Ask Two Sith In A Kitchen

Drane T'keen

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Fire. Light. Blood. Lightning. Fire and blood. Bleeding. Burning for her. Silent as darkness. But bright as sunlight.

Illuminated in his golden irises. Beating like drums behind his eyes. Where once there was that razor blade of a headache slashing back and forth, there was suddenly no pain, as Drane became encased in the Force.

Maybe it was Cheriss who had opened the door. His companion of champion. Cheriss the Champion. His Sith. His woman. Might be that was how he had finally found the might in the light, in the dark, in the corridor stretched before them, yes, this floor of madness.

Yet, if this was a dream, then maybe that too might explain how he had it within his grip, that power over tutaminis and lightning, even if only momentary, where it otherwise should not exist for a mere Sith Champion like him. This was…different…like he was asleep…or simply…dead.

Then again, maybe it was the combination of her pain and rage mixed with his; an amalgamation of strength that kissed their opponent from Drane’s fingertips, powered by Cheriss’ lips as they twisted into something vicious, and her man found it to be his mountain in the moment.

Whatever it was, well, it didn’t matter. If this was hell then so be it, let the Force turn into a perversion of magic. As far as Drane could tell, they had all but teleported into that kitchen to begin with. Two Sith. A man. A woman. Whatever this is…

“Ha” Yellow Eyes had said. “Hm” she had beckoned. Drane had glimpsed no visage, sensed no resemblance, yet if in familiarity there was a sense of memory to Cheriss then she had yet to mention it. Whoever that woman was, she was nothing but dust the next second.

That fire that burned in them both? It had burned in her, too. Cheriss cast flame from her hand, and it roared across the floor, yet it was met with silence. Only fire in the darkness at the end of the hallway, there where sunlight burned bright in the form of the Force enraged in a blaze.

Whatever the effect of this, if it rendered that unwelcome woman asunder, Drane could sense her presence no longer. No, then again, he never sensed it to begin with. None of this. Not the intruders to their kitchen, not the macabre monsters of hunger in the hall, not the puppet on the bicycle, not even the walls.

What is this? It beckoned the question as Drane gave Cheriss his attention, feeling her fingers on his cheek, seeing her smile weakly, as exhaustion came upon this woman. So be it. I cannot carry your burdens, Cheriss.

“Don’t thank me.”

He might have said you’re welcome. Even Sith could express and return gratitude. It was a myth that they were such miserable creatures, hellbent on deception and corruption. For many, feeling brought them to this moment, as it did with him. Take Anakin, for instance.

Passion, that’s what it was. A warrior of light, the Black Swordsman, one of the sons of the red sun, burning bright at his shadowed core. He could swing his sword, a blade to scream in the wind, in the echo of the Thyrsian in the void, in a voice whose maw was raw.

“Never thank me, Cheriss.”

He lifted her chin. His vision shifted into each of her eyes, and never mind the iris, for his black pupils were like balls of fire that burned into hers, and penetrated her soul like swords.

But I can carry you.

“Just kiss me.”


Aurlyn.

That was her name. Once upon a time. On Thyrsus. And maybe the moment caters to the memory, like the sip of fine wine on a boat at sea, drifting endlessly, with only a man and woman to keep each other company.

Yet all he sees is Cheriss, all he hears is her breath into his, as the man takes her lips upon his and seals the moment for time indefinite. A whisper that is infinite, like a sliver of time ripped from a bottle whose liquid once flowed like wine, only to be turned to sand the next instant.

Wherever they were, in this labyrinth of twisted denizens, a maze of madness, Drane closed his eyes as if none of it even existed. Only him. Only Cheriss. Only this moment. Only her lips on his. Her skin, as his fingers reached her cheek, as she had gripped him, and his fist was given to bliss.

Never thank me, Cheriss.


She shouldn’t. She couldn’t. She wouldn’t.

