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Jan 20, 2022 9:05 AM
anakin's dream come true
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Tiny squirm.

This is so awkward to talk about but it's important to like, actually air. It's both more awkward and less awkward that Elesse's reading her mind and so therefore knows exactly how much Anakin is currently attracted to her. Also that keeps Anakin from reflexively just hiding all the everything, which, she wants to hide all the everything but she doesn't endorse that want, so it's probably good that she flat out can't lie here. Removes the temptation.

"What would that mean - practically, here?"

She's still sorting out a lot of her own thoughts. It probably doesn't help that Anakin's still somewhat confused by ideas like power gaps being bad for a relationship other than as a general 'this can be suspicious so double check it's okay' sort of thing. She honestly really doesn't like being confused about commonly held moral ideas. That probably actually drives a lot of her urge to just hide her desires here, since she has trouble even defending why she thinks those rules are - overstrict or something. That and - a fear that Elesse will judge her, or reject her, or that this'll make things awkward forever, or that Anakin wanting something Elesse doesn't want and thinks is bad would - damage things.

These are very vulnerable thoughts to be having while Elesse is mind-reading her. Anakin doesn't want Elesse to stop, though, even if it feels - not scary but like her skin was rubbed a bit raw and is being exposed to open air.

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"It means that- if you or I think this will be traumatizing, or damaging to our relationship as a teacher and a learner, we should abort."

"You're a brilliant young woman, Anakin. I'm proud to have you as my padawan, and I like you very much as a person. After you reach your knighthood, I dearly hope that we can remain close. But I am not willing to have a romantic or sexual relationship with you while you are still my padawan."

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Why. Anakin doesn't voice that because it's awkward but - why not a relationship. That voice in her head is whining and petulant and immature, and she doesn't think she endorses it, but - Anakin is extremely bad at acknowledging things she wants with people who could consistently win a fight with her and she's not willing to just take the nuclear option with, she's mostly figured that out about herself. And she - thinks this is something where she's never going to say what she wants until she can consistently beat Elesse in a fight, so it's good for Elesse to see it anyways because Anakin doesn't super like it about herself that she gets - squirrely and defiant when she's on the wrong side of a power gap, and she wants to be able to say what she wants instead of just - reflexively focusing on what she doesn't want.

She's also confused by seeing the teaching relationship as the relevant power gap here. Anakin fundamentally still has zero deep-set respect for what the law says about stuff like who's the person with more power and responsibility in a relationship. She - doesn't think stopping being master and padawan would meaningfully change anything there, not to Anakin's mind.

And - she doesn't think on her end it'd be traumatizing or damaging because she loves and trusts Elesse.

But if - Elesse rejects her after - that'd probably be damaging? And Anakin isn't even sure what 'rejects her' means here since she thinks it - isn't the unwillingness to have a romantic or sexual relationship. The sexual relationship part especially doesn't... Matter at all really if Elesse's just not into that. The romantic part might be - she thinks maybe 'a romantic relationship' is a subset of the type of relationship she wants, and Elesse refusing that broader category would - really hurt. But she can't articulate the edges of that broader category.

(Anakin is confused, too, that people think sex - matters, a lot of her squirrely-ness about it comes from that disconnect possibly. It's fun - she's hooked up with Djedzu and Kalra and Joul lots - but everyone else acts like it's - this big deal that actually counts for anything other than being fun. She's confused about Elesse possibly hurting Anakin for a mission being within allowable bounds when sex isn't, when pain and submission is - so much more vulnerable and important and significant. Elesse's the only one Anakin trusts that much which is - especially significant with Anakin being weaker than her, while Anakin would honestly probably be down for having sex with someone she knew was imminently planning to stab her. It's not like Jedi robes are very good armor or anything such that stripping them makes you more vulnerable.)

She understands that Elesse's boundaries are important, and Anakin doesn't want to violate those or make Elesse uncomfortable. She doesn't want to push. And she doesn't want to get Elesse in trouble, with the Jedi or Coruscant's laws since Anakin's still a year away from the age of consent there. But she's... Confused and unsure and kinda unhappy about it all.

"I think it'll be okay," she murmurs, but she isn't really looking at Elesse.

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"I think it will be difficult," Elesse says. "I think that this, what we may be going to perform, is what I want. What I want with you. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the implications of that, given our respective pasts- and the visions you had in the crystal caves. I don't want- I want you to be able to fly free, Anakin, under your own power, as high as you were meant to. I don't want to clip your wings in any way."

