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Finding Tranquility

Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
[SIZE=9pt]The Silver Rest had become home and Allyson could have never predicted this. The twists and turns her life had taken felt unreal at times. The sound of her boots echoed down the long corridor, the same corridor she usually took to visit a certain Jedi Master. Every so often she would find herself lost and would have to message said Jedi to come find her. Though that was getting a bit easier as time went on. Taking the turn towards Jyoti’s room, she stopped for a moment and then looked around. The concept of oddly long hallways still didn’t make any sense. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Jyoti had demanded that Allyson increased the frequency of her visits, there was no complaining, mostly because Allyson did enjoy visiting Jyoti. As the woman requested, she did send her a message telling her that she would be dropping by - it was a rare occasion that she did send a message. Allyson worked off of spontaneous ideas, but she had been lucky in her previous visits to catch Jyoti either returning to her room or leaving it.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Along with the visit today, Allyson brought churros and a question about some Jedi things. She had been researching meditation and its effects on calming the mind. After her incident and their last conversation, Allyson was still plagued with her nightmares. Not always the same ones, but they all had her ending up back in Kaine’s crypt. Her nose wrinkled at the thought as she knocked on the door belonging to Jyoti. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Unable to wait, the Corellian reached into the tupperware container and grabbed a churro. It hung from between her teeth as she worked on closing the container. [/SIZE]


[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
Jyoti had only been half serious when she made her demands to see Allyson around the temple more often, but she welcomed the greater frequency of visits all the same.

In a rare move, the Corellian had given her a heads up on her arrival today - a rare occurrence that Jyoti took as a sign that Allyson had something serious that she wanted to discuss.

The Jedi Master actually had work to do that day, so it was a good thing she had received a notification ahead of time in order to set aside some time. They were to meet in her quarters as usual.

Still, Allyson was able to beat her to her room, Jyoti catching her chomping down on some kind of tube-shaped confection.

"It's cute that you still think I work on Ally time," she quipped as she came up to the smaller woman to give her a half hug around the waist. That was about the extent of affection she would show out in public. "Have you been waiting long?"

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
Finally being able to close the container, Allyson’s attention was drawn quickly to the voice that came up beside her. Being pulled into the half hug, Allyson was growing used to the quiet and small signs of affection. She knew it was for a reason and the privacy of what they had was welcomed. Chewing on the churro she nodded and then smiled with remnants of cinnamon sugar.

A hand reached up and grabbed the end of the sweet and her head shook slightly. “Oh, no not really. I literally just got here like a few minutes before you.”

The comment weighed on her mind as a part of her felt slightly guity pulling Jyoti away from what she was doing. Jedi were more busy than she could have ever expected, or was it just Jyoti that was this busy.

“There are times I still think the galaxy runs on Ally time. I promise I’ll learn one day.” A small chuckle as she offered the tupperware. “Good news is, to make up for pulling away from your busy day - I brought a treat.” Knowing they had a limited time, Ally did try her best to show she appreciated the window that Jyoti created.

“I uh actually had a few questions on the whole meditation thing Jedi do. You know find your center peace and all that stuff.” Allyson didn’t get into to much detail in the hallway of the temple, she would wait till Jyoti asked any questions. It was somewhat embarrassing that she still had nightmares over what had happened.

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
"I will accept your offering," she replied with a wink. Up close, she could smell the cinnamon and see the texture of the confection in detail, reminding her of a fritter.

She let go of Allyson and move around her to unlock the door of her quarters. As soon as she crossed through the door, she kicked off her boots, then slid out a chair from her desk to sit.

"Meditation isn't exclusive to the Jedi. Anyone can do it to improve their mental faculty and physical health."

It was odd having hearing Allyson asking about meditation, as she figured the impulsive woman may have just written it off as a boring Jedi activity.

"Don't tell me I'm starting to rub off on you," she joked. "But seriously, is there something that's bothering you?"

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
Allyson followed Jyoti into the room and th door shut behind her. Seeing the woman remove her boots, the Corellian followed in suit. Stepping out of the knee high boots she lost a solid inch on her height. It was always an odd feeling losing that little bit of heel. The treats found their way onto the work table that Jyoti had and Allyson crossed her arms in front of her, feeling a bit odd at the reason she was here.

She remained standing for the time being, her eyes had fallen to the Jedi’s lap but decided against it for the moment. A few fingers rested on her chin as she thought how to word what she wanted to know. “I know anyone can do it. It seems to be something that a lot of people do - not just the Jedi which I’ve discovered.” Nodding, she did her best to relax her frame. “It’s just that I feel off if that makes any sense. I thought about our previous conversation and I think it would be good for me to find some sort of peaceful center.”

