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Force, Destiny, Whatever... It Sucks

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When Theron Shan, renowned SIS agent, had heard for the first time that Ahiyah Kallig was a member of the Dark Council, he'd laughed so hard that tears ran down on his face like rivers. Yes, it was well known that Kallig was a Force-sensitive and spent some time in the Korriban Academy to receive proper training, but for Force's sake, the guy was a model. In fact, he was the most acclaimed one in the chaotic world of the Sith fashion magazines. And Theron did have to admit that Ahiyah Kallig was insanely hot.

Being a Sith made many people ugly as hell, but Ahiyah, it seemed, was able to control it much better than most of the Dark Lords. The only thing revealed his Sith identity on his body were his eyes; and even those eyes weren't the sickly piss-yellow but a beautiful, rich mix of deep gold and amber. It made a very interesting contrast with his half-long dark crimson hair that he let to fall into his face in messy locks. One just wanted to reach out and smooth them away.

Theron shook his head as he realized that his thoughts were wandering to a direction they shouldn't have. Falling for a Sith could have never been an option, no matter how hot they were. If Kallig was indeed a part of the Dark Council, then he was up to some really unpleasant surprise.

 

That's how Theron found himself on Alderaan a week later, with the task of following Ahiyah Kallig, gathering information about him and his connection to the Dark Council, and if a chance presented itself, then knock him out cold and transport him to Coruscant so the Jedi could interrogate him. That one last bit was slightly problematic for Theron, though. He knew very well that common human beings, or even Special Force members, were not in the same league with someone from the Dark Council, and only the Jedi had any chance to keep him there once he'd arrive on Coruscant. However, the way they'd accomplish it made Theron uneasy, to say the least.

To keep Force-users, especially the most formidable ones, prisoner, one needed drugs so strong that they were banned on the more civilised parts of the Galaxy. These drugs weakened the person's connection to the Force to a level that they were unable to use it effectively. As a side-effect from prolonged usage, these chemicals could cause blindness, partial paralysis or brain damage. Using these things on sentient beings just made Theron sick, to be honest.

However, it wasn't his place to question the details. He had a mission to accomplish, and then he'd have nothing to do with Kallig whatsoever. He'd most probably rot away in a cell in the secret dungeons of the Jedi Temple, but it wasn't part of Theron's job to worry about it. He'd try to get the Sith there, but that was all.

It was late night, and Theron was about to scout a bit around Ahiyah's apartment. The Sith came to Alderaan for a photoshot on one of the planet's most beautiful beaches; Theron, somewhere deep down, was eager to see the finished product in the next issue of whichever magazine the pictures would be published. What was strange that Ahiyah came completely alone, he did his job then sent everyone away and retreated into his rented apartment. He certainly wasn't paranoid enough for a Dark Council member; those damn Sith walked with a pack of bodyguards even to the toilet.

However, that fact just made Theron's job much easier. He didn't have to sneak past guards and patrols, he just had to be careful that Ahiyah wouldn't notice him sneaking around. He should've known that with a Sith, nothing was ever easy, especially not with a Dark Council-league Sith. Suddenly, the agent felt an invisible but iron-hard grip around his neck that lifted him right up to the apartment's balcony, where he found himself face to face with a half-naked, slightly drunk Ahiyah Kallig.

"Hmmm... So someone was indeed sneaking around where he definitely shouldn't have..." the Sith murmured, his voice a menacing purr and his golden-amber eyes narrowing disapprovingly; but there was no murderous intention in him just yet.

He waved with his hand and the movement sent Theron flying across the wide balcony. The agent landed near the door led inside and rose to his knees, coughing and gasping for air from the Force choke. He wouldn't have believed it in the morning, but now there he was, alone with his target, inside of the Sith's apartment. Everything was perfect for completing his mission; except that Kallig definitely had the upper hand, both in Force-usage, of which Theron was incapable, and in combat, for the Sith reached out with his free hand – there was a glass of Alderaan wine in the other one –, and his lightsaber flew into his grasp a split second later.

"Who're you?" the Sith asked and activated his weapon.

To Theron's surprise, the blade of the saber wasn't red, it was vivid silver, and honestly, it was the most beautiful lightsaber blade the agent had ever seen. With that certain blade buzzing uncomfortably close to his face, he deemed wiser to stay put and answer to whatever question the Sith might throw at him.

"Well, my name is Theron, and I'm a big fan of your work" he said, and it wasn't even entirely a lie; he did like looking at those pictures of Kallig when he worked with a certain photographer who was devilishly good at his job, and his pictures were simply mind-blowing.

"Uh-huh..." Ahiyah nodded sarcastically and took a long sip of his wine. "Even if it's true, it doesn't explain why you're here. It is a well-known fact that I'm a Sith, not just a mere photo model. Not any sane person would want to disturb me like this. Or do you have a death wish?"

"Not that I know of. However, you didn't kill me, either, despite having the perfect chance" Theron risked the slightly provocative answer; there was something strange in this Sith he couldn't really describe yet.

Ahiyah Kallig was unquestionably and definitely a Sith. His (beautiful) eyes gave it away at first sight, and he radiated power so strong even Theron felt a slight tingling from it. And being on the Dark Council and still alive spoke volumes of how formidable he was. Still, Theron couldn't feel the deep-rooted, all-consuming evil in him that all the other Sith Lords he'd ever met radiated constantly. The agent wondered fleetingly about it; how did Ahiyah still manage to hold on to at least some of the light in him in the world of deception, betrayal and hatred? Perhaps he could've even been redeemed and turned. And perhaps it was worth a try.

Meanwhile, Ahiyah sent down the rest of his wine and put the glass aside. His lightsaber was still turned on, and he still didn't make a move to end the intruder's life.

"If you have any weapon on you, put them down here" he said finally.

Theron wasn't particularly happy about that, but he obeyed, pulling out the concealed blaster and the two vibroknives from beneath his jacket and placing them on the floor before him.

"You won't need them now" the Sith purred as he, thank the Force, deactivated his saber as well.

However, Theron wasn't sure it truly meant that he was safe with Ahiyah so close to him, and him being unarmed, but he had to admit that the situation was intriguing, to say the least. The agent now dared to take a better look at the Sith; and it also helped that he turned the lights on with the help of the Force inside the apartment, so now they saw each other much better.

The Sith wore only a comfortable, black leggings, so the agent could enjoy the delicate eyecandy that Ahiyah Kallig was without a shirt. His body was lithe and strong, with adorably little hair on it; he had a patch of some dark crimson on his chest and below his navel, and that was all. From the pictures Theron saw of him, he remembered the Sith with stubble all over his face, but now he had a neat, short beard, also in that rich dark crimson colour. His golden-amber eyes blazed in the light pouring out onto the balcony, and Theron simply couldn't avert his gaze from them.

