The Tale of Two Spacers: Part One: Felucia
One hour in, Four more to go…
“Frackin’ Mynocks…” Kal-dur Vulpes said to himself, ordering a third cup of caff to help stave off the boredom and rather annoyed sleep. He got off lucky, the space leaches didn’t eat away at anything vital, but they did get enough to ground his thirty year old freighter, the Lucky Lucy for about five to six hours… maybe seven if his luck’s run out for tonight. He had to give away a few crates of goods just to dock and get the repairs done. Hutt and Republic Credits didn’t count for crap out here in the ass end of the Galaxy; the Outer Rim.
The Ithorian bartender dropped off his caff, it was about the one drink they would never run out of here. Dense tropical rainforests, lot of things flying tree to tree, building to building. He even wagered they had to fight off the plants and vines coming in every night or so. The caff beans must have been locally grown, would defiantly enplane why it’s free.
Kal checked his chronometer again, wishing a bit the other four hours had magically ticked by and he was ready to get flying again with Sparrow in his lap. Three hours and fifty seven minutes left… Damn it.
At least the music was good in Kal’s opinion, nothing like the whiney twangs that echo though Nar Shaddaa and half the other cantinas in the Galaxy, he turned around and leaned against the bar with his back. He looked like your average spacer; faded jacket with oil stains and all, leather vest that looked like it’s been hit by a few welding slag, heavy brown pants, high boots with knee guards.
Most importantly of all, his two identical blasters on his hips, the polished black leather holsters giving a small dim glow in the dark lit cantina. It kept the muggers and drunks away, but they weren’t for show either, he knew how to use them for sure.
His eyes scanned the crowd down below the performers, mostly horns and a few drums… he even saw a quetarra leaning against an amplifier. He just kept looking onwards, that was until his eyes hit something a bit out of the ordinary, and defiantly something attractive to say the least.
She had a way about her, it wasn’t just the way her body moved with such fluidity that the sheer muscle control she utilized was a thing of beauty… But it was also in the way she worked those few barves, men and women alike, who approached her. Exchanges were made with subtle slight of hand movements and a flash of a wolfish grin that played perfectly on her full lips. That she, was a golden-skinned Twi’lek wearing a folded down black leather flightsuit that might was well have been a second skin against her legs. Her boots were well worn, and that top revealed more than it hid. Her arms and back were map of tattoos that by first glance, were obvious stories. Tales to be told at another time, in another way.
She fit in on this world about as well as he did, but the way she did her business, she could’ve fooled anyone. Tattooed eyebrows and capped teeth could’ve easily pinned her as an escort were it not for the two MandalTech blasters tucked under that folded down flightsuit. A curious study to be certain, though, it would seem that the gaze of her violet eyes had fallen upon him with a look that just seemed to know in some uncanny sense that he had begun to watch her. And is if she had singled him out, her dance changed. Something far more exotic, bordering on seductive. Need to waste a few hours, darling? Those movements could’ve spoken for the way she looked at him.
The Gunslinger couldn’t hold back a grin when her dance shifted a bit after their eyes locked, there was a certain way about her that just seemed to lasso a person in. Kal had been around the block a few times, and he knew when someone was genuinely interested in a good time.
Taking another swig from the dark and harsh caff as he set the mug down, dropped off a few coins into the till and made his way down to the dance floor. She wasn’t a local, that he could tell right off the mark. Two blasters on her hips? Spacer for sure. The tattoos? Probably self-done. She just reeked sex appeal, and from how she was moving, so did he.
His Alderaan Blue eyes looked over her soft and powerful golden form, watching her dance as he came forward. The Gunslinger would never say he was a good dancer, but most times he was being modest, he was good but nowhere near as good as she was. His face clearly showing the thick five o’clock shadow, three scars down the left side of his face, he looked like he had a few stories to tell too, but defiantly not here and then.
“Alright you ol’ bastard, she took the hook, time to reel ‘er in.” he thought to himself, confidence came from his form as he danced with her now. Trying to match her movements as best he could, but she was defiantly on a whole different league for the dance.
The Twi’lek could’ve danced circles around him with the way she moved and in fact, she did more than a few times. Though, it was clear her intention was showing him just how much control she had of that fit Huttballers form. Upon closer inspection of her tattoos, it was clear that had been professionally done. The style was what would be Soccoran, deep Corellian spacer. The gypsies of the ‘verse as it stood.
When her eyes broke his gaze, it was to size him him. That wolfish grin becoming something far more muted and far more intoxicating. It held as she danced up against him, her hand coming up to trace three taloned nails down the trio of scars on his face before she leaned in to just barely brush her lips against his as their bodies moved together. “Want ta see tha stars?” She whispered.
Her teeth nipped against his bottom lip and her fingers brushed against the underside of his chin. When she drew away, she lifted her hand up to him, palm up. Sitting atop her fingers as a small wooden box with a nuna embossed in gold on the lid. Any spacer who’d been around the Hydian a few times knew exactly what was in that box.
Bit of a damned shame to Kal’s mind. He did his damn best to steer clear of the shit ever sense… No. He couldn’t get his mind off the game even for a second now. His hand moved over hers, keeping the box closed for the time being, he really was getting a bit in deep here. Best he could do was keep going though it.
