On arrival at the Tyrant...
When we arrive, a lackey is on the ships holo terminal. He is in gun fire and I'm assuming is the new Captain. He asks if I'm the Lord's bounty hunter. I killed the last lackey that asked dumb questions. Might just do the same again.
'I'm not his anything.'
'Then consider this just an urgent request.' They have been boarded by the Republic. He wants help. Typical.
Suppose I can help. After all, I wanted to blow up the ship myself. I don't want someone else to have all the fun. Especially the Republic.
'Now or never.' Torian shrugs. Sometimes, he is extremely nonchalant about what we do.
'Strap in. It's going to be a rough landing,' I reply with a weary sigh. They head to the cockpit and take their seats.
'Business as usual then,' Gault comments to me as we walk the short distance. I glare in return but it turns to a smirk. Funniest jokes are always the truest.
We prepare to board the Tyrant again. For hopefully not the last time.
Few hours later...
When we fight to the bridge, it isn't over.
Reinforcements are on the incoming. Again and again and again. We make shortish work of them. Torian gets beaten up pretty bad. I don't let him see my injuries. I don't want to see my injuries. I don't want to think about what would happen if it went to deep. I don't know what's in there, let alone how I could fix it.
I can stand. And walk. I can pretend. It's easier. I don't want the kid to know I'm not immortal. I don't want to know I'm not immortal. Not yet.
More arrive. I gun them down quickly. No more games. This is serious. But Darth Tormen arrives and Torian stands straighter. Smart.
The Sith finishes them off with a dramatic force wave. Then he turns to one of his underlings. He kills him and the other two survivors. Take a while to replace his entire crew. Wonder how he's going to pilot the ship until then.
'I have you to thank for a ship, I suppose,' Tormen says in a haughty manner.
I nod. 'Yeah. Your welcome. I expect compensation.'
He will give me the Captain's wages. Enough, I suppose. Darth Tormen has a long and complicated plan to get to the Chancellor. It seems full of holes. Jedi and Sith seem to never like the easy paths. It's never just find them and shoot them. Always has to be complicated and involve plenty more deaths and destruction to come to the same result. Don't care about the more deaths and destruction, only the time it takes.
They have location of the Chancellor and Master Jun Seros. But first he wants me to win a victory for him in that planets war and secure his own power. Seems little Tormen wants to play with the big kids on the Dark Council.
I am returning home. To Corellia. Maybe I will die there after all.
In hyperspace very close to Nar Shaddaa...
We are to arrive on Corellia in two weeks. We are stopping off at Nar Shaddaa first for Mako. She gave me the information in two days. Instead of the holiday and credits, she wants us to confront her sister. Don't mind. Saves me a lot of credits.
'Heard from Mandalore lately?' Torian calls from the other side of the cockpit where he leans against the wall, watching me work. I concentrate in fixing another broken panel and wires in the cockpit.
'Hasn't contacted me since after you came aboard,' I say as I don't turn around and continue binding one wire to another. I pause and think of something horrible to say. But I don't. Know making a joke about Mandalore and Jicoln would see me sleeping alone tonight. He hasn't changed that way; still stakes everything Mando seriously. Really is manda. Think if he had to choose between me and anything Mandalorian, I would always come second. Surprisingly don't mind that much. Strangely love him for his devotion to it.
'A little strange he didn't contact me after the casino incident. Hard to be part of an elite bounty hunting club when it's only me and him.' I quickly look over my shoulder at him and smile. 'Will need new recruits. Another Great Hunt might be earlier than usual. I know if you entered you would win. Planning too still?'
'Yes. Hope this war doesn't get in the way.' I smile at the wires and I'm rewarded for my musings by a sharp zap on my fingers that quickly channels through my body. My vision flickers and reminds me I shouldn't be so careless as to not wear gloves. Would be easier if the just gave me rubber skin. Would help in fights too. I shake my head at such musings. Know I don't want that.
'Know Mandalore's letting you do your thing... you're still blood though.'
Like how he says my own thing to encapsulate what I'm doing. Know Mandalore wouldn't be able to stop me from doing what I wanted. But I won't let Torian know that. Gault was right: I really am becoming a Mando'ad somehow. Pretending is beginning to turn into feeling.
'I know. Aliit ori'shya tal'din, right?' I turn around and lean against the wall next to the open compartment. I wipe my hands on my pants. He smiles and that soft look is in his eyes. Seems speaking Mando'a is never going to get old for him. I smirk and before I can stop myself I am speaking. 'Still scared my big daddy will come and give you a talking to for touching his little girl?'
Torian frowns at me and I can only laugh. 'Sorry, Torian. Shouldn't tease you like that. Will make it up to you later.' I walk over to him and I kiss him gently. 'You know, last time I did hear from him, he did mentioned you.'
Torian stands still and waits for me to continue. I enjoy watching him frozen for a few moments more. ''Take care of him. He's got a legacy to carry on', were his exact words.' I kiss his cheek lightly and smile. 'Don't need to worry about him, ner Torian. Don't think this was what he had in mind though when he said to take care of you.'
