Written with the help of the lovely Lucien Dooku

“-I’m telling you, it’s nice living here. Lots of people. I know it’s smaller than your place, in terms of like, your personal space. But- well, I don’t know. Maybe you should stick around a bit. If you want. There’s always room for more Jedi.” Of course, she didn’t know where he was staying for his visit. Part of her was curious. Part of her would rather he stay there.

They continued their walk down the wide halls of the Coruscant Jedi Temple. In truth, Lucien didn’t stick out much, considering he dressed about as well as the Sword of the Jedi. The New Jedi Order didn’t have too much in the way of a dress code. That was part of why she thought Lucien would fit in well among them -- he was carefree enough; the only things keeping him away were his own beliefs. Maybe she’d be able to wear him down a bit.

"I'll think about it." Luc commented back after a second or two to deliberate. It felt weird to just freely walk the halls of the Temple with no ulterior motives in mind. No sneaking in, and no hastily crafted escape before once more heading off world. A part of him was a bit anxious about that latter situation, given he’d returned after swearing to never to do so. He’d been a wild one, back in those days before he left for the Order. Luckily for him, it seemed as if none of the faces that walked by had recognized him-- for his past, at least. His status as an Imperial was another thing altogether.

"I'll stick around if you want me to." Luc shoved his hands into his pockets, glancing down at Auteme with a grin. "Only if you want me to. Though, I get the feeling..." His eyes shifted away from her, settling upon a passing Jedi who walked past them. The Jedi sized up Lucien as they crossed paths, only to find that the long-haired newcomer had returned his intensity with a mischievous grin. They went their separate ways a moment later, sharing a nod between each other as they walked. "...that some of your peers won't like me being here."

She opened her mouth to respond, but even a moment of consideration forced her to pause. She bit her lip. “Yeah,” she said. “The Jedi aren’t perfect.”

Her thoughts wandered. If a Jedi was meant to protect life and do good, how could they go to war, fight and kill others? That was, of course, only her interpretation. Those who rushed into battle weren’t ideal Jedi in her mind. Maybe she was wrong, though -- maybe Lucien, a leader to his people and a warrior who fought the Sith, was a better Jedi than her. Why should anyone there believe he was less than them?

“You’re right, I, uh… I do want you to stick around,” she admitted. “Not- not as a Jedi. If you don’t think that’s it. Just as, you know.”

She waved her hand around. “You know.”

"Huh? I do?" He replied, seeming genuinely confused. "Hmm… I can't seem to recall." He continued to mull over her question, one hand exiting his pocket and resting at his chin. Luc kept on the act just long enough to get a rise out of her (which he did -- she pouted, almost, knowing he was poking fun at her), eventually dropping the confused expression and bringing a smile to his face once again. He slid his hand back into his pocket, shifting his gaze on the path to their front.

Luc had never taken the time to appreciate the temple for what it was. He was used to the old, decrepit husks formerly occupied by the Jedi of bygone eras. It felt a bit odd to visit the kind of temple that didn't have cobwebs and the remains of the fallen as their main attraction. Despite their differences, Luc did see himself as a Jedi of a sort. The temple had somewhat of a homely feeling to it, aside from the occasional pair of eyes that lingered his way a bit too long. But he wasn't there as a Jedi, as far as he was concerned. His reason for visiting the temple was walking right besides him.

And really, that was all that mattered. "Don't worry- I get'cha." He continued, nudging her playfully with his elbow. "As that dashing, young Prince from far-away lands, of course-"

She laughed. “Why, my prince, surely your lands would be in ruin without you,” she said, doing her best phony High Galactic accent. “Must I accompany you again on another adventure to that far-away place?”

"I think Nirauan will be fine without me for a while." He chuckled at her impression, stepping off to the side and offering up an exaggerated, yet surprisingly regal bow.

He resumed his place at her side after letting out a laugh. "I'd like that, if you don't mind being surrounded by a bunch of smooth-brained Imperials. It gets easier after a while -- trust me on that one."

“Yeah, I know.” She smiled. “I’ve only just gotten used to the Senate, though.”

The pair walked into one of the temple’s many courtyards. Through the neat rows of trees of all kinds, Auteme searched for the right words. In her search she ended up using all of them.

“I’m just -- you know. Because if we’re going to- to do this, I guess… I don’t know, I’d like a bit of a plan? Because last time I left, we had Yinchorr, and that was a mess- not that I didn’t enjoy Nirauan, and all, and I don’t know if I could’ve stopped Yinchorr somehow, but-”

"There was nothing either of us could've done to stop Yinchorr." He cut her off, coming to a stop where they were. "We're only two people out of trillions upon trillions that inhabit this galaxy. And to make matters even more complicated, there's plenty of governments and factions out there who have their own agendas. The Order and the GA included, of course. It's uh… complicated, I guess."

He lowered his head. Complicated was an understatement, given the circumstances of how they met in the first place. He went silent right after his finished speaking, only to step closer to Auteme, flashing her a smile. An arm wrapped around her, and he pulled her in close. "Whatever happens in the future -- I say just let it happen. It's our own decisions that drive our fate in one direction or another. Let the Force be damned if someone tries to convince me otherwise."

She fell silent for a while and watched the skylanes over his shoulder.

“Thanks.” As odd as it was, it was good to be reminded that she was just a small person in a big galaxy. Still, “I just… want to make a difference.

“And I want to be happy. I don’t know where those intersect, but… we can figure it out.”

As different as their lives were, in that moment he realized that they were both chasing after the same things. He wanted to make a difference within the Order, but not at the cost of who he was, or his right to achieve the same happiness that he wished for the citizens of Nirauan.

"Yeah… you're right, so don't worry 'bout it too much." He drifted his gaze across to the skylanes as well, content with where they finally came to a stop. "We'll figure it out."