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Prani Shalrazi

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Prani never thought about the weight her opinion carried, but it began to slowly make sense. She had padawans constantly make fun of her, but it could only ever hurt when it came from Shaw or anyone else she genuinely cared about. She began to put more effort into her appearance for him, wondering what he liked or didn’t like. Nevertheless, hearing him brush off what other girls said about him gave her far more relief than she would admit. Prani had her insecurities about girls she thought were far prettier, but the way Shaw felt made her feel like the only girl out there made her feel like a trillion credits.

She felt that familiar rush when he wrapped his arms around her waist, wanting that sensation over and over again. Prani gazed at him as he spoke, recalling back to when he called her beautiful. There was no denying that - he always made her feel beautiful and like she mattered. He made her feel valued even when they were just friends. However, as he began to talk about how he found her sexy, her eyes widened.

Her heart fluttered, a rapid rhythm that mirrored the tumult of emotions swirling in her. She felt exposed, vulnerable, empowered, weak, powerful, and everything else all at once. Beneath the flush of heated nervousness, she couldn’t help the thrill of being desired. He didn’t simply find her pretty, but someone he found appealing. Someone he wanted. Prani was new to all this, but she wasn’t oblivious to the rush of having the boy she liked feeling various ways about her.

When he started to talk about the dress, Prani buried her face into the back of Crumbs’ head, her face completely flustered, “Golly, Shaw,” She mumbled, though she emerged again with a shy smile. Prani’s brain was mush and she couldn’t even come up with something to say. She never had a boy tell her all these things, and she thought she was going to pass out.

By the time they reached the temple, Prani was still in her own head. Her mind was racing and she began to realize that their relationship was definitely shifting away from just friendship. They had made it official, but to actually experience that transition was something else entirely. Looking at him, feeling his touch, being close to him, all of it invoked entirely new emotions and desires and she couldn’t make sense of it all.

“Uh yeah! I’ll be waitin’ so don’t take too long,” Prani said, shaking herself out of her mental spiral. She leaned up for a kiss before they parted ways, even if it was for just a bit. Prani smirked at Shaw, “We got joint custody of Crumbs so he’s yours for now,” She said with a chuckle.

Once back in her room, Prani dove into her bed, screamed into a pillow, and kicked her legs in girlish excitement. She blasted the cheesiest romance songs and belted out the chorus using a shoe for a mic. She jumped around on her bed, almost falling off at one point. She practiced flirty lines in front of the mirror, complete with trying to perfect some eyebrow wiggling (spoiler - most of it looked demented so she opted not to use them). She adjusted her top to gauge how much chest was appropriate to reveal, dropping down to what she saw some of the other girls wear. She was mentally slapped by her parents, so she quickly moved the top up again. She paced around in circles, replaying every moment of their date over and over again. She lay down on the ground, daydreaming about the day. Intrusive thoughts began to cloud her mind and slowly drifted towards imagining Shaw in nothing but a towel around his hips and stepping out of the shower. She slapped herself on the face, bolting to sit up, “GOLLY, PRANI!” Prani screeched, mortified at herself. Checking the watch, she realized she was wasting too much time and quickly hopped into the shower (re: ice cold) herself.

By the time Shaw arrived again, she was her usual calm and collected self, not a single evidence of her earlier theatrics present. Prani smiled at him, dressed in a modest tank top and some comfortable sweatpants. Her hair was up in a messy bun, though nothing could tame the few errant strands that framed her face.

“Okay I get the feelin’ you watch way more scary movies than I do, so you wanna pick one?” Prani asked as she plopped down on the futon. It wasn’t much better than his, but her room was immaculate. There were several potted plants, the room smelled like essential oils and there were several rows of organizers for all her crafting materials.

@throwitintothefire
 
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Shaw Amaris

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Shaw couldn't stop himself from throwing a glance over his shoulder to get one last look of Prani in that dress, watching her walk in the opposite direction toward the girl's dormitories. He hoped tonight wouldn't be the last time he would get to see her in the dress and squeezed Crumbs a little bit tighter, smiling to himself as she rounded a corner and disappeared from view.

There was a growing pile of clothes sitting on a chair in the corner of Shaw's dorm room that with every passing day looked more and more like the monster hiding in your closest. Usually it startled the teenager whenever he first walked in, up until the moment he flipped the switch and the lights would come on. Then he would laugh at himself and look back over his shoulder, just to make sure no one had seen him jump.

This time he didn't even notice it, much less give it a second thought as he walked in. He wasn't afraid of the shadows tonight, not when all he could think about was Prani. Shaw traversed the pigsty that was his room, avoiding old takeout boxes and dirty clothes and open school books like it was a maze, never even looking down to see where he was going. He just kinda knew the path, drifting through and plopping down on the old futon at the end of his bed.

He placed and positioned Crumbs in the far corner of the seat and smiled. There. That was where Crumbs would stay, waiting for Prani to come over and play video games while Shaw was away. It would be a little something to keep her company, which reminded Shaw... he really had to get this place cleaned up. He looked around and scratched his head, at a loss as to where to begin. That was always the hardest part. Where to begin?

