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FIC: A Life Less Ordinary - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
FIC: A Life Less Ordinary
Title: A Life Less Ordinary
Author: moonspinner
Timeframe: Pre-JA, 10 years before Dooku's Knighting.
Rating: PG
Characters: Dooku and Jocasta Nu.
Summary: Be careful what you wish for. You may get it.
Author's Note: The second and last completed part of this series.




10 years before Dooku’s Knighthood...

The tip of the blue blade cut an iridescent arc through the pale glow of the overhead lamps, a trajectory of motion that would easily detach Jocasta’s blonde head from her body.

The Force gave her due warning but it was an unfamiliar move and her body froze, perplexed by the problem of choosing from several counter-measures.

The blade halted a hair’s breath from her throat.

Literally a hair’s breadth. A strand of pale hair, a wayward thread from her ponytail, fluttered to floor and died.

“Yield,” Dooku declared, his face flushed with triumph.

Jocasta rolled her eyes and switched off her blade. “Yielded.”

They stepped back from each other, breathing hard but steadily, and exchanged the formal greeting of warriors - a bow and the salute of lightsabre hilt to the head - and then, Dooku exploded.

“That win was too easy! You made no effort!”

She threw him an irritated glare over her shoulder as she walked to the towels at the far side of the empty training room. “This wasn’t my idea, remember? Now can we hurry up? I have to pick up a tome from the Archives for my Master.”

“Lightsabre practice is as important as study,” Dooku lectured, following her. “You, Jocasta, are sorely in need of more practice.”

This time the look was more than irritated. “Why didn’t you practice with someone else then?” she snapped, throwing her towel over her shoulders. In one smooth motion, she sank cross-legged to the floor and started stilling herself for the post-dueling exercises.

Dooku imitated her, his own movements managing to be both more graceful and less natural.

“I didn’t practice with someone because you are superior to all the Padawans from our old Clan,” he said earnestly and despite herself, she glowed. “After me, of course,” he added, almost as an afterthought. He ducked when she swiped her towel at him. “I need you to stay in top form otherwise I will lose a valuable practice partner.”

She rolled her eyes even as she smiled. It was amazing how Dooku always managed to annoy and pacify her with equal ease. Still, she was eager to find an alternative dueling partner for her old Clan mate. He took all the fun out of their practice sessions, turning them into fierce competitions.

“You can challenge some of the older Padawans,” she suggested, good-natured again. She pulled her hand all the way to the back of her waist, feeling the moisture on her skin cool as her blood chilled.

“They’re not as good as they claim. I will injure their pride,” Dooku declared with no small trace of his own pride as he pulled both hands to his back and stood on them.

Jocasta gave him a sidelong look of utter disbelief, twisting her second hand with some difficulty. “How considerate of you. Perhaps you should try dueling with Master Yoda.”

He laughed. “If I could duel with Master Yoda, why would I waste my time with you?” he asked with casual cruelty, his voice hardening. “Master Yoda doesn’t approve of dueling. Curtailing me from it is his favorite way of punishing me. The only forms he ever teaches are the ones for deflecting missiles.” He fell back to his feet and finished his exercises with a long stretch.

Still on the floor, Jocasta was torn between staying sullenly mute at the insult or protesting strongly against the insult to Yoda. In the end, her loyalty won out.

“It’s not just Yoda. Every Master teaches Form 3. What else would a Jedi need to know?” she asked with some exasperation, as she stood on her hands. “We’ll never need to duel for real. Duels are just for exercise and even then, they encourage feelings of competition...”

“… Jealousy and rage. I, also, was in Yoda’s class,” he said wryly, picking up his things. “And you are in error.”

“About what?” Jocasta asked, falling to her feet.

“Never needing to know how to duel in the real world. We’ll need that knowledge when we encounter a Dark Jedi.”

“If! The last Dark Jedi was killed decades ago...”

“Or the Sith.”

He walked out of the training room.

Jocasta stared at the door in total shock. Then with a small, muffled almost-oath, she quickly packed her things and took off after him. His long legs had already taken him half way down the corridor.

“The Sith?” She said sharply as she caught up with him. He looked at her and she immediately lowered her voice. “The Sith? Dooku, do you need to visit the Healers? The Sith don’t exist! They died out millennia ago.”

