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08.19.2012 , 06:35 PM |
, two obvious pairings. First Ruth and Wynston; endgame Sith Warrior spoilers, no Agent spoilers in the story. 850 words.
"We made it."
"We made it." Ruth snuggled up to her Chiss lover on the couch and rested her head on his shoulder.
"Baras down." Wynston made a small fake explosion noise. "Draahg, Quinn, and all associated minions down." More explosions.
"Thanks again for pestering me into running those checks on ship comms. I wouldn't have caught him nearly so soon otherwise."
"I know you like your crew, but I also know how security has to work. Thanks for giving me the surveillance and filtering routines you wrote to scan that correspondence. Intelligence pulled out a couple of those algorithms for our own software."
"That's me. Emperor's Wrath and terrifyingly amazing slicer."
"You're terrifyingly amazing at many things," he murmured, and kissed her ear.
"I do love that you're so brilliantly unsubtle sometimes, Wyn."
"Just telling the truth. I can do that sometimes." He kissed her lips. "By the way, I still can't believe you were that crazy about Captain Cut-Rate Spy."
"I wasn't crazy about him. He was horrible. He never let me be nice or considerate or anything."
"You were crazy about him."
"No, I wasn't."
"I know these things, Ruth. I'm a professional know-it-all. I know you really liked him. But, I also know you've grown a lot as a person since then-"
"And have come to my senses to appreciate the only worthwhile man in the Empire, is that it?"
"I didn't say I was working in that direction, but since you mention it..."
"You're terrible." She nuzzled his neck and tried but failed to not think about the inevitable to-do list that came in the wake of a victory. "I have to catch up with the Voice of the Emperor sometime soon."
"Right. The Voice. I don't like him."
"Wyn, you don't like any of my bosses."
"Your bosses are very disreputable individuals."
"We're stuck with them if we're to keep the Empire in one piece. Since the Dark Council and the Emperor are, in a significant sense, the Empire."
"No. No, we out here in the field are the Empire. Everything we've fought for, everything we've figured out and won, that's what matters. We just let them think they're in charge."
"You, sir, are seditious."
"You, madam, aren't arguing." He grinned and kissed her, hugging her close. "But see, it's good that you're helping run things. The galaxy needs more influential people like you."
"You wouldn't let the galaxy's influential people get anything done if they were like me."
"Would I two-time you like that, Ruth?"
Something interesting and much sharper than her usual self flashed in her eyes for just a second, and then she kissed him instead of answering.
The following morning Wynston got up early, got mostly dressed, sat on the edge of the bed. Thought.
Ruth finally stirred. She propped her head up, elbow on the mattress, and gave him an odd non-smile. "You've got the look."
"The look. Either you're calculating fairly complex logistics or you're thinking about wandering off."
"I have a look for that?" Nobody had ever commented on it before.
"Yes. Should I pretend I didn't notice? I still admire your mysteriousness."
He smiled wryly. "I was just thinking of going for another Intelligence assignment, just for a while. Catch up with Vector and the old ship, see if I can still be useful without a Sith doing the heavy lifting for me."
"There's still a lot going on around here."
"You can handle it." He frowned, concerned. "Right?"
"Of course. Sure, I can. It's just better when you're here." Her look asked him not to go.
He shifted his weight a little. "The cause has enough work out there to keep us both busy, sweetheart. And the fresh air will help."
"Right, what is it, a guy from a planet as cold as yours has to keep moving or he'll die?" Ruth made a face that indicated exactly what she thought of that. He had given her the image in a different context, but he wished he hadn't given it to her at all. "We haven't really...that is, I'm not...I don't have to wait for you, not unless you're going to say something."
"I...I wouldn't ask you to wait, sweet. But I think there's places I need to be."
She considered, then forced a smile. He had seen that a dozen times before from girls who, frankly, hadn't been this pleasant, or this well suited to him, or this...this special. "Go on, then," she said. "Maybe we'll catch up later."
For once he felt like he had to say something more. "Look, if you need me, call me. Doesn't matter if it's mid-apocalypse, I'll come for you."
"Stop any active apocalypse first. Please."
"And see, you're selfless, too. I l...I like that about you."
"Get a move on," she said, with a smile only slightly touched by disappointment. "Stay warm."
Wynston ran for it. But he already knew he would be back.
Notes, including Imperial Agent Act 2 spoilers:
This is an extension of "What if Wynston hadn't gotten the Castellan restraints?" He would've had some time to kill after Act 1, he was feeling bad about getting Ruth injured on Alderaan, he knew she was working on some challenging stuff...so maybe he helps for a while. Maybe it becomes screamingly obvious that his priorities vis-a-vis sentient life and the appropriate social behavior of a Sith are way, way more compatible with Ruth than Quinn's could ever be. Maybe he stays, for as long as he can ever stay. (A break during the Act 2/Act 3 interlude would still probably happen.) I don't think his restlessness is romantic, but I do think it's a fundamental part of his personality. Nobody's ever going to train or charm that out of him, but Ruth can hope for a regular part-time arrangement. So maybe, because he wasn't chosen to get worked over for a month or more back on Dromund Kaas, he ended up with a pretty powerful partner.
Two significant long-term repercussions: Ruth wouldn't get the brutal slam of Quinn's betrayal, and might be a much less traumatized, more merciful Wrath as a result. On the other hand, the Star Cabal would be out there, undetected, unimpeded. Wynston would work for Sith Intelligence when he wasn't with Ruth. Who knows where that would lead...
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