A WILD VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL APPEARED... about four days after February... yeah, couple things I should mention. I know I said there'd be a chapter where Vos begins to up the anty on the gang's training regiment, but seeing as it was February at the time, I wanted to try and get this out before Valentine's Day as my first holiday special since New Years Eve. Clearly, THAT turned out as planned. Which is why it'll be the absolute LAST time I try and put out a holiday special in time as it's too much of a deadline to meet with not NEARLY enough time. I have a chapter that's set to take place on Easter, but that's not for another three to four chapters later. There's no way I'm going to be able to get all of those ready then get that one finished in time. I couldn't even get THIS ONE out when I wanted to.

Also, since I'm kind of tired of answering these kind of questions in reviews, I'll address them here and hopefully for the last time:

1. I AM NOT in need of any further ideas or potential plot threads for this story. I have all the chapter premises all mapped out and am working on them as I go. This story has been going since almost SEVEN YEARS ago. If I add more, it may add a few more years to that process.

2. I'm also NOT planning on introducing any elements from the "New Canon" into this series as of now. The simplest reason being: I don't like it. I hated Force Awakens. I hated Rouge One so much so that it made me appreciate Force Awakens a tiny bit more, I BARELY tolerate Rebels, but even then, they do a bunch of stuff I do particularly like either. They MAY be introducing Revan into the canon, which gets a FEW points in my book, but I've still not seen enough to convince me to watch it religiously like I did Clone Wars. If The Last Jedi manages to deliver and make up for all the shear copy-n-paste garbage Force Awakens did, then I MAY consider doing a side story, but if not, expect this series to flat out IGNORE anything Disney is doing to Star Wars.

And... some other third thing... let me know if you got that joke.

DISCLAIMER: I love Star Wars... but I don't own it.


Chapter 25

Love Across the Stars

Monday, February 14th, 2011, 10:30 AM


"Adam, how many times do I have to say "no" before you get the message?"

The mental conversation Riyo and Adam currently held had been going on since both of their individual classes got out a few minutes ago. Since Riyo had lacked an actual phone for her boyfriend to text her on, he opted to simply using a more unorthodox way of contacting her. While they could have just as easily started using their native way of speaking as soon they they found each other, the subject at hand was embarrassing to say the least.

"I'm not asking you to give me the answers though our mental link as I'm taking the test. I have a little more dignity than that." Adam argued.

"But you are asking me to transfer memories of my notes. And for that matter, why can't you just, I don't know, study the notes by memory? Others manage just fine, and plus, you keep bragging about your memory being akin to a supercomputer's, so why not try and prove it?" Riyo countered.

"Because I've told you, I just… don't retain knowledge like that easily. It feels like a chore to just keep that in my head for an extended period of time. Honestly, if I wasn't so dead-set on finishing this uphill battle to graduate, I'd have just dropped out knowing there's an entire galaxy's worth of info that would suit me infinitely better." Adam responded as the two walked into the classroom for their next course.

"Wait," Riyo began as they each took their seats. "Are you saying what I think you're implying with that?"

"That I find your home more appealing than mine?" Adam answered.

"That you're planning on just running away after you've finished school! You're fully prepared to just leave the only home you've ever known your entire life and never look back?"

"I'm sorry… but have you taken a look at it?" Adam replied with evident frustration mounting in his tone. "We start wars, we leave the poor, cold and hungry to die, and at every chance of self-improvement, we take a step back that makes us look like we want to just destroy ourselves."

"And you really think the galaxy you want to run away to is any better right now?"

Before he could respond, the electronic tone that stood for the "school bell" chimed, signalling the start of the class.

The instructor made her way to the desk at the front of the classroom. "Before we begin, I would like to introduce you all to your new transfer student!" she said. "He's coming all the way from South Carolina, so please give him a warm welcome." Adam didn't pay much attention, staring out of the window, thinking. "Please introduce yourself."

"Thank you, Ma'am." Adam froze. No. He knew that voice. "Hello everyone! My name is Jordan Tackett, nice to be here in Connecticut!" Adam's head darted around, and there stood the Sith Lord himself, smiling at the rest of the class wearing a simple set of blue jeans and a black T-Shirt.

"Anything you'd like to tell the class about yourself, Mr. Tackett?" the instructor asked.

"Just that I like Sci Fi and all that good stuff," He said shrugging, "Oh! And I'm the future Sith Lord."

Adam and Riyo both gawked at him… only for the class to all chuckle a bit at him.

"Well, we know he likes Star Wars at least!"

"Never thought we'd get a transfer student… "

"He looks kinda cute… "

"Oh, fuck me." Adam said internally.

"Please take a seat, Jordan - there should be one right next to Nick close to the back." The instructor said. Jordan nodded, as he walked to the back of the class, putting his bookbag down and took his seat.

This was destined to be a long ass Valentine's Day

As soon as class ended, Adam had nearly ran from his seat with Riyo following close behind. He just had to get a considerable distance away before-

"Well I expected to be in your school, but not your classroom."

Adam stopped at the voice he wished not to hear at the moment and took several moments to prepare before turning to meet its face.

"Did that fight damage your hearing or something?" He said to Jordan's face. "I thought I told you explicitly to stay away from at least me, if not my friends."

"Oi, Revan's idea - not mine." He stated, "Said something about it helping with training… I'm not any happier about this arrangement as you are… I was perfectly happy with my homeschooling back home, but he and Voss insisted on going through with this whole thing."

Upon hearing this, Adam gave a laugh that sounded more irritated than gleeful. "Oh, they are lucky I have immense respect for them. If their intention was to take my stress levels and amp them far beyond what they were, please tell them that may have just succeeded. I already have enough proble-"

"Hey, VanDerMaelen!"

This familiar and just as headache inducing voice Adam heard forced him to cup his face with his hands and groan pitifully.

"You going to introduce me to your new friend?" Nick said as he closed the gap between the three.

"Ok…" Adam began as he quickly inhaled a breath. "First off, this guy right here is nowhere near being my friend, in fact, you right now Nick are probably closer than he is. Second, you're right in front of him. Why don't you get acquainted with him by your own damn self?"

Jordan sighed, looking at Nick "So… Nick was it?" He mused, looking the man over.

"That's right. Yours was Jordan?" Nick asked. "Odd name for someone who said they were a Sith Lord."

"Oh, this ought to be good." Adam scoffed while simultaneously earning a glare from his resident bully.

"Ah, that's just my regular name, recently got promoted to Darth Saren," He said, smirking slightly as he leaned against the wall.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were crazy." Nick replied smugly. "But I do know better."

"Yeah, clearly, seeing as you're still talking to him." Adam commented.