Giving into her urges, the Corellian moved and attempted to find a seat on Jyoti’s lap. They were in the privacy of her home away from home and with them being so busy with their own work, moments like this were a little hard to come by. Allyson didn’t want to let this get away from her. A smirk and she chuckled under her breath. “You wish you were rubbing off on me.” Musing over the comment, Allyson continued to smile. “I don’t know, I don’t think I’d look good in these Jedi robes.”

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
Jyoti didn't know what Jedi Allyson had discovered, but meditation was a cornerstone of their livelihood. It helped Jedi focus and resist the temptations of the Dark Side - their own destructive potential with the Force.

She was about to reply with something when Allyson just plopped herself on the Echani's lap. Her words were lost for a moment as she reached out reflexively to steady the woman and herself on the roller chair.

"And here I thought you wanted some serious discussion - are you here with a real problem, or just to fool around?"

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
As they stabilized on the chair, Allyson did her best to not chuckle at Jyoti’s question. It seemed the act had thrown off the Jedi from her train of thought for the moment. Sighing softly, Allyson made her self comfortable and shook her head.

“For as long as you’ve known me, you know I’m always here to fool around.” Shaking her head, she gave the woman an answer. “I am here for a serious discussion, because I do have a problem that I only trust you with.” Leaning forward the Corellian hugged the Jedi and sighed.

“It just makes it easier to talk about like this and we can have a serious conversation with me sitting on your lap, I was just tired of standing.” After explaining herself, Allyson continued.

“I understand meditation grounds you and helps put a mind at ease. You said the last time we spoke serious like this about my mind.” Pulling away slightly Allyson sighed. “I know you’re right. I haven’t been sleeping well unless…” Allyson trailed off and then shook her head. “Nightmares are getting worse, it's like I’m starting to remember more and more. I’m happy I’m remembering it, like you said I saw more of Bastion than most, I feel myself in peices.”

Allyson smiled and shrugged. “I want to feel complete. Mentally that is. You're the only one that knows any of this so that's why I'm asking if you could show me how to do this.”

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
"I'm sure it makes things easier for you, but then what about me?" It was difficult to talk seriously with her lover just splayed over her lap.

Sobering up, Allyson explained the situation to her, the Corellian having increasingly worse nightmares about traumatic events, particularly the horrors she had experienced at Bastion. What mirth had been on Jyoti's face faded away as she began to frown.

It had been staring her right in the face, and she had touched on the problem but hadn't really identified it. Now it was so obvious that she couldn't avoid the issue.

She straightened up in her seat, looking concerned. "Allyson, do you have PTSD?"

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
Allyson watched as Jyoti’s face change from being happy to see her, to a frown and finally to concern. She was finally figured out and while this was a huge weight off her shoulders, she was now faced without her mask. Training with the SIS did one major thing or Allyson, she was able to build a mask and walls to keep those around her from figuring things out Her past was hidden along with her traumas. Kaili could never figure it out, she was easy to distract.

Jyoti wasn’t. Allyson wondered if the Jedi had seen through her the whole time. Hands covered her face as she sighed heavily. The truth was out and Allyson knew there was no going back to her hiding place. The things she had seen in the field along with the ravaging of Corellia, it wasn’t a surprise the woman had PTSD.

Allyson let her hands fall from her face as she looked at Jyoti, “Please don’t look at me like that.” The concern forced Allyson to realize how terrible her situation was. “Yes.” She confirmed it and then sighed once more. “It's actually the worst its been. I’ve been able to hide it and cover it up. Was able to fool the guy that gave me my final release after Anoat”

“There’s medication I can take, but it just kind of dulls it. I was using glitterstim when you caught me, kind of helped. I don’t want to use some chemical to deal with this. I need to fix it the right way, accept what’s happened and move on. I feel like I’m in this loop that never ends, Jyoti.” Allyson wanted to get up and leave, but she stayed knowing that if she wanted to fix this she had to stay. Hands played with the fabric of the Jedi’s robes, her eyes focused on them as she was embarrassed of her situation. Her pride hurt, but if that was the sacrifice to fix this then so be it.

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
Her expression softened a little, but the look worry was still clear on her face.

"I'm sorry...I just can't help it. Maybe I was already seeing it, especially the other night, but I just couldn't put a name to it. Or rather, I didn't want to."

She let out a sigh, then stood up from her chair to reach out and hug Allyson.

"If you ever let me catch you with drugs again, then a bomb to the face will be the least of your worries," she whispered. It was hard to tell whether or not she was serious in that moment, but it may not have been something Allyson wanted to test. "I'll help you get through this."

