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Drinking Alone [IOKATH SPOILERS]

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
Drinking Alone [IOKATH SPOILERS]

vadess's Avatar


vadess
05.04.2017 , 03:13 PM | #1
Chapter One- I Need You


“What is the meaning of this?” I march up to Lana with datapads in hand. “I said I won’t spy on my own people. What did you think I meant?”

I hand them to her and she reads them over. Her eyes widen and looks up at me. “Unfortunately, they don’t bring us closer to the traitor.”

“Which is why I said I wouldn’t do it. This is pointless, and against my orders. First the Republic and Empire thing they can go behind my back, and now it seems…”

“Commander,” Lana rolls her eyes, “Can you forget about past experiences and focus on the present? I didn’t disobey your commands.”

“Then who…” I glance towards the cantina​ and then face palm, “Of course. Forgive me, Lana.”

She hands the datapads back. “Is he…”

“Still not sleeping,” I answer quietly, “and I suggest you revise how you respond to me. I know we’ve been through everything but I’m the commander first.”

Lana bows and nods, “Yes commander,” as I walk away.

2 years. It’s been 2 years since we were in Odessen’s Wilderness. 2 years since I officially became a Force user. This makes it about a year since the war turned to fighting Vaylin, and a year of the Eternal Alliance governing the galaxy. Eternal is a long time, Commander Crimsèn, I think to myself, don’t get cocky!

Theron Shan keeps me from getting cocky. He’s my rock in the face of uprisings. He reminds me I’m not solely ruling for myself. It seems with each passing moment, especially now that Valkorian/Vitiate is gone, I fall for him more. He and I are more in sync, and more open than ever. He’s my only family outside of what’s left of my biological/adoptive one on Korriban. In fact just before Iokath I considered perhaps…

But then I sided with the Empire and turned him against his father. How can I consider that after I’ve done this?

I walk into the cantina and there he is.The bartender is getting him a refill— Is he upgrading to two whiskeys a night, now? He lifts the glass to his mouth and takes a long sip. The glass is half empty when he sets it down. Condensation slides down the glass and drips on his pant leg. He doesn’t wipe it off. His eyes are closed and the bags under his eyes getting worse. They make his 5 o’clock stand out more, and his implants look worn.

He sets the glass down, eyes return to the data pad again, red at the rim. Crying again? I won’t ask why he cried alone— I wouldn’t want to cry with the man turned him on his father. I don’t know biological connection, but I know losing much. But Theron didn’t take someone from me, like I took from him. Still… I reach out with my senses to envelope him in the Force.

I see him start to relax. I smile a little: Best part about my Force training back on Odessen, and throughout all the trials of defeating Arcan, Vaylin, and Valkorian was the fact I could comfort him with my Force presence. I could send him my love with it. I could send him many emotions, many thoughts if I wanted. But I only send emotions— his mind is his, not mine.

Though I wish I could comfort whatever thoughts are going through his mind. I wish I could undo killing his father. I wish I could do that… How did things go so wrong when the galaxy seemed so content?

I glance down at the second datapad in my hand:

From: The Monitors
Subject: Surveillance Report: Theron Shan

[Note]: The following surveillance report was compiled for the Alliance Commander only.]

Subject: Theron Shan. Former Republic SIS. Alias: Technoplague

Family: Parents Jace Malcom (deceased), Satele Shan (status unknown). No siblings

Report: Shan’s routine is unpredictable, but marked daily by calibration of his cybernetic implants, managing Alliance crisis reports, and reading aid requests. Drinks Cafe (to wake up) and whiskey (alone before bed). Shan is constantly hyper-alert and routinely scans his surroundings, a possible sign of guilt or residual SIS training. Recently made several anonymous donations to Republic charities in Jace Malcom’s name. He attempts to hide his grief, but his father’s death still affects him.

Threat Degree: inconclusive.

Next Steps: Elevate Shan to Stage 4 Monitoring. Flag any personality spikes or other abnormal behaviour as he mourns his father. Watch for communications to mother Satele, whose location is unknown.


“I could’ve told this report all of this… Minus the charities part,” I mutter, “what good are they? Monitors telling me things I already know from merely walking around?”

Theron blinks his eyes, and goes back to reading. Still hasn’t noticed me? Such in his own world. I’m not sure I can reach him… But I will try. I’m his lover after all.

That is why I now walk up and quietly sit next to him at the bar. I read Lana Beniko’s letter silently,

From: Lana Beniko
Subject: Theron

I know it’s not my business, but I’m worried about Theron.

He’s more agitated than usual, and judging by the bags under his eyes, he’s not getting enough sleep. I’m concerned he’s still distraught over his father’s death He’d never show it, because he wants to be strong— for you and for the Eternal Alliance.

I’ll keep an eye on him, but I should you should know.

P.S. Don’t mention this to Theron. If he knew I was worried, I’d never hear the end of it.


I put it away with a small smile- It’s nice to know Theron is a well-loved ally. Hopefully he’ll know his family is with me, is with the Alliance. I look at him- his side is facing me and despite the bags under his eyes he still looks handsome. Very handsome. I want to reach out and pull him to me, but he seems in his world. So I will wait.

Instead I nod at the bar tender, and say in a low voice, “Blood wine, please.”

I sense Theron turn to me. I look to him. He tries to smile, I squeeze his shoulder and smile. “Is that,Tarisian ale?”

I know he’s drinking whiskey, but I’ll pretend otherwise to engage in some conversation. Theron doesn’t reply, he just shakes his head.

Quiet remains. “I prefer…” he answers finally, “the whiskey from Korriban’s Academy.”

“Really? Can’t say I’ve tried it.” Aka, I've never heard of it. Blood soup? Yes. Blood wine and blood rum? Yes. Any kind of whiskey? Always brought from off world.

“The bar tender just gave it.”

His force presence moves closer before his body does. I smile when our arms brush. I use it to send him more warmth. I don’t think he pulls away from it. “Good," he mouthes.

The bar keep comes and gives me my order. He refills Theron’s drink again. I sigh at that. “Akise, know the time?”

Theron’s head leans against my shoulder now. I wrap my arm around his. “Time for work?” he smirks a little.

“That’s your answer every time I find you here,” I answer quietly, stroking his shoulder lightly, "but it's not helping."

He drinks up the rest of the whiskey and sets it down. His eyes focus on my chest, which is slightly exposed since I’m wearing my jet black mantellian privateer- usually I wear a black tank underneath it, but tonight I just threw on clothing when I realized Theron wasn't sleeping beside me.

Perhaps dressing hastily was a mistake? Theron’s hands are drawn to my skin on the inside. His body follows them onto my lap. His eyes meet mine. “Crimsèn…” he breaths and our lips meet.

I should leave it as a chaste kiss. Theron won't have it! His tongue pushes inside my mouth, and his fingers dig into my waist. I should like this, I should love this. I should dismiss the bar tender and bend Theron over the bar. But I don’t. I can’t. This isn’t coming from a place of love. Not entirely. If it did, he wouldn’t be digging his nails in more. He would know he doesn’t need to mark me. We need to talk, not give into our passions.