"We may not get along that well, Nick, but I'd REALLY advise against pissing him off." Riyo added.

"Hey! Was I asking for your opinion, alien?!" Nick shouted. "At least with this guy here, I know I'm talking to another human being. And if he's a Sith Lord, what the Hell is he even doing here? He here to kill y-"

Nick's words stopped mid sentence as his eyes began to widen.

"I suggest showing some… respect for the senator, Nick." Jordan informed calmly… almost too calmly.

Nick was about to retort… before he suddenly felt cold… very cold, as if the air around him, his blood, everything began to become bone-chillingly cold. Jordan glared right into his eyes…. As if staring into his own soul, as his eyes gave off a deep crimson glow, with an aura of death surrounding him.

Riyo and Adam looked on in both gripping horror, but also a twinge of morbid amusement.

Nick was forced down to the floor, trembling in fear as the man continued to glare at him, his body shivering from the cold… before as quickly as it started… it stopped.

"Glad we got that cleared up," Jordan informed, smiling happily as if nothing had happened. "Run along now, see you in the next class!"

The scared and terrified bully wasted no time scrambling to his feet and running as fast as they carried him in the opposite direction.

"What in the Hell did you do to him?" Adam asked looking towards the Sith with fear clear on his face.

"Oh, little move I created," Jordan smirked, "I call it Killing Intent, kinda inspired from Naruto. Basically what it does is that I excud pure killing intention through the force, and having it affect my opponents, and others around them, paralysing them with fear. Hell if I focus strong enough, I can actually give the victims visions of their own gruesome deaths."

"And is that what you just did to him? You showed him being murdered?" Riyo asked with slight anger.

"Pretty much, yeah." Jordan nodded, "It's actually pretty ingenious - since half the time I use it, I scare my enemies into surrendering, it's actually a life-saving technique when you think about it. And please, I didn't need to show him his death - I just scared the piss out of him..." he sniffed the air before wincing "Crap, I think he did piss himself… "

A small chuckled formed in the area, and both the Pantoran teen and Sith Lord found it coming from the brown haired young man. "Ok… you get one point for that. Just one. Anyone who can send that asshole scurrying away with the piss literally scared out of him has nothing but a tiny bit of respect. Still don't like how you nearly killed my friends and me… but that's a start."

Jordan smiled slightly "Glad to hear that… " he said, "If he gives ya anymore trouble while I'm here, let me know… I know a few other tricks I can do… non lethal ones I assure you… though he may end up seeing a Psychiatrist in his future…"

"Hmm.. tempting. I'll think over it." Adam responded "Also, Darth Saren? What word is that title based off of?"

"Mass Effect."


"Saren? You know, Turian from Mass Effect?" Jordan clarified, "He was the bad guy in the game, working with the Reapers… I like the name, so… I thought, why not? No rules in Sith lore new or old saying I can't pick some random name and use it."

"You chose a name…. based off of a video game character." Adam said incredulously.

"Well… funny story, actually." Jordan continued, "It started off that way… but then I actually looked through the ancient Sith alphabet and language… and it turns out that 'Saren' is a word in the Sith Language… it means 'Redemption'... so, it… oddly fit."

"Huh….. I didn't think they HAD a word for that, to be honest." Adam replied.

"Probably why they don't use it so often," Jordan shrugged. "Hopefully that word will get kicked around a bit more once the NSE gets further off the ground."

"I still wouldn't hold your breath on that one." Adam said. "Riyo, you want to go grab lunch before all the good meals are taken?"

"Um, actually, I needed to put some stuff away in my locker. I'll meet you there." She answered.

"Got it." He said heading down the hall in a near sprint. "I'll try and save you something!"

As Adam walked away, Jordan glanced at Riyo. "You lied," He stated. "Something wrong, Miss Chuchi?"

"Just Riyo is fine." The Pantoran woman answered. "I'm not going to be constantly calling you "Lord Saren" whenever I address you. And I didn't lie, I actually do need to put some books away…. It just so happens that… I wanted to talk to you about something."

Jordan rose his brow at that "Umm, sure, okay." He said, "What about?"

"About this "Neo Sith Empire" that you're planning on building. Now before you say anything, I'd like to make it perfectly clear that my boyfriend's impression of you is not my own. You may have attacked our friends, but you did so with just and noble intentions and sought to make amends after realizing your mistakes. In some aspects, you and Adam have far more in common than you do apart. With that said… what exactly do you plan to do with this Empire you've constructed?"

Jordan paused for a moment, thinking about his answer. "At the moment, our focus is getting it started." He said, "A few months ago, we launched a successful revolution to the Tridanius Hegemony, removing from power a corrupt kingdom, and used its former territory as the base frame for the NSE. Now we are trying to breath new life into their infrastructure, military, agriculture, and merchant fleets after centuries of abuse and decay at the hands of the old Hegemony royal family. After that, we plan to defend them from incursions from other threats from the Unknown Regions, most notable being the Ssi-Ruuv Imperium, the Vagaari Empire and such."

"Who are they?" Riyo asked

"Eh, one's a Xenophobic race of dinosaur-like lizards who have tech which literally sucks the life force out of sentients in order to power their droid starfighters, and the other use shields made of stasis pods loaded with captives around their starships to make people think twice about shooting at them." Jordan explained.

"I guess I should count myself lucky I ended up here on this planet as opposed to any of theirs." Riyo said with her mind still reeling towards what she had heard.

"The Unknown Regions aren't a friendly place, Riyo… that's the big thing the NSE hopes to change," Jaden informed, "There's no true unified government in the UK, just people vying for power much like the old Sith use too. The only real exceptions being the Mandalorian Union - who is a member nation to the NSE - and the Chiss Ascendancy. "

Riyo's eyes widened. "Th- the Chiss? Arguably one of the most xenophobic and isolationist races the galaxy has were convinced to side with you?"

"They're not Xenophobic per say," Jordan said, "The Chiss do not accept alien concepts without careful consideration… yes they don't take kindly to invaders or other races, but that's mostly because of the space they live in. They thrive in the UK, where they always expect some sort of threat, most prominent being the Vagaari… which was how we were able to get them to cooperate with us. The Chiss and Vagaari are at war… we're at war with the Vagaari, so the enemy of my enemy, is my friend."

"That still doesn't answer my question, Jordan. What exactly are you planning on doing with your Empire?"

"First and Foremost? Bring unity to the Unknown Regions," He stated, "Actually organize a legit, stable and functioning interstellar government where all the people of the UK can be protected from threats like the Vagaari, Ssi-Ruuv, Yuuzhan Vong and such… especially the Vong."