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
[SIZE=9pt]Tension had tightened her frame, but the moment that Jyoti hugged her, she began to relax. A sigh of relief came as she let herself enjoy the hug and the closeness, but then came the warning from the Echani Jedi. Her eyes opened and she wondered if this was a gentle sort of way to remind Allyson of the woman’s dislike of drugs. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]She made a note to try and not test and see if Jyoti was kidding or what her boundaries were. The hug was returned and Allyson pulled away slightly, but kept her hold loosely on the Jedi. “Thanks.” Allyson paused and finally fully pulled away, crossing her arms over her midsection. Her face showed she was deep in thought. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]“I’m sorry I’m doing this to you. You have so much already on your plate.” Fingers pinched the bridge of the Corellian’s nose. She was dumping all of her problems onto Jyoti when the galaxy already did that. She was conflicted over this, but she knew she needed to accept the help that was being offered. [/SIZE]

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
"But that's what I'm here for," she replied, reaching out to caress her shoulders. "You're supposed to be able to confide in me. I want to help you get better."

While she made assurances that she was fine, she did, in fact, feel a little anxious, worried that she couldn't help her love like she really needed. It still felt like a dream, having Allyson with her like this now.

"I suppose medication is a good start to help deal with your trauma. Why don't we talk a walk?"

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
[SIZE=9pt]Allyson nodded. She needed to learn to depend on Jyoti, this what they had needed to be a give and take. One side couldn’t bear the entirety of everything. The Corellian wasn’t used to being the one that needed help so it felt unfamiliar to have someone willing to help. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Taking a deep breath, Allyson nodded. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]“A walk sounds nice.” She thought about the medicine and shook her head. “I’d like to avoid that as much as possible. I’ve seen how it makes people and I don’t want to feel that way.” A hand ran through her brunette hair, pushing it from her face. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]“You already help me so much, makes me love you more.” Allyson smiled as she moved to get her shoes on so they could head out for a walk. [/SIZE]

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
After Allyson slipped her shoes back on, Jyoti came up behind her, pulling her into a hug by the waist and planting a soft kiss on the shoulder.

"I'll do everything in my power to help you get better," she whispered.

She used one hand to smooth back Allyson's dark hair behind the ear so she could give her one more kiss right along the jawline, then pulled away to lead them outside.

It was the middle of the day, so the halls were quite empty as they made their way outside to the gardens.

Here, there were many Jedi about training, studying, or just relaxing, so she kept on walking with Allyson until they were well past the gardens for the woods, which would ultimately lead to large lake nearby. It wasn't the first time the pair had visited the murky waters, having used it often while Allyson was still going through physical therapy.

"Sit with me," she requested, looking over at a small circle of boulders arranged near the edge of the lake.

It wasn't a natural formation, Jyoti having lifted the rocks herself one day. Now she possessed her own little quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of the temple proper.

With one effortless bound, she landed on the smooth top of one boulder, then crossed her legs into a lotus position.

"So, tell me more. What's been going on since the last time we talked about this?"

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
The walk was nice and calming, she was appreciative of the idea. Allyson was surprised they didn’t stop in the gardens but walked by it. She continued to walk with Jyoti as they left the area of the Rest. The route became and more and more familiar. Remembering the physical therapy sessions, they had, Allyson knew exactly where they were going.

Looking out towards the water, she remembered the grueling swim laps she had to do. As much as she disliked some of the exercises, she had grown stronger possibly stronger than she had been before the session. The Jedi’s voice chimed in, breaking the silence of Allyson’s thoughts. Looking over she watched as the woman effortlessly moved and found herself on top of the rocks.

“Sit with you?” The Corellian looked at the rocks and didn’t see one that she could jump onto easily. It was going to take some effort and she shook her head with a soft chuckle. Everyone here had the Force for the most part and were able to do this so easily. Allyson at times wished she could as well, but in the end appreciated her limited gifts. Moving towards one of the rocks, she placed her hands onto the edge and searched for a grip. Small indentations in the rock allowed her some leverage to climb.

Jumping slightly, she was able to scramble to the top of the rock after a few attempts. Sitting, she caught her breath from the air that was knocked out of her from the scramble. Took a few minutes but she brought her legs close to her and mimicked the Jedi’s sit.

“I’ve been trying to block things out, anything that has to deal with Bastion, Anoat, Kaili…all of it, but every time I try to block it out, it just comes back worse. Everything feels like its just bubbling up to the surface the more I try to forget it.”

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
Jyoti shook her head at the mention of blocking unwanted thoughts.

"As I said before, repression doesn't work, and it just makes things worse. The first step to healing is an acceptance that these memories will always be with you. We have to take the bad with the good. At the very least, you've learned some valuable lessons from each of these experiences."