'Prefer you looking after me this way. Always hoped it would be like this.' He kisses me but his lips can't cover my smirk. Guess it's habit that keeps me doubting.
'Would like to meet him,' he says again after a while. I smile as he kisses me again. I don't tell him I have no interest in meeting him again. Didn't take a liking to him then and silence hasn't calmed my dislike.
'Guess I could play the 'daddy's most accomplished daughter' card.' He smiles a little and kisses me.
After awhile he breaks out a little and manages to fit in a few words before I kiss him again. Like being this close to him too much to allow him to leave me to speak or breathe. Like feeling his strong arms around me. Sometimes feels like he takes more care of me than I do of him.
'Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum, ner mish'la ka'rta.' I still can't find words to express the emotion in his eyes. Or the incredible feelings of joy it gives me. I smile up at him.
'Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum,' I respond. He kisses me again with ardent ardour. I break away and smirk at him. 'But just because I can speak Mando'a doesn't mean you should stop using basic, ner Torian,' I tease him. He's kind of adorable.
'Sorry. Get a little tongue tied speaking basic.'
I only laugh a little in reply and continue. 'It always makes it seem like your suspiciously about to hit me up for a favour. Like when you cook me tiingilar when you want permission to take off.' I like teasing him. I like doing anything with him. But teasing is up near the top of the list.
He laughs so very happily. I like to make him laugh: the deep chuckling notes that make him sound the man he is.
'Guess you could say that,' he says eventually with an amused smile. He untangles himself from my arms and legs. He bends down on one knee and holds up a small silver ring. My heart stops beating. Metaphorically.
'Will you marry me?'
'That's a big favour.' I stare down at him and his determined frown doesn't waver or worsen. Know I love him. But I can't bind him to me like that when I'm going to leave him in less than a year. Know once I'm gone he'd eventually find someone else with less problems and more heart. I know he would move on. Liar.
I need to let him. Idiot.
'Didn't know you were one for joking like that, Torian.' I say eventually.
I look at his solemn face and I know there isn't even a shred of humour in his offer. I shake my head and I don't know what to say as he kneels in front of me. 'No' is what I should say. 'No' is the two letters that are right. 'No' is the word I never want to say.
'Wish it was. I'm not something that should be married, Torian.' I return back to what I was doing and fiddle with it. Want this conversation over.
'Don't, Torian. This conversation is over.' I crush the wires in my hand and as I slow unclench my fist I scowl down at them. Two hours of work just destroyed and made into two days work.
'It's not, Cyare.' I don't reply and he takes a step closer. 'I love you. Want something else just as strong as a blood oath.'
'Not going to get it. Have to settle for the oath,' I harshly respond.
I turn to him in surprise. He's never said no to me before. Don't think I like it very much. 'Disobeying your Captain and superior?'
'No. Disobeying my stubborn lover.' Wish his disobedience made me love him less. Only thing is it doesn't. Never been one to like those that follow orders without question. Seems the Organisation gave me a strong dislike of authority.
'Slow learner, Torian. Not going to change my mind.'
'Not asking you to. Want to say the answer you want to say. Only asking you to say 'no'.' He steps closer and I respond by holding my wrist level with my head and extending my blade. I don't turn around and he doesn't move closer.
I glare at the wires as if they were a reflection of myself. 'I'm not wife material, Torian.'
'Think you are. Love me, don't you?' Know he's turning the argument in his favour with questions I can only say yes to: questions that will lead the logical reply to only be an acceptance.
'You know I do,' I reply as I look to the wall in front of me. I know if I turn around I will break.
'Then marry me.' Blunt statements like that have always made things seem so simple. Never known how to respond to them and I still don't.
'It's not wise, Torian. Doing this for you.'
'Then this is the worst thing you've ever done for me.' He doesn't shout it but I wish he had. His stern, dejected voice hurts a lot more. I can't reply because I don't know what I'm doing anymore.
'Say 'no' and I'll go.' He comes to stand behind me and I turn around. He doesn't try to reach his arms around me or kiss me. Only stares close and into my eyes.
'I can't.' I take a step back, retracting my blade. Hoping increasing the small distance between us will make this easier. Never imagined such a ridiculous scenario happening. Never thought I'd meet someone crazy enough to want to marry me. Never even thought about it enough to think even that much till now.
'Than say 'yes'.' He steps closer. Really has grown recently; he has become a leader that demands respect and carries a confidence in themself that invokes a responding confidence in everyone else. Can see it on the battle field when he lapses into ordering me and not the other way. And his success on Alderaan is evidence enough. He can follow well but he could lead better. Know he can achieve more away from me than he can with me. Marrying me would only hold him back.
'I can't.' Amazed my voice is firm and isn't shaking. Never thought I'd face something I couldn't do. I take a step back again.
'Then tell me why.' He doesn't step forward and I'm so thankful for that. Any closer and my resolve would weaken.