“Theron,” I finally say when his mouth leaves my lips, “we’re in public…”

He glances up, one of his eyes water, and the other loses a tear “But… you like adventurous sex— you said it yourself a year ago."

He goes back to kissing and biting my skin. I take many breathes to force the words through the sensations. “Yes but not…”

I shake my head when the bar tender comes back for a refill. Theron doesn’t need more alcohol. One good thing about his hands and mouth being preoccupied with my body is he can’t use them to drink more. Still, I can’t give in. He needs me. He needs us to face the pain…

Unfortunately, he knows how to shake my resolve. I feel Theron’s mouth reach the right spots. I feel my leather jacket slide down my arms. Somehow, I hold back my shudders until I'm certain we're alone when. This is going too... too...

We can't be discovered or disturbed either way. I reach for my commlink and say in it, “Everyone but myself and..." I think a moment, "Commander Shan are forbidden from being in the cantina! That's an order!” and toss it aside while using the Force to turn off every last security camera.

“Bad move,” Theron states as stops his movements to look at me, “there's a traitor. A traitor who's about to cost me... everything."

“I don’t care. You need me here, now, with no others- I refuse to let my betrayer get in between us!"

Theron’s hands reach up to my face and traces it. I close my eyes, and feel them move along my eye ridges, over my nose, and around my jewellery. "I'll hold you to that."

I sigh when he traces my lips, and facial scars on the right side of my face to the back of my skull. “Theron. Why did you disobey my orders and send out monitors to everyone?”

“To protect you," he murmurs and kiss my scars lightly.

I whisper quietly, “But you disobeyed me…”

He wraps his arms around my neck and straddles me. “Are you going to execute me like you did Kaliyo?”

I widen my eyes, then close them and shake my head violently. “How can you ask that?! How?! I can live without her. I can’t live without you. Don't you understand? I almost lost you to the Revanites Rishi, I did lose you on Yavin,
and almost again to the General on Iokath. How could you think..."

Theron hides his head in my shoulder, and quietly sobs. I return the embrace tightly and speak, “Akise… I'm sorry for my outburst.”

I try to center myself, and slow and physiological reactions to Theron’s touch. I realize it’s probably in vain given how passionate my species is, and how well he knows my body and my soul, but I have to try. “Akise…” I try again, “You need to go to sleep. You need rest.”

Theron pulls back and his voice is lower than a whisper, “I need you. I have no one else.”

“I’m not going anywhere, Theron." I look into his eyes. Those beautiful, hazel eyes with implants on the side. “The traitor didn’t get me. They won’t get me. But if we turn on our people, we’ll let them win!”

“No,” he answers to that and I feel his hands go south beneath my waistline, “no, I can’t accept that. I can’t let my only real family go. I can’t. I won’t!”

"Theron... Ahhhh... Theron, I didn't say you had to! I said we shouldn't be spying on our own," I try to say and then grab his wrist to pull him out, "you won't​ lose me."

He looks up at me with wide eyes and his other hand moving along my chest. “Please… I need this. I need you.”

I close my eyes and shudder. My resolve waivers. We can talk later... He needs to know I'm still here. He needs to feel my strength for him, and my strength inside him, now.

“Well,” I mutter quietly, “if it means you won’t be drinking alone…”

I let my jacket drop to the ground around, and his soon joins mine. Theron murmurs, “Thank you…” and our lips meet.

I won't leave him to drink alone.

A/N: Sequel to "To Cipher the SIS" because I was getting tired of it and I needed something new. Iokath gives that.
Sorry if there are typos, I will fix it later.

Lunafox's Avatar


Lunafox
05.04.2017 , 10:17 PM | #2
Nice work, I enjoyed how you integrated the details from the game into your story. It never made much sense to me in the game, that Theron spent his nights drinking alone when he had the Outlander. If anything, I see them drinking together and being together, like you showed here.

vadess's Avatar


vadess
05.05.2017 , 04:40 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Lunafox View Post
Nice work, I enjoyed how you integrated the details from the game into your story. It never made much sense to me in the game, that Theron spent his nights drinking alone when he had the Outlander. If anything, I see them drinking together and being together, like you showed here.
Thanks Luna, I appreciate the feedback. And yeah never got it either... Then again, the outlander did choose the side that resulted in Malcolm's death so...

vadess's Avatar


vadess
05.05.2017 , 11:10 PM | #4
Chapter 2: Watching Eye


Breath in and breath out. Breath in and breath out. That is the key to a good workout. That and water… and the right muscle shirt. And the right protein bar. Then I need the right time, and the right machines free. My workouts have many keys. The Eternal Alliance's Commander tries to spend half the week in the training centre at HQ. Otherwise, he might be driven insane. Insaner. I don't think a sane person would voluntarily do my job.

I know, the Commander of the Galaxy doesn't want to keep his heart pumping at the gym; he wants the next battle to keep him fit, and on his toes. Well, working out isn't good under traumatic stress. It isn't good at all. Sometimes it's pleasant to work out without fearing being shot at, worrying if a lightsaber wielding Knight charging at me, or being blown up on a ship. Much more pleasant indeed.

I may also enjoy the easy eye candy the gym provides, as well. No battles raging makes it easier to take in Odessen’s sights. Pierce impresses me with his abs, and broad shoulders. I'm amazed Jorgan’s six pack can pop out through his fur. Torian is too cruelly good looking to be a Mandalorian. None of them measure up to Theron Shan, of course, but still I'm allowed to look.

Theron doesn't come here. Not all the time anyway​; he doesn't come with me. He said my stature and physique makes him look like a beginner. If only the reason I'm so tall and muscular was purely due to my gym visits, and not because Imperial Intelligence liked that my species is more tolerant and receptive to physical enhancement chemicals. I told Theron this but he's still self conscious. Ah well, he and I can't do everything together.

I tell him that too. But he's at most of my meetings, now. Gault and Viz are giving me a report. Gault glances behind me and then back to the meeting. “Where do I get an Agent Shan statue?”


He watches me during target practice. I remember nodding to his wave this morning.

“Taking up sniping?” I asked with a smirk.

“Nope, checking the monitoring equipment.”

Oh and he taste tests all my meals: “Theron, that's not your plate.”

“I know- checking for poisons.”

“But I made it two minutes ago… Why would I poison myself?”

“Two minutes is a long time- And you don't know if the spices haven't been tampered with."

I get off the treadmill, and walk around. Many options for me to choose from. I could work on my shoulders, back, calves, and numerous other muscles. They seem promising. I didn't work on them yesterday, only some cardio.

Theron is suffering from loss and there is a traitor in my midst. He’s just being extra careful, extra doting, that's all.

I smile when I get to my favourite spot in the weightlifting area: it's empty! I could do crunches, high bar squats and other weight training exercises and not show off to any on lookers? I smirk and admire my physique in the mirror. “Looking macho, Crim. Looking macho… let's improve on it, shall we?”