“Jocasta, that’s what our masters instruct us to believe,” Dooku said, his voice an urgent whisper. “But I do not. There is no proof that none of the Sith survived the last War. Just because the Council likes to think that they’ve died out, doesn’t mean that the Sith obliged them.”

The training room had been temperature-regulated. The empty corridor was more reflective of the weather in Coruscant and it was a cool evening. The nearby windows let in a soft breeze that made Jocasta shiver. “Dooku, this isn’t funny!” she said, even though she knew that her partner had a very small sense of humor.

His eyes were grave. “I’m not joking.”

“You’re actually serious? You really believe that the Sith still exist?”

“I am and do.”

She shivered again. “Why?” Her voice lowered, hushed. “Did the Force tell you?” No matter what else she thought of her rather pompous Clan mate, she never doubted for one moment, that of all her peers, the Force was strongest with Dooku.

His eyes lowered for the first time. There were frown lines on his brow. “I don’t know. I just feel... When I read about old Jedi history - the former Jedi Bendu before the split... when I read about the Sith wars, I feel like if I am seeing something that’s happened. No. That’s not it.” He paused, clearly gathering his thoughts.

“Dooku…”

“It’s not sensing something that has happened – a memory of the Sith War – it’s something that’s going to happen... An inevitability.” He scowled as he struggled for words again.

His lack of usual coherency convinced Jocasta of his earnestness more than anything he had said.

“I feel as if I need to prepare for this… thing. As if I will have an important role - maybe the most important role to play in this.”

“In what?” she whispered. “Another war?”

He looked at her then, as if gauging her reaction and she was taken aback by his eyes. They had never seemed so intense, so passionate and they bored into hers as if trying to force into her mind, the images in his own. They were standing with their heads very close together.

They both started when the panels at the end of the corridor slid open.

A small group of Younglings, moving with the least serenity of all, were headed in Jocasta’s and Dooku’s way, accompanied by Master Tak-nu, the arm-wrestling teacher. Both Padawans shifted to the side and bowed in greeting to the Master.

Master Tak-nu paused before Dooku. “Padawan, would you care to accompany me? I might need some assistance in demonstrating a few skills to the Younglings?”

Dooku bowed deeply. “Of course, Master.”

Without another glance at Jocasta, he followed the Master and his class of excited Younglings, leaving Jocasta Nu by herself on the corridor, her mind filled with conflicting worrisome thoughts as she watched her enigmatic former Clan-mate disappear into the training room.

Dooku was always over-dramatizing things. Part of the reason why he was so determined to excel at things was rooted to an innate pride. It was as if ordinary things – even living the ordinary life of a Jedi in ordinary times – were not good enough for him.

This was just another instance. He was wrong. He had to be.

Jocasta shivered again and started walking to the Archives. It really was a cold evening.


Tags:
Current Mood: optimistic optimistic

15 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: _darthvader_ Date: October 10th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow this was so amazing!I loved the subtle flirtation the underlying trust and how they can reach each other in ways no one else can! I really enjoyed this! m(_ _)m
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: October 15th, 2007 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks a lot! I'm really glad you picked up on all that.
fialleril From: fialleril Date: October 11th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)
*loves* Dooku is my hero in this. Too bad for the rest of the galaxy that no one felt inclined to listen to him... ;)

Still on the floor, Jocasta was torn between staying sullenly mute at the insult or protesting strongly against the insult to Yoda. In the end, her loyalty won out.

*sighs* I had such high hopes for her. And then she had to go and feel loyal to that old troll. How disappointing. ;)

“Jocasta, that’s what our masters instruct us to believe,” Dooku said, his voice an urgent whisper.

*giggles* I love Dooku the conspiracy theorist.

When I read about old Jedi history - the former Jedi Bendu before the split...

Am so glad you picked up on this. The Sith are really just Jedi heretics in origin...
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: October 15th, 2007 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Too bad for the rest of the galaxy that no one felt inclined to listen to him... ;)
Nah. What would have been the fun in that? :D

*sighs* I had such high hopes for her. And then she had to go and feel loyal to that old troll. How disappointing. ;)

Don't be too hard on her. Jocasta's cool but she'd not Dooku. Not everyone can resist persistent mind-conditioning.

*giggles* I love Dooku the conspiracy theorist.

You love Dooku. Period. *g*

fialleril From: fialleril Date: October 15th, 2007 09:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Not everyone can resist persistent mind-conditioning.

