It had almost been a year since Tobias had come to live with the knights. He still kept to himself, mostly.
There was one lady knight who he was often seen with. Rii’A Leoni.
Tobias often seemed, aloof, vacant, a lot of his conversations seemed to dissolve into babble, or he would burst into a violent rage, and only Rii’A could calm him down.
His health, if he even had such a thing, though stable at times, was clearly deteriorating. His coloring was wrong, he was always a sickly pale, and his face, it was almost as if Tobias wasn’t sleeping, at all.
She would see for herself though. Rii’A made it her goal to nurse the Jedi back to health. She wasn’t even sure why though. By all accounts, Tobias was an incorrigible person. His behavior was erratic, sometimes even childish, his tone either blunt, sardonic, or aloof. Rii’A had never once seen the Jedi smile, never once seen him happy. She understood that he had undergone traumas that had completely shattered the man Tobias used to be. She knew about his past as the Jedi Knight, David Antilles, about how he had lived for years under an alias that few ever knew about. All because Tobias hated who he used to be, and thought that by becoming a Jedi, shedding the boy known as Tobias and becoming a famed Jedi named David Antilles, that he would finally gain respect and learn to love himself. And in a bizarre way, David Antilles seemed to be the pinnacle of everything Tobias had hoped to be.
But then David Antilles failed, the idea of a hero failing to save people, it was too much for Tobias to bear. But David Antilles didn’t just fail to save one life, he failed to save thousands.
An entire province reduced to ash because of his rage causing a mining facility to erupt in an explosion caused by unstable ores.
A dying race, now extinct, also a result of the blast.
His apprentice and best friend was now dead.
So much death now hung on the shoulders of David Antilles, and the man Tobias had dreamed to be, became something he hated more than who he used to be.
It took Rii’A almost a whole week just to keep Tobias calm long enough to get him to talk about what he referred to as ‘The Christophsis Incident’, the news bulletins the Galactic Alliance put out were referring to it as a ‘Genocide caused by a mad Jedi’. This probably did nothing to soothe the burden of guilt on Tobias’ shoulders.
Tobias was in his quarters, his Jedi robes had been patched up and stitched back together, courtesy of Rii’A. He simply sat on his bed, arms behind his head, he looked at the ceiling. Rii’A’s boots clattered against the floor. But Tobias didn’t react, almost as if he never even heard her enter the room.
In her arms, Rii’A held two objects, a mat, and a pillow. Tossing them on the floor, Rii’A placed her gloved hands on her hips.”Comfortable?” She asked, her tone almost sarcastic.
Tobias didn’t answer, he just stared at the ceiling.
“I shall assume that you are comfortable.” Rii’A huffed as she adjusted the pillow on the mat.
“What are you doing here?” Tobias asked, he was curious, a bit irritated, but it wasn’t like he wasn’t happy to see Rii’A.
“I want to learn more about you.” She said plainly as she began to slip her gauntlets off, dropping them on the floor with a loud ‘clang’.” And, I figured you could use the company… is that going to be a problem?”
“I don’t sleep Rii’A.” Tobias stated plainly.
Rii’A began to undo the clasps on her body armor and slipped it off, like the gauntlets, it fell to the floor with a loud noise, she wore a plain blue long sleeved shirt underneath her body armor, and her hands were fair.”I’m aware, that’s why I’m here. I thought I might try and get you to sleep.” That was part of the reason.
The other part was that somehow, over the time she had known him, the fallen Jedi was starting to grow on her, there was something about him that attracted her. Perhaps it was because he was the only person to ever call her ‘beautiful’, maybe it was something about him that she couldn’t quite understand. But strangely, Rii’A almost felt feelings of love for the poor Jedi.
Rii’A’s intentions for coming to his quarters were indeed to try and calm Tobias and try to get him to sleep, but at the same time, Rii’A couldn’t help but feel part of the reason she came here was for her own feelings, and perhaps whether or not to confirm Tobias felt the same.
