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Digging Up The Past

Leori Sheltrak

Character
Character
It had been a long day and an even longer week. Leori was looking forward to a few days off while adjusting her schedule for her upcoming overnight shifts. And she had promised to stop in and see her old Padawan.

It did not surprise her to learn that Marcello had a private apartment on Coruscant. It was a busy planet and it was nice to have somewhere private to unwind and decompress after the hectic work days if Coruscant.

The Jedi Master was ever the multitasker and opted to jog to his apartment. She arrived a little disheveled looking but not too worse for wear. With a deep breath she pressed the bell to alert him of her presence at the door.
 
The Arbiter
Character
Marcello's apartment wasn't really anything special, but it was more than adequate for him to occupy when he was actually on Coruscant. During a previous meeting at a diner, Marcello had run into someone he'd not seen for quite a long time. He'd extended an invitation to his apartment to catch up, but he didn't really intend to...stay there. The Jedi Master much preferred to be outside rather than in.

When the chime alerted him that she'd arrived downstairs at the main entrance, he casually made his way to a small intercom near the door and depressed the button. Glancing at the security monitor, Marcello smiled thinly at Leori's appearance. "I'll be down in two minutes, Leori."

Approximately ninety seconds later, Marcello exited the main entrance to the building to find Leori waiting. His dark blue gaze briefly swept over her body, noting her appearance in greater detail. "Did you run here? You're crazy." Shaking his head, Marcello motioned for Leori to follow him to his speeder around the corner. The speeder itself was an open-cockpit design so there would be plenty of airflow. "If you start to stink up my speeder, I swear on everything I'll kick you out right over the skylane." The smirk on his face clearly indicated he was joking.

Once they were in the air, Marcello piloted the speeder into one of the lower level skylanes that allowed for a slightly slower travel speed. Truthfully, they didn't have a real destination, but he did have a purpose behind this little visit. Leisurely, the Jedi Master continued to pilot the speeder as he spoke to his old friend. "You look like you've been well. So what's new in your life?"

@[member="Leori Sheltrak"]
 

Leori Sheltrak

Character
Character
Leori didn't need to respond. She let down her hair and shook it out, but it did nothing to help the rest of her, which was a little sweaty. And of course as soon as Marcello reached her he was looking her over and noting the sweaty messy look. "Yes I ran here. Not fast, but ran. Have to get some exercise somehow."

She followed him to his speeder. If it was anyone other than Marcello, she'd have been mortified at the comment. But, she smirked. "You like it." She got herself seated in the speeder and settled in for the ride. "I'm surviving. I wandered the galaxy for a while serving as a healer. I just returned to Coruscant within the last couple of weeks. I've gone back to my old ways of not taking care of myself and the hands on approach. Not very exciting I'm afraid."

The Jedi Master turned her head and smiled. "And what about you Marcello? Excitement seems to follow you. What has the galaxy brought you?"

@[member="Marcello Matteo"]
 
The Arbiter
Character
Marcello arched a curious eyebrow at Leori's comment. It seemed...a touch morose. Turning the speeder slightly to the left to follow the lane of traffic, he glanced at Leori. "What do you mean...back to not taking care of yourself?" Marcello laughed briefly at the seeming hilarity of the statement. "You are so random."

Truthfully, Marcello couldn't really remember a time when Leori didn't take care of herself. "Oh and excitement doesn't follow me. I pretty much seek it out. A thrill-seeker, if you will. Nothing like diving headfirst into danger with nothing but hopes and dreams." Marcello was, of course, kidding. He rarely did anything without a very calculated decision making process. However, that process often happened almost instantaneously - a very large part of his skill in combat or on the field of a competitive sport. Then again, he'd been using the Force latently for so much of his early life, that is was hardly an effort for him to connect with the energy now that he knew how to properly manipulate it.

@[member="Leori Sheltrak"]
 

Leori Sheltrak

Character
Character
Leori chuckled. "I suppose you wouldn't have been around the last time I was working in hospitals. With the length of the shifts and overtime I've put in, I'm really bad at caring for myself. Remembering to eat and sleep and all those things. I trash my body for a couple of years until it's had enough, then I move on when I find something else to work for. I was hoping that you had such a thing in mind."

