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Beyond - Legends Saga - Legends Ἀνάγκη – Necessity beyond Sway | Thrawn, OC, drama/tragedy, pre-ANH to TTT | Epic, e-book available

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Chyntuck, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Terrific discussion. Thrawn unloaded a lot and risked even more. Ayesha's pointed questions were reflective of her desire to know him in toto. They are definitely valid. She feels safe enough to ask them and Thrawn is trusting enough to give her genuine answers.

    What he says about her role in completing/balancing him [face_love] is so true!
    Kahara, AzureAngel2, Gemma and 3 others like this.
  2. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    29: How nice that for once Ayesha doesn't just bulldoze one of Thrawn's boundaries. She's sloooowly progressing. Ayesha's worked him ragged, that's what! Putting up with a Delicate Sensitive as Intense as Ayesha isn't an easy feat.

    It was a kind gesture but I'm glad she realises it was hasty. Poor Thrawn keeps getting shafted. I feel bad for him.

    30: Really? How? Any second Ayesha can turn on Thrawn and explode. Again, his caution is entirely with cause.

    It is good they will have some breathing space apart. Hopefully Thrawn can recharge and Ayesha will make strides balancing.

    Good to see Thrawn beginning to assert his own ways.

    Thrawn's letter is sweet but once again way too self-critical. He has been GIVING the whole time. What Ayesha needs is balance.

    31: Yet again ignoring Thrawn's wishes. This is not a good trend. The creative drive is remarkably persistent in some. I'm glad to see Ayesha is finally beginning to thaw. Why in the Universe does she resent his protectiveness? It is natural for a male to be protective of his woman.

    How about Ayesha takes her own advice and realises Thrawn has his own standards?

    Well, she's trying now but Ayesha's still being too abrupt and forceful. She's too dismissive of Thrawn's concerns.
    AzureAngel2 and Chyntuck like this.
  3. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Apr 18, 2000
    “I am,” he replied evenly. “I am ambitious, arrogant and proud. Rumour has it that I can also be rather crisp,” he added with a twitch of his lips before becoming serious again. “I plan carefully my every move and I seek to out-think and outwit my opponents, and when they cannot be salvaged I seek to destroy them. I can be quite ruthless when I find it necessary. But, to come back to the reason I wanted to have this conversation with you, you should know that I am nothing of all this when it comes to you, and truth be told I do not know how to handle that very well.”

    I think this sums up this chapter. Thrawn is very good at strategic thinking. He isn't malicious generally speaking, but he isn't going to let fools stand in his way. Ayesha strikes me as one who would much rather just leave the drama and politics alone. She sees no reason to engage it because for her it gets her nothing but unwanted attention. That said, she certainly understands it, in fact reads it quite well and could make it work for her if she had to. And now that Thrawn has given her a reason to care about it, she will behave accordingly. Given her past, I'm not at all surprised there is a line that she is unwilling to cross, and she will make it known to those fools who think they can indeed cross it. That was information Thrawn needed to know that because he will need to factor it into how he deals with the Court. I'm a little surprise he didn't anticipate it, or at least something like it, might happen. It isn't like she hasn't point blank told him time and again that she can take care of herself, thank you very much.

    Also I love the ending. The ability to laser focus on the subject at hand can lead to some interesting moments...[face_whistling]
  4. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003
    Oooh, what a great way for the morning to begin... yay! :D

    A lot of those misunderstandings between the two just happen because they are so very different and also come from totally different backgrounds, but still, their relationship is working somehow, and that's the fascinating thing.
    Opposites attract each other, I know what I'm talking about... [face_whistling]

    Cushy, what you wrote about putting up with a delicate sensitive suddenly reminded me of reading about Highly Sensitive People a while ago (yes, another category to put people into, but Elaine Aron's books are really fascinating) - well, maybe Ayesha can be considered as one?

    Okay, more later, really gotta start working now... [face_blush]
  5. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    This was my favorite part. I like that he prefaced this long conversation with breakfast in bed.
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  6. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    @ Csillan_girl