“Feelin’ a buzz off the air as is darlin’.” his tone was rather smooth, gentlemanly, and clearly showed he spent a lifetime out in space. “Reckon we can have just as good a time without it.”
Without a bit of a warning, he kicked up the dance a bit, better than he was before but still a few bits behind her. The way he moved kept pouring out experience when it came down to foreplay. He continued to flash a grin, his smile framed damn near perfectly by the stubble all over his face.
If she was a spicer, that could either make things that much easier or that much harder from here on out. Either way, he’d have to play it safe, and pray no one tries to rip her off, let alone if some junkie saw the box and wanted to get an ‘easy’ fix.
She dealt spice, but the health of her skin, her body, the vivid mind that shone through her expressions, she had never touched it. The box was eased into her palm and she brought it and her hand up to run her hand through his hair, the box disappearing down into her sleeve as her fingers brushed through his hair. It was a tactile sensation that she was addicted to.
“It’s all in how ya fly, boo.” She whispered in return, her voice a low and sultry husk. That hand she ran through his hair came to cusp the side of his neck, the other on his hip as she guided him to move with her, against her. Her nose brushed against his cheek, the faintest trace of her breath tickled at his skin.
“Good… didn’t try ta push it…” the Gunslinger thought to himself, his hands wrapping around her smooth back. The tips of each finger would feel a bit rough, like he plays an instrument or two rather regularly, but they were still soft and firm as the ran up and down her back and sides, one resting on her hip as well, the other slipping up her shoulder, the back of his hand barely avoiding her Lekku. Cheek against cheek, she could feel the stubble tickle her soft skin a bit as he continued the dance with her.
He relaxed a bit, flowing with her, dancing alongside her with a good sense confidence behind every move with her. His breath would smell a bit off the caff he just drank, but nothing too bad he hoped before he whispered into her ear, “Yer good sweetheart. An’ if this is just foreplay, I’m guessin’ the main event really will make me see them stars.” Kal was in his physical prime it seemed, in more ways than just his looks one could guess.
“This ain’t even foreplay,” She whispered in return, turning her head to rest her forehead against his temple, “This is jus’ tha preview.” The heedy tone to her voice outlined that it was a promise. He’d see entirely galaxies in her embrace.
The tips of her talon-nails lightly scratched over his skin, drawing him further into that dance and against her. An invitation to lose himself here with her. The ends of her lekku coiled against her bare back, and it was them that brushed against his hand. She was trouble, the way she moved was too good, and the act of it, too practiced. But she knew her game and there was something to it that made it apparently obvious that she could back her game up.
The Twi’lek’s attention was entirely too focused on the Gunslinger, she was hunting and in her grasp, her prey danced with her. He moved well, just how well was something her mind raced away with in wonder as she continued to look at him.
Though her attention was capitivated, she seemed she had earned the attention of two beskar-clad Mandalorians in green who watched, pointing in her direction as they spoke quietly.
It didn’t take Kal long to notice the two walking tanks, even less to notice what they were looking in on. He had a feeling the girl was trouble from the start. First the amazing dance skills, then the way how she lured him in, not to mention the Spice and the blasters on her hips, ever so discreetly hidden under that jumpsuit.
This wasn’t going to be a happy outcome as far as these things go. The Gunslinger already knew that much as is. He watched the two out of the corner of his eye but he had to keep them feeling like they had the absolute advantage. “Hate ta cut this short sweetheart… but I think we got company.” He made a gentle nudge with his head, trying to draw her attention to the two Mandalorians. “An’ they don’t look friendly.
The two armored brutes walked forward, acting as if they owned the place. Some patrons had to be pushed away, others quietly stepped aside. The Bartender dropped behind the counter, acting like he dropped a glass, and others quietly ducked out of the bar, not wanting to get shot or hurt. Kal sure as hell couldn’t blame them.
“What do ya wanna do? Start a gunfight or get the hell outta ‘ere?”
“They ain’t buckets I know.” She whispered, continuing this little dance if only for the show of it now. Her hands were on his blasters at his hips, it was far more subtle than pulling her own. And any spacer knew that running from a Mandalorian only meant they’d die tired. She’d die tired.
One of them, the taller of the two had a blaster leveled at Poy by the time they stepped onto the dancefloor. She could hear the click of their armored boots against the wooden covered duracrete. Durasteel. The sound was too high in its pitch to be beskar. Durasteel.
She drew one blaster from his hip, “Lets go.” Her words and the draw happened in a blur, Huttballers reflexes to be certain. She spun around, holding an arm out and firing a shot from her wrist at each of the buckets, striking one in a tender spot between the durasteel plates. Sleep inducers.
With that shot, she took off to the side of the stage to seek some cover and pulled him along with her. Hoping that tall one wouldn’t get a shot off.
Unfortunately he did, the bright yellow bolt flew past the tumbling spacers, his follow up however grazed Kal’s shoulder. He bit back a yell of pain as they collapsed behind an overturned bar table. People were running now. More scared of what else the Mandalorian had up his sleeve. And to be honest, so was Kal.
He knew far too well what Mandalorians were usually packing to bring in a kill. Flamethrowers, Rockets, Knives, Scaterguns… all hell was going to break loose unless they stopped him. He didn’t see what she hit one of them with, and Kal was damned glad she didn’t use it on him first. Didn’t matter now. Fight or Flight was kicking in, and if he ran he’d just get shot in the back…
The Gunslinger tried to reach for both of his blasters, but his dance partner already took one of them. The guy was armored so they wouldn’t do much other than bug bites to the living tanks. Groaning a bit, Kal reached around and found the polished wooden handle of his reserve pistol. Giving the restraint a quick pull, he drew the blue steel revolver and poked his head around the table, taking somewhat poor aim at the bastard’s head.
The hammer was back and snapped forward with a soft pull of the hair trigger. The roar of the old antique of a pistol along with the blinding flash echoed though the room, all that was left to see was if the bullet would hit it’s mark or not.
Neither Mandalorian was dead, but neither of them was in any shape to be giving chase. Poy’shiri could discern that much when the headshot sent that other Mandalorian for a bit of a backwards tumble. She drew her own blaster at this point and tossed the one she pilfered from the Gunslinger back to him, “Got a ship nearby?”
From the look on her fact, that expression of adreneline, exhiliration and being pretty damned happy she just bought some time, that preview she had offered before wasn’t going to come close to touching what came next. But it wasn’t just that, there was fear there. It lingered as a shadow in the gaze of her violet eyes and in the subtle way her hand shook as she gripped onto that fine looking MandalTech blaster of hers.
Kal caught the blaster with ease, holstering it along with his revolver for the time being. Taking a look at the Mandalorians he knew now was their chance to make a run for it. “Try ta keep up darlin’.” he said with confidence, but it only masked an inner fear of his own. He simply reached for her hand and pulled her along out of the back exit and slammed the door behind him.
There wasn’t going to be much time to slow them down, so with a bit of haste he drew his blaster in his left hand, took aim at the door controls and shot it point blank. It would at least buy them ten seconds or so. “Stick with me!” he barked a bit as he made for a dead run down the ally, the awning overhead were the only thing keeping the rain at bay, that was until they reached the street where it pelted down practically sidewise at this point. A bad storm was coming though now, and it was going to be a doozy.
A storm didn’t seem to phase her. It wasn’t a rain of blaster fire, or sith lightning. She could handle it. Kept up with him easily, that body moving with ease as they ducked behind buildings and tore through alleys, making their way towards the starport. Each time they’d turn a corner, she’d spin around with her blaster raised to watch their backs before she take off back after him.
They had enough of a head start at this point, that there was no way the Mandalorians were going to catch up with them in a torrential downpour. Which, after that crack of lightning that lit up the sky as they made their beeline, is exactly what began. Poy had enough sense to yank her goggles down from the top of her head and tap the side of them to activate the nightvision.
Kal didn’t carry around any thing that fancy, he just had to rely on his gut for the most part. The rain felt good, His jacket did a good job keeping it at bay except around the fresh blaster wound, but they didn’t have the time to stop and patch him up, they were about a block away from the Spaceport now. Something didn’t feel right though… why only two?
Kal ducked into the ally closest to them, he recalled it exiting at the spaceport itself, so it was a good short cut either way. The rain and wind was only picking up as it kept getting darker and darker, so he had to slow down a bit until they reached so close to their destination. Once again, he had a gut feeling and a raw nerve. He gently placed his hand at the top of Poy’s chest, holding her back a bit as a few armored figures walked past the end of the Ally, the only thing between them and the safety of their ships.
Kal peeked his head around the corner and pulled back immediately. “Just hold up a bit… three of ’em down there… hopin’ they aughta be movin’ on in a few.”
She was soaked, her skin and clothing dripping from the downpour. It would’ve felt good if she weren’t shivering like a twig that was getting battered around in a Hurricane. It was the adreneline and the cooling rain on her skin that made her shiver as she was. Her chest heaved as she took the moment to catch her breath and lean against the wall of the alleyway.
“So long as the Bird is docked here, they’ll be watching the entrances. Three here, another two at the side entrance.” That accent had dropped, her voice without that spacer’s brogue was a rich and full toned melody. As she spoke her head knocked against the back of the wall and she looked over to him, noticing the blaster shot finally. “Kriff,” She murmered, reaching out to run her free hand down his arm, “I never should’ve gotten you into this. I reckon it isn’t the most polite thing when a barve is just looking for a nice night.” She added with a smirk and pulled her goggles off her head to pass over to him, “See if you can make out a clan sigil on that armor. Buckets don’t usually work in packs unless they’re expecting company.”
Kal took the goggles with a nod, holding them onto his face as he looked at the Mandalorians, they had their backs turned to ally. “Can’t see anythin’… an’ don’t worry ’bout it.” He turned back to look her in the eyes, a smile crossing his lips. “Trust me… I’ve had worse things happen on a first date sweetheart.”
He turned back around to look again, the Mandos were still there, still had their backs turned, he frowned deeply and reached into his vest. Quickly pulling out a small holocomunicator. “Listen, I gotta crew on my ship, one of ’em is a Mando. She might be able ta keep them distracted long enough ta slip in an’ get to my ship. It’s the best we can do fer now.”
He turned back to her, a small stream of water dripped down directly onto his burn and he winced instantly, keeping it muffled by biting into his cheek but it still hurt like hell. No time to worry about it. He had to keep watch. Kal poked his head around, same situation as earlier. This might take a while to be certain.
“They aren’t after you, boo.” She reached out to lower his holocommunicator, her taloned nails brushed against the side of his hand. “Get to your crew, get yourself taken care of. Looks like we’ll just be having to catch each other in another hyperlane.”
She had a point, as much as she hated to admit it to herself. Outwaiting those Mandalorians wasn’t her idea of fun and it would take the Jorbe some time to reach the Outer Rim. Unless…she let go of his hand, the gears grinding fullspeed ahead in her head. “Get your crew to meet you on Ryloth, Kala’uun. Dock in hanger Herf 954 Aurek Nern.” Ryloth wasn’t far from here, “Looks like our date might not be over just yet.”
With that, she looked to him with a grin before climbing up onto a crate in the alley and pulling herself up onto the roof of whatever building they were leaning against after she holstered her blaster pistol. She stuck low to the roof as she threw her voice, “Tay’haat at cantina! Mhi ganar kaysh!” The shouting she had done in Mando’a, sounded all too well as if it had come from the direction of the cantina. Why they’d be shouting and not using their helmet comms, she didn’t know. But she hoped that these particular buckets were the typical dumb as bolts Keldabe trash that the Mand’alor had so easily manipulated.
Kal followed her up and couldn’t bloody believe what she was trying to do. In his mind he was thinking it would never work. Not in a million…
The Mandalorians quickly started running in every direction, running down the streets, the allies, all heading toward the Cantina. The look on the Gunslinger’s face was nothing short of dumbfounded. His mind completely stalled in thought as he saw each of the living tanks bolt off in the direction of the ‘shout’. With a slight grin on his face, he turned to face Poy, still shocked how that plan actually worked out. “Damn… Almost thought ya blew our cover!”
He stood up and looked for the fire-escape, grabbing a hold of it he swung around and grabbed sides he slid down to the ground below, nervously waiting for the Twi’lek to follow suite and run into the spaceport, get to her ship, and get the frack out of the system.
Poy didn’t wait to follow, she was down that fire escape just as quickly as he was and took off in a dead run for the starport. The Mandalorians wouldn’t be fooled for long and she didn’t have time to relish in the pleasant surprise that her gamble had worked.
It didn’t take but a few moments to cover the distance to the Starport and through it to her hanger deck. And she slammed her hand on the datalock, not even waiting for the blastdoors to fully retract before she slipped through them and waited for him to pass through before she closed them again and locked them down.
The hanger was empty save for her seemingly rundown XS freighter, the ramp of it was down. And even though they were safe, she still withdrew her blaster pistol to shoot the datalock and ran for the ramp, quickly keying in the security codes to open the door of her ship and rushing into it.
The inside of the Dirty Bird was an organized collection of crates and furniture. It was just as much a home as it was a ship. Tapestries of Ryloth design, often found in the religious temples hung from many of the doorways, seperating each room. The walls were painted with a myriad of murals, each depicting a different system, a different aspect of faith of the Twi’lek culture and more than a few, simply designs entwined with lyrics to songs she had written. This woman wasn’t a spice dealer, she wasn’t so much a spacer as it was a gypsy Kiva, that much was made obviously apparent upon stepping inside her ship.
Kal locked the ship behind them, looking around at his immediate surroundings he started to get a better idea who this woman was now. He was somewhat familiar with the Twi’lek customs and traditions, but this woman completely blew them all out of the water, but in a good way. Like a kid lost in the woods, he looked at everything around him, the walls, the murals, the decorations… everything was remarkable, personal… homey.
The Gunslinger seemed to relax as well, all except for the pain he was feeling in his shoulder, the wound still red and charred in someplace the more he took a look at it. Without more than a sigh, he looked down at his drenched and cold clothing as he pulled off his boots, they’d been filled a bit with some water, and horridly uncomfortable. “Don’t suppose ya got some bandages fer this?” He pointed to his wounded shoulder, he still carried that aura of confidence and the feel of a spacer about him, but jacket was ruined to say the least, or needed a damned good patch job.
She could hear the water slosh around in her boots as she made her way through the ship. There were shelves filled with datapads and few old style bound books. On the couch in the lounge was a viol and a xantha. She was a musician. There was nothing to say that she was a spice dealer, though she had shown him that aspect first. Her room could be seen off the common lounge, inside was a large mad made in rick colours and fine fabrics, it was a true boudoir. But in a corner of it there was a pile of boxes, the labels of them upon closer inspection were… baby furniture?
She didn’t look pregnant.
No, in fact, despite looking like adrowned rat, she was sauntering her way into the cockpit quickly and leaning over the pilot’s chair as she called back, “Give me a sec to get us into hyperspace.” She eased into the seat and started up the engines, there wasn’t any asking for clearance, she just took off, blasting out of the system as quickly as she could with planetary security on her ass as quick as could be. But once she was out of orbit, she hit that hyperdrive.
