Categories > Games > Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Nothing Like I Expected

by SinnedAria 1 review

Bastila reflects on recent puzzling events.

Category: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst, Romance - Characters: Bastila Shan, Revan - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006-02-21 - Updated: 2006-02-21 - 2757 words

Originally written for kfm@lj's Valentine's Day contest.

A quiet sigh curled from her lips, mingling with the tension inherent in the air. She sat down, settling her hands in her lap, then shifted her weight in minor irritation. It wasn't as if this was an interview. Why was she being so formal? Yet she found she could not relax her pose, even as she leaned forward to thumb at a switch on a mounted holo-recorder, she was stiff and practiced. With one last glance at the closed door behind her, Bastila Shan flicked the switch and took a deep breath.

I never intended for any of this to happen. Any of it. From training as a Jedi to... well to what's happened now. I'm sorry. I sound terribly bitter, don't I? I know now why things have happened this way, at least most things. I am the only one to be held responsible for my actions. I can't blame you any longer.

I suppose a part of me wishes... well, that's not important right now. In part I wish I could be speaking to you in person, face to face. Yet I wonder if I could say all of this, were you truly there to pass your judgment.

Do we always lose our way like this, I wonder? And when all is said and done, can we find our way back? I'm being far too philosophical, I know. Yet I question myself. If I had not been the one to preserve Revan's life on that bridge - had I not been the one the council chose to keep him on the path of the light, would I ever have come back to you at all?

I've been accused of being willful and obstinate, unrelenting and passionate. I know now how susceptible these emotions make me to the taint of the dark side. But sometimes... sometimes I wish I could only be human, a slave to these traits. Where my actions affect only my life, not the fate of the entire galaxy.

I suppose I have always questioned myself in this way. Yet lately, it's been devastatingly clearer that there are some answers I need, for myself and for no one else. That's why I'm recording this, though I doubt I'll ever send it. Something can be said for speaking to someone without actually... speaking to them.

I would say you know me, but you don't. I don't mean that in the way it sounds, just that there's no way you could. Yet I wonder sometimes, were you the same way? I always loathed you so much, held you in such contempt. The thought that you could be anything like me never crossed my mind. Until he pointed it out.

Even in my younger years I was never one of those women who thought she was missing something that some significant other could fill. My time was more valuable than that, quite frankly. Perhaps that's why I progressed so quickly. When Revan first came through the Academy, older than myself, he earned my respect as a superior. He would turn a charming smile to girls my age and they would lose all sense of what made them self-sufficient, clinging to him as though he were the crutch they could not live without. It sickened me, and don't jump to conclusions. I wasn't jealous. I was disappointed. They were worth more than some man with a smile and an arm to hold onto, despite his power and prowess. At least I knew I was worth more.

That's why I'm... so surprised and repulsed by my actions of late. What have I become, quivering at the subtle breath of wit and charm, a scoundrel's tools. I wish I could just say it was that - a moment of weakness, an ember sparked from so long of being closed-off and distant - call myself a bloody fool and be done with it. But if it were only that... Force, I would loathe myself. To succumb to such a man... it's unthinkable.

There's more to it than that, I know this now. In some ways it's soothing, to know I haven't fallen to the most basic lures, yet I still tread dangerous ground. At first, he was the same as he ever was - overconfident in every ability he possessed. He tossed credits to those in need, but it all seemed too easy. Anyone with a shred of decency and compassion in their heart would see fit to take pity on such people. Empathy does not make a Jedi, and I wondered if he would be prepared for what lay ahead.

On Taris he was insufferable, and just like any other man I'd met. I admit I may have been somewhat hard on him at first - had he and the budding crew of the Ebon Hawk not distracted Brejik and his men, I might have had a slightly longer time of it - but I would have easily gotten myself out of that situation when it was convenient to do so. It was a quicker means to an end, though. I needed to find him or risk halting the mission before it even began. And any ill treatment he received from me was well-warranted; he was a smooth-talker who was used to getting his way, in this life and the previous. He needed to be firmly reminded that the galaxy did not revolve around him.