I remember Theron was admiring my macho man body. It was after making love in the cantina last week. It took time but I finally convinced him to come back to our quarters, and our own bed, before doing time two. “See anything you like?” I asked while getting dressed.

Theron nodded and traced my chest. “My macho sith…”

I blinked. “You don't call me a sith. Agent, Crim, Commander, akise… not Sith…”

“Why not? It's what you are.”

Who was Theron saying that to, in a loud voice? I have reasons​ to doubt he was speaking to me.

Enough of that! Time to focus on building my muscle, and my body! Can't let complications with the boyfriend, the political body that is the Alliance, and a betrayer get the better of me… no matter how flattering the extra attention is. If only it was post one of my extra intense workouts, our wedding, or ANYTHING but Jace Malcolm's corpse.

I do some crunches, and then push ups. Some of my push ups are with both hands, others are with one or the other. Shameless show off, it's true. However, this showing off is nothing. It is time to really let myself rip: I move to do several reps with the barbell and various​. Slowly but surely I felt myself go in the zone of doing the reps, some lying down and others standing up, and practically forgot I was in a gym.

Soon my shirt was discarded and I repeated the process. I smiled at that man in the mirror: he looked good! Am I being watched? Does it matter?

I watched my muscles move in the mirror. Is that a vein popping? I hope not. Do I have an audience? Some of my make up needs work, but it's inconsequential: I look good. I should do this weight training more often. Fear of showing off be damned! “I'm the Commander,” I say to myself as I drink water and go back to work, “I've earned the right to show off the body that helped get me here.”

I go back to doing more reps. Breath in to lift and out to lower. This time I decide to change up the routine. Am I being…

“Theron, are you going to exercise, or just stand there as my personal ex-SIS statue? Please be the latter, and move over a little so I have better eye candy.”

Theron blushes and moves so I can see him in the mirror. “Ahhhhhh… that's better.”

“Heh, thanks.”

I see he's in a sleeveless shirt and shorts. His eyes still have some bags under them, and I see how hair is messier than normal. He clears his throat. “Actually, I was enjoying my personal, private tsis movie…”

“Oh? Tell me, was it worth the price of admission?”

I see him start to warm up next to me. “It was,” he finally answered, “made me glad I got on gym clothes, instead of just coming down to make sure the commander is in one piece, and drool over him.”

I put the bar away, and slowly pull myself up. “In one piece? Of course I would be. I know how to work out safely."

"That's not what I meant..."

"What did you mean, then? Where did you I think I was? It's the middle of the week. I always come here at this time…”

Theron starts doing some crunches, and I go back to the barbell. He comments, “You're here longer than normal.”

I glance at the chronometer, and back to Theron. “Only by thirty minutes, and the barbells are free. They always keep me over time.”

“They do? You… Could've called to let me know you'd be longer… they do?”

I look at him with a nod. He looks away and nods. “Right, of course you do. I knew that.”

I set the barbell down, and watch him idly go to the other machines. I sanitize the barbells and follow Theron. I see him look around confused. “Where…”

“I start with the cardio, and then do weight training. Or you can do the reverse… what are you hoping to build?”

“Both…? Neither. Maybe some weights? Missions give me the cardio.”

I point at the weigh to lifting machines. “Here…”

He follows me and I sense some thoughts... So, this is the gym. Two entrances, one emergency exit. Crim is here three days a week, at least. Got to have the monitors watch who comes here too...

I look at him and blink. He wanted me to see those thoughts. He starts moving with the exercise machine. “Like this?”

I nod and go to the one across from him. Why does he need to know the lay out? He's been here before…

“Yes. Nice and safely like that…”

"Safely. What is that?”

#
In two days we are in a meeting. I look around the table at my inner circle. Lana, Theron, Hylo Viz, Ben Aygo, Torian, Sana Rae, Dr. Orrugrub, and new representatives from the Sith Empire: Darth Caeduisos, Malavai Quinn, and Talos Drelik, my brother's agent via the reclamation service. It's nice to see my many mentors, confidants… and a potential traitor. Now is my time to examine their reactions closely.

“First,” I begin to say, “a welcome to our friends from the Sith Empire. It's a pity our contact with the Republic must be reduced greatly now, but that is the joys of them forcing our hand thanks to Saresh, and their now deceased Supreme Commander. Our priorities are two fold: Push back the Republic so they're no longer a threat, and stabilizing Iokath. The first is already in the works: Alliance personnel have been evacuated from Republic worlds. They're on their own when it comes to rebuilding. Any aid and supplies that would be gone to them will be sent to Sith Empire worlds. Thankfully we were able to stop and turn around the most recent. Without help, they won't grow as fast. It must be stopped. Aygo and Drelik, work with Quinn. Now, comments on how to divide the surplus resources?”

“Commander,” all eyes look to Quinn, “The Empress’ Wrath and I have been discussing this. We recommend we focus on building the imperial holdings that lie close to the Republic border? They are most at risk for an attack.”

Lana speaks up then, “What of Alliance strongholds on Darvannis, Voss, and perhaps Alderaan? And Belsavis? Shouldn't they have priority over the empire?”

Hylo Viz raises her hand. “Our worlds​ are mostly rebuilt, but some are skeletons of what they were, Commander.”

Aygo speaks up then, “Thankfully they're fortified. They're ready to fight should the Republic strike. Imperial worlds, not as much.”

Theron… he's subtle but he's watching all of them. I see him watch each speaker up and down. He watches like the spy he is. Suppose I should be the spy again? I really don't want it.

“We forget the Republic is also a skeleton,” Caeduisos speaks then in his deep, Darth, clearly the other authority in the room voice, “They won't be breaking down our doors. Not before getting Iokath's weapon. We must ensure the Alliance and Empire take advantage of this time. Fortifying border worlds is fine but they might use other means to get at the inner workings of the Sith and Empire.”

Theron states quietly, “The resources should focus on intelligence network. We need eyes and ears into the Republic like the old imperial intelligence had.”

I see him press a few buttons on his implant. “We…” he looks up and states more firmly, “should and could recruit more sis personnel, and ex imperial intelligence agents.”

Caeduisos nods to Theron, “I could begin the transfers from within the Empire immediately.”

I nod and weigh the options silently. “Do it! I'll have some of our agents go to Kaas immediately. As for resources, Alliance worlds will get priority, but we shouldn't neglect our allies. I want a full report on the state of the Empire, and how much they can provide for themselves. Theron can lead a diplomatic envoy to Kaas to discuss specifics…”

Theron stands up so quickly, the chair almost falls over. “No.”

I raise an eyeridge. “What?”

Theron looks around the table and then looks at me directly. “Gault, Lana, or someone more familiar with the empire would be better. I should stay and focus on building our intelligence network.”