She stepped out of her boots, leaving them near the entrance as she picked up her discarded pieces of armor and placed them on a table, once again filling the room with the loud sound of metal banging against metal and hard materials.
Finally, Rii’A undid her braid, her golden hair flowing down almost to her mid back. She shook her head a bit to loosen it up as golden locks fluttered.
Tobias looked over to her, his arms tucked and crossed behind his head.”If you’re going to sleep why don’t you just use the bed, I can lie on the mat for the night.” He didn’t use the word sleep, after all, why talk about an action he was incapable of doing.
“No, you need to be comfortable, if you’re going to sleep, it’s important that you have your rest on a proper bed for once.” Rii’A insisted, she slipped her socks off and then laid down on the mat in the middle of the floor as she let her bare feet breath in the chilled air of the barracks.
Tobias got up, adjusting his robes slightly he knelt down near the mat.”No, I insist you have the bed. I don’t need it.”
Rii’A sat up, and looked at him.”No, I insist.” She said, glaring back at him, he could be so stubborn sometimes.
“Get in that bed.” Tobias pointed to the bed behind him.
“Was that an order ‘Master Jedi’?” Rii’A challenged.
“Don’t call me that!” Tobias shouted.”Just get in the damned bed, I’m not going to sleep tonight no matter what you try.”
“Are you challenging me ‘Master Jedi’?” Rii’A took another verbal stab at him.
“If it’ll get you to sleep in that bed and to stop calling me that then yes! I—“ Tobias was immediately cut off by a hand gripping his collar and pulling him down.
Rii’A gripped him tightly as she pulled him off his feet and had him pinned to the floor in a matter of seconds.”Looks like you lose Tobias. Get to bed, now.”
Tobias stuggled for a moment, his arm pinned to his back, and Rii’A on top of him. He squirmed enough to jimmy his other arm loose, and then violently rolled over, now it was the opposite. Tobias had Rii’A pinned to the mat, though she still had a firm hold on his arm and collar.”Will you please, stop!” Tobias shouted.
Rii’A countered, being able to push him off of her, soon they were both on their feet, and grappling against each other in their competition of ‘who gets the bed’. Rii’A was strong, and agile, often being able to take Tobias to the floor and get him pinned, only for him to find a way out of her holds and able to turn the tables on her, she would do the same in a matter of seconds.
It was a continuous battle of counter after counter until eventually Rii’A had Tobias pinned to the bed.”Why Tobias? Why do you struggle! Why won’t you let anyone in!” Rii’A gasped, she was short on breath after the hassle the ex-Jedi had just caused her.
“Because I love you!” Tobias barked.
“What?” Rii’A stammered, her hold on his arms loosening from the shock of what he just admitted.
“I love you Rii’A, but I know that the moment I admit that, I also have to accept the reality of my situation! That I’m sick! That’s I’m dying, and that I won’t be able to enjoy my time with you because of the way my body is degrading on me.” He tried to look away.”And I don’t want to be the cause of more suffering, especially not to you. Not after everything you’ve done for me.”
Rii’A paused, trying to take in everything the Jedi was saying, yes, if they were to admit their feelings for each other, could they live with the fact that her time with Tobias would be short? Could she live with the fact that his rampant psychosis and decaying health would one day tear their relationship asunder? Did they even have a relationship? Granted, she had been spending more time with him…
“I’m sorry, I… I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable…” Tobias murmured, looking back up to the Lady knight, who’s cheeks had turned a shade of red.
“Do you… do you mean that?” She asked, sheepishly, a stark contrast to the firm tone she had been using on him earlier.
“Yes…” Tobias admitted.
It all happened in an instant, first there was a pause, then their lips connected in a kiss.
Tobias awoke the next morning, he and Rii’A were sprawled on the floor, he looked down, his lightsaber was on the floor, open, as if he were trying to put the mechanism back in. He looked over, Rii’A was still sound asleep on the mat with him. He frantically looked for the mechanism, stopping when he found the crystal and parts near him.
There was a pause, a brief sigh, and then he tied the crystal back around his neck again, and put the handle away.
For once, Tobias felt content.