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Death: Hush's reaction to Nia'ana dying.
What a perfectly alien sensation. For several moments the obfuscated miraluka couldn’t begin to identify it or understand what had caused it. The sight his eyeless vision laid before him was nothing new; violence and death were as old friends, even bedfellows to him. In some quiet moments he liked to imagine that he was more than Bogan’s—his goddess of death—tool and servant, but her consort.
Perhaps that halfway explained the sensation he then felt. It had been a long while since he’d first concluded that Nia’ana had become a living avatar of Bogan. It didn’t follow that he’d been her consort, sadly. On occasion he’d made subtle allusions or advances toward that end, but they were as often slapped away as accepted. She could be a fickle mistress, his Bogan, but that had never really been a bother. His service was ever accepted, and little else truly mattered. The rest could always come later.
And yet his service had faltered. He’d meant to leap forth, to spring from the shadows as he often did and aid her in the battle. He was a reasonably capable straight up fighter, if a ceaselessly mobile one, and with a solid base from which to work around he could be truly devastating. Nia provided that splendidly, as had Izu-Dar-Mauli is an earlier age.
How he missed the reptile. Meals were never quite the same without her. Ah, yes, this was a part of the sensation. This undefinable sort of emptiness where a valued companion’s presence had once been, this he knew. It didn’t account for everything, though. Not then. Not with Nia.
He’d meant to leap forth, but he’d remained hidden away, his presence and form wrapped in the Force. It was not a clean fight, not quick or elegant. Several Jedi had paid for their boldness with life or limb, but there had been too many.
Ever had Hush cherished the sight of a powerful Force wielder in their final moments. The greater the energy built up within an individual, the more spectacular the display when it was at last released, particularly if that release came as such a burst of violent finality. When those teal lekku splayed out, the beautiful head they were attached to flying free of its body, he nearly lost consciousness from the blast.
No one else seemed to feel it; no one else rejoiced. The two Jedi who remained largely unscathed simply looked relieved, but mournful of the shattered remnants of their own companions.
It was only as the lights faded and Hush came back to the present that the sensation began. Lips that were virtually never without that serene, unshakable smile turned downward and at last parted in silent despair. It was over. She was gone. She was far from the first metaphysical lover—from his perspective, anyway—that he’d lost, but it affected him as no other had. And that sensation, that…
Guilt? Was this what guilt felt like? Regret?
He could have saved her, or at the very least found an end with her. Ecstatic as the moment of her death had been, in the fading light of her smothered spark—holocaust, more like—the assassin was left hollow and alone in a way he’d never imagined.
The remaining Jedi froze in their ministrations to their wounded brethren as a keening wail pierced through their minds. A flash of mismatched cloth and he was past them. Perhaps he could have ended them, but that was not his goal. Hush had never been a vengeful creature and the thought of slaying these Jedi brought him no comfort. No, he aimed straight for the feminine corpse in the tattered white dress. One ancient blade came off his back—a gift she had graced him with when he’d lain a rich offering at her feet—and made a swift stroke as he moved past, cleaving the metal arm cleanly from her flesh. The servos had locked when her nervous system stopped sending signals, her long-shafted lightsaber still gripped (though extinguished) in the razor fingers. The severed arm was scooped up in his free hand.
Hush had never stopped moving, and before the Jedi had been able to mount any sort of offense he’d vanished anew, taking Nia’ana’s weapons with him.
He was lightyears away before he stopped running. His battered ship was set on some programmed hyperspace route that he’d paid no mind to, not much caring where he was headed. He sat cross-legged on the deck plating, cradling the arm and the energy weapon it still clung to. He’d never held any affection for either device. Lightsabers were loud and revealing and not at all to his personal taste. The prosthesis had always been his least favorite part of Nia’s body. The luminous being she was through his vision had not quite extended to the limb. It did not contain her lifeblood, was not a true part of her he’d always (quietly) contested.
But few other things identified her so completely as the weapon she had driven through so many foes and the hand that had torn out so many tongues. Here lay the essence of his goddess, his love. Lifting it, he laid several kisses on the back of the hand. His lips came away bloody, the knuckles unbelievably sharp.
Hush watched the rivulets of blood run down the the metal, the glow of life slowly fading.
He hated the new environment and everyone knew it. Lucifer was eminently accomplished at expressing displeasure, and not in the least shy about it. The temperature was the core of his complaints; born and raised upon the icy world of Dolomar, finding himself in the much more temperate climes of Nubia sat ill with the doctor from day one. Of course, most all the rest of the Renegades adored the change, and he was quickly brushed off. At least at first. After a few weeks the others simply ignored him.
All except Maelibi. She of course continued to see each complaint as an opportunity, and was quick to capitalize on each one, shifting it into some bawdy taunt or other. This served the dual purpose of propagating their veneer of friendly rivalry and providing genuine enjoyment. She did love to tease the stuffy man. She knew as well that deep down it made him feel better, as any attention they were able to give each other publicly was good attention as far as the clandestine lovers were concerned.
He rarely let it show, of course, more than capable of acting convincingly more irate than he truly felt. On one occasion, however, he finally broke and took a small risk.
Performing one of her customary taunting dances of victory—even more than most, she reveled in the heat and the skin-baring outfits it permitted her—while kicking lightly through the surf, she was taken quite by surprise when he stepped closer behind and splashed some of the much cooler water onto her legs and back. Expression shifting instantly to shock as she let out a squeaky little cry, Maelibi spun about and narrowed her dark, almond eyes.
“Oh, it’s on, Vice.” A feral grin belied the sternness of her tone.
Nevertheless, or perhaps in direct response to the sort of vengeance he imagined her exacting, Lucifer beat a hasty retreat. She was a good deal more impulsive than he, and he recognized the hunger when he saw it. The same desire assaulted him ceaselessly, but appearances had to be maintained.
Perhaps tonight while the other slept they would be able to slip out and she could make him answer for his crimes under the more comfortable light of the moon. That thought would have to sustain him in the meantime as he sprinted for the barracks, working hard to suppress his own smile.
Hey, got the prompt. Just haven't had much free time. Probably tomorrow or Sunday, thanks for it!
Because this is sort of indirectly a request for grace and patience on my part, I will not deride you for placing a non-query in here. Thanks you for your submission. Take all the time you like. Your hair is flouncy and your glasses keen.
Like Lys would be the first Jedi Hush kissed without permission. Be at least the third, after Tari and unnamed corpse.
thanks for the reminders
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