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Exodus Day - the Bathroom Sequence

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#21
Scherezade deWinter

Scherezade deWinter

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She screamed as he pulled her to the side, tried to wriggle out of his grip. Again came the memories, a very similar thing had happened between her and Gerwald, though she hadn't tried to stab Gerwald in anger. "You don't understand!" she yelled at him, still trying to wiggle free, still not calling on the Force, "I can't care!"


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#22
Josh Dragonsflame

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He kept his grip, letting out a sigh. “Breathe” He spoke gently. “Breathe, calm down. We’ll revisit this in a moment but I want you to breathe. I know you dark side types don’t do that much, but it’s good for you. Not like vegetable good for you, there’s no bitter taste” He spoke, lightly quipping toward the end.

 

“Honey, I’m an Echani, hand to hands our thing. I’m not letting go, so just breathe. I’m not going to let go and I’m not going to hurt you either. Once you relax, we can talk about why you can’t care. I don’t understand that statement well.”


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#23
Scherezade deWinter

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She didn't want to breathe. Every breath she took while she was awake hurt her to the very core, and she wasn't really sleeping these days either, her short of bursts of unconsciousness usually being solely because of her body giving up and shutting down. She had been a Warrior before she had been broken, but now she was just a wreck trying to throw punches she couldn't even properly land. "Why?!" she screamed, trying to add her knees as well. Always go for the family jewels, "Why do you want to talk all the time?! There's nothing to talk about!"


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#24
Josh Dragonsflame

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Bloody hell, she was stubborn. No matter what he said or what he did, she was convinced that because this one motherkarker used her and betrayed her, everyone was going to be that way. Was this what the others had to deal with when dealing with HIS stubbornness? Was this what he was like? Once again, he was staring into a mirror. A dark-sided, homicidal mirror but still a mirror.
 
Perhaps he should send Jyoti Nooran flowers.
 
But on top of that, if his hypothesis was correct... He was seeing the cold reality of life as a Sith, and life in the Confederacy. A cold, hard truth. When she would begin swinging at him, the Jedi held onto the one hand, using his free hand and arm to continuously block the other hand, keeping his senses out to gauge her next move. As she would bring her knees out, he would quickly lock his legs around her own, immobilizing them both. As he blocked the next blow, and held it there, Josh’s instincts would kick in - the instincts of a warrior that had kept him alive for so long. He would reel back, teeth grit to headbutt her as hard as he could. But humanity won out over instinct and he stopped.
 
Instead, Josh would shift his weight, undercutting them both as they would topple over. Immediately Josh would pin her down, both legs locked and his hand still pinning one of hers. As he moved his arm to keep blocked her other, he noticed the protocol droids advancing on them to intervene. Quickly holding out a palm, a fireball would charge in his hand and fire at the wall, sending them scattering.
 
“Leave us” He spoke. “Gather her clothing and prepare her bath.”
 
As the droids would leave, Josh would quickly finish pinning her down with both hands, pressing down against her to immobilize them both so they could talk. “Well, I find talking helps” He would finally answer. “You can talk to folks how you feel, talk out issues, come up with solutions...
 
Correct me if I’m wrong but... I get the impression that you’ve lived your life surrounded by people who have no interest in helping, and now that someone wants to, you have no clue what to do.”

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#25
Scherezade deWinter

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“You don’t know the first thing about my life,” she growled, pinned beneath him, still squirming like a fish, trying to get out. He was stronger with her, and she hadn’t missed the fireball. She still fought, she still struggled, both against him, and against herself. Would she be able to take him out if she showed him her full arsenal of abilities with the Force? Maybe. Would she be able to call on it? Less likely. Screaming, kicking, it was all no use. She didn’t know how long they were on the floor, but eventually, the life went out of her.

 

She lay limp beneath Josh, breathing hard, hating everything and everyone, and mostly herself.

 

“So let me correct your idiotic statement,” she finally said. But she was no longer growling. Instead her voice had turned soft, vulnerable. “My parents loved me. They adored me. Me and my twin brother. And when we were a year old, my grandmother kidnapped me and Brayden and separated us. This was before the Gulag happened, and I spent five hundred years in the Darkness, as a baby. And then six months ago I’m suddenly free and I’m sort of an adult, and Katrine… Katrine adopts me and tries to give me the family I don’t have anymore.” With that, she pushed him. Not with her hands. She had found the strength within her, sending a Force Push towards him, wanting him to move away. Needing him to move away.