The teenager chewed on his lip before pulling his dataphone out of his pocket and opening up the family group chat. He hadn't talked to his parents a lot lately. They had been really busy, and Shaw was pointedly avoiding telling them what he had been up to. He hadn't broken the news to them yet, that he had actually decided to become a Jedi. And not just for the room and board and roof over his head but because it was the right thing to do. Because it was his calling. Because, as Master Valtiere had put it, it was what he was always meant to be. Shaw gave his parents the bare minimum of info and kept it all very generic, which they just assumed was him being a moody teenager or whatever, still sore that they had offloaded him with the Jedi. He knew he would have to come clean with them some day, just... not yet. He wanted to break the news to them in person. Then maybe he could convince them that they were all wrong about the Jedi and that this was for the best.

But Prani. Prani he didn't want to hide. He wanted everyone to know about Prani, but especially those closest to him. He shot his parents a picture he had taken of her a couple weeks ago between classes, out in the courtyard when she had effortlessly gotten a butterfly to land in the palm of her hand because she was Miss Nature herself. Met a girl! he would type for the caption with a bunch of grinning and fire emojis. He remembered this was his parents and backspaced on the fire emojis. She's incredible. You guys would love her!

Then he would look over at Crumbs and remember that he needed to shower. He deposited the credits he had won on his dresser next to Prani's nearly finished boo bracelet, rummaged through that growing pile of clothes for something that didn't smell half bad, and hit the showers. Shaw would show up at Prani's in a tshirt and sweatpants smelling and feeling like a fresh man.

"I haven't seen just a whole lotta horror movies if I'm being real with you," Shaw would admit, scrolling through the columns and columns of movies on the streaming service. "With my little sister and all." His mother had banned horror movies altogether after he and some of his friends had started one and his mom had been up the rest of the night trying to put Maliah to bed. "Let's roll with a classic. Don't wanna scare you too bad this being your first foray and all," he teased, grinning over at her. Foray really wasn't a word Shaw would ever use. He had picked it up from Master Valtiere at some point. @Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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“Really?” Prani asked, “You at least struck me as the type to watch them zombie flicks,” She said with a grin. She rolled her eyes at his concern about her first foray,Please, I watch scary movies all the time!” She quipped back, gesturing for him to take a seat on her futon. There were pillows and a cozy blanket she knitted herself.

Prani brought over a bowl of veggie snacks and chips if he wanted, sliding into the seat next to him. She wasn’t afraid to scoot close, and it helped that he smelled nice now. Did he actually opt not to use hatchet spray? Prani almost thanked him for it but didn’t want to hurt his feelings. So she tried a different strategy, nuzzling against his shoulder, “You smell great,” She said with a smile. Hopefully, that was enough to discourage him from using the awful sprays that made her eyes water.

She watched the movie start, already judging the main character because she was a dirty thief. Prani grimaced when Borman Nates came on screen, “Gosh, he gives me the heebie jeebies,” She muttered with an involuntary shudder.

“What would ya do if you found that much money?” Prani asked during a quieter part of the movie. She had always grown up poor, so she couldn’t imagine coming into a hefty amount of cash all at once.

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Shaw Amaris

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"I get that a lot," Shaw grinned, running with it and shooting her a playful look that would let her know he was just joking around. He wasn't fishing for compliments. At least not this time. "Must be that brain dead look I get in my eyes sometimes."

The teenager's grin only grew when Prani didn't hesitate to scoot close to him, and he reciprocated by wrapping his arm around her shoulders. It was a very couple-y thing to do, wasn't it? To sit on the couch (in this case a cheap futon) and cuddle up and watch a movie together. It was some word beyond just relaxing, to be this close to Prani just for the sake of being close. Her warmth and the steady, calm beating of his own heart were lulling. Just not lulling enough to put him to sleep. He was still sitting next to the most beautiful girl in the galaxy after all!

"Do I?" he asked when she said that he smelled great. He was a little confused about that because in his haste to get back to Prani he had forgotten to apply his signature Hatchet body spray. Still, it was nice to hear it coming from her. "Your whole place smells great," he said, sniffing the air. "You got a candle going or something?" Shaw didn't know about essential oils.

Motel keeper on screen, Shaw sampled the chips Prani had brought out. "What? You don't find taxidermy an attractive quality?" He pretended to be offended before breaking into a grin. "Remind me to take that off my list of ways to impress you." Prani, animal lover that she was, was just about the last person Shaw ever expected to be into taxidermy.

It didn't take Shaw long to come up with an answer to her question. Invest it or put it in the bank would have been a good answer, but his was, "Hmmm first thing I'd do is take you to see the ocean!" Prani had told him that she had never seen the ocean before and desperately wanted to. Shaw had only seen it once, at night and under threat of being squished by a giant ape, so not under the best circumstances. "You could lay on the beach all day soaking up the sun and reading while you listened to the waves roll in. Meanwhile I'd be out making a fool of myself on a surf board." He gave her a look. "Or totally killing it." Shaw had already told her that he would take her to see the ocean some day, provided she didn't make it there first. It was just a matter of when and how.

"What about you?" he asked. He imagined her answer would be nothing like his. She would donate it or give it away or something really noble like that. She was, after all, the most selfless person he had ever met. @Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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“They’re oils!” Prani said excitedly, “My family makes them from all the plants and flowers we got all around us,” She smiled brightly, “It soothes me and reminds me of home,” She admitted. Her smile faded just a bit as she remembered she hadn’t heard from them still, “I think I’m gonna go visit home while you’re off trainin’,” Prani declared, “Might temporarily distract me from missin’ you so much,” She said as she lightly nudged him.

