Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: I hope you guys going to like it. It was a difficult chapter to write. I've sent it technically unfinished to my beta, the lovely Cat. She sent it back what she thought was wrong. It was very hard to convince her on what I wanted to say with this chapter. I don't think I completely convinced her. I hope I have more luck with you guys. Please enjoy it for it is the epilogue.
A/N 2:Thanks for the reviews and thanks to my beta Cat.
In the few weeks since Buffy had returned to Coruscant, Shmi had managed to work herself into the hearts of Buffy’s household. She had been working under Mama Bear, who was the head of Buffy’s household. Buffy figured that once Shmi had worked for her for half a year, she would have fully earned the money that Buffy had needed to pay for her freedom.
However, Shmi seemed to think differently about it and she didn’t want to accept payment for her work until she had fully paid back Buffy. Buffy bargained her down to paying her half a salary until the debt was repaid, not feeling right about not paying her at all. She wasn’t a slave anymore.
The only way Buffy could even get Shmi to accept her new wardrobe was to call them work clothes. It was a small victory for Buffy, who didn’t even want to be reimbursed, since she still felt somewhat guilty about the situation. Technically, she was using the older woman, even if it was for the greater good and Anakin’s sake.
Shmi was making a new home for herself at the Wookiee embassy.
In order to implement the next part of her plan to protect Anakin, Buffy took a speeder to go visit the Jedi Temple. She flew on automatic pilot for most of the flight, lost in the thought. While confronting the Jedi in their own temple wouldn’t help her relationship with them, Buffy didn’t think it would end in violence. The Jedi were supposed to be peacekeepers of the Republic, after all. Besides, she wasn’t sure her relationship with them could get much worse.
Buffy was convinced that the Jedi needed her help with Anakin. She did a background check on Chancellor Palpatine, which turned up to be remarkably clean, although his records from the Senate Library had been deleted. This didn't stop her from looking into his past, for she had other resources, which she trusted more. The results were the same: a clean past, no scandals, no corruption and no illegal transactions. With the exception of the deleted records, there were no signs of any cover-ups. This meant that Buffy had no solid evidence to use against the Chancellor.
Being a Senator Buffy took the opportunity to approach him a few more times to get a better feel of the man. The only thing Buffy felt from the Chancellor was the little voice in the back of her head telling her to be cautious around him, which wasn't that rare with her dealing with some of the other politicians. If it wasn't for Darth Maul's last words and how the Chancellor reacted to her darkness, she would never have suspected him to be the Sith Lord.
It wasn't looking good for the Jedi, if they couldn't even detect their enemy in front of them.
The Speeder approached the Jedi Temple and she landed it on a platform. She hoisted a six foot long weapons bag that she brought with her over her shoulder and exited the speeder. A Padawan came forward to greet her on the platform and inquired about her reason for visiting the Temple.
“I’m here to visit Jedi Jinn and his new Padawan,” Buffy answered.
“I will let them know that you are here, Senator Arribecca. Would you like to wait in the visiting room?”
“No,” Buffy answered, passing the Padawan, “I’ll be waiting in training room one.”
“Senator, I must insist that you wait in the visiting room,” the Padawan said more forcefully.
“Insist as long as you want,” Buffy said, grinning over her shoulder as she walked into the Temple.
The Padawan wavered indecisively at the sight of her retreating back. He knew that he didn’t have a chance at stopping Buffy. He had heard the rumours. First, there was her confrontation with Master Yoda and then her fight with the Sith Warrior. Besides, attacking a Senator was not proper conduct for a Padawan. So he sent a message through his comlink to warn his superiors and then went back to his post to wait for further instructions.
Buffy knew her way through the Temple. There was a floor plan of the Jedi Temple in the Senate Library. None of the Jedi that she passed tried to stop her from reaching her destination. Upon entering the training room, which was round, she found a few Jedi working with their Padawans. They stopped at her entrance, looking confused by her presence there. Buffy gave them a warm smile before surveying the room for a place to practice. The centre of the room was the only place not being used. Buffy figured that she was going to be the centre of attention here, anyway. So why not? She walked to the centre of the room and dropped her bag on the floor.
While she was stretching to limber up her muscles, several more Jedi entered the room, placing themselves along the wall. She had finished most of her stretching exercises by the time Master Jinn and Anakin entered the training room.
“Senator,” Master Jinn greeted Buffy, wanting to know what Buffy was doing here.
“Jedi,” Buffy replied, turning to Anakin instead. “Hi, Anakin. Remove your outer robe and start stretching to warm up.”
Anakin looked at Buffy in confusion before turning to his Master for an explanation.
“What brings you here, Buffy?” Master Jinn asked calmly, ignoring Anakin’s confused look.
“I’m going to give Anakin some combat training, as it seems that Jedi training is ...,” Buffy was trying to find a word which wouldn't be too offending, “inadequate to defeat a resourceful Sith,” she said while continuing to stretch.
Master Jinn knew that most people would be offended by the way Buffy downplayed his ability to train his student, but he agreed with Buffy. While he was considered one of the best lightsaber duellists in the Jedi Order, he had still been defeated by the Sith. He felt the irritation of his fellow Jedi Knights for Buffy having the gall to insult them like that, but he ignored it.
“I am still his Master, Buffy. I will handle his training.”
“I’m not going to stop you,” Buffy turned to Anakin, “Come on Anakin. Remove the robes and start stretching those muscles,” she turned to Master Jinn, “You’re welcome to stay.”
This time Anakin didn’t hesitate. He removed his robes and started to stretch the way Master Jinn had taught him to. The Jedi who had been practising before Buffy entered the room went back to their training. Master Jinn quietly watched them. After a few minutes, Buffy decided that they had stretched enough.
“First, we’ll warm up with some t’ai chi,” Buffy stood in front of Anakin. “Follow my lead.”
Buffy’s movements were slow and precise. She moved fluidly from one form into another. Anakin mimicked her, but his movements were clumsy in comparison. The Jedi in the room who weren’t already watching Buffy again stopped to observe her technique.
Master Jinn looked on in astonishment. This was not something he had expected to sense from Buffy. Every living creature interacts with the Force, even Buffy, who had no midi-chlorian, was interacting with the Force. Although most Jedi, especially Yoda, would say disturbing the Force. Her 'essence' made the Force whirl around her with different intensity depending on her mood. Making the Force blaze around her like she did at the Victory Ball or becoming a blind spot in the Force, while hunting.
What she was showing now, was something different. She wasn't disturbing the Force at all or at least undetectable to his force-senses. The Force was bending around her or going through her. There were several ways of hiding in the Force, but this wasn't hiding. Master Jinn wondered, if there was any Jedi, who could or had accomplished such a technique. This would be very difficult to perform for force-sensitive for sensing the Force would always slightly change it.
Despite all the attention she received, Buffy didn’t lose her focus.
“Is there something wrong, Jinn?” Buffy asked after a while.
“This t’ai chi. Is it also a fighting style?” Master Jinn asked out of curiosity and because he was caught staring.
“Yes, originally. I never use it for fighting, though. It is more useful for meditating, relaxing, and warming-up,” Buffy explained.
Master Jinn nodded in understanding.
“I see. Would you mind if I join you?” Master Jinn asked.
“No, be my guest.”
Master Jinn moved to Buffy’s other side, next to Anakin, and a few steps behind her. He used the Force to move in sync with her.
“Don’t,” Buffy said, “Don’t use the Force. Use your other senses.”
It was hard for Jinn to ignore the Force. It trying to completely ignore one of his senses. He tried to follow her instructions, anyway. After a while, his curiosity at her order got the better of him.
“Because while the Force is your greatest strength, it is also your greatest weakness,” Buffy answered the question and turned to Anakin, “Remember that, Anakin.”
“Yes, Buffy,” Anakin replied, not really understanding it.
“The Force doesn’t care,” Buffy continued speaking, “If you are Dark Side or Light Side. It simply exists. But if you mess with its balance, it will kick your ass.”
“Much insight you have on this matter, for one who does not wield the Force.”
Buffy stopped her lecture and turned around to find herself facing half of the Jedi High Council with Yoda standing at the forefront.
“I had two very good teachers,” Buffy replied.
“And they were, hmmm?” Yoda asked.
“One was my Watcher, my mentor, and the other was life,” Buffy answered and turned back to Anakin, “Now comes the lesson on why the Sith could have beaten every Jedi in this room in single combat.”
Not that Buffy really thought the minion could do it, but it was for dramatic effect. Although she would bet her credits on Darth Maul against most of them. Master Yoda was one of the Jedi she wouldn't bet against.
“Does this mean that, since you defeated the Sith, you think you could defeat any Jedi in this room?” a bald, dark skinned Jedi asked sternly. He clearly didn’t believe her statement.
Buffy continued talking to Anakin, “Here is another lesson. Just because Person A defeats Person B, and Person B defeats Person C, doesn’t mean that Person A can defeat Person C. Do you understand?” Anakin nodded hesitantly and Buffy turned to the stern Jedi, who she had recognized as Master Windu, one of the Jedi’s best lightsaber duellists. She couldn't resist ruffling his feathers, “In your case, yes.”
Buffy turned back to Anakin, ignoring the Jedi, who looked affronted at her answer.
“The reason why the Sith kicked Jinn’s ass, even though he was more skilled, was because the Sith was fighting with more passion. He used all of his hate and anger to gain strength. He also didn’t have any doubts about losing. This, too, gave him strength,” Buffy started to explain.
“But this is a method of fighting a Jedi can't use. He'll lose himself to the Dark Side, not caring about anything but power. Using the Dark Side will make you into a twisted version of yourself, no longer caring about wrong or right. Your pain, your anger, your revenge, your needs will become more import than family or friends. You will hurt the ones who are the closest to you. I’ll tell you this, you don’t want to go over to the Dark Side, the power isn’t worth the sacrifice, especially if you seek redemption and return to the Light Side. You really don’t want to live with that kind of guilt.”
Anakin felt uncomfortable hearing Buffy talk about the Dark Side.
“You really believe that someone can be brought back from the Dark Side?” asked another member of the High Council.
“Yes. I’m a firm believer in redemption and second chances,” Buffy replied offhandedly before turning back to Anakin.
“Now for the other reason why the Sith beat Jinn. He was using a double-bladed lightsaber and a more aggressive fighting form. While the Sith was able to defend himself against Jinn’s single-bladed lightsaber, Jinn had difficulty predicting the Sith’s movements and countering them. He needed time to adjust.”
“Which I didn’t have because he was younger and had more stamina,” Master Jinn added his opinion.
“Jedi are mostly trained to reflect blaster fire and to duel with single-bladed lightsabers. Even when duelling with another Jedi, they’ll never face the ferocity of an enemy wanting to kill them with all of their might,” Buffy said. “It’s a big galaxy out there, but there are only three main groups who can use a lightsaber expertly: the Jedi, the Sith, and me. I have no reason to fight the Jedi, so that only leaves two Sith and they hide in secrecy. And the Jedi only have practice duels, which can’t be compared to real fights.”
Buffy ended her lecture with a summary, “So the Sith had an unknown weapon, his controlled fury, and the firm belief that he would win as his advantages. All of that adds up, every little bit helps in a fight to the death, plus he was a sneaky bastard. Never underestimate sneakiness, Anakin.”
“No, Buffy,” Anakin replied with a smile.
“Good,” Buffy ruffled his hair, “I’ll tell you a secret,” she winked at him, “I’m pretty sneaky, too.”
Anakin laughed and Master Jinn let out a chuckle.
“So, be sneaky, try to adapt, and run away if you have to so that you can find your enemy’s weakness and fight another day. Use any weapon that can gain you an advantage,” Buffy advised the young Padawan, “Though try to stick to the weapons you’re trained in.”
“And which weapons are you trained in?” Master Windu asked.
Buffy smiled and removed from her bag a simple quarterstaff made from a light metal alloy. She spun it around and started to give a demonstration.
“I’ve mastered many different disciplines. One of which is the quarterstaff,” Buffy finished the demonstration by pointing the end of her quarterstaff at Master Windu.