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#26
Josh Dragonsflame

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Josh shook his head. "Yeah. I had a family, in the old Jedi Order. You know what they did? Pretended to love and care, but were never actually there to help. They just wanted to use me, make me a weapon, nothing else. They didn't give a damn about me. And the minute that treating me as inferior and casting me aside, stabbing me in the back, became what was convenient for them and what they wanted? They did it. I don't think I'd consider that a family" Josh pointed out.

 

"A decade and a half with them meant nothing.Now they're not family, they're just... Bad memories. And I see that now. It just... Took me some time."

 

"Also" Josh pointed out. "You don't remember chit from when you were a baby. Nobody does. I'm not sure if you've experienced help, or love, or... Any of that, really, when you describe this "family" you had. A family of people who betray you, and a Confederacy that views you as inferior. Is that, and has that ever been a family?" He asked, losing his grip on her and flipping up to his feet after the Force Push. She seemed to be at least calm enough.


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#27
Scherezade deWinter

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 “No…” she wanted to scream, but it came out as a whisper instead. She didn’t care for most of his words. He didn’t know what he was talking about. But there was one thing, one thing, that she would not let slide, would never let slide. Her hand reached forward as she sent the memories to him.

 

Scherezade was looking up from a crib. The crib was white and her twin brother was lying next to her. They were holding each other by the thumbs. A warm sun was shining into the room and there was a faint smell of mother’s milk. Her mother (Nessarose deWinter) appeared above her, youthful as always, the smile on her face wide and genuine, the glow of her green eyes casting a light of love and protection over her infants. Her father stood next to her, a protective arm around her mother’s shoulder. The twins were picked up and carried to where the rocking chair was. Her mother breast fed them as she and her father sung the sweetest of lullabies. A dark horse and a black owl appeared in the window, making sounds of encouragement.

 

The memory ended. It was one of many that she had.

 

“Don’t ever presume anything about my life,” Scherezade gasped, crying again, “I might not have had much of it, but I have memories of all I’ve had.”


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#28
Josh Dragonsflame

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Josh would take a deep breath, nodding his head as the memory would fade.

 

"I see" He spoke. "You're an interesting case. Almost nobody can remember like that as babies. It's not normal" He would explain. "Especially not a photogenic memory. I can remember some of when I was a few years old, but not past that."

 

He walked over and held out a hand to help her to her feet. "No. You're right. I don't know everything about you. But I do know you've suffered" He spoke softly. "And that you haven't had a real family in a long time. Not with the Confederacy, not with him and her, and it seems to have been so long that you look at attempts to help and you almost seem scared."


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#29
Scherezade deWinter

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"I'm terrified," she said after a long silence. Scherezade sighed. She didn't want to talk anymore. She didn't want to do anything anymore. She wanted to curl up and cry, die, whatever. Not this. She didn't want to be forced into talking about these things. It just hurt too much. One of the other protocol droids reappeared and she got off the floor to follow it. The bathroom provided by Tacitus wasn't far off, and it was big and lavish, just as she would have expected it to be if she'd thought about it. Whether Josh followed or not, she didn't care quite just yet as her clothes came off. No longer drunk, too sober to manage anything, and she still realized she reeked worse than a bantha in heat. A moment later she was sitting in the water, knees folded hugging herself. Her head was down and the tears flowed freely. She had nothing else to say.


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#30
Josh Dragonsflame

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He didn't follow. Instead, he stayed outside the room, leaned against a wall with his legs crossed in meditation as he allowed himself to calm down. While he would have come in if she had asked, but despite what they'd done before, which may make it strange he didn't follow, courtesy was courtesy. Consent had been given last time. It had not, as of yet, been given at that moment. But for now, he wanted to calm down. To be able to try and approach this with a cooler head.
 

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#31
Scherezade deWinter

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"ARE YOU KRAKKING KIDDING ME?!" came a loud scream from the bathroom, who knows how long after she had entered it. She had sat in the tub, she had cried some more, and eventually she had washed, soaped, rinsed, and all that jazz, only to realize that the droids had taken her clothes away and that she was left with a dress.

She stormed out of the bathroom, stark naked still dripping water from both skin and hair, looking around wildly. "Where are the droids! I want my clothes back! I'm not wearing a dress!"


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#32
Josh Dragonsflame

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The scream caused him to jolt awake, the Jedi having half fallen asleep from the time it'd been taking. Getting to his feet and letting out a yawn, he would watch as she would burst out the door, screaming about the droids having left her a dress. And he couldn't help it. He couldn't stop it. He had tried to, but he couldn't stop it.

 

".... AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

 

The Jedi absolutely lost it in hysterical laughter, leaning against the wall and almost crying from the sheer hilarity of it. "I can't in my wildest dreams imagine you in a dress, I can't!"


