The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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06.11.2012 , 11:41 AM |
Another SW post.
Spoilers...you know, that big one. This happens that night, after my SW has had a chance to digest what just happened.
Ardyth had not been able to sleep. He was there, sleeping, soundly she noticed. Her anger flared again. She could kill him, now, in his sleep, he shifted in his sleep, making the faintest of sighing sounds, and her heart rebelled for the second time.
She got out of bed then. She had to be away from him, she didn't trust herself to let him sleep through the night unharmed. The ship slept, she wandered room to room, aimless, angry, heartbroken, she wanted to scream, she wanted to burst, and yes, she wanted to cry, but she dared not. She heard then a noise coming from the armory.
Pierce couldn't sleep, so he cleaned every last weapon they had, meticulously, the repetition calmed his mind, helped him think. Something had changed, something on that ship her and Quinn had boarded had affected her deeply, he could feel it. He knew something didn't seem right about that mission, he was black ops, he knew the ins and out of warfare, and his gut told him something had gone wrong. He didn't trust Quinn, didn't trust his intel, and had pulled her aside to tell her as much, but to her, Quinn could do no wrong.
"He's been with me a long time Pierce, I trust him" she had said. Ardyth remembered those words, they rang in her head. Pierce had known, had felt something about Quinn, and she had been so blinded by love that she had dismissed his concerns, seeing only two strong willed men at odds with each other. She wasn't surprised to see the lieutenant furiously scrubbing the inside of the barrel of a rifle, the rest of the disassembled weapon on the workbench waiting for his attention. His big hands handled the the instrument quite nimbly, not clumsy, but sure. He stopped what he was doing and carefully placed the barrel beside the rest of the pieces and looked up at her.
"What happened?" he asked, his rough voice, quiet, steady. His grey eyes looking at her, through her, he would smell a lie immediately.
She couldn't form words, Pierce had a way of disarming her with a look, with a word, she had flirted with him, but had kept her distance. Quinn called him a mindless brute, but Quinn was wrong, Pierce had a sharp mind, too sharp sometimes. Ardyth vowed to heed his council more often, to trust his instincts.
"My Lord?" Pierce stood up, he tried to catch her eyes again, those bright yellow eyes of hers, but she looked away, unable to meet his. Something had gone wrong then, he had been right, and she knew, but something held her back. Quinn.
"What did he do?" his voice growled now, he wasn't stupid, Ardyth looked up, he was standing very close, she could smell his scent, metal and sweat. She felt his energy, he was wound like a Manka cat, ready to pounce at a moments notice. He could do it, he would kill him without a second thought. Her heart betrayed her a third time. She caught his look, swallowed the lump forming in her throat, keeping her silent.
"He tried to kill me." She finally said, and the whole story came pouring out, like a flood, and she felt hot tears on her cheeks, no longer able to hold them in, her words started getting caught up on that lump and her voice broke.
"I let him live, he should be dead, but I let him live, because I can't bear the thought of him dead. I'm weak, how could I have let him live, damn him, damn the love I have for him, it makes me less of a Sith, it shames me" She felt rough fingers on her face then, calloused thumbs wiping away her tears, she heard him shushing her, like a child, she closed her eyes and let him.
Pierce hated Quinn, hated him with a red hot hate, like embers that keep feeding a fire. He hated him when he realized she loved him, he hated him more now for the pain he had caused. She had to stop, he couldn't kill Quinn for her, but he could help her now, he would do what he could for her.
Ardyth felt his arms go around her, held her tight, felt one large hand on the back on her head, stroking her hair, and she cried, great heaving cries into his chest, her hands clutched at his shirt, feeling like she might drown if she let go. Not once did he tell her he told her so, not once did he renew his offer to kill him, he just held her, while she let the emotion wash over her, cleanse her, it would make her strong, but before it could make her strong it would strip her to the core. Pierce was her life line. Eventually her sobs stopped, the hand that been in her hair moved to her chin, he tipped her face up, he kissed her forehead, she felt him breath her in, felt his other arm tighten around her waist, he kissed her cheeks, as if the tears had burned her where they had fallen. Then his lips were on hers, and her arms were around his neck, pulling him closer, needing him, needing this moment.
The meticulously cleaned pieces of rifle fell to the ground.
Force of Wills
Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind