…And A Smackdown
This was originally the second half of a double-sized second chapter, but I split it into Chapters 2 and 3 when I was updating the story. I was going to end up expanding it a bit with further details anyway, and so why make a mutant chapter even larger when each of the halves is roughly the size of the rest of the story's chapters?
Two hours and fifty-five minutes later, Cordelia emerged from the fresher and slipped on a sapphire jumpsuit before fetching a matching cloak from the closet. Hiskari was already dressed, having taken the first shower because it was an odd-numbered day and therefore her turn to clean up the mess inevitably left behind by their enthusiastic lovemaking. That, and the Nautolan was quite naturally fond of water and Cordelia knew that if she wasn't standing outside the door banging and hollering for Hiskari to hurry up, her girlfriend would be in there till Coruscant's sun burned out.
After spending a few more minutes making sure her hair was presentable and her tasteful amount of makeup looked good, Cordelia led Hiskari back out of her quarters and off to her appointment with Aayla. But when they reached the lightsaber practice room the pair always used, Cordelia ran into a most unpleasant kink in their plans. After getting a few last swings in, Anakin Skywalker scowled back over his shoulder and them and waved his hand, deactivating the remotes he was training with. "Just what I needed to make my night complete. A visit from the Dyke Side."
Cordelia refused to let him bring her mood down, instead choosing to shoot him a bright smile. "Aww. Cheer the fuck up, little emo boy. You're still the Chosen One. The Council kisses your ass even if they're busy staring at mine." Shrugging off her cloak, she used the Force to float it over onto a hook on the wall. "You going to clear out or do you wanna be my practice dummy for the night?"
Blinking a few times, Anakin skipped back a sentence in the conversation. "I doubt that any of the masters on the Council, male or female, spend time admiring your butt."
Cordelia laughed and turned away from him. Looking back over her shoulder, she brought her hand down on her right ass cheek with a loud slap. "Have you gotten a good look at me lately? Not to mention the crap that every other girl around here has to wear? Even Master Windu peeks when I bend over. As much as he hates my guts, he can't evidently loves this butt." Turning back around, she gestured at his still-ignited lightsaber. "So, are you staying or going?"
"Uh… whah… huh?" Anakin's eyes were fastened firmly on her ass and Cordelia sighed. She hadn't meant to break the little reject's brain, just have a little fun at his expense. Turning around to face him both cut off his view and caused him to come at least partially out of his stupor. "What was the question?"
Rolling her eyes, Cordelia gave him a very mild push with the Force. "Focus, Anakin. On something other than my admittedly fine posterior, that is. Are you staying or going?"
Anakin grunted and stumbled back a step with her push, eyes narrowing at her. "I suppose I can afford to waste some time on you tonight. As long as your girlfriend doesn't mind parting with her lightsaber for a bit." With a casual wave of his hand, he sent the remotes drifting across the room to clear the mat for them. Not that Cordelia would have expected any less. They'd begun what was now a series of regular duels when she arrived at the Jedi Temple a year ago, and to date she was maintaining a win-loss ratio pretty close to fifty-fifty. Which she imagined was probably rather distressing to Anakin, given he supposedly was the best and brightest of their generation.
Then again, Cordelia had been handed a bit of an unfair advantage by way of her method of incarnation. She'd been dumped into the world with some new memories to help her get by, but she was still Cordelia Chase of Earth. While she knew how to manipulate the Force and use a lightsaber just as well as the others her age, she didn't think she'd at one point been a youngling in one of the clans and then become someone's padawan. Quite the opposite; she remembered Sunnydale and Los Angeles with greater clarity that she had while actually living through that portion of her life. But since her arrival had neither displaced another young Jedi nor resurrected a knight or master from the dead, they were put in the unpleasant situation of having to find something to do with a partially-trained girl who was far too powerful and skilled to be dumped into the service corps. Eventually, they'd turned her into what she'd nicknamed a 'timeshare padawan', passing her back and forth as their schedules and her learning needs dictated. What that meant for her - apart from that she got to learn each new use of the Force from the Jedi best at it - was that unlike real padawans, who were limited by what their master knew or whether Cin Drallig had time for them, she could learn whatever form of lightsaber combat she damn well pleased.
After careful study, Cordelia had concluded that Anakin had the right idea - not that she'd ever tell him such a thing - and had begun working on a hybrid style of her very own. Learning Makashi under Shaak Ti and Shien under Aayla, she'd manage to mesh the two into what she rather unoriginally had taken to calling Makashien, ruthlessly refining it towards perfection each time she took on Anakin and his awkward blend of Ataru and Djem So. It made their fights a lot like the two of them in general in her mind: she was the brains and Anakin was the brawn and their matches were decided by whether or not she could slip through his defenses before he battered her into submission.
Cordelia turned to her girlfriend and held out her hand, Hiskari smirking as she levitated her lightsaber across the room and into Cordelia's grip. If Anakin had been expecting her to rise to the bait with his cheap shot about her not having a lightsaber to call her own - yet - he had another think coming. Of course she didn't have one of her own; she had no official master so who the hell would take her to Ilum for the ceremony? That wasn't to say she didn't want one; most Makashi practitioners preferred a curved hilt and she definitely felt the difference between working with Shaak Ti's lightsaber and Hiskari's. Igniting her borrowed yellow-white blade, Cordelia easily slipped into the opening stance she'd learned from the Togruta master. "Ready?"