I take a deep breath and focus on Theron. I should send him anyway for such a show, but I know that won't help things. “You make a good case. Very well, have one of the Inquisitors you've been tutoring go, Sana Rae. Everyone is dismissed save Lana, Theron, and Caeduisos.”

When we are alone, Caedusios is the first to approach me. “Brolin, Quinn has kept me updated on the current situation. Are you…?”

I shake my head. “No. I'd lie if I said it isn't making me uneasy. Still, haven't flexed some of my Cipher muscles actively for some time. Nice change.”

Lana sighs and states, “I didn't sense any deception, or eroding hope, from the people in the room Commander. If the traitor is amongst us, they're hiding it well.”

Caeduisos turns and towers over her: “And if I were to probe your mind ex-Minister of Sith Intelligence Beniko, would I sense the same? Or even,” he moves to Theron Shan, “you, SIS agent? Did I make a grievous error when I let you out of that detention cell in my fortress on Korriban?”

Theron widens his eyes at that and then clears his throat. “No… My Lord… You would find I've been extra diligent in ensuring the commander's safety, including monitoring everyone in the Alliance” he says quickly with an almost growl, “or did you forget him mentioning I'm his lover?”

Caedusios raises an eyeridge and looks to Lana. She straightens and states simply, “Commander, did you keep him here for us to be interrogated personally?”

“No,” I speak slowly and choose words, “but the questions aren't unwelcome. Just like monitors…. They show I still have some understanding and competence within these circumstances. We've all lost recently, I can permit the excess for now, but not forever. The last thing we need is for the traitor to break up the Alliance before making their move.”

Theron raises a hand. I nod to him with a comment, “You can put your hand down, school has been out for a while.”

Good, he is smiling even more now. “There were no communications in and out of the room,” Theron explains, “and the monitors didn't raise any alarms either. Perhaps the betrayer isn't as close?”

I cross my arms and bite my lip. I glance to my brolin, and state, “Suggestions? I know you have another, brolin.”

“I'm never going to be used to you as a force user. And my lack of being used to a red sith using the force is such an oxymoron. I ask this as family first, the Empress’ representative second: Any word regarding Zakuul’s ex Royal family?”

“I placed Senya as their ruler with Arcann as her second in command. As far as I know, things are going smoothly with the rebuilding.”

“Then why refuse then when they asked for more supplies? Clearly the Empire is worth forgiving…”

I turn to Theron. “Theron?!”

He waves a hand, “Right, no getting greedy on Zakuul's part. Right…”

“Actually…” I was silent and thought a moment, “no getting greedy, and I read the quotas you gave me with their request: They have half of what we last sent them still.”

I feel Caedusios narrow his eyes, and his voice rings in my mind, Should we leave you to have a conversation with your… akise? I sense paranoia swirling around him, and they way he is talking back to you… or should I show you how trained Sith deal with such an attitude?

I shake my head subtly. Yes, but not immediately, brolin.

I say aloud, “Still, perhaps I've been too forgiving? Senya does have a few motives, and means… have some of the monitors keep an eye on Zakuul. I'll pay them a visit later Dismissed…”

Caedusios and Theron linger. “We seem to get off on the wrong foot, Agent Shan. Perhaps a change in scenery is needed? You are my brolin's lover. I should at least try to get to know you better. Would dinner this evening suffice for you two? It can be on my ship, away from here."

I glance at Theron who almost shakes his head but nods instead. “Yeah, sure. Dinner… might as well get to know family…”

Get to know Theron, brolin, or get to know if Theron plans to back stab me?

Caeduisos leaves with, “Excellent, I'll be ready at 18:00 hours,” before I could verbally answer.

Both, I hear telepathically.

That leaves Theron and I alone. “So… this a family dinner?”

I look at him, and then look him over. He continues to talk, moving his hand through his hair quickly, “I mean, I can only guess it's a family dinner. Can never tell with Sith, you, Lana, or… what's a family dinner?”

I move closer and brush Theron's cheek. “It's a meal shared by people who consider one another family. If you're not up for it, we don't have to join him for dinner tonight. We can have a private party, or dine separately…”

Theron shakes his head quickly. “No. What are we, single? We should go. We should join him. This is what family does and you're my family, so I guess Caeduisos is my family?”

I cross my arms. “I suppose… if you want him to be, yes. But…” I look to the conference table and back to Theron, “Theron. Back talking? Do you realize…”

“The only thing saving me from disciplinary action is that you love me? Yeah, well, I'm not asking you to spare me because of that or the Iokath incident…”

“Iokath incident? What Iokath incident? You didn't do anything wrong on Iokath. Not to me. This is about your disobedience in front of the others, and back talking… If my role and Caeduisos’ were reversed, you would've been electrocuted!”

Theron kneels in front of me then. “Then do it. I pulled a gun in my own father, failed to see a traitor in the ranks, and committed insubordination. So just do it!”

I shake my head with each word Theron speaks. I shake my head and mirror his kneeling. “No! No, don't think this Theron… I'm the one who chose to back the Empire. I'm the one who forced you to turn against your father. This isn't all you, please believe that?”

Theron and I are quiet for a long time. Slowly he comes closer and brushes my face. “Your jewelry is gold today. I like the change and the ear piercing.”

“What does that have to do with…”

“Is that the look for family dinner,” he asks while rising, “what do I wear to family dinner?”

“You can wear whatever you want,” I answer calmly and get up, “though I recommend you save my birthday suit for my eyes only.”

Theron chuckles a little as we leave, “Alright… could we…?”

I shake my head.

“Why?”

It's tempting because he's been good, very good, recently. Very good at it. I can accept he won't talk about the hard stuff anymore. Making love isn't a cure-all, yet I sense Theron won't accept it as an answer. I answer this, “Because it's family dinner. Not everything should be laid bare for the family’s watching eye. Trust me.”

Theron nods and we leave the conference room together. Soon his hand finds mine, and grips it tightly. Was this… affection always hidden in Theron. Why did it wait until now to surface? Why couldn't the traitor have waited until after I discovered this layer of Theron
for myself?

A/N's: I hope I got the terminologies for gym right... If not, I do apologise and will correct it they're found. This chapter... I'm surprised it came that quickly, truthfully, but I wanted to get the ideas out on paper in terms of my own ideas of how the Alliance works, what the aftermath of choosing a side is, and the evolution of Crim/Theron's relationship. And it's nice to literally time my Assassin a seat at the table . It might not entirely be on par with in game lore, but that's alright. I'll stick with it via creative license. Hope everyone enjoys! Feedback is appreciated.

JennyFlynn's Avatar


JennyFlynn
05.06.2017 , 04:23 PM | #5
Still catching up on this, and I've not yet done Iokath myself (stuff has kept me busy :O ) but I wanted to let you know it looks really promising, I found Chapter one very enjoyable... heart broke a bit for Theron but I love what you did with it.
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vadess
05.11.2017 , 12:16 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by JennyFlynn View Post
Still catching up on this, and I've not yet done Iokath myself (stuff has kept me busy :O ) but I wanted to let you know it looks really promising, I found Chapter one very enjoyable... heart broke a bit for Theron but I love what you did with it.
Thanks Jenny, feedback always appreciated .

