Kit Fisto's Smile
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A series of light, fun vignettes about Jedi Master Kit Fisto and his apprentice.
"Up and at 'em!" Master Fisto called, startling me into consciousness as he dropped my robe onto my no-longer-sleeping face.
I groaned and rolled over, freeing my head from the uninvited clothing. "There are more soothing ways to wake up a Padawan, you know."
My tunic dropped onto my face next.
With a sleep-clogged chuckle, I sat up, the clothing sliding off my head as I raised a hand in surrender. "All right, all right, I'm up, Master."
I crawled out of bed, Kit Fisto disappearing from the room as I changed back into my Jedi robes. Last night had been the first chance in days to sleep, and I was reluctant to leave the bed, but the galaxy needed us. This war wouldn't fight itself.
"Please tell me there's caf," I said, shuffling out into the common space we had been designated for our stay in the temple. I didn't understand why the Council insisted on seeing us first thing in the morning. Surely our report could wait.
"Why Padawan, you look resplendent as the noonday sun!" said Kit, halting my steps toward the caf machine. I stared, my face an undisguised expression of utter disbelief. "Your braid is around your neck and I'm fairly certain your utility belt is on backwards."
The master's sense of humor never failed to summon a smile to my lips as I yanked my apprenticeship braid back into place. Running a casual hand through my hair to make sure the bed head wasn't too bad, I grabbed a mug and drank deeply. "Always with the critiques, Master," I mumbled around the mug, too absorbed in the effect the drink was having on my mental status to be bothered by Kit tugging at my belt to straighten my attire.
We made our way through the Jedi Temple to the High Council's chambers in silence. Though Master Fisto knew how to lighten any mood, he also knew when to keep a lid on it. It was one of many things I admired about the man.
The false Coruscanti sun gleamed through the temple windows. I tilted my head back, letting its rays touch my face as we walked.
"Think we'll have a chance for a dip in the Room of a Thousand Fountains later?" I asked.
Kit smiled that wide, infectious smile. "Let's hope so."
I breathed in a sigh. "It's been ages since I've meditated in there. With all the rushed missions, it'll be nice to catch a break."
"I think the Separatists are allergic to a good time."
We laughed at that, waving a hello to Master Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker. Anakin looked to be in a far less jovial mood as he whispered harshly at his master, Obi-Wan seeming equally exasperated.
"What's got their tunics in a twist?" I muttered, conscientious of how well voices traveled in the cavernous insides of the Jedi Temple.
"Looks like they're suffering from the same affliction as the Separatists," said Kit, though his wide black eyes betrayed a hint of concern. "This war has really disrupted the lifestyle of the Jedi."
I nodded, thinking back to the days before the Battle of Geonosis, before Obi-Wan slayed that Zabrak warrior on Naboo, even. There had been a time where the latest political scandal was all the Jedi had to worry about. Now, politics had become outright fighting. It wasn't just the Jedi being spread thin, it was the entire galaxy.
Kit reached over and put a hand on my shoulder, stopping me before the chamber doors and reading into my thoughts. "Relax, my Padawan. Your tension makes you more vulnerable. Let us focus on the moment."
The Council doors slid open, the Masters in the midst of a rather heated discussion, Mace Windu on his feet attempting to bring the session to a pause.
Kit and I looked sideways at each other.
"We're not getting to the Fountains today, are we?" I said.
My master shook his head. "Next time, Padawan."
2. Ties That BindMy vocal cords tore under the strain of my scream. The electricity shooting through me was unbearable, every last inkling of self-control gone as my torturer cranked up the machine I was bound to. I could have never anticipated how this mission had turned out, even when the Council had named the dangerous outer-rim planet we were being assigned to. Never in all my Jedi training had I known such pain.
"Stop! Stop it!"
The flow of electricity vanished, though my body still quaked from its lashing. My voice was hoarse. "Master, don't."
Kit Fisto strained against his own Force-resistant restraints. "Let my apprentice go."
I had never seen my master so openly upset. His bulging black eyes were wide, welling with tears that then painted his green-toned skin. My heart ached at the sight and joined my body in hurting.
"Master, you can't--" I tried to speak, but my voice wouldn't sound properly. It cracked, then vanished, my torso shaking uncontrollably as feeling coursed through their tight numbness. "Master."
"I'll tell you where the Kaiburr crystal is, just let us leave here. Please."
I couldn't let him trade my life for the safety of the Jedi Order. I just couldn't. I tried to writhe against my bindings, to stop Kit from revealing the crystal's location, but too late. My restraints snapped open, causing me to collapse to the floor in an undignified heap.
Kit was at my side in an instant. "Are you all right?"
"Never better, Master," I croaked.
He pulled me into his arms, carrying me carefully away and to our captured shuttle. Too weak to do anything else, I let Kit lay me gingerly onto the med-bay table. The digitized medical robot blinked into view, scanning me as my master went to prepare the ship for take-off.
