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08.24.2012 , 03:59 PM |
All the best to you, elliotcat. Take care of yourself.
I had actually been hoping to squeeze in another
entry this week, a followon to
wherein a Force-sensitive Mitka attends the Academy with Rylon Niral.
Rylon patted down the cowlick that the shorter hair around his face insisted on forming. Again.
Mitka. She was a Sith, a real Sith, red-skinned, strong, lovely. Had a few weaknesses in Ataru form, and appeared to be entirely new to Soresu, but then, she probably hadn't had the advantage of intense lightsaber lessons since age six. It gave him a reason to watch her, anyway, with the chance of actually being useful about it after. He wondered whether she ever watched him practicing.
The flush of victory from seeing Mitka's notebook – and if any other girl had been embellishing his name it would be the dumbest thing ever, but out of her it was cute beyond words – faded fast while he prepped for dinner. At six.
It would be on the broad open terrace where most of the teenaged students took their meals. A secluded place, tempting though it would be, screamed deathtrap. He didn't want to give the wrong impression.
He staked out a small table and waited. The place wasn't well populated today; that was just as well. In case he screwed up or something. It took most of the control he had to make the movement to his feet something less than a jump when Mitka showed her face.
She was wearing…robes, sort of, but prettier. Maybe a dress? He was no good at classifying. Something dark that accentuated her waist and managed to outline a lot without showing much.
Crud. Was I supposed to dress up?
"Hi," he said.
"Hi," she said. "Let's see what things are there, right? For food. To eat." She was really cute when she was nervous.
She recovered her balance on the way, and the first smile she gave him at the serving tables was downright knowing.
She can tell I'm nervous and I didn't even say anything yet. She's better at this than I am.
He had to come up with something. "You said you had a Force theory test tomorrow? I can give you the drill if you want to multitask here."
"Favored subject of yours?"
He laughed. "Hardly. I'm terrible with the theoretical stuff, which is why I bang my head against the readings 'til they're practically memorized. I couldn't explain a thing, but if you want to pretend I'm a textbook…"
"You're pretty good-looking for a textbook," she said, with a faux-critical air. He hoped it was faux.
The terrace was even less populated by the time they got back to their table and started eating. Rylon didn't mind. Feeling more alone with Mitka was...nice. On the other hand, he was rapidly discovering that his extensive experience with ignoring people wasn't doing him any favors in the conversation department.
At least Mitka was willing to chat. "Oh, that?" She looked at the scar on her hand that he had been unintentionally staring at. "Old argument with my little brother Marek."
"Marek. I think I've seen him around. Yellow eyes, like yours, only a lot less pretty."
Mitka had an impish grin. "That would be the one. Do you have any siblings?"
"No, it's just me."
"Count yourself lucky. He's a pain in the neck."
"And the hand, apparently." He traced the scar with one finger; he thought she gasped at the touch, but he couldn't be sure. "I could give him a healthy dose of fear if you like."
Mitka wrinkled her nose. "I can handle him on my own, thanks."
"Right. Of course."
Just then a loud slam sounded from well beyond the edge of the terrace. Rylon abruptly realized that Mitka was the only other person out here with him.
"Come on," he said, and beckoned for her to follow him to the railing to see what was going on. A huge, hunched-over horned monster was rampaging across the yard, flinging students and ancient stone columns aside as it went. It fixed onto Rylon with tiny glowing red eyes.
"What is that?" Rylon asked before it occurred to him to make the question calm and non-squeaky.
Mitka sounded perfectly collected. "It looks like a terentatek. A very small one. I've read about them. Tremendously Force-resistant. Somebody probably dragged this baby out of one of the tombs for kicks."
"The kicks are coming our way."
With a rumbling running start, the beast pounded into a sprint and leaped for the terrace. Rylon whipped out his saber, activated his shield, and turned as the monster sailed overhead to face it when it landed. "So what've you read about killing them?" he asked.
"I hear hitting it with lightsabers helps," she said. She had her own red saber out. She was, he noticed, all business, in an excellent opening stance. "Ready?"
He made a brief, intense effort to think of something witty to say. "Yeah," he said.
And it was time. Every fight started with passion. The weaponry, the forms, these were all just trappings for the feelings that drove a true Sith.
There is no way I am going to flop over and die in front of this girl.
The terentatek was too fast by half, given its size. Its claws were tough, but Rylon had the strength to put into blunting them. Mitka neatly monopolized the beast's attention; as soon as Rylon had one of its arms down he got to work trying to pierce its stony torso. Somewhere in there was something he could break if he stabbed it hard enough.
"Face," said Mitka.
Now why didn't I think of that?
"Got it," grunted Rylon. He looked at the beast's little red eyes – they were still fixed on Mitka – and, reaching out to sense its feelings and movements as if they were extensions of his own, he slid into its anger, took a leap, and forced his saber hilt-deep into its face.
He would've felt more heroic about it if it hadn't responded by snapping fully upright, flinging him back to slam into the Academy wall. He forced the pain under control and pushed himself up, but Mitka was already running away from the fallen monster to meet him.
"Are you okay?" he asked, taking the chance to brush her hair away from her face when she got close.
She stared up in disbelief. "I'm not the one who just got a high-speed introduction to the wall."
"Oh, that. I've had worse." He was definitely going to the infirmary the second he left her company, but she didn't need to know that. "But I can't get you killed on a date. That's just hell to explain to the family."
She huffed a small laugh and suddenly threw herself at him, planting a kiss on his cheek.
Oh. Hey. Good sign.
He hugged her back and wondered whether the stab of pain in his shoulder actually indicated something was dislocated. "If you're okay," she said, bouncing backward again, "can I tell you something?"
She handed him his lightsaber. "Your grip was a little shaky toward the end there."
"Just like you showed me." She started arranging his hands on the saber hilt, her touch warm and thrilling. "Your left hand was down here. You said the form works better when you bring it up to support."
"Oh. Yeah. I must've forgotten."
"Maybe you should practice more, then. I'll be seeing you at the training dummies."
"Wait," he said, before she could run off. "We should do this again sometime."
Mitka gave him a wide-eyed innocent look. "Dinner? Or mortal combat?"
"I don't know. Which one did you like better?"
"I'll think about it. And I'll get back to you when I see you 'round." And with that, she walked off.
Great! That's good. Is that good?
Rylon stared after her. He was out of breath. His ribs ached. His arms were trembling. It didn't matter. He felt good.
Really, no lie, I was struggling to come up with conversational topics and thought "You know what solves problems? Throwing huge monsters into the situation solves problems. This has never led me wrong before." Plus, it's the Sith Academy, where this kind of thing is probably wholly normal!
Thanks to Earthmama for letting me take her Mitka out on the town!
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