When he mentioned the ocean, Prani stared at him. Did he remember that detail? With how quickly he answered, it was clear he had been thinking about going to the beach with her for some time. Prani smiled as she leaned her head against his shoulder, “I ain’t goin’ to the beach unless it’s with you,” She stated flatly. The image he painted sounded perfect - even though she was likely to get burned to a crisp, the thought of relaxing on vacation with Shaw sounded magical.

Prani had to think about what she would do with money, “I’d prolly try to convince my parents to move into a house,” She said with a sheepish smile. The caravan life was nice, but she knew her mother was growing tired of it. Feroz left the family years ago and her little sister wasn’t thrilled about the constant moving. More and more people began to leave that life behind, “They’d do so much better if they just settled down somewhere and farmed instead of always takin’ up odd jobs,” Prani sighed. She cleared her throat, realizing she was getting into too much of her family drama, “Maybe I’ll buy more of them dresses you like,” Prani teased with a knowing grin.

She was momentarily distracted, yelping when the shower scene happened. From then on, the movie was a rollercoaster and had her hooked and trying to guess what would happen next. The entire time, she was curled up close against Shaw, tensing or relaxing as the movie progressed. She was stunned by the end of it, eager to watch another movie. After all, neither of them had classes the next day.

Prani's gaze panned to spot her hallikset in the corner and it gave her pause, “You know, I’m hopin’ most of the stuff I wanna give you doesn’t cost much because I ain’t got much money at all,” She said with a giggle. Prani rose to stand, walking over to grab the hallikset. She returned and sat on the futon across from him, propping the hallikset up, “I been workin’ on a little somethin’ for ya,” Prani said with a nervous smile.

With that, she began to strum a song that was from the sheet music he had given her. Shortly afterward, she began to sing, but he would notice right away that she completely changed up the lyrics to keep the same rhyme scheme but with her own words.

"Oh, there once was a Jedi from Coruscant's light,
Named Shaw the Bold, a beacon in night.
Under Master Valtiere, he honed his skill,
With the Force as his guide, he faced every thrill.

And he fought with valor, his courage renowned,
In the heart of battles, he stood his ground.
With a hum and a crackle, his blade cut through air,
Shaw the Jedi, with danger to dare!

Through stars he did journey, on missions untold,
Defending the weak, with a heart made of gold.
Against Sith and abominations, he'd never back down,
A symbol of hope, in the galaxy's frown.

And he fought with valor, his courage renowned,
In the heart of battles, he stood his ground.
With a hum and a crackle, his blade cut through air,
Shaw the Jedi, with danger to dare!"

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Shaw Amaris

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"That's a good idea," Shaw nodded when she mentioned that she would like to go visit her parents soon. It was the second time she had floated the idea out there, albeit a lot more directly this time. Last time she had just said that she hadn't heard from them in a couples weeks, that they had missed their last two weekly scheduled calls. He could tell it really bothered her, and she was probably coming up with new worst case scenarios every day.

Better to prove those fears wrong sooner rather than later. Her parents had probably just been really busy or had forgotten to pay their dataphone bill or something like that. If they were as averse to electronics as Prani was, they had probably forgotten their dataphones in the last town where they had set up shop. "I know they're gonna be excited to see you." He pressed a kiss to her forehead and smiled. "Just be careful and make sure to send me lots of pictures, okay?" Shaw wanted to see Genassa for himself one day, to see exactly where Prani had grown up and discover why she was so fond of it, but in the meantime pictures would have to do.

Shaw listened to Prani explain what she would do if she suddenly came into that much money, and her answer made him smile. He knew it would be something like that. He didn't know the specifics, hadn't realized that she wanted her family to give up the gypsy life and swap it out for the quiet, stationary country life. He just knew that it would be something selfless, something for someone else rather than for herself, and it was. "That sounds nice," he smiled, imagining Prani's parents—whatever they looked like—living in a nice little house with a white picket fence and immaculate herb gardens on every side. Okay, so he was imagining Prani going to visit them in one of those dresses too, but he was still imagining it so it counted, right? "Then we could swing by and visit them anytime we wanted."

He chuckled when Prani mentioned that she didn't have a lot of credits, reaching for her hallikset. "You don't need to worry about that. I don't either." What he had won tonight at the fair nerf riding were the first credits he had come into in a long time. Then Prani proceeded to give him a gift that credits could never buy, not in a million years. And in typical Prani fashion she dropped it into his lap like it was no big deal. Like it was just any old gift instead of the kind of gift that rooted him to the spot, arresting not only his gaze but his heart, his mind, and his whole body. Possibly not just for a moment but for forever.

By the time she had reached the chorus his lips had parted in unabashed wonder, and goosebumps ran the length of his arms. Shaw's body was pointed toward her, from the tips of his toes to his unblinking brown eyes, giving her his undivided attention. He was holding his breath, savoring every word and soaking up every sweet note as if just a single inhale or exhale from him might interfere with her performance and ruin the moment.

