This story was inspired by Anrui Yuy's "Atton's Shorts." I really liked how she told the story without giving the exile the name her character used, and I wanted to write the story the same way- so anyone can relate to it. To read the original, type in "/s/3330336/1/Attons_Shorts" after the .net

I tapped my foot nervously. Where was she? She had been inside the Sith Academy far too long. Trying to ignore the thoughts brewing in my mind, I went back to playing Pazzak.

Bao-Dur's voice came over the comlink. "The General has returned with Visas and Mandalore. Mical is attending to them in the medbay."

I jumped up, overjoyed that they had made it back alright. When I got to the medbay, Visas and Mandalore were standing outside. I swallowed the lump in my throat. "Is she"-

"He got her worst of all," Mandalore replied. "Visas was able to heal herself, but the Exile collapsed almost as soon as we got into the Hawk."

"Speaking of which… Atton, Shouldn't you be-

I ignored him, barging into the medbay. Blondie stood over her, examining her injuries. He looked up when he saw me enter, surprise flooding his face.

"Atton? What are you"-

She looked awful. Bruises decorated her body, accompanied by several burns from a lightsaber. She looked like-

She looked like a Jedi that I had just finished torturing.

I was hit with a wave of sickness, as memories came flooding back to me. I remembered when Kreia had given me the illusion that I had become my former self.

I bolted from the medbay. Stumbling through the ship, I reached the cockpit.

You fool, I thought to myself, you just ran off, leaving her in a half naked state with Blondie.

Shaking off the feelings of nausea, I walked calmly back to the medbay.

"Where do you think you are going?"

I turned to see Kreia, glaring at me.

"To see her," I said, and turned around. Before I could take another step, she spoke again.

"I do not think that is wise."

I had a sarcastic response on the tip of my tongue, but as I remembered the vision the hag had bestowed me with, so I bit my tongue. "Why not?"

"You are going to tell her how you feel." It was not a question; she was stating it as though it was a fact.

"Yes." Why did she care?

"Atton, it is not about me… When I show you this, it is in your best interest."

Suddenly, I was no longer staring at Kreia. I was in the medbay, looking at Mical and the Exile. He gazed intently into her eyes, and she leaned forward until their faces were less than a breath apart. Then he touched her cheek, something I ached to do. I tried to shut my eyes, to keep from seeing him kiss her, what should have been MY kiss. Too late. The image was etched into my mind, a scar. His hand drifted to her robe…

Kreia must have taken pity on me, because a second later, I was once again looking at the sight I had once hated most, but was now a relief to see. I sullenly turned around and walked back to the cockpit.

I tried to get the image out of my mind, but was unsuccessful. Finally, I drifted off into a restless sleep.

The exile, dressed in all white, was walking down the aisle toward a grinning Mical. They joined hands, as the Twi'lek priest wed them. Then the priest said, "you may kiss the bride, and the two leaned forward…

The next scene was on Alderaan. Mical and the Exile sat on a bench. Two small children, a boy and a girl with golden blonde hair ran towards them.

"Mommy! Look what I found," the little girl cried. She held up her prize, a pink colored shell.

"Oh, its beautiful honey," the exile said. She then reached out to tuck a stray strand of blonde curl behind her ear. The little girl grinned and jumped onto Disciple's lap. "Isn't it pretty, Daddy?"

The little girl looked into his eyes with innocence so recognizable, it was scary. The little boy crawled into his mother's lap, and shyly pressed his cheek against her shoulder. He, too, bore a remarkable resemblance to his mother.

Then there was a bedroom. The exile was in Mical's arms, and she leaned forward to kiss him. Her arms wrapped around his shoulders, while his arms ran down her back. They began ripping each other's clothes off, until-

I awoke with a jolt. Knowing after a dream like that, there was no way I would be able to get back to sleep, so I walked into the galley. Pouring myself a cup of caffe, I headed towards the main cabin, to see Disciple already there.

"Oh! Why hello, Atton! You're up early!"

I grunted, not looking in his direction. Finally, though, I had to ask. "How is she?"

"Well," he replied. "Frankly, not much better since when you saw her. I have had her sedated for the past seven hours, but she still looks like she is in pain. I don't know what"-

"Wait," I interrupted. "What did you just say?"

"She still looks like she is in pain, and I don't know what to do to help her."

"No. Before that."

"Oh. I have had her sedated for the past seven hours-
"Do you remember when I last saw her?"

"Yes, about seven hours ago. I gave her the anesthetic shortly after you left."

Seven hours… Dammit! Kreia lied to me! I thought. Of course, why should I have been surprised? She used the force to trick me before… why hadn't the idea she had tricked me again occurred to me? Well, she is right about one thing, Atton- you certainly are the fool.

"Thanks, Mical," I said as I stood up, faking a yawn. "I think I'll go back to bed now."

"Now?" he said, puzzled. "Well, good luck. The caffa you drank will"-

His voice trailed off as I hurried towards Kreia's room. Better hope that she's awake, or I might kill her in her sleep. Chances are pretty good that she can sense me coming, though.

I burst through the door, not bothering to knock. "Why, Kreia? Why did you see fit to do this to me?"

Her voice remained even, impassive. "What now, fool?"

I growled in frustration. "You know what- why did you make me believe that Mical had kissed her?"

Kreia didn't even turn around. "You were already halfway to that conclusion yourself, I only had to give it a little nudge in the right direction."

I was getting impatient. "That's not an answer- I mean why would you want me to believe Mical had kissed her? Why did you want to stop me from going to see the exile?"

She sighed. "I will answer, but not because I care if you understand. You are hardly important; you would only get in the way."

I was insulted. My abilities had come a long way since I had first joined this crazy mission.

"Not physically- I know even your abilities, though hardly developed, will be useful somehow. I am referring to any emotional attachment you might form with the exile. She is soon to face several upcoming trials, and forming a bond with you would only distract her, give her more to worry about than she already has."

I pondered this briefly. "Wasn't the Jedi Master on Korriban the last we needed to find?"

Kreia gave a wry smile. "How observant. Yes, we will have to go back to Dantooine where she will have to face the Jedi."

"Face them? But she hasn't harmed any of them-"

"I have answered your question, fool. Now leave me be." Kreia responded sharply.

I cast one final glare at her, then turned and walked towards the cockpit. On my way I looked into the medbay. Atton, Kreia is right- best to let her focus on what lies ahead.

I cast one longing glance at the door, and then walked back to the cockpit.