Quinn broke my heart in SWTOR so I wrote alternative story... sorry if grammar is not top notch, English is my second language
Malavai Quinn sat in his Captain’s chair in Fury’s Navigation Room deep in thoughts. His mind was constantly racing back to that crucial moment several weeks ago on Transponder Ship, when in wild impulse he deactivated his painstakingly programmed droids just seconds before they unleashed the final killing blows on his Lord.
At the very moment he realized how foolish it was, and that he doomed himself in this action; his Lord - Aria had every right to kill him without questioning. He admitted to himself that he would not oppose if she chose to do so and that he deserved that. He conspired with her most hated enemy, he tried to kill her, and he knew that he would succeed. For months he had studied her strengths and weaknesses and he knew she had no chance to survive the droids assault.
And yet, in the final moments, seeing her stumble wounded under the blaster fire, despair shining in her eyes, he failed. He could not force himself to kill her. He realized that the thought of her dead, more, killed by his own hand was unbearable.
The memory of what happened next was so deeply etched in his mind that he could recall every detail. Her eyes staring at him, shining with such intense light that it made him shiver.
“Why Quinn?” She asked softly.’ “Why did you not carry on your Master’s will?”
He looked at her in bewilderment. He did not have the answer. - “I don’t know my Lord. I have to admit, I did act without thinking.”
Quinn dropped on his knee and lowered his head in submission. “I know it is meaningless to say now, but I deeply regret my action against you my Lord. I do not expect your forgiveness.’”
Aria deactivated her light sabers and breathed heavily. Blood oozed from several wounds on her shoulders and legs, but she sensed that none of them was life threatening. She felt nauseated though and had to call on the Force to steady herself, the loss of blood had to be significant. She decided to ignore it for a time.
This turn of events was quite unexpected. She did not expect to survive this, every attack she attempted was precisely countered in ways she had never seen before in any droid, and her force foreseeing did not show her anyway out. She knew that Quinn had to put all his military genius in their programming and she marveled on his abilities. She looked at him for a long time as he kneeled motionless sensing that he stilled himself for a death sentence.
She approached him slowly, took a deep breath and calmed herself. - “Oh, but I do forgive you Quinn. It will take time and effort though, before I can trust you again.”
Quinn raised his head, and Aria could see deep shock in his bright blue eyes. - “Darth Baras would never forgive such a failure.” And he added softly “If you allow me to stay in your charge my Lord, I swear my loyalty and dedication to you will never come to question again.”- His eyes filled with unexpected tears.
“I certainly hope so Captain.” - Aria looked into Quinn’s eyes. - “You are to be commended” – she added – “excellent job on these droids Quinn, though I admit I expected nothing less from you.” Her eyes softened and she added in whisper - “You are a very dangerous man.” - Then she made a quick decision “We are taking these droids on ship Captain. You and I will work together to eradicate all the weaknesses you found in me.” Quinn nodded, relieved. This was his chance to redeem himself - “Excellent my Lord, I will reprogram them for stuns rather than killing though, if you don’t mind of course.”
Aria nodded slowly - “One more thing Captain. Nobody is to know what transpired here, do you understand? It stays between you and me.” Quinn breathed relief. “Thank you my Lord, I truly appreciate it.”
Quinn shifted uncomfortably in his chair, trying to focus back on his work. He could hear laughs and muffled sounds of conversations coming from the ship’s conference room, it was a ‘crew appreciation night’ as Aria called it, but he excused himself from presence there today, not feeling that he deserved to be there. He put all his strength and energy into proving to his Lord that he was worthy her trust again, working tirelessly, barely sleeping at all, stims and adrenals being his best friends.
After the incident on Transponder Ship, afraid that he would run out of time before Darth Baras would find out his defection, he frantically searched the entire ship for exploding and tracking devices. Finding several of them implanted stealthily both inside and outside of ship as he both suspected and feared. He hoped that he found them all, but could not dare to assume. Darth Baras did not leave loose ends, he knew his former Master well enough.
Now he was reprogramming the entire ship’s computer system, entering the protection codes he invented himself to make sure that no outside transmissions could affect the ship. The interference shield he designed should prevent any external effort to detonate any remaining device on ship until he had a chance to thoroughly inspect her when they reached safe dock.
It was tedious work, but most welcomed. The torture of his betrayal was deeply implanted in his mind and he could not forgive himself of what he did. Quinn smiled sadly. It was real irony – he thought - that his Lord was more forgiving that he was for himself, considering that she was a Sith.
For many days after incident, they spent long hours together in the training room. They worked tirelessly to eliminate her weak points, which Quinn mercilessly was pointing out during the skirmishes with droids now reprogrammed to deal the stunning blows and whenever she failed to dodge attacks, he was leaving her stunned for the entire time it took to explain to her what did she do wrong and how to remedy it. He noticed that she never made the same mistake twice.