"What do you want me to do?" he finally asked, and his voice was a raspy whisper, but he couldn't really tell why; or he didn't dare to think over why.

"I want..." the Sith began, stepping closer, his voice hoarse as well. "I want you to fuck me then leave."

Theron was pretty sure it was just the wine talking, the Sith was clearly not entirely sober, but when he stepped closer and touched him lightly between his legs, he felt that at least Ahiyah's body was perfectly serious about that. And the agent had provided comfort sex so many times, even for Sith on a few occasions, that he couldn't count it anymore; one more wouldn't really change anything. And if having sex with the Sith could save his head from being cut off with that silver blade, then Theron was all for it.

"You have a deal on that" he whispered, grabbing him more confidently, and the Sith gasped then kissed the agent without any warning.

Theron returned the kiss, letting Ahiyah snuggle closer to him as the kiss became deeper and more fervent. He slid his hands up on his belly and chest, then on his neck until his fingers disappeared in the wild, silky mess of the Sith's dark crimson hair, stroking it and playing with it while their kiss lasted.

"I like your kiss..." Ahiyah muttered with a tentative smile.

"Good; because I like yours, too" Theron smiled back, not wanting to deal with the fact right now that he wasn't lying.

Soon, when Ahiyah came with a loud cry of pleasure and with a blissfully dazed expression on his face, pinned under Theron's body, the agent just watched him and thought about their deal. Fucking Ahiyah was easy; leaving him felt a hell of a lot harder as he looked into those deep golden-amber eyes.

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"Now leave" the Sith muttered after he had a quick shower and let Theron take one as well.

"Are you sure you want that?" the agent asked, unconsciously testing Ahiyah's patience; he had much, much more than an average Sith, it seemed.

And Theron was pretty sure that Ahiyah wasn't so sure about what he wanted. The sex and the shower helped him to shake off the last remaining effects of the alcohol, and now the Sith was absolutely sober. Still, Theron felt him unbalanced, indecisive and somewhat hurt. So it had a reason why he was drinking earlier in the first place.

Ahiyah was about to say 'yes' but changed his mind and shut his mouth. He was so fucking tired of lying and deceit and betrayal. That's why he chose to get some job and be away from Dromund Kaas as much as he could. As the head of the Sphere of Ancient Knowledge, he even had a legitimate reason to be away: that 'ancient knowledge' wouldn't gather itself, right? This way, he had almost zero impact on anything that concerned the everyday politics or the relationship with the Republic. He didn't decide or even know about battle plans, spies or anything of that kind. He was a scholar, not a warlord, and he was perfectly alright with that. The less Sith bullshit the better.

"Nope. But it would be the best for both of us" Ahiyah said so quietly that at first, Theron wasn't sure he heard it right.

However, something, perhaps the Force itself, told him that leaving him would be definitely not good for Ahiyah. Wine or not, Sith or not, it was a very unusual behaviour from anyone to have sex with a complete stranger only after about ten minutes of your first meeting. Something was wrong with Ahiyah that made him do that, and the drinking, too.

"Well, if you really want me to stay, then I guess I can provide you some company..." the agent said, trying not to feel like a complete asshole.

He was perfectly aware of what he was doing: he was using the Sith's weakness to get closer to him, only to betray him later. It was really hard not to feel like a last trash kind of humans.

Meanwhile, Ahiyah rubbed his eyes tiredly and headed toward the bedroom; he didn't even remember when was the last time he'd slept through the night without scary, batshit-crazy nightmares. Even in his childhood, he tended having them, and the years spent in slavery, then as a Sith apprentice weren't helping, either. He'd seen and experienced so much horror in his relatively short life that it was enough nightmare-fuel even for his future grandchildren, provided he'd be having them.

He didn't notice that Theron followed him, right until the agent snuggled behind him on the bed, hugging him gently. It felt so good, and Ahiyah didn't have the strength to pretend that it didn't. He just snuggled closer, enjoying the comforting warmth of another's body. One of Theron's hand sneaked beneath his sleeping T-shirt and began stroking his belly slowly, earning a content sigh from the Sith. Then after a while, the agent noticed that Ahiyah fell asleep in his arms, snoring softly into his pillow.

It was the perfect opportunity: he just had to stun the Sith then get a Republic shuttle, and it would've been done then and there. It would've been so easy. And still, Theron just couldn't make himself do it. It would've been the worst kind of treason, betrayal on a level he thought was the Sith's own.

Ahiyah didn't kill him when he had the chance, moreover, he had sex with him, and he trusted Theron enough to let him into his bed and fell asleep in his arms. The agent simply couldn't return it with stabbing him in the back. Not especially that he knew way too well what kind of fate the Sith would've suffered in Jedi captivity, and every part of his being, his mind, his soul and his conscience, rebelled against it with red-hot passion.

Ahiyah Kallig might have been a Sith Lord and a member of the Dark Council, but Theron Shan made a decision right here that he wouldn't hand him over to a bunch of self-righteous and hypocrite monks who would've most probably tortured him to death.

 

Next morning, Theron woke with the determination that he'd tell everything to Ahiyah. He wanted to help the Sith, both with his apparent problem with self-destructive behaviour and with turning toward the Light side as well. Ahiyah wasn't without any hope, the agent was sure of it. But for this, they needed to be completely honest with each other.

"I have to tell you something" Theron began when Ahiyah was awake enough to understand what he was being told.

They sat on the bed, facing each other. Ahiyah was still a hot, sleepy mess, hugging a pillow and just blinking at Theron with mild suspicion. He had a feeling that this conversation wouldn't end well.

"I'm all ears" he murmured.

Theron took a deep breath and true to his initial intention, he told the Sith everything. He expected a burst of anger, of fury, Force lightning, choking, and general destruction. However, instead of that, as he was talking, Ahiyah just withdrew into himself more and more, and his posture and expression became increasingly desperate.

"I'm so very sorry" Theron said, trying to pour every ounce of his honesty and guilt into that one short sentence.

"I told you to leave..." Ahiyah whispered, and Theron felt his heart breaking a bit when he saw the tears running down on the Sith's cheeks. "You should've just... gone away..."

"Yes... you told me to leave, but I didn't want to. I had this... feeling that leaving you alone is not the best idea. And it seems I was right. What kind of Sith would just break down and cry when someone tells him such things that I've just told you?" Theron asked, trying to provide some levity.

"The sick and tired and depressed kind... The kind that's fucking fed up with all of this shit and just wants to leave all of it behind..." came the unexpected answer, then Ahiyah buried his face into his hands and just sobbed quietly, his shoulders shaking.

