The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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09.01.2012 , 04:37 PM |
Adris Westan, Brei'yu, Vector and Kaliyo
Spoilers for Vector and Kaliyo class quests, especially the end of Kaliyo's questline.
She knew how to work people.
Vector felt a flare in his chest as he watched her smooze the Moff whose name she'd probably already forgotten. Her big blue eyes were guileless and fixed on the man. Vector figured him old enough to be her grandfather. She chuckled throatily when he said something that could be construed as witty and kept herself just out reach. He was constantly trying to reach out and touch her. He'd bought her a drink that she hadn't touched. But she was watching him get very very drunk.
Vector took it all in, knowing it was her job, knowing this was just part of said job. Instead of fixating, he turned his attentions inward and analyzed what he was feeling.
It was jealousy.
He remembered now what it was to have human emotions. His time with Adris Westan had reminded him what it was to be human. To laugh and feel amusement, to be worried and anxious over the health of a team mate, he remembered what it was to have a friend.
But Brei'yu reminded him what it was to be a man. She woke strange, strong feelings of need and desire that he hadn't felt since he and Anora had called off their engagement. He remembered what it was to have his senses clouded by a woman, to smell her perfume long after she'd left a room, to feel the heat rise in his skin after an accidental touch, he remembered fantasy and anticipation. She consumed his thoughts sometimes, absolutely and completely.
He could taste her aura when she was near, feel the charge of her skin if she touched him. He knew the way the light would glint off her hair, playing browns against auburns against blacks. He'd looked into her blue eyes and knew every time that he could get lost staring into them.
Westan had said he'd gone over hard on her. Vector wasn't entirely sure what that meant, but if his physiological responses to her flirtation with another man were any indication, then he was feeling something that had become alien to him years ago.
He was in love with Brei'yu.
The hand on his arm drew him out of his reverie. Vector glanced over and saw Westan looking at him, a little concern in his eyes, amusement on his face and resignation etched into his aura. Vector knew that all the things that captivated him about Brei'yu were the same things that had drawn Westan to her when they were younger. Vector knew only bits and pieces of what happened to them on Alderaan, but the relationship started during different lives carried over into a strong friendship now. Westan swore he was over it but Vector suspected that seeing another man interested in what once was his stung.
Vector wasn't sure how to articulate this revelation. Or even if it was appropriate to. Westan had promised to do what he could to swing Brei'yu's interest toward Vector. As much as Vector wanted that, he was hesitant about what it would do to his friendship with the other man. He began to ask but Westan smacked him on the shoulder.
“That's our sign, let's go.”
The men headed for the table where Brei sat, finally letting herself lean against the Moff. The old man looked delighted and drunk. Vector wondered if he'd remember any of this in the morning. Westan slid into the booth on the empty side of the Moff and Vector came to sit beside Brei'yu. The Moff looked up with cloudy confusion, his eyes trying to fix on Westan's face.
“Who? What?” was all he could slur before Brei'yu put a comforting bare hand over his.
“It’s alright. These are friends of mine. They just came to talk.”
The Moff still seemed confused and Westan began engaging him in easy conversation, well as easy as conversing with a drunk man could be. Vector reached for Brei'yu with both hands and she slipped her free bare hand into his wordlessly. His fingers tightened around her hand, he liked the delicate feel of her bones beneath her skin. He'd seen her break Sith's necks with her tiny hands. He knew the power that she held in those slim fingers.
She looked at him and he nodded, indicating he was ready. She took a breath and opened the connection between them. He slid into her thoughts easily, and she into his. He felt her hand tense as she adjusted to the music inside his head and he pushed the hive down, concentrating on her sweet song and the addition of the Moff's thoughts.
Westan asked the Moff a simple question about his first wife. Vector watched the face of a pleasant looking woman come to the forefront of his consciousness, measured the gleam of a contented aura around the memory. Brei murmured her vision and Vector added his take quietly. They had discovered this easy link not long after Tatooine. Vector's familiarity with a hive mind and the investigation of memories that weren't his gave him insights that Brei'yu didn't have access too. He watched auras, both the one around the target and the one that lit his memories. Brei'yu could tell you what she saw, even some of how the target felt about a certain memory, Vector could glean the taste of the air, the scent of a person, little things that triggered clarity in memory. He and Brei'yu made an incredible team, to Westan's delight.
And Westan wasted no time in getting down to business. He grilled the Moff about the blonde Darth with the eight year old boy.
