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A Song of Fire and Ice
Character
Spira. She remembered it from her earliest years. The memories were vague and brief but the very last time Mother had brought her here, her Aunt's destruction had already began. That was the moment Celestine saw the change in her Mother, realized for the first time what she understood now - her heart was being enveloped in ice and nothing could reverse the process anymore.

That was centuries ago now. What was once on Spira, tales of a happy home and memories that made even Asteria deWinter smile, was long gone. Where once stood a house of a family now held a luxurious complex. Celestine had been there before, the employees were well aware of who she was.

Now though, as she arrived, her intention was not completely what it was before. She was neither her Mother's shadow or student nor was she there to release stress. Perhaps later. Streghe Arxe was undergoing changes, news of Coruscant had reached her through a message from her Mother. Celestine had been barred from going to the planet anymore, the Red Lady was being relocated. This caused the brunette to investigate through the holonet, discovering what was happening to the planet she visited on and off. It was barred now. Mother still considered her a child, that was without question.

She would listen, she would concern herself with the matters of business and rancors. However, there was a soul she wished to see on the way.

Meet me on Spira. ~ Celestine

A singular text was sent to her cousin. The two had met on Coruscant, both sharing the penthouse that belonged to their family. Whereas Celestine was older, rememebring [member="Scherezade deWinter"] while an infant, the process of getting used to a teenage version of her had been easier than she had originally believed. Still, in their sharing the apartment and irregular contacts, they weren't close. Celestine was an only child, sharing everything with someone was not in her nature. Keeping contact with her cousin was comforting though in some odd way.

Celestine walked through the small land covered in green at the second entrance to the complex. She was making use of the apartment reserved for her Mother only. Though she had once lived among the Red Ladies as part of her training, she knew all too well Mother would not look upon it kindly if she did this now after her training had ended. She was the daughter of Lady deWinter, her place was known. Spira was in no way home, it was familiar enough for her to invite her cousin here.
 
Spira. The world on which her mother had grown up. Scherezade had never visited it, nor did she ever have any intentions of doing so. The house that her mother and aunts and uncle had grown up in had been destroyed centuries ago, and the idea of a place for rich people to sun bathe had never particularly appealed to her interests.

It was still a short time after her exit from the Darkness. If truth was to be told, she had not given her cousin, or other living family members, much thought since a while before that. Their relationships were not close, and she did not know how to fix it, so she had put her aside in her mind as something that could be dealt with later. When later came and the relationships she had turned out to be determinal for her survival, she had suffered for it. Like she had burned the bridges with the only two people she'd truly had in her life, so did she feel responsible for those that she did not.

it all essentially boiled down to Scherezade thinking, feeling, and fearing, that everything was her fault. With the other events that had taken place and her developing tendency for drink, the once energetic and overall happy teenager had become a shadow of herself in terms of energy and smiles. Eye-bags had formed under her eyes, her careless aura making place for something much darker and sinister.

And she hated the sunshine that was now blaring into her eyes. She hated the sight of the beaches, the tourists, and everything else.

She turned around, facing away from the cliff, trying to ignore the thought that had popped into her mind for a split of a moment, a thought that had said that maybe it would be better if she just jumped, and looked instead at the complex.

Even drunk, her ability to control her powers through the Force had not diminished. She located Celestine easily enough, and sent her a message letting her know that she was there. After that it would only be a short walk. A walk that, despite her wishes, wasn't exactly a straight line. Still, she took her waterskin and took a gulp of drink out of it. Numb everything. Numb everything until everything stopped existing.


[member="Celestine deWinter"]
 
A Song of Fire and Ice
Character
Celestine hadn't summoned but he had come to the small park none the less. Maybe even because she hadn't. Celestine's dark gaze took in the sight of the Red Gent, a small smile on her face. He was supposed to be on Coruscant but with the changes, he was temporarily here on Spira before he would be moved again. Jhoren belonged at the HQ, there wasn't a question about it. The Red Gent had earned it in numerous ways. Celestine knew, all too well. Mother didn't. Which was probably for the best considering what she knew about their time... And she knew everything. Such was Asteria's upbringing. She would no doubt mind but she had raised a daughter capable of detaching herself, capable of caring for a Red Gent in ways she wouldn't and capable of not being affected by the knowledge of what her Mother did with him when she needed it.

Jhoren approached her, left a kiss to her cheek in greeting. Before he could speak though, her comlink had gone off, making him pause his action while the deWinter reached for it and checked the message. Her cousin had arrived. "My cousin is here," she informed him before she deactivated. "Come on, you should meet her. She's my Aunt Nessa's daughter," Celestine added. "As you wish, my lady," Jhoren told her, following after as she moved though only a short time before she had felt her approaching. She was only an acolyte still, with a long way to go. Celestine knew Scherezade though.