Theron moved closer and just hugged him, not knowing at all what to say. If he hadn't been completely sure that betraying Ahiyah wasn't right, then this would've convinced him about it. The Sith was broken but hopefully not beyond repair, and Theron was willing to try and help him; but he knew that for that, they had to stay as far away from Coruscant and the Jedi as possible.

If nothing else, then the Jedi would've surely broken Ahiyah beyond any hope of repair.

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When after long minutes, Ahiyah still couldn't stop crying, Theron got up and after a comforting pat on his back, he headed toward the kitchen section of the apartment.

"Stay here, I'll be right back" he said, trying to make his tone kind and soothing; he'd seen many strange things but a Sith with an apparently long overdue nervous breakdown wasn't one of them.

Ahiyah just hugged his pillow tighter, sniffling into it silently, seemingly not even noticing Theron. The agent sighed and set to prepare something for breakfast, and a cup of hot tea for both of them. It was going to be a long day, he just felt it.

"Here. Try to calm down and have breakfast, okay? You'll feel better with something in your stomach, you'll see" Theron said when he got back to the bedroom with the full plate and settled next to the still quietly weeping Sith.

Ahiyah looked up, and Theron expected him to get angry finally and tell him to go to hell, but the Sith surprised him again. He tried to smile, with limited success, and took the cup but just stared into it with sad, teary eyes.

"Would you like to... talk about it, whatever hurts you that much?" the agent asked, feeling like a bad mind-healer.

It was definitely not in his job description, but one of Theron's most valuable skills was his incredible adaptability. If he needed to be a metaphorical trash bin for a depressed Sith's pain and misery, then he could do that. Most probably not as good as a professional would've done it, but he could do that. He was a good listener anyway.

"I'm just... just... so fed up with it" Ahiyah whispered, his voice dangerously shaky.

"Fed up with what exactly? The war? I can absolutely understand that... I'm fed up with it, too."

"Not just that... With everything. With the Sith. The Dark Council. I don't even give a fuck about them... I just... want them to disappear... to leave me alone..."

Great, Theron thought, not without a healthy dose of sarcasm. I've been spying on the one and only member of the Dark Council who doesn't even give a fuck about all of that shit, therefore, most probably doesn't know a thing as well.

"Then why didn't you leave the Empire?" Theron asked, getting more and more curious about Ahiyah.

"Because of my friends, mostly" the Sith muttered, wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his T-shirt. "And... I like the travelling-part of this Dark Council thing... and the treasure hunting, too. I enjoy them."

Ahiyah Kallig proved to be the most talkative Sith Theron had ever met. As soon as there was somebody to listen to it, all of his suppressed memories and deeply buried pain broke free, making him just talk and cry and sometimes both in the same time. The agent learned that his target was a former slave whose whole family ended up on the slave market after a pirate attack on his homeworld, then after almost a decade in slavery, the Empire threw him into another kind of violent servitude in the Sith Academy on Korriban.

Ahiyah had suffered the bullying and abuse of the Overseers and his peers for another three years before Lord Zash came and took him as her apprentice, but this relationship ended in Zash's betrayal and death. Ahiyah killed her, but it didn't solve any of his problems, for another Sith Lord, Darth Thanaton began hunting him for killing Zash. Eventually, Ahiyah defeated him as well, but not before Thanaton almost broke him both in mind and body. That very triumph made Ahiyah Kallig a Dark Council member.

"If I'd known it'd end like this, I swear I would've just flown to the other end of the Galaxy and found a nice, remote Outer Rim planet to live on... I didn't want it, and I hate it..." he whimpered, trying to choke back a fresh wave of tears.

Long hours went by like this; Ahiyah talked about whatever came to his mind and hurt him, or Theron asked him when he struggled to find the strength to speak, encouraging him to let it all out. And despite the awful lot of tears and pain and misery, it definitely helped the Sith.

"Feeling better?" Theron asked when Ahiyah calmed down after his latest crying fit.

The Sith thought it over then nodded slowly.

"Pretty much. Thanks... for listening. And for... for everything" Ahiyah muttered, smiling a bit shakily.

"You're very welcome, and I'm glad I could help. But... there's still this quite uncomfortable situation about me being a Republic agent with the task of getting you to Coruscant and give you to the Jedi; which I won't do" Theron added quickly when Ahiyah went pale hearing the word 'Jedi'.

"Then what will you do?" he asked, swallowing hard.

"Honestly, I don't know yet... But what about getting to know each other better?" Theron offered. "And perhaps we could come up with something together."

Ahiyah thought it over; first of all, he found Theron nice and attractive, so getting to know him was perfectly agreeable with him. Moreover, the agent was there for him when no one else was, providing comfort and understanding on a level that was pretty much unknown to Ahiyah, and he was grateful for that. Plus, as long as the Republic thought that Theron was working on capturing him, they wouldn't send someone else.

"Okay... let's try it" he nodded and let the agent kiss him.

It didn't take long for them to end up on the bed, Theron trying to devour the Sith's delicious mouth with his own while his hands slid under his T-shirt. After a while they pulled apart only to get rid of their unnecessary clothes, then the agent again turned Ahiyah to his back, kissing and biting his neck as he stroked his lithe, agile body.

"You're so beautiful" he whispered, looking the Sith straight in the eyes.

"Well, yeah, that's why I chose a model career..." Ahiyah chuckled then gasped as Theron's fingers ran down on his belly and lower, grabbing him gently but firmly. "W-wait...!"

"Yeah? Something's wrong?" Theron asked, immediately retreating.

"I want to ride you" the Sith breathed, lust blazing in his stunning golden-amber eyes.

Theron nodded, and a second later he was the one lying on his back; then for a while, he only knew unspeakable pleasure, and then blessed relief.

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While Ahiyah and Theron were making each other very happy on Alderaan, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order on Tython grew impatient pretty fast. Satele Shan just couldn't wait to get a Dark Council member into her hands, and Theron didn't produce results quickly enough; so she decided to deal with the situation in the usual Jedi way. She reached for her holocommunicator and summoned the Order's most skilled Shadow.

These Shadows were few in numbers but not a bit less dangerous than their more visible brethren; on the contrary. This fraction of the Jedi easily contained the Galaxy's scariest hunter-killers. Their speciality was to track the Sith down, one by one if they had to, and destroy them without the slightest of hesitation. The Order had never admitted their existence officially, but it didn't hold the masters back from using the Shadows' services from time to time; like now.

