A Heritage of Power 3: Jay's Story 9.99:
Turning Pages

by Fur and Fantasy
R for M/M
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Jay closed his eyes briefly, the pain of working on his final Artisan lightsaber overcoming him for a moment. No matter how it was said that it shouldn't feel like that, it did. Immersing himself so completely into the half-alien environment, then giving it control while still working on what he wanted done, was an exercise in counter-intuitive frustration, even after twenty-seven years, over half his life, in training.

In the end, he found the center, the place where it all came together just right and fit. He was immensely grateful that it was his last required project; the work was gratifying, the results beyond anything he could imagine doing before, but it wasn't something he really wanted to do all that often in the future. Especially not the set of two elegant double-blades that served as his personal weapons.

He nearly jumped out of his skin, the newly finished weapon in hand ready to use, when the light tap of Master Shen'ri's lightsaber-walking stick snapped him out of the working trance.

"Are you ready, Knight Clawson?" The Ithorian asked, leaning far more heavily on his walking stick now than he had when Jay had begun his training.

"Yes, Master Shen'ri." He relaxed his stance and bowed to his teacher and offered both the newly-finished one and the one he'd completed almost three months before. "They are finished."

"You do realize you only had to complete one before your final test?" Shen'ri asked, inspecting them briefly, struck by the intensely contradictory imagery of lush, warm evergreen forests that spiraled into glittering cities of polished metal and glass only to bloom into the rich greens of the forest again. The sense of time, of how this represented not just Jay's soul, but the path of his kind and the connection he had with the cycles of life and death and evolution outside the influence of the Force was unshakable.

"It felt ... incomplete ... with only one." He answered simply.

"Understandable," the Ithorian nodded. "Given the way you fight, I imagine it would be awkward with 'sabers that didn't match. You're lucky, actually; we happen to have everybody free at the right time that you could complete your last test today, if you wish."

"I would, Master." He nodded and accepted his weapons back, slipping them without thinking into the bracer sections of his newest Glovatrix.

"Go on down to the sparring chambers, I'll catch up with you. Everybody else should be there already, or will be soon enough."

"Yes, Master Shen'ri." He inclined his head and left his workshop, half curious who would be his opponent. At fifty-one, he was still very much in his prime thanks to the slow aging all Jedi had, likely less than a quarter of the age when he was too old to wield his lightsabers effectively and was forced to go back to the single blade he had first learned on. Master Shen'ri, while still able to fight if he needed to, had been past his prime when he and Shi had been taken on as his apprentices.

Of course, anybody who doubted his ability to hold his own had seen otherwise just three short years earlier, when he had faced Shivasta. He was old and slower than he had been in his prime, but the Force was strong with him.

He couldn't help but smile at that memory. Both of them had made a very good showing in that match. He couldn't help but wonder if it would feel any different from the katas and light sparing he'd done with his single new lightsaber in recent months. The Force had been strong with that, guiding him like never before, but he couldn't help but doubt it was quite the level that he'd seen three years before.

The trip down to the sparring chambers passed uneventfully, other Knights and Padawans training as he noticed the Council and other Artisans gathering. He did notice that Shivasta was conspicuous by her absence, among the Artisans or in her traditional seat for his matches.

Fenrik was there, making the empty seat next to him all the more noticeable. There were no medical emergencies that might have drawn the Master Healer away.

Jay closed the line of thought off as he stepped into the edge of the circle and focused on the here and now: his match.

A few moments passed before his mind was drawn back to the subject of where his mate was. Master Shen'ri walked into the sparring rooms... and sat down with the other Master Artisans, leaving Jay alone in the dueling chamber... until the door opposite him opened, and Shivasta stepped in.

Jay blinked, taken off guard to see the person in the room least able to challenge him in a duel being the one on the mat with him. He had to remind himself that this wasn't a real duel. Just like hers three years before, this was a test of the weapon, not the combat skill of the wielder.

He bowed to her, giving her every respect a Master was due and stepped back to drop into the relaxed beginning stance of his Form, more grateful now than ever that he'd given in and sparred against her with all four blades lit.

She returned the bow, her own silver blade igniting as she dropped into her own stance, a more aggressive one than she usually opened up with.

He reminded himself that he seemed to be the defender at this point, from what he'd seen before. The easiest way to test a blade was to see how it responded to being struck, so he shifted fractionally into a defensive stance and gave her an opening to strike at without making it insultingly easy.

