[FIN] Virgin Sands
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Moonlight fell onto shores of the Silver Sea. The Exile breathed it in, closing his eyes and letting the cool ocean breeze play through his hair. The pearly white glow glistened on the exposed, onrate hilt of his vibroblade, and the milky aura of Chandrila's white moon gave his body an etheral quality.
Letting his eyelids slowly drift open, the Exile stared into the distance at shimmering lights of the far-off city of Hanna. He was relieved at the distance between himself and the bustling capital; to be in a place so ideologically close to the core of the dying Republic as Hanna would only depress him, make him wonder why he risked everything to defend the government which was rotting from within- and he was in no mood to question his past actions.
The Exile walked closer to the foamy waters of the Silver Sea, the sound of softly falling waves caressing his ears. Resting one hand upon the secure hilt of his vibrosword and the other on that of the shortblade which rested in his scarlet sash, he once again stopped. He sensed one of his companions exiting the ship.
Visas. Once again he closed his eyes, reaching out with the Force. He could see he Ebon Hawk, its landing struts padded into the pliant sands of the Chandrila beachfront, the loading ramp emnating a soft glow onto the sand. He sensed further, feeling the warmth within the ship as Atton slept soundly, snoring only a little, Kreia deep in a trance, Bao-Dur growing pleasantly fatigued as he toiled over the engine room... and the servant of Atris, lying sleeplessly on a mat in her usual locale.
He turned his senses to the Miraluka who was shyly, hesitantly making her way down the boarding ramp. She stopped short at the bottom, sensing his knowledge of her arrival, and after seeming to have resolved to turn back for a moment, she shook her head and continued her advance with a humble head.
After allowing his senses to absorb all this, the Exile turned around, opened his eyes, and gave Visas a slight smile. He was glad to see her out of the ship. The beauty of a Chandrilan evening would do her tattered soul well... if her broken Vision could any longer See beauty.
When she had finished her approach she reverently knelt before the Exile.
"My life, for-"
She did so without emotion, drawing yet another slight, almost undetectable smile from the Exile. He allowed the silence to fall, and nudged her mind toward the unrestrained beauty of the world's surroundings. Her defenses proved weak where he prodded.
"Ah, you do want to see it," he murmered.
"Yes... Exile. A world so full of... of untouched beauty..." her words died away.
"Aye..." the Exile mused, taking a deep breath. "Untouched by the galaxy's shrotcomings. These sands have never seen war, never blood, never hate."
"We truly do not belong here."
He nodded. "We are all that this planet is not."
"Why have you taken us here?" She turned her partly covered face to the Exile, who was still gazing into the sea.
"It is... a repose, Visas. And a reminder," he answered with his eyes still trained on some far-off point. "This is the closest I've been to Coruscant since my exile."
The soft music of the waves rose and fell. Visas turned away slowly, and fixed her nonexistant gaze into the sea.
"This place weakens us, Exile."
"It's purity... the virgin beach beneath our feet... they grant such unwarranted sentiments of security... I have not felt so safe since..." she trailed off into silence and her words hung in the air.
The exile raised an eyebrow and turned to her. "I for one enjoy feeling safe."
And Visas turned back to him. "To feel safe is to make yourself vulnerable. Only under constant threat of danger are our minds prepared for battle," she replied. "I... do not feel any will to do battle here... I couldn't, wouldn't purge the purity of such a pristine world."
"Nor I," he sighed in response. "And that is why I find such peace here. It is one place in which the thirst to do battle is gone." He unsheathed his swords and tossed them into the sand, where they fell with muffled impact. He once again looked into the veil over her face.
"I am vulnerable, Visas."
She looked down. "Exile, we cannot be here. You cannot do this. It is a weakness to be here..." but her words fell away as his hand met her shoulder.
"My lady Sith, circumstances have made me strong since the Mandalorian Wars. Necessity has guided my fortitude unceasingly and without rest until this very hour. I yearn for a night of rest, a night of weakness, that I may be stronger in the morning."
She slowly, hestiantly, and then deliberately raised her hand so that it was upon the Exile's which rested on her shoulder. "I too have been... forced by fate or the Force to never let the dusk of weakness fall on my back. It is... it is as if I am constantly running westward to escape the coming of nightfall." The Exile could feel her defense crumbling; a woman rising from a grave in her soul. The woman rose and rose from the prison of a tormented soul, and when the final stone of the dam she had built was swept away by a tide of passion, Visas' legs gave and she fell forward into the Exile's arms.
"Exile... I have so long yearned to be weak."
He held her up with her head against his mesh-armored chest, a reassuring hand upon her veiled head. He let his eyes fall closed and allowed himself to See.
"I know, Sith... this I know."
The Exile Saw the risen woman of the Miraluka's soul. He saw her feel things a Sith would never dare to feel. Risen from a spiritual grave she let go and from her open palms flowed mercy, peace, hope, thanksgiving, and love.
A shuddering sigh escaped Visas' lips as her feet once again found the sand. She returned the Exile's embrace.
"I... I am vulnerable Exile." And in a small voice: "My life... for yours."
"No no, love, mine for yours."
And he kissed her motionless scarlet lips gently. Her lips never moved, and for an eternity her face lay frozen as her arms rested effortlessly around his hips. Eons passed between the two as she stood motionless. The moon retreated behind a rolling cloud and the breeze whispered past the two in their gaze. The waves receded and the sea grew quiet.
With a reborn heart guiding her lips, Visas whispered, "So shall it be." She let go of the Exile's waist and placed her freed hands behind his head, drawing him near. The moonlight returned as their lips met; a vigorous wave crashed down, and the woman within the Sith bloomed in glory. Their hearts locked and their Eyes Saw. They Saw each other, exposed and weak. They saw the delicacy of the spirits whose protective walls had just been so utterly destroyed. They Saw the perfection of a world so pure and the power of a spirit so vulnerable. They Saw the light of dawn rise from the East, and the mask of nighttime faded.
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