About five minutes later a tall, gracefully moving man stepped into the Grand Master's meditation chamber. He wore dark, fitting but comfortable clothes instead of the usual Jedi robes, however, he did have a hood that hid his face in semi-darkness. All Satele Shan saw of that face was a nicely shaped nose and full lips, and some dark stubble on a strong jaw; however, she knew that this particular Shadow had light green eyes and messy black hair under his hood.

"Greetings, Vazhoul. I have a task befitting of your extraordinary skills" she said, smiling at her visitor.

"You have my complete, undivided attention, Grand Master" the Shadow answered, settling on one of the pillows on the floor.

"Good. You have to capture a Dark Council member alive and bring him here for interrogation."

"The Dark Council has twelve members. Do you have someone particular in mind?"

"In fact, I do. The Republic has already sent an agent to spy on Ahiyah Kallig, and if an opportunity presents itself, then bring him here, but this agent is not a Jedi, he doesn't have any chance to capture a Sith. That's why I need you."

"Understood. But why Kallig? It's highly unlikely that as the head of the Sphere of Ancient Knowledge, he's into everyday politics too much" Vazhoul said, trying to remember everything he knew about Ahiyah Kallig; it wasn't too much.

"Agreed, but he's still our best chance, for two reasons: one, he's on good terms with Darth Marr, who's the main coordinator of the Imperial war effort, so maybe Kallig knows more than we would assume. And two, he's away from Dromund Kaas much more than the other members. They won't notice his absence, or at least their first thought won't be a kidnapping or an assassination attempt, and it gives us precious time to get information from Kallig before the Empire does strike" Satele explained, and it was clear that she didn't have the slightest of problems with keeping a Dark Council member as prisoner, torture him for information and let the Empire attack the Republic as a retaliation.

Even if Vazhoul did have a problem with this obviously screwed up plan, he kept it to himself and just listened to the Grand Master, then nodded when Satele was done with describing the task for him.

"I will depart in the morning" he said as he stood up.

"Excellent. Go, and may the Force be with you."

Vazhoul bowed and left the meditation chamber, heading back to his own quarters to get his mission equipment packed and to sleep a few hours before leaving.

*

Ahiyah woke with a start and a loud whimper from another nightmare; he'd already had one this night, about two hours earlier. It didn't matter that Theron slept next to him, hugging him protectively, it just couldn't chase away the nightmares tonight. The Force felt agitated and restless around him, and it made him nervous and jumpy as well.

"What's wrong...?" Theron muttered sleepily when he woke to Ahiyah's sudden stirring. "A bad dream again?"

The Sith just nodded, letting Theron moving closer and hugging him tight again. He buried his head into the agent's muscular chest, breathing in the faint, nice scent that was unquestionably Theron even after that short time they'd spent together.

"Can I help somehow?"

"I don't think so... I feel... something's coming" Ahiyah muttered.

"What do you mean? You feel danger?"

Although Theron wasn't a Force-sensitive, he was raised by a Jedi who'd taught him many things about the Force and the Jedi philosophy; that's why the agent knew very well that when a Force-sensitive said danger was coming, then it wasn't a warning to be taken lightly.

"Well, I... I'm not sure. But it's not a good feeling. I just... I'm nervous, that's all" the Sith tried to explain; he didn't have the gift of foresight like some of the Force-users had, so these 'nudges' from the Force often left him in darkness about what to expect.

As a Dark Council member, he had more enemies than he'd care to count, so the strike could arrive from anywhere. It was easier to deal with the problems when they arrived than to make himself sick with worry about what could crash down on him in any given minute. This feeling now, however, was more sinister; if he thought it over, it indeed resembled to something very close to danger.

"Look, if whatever you feel's making you this jumpy, then perhaps the wisest thing to do would be moving" Theron said, stroking Ahiyah's messy, silky dark crimson hair, trying to give him the comfort he knew very well how much the Sith needed. "Whatever's coming, getting to you would be much more difficult in hyperspace."

Ahiyah couldn't argue with that.

"I wanted to leave tomorrow, anyway" he sighed and got up to pack his few things. "You come, too, right?"

"Yup. You won't get rid of me that easily" Theron grinned at him, giving him a quick kiss on his face.

Ahiyah couldn't stop smiling as they were walking toward the spaceport in the mild alderaanian night, not having the slightest idea that the Jedi Order had let loose its most dangerous predator on them.

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Vazhoul got to Alderaan way too late to find Ahiyah and Theron there, but he didn’t feel disappointed at all. He could still find valuable information.

The Shadow waited until nightfall to sneak into the apartment Kallig had been renting in the last few days; and he indeed found valuable information, or more likely, the remnant of it. The Force had a very useful – or annoying, it depends – characteristic: for a while, it kept the imprint of strong emotions at any given place, for example a room or a cave, and now Vazhoul found these faint remnants in the apartment. However, to his surprise, these residual shards of feelings weren’t the kind one would expect from the meeting of a Republic agent and a Sith.

He felt sadness and despair, but the strongest of these lingering emotions was sexual pleasure and lust. Theron and Ahiyah Kallig took the saying ‘get a room’ a bit too seriously; and thus, Theron became a traitor in the Jedi’s eyes; he’d slept with the enemy, after all.

Vazhoul was about to get his holocomm and call Satele Shan to inform her about Theron’s actions, but in the last minute he changed his mind. He wouldn’t do anything until he found the Sith and the agent and got an explanation from the latter; the benefit of the doubt and all. So the Shadow left the apartment and headed to the spaceport to acquire the flight plans of Kallig’s ship.

*

"You should try to sleep" Theron said quietly when he stepped into the Interceptor's cockpit and spotted the curled up Sith in the captain's chair as he studied the beautiful holomap of the Galaxy.

"I've tried. I just... can't" Ahiyah shrugged, pulling his robe tighter around himself; Theron could spot his bare feet peeking out from under the warm, heavy fabric.

He looked so lonely and vulnerable, and Theron just wanted to hug and protect him from this cold, cruel world they were living in. It was absurd, Ahiyah was a Sith, perfectly capable of protecting and taking care of himself, still, the agent wanted to hold him close, to make sure he understood that he had someone to turn to.

"A hug would be nice..." came the voice, barely above a whisper; Ahiyah's ability to catch fragments of his thoughts and put them together into a whole was still a bit scary for Theron.

As a non-Force-user, these skills of people who were able to use the Force were borderline incomprehensible for the agent. However, he shook off these thoughts and stepped to Ahiyah, letting him bury his face into his chest as he hugged the Sith tight, stroking his silky, messy hair gently.

"Then at least come to the bed and lie down... That would be much more comfortable" Theron said after a few silent minutes of cuddling.

To his surprise, the Sith obeyed, standing up from the chair and following him to the main quarters, his bare feet making a quiet, lovely slipping noise on the metal floor. Theron just hoped he wouldn't get a cold from this.

