Lodestone: A Wynston/Ruth Alternate Universe
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01.10.2013 , 07:37 AM |
Epilogue, scene 3: On Dromund Kaas
Ruth rested a hand on Wynston's chest and looked at the freshly formed scars across his torso. With her other hand she patted the old, old scarring on her own. "Look at that. We match."
"Yours are prettier."
"Yours are healing over better. Vibrosword wounds ripped open again and they'll still look better than the Killik love bite." She kissed him lightly. "You're plenty good-looking."
"Sometimes I begin to suspect your idea of 'good-looking' warps to keep me flattered."
"Hm. Smile for me?"
He obligingly gave her a smile, along with a questioningly cocked eyebrow.
She raised her hands in an imaginary frame on his face. "There. Scar up the rest all you like," she quoted, "just don't ever lose that."
He took a very still moment to process that. Then suddenly he pulled her onto him and started what might have been a thorough kissing. Except she shied away a second later, lifting her weight off of him to move over and drop on the mattress.
"Careful," she said. "You still shouldn't push yourself too hard."
He ran a hand over her bare hip. "A little late for that, isn't it?" he murmured.
"Well, don't do it more. Yet."
"Not to worry, it'd be at least another ten minu–"
"I'm serious! I don't want you hurting yourself."
"I won't, darling." He looked down at the remaining signs of his injuries. "Honestly, I've had worse."
"Wait a minute. You have?"
"Quite a while back. It healed up well thanks to immediate and highly sophisticated care, but I had a run-in on Manaan with some saboteurs in a kolto facility. It went poorly; in retrospect I had no business surviving that one, much less keeping that chunk of my spine. And kidneys. And–"
"You never told me!"
"You had other things on your mind. Cole was teething and that rebellion over near Telos was giving you fits, I didn't want to waste your time with a detailed health report. And then later it just never came up. Largely because I suspected you would give me that lovely yet slightly intimidating glare you're giving me right now."
"Tell me next time. You idiot."
"Come with me and help me make sure there isn't a next time."
"I intend to."
He smiled. "I'm glad to hear it, but in all seriousness, give it some thought first. I appreciate all the help you've been holding things together during my recovery, but you realize this is your chance to pick your career. No Baras or Emperor's Hand or anybody enforcing it."
"I'm very much aware of that." The thought had been singing in her ears ever since the Emperor's death.
"You could go be a florist. Or a short-order cook."
"Why in the Emperor's name would I want to do that?"
"I don't know, I'm just throwing out ideas. I want you to be sure. You're free, darling, I want you to–"
He fell silent. He seemed to be holding his breath.
"Because I do." She brushed his hair clear of his forehead and kissed it. "I know I'm not stealthy or inconspicuous or brilliantly analytical or gadget-savvy nor even particularly young and seductive–"
"I beg to differ."
"–you would. The point is if I can help you with the big things, protecting our people, I want to do it. And I want to be with you, as much as I can without interfering with whatever specialized work you do."
"Conveniently, I've got some leeway at this point in my career to pick my missions and how they're executed. Having a retired Wrath at my side will definitely change the scope of what I can do, and for you I'm happy to do that."
She thought about it. "'Change the scope' is a nice way of saying it. If it makes more sense for me to just head up a strike team, play general while you go play spy, that might be easier to adapt to."
"I'd rather keep you with me if you're willing."
Having someone around again? In contact, every day or close to it? It would be wonderful if she could guarantee being useful under the new job description. "You might be disappointed. Until I get my bearings I'd be somewhere between disruptive and dead weight."
"Entirely untrue. Besides, I'm finding the prospect of learning my way around you – er, around with you – anew to be almost embarrassingly exciting."
She studied his eyes, red and gleaming, for a few long moments. Then kissed him to be sure. "It could be nice," she conceded, smiling.
"It'll be fun. As long as we're planning, I can dust off the Black Codex and erase you if you like. It would confuse the living daylights out of a lot of people when a decade and a half's records of a major military and Sith figure vanishes, but I could do it."
"Leave it in. I might still want the formal title recognition from time to time."
"Prudent. I just thought I would make the offer."
"It's very kind of you to offer to obliterate me. Nobody's ever done that for me before."
"Though many have tried." A second later an odd expression passed across his face. "Oh, blast. Speaking of falsifying records, remind me when we actually get out of bed that I need to go fake an accident report."
"On what, exactly?"
"It just occurred to me the other day that, so long as Lord Scourge has disappeared, it'd be a nice gesture to inform Larr Gith that the ship he took from the Emperor's station exploded. That way she can always believe he died in a fire."
"Is…this…something she was looking forward to?"
"Very much so."
"I do my best, darling."
"This is the kind of thing you do when I'm not around?"
"All the time."
"You usually tell me about the grand-scale corporate espionage and planetary regime changes."
His smile widened further as he looked at her. "I can't be neck-deep in glamorous intrigue every day. You might be disappointed if you stick with me."
He was so comfortable, so playful. So Wynston. "Mm. We can go forth and disappoint each other, then," said Ruth.
"But not just yet. I'm still on bed rest, or something like it." He caught her hand and looked casual. "What's your opinion on not pushing me too hard?"
It was tempting, that was her opinion. "I think you have absolutely no concept of what that phrase means, you twit."
"You're probably right. You should explain it to me sometime." He pulled her closer. "In detail." And kissed her. "With demonstrations of the interesting bits."
Wonderful though his voice was, she decided to shut him up then.
...I should probably say hi-and-goodbye-for-now to a couple of the other characters before I run out of epilogue-steam. Processing...processing...
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