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When I Wake

EverSteam's Avatar

11.11.2012 , 06:46 PM | #151
The next day maybe before noon....

We go to the Ambassadors office the next day. We wait a few hours. No one is around. I go through his desk and find some interesting documents. I make copies of them. Torian doesn't comment. He slips out to stand at the door until I'm done. When Torian comes back in, I'm sitting in the Ambassadors' desk, feet on the table and a large grin on my face. Hold up a wire that was connecting an emergency button to an alarm and Torian's lips twitch.

Also jammed the gun in his desk draw. Not a very original place to hide a weapon. Wouldn't do it all if he had only been politer. Well, not the gun art at least. Think even with it working he wouldn't able to kill anyone. I think about that for a while and come to the conclusion that I would do all of it. I like the scenarios I think this will cause and he shouldn't keep me waiting. Torian sits on the desk next to my feet and we wait.

Eventually, the Ambassador calls. We're needed down at some sort of court room as the General's trial has begun. Seems she wants to face her accuser. From that alone, I know what her strategy ill be and I already know how to counter it.

Torian and I head out. I feel happy. This is how it should be.

When we arrive, the General is trying to insinuate the footage from the cave is fake. Two Voss sit at the front of the room, risen above us on a stage in formal clothing. General is to my right and the Ambassador sits to the left.

The General isn't too happy to see me, the 'known terrorist.' Don't really fancy that title. Doesn't quite some up what I do. I'll have to think of a better one later.

'Never been convicted, but I'm not the one on trail.' Never been to court. Know the theory and for such a secluded world, it's interesting to note that it's layout and proceedings seem to be similar to known space.

'No, you're not. But your character is,' she replies steadily. I smirk a little. My character. Interesting. 'You're a Mandalorian,' she states as if enough is said and that is all. Torian stands straighter. Such pride. It's very appealing. 'Your people have committed unprovoked attacks of war against the Republic and genocide against many species. Do you deny it?'

I shrug. 'I'm adopted. Acts other Mandalorians do not reflect mine.' Torian frowns. Know he won't be for long. 'Mandalorians fight to better themselves. You should be flattered we even consider you a worthy opponent. Personally, I think your hut'uunla ade.' Cowardly children. 'And I only deny it if you deny that your Jedi nearly wiped us out before we ever turned on you.' Torian smiles. I knew he'd like that. I like making him smile.

'I'm not here to debate history with you.' Her wrinkled and old face shifts into a frown as she tried to retain a levelled and reasoned voice.

'No, because it would lead to you admitting I am right and your conviction of me based on my culture weak and flawed. If you did not debate such things, do not raise them in the first place. Because we are here for the trial of your crimes; not Mandalorian's and not mine.' Her plan has fallen through. Gault's not the only one that can be a smooth talker.

She scowls. It's not very peaceful or attractive. 'Tell me, how did you acquire that information?' She gestures to a datapad on the table before the two Voss who have remained silent and only watching. I wonder what the world looks like through there giant yellow eyes.

I smirk at her. That's not going to help you, General. 'Your subordinates provided everything I needed.'

'That's... preposterous.' She is taken aback. What a fool to base an entire argument on the infamous character of one person. And I know we have almost won. Just one more push and the win is ours. I decided I hate this woman and I want to tear down her credibility and pride ad everything she holds dear. She took me for a bloodthirsty, mindless killer. She only got two thirds of it right. I have greater education than she does. And I'm not Skadge; I've got brains. And I will use them to burn the Republic down.

'No. It's true.'

She falls back on the trials she is going to take as evidence of her genuine good will toward the Voss race. The Ambassador is quick to volunteer me to do the same. The Voss are satisfied and they leave. The General approaches me with a walk of someone who has only ever known the stiff march of the military.

'Cagey, diplomatic and almost charming. You are not the mass murderer I was expecting,' she begins. Reminded again that she was expecting an evil, monstrous, dim witted killer. She was a fool to not do her research. And it's almost like she is hitting on me. Very, very weird and creepy. Especially because she's old enough to be my mother twice over. 'Did you really do all those terrible things?'