She moved forward, her blade moving in the familiar patterns of the most basic lightsaber forms as the two mates quickly completed the basic test; four quick strikes, each blocked by one of Jay's four blades. That done, they were in the duel itself, a test of how well the weapons would perform in actual use, rather than just when stressed.

That was a moment that Jay was waiting for. He could feel the Force flowing around them, in tune with his weapons on a level that he instinctively resisted giving up control to for a moment, before relaxing with the flow and almost becoming a spectator for the rest of the event.

It wasn't easy to fight that way, especially here. He wasn't just trusting his safety to the flow of the living Force around him, but his mate's, and the mate that he instinctively knew wasn't a better warrior than he was.

Which, oddly enough, seemed to be something that wasn't necessarily the case this time. He knew he wasn't fighting any worse than he usually did. But there seemed to be something about Shi's reactions that were faster, surer than they'd ever been before now. Everywhere his four blades moved, hers seemed to be there just in time to stop them.

What he did see was that whatever she was doing, it seemed to be draining her faster than it did him; she wouldn't be able to keep this near-perfect defense up for long, and the duel would be over when she couldn't anymore.

It made him intensely aware of that moment; he couldn't allow it to pass while he was still pressing her at full skill. Fractions of a second in that mistake could maim her.

That was just not going to happen. He didn't care if it dropped his overall skill, there were more important things. Not even the soft assurances of the Force around him was quite enough to loose his attention from protecting his mate from his own skill.

Fortunately, Shivasta knew when the moment was coming better than Jay did. She moved back abruptly as the Force's hold on her loosened, and her skills dropped back down towards where they usually were. The moment came with an instant shift to a defensive stance for as long as the rest of the duel might last.

It also ended Jay's tight reins on what was happening. He relaxed and let himself go with the flow of things as he had in most of their matches, trusting her to end things before it became dangerous to her and himself to recognize it if she didn't.

A few more moments passed, not even a full minute, before the two mates stepped apart, settling into the end-match stance and extinguishing their lightsabers, neither injured, though Shi was starting to breathe hard.

Jay bowed to her, his weapons vanishing into his Glovatrix-bracers before he turned to face his teacher.

"You have mastered the skills of the Artisan," the Ithorian said, standing and bowing to Jay. "We bestow upon you the rank of Master Artisan."

"Thank you, Masters," Jay bowed to the assemblage.

"*And suggest that you try to learn to trust more,*" Master Shen'ri added, completely privately, to Jay's mind. "*If it should be necessary in a true battle, you can't always afford to keep control like that.*"

"*Yes, Master Shen'ri.*" He replied privately as those watching began to get up and leave.

He knew he should trust the Force more, and that he wouldn't control himself like that if it wasn't Shi across from him. It was something he knew he was faulted for as a Jedi. It was a fault he accepted the criticism for. It just wasn't in him yet to trust that completely; trust that it wouldn't have him hurt her while he wasn't in control.

It was a line of thought that he shut down viciously as soon as he realized it was happening.

He hardly cared that it was heresy. It was hardly the first, or most serious, viewpoint that qualified to some.

He did care that it could break his self-control in a matter of minutes.

Fenrik looked over the datapad and the offer he'd been made, thinking about it quietly while Jay and Shi were working in the tom's lab. It was a few days after Jay had established himself as a Master Artisan, and the two of them were working on another set of the special robes they'd designed, seeing what more they could do with their current training.

It gave the Panther time to think. One of the Masters had retired recently, leaving a number of classes without an instructor when they started next. The Council had found Masters for most of them, or assigned them to Knights who weren't interested in fieldwork for a few months, but there was a large block of advanced combat-philosophy classes they just hadn't found anybody for who was both interested and qualified for.

So they'd asked him. Normally he would have accepted in a heartbeat, but the sheer number of classes involved this time....

His ears perked up as he heard Jay and Shi walking down the hall, and he sat the datapad aside, going to meet them at the door. Maybe they'd be able to help him make up his mind.

"Hey, handsome." Jay purred, clearly in a good mood as he gave his mate a solid kiss in greeting when the door closed. "You're thinking too hard again."

"I know," Fenrik chuckled, returning the kiss and moving to let Shi in, turning to give her a quick peck on the cheek as well, "bad habit. You two have a good day's work?" He asked, looking at the almost too-cheerful Jay.

"Yap," he nodded. "Now what's up?"