    Yes, I'd say so. Ayesha reminds me a lot of me minus the ways she expresses herself. I am a Delicate Sensitive so I know what it's like. Can be very Emotionally Intense as well. I empathise with both but as anyone here can tell it's much easier for me to relate to Thrawn as older men 'speak' to me and I have difficulty with fellow women particularly when they are like Ayesha always driving and hardly ever willing to trust anyone. I intensely dislike Alphas due to personal history.
    AzureAngel2 and Chyntuck like this.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Fascinating take Cushing's Admirer -- I see Ayesha as being courageous and also "delicate", a seeming contradiction expressed by her defensiveness and assertiveness in varying contexts. I think Thrawn's gift to her is allowing her a safe place to be vulnerable and trusting. [face_thinking] They both learn and enrich themselves via their relationship with one another. [face_dancing]
    AzureAngel2, Chyntuck and Findswoman like this.
  8. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    It's my hope they both enrich and grow from this. Thus far it's a very sloooooow process. I so commend Thrawn for putting up with Ayesha. I see Thrawn as the courageous one. :) I honestly just want to shake Ayesha sometimes she's so insistent that everything is always her way and hardly ever does what Thrawn needs and makes digs at him constantly. That would be hard to take. In spite of the words used I do not see any humour in her manner, I think it's stated as such in an attempt to say 'this not mean' and it doesn't work.
    AzureAngel2, Chyntuck and Ewok Poet like this.
  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Cushy, here is a thought: as somebody who too sees this relationship as unrealistic and the connection as lacking a lot of elements, but for different reasons, I think it may be like that on purpose, so it eventually ends up in a horrible, horrible way. Lust as a main component of anything often leads to that.

    Also, the relationship itself, especially the detailed intimacy, may be a MacGuffin here. Just look at how you picked on things in the fourth chapter, the same things that took me over twenty chapters to figure out. :)
  10. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    Yes, I have noticed she is highly lustful and I don't like it. It's the chief way she subdues and controls him and he falls for it. :(

    What is a MacGuffin, please?
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  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
  12. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003
    Mac Guffin - okay, I just learned something new. ;)

    Hm, I also noticed that Ayesha sometimes acts like "my way or the highway", but I really don't think that's intentional, or controlling.
    She's just a really stubborn one, and that's not always a bad trait.
    They've both got their "no, I won't talk about this" moments (Outbound Flight or the threats in the Unknown Regions come to mind), so it's not just her.
    It seems like Ayesha is not used to showing her more vulnerable side to someone, and when she does, then a few moments later, she seems to almost regret it and is like "I can do this alone".
    And which girl would want her man to think that she's not strong and independent? ;)
  13. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    For some perhaps.

    What I don't like is that thus far Ayesha not only leads but she badgers Thrawn till he givens in. Hardly ever does she respect his boundaries while demanding he respect hers. This isn't the way of a healthy relationship. Perhaps that is the point, I don't know but it unnerves me.

    Likewise, my view of what strength is varies from probably everyone else here to some degree. In any case I don't read Ayesha as strong and independent. That may be what she wants and is striving for but not what she is.

    Needing a man isn't horrible either. :) To Cushy a relationship should be about: safety, love, trust, respect, growth, and working to balance out the partner's needs.
    AzureAngel2 and Chyntuck like this.
  14. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003
    Hm, I guess Ayesha is still in the process of making the transition from "I'm all alone out there, fighting to survive after everything bad that happened", solely relying on herself, to "I can permit myself to show my more vulnerable side, and I won't be loved any less for it".

    Just my take on it...

    Edit: The autocorrect function is from one of the nine Corellian hells... :rolleyes:
    stupid thing always wants to turn English words into German words, aaagh!!!
  15. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    Oh, she very much is still in transition now that she's moving. I don't dispute that I just hope it picks up.
    AzureAngel2, Chyntuck and Ewok Poet like this.
  16. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003
    I guess getting rid of that Darkside influence, or whatever it is, would help her enormously.
    Let's wait and see. ;)
  17. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    I'm not sure I'd buy this is all because of the Emperor but I haven't caught the rest of the way up. I just hope she cools it before either or both of them burn out.
    AzureAngel2 and Chyntuck like this.
  18. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003
    Perhaps it wasn't the Emperor, but some other Darksider who did that to her?
    Jerec comes to mind, for example, or some of the others?

    Whoops, just saw your edit above.
    Yes, respecting Thrawn's boundaries, that she had to learn.
    But I feel like she realized that already.
    And is getting better at it.

    OK, enough procrastinating, CG's back to work... O:)
  19. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    As far as I recall no others have been mentioned except Vader and Dooku she seems to be excluding Skywalker as a possibility but I guess it's possible. Emperor is still the Copperhead though.

    32: Really? Does Ayesha have a quip for everything? She trying now but she'd be doing worlds better if she started factoring in Thrawn's stances and input. Not simply always driving and he accepts it. Quite an experience for Cushy to read a tale with such a strong female in control factor.

    Prior posts comment: Ayesha's pretty darn defensive. Is her sarcasm a deflector? It reminds me a bit of how Sir used humour as a disarmer.