Ahiyah lay down on the huge, comfortable bed, curling up into a ball under his robe, refusing Theron's offer of a normal blanket.

"What's with you Force-users and your robes as blankets?" the agent shook his head with feigned incomprehension, but he couldn't hide his smile as he settled behind Ahiyah, hugging him gently.

"It's just... convenient, I guess" the Sith answered, but Theron felt that his thoughts were somewhere else.

"Where do you want to go?" he asked and felt Ahiyah shiver in his arms.

"Nar Shaddaa. I don't like that cesspit of a planet, but if you want to disappear, you can't find a better place to do so."

Theron couldn't argue with that. And knowing the Republic and the Jedi especially, he had the feeling that Satele Shan had already dispatched someone from the Order to finish his failed mission in capturing Ahiyah. The Sith did need to disappear for a while.

"Perhaps I can help you to find a place to stay on Nar Shaddaa" he offered, but Ahiyah shook his head slightly.

"My cousin has an apartment there, and he let me use it. But thanks for the offer."

"Do you have any family left after... after everything you've been through?" the agent asked, however, he regretted it when Ahiyah just curled up even further, as if he'd been trying to protect himself from his own terrible memories. "Sorry... I was just wondering. But you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."

"It's okay... And he's the only family I've got. I've found him again when I went back to Korriban to get something done for my master. Harkun abused him as much as he'd abused me, or perhaps ever harder, I don't know. And something... broke in me. He was just a child back then, sixteen or maybe seventeen. I just couldn't watch and do nothing, so... so I did something. I killed Harkun in the most cruel and painful way I could come up with at the moment" Ahiyah confessed, his eyes burning with angry tears even after all those years.

He didn't regret at all that he killed Harkun; what pained him was the fact that he hadn't found Naereus sooner. He could've saved him from so much suffering.

"There's nothing wrong with protecting your family" Theron murmured into the shivering Sith's ear. "I'm sure that that son of a bitch had it coming, whatever you did to him. I would've done the same."

It felt so good to be understood, to be comforted and protected; with a sudden move, Ahiyah turned in the agent's arms, facing him and kissing him with true Sith-like passion. Theron growled into the kiss and returned it, not a bit less passionately, devouring Ahiyah's sweet lips. The Sith wriggled fervently to get rid of his robe and other unnecessary clothes, and soon both of them were naked and half-mad with lust.

Ahiyah kissed the agent like he wanted to eat him alive, rubbing his body against Theron's, searching for the warmth and safety of it.

"I... I need you..." he whispered, his voice raspy, and it cracked at the end of that short sentence.

"I'm here" Theron assured him, kissing away the few tears that escaped those beautiful golden-amber eyes. "And I'm staying."

Ahiyah smiled, a shaky, teary smile, but a smile nonetheless; and in this moment Theron knew that whatever hit them, he'd stand by his Sith, no matter what.

Chapter Text

The only thing prevented Darth Marr from smashing his holocomm into the nearest wall was the intention of making another call as soon as possible; and for that, he needed the device. So he reined in his boiling anger for the time being and made that call.

Getting an Imperial spy into the Jedi Academy on Tython was Marr's greatest feat of the last two decades; but now that agent, Horus, called him with information that made the Sith Lord see red. Marr had always been deeply concerned of his people's well-being, so the fact that Satele Shan attempted to hunt down one of his protégés was a matter of security and honour for him. No one in the Galaxy hurt his people and walked away unpunished.

A few moments later the miniature holopicture of a dreadfully sleepy Ahiyah Kallig showed up. Marr felt a pang of regret seeing that; he knew very well that Ahiyah had serious problems with sleeping, and he didn't mean to take away from him the rest he could get.

"What...?" the younger Sith muttered, sitting up in the bed and pushing away the messy locks from his face as he blinked drowsily at Marr. "Somethin's wron'?"

"Sorry for waking you up, but I've just got news that can't wait. I have to warn you: the Republic and the Jedi are after you; perhaps they've already sent someone to capture you, so keep your eyes open... however hard it feels right now" Marr said, his unique accent thick and his deep voice held a kind of fondness reserved only for Ahiyah, as far as the young Sith knew.

When he defeated Thanaton back then, Marr was one of the few Council members who truly supported him and wanted to see him on the Council as well. Marr helped him an awful lot in the first weeks of his new job, answering his every question with unusual patience. Then Marr understood when he felt the need to get away, letting him getting a job he at least enjoyed and exploring the Galaxy as much as he wanted. Ahiyah still had to report back to Marr regularly, but the de facto commander of the Empire Military gave him the freedom he needed for keeping his sanity more or less intact.

"Understood" Ahiyah nodded, smiling slightly at the tease. "Anything else?"

"Well..." Now came the more delicate part of his spies' report about Ahiyah's current actions. "Tell me if I'm wrong, but as I've heard, you've started a relationship with a Republic agent. Is that true?"

Even on the small holopicture Marr saw Ahiyah tensing, pulling his robe tighter around himself. That was enough of an answer.

"I can't and I don't want to dictate your actions and decisions in your private life, Ahiyah, for it is yours, and yours only. But you have to see how dangerous it is. For the Empire... and for your heart as well."

Marr was one of the few who knew the full story of how much shit the young Sorcerer had been through, from his years spent in slavery to the nearly fatal encounter with Thanaton that almost broke him in every possible way. He even knew about Ahiyah's cousin, and now Naereus was one of his apprentices. The younger Kallig was very talented, perfect Assassin material, but it was obvious he didn't have Ahiyah's tremendous strength in the Force, nor his potential. Still, Marr was quite fond of both of the Kalligs.

"Perhaps he could heal that heart" Ahiyah muttered, fidgeting with the sleeve of his robe nervously. "I feel safe with him. And he can keep my nightmares away... mostly."

Marr sighed; giving Ahiyah a full night of sleep without nightmares was indeed not a small feat. Perhaps this relationship indeed helped his protégé to get himself together and be the Sith he could've been with his invisible but severe and still bleeding wounds finally being healed.

"Fine" Marr nodded, his voice deep and grave. "But be very careful what you say to him. If he gets anything from you that he takes back to the Republic, I shall eviscerate both of you with my own hands. There's only so much I can do for you, Ahiyah Kallig."

"Always the optimist, I see" Ahiyah groaned sleepily. "Don't worry, he won't get anything from me... I'll be on Nar Shaddaa if you need me, by the way."

"Good. Stay put for a while. I shall send Naereus for extra protection."

Ahiyah couldn't help the smile spreading over his face; he knew that Marr was sending his cousin not only to protect him – which he didn't really need anyway –, but to cheer him up as well. He missed Naereus, and Marr was aware of that.