I sneer. I think about shooting her now. But I want to tear down her reputation and destroy her first. 'I don't get chummy with my bounties, General. And next time we meet, I'll be sure to remove any doubts. It's often the sane that are capable of the worst things. You're a General for the Republic, you should know.'

She scowls again and I can see how she got all those wrinkles. 'You and the Sith were made for each other.' I laugh a little. It's true, but not how she's thinking. Unless she means I was made as a weapon to kill them all, which I doubt. I don't think she knows how very funny a statement that is. It is more than a little ironic.

She quickly tries to return to being nice when that facade is in ashes at our feet. 'But this is me, getting to know you. And if you are as smart as you appear, you'll call it quits. I've spent months preparing for the trial. They'll kill you. So please, one friend to another, just shoot yourself know and save yourself and the rest of us a lot of pain.' She walks. Know she meant to anger me and she succeeded. I hate not getting the last word. Guess I will have another chance when I kill her later.

The Ambassador turns to me and for him, his next words are like a priest worshipping his God. 'I should retain you for the diplomatic service. Expect a healthy bonus for this.' I smile at those words. He makes excuses for these trials. I don't care about having to do them. I actually like the sound of it. Always up for a good challenge.
He wants me to kill her at the Shrine of Healing. Not a bad idea. Should be too easy.

When Torian and I leave, he looks to the distance and smiles. 'You did good back there.'

I raise an eyebrow and try not to smile. 'Only good? She was only good and by the end of it, I had used her ugly, baggy face to clean the Voss' shoes. I was amazing.'

His mouth twitches and I think he's imaging that. He kisses my lips softly and quickly. 'You're always amazing.'

He walks on and I marvel at the man he's becoming. It can only get more interesting from here.

MilaniGrey's Avatar

11.11.2012 , 07:16 PM | #152
I'm a Torian fangirl. You can only have him say 3 words, and I will /swoon. That last part.. /swoon.
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Irrissa's Avatar

11.11.2012 , 07:44 PM | #153
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
I'm a Torian fangirl. You can only have him say 3 words, and I will /swoon. That last part.. /swoon.
I am so right there with you Milani

The story is great. And so different than how I see my BH I am loving it.
*Rissa (55 Sorc) * Cielle (55 Merc)* Irrissa (55 Op) Ko'neko (55 Mara)
*Minalde (55 Sage)* Aubrei (55 Scound)* Cleindori (55 Sent) Rosaleen (55 Com)

iamthehoyden's Avatar

11.12.2012 , 02:19 PM | #154
Loved the last two entries! Interesting to see Skadge out of the ship...don't think mine has smelt fresh air since he came on board, lol.
"Hate the honest woman he is making me. I am not anything without him. Only become the person I am for him. Wonder what that says about me."
I like this, the push pull of it, the doubt.

What she did to the Ambassador's office is fabulous, and the trial - mwah! And Torian's growth, his shift from relatively (well in comparison to your BH anyone would be) inexperienced Mando to a battle-hardened warrior is really really good! Also, I'm starting to recognize Mando'a in bits and pieces lol. Don't know what that says about my reading habits
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar

11.12.2012 , 11:11 PM | #155
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
I'm a Torian fangirl. You can only have him say 3 words, and I will /swoon. That last part.. /swoon.
Mission accomplished.
More swoon moments to come
Quote: Originally Posted by Irrissa View Post
The story is great. And so different than how I see my BH I am loving it.
Hopefully it can only get better from here
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Loved the last two entries!
I'm glad you liked them.
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
Interesting to see Skadge out of the ship...don't think mine has smelt fresh air since he came on board, lol.
I had to think about that a lot. Mako was out of the question. Blizz is too cute. So it was between Gault and Skagde. Decided Skadge was as far from Torian as you could be personality and looks wise but still have the advantage of similar fighting styles since both use melee.
But yeah, think Skadge will remain locked away from now on.
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
What she did to the Ambassador's office is fabulous
I'm glad you liked the office thing.
I thought it was a nice touch.
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
And Torian's growth, his shift from relatively (well in comparison to your BH anyone would be) inexperienced Mando to a battle-hardened warrior is really really good! Also, I'm starting to recognize Mando'a in bits and pieces lol. Don't know what that says about my reading habits
Learning Mando'a for all!


