Jaslyn Dayne & Takryn "Tak" Malkovi
Jaslyn came out of the interrogation wrung out emotionally. Then she was in a surprisingly calm and sedate conversation with the Grandmaster. THEN she was bombarded by that vision with Brye and Selene. She was practically weaving as she walked down the hallway to her room. Amazingly they’d let her go to her rooms. Why she didn’t know. Probably because she still had to stand before the Council. Though the interrogation had happened in her quarters the Grandmaster was not present till later.
Jaslyn looked up from staring a hole in the floor only to see someone very familiar. It was Takryn. She hadn’t seen Takryn for six years. Jaslyn put a hand on the wall to keep from falling over. This was too much all at once. Her vision became narrower and narrower.
Takryn had just finished the first of his surgeries. They had managed to stop both the constant bleeding and the poison. He was free to go for the day, told to head off to the Padawan Quarters. Of course, he’d gotten a bit lost on the way there and when he looked up, he saw something out of a dream.
“Sithspit…” He swore softly. “Is… Is that you, Jaslyn?” He was floored. The last time he remembered seeing her, she was being taken away from him. Master Vika had caught them in the middle of their kiss. He still remembered that, a sharp spike of rage pulsing through him. WIth his free arm he clenched his fist. “Where did they take you? What’s going on?”
Jaslyn shook her head which helped a little the world was less narrow. “Takryn? I…”
It was no use she was going to pass out if she didn’t sit down. “It’s probably not the best idea to be seen with me right now.”
Jaslyn tried to slow her breathing and pulse but she was far to distracted by the boy, no man, she’d had her first kiss with to really focus. To be fair he’d been a man by the time they’d had that experience; which had been ruthlessly pulled apart and they hadn’t seen or heard from each other in a half dozen years.
The half-zabrak scowled. “What do you mean? I know there’s a lot going on… I saw the Storm when we arrived.” He started to walk over to her. “But you’ve always been the more.. Scholarly type so I doubt you’ve been in trouble. I’m usually the one who does stuff wrong.” He gestures to his arm in the sling. “Oh get injured.” She was so much… More now. She was just as beautiful as he remembered. Probably even more so. “My promise still stands, you know. I may be injured but if you’re in trouble, I’ve got your back.”
Jaslyn almost laughed at that. Almost. Laughing would mean not breathing and possibly passing out. “What I need right now is to sit down or just pass out and get it over with.”
She swayed and leaned heavily on the arm that was now propped up on the wall not just her hand. She leaned her head on her arm resting on the wall. Turning her head she looked through the edges of her thick coppery hair and looked Takryn over.
He was still as handsome as when she’d last seen him six years ago. He had a few scars but those seemed to add to his attractiveness. He’d been killer to her blossoming sexuality at thirteen and at nineteen struck a similar chord in her that she was just recently really becoming familiar with. “Honestly Taki I’m not sure what is going on anymore.”
The large man grunts. “Get exactly what over with.” He’s watching her closely. “Should I get you to the Med wing? You’re not looking so good. “ Concern wormed its way on his face. “I can probably carry you there. As for what’s been going on, just tell me. What caused that storm? It made even Rekka
nervous. And she’s rarely nervous. If what I overheard was right someone crash landed here?”
Takryn looked her over more closely, noticing for the first time that she was missing her belt and lightsaber. “Jas... “ He looked her in the eyes. “Where is your lightsaber? You know they drilled it into us that you always need to carry it…” He looked back in the direction she came from. “Are you… Did they?...”
Jaslyn turned her face away from Takryn’s searching concerned gaze. “Yes they took it. At least for now. Yes someone crashed into a part of the Rift. Her name is Selene and she’s a Dark Side user…”
Jaslyn looked back at Takryn. “And I...I had a choice and I made it. I followed her to see what she was up to...or at least that’s what it was at first...then it became about truth.”
Jaslyn looked up at Takryn knowing this next part might break his heart. “I didn’t kill her Taki. I didn’t even think about it for an instant. She didn’t threaten me so I made no move to kill her or attack her...I defended Selene when San, another Padawan, drew down on her intending to kill her.”
Shock overcame Takryn. A Dark Side user? The very thought of it sent chills down his spine and made his scar itch. “Tell me you-” When she finished his face morphed into a snarl, rage filled his eyes. “Why didn’t you? They’re dangerous, Jas. The Sith need to be taken out, wherever they may be.” He was visibly shaking with fury. “You should have let her die. How did she even find Tython? It’s supposed to e a secret, hidden away so they couldn’t find us!” He shook his head, disbelief canceling his rage. He took a deep breath, using the breathing technique Rekka taught him to calm down.