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#33
Scherezade deWinter

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She openly glared at him, no hint of amusement in her eyes. This was not funny. Dresses were made for women like Katrine. Girlie-girls, who spent time on looking good. She had worn dresses during her first few days, after she’s been broken out of the first run in the Darkness. She had found it uncomfortable. She had worn a dress only a week ago to attend a CIS wedding. The night had ended in disaster, with her breaking her own hands in the attempt to stop feeling the pain. Dresses were not a good thing. They were never a good thing. But she couldn’t show up naked either. Or walk naked to her ship. She’d die from the cold.

 

“Shut the krak up,” she snapped at him again, and went back to the bathroom. A moment later she re-emerged, still dripping wet, but with the dress on her body. At least the droids hadn’t taken her combat boots with them, so she put those on her feet. "I want to go home!" she said again. But her coat was gone as well, along with her knives.


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#34
Josh Dragonsflame

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He was definitely amused. He was very, very amused. As she returned with the dress on, his amusement only grew. "It looks good on you" He would tease, a rapidly widening grin spreading across his face as Josh knew full well that he was playing a dangerous game here. Though there was one thing he noticed, that needed to be taken care of.

 

"Well, I don't like wearing dress clothes either, so you're not alone there" Josh would admit as he would step forward, and once he did, he would wrap his arms around her, playing a finger up to her face to indicate she shouldn't stop him just yet. Taking a deep breath, the Jedi would squeeze a bit tighter, and the effects of mastered pyrokinesis, and prolonged, constant use became evident. His body was the equivalent to an electric blanket as her body would be enveloped with his heat. He then began to channel more heat, not enough to harm her, but enough to become fairly toasty, as she would begin to dry off, and the water dripping from her would begin to evaporate.

 

"You're going to catch a cold this way" He pointed out. "Were there no towels?"


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#35
Scherezade deWinter

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She wanted to push him off of her. She didn’t want to hear that she looked good in a dress. It didn’t matter whether she looked good or bad in one; what mattered was that she didn’t feel like herself in one. How was she supposed to face a banquet full of people that she knew didn’t like her when she didn’t even have herself as a natural barrier? Not to mention that she wasn’t even drunk anymore, which was, really, the worst part about this entire ordeal.

 

But Josh was drying her. She knew her own tricks with fire, though she’d never actually attempted something like this before. She looked at herself in wonder, and mostly at her hair. She had never cut it, which meant that her long locks reached to her butt when wet, and down to the middle of her back the rest of the time. It was almost like watching magic happen. Not Witch-magic, but the magic that children believe is real. “I… I didn’t think to check,” she admitted, “I just air dry most of the time.”


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#36
Josh Dragonsflame

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"Well, you're welcome for the air-drying" The Jedi would joke back in turn with a cheeky grin. "Hard to believe someone gave this up" He joked, his grin turning bittersweet in that moment, but he seemed to quickly brush it aside to try and keep in high spirits.
 
Honestly? He didn't want to go to the banquet either. Half of them if not more didn't like him, he knew, and most of them were likely darksiders under the jurisdiction of Mr. Wrinkles. He hadn't wanted to be here in the first place, and if it weren't impolite, he'd suggest the two of them got out of there and went out for drinks.
 
"By the way, speaking of hair" He spoke as he would begin doing the same with her hair, bringing his hands along it, though he motioned for her being able to wrap her arms around him if she wanted to continue to use him as a heater. "I... May or may not have come running when you did the Force Scream, and my braid came undone. I have a spare string for it, do you think you could do up my braid for me?" The Jedi would ask, motioning toward the long blonde locks that came down to his shoulders. "I try to do it for more... Formal times."
 

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#37
Scherezade deWinter

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His joke made her insides twist around again. No. It was easy to give up something like that. Katrine looked better, and wouldn’t have made a fuss about looking pretty. The woman had three ships and two of them served just as walk in closets. Scherezade… Had clean jeans somewhere on the floor. Maybe under the bed. There was a reason Gerwald had chosen Katrine, and while the clothes department was probably not the reason, she couldn’t ignore that it was part of it.

 

Still, she said nothing, even if she could feel the pain sharply ripping through her. She was about to go to a banquet with people who disliked her. She had to find some way to put a mask on, to keep them from trying to get deeper. She hated the fact that she had to do that. And then Josh began to touch her hair. She almost recoiled, wanted to stab him again. No one had ever touched her hair other than Gerwald. No one. He had played with it while they lay on the grass, in the bed… it had been one of those few times in which she’d been proud of her hair. Now… Now it was just bringing memories on. Memories that she didn’t want.