Even Dooku didn't, in the end. Not really. He just joined the Sith, the dark-mirror to the Jedi. So he never really escaped.

Luke did, but then, he only had maybe three years (if that) of conditioning to resist. Which is, of course, why the Jedi don't like to train anyone who's "too old."

You love Dooku. Period.

Yeah. That's true. I blame charmisjess.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: October 15th, 2007 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Did he really? My own personal fanon is that even as a Sith, Dooku always had his own agenda. Unfortunately, he was out-played by Sidious.

Which is, of course, why the Jedi don't like to train anyone who's "too old."
Precisely. Their brains aren't so pliable. They actual have - gasp! - independent opinions!
fialleril From: fialleril Date: October 18th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
My own personal fanon is that even as a Sith, Dooku always had his own agenda.

Certainly he did. But what I mean is that he never really escaped the Jedi way of thinking. Because even the Sith are essentially Jedi, only their dark-mirror selves. So neither Dooku nor Anakin actually escapes the Jedi mindset, they just reframe it, reconceptualize it. But they haven't really changed anything.

That's why I love Luke. ;) For all that he says, "I am a Jedi," his final actions owe much more to Aunt Beru than to Master Yoda, I think.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: October 19th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, I see. It's like a friend of mine who you could always get to do something by ordering him to do the exact opposite. He thought he was being defiant but he was simply being manipulated.

::ponders the bunny staring at her in the face::
fialleril From: fialleril Date: October 19th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Something like that... But it's more like conditioning that runs so deep, even when you consciously try to act counter to that conditioning, you're still functioning out of the mindset that you were conditioned into.

Don't ponder that bunny too long. It might bite. ;)
frostbit_sky From: frostbit_sky Date: October 11th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I missed part one, but I didn't feel lost at all. This could stand alone too.

I like the flirtations and great foreshadowing
I feel as if I need to prepare for this… thing. As if I will have an important role - maybe the most important role to play in this.”

“In what?” she whispered. “Another war?”


side note: *giggles* The title makes me think of the Ewan McGregor film of the same name.
Love that movie.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: October 15th, 2007 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I missed part one, but I didn't feel lost at all. This could stand alone too.

They are actually meant to be standalones, a series not a long story, so you're right - you didn't miss anything.

side note: *giggles* The title makes me think of the Ewan McGregor film of the same name.

Cool! You get a cookie for figuring that one out! All the stories in the "Of Like Mind" series get their titles from movies. The one before this one was "A Beautiful Mind" like the Russel Crowe film. The next one - if I ever get round to writing it - will be called "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".
frostbit_sky From: frostbit_sky Date: October 16th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool! You get a cookie for figuring that one out!
Yippie!

Nice theme for a series.
indiefic From: indiefic Date: October 12th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dooku imitated her, his own movements managing to be both more graceful and less natural.

As usual, your way with words is astounding. *G*

So how did you become interested in Dooku and Jocasta? I find it intriguing, but before I started reading your stuff, it was never on my radar.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: October 15th, 2007 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)
*blushes* Thanks!

I really can't say when I became a Docasta (because very ship needs a Bennifer-ish moniker :p) shipper. It was probably from the scene in the Archives in AotC when Jocasta acted all snotty at the idea of Kamino missing from her files and Yoda saying later "only a Jedi can remove those files." I put two and two together and figured out that Jocasta must have been in league with Dooku. Since the two of them seemed to be the same age - that is very old :p - and love seemed to be what turned most Jedi evil :p - I decided that they had been or probably were still in love.

Then later, I read the AotC novelization and part of the deleted script where Jocasta went on and on about Dooku's greatness to Obi-Wan. There was even an interview by the actress in the Insider where she played her character as 'sweet' on Dooku. But all these just cemented the idea I already had.

Wow. That was wordy! :p
frostbit_sky From: frostbit_sky Date: October 16th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Then later, I read the AotC novelization and part of the deleted script where Jocasta went on and on about Dooku's greatness to Obi-Wan. There was even an interview by the actress in the Insider where she played her character as 'sweet' on Dooku. But all these just cemented the idea I already had.

Ahh! I just learned something new. I have yet to read the AotC novel (and TPM) and didn't know that. And it's cool to know the actress played her that way. :)
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