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07.30.2012 , 09:26 PM |
Sith Warrior Ruth (again again again), 1000 words. SW Act 3 spoilers.
“Shut up. I’ll tear out your throat if you don’t shut up.”
“Will you? That would make the second part of me you’ve shown any interest in in the seventeen years of our acquaintance. I’m flattered.” Quinn struggled to free his jacket from the coat closet as he talked.
“If that’s how you remember it happening, I guess you got a lot more use out of me than I did out of you. Well, congratulations, Quinn, you win the play again. That’s all that ever mattered to you.”
“That’s an egregious lie even for you,” he snarled.
“Oh. How could I forget? Your bloody mission mattered, too. More than the mission we shared and far, far more anything you ever said to me.”
Quinn finally yanked the jacket free, bringing a burst of assorted small objects with it. He reflexively caught what he could with one hand, then headed for the door, resisting the urge to give Ruth the telling off she deserved. That furious child, every bit as selfish as the day he’d met her, and as usual she was trying to cover her own faults by being unfair to him, even though if she had a tenth the brain she gave herself credit for she would…no. Shut up, man, and walk.
He headed to the hangar for one of the house shuttles. Ruth’s inevitable anger be damned, it was raining like doomsday out there and he wanted to be gone quickly.
It was about time to give up on this farce.
Get to the city. Send the shuttle back. Deal with Rylon directly from now on. Deal with work by himself again, because in truth her counsel and encouragement weren’t really all that useful. He could make it stick this time. Any time he missed her, or wanted her, or thought she might have something valuable to say, he could just mentally replay the bit about her tearing his throat out.
He set course for Kaas City and then, leaning back, took a look at the little items he had caught from the closet. Two mismatched buttons, a blue crystal that might or might not mean anything, and a small, ornate golden datacube.
The latter didn’t look like something Ruth would favor. She wasn’t one for trophies, either. A gift?
He tapped it active and was greeted with a long index of dates, each marked with one or the other of Ruth’s parents’ names. Colran, whom Quinn had met only once; the Sith had died in Baras’s purge shortly after Ruth and Quinn were married. Dolarra, whom Quinn had never met; she had died when Ruth was very young.
The dates spanned an eight-year period centered on Ruth’s birth. Quinn opened and scanned the first pair of letters. Plain text files: early getting-to-know-you correspondence in a format suited to frequent travelers.
What had they talked about, the Sith and the mystery woman? It wasn’t in his nature to ignore this kind of information trove. He selected another date, well into their acquaintance.
the mission goes. Ever have one of those where you know you won’t be getting a shiny gold star at the end? It matters, it’ll help, but I don’t have a shiny gold star to look forward to. Still, if all goes well I’ll see you after this ties up. And that’s almost as good. Almost. (I love you, but just think about it. Gold star.)
About that. Love in this our big bad demanding galaxy. I’ve been giving it some thought, and I think it counts, even with our jobs.
I know that if the mission demanded your life or mine, Colran, we would go through with it. That’s who we are. And just because I could lose you that way, or you could lose me, I don’t think that means we can’t be in love. Does the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good diminish you or me? Are we worth less for knowing what we would be willing to pay it all for? Think about this one big thing we serve. The Empire. Think of all the good she does. If there were only you and me, is there some grand love we could carve from the chaos that would somehow be better or more pure than what we’re working for now? Could I even love you as much as I do if you didn’t give so much of yourself to our common cause?
It sounds pleasing for love to mean “I would do anything for you,” but I don’t think an exception like “except give up on the greatest good we both know” is a damning one.
I hope that helps settle the question. I imagine you might like something more cuddly, but you’re involved with a high-power no-nonsense Imperial femme fatale now, and I won’t lie to you if I can avoid it. Our lives, our missions are uncertain. My feelings for you aren’t.
I haven’t forgotten, I’m still on the hook for “how would a Force-blind even begin to handle a Force-sensitive child” (hello? I would, hypothetically speaking, have a nine-month head start on bonding!) and “how can I justify drinking Graylian ale anywhere ever.” The latter isn’t even a question, but I’ll assume your Jedi training stunted your development such that you need these basic things explained to you. Later. For now I’m out of time; there’s work to do, gold stars to dream wistfully of. I love you, madly. Be safe and be well –
Ever yours, Dolarra.
Some time later, the shuttle halted outside Kaas City’s west transit center. Quinn shook himself and pocketed the little datacube again.
Had Ruth ever read them? Did she care?
It was, of course, a strained comparison, and Ruth’s awareness of her parents’ correspondence would certainly be on the list of things she didn’t want to hear him ask about any time soon. In fact, everything was on the list of things he had better avoid asking about. He should just return the datacube. Make sure she knew he hadn’t stolen it, then be out of her way.
He dismissed the shuttle, held the datacube in his pocket, and headed down the street, heedless of the hammering rain.
I recently heard somebody describe themselves as a “martyr to recidivism” when it came to relationships. I thought it was a great phrase.
Letters as a communication and, well, thought form, are awesome and I don't think blogging has properly taken their place as a satisfying medium.
As I write about rain, I can’t help but feel that Ernest Hemingway would’ve loved Kaas City. Rain, things unsaid, the accumulated dissatisfactions of a lifetime; talking and drinking in a cantina, one walking wounded among many. Kaas City is perfect.
Colran didn’t package his correspondence for distribution, and I’m not sure Ruth would’ve thought to search his records. Jaesa did, eventually – yes, she’s still in Ruth’s life. I think this index was a work in progress, or perhaps a nearly completed gift, until it was eaten by the coat closet.
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