And yes, Iokath's storyline both broke my heart for Theron, and made me ecstatic cause he's a star!

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Lunafox
05.11.2017 , 07:09 PM | #7
I really liked how you wrote about the gym and the effort that Crim takes to build his body and his strength, and also the appreciation that he gets from Theron.

The tender moments between them are lovely too, subtle and affectionate. I felt bad for Theron on Iokath, poor guy. Keep up the nice work!

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JennyFlynn
05.13.2017 , 10:52 AM | #8
Crim and Theron DO make a very nice couple I enjoy reading about them and... I do look forward to family dinner.

I finally finished Iokath... all I can say is I'm glad to see a 'continuation' of those events here in your story, and the aftermath Theron's facing. Poor guy he's always the one suffering it seems.
♥♥LORD SCOURGE & DARTH MARR FOR ROMANCE!!♥♥
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vadess
05.13.2017 , 02:07 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by JennyFlynn View Post
Crim and Theron DO make a very nice couple I enjoy reading about them and... I do look forward to family dinner.

I finally finished Iokath... all I can say is I'm glad to see a 'continuation' of those events here in your story, and the aftermath Theron's facing. Poor guy he's always the one suffering it seems.
Thank you! I'm glad I was able to show that. Certainly beats the idea of Theron drinking alone. I know mpeople need their alone time, BUT why be with a person if you don't know you can come to them during the tough times? Seems counterintuitive.

Quote: Originally Posted by Lunafox View Post
I really liked how you wrote about the gym and the effort that Crim takes to build his body and his strength, and also the appreciation that he gets from Theron.

The tender moments between them are lovely too, subtle and affectionate. I felt bad for Theron on Iokath, poor guy. Keep up the nice work!
Thanks Luna, appreciate the feedback .

And yes, Crim does tkae pride in his body, and some advantage of Intelligence using him as a guinea pig.

And yes, definitely feel bad for Theron! I don't have the best relationship with my parents, and I know abandonment fears and issues. In some ways, Theron is a bit easier to write than Crim because I've been where he is.

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vadess
05.28.2017 , 10:14 PM | #10
Chapter 3:
Hope

Theron’s POV

Force, why did I agree to this family dinner? I look like I haven’t slept in months. I cut myself shaving. I don’t even have a half decent outfit! Why the kriff did I agree to this?!

I show my boyfriend a series of shirts and outfits. He chuckles with a nod. “Really, Theron, the last outfits were fine!”

“I know that! I mean, are you sure? I’m not good at this stuff…”

“I’m positive. I know Caed has a formal appearance, but he really just invited us to a casual supper.”

I look at the outfit: White jacket with a plain blue shirt, and black jeans. Not my traditional uniform, but I figured I needed a break from it, or Crim would light them on fire. What happens when ya wear the same outfit for a week after things turned very sour.

“I still…”

I hear movement, and Crim is behind me. “Still?”

“I still don’t know about this. Agreeing seems like a bad but I should get used to family. My new family. Right?”

“Only when you’re ready, akise,” Crim answers and smoothes the creases in my shirt’s arms. “If it helps, I think you look dashing.”

“Dashing? Is that exhaustedly dashing, or dashing?”

“The latter… or both. Hard to say. And if you’re unsure, we can just do this another time. Caed will understand.”

“Does he?” I turn around and gaze into Crim’s eyes. “How much does he know about… circumstances?”

“I haven’t shared with him any personal matters, if that’s what you need to know.”

His lips press my forehead, and I feel his warmth flow from it down to my toes. Perhaps I should bask in this, bask in Crim’s strength, and forget family? I have bad luck with family. But I know Crim is going… is he going? With or without me? He can’t be going…alone??

I reach for his shoulders and pull his lips to mine. I make it stay chaste; It’s hard to these days. Every time I see him I either want to protect, or pull him inside. I quietly ask him, “You aren’t… I’m not… are we…?”

Crim raises an eye ridge but doesn’t speak. Good— give me some time to break up my thoughts. I take a deep breath and try again: “Will you go without me if I decided not to?”

Crim shakes his head. “You need me. My brolin does not…”

“Brolin? Wait. Don’t tell me, I know this! I… Brother. Means brother, right?”

He nods and watches me as I move around the room. I double check every corner to make sure there are no listening devices, or traps. Nothing. I triple check it just in case. Yes, I know we’ve been here for over an hour, but who cares? Someone is out to kill Crim, and they might not wait until we’re back on Iokath!

“Oh, this will be awkward, but I already gave you a salary advance, and extra.”

I turn to my boyfriend with a frown, and a huff. “What, am I a charity case now? I don’t need extra money! I drained my account myself, and I can accept things being tight for now. Besides how did you know that? Did you read my mind?”

“No! Never— Your mind is your own. No, the monitors told me you did it. First you think I’m going to kill you, and now you think I’m going to forcibly read your mind? I’m not just the Commander, Theron, I’m your lover.”

“Then why a handout?!”

“You’ve been good with your pay and financial management, so I think I can trust you with it.”

“What if I blow it all tomorrow?”

Crim turns around, letting out a heavy breath, “Then it’s blown, and I won’t advance your salary. Sorry for trying to make this easier, instead of leaving you in the dust after betraying you.”

“Betraying me?”

Crim picks up some of my clothing that’s tossed around the room. Couldn’t be bothered to pick them up. “It was my choice to back the Empire over the Republic,” Crim answers quietly, “which turned you against Malcom.”

“We should head to dinner.” I quickly walk to the door.

“Akise?”

“Dinner with a Darth. I’ll try not to spy on him.”

Crim glances down at the hallowed gothic robes he got a week or two ago: “Should I wear less to redirect your covert ops?”

I laugh and head out to the docked Fury next to Crim’s ship. “I don’t think I’ll need it.”

Soon Crim takes the lead, as I survey surroundings. A quick click of my teeth and implants give me a security read out of the premises: Lana is training, Oggurrub is doing experiments with Lokin, Talos Drelik and Xalek are having a conversation, and one trooper is standing there doing nothing?

“Theron Shan to monitors,” I whisper quietly, “keep an eye on that Trooper.”

Crim’s movements are subtle, but I know he head that. Crim’s senses are better attuned than mine are. I look at him and he at me. “Well? Aren’t you gonna tell me I shouldn’t be spying on our own? That I’m being paranoid?”

Crim sighs and shakes his head. “No.” Alright by me, it’s for his own good!

There is the Fury— Why do Sith always fly such dark looking ships. I feel a thrill of the forbidden go through my veins: Me going on a Sith ship, voluntarily?! Who’d have thought! Satele and Jace would faint if they knew their son was going on a Sith’s ship voluntarily! Ah well, sucks to be them as they’re missing a real family dinner. Here I am going off to my potential inlaws. Would Caedusios accept me as in-law? Am I still “the agent” or “technoplague”?