Out of everything else in the ship he had expected to see… baby funrature was among the last of them. He tilted his head a bit as he walked toward the bridge. “Alright… either she ain’t past the first term or she’s got a kid running around ‘ere someplace.” He thought to himself, as an experienced father himself, he knew what everything was for and the purpose that it served. It was just… odd. A woman who can move like that is rare as is, but if she was pregnant, that made this whole situation a lot different for him.
His mind spun and the cogs and gears in his brain were moving so fast that one could probably see smoke coming out of his ears by now. The gunslinger continued his way along, unzipping his vest so he could start opening his jacket, he had to get the wound out in the open before it got infected. Even with Kolto something in the blood was not fun to go though. “Lovely ship… lot more decorated than the Lucy, that’s fer sure.”
Once she was sure they were safe in Hyperspace she pushed out of the chair and came out of the cockpit, pausing to lean against the door and pull off her boots as she looked to him. “Get those clothes off, I might have something.” She hadn’t calmed from the adereneline yet, he could probably tell easily from the cant of her voice. Her boots were dropped down and she pushed off, disappearing down a corridor.
“I’ve lived on the Dirty Bird the better part of…. fifteen years now.” She explained as she could be heard digging through a crate and then moving futher into the ship, “Are you allergic to kolto?”
He didn’t need to be asked twice as he finally pealed off his jacket, his runner’s body was lean, almost void of fat and built of total muscle. He wasn’t too hairy, but he did have a noticeable amount on his chest. All over his back were burn marks, bullet and blaster wounds. Raising a hand up he fixed his hair so it was off his face, he turned again to look at the wound, red all around but he shook his head. “No, I ain’t allergic… still stings like hell.”
He looked up and around again. “Fifteen years? Damn… that’s a good while ta be on a ship.” The Gunslinger knew enough about that… he himself grew up on a ship all his life, still flies the same ship to this day.
“It’s not that long when it’s home.” She replied quietly when she emerged from behind one of the hanging tapistries and motioned to the pants he still had on. “I’ll get them dry.” She said, handing him a loose pair of black pants that were probably a few sizes too big. She was still dressed in her own soaked garments and still shivering but now wasn’t much of a time to be thinking of herself.
After moving her instruments aside, she sat on the couch and set the medkit she brought with her on her knee and motioned for him to change and sit. It wasn’t so much his physique that drew her attention, but the scars that littered his body. And she didn’t try to hide the fact she was looking.
“I agree on that one… well alright.” The Gunslinger said as he unbuckled his belt, dropping it and his pants to the deck, he didn’t mind that he was fully naked in front of her for a short time even with his back turned. It’s not that he was shy or bashful… normaly, just that the rain was really bloody cold. Without hesitation he put the new pair of pants on, making sure they were secure before he sat down with her on his right, the shoulder in clear view.
“Thanks again… hell I don’t even think we told eachother’s names yet darlin’.” He turned for a small bit to look her in the eye, “My name’s Kal-dur Vulpes, Captian of the Lucky Lucy.”
Alderaan Blue. She’d have to recreate the colour of his eyes when he was gone, when her eyes met his she paused from retrieving the kolto out of the medpak and let herself be lost in that moment. “It’s usually easier without names,” She whispered, her lips curling into a subtle smile. Something about her had changed, that playing huntress on the dance floor was long gone once she was in the sanctuary of her home. Here, it was just Poy. A woman of song and fire, of dance and prose. No, she didn’t have to expand upon her statement, they both knew what was easier. Those one night stands were never one night stands once names were exchanged.
After a moment, she remembered what she was doing and broke the gaze to apply the kolto to his shoulder. She worked some degree of experience, though she was no medic by any means. With the kolto applied, she pulled on a pair of gloves and pinched the wound closed, securing it with butterfly bandages and covering all of it with a kolto patch before she closed the medkit and tossed it onto the table. A table littered with datapads and sketchbooks.
She remained silent when she stood and leaned down to collect his clothing, it was when she rose again and looked back to him, that she paused again, taking him in fully now. “Poy’shiri.”
He got lost a bit there as well… looking deeply into her lavender colored eyes while she looked into his. They were pale, not glowing in every light, not dark in every setting… but pale, full of life. Even after her statement, it was clear that she felt something right there and then. Behind the smile, Kal saw how she was different here than back at the cantina. The Baby supplies, the caring look she now had, it was all staring to fit together like a small puzzle.
His train of thought was shattered when she applied the ice cold kolto, it burned a bit in a good way, dulling the nerves a bit before she pinched the wound and bandaged it up. It still hurt like hell, yes, but at least it was better than having it out in the open. He looked over the work a bit after she was done and had picked up his clothes, and said her name… he looked her over not like he did back at the Cantina. Not looking for the hottest woman to try his skills with. But as a person not to share the bed with for the night.
Everything he saw was painting a picture as to who she was. Not a spice dealer or a junkie, just a pure woman, one who was free from bonds, from chains, and from everything else… a free woman in her own right. “Well met Poy.”
He looked around only after she left to handle his clothing, seeing the various instruments including the Xantha. He played a bit of the Quetarra, the Xantha’s Iridonian cousin, so he knew how to play both… just it had been a long time sense he played anything.