“Do you know why I came here, Jas?” He opened his eyes, gold meeting hers. “Because I was kidnapped and attacked by her people. The Sith.” He spoke deliberately, each work filled with pain. “He tortured me for a week, and when I wouldn’t give him what he wanted, intended on using some kind of ritual to force it out of me. He stabbed me in one of my hearts. I would have died if not for the timely rescue from Rekka and Shadow Urgos. While I’m sure you had your reasons, I’m conflicted.”
Jaslyn jerked as if slapped as his rage washed over her. She could see it and feel it and it affected her next statement heavily. So heavily that she snapped at Takryn in irritation while he paused to control himself. “Selene isn’t Sith!”
She bit her lip and looked away letting him compose himself and doing the same.
Jaslyn was horrified at the next thing he told her. That he had been kidnapped and tortured was abominable. “I...I don’t know what to say to that. Taki...are you… a week? How did you survive that long?”
He visibly sighs when Jas says Selene isn’t Sith. “That’s only slightly better. And Zabrans are a combative race. Even being half what he did wasn’t all too bad. Sure, I have some electrical burns and had to get heart surgery, but it’s more… Mental. He had access to a skill I’ve never encountered before and apparently my hatred was keeping him out of my head. So… He decided to amplify his ability with the ritual. Using my blood as a catalyst to apparently ‘Drain the knowledge from my stupid thick head.’ I was a bit fuzzy at the time. Rekka has been training me with a new force ability, Crucitorn. I can only really use it to dampen pain. And it helped.” He shook his head. “Again, mostly mental stuff like trying to starve me or extreme dehydration. Got me through two Trials.” He chuckles bitterly at that.
Jaslyn swallowed and the room tilted a bit. “I need to sit down. Besides if Merrian or Rekka catch us we’ll both be in trouble. My room is right around the corner.”
She straightened and took her arm off the wall.
She staggered down the hallways and lead them to her room. Thankfully there were no other Padawans or Younglings hanging around to chat with Jaslyn. Jaslyn opened the door and practically fell onto the bed. Her vision had narrowed so much that she was worried that she would have passed out about halfway down that last hall. By sheer stubbornness she made it the whole way.
She leaned double and waited till things looked right again. “Crucitorn huh? Sounds pretty cool. Not how you found out you could tap into it, but still cool.”
Her room was neat and orderly as usual the only thing out of place in neatness was the bed. Jaslyn never understood having a neat bed. You were just going to mess it up once you crawled into it again. She staunchly refused to make her bed, it had been that way for years. Merrian had given up when everything else was kept neat and orderly.
Jaslyn leaned up slowly and unclipped her cloak and leaned back on it. She was laying across the bed her feet on the floor. She propped herself up on her elbows and looked at Takryn. “Taki...you never really told me why you’re here. What’s going on?”
She looked confused.
“I’m not sure we should be..” He sighed as she began to move. He followed along dutifully, free hand out and ready to catch her if she fell. He could tell she was exhausted. “It’s a fairly common warrior ability, from what Rekka said.” He looked around the room. He saw she’d become a bit tidier than she was last he saw and he nodded. Taking a seat on the edge of her desk he shrugged his good shoulder. “I’m actually here first for the medical treatment, make sure no part of the Ritual worked, and then secondly because… I’m actively in my Knight Trials.” He pulls out the sith crystal. “My next task is to purify this. It belonged to the Inquisitor. It’s not your typical sith crystal either. It’s very force receptive. I’m pretty sure Rekka intends for this to be my new lightsaber crystal.” He pats the saber at his hip. “This one is on loan from her, until I finish with this one and fix mine. Never really been good with the building process.”
He sighed, giving a firm shake of his head. “And lastly, it’s to get away from all the stress. I’ve never set foot here before. Rekka thought I might get a lot out of training here. Bonus being if I can train with Grandmaster Satelle.” He grins at that. “I’d love to spar against her. Rekka only really said good things about her.”
Jaslyn moved away from the crystal as if it were a hot pan. She felt better as he put it away and she moved back nodding as he went on. “Knight Trials and two down already? You know I’m still gonna be Knight before you, right? You remember that bet don’t you? Bet you don’t.”
She smirked prodding gently in his side.
Takryn chuckles. “Actually, Three. I’m almost done.” He smirks. “Have you even started your Trials?” He raises an eyebrow. He remembered the bet they had. He had thought it void but was glad that it was still on. “If I remember right, Winner got to demand one thing from the loser, within reason.” He scratches his small goatee. “I’m ahead by far, Jas. You’ve got a ways to catch up. Trials usually take a few months to complete.”
Jaslyn grinned widely. “You always needed a handicap to keep up with me Taki. And you can’t cheat and say that this one is done. So it’s only two.”