Simply put? Shaw was mooning over Prani. He was mooning over her hard. Had she called him her wolf earlier? The description had never been more accurate than at this moment because he looked at her as if she had just hung the moon and simultaneously was the moon, and if he could have howled for her he would have. His friends would probably tell him that he was simping, but he didn't care. The teenager stared at her, gaze more intense than it ever had been before. He couldn't tear his eyes away from her, and he didn't even care how embarrassed it might make her feel or how stupid it might make him look. He just wanted to go on staring at her forever. To memorize every freckle and every line of her face. To seal this exact moment in time in a bottle that he could pull out anytime he wanted and relive.

"You... you really wrote that for me?" he finally asked, voice thick with emotion. One hand reached out and clasped her knee since her hands hovered over the instrument, the gesture far more desperate than he would normally have allowed. Of course when he finally did speak it was something stupid. She had already told him that, and his name was in the song, but Shaw felt lightheaded and couldn't collect his thoughts. It would be obvious to Prani that he was still reeling, that his full reaction was still in the works. @Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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Prani had been focused on singing and getting the lyrics and chords just right. She didn’t notice Shaw’s reaction, her nerves slowly easing away as she got lost in the music. Her fingers worked of their own accord, easily gliding over the strings. Her fingertips may have been calloused, but they produced beautiful melodies at the slightest brush. By the end of her song, she caught Shaw staring at her in wonder.

Prani was about to giggle and answer him when she felt him grasp her knee. Her eyes widened at that, her face burning hot. That heat expanded from her face, flooding through her body to every last extremity. She felt as if hot magma ran through her veins, a rush of emotions and sensations all surging just from the focal point of that touch alone.

“Y-Yeah I did…” She mumbled in response, suddenly not wanting him to pull his hand away. Prani gingerly set the hallikset aside, her heart racing as she gazed at him. It was just the two of them here, no crowds, no Regina, no Simon, no Stacy. Not even Crumbs. It was just them and the fact that she was very acutely aware of his touch. She couldn’t look away from his gaze even if she tried, “I-I’m crazy about you..” Prani added quietly. As if that wasn’t obvious. She didn’t write serenades for just anyone. And yet it felt like something else entirely to say the words aloud.

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Shaw Amaris

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That was one of the many wonderful things about Prani. She never made Shaw feel silly or stupid, even when he was being silly or stupid. There he was sitting there and staring at her like an idiot, eyes as wide as saucers and mouth parted like he was trying to catch flies, and she made him feel just as valued and cared for as the hero she sang about in those lyrics.

Shaw realized that he wasn't that hero she had written, a beacon in the night with a heart made of gold that defended the weak and stood his ground in the heart of battle. Not yet anyway. Someday, perhaps, because he was never going to stop striving to be everything that she already thought he was. He wouldn't stop until those rose colored glasses she liked to wear whenever she looked at him was simply a reality. Shaw knew right then and there that he would do anything for Prani. There was no lengths he wouldn't go to. No sacrifice he wouldn't make. No risk he wouldn't take.

That calm, steady heartbeat was gone. His pulse was racing, his beating heart erratic. The emotions washing over him were amongst the most intense that he had ever experienced, made all the more overwhelming because they were all new. He wasn't sure how to label them, and he certainly didn't know how to properly process them. So he just squeezed Prani's knee tighter and leaned forward, hot breath tickling her skin as he began to kiss along her forehead, working his way down her temple before resting his face against hers and muttering into her ear, "You have no idea how much that means to me." Then, taking a deep breath, "I'm crazy about you too." @Sreeya
 

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Prani half expected him to suggest a new movie or switch topics or something. But he just kept gazing back at her. Her heart was rattling in the cage of her ribs, thundering hard enough to where she was sure he could hear it. That heat throughout her body burned so hot, that she was certain she would sear his skin if he touched her. He squeezed her knee tighter and those sensations exploded within her all over again.

She didn’t pull back as he leaned in towards her, always marveling at those brown eyes that burned with new emotions she hadn’t seen in them before. Prani wished she could read his thoughts right then, but she was certainly glad he couldn’t read hers. She felt his lips against her forehead, a tender gesture of fondness and adoration. However, there was no denying the way his warm breath brushed her skin, or the goosebumps that lined her when he murmured softly against her ear.

“Golly, Shaw..” Prani said barely above a whisper, turning to look at him. He was so close, he was so warm, and she couldn’t help herself. She leaned in to kiss him, realizing that she had nothing she wanted to say with words. It was all automatic, her desires taking hold as their lips met. Except there was no one watching, no random interruption, nothing but a blissful moment between the two. Prani found herself giving into it, getting lost in the way his breath mixed with hers, the warmth of his body so close to hers, the rush of emotions she felt for him. She craved his touch, she wanted to be cocooned in his arms, and she never wanted to let him go.

The tacky and dramatic menu display of the Psycho movie played in a loop but she hardly noticed. They had kissed enough to where it wasn’t awkward anymore, and they worked in perfect harmony. Prani didn’t even notice when she held him tighter, one of her hands sliding down towards his hip to pull him closer. Everything felt seamless, everything felt perfect, and just right. New and confusing desires burned in her, but she didn’t want to stop kissing him.

She knew she wasn’t alone. She knew he was just as crazy about her. Prani didn’t feel silly or ridiculous for any of this, and as always, he made a safe space for her. She melted against him, getting lost in the moment. At some point, her fingers brushed up along his hip and she felt his warm skin instead of his shirt and she gasped, pulling back. She hadn’t even realized when her fingertips just barely began to slip under his shirt, overwhelmed by the desire to feel more of him.

