A little of the tension eased out of Allana’s shoulders in response to her mother’s matter-of-fact tone. She found it maddening sometimes, the way Tenel Ka could make even the most outrageous pronouncement seem like business as usual, the most dramatic event something that could be calmly discussed. It could be a political tactic, her grandmother had explained that back home, that if you were minimal in speech your conversational partner would fill the silence automatically and say more than they’d meant, or that they would become comfortable enough to let their guard down. To Allana it was mostly a frustratingly effective counter to pointed dramatics, all that calm in the face of righteous teenage rebellion made it suddenly feel childish. Yelling at Tenel Ka felt like walking into a library and throwing the books around for no reason.
Now, however, it was comforting. Having that admission out on the table felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders, and having it treated with neither outrage and fear, nor a casual reassurance let her see past the solid mental wall fear had built for her. For a moment she was stunned into speechlessness, because she had never really considered anything beyond that admission, that she’d used a power commonly associated with the Sith, that she’d given into fear and self-destructed spectacularly.
“I feel…” she started finally, her voice slow and measured, but steady now as she tried to untangle the threads of that answer from the knot they were snarled into, “I feel like it means Lucifer was right about me. He said that there was darkness in me, innate, that I would be just as bad as Dad or Cade ever was, and that no one would lock me up or even watch me carefully because they wouldn’t believe it. I don’t want to, of course, I don’t want to hurt anyone, but it’s not as if anyone starts off thinking that way. Dad still says he just wanted to make the galaxy a better place, and Cade had things happen to him that would have messed anyone up. What if I think there’s something only I can do to save people? Or something really bad happens? Or Lucifer just comes back in my dreams again and again until I snap? Dad and the others keep promising everything’s going to be fine but they can’t know that, and the fact that they’re so insistent…it makes me feel like Lucifer was right about people not believing I could go dark.”
She shifted on the couch a bit, drawing her knees up and hugging them to her chest so that she was folded in half in a sort of upright fetal position. Her mother wouldn’t interrupt her, she was confident of that, and so she took a long moment to think before she continued, “I knew all that though, if not that I’d cut myself off from the Force, I knew that I felt dangerous and that people weren’t really taking it seriously. So I tried to stay away from everyone. I thought if I made it so that people weren’t used to seeing me anymore, then me popping up at school or the complex would be enough in and of itself to put them on their guard. And I tried, I really did, but I just…I can’t. Arya or Ariel asks me to come by or Connor’s girlfriend gets hurt and before I think I get involved. It made me realize that if there was ever a real emergency I wouldn’t be able to stay out of it, and there will be one sooner or later, especially here.”
Her gaze had stayed level with her mother’s face for most of that monologue, stubbornly refusing to take the easy way out and drop to her hands or slide away to the right to look out the window. She made an effort now to stay composed as she clenched her hands in her lap and finished, quietly, “I want to do the right thing. I just… I don’t know what to do.”