She teased holding up two fingers. “I might even let you get to three to give you a fair chance.”
She sighed and looked around the room. Upon seeing the stone that he had given her when they first met; to skip rocks on a pond, on her dresser her eyes went wide. She grabbed her pillow and slid it across the dresser, a little too forcefully. She heard the stone hit the floor with a muffled thud. She went back to her original position of leaning up on her elbows.
“Actually… The whole surviving the Sith Inquisitor counted for two. Courage and Flesh.” He shrugs. “I’m on Trial Four now. Apparently, you can advance quickly if you fight the Sith, so I’ve been told.” He sighs. “Not exactly the way I wanted to go through it. As for the handicap, I’ve gotten a lot smarter. Less of a brute, more using my head. Pretty sure I’ll have finished this Trial before you begin yours.”
He saw her slide the pillow, noticing the rock as it falls. With a hand he lifts the rock from where it falls, calling it to him with relative ease. “You… Kept it?” It was made of andesite with flecks of sodalite, flecked to match her eyes. It was noticeably smoother and his expression softens. “It’s been a long time since we were at the Temple, huh…”
Jaslyn blushed and looked away. “I haven’t found a good flat pond to skip it on.”
Jaslyn looked back and reached out to take it from his hand.
He handed it to her. “Well, I’m sure there are ponds here.” His hand lingers on hers. “Maybe I’ll get a new skipping rock, or three.”
Jaslyn raised her eyebrow. “Oh yeah? You try finding the perfect conditions to beat your skip record of eight. I haven’t found the perfect pond yet. And using the Force is cheating. I’m still convinced that you only got eight cause you used the Force. It’s the only way you could have beat me.”
He grins. “I told you, I did a lot of that back home. Was something that let me bond with my dad. I’ve always been good at it. You have to be good at the timing.” He shrugged. “I’ve actually gotten a bit better, since Rekka encouraged the activity when we started training. She’s… Kind of like a mother to me. I look up to her a lot. Even her husband is a great. He’s pretty strong.”
Jaslyn smiled. “Timing. Right sounds like a coverup to me. Timing for skipping rocks. What next? Telling me that the sky is green and the grass blue? But your timing is awful.”
She teased him unmercifully tossing the rock lazily from one hand to another.
Raising a hand the rock freeze in place. “You know I was terrible with fine control back then. Sure, I have an insane amount of telekinetic strength, but moving a tiny moving rock? No way. For my Test of Skill I had to not only levitate myself, but a bunch of rocks and pieces of rubble, shifting the small stuff around. Absolute nightmare.” He shivered. “Pretty sure my nose bleed for the rest of that week.”
Jaslyn laughed and pushed Takryn lightly. “That’s why she tested that skill. And now apparently you have it. And you didn’t let a little nosebleed stop you. Fine. Four tests down. What do you want as your boon?”
“Yeah… Was actually part of the reason why I had gotten caught. Apparently I shifted something on instinct to grab when the ship hit a bit of turbulence. The guy trailed us for the rest of our trip. Then I was off on my own, since Rekka went somewhere to meet up with someone.” He
shrugs. “I’m not sure what I want as a boon yet. I’ve got this and my last test to do. And when I finish I’ll let you know. You gotta catch up quick, Jas.” The large man grinned, letting the rock settle on her head. “Maybe I should take my time with this next test.”
Jaslyn levitated the rock back to the dresser rolling her eyes as she put it gently on it. “You know I still remember that you hate being tickled right? Don’t make me use your weaknesses against you.”
She smirked leaning over to snatch the pillow off the dresser.
“Tickling me requires you to get into arms reach, and I’m strong enough to pin you easily.” He smirks. “You could try, but you won’t defeat me. Age grants its own strength too.” He flexes, showing off his arms. “I’m a lot
bigger than I was then.”“Yes old man, but you’re as weak as a kitten when tickled. Shall I prove it to you or leave your fragile male ego alone?”
She’d taunted him like this years ago and hadn’t seen she was pushing the line of friendship to more. Or maybe she had realized it subconsciously and done it anyway. She’d fallen back into that same old habit. She blushed and looked away sitting up fully fussing with the pillow.
“I’m not that old. Just four years your senior. And I can numb my sense of touch, rendering your tickling null.” He smirks. “My ego is safe from your attacks.” He remembered this, enjoying the playful banter and the sass. He realized he missed having this, enjoying spending time with her. “Any redder and you might be mistaken for a zabrak.” He winks.
Jaslyn whipped her head around at his last remark and glared at him. “I refuse to play the game of how red can we make Jas. It’s not fair!”
Jaslyn leapt at Takryn using speed that was obviously enhanced and proceeded in tickling him on his sides.