"You mentioned the Vong when we first met." Riyo responded. "I took the liberty of doing some research…. And I was positively horrified by what I found. Entire worlds razed, destroyed and worse. It makes the war we're currently fighting look poultry by comparison."

"And that's the second reason I need the NSE to succeed," Jordan informed, "There is no way the Republic can fight such a threat alone, divided… a Neo Sith Empire, with the Unknown Regions united, with all the firepower we can bring, plus Sith Knights who use both the light and dark sides of the force - including the only force technique which actually effects Vong, Force Lighting - at their disposal? It may not stop the war… but we can sure as hell save plenty more lives than what we would have originally… plus it might stop the creation of Krayt's Sith Empire and the One Sith."

Riyo looked to the young man and gave an earnest smile. "I do not know why Adam can't get out of his little grudge and realize that a most invaluable ally arrived right at his doorstep. Then again, it may just be the stigma he's grown up with believing all Sith are inherently dangerous. Along with…"

"...Along with what?" Jordan asked, as Riyo trailed off without finishing.

"I… don't know if I should say… it's a rather personal detail.."

"...You mean that he has Asperger's?" Jordan guessed.

"H- how did you-?"

"Have a friend with Asperger's from middle school," Jordan informed with a smile, "I know the symptoms… I can understand the privacy - hell I have ADHD and I don't like talking about it all that much either."

Riyo sighed before continuing. "Yes. He has a bit of a habit of obsessing over things after a while, like how he's gotten this idea into his head that once he's finished with High School, he'll just leave this planet for good. Yet he completely overlooked a few details including that he'll have no other place to go other than maybe the Jedi Temple, barely any skills at piloting, only a few friends and assuredly no biological family, but he's still determined to leave a world he's deemed is too far gone with virtually the same struggles my galaxy still experiences."

"Well, to be honest at first glance the greater galaxy does seem more appealing," Jordan said. "Well, when you look at things from an Earthling's perspective at least… we've been trapped on this planet for millennia, always dreaming of one day going to the stars, leaving behind this world to seek out a new existence out there… hell, I heard some companies are planning missions to mars with no plans for the people going to ever come back, and people are signing up for it! Because they just want to get away, start something new."

"Yes, I can understand that feeling. But what they don't realize is that the galaxy they desire, that which is so different from their world is really just another Earth with slightly different aesthetics. Soon Adam will see that his struggles, both of his people and himself, will never truly go away. But maybe… that might be for the best if…"

"Best if what?" Jordan asked, "Come on Riyo…this can stay between you and me, I swear. I won't even tell Revan."

Breathing in a large amount, Riyo attempted to find a sense of calm before continuing. She slightly succeeded. "That it might be best if he discovered more people with the same struggles he deals with. With his condition. I'm trusting you a great deal by telling you this…. But after doing some research and spending quite a lot of time around Adam… I've come to the conclusion that.. I may also have what he has; a slightly mild case of Asperger's. It has a different name back in our galaxy, but the symptoms are the same: obsessiveness, inattentiveness at certain subjects, perhaps a bit of social anxiety and ineptness if not properly seen to; all of which I myself went through when I was younger, and even still go through. I… was also teased and bullied for it… it wasn't before I became Senator for my world when that finally began to lessen, and where I started to move on. It did resurface on some occasions, however. I'm sure you're familiar with the skirmish on Orto Plutonia?

"Yup, Clone Wars, Episode 15, Season One." He informed. "You helped forge a peace with the native Talz - good work on that by the way."

"Thanks, but I'll have you know that throughout that ordeal, I was nervous, shy, soft-spoken and even feared for my position as Senator as well as my life. I can't even remember sleeping properly when I was there. Those were problems Adam faced at a point in his life not too long ago. It's going on two years ago, in fact."

Jordan sighed, but nodded "Yeah… I can see why you don't want that info getting spread around… " he said, before he smiled. "But like I said - secret safe with me."

"I know… I'm sure I can in fact trust you. I came close to letting Adam know about this, but then Count Dooku decided to throw we he calls a training exercise at us. And then we had to find your soldier whom we believed could have exposed us, and then you came,"

"I know, my fault." Jordan replied.

"And then, and then, and then, I never told him… because the truth is I don't want to tell him."

(Bonus points for whoever can guess which movie I'm referencing/ripping off with this line. Jorn knows, but I've sworn him to secrecy.)

"I give him strength, and confidence, and I'm afraid if he finds out how much alike I am to him, how I'm just as much a prisoner to my condition sometimes as he feels he is…He- I might- UGHH, KUTÖMBUCK!"

Jordan blinked, recoiling slightly at the Pantoran word she shouted - which he knew was the equivalent to the F-Bomb. "Geez, you kiss your mother with that mouth, Riyo?"

"I'm fairly certain you're aware of the "Pot and Kettle" axiom, Jordan? You were born here, so I assume you'll understand it if I use it towards you." Riyo countered slightly agitated.

"I know, but I just never expected that from you," Jordan added with a light chuckle. "It ahhh… kinda goes against your character in the series… then again, this ain't the series of course."

"Precisely. The "series" never went into detail about how I'm sometimes just as scared, nervous, on-edge and troubled as most girls or young people in general of my age usually are. Adam's gotten to know me better than what your Internet provides, but…. I terrified beyond rational thought that if he finds out about the condition we share, that… I know, it sounds stupid, but-"

"No, it's not stupid… it's just what I'd expect from any normal person." Jordan spoke up, cutting her off. "Riyo… you may be force-sensitive, but you not superhuman, or super-pantoran. You have the same strengths and faults as any other person, and I think Adam knows that just as much as anyone else… if anything, I think him learning about that… might draw the two of you closer, get an even greater understanding of one another. You're only a prisoner if you make it your prison."

Riyo stood there, taking in the Sith's words, unsure as to what to say next "I…. I don't know, Jordan. I'm already afraid that what's happening between the two of us… there's no telling if it's going to last or not. We may have some sort of Force Bond, but what's keeping us from drifting apart like any other couple?"

"So you want to give up?" Jordan asked, somewhat harshly causing Riyo to recoil a bit.

"I didn't say that."

"That's what it sounds like," He said, "You're worried about when you start drifting apart? That happens to people who give up, and for love to work, you need to give it your damn 100%, from beginning to end. What your missing Riyo is that I think you two are perfect for one another because of this, because while you may think you're his pillar of strength and confidence… I think at the same time, he thinks he's your pillar."

Riyo laughed a little upon hearing those words. "In a way, that sounds incredibly cheesy.. But in another… that makes sense."

Jordan smiled slightly "I do the best I can," he said. "If you want my advice… trust in Adam, because I know he trusts in you. May sound cheesy, but just 'cause something is cheesy doesn't make it any less true. He's a lucky guy to have a woman like you… hell that makes him by default more lucky than me."

