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08.22.2012 , 12:02 PM |
What's In a Name?
Zenith and Tess'iri
Spoilers for the result of JC Balmorra and some Zenith companion quests.
She was lying warm beside him, her back to him and her face tucked into her arm. Her mask lay on the table beside the bed, facing him. The bone planes shadowed and red jewels twinkled in the low light. He took it off her with everything else when they were together. She had protested at first, but he had held true to what he had told her in that stinking factory on Quesh. She would never have to hide her face from him.
He had unbound her hair hours ago so he could run his hands through it. The dark brunette strands were always twisted and pinned when she faced the world as Jedi Barsen'thor. He liked to brush it for her then watch her hands follow familiar movements to put it all back in place. She never faltered or hesitated. Nor did she ever falter or hesitate with him.
Since the first kiss after Quesh she'd allowed him to lead and set the pace though she met him as equals every time he came to her. She never pushed, never manipulated but she never asked either. He wanted her to ask him sometimes.
He knew why. Right after coming off Balmorra, when all he knew her as was the Jedi who killed Darth Lachris and saved his world, she asked his name. Not his moniker. She wanted to know his name. Had she felt something, even back then?
He'd declined, even attempted to make a joke. Just Zenith. It was shorter anyway. She had accepted his answer outright and never asked him again. It was the name she used when she called him in battle and in bed.
It had been a long time since he'd heard his name out loud. The last time it had been from his mother's lips as she died. He'd been young and it had been what drove him to the resistance. He'd given them another Balmorran name when he'd signed up. They knew it was a lie, but they accepted. Everyone had their reasons for being there, for wanting to see the Empire dead and broken on their lands. It was Grey Star who a few years later had given him his moniker.
Zenith. It meant the apex, the highest point. That's what he had been to Grey Star, the highest point of the resistance. Before his disappearance, before the Imperial Agent who infiltrated the resistance, Grey Star had told him that he would be the one to see the fall of the Empire on Balmorra. Then everyone else would see him as the Zenith as well.
Grey Star had known.
Tess'iri shifted beside him and he could feel her come awake all at once. She let out a gentle sigh as he touched her back.
“I wake you?”
“Your thoughts are loud and heavy,” she murmured. She turned to him, wrapped an arm around his midsection and threaded her leg through his. She rested her cheek on his chest and counted his heart beats in her head. “Do you want to talk?”
He stroked her back and stared at the ceiling, marveling at the woman who allowed him to share her bed. No demands, no questions of what he'd been thinking. Just the simple question. Did he want to talk?
No. But he would. He would talk to her.
“You asked my name once. I didn't give it to you.” His other hand came up to smooth the hair away from her face. Her body shifted again, becoming more alert. She raised her chin as though she was looking up at him.
“You gave me what you wanted me to know,” she answered. “And I'm alright with that.”
She was amazing.
“Haven't told anyone. Not even Grey Star. My secret I guess.”
Tess lay silent against him, her fingers making gentle patterns of nonsense across his skin. It was soothing.
“Parents died when I was young. Separate Imperial attacks, two years apart. Mother went last.”
“I'm so sorry, Zenith.”
“Missed her fiercely. Gave the Resistance my father's name until Grey Star trained me. Grey Star named me.”
“His highest point.” He heard the smile in her voice. “My highest point,” she whispered.
He was deeply touched.
“Am who I am now. No regrets,” he murmured, running the flat of his hand down the curve of her spine.
“No reason to have them,” she answered.
“I love you.”
He felt her tense momentarily, the surprise articulated in the bunching of muscle and the sudden stillness of her hands. She raised herself up on her arms and turned her face away. He reached out and caught her chin, gently pulling her back to him.
“Sometimes I wish I had eyes so you could look into them,” she said quietly.
“I know what I'd see.”
“You love me as well.”
He moved toward her and she thought he was going to kiss her, but he skimmed his lips along her cheek until his mouth was next to her ear. He breathed two words to her he hadn't said or heard in twenty years. Their secret now. Something else to share with her.
She bit her lip and took his face in her hands. This time she came to him. This time, her body asked for his.
So, much to my heart break Zenith is not the love interest for female JC. I guess this story has a touch of What If and Firsts in it too. I was really glad to see What's In a Name extended to this week because this was the first idea I had wanted to write, but I wasn't getting it right last week. It's not spectacular now. I've realized that I'm not good at description the way some people are, I'm better at inner monologuing for characters which is why I was always great at play by post rpgs. I've made a point to to start working on my descriptions in the future.
Be to her Virtues
Be to her Faults
a little Blind.