“Oh gosh, I- just..wow,” She hastily drew back, mortified at herself. Prani thought she was going to faint. Her face was tomato red and she couldn’t even look at him, “I’m..this is all new and real…real different.. I haven’t..done anythin’ with anyone and..” Shut up shut up shut up! She knew she completely ruined whatever was going on here, but there was no denying the internal panic and terror.

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Shaw Amaris

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Their eyes met, and then their lips met. Instinct kicked in before inhibitions did, and Shaw erased what distance remained by pressing his chest to hers and easing her back, against the chair on her side of the futon and into the throw pillow and handmade blanket she had crafted. Every movement was slow and careful at first, a deliberate attempt on Shaw's part to put Prani at ease and not scare her off. Just as much as he wanted her to know how desperately he had longed for this moment, he wanted her to feel safe and comfortable.

For the briefest of seconds he was torn between keeping his eyes open so he wouldn't miss a thing or closing them so he could focus on every intensifying sensation that took control. The second option won out, and his heart pounded within his chest like his own private, celebratory fireworks display. Shaw slipped one arm under her back, fingers tangling and then carding through her hair. Still unsatisfied, fingers aching with the need to touch and explore, the palm of his other hand brushed against her arm.

Every hair on the back of his neck was standing straight up, and every nerve ending felt more alive than ever. Even if Shaw couldn't process it all at once, his body was aware of every sensation. The old and the new. The familiar, stimulating taste of Prani's lips and the new impatience he found there. The warmth that spread throughout his entire body and threatened to consume him. The fluttering in his stomach, like a thousand caged butterflies had just been set loose. More than anything he was aware of her hands. Every time she touched him it elicited a genuine and uncontrollable response.

Prani had a scent about her, and it wasn't just the essential oils. Shaw wanted to stay here forever and drink it in. When her hand brushed against his skin for the first time he shivered. That was when she drew back, and the kiss was broken. Dazed eyes stared at Prani, but she couldn't bring herself to look at him. Had he done something wrong? Gone too far? Made her uncomfortable? "It's okay," he assured her right away when she explained, short of breath as his chest rose and fell with every inhale and exhale. It was impossible not to notice how red her face had become and the look in her eyes. Shaw had seen that look before, just... never quite like this. Prani was scared.

Shaw sat up, putting some distance between them and repeating, "It's okay. I—I haven't either," he admitted, swallowing. "We'll take this real slow, okay?" Shaw had made a lot of mistakes in his short life, and most of the time he could forgive himself for those. One thing he wouldn't be able to forgive himself for? Hurting Prani again. He just wasn't going to do it. Shaw had messed a lot of things up. This was one thing he was not going to mess up. No matter what it took, he was going to make this work with Prani. Shaw would reach over and squeeze her hand gently.

"I wanna take this real slow with you okay, Prani?" he tried to put her mind at ease with a soft smile. "I wanna do this right. Every step of the way." The teenager tore his eyes away from her, which was just about the hardest thing to do, and stared at the bowl of veggies. He picked up a vegetable at random, the first one his fingers brushed against. "These carrots sure are great!" He was eating broccoli. "Pick them yourself?" He didn't even realize just what a stupid question that was. @Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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There was a look of visible surprise when Shaw admitted he hadn’t done anything either. She turned to look at him then, the surprise still in her features. Teenagers, especially the boys, loved to talk about their ‘exploits’. She never heard Shaw say anything about it, but others certainly talked him up as if he was ‘experienced’. Prani could tell he was telling the truth, the anxiety in his tone and voice enough to confirm it. With a pang in her chest, she realized he was blaming himself for her breaking away. She saw the way he recoiled and she mentally kicked herself.

“Oh Shaw, put that broccoli away,” She sighed, grasping him by the hand and tugging him closer again. She turned to face him, holding both his hands in hers. Prani exhaled again as she looked down, “You didn’t do anythin’ wrong, okay?” She said quietly looking him in the eye again, “I pulled away..because…I didn’t wanna stop,” She admitted, her face flushed, “I wanted to keep goin’ and..do..everything,” Prani chewed on her lip, but she had to get through this. She had to tell him and make him understand.

“And I know it’s okay ‘cause a lot of people our age do,” Most other couples probably had no qualms about taking things further and there was nothing wrong with that. The Jedi Order certainly discouraged fraternizing on temple grounds, but that hardly stopped people, “Back home..I guess I was raised differently. Everyone gets married real young, like 18 or 19,” Prani explained, “And we ain’t s’pposed to do….everything until after that,” She mumbled, “Now, a lotta folks back home don’t care about them things anymore and do whatever. Heck, my own older brother is what them people call a ‘player’,” She said as she rolled her eyes.

Prani kept fidgeting and shifting uncomfortably, “You’re a lotta firsts for me…and if..if we take it there, I’d want you to be my last,” She said, “So I wanna wait,” Prani said at last, “I understand if you don’t wanna keep datin’, I know it’s so..so old school and no one believes in that stuff anymore. But I don’t know if I’d be able to handle giving all of me to you and then…then you with someone else and..” She was rambling again, but she cut herself off, the thought making her almost physically ill. Prani stared at him, dismayed at her admission. She knew she was one of those types. She expected him to run for the hills. No one her age thought about settling down or marrying and it wouldn’t cross his mind for many years to come probably. However, for Prani this was a personal choice and an important one.