 

When Josh asked if she would braid her hair, she nodded dryly. She knew how it worked. She’d twisted her fingers in her own hair enough times. “Turn around,” she whispered. This was wrong. This was entirely wrong. This was intimacy, this gentle touching, this hair playing. She wanted to do it all, but… But with Gerwald. But Gerwald didn’t want to do that with her. And now it was being done with Josh, her fingers running through his hair, knowing exactly where to go and what to do, and it wasn’t just pain that coursed through her now, it was guilt.

 

“You don’t love me,” she found herself saying, her voice strong, taking even herself by surprise, “you like me, for some weird reason. I don’t understand why. But you don’t love me.” Before he had a chance to stop her, she continued, “so please, understand when I ask you, because this is a moment of intimacy of the sort that brings people together. Please, don’t love me. I will not love you. I don’t want to love you. I like you too for whatever reason, but I don’t want anything with you. I don’t want to sleep with you again, I don’t want you prying into questions that belong to him again. And I know it’s kinda chitty to put it like this, and I’m sorry, but I don’t want to need to relive through this again a little while from now, or make you need to relive it on your own either.”


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#38
Josh Dragonsflame

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He nodded his head as he would sit down and cross his legs again, allowing her to be able to braid his hair without worrying about the height advantage. While she began to do so, he could feel the pain resonating from her, the guilt, all the mixed emotions. She was thinking of him again. Of course. He hadn't expected anything less. But he hadn't expected what she said next. He frowned a bit as she went, but remained silent for the time being. After a minute or so after she'd stopped talking, he would respond.

 

"It's fine" He spoke quietly. "I get you. I never thought for a minute that you'd love me. You still need to learn to love others again as it is. But what I've done, what I've said, all this time I've tried to help... Don't think too much of it. That's what friends are for, they help and support each other, through thick and thin. I've never done anything expecting affection, or by the Force, sex. Why do you think I was surprised when you started stripping down? I wanted to help, nothing more. And what I've done since? That's what friends do. Besides..." He trailed off. "Probably for the best. Considering my history, I don't think I'm that great of a lover anyway" He joked quietly with a bittersweet smile, making it clear he had no confidence in himself as a lover anymore. Making light of things, even his own misfortune... It almost seemed like it was his way of coping.


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#39
Scherezade deWinter

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Scherezade nodded. Friends. That was what this was. Friends, and nothing more. Of course, she would have to keep her guard around her. Build her walls high and strong. She wouldn’t be able to let Josh in, just as she wouldn’t be able to let anyone else in. Josh might not have believe it, but she knew that if she didn’t keep him out, it would end badly for at least one of them, and when it was at least one side that was hurting, it was usually hers. “I’m not one to judge,” she replied to his self-deprecating joke, “I’ve only slept with him before. For all I know you could’ve been the greatest lover in the ‘verse and I’d be too busy thinking about him to notice.” It was… Honesty. She barely remembered any of their physical romping. Perhaps that was for the best. Scherezade tied the twine into his braid and tapped his shoulder. “Looks like we’re ready to face the banquet.”


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#40
Josh Dragonsflame

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"Well, not being all that memorable surely doesn't help my confidence" He joked with a light smirk, seeming to at least find some humor in her remarks. Granted, they'd just done the nitty gritty... Wasn't his style, really. While he'd joked about it, he liked it built up, with some... Well, you could say some spice added in before jumping into it. Between two relationships, one being a marriage, and a couple of flings... Well, it'd been figured out fairly quickly that the Jedi in the streets may or may not be a Sith in the sheets, to put it lightly. Scherezade had gotten the lite course, not the main event.
 
He about understood by now she wasn't letting anyone in except for the man who betrayed her. He'd done all he could, there really wasn't much that he could do now, except just continue to be there for her, and maybe one day she'd realize that not everyone was going to be like that guy. Though soon enough, she was done the braid, and brought up that they were ready for the banquet.
 
"Ugh, do we really have to?" He half-joked. "I bloody hate these formal events. And I get this feeling Mr. Wrinkles is going to spend half the time scowling at me after I talked back earlier. Maybe not my brightest move, but I wasn't exactly going to just let him talk down to you either" He remarked as he would get up and stretch out. "Despite everything he's said, and his clear intention to make a weapon out of you... Ugh, turn your pain into strength my arse - You learn from pain and become better, not hold on and use it - I suppose you're probably not going to be happy with me if I keep saying that though. Apologies."
 
Honesty. She had given him honesty. And now he was giving her honesty. The Jedi would crack his neck, finishing stretching out before facing her. "If I'd known this was full formality, I'd have brought something more fetching to wear. No big deal though, I prefer these."
 

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