I hesitate and then decide there's only one thing I can say to make him stop. I sigh and sit down in the Captain's chair. Want to say this as dispassionately as I can. Hard thing to do when he looks at me like that. Can't see much beyond frustration in his eyes. I know that means he thinks I'm going to say yes. And in the end, I know I'm going to as well.
I lean back into its new leather and take my time to observe Torian and collect my thoughts. 'Remember the serum, Torian?' He nods and I now it was a dumb question. Just needed something to start from. 'Serum won't last forever.'
'Make some more,' is his quick reply. Think he knows where this is going and is trying to think otherwise.
I hold up my hand and give him a small smile that quickly fades. 'I have been, Torian. I have been working on attaining the proper components since we left Tython. It cost a small fortune even by Gualt's standards.' I pause and plan the order of this. He only waits and stares.
'I have enough of a supply of the serum now for two and a half years given I only take one dose a day,' I continue. He stands at rigid attention and doesn't let the stern set of his features slacken or worsen. But something dark enters his blue eyes and I know he can sense the problem isn't with quantity.
'However, it is highly addictive,' I continue after allowing myself these moments to observe him. His patience seems rather endless for a Mando'ad. 'This is only one part of the problem and is quite under control for the moment. The problem partly lies in the fact that taking more than one dose will increase my performance but decrease its effectiveness in the future.' I pause and watch his quick brain taking this in. 'The other part of the problem lies in the fact that before I have to increase the dose to receive the same effect, my immune system will notice the intrusion and start to fight the serum.
'Breaking my shoulder and wrists is slowing this down as the body isn't completely healed again. However, it will not last. Once my immune system fights against it, you know what will happen.' His eyes don't widen and his pulse doesn't quicken but I notice his angular jaw tighten.
'At that stage, I will have somewhere between six months and eighteen months. My body will notice the intrusion in around one year.' I lean forward, my elbows resting on my knees. 'I will be dead in less than two years, Torian.'
In the silence that follows, I spend every second waiting for him to move. All I can see is his brain working through information and I know it's trying to find a loop hole; a way to avoid what is going to come. And I know he won't find one. So he doesn't protest or question it's probability.
'Why haven't you told me before?' His voice is low and is a wave of hurt. When I hear it, I forget all the reasons I had. I don't know how I thought he would never have to know. Guess I still somehow wake up every day thinking I might die. Hoping I might die. Seems even Torian can't remove my habbits.
'I don't want your pity. There is nothing you could do and I know that would drive you insane.' I smile and he almost returns it. 'I won't let you bind yourself to me when I'm only going to leave you. It's better for you this way,' I continue sternly.
'Is that an order?'
'Would you follow it if it was?' I retort back quickly. My tongue seems disconnected from the rest of me and I'm glad. It's fighting its own battle alone as my mind still reals from the fact this conversation is really happening.
He looks torn and I know asking that was cruel. 'Maybe. Think it's a bad order though. Can't live this life without running the risk of dying any day. Always known that. Think it would be worse for me to lose you entirely. Say 'yes' and we'll always be one.'
Hate how his sweet words and rich voice always leave me paralysed. If my dreams were ever this sweet, I'd be inclined to think it was one of the.
'You'll regret it,' I say with something becoming false confidence.
'Don't think I will, Champion. Need to make my own mistakes.' I don't disagree and he comes to kneel in front of me on one knee. Still makes my heart stop. His searching blue eyes don't help. 'I know this won't be one of them.'
He holds up the ring again but doesn't take his eyes from mine.
'Mhi solus tome, mhi solus dar'tome, mhi me'dinui an, mhi ba'juri verde.' We are one when together. we are one when parted. We will share all. We will raise warriors.
I shake my head and hold out my hand. It's slippery from grease and a little black. 'Can't win, can I?'
He grins up at me and replies, 'you always win.'
Can help but return it. I let him slip the ring on my finger. Always liked how Mando'ad don't need paper or witnesses to keep their words and vows. Guess that's how it is when a society is based around idealistic honour.
'Mhi solus tome, mhi solus dar'tome, mhi me'dinui an, mhi ba'juri verde.' I lean in and kiss him after saying the vows and he pulls me to my feet, not taking his lips away until we are standing. 'I know you forever, Cyare.'
I move out of his arms and hold up my wrist. We make a blood oath similar to then. 'Forever, riduur, I will keep you in me,' I say. I can't use the word heart.
'Forever, Cyare, you will be in my heart,' he replies pressing his wrist to mine. 'Whatever happens, count me in.' His kiss is zealous and hard. I don't how I could forget how loyal he is.
He takes my hand and sits on the Captain chair I was only in a minute before. He tugs my hand and I willing join him. He smiles with bliss and I wonder where that happiness will go when I die.
But we will not part at death. These vows are for eternity. And that belies death. Maybe I'll take it with me and return it to him with a ribbon when he joins me in the afterlife.
No matter what comes, we will be one.