Two days later...

'Ner mesh'la verd, we are not alone.'

I know. I heard the slow beats of their hearts before entering the room. Six of them. Voss. I suppose I should have told him before we entered. I forget that communication verbally is still sometimes necessary. 'Resol Voss.' Six Voss.

Three walk from the shadows. The middle man speaks. His voice is low and words are long. His speech reminds me of the Jedi Sages. 'Pilgrims are so few now. And outsiders.'

'People only grow by facing adversity.' You are sounding like a preaching Jedi. I feel Torian glance at me sharply and wonder what it made him think of. I shake my head and question where that even came from. It's this planet. These Voss. Hope it reverses when we leave this planet. Not exactly tough bounty hunting talk.

'The wise do not seek adversity. It will come. Change has come to Voss. Voss must come to change.' He talks of the General. She wants peace with the Gormaks. I know that peace between them is as unlikely as peace between the Republic ad Empire. The Voss challenges me and claims I will not stop the General. 'Stay in peace and leave in time. No harm will come unless you resist.'

'Break your neutrality and you will regret it. Ne shab'rud'ni.' Don't mess with me. I pull out my gun to make my point. Torian readies himself. I motion with my free hand what the plan is.

'We are prepared.' The other three Voss come out. I am ready for them. I let out carbonite and jump to a Voss at the back. Torian jumps with me. We have three down before the other three unfreeze. They don't take long.

The Lead Voss crouches before me, a chest wound bleeding steadily. Without a medic he will only have five minutes. He speaks. 'My gift is not foresight, but I see your fate is not for us to decide.'

He stands shakily. Stronger than I thought. But my blood chills at the thought of fate. I don't want to think of any alternate ending to the one I planned. But I feel fate is conspiring against me. And things will not end how I planned. I don't want to die.

Inwardly, I shrug it off. 'Now you're learning. The only smart thing to do is stay out of my way.'

'We cannot stop what must come to pass. The human woman has gone. She has gone to Gorma - Koss and our hopes with her.'

'The dead can't hope.'

I shoot the leader and Torian takes the other two without hesitation. Seeing their mortality as they lie dead at my feet soothes the sudden panic. And all that's left is a little pain at my own words. I glance at Torian who looks to the exit, ready to move on. His face is serious and set. He turns his head to look at me as if he knew I was staring. His lips twitch and something soft enters his eyes.

'The dead can't hope,' huh?


Straight after...

I take the trials.

The half dream world is confusing. Disorientating. All yellow and clouded. Three men and a beast ask me questions. I'm confused but play along. I know that only disaster could happen by a wrong answer. It's easy to provide the right ones.

I must find the source of the corruption. There are strange beasts in the place. I kill them as I travel. It was easy to defeat the corruption. I thought such trials would be harder. They don't really get much more difficult. Wonder how the General survived. Guess even she as soldier once.

Before the last trial, a Voss woman stands before me. She is impressed. She had underestimated me. I am tired of such things. But not tired enough of it to feel apathy. It just makes me even angrier. How much more of the galaxy must I burn before they realise my strength?

I defeat the giant Gormak. In return, the woman grants us each a vision.

Images shift and blur. I see Tormen in one and feel hands at my throat. Another is a young woman with black hair, frowning at me. Her face changes and I am fighting Torian. But his form shifts and becomes the Jedi Master Jun Seros. And then the Chancellor. Lastly, I see Corridan with a torch in his hand.

But the images go so fast and more come that I can't figure out. But there is something in them that I know despite having never seen it. And I hope. But sometimes there is a nothing; not black or white emptiness, just a nothing that is terrifying.

The emotions change just as quickly; I feel happy in some. Others I feel nothing. But the worst is when I feel a terrible anger. And that's the last thing I feel before opening my eyes to find the Voss woman inches from my face.