This earned another chuckled from the Pantoran. "What? A brave, heroic handsome guy like you can't find someone?"

"I'm a Sith lord sci-fi nerd and Otaku, who spends most of his time either being groomed to one day control an interstellar empire, training in the ways of the force, defending planets and ranting on internet forums about which anime, manga, movies, video games and books I think are good and bad." Jordan pointed out, "Girls I know aren't exactly interested in those kind of things."

"And I must point out once again how similar you are to a home-trained, teenage Jedi adept who managed to gain a relationship with a Senator from billions of lightyears away." Riyo responded. "I'd say you'll find someone, or if the similarities are truly uncanny, they'll find you. Since you gave me advice, mind if I offer you some?"

Jordan let out a short sigh "Sure, go ahead."

"Don't be so hung up about it. What will happen will happen. Just be yourself, and all that romantic garbage that I've found also exists here in films and the like. But maybe get out sometime, either here, or out there. Odds are there's bound to be someone for you if not on one, then the other."

Jordan sighed, shaking his head "I have more important things to worry about than my own love life," He stated, "You know, saving the galaxy from religious technophobic sadist aliens from another galaxy… "

"Eh, my friends and I have managed to find a decent enough balance. Isn't that what your Empire is about? Finding balance?"

"Yeah well you're not simultaneously running said empire, its political landscape, its military, leading troops into battle, all that other fun stuff." He countered. "I prioritize the happiness and wellbeing of others first, mine last. "

"True. Just try and stay optimistic. It might help." Riyo replied. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I've hopefully got lunch waiting for me. Knowing Adam, he'll have fought tooth and nail for mine."

"Sure thing," Jordan said, "Don't let… me… " he paused though, as he processed something Riyo had said earlier. "Hang on… what was that earlier you said about Dooku?"

But by the time he had asked, the disguised Pantoran had already left.

And then came running past him from behind.

"R-Riyo! What was that you said about Dooku?!" He asked urgently.

"Another time, Saren! I've got a life to live!" She shouted back from down the hall.

Jordan gaped for a solid minute "B-But this is freaking important!" He shouted, as he chased after her. "Riyo! RIYO!"

Monday, February 14th, 2011, 3:30 PM

"Victory on Mon Cala." a male Sullustan anchorman exclaimed from the holoprojector held in Asajj's right hand. The other was gently stroking a sleeping Fal'ec resting beside her on the living room couch.

"With the help of Gungan reinforcements from Naboo, the Republic forces stationed on the Mon Calamari homeworld have managed to drive back Separatist forces indefinitely. Most noteworthy was the inclusion of the now newly anointed king of Mon Cala Lee-Char, whose presence helped to bolster the morale of troops, including those of the Quarren, whom in a shocking turn of events had elected to abandon their alliance with the Separatists upon learning that a Confederacy Commander called Riff Tamson betrayed their interests of claiming the throne of Mon Cala. This information comes to us directly from King Lee-Char whom had this to say during an interview with our news team."

The image then changed to that of a young male Mon Calamari speaking towards a microphone being held by an unseen reporter. "Yes, it is true that the Quarren were promised sovereignty over Mon Cala for their allegiance with the Separatists, but when Nossor Ri saw how their benefactors treated their loyalty and culture, his resolve to defend Mon Cala overrided his desire for power and control. Without his intervention, I would not be speaking with you today. But this battle, this war, if it's taught me anything at all, it's that our greatest strength comes not from any technological terror used on the battlefield, probably not even the Force itself. No, it's our unity, our diversity and willingness to look past our racial exteriors and realize that we all share the same emotion, the same joy, sorrow, and hope for a better tomorrow. And it starts when you, not anyone else, but the person you are decides to make a change. Which is why I herby motion to begin free elections for all future rulers of Mon Cala, where any race born among its oceans can be elected to rule and guide its people."

Asajj's eyes widened with surprise, but were quickly succeeded by a satisfied smile and a happy sounding hum.

"One final question, Your Highness: Can you tell us what became of the Commander Riff Tamson? Reports say that he perished during battle, but no remains have been found amongst the debris." The unseen reporter asked.

"Yes, I can confirm that Tamson is in fact dead. I had one final bout with the Commander as he attempted to kill me himself. Unfortunately for him, his explosive knives don't discriminate who they are thrown at. We never gathered his remains for whatever reason; I can only speculate that they were made a meal for any wandering wildlife. I would have personally prefered he lived, if only so that he be put on trial for his crimes against Mon Cala, but life very seldom gives us everything we want."

'Good riddance to bad rubbish,' Asajj thought 'Or would it be chum in this case?'

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's a holiday today, isn't it?" Asajj jumped a bit, turning around as Revan stepped inside. "Valentine's Day? Aren't you suppose to be spending time with someone you care about, rather than watching holo news all day?"

Shaking her head, Asajj turned the holoprojector off as she turned to face the ancient Force user. "First correction, it was only for ten to twenty minutes." She replied. "I may be living as a semi-fugitive on a pre-hyperspace world, but the events of the galaxy I hail from are still important to me. And second, spending time with someone on this holiday in particular would have to imply a romantic attraction. In case you haven't noticed, between training and the occasional fight to keep myself alive, there hasn't been enough time to develop that sort of thing."

"You sure?" Revan asked, leaning back with a small smirk, "I seem to recall you being pretty close to that Zabrak… isn't he technically your husband now anyways?"

Almost instantly, the former Sith Acolyte's eyes widened accompanied by the beginnings of a blush in her cheeks. "EXCUSE YOU?!" She shouted in equal parts shock, embarrassment and anger. "How do eve-"

"I'm Revan, you think I wouldn't know about ancient nightsister and nightbrother customs and traditions after all the traveling I've done, and having spent millennia in a frozen carbonite-induced meditation?"

"I… I don't.." Asajj stammered in an attempt to gather her thoughts. "I invoked the traditions of the Nightsister, yes. But that was purely in a bid for revenge. At no point did I ever have….. relations with Savage."

"Well… that was then," Revan said, "When you still served the corruptive powers of the dark side… " he then looked at her right in the eye. "But… do you want to now?"

"It's… a little more complicated than that." Asajj began to explain.

The backyard of the house was doused with crimson light clashing against blue as Savage swiped and parried his saberstaff against the single azure blade of a bearded Human he was familiar with.

"I know you can do better than that, Opress!" The voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi shouted to him.

The Zabrak male responding with a flurry of quick strikes towards the Jedi Master with the intent of disabling the impenetrable defense that was Soresu. Going for any opening he could find around Kenobi's person before it closed back up.