"Mmm ... just making sure I wasn't bringing anybody down by thinking too hard," Fenrik smirked, then moved back towards the couch with his mates. "Got an offer to take over some of Master Kylyanni's classes," he explained. "And I'm thinking of taking it... and a more permanent position just working on training."

"Retiring from field work," Jay nodded in understanding. "You like to teach, but that's a big leap."

"And not just one that affects me," Fenrik pointed out. "If I'm training full-time, at least until I find another Padawan or request a lighter class load, I won't be along with you guys on missions."

"Now don't make me start convincing you I can take care of myself," Shi said with a playful pout, leaning over to kiss Fenrik's cheek lightly. "It is your decision, Fenrik. I think it'd be a good move for you; you do like the training, and you've been alternating between classes and missions ever since Jenna made Knight without any signs of things slowing down."

"You've been wanting to teach since you got your first taste of it." Jay pointed out. "I'll miss you on mission, but I won't miss having you gone. It's not like they send me out all that often."

"And it's not like I'll never get back in the field again," Fenrik admitted. "Guess I've just got that little voice in the back of my head telling me this might not be what I really want... but I don't think it's intuition as much as my inner adrenaline-junkie," he chuckled slightly, hugging his mates.

"We Healers have very firm policies on listening to what your inner adrenaline-junkie says," Shi deadpanned. "Don't."

"Besides, it's not like you haven't taken a few terms off missions to teach before." Jay added with a nuzzle. "If you hate it, just retire from full time teaching."

"All right," the Panther smiled, nuzzling each of them. "So you guys think you'll be able to live with a Master Noloth in training?" He teased playfully.

Jay rolled his eyes and snickered. "If you start that, I'll box your ears until it's out of your silly head."

"Good," Fenrik chuckled. "He's not that bad, once you get to know him when he isn't scowling at you, but he is so not somebody I want to be."

"Mmm... I dunno, you might look good in scales," Shi teased, nuzzling him. "But for the most part, good."

"Mmm, or wings like Master Ty'thri'ku'mo," Jay grinned devilishly. "So you can do the flying for once."

"Force, you're both in your fifties and acting like kittens!" Shi exclaimed with a laugh and shake of her head.

"Like you're any better?" Fenrik asked with a slight smirk.

"I have never done anything like what you guys are talking about," she said, pretending to be offended with no success.

"Only because your fantasies tend to involve worlds the two of us can't imagine going out naked on," Fenrik shot back, his smirk spreading.

"Though could you imagine what the winds could be like if they helped?" Jay rumbled, his attention on Fenrik. "Buffeting us just the right way each time."

"You mean instead of trying to pull us apart and send at least one of us plummeting to a painful demise?" The Panther asked with a chuckle, kissing him lightly that quickly turned into a much more intense one as Jay reached down Fenrik's trousers to cup and fondle his sheath and balls.

"Mmm... is this one of those times I should check if I'm needed in Medical, or is a third welcome?" Shi asked, pressing against Fenrik's back.

"I don't mind." Jay rumbled. "*We haven't gone camping in too long.*"

"Mmm... maybe before I hit my classes," Fenrik rumbled. "C'mon, let's at least try to get to the bedroom before we get going too hard. Still stiff from the last time we tried a threesome on the sofa," he winked.

"The only evidence you aren't twenty anymore." Jay snickered and slid his hand out of Fenrik's trousers with a last teasing stroke to the hardening cock inside and stood. "The sooner we're in bed, the sooner I can get my mouth around that."

Fenrik groaned, looking back at Shi and getting a knowing wink. Grinning back at her, he stood, grabbing Jay and making his way towards the bedroom with their mate in his arms.

Shi stood more slowly, sliding open a nearby drawer and pulling out a pair of cuffs they'd hidden there after the last time they'd used them, dangling them behind her back as she followed them in.

A Heritage of Power 3: Jay's Story 9.99: Turning Pages

R for M/M
Het Level is Low
Slash Level is Slash Smut Level is Very Low
Femslash Level is None
Herm Level is None

16 KB, Story is Complete, Series is Finished
Written May 10, 2005 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: Star Wars (Furry)

Primary Races: Ice Walker, Kat, Panther

Contents: Furry. Het (M/F). Slash (M/M). Relationship (Established)

Pairings: Jay Clawson/Shivasta Stormwarden/Fenrik Aren

Blurb: Interlude. The Jedi welcome their newest Master Artisan only three years after the last, while Master Fenrik considers his future.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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