Female Smuggler and Corso Riggs. Might be spoilers to some. One-shot. Romance. First person. Mash up of conversations up to (and including) the courting conversation.
Disclaimer - Don't own any characters, or anything etc
'Work, work, work.'
I shake my head and continue fixing the power cup links. The bolts had come loose in our flight from Tatooine, and our last space mission. I tighten the last bolt and sigh in tired satisfaction. I tick it off the vivid and long list of repairs that need to be completed before leaving the Republic fleet for Alderaan.
'I can think of better ways for a beautiful woman to spend her time.'
I kick the tool box. My head clears as my foot begins to ache. My eager, shaking hands fumble to pick up the tools. I limp impatiently to the cargo hold to finish repairs on a small leak needs to be fixed and wires rerouted. Its late. I've still got four hours until lift off at seven galactic standard time. Then there's still the engine to fix, and the side of the ship is a mess and can't be fixed from in here.... I'll have to go outside and...
'Why don't you let me take you off this ship and show you some fun?'
I open a panel and squeeze my strong, slight shoulders in the tiny space provided.
'What do you have in mind?'
The metal is cold and rigid under my back and it seeps through my shirt. I suppress a shiver. Yellow wire to white...
'I was thinking you, me a bottle of Corellian red, and I'm sure we can find a cantina with a back room and...'
This wire, goes here... the blue to the white, red to yellow. I throw my hand out next to my and feel for some tape to temporarily fix a wire. Green to black...
'I was trying to be suave, like those guys that hit you up everywhere we land. But you get that every day. You deserve someone who will treat you like a lady.'
My mind rapidly returns to the cables as electricity travels from my fingers, along my arm and burns my swiftly thudding heart. I hold firm and chew the inside of my mouth, promptly connecting the wires correctly. I sigh, and squeeze out a little. I spit blood and saliva to the side, and reach for my drink bottle as I roll out from where I was working. My fingers, scorched and sore, fumble for a proper hold on the flask. I stare at the clear liquid and throw it aside. I need something stronger, I decide as I sit up. I carefully replace the panel and lie my tools away.
My feet drag as I slowly walk to the bar and get myself a bottle from the crate of Tarisian ale we picked up. I look dubiously at the shot classes lined along the wall and skip the pleasantry. The bottle pushes on my bleeding mouth, smouldering and soothing in a strange harmony. It sloshes down into my stomach, burning like a small supernova. I carelessly pour a little over my reddening fingers. I stare into the bottles murky depths, and if I concentrate hard enough I can see a sullied and blurred reflection of myself.
"Drinking for any reason?"
I don't even bother turning my head eve slightly to recognise Risha's question. My ugly reflection still watches me. In the red pine liquid reflection, my skin looks soaked in dried blood. There's always blood...
"Surprised to see you sitting here all alone. I thought you and that farm boy... well, you both spend a lot of time together." I can hear her assured footsteps as she walks to the bar starts mixing herself a drink.
'Being a lady doesn't mean you can't have grease on your elbows or a blaster at your hip...'
I slowly put my bottle down. I pick up the bar cloth and wipe off the grease on my elbows, before picking up my jacket and walking out the door.
'You'll always be that to me...'
"I'll be back before takeoff. Make sure the hyper drives ready and working before I get back or Skavak will find catching up to us as easy as catching a cold on Hoth."
I head to the exit, collecting my discarded boots and blasters as I go. My body hesitates and I listen for anyone coming before leaving the ship. There's not much of a cantina here, but surely there would be some off duty soldier willing to forget the war for a few hours...
'I know you've been with other guys, and there will probably be a lot more. I know I can't play those games, and
give those gifts, and make you laugh like some of them do. But I'll still be here, when all of them are gone...'
I wish I had taken the bottle with me, my feet making heavy clangs as my legs become slower and stiff. No one's around this late, or early. I pace to the end of the hanger and look back at my ship. Pride resonates in me as I look at her new turrets. Been through so much with her after I won her that game of cards. Her name and crest and pealing and worn. I also need to upgrade her armouring...
I stride away from the exit and touch her strong legs as I walk past. My feet create resounding echoes that reverberate around the large steel hanger. The echoes produce more echoes, that generating undying noise.
I sit at the edge of the hanger and look through its wide clear doors to the galaxy I've been flying rings around for... well... a long time. Years don't exist in space. Has it been too long? It's so peaceful, always to look at space. Sometimes I float in space and watch the shifting nebulas and shining stars. My ship and I, defenceless in an expanse of soundless beauty and brilliance.
'I'm all yours, Captain. Any way you want me.'
I wonder if he saw, just for a second, how I needed to be in his arms. No defences. No tricks or games or just drunken passion. No flirting. How I wanted to, just for an instant, not be the stand alone scoundrel, with a callous stance and a mouth that shoots sardonic remarks quicker than a blaster. I wanted to be something else. Something more.
'How do you feel about zero G?'
