“I Can Feel You” (Attira, Nil’awr, Mili)

Characters:

Attira — Marauder, the Alliance Commander, married Malavai Quinn

Nil’awr — Attira and Malavai’s son, six-year-old at the time of the story

Nayel — Sorcerer, her right hand, Malavai’s cousin, works with her in the Alliance

Mili — Malavai’s younger brother, currently working for his sister-in-law in the Alliance

Note: The story is written with the assumption that my Sith Warrior (Attira) is the Outlander, not my Inquisitor (Nayel).

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Attira felt her heart beating, and wondered if everyone could hear it. The shuttle was landing, while she was standing on the catwalk, right in the view of anyone who had come to curiously gawk at what was happening.

She was worried. She feared Nil’awr would be scared of her, of the stranger she was to him. She knew it would take time to re-connect with him. The last time they were together, he was just a one-year-old baby. Both of them would have to rediscover their relationship, but she didn’t want it to start from the boy’s fear or discomfort.

The shuttle landed. From the corner of her eye she caught the strange view of mountains. She still was not used to seeing them: normally the Gravestone was a part of the vista but not any more. That blasted Zakuulan!

Her attention returned to the shuttle, and its opening plank. First she saw legs in field uniform trousers, and shiny boots. Then another pair of a lot smaller ones wrapped in something green. They walked slowly down, until the smaller figure was fully visible.

The air caught in her throat, and she gasped. The mop of his hair was of the same colour as hers. They walked toward her. Nil’awr was holding his uncle’s hand, but as they got closer, he let go and walked to her alone. Mili stopped, and just watched.

The boy stopped a few metres from her, observing her with a small frown. His eyes were as green as hers. She knelt on one knee to be on his level. He inclined his head a bit.

“Are you my mummy?” he asked in a cute, thin voice of a child she immediately fell in love with.

She did her best to stop her tears, but was slowly losing that fight.

“I am”, she replied so quietly she wasn’t sure he’d heard her. Her voice was trapped in her throat.

He ran to her with his arms stretched, and wrapped them around her neck. She pulled him to herself, burying her face in his small shoulder, and for the first time since Lana had thawed her from carbon she felt her world was whole. Finally, it felt as it used to five years ago.

Nil’awr looked at her. His arms still around her neck, face so close she could smell his hair. “I can feel you!” he exclaimed.

“I can feel you too…” she whispered with a sudden realisation, washed in a comfortable familiarity she now felt.

He hugged her close again, while she gave Mili a wide-eye look. They hadn’t told her. Nayel, and Mili — they hadn’t said anything, and now she was discovering something she should have always known. She’d taken it for granted, and never understood the lack of it. Until now. Until she’d lost him, and reunited with him.

She used to think for her world to be whole she needed Malavai; his calming presence, support, and unwavering faith in her. Then also Nil’awr, with his tiny hands grasping everything, cooing sweetly in his cradle. When it all was missing, she felt like a part of her had been turned off. A part that she had started feeling when she carried her son under her heart.

She could sense him through the Force. She could “feel” him. And when he wasn’t with her since she had been thawed, she felt a gaping hole she couldn’t understand.

Her son shared the gift with her. Her son would grow up to become a Sith.

Suddenly Nil’awr let go of her. “Uncle Nayel!” he shouted excitedly, and ran to the Dark Lord, who apparently stood behind her.

She let him go (even though she didn’t want to!), rose to her feet, and looked at Mili. He approached her, gently turning her a bit, so that the gawking crowd could not see her tears. It was none of their business.

“You didn’t tell me,” she stated.

“You either knew, because he was like that since his birth,” he said, “or would discover it now. I thought it better way. Actions—or experience, as it were—speak louder than words.”

“I knew,” she admitted, lowering her head, “but didn’t understand.”

He smiled slightly. “We didn’t. We couldn’t know. Nayel told us, and then started training him.” He paused. “Malavai once told me that when you agreed to marry him, he thought nothing else could make him happier. When you got pregnant, he thought nothing else would make him prouder. He was wrong.”

She turned to look at her son, who was wrestling with Nayel. The boy was clearly happy to see his uncle. “He knew who I was,” she whispered.

“Of course he did! You are his mother!”

“You did this?” She was grateful. She wasn’t a stranger to her own son.

“No. Malavai had enough time with him to tell him all about you. Showed him all holos he had. Many times. At the boy’s request.” He grinned. “He would never raise his son not teaching him who had gaven him life. And when Nil’awr remained in my care, I continued. I wouldn’t want him to forget either of you.”

He recalled those terrible days after Malavai had been taken. Nil’awr demanded his father, called for him, and could not understand why daddy wasn’t putting him to sleep any more. Mili had tried to do all in his power to make the boy understand he hadn’t been because daddy stopped loving him, but because daddy couldn’t be with him, but four-year-old child doesn’t always grasp logic and explanations. Mili had felt the tears would never stop.

Nil’awr looked in their direction, then ran back to her. He grabbed her hand, and asked, “Mummy, will you stay with uncle and me?”

She knelt again. “Uncles and you will stay with me. Here.” She gestured around.

The boy studied the forest and rocks below the catwalk, the mountains that normally were hidden behind the Gravestone, the people on the main landing that pretended they weren’t watching, then nodded firmly with a comically serious facial expression, and said, “That is good too.”

She giggled. “I’m glad you approve.”

“Where will we live?” he asked.

“On a ship daddy and I spent much time together. Daddy’s old quarters will be your room now.”

He looked up at Mili, then back at her. “That is good too.”

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