed, her thoughts turning to anger.
“I don’t think that’s necessary, Serra. She wasn’t intending any malice, she was just a girl with a whirlwind crush and let that get the better of her for a moment.”
Eying him, Serra asked, “You’re defending her? She tried to come between us!”
“You didn’t see her in the aftermath. She felt awful; she knows she made a huge mistake. I understand your anger and jealousy, but if we’re going to make this relationship work, we have to be better than that. We’re already straying from Jedi teachings as is; we don’t need to endanger ourselves further by giving in to aggressive emotions.”
“You’re attracted to her, aren’t you?” she accused him.
“Serra, what good does that question do?” Malik tried to say.
“Would you give me a straight ANSWER?! Are you attracted to her or not?!”
Trying to remain calm, Malik replied, “Yes, I am attracted to her. Remember what we know about attraction. It is not something that can be automatically controlled. It’s a reflex. She is young, sweet, and quite pretty, so any number of men would find her attractive. There may be any number of handsome men out there that I’m sure you would find attractive. But none of that matters in the grand scheme of things, Serra. What matters is that I love you, not just for your beauty, but also for your strength, your mind, and your heart. Any beautiful woman could walk through that door right now and throw herself at me, and regardless of any attraction I may feel for her, I’d still choose you. I always will.”
Serra stood in silence, digesting his words. At first Malik feared that she might not forgive him. But after a minute, a single tear dribbled from Serra’s eye and rolled down her cheek.
“You… really mean all that?” she asked.
“Every word. I love you, Serra. Those aren’t just words to me. I’m a Jedi; I take my commitments seriously. Those words are my commitment to you. It doesn’t matter if we live for another century or die tomorrow, I want to travel this galaxy with you by my side.”
Serra choked back another couple of tears, then walked forward and wrapped her arms around Malik’s neck. “I’m sorry… for being petty and jealous,” she sobbed into his shoulder. “I should never have doubted you.”
“It’s ok, Serra,” Malik replied, cradling her face in his hands and wiping away her tears. “We’re going to encounter situations like this. We just have to find healthy ways of working through them.”
“So, you don’t think I should be mad at Nira?”
“Serra, it’s perfectly normal to be unhappy with her actions. But you can’t allow that to lead to anger and a desire for revenge. Besides, any revenge you could exact wouldn’t have any real impact. She already feels awful for what she did.”
“I guess you’re right,” she said, drying her eyes. “But I do want to have a chat with her, girl-to-girl.”
“I think that’s reasonable.”
Their relationship mended, the pair adjourned to the nearby sofa. Malik was about to tell her about his conversation with Yoda, but Serra was becoming rather frisky, pawing at him and kissing his neck. Unable to resist her charms, he returned in kind, beginning to fondle and grope her body. This eventually deteriorated into a long, passionate kiss, landing them both long ways on the sofa. Slipping his hand into her pants, Malik found Serra to be quite wet and slick already. She quickly slid her bottoms off and tugged at his pants as well. Malik stood for a moment and shucked off his pants before rejoining Serra on the sofa. As he was about to enter her, he suddenly got an idea.
“I want to try something,” he said with a grin.
“Whatcha got in mind?” Serra asked in anticipation.
Without a word, Malik turned Serra to lie on her side with her backside spooned against him. She gasped at feeling his rigid cock brush against her ass crack as it traveled southward. He lifted her leg up a bit, attempting to guide his member into her, but had a bit of difficulty finding the entrance. Serra picked up on this and took a gentle grip on his cock, guiding him into her slick womanhood. Inch-by-inch, he buried himself within her, moaning as her hot tunnel began to milk him.
“Oh, Malik… you just have the best ideas…” Serra purred.
Malik said nothing in reply, but slipped his hand underneath her tunic, caressing her taught stomach as he moved towards her breasts. Serra assisted him by pulling her top up as much as she could, allowing her globes to hang free. As Malik stimulated her nipples, he continued thrusting into her at an easy pace. He began to kiss the nape of her neck, now exposed from her new haircut. This elicited another gasp of excitement from Serra. She was now close to orgasm, and reached down to finger her clit, remembering how wonderful it had felt when Malik had done that to her yesterday.
“You close, baby?”
“Uh huh,” Malik grunted in reply.
“Good,” Serra whispered in a husky voice.
Malik’s eyes bulged as Serra reached behind her with one hand, running her fingers through his fine, blonde hair. She turned her face as much as she was able to and drew Malik in for a passionate kiss. This only spurred him on further, as he was now thrusting into her at a rapid pace. Serra moaned into his mouth as their tongues danced, her finger attacking her clit the entire time. At last, they could stand no more, and the lovers climaxed together. Malik let out a primal groan as he filled Serra’s womb, and her screams of ecstasy were some of the most powerful noises either had ever heard in their lives. As they came down from their high, the pair relaxed in silence on the sofa, still spooned against each other.