She would, could and should just slip into the sentiment, relinquish her flesh and bone to him, just as they had intended. Like two old spirits frozen in time, petrified like stone, unbroken this moment.

Cheriss of old stones.

Maybe there was a poem in there somewhere but, well, who the hell cares? Drane was too busy kissing his woman, fingers curling into her hair, and damn hell. He would let it burn with her, that other woman in the distance, whose screams were silent amid a sudden vision.

What...is...this..!?

Drane's headache, like madness fractured into a thousand scattered pieces of glass, pangs of sadness, fit for a Sith of broken emotions, though it only made his lips tighten, his grip tighten, as he took Cheriss into him. This was their moment. Like it had been in that kitchen before they were interrupted.

@Sicadorito (@Cheriss Ktrame)
 

Cheriss Ktrame

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Orange, yellow, white, their end of the hallway glowed with it. The light from the burning woman’s fire danced on the metal walls as it slowly transformed her corpse to dust. The light touched Drane’s face too, illuminating his cheeks, his nose, and his lips when otherwise the lights of the building were still off.

His eyes, though, needed no firelight to shine. They looked at her on their own with something brighter, lit by passion. Cheriss saw it, and the intensity of his gaze told her that he had to be real. Maybe this place was an illusion, but she wasn’t. Drane wasn’t. An illusion couldn’t create such pain in her shoulder, and an illusion couldn’t have turned his eyes to fire when he looked at her.

Never thank me? A little frown formed on her face at that. How could she not? He’d stayed for her when she would have left her. Cheriss looked back at him, opening her mouth to let him know that she’d been serious, but before she could say anything, he’d already interrupted her with a kiss.

She wanted to move her right hand up, to feel her fingers in his hair again as he took hers in his, but she flinched the moment she even tried. Curse her. Cheriss hated Yellow Eyes for having taken even this simple pleasure away from her. But she still had her other hand, and the tips of her fingers grazed his temple and her palm cradled his cheek with twice the tenderness of whatever she’d done before. He was hers. She was his. She wouldn’t let anything change that.

With her eyes closed, she felt his grip on her tighten along with his lips. Her hand did too, and she pulled him closer to her. This was their moment in their hallway. No more zombies, puppets, or Yellow Eyes to interrupt them. Just that fading sweetness of his strawberry lips that she had grown to love.

Then another pang shot through her arm, and Cheriss winced, forced to break the kiss.

“Gods,” she whispered harshly through gritted teeth, grimacing down at the floor before swallowing and looking back up at Drane. “I need to— to get this wound covered. Could you do me a favor?” She tilted her head in the direction of where their clothing lay. Maybe some pressure would help— though she was completely unaware of the headache raging in Drane’s head at the moment.

@Die Shize
 

Drane T'keen

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No. No, no. Not again. Not this again. Not this all over again! He wanted to scream. Might have if he had the voice for it. If he had the choice before him. Yet he didn’t.

None of this was his decision. If he had done this with Cheriss, decided any of it, then he would have been an idiot, so senseless to waste their occasion of bliss and togetherness with the broken merit of this cave stained in hate and rage.

Complicated, maybe, given he was Sith and so was she. Drane and Cheriss, two Sith in a kitchen, were no strangers to rage and hate, neither to pain. It was their essence. Their weapon.

Yet this place painted twisted images within the brain—of Mandalorians in purple armor for Drane—and so steady was that kiss until it was rendered asunder like Yellow Eyes blinded by the thunder ushered by the firelight of her owners.

Yes, this infested nest was theirs. Infected though it was from floor to ceiling, corridor to corner, Drane was ever aware how the mistake was made by the apparent masters who claimed this place as theirs. Yet who owned hell? Was it not the Sith? Was it not this Thyrsian and this Human? Who could answer? Him? Her? Neither?

Gods, Cheriss beckoned, but the gods were gone. Agony drove her; by blistered shoulder was the passion in her kiss delivered, for pain drove a Sith, they fed on it, as Drane ate fear like his father fed on fury.

