The Alternate Universe Weekly Challenge Thread
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08.21.2012 , 11:19 AM |
Here's the original AU post for What if?
Corso watched as the petite female prisoner was punched by the trooper. He winced as her head struck the metal bedframe and she fell, silent and still. Oh well, he thought, she really shouldn’t have kicked the guy there. He was nursing wounds of his own, inflicted by that scum Skavak when he took off and stole the lady’s ship. Still, he felt like he’d have gotten away if she had believed him, that he wasn’t any part of the scheme to steal from her. She might have gotten a pass too, but someone ran her background before she could get away. He had a hard time believing someone as small as she was could take out a platoon of soldiers, but what did he know? He had no idea Skavak was a sep, either.
He watched as she groaned and struggled to sit up, crawling instead to the far corner of the filthy cell. Blood ran down her face, and she swiped at it with her cuffed hands. She’d screamed about that, he recalled, wanting to know why she was cuffed in a cell. He could see her reasoning. Now she just sat in dejected silence, staring straight ahead.
He heard his name called and walked to the cell door, where he saw Viidu paying his bail. He was released, and when he passed the woman on his way out she didn’t even look at him. He was just glad to be free, and thanked his boss for his help.
A month later, one of his friends had a little too much fun and Corso found himself at the holding cells again, bailing his friend out. He glanced down the row and saw her, still bound, still sitting. She was several pounds lighter, which made her waif-like. He asked the trooper on duty what was wrong with her.
“I have no idea, buddy, but unless she finds her voice soon, she’ll lose enough weight to just waste away. All she has to do is tell us who hired her. You want to pay her bail, too?” He laughed, but stopped laughing when he was handed a cred stick. “Seriously? Okay, it’s your money. You know you don’t get it back if she takes off on you, right?” Corso nodded and the transaction went through. “Hey, Carl, get Spooky out too, “ the trooper shouted down the hallway. In a few minutes, Corso had both his friend, who was only half conscious, and the tiny woman with the silver eyes, both walking out with him. They reached the street, and stopped.
“I know you don’t have a place to stay,” Corso told her, “you can sleep at my place tonight if you want.” Her frightened expression told him that she didn’t trust him, and he held his hands up defensively. “I won’t touch you, and you can do something else tomorrow. I gotta get this guy home first, though.” She hesitated, then nodded and followed the two men. She hadn’t said a word since that first night they were put in the cells, and her voice didn’t seem to work at the moment. Corso got his friend home, then turned to the woman, motioning her to follow him.
They arrived at his place, which wasn’t fancy but was clean and well cared for. He went in his room, got some clothes for her since hers were beyond saving, and showed her where she could sleep. He went to his own room, heard the water running, and nodded. He fell into bed, knowing he had to be at work early. Before he left the next morning, he looked into the other bedroom to check on her. Her bare back was his first sight, partially covered by the waterfall of long, black hair. She was snoring softly, and he didn’t have the heart to wake her. He sighed, and set off for work.
When he returned, she was gone. He’d expected that. She did leave a note, though.
I will pay you back every credit. Thank you for your kindness. Miriah
And here's the continuation:
Another week, another set of problems, Corso thought. He made his way to his apartment, where he spent most of his time off. More and more, his thoughts turned to the woman who’d spent one night here, had said not one word, and was gone when he’d returned. He’d had several other women here since then, who had actually slept in his bed and not the guest room, but none that had interested him enough to think about when they were gone. Viidu had laughed when he’d heard what Corso had done in paying her bail. Maybe it was a mistake, he thought, but it was my mistake to make. He decided to go out to eat, maybe he’d see someone he knew to spend time with. Maybe he’d meet a woman that would wipe the memory of silver eyes from his mind.
He walked rather than ride, since he was fairly close to the Avilitan Cantina, and chose a corner table. The dancers were always visible, so all the tables were good, but he preferred to have his back covered by the wall. He’d changed from his usual work clothes into a very nice shirt and tailored pants, like most of the businessmen. He’d recently been promoted to office work, and while it was nice to be cool and clean, he was missing being outdoors some. He waved to people he knew, but ate alone. Once his food had arrived, he’d bent his head and not paid much attention to the band, until he noticed that their singer was different tonight. Even then, he didn’t think of it beyond noting that she had a nice voice, and that her accent was probably Coruscanti. He glimpsed her when he stood to leave, and stood there dumbstruck. She hadn’t left, he thought, I figured surely she’d left the planet. He slowly sat back down, thinking it through. The troopers had her blasters, her ship was stolen, and if she accessed her accounts, they could track her down. He realized she really didn’t have many options.
When the band was on a break, he tracked her down, staring at the sunset out back of the cantina. She didn’t notice him at first, until he spoke. “Hello,” he said, moving under the scarce light of the single bulb. She turned, and tried to smile at him.
“I promised I would pay you, but I haven’t gotten it together yet…” she looked at her feet, embarrassed that she was still in debt to him.
“That’s not why I looked for you. I wanted to see if you were okay. I thought as soon as you could you’d have gone home, or at least away from here.” He sat on a crate that had been upended, and watched as she nervously paced. “That’s all, I promise.”
She whirled on him, “I won’t be owned. Just because I have a debt to you, you don’t own me.” He threw his hands up in front of him in a defensive gesture.
“Look, I didn’t expect anything but to say hello and see that you were okay.” He got up and walked to the door, and stopped when he heard her weeping. Oh man, why’d she have to do that, he wondered. He walked over to her, hesitant to touch her. He just stood there while she tried to collect herself, turned away from him with her arms hugged around her.
“Miriah, you have a friend here. That’s all.” She nodded, but didn’t speak. The band leader, a guy Corso knew as Lane, called to her, break was over. She blew her nose, and tried to wipe the evidence of her tears away. She gave him a watery smile and went back to work. He was tempted to go back, to listen more, but knew it would just haunt him. Instead, he stood outside, leaning against the sun-warmed stone, and listened to her sing one more song before he went home to drink himself to sleep.
To me, this AU finds that Miriah and Corso are still the same people at their core, only their circumstances have changed.
Love is the strongest magic of them all.