She was gone for a fair bit of time. Both due to hanging both sets of their clothing up in the engine room and moving around the corridors of her ship in the nude before finding a loose white sundress to pull over her head and smooth down over herself before she came back out into the lounge. During that period of time, she had made tea as well, a green tea from leaves native to Tython. It wasn’t anything special, just warm and soothing.
As she held out one of the mugs to him, she found herself looking over him again. Always with the studying. But free from the cold, wet clothing, and safe in her home, her lekku portrayed the activity of her mind as they twisted around each other down the length of her spine. “I’m sorry about earlier. Not how you were expecting to spend your night, I’m sure.”
In the time she had gone, he had retuned the Xantha and was practicing some chords and scales quietly, it had been a long time sense he played anything but he set it back down the moment she came back in the sundress. It looked wonderful on her, especially around her curves and sides. He didn’t want to look for too long over her body. The smell of fresh tea rose from around her, it was relaxing in a way for the old Gunslinger as he moved over again for her to sit down. “Ta tell you the truth… yeah, not what I was expecting’… but dose that mean it’s been bad? Hells no.”
He smiled again, his mind drifting back to the baby supplies, remembering something deep in his memories, of a good time but a sad ending again. “I gotta say though, that was one hell-uv-a reality check I guess Poy.” He reached over for a mug the moment she would offer one, taking a long sip without sugar or anything else added, offering another of his confident smiles to her. Trying to make her relax as well.
She was home, and in that home she was calmed. Now out of the wet clothing, she was no longer shivering. And the the sound of the music he had played was unexpected soothing. It had been too long since another musician had been in her ship. She eased down to sit next to him, kicking her feet up onto the table and crossing her legs at the ankle. In the dim lights of the ship, the golden hues of her skin glowed in a subtle way. And those legs of hers seemed to go on for miles. “The Cartel has 25,000 for my capture,” She offered as an explaination, “I…steal Twi’lek’s that have been sold through vassij’ra, the religious rite of slavery and set them up with free lives. Been dealing spice to fund it, spice, arms, information…” She didn’t know why she was telling him this. But after taking a drink of her tea she looked to him again, her lekku coming up to wrap around her shoulders.
It was those eyes.
He didn’t quite know what to say after all that. She was calmed, she was relaxed, and she just told him everything. Why she acted the way she dose. Why she did the things she did… he couldn’t help but be touched by it in some deep way by her.
To Kal, it had been months sense a total stranger could do that to him… he knew damned well the risks of getting attached to someone you couldn’t control, and by all means and technicalities, this woman wasn’t one to be tamed. She freed slaves, and she only did the bad things like spice to make sure she could continue to take people away from slavery.
He looked down and away from her lavender eyes for a bit, only to be pulled back upwards toward them again, and he simply spoke from the heart, “I do ’bout the same thing myself… ‘cept it’s mostly refugees. People runnin’ from the war, lookin’ fer a safe haven away from it all. Hell… if anyone ever comes up to me an’ asks for my help fer anythin’… it’s a cold day in hell when I would say no.”
He wasn’t lying either. What was the point right now? She was pouring her heart out, telling him things she’d likely never tell just another spacer in the bar. It would only make him feel ashamed of himself if he didn’t at least do the same to her.
“Slaves, refugees, it’s the same business. Refugees don’t make you enemies with the Cartel though. I think you took the smarter route.” She said with a smile, it was a subtle smile; genuine and serene in how it was offered. She couldn’t take her eyes away from him, something about them drew her in and refused to let her go.
There was no hint of another person ever having lived on her ship, there was no hint of ever having shared her life save for a holo-image that sat on an old datashelf on the far end of that common area. It was set up next to a Mandalorian helmet. It was Poy and a man that stood about six inches taller than her and had a good hundred pounds of muscles on her. He had long black hair from what could be seen and tattoos that matched hers in style only. The widow of a Mandalorian. No, this wasn’t a place she took one night encounters. But bringing him here might not have been her real intention at all.
When she did finally look away, it was to take a drink of her tea and nod towards the Xantha. “How long have you played?”
Kal couldn’t help himself but to give a smile back, not taking his own eyes off her as well. There was something about her, her beauty, her story, even her wit. She was every bit a Spacer that one could be, but so very different at the same time. She was marvelous. She was fantastic. It was just a bit of a shame she seemed to not show this to anyone, but it was understandable at the same time.
He noticed the Mandalorian helmet when he first came in. He knew better than to ask about it. Right now it was a time to debrief, time to unwind, and have a totally unplanned and unexpected night. “Well… I’ve played a quintara sense I was ten.” The Gunslinger chuckled at the memories of him failing to play in the first place. “Ain’t much a difference between ’em if you ask me… just gotta play it a bit different is all. What about you? Yer hands were ’bout as smooth as a babies when you were feelin’ me up earlier.”
She smiled again, this time looking back up to lose herself in those eyes again. it was easy for her to shift her mug from one hand to the other in order to hold a hand out to him, palm up and fingers extended out. Her nails were long, taloned claws that were so common amoung Twi’leks. Though, she kept hers maintained, well-manicured though not coloured. It was obvious that she did care for herself, not losing herself to the solitude of space as so many spacers did. “Oils and lotions, really. ” She admitted, but if he felt her fingertips there were deep seated calluses under that soft layer of skin.