    33: Glad Ayesha is finally relenting a fraction. In most relationships I too tend to 'lead' due to delicacy and not having shields, but I strive hard to continually inquire after the other one's interests and welfare as I know dealing with Weeping Storm or Shrill Frustrated Cushy can be straining. I hope this is indication Ayesha is starting to realise Thrawn is the Real Deal and she can trust him even with doubts and mishaps. Cushy still learning this with Brothers and I is so grateful.

    Well, not surprised at all he still cedes but at least she's not throwing a fit this time.

    Raised brow

    I know exactly what Thrawn means but from much more Ayesha's side of things. It means the world to have someone fare the storms and love you anyway and it truly can boggle the mind.

    Yes, she is finally considering him from his pov. I'm so happy! Asking questions and clarifications is work but can be very good.

    Thrawn's comments made Cushy laugh. I really think the Human superiority thing is largely fanmade.

    I think that the Non-Aggression Law is marvellous and at least his People didn't kill him for repeatedly breaking it. :)

    That's a shame. Removing said Law would be a mistake likely undermining the whole society. Because he's asking you to respect his trust, maybe??? These two main occurrences are very likely to cause BIG problems down the line though. Both basically on his part likely as well, unsurprisingly. His oath and his trust here. Darn straight ya do! Very unlikely pair indeed. However, I have seen proof that rarely such really do work wonderfully and it's not always as mates, either.

    Of course, always her conditions. Sighs

    34: Can it be that the Ice has truly shattered? I hope so! Thank you, Simon, a voice of reason. Nice he calls it for what it likely actually is.

    I mostly like Dex and Simon is okay. I like the Wookiees. :) I believe it. Ayesha's spirit was probably broken forcefully that is darn hard to recover from and scars are permanent. Least now her defensive manner and particularness has a context.

    35: I like Koch, I think she's the best female present thus far. :D I do hope she starts asking his feeling before the fact soon.

    Reputations aren't always true, ya know.

    Bravo, Thrawn. Not all Imperials are the 'unfeeling' monsters they are usually painted as. Same goes for Humans and Near-Humans, Ayesha. No one has it 'easy'. Honestly, girl you ARE too much. You assume so much and incorrectly.

    Ah, people are too extreme with Thrawn. He's Chiss but he isn't fashioned of ice. :p


    Can I shake her yet?

    36: Typhoon Ayesha inbound! My, everyone is forgetting their manners. Baffled over Thrawn? Ha! Try Ayesha! I tell you I want to shake her out of this denial!

    Bravo, Thrawn! Glad you're finally telling her you matter too. Applause Why shouldn't he be concerned with his work? You are about yours! Huffs at Ayesha's unreasonablness Not going to happen you need to deal with Thrawn is different than you. Ayesha rarely ever handles anything.

    C'mon, if she has a right to fit so does he but she never lets Thrawn be. The pattern continues. Very sad but at least I finally see a shimmer of hope. I'm amazed Thrawn hasn't cracked yet.

    37: As ever, very courageous of you, Thrawn. Good grief, Ayesha. That's true, innocence is not naivety but it is often confused for it. Yet, I don't think either fits Ayesha. I already knew Vader is like her guard dog it's almost funny. Ayesha continually astounds me. She has more pity for Vader than compassion with Thrawn.

    Look who's talking, Miss! Ayesha, you are even more arrogant than Thrawn is. That speech was beautiful. However, I do hope you will soon be released from this trend of always extolling Ayesha's virtues and painting yourself as dirt, Thrawn. It hurts to see how you cut yourself down. :(

    That last bit almost had me laugh due to Ayesha's absurdity. She is the one that initialises almost always. :p

    Whoa, what a workout, Chyn. Crazy ride. Cushy needs to go sort stuff out now to calm down.
    AzureAngel2 and Chyntuck like this.
  20. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Wow, I am humbled by so many excellent comments that I hardly know what to write now. I am also sorry that I missed the whole nomination thingy. I am always so busy with RL in February...

    Anyway, Thrawn should not use Luke as a bargain chip at all. This provokes much more trouble than this is worth.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  21. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Intriguing conversation in the last chapter; Ayesha now has information that is scarce -- and I don't know whether to worry about that, that either someone will use it against her or she'll try to do something... I don't know what.

    Everything about recent chapters has me anticipating doom. [face_nail_biting]Just... the Emperor wants you destroyed, he'll find a way. And the whole incident with the vultures has me sensing there's an unavoidable trap being set. Perhaps she could have dodged that conversation somehow... but a group that powerful? Forever? I just don't think so. It looks bad for the future, particularly given that she and Thrawn seem to fall apart under this particular pressure rather than standing together. She may not trust him as much anymore. Meanwhile, Thrawn may be coming to see her as a problem unwilling or unable to avoid getting him into a mess with the Emperor. Which isn't going to end well for her. It's sad, because they do care so much and try so hard for each other, but yeah. This is the beginning of the end for them, I'm starting to suspect. And it's probably going to be ugly.

    Regarding the discussion that seems to be ongoing in the comments here, I have to say that I find Ayesha quite likable -- however, I tend to like characters based on their positive or interesting traits rather than on their absence of troubling ones. She does have a defensive edge of sorts, though it didn't previously occur to me as a major feature of her personality. On reflection, I think both she and Thrawn are out to prove themselves in their ways. I suppose I identify more with her than with Thrawn, so I find it harder to see his side of their disagreements. Though I do like his portrayal in this story, he's just not someone that I think of as having things in common with me. So I "get" Ayesha's concerns more easily.
  22. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Hi everyone and thanks again for reading and reviewing!

    This is unfortunately again a day where I don't have nearly enough time to answer all your comments and do them justice, but I'll try to reply to the most important points.

    First of all, like Ewok Poet I love the different perspectives on the story in your comments -- when I started writing this, I chose deliberately to avoid character POVs and use (mostly) an external POV so that the readers could fill the blanks, and it's interesting to see how each person interprets a situation from the personal baggage they bring along. Also, I would have thought that, for someone who's read the Thrawn novels, it would be quite obvious what Thrawn finds in Ayesha, but there again I'm realising that there's plenty of room for interpretation. As for what Ayesha sees in Thrawn, it's not supposed to be obvious at all :p

    When it comes to Ayesha's personality, yes, she's a deeply flawed person -- whimsical, headstrong, etc -- but to me so is Thrawn. He's withholding a lot of information about himself (the fact that he hasn't ever invited her to his quarters until she asked was meant to be symbolic of that) and, even though I left it open to interpretation, he's doing it for the wrong reasons, e.g. you can only imagine why he wouldn't tell her about Outbound Flight. Plus, the reason I have him be so protective of her is that I think he's getting her wrong, i.e. when someone has issues to overcome like Ayesha, to shelter them from these issues isn't necessarily to do them a favour. Lastly, Thrawn (not unlike Ayesha) is someone who wants to have his cake and eat it -- he wants to have his work with the Empire and to have Ayesha in his life and to protect her from the people he's taking orders from and to support her in her struggle against slavery while working for a system that uses slaves, etc, etc. As some of you said above, this will inevitably go wrong at some point [face_mischief]

    Finally, to talk a bit about the world in which this story takes place, my view of the Empire is that they are the bad guys. It's a totalitarian regime and, like all totalitarian regimes, it discriminates against a wide variety of social groups and resorts to unacceptable methods in order to maintain itself. This doesn't mean of course that every single person who works for the Empire is a bad person, but that they're willing to cross a number of lines that people should never accept to cross. This applies to a number of things that have been mentioned already, like slavery, speciesism and Alderaan, but also to issues that will come up in future chapters.

    And with this major tease, on to chapter 38, which is the end of part I ;)
  23. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Tags: AzureAngel2 Findswoman Gemma K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Mando-Man Raissa Baiard
    Please let me know if you would like to be added or removed from the tag list.

    And one big thanks to Nyota's Heart for beta-reading!


    Chapter 38: The new ambassador

    They settled into habits as the days went by. Ayesha had been able to sell a few pieces of her art over New Year Fete, and she was now busying herself with the collective exhibition she was preparing with her friends. “We decided to call it the Plebeian Exhibition,” she told Thrawn. “It’s going to be only works made from materials that are not considered noble. I’m amazed at the number of alien but also human artists who expressed interest in participating. Apparently we’re not the only ones to be fed up with the snobbery of the Coruscant art scene.” Valeria volunteered to help find a suitable venue and joined regularly the little group of friends when they gathered in the evenings, and Thrawn listened – with great interest but also amusement – to their plans for what they had dubbed the overthrow of Imperial art.

    “First you have me toast to breaking the law in the Centre, now this,” he said one night as they slipped in bed after a particularly irreverent discussion about the Emperor’s artistic preferences. “You will make a Rebel of me after all, Ayoo’sha’nek.” She gave him a mock angry look. “It is good that the historians of the future will never know about these conversations,” he added. “I shudder at the thought of what could be said of the only alien admiral in the chronicles of the Empire.”

    She was grinning as she let a finger trail from the Japor snippet around his neck to his navel. “There’s a lot more about you that would make the historians of the future shudder, or at least blush, if they knew about it. Maybe I should leak some information so that people get to hear about the real stuff of legend you do. Now please let me see your tactical skills at dealing with this unforeseen situation,” she continued when he failed to suppress a groan as her hand travelled further down. “I’m told that your creativity in this area knows