Unfortunately, every move Savage attempted was countered and met in kind. Nothing his blade could muster was enough to break the Jedi's defense.

And then it came to him. Right before he chose to continue his futile offensive with Kenobi continuing to stonewall every swipe, parry, lunge and blow thrown at him.

"It seems your anger blinds your judgment." The human said to him in between clashes.

"Oh, someone's blind, alright." Savage cheekily responded.

It took Kenobi a second to late to realize what the former Sith Apprentice had meant before his face was soon introduced to an oncoming rock the size of a dinner plate, the impact of which knocked him right of his feet and his saber clean from his hands.

Savage looked down upon his beaten foe with a small amount of pride beaming from his face evidence by a toothy grin. "Beating a replica of Obi-Wan." He said happily. "Not a bad way to close the day."

The form of the Jedi dissipated from the being rising to its feet as PROXY recalled his fallen saber via the magnetic repulsors in his hand. "Not to ruin your hard earned victory, Master Savage, but if you were dueling the real Obi-Wan Kenobi, that trick of yours would have been well detected and countered. Perhaps I should consider installing geothermal sensors into my main operating system that can replicate that of a Force Sense."

"Hmm…. not a bad idea. It'd make it more challenging and keep me on my toes. But on the other hand…. I might as well kiss my chances at beating modules like Obi-Wan and Anakin goodbye."

"I wouldn't be so sure of it." Both the Zabrak and droid found Vos in the direction this declaration emanated from.

"The Force is essentially something of a largely developed nervous system. It may respond to threats when presented with them, but it, like any other system, can be overloaded and eventually overwhelmed if put under enough constant pressure. Formidable and strong as foes like Kenobi and Skywalker are, they're not invincible."

"You're saying they can only take so much damage before even they can't continue?" Savage concludes.

"They're Human, aren't they?" Vos replies. "Force or no, something's got to give after a while, either physically, or even emotionally. Ah! That reminds me. PROXY, think we can implement module 11-03? See how the "reigning champ" here fairs?"

"Oh! An excellent idea, Master Vos. I'm sure this will ensure Apprentice Opress is "knocked back a few pegs." PROXY gleefully responded.

"Ok, you guys can stop speaking in riddles now!" Savage said to the two in a irritated tone. "What have you got planned?"

Neither one answered verbally as both Vos and PROXY turned to face the Nightbrother, the latter of whom shifted appearance to resemble another Force user he was intimately familiar with. Right down to the rust brown colored hair and piercing blue eyes he'd been careful not to have been seen staring into. The simulated form of Asajj drew her curved sabers in ready for the second round.

"Oh, kriff no." Savage groaned.

"Ya know…" Revan mused. "Your situation isn't all that removed from how I ended up with the woman who'd become my wife."

"Yes, barring the fact that whereas Bastila and the Council reprogrammed your mind to end the threat to the galaxy that you inadvertently caused, I altered Savage's not to keep the galaxy safe, but to kill someone who was ordered to kill me. Those are two are at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum." Asajj countered.

"Perhaps, but you can't deny that like Bastilia, you've developed feelings for him, and I suspect he you."

"What?!" Savage exclaimed as he ducked and weaved out of every strike the simulated Asajj made towards him. "That makes no sense! A few months ago, I was dead set on trying to kill her! Why would I start to feel that way towards her?"

"Probably for the same reason Revan and Bastila did. And the same as Riyo and Adam." Vos surmised as he watched the Jedi apprentice.

"Pure coincidence and bad luck?"

"...Well, that, yes." Revan said to Asajj. "But also the Force Bonds we developed because of that. We opened ourselves up to each other's minds, which in turn allowed us to understand the other's emotions, their dreams, fears… regrets. For example, what are some of yours?"

Asajj took a moment, recollecting practically everything that had led up to her current status; every battle, every event that shaped her, as well as the lives she had taken when consumed by the Dark Side.

"That I couldn't save my Master Ky. That his death was what started me down a path of anger and hatred. I hated everything around me… including myself. I wasn't strong enough. If I was…"

"Then my brother would still be alive." Savage said sadly. The attacks from the false Asajj had momentarily ceased. "If I were just strong enough not to be swayed by the darkness or even enough to best her and run away with Feral-"

"Then you wouldn't have met friends like Riyo and Adam." Vos countered. "You wouldn't have found a purpose with your life aside from just barely scraping by just to make it through each day."

"And because of that, my brother and countless others had to die?!"

"NO! Nothing justifies their deaths! What I'm saying is that you have been given a second chance; a chance to ensure nothing like what you or your brother went through happens once more, a chance to avoid any more senseless deaths of innocents caught up in the fallout of a madman with no heart or regret for what he's done. That is why you're drawn to each other, Savage."

"Because we've both walked down this path?" Asajj asked.

"Because you're both the unfortunate pawns of the Dark Side." Revan replied. "Because you both think to yourselves that what you've done will never be forgiven in the eyes of those you're trying to protect. And that despite the friendships you've made, the only ones who will ever truly understand your pains and sorrows… are each other."

"It's a pain that I have to deal with every day of my life." Vos said. "But it can also be the one thing that keeps you from going too far over the edge. It's also the reason why you've yet to land a single blow on PROXY when he looks like that. You love her.."

"You love him…" Revan said.

"Because the two of you are one in the same."

It all suddenly made perfect sense. "I… I honestly have no idea what to do now." Asajj said.

"My advice: go out and spend some time with each other. Just talk with each other and the rest will follow suit." Revan answered.

"In fact, as your impromptu Jedi Master, I'm making that an order." Vos said to Savage. "Take the rest of the day. Live a little."

"Uh, that might be a little tricky seeing as I look like… this." Savage said waving all around himself.

"Actually," PROXY said as his training module powered down. "There may be a way to remedy that. Masters Revan, Riyo and Adam have been hard at work constructing spare Imager Cloakers for the two of you. After taking a look at my own holographic interface, they've found numerous improvements could be made to the rudimentary design Mistress Chuchi made a few months ago. There's no guarantee they're finished, but it couldn't hurt to ask."

"I suppose not." Asajj concluded as she rose from the couch. "...Thank you."

"That's what I'm here for." Revan said with a smile.

Asajj gave a quick one of her own before taking her leave through the kitchen towards the backdoor of the house. What she didn't count on was running into the very person she'd meant to see outside.

"Oh, hey!" Savage said caught of guard.

"Hi." Asajj replied just as awkwardly.

A few seconds passed with the two standing between each other, but looking off to the side as if to avoid staring each other down. Until they both abruptly turned back simultaneously.

"Look, I wa-"

"Listen, I-"

Both stopped just as quickly. "You first." Savage said to her.