'I thought I wanted to be that guy, that fun fling. But I think we've got a chance for a lot more.'
And I know he had seen it. 'A chance to be a lot more...'
Corso's earnest face was so alive with, well, I don't really know. His compassion and respect. His understanding. Thought of everything said a few hours ago haunt me, like an unwelcome spectre. How he dodged my teasing advances, and side stepped my casual, passionate defences.
I had just begun repairs after buying new mods and materials for repairs with the extra money from helping more desert planted locals. His heavy tread mingling with the crackle of his loose under armour...
I wonder what she was like. His fiancÚ. I imagine strawberry blonde hair waving like a crown on a slender, soft form. Her skin would be the colour of raw corn from the warm Ord Mantell sun. She would have gentle eyes and touch, with a shy encouraging smile. Delicate. Well mannered, but strong and able to tolerate the sometimes harsh life of farming. No good with a blaster. Yes, that is how she would be. She would always know what to say, the right thing. Especially to children.
Suddenly I feel sad. And scared.
I think of Nar Shaddarr and the sewer children. I think of the disapproving look Corso gave me when I turned them away. How quick he was to give them a tender look and far too many credits. I made it as a child. It aint so hard. Sometimes, giving and helping others only weakens them. And empties your own pockets.
I feel myself shaking and my chest hurts as I start reliving the whole conversation again. I'm scared, like I've never been. Not like during battle, or in a win or lose game of Sabaac. I'm not his lost finance, and I don't have enough treasure for compassion. This feeling won't leave me and I want to run away. Run to him, be his only and... I shake my head. That's not how it is. That's not how I go. It hurts so much. Too much.
'But she wasn't even in the same galaxy as you.'
The words ricochet in my head as a comforting rubato. But I still feel... inadequate and insufficient. Not good enough. I never really considered my looks or attitude before. I don't even think my ship has a mirror. I mean, guys would say things but... I'm sure I couldn't even compare with his fiancÚ.
How could we ever work? I don't even know what it's really like to have parents let alone see them die. I've never had a fiancÚ or a boyfriend. Marriage always seemed a lot like breaking in a wild ronto. Some things have to be tamed, compromised and disappear. I don't want children, I don't know anything about them, and I can count all of my conversation with them I've ever had on one hand. I couldn't have a mother's love. I pull at my hair in aggravation, throwing my head into my knees as I crumple into a frenzied ball. I don't even know how or what it is. All I know is that love must be a powerful thing if it makes a good man like Corso desire passionate revenge.
'I don't need anyone to look after me. Never have and never will.'
It's been my slogan for so long. A mantra for my life and actions. How true is that now? I can't pin down when it was I came to rely on the extra blaster fire to cover my back. When did I start doubting how much I want this life? It's a good one, being so free with no shackles or loyalties to anything but money and your own hide... When was my purpose to impress with low paying jobs that hardly cover the amount of ammo used? How could this ronto want to be broken? How could I let this farm boy...
'The galaxy can throw whatever it wants at me - I can take it.'
The galaxy had thrown everything at me and every sop story I hear is like a page read word for word from my very large biography. And I can take it. I always do. No complaints and plenty of credits to keep me company, plus the occasional - frequent - men. I uncurl and straighten. I lean by back against the hanger wall and wonder how much of this galaxy I've travelled through. So many. So much. When did it stop being dangerous and cruel and decide to send me this... this... farm boy. Seems I can handle a blaster and a pack of Sabaac cards better than...
I don't know. I sigh a sink down onto my back to only find myself looking up at the cold, starless steel of the space station. I don't know what I want him for. I don't know what I want anymore. Suddenly, having credits and fun flings every port doesn't pull me anymore. I'm so conscious and aware of him in the cockpit. He's like a warm magnet, and I waver between being attracted and repelled. I wonder what he thinks of at night? Is he sleeping deeply or lying awake scrutinising about our conversation?
'I wouldn't like to do anything that would need your forgiveness, Captain. I'd do a lot worse than smuggle spice if it would put a smile on your face.'
Against myself I feel a smile, and a warm constriction on my chest. I close my eyes and...
'I'm yours, if you'll have me...'
I slowly wake up to the flurry and movement around the hanger. I look up at my ship and slowly stagger over, feeling the cramps in my back and legs. Inside the ship is warm and for some reason the dull metal sings me a greeting of home, with no ticks in the power cuplinks.
I slowly walk to the cockpit and see Corso lying ready in the chair next to the captain seat. His smile to the ceiling is warm and thoughtful, and I want to know what he's thinking. It reminds me of lying down in the hanger and the vastness that I smiled to.
I silently walk down to him, and before surprised protests can begin, I lie down next to him. I can hear his heart beat through the flimsy singlet he wears under his armour as I rest my head on his chest.
"Any way I want you, huh?"
His arms are warm and strong as they wrap around me.
I guess I am broken in, but I never felt so whole.
Please comment. Criticism or likes. Thank you
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