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Shaw Amaris

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Broccoli? A confused Shaw looked from the half eaten mystery vegetable to Prani and then down to her soft hands and calloused fingertips that slipped around his own clammy hands and arrested him in place so he couldn't wander to the other side of the room or start trying to pick out a new movie or say that he had better get going or something.

The teenager found that it was just as hard to look at her as it had been to tear his eyes away from her. It had been desire that had kept his gaze locked on her, and it was guilt that kept his gaze avoiding hers. As soon as she spoke, their eyes finally met, and his heart skipped a beat. Relief washed over him when she said that he hadn't done anything wrong. Now his eyes were locked on her again, the source of his relief and all his hopes as he listened to her explain. He didn't understand what she was trying to tell him at first, but Master Valtiere had said to listen to understand, and that was exactly what he would try to do.

It was a lot to take in. Prani never did anything halfway, and this was no exception. She laid it all bare, her desires and her boundaries and her expectations. The only question that remained was whether or not Shaw would rise to meet those expectations, would make the conscious choice to halt at each boundary, and she was probably left wondering what his answer would be, but Shaw didn't have to wonder. He didn't have to make his mind up because he already had. Shaw already knew that he would do anything for Prani. That there were no lengths he wouldn't go to. No sacrifice he wouldn't make. No risk he wouldn't take. That what he shared with Prani was one thing he was not going to mess up.

"Old school is cool," was his initial, stupid response as he attempted to process everything she had said while also attempting to temper the overwhelming combination of emotions and desires still running through his veins. It took more than a few seconds to get over a kiss like that. Prani knew Shaw well enough by now to never expect anything intelligent to come out of his mouth right away, that he usually needed a little extra time for things to sink in and for his words to start working again.

Marriage. Like most seventeen year old boys his age Shaw had never really thought about marriage, but he was thinking about it now for the very first time. Not in specifics, just in vague generalities. Thinking about the fact that Prani had said she wanted him not just to be her first but her last. That one sentence told Shaw more about how she felt about him than all her other rambling combined. Shaw was just sitting there, letting it all soak in, and didn't feel the urge to speak again until she mentioned him not wanting to date her anymore.

He shook his head, trying to clear the fog that had settled over his brain. "Whoa slow down. Where did you get that idea? You... you think I only want to date you cause of what I can get from you?" He gripped her hands tighter without even realizing it. "Prani," he said, brown eyes sincere and determined to make her understand, "You know I'd never ask for anything you're not willing to give to me. And you oughta know by now that you're worth the wait." @Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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---​

Prani had no clue what happened other than Shaw’s big solo mission ending in disaster, though a success on paper. The Padawans were routed to a world in between to give them a chance to recover before they could return to the temple, Knights going out to meet them. Master Valtiere was summoned by the Council and rumors suggested they really let him have it, though the Sephi maintained his calm resolve. Shaw was supposed to head out in just a few days, so this was a convoluted mess.

She couldn’t get clearance to travel to Shaw, so she had to wait until he returned, sick with worry. He was oddly brief in the details of what happened outside of running into Syndicate forces that injured them. His refusal to video chat only amplified her concerns.

By the time Shaw returned, his face was back to normal. She was already waiting for him at the landing bay, spotting him at once. Prani ran towards him, pulling him into a tight embrace, “Goodness, I was so worried! Are you okay? Are you hurt? Are the others okay?” She asked, panicking as she patted her hands along his body to check for injuries before cupping his face. Prani despised this. He just came back from a near miss and was about to ship off who knows where with Master Valtiere. None of this was fair! She didn’t complain aloud, focusing on the relief she felt seeing him alive.

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Shaw Amaris

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Stepping foot on Takodana, it felt like everything and nothing had changed in the year that had passed since he had first been dropped off on the planet by a Jedi Knight whose name he couldn't even remember anymore. The jungle world had felt like home in recent months. Like it was where he had always belonged. Now he felt just as unsure about his future and his place within the order as he had before. Except now he really wanted to be here. He just wasn't sure he deserved to be.

Prani was the only bright spot, running up to him with open arms. Shaw wrapped his arms around her, sinking into her embrace and allowing himself to breathe her in. She hadn't even hesitated. At least that hadn't changed. The teenager caught a few of the others staring at him, averting their gaze as soon as his brown eyes flicked to them. The looks he saw flash across their features made his heart sink.

"I'm fine," he replied as she patted him up and down, offering her a half smile out of habit to sell the point. He was always smiling, so it was just expected of him, but he didn't mean it. Not this time, and he realized that he didn't have to pretend with Prani, so he dropped the act.