Whoa, whoa, whoa… In-laws?! Am I that desperate? Is Crim even interested? Dear old- I mean, Grand General Malcom blew it all to hell if he was!

I hate him; I really, really hate him. Dead or not, he and dear old mom are part of the reason my life is kriffed over: imagine if we could’ve been a family?! Then Crim and I could be visiting them next week in a nice house on Odessen, or on Tython. Instead I’m mourning a person I’ve never had, I can’t sleep, barely eat, and I bet Crim must worry if I’m going to jump him all the time! Yeah, Crim chose to back the Empire, but doesn’t change the General could’ve done something besides sit on his *** when Zakuul came around. You know, back his ‘offspring’ for a change?

Figures it’s a Darth who gives me, an ex-SIS agent a chance, eh General?! Just to spite you wherever you are, I think Caedusios would make a better father than you! See? He’s smilin’ already, and hugs Crim. The general and I didn’t even get to looking each other in the eye much, never mind hugs. I shake his hand, while glancing around. Good, no one in the vicinity; don’t need anyone interrupting.

Caed heads up into the ship. “Good to see you both,” he says while I scan his Fury for any questionable devices with my implants, “I like the outfit agent Shan. My brolin help you choose it?”

I nod and smile. “A little. Never dined with a dark council member, before, so figured I’d look my best.”

“You still haven’t dined with one,” I hear Crim say dryly, “and neither has Caed given there is no Dark Council.”

“Wait— None? I knew that.”

Caed shrugs and sits on one of the couches in the main room. “It is for the best, but you could say I am part of her council given I am one of the few Darths left. However, given recent events, I might as well advise Dromund Kaas’ weather. I recommended against sneaking over to Iokath. The results are proof that Empress’ Acina has a mind of her own.”

“I told you he was the smart one, akise,” Crim comments and then heads down the hallway.

I widen my eyes and whisper, “Wait! Where are you going?”

“To cook, of course, you won’t eat it otherwise.”

I go to follow but he holds up a hand, “Theron, you can spare me this moment. Don’t worry, Caedusios promised he wouldn’t bite.”

I look to the hall and the room Crim eventually disappears into, and back to Caed a few moments. I clear my throat and pretend to small talk, “So, how’s the weather on Dromund Kaas?”

I should use this time to research Caedusios. I try to subtly make my implants scan him with their invisible light, and send me back info. The monitors watching him? I send them to work.

“Rainy and dreary as always I imagine,” Caed answers with a glint, “it is a good thing I did not move my fortress there.”

“Right! Right, you live on Korriban. I sort of knew that…”

Caed chuckles, waving a hand. “Considering the circumstances of our first meeting, I would try to forget it as well. Now in terms of weather, Korriban is the same cold desert it has always been. But I find it warmed after the Academy moved to Dromund Kaas.”

The monitors come back to me with basic info:


Subject: Preliminary Surveillance Report: Darth Caedusios Hevilas

[Note]: The following information was gathered from the archives of the Sith Empire. This brief report was compiled for Agent Theron Shan, and Alliance Commander only.]

Subject: Darth Caedusios Hevilas. Formerly known as Lord Ratsoi Hevilas. Learned at the Korriban Sith Academy under Overseer Emmoridg, worked for Imperial Reclamation Service and briefly for Darth Nox, Dark Council Member. Currently serves as Sith History and Archeology Advisor for Empress Acina.

Family: Parents Darth Lauske Hevilas(deceased), Darth Teisybe Hevilas (deceased). Crimsèn Hevilas (adopted sibling)


“Dromund Kaas? When was that decided?”

“After Korriban was crushed not once but twice in the same year. Personally, I wish it was a Republic strike force the second time. At least then we would have known how to fight.”

I freeze my reading and gulp. I oversaw the first time: Colonel Darok, myself, and Havoc Squad. It was before I knew Crim, never mind considered getting involved with an ex-Cipher Agent. But I was still in charge. Caed knows that, doesn’t he? He barely survived it. If anything, it put Crim’s family in more danger because Korriban would’ve been unstable when Zakuul came.

****! Crim is kriffing one of the dudes that helped kill off most his family! Yet I’m the one without the balls to talk about my father’s death? What to do… What to do…??

Own up. Be a man, and own up. Pause investigating the traitor, and face the fact Crim helped kill off my dad, which serves me right since I helped kill off his mom and dad.

I look Caed in the eye: “If I had known Crim then, I swear I wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to beat the Empire back with that attack; I could have talked Darok out of it, or found a way to make it less destructive…”

Caed narrows his eyes. “So it’s true, Technoplague helped Colonel Darok during that assault?”

I nod, keeping my eyes focused on him. I can do this. I can endure any lightening, force choking, harsh words, getting thrown off… “That was five years ago. Most of my family, including myself, were off world. Besides, I’m no fool. If you and Crim knew one another during that time, it would’ve been as enemies.”

“…How aren’t you pissed off at me right now? The attack on Korriban left you vulnerable. It killed your mother and father…”

“No, Zakuul did that. Zakuul paid, and they are avenged. Besides, you make Crim happy and complete. You’re his akise. If I wanted revenge, I missed my opportunity.”

What can I say to a complete pardon? What is this? I would be stupid to talk, so we just stare at one another.

Crim comes out with a bowl in his hand. I discreetly try to eat some of what’s in it. “No milk, brolin? Don’t eat it now, Theron, it’s raw meat!”

I get some of the sauce, and Crim moves it away. “It could have arsenic, rat poison, or a poison that is good at killing tsis. You don’t know that.”

“I wouldn’t poison my own brother,” a voice behind me protests stoically, “but I understand the extra caution. I don’t drink milk as in nerf milk, and neither should you. It’s not good for our stomachs. I do have enough ingredients to make a delicious tukata stew, bloodsoup, or khor’slug chowder with tukata milk for the cream portion.”

Crim nods, rolls his eyes at me, and heads back to the galley. Is he going to his death? Why am I so focused on death?

I hear Caed ask, “Are you alright, Theron? I understand your reservations, but I assure you the Outlander is safe on my ship.”

“Do you? Have you come this close to losing everything? This is the first time personal and professional are getting clouded.”

“Zakuul took all but my brother from me, so yes I have.”

“My biological parents are Satele Shan and Jace Malcom. My real father, though, is Master Zho. He raised me. Did Crim tell you that?”

“No.” Fabric and feet move to stand behind me, “and I did not ask. I prefer primary research. It does explain your last name— a name filled to the brim with expectations.”

I will my body to turn around slowly. “Yeah, though I never had the Force stuff beyond maybe premonitions that can’t be explained. I joined the SIS, and then I met Crim when the Revanites were driving everything crazy. And now a betrayer wants to stir it all again! Do you think I’m going overboard? You’re on the verge of losing everything too.”

