A/N: I wrote this one years ago, found it in the abysmal depths of my hard drive and decided I liked it still, silly and sentimental as it is. Enjoy!
Brianna stepped off the freighter's ramp and looked around the small docking area. Everything looked just as she remembered, but at the same time it seemed somehow different. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. Yes, it had changed. The smell of death, the echoes of deserved anger, the nurtured resentment that had seemed a part of Dantooine for ages were all gone. There was still a faint trace of sadness, but without desperation about it.
She breathed in again. The planet was alive. She could almost hear it sing through the Force. For the first time in the years since stopping the Sith threat it finally seemed to be at peace.
She heard footsteps behind her and turned her head to look at the older elegant man carrying her not-so-heavy luggage.
"This is it, Master Kae," he said smiling under his trimmed grey moustache. "I hope your time here is well spent."
Brianna took the bag with some hesitation. "I'm sure it will be, Captain. May the Force be with you."
She returned the smile as he saluted her in an old-fashioned military way. When he disappeared inside the ship she headed towards Khoonda.
The renewed building looked impressive in late afternoon sunlight. For some reason the sight reminded her of her mission and Brianna shuddered inside, both with anxiety and anticipation. How would she tell him? How-
She slowly turned in the voice's direction, still feeling slightly awkward when being addressed by her new title. Administrator Adare greeted her, looking pleasantly surprised. "We did not expect you this early. One of the Militia informed me that you arrived, but we
had no Republic ships scheduled for docking today."
"I arrived aboard a passenger freighter," Brianna explained. "My visit here is unofficial."
This was only partly a lie, the Echani woman thought, realizing with embarrassment that her visit on Dantooine was more private than she wanted to admit, even to herself.
"Of course," the Administrator smiled. "I hope you have a pleasant stay. I'll have a landspeeder take you to the Enclave at once."
So much has changed, Brianna reflected as the speeder took off and landscape began to rush past her. The Jedi were once again starting to be respected and she knew well who the credit for this should go to. The memory of him made her cheeks flush and she subconsciously adjusted her plain grey robes. They were now closer to each other than ever, but what did that mean exactly? They rarely discussed anything other than current political affairs and matters concerning the new Order. Not to mention her frequent absence from the planet.
She sighed and glanced around her, taking in the vast grassy plains bathed in orange glow. They were both Masters now, meaning they had to dedicate themselves to the Order if it was ever to be fully rebuilt. It was not the time or place to let personal feelings get in the way, but-
Brianna repressed another sigh. She couldn't keep lying to herself. It felt good to be here again. Telos had been her home her entire life, but returning to Dantooine always felt right. Like this was where she really belonged - in the Enclave, by his side.
The speeder slowed down and eventually came to a halt breaking her trance. She thanked the driver, a young militia, who offered to carry the bag for her and walked the remaining distance to the Jedi Enclave.
She saw him almost instantly - a tall robed figure standing by the central fountain. It seemed like he was expecting her, which she knew he was. His long blond hair streamed in the gentle evening breeze. Brianna absently stroked her own boyish haircut and suddenly felt very nervous.
The man smiled as she approached him. It was a charming, warm, contagious smile that no woman could stay unaffected by.
"Welcome home, Master Kae," he said with a bow.
"Mical," she smiled back uncertainly, only a little surprised by his choice of words, and squeezed his hands in a friendly welcoming gesture. For a moment the only audible sound around them was the lop of the fountain. Mical was the first one to speak.
"I had the most curious vision last night. I saw a sunset, very much like this one," he gestured to the orange-and-purple clouds adorning the horizon. "And while I was looking at it I heard your voice." He paused and looked at her questioningly. "You said: "Tomorrow the sun will rise.""
Brianna nodded, again not surprised by this revelation. "We have much to discuss," she said.
"Let us come inside. You must be tired," Mical replied offering her his arm. She laughed heartily as her bag suddenly came to life and followed after them floating in the air. She glanced up at Mical's face, always so focused and serene, noticing an unfamiliar spark in his blue eyes. Her heart skipped a few beats as their gazes met and she quickly looked away.
"Who is watching over the Academy in your absence?" Mical asked breaking the uncomfortable silence as they walked.
"Bao-Dur," she responded, "although he wasn't happy about having to leave the Restoration Project, even for a few weeks."