Sons of the red sun, both of them, and the parent did guide the son toward his future wars, with sunlight as his guide, lashing at his back with the whip of a blistering wind. That was his element, in words, but words were no less senseless.

Forgotten. Forsaken. Like this place. This cave.

Forsaken. Forgotten.

He didn’t even realize he was gone for those moments.

“What?” He heard Cheriss speak to him for the first time that second, realizing in her eyes she had already said something, he was just delayed in registering it, taken away by memory lane all over again. This place. What was it doing to him? These visions. Why him?

“I’ve got you,” he answered, finally, and promised. Truthfully, he had to blink himself away from Cheriss just to see, just to think, and try to interpret his environment as reality. He moved around to those clothes so strewn about, plucked one garment, a shirt, felt the fabric at his fingertips.

Real. This is real. I can feel it. What did that make the images? His visions? Fruitless. Stupid. Meaningless. Ignore them, you idiot.

“Hold still,” he beckoned, as the scent of charred flesh did drift up his nostrils as much as didn’t. That dead woman in the distance, sacrificed on the pyre to her dead deities, ought to have carried the stench of death, but even the presence of her corpse felt…empty. Different. He couldn’t put his finger on it. He couldn’t determine fantasy from reality at the moment. Could Cheriss?

“How does that feel?”
Drane asked, a hand on the garment on her shoulder like a bandage, a hand on her other shoulder, bare as ever, fingers curling in, thumb grazing over it. Her skin was so smooth, like her lips, like she was both above and below, though he had not gotten that chance to explore her core.

“How does this feel, Cheriss?” And perhaps it still wasn’t the right time for it, for their moment could be broken all over again in an instant, but Drane kissed her lips all the same. Nuzzled, brushed, no tongue, just touched.

“That pain…” This headache. “Take it. Feel it.” Won’t go away. “Give it to me, woman.” Though he had no gods to pray to, he had the sun at his back, in his heart, and its burn could carve a woman apart.

“Show me how much it burns.” And if this place was cursed then so be it but they would not become its worms. They were Sith. They would turn it into their own damned universe.

Two Sith in a kitchen stand tall.
From all four corners, we own it.
Our ship that drifts in this ocean.
We will show them. Kill them all.


@Sicadorito (@Cheriss Ktrame)
 

Cheriss Ktrame

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Something was on his mind again. Cheriss saw his eyes glaze over when she spoke. She tapped him lightly on the cheek, beckoning him to her, waited as he processed what she’d said. She wasn’t impatient with him, she couldn’t, wouldn’t be. This place was simply wrong and all they had was each other. She knew that it affected him as much as it affected her, if not more.

So once he answered her and helped her over, set her down on the floor against the wall and picked out the shirt, Cheriss sat still as he requested. She grimaced when he wrapped the garment around her shoulder, but it was better now that there was some pressure around it. Admiring his work, she figured that she might even be able to move it a little now that there was some support.

The warmth of his hands on both shoulders made her face forward again, though. Just looking at the curve of his lips, his glowing irises, feeling his touch, she knew that he could take her pain away. Bit by bit, like he was doing now.

“How does that feel?”

“Better.” She answered him honestly. Then as he leaned in once more, brushed his lips against hers, Cheriss couldn’t help but smile. She closed her eyes, only opening them again once he pulled back.

“Mm. Even better.” From there, she examined his face as he continued, searching his eyes, but something in them was still off. His next words sounded so intense that they seemed to be directed more at himself rather than her. Either way, she would take his advice, show him how much it burned. To thank him for what he’d done for her.

Slowly and not without effort, Cheriss placed her hand on his temple, brushing his skin while her fingers curled into his mane. The pain in her shoulder only made her hold on tighter. The other she placed over his hand resting on her left shoulder, then slid it down to the center of her chest, between her breasts, letting him feel her heartbeat. The core of her fire. In spite of Yellow Eyes, that still burned more than any wound could.