Later on the ship, Westan disappeared to juggle the new information they'd received. Brei'yu sat comfortable in the common room of the ship. Vector lowered himself next to her. She leaned companionably against his side and rubbed the back of her neck with her hand.
“I don't think getting him drunk was the best way to go about that,” she said after a few minutes of easy silence. “My brain is still swimming in the tankard of alcohol he consumed. Why can't we just have Dr Lokin put them under all the time?”
“Agent Westan believes that would have looked too suspicious,” Vector answered.
“A fat old Moff passed out over his drink in a skeezy cantina? Come on. Like that doesn't happen every night of the week.”
Silence descended over them again and Vector heard her sigh as she rested her head against his shoulder. He enjoyed this simple, easy... friendship that had sprung up between them after she first shared her gift with him, and he shared the nest with her. Their intimate looks into each others worlds had fast tracked a relationship in place and he was content. Almost.
He reached over and placed his fingers under Brei'yu's chin, lifting her face up to his. Her head came back easily, trusting. He thanked every star and quieted the hive his head so he could concentrate on this simple moment. He brushed his lips against hers softly, almost imperceptibly. He felt her hand climb his chest and had just laid his mouth over hers when he heard them.
His head came up immediately. “She's what?” he asked the air.
Brei'yu startled, blinking the dreaminess from her eyes. “I'm sorry?” She looked around the empty room.
“The fingerlings, they have become chatty,” Vector said. He lowered his hand from her face as she sat up.
“I don't see...”
“They say Kaliyo has returned. She is coming.”
“Kaliyo,” Brei'yu groaned just as the Rattataki swung through the door.
“Where's Adris?' she demanded, her speech slurred.
Brei'yu shrugged. “Around I'm sure. Have a good time?”
Kaliyo looked around as though just realizing where she was. “Ah. F*ck 'im,” she sighed. Then she grinned at them, her white teeth sparkling against a blood red mouth. “This looks cozy. What are you guys doing?”
Brei'yu made a noise of protest as Kaliyo melted into Vector's lap and swung her legs up to rest on Brei's. Vector looked into Brei'yu's surprised eyes as Kaliyo got comfortable and then silent. “Is.. is there something you want to talk about, then?”
“There was this adorable idiot on planet. Terrible liar. Great lay. Wants to take me away to see the galaxy,” Kaliyo giggled drunkenly. “I wanted to rub it in Adris' face,” she said with a sigh, like not being able to was a great disappointment.
The lovely moment over, Vector shifted under Kaliyo's slight weight. Brei'yu cocked her head to the side. “Kaliyo? Are you in love with Adris?”
Kaliyo stared at the ceiling like she hadn't heard. “He'll miss me when I'm gone. No one gets him like I do. Not even you.”
Vector and Brei'yu exchanged a startled look. “You were using him when he was a Cipher. You sold information to the highest bidder. You think he cares where you go?”
bidder. Just Wheezer. He just used it to blow stuff up. Isn't anyone going to let that go?”
“Let it go?” Brei'yu started, but quieted when Vector laid a hand on her arm.
“Kaliyo, we can see you're drunk and upset,” Vector said quietly.
“You don't have to tell me I blew it.” He was expecting anger, an explosion to vitriol and bitterness but she only sounded tiredly resigned. “I was that close, and Wheezer borked it up for me.”
“No,” Brei'yu said as she clenched her teeth. “You borked it up for yourself.”
“It's not like he didn't know how I was,” Kaliyo snapped.
“So that's your excuse.”
Kaliyo rolled off Vector's lap and started pacing. “Why did he keep me on?”
“You're going to have to ask him,” Brei answered.
“To hell with that.” Kaliyo flopped back down on the couch next to Brei. Brei'yu watched Kaliyo carefully as she brooded. She didn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Vector leaned back. Kaliyo had a way of spoiling things.
I know i didn't hit the prompt exactly. I probably shouldn't be attempting to tell this story in the form of weekly prompts but I'm finding it a fun challenge to try and get the story across while keeping it in the confines of what's expected weekly. Some new elements of the story have shown themselves to me, ones I wouldn't have come up with if I had just sat down and written this beginning to end.
Sorry this turned a little soap opera-y. I have absolutely no explanation as to why Adris kept Kaliyo on his crew after he discovered what she did. Since my version of the Adris' IA story has him leaving Intelligence, Kaliyo is a danger to him more than she is an asset. As you can see, I've barely used her for any of the important parts of the story, so she's sitting around the ship probably causing trouble. I should kill her off. Hmmm....
Be to her Virtues
Be to her Faults
a little Blind.