Mical chuckled, then frowned. "A few weeks?" he repeated. "I… I was hoping your stay here would be longer this time."
Brianna looked abashed. "I would love to stay, but you know that my duties on Telos-"
"Yes. Yes, forgive me," he said quickly. "It was foolish of me to suggest that."
Brianna bit her lip, lost in thought. Neither of them said a thing until they entered the Enclave and reached the training room. Brianna peeked inside. It was empty.
"Where is Atton?"
Mical shrugged smiling lightly. "Who knows? Yesterday he took the children for a ride in the Ebon Hawk."
Brianna's eyes widened with disbelief. "And you let him?"
Mical opened the door to the Council chambers in front of her. "Why shouldn't I?" he asked genuinely surprised. "The students really like him. I have a feeling he will be a great teacher one day."
She shook her head as they entered the large round room. "He needs to grow up first."
"Where her methods really that different?" Mical asked, his voice suddenly distant. "Atton resembles her in many respects, even more so now than when she was with us."
Brianna lowered her head listening to the truth in his words. Now was the best time, she decided.
She looked Mical in the eyes as they both took a seat. "You are right," she admitted. "And I think this is something he would want to hear as well."
Mical blinked, not understanding.
Brianna took a deep breath, hardly able to contain her excitement. "While on Coruscant, I spoke with Admiral Onasi. He… he received news. From Revan."
Mical paled considerably. "You don't mean-" He paused seeing the smile tugging at the corner of her lips and jumped out of is chair. "She's returning!"
The world suddenly turned into a blur for Brianna as he took her up in his arms and started spinning around the chamber laughing. He let her go almost as suddenly and stepped back, his face red.
"I… I apologize," Mical stuttered as she tried to catch her breath. "This is the best news I've heard in months. Years even." He turned to her. "Can you believe it?"
"I don't know," she said quietly. "I don't know if I can."
He glanced at her puzzled. "Is everything all right?"
Brianna smoothed out her robes trying to regain her composure. "Of course," she said and cleared her throat. "Everything will be different now."
"Different?" Mical approached her again. "What do you mean? Surely, Revan and the Exile will help us, but-"
"You know what I mean!" she snapped, her icy-blue eyes suddenly dark with anger. She instantly regretted those words, but did not show it.
Mical grabbed her arms scanning her new expression, concern evident in his features. "Brianna, what are you trying to tell me?"
She sniffed and stared at him defiantly, the way she used to years ago, when they were younger. Younger and so much more naive. The irony of this irked her even more. "I have duties elsewhere," she said bitterly, her voice shaking. "I'm sure you won't need me
here anymore. I'm sure she can-"
Mical inhaled sharply, taken aback, not so much by her words, as by the immediate understanding. He grasped her trembling chin, tenderly but firmly forcing her to look at him. "After all we've been though, after all we've achieved together, how could anyone ever replace you by my side?"
Brianna's face was a mask of confusion when she crossed her gaze with his. She didn't know what to think. At that very moment she knew nothing but the fact that his touch felt good and his voice was soft and soothing.
"Don't you know?" Mical continued taking a step forward, pulling her closer. "Have you never felt it? You are the only presence in my mind, Brianna. It has always been you."
"But-" she managed. "It's not… we're not supposed to-"
He put a finger across her lips. "I know what you're going to say. But among all things she's taught us there is one I treasure most. A Jedi's heart is still a heart. It hurts and it loves. We can't deny it without losing a part of ourselves or growing arrogant." He stroked her cheek smiling gently. "If the Jedi who exiled your mother because she had dared to love could look upon your face now, they would realize the magnitude of their mistake."
Brianna gave up her internal struggle and instead surrendered completely to the feelings that flooded her - relief, gratitude, affection. It was true - she honored the face of her mother, and she would never desecrate her memory by denying her love for this man. Mical wrapped one arm around her waist, locking them in a tight embrace as their lips drew together and…
The door snapped open revealing Atton, dressed, surprisingly, in Jedi robes. He leant against the doorframe crossing his arms on his chest.
"Am I interrupting something?" he asked with a cheeky smile.
Mical didn't even bother to look at him.
"Yes, Atton. As a matter of fact you are."
Brianna spared the scoundrel a brief glance and looked back at Mical. "Shall we tell him?" she asked.
Mical smiled lowering his head to hers. "I don't think he's deserved it yet."
Then Atton disappeared, as did the world around them.