“I’m sorry… I totally interrupted you,” Serra panted. “You had mentioned that something good happened while I was out?”
“Huh? Oh yeah!” Malik realized. “So, I was somehow contacted… by Master Yoda.”
“Yeah. I think he somehow managed to contact me through the Force, though I have no clue how.”
“Wow… maybe he’s more powerful than anyone realized?” Serra wondered. “So, what did he want?”
“He came to me in the aftermath of my encounter with Nira. He sensed my inner conflict, my shame at being attracted to her. We talked about the relationship we’re building, and why I believe it to be healthy. Yoda asked us to come see him in person. He says he can help us conquer our fears and doubts.”
“Where is he?”
“Some place called ‘Dagobah’ is what he said.”
“Must be where he’s hiding out,” Serra reasoned. “We’ll look it up once we head back to our ship.”
By now, another knock came at the door. The couple disentangled themselves from each other and quickly slipped their pants on. Once they were sufficiently composed, Serra went to answer the door.
“Hello… oh, hello milady,” Nira said as the door opened. “I have brought your new sets of clothes. May I come in?”
“Of course! Set them on the kitchen table if you would.”
Nira placed two large duffel bags on the table and unzipped one.
“In here we have Malik’s order.”
“Thanks. I’ll go try them on to see if you need to make any adjustments,” Malik said, grabbing the bag before Nira could protest.
As the door to the bedroom closed, Serra turned to Nira. “So, I understand you and Malik had a little… encounter earlier.”
Nira at first had a panicked look on her face before lowering her head in shame. “Yes… I attempted to kiss him. He refused, and in truth I am glad he did. He is wonderful, but I would be a terrible person if I had ruined your relationship.”
“But you did try to ruin our relationship,” Serra countered.
“No! Please understand I don’t know what came over me! I-in those moments, I forgot that he was attached. I knew it was wrong as soon as I realized what I was doing. I am so sorry, milady. I will understand if you cannot forgive me.”
Serra stood in reflection for a few moments. At last, she replied, “Some say that forgiveness must be earned, but it is also a key tenant of being a Jedi. I can feel the remorse in your voice. Nira, I may be upset with your actions, but I am not angry with you. You’re right; Malik is a wonderful man. I’m lucky to have him, and I can’t blame you for being attracted to him. For that attraction, there is no need for forgiveness. And for your actions, I do forgive you, without condition.” Serra walked towards Nira and tilted her head up with her fingers. “Friends?”
“I… I would like that,” Nira replied with a warm smile.
The two women hugged to symbolize their new friendship. As they separated, Malik emerged from the bedroom.
“Nira, I’ve gotta say… you did one incredible job with these.”
The women turned and smiled at seeing Malik’s new attire. Gone were his Jedi robes, but his new clothes were just as humble, which suited his personality. He wore a pair of brown leather pants and a tan shirt, complemented by a leather jacket, black with occasional streaks of orange. Completing the ensemble was a pair of brown boots, which blended in well with his pants. This gave Malik an unassuming, yet tough appearance.
“Wow,” Serra breathed.
“Indeed,” Nira agreed. “If one did not know any better, he would look to be simply one of the countless pilots or smugglers inhabiting this galaxy. Ok Serra, your turn.”
As Serra left the room, Malik turned and asked Nira, “Everything ok?”
“Yes,” she replied with a quiet smile.
Serra returned a few minutes later. She was now clad in black leather, from her boots and formfitting pants to her striking tank top. A pair of fingerless gloves completed her new look. Despite the skin-tightness of the outfit, it was clearly designed for functionality and range of motion as well; Serra appeared as limber and agile as ever. Meanwhile, Malik couldn’t help but notice the added sex appeal of her attire. As opposed to Jedi robes, her clothes now accentuated every curve of her body, and her generous bust in particular.
“Well?” Serra asked, giving a playful twirl to show the back of her outfit. “You gonna tell me what you think, or just stare off into space all day?”
Strolling up to her, Malik ran his hands down her shoulders and arms, inspecting her attire. “Absolutely stunning.”
“I had hoped you might like it,” she smiled, giving him a quick peck on the lips.
“I am glad you are both pleased,” Nira said. “In the bags I gave you, you will also find a bit of cold weather gear, heavy coats and pants. You never know when you might need them.”
“Awesome. Nira, thank you so much for taking such great care of us,” Serra said.
“Oh, you mentioned something earlier about hiding our lightsabers?” Malik asked.
“Of course. As you can see, Malik, your boots have a thick rim on top. If you pull this leather strap here, you expose a secret compartment in the side just big enough to hide your weapon in.”
“Impressive,” Malik said, slipping the handle into his boot.
“Serra, if you will join me here at the mirror and turn your back to it. Now, you see these two leather straps forming an X on your back, yes? Though they appear to be mere decorations, they actually are meant to house your two lightsabers.”
“I love it,” Serra replied with a grin, placing her weapons on her back.