And she could also recognize a drunk person when she saw her. Jhoren moved beside her, halted by her quicker movements as she approached the other girl. "Scherezade?" She called, confused. They didn't drink. Mother made Celestine drink, to raise her tolerance and prepare her for the events she would have no choice but to drink alongside others. She said it was because of her Aunt Morgaine's addictions but Celestine didn't think it was purely that. They were stronger than her, both of them. Celestine had never felt tempted to try the spice she had heard her Aunt consume, nor had she even doubted her Mother had either.

Her empathy reached out naturally, struck by confusion as she caught traces of so much at once. It was overwhelming for her but enough for her to see something was very wrong. "Come, sit with me. I feel like I have missed a lot,;" she told her, reaching her hand out for her. They weren't close and Celestine wasn't imposing enough by nature to take hold of her cousin without permission. Jhoren, however, functioned differently, reaching out to offer support for the young woman even if he didn't know her yet.

[member="Scherezade deWinter"]
 
Her name had been called. Scherezade looked to the direction, her eyes squinting, her gaze falling on [member="Celestine deWinter"]. Celestine was looking beautiful as always. She'd had that knowledge, and the care, to always look it. Even before the recent events of the Darkness and what followed, Scherezade hadn't really cared about her external appearance. Only once had she put real effort, and that had been for someone who had then betrayed her and shattered her heart.

Celestine reached for her, saying more words, but Scherezade wanted none of the touching. She recoiled from the offered hand, and then took a crooked step back when the man she did not know came too close. A knife was in her hands before she realized it, the pointy end aimed shakily at his throat.

"You touch me, I kill you," she growled at him. Of course, she did not know who he was, what meaning he held to either her aunt of her cousin. But it didn't matter. The bottom line was that Schrezade did not want to be touched, did not want anyone in her personal space, and family, friend, or other, would be injured if they tried to impose.

Flicking her knife back into her sleeve, the Sithling took another swig from her bottle and nodded to her cousin. They could sit. But if Celestine expected her to spill much, she was wrong. Spilling much required the kind of trust the two had not built between them even before the Darkness. There was, Scherezade assumed, a reason he had not seen in her in the events that unfolded within it, and the reason was that they were not important enough parts in each other's lives. That was not to say that she didn't care. She cared. But there was a difference between caring and between being integral for each other. There had been only two people who'd been integral, and they had both betrayed her. She was not going to open a door for a third person to do the same.

"Why are we here?" she asked, "I thought Coruscant was closer to things."
 
A Song of Fire and Ice
Character
Celestine had reached for him too late to stop him. Her Red Gent, the gentleman, trying to help her cousin when clearly, she hadn't wanted it. The words came out as a growl, the knife suddenly appearing beside Jhoren's neck before he could retreat. "Scherezade, no," she responded, concern in her voice. "Jhoren, step back." Her voice was strict, the Red Gent remained perfectly calm, frozen at the moment. He wasn't a stranger to a blade close to his skin, just as he wasn't a stranger to using them.

He did as he was told, making the smallest step back to give himself additional space just before the knife would be removed. "Apologizes," he only gave before he took another step back. He hadn't know nor could he have. The two deWinters he was familiar were different from each other and yet in some ways similar. One was ice cold and commanded almost every command while the other was far warmer but worried so much about appearances when they were on these grounds because Jhoren was incapable of keeping secrets from her. This deWinter seemed completely different than the two of them, which had nothing to do with the way they were dressed. It was the behavior and the drinking, the harsh reaction to actions meant to help. Jhoren chose to remove himself from the immediate situation therefore and allow Celestine to handle the situation.

With her training and knowing the man, Celestine understood his actions without a spoken word.

Her cousin wondered about Spira, why she had invited her here instead of Coruscant. "Come on," Celestine softly told before moving to one of the rare benches in the small part, taking a seat on one end, leaving the other half of it for Scherezade. "I haven't been to Coruscant in months now," she admitted. "And now with the atrocities committed by the Sith Empire, Mother has ordered I stay clear from it for the time being," she admitted. When it came to her, Mother didn't always comprehend she was no longer a child though Celestine understood in some regards. Mother didn't know everything there was about her. She had grown far more than Lady deWinter could assume. Her education which should have included reading people, perfect behavior and the like, included far more even though it had been forbidden by the owner of this very establishment. Even at eighteen, Celestine understood more than she should have. More than possibly her own Mother had in her age.

"I have no interest in arguing with her. I'm moving to Leritor as it is, with the rancors," she revealed. The company was moving there and so were the rancors. There were many reasons for it but one of the more important than the other. Weakness of the natives those rancors were loyal to once. They wouldn't be anymore. And Celestine was not a Witch. She was a deWinter and a Cavataio. She was never raised to be loyal to a clan, her loyalty would be with her families and the herd. Now for them... "I thought perhaps since I'm closer to the core and we haven't seen or spoken to in a while, we could today. I did miss you." Roommates and cousins, possibly friends but certainly not the best of friends. It had however been more to do with her but now that she'd seen the state of whatever Scherezade was in, she had a feeling a distraction could do her good as well. The Red Lady offered plenty of options on how one could entertain oneself.