"I.. I was wondering if you'd maybe… want to go out and get some fresh air?" Asajj asked.

"Ye-yeah, that'd be great." Savage answered.


"No, yeah. I, uh, just finished a training session with Vos just now and I could use a few moments. Oh! But first we should maybe go visit-"

"Riyo and Adam?" Asajj finished.

"...Yeah. How'd you… know?" He said while turning back to face Vos and PROXY standing in view of the screen window, while Asajj did the same towards a still sitting Revan.

"Pure coincidence?" She said to him while giving the ancient former Sith and Jedi an irate look.

"Or maybe just bad luck." Savage replied while glaring at Vos and PROXY.

"Believe it or not, it's both of those." Vos replied with a shrug.

Both the former Sith Acolytes took a few moments before they turned back to face each other.

"Shall we?" Savage said extending and open hand.

"I think we shall." Asajj responded taking it with her own.

The Dathomirian twosome strode out the backdoor hand in hand, not even giving the Jedi Master or Holodroid a second glance.

Vos and PROXY looked to each other for a brief moment, before they each turned towards Revan still sitting nonchalantly in the living room. "Wha.. What just happened?" Vos called.

Revan simply shrugged. "I dunno either."

Monday, February 14th, 2011, 4:00 PM (Pantoran Personal Shuttle)

A piece of metal covering was carefully removed from the deactive lightsaber and placed at the far of the workbench. Riyo grabbed a small flashlight and started scanned the inner wires, just as the door to the craft had opened as Asajj and Savage walked in.

"Sorry, is now a bad time?" Asajj asked.

Riyo placed the flashlight down to give her guests proper attention. "Not at all. Anything you guys need?"

"We, uh, heard from our resident holodroid that you were working a few new Image Cloakers for our use." Savage said to her. "I don't suppose they're ready for a test run?"

Riyo gave off a confident smile. "Actually," She said getting up and walking towards a cabinet on the adjacent side of the room. "As luck would have it, we just put the finishing touches on them yesterday." The top drawer opened as the Pantoran woman pulled out two black devices ending in long curved rubber loops. "We wanted to go for something more functional than a hair piece this time around. Adam came up the the idea of basing them off of something called a "Bluetooth set." Something that connects to a cell phone and allows you to answer calls without even touching the device."

Riyo handed them to the two Dathomirians whom quickly put them on.

"Kind of sounds pointless without a phone." Asajj commented.

"Which is why these models also double as communicators." Riyo explained. "As far as anyone will know, you'll just be answering calls like anyone else. Oh, I also took the liberty of programming your human disguises. I hope you guys don't mind."

"Eh, so long as I'm still just as good-looking." Savage jokingly responded.

"Ignore him." Asajj said with an eyeroll. "No, we're fine with whatever you've set up. How do we activate them?"

"Press and hold the button for three seconds, and that should do the trick." Riyo answered.

"Well," Savage said with his hands gestured towards Asajj. "Ladies first."

"Very gentlemanly of you." She answered. "But let's both hold at the same time. Saves more time that way."

"Heh, as you wish, my dear. Just make sure not to stare for too long."

"Hold yourself to your own standards."

A cough from their left signaled to let them know that Riyo still occupied the room. "Sometime before midnight might be appreciated."

Looking to each other, they shared a brief nod before pressing the buttons of their respective pieces, holding down as the devices powered up with a familiar high-pitched whine. The also recognizable sound given off when PROXY shifted form was heard quickly trailed by a bright flash that bathed the room for a split second.

Where the Dathomirian and Zabrak once stood were now a fair skinned woman appearing in her mid to late thirties with shoulder length black hair and dark chocolate eyes next to a dark skinned bald man with grayish green eyes.

Both turned to face each other and simply stood for a moment drinking in their mutual appearances.

"Well, how is it?" Asajj's voice said from the woman's mouth.

"Amazing…" Savage uttered. "Oh, except for the mole under your chin."

"Wait, what?!"


She quickly responded by playfully batting the man's arm. "Not funny, and you know it."

"Your smile says otherwise." Riyo commented with raised eyebrows.

"Riyo, as your friend and compatriot, I ask that with all due respect, please shut the Hell up." Asajj said to her.

"Just making up for lost time with all the playful jabs you had towards Adam and me." Riyo replied.

"Alright, so what do I look like?" Savage asked.

"Well, you've got two eyes, same amount of ears, one nose and mouth, not sure on the amount of teeth-"

"Ya know, if you're shooting for payback, I can safely say you can do way better than this." Savage said sounding semi amused.

"Alright, fine. If I'm being honest, you sort of remind me of Mace Windu." Asajj answered honestly.

"Huh…" Savage uttered whilst feeling around his head for any familiar extrusions, only to find a clean smooth surface of skin under his hands. "Feels… kind of weird. But I guess I'll grow used to it. Which reminds me, how am I not feeling my horns right now?"

"That would be the internal sensor regulators." Riyo answered. "They're currently tricking your neurological synapses into thinking you're really bald. Though I would advise against coming into contact with any energy based entities like blaster fire and the like. We haven't worked out what kind of side effects will happen yet, but nerve-damage might be among them."

"Duly noted." Asajj replied. "Anything else left?"

"No, I think that's just about it." Riyo answered. "Except that you might want to pick out a less conspicuous name to use while you're like that. My name might now draw too many Star Wars fans' heads, but Asajj Ventress is a little too well known."

"Good point." Asajj said with her hand cupped to her chin. "How does.. Amy Verity sound?"

"Hmm… familiar to me, but it'll convince everyone else, and that's what matters." Riyo answers.

"Well I think it sounds lovely." Savage said. "I think I'll go with… Steve O'Brien."

"Ah, clever choice there." Asajj complimented. "Sounds unassuming, yet almost like you're hiding in plain sight."

"Well, I am a wanted man, after all." Savage said confidently."And outlaws tend to flock together."

"Ok, if Asajj says "Dead or Alive, you're coming with me," I will leave right then and there." Riyo says in an almost exasperated tone.

"I….. no comment." Asajj replies. "But we should probably get going before it gets dark. Thanks so much, Riyo."

"None are needed. I'm only sorry it took us this long. Now go, you guys have fun!" Riyo said as they began to leave. "Ah! But not too much fun."

"Hold yourself to your own standards, Senator." Savage snidely remarked just as the door closed.

Riyo scoffed slightly as she quietly muttered "I wish." before shortly returning to her previous work on her lightsaber. Only for her comlink to start beeping. With a small groan, she scooped it up and pressed the button to answer whom she predicted was calling her.


"Hey, you have a minute? There's something I'd kind of like to show you." Adam's voice said to her.

