weetuskenraider: (I Think We Might Be Screwed)
[personal profile] weetuskenraider
Tahiri didn't get a chance to visit Fandom as often as she liked. Some days, when life among the colonists on Zonama Sekot got too contentious, she wished she could just book a portal and head out for a few days, but her sense of duty was too strong for her to ever really give in to the impulse. Not today, though; the pull she felt in the Force was too strong to ignore. The second her express portal to Fandom let her out at the end of the causeway she felt a familiar -- despite having been absent from her life for six years -- presence in the Force burning with urgency, and every nerve ending in her body turned to ice when she realized: she knew exactly what had brought her here.

It was still second nature -- it wasn't fair that it was still second nature, but there it was, and she followed that Force presence, the one that resonated with hers in a way no one else's ever would, to the junkyard.
She watched silently for a moment as Anakin, tousled dark hair and purposeful movements all exactly as she remembered, finished getting Fiver seated in the astromech socket and going over his preflight check, then cleared her throat.

"Hi."


Anakin
Anakin had felt Tahiri's presence on the island as soon as she'd arrived. It wasn't the same Tahiri, granted; her Force presence was older, more sober, tempered by whatever had happened in years he had yet to experience, but he would know her anywhere.

"Hi," he answered, turning around, and she wasn't his Tahiri but regardless, a smile broke out across his face as soon as he saw her. "What are you doing here?"

Tahiri
Tahiri clamped down on the surge of pain that ignited in her gut at the sight of that badly-missed lopsided grin, drew on it to strengthen her resolve the way any Yuuzhan Vong would, and returned the smile. "Hi yourself. I thought I'd come by for a visit." Gross understatement, of course, since she'd been all but compelled to get here. "And of course I'd arrive just in time to see you try and smoke jets out of here. Anakin Solo, that is so like you --"

Tahiri
"Same old Tahiri," Anakin broke in with a laugh. "Still lecturing me, huh?"

Really, he'd gotten one from Jaina a little while ago, but with Tahiri it was different, somehow.

Tahiri
Tahiri gave him an odd little smile and kept a tight rein on her emotions. "Never pass up the opportunity when I can get it. You know that. Where are you going?"

She knew, of course, and wished she didn't.

Anakin
"Home. Eclipse, actually," Anakin explained, earnest and serious and never looking away from her for a moment. "We may have a way to deal with the voxyn threat now."

Tahiri
There was the confirmation she didn't want: Myrkr. Of course.

"And you plan to be right at the front of it all when it happens, don't you." It wasn't a question. It wouldn't have been even if Tahiri didn't already know what was going to happen; she knew him too well to think otherwise.

Anakin
"I have to be," Anakin answered. "You understand that, don't you?"

Tahiri
Tahiri hadn't missed the way he was looking at her, and the clear affection he was broadcasting -- much more clear than her Anakin had ever dared to admit. She had to turn around for a moment, because she couldn't damp down her emotions in the Force and keep control of her expression at the same time, not right now. "As if I could ever stop you when you were set on something?"

Anakin
"You try," Anakin pointed out. "You're always the first one to tell me when you think I'm being dumb."

Tahiri
"You're not," Tahiri answered, still not turning around. "Not this time."

Anakin
"Thanks for the vote of confidence," he said, quiet and genuine, and before he realized what he was doing he darted forward to hug her. "I love you, you know that?"

Tahiri
Tahiri froze -- at the contact, initially, but when that shock faded it was the words that kept her rooted to the spot. "I know," she answered, willing herself to control so she could finally look at him.

She did know; years later, after the fact, but only after years of sorting through the might-have-beens and self-doubt to understand the truth. When she was fifteen, she and Anakin never had gotten around to figuring out exactly what they were to each other.

"I know," she repeated, and gently disentangled herself from his embrace. She was so close, close enough to give him that last kiss she'd withheld against him coming back alive and regretted for years -- and she didn't need to do it, not any more. She stepped back, deliberately. "I'm not the one who needs to hear it, though."

Anakin
Anakin's grin turned self-conscious. "You mean --"

Tahiri
"Yeah. Better make sure you tell her, flyboy, understand?"

Anakin
He nodded. "That's what Jaina said, more or less."

Tahiri
Tahiri made a mental note to thank Jaina for that; she had a feeling she might need to stick around for a while anyway. "And you know she tends to be right."

Anakin
"Uh huh." Anakin looked at her for a moment longer and realized that yes, he really wanted to get home and see his Tahiri. "So, um."

Tahiri
"So what are you waiting for?" She used to say that to him all the time, and she knew she was sending him to his death but the words still came out of her mouth as if they were second nature. It had to be done, and she still believed as strongly as ever that he was the only one who could pull it off. "Better not keep me -- or your uncle -- hanging any longer than you have to. It's a long trip back. Go on, hero boy, and do what you do best."

Anakin
"I will." Anakin hugged her one more time, though, out of relief and exuberance and -- well, a certain case of nerves, too. "Thanks, Tahiri."

Tahiri
This time Tahiri hugged him back, hard, for as long as she dared. She thought the universe owed her that much, at least. "Thank me by saving the galaxy," she half-whispered. "I love you too, Anakin. May the Force be with you."

Anakin
"And with you," replied Anakin, bolting up into the cockpit of his X-wing as soon as he let go. "See you when I get there, Tahiri." He toggled his canopy shut, fired up his engines, and gave her one last wave before lifting off.

Tahiri
Tahiri watched, silently, until the rapidly shrinking profile of the snubfighter disappeared from view.

"I'm sure I'm looking forward to it," she told the empty air.



[OOC: NFI, OOC okay. Preplayed with, well, me; I've been wanting to do this for three years.

Warning: Post contains references to impending character death.]

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