"That's very thoughtful of you, Darth Marr" he said, bowing his head as a sign of respect. "Thank you."

"It's all right. Go back to sleep, and send me a message when you get to that gutter of a planet. Marr out."

 

When Darth Marr's holopicture disappeared, Ahiyah fell back onto the bed, sighing deeply.

"So this was the most badass member of the Dark Council..." Theron murmured, snuggling closer and hugging Ahiyah protectively.

"I've never thought about him this way but... yeah, he's indeed a badass" the Sith chuckled, resting his head on Theron's shoulder. "And you can meet my cousin as well. Marr's sending him to Nar Shaddaa to 'protect' me."

"You know, it's really strange to say that about a Dark Council member, but... he cares about you. Marr cares about you, despite of the fact that you're a rival Dark Council member."

"I'm not a rival of him, and I can't ever be. I'm a scholar, Theron, not a warlord, and I don't want to be a warlord, to be honest. I'm perfectly content with my books and artefacts to study" Ahiyah shrugged.

"Have I ever mentioned that I love clever Sith with the body of a sex god?" Theron teased, and after a moment of stunned silence, Ahiyah burst out laughing.

When he could stop giggling, the Sith kissed Theron with scorching desire, and the agent couldn't do anything but yield before the power of that desire. He returned the kiss and turned Ahiyah onto his back, working on stripping him of his unnecessary clothes. The Sorcerer was nothing if not entirely cooperative, and soon nothing else than the other one mattered to them.

Chapter Text

It was night-time on Nar Shaddaa when they arrived and Ahiyah put the Interceptor down on a well-hidden, private landing pad, about a mile away from his cousin's apartment. After he bribed the workers for their silence, supported with some demonstration of the vast repertoire of his Force lightning-skills, he and Theron left the small spaceport and headed toward the apartment.

"I didn't know that you can use lightning in so many different ways" Theron said as they walked on the dirty streets and tried everything to avoid decapitation by idiotic swoop bike riders who flew way too low to be safe.

"Well, that's what I do best" Ahiyah shrugged. "Lightning feels like... a part of me. It feels natural. However, my telekinesis is just a huge pile of shit. I can't even move my backpack with it."

"I'm sure it's very annoying when you have to furniture your room, or pack for a holiday."

"You have no idea" Ahiyah chuckled.

They spent the walk with comfy chit-chat about Ahiyah's interesting Force-powers, and the Sith told about some of his adventures, careful not to give out any valuable information about the Empire. Fondness or not, he knew very well that Marr would murder him without a blink of an eye if he had even the slightest suspicion of betrayal.

"Here we are" Ahiyah said when they arrived at a huge, nondescript apartment-complex.

The place was quite clean and well-equipped, but nothing would tell that it had a few extraordinary inhabitants. Ahiyah led Theron to the fifth floor and stopped at a reinforced durasteel door. He typed the long entry code into the opening panel and endured a palm-scan to open the door. Soon they entered the apartment, and Ahiyah closed the entrance carefully then switched on the lights.

The apartment was huge for the average flat-size on Nar Shaddaa, with two comfortable bedrooms, a big common room, a bathroom and a kitchen. Naereus decorated the walls with Imperial flags and posters of his favourite movies, and Ahiyah knew if they'd peeked into his room, they'd have seen more posters on the walls and a huge, fluffy bed with at least a dozen soft pillows and a warm blanket on it, accompanied by Naereus' collection of plush Tuk'atas in different sizes.

However, Ahiyah walked to the other room with long steps, and Theron followed him.

"Do you have everything you need here? I mean, clothes and things like that."

"Not right now, but I asked Naereus to bring a few shirts and everything. He should arrive in a few hours" Ahiyah replied, dropping on the bed and just dozing lightly while Theron searched for bugs and other spy-toys, just to make sure they were indeed safe in this place.

Soon, a persistent beeping sound woke Ahiyah, and he fumbled to find his holocomm then answered the incoming call. An ear-to-ear smile spread on his face when the caller's picture materialized.

"Hi there, Sith Lady! What's up?" he asked his best friend, Fherea.

Fherea was a Sith Warrior, a few years younger than Ahiyah. They met when Ahiyah was still just Lord Zash's apprentice, and their friendship just got stronger in the passing years; so much that Darth Marr even dropped a few hints throughout the time they served together on the Dark Council that he in fact shipped it very much. Ahiyah, however, hadn't acted on it at all yet.

"I can ask you the same. Is everything okay with you? I've heard a few... unsettling things."

"Well..." Ahiyah sighed, not knowing what to say exactly. "I'm not entirely okay, but I'm gonna be... somehow. And if you mean the rumours that I'm with a Republic agent... yes, that's true. At first I thought it'd be just a one-night stand. I was pretty drunk, you know... and he was nice. And the next day... he told me everything about him being a spy, I broke down, and he... stayed with me. Tried to help me. And we decided to stay together."

Ahiyah could never lie to Fherea, not even when he knew she wouldn't be amused; like now.

"I'm sure Darth Marr has already preached to you about how dangerous it is, so I shall spare you from this. Let's skip to the part when you introduce us to each other" the Warrior said, eventually smiling at Ahiyah.

The Sorcerer laughed, calling Theron to him.

"Fherea, this is Theron. Theron, she's my best friend, Fherea. Please don't kill each other" he said as the agent and the Warrior looked at each other suspiciously.

"Nice to meet you, Fherea" Theron said finally, smiling as friendly as he could.

"Likewise" her holopicture nodded. "But let's get something straight: you hurt Ahiyah, you shall pay for it. Very dearly. Is that clear?"

Ahiyah rolled his eyes and facepalmed silently, but Theron's smile expanded into a grin.

"Absolutely" he said. "Now, if you excuse me, I have something to do, so I leave you two to it. Bye, Fherea!"

In the next minute, Theron left the room, and Ahiyah sighed deeply.

"Thanks for threatening my boyfriend right on your first meeting, really" he muttered, but Fherea just grinned savagely.

"At least now he knows what he could expect if he makes you cry. But okay, he looks cute" she admitted. "However, if you're on Nar Shaddaa and you're in dire need of some relax and cheering up anyway, I have an idea. Have you ever heard about the Force Fortress Escape Room?"

"Nope, what is it?"

"An escape room specifically for Force-users. Very hard and funny, you should try it if you have the chance. I bet that even Naereus would enjoy it, no matter how introvert he is" Fherea explained.

"Hmm... That sounds good, thanks for the tip" Ahiyah smiled. "Can you come as well?" he asked hopefully.

"No, I don't think so, sorry, sweetheart. Baras is already whining after me... I'm sure he's going to send me to the other end of the Galaxy again. So take care until next time, okay?"