“Never thank me, Cheriss,” he’d said. “Just kiss me.” This time she did, with the same passion that she’d had back in that kitchen, if not more now that it was fueled by both her shoulder and her heart. Her fingers held his head tighter and her hand pressed harder, her thumb grazing over the curves of his knuckles as her lips pressed firmly but gently against his, letting him know her appreciation.

She didn’t want to let him go. But mortal as she was, Cheriss couldn’t hold her breath forever.

“Drane,” she said as she pulled back to breathe, “I want you to know… if there’s anything I can do for you, anything at all, you need only ask.” She brushed her lips against his cheek. “Anytime, anywhere.” Cheriss gazed into those fiery eyes of his, black as charred coal yet still as bright as gold.

“And if there’s something bothering you…” Her fingers wrapped around his palm on her chest. “I’d like to help.” She tilted her chin up to kiss him on his forehead.

@Die Shize
 

Drane T'keen

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“Drane.” She called his name. Drane. That was his name. His birthname. T’keen. His surname. Yet why was either name suddenly so distant? Why did one sound as different to him as Cheriss Ktrame did that instant?

Drane, she said, all but whispered, for her word was as loud as a thousand drums, beating and banging at his blood. It did rush, thunderous in its wake, begging like the heart within his chest, like the heart between those breasts.

All the same, Cheriss sounded so far away. Though she was so close, and those his fingers knew the touch of her skin as soft as a feather, it felt so cold, her lips so silent. That such words were senseless made sense to Drane, because none of this made sense to begin with.

Not the kitchen. Not the puppet. Not the woman.

None of it. Only one man. Only one woman. Just us.


Maybe that’s why Drane wanted to kiss Cheriss’ lips, to lick her skin, to remind himself that he was…alive.

Kiss broken for the moment, the Sith simply sat there beside the Sith. Her back to the wall, him kneeling before her, holding her, gazing at her, eyes into eyes. This was no place for Jedi. Yet it didn’t seem to be a place for Sith either.

“Cheriss…” It was all Drane could say. She said she wanted to help him—anytime, anywhere—but she didn’t realize that he was helpless.

"Ktrame..." He couldn’t be helped. He wouldn’t let her sense it. Only his passion. No. She can’t see that I’m…scared. For fear was a Sith’s weapon, but not like this, whatever it is.

“Something…”
Was this the moment? Should he tell her? Let her in and explain away his visions? Of purple Mandalorians? They made less sense than the puppet did, or failed concoctions in the kitchen.

“Bothering…” Drane shifted his gaze to her chest, curling a finger in on her skin as if it was its own whisper. There was a heart behind those ribs, for Cheriss the Champion was not so heartless, but she was ever a Sith like him. They weren’t so different.

“Me…” He might have finished but didn’t, just closed his eyes and sighed under the tender kiss on his forehead. Not so distant. No. Those are lips. Sweet as her heartbeat. Drane opened his eyes, gazing into hers, unblinking. Unwavering.

“Be with me…” So silly. So weak. That’s how this Sith Champion named Drane T’keen felt on his knees as he leaned his head into the crook of her neck, but fought against the thought of drifting to a deep sleep.

@Sicadorito (@Cheriss Ktrame)
 

Cheriss Ktrame

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“Cheriss… Ktrame…” Eyes into eyes as he spoke her name, there was nothing to hide. Nothing they could hide. Clear as day, Cheriss saw the pain in his just as he would see the concern in hers. Of course her shoulder still burned, but his wound was different. His wasn’t physical, and a simple makeshift bandage wouldn’t cut it.

But she couldn’t help if she didn’t know what it was.

“Talk to me.” As his gaze lowered to her chest, where she held his hand, Cheriss kept her eyes on his face, watching for any sudden change. Something was bothering him, he said. Even after that kiss she could see it. Feel it.

