The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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09.29.2012 , 06:27 PM |
Spoilers for smuggler companion quest.
Miriah looked at Corso, straightened the suit jacket he wore, and gave him a brilliant smile. He looked good, she thought, really really good. When she told him that, she got the requisite blush before he hauled her to him and kissed her. Risha interrupted them, telling them the Senator had arrived and was waiting. Corso walked to the door and into the next room, but Risha stopped Miriah with a hand on her arm.
“Remember, Mir, you guys belong to each other. I didn’t always think that was a good thing, but I see that it is. Don’t let what you see out there change anything.” Miriah looked at her friend with a frown, not understanding what she meant, and followed Corso.
The crowd was huge and loud, and when they saw Corso, cheers went up that shook the small stage they were standing on. A couple of months ago, they had retrieved some codes from Balmorra that allowed the government of Ord Mantell to disable a probe that was disrupting all comms signals, a probe that had been left by the sepratists who’d fought there for years. It was after that mission, she thought, that Corso had gone down on one knee and proposed, and minutes later, they had married. The governor and senators from the planet had insisted on a recognition ceremony for one of their most famous sons, and thus Corso was the man of the hour.
Miriah grinned when he was introduced to the crowd, pride and love shining from her eyes. She thought he was pretty terrific, too, and cheered along with the crowd. Wow he really does look good, she mused. It was then that she realized how many women were in this crowd of people. She’d taken her spot to the side of the stage area, and now scanned the crowd. Who’d have thought there were so many females on this planet? She rubbed the ring on her left hand with her thumb, they hadn’t really made a huge announcement of their marriage for fear of making one of them a target for ransom. Now Miriah was wondering if that was a mistake. Judging from the looks on some of the faces here, she wasn’t the only one who thought her husband looked good.
Corso looked around nervously, then spotted Miriah and was able to breathe again. He hated large crowds, and disliked the way the men everywhere they went looked at his wife. This crowd, he noted, had a lot of women in it. Maybe they’re just the ones not working today or something, he thought. He stood listening to the senator’s speech, trying to get Miriah’s attention but she was scanning the audience as he had done. She glanced his way and he winked at her, his heart singing at the grin she gave him. He was lost in thoughts of her when the redheaded female who’d been standing to his right grabbed his arm. He pulled away, unsure of what she’d wanted, and gave her a look.
“I was trying to show you where the senator has set up for you to greet the people,” she said, batting her eyes at him. He had to do what? He sighed, if Miriah hadn’t thought it was good for them to have a positive image, he’d have been lots happier just being on the ship, in their quarters. But no, he thought, she wanted him to have the recognition he deserved? He didn’t deserve it, though, she’d done as much as he had. When he’d pointed that out to the Mantellian governor, he’d dismissed it. He stood where they told him, shook hands and smiled, the whole time wishing Miriah was standing beside him instead of this red haired woman, who was still touching him, he noticed.
Miriah noticed too, and tried not to. Now she understood what Risha was trying to tell her. A dose of my own medicine, she thought. How many times has Corso stood, helpless, while I schmoozed some guy into doing what I wanted? She felt slighted and a little angry, but knew that he wasn’t doing anything wrong. The redhead, on the other hand….
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sight of him removing her hand from his backside, while smiling at a blonde in front of him. Okay, that’s too far, she thought, and took a few steps in their direction. Only a few minutes later, this event was over and they only had to be on the planet one night. Miriah took a deep breath and stopped, seeing Corso turn and walk to her, flushed with embarrassment.
“Thank the stars this is over. Never doing this stuff again, Mir, no matter how good it makes us look,” he told her. She could tell he was acutely uncomfortable with the situation and didn’t press the issue, and they walked hand in hand to the ship to change. They were meeting the rest of the crew at the Fort Garick cantina, which was pretty close to the spaceport.
The cantina was packed with people, many of whom had gone to the ceremony. They managed to work their way through the crowd, spotting Bow’s head above the others. Risha had already ordered for her and there were two Hutt tequilas waiting for her. She downed one quickly, and saw Corso raise his eyebrows at her. She just smiled, she wouldn’t say anything about seeing the redhead or any of the others who’d eyeballed him, just as he’d swallowed her flirting, but the alcohol was necessary. Sure doesn’t feel too good, she thought, and I wish I had done less of it. They laughed and drank, Corso’s celebrity status providing free drinks all around. Instead of downing them like water, Miriah was nursing her second drink, enjoying the lightheartedness of the crew and the feel of her husband’s hand stroking her thigh. Risha was looking a little worse for wear, and when she stood to find the refresher, Miriah stood to help her get there. They were on their way back, the music so loud Miriah couldn’t think, when she saw the redhead at their table. She reached down to charge her blaster, the whine being masked by the music. Risha was blissfully unaware, lurching toward the table. As they got close, Miriah saw the woman put her hand on Corso’s cheek, and the panic on his face as he tried to get away from her without being rude.
Miriah shoved her blaster into the small of the woman’s back, her voice low enough that only she and maybe Corso could hear her. “That’s my husband you’re so intent on throwing yourself at, and make no mistake, I’ve killed for less,” she growled out. The woman froze, and stood slowly, just as the butt of the blaster connected with her head. When she fell to the floor and the screams started, Miriah found herself being hauled away by two troopers, her crew trying to follow through the throng of people. They let her go outside the cantina, and Miriah stomped off.
She’d been gone for most of the night when Corso finally found her, standing on a cliff at Mannet Point. She was looking out at the water, the wind whipping her black hair around her face, her black leather armor hugging her body, and if she hadn’t turned her head he would have missed seeing her in the night. He approached her, but didn’t speak, unsure if she was angry at him. She said nothing for several minutes, and when she spoke, her voice was soft. “I’m sorry, Cor, if I embarrassed you. And I’m sorry for making you watch all those times I flirted with marks. I never let them touch me, but you had to hear the comments and suggestions they made, and I see now how it hurts.” He said nothing, but put his arms around her, hugging her close.
“As long as I was the one who was going back to the ship with you, I managed. Most of the time,” was his answer. They walked slowly back to the ship.
“I am really proud of you, though, and I’m glad the people here recognize what you’ve done for them,” Miriah told him, her arm slung around his waist.
“And I’m really proud of you, darlin’, for not shooting her. I figured we’d be hiding a body tonight when I saw you with that blaster in your hand.” She hip checked him, and ran up the ramp of the ship, hearing his surprised laugh behind her.
We’re okay, she thought, and felt like she could breathe again.
Love is the strongest magic of them all.