"Okay. You, too" Ahiyah sighed, bidding farewell to his friend. "I miss you..." he whispered after Fherea's picture disappeared.

He put aside his holocomm and got up to help Theron preparing some meal. They were in the middle of it when Naereus arrived, carrying a stuffed travelling bag with him. The younger Kallig had a jetblack mess of hair and ice-blue, piercing eyes, he was tall and thin and moved with the distinctive grace of a well-trained Sith Assassin. However, when he spotted Theron, he froze, looking like a predator, ready to attack.

"So it's true... What Marr said about you and a Republic agent. I thought it was just his attempt at humour."

"Well, not exactly. He's Theron. Theron, this is my cousin, Naereus" Ahiyah introduced them, and Naereus nodded to the agent.

"Hello. Ahiyah, I've brought your things, I'm gonna leave them in your room, okay?"

"Okay, thanks. We've made you food, too, so come and eat with us maybe?"

Now, that caught Naereus' attention, and he indeed joined them after putting down the bag in Ahiyah's room. The Sorcerer was quite contented that Theron apparently managed to get along with the most important people in his life, for both Fherea and Naereus accepted him as Ahiyah's new partner pretty easily. Now he just had to make sure it stayed this way.

Chapter Text

A few hours later, when all three of them were sleepy enough to retire into their respective rooms and try to get some rest, Ahiyah sneaked across the apartment and knocked on his cousin's door. He wanted to talk with Naereus in private for a while, and Theron was extremely understanding.

"You haven't met in months; it's natural you want to spend some time with him. Go and talk to him" he said when Ahiyah voiced his wish to be with Naereus for a while.

"You sure you're okay with that? I don't want you to feel... alone, or something" Ahiyah muttered and blushed lovely.

"I won't. I don't want to lie, I'm gonna miss your gorgeous body beside me, but I wouldn't keep you away from the people you love."

Ahiyah laughed and kissed Theron before leaving their shared room, then headed toward his cousin's.

"It's open" came the answer to his knock, and Ahiyah went in.

Naereus sat on his extra comfortable luxury bed, sketching something into a notebook and hugging his favourite plush Tuk'ata tight. It was the biggest one of the whole collection of almost a dozen toys in different sizes; but all of them was a Tuk'ata. Ahiyah never fully got it why his cousin loved the plush Tuk'atas so much, but Naereus didn't accept any other animal. He wanted only Tuk'atas, the bigger and softer the better.

Ahiyah just shrugged, accepting it as one of Naereus' unique features, and as far as he knew, Marr didn't make it a problem, either. For most of the time, Naereus behaved like the adult he was now, however young, but a part of his soul remained the scared, desperate child he was when his life turned upside down and for the much, much worse.

The Sorcerer settled on the bed and took a quick peek into the notebook. As far as he could tell, Naereus was working on a cartoon about Marr and him sitting on one of the sessions of the Dark Council. There was a bubble above Marr's hooded and masked head, but Ahiyah couldn't see what the drawn Warrior was saying. He couldn't stop wondering about where Naereus got his talent from for drawing; his cousin was very good at it.

Naereus noticed that he was staring at his drawing, so he closed the notebook and put it aside. He liked keeping his secrets, like most of the Sith did.

"I'll show you when it's finished" he said.

"Okay. Does Marr know that you're drawing him?"

"Yeah. He says I have to work on his mask because I never get the patterns right" Naereus shrugged, and Ahiyah couldn't help his grin; Marr was much more easygoing than he let it being shown.

"I'm happy that you have such a fine place with him."

"He's a good master... Well, at least much better than Harkun or anybody else in the Academy was. He never hurts me."

Ahiyah sighed and pulled Naereus into his arms without any hesitation as they sprawled on the huge, soft bed. Naereus stirred a bit as he was searching for the most comfortable position, hugging another Tuk'ata in the process.

"Grumpy isn't enough?" the older Kallig asked as he covered them with the warm blanket; it was the name of the biggest plush Tuk'ata that Ahiyah bought for Naereus on the day they left Korriban.

It was almost six years ago, still, Ahiyah remembered it clearly. Naereus was still kind of shocked after learning that his cousin was very much alive, and said cousin had just murdered his cruel Overseer's ass off before his eyes. Then the Sorcerer told the scared teen to follow him, and Naereus obeyed without the slightest of hesitation. When they were on the orbital station to board Ahiyah's ship and go back to Dromund Kaas, Naereus asked his cousin to stop at the station's shop because he was hungry. He didn't have any money, so Ahiyah bought him a sandwich and some fruit drink when Naereus spotted Grumpy, and it was love at first sight.

"Please?" the teen asked, and Ahiyah couldn't say no, so Naereus got Grumpy to hug all the way to Dromund Kaas.

Now Naereus just shrugged, contently hugging his plushies; he'd never been too talkative, he only said what he had to in order to make himself understood. Ahiyah never pushed him to talk, he knew that Naereus had other ways to release his pain and sadness, mostly through his drawings. He said what he wanted with pictures.

Soon, Naereus fell asleep, and Ahiyah got up after a gentle stroke on his cousin's messy hair.

"Sweet dreams, brat" the Sorcerer whispered then left the room as quietly as he could.

"Everything's okay with your cousin?" Theron asked when Ahiyah stepped into their shared room.

"Yeah, he's just fallen asleep a few minutes ago." Ahiyah snuggled under the blanket and let Theron cuddle him all the agent wanted.

"You know, he's an even stranger Sith than you are."

"Well, it can be..." Ahiyah smiled sadly. "He's... he's been through a lot. He was seven when we ended up in slavery, and nine when I'd seen him the last time for years. I can't even imagine what could happen to him, but from my experiences I'd say it was nothing good. Then came the Academy... and Harkun. That guy... he was a sick, twisted fuck who abused everyone under his so called 'care'." Theron hugged his Sith tighter when he felt Ahiyah shivering. "I should've... gone back sooner..."

"You couldn't possibly have known that Naereus got into the Academy as well. You'd thought each other dead. When you found him, you took him with you. You couldn't do more" Theron comforted him, and Ahiyah knew that the agent was right, still, it hurt so much that it could've happened another way as well, in a way that wouldn't have left Naereus so hurt and broken because of a fucked up Overseer on Korriban.

"I want to burn that place to the ground..." he whispered, and when Theron kissed him, Ahiyah escaped gratefully into the white-hot passion it ignited.

An hour later they lay in each other's arms, Theron sleeping peacefully, but Ahiyah couldn't find rest for a long time. The feeling that something's coming was getting stronger again, but he still didn't have any idea what was it exactly, and he feared that by the time he figured it out, it would be way too late.

