Darth Umbral stared out of the Nova Eclipse's
viewport, watching the stars shimmer in the distance. The wounds on her face were almost gone, thanks to applications of kolto that accelerated the healing process. The sound of footsteps came behind her, but she did not turn. She felt hands touch her shoulders and fingers curling around them as Quinn pulled her back to nestle her body against his.
His shoulder was bandaged heavily, but he would eventually regain full use of his arm. He inhaled deeply, taking in her scent as he wrapped his arms around her midsection, a rare display of affection from the usually stoic Imperial captain.
"We need to find a place to hide for a while." Umbral's voice was soft. She hated the thought of crawling into a hole for months at a time, but also knew that her many enemies would be delighted to come after her if they knew of her condition.
"Yes." Quinn's affirmation was a whisper in her ear. She closed her eyes and leaned against him, letting his strength compliment her own.
"I will see that Jedi Master again," she said. "And only one of us will walk away from it."
He nodded, a motion felt rather than seen. "You will. After our child is born, when you have regained your strength."
Umbral reached out with the Force, stretching her senses through the vast darkness of space to touch the mind of the Twi'lek Jedi. "When the time comes, I will face my destiny."
Doc frowned as he worked on tidying the Force Warden's
medbay. He glanced over at Isad'ia, who stood in the doorway. "Are you serious?"
The Jedi Master nodded her head. "Of course I am." She laughed softly as his face screwed up in disgust.
"That's just... that's gross. I mean really, tiny pale Sith babies?" He pretended to gag.
"Where did you think little Sith come from?" Isad'ia's voice suddenly became serious. "The Dark Side is strong with that one. It twists and destroys everything it touches. If she isn't careful, she will give birth to a monster."
Doc's eyes came up and he sighed at the Twi'lek. "This isn't over, is it?" He threw some wadded up bandages into the garbage bin.
"For now it is." She lowered herself onto the examination table, dangling her legs over the side. "But I don't think we've heard the last of Darth Umbral. Not by a long shot."
"Of course not." He turned his back to her, then spoke over his shoulder. "Next time though, I'm going with you. You can't keep having all the fun without me."
"Doc..." Isad'ia frowned at him.
"Sithspit, Isad'ia, you almost got yourself killed. What if you hadn't made it out of the cave before it collapsed?"
"But I did." She reached out as he turned, her hand grasping his and pulling him closer. "The Force was with me." She flashed him a brilliant smile. His face remained stern for a moment, then he grinned at her with a mischievous light in his eyes.
"Well next time, you'll have Doc with you, too."
She accepted her defeat, and nodded at him. As he reached out and enfolded her in his arms, hugging her tightly, Isad'ia felt Darth Umbral's presence touch her mind. The Dark Lord of the Sith was still out there, and one way or another, Isad'ia knew that they would meet again.
Lillian found Corso standing on the bridge of the Silver Shadow
, his back to her as he watched the world of Dantooine lazily spin beneath them. When she had told him about Umbral's destruction of their home, she was surprised at how well he had taken it. She had expected him to be angry, upset, but instead he had just shrugged. She reached out and tugged gently at one of the twists of hair that fell down his back. He turned to look at her, gazing down into her face as if trying to etch it into his mind.
"We'll buy another house," she said quietly. "One with even more land for you to enjoy, and a whole bunch of ronto. Maybe some banthas, too. A couple nerfs for you to herd." He shook his head, and she arched an eyebrow at him, surprised.
"Do you remember," he began, "what I said to you two years ago? When I told you how I felt about you?" She just stared at him, waiting for him to continue. "I told you that if I had a choice between the rest of the galaxy and being here with you, that I would pick here, on the Shadow
, for the rest of my life, so long as we were together. I meant it."
"But you loved that house." She bowed her head slightly. "You wanted it so much."
"I love you more." He reached out and cupped her chin in his hand, lifting her face so he could look into her silver eyes. "I thought I had lost you for good. You have no idea how much that hurt me."
She thought of how she had felt when she thought he had been killed in the explosion that had erased their home from the face of Dantooine. "I do know. I... I'm sorry that I left. I never should have done that. I made a terrible mistake." She gestured around at the interior of the Silver Shadow
. "I just thought that if I got out here one more time that it would be enough, that I could come back home to you and we could live our lives."
"But it's not enough." Corso placed a hand on her waist, pulling her body against his as his right hand stroked her cheek. The bruises on her face were faded almost completely, and her nose was exactly as it used to be, thanks to Doc's medical skills. "Listen," he said, "Let's just live here, on the Shadow
. We can go back to work for the Republic. There's still a war going on out there, and they could use us."
Lillian stared at him. Would he never cease to surprise her? "I thought you wanted a family."
a family. You and me." He shrugged his shoulders slightly. "If children come, we'll deal with it when it happens. Until then, this is plenty. You're enough for me, Lilly."
She leaned against him, lifting her arms to wrap them around his neck as he tightened his grip around her. Her voice was soft. "When I fire a blaster, is it still a thunderclap you feel in your heart?"
Corso favored her with a grin and a sparkle in his deep brown gaze that filled her soul with happiness. He lowered his head, brushing his lips softly against hers as he whispered, "Never stop shooting."