'Your destiny is constantly shifting. Rare... it is yours to decide. What do you...' She stops before finishing her question, the weak voice trailing into nothing. I step back and she falls to the ground. Blood pools onto the ground and I look down. My blade is bloody and I know what happened only too well.

I just turn my back on her and look for Torian. He looks at me in horror and I shrug my shoulders. I offer a hand and help him up. He shakes his head and looks to the Voss woman.

'I don't think the Ambassador will like that.' His lips twitch and I grin back at him.

'Really? Was thinking her pretty head would make a nice thank you present.' Torian chuckles and I'm glad to see the expression vanish from his face.

'Makes the count four to three then. Seems you won.'

'Don't worry, I saw some more pilgrims on our way in.' He smiles and kisses me. Knew the thought of killing helpless Voss would make him react like that, I would kill everyone in the Shrine.

When we emerge from the shrine, everything that happened seems unreal. Wasn't for the dark purple blood on my wrist I might be inclined to think it was. But I know it wasn't. And as I look at Torian's twisted expression as he walks beside me, I wish it was. Don't want anything to make him look like that. Don't want my Mando troubled by a pathetic and worthless dream.

'What did you see, Torian? Your expression makes it seem like you just had a lap dance from a Gamorean dancer.' He looks at me sharply. Seems to go from anger to fear and find a scowl somewhere in between. He looks away and doesn't answer for a long time. Guess my attempt at humour failed. Not sure I want to know. Know the look of horror wasn't because I murdered that woman.

'Saw you and me eating dinner tonight on an empty ship.' Liar.

'Really? Well, how can that happen when we're too busy General hunting?'

He shrugs and his mouth twitches. 'In the vision I kissed you like this.' He bends down, takes me in his arms and kisses me gently. He has grown. His bluntness now comes with a confidence that is too irresistible.

'And in the vision that was enough for me to sacrifice this hunt?' He smiles and my body falters for a moment; my lungs forget how to breathe and my mind forgets what it has to do to think. I shake my head. The dead can't hope. 'Vision was right then.'

I grin but he takes a moment to return it. When he does, it is forced and I know that he saw something he didn't like. Seen the same look in his eyes when he wakes sometimes. Never told me what he dreams at those times. And I don't ask. Because I know if I ask him what he dreams of, he will ask me the same. And I can't answer that yet.

He moves a hand to my neck and seems to focus on something. His hand feels like it is burning my skin as always.Know his fingers are where a pulse should be. I move it away. His gaze is intense and I don't want to see what's in them. He opens and closes his mouth and I don't want to hear what I feel he might say. Because even seeing this much, will lead me to hope for words he might never say.

So I step away from him, shaking my head. And I walk on.


Author's note:

MilaniGrey's Avatar

11.13.2012 , 01:02 AM | #156
*steals Adwynyth's squee*

SQUEE... for the Torian kisses. Not so much for the two steps back..
The Islingr LegacyShatter the Darkness
Astaron, Narithia, Xalkory, ┴illeacht
The Ebon Hawk Server
Forever Shenanigans!

iamthehoyden's Avatar

11.13.2012 , 02:21 PM | #157
I liked how you did that one.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar

11.13.2012 , 08:18 PM | #158
Dawn the next day...

'Need to ask you something, Cyare.'

A smile twitches at my lips and I cut in front of his speeder. He can't make the stop in time and uses a rock as a ramp to avoid me, making a sharp turn around when he lands. I smirk and ride up alongside him, facing the other way.

'Nice reflexes.' He nods at the compliment and know he isn't going to say anything until he gets to ask his question. I smile a little and know he's wanted to ask this since yesterday. Reminds me of early days.

'If you want to ask me something then ask. But, if I answer it, then I get to ask you something personal in return.' He shows a brief smile as he remembers when I first said that. But he looks away and frowns.

'Heard the Gormak woman speak to you. What did she say?'

I sigh and look away from him. Don't want to remember the useless crap of a dying woman. Want to forget it. Can see Gorma Koss across the plain but it's still an hour away. But dawn isn't over yet. We should arrive just after the General.