She spun the quarterstaff to an upright position, holding it beside her in one hand, and she bowed her head a little. Placing the quarterstaff beside her bag, she removed the next weapon. It was a double-headed battle axe.
“Another is that of the battle axe,” Buffy wielded the heavy weapon with ease, giving a small demonstration before placing it down next to the quarterstaff. The next weapons she pulled out of her bag were two swords with inch wide blades.
“I’m also pretty good with swords,” she swung her right blade through the air so fast that it blurred, “with either hand” this time she used the other blade, “or with both hands.”
She then cut through the air with both swords. They moved in tandem with deadly precision.
“You defeated the Sith with two lightsabers,” Master Jinn stated.
“You just now figured it out?” Buffy asked with a smile, “I expected better of you.”
“I’m sorry,” Master Jinn apologized with an amused smile.
Buffy returned the smile and turned to the Members of the Council, while putting her swords down.
“I have the innate ability to know how to wield any weapon that I pick up with just a few tries. I’m also good at improvising. I can pick up almost anything and turn it into a deadly weapon,” Buffy grinned and winked at Anakin before she grabbed Master Jinn by his shoulders and picked him up.
He uttered a surprised squeal, very manly, of course. She started to swing him around her back, like a human nunchucks. She swung him through the air then twisted his body around so that his legs flew straight at a Jedi, who stood a fair distance away. Buffy had no intention of hitting him. This was a demonstration after all, not a fight. She continued swinging Master Jinn around. If he had had a weak stomach, he probably would’ve thrown up. He looked a little green.
“Buffy!” Master Jinn pleaded.
Buffy felt sorry for him and dropped him after one last swing. He stood shakily on his legs. Buffy had to hold him for a few moments until he stood steady again. Anakin came over to stand beside them.
“Can I go next? That looks like fun,” Anakin enthused.
Had Master Jinn not been still feeling the after effects of being swung around, he probably would have given Anakin a very un-Jedi like glare.
“Sure kiddo. But not now.”
Buffy turned to her audience, continuing her lecture.
“Another reason why I won was that I couldn’t afford to lose. I went into that battle determined to win. The battle always starts in the mind,” Buffy directed the last part to Anakin.
“Good. We’ll start with quarterstaffs. As Giles once told me, you need to crawl before you can walk.”
Buffy threw Anakin a second quarterstaff from her bag and showed him how to hold it properly, beginning his training. Master Jinn turned to Master Yoda. They stared each other in the eyes for a few moments until Master Yoda sighed and shook his head. He turned around and left the room. The rest of the Jedi Council followed him, taking the Jedi who weren't there for training with them. For the moment, it was decided that Master Jinn would handle this 'mess'.
Anakin’s first training session with Buffy ended after about an hour. Afterwards, Master Jinn and Buffy discussed the boy’s future training, though it wasn’t traditional for the Jedi to share the training of their Padawan’s with others. They clashed on some points, but Master Jinn saw the potential benefit for Anakin to learn Buffy’s unique perspective and fighting styles. He was sure that he could work it out with Buffy so that their different teaching methods wouldn’t be counter-productive for the boy’s growth.
Buffy said goodbye to Anakin, Master Jinn and Obi-wan, who had joined them later on, before she left the Temple.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Obi-Wan stated pessimistically, after Buffy had left the training room.
“We will see,” Master Jinn replied, “I’m sure Anakin will benefit from Buffy’s teaching methods. We might do well to learn from her, as well. And this way we can find out more about Buffy.”
Obi-Wan only shook his head before leaving the room, too. Master Jinn looked down at Anakin, who just shrugged his shoulders with a smile. He smiled back and put a hand on the boy’s shoulder as they followed Obi-Wan out of the room.
A/N: I know you guys are sad because it has finished. Let the tears of sadness flow, but be happy for I'm prepared to post the Prologue of the sequel at the end of January. It will be an interlude with a summary of what had happened over the of years to the point where the sequel starts. It is finished, but it needs a little bit of tweaking. So any suggestions are welcome.
Hope to see you in the sequel.