Takryn let her get the edge for a second before turning the tables, using
his force ability to dull his sense of touch a bit, so he could pin her against the wall. He looked down at her, nearly a full head above her. Takryn smirked. “It’s a fun game. Mostly because it’s easy to get you to blush.”“Is not you brute! It’s not that easy!”
Jaslyn struggled then growled and hissed like the kitten she called him.
“Really?” He leaned in close. “You’re almost as red as a tomato. It’s kinda cute, really.” He watched her closely, keeping a loose but firm hold on her wrists.
Jaslyn caught her breath as Takryn leaned in close. She was starting to sound like one of those simple females in holo-vids. She narrowed her eyes at Takryn. “Don’t use that word. You know I hate that word. I’m far from cute. Only babies and animals are cute.”
It came out less threatening than she wanted. Pretty much not threatening at all. But she wasn’t backing down.
He looked deeply in her eyes. “Well, I can only think of a few words to describe you know… Though ‘Beautiful’ does come to mind.” He smirked. “You are very beautiful, Jaslyn Dayne.” He was face level now, mere centimeters away. His hood fell back and revealed his broken horns. Once a sight she called his Crown, cracked and burned. He bore his scars with a mark of pride, his slinged arm held to his chest as a twitch of pain came. He pulled back, letting her hands drop.
Jaslyn started to reach up but dropped her hands. “I expect that whoever did that is no longer among the living?”
Her eyes had travelled from Takryn’s arm in a sling to his broken “Crown” back to his golden gaze. “And don’t look at me like that for changing the subject. Saying something like that is what got us in trouble in the first place…”
She tapered off biting her lip to stop the flow of words.
“Watched him die. Felt only a little better about it but then again, he cut off my horns with his lightsaber.” He shook his head with a dark chuckle. “Yeah… Especially since well, you’ve gotten yourself into a spot of trouble. Rekka wouldn’t be too happy.” He sighed.
Jaslyn raised an eyebrow. “And you’re still recovering, so no she wouldn’t be happy that you were flirting with me.”
Putting her hands on her hips she leveled him with a stare that she reserved for when the Younglings got out of line when they were playing. “You, sir, need to be resting up.”I don’t remember him being this...big. It’s like he makes the room seem smaller, more confined and intimate than he used to.
Jaslyn was flustered. She didn’t get flustered easily, usually. He’d always been able to read her and the fact that nothing had really changed was comforting and confusing. Taki and Selene have that in common. She can read me just as well as he can. Although I doubt either would appreciate the point.
“She reminds me of my mother. Both were strong willed women who wanted to do good. Mother was proud that I’d become a Jedi.” He sighed. “But then they died in the Sacking. Dad…. Dad’s still around but we don’t talk. He’s not too happy about Jedi and well, considers me dead to him. As for resting, I probably should. Though I recover fast like most of my kind. I’ll be getting horn surgery tomorrow, fixing up the cracks. Not sure about if I should get prosthetics for them. They are quite sensitive now. I get headaches every now and then.”
Jaslyn smirked. “Well those were where all your brains were. So of course they’d be sensitive and aching.”
Jaslyn got up and shooed Takryn to the door. “At least if you’re gonna be here act like you’re guarding me.”
She was close. Too close. She could feel the tension rising. As if all they did was put a pause on it after he’d called her beautiful. She looked up at him and knew that had been a mistake.
Takryn rolled his eyes at her. “I know I’m not the smartest Jedi in the world. I would make a terrible guard for you. You know that.” He looked down at her and his hearts skipped a beat or two. Instinct told him to lean down but a soft but firm knock sounded at the door.
“Takryn, I do hope you aren’t getting into mischief.” The voice of his master made his head snap over to the sound with a sigh.
“Yes, Master.” He frowned at Jaslyn. “I’ll visit later. Rekka is rather persistent.” He opened the door, revealing the tall Umbaran jedi. She smiled at the two of them.
Jaslyn sat back down on her bed heart pounding. I know that look. He was going to kiss me again. Six years hasn’t changed that look.
Jaslyn looked over at Master Rekka and nodded.
With a smile and a wave, Takryn left the room, following his master towards his. “I’d tell you to stop, but I know you too well. I urge you to be both cautious and discreet. Right now, she is under the intense gaze of the Grand Master herself.” She shows him his room, following him in. “And no, you will wait until you’ve recovered before you begin training with the Battlemaster. We just had your heart fixed.”
Takryn sighs as he sits on the bed. “Yes Master Rekka. I’ll be good. Go enjoy your vacation.”
“It’s merely an assignment on the same planet as my husband, not much of a vacation, young Padawan.” She bid him goodbye, leaving him to his thoughts as sleep overcame him.