Think about what to tell him. Want to lie to him since he lied to me. Wonder if that's the first time he's ever lied. Know he knows I wasn't fooled by it. But I didn't want to push.

'"Your destiny is constantly shifting. Rare. It is yours to decide." Died before she could finish anymore.' Torian's frown becomes harder. But his heart beat slows and his muscles relax. 'Why do you ask, cadur?'

He shakes his head. 'Doesn't matter, Cyare.' He turns his speeder around and looks to the city. 'Ready?'

'No. Tell me, ner aran.' I force a smile and know I will regret what I am about to say. 'No secrets, remember?'

Torian frowns at me but leans over and kisses my cheek. 'Ask because I don't want my vision to come true. Doesn't matter now. If your future is changing, than those around you must also have no fixed fate.'

I look to the city again and think about it. Wind picks up and blows my hair into my face. I impatiently brush it aside.

'Don't know. All going to die some day. Sometimes, we know when it is and it comes too soon. Doesn't mean it's fate. Just means you have **** luck.' He nods his head and the soft look is in his eyes. So I look away again and continue.

'Never cared much words like 'destiny' and 'fate'. Think they're a load of bantha crap.' His lips twitch and see him more at ease. 'What matters is the past and the present. So right now, what matters is me beating you to Gorma - Koss.' I wink at him and ride away. He's quick to follow.

But as hard and fast as I can ride, I can't leave behind what I saw in that Shrine. And I can't run away from the memory of the nothingness I felt. 'All going to die some day.' I know that. Cabinet in my room is enough of a reminder.

So why is it so hard to except?


An hour and a half later...

We enter be the arena. Surrounded by Gormak in the stands. Not the best place to find yourself. But I suppose it works. Got their attention.

'Thought I heard a commotion,' Torian says as he stands at my shoulder. An understatement. I smile at Torian. I like his small, serious jokes. The cheers are deafening. And with my implant, it's not that much of an overstatement.

The Gormak Chieftain rallies the crowd as he stands on a raised platform. Gormaks are nothing like the more peaceful and tame Voss in appearance or personality and apparently, I will be 'punished' for killing Gormak's and my general 'corruption'. I don't mind if they try. Always wanted to be a gladiator in an arena.

'Step up and try it. See what happens.' I take out my gun. Torian draws his staff.

'Do you hear? This one wants a fight! You have killed many of ours today. We will enjoy making sport of you.'
There are three beast in force fields. I whisper to Torian as the Chieftain continues his speech. 'T'ad bah solus.' Two to one.

'You're on.'

The fight is quick. I jump to the left, Torian to the right. We kill ours at the same time and leap to the middle together. Neither wins. We grin at each other. It was fun.

We run together, in time, to the next section. But as we run from one section to another the beasts get larger and we become serious. But it wasn't that hard. Torian took a few scrapes. I throw him some med pacs. I deactivate the shields while he quickly patches himself. This isn't the place for proper healing. I don't think it's too bad. A slight limp. His side has a shallow cut too. His arms are fine. That's what matters.

Torian is better at fighting people than animals. Know he started killing the later first but he's more attuned to the former. I look at him again and see he's almost finished healing. Know for now he needs me in these fights. But the day is soon coming when he will be better. Already proved it would be soon when he successfully led a squad on Alderaan. Guess I need him more than he needs me now. Did he ever need you at all?

I focus on deactivating the shield shaking my head slightly. Chieftain gave the order to deactivate the shields after I gave up trying to figure it out and started shooting it. I find shooting things solves a lot of technical difficulties. And nontechnical difficulties too.

I have earned the Chieftain's respect. He wants to know why I kill his people on their land.

'I'm looking for the woman you took.'

He calls her the blasphemer. She was spared against the Chieftains' better judgement. He suggests a trade. 'Knowledge for knowledge. Show us how to fight as you fight, and we will tell you where she is.'

An unfair deal. I spent years learning how to fight. 'I don't have years. You've got an hour. If you sweeten the deal.'