"You know, I still don't understand why she gets to have a special color of lightsaber crystal while I'm stuck with blue…" Stepping to his right, Anakin began to circle around Cordelia.
Cordelia just rolled her eyes at his regular gripe as she began to move to her right as well, starting the slow dance that was a prelude to all their fights. "Hiskari earned hers during a mission to Glee Anselm with Master J'Mikel. It's not like you've never had that happen. She's just better at taking care of her toys than you are. Cough Jabitha
Lunging forward, Anakin delivered a series of fierce but unskilled slashes that Cordelia deflected with ease. Now that was how you got inside someone's head, Cordelia thought with a smirk. Anakin backed off before closing the gap between them so he could test her defenses again. "Speaking of, I heard you got called in front of the High Council again over the squid girl. Why do you keep risking your place here over her? Not that I'd mind if I woke up one morning and found you gone but she's not even the same species as us."
"Yes, well, lucky for me I acquired a taste for sushi back when I lived in Los Angeles." Twirling her saber, Cordelia lunged forward and brought the saber up in a move that would have bisected Anakin vertically had he not jumped back. Rather than counterattack, though, he just stood there staring at her oddly. "What?"
Anakin just shook his head in disbelief. "Does anything that comes out of your mouth ever make sense?"
Rolling her eyes, Cordelia decided to take another swing at Anakin, making the supposed Chosen One jump over her blade before ducking under a second swing to avoid decapitation, followed by further strokes that boxed him in and forced him to make a Force-assisted jump up over her head and to safety. "Sushi is a way of serving raw fish back where I come from. I was implying that… you know what, never mind. My wit is so wasted on you. Come back and I'll explain it when you're older."
Hiskari snickered at Cordelia's flippant answer and Anakin growled before lunging at Cordelia. His blue blade slashed at her feet and she jumped over it, before he whirled around in one fluid motion and sent another attack at her neck. Her own chain of attacks. Cute. Futile, too. Bringing her own blade up to block him, Cordelia clucked her tongue and then planted her foot against his stomach, pushing him back. "Sloppy. I've seen younglings with better technique."
Rushing towards her again, Anakin was quickly deflected past her as Cordelia stepped to the left. The brunette whirled around as he passed, planting her boot at the small of his back to give him an extra shove. He stumbled before quickly regaining his balance. Scowling as Hiskari let out another snicker, he began to circle her again. "Leave it to you to try and master the galaxy's most useless form of lightsaber combat."
"How do you figure?" Cordelia took a few quick steps towards him, spinning her lightsaber twice before thrusting her blade at his wrists. "It's not like I have a master to go on missions with. I'm stuck inside the Temple except for a few piloting classes, and even then I've only left orbit twice during Hyperdrive 101. My only joy is beating up on little twerps like you. It makes perfect sense to master the form that's best for saber-to-saber combat."
There was no reply from Anakin, just a deflection and another wild swing at her. Cordelia blocked it and the duel continued. Back and forth they battled until she brought her lightsaber up to block a brutal downward slash. Their blades crossed, hissing as they struggled against each other. He was much stronger than she was, and slowly her blade began to bend back towards her chest. Then his eyes widened a bit and he faltered. Cordelia pushed him back a bit before he recovered, and the cycle looped a few more times.
After the fifth repetition, pressing him back further each time before he recovered, Cordelia realized what was going on. As she'd pointed out to him earlier, she chose to wear something other than the brown and tan Jedi robes most of the Temple's other residents favored. All of her Temple outfits were carefully coordinated jumpsuits and cloaks in jewel tones… jumpsuits with fairly low necklines. With his greater height… the little bastard was staring at her breasts!
"You should be watching your opponent's eyes. Her real eyes, that is." Cordelia grunted before bringing her knee up into his crotch. Anakin let out an indignant squawk before falling backwards onto the mat and curling up into a ball. "God, and you people wonder why I went for Hiskari instead of a boyfriend. At least she knows where my face is."
There was a low chuckle from the corner of the room and Cordelia turned to find that her girlfriend had acquired a taller, rather familiar blue shadow. Aayla grinned impishly at her. "I thought it had something to do with the insertable phallic properties of your girlfriend's headtresses, my friend."
Cordelia pondered that for a moment before shrugging. "A little bit from Column A… a little bit from Column B…" Anakin let out a strangled gasp at that even as Hiskari blushed and Cordelia rolled her eyes before using the Force to roll Anakin off the mat to make room for her teacher. "So… are we finally going to..?"
"Yes, tonight we'll be starting Jar'Kai." Aayla looked down at the trio of lightsabers clipped to her belt before unhooking one and tossing it to Cordelia, leaving a full-sized lightsaber and a shoto for her own use. "I'm a bit better with two regular blades, but since you'll probably end up making twin blades when you finally can, it doesn't make sense to lend you my shoto. Now… the use of two blades - one to support the other - can be traced back thousands of years and was common to both of our species. The invention of lightsabers has done nothing to lessen the effectiveness of this strategy… as you are about to learn."