As a veteran of several conflicts, Jyoti had her share of nightmares to deal with. Sometimes she would still dream about things that had happened to her as Arisa, like clutching a dying child that had been used as a suicide bomber by the Sith. Worse was reliving her own personal mistakes that had cost the lives of her subordinates.

"That said, you don't have to be a victim to your nightmares - I'll help learn how to work through them. You did a good thing coming to me about meditation because that's one of the best ways to cope with your PTSD. That and anything to help you relax."

Jyoti relaxed on her boulder, dropping her hands in her lap and letting her muscles go limp - as limp as you could make muscles lined with carbon wire.

"Alright, we'll go through a popular method of meditation for the Jedi - the Meditation of Emptiness. It's a great tool for both FU and NFU to help deal with stress, centering yourself within emptiness. It takes a while to get to that state, though, so we'll have to work toward it."

She closed her eyes and exhaled loudly. "Follow my lead. First, I want you to close your eyes and just focus on your breath for a few minutes. Don't try to think about anything else. Just focus on your breathing and the way your body moves with each breath. Now try it with me."

She went silent and began to meditate.

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
Allyson smiled slightly as she received some praise for coming to Jyoti. Depending more on the woman was going to take time, but she could see the benefit of asking for help. For too long, Allyson held on to her own issues, ignoring the need for help and busying herself with other people's problems.

She watched for a moment, to see how Jyoti did it. The Corellian admired the calm that settled around the Jedi. She caught herself admiring the woman too long and closed her eyes.

To empty her mind of thoughts was harder than it sounded. Doing what was told of her she focused on her breathing and how her chest moved up and down. As she focused on her breathing, she started to hear her heart beating slowly along with her breathing.

This wasn't so hard, she quietly thought as she continued. As some time progressed her thoughts started to creep up. Her heart rate quickened as she began to spiral returning to the crypt seeing more and more of what she had locked away. Allyson could feel the tight collar around her neck as the phantom pain of the needles injecting the Anti-Force serum into her neck.

Eyes opened quickly as she started back at Jyoti. She did her best to keep her heavy breathing quiet and her hands wiped the sweat from her face with her shirt.

So it was hard and Allyson waited for her heart rate to lower to try and attempt this again.

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
Jyoti wasn't just meditating to clear her mind, but make it easier to monitor Allyson as she went through the process.

Everything started out fine, Allyson relaxing and focusing on her breath as requested. But then everything went off rails as she started to panic. Jyoti wasn't probing Allyson's mind, so she didn't see what the Corellian did as she faltered in her mediation, but the Empath could feel the distress from surface thoughts.

Jyoti loudly exhaled, then slowly opened her eyes, studying Allyson for a few moments in silence. The Corellian was panting and sweating.

"Don't let your mind wander," she instructed. "Keep focusing on your breathing and nothing else for as long as you can. Memories can't hurt you."

She had to resist the urge to hop off her boulder and comfort Allyson more intimately, but this was something she had to learn to work out herself without Jyoti coddling her. Right now, Jyoti was treating her like one of her students.

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
Taiia's Shadow
Roleplay Judge
Allyson put the bottom of her shirt down, she could see the outline of her face from the sweat she wiped off. A sigh and she nodded. She knew the the memories couldn’t hurt her. The man was doing Force knew what right now, he wasn’t here. A deep sigh escaped her lips as she felt her heart slowing down, Jyoti continued to be right.

The lack of comfort beyond the instruction was something Allyson wasn’t surprised by. They both knew if Jyoti comforted her the way they both wanted to, Allyson would continue being in this never ending circle of never dealing.

“I know, it's just I empty out all my thoughts and then things just creep up.” Allyson looked away and fixed herself on her rock. A part of her wondered if this was actually going to work, while the other part really hoped it did. If it was anyone else, Allyson probably would have gone back to the Rest.

“Okay, let's try again. Do I ignore the thoughts or just let them happen?” She asked, while closing her eyes and restarting the entire process over again. This time she focused harder on her breath and the breeze from the wilderness. At least this time it was going smoother a bit longer than the last.

[member="Jyoti Nooran"]
 
The Golden Rule
Writer
"Don't worry about emptying your mind right now - we're not there yet - just focus on your breath and how it cycles through your body. Focus on that, keep your mind in the present with that single task."

She closed her eyes again, resuming her meditation and monitoring. She could already see that she wasn't getting back to work today, but she understood they weren't going to solve Allyson's problems in a single session.

The Echani had the patience of stone and would stay with Allyson for as long as she needed her.

[member="Allyson Locke"]
 
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