“No,” Caed answers, “I think you are doing what anyone would naturally do: Guard what little we have to ensure it is not lost. Yet, you have not given these concerns to Crim, have you? I can sense Crim doesn’t know how far the extra caution has gone, nor everything you have found? Perhaps you could share them with me while he is cooking? I am further removed, and could add some insight.”

Before I can stop my mouth, I start talking: “Crim’s been betrayed. By someone who’s covered their tracks. I’ve interrogated all the advisers, Lana, and she interrogated me. The monitors don’t have anything... yet. I’ve investigated the Empress, but most is locked away in Sith Intelligence’s archives. Quinn and Dorne are both innocent, since they were nowhere near Crim when the super weapon activated.”

“I can assist you with this, Theron,” Caedusios answers afterward.

“You can? How?”

“I have means to investigate the Sith Empire that you do not. An investigation I will do, and send you the results as they come.”

I almost hug him— It could be the break I’ve been looking for! But I don’t. Never been touchy feely, except with Crim, and I doubt Caed would be comfortable with it. All I can do is smile, and nod quickly. “I’ll give you my implants’ comm frequency.”

“Indeed. If we work together, perhaps Crim won’t need such tight holding?”

“More like being held too tightly,” I say quietly and there goes my mouth again, “I know I’m annoying the hell out of him. I know that I’m irritable and over protective. I know that. But does he know that I’m used to ‘loved ones’ choosing jobs over me; my mother and father did. Crim doesn’t, and I doubt he will. Heck even with Malcom and I pointing guns at each other, Crim chose my wellbeing over the Alliance! Unheard of for me! Even then does he understand if I lose him, I’ve lost everyone?”

It’s strange— Caed is as even tempered as Crim. He has no judgment, no animosity, and no cliché answers. He just nods and now I’m wondering what kind of Sith family is this?

“You don’t have to tell Crim this,” Caed finally answers, “because he already knows and mirrors it. I can sense his feelings, Theron, and I know from them and the way he looks at you that he cannot live without you either.”

Crim comes out with a giant pot before I can respond. Good because I would’ve said, “Who the hell is this? Where the heck am I?”

Alright, time to turn off security mode now Theron— Dinner is served. Family dinner… I gulp, and manage to smile at the host and my lover as we sit around the Fury’s conference room table. “Khorslug chowder, right?”

Crim nods and smiles, “One of my maternal grandmother’s recipes, with slight modifications.”

I take one sip and my mouth melts. “This is delicious! Why have you never made it before?”

He shrugs and smiles. Caedusios serves himself and tries it. “I agree with Theron - Delicious, Crimsèn! You should introduce him to tsis cuisine if you plan to stay together.”

“So,” I try to continue the casual conversation, “Caedusios, Crim hasn’t told me much about you beyond you have a massive library?”

“Mark of a scholar: massive libraries! What would you like to know?”

“This’ll sound rude, but how are you so even tempered as a Darth?”

Caed chuckles. “Were you expecting to be electrocuted by now?”

“Maybe,” I answer with a laugh, “since that was usually my fate if a Darth caught me back in the day.”

“Back in the day Darths ignored the unpleasant smell of an electrified body. Time to catch up with the rest of us, Theron.”

We all laugh and Caed continues: “No, I was trained by Overseer Emmoridg. He trained my father before me. Unfortunately, he died to the Republic attacking Korriban; I think I can share that Emmoridg taught his students a more balanced view of the Force and showed us how to use light, as well as dark. In this way, I learned to embrace all my emotions. They provide a good balance and protection from turning into a sociopath.”

“I guess you protected Crim from becoming a sociopath, then? Or am I jumping to conclusions…”

Crim wipes his mouth with a napkin, and answers quietly, “They protected me until I was old enough to join intelligence. They didn’t send me back home after I ran away that night. So yes, you could say they protected me from becoming a sociopath. Them and my maternal grandmother.”

“Crim having his own mind helped with that and running away to my mother and father’s place when he was 15,” Caed interjects, “I shall leave the details to him, but my mother and father did their best to care for both of us during Dromund Kaas’ colder nights and readjusting to life Korriban. Emmoridg completed their work, and here we are.”

I look up overseer Emmoridg, while they talk. Interesting and he also taught Jaesa Willsaam?

“Grandmother fought bravely,” Caed speaks quietly, “until the end that day.”

I clear my throat and say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get her killed…”

Crim glances at me, “Get her killed. Did you pull the trigger?”

“No, but I helped plan the attack!”

Crim is very silent when he finally makes the connection. “You helped plan the attack? Oh yes, that would… Make sense… Since you and Lana met a little after that…”

Emmoridg had a lot of students! Some of them disappeared under mysterious circumstances, while Jaesa Willsaam eventually became a Sith Overseer under Dromund Kaas’s new Sith Academy. Hmmm… She’s not in the Alliance, how could she betray? There goes that theory. But she could have connections… I’ll get Caedusios to interview her.

“If only it wasn’t part of the Revanite conspiracy. I could’ve stomped out Tython, and ran back in time to help fight,” Crim’s voice rings through my ears.

I turn to him and say quietly, “I’m… I’m sorry many in your family were lost, Crim.”

“Thank you, akise,” he answers and sips up what looks like wine, and squeezes my hand with his, “and I know that look. Don’t beat yourself up. I appreciate that you wish you weren’t fighting against my people…”

“But then you would not have your lover. Good came out and I know grandmother would be proud of you Crimsèn. Now enough of this, and let’s carry on with a pleasant dinner.”

I glance at Crim through the corner of my eye. He seems… unmoved? Well it was almost 7 years ago, no point staying mad. I wonder if anyone else was involved in those battles? Would they be upset with Crim, and joined the alliance under false pretenses? It’s possible. I nod occasionally during the conversation, and click my teeth to look people up. Most of the people involved are either dead, or long ways from Iokath. Yet some were there on 'pub and Imp ships, and two joined the alliance: Tucan'sant Rort'avt, a Chiss who was formerly with Sith Intelligence. They went to Iokath to assist Lana, last seen at the cantina unknown. Their activities on Iokath are in the dark but I do see that part of their family were serving Sith at the Academy on Korriban.

The second person is Tosartamr Kuhkank, a red Twi’lek who served at the temple on Tython with her master, but left just before the Empire attacked. Since her master was killed, she would have a very good reasons to want to come after Crim. Sending the Monitors on those two now…

“Speederbike?”

I look up and clear my throat. “Uhh… Excuse me?”

Caedusios drinks some of his wine. “I was asking Crim if he still drives on his speederbike?”

“Wait… You like speederbikes and you never told me?”

Crim chuckles. “You never asked, but yes, love speederbikes. I used to have a collection.”

“One of my favourite past times was speederbikes growing up! I still love driving 'em. We should drive around on Tatooine or Odessen sometime.”

“Done! I could use some time away from the Iokath and conspiracy things. The Commander needs a break. So does his lover.”

“Away?” I sit back in my seat, eyes wider than usual. “Crim, we can’t leave. There is a traitor amongst us! We need a plan, and we need to find them. The moment we leave is the moment they can gather followers!”