[member="Scherezade deWinter"]
 
Celeste was sitting down. There was place for Scherezade to sit down as well, even if she wanted to keep her personal space wide open, but for the moment she opted to remains standing, unstable as she was. She took a few crooked steps towards the tree and leaned against it, removing the bottle from her hip in order to take a swig again. She was uncomfortable and she didn't know why. Celestine was supposed to be her cousin, was supposed to be someone she ought to be willing to get close to. But now that she was actually here and it appeared their conversation would include more than just going over a quick to do list for the Penthouse, fear gripped Scherezade in the belly.

Celestine mentioned something about atrocities being comited on Coruscant. Scherezade shrugged. The ones that had affected her had nothing to do with Sithspawn running down the streets on that planet. That was just another day that ended with a -y. But Coruscant was forever contaminated to her by the events that had happened in the miutes after she'd awoken from the Darkness. And now apparently Celestine was moving to Leritor. Scherezade nodded. Leritor didn't sound too bad. That had been where aunt Asteria had found her.

And then Celestine said she'd missed her.

Scherezade remained quiet for a moment. There was no doubt in her heart that she loved Celestine, even if they weren't close in any way. She was her cousin. But now Celestine was making moves for something closer, which was something neither of the girls had actively done prior to Scherezade's second run in the Darkness. And while it had always been a dream of hers, now that Celestine had taken the initiative, Scherezade could feel nothing but fear clenching inside her stomach.

"Me too," she tried to say. It didn't sound sincere. She hated the fact she couldn't make it sound sincere, because those two words would never portray what her thoughts or feelings were. "Look..." she started. But what was there to start? What was there to say? She couldn't bark at Celestine to stay away from her. She knew her cousin would not understand why closeness had suddenly become something that terrified her, and that she did not know how to deal with it.

She had to change the subject.

"I thought you could only move Rancor eggs around and not actual grown Rancors," she finally said, taking another swig from the bottle.


[member="Celestine deWinter"]
 
A Song of Fire and Ice
Character
Her head lowered before she glanced to the side, recognizing the tone in which the sentiment was returned. She had heard it many times over from her Mother as she played in the office as a child. Back then, she could pull back the ice from her voice when she finished with her work. Nowadays, Celestine wasn't so sure. The short statement however continued with a look, making Celestine expect something to follow.

She didn't need her, she didn't need anyone. She was Lady deWinter's daughter, her only child. Even as a child, the closest Celestine had even gotten to having siblings came in form of her deWinter cousins, so few of them. She didn't need any of them though, that longing for a sibling had lost pasted but she wanted to have certain members of her family near. In a way, it filled the even bigger void in her heart. He was alive and yet somehow, that void had grown even greater than it used to be that despite having her Father back, Celestine had invited Scherezade over.

What she had expected, hadn't arrived. Instead, she listened to Scherezade wonder about whether or not they could transport eggs or full grown Rancors. "We can sell Rancor eggs, specific species. We're leaving Dathomir though, this is a different situation," she explained. Petra had offered an explanation, Celestine had accepted the short remark she had been given. She hadn't asked for more, Celestine was going where the rancors were, she didn't need to be on Dathomir if they weren't there.

[member="Scherezade deWinter"]
 
She knew that glance. Maybe not from Celestine, but she knew it, and she knew what it meant. She'd disappointed or maybe hurt her cousin. It shouldn't have come as a surprise, not with the tone in which she'd spoken those very few words she had, and still, the guilt washed her over. She was wronging Celestine and Celestine had done nothing wrong. Their lack of closeness had not been her fault, hadn't really been any of their faults, and Celestine hadn't had a single finger in all the bad things that happened to Scherezade. So why couldn't she show her basic warmth, a smile, anything? Was she going to lose her cousin now too, without ever really having her in a close relationship?

"I'm sorry," Scherezade said suddenly, Celestine's words regarding the rancors going unheard, "I'm so sorry, Celestine..."

She couldn't tell Celestine everything. She didn't even know what she could tell her. How the bizarre tale would sound. And why tell her? She'd been so self absorbed with her pain lately. What if Celestine had her own things she wanted to say, to tell her, and Scherezade was screwing it up now?

She wiped her eye on the back of her hand before the tear managed to come out.

"It's just... A lot of stuff happened. A lot of bad stuff. I didn't mean to... I'm not trying to..." she was mumbling. Words weren't forming right. What she wanted to say wasn't forming right. Fruck. Her feelings were all over the place. She took another long gulp from the bottle before returning it to her thigh, and sighed.

"How do you human, Celestine?" she suddenly found herself asking, "how do you deal after the bad stuff happens, when nothing works, and everything is broken?"

[member="Celestine deWinter"]
 
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