"Can it wait a few minutes? I was kind of in the middle of something." Riyo said a little annoyed.

"A few minutes and they might get too cold." Adam replied.

"Wait, what are you talking about?"

"Come and see!" Adam exclaimed in a sing-songy voice.

With a roll of her eyes, Riyo got up from her seat and said "Be right there." before shutting the comlink down and making her way out of the ship.

The door to Adam's room was left wide open, as Riyo quickly noted heading down the hall connecting to it.

"So what was so important that you had to be so cryptic abo-"

Her words were caught dead within her throat as she looked to see a moderately nice dinning room table set between the bed and desk of the room covered in a pure white tablecloth. Also upon the table, she noticed two unlit wax candles held in metal stands standing between two plates of still steaming exotic looking food. At the far head of the table sat her boyfriend with a small yet confident smile.

Riyo blinked at least five times before finding the courage to speak again. "...Wow…. I.. kind of feel like an unonditchd right now."

"Hmm, wouldn't go that far." Adam answered. "Sidious is a bitch. Paris Hilton, a goddamn bitch. You? "Gundulkassi" is a more fitting descriptor."

With an amused hum, Riyo made her towards her seat. "Goddess, huh?"

"Ohp! Almost forgot!" Adam said quickly getting up. He quickly made his way over to the chair next to Riyo and pulled it out to where enough room was available for her.

"Ah, would have been a real amateurish mistake for me to make." He said before extending a hand towards the chair.

With a small giggle, Riyo took her seat just as the young man returned to his. "I'm actually impressed. I don't recall ever teaching you the word for goddess in Ancient Pantoran. Studying after class?"

Adam gave a light chuckle. "Wenu beluug kubwe bamshisga kaat kaipow okaich umzhurt mii aum uzayin uko eztand ninen myan inilnd kis ist (You would be surprised at how much effort I am willing to expend when my mind is set.)

Riyo's eyebrows were raised at levels she didn't think were possible for her species after what her boyfriend had said. "Hst mbayd. Hst mbayd kaat kol, myan upenve. Husf oyaf lalee amneds mii ngokikly dh'fwnt khumbur okufuchng wenu. Nagauw onja ckusoe: we'kre ijy kio hewun esmil." (Not bad. Not bad at all, my love. Half of those words I certainly don't remember teaching you. Though one critique: you're way too damn formal.)

"Ika myan uldinziv, silupivsho ika aon ezautr uligha kre aon kandigo oluguck uko ekufahs nah kupoul aon kandigo esikus aon ngwikee uko isifity." Adam said with a short shrug. (In my defense, abbreviations in a different language are a little tricky to grasp with only a little past a week to study.)

"They really aren't that different from any Earth based ones. You just need to know what to say." Riyo replied. "But right now, I say we should take your own advice and eat this meal you've prepared before it gets too cold."

"Which reminds me." Adam then said. "Better complete the atmosphere." Reaching over towards the candle nearest to Riyo, his fingers snapped two times across the two wicks, each time giving off a small spark of electricity which set them a lit.

"You're not ever going to get tired of doing that, are you?" Riyo asked smiling.

"Never." He answered with a smirk.

The Pantoran Jedi in training proceeded to cut a piece of her meal with the fork and knife provided. Upon tasting it, her eyes lit up accompanied by a satisfied hum in her mouth. She then quickly swallowed before speaking again. "Is this what I think it is?"

"That depends; does it taste as good as any other krakana fillet you've had in the past?" Adam countered.

"No way! How did you even get this? It wasn't Ahsoka, was it? I'm touched that you remembered, but if you had to call her just for a seafood run,"

"Actually, as luck would have it, the galley on Vos' ship just so happened to have some they could spare for such an occasion. I DID have to alter the sauce though. It's an alfredo used in a number of different seafood dishes." Adam said as he took a bite of his own.

"Well, I'd call it an unqualified success. It compliments it right down to the letter." Riyo said happily. "You really pulled out all the stops for this."

"Well, I had plenty of motivation. I kind of wanted the first Valentine's Day I spent with you to be perfect." Adam said. "A perfect day for a most perfect woman."

Riyo's eyes began to blink a few times as her gaze became prefixed off to the side of the room. Feelings of dread and anxiousness that had been recalled hours earlier came rushing back to the forefront of her mind. And it wasn't something Adam didn't pick up on.

"Hey.. everything ok?" He asked with genuine concern.

"Yeah I-... no, actually. Everything is not ok." She said as frustration as well as fear began to take hold.

"What's wrong?"

"It's about what you said earlier, your wanting to leave this world. Are you sure you'll be happier living so far away from home?" She asked.

"Riyo…" Adam began "I feel like-"

"Yes, I know!" She said standing up from her seat."You feel like your world is set to destroy itself and you want to find a better one that won't. One that doesn't have as many of the problems here. But let me be the first to inform you that there's a very high chance you'll just be running away to a slightly different looking Earth with all of the same dilemmas and pains… including yours!"

"...What?" He uttered.

(Suggested Track: Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep - Aqua's Theme)

Riyo looked away, blinking several times once more before looking Adam dead in the eye and continuing.

"Asperger's exists in my galaxy. It goes by a different name, but all the symptoms are the same as they are here. In some way, you should feel grateful for this. If this didn't exist where I'm from, you'd be running away to a place that has even less of an understanding than the planet you're so desperate to leave. I know you grew up seeing it as a fantastic, futuristic paradise filled with adventure and excitement all around, but I would hope that the time we've spent together, what you've gone through as a result has shown you just how lucky you are sometimes living away from all of that." As Riyo continued, her blinking began to yield tears. "You think living with Asperger's here is Hell? Try dealing with it while juggling the fate and well being of your entire people as well as barely making it out alive sometimes!"

Realization flashed in his eyes upon hearing those words. "..You too? But you've neve-"

"Shown any signs? Maybe not as acutely as others, no, but years ago, Adam… I was in virtually the exact same shoes. I couldn't focus in school, I liked things other children grew out of by a certain age, and at every chance that came, they went out of their way to let that be known to me. You only had spit shoved in your ear once. Imagine being carried out by four or five of those kinds of people and thrown into the rain before getting pelted by it straight from their mouths! You say I'm a "perfect woman." For the longest time, I grew up thinking I didn't even come close."

As tears continued to roll down her face, short sniffles were heard coming from Riyo's nose and mouth. Her fear of being rejected once her troubled past was brought to light became more and more real with every second that she heard no response from Adam.

If only she had opened her eyes, she would have seen him beginning to let out tears of his own. She would have instead not mistook him getting up from his chair for deciding to just leave, but instead would have seen him slowly advance towards her and gently place his hands around her trembling shoulders.