My entire body felt like it was on fire, skin prickling as though a trillion tiny, white-hot needles were stabbing me. I knew then that it would be better to die than to live in such exquisite pain.
Dark spots flashed in the corners of my vision. I embraced the darkness as it took me...
3. Bedside Manners
A shock woke me, my torso electrified by whatever device the clone trooper medic had pressed to my chest.
I gasped from the sensation, eyes wide, then shut against the glaring lights. "Master!"
Kit's voice was close, but I didn't dare open my eyes until they adjusted. I reached out blindly.
He gripped my hand firmly. His voice was thick. "Thank the Force."
I squeezed his hand, amazed at how much better I was feeling already from whatever it was the medics were doing. "Can't get rid of me that easily."
"I'll have you doing double sparring sessions for scaring me like that."
I groaned, using the delay in speaking to test my eyesight again. Kit's face swam into view. "Oh, goodie."
When he noticed that my eyes were open, he smiled.
I couldn't help it: despite my pain, I smiled back.
The med-bay door of the Jedi cruiser we were now on slid open, a clone trooper striding inside. "We're almost at Coruscant, General Fisto. We've notified the Jedi Temple to expect an emergency landing."
"Thank you, Captain," said Kit. "Tell them to send whatever Jedi Healers are on duty. My apprentice will need immediate attention."
The clone saluted and left.
"I feel fine," I said, reclaiming Kit's attention.
"That's because they pumped you with the strongest pain killers available to the Republic." Kit checked the monitor beside my head. His lips quirked with a hint of a grin. "I'm almost jealous."
I let out a breathy chuckle, then sobered. "How bad am I?"
The Jedi Master winced almost imperceptibly, but I noticed. After so many years of his constant presence, I had picked up on the Nautolan's mannerisms.
It was bad.
When we arrived at the Jedi Temple, the Healers rushed to take me from the army medics. Though my own master was a Consular, familiar with the intricacies of the Living Force, I had no idea what my carers were doing. Strange, luminous balls of energy would appear and disappear, the Jedi placing their hands on various parts of my body as they worked. Despite the foreign feelings, I felt at ease. The pain drained away.
"Master Fisto," one of the Healers said. The others moved away from me. "Your Padawan requires rest. I suggest you return to your quarters while your apprentice remains under our supervision."
Kit straightened at the suggestion. "I'd prefer to remain with--"
"Kit, please. There is nothing more that can be done. You have both gone through a horrible ordeal. You both require rest."
My master glanced at me, forehead furrowed.
I relaxed into a grin, blissed out by whatever techniques the Healers had used. "Go on, Master. Get lost."
Kit gave a small smile. "You better be ready for sparring when I next see you."
4. Mornings II
I stirred awake as something warm pressed itself against my face. I lifted away from the pillow, having curled up on my side as I had slept, and found myself staring at one of Master Fisto's head-tresses.
"Shh," he hushed without moving. "They don't know I'm here."
I snickered, and noted that Kit was slumped over in a chair beside my bed, head resting beside the pillow I had just vacated. Glancing around, I realized that his position did indeed keep him out of the view of the Healers going about their business.
Reclaiming my pillow, I lowered my voice to avoid detection. "How long have you been there?"
"Since the Head Healer turned his back," Kit said with a mischievous grin. "How are you feeling?"
I scanned myself. "Not bad, actually. Like I could pull the ears off a gundark." There were no residual traces of pain to be felt. I shifted in the bed, my muscles surprisingly relaxed. "What about the crystal?"
"False location. The High Council planted a fake crystal there, so they'll never know. Only a Force-sensitive could possibly be aware of--"
"KIT FISTO!" The Head Healer bounded into view, face scrunched in irritation. "What did I say about letting your apprentice rest?"
"Gotta go," Kit said in a stage whisper, dashing for the door. He paused, that fantastic grin still plastered across his face. "I'll be in the Room of a Thousand Fountains when you're feeling up for--"
"Master Healer, I'm ready to be discharged!"
(if random vignettes get an end...)
Our last night on Earth was a quiet one: dinner, champagne, a movie. I had gotten the kids souvenirs from my last trip, toy blocks that glowed in the darkness surrounding the 46-inch plasma playing WALL-E. The kids' favorite. "Why champagne?" my wife asked, sipping from her glass. "Big promotion again?" I wanted to tell her everything, make her understand why I had done what I had done. I had to protect my family. My stomach twisted when the toy blocks began to float. I looked to the bay windows as the kids scrambled to reclaim their gifts. My wife went to help them, champagne abandoned as she chased the children chasing their toys. None of them noticed the spaceship arriving on the balcony. I opened the balcony doors, wind and noise disrupting the pursuit momentarily before the blocks zoomed aboard the awaiting craft. My wife wasn't quick enough; the kids ran inside after them. She followed, standing in the mouth of the ship calling for our children. I pushed her inside. They
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