After three weeks she was able to overwhelm both droids. The next day she asked him to reprogram droids back from stun to kill. He protested at first, the memory of her fight on Transponder Ship still vivid in his memory, but she just laughed and forced him to do it. With sinking heart he complied, begging her to let him control them and deactivate if things would go wrong.
He remembered her looking deeply and searchingly into his eyes before she finally nodded. And in this moment he realized that she truly forgave him, and that once more as it was before, she placed her life into his hands, sending him a clear message that she trusted him again. For a second time in his life, his eyes filled with tears, emotions threatening to overwhelm him.
She easily destroyed both droids this time, and instructed him to work on the next generation.
If only he could forgive himself as easily…
He loaded the final patch to the ship’s computer system and tried to relax.
His thoughts focused again on his Lord. Aria, Sith Lord and the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen merged in one person. The Sith corruption never touched her soft, delicate skin, Her huge grey eyes were always lit and could change color to blue, violet or green depending on her mood. Aria, even her name was unique and beautiful. He tasted it on his tongue, repeating it silently several times.
Quinn sighted. He finally was ready to admit to himself that he was hopelessly in love with her. More, that he loved her for a very long time. He was very good in the past in avoiding thinking about his feeling for her, but now, after weeks of analyzing his real feelings, he could not deny it.
After returning from the Transponder Ship, everything seemingly was back to normal, he doubted that anybody suspected anything. He was always spending long hours working on ship’s systems and training so his increased efforts did not surprise anybody and as he was always keeping strict working relationship with other crew members. His behavior was perceived as normal to everybody but his Lord.
He had seen the understanding in her eyes and that kept him working even harder. The sadness he sensed in her from the time of his betrayal, pained him deeply, but he could see it was diminishing with each passing day.
He saw a deep concern in her eyes today when he excused himself from the party and he wondered if she even suspected his feelings towards her. Probably not, Quinn sighted. And he doubted that he would ever have enough courage to express them, not now after he betrayed her. Quinn sighted again.
The doors to Navigation Room opened silently and Aria quietly approached Quinn, bringing two full glasses of their favorite Corellian Brandy. Quinn still remembered how happy he felt when they both discovered on Nar Shaddaa that it was their favorite drink. He remembered her laugh and commented - “I wonder what else we have in common Quinn“.
Nar Shaddaa – He had the best time of his life there, enjoying immensely their companionship. Time - before Darth Baras asked him to plot against her. He refused initially, explaining that he pledged his loyalty to Aria, but Baras would not have it, reminding him that he owed everything to him. Persuading that Aria was a traitor, a Jedi in disguise, and that her true affiliation was to the Light Side of the Force. Killing her was in the interest of the Empire. He shook his head.
Aria handled him a glass, sat in chair close to him and placed her long shapely legs on the navigation control terminal. He could not suppress the smile; she knew how much he hated when she was doing that, but she kept doing it every time just to tease him.
Aria smiled, mischief in her eyes - “Relax Captain, and finally get some sleep, you are working yourself to death. If you keep going on like that, soon I will have no use of you.”
She was right of course. He knew he was running on last reserves. “I just finished loading the last patch to ship’s computer system my Lord“ - Quinn sipped his Brandy, and felt his tension slowly goes away. - “I will be able to rest as soon as I test it“ - he added.
Aria smiled again. - “I assure you that testing can wait Captain, and… did you ever have to fix any of your patches, huh“? - She continued teasingly.
Quinn pondered - ‘I think… no, actually I don’t think…”
Aria burst with brilliant laugh and Quinn found himself grinning. She smiled at him appraisingly - “You have a killer smile Captain“.
Quinn found himself blushing fervently. - “I could say the same about you, My Lord” - he stumbled, lowering his gaze to his glass, feeling awkward in this unknown territory for him, but desperate to not alienate her and strangely happy about her comment.
Aria laughed - “This is the first compliment I’ve ever heard from you Quinn”.
He blushed again – “My Lord, I am not used to…”
She laughed again - “You are so conservative Captain; don’t tell me that I am not your type“.
Quinn drunk all his brandy in one gulp and looked at her seriously. - “Indeed my Lord, you are not a type at all. I dare say that you are a wholly unique woman”. - And he blushed again.
Aria looked at him curiously - “That is quite a compliment Quinn“. - She paused for a moment and sipped her brandy - ‘”You like me, don’t you Quinn“? – She asked, looking questioningly into his eyes.
Quinn stared at her, unable to speak. He could not understand her, he just betrayed her, and there, she was behaving like nothing ever happened on Transponder Ship. He took a deep breath, braced himself, summoned all his courage and blurted out as fast as he possibly could - “My Lord, I truly, deeply love you. That is why I could not… “
She placed her slender hand on his lips. “Shhhh… Captain, there’s no need to say anything more.” - She moved her hand to his chest. His heart tried to jump out of his chest under her touch.
“Relax Quinn.” - she murmured - “How about we continue this conversation in my quarters“.
With these words Aria rose from her chair and left the room. He hesitated for a moment and then silently followed her.