“But you just suggested we go to Tatooine!”

Crim slowly looks down at his plate. “You just… No. No, you’re right. We should be keeping an eye out for the traitor, not joyriding.”

I hear Caed clear his throat. He is by the door, his plate and drink gone. He comments calmly, “You’re clearly looking out for my brother’s safety, Theron. I could tell in the way you conducted yourself coming aboard, during our conversation, and your lack of attention during some of dinner. However, I must say this for your own good: If you lock yourself and Crim away, the traitor has won.”

My breath hitches, and I feel my body shake. I get up, and gather my plates together. How I do it with unsteady, unstill hands I don’t know. “I’m not even going to ask how you caught any of that, and I don’t have a good explanation beyond someone wants Crim dead. Sorry,” I quickly move to the door. “I shouldn’t be rude, especially after everything.”

I hear Crim murmur, “What did you talk about, Caed?”

“Nothing to be concerned about. Just getting properly acquainted, I assure you.”

Kitchen- no, galley - is where I click my teeth so some kolto can calm my breathing. I need to calm it before Crim figures it out! Breathe in, breathe out; breathe in, breathe out. It’s not working. Why is it NOT working?!

I hear someone walk up behind me. “You are not alright,” I hear a monotone, almost soothing voice speak.

I could turn around but my body freezes up, and I reach for the counter. I feel two fingers go down my back, and and calm seems to try and flow into me. I hear a distant voice, “Breathe in for 5 seconds, and breath out for 7.”

“Theron?! What’s happening to him?!”

“He’ll be fine, Crim,” Caed answers, “one good thing about the light: It calms. Now calm…”

Slowly my body listens, and my breathing is relaxed. “You had a mild panic attack,” Caed’s voice explains eventually, “this the first time?”

I shake my head. “No. First one was a couple days ago. Crim doesn’t know.”

“Why?” I turn to see Crim with his arms crossed behind Caed, “For kark sake, Theron Shan, how can I support you if you don’t tell me things?! You told me more back on Rishis…”

He face palms and walks out stating, “Forget it… Forget… Keep your secrets,” and leaves with a huff.

“Crimsèn…” I try to move around to follow, but Caed holds me in place with a hand on my shoulder.

“You’re panicking and he’s frustrated. That is not conducive to talking.”

I breath in, and breath out until my heart slows down.

“It’s not him, it’s me,” I try to explain, “and I don’t know why I tell him nothing, yet I can’t let him go.”

I feel arms around me. I slowly wrap my arms around him and my breathing gets much better. It wasn’t like the hugs Crim gives me, and he doesn’t lift me off my feet. But we’re hugging!

A Dark Lord of the Sith is hugging me, a Republic SIS agent?! What is this? Where is this?

Reality. This is my new reality. This is my new reality… Or is it? Caed speaks while we’re still hugging, “I understand, Theron, I understand. But be at peace and reach for calmness. Crim is still here. That fact hasn’t changed. And behind him is myself, and what’s left of the Hevilas’ House.”

“I’ve never really had a House or a family other than Master Zho,” I answer quietly, “and I guess Crim. My mother and father never give a rat's *** about me. Yet here I am either dreaming about Malcom’s death, or staying up all night wondering if someone is going to walk into our quarters and kill Crim.”

Caed smiles and releases me; I feel a warm glow surround me. It comes from Caed. “Well, I suppose you are in one now. Welcome. Rest in that despite your father’s death, you are not alone. I know you won’t believe it now, and that’ll take time, but as family I can give you that time.”

He then turns and heads out to where Crim went. Slowly I follow, trying to piece together what just happened. I was ready for Caed to electrocute me for helping attack Korriban, throw me out for not being as engaged in the dinner conversation, and maybe be accepted as Crim’s lover. I wasn’t expecting to be hugged, or considered part of the family. That doesn’t happen to Theron Shan.

“But it did happen to me,” I whisper as I approach the two, “It just happened to Theron Shan.”

I recite that sentence in my head repeatedly as we talked, said our goodbyes, and Crim and I headed back to our quarters. “May the Force serve as your faithful ally, brolins.”

Brolins. That means both of us, right? Brolin. Brother.

We head to our quarters. I walk close to Crim, and soon our hands lace together. I comment, “Caed isn’t so bad once you get to know him.”

Crim nods. “No, he isn’t. And he didn’t scare you off?”

I chuckle. “Nah - takes more than a giant Sith pureblood to scare me off.”

“Are you feeling better now?”

“Yes. And I’m… I know I should’ve told you about the panic attack I had the other day, but you have enough to worry about.”

“I don’t give the title akise to someone I’m not concerned about, Theron. Please, next time, alert me.”

When we get back, Crim gets ready for bed, and I look at the fridge where I have a whiskey bottle I bought the other day. I should drink it, shouldn’t I? It’s that time of evening where General Malcom likes to pay uninvited visits. Yet, is the whiskey necessary after a nice dinner and a few drinks?

Am I yawning? Am I finally tired? Today has been long. Interesting, but long. I sit on my side of the bed as Crim crawls under the covers. “Theron…”

I glance back, removing my jacket and shirt as I do. “Yeah?”

“I know you prefer the cantina, but could you drink here tonight? At least until I fall asleep? I don’t like waking up and you aren’t here.”

I silently consider and then pull off my boots. “No. I don’t think I’ll do that.”

He looks down and sighs. “Oh.”

I get down to my boxer shorts, and pull the covers back. “I think I’ll just sleep here tonight, no need for drinks. We just had drinks.”

Crim smiles a little at this, sleep in his eyes. I kiss him deeply and lay on his chest; strong arms wrap around me. I breathe steadily, and repeat to myself, “It did happen to Theron Shan. I’ve got a family now.”

“Thank you, akise,” Crim whispers sleepily just before sleep takes us completely.

#
Another POV

Speederbikes?

Ah yes, I remember now: The Outlander drove on speederbikes across Kaas City, across Korriban, and now he wants to do so across some planet that is with the Alliance. I should be a good Alliance citizen, and let him enjoy his time with his akise. Akise… such a term, yet most tsis don’t really know how to use it.

Speaking of tsis, I should get back to my conversation.

I turn around and look at the man before me. “What kind of speeders does your son like to drive?”
Orange eyes narrow at me. “When he was young, they were piles of junk. Like him, they still are now.”

I laugh and then lift my fingertips, the electricity surging through my arm and out of my hands. His screams are beautiful. “Jealousy at his newfound happiness serves no one. I suggest revising priorities. Now, I ask you, what speederbikes does your son like to drive?”

He gasps, glaring at me. “He likes to drive kitegós.”

What a useless tsis: Worrying about who his son indulges his passions with, instead of whether he gives into them at all. I can see why Crimsèn fled when he had the chance. I was going to use him as a lively statement, but he and I breathe too much of the same air.

A/N: I love sarcastic titles, don't you?! Beyond that, i ain't saying a word. Thanks for reading