Satchal sat alone in a darkened corner of the hideout as he meditated on the Force to calm his raging emotions. When Ivanna arrived he felt her presence even before she rounded the corner down the hall from the room in which he sat. He could feel that her attitude had changed considerably now that the confrontation was over and she had time to really think about the situation. Still, her feelings were not clear enough for him to determine exactly what she really thought or felt. He could simply sense that she was no longer seething with anger.
The door opened, and Satchal greeted her with a simple, “What do you want?”
Ivanna’s voice was a bit more soothing. “I wish we had not fought in front of everyone like that.”
“Why?” said Satchal as he opened his eyes to look at her. “Are you afraid that everyone else may see you more as I do?”
“What is that supposed to mean?” asked Ivanna with narrowed eyes.
“You’re the master, why don’t you tell me?” said Satchal, and he could sense anger flare up within her.
“Why don’t you speak your mind instead of throwing out insulting insinuations?” Ivanna replied heatedly.
“Fine,” said Satchal. “During our sessions alone I have felt the turmoil within you, Master. I know you aren’t as confident in yourself as you pretend to be. You don’t think you’re really capable of training me, and you feel more for me than you’d like to let yourself believe. I also think that because of your feelings for me and because of your encounters on Hoth that you are not entirely sure that you are true to the Light Side of the Force. Is that correct?”
Ivanna seemed to break under his words, but her pride kept her from showing it physically. “I am a Jedi Master,” she said with more force than she’d intended.
“Who are you trying to convince?” Satchal said. “Tell me the truth, Ivanna. Are you really going on this mission for the reasons you told everyone in the meeting room or are you going on this mission to prove you are powerful enough to be a Jedi Master?”
“Your accusation are ungrounded,” she snapped.
“Are they?” said Satchal getting to his feet. He then came over to stand directly in front of her with only a few inches between them. Ivanna backed into the wall as she avoided making eye contact. “Then why are you so uncomfortable with me getting this close to you?”
Ivanna suddenly shoved him away with the Force, and Satchal found himself on the floor, stunned. “Don’t ever test me again,” she said as she trembled visibly. “I am your master.
Satchal recovered quickly and was on his feet again. “Why does it have to be like that?” he said. “You don’t have to pretend that you’re superior to everyone just because you want to feel like a master. I accept that you have the experience I need to become a Jedi, and I have accepted you as my master. Why isn’t that enough? Drop your guard, Ivanna. Let go of your pride for a moment and recognize that I can help you just as much as you can help me.”
Ivanna backed away from him and held the wall for support. “I don’t need your help, Padawan!”
Satchal shook his head, and a silence fell between them for a moment. Then Satchal walked closer to her again, but this time she met his gaze with a fierce determination. Satchal, however, was hoping for this, and for just a moment he held her gaze allowing the silence to increase the tension between them. Then at last he said, “I grew up surrounded by darkness, Ivanna. My parents worshipped the Sith. I have seen it, and I know it for what it is. There is no faster path to the Dark Side than denying your own failings. There is nothing that leads someone down the wrong path quicker than pride. We share a bond, Ivanna, I can feel it, and I know that you are afraid to show weakness. You are afraid to open up for fear that I and everyone else around you will see that you aren’t the Master Jedi that you want to be.”
This broke her, and she turned away to escape him. Satchal grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her around to face him again, but she refused to meet his gaze. “I accept you, Master,” he said with a bit more tenderness than he really realized, “but you must learn to accept yourself.”
She looked up at him then and their eyes met yet again. This time, however, he saw into her soul, and he saw the pain and turmoil within her as clear as if it was painted on a canvas. She was drawn in then, and for a moment she seemed as though she might fall into his arms as if too weak to stand any longer. But then she pushed herself away from him gently, and he let her go.
She breathed heavily as she turned her back to him. Putting her head in her hands she wiped the tears from her eyes. “Maybe I shouldn’t be your master then,” she murmured. Her voice was barely audible.
“Maybe you should just give it some time,” Satchal said in reply, but Ivanna immediately shook her head.
“The bond we share is too dangerous to us both,” she said, and she seemed more composed now. “It is a bond that often forms between a Padawan and Master, but ours is much deeper than that. I should not have such feelings for anyone, let alone my apprentice, and if we allow this relationship to continue it may doom us both to the Dark Side. I won’t allow that. The Jedi Code forbids it, Satchal. ‘There is no passion, there is serenity.’ Remember?”
Satchal closed his eyes then to clear his thoughts. “I’m not asking you to break the Code, Ivanna,” he said after a moment. “I’m not expecting us to throw caution to the wind and forget everything we’ve been taught. All I want you to do is be honest about how you feel and what you think. Don’t deny it, and stop pretending you’re something you’re not. Stop pretending that you have all the answers and that you’re some great and invincible Jedi Master.”
“All right,” she said, at last surrendering, and this time she did fall into his arms as she buried her head in his chest. “All right.” Then she simply held onto him for a long time as if he was all she had left in the universe.