As she let out a surprised gasp, he quickly pulled her into a firm, yet loving embrace. His arms wrapped around her while she leaned her head upon the space between his right shoulder and neck, still crying all the while.

They stood like this for at least several minutes, with either not saying a word. Finally, Adam loosened his grip on her whilst whispering "Hey."

As Riyo slowly looked up to face him, he gently cupped the right side of her face with his respective hand.

"This changes nothing, alright?" He said calmly and softly. "You are still the brilliant, funny, kind, strong and brave woman I've fallen in love with. I won't let anyone tell me any different, so don't you dare tell yourself that. Look at what you've done. Everything you've accomplished, all the lives of people you've helped change for the better, my own included. Riyo… I'm still trying to figure what someone like me did to deserve ending up with someone like you."

At a true loss for words, Riyo responded in the only way she could think to something so heartfelt and honest. She kissed him. In probably the most passionate and vigorous way she had yet. The two embraced each other once more as they continued and not so terribly gracefully flopped onto the bed. One of the figures above them on the nightstand, one of Ripjaws from Ben 10, fell over from the shift in weight right onto the brown haired young man's head.

"Oh!" Riyo cried out. "Sorry! I know how much you hate those getting moved!"

To her surprise, he simply gave a short laugh and plucked the humanoid fish figure from his head and dropped it to the floor without so much as a look to it. "Screw the piece of plastic." He replied. "It's got nothing on you."

(Suggested Track: Pokémon X/Y - B/W Emotion theme HD (Official))

With a loving, yet hungry looking smile, Riyo continued kiss fest upon her boyfriend. Her hands slowly made their way down his neck, past his chest and to the button of his jeans. What she didn't expect was to find his hand gently overlapping hers before she could undo it.

"Riyo… I.." He said in a somewhat shaky voice.

"Still not ready yet?" She asked.

"I… I don't know why. Maybe I'm nervous, maybe it's sense of perfect timing that I subconsciously want… but…"

Riyo responded by placing her own gentle palm aside his face. "Hey. Don't worry about it. I want it to be perfect too. If that means waiting a little while, then I can certainly do that. Provided, of course, you don't bring the cassette tape with us when it happens."

"Hey, you laughed at it!" Adam said with a smirk.

"I laughed at it because it was so absurd and came out of nowhere." Riyo answered.

"And that is what made it funny."

"Whatever you say." She said snuggling up to him.



"Do you… mind if I ask you something?"


"About.. Well, your diagnosis. If it's not a sensitive topic."

"No, no. It's fine, really. What would you like to know?" She responded calmly.

"For starters… when was it first confirmed?" Adam asked.

"Wow, might be a little tricky. Um… I think I was 7, maybe 8. It was after my grandfather had died. I started waking up in the middle of the night and couldn't fall back to sleep. It was as if my mind was just.. Racing with thoughts that couldn't slow down. After about a little under a week, it's hard for me to remember the exact number of days, my parents took me to the doctor, did a full scan, and after getting a second opinion from a psychologist, they confirmed I had the disability."

Adam's eyes widened. "You- you were only 7 or 8 when you first went through that? That only started for me when I was in High School."

"Unfortunately. Though I didn't start out with medication just then. My parents immediately sought more natural ways to calm the mind. Herbal teas, calming music, in fact, I should have caught on to my father's past as a Jedi when he taught me meditation techniques direct from their Order. For a time, they worked… until I turned 14. That's when the teasing and bullying from others got worse. So much so that I even had to-"

"Leave school for a while?" Adam finished.

Riyo turned to face her boyfriend and looked right into his eyes. "..Yes."

"I had to do that too when I started not sleeping. I was 16. I felt like my mind was falling apart and that I was somehow going insane. For a time, I felt almost subhuman. I'll never forget on one of those rather tough days when some random asshole drives behind my bus just as I'm getting off and shouts "You're a freak!" I'm pretty sure it was someone from my school."

"Oh, Adam…" Riyo said softly yet sadly.

"Well, nothing I can do about it. The jackass had probably long since graduated by now. Still hurts though. That year wasn't all bad though. That was the year I finally beat Knights of the Old Republic 1 AND 2, and probably even better… when I first learned about you. The first episode with you in it debuted in January of that year."

"The same month as my birthday?" Riyo asked.

"The same day if you can believe it. It'd be even weirder if your birthday was on the same day as the actual mission." Adam mused.

Riyo scoffed. "It'd have been one crappy birthday if that were the case. No, my mission came two months after that. Right when my social awkwardness decided to kick back in and where I could sleep all during it. It was a miracle I didn't faint from the shear stress and exhaustion of it."

Adam looked back to her. "Wait… you said two months after your birthday?"

"Uh.. yeah. That'd place it in-"

"March… that's the same month I started having trouble not sleeping."

"Do… do you remember what week?" Riyo asked.

"I think… it was the first week." Adam answered.

"Adam… that was the exact same time the mission to Orto Plutonia took place."

Both the two young adults simply started at each other in shock.

"You… you don't suppose…" Adam began. "With us both being mute to the Force at the time…."

"Like what?" Riyo asked.

"I don't know. That maybe we were… somehow calling out to each other. Vos says he likes to think of the Force as a giant nervous system that connects all that feel it."

"But we didn't feel it at the time." Riyo pointed out. "So how does that make any sense?"

"Does it making any less sense than us both not sleeping at virtually the exact same time period?"

Riyo lay there silent for a moment taking in his words. "No… I suppose it doesn't."

Adam's arms then begin to wrap around Riyo's stomach in a gentle embrace. "Though I'm sure about one thing." He said softly

"And what's that?" She asked.

"Us sharing this… our experiences… it's made me love you even more than ever."

Riyo leaned her head back to rest comfortably within his neck. "Couldn't agree more."

End of Ch 25.

Quick update, just to keep you informed on something. I've been feeling... pretty horrible as of late. That period of time I mentioned in story where I couldn't sleep and feel like I'm going insane... that's happening right now. It's even gotten to the point where I feel it's affecting the quality of the story. I apologize for that. Right now is a very trying an difficult time for me as I'm being treated for what I'm almost CERTAIN is depression along with OCD and anxiety. Add that with my Asperger's and some kind of irrational anger that's come about as of late and I feel worse than virtually ANY TIME I've gone through problems like these. It really does feel like I've transformed into just an undesirable and bad person. So if I happen to stop posting for a long period of time, it's probably because I'm going through... all of that.

Once again, a BIG shout-out to 117Jorn for helping for writing his character as well as part of Revan's dialogue.

Anyways, next chapter is the one I promised in Ch 24. It'll come at some point, I promise.

JAC :/