It was the truth. A dislocated jaw was nothing compared to losing a tail or an arm. The doctor had pushed his jaw back into place, prescribed some pain medication, and that was that. Even Theia's eyebrows would grow back. It was Bors and Zessel that had gotten hit the hardest. Their lives would never be the same. So answering Prani's next question—that wasn't so easy. "Not really," he admitted, breaking eye contact, unable to look at her. "They got pretty roughed up." And that was putting it mildly. Where to even begin to describe everything the other had gone through? If he couldn't even face Prani, how was he ever going to face Master Valtiere? To know that the sephi was planet side. Possibly walking the halls somewhere within the temple at that very moment. It made Shaw feel sick. @Sreeya
 

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Prani had never seen Shaw so…broken. He was smiling, but she knew him well enough to know when it didn’t quite reach his eyes. When he spoke, she felt a pang of pain at the implications. Prani opened her mouth to ask, but she thought better of it, “Well come on then, can’t have ya standin’ around blockin’ traffic,” She said with a warm smile, grasping him by the hand to lead him towards his room.

Once he stepped inside he would notice several things - it was perfectly organized, it smelled great, and there were freshly baked cookies and other desserts set out for him. She left his holoscreen on to show she managed to unlock several tough achievements while playing the video game she struggled through before, “I thought…you’d think I was a little cooler for that,” Prani giggled, “And I didn’t even use a FAQ!!”

She had envisioned his return going very differently. She pictured him excitedly coming back to tell her all about it, but instead, it was far worse. The mission was technically completed, but the cost was too high. Prani knew the topic was bothering him and everyone would ask him about it. For her part, she opted for something different and instead gave him a warm hug again.

“I missed ya,” Prani said with a smile, glancing up at him, “You wanna play a video game with me?”

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Shaw Amaris

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Shaw had expected Prani to have a thousand follow up questions. It was only natural, and everyone else certainly hadn't shied away from asking him questions. Prani didn't. She was, at least for the moment, content just to be with him. Just because it was him. The list of people that wanted to be around him these days was rapidly shrinking, so the significance of that wasn't lost on Shaw. There probably were a thousand questions Prani wanted to ask. She just... didn't.

At first the teenager thought that Prani had led him to her dorm room because it was immaculate and smelled great. Shaw's room never smelled great. Then he spotted the ratty futon and the holoscreen that displayed recently unlocked achievements. This was his room. Gone was the growing pile of clothing in the corner. Gone were the pizza boxes and that smell he never could put his finger on. The comic books were organized. His clothing put away. Fresh cookies were arranged on a tray. Shaw just blinked, getting one of those stupid looks that he was known for. When had she had time to do all of this? And how had he ever gotten so lucky?

"Is there an achievement for being the best girlfriend in the world?" he asked, pulling her close and pressing a single kiss to her neck before letting her go. "Because you unlocked that one a long time ago. Thank you." He would have mentioned that cleaning up after him wasn't part of her girlfriend duties, but... she seemed so excited. And he couldn't deny the way it made him feel. How did Prani always know exactly what he needed?

He sat down and picked up the controller, scrolling through all the different achievements she had unlocked. "You really got all these yourself?" he asked, impressed. He stopped on a platinum trophy. "I've never been able to get this one." Truth be told, probably for the first time in his life, Shaw didn't actually feel like playing video games. But he wasn't going to tell Prani that, handing her the other controller and starting up the game.

They played mostly in silence, but it didn't last long. Shaw's character kept dying to some low level mobs that he definitely should have been able to wipe. "Better watch you for a while," he said. "Guess I'm a little rusty." He grabbed the unfinished boo bracelet from the top of his now uncluttered dresser and sunk into the futon to put the finishing touches on it. He had picked up a couple of those clasps that Rhys had told him about and had watched some more videos online while sitting in med bay waiting rooms or lying awake at night unable to sleep. He wanted to finish it now while he had the chance.

But he kept stealing glances over at Prani, brown eyes studying her and memorizing every line as she concentrated on the rpg. Prani had given him the easy way out, but Shaw wouldn't take it forever. He was going to have to come clean and tell her what had happened. @Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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Prani couldn’t help but laugh at his quip about the girlfriend achievement. Before she could say anything back, she felt his lips against her neck. It was a simple, quick gesture, but sent heat throughout her entire body. Her heart raced and she had to stop herself from getting flustered, giving him one more squeeze before drawing away.

She could tell his heart wasn’t in the game when he kept dying and had no reaction to it. Prani glanced at him, noting how he absentmindedly went to work on the bracelet, his thoughts far away. As much as she wanted to fix all his problems for him, her mother always reminded her that not everyone processed everything the same way. When her brother had a rough time, he initially liked to be left alone and despised when his family surrounded him to help.

Prani took a moment to finish out the game, silent instead of her usual fiery or yelling at the Holo. After the level was done, she gently set the controller down, glancing back at Shaw. She chewed on her lip, unsure of what to say. Her methods of cheering people up always included being present and she didn’t know how to help outside of that. She had never seen Shaw so withdrawn and she didn’t want to make things worse by forcing him to engage. She had to act against every instinct because the most important thing was how he felt, far beyond her obsession with trying to fix everything.

“Um.. well, I’ll give ya some space,” Prani said quietly, standing up. She walked over to him, leaning down to give him a kiss on the cheek, “I’m around, so let me know if you wanna hang out. Anythin’ you need at all,” She gave him a smile, “And try all the pastries,” Prani added, giving his shoulder a squeeze before rising up to walk out of the room.

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Shaw Amaris

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Shaw looked up from the bracelet, brown eyes following Prani as she moved toward the door. For once maybe Prani didn't know what Shaw needed. Maybe Shaw didn't either. But he knew he wanted her to stay. The teenager grasped at her hand as it rested on his shoulder, holding her in place. He looked up at her, eyes gently pleading with her to stay. "Don't go," he said quietly, "I know I'm not great company right now, but... I don't want you to go. I really want you to stay. I... need you to." He didn't want to be alone. Well, he didn't want to be alone without Prani.

If she agreed, he would give a gentle tug to guide her toward the seat beside him. What he really wanted was to pull her onto his lap and bury his face in her neck and let her long dark hair fall around him and hide his face from the world, but he resisted the urge. So he continued to hold her hand instead, staring down at it as he played with her calloused fingers. Time to come clean.

"It's really nice of you to not ask questions," he would say, forgetting to breathe now that he had decided to get it all out in the open. "But I want to tell you what happened. You deserve to hear it from me, before you have to hear it from somebody else." It was bound to get around. Padawans didn't lose tails and limbs without people asking questions, and the story would spread through the whole academy like wildfire. The latest padawan horror story to add to the long list of padawan horror stories.

If this made her think less of him, then... he couldn't blame her. He would just have to deal with the consequences. He was sure that this was just the beginning. "The whole mission was a disaster, Prani. From start to finish. I screwed the whole thing up. Like really bad." And that still felt like an understatement. The damage was done. The results were irrevocable. He drug his hands across his face, still unable to look at her face for fear of what he might see there. "Everyone ended up in the med day. Bors and Zessel... they got it the worst. Bors lost his tail, and Zessel—" Shaw swallowed. It was something none of them would ever forget. The sound of hot plasma rending arm from torso. The smell of burning flesh that followed. Zessel's blood curdling scream. "Zessel lost his arm." @Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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Prani was surprised when he grasped her hand, practically pleading with her to stay, “Of course I’ll stay!” She said immediately, sitting right back down. She was patient while he spoke, and she could tell right away the topic was harrowing to discuss. Prani remained silent until he finished speaking, her eyes widening as he described the extent of the injuries. Zessel! Bors! Her stomach twisted at the thought of her friend Zessel with a missing arm. He was likely in the medical bay, but no one would be allowed to visit just yet. She knew she would visit the moment she could.

She reached over to gently pull his hands back from his face, “Hey..lemme see ya,” Prani said calmly. She took his face into her hands, looking into his eyes, “The important thing is you all came back alive,” Prani said, “Bein’ a Jedi, especially a combat one, means things won’t go accordin’ to plan and you're always in risky situations. Think about all the stuff we read about in the history classes and how many things end in disaster. That doesn’t mean you’re any less of a Jedi. Same with Zessel or Bors. None of y’all knew what you were running into and…” Prani sighed, lowering her gaze, “It’s just the nature of bein’ a Jedi, ain’t it? Having to be brave when no one else can? Facing threats no one else can?”

She leaned up to give him a kiss on the forehead, “I’m not gonna tell you things didn’t muck up or that you shouldn’t feel bad. But don’t forget that you all made it out alive and all had to come back a little stronger than when you left..even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.”

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Shaw Amaris

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Leaning into her warm, welcoming hands Shaw swallowed and listened to the heartfelt pep talk she gave him. Now who was hyping up who?

It was just the sort of thing Prani would do, and he knew she meant every word, but he also knew exactly what had happened on Gravlex Med. Prani could still look at him through rose colored glasses because she hadn't been there. She didn't know just how many stupid mistakes he had made. How he had put the lives of the other padwans at risk. How he had failed to step up and lead at every turn. Shaw wasn't Shaw the Bold, that defender of the weak and symbol of hope that Prani had sung about. He was just Shaw. Just Shaw from Coruscant.

Everything Prani said—it meant a lot to him. More than he could ever put into words. It was exactly the sort of thing he had hoped she would say and yet, at the same time, exactly the sort of thing he knew he didn't deserve to hear. They were alive, sure, but their lives would never be the same again. The cost had been too high. Much too high. "We probably wouldn't even be here if Theia hadn't offered to pay the syndicates a shipload of credits," he admitted. It was nothing Shaw could take credit for, and he didn't want to hide his mistakes from Prani. He didn't want her thinking he was something he wasn't. "I failed, Prani," he stressed, face slack and unexpressive. "I failed everyone. If it wasn't for me, Bors and Zessel wouldn't even be lying in a hospital bed right now. I... I gotta own up to that, you know?"

He took a deep breath and looked away again, fingers nervously fiddling with the now finished boo bracelet on his lap. Now really was the worst possible moment to give it to her, but he didn't know when they would get to see each other again. It could be weeks. It could be months. Shaw didn't want to let this moment slip away without letting her know exactly how he felt about her.

"I don't know what's gonna happen next," he said in a quiet voice. There would be consequences certainly. Maybe Master Valtiere would have to drop him as his padawan. Maybe he would be sent to Agricorps. Maybe the order would kick him out altogether. Never to be a Jedi. He didn't know. He just knew that through it all, no matter what lie ahead of him, no matter the conseqeunces, he didn't want to lose Prani. He never wanted to lose Prani.

Shaw leaned forward on the futon, fingers gingerly sliding the finished boo bracelet around her wrist and clasping it. "But I do know," he said, apprehensive brown eyes rising to meet hers. "That no matter what happens I love you." @Sreeya
 
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