“You lack the horns to be playing a Quetarra, how did you go about learning that one?”
He chuckled a bit, outstretching a hand to feel the tips of her fingers, she did keep them well cared for. That was for damned sure. Much better than his own. Covering each tip was a hard but passably smooth calluses, even down to the palms of each hand, it showed not only did he play a lot, he worked a lot. He couldn’t help but again look up into her eyes, offering another genuine smile. “One of the guys who worked on the ship I grew up in was a Zeb. He taught me how ta play when we had down time.”
He flashed the same honest smile he had before with her, looking at the other instrument she had laying there beside them. “Say… maybe a bit of music might add to the mood. What do ya say?”
She tilted her chin up at the viol, she didn’t need to look to know exactly where it was. It was a handcrafted piece, the designs carved into it matching the sleeved tattoos that covered her arms. Her eyes still remained trapped by his when she took his cup of tea from him, leaning forward just as she did but bowing her head down before she got too close. No, she didn’t want to seduce him. Seduction had played its role but it no longer had a place here.
The two cups of tea were set onto the table and she took the viol when it was handed to her, slowly standing as she brought up to nestle between her chin and shoulder. When she brought the bow up to the strings, her body began to move with the music that was created. This wasn’t a dance meant to be that act of sexual seduction, it wasn’t even a dance that she performed for him, it was merely how the music moved her.
As she played, she held that gaze as long as he would have it.
And indeed he held it. Not daring to take his eyes off her as she began to play and move with the music. In his mind, he was thinking rather deeply, how the hell did it end up like this? Not that he was complaining in the slightest regard. In fact he was enjoying every passing moment of the song and the dance. Getting lost a bit in her graceful movements, watching her body roll and twist every second. It was certainly a sight to truly and honestly behold.
He kept the gaze, taping his hand along with the beet, keeping time along with her as his grin grew wider and wider with every passing second. When the song would end, he wouldn’t applaud her with clapping, but with a sincere smile and honest tone. “That was absolutely beautiful, Poy. An’ I ain’t just talkin’ about the music.”
Keeping the gaze he picked up the Xantha and began to play a few chords on it, lending in his voice this time as he began to play a rather simple toon, but one that could melt any heart. Like her, his tone wasn’t seduction, far from it. It was to perform for her, to have her enjoy the moment of connection with a friend who a few hours ago was a total stranger.
She listened, tossing the bow of the viol and plucking at the strings with the tips of her claws as he played. Her hips continued to twist and roll with the music, and as he played with her, sang for her, she smiled. Where had he come from? She was almost scared to ask but she was willing to just accept it.
When he had finished singing, she stashed the viol on the couch and leaned down to take the xantha from him, laying it beside the viol where he had sat and pulling him up to dance with her. This wasn’t the same dance she had made earlier, no, this was slow. A simple movement of their bodies being brought together and his hands in hers. “Who are you, Kal-dur?” She asked, still looking into that gaze of his. “Why have I met you?”
He was almost dumbfounded by her actions. He playing along was what he had intended from the start, but to end up with her, holding him tightly, locked in a gaze and dancing together as they were. He too had been wondering where this woman had come from, unsure of what he had done right to end up with a now quiet evening with this beautiful woman. She was… almost like a kindred spirit, someone to call forward to relate experiences with. Someone who understood what had transpired. She was powerful, beautiful, all wrapped up with that bit of mystery and glory.
If things had gone the way she planed before, just get laid and go home satisfied, they would have been happy. But to pass up something like this, even while the opportunity wasn’t originally there… it would have been something the Gunslinger thought he and Poy would regret for a long, long time.
“I dunno… guessin’ the winds were in our favor.” He shrugged a bit, he didn’t know where that phrase came from, but he sure knew what it meant. “Sometimes I think we don’t need ta know all the time why things happen. I say just ta let it all play out. See how things go.”
She knew that sentiment, she knew it well. It was a lie she told time and again but never believed. To hear him tell her such a thing, in such a genuine tone, he wasn’t feeding her a line. Poy didn’t need to know where he had come from, nor did she need to know who he had been. She wished to learn who he was and where he was going. She wondered if she was going there with him. They moved so slowly together, yet it was a dance with a melody that haunted them from the music they had played for one another.
Before this night went any further, Poy felt herself compelled to whisper, “I’m pregnant.” A heavy truth, but one she wanted to be upfront about, “The father is not in the picture.” There was nothing said in between the lines of her words. She wasn’t looking for someone to be a father, it was just a truth and in some ways a warning, she didn’t have the time for games. Just take what you wanted before and go, just go, or, if this isn’t a game, dance.
Kal continued to dance, but the ideas that he had lined up in his head all clicked into place. He continued to dance wit this woman, he could tell she could handle herself more than easily, he could tell she could do amazing things without a problem, without hesitation. She was a beautiful woman, and up to the point when the Mandalorians came in for her head, yes it was a game. But after narrowly escaping a full kill squad of Living Tanks, getting onto the ship, singing, dancing, drinking tea, sharing stories… no. It wasn’t a game any more.
