Lodestone: A Wynston/Ruth Alternate Universe
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03.14.2013 , 11:39 PM |
L + 6ish years: Thinking about the limits
The rooms provided for the two visiting diplomats were spacious, well appointed, and very, very difficult to get out of if their hosts willed it so. Wynston didn't mind. He and Vector had to do this job right, and if that meant living in luxury and a little comm-static bubble for a few days, he could manage.
It was a delay for no reason more than for their hosts to demonstrate how much power they had over the situation. That much was annoying. But it wasn't unprecedented, and at least the company was good this time.
"Wynston," Vector said from the sitting room doorway. Wynston turned to face the Joiner. "You have been standing perfectly still for close to ten minutes now."
"Yes, I was just thinking."
"There is only one subject that makes your aura streak like that."
The Chiss's half smile was wry. "Of course. You have my word, if there were anything else we could accomplish here right now I'd be thinking about that instead of daydreaming."
"We were not asking to accuse," Vector said with a smile of his own. "You are perhaps the only agent on our staff who makes such an effort to push away personal thoughts even during off hours."
"I'm a professional, Vector, you know that. I'm just a professional stuck in a…particularly long wait time."
He didn't just mean the two days they had spent under "friendly" guard here and they both knew it. "You will have the opportunity to see her soon," said Vector.
"I intend to. It's not a great priority for a man in my position to have, but…I will get back." He fell silent and turned just far enough to look out the window, his gaze a little abstracted.
"At any given time? A number of things, somewhere or other. I'm just…sorting. You know I think about retiring sometimes? At the tender age of thirty-three, no less."
"To return to Dromund Kaas."
"Or wherever she needs me. I belong with you and the organization. But I can't bring myself to abandon her entirely. Sometimes I am tempted to simply delegate the to-do list, grab my bags, and be on my way to her. To stay. I imagine I could come very close to giving her everything she deserves, if I tried." He folded his hands behind his back and redoubled his interest in something beyond the window. His voice when he spoke again was low and distant. "I never will."
Vector watched him steadily. "That is no cause for shame. Your calling is your work, with the
. It is critical and it has always been your passion."
"Perhaps. Or perhaps I'm just too much of an egotist to give up what I've built." He turned to face Vector, his face blank now. "I am forever astonished that she accepts what I can spare. I go to her and it's like there was never any separation, like I haven't left her a dozen times before. Most people would lose patience, knowing how loudly I'm declaring my priorities every time I walk out. Somehow with her it's never blame."
"Ruth knows you will return when you can."
"That only satisfies her because she's used to being abandoned, Vector. Everyone she's met since she first left home to face Korriban has put her second. Jobs, ambitions, vices; there's always something more important. Amidst that cohort I'm sure I look very good, but she deserves better." An absent smile tugged at his lips. "She deserves someone who, given the choice between the galaxy and her, would choose her, and never hesitate to let all the rest of it burn if that's what it takes."
"All your previous observations of life seemed to indicate that that manner of dedication, while pretty, would be impossible," Vector said mildly.
"All the more reason why it should be me providing it. The impossible and I get along very well." Wynston shook his head then, and the last of his smile faded. "I have…changed, for her, these last few years. But there is a limit. I won't go back to a master, not even if it's her. And I won't compromise what we do to fit with what's safe around her employer. And if I were half the man she should have I wouldn't let either consideration stop me." He held very still for a long moment, then shrugged. "So here we are. That's really as far as those thoughts get before they loop around again. It's one of the less productive preoccupations I've ever had."
"Wynston, we think that your distress is unfounded. She loves you. Completely and unconditionally."
"Yes." Wynston shrugged. "There is that. Frankly, there are days when that's the thought that keeps me sane." He raised his eyebrows, hesitated. "And there are days when I think it will drive me out of my mind."
"She deserves someone who, given the choice between the galaxy and her, would choose her, and never hesitate to let all the rest of it burn if that's what it takes."
You did, hon, eventually.
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