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Aug 08, 2022 2:33 AM
anakin has two moms. no not like that. unless... [thinking emoji]
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'Yes. Your investigation was - entirely manipulation, of course. I was trying to wield the Jedi against Plagueis. But - you drew my attention during it. During that first meeting you had with Ravri, actually - you reacted to me nudging her through our bond. I've pulled that in front of Jedi High Councilors - and in front of Plagueis - and not had them notice. After that, and personally - it's hard to say? I - manipulate everyone who isn't mine.'

'But I liked you genuinely, and found you interesting, and - you were useful, which meant it was safe to be interested.'

 

'I stopped after Anakin's birth.'

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'Mm. That's- good.'

'I don't... dislike where we've ended up? So.. I won't hate you for that. I wouldn't trade Anakin for anything.'

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There's a lot in her head, right now. Complicated things. Vicious old wounds - old memories and older fears.

' - I want you to like me.'

'I think - that's what I wanted then, too. I wouldn't have allowed you to accompany me to Naboo when I was giving birth if - if I didn't like you. It was too big a risk.'

'Though sometimes it feels like I'm manipulating myself too, and - it was hard to have goals that weren't destroying Plagueis, back then.'

'But I - I like you more than just as Anakin's co-parent. I wasn't - trying to make you into her bodyguard before. That - didn't even consciously occur to me, I don't think, until I saw you defending her?'

 

'I think I just... Wanted to keep you.'

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'You'd make a terrible Jedi.'

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'It's a good thing I have you then, isn't it?'

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'I'm not such a great Jedi myself, at this point.'

'I think that's a lot of the difference between me and the other Elesse. She is a Jedi. It's like... she's been polished smooth on some surfaces, where I'm still sharp.'

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'You and I are both terrible Sith, too, so it balances out.'

'And I like your sharp edges.'

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'Good.'

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Fondness.

'So - what she said upset me because - I don't want to hurt you, and I don't want to have hurt you?'

'And - I have some uncertainty sometimes about our relationship. And it felt like she was - prying at it in a way that might - lead to her trying to take you away.' Or, technically, offer an escape route where Elesse can get what she wants without involving Lyli.

(She doesn't trust people who aren't hers. Everyone else - she has a pretty well-defined relationship with. Her handmaidens are her, for every purpose that matters. Shmi feels - like another self occupying the same body, sometimes, or like another matriarch who's interwoven her clan with Palpatine's. Like they share most of the handmaidens, and share the same interests and goals. Salacis is her apprentice, her daughter, her lover - and there's an oath between them. Maul is her sworn apprentice, her handmaiden, her knife - she misses him like a limb right now, but he'll be able to hold the world together for their return. And Anakin's her daughter, of course.)

(She - isn't always sure what she has with Elesse. She trusts Elesse. She likes her, wants to keep her - wants to be liked in return.)

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'I wouldn't leave you. You're family, as much as Anakin is.'

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'I love you.'

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A hug seems appropriate, at this point.

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Probably is. (Hug!)

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'Love you too.'

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!!!

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Small giggle.

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Adorable.

'Is there anything you want that's - more than what we've had?'

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'Not right now, I don't think.'

'We should do this hugging thing more often, though.'

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'Agree. You're very good at hugs.'

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'Anakin makes sure I stay in practice.'

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'I think she'd appreciate more tandem hugs, though - just us is nice.'

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'It is.'

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Demonstrative snuggle!

'Snuggling during our talks sounds pleasant, too.'

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'Anakin would have a field day if she saw that.'

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'She'd take it as proof her plans to convince us to get married are working.'

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