"And I'm afraid that following my desires here is the first step on the path to the dark Elesse you saw in your vision."

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That - shakes Anakin out of a lot of her threatened spiral. She feels warm, instead - she loves Elesse, and it's reassuring that Elesse loves her too, that Elesse's just being - really really cautious to never go too far. That she won't take things away just because - Anakin is weird and wants them too much. Elesse's been wonderful for her, has taught her how to fly, and - right now Anakin wants nothing more than to fly and grow beside her. 

It's more comfortable to just let this spiral in her head, but - she thinks she needs to articulate it. 

"I love you," she says, leaning against Elesse. "And... I think my problem won't be - if you do things I want? It's - if I don't want something, and I have to compromise on that if I want to keep you, that feels - "

"I think it's - okay that the other me was serving the other you, she wanted that and was enjoying it, but... The other me felt - kinda small, I think? Like she'd cut away bits of herself. And I - don't get small when everything's the way I want and not the way I don't want, and I think if - I think if you were being evil it - wouldn't be in the direction of denying me stuff."

"It really, really hurts when there's - something I want and have or could maybe have, but I can't have it, especially if wanting it is what - leads to it being taken away. But I - would rather handle something painful like that, than - push you into stuff you don't want. And if you think - giving in here would be a slippery slope, and you think you - wouldn't be able to pull back when you hit my boundaries - then... I don't want you to - ever look at yourself and see someone you don't want to be."

And a thought - experimenting here might be... Good, there, if Elesse thinks finding Anakin's boundaries and - seeing that she can stop herself - would help. And right now... Anakin thinks she definitely would be able to decide to just leave if Elesse goes too far, she's still very good at articulating and following through on things she doesn't want. And she knows Elesse doesn't want to go too far, which - that'll help Anakin not compromise on her boundaries. 

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"All right."

"I think I need to meditate about this for a time."

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Soft smile. "Okay. We have time still." It's early in the night, and the meet up isn't for hours. 

"Can I stay here, still?"

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"If you like. You could also look for ways to get that boy out of here discreetly."

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Nod.

"I've had a few ideas - but I do need to investigate more." She stands. "When should I return?"

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"Call it two hours."

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"Okay."

"I'll comm if something comes up." She's assuming Elesse is unlikely to keep reading her mind while meditating. That makes Anakin a bit nervous, but - she understands, and she's okay with it. 

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"Please do." Soft smile. "I'll see you shortly."

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She grins, and settles back into the warm, buzzed glow of her Ani-self, and steps outside to her mission.

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And Elesse meditates.

She wants this. She knows she wants this. But if it were anyone else, someone not her and Anakin, she would be deeply suspicious. So... She should take caution. Set her boundaries in advance and stick to them. Communicate her boundaries to Anakin and tell her to stop Elesse if she crosses them.

She wants this. The fact that it's good for the mission is- almost irrelevant. It shouldn't be. She can't use the mission as an excuse. She was very close to doing that downstairs; a mistake on her part. Acknowledge this, form the intention to not do it again, add that to her plans.


She spends the rest of the time defining her intentions, the wait, the lines she won't cross, her care for Anakin, grinding it into the Force.

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Ani returns a hair over two hours later, checks the room and whether they're being observed. 

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And then her brain switches over to being Anakin more fully. (It's getting easier, she notes.)

"Is everything - good still?"

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"Yes. Everything's still good."

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She grins and sits beside Elesse. "Good." ...Small blush, but she presses on, "What did you - conclude?"

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"I don't want to go farther than the mission requires. But this is something that I will be trying to persuade myself just requires a little bit more, always a little bit more. I would ask that you be my check, that we help restrain each other."

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She nods, thoughtful. Then: "I'm not much one for restraint, but that's something you've taught me to be able to do at least, and if it's important to you... I'll do everything I can to make sure we - stay within what you want."

A pause, then, almost slowly: "After the mission, would you be willing to keep doing - any of those things? If I wanted to?"

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"After the mission- We'll talk when you've graduated."

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She giggles. "Alright. And - I'll know better what I like then, too."

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"I suppose you will."

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Grin. 

"So - are there - specific bounds you wanna stick within for the entire mission even if - stuff like this comes up again and seems to call for - more?"

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"There are."

And they can go over where exactly Elesse wants to put her lines.

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