I get new weapons. A fair trade. They are an easy fight. I slow down my speed so they can observe. I give pointers, comments on what I am doing right and what they are doing wrong; where to hit and what does what. By the end, all are bleeding and have broken ribs.

The Chieftain watches. He nods. 'We see, you are whole. Weapons and body one.' Don't think anyone has ever called me 'whole' before.

I nod. 'They are the same. The weapon is your body. You are the weapon. The less you have to think about, the better.'

He nods some more. These Gormaks are kind of alright. I think the Mandalorians would get along well with them. 'We will build to account for this.'

The Cheiftan tells me where to go. We leave the arena.

Before we break into the light of day, we stop and rest. Torian hands me the water and a compliment. 'Nice drills. You're a natural.'

I wink at Torian and throw the water back at him. I'm harder on him in our training. Because I need to be.

We kill some more Gormaks before exiting their lands and destroy some weaponry before leaving Gorma - Koss. We never made a truce.

And a job is a job.


Author's apology:

iamthehoyden's Avatar

11.13.2012 , 08:50 PM | #159
I liked it, how she dealt with the Gormak. It worked
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
Fan Fiction: My Name is Solomon Crae The Man in the Box

EverSteam's Avatar

11.14.2012 , 01:25 AM | #160
Quote: Originally Posted by iamthehoyden View Post
I liked it, how she dealt with the Gormak. It worked
You always know what to say to make me feel better

A few nights later on the edge of the Dark Lands....

We camp three hours walk from where the General will be. Suns set hours ago and when we reach the top of a cliff, we set up camp. After eating the usual tough rations and setting up a perimeter of defence, we lie on the grass, my legs over the cliffs edge and eyes looking to the stars.

The grass under my back is wet and soft. It soaks through my loose under clothes. I like it's cool touch, my legs heavy thing as they dangle over the cliffs edge. I have missed such things. I wear my armour too much and for too long.

I imagine lines between the stars, constellations unfound or told of. It's a fun game I play. Used to play it on Corellia at night after I became an orphan. Wasn't much else to do. Guess I'm feeling a little nostalgic.

Time passes. Stars shooting. Voss is calm at night. It belies the stale mate and conflict of the planet. Before the Empire and Republic came, it was the Gormaks and the Voss; all twisting this world into something ugly. I want to remove the infections from the planet before it can fester. I shake my head and sneer at myself. Push the pointless bout of empathy from my mind and watch the stars.

But Torian isn't looking. His head is turned to me. Watching. There are strong feelings in his eyes and it seems for a long time they have been there. I can't meet them. And I can't put them into words. I am scared that as soon as I do, they will become lies; imagined things that disappear. And I don't think words could do justice to the affection and desire that runs so deep in them.

My lip is bleeding a little. I still have the habit of chewing it when thinking. Torian still stares. It's still unnerving. But I like it. It is when he can no longer stand to look at me, that I will crumple.

Curious about he's thinking. Been silent since we set up camp. Notice his fist clench sometimes and he will look away. Don't mind the silence. Satisfied he is with me for this. Never my best without him. Want to be the woman he deserves. But I feel I might always fall too short.

'Something on your mind? Gar nayc jorhaa'ir, ner aran.' You do not speak, my guard. Taken by a fancy to ask what he's thinking. Don't often. Don't want him to start asking me the same things in return. I don't turn my head to look at him. Easier to speak to the stars when he is staring like that.

'I'm in love with you.'

I stop.

Everything in my seems to pause; shutdown and switch off as if his words were a termination command. Only alive enough to be aware that I can't move.

And then it starts again.

I sit up choking and coughing on air, moving away from the cliffs edge. It was unexpected. And blunt. Reply is so immediate I'm not sure if he meant to say it. Guess that doesn't make a difference. Can't meet his eyes and I start scratching my wrists. I look at my wrists and realise the lack of reaction. Surprised it didn't trigger me to kill him.