“You will likely need to use the Force to arm yourselves quickly should the need arise, but I doubt this would be an issue for two accomplished Jedi such as yourselves. May I assist you with anything else today?”
“No, Nira. You’ve been wonderful to us today,” Serra said, wrapping the girl in a warm hug. “We’re going to have to leave soon, but I want you to promise me something. As a friend.”
Serra grinned at her. “Find a nice man of your own and give him a couple of kids for me, ok?”
Nirra giggled at the sheer overtness of Serra’s request. “I’ll… do my best,” she managed to reply at last.
“Take care of yourself, Nira,” Malik said as she departed.
As the two Jedi prepared to sit down to a quiet meal of fruit, the comlink in the room buzzed.
“Malik? Serra? It is Senator Organa.”
“Senator, what’s wrong?” Malik replied.
“I’ve just gotten word: Imperial troops have landed in our hangar. I’m going out to receive them now. You two need to make your way back to your ship. Do so quickly, but also remain casual. I believe they will not recognize you if you do not draw attention to yourselves.”
“Understood. Thank you, Senator. May the Force be with you.”
By now, Serra was already throwing clothes into the bags Nira had brought. “We better take our Jedi robes with us for now. If the troopers were to discover them in here, they’d know the Organas were hiding Jedi,” she reasoned.
Once they had gathered their things, the pair made their way through the corridors of the palace. At first, nothing appeared to be out of place, but all too soon, Malik detected the presence of Imperial soldiers around the corner. Serra seemed to sense his nerves and sought to calm him.
“It’ll be ok. Here, put your arm around my waist. We need to walk as if we’re lovers, just out for a stroll,” she whispered.
Doing as she suggested, he replied, “I believe we are lovers out for a stroll.”
Serra giggled, planting a sweet kiss on his lips in plain view of the soldiers ahead of them. The group eyed them for a moment, but soon focused their attention elsewhere. So it went through most of their walk, the pair deflecting any suspicions with an overt amount of affection.
“You’re really playing into this. How much of it’s acting and how much is real?”
“That’s for me to know, and you to find out,” Serra replied with a smirk.
Soon, the pair arrived at the main hangar. Off to one side, they saw Bail Organa speaking to the clone in charge. As they made their way to the exit that would take them down the mountain and back to the clearing their ship was hidden in, a soldier stopped them.
“Hang on a moment, we need to speak with you.”
“Is there a problem, officer?” Malik asked politely.
“Where are you going with those bags?”
Drawing Serra close, he replied, “Just a little… getaway vacation.”
“We’ve been planning it for months,” Serra added, grabbing Malik’s ass in not-so-subtle fashion.
“Ah, I see. Well I won’t take more than a moment of your time, if I may. Can you look at this image and tell me if you’ve seen this man anytime in the last two days?” the trooper asked, displaying an image on a handheld screen.
Inspecting it, Malik could tell that it was himself from their encounter on Ord Mantell, though his cloak obscured his face. “Huh… no I can’t say that I have. And I certainly would report any Jedi activity, what with the attempt on the Chancellor’s life.”
“Yes, the Emperor had quite a scare that night, but he’s as tough as ever, I can assure you of that,” the clone replied.
“What do you think, Dear? Have you seen this man anywhere?” Malik asked, turning to Serra.
“Hmm… no I don’t believe so, Honey. Not that I could say.”
“Perhaps… though I can’t help but notice, sir, that your hands appear as strong as the ones in the picture. And about the same size, too,” the clone said, eying them through his helmet. “Would you take hold of this hydrospanner and hold it in the position depicted onscreen?”
Serra tensed up, preparing to draw her swords, but Malik calmed her with a few strokes to her back. “Officer, that won’t be necessary,” he replied, probing the clone’s mind with the Force.
“Uh… that won’t be necessary.”
“Alderaan is a peaceful place, filled with citizens of the Republic. No Jedi would dare come here.”
“Alderaan… is a peaceful place. No Jedi would come here,” the clone repeated softly.
“We really should be on our way, shouldn’t we officer?”
“Ah, right… you really should be on your way. Move along, citizens.”
“Thank you so much for your dedication, officer,” Malik said with a smile.
Walking arm-in-arm, Malik and Serra strode past the remaining troops unhindered, waving and smiling politely. As they exited the hangar, they took the lift back down to the base of the mountain.
“You are something else,” Serra marveled. “I’d never even dream of attempting a mind trick that complex!”
“I’ve found that the more logic and common sense you inject, the better chances a complex mind trick has of working,” he smirked. “Here we are. Next stop: Dagobah.”
The pair boarded their ship, powering up the systems to prepare for departure. They soon activated the cloaking systems, then waited for a lull in the Imperial ships flying overhead before lifting off. After carefully navigating through the opposing vessels, they broke the atmosphere, silently passing the clone’s command ship as they went. Before any of the Imperial agents could guess at what was near them, the two Jedi were safely away into hyperspace.