“I was gonna say, I had a feelin’ ’bout a kid bein’ in the picture a while back…” he said in his honest tone. “I got one of my own too. Got a picture of her with my stuff.” He dropped everything that was in his pockets before he took off his jacket and went up to the bridge, they were in a small discreet and neat pile by the entrance. He had to be blunt and honest as well in this case. She already had a surrogate Mother in her life… she didn’t need another no matter how much Kal wanted one for her. “An’ frankly. It don’t change much ’bout right here an’ right now.”
“It changes everything,” She answered. The survival, the singing, the dancing, the flying, the drinking of tea, the sharing of stories. This wasn’t for the here and now, this had the beginnings of something else, and hearing of his own child didn’t change her mind at all, though she wondered about the mother, “Her mother part of your crew? Or you have her in a port somewhere?”
A question that would have a telling answer.
Kal’s eyes darkened a bit, as if there was a bad story behind it, one that was a bit depressing to speak about, but he would talk about it anyways. “I never really knew her Mom… she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Got caught in the crossfire between me and some thugs in the Red Light District. I was there tryin’ ta save another friend.” His heart dropped, remembering back to that night on Nar Shaddaa…
“The last thing she said was to save her baby… I did just that. I got ‘er out of that mess an’ to someplace safe.” It was painfully clear he thinks back to those actions a lot, his tone was a bit darker, but clearly obvious. “After that… I just couldn’t let her go.”
“Not your child?” She asked, the weight of the story he told her was not lost on her. Her fingers had threaded with his and she brought their combined hands up to just under her chin as they had stopped. or had come to a stop. She knew well enough that family was far more than blood. And regardless, there was something to the devotion and the honour this man showed her in that one story.
“No… not by blood. But I love her as if she were my own.” His mind lingered on the night he first got the little one. Her jade green eyes rolling with tears, her toothless screams for her mother. For protection in that time of need. And he was there for her, no one else. He loved Sparrow like his own flesh and blood. That’s all that matters.
The Gunslinger, the old Spacer took comfort in the embrace and presence of this once total stranger. Of this woman he for a short time thought was a Spicer or worse… Now someone with a name. Someone with a voice, a heart, a soul. To Kal it didn’t matter if she was pregnant. If the father didn’t want to be in the picture, the child didn’t deserve him as a father.
For now that didn’t mater. He took shelter with this woman. He knew Sparrow was safe right now, he knew she was in comfort. For right now though, just for one moment, maybe even longer. It was just him and this woman. And it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. It was all that mattered now.
Poy’shiri couldn’t speak, but there was no way that she could put the thoughts that were running through her head into words. This man who had walked into her life as simply as so many others had made their way into her bed and back out, she could have that, easily. And one of her hands slipped from his and she reached up to cusp the side of his cheek and leaned up to brush her lips against his but she paused just short of the action and eased back down, her hand remained though. She wasn’t being a tease, this was something more. She was dening herself the easy gratification.
“How do you do it with your lifestyle?” She asked, both curious and as a tactic to help her take control of herself once more. It was just them and she didn’t know if it would carry on beyond this night, but as she looked up at him again, part of her hoped…and that hope was dangerous.
The hand on his cheek, he felt the warmth from her, he felt the burning curiosity, the desire to know. And that question just echoed in his mind. How did he do it? To him the answer was simple… but at the same time, right here, right now, so hard to say. Who was this woman? Why did he meet her? Kal honestly didn’t know. “I had a good bit of help… Day one I knew I couldn’t do it on my own… My crew was there fer me. My Friends were there ta help me when times got tough.”
He felt the urge, the overwhelming urge to throw it away right here, right now, to kiss her, with no regrets… but she hesitated when she wanted to kiss him. “Why?” he thought… but it didn’t matter for now. “Without them… hell… I don’t think either me or her could’ve survived as long as we have.”
Something deep in Kal was stirring… he hadn’t felt like this for what felt like decades. When a total stranger shared an experience like this. What would happen beyond this night? What would they do without this bond? Cut it short and walk away with nothing more? Kal hoped that wouldn’t be the case… but he knew how easy it was once you get to know someone, how badly it will hurt when you see them go.
The fear, that was entered her gaze and what had shadowed it ever since she admitted to the pregnancy. Fear. It was just her. He could see that by looking around. She mentioned a crew, employees, but no one who shared this intimate aspect of her life. No one who had her back. There was no lonliness, no need or regret to the situation. But she would have to evolve to survive with just her and her child when the time came.
It was that fear that made her hold back from that kiss, she wanted something, she wanted to spend as much time as she could in the middle of their conversation. She didn’t want to lose this moment. The galaxy was a big place filled with twists and turns and she was scared that she might lose him if he walked off the ramp of her ship. She continued to look up at him, her fingers brush over his cheek. Whatever stirred inside him, had stirred in her as well. It was shown in the depth of which her breath came now, how slowly it came.
She was lost in the currents of this storm, as perfect as it had become. And Poy found that she was scared to blink, she was scared of missing that moment that would change the night. Would change them and this meeting. That moment that would change everything.
The hyperdrive beeped a warning, they had arrived at Ryloth.