He was the same Revan I always knew on Dantooine, arrogant yet eager-to-please. No wonder he had always gained such favor. When I spoke of our bond in the Force, that smile I hated so much plastered itself on his face and he cooed at me, ridiculously expecting me to drop to my knees and claim I was not strong enough to support myself without his help. His humor had a time and place, but it would not be at my expense.

I was ready to tell Master Vandar that this mission was destined to fail. That even if he somehow managed to adopt a serious demeanor, his arrogance and assumptions would lead him back to the dark side, above anything I could possibly do to keep him on the light. It's prideful of me to admit, but I didn't want to be his keeper if he was going to act in such a manner.

Yet he caught me on my way back to the Academy. I was expecting some drivel about the Dantooine night, the beauty of the moon and the stars, some casually amorous line on the step toward conquest, but it never came. I could feel his fear through the bond, even though his features remained generally impassive as he questioned me about the Council's intent and destiny. He was afraid of failing. Afraid they had placed their trust in someone unworthy.

I never spoke to Master Vandar.

We left for Kashyyk the next morning and I couldn't help hoping I was not giving him enough credit. Perhaps there was more to him than I realized. Perhaps he was capable of the Council's plan. And then it occurred to me, strange that it had never truly crossed my mind before. What if I was incapable of the Council's plan?

Finding Jolee only served to further my doubts. Especially when I remember visibly wincing as the ancient system deep in the Shadowlands recognized the 'young' Jedi who was under my instruction; recognized Revan, and he turned to look at me, silently asking why. He must have felt my uneasiness, and I tried to play by his reactions, saying I was unsure. He let it go at that, thankfully, congenially accepting it as coincidence. It amazed me just how trusting he could be, and I remember feeling the first stirrings of guilt within me for misleading him. Still, it was what had to be done, for the greater good.

We gained access to the Star Map shortly after, and Carth, suddenly on a time schedule, urged us to get moving. Perhaps it was the nature of the Shadowlands. In truth it made us all a little on edge, even Jolee who had learned to live there. Revan - I suppose I shouldn't call him that, at this point in time, but I never could bring myself to use his adopted persona's name - in any case, he insisted otherwise. We would see our assistance to the wookiees through, and in the end, help Freyyr toward a path of freedom. And more importantly, restore Zalbaar's dignity.

He never told me why we returned to Dantooine after that, but I suppose it was a good thing. Carth informed us later that we narrowly avoided a formation of Sith fighters flying an intercept path. Could he have known...? Is he still so in tune with them that he can feel their very presence? He is always the first to activate his lightsaber, and I can feel something within him stirring...

In any case, he couldn't have known what else we would encounter on Dantooine. A woman approached me, saying she knew you. I admit I froze. I felt like a little girl again, as she informed us you were ill and wishing to speak to me, on Tatooine. I didn't know what you were to me at that moment. I'm not even sure I knew who you were. My instinct was to tell the woman I would have no part in it. I hated you for playing games with me; for taking me away from Father.

I suppose I must have looked different, somehow contemplative. But of course, I sometimes forget the strength of our bond; that which links our thoughts and emotions. He fell in step with me on the way back to the Hawk. I expected... well, I expected typical Revan. Intrusive and boorish, even if laden with intent to help. The man that approached me, however, seemed almost like a boy, and nearly as helpless as I felt. His gaze was downcast, and he calmly asked me what was on my mind.

What first tumbled out was... oh, something like "It's nothing, I'm fine". Something cold and distant. I cringed when I felt it threaten to escape my thoughts. He was genuinely trying to be helpful, without trying to be smooth. So I told him how I felt, disoriented words and all. It's... been a long time since I've done that. Not since being out in the field with Father. But then, what does a child truly have to guard against?

He was quiet, yet receptive. I could feel his energy in a light, soothing hum as he walked just a bit closer to me.


"I was going to tell Carth to chart a course for Tatooine." He stopped, and I found myself stopping beside him. "But there are two other planets revealed by the Star Map, and as far as I can tell, the order is inconsequential. What do you think we should do?"