I don't lie back down and Torian moves closer, propping himself up and turned to me on a straight arm. He is close. His bent knees touching my bare feet. I turn my head to him but can't look near his face. So I look at his clothes and try and think of nothing. He's wearing my favourite navy clothes that he wears under his armour. His sleeves always half rolled up messily and they are torn in a few places, his tanned skin peeking out from the slits.

'I love you, ner Cyare,' he firmly repeats it again. Not as if to convince himself but to make sure I heard. And again I feel like the air is too thick and can't fit down my throat. Never thought I'd hear those words. Strange, how his blunt feelings seem to always worm their way into my soul. And they always leave me groping for words.

'Did you just figure that out? Because I could have told you that. Might have saved you some time, ner cadur.' Try to tease him like used to. Can't think of anything else to do.

There's a difference between suspecting something and hearing it; seeing a vague shadow you turn your back to and having it put before you with no way to look at anything else. And I'm not something that should be loved. No matter how much I may love him. His mouth twitches. He shakes his head, looking down a little. When he looks back up, he is smiling.

'Known for a while. A long while.' But then his smile fades. Feel like there's something more to this and I don't want to know what it is. A little sad the embarrassment I liked to make him feel isn't there anymore.

'How long's 'a long while'?' I wink and it makes his smile come back. When he smiles like that, I know he must love me.

'How long do you think 'a long while' is?' He returns back. I smirk back and pretend to think about it hard.

'Let's see... two weeks?' He frowns and my smirk gets a little larger.

'Lot longer than two weeks. So much longer.' He kisses my cheek, my lips, my nose. But then he sighs heavily and looks uneasy again.

'You may not be alone there. I don't see the problem.'

He looks to the horizon. 'Just trying to figure out if I just got us both in trouble with Mandalore. I don't want to cause trouble for you, Cyare' He unwinds his fingers from mine and moves it to my waist. Then the ground. I am half pinned. Our faces our close; noses almost touching.

'Mandalore and clan Cadera aren't close,' he continues. Try not to smirk but I can't avoid raising an eyebrow. 'But maybe I'm just causing trouble for me.' He looks away.

I reach up and touch his cheek, turning his face to me like I did on Belsavis. 'Darasuum te jate bal jatne Mandalorian.' Always the good and best Mandalorian. 'This is a two way thing, ner atin or'dinii. If there is trouble, then it should be for us both, equally.' My stubborn fool. I flash a grin. 'And I like trouble. It just makes things more interesting.' My grin is fierce. Never lived without trouble. I don't really want to start.

I pull him down and kiss him and though he returns it, it isn't as eager as usual. He pulls away and smiles faintly at me. I guess there's only one thing I can say to make him grin.

'Don't you think it's interesting enough without any more, ner tracinya?'

I shake my head. 'Things can never be too interesting.' He looks down at me with that sad smile and it aches my body. I look away, embarrassed on what I'm about to say. Never been good at confessing real feelings.

'I love you, Torian. Stop worrying.'

He grins and his gorgeous face shines with delight. Almost reminds me of the face of a child who just got given the present he had always wanted. I knew he desperately wanted to hear it. He kisses me softly and I love everything he is. I will forever keep this important thing. I breathe another day just to keep him smiling; to make him smile.

He breaks away and pulls me to my feet. We stand close and he grips my hands tightly, between us.

'Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum. However long forever turns out to be, I'm yours.'

His voice is deep and strong. I like the man he has become. I slip a hand from his. I make a fist, bending my arm between us. A Mandalorian gesture similar to a handshake for warriors. 'Darasuum ni gar, Torian. Haat, Ijaa, Haa'it,' I reply. Eternally I'm yours, Torian. Truth. Honour. Vision.

He does the same. Our arms form a cross; the point of intersection at our wrists to symbolise a blood oath. 'Haat, Ijaa, Haa'it.'

We kiss, long and hard on that cliff, the world waiting below.

I am feel so much more than happiness as I can't stop laughing in between kisses and throughout the night. Yet I feel dread; the name for a maggot that squirms in my gut and eats everything away from the inside. It reminds me I was not made for happiness.

'However long forever turns out to be.' How long is our forever?