"If you're a thrill seeker, I'm a glutton for punishment." She chuckled.

The Jedi Master looked out the window, curious as to their destination. "So, where are we going?"

@[member="Marcello Matteo"]
 
The Arbiter
Character
Marcello nodded his head though...he didn't really agree with the lifestyle. One person could only do so much. He had learned long ago that he wasn't going to save the galaxy on his own...or ever. That certainly did not mean the Jedi Master refused to try. In this life, he had a role to play. Marcello simply had stopped allowing himself to try and control everything. He would handle what he could handle. At least, in that regard, he was able to remain confident in the fact that he did all that he could.

In response to Leori's question, Marcello didn't really have an answer. "Nowhere and everywhere. You know if you don't take care of yourself consistently, you'll be even more worthless when you die." It was a very blunt statement, but it was true. It was impossible to perform at the peak of one's ability if they did not take care of themselves.

@[member="Leori Sheltrak"]
 

Leori Sheltrak

Character
Character
Leori wasn't surprised to hear such a response to her question. And, she knew better than to trash herself like that, but her desire to heal sometimes took over. He had a point that she already knew.

"You're absolutely right. And I know better." She wasn't going to bother with the but. "It's something I'm working on." Leori wasn't in a hurry to die or anything, just preventing others from dying. In truth, she'd gone back into old habits when she left the Order. And there was wandering. In truth, it was what she did when she was emotionally distraught and needed to work though the issues rather than give in to them and deal with them like a human being. Or maybe it was human beings that simply distracted themselves from it until they had bigger fish to fry. In this case, her own health. It was difficult to say.

"I think I'm going to be okay for a while." She smiled a little.

@[member="Marcello Matteo"]
 
The Arbiter
Character
Marcello nodded his head casually. "You should consider joining Rianna within the Order. I think it would be good for...the both of you. Certainly good for the Order." Removing one hand from the wheel, Marcello briefly glanced at her with a roguish grin. "I know, I know. You like doing your own thing. I can relate, you know that. However, you have a gift and a true desire to genuinely help people. Besides...let's not forget that you have to let someone else be there for you too one day."

The Jedi Master's last statement hung in the breeze for a moment. He'd literally just stated the one thing he was more or less incapable of doing himself.

@[member="Leori Sheltrak"]
 

Leori Sheltrak

Character
Character
Leori chuckled a little. "The problem with joining Rianna is that she has the same problem that I do. We get too focused on others and forget to take care of ourselves. I love working with her, but I think I'm ready for a new challenge."

The last thing he said left her speechless, which didn't happen very often. She opened her mouth to speak and closed it again to compose a thought before trying to speak again.

"That would be a refreshing change, I must say."

There were many things she could have said at that moment. Looking at Marcello, she inquired "And are you prepared for that day?"

@[member="Marcello Matteo"]
 

Leori Sheltrak

Character
Character
"The day when you let someone else be there for you?" The Jedi Master shrugged slightly. "Sure." Marcello flashed her a brief grin, knowing what she'd meant. However his lack of direct response should have been all the answer she needed.

Leori nodded and chuckled. "Sure." She repeated. "You almost sound convincing."

Turning the speeder towards their destination, Marcello laughed. "I do what I can."

Leori nodded. She wasn't sure what to say at the moment, so she simply sat quietly as he steered them to wherever. And suddenly something came to her. "You know I meant that it would be nice to have someone there for me, given my healing path."

Marcello arched a curious eyebrow as he looked at Leori. In the distance the Jedi temple loomed, but they diverted to a nearby skyscraper at the edge of the district. "I didn't, actually. I'm sure you will find someone though."

Leori tilted her head. "Someone." She repeated. "Someone..."

Marcello glanced briefly at Leori but otherwise gave her no immediate reply. Landing the speeder on the roof of a nearby apartment building, the Jedi turned off the engine and gazed out at the horizon. "You know I never really thought I would be here..."