Chapter Text

The fragile peace of Ahiyah's life lasted only about a week. During that time, he felt truly happy. He spent the time with Theron and Naereus, and they even visited the escape room Fherea suggested to try; they'd never had so much fun, so Ahiyah really regretted that Fherea couldn't be there with them.

Then, when the trio of Ahiyah, Naereus and Theron was in the Nar Shaddaa Library, everything just crushed down around them.

The Library wasn't the most visited place on the Smuggler's Moon; in fact, that time only the two Sith, the agent and the sleeping librarian were occupying the monumental but neglected building. Naereus and Ahiyah were studying, or at least Ahiyah helped his cousin with some task Darth Marr gave him to keep his mind sharp, and Theron explored the building, searching for possible dangers.

However, nothing could ready him for what came for them.

He was at least a few rooms away from the diligently learning Sith when his cybernetically enhanced hearing picked up the distinctive sound of clashing lightsaber blades.

"Shitshitshit!" he muttered as he turned on his heels and ran back to Ahiyah at full speed.

By the time he got back, the fight was beginning to reach its peak. Theron saw a Jedi wielding a double-bladed green lightsaber, the same type as Naereus' weapon was, only the Sith's blades were red, with crackling electricity running up and down on them. It looked quite dangerous. And there was Ahiyah's beautiful silver blade, and Theron felt his heart squeezing tight as he watched his Sith fighting for his life.

He wanted to do something, anything, but he was painfully aware of the fact that in this situation, he was simply helpless. All three of the fighting parties were a powerful Force-user, Theron would've only made things worse if he tried to interfere. So he waited patiently, however hard it was, for the stranger Jedi to reveal some weakness he could exploit without getting himself killed in the process.

Then, in one terrible moment, time seemed to stop; at least Theron felt like he was watching the whole thing in some kind of strange slow-motion. He couldn't move, he couldn't think, he just watched helplessly as the damn Jedi first sent Ahiyah flying into a massive shelf with a kinetic blast, then unarmed Naereus with a few, inhumanly fast strikes and stabbed the young Sith right in the stomach.

The Jedi didn't stop to make sure Naereus was dead, he moved on immediately to murder Ahiyah as well; or at least Theron thought that was the case. He couldn't imagine after this that the Jedi still wanted Ahiyah alive. He wanted to help his Sith, but Ahiyah was a Dark Council member, one of the most powerful beings in the Empire. Naereus, on the other hand, could very well be dying, so with a heavy heart, Theron made the decision to try to help Naereus first.

Taking advantage of the fact that the Jedi was completely preoccupied with Ahiyah, Theron rushed across the huge room, dropping down on his knees next to Naereus, touching his neck as he searched for a pulse. The young Sith was alive but unconscious, his breathing came in fast, shallow gasps. That made Theron's job a bit easier; he turned Naereus over to his back carefully, opening his shirt so he could apply first aid.

After treating the wound as best as he could, Theron gave the Sith a stimulant that boosted the healing rate of his body, making sure that he'd still be alive when they could finally get him proper help.

"Hold on, buddy, just hold on!" he muttered as he turned back to the Force-users, determined to make this encounter as short as possible; even by murdering this damn Jedi's annoying ass off if he had to.

However, the sight before his eyes made him completely speechless. Right up to this point, Theron, if he wanted to be completely honest, had never thought about Ahiyah as a Sith in the sense of power and skills, not even after he saw some demonstration on the spaceport. Ahiyah was a nice, kind guy who needed some help with his currently quite troubled soul and psyche, and Theron treated him accordingly: with love and patience, and he was never truly afraid of him. Until now.

At this very moment, he didn't see his partner he grew to love so much. He saw Ahiyah Kallig, Dark Council member and Sith Lord, half-mad with fury and grief, and about to roast the life out of that Jedi. The raw power Ahiyah radiated charged the air in the whole room with electricity, and Theron felt his implants simply frying, so he quickly disabled all of them before they could've detonated. The lights weren't so lucky, most of them quickly burned out.

The fact that he was still alive told Theron that Ahiyah at least tried to control his power and aim it only at his enemy, but it was obvious that the release of all of that energy wouldn't be nice. Theron did his best to ground himself and the still unconscious Naereus, and prepared for the worst.

*

Ahiyah felt the raging Force around and inside of him, and he grabbed and shaped it, bending it to his will. And his will was quite simple right now: killing that Jedi, purging the world of his presence, roasting him until nothing but ash remained of him.

The Jedi, stubbornly refusing his impending doom, still tried to attack him, but all of his strikes and stabs were rebuffed by the static Force-shield around Ahiyah. Soon, the Sith got fed up with that, and grabbed the Shadow's neck in an iron-hard Force-grip, holding him in place; and then Ahiyah released the most devastating lightning storm he'd ever managed to conjure, right into the writhing Jedi.

The Shadow's scream was piercing, but it lasted only a split second before the raw power of the lightning fried his vocal cords, alongside with everything else in his body. It took only a minute to reduce the Jedi to a pile of ash and fragmented, blackened bones. As the lightning storm dissipated and finally disappeared, Ahiyah felt like he had to run all around Kaas City, twice, then someone used him as a piñata for weeks. He was exhausted, every part of his body hurt, but he shook this off and stumbled to Theron and his cousin, huddled together at the other end of the room.

Theron stood up, visibly shivering, when he saw Ahiyah approaching them, catching the swaying Sith.

"Help's on the way, you're gonna be alright. Both of you."

These were the last words Ahiyah heard before passing out.

Chapter Text

Ahiyah woke with a start, only to be pushed back gently into the bed by Darth Marr's huge hand on his shoulder. He looked around nervously, but when he saw that he was in an Imperial medical facility, he calmed somewhat.

"Easy now. You've exhausted yourself, you need rest" Marr said, and as always, Ahiyah found his deep, accented voice comforting for some strange reason.

"Naereus...?" he asked, swallowing hard.

"Healing. Your agent's quick first aid pretty much saved his life."

Ahiyah smiled as he tried to blink back happy, relieved tears.

"What about the Jedi...?" he whispered, already slipping back into a deep slumber.

"Don't worry, I'll deal with them" Marr promised menacingly.

*

The message was clear and brutal: We shall break your pathetic Order just like this.

Satele Shan found the piece of paper with the note written with sturdy handwriting in a small box, atop of a pile of broken, deformed metal and a blackened, once green crystal; the sad remains of Vazhoul's lightsaber.

There was no way to deny it: the Sith knew about her plan and destroyed it before it could've even been realized. The Grand Master knew that she had to lie low for a while, remain under the Dark Council's radar; but it didn't mean she gave up.

The End