He hadn't directly said what was on his mind, and for that I'm glad. Even if it was just the two of us speaking.

"No, it would be impractical to head to Manaan or Korriban at this point. They are far more distant worlds to our culture, and I fear we are not as informed as we need to be to properly face them."


What a poor answer that was.

But again, he didn't press it. We stepped back on board the Hawk and left almost immediately for Tatooine.

You know most of this bit, so I won't babble on about specifics. But it was Revan who found Father's holocron in the back of that krayt cave. Carth and I were searching the junction between the walls and the floor for loose rock formations, possible hosts to crystals. We had what we'd come for, but it would be a waste to leave without the cave's resources. And in the back of my mind, I knew I would turn over every fleck of stone to find any remnant of my father.

Revan was with us initially, but at some point he broke away, and when I glanced over, he was bent low to the ground, smoothing dirt away from some object. His shoulders slumped just the slightest, and he stood slowly. His discomfort was evident, and even without the bond, I knew exactly what he'd found. His sullen eyes beckoned me closer, and I gingerly reached out my hand for what he held. I'll never forget the pain of that moment, just holding it in my hand. All at once I wanted to run just as far I could out into the desert, yet my own legs grounded me and I was unable to move at all.

I must have been staring at it, standing in a stiff pose. I felt something touch my arm, just above the wrist, and looked down to see his hand over mine. He caught my gaze in one of silent empathy, and I knew I could not pretend to be alone in all of this, as I'd tried to do all of my life.

We returned to Anchorhead in near silence. I admit my emotions got the better of me. I wanted to hate you for what I believed you did to Father. I didn't see why you deserved such an important piece of him when you did not love him as much as I. As I stood outside the cantina, caught in internal strife, Revan was jesting with Carth, trying to lighten the mood. He was back to his old tricks, using humor as a misplaced and inadequate substitute for true compassion. I was ready to tuck the holocron into my pack and just walk away, but as soon as Carth headed off, he was at my side.


"Do you want to talk?"

It was a casual question to match his casual stance as he leaned against the side of the cantina, hands folded lazily over his chest. I was quick to infuriate.

"If you're looking to crack some sort of joke that will make this all go away, please, just forget it."

He was quiet for some time. So quiet, in fact, that I looked over at him. His expression was unreadable, but I could feel a soft sort of thoughtfulness in him.

"Have you ever wondered what it must be like?" He turned to look at me, his light green eyes not dancing with the amusement I had seen earlier, but with a cautious sort of wonder.

"What do you mean?"

"What it must be like, to just worry about our own problems - big, small, crushing - to be able to sit for a moment and just be free to handle our own emotions."


My immediate defense flag must have misfired; I never had the chance to spout off some drivel about how we do what we must as Jedi. My heart just wasn't in it, and I was honestly shocked that he knew that.

He gently pushed toward what I was feeling inside. To speak to you, and find out why you wanted the holocron. I am almost certain now, I would not have done it on my own, and yet I would still regret it.

I wonder though. What did you say to him, when you pulled him aside? He gave a shy smile, the likes of which I'd never seen before, and something far more common; a charming wink. Well. No matter now. Best to not even consider it.

I suppose that brings us closer to where I am now. Though where that is exactly... I'm uncertain. Do mothers and daughters talk about these sorts of things? Am I even speaking to you as my mother, or perhaps just someone who might know what it's like... to be me.

I'm not asking for your advice. As I said, it's very likely I'll erase this as soon as it's done recording. I may be inexperienced, but I'm not blind. I've seen the way he's looked at me. Not such a lecherous gaze as in Taris, but something softer now. Not too soft. Just tender.

I've made my decision, for what it must be. I just never imagined it would be this... difficult. I must say, he's nothing like I expected.

Bastila leaned over and flicked the switch on the holo-recorder, shutting down its systems. Her finger hovered over a single button for several moments, until finally she pushed it in. "Message Deleted", it flashed, and then was blank.
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