Leori looked at Marcello, a little confused as to here he was referring to. "And where is that, Marcello?"

Marcello motioned to the Temple in the distance. "Coruscant. The Order."

"Oh." Leori said. It hadn't really occurred to her that would be a new experience for him. She on the other hand had grown up in Temples. "It really is something, isn't it?"

Marcello was silent for a brief moment. "Yes, but it's also as broken as I had...ever thought. Any large bureaucracy is bound to have problems though."

Leori nodded in agreement. "Agreed. So are we going to get out?"

Marcello laughed softly. "Feel free if you need to stretch your legs. I only found this spot recently. It keeps things in perspective. I can feel the existence of so many lives running about the planet. Yet here sits a rather small gathering of Jedi in the grand scheme of things. I come here to purge myself of all the unnecessary squabbling and political posturing of many."

Leori shook her head "No, I was just wondering." The ride was part of the journey. "It's a nice spot that's for sure. I get the same effect that you describe when I run each day. It's nice to step out of myself for a while."

After a long silence, she sighed. Leori looked at Marcello again. It was now or never she supposed. And she needed to hear a straight and honest answer. "Is there ever going to be anything between us, Marcello?"

@[member="Marcello Matteo"]
 

Leori Sheltrak

Character
Character
And...there it was. Marcello did not immediately respond, choosing instead to gaze at the skyline in silence. Still, he supposed this conversation was inevitable. Turning to face Leori, he fixed her with a serious expression. "Your question is vague. There already exists a great friendship between us. There is not much I would not so for you. What is it you -want- there to be?" He suspected he knew, but he wasn't sure he fully believed in such.

Leori narrowed her eyes for a moment, but relaxed again as she listened. She didn't react as she would have after his first comment which was a good thing. "Intimacy. An intimate relationship. Surely you know what I mean."

"Perhaps, but why?"

Now she did narrow her eyes. "Why do I want to be in a relationship with you? Because you aren't just anyone. And I know that because otherwise we wouldn't have met. There is something between us. I ignored it, and avoided it and ran away from it. Can you tell me that I'm wrong?"

Marcello exhaled heavily. "No, not necessarily. However, I can tell you that I refuse to let emotion run my life. Perhaps there is something...something so delicate that it cannot even be quantified. The fact that such a thing could have such a power over an individual is...unacceptable to me."
Marcello gave Leori an almost apologetic smile. "I don't believe in love or placing my heart in the hands of another, Leori. I'm no good in relationships."

Leori looked at Marcello "Do I seem the type that lets emotion run my life? I have always put my duty first. But why can't there be both? You're not good in relationships because you haven't given it a chance, with the right person."

There was an undeniable truth to Leori's statements, but that did not change the fact...he was not ready for a relationship with anyone really. More specifically he hadn't met anyone that could force him to abandon his perceptions. His life and attention beloved to the defenseless...those people deserved all of his love and devotion. Such was his role as a Jedi. To Leori, though, he paraphrased. "I can't Leori. I'm sorry."

Leori was quiet. What more could she say? Well, nothing that would get her what she wanted. "I don't think that you are, but thanks for saying so."

Marcello arched a curious brow, but it threatened to give way to anger. Instead he merely shook his head and started the engine once more. "I think it's time I took you home."

Leori nodded. She knew she should have kept her mouth shut. "That was out of line. I apologize."

"It's funny...how people make statements like that assuming it changes what already occurred." Pausing, Marcello merged into a high-speed traffic lane. "As my friend, however, I forgive you."

"I appreciate that." Leori said. "And it is one of those emotion things. Where you say things without thinking about them."

Marcello shrugged his shoulders slightly. "I understand, really." The return trip was much shorter and quieter in Marcello's end. When they'd arrived at Leori's residence, he turned and managed a smile in spite of all that had happened.

Leori leaned over and kissed his cheek. "I'll see you later."

Marcello nodded his head. "Have a good night Leori."

Leori climbed out and went inside.
 
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