“I know, Drane...” Swallowing, she forced herself not to wince as she shifted her other hand to the back of his head, fingers running through the curly locks of his hair. “I know.” His eyes, once again meeting hers, gave it all away.

As he leaned in, rested his head on her shoulder, Cheriss felt his breath, so warm, against the bare skin of her neck. “Be with me,” he said, and she wanted nothing less. In this place, this kitchen, this hallway, the only ones they could trust were each other. Even if they were Sith, who were known for anything but. They were shallow, the people who believed that, they didn’t understand. They never would.

However, maybe it was true that only Sith deal in absolutes. To Cheriss, in that moment, whoever had put them here was evil. Her greatest enemy. The puppet, those zombies, Yellow Eyes, they had burned like they’d deserved. But Drane…

She loved him. Her man. In this moment, he was more precious to her than anything in the galaxy. She held him tight, cradling the back of his head, holding his hand, as if he might slip away from her the moment she even loosened her grip.

Maybe it was just this place. Everything here was beyond what she could understand. She dared not think it wasn’t real even if a part of her told her that it wasn’t. Even amid her pain and his, Cheriss didn’t want to wake up and find out that this was all a dream, that if she were to see Drane again, he’d have no recollection of any of this.

Of this place in between. The in between of reality and fantasy. Heaven and hell. Pain and pleasure.

That was too much to think about, though. For now, Cheriss would do the only thing she could— be with him.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she promised. She sealed it with a gentle kiss to the top of his head. His eyes closed, Drane looked like he could doze off any moment, and it wouldn’t be the first time. But it was safe now, just like it was back on that ship. Killiks, Joiners, puppets, zombies… they were all gone and it was quiet now. Just two Sith in their hallway by the kitchen.

@Die Shize
 

Drane T'keen

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Did she promise? She spoke the words. Seven syllables. Four words. Two Sith. But was it a promise? One that a Sith like Cheriss Ktrame would even keep? If she did, would she do it for Drane T’keen? Do you promise?

Yet the words never escaped Drane's lips, not even as a faint whisper, as he kissed her skin. It was a pathetic motion, like the notion that Sith like them were to be trusted.

Then again, this one just wasn’t the type to lie. There was nothing for a warrior of the red sun to gain by hiding beneath the sunlight.

“Don’t…” Promise. Don’t promise. As much as Drane didn’t want Cheriss to thank him, to never offer him her gratitude as two Sith in a kitchen faced with absolutes, he didn’t want her to tell him she meant anything, even though she meant everything to him this very moment.

“Go…” He breathed. It was a sigh of blind relief, silent in his violent mind, like a hundred thousand cries in a dying wind, under the sunlight, swept away by a blaze on skin, fading away in the grave. Nonsense. Mindless. Meaningless. All of this.

“Don’t go, Cheriss…” He repeated despite that she promised it. Didn’t even need to tell him it was a promise. But it was. He could sense it. She didn’t lie. She didn’t hide. She just held him, there at the crook of her neck, and he felt it as he held her in turn.

Tell her.

A whisper from nowhere.

Tell her…my son…


In the voice of his mother.

Tell her everything, warrior.


In the voice of his father.

“Cheriss…”

Eyes into eyes. No. Not this time. Eyes closed. Another vision. Another Mandalorian. In a purple black helmet. More of them.

“I’ve seen…visions…”


He might describe them. He couldn’t. The pain in her shoulder burned. The pain in his head? That headache? Perhaps even worse, though he would not show it.

“Mandalorians…in purple black beskar’gam…”

It sounded stupid as he said it out loud.

Another vision.

A LADY IN A MAZE
A DRAGON'S GAZE


“A Mandalorian…in black and red…”

Signets. Visions.

A woman in black and red
A man in black and red
A woman in black and red
A man in black and red

“Some kind of figure…with one eye…”

A one-eyed man
A one-eyed man
A one-eyed man
A one-eyed Man
A one-eyed wo-man

“Cheriss…baby…hide me...don’t let me…d-die…”

And the Black Swordsman’s voice begins to lower further in its whisper, begins to quiet, like his mindless mind, as he gives himself into the silence of sunlight.

Cheriss could not carry Drane, but she may carry the pain for him.
Drane gave himself to her and to slumber, no whisper, and no roar.
If this is a maze they are in, an intoxicated haze, or by an alchemist.
Then so be it. They will wake. Hear. Us. Roar. As one. Hear. Me. Roar.

@Sicadorito (@Cheriss Ktrame)
 

The Storyteller

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Two Sith In A Kitchen. Technically speaking, however, they were no longer in a kitchen. Or was there even one to begin with? Where they were at the moment was in a hallway, silent and motionless, eyes closed, with only the dying embers of a burnt corpse in the corridor to keep them company. Such as it was.

Two Sith. Drane T’keen. Cheriss Ktrame. Or were they even there to begin with? Was this just some illusion? A game? Some confusing painting painted by a third party? Another maze? A Force-imbued construct constricted with Sith Alchemy? Maybe.

Maybe not. Whatever was right, whatever was wrong, whether the stars were aligned or the sun was gone, there was more than one warrior of the red sunlight. There was more than one killer with chocolate eyes.

They were never, they were forever, they were one, they were many, they were everything and nothing.

In his golden iris, more like flecks of gold interwoven within a black pit, Drane T’keen might keep quiet but he was in a dream. So was Cheriss. They were asleep. So were they dreaming all of this? Not. Really.

“Do you think they know?”


A voice spoke from behind a window. Well, from behind a wall, to be precise, with eyes that spy through its surface. Two-way metallic, maybe, or was it just a camera? It probably didn’t matter. The speaker could see these two Sith from a kitchen, though the latter couldn’t see or hear her.

“I don’t know, Katana,” spoke another. This one was a man, however. “She seems curious. He seems uncertain. Or is it the other way around? What do you think, Krogan?”

“It doesn’t make a difference, Kesbar,”
answered Krogan. He shifted that moment, stepping away from a corner of a room; a square room with four corners, a ceiling, a floor, but no door. “They will wake, they will wander, they will wonder, but they will never really know what we know. How could they? They are but dust. Right, Ki’dut?”

“Dust but blood,”
Ki’dut shrugged, adjusting his purple helmet with its black visor; purple black like the rest of his Mandalorian armor, like the rest of them, his brothers and sisters. “Figments of the imagination. Caught up in a web. Brought here by that which is in between life and death and, if they can’t tell the difference between them, then does it matter?”

“All that matters is that the game must continue,” spoke another Mandalorian in his purple black beskar’gam, only he wore no helmet. Rather, he was cradling it in his lap, sitting back, propping his boots upon a table, gazing past his kindred Mandalorians, such as they were, and at those two Sith from a kitchen.

“Today. Tomorrow. One hundred and fifty thousand years later.” He sighed, like he had just finished a glass of the finest wine only to realize his glass was as empty as it was full, never mind half. He might have cried, not from agony, but from laughter as he discovered there was never a glass in his hand to begin with.

“Let a complex system repeat itself long enough, eventually something surprising might occur.”

He rose from his seat, stepped closer to the window, roved his gaze over Cheriss and Drane, Human and Thyrsian, though he was the former. Human, though far from humane.

“Bitch. Bastard.”

“He is belligerent.” Krogan said.

“Adversarial.” Kesbar said.

“Aggressive.” Ki'dut said.

“You’re damn right I am.” He smiled. “Yet cheerful. Merciful. For my beautiful children.”

“So, what next, Kayden?” Katana asked.

Thinking over the answer to that question, Kayden took a breath, cradled a tennis ball in his palm, and levitated it.

“They’re in the great game now.”


“A game of thrones,” they echoed.

No way out.”

In a universe, order mattered.
However, chaos was a ladder.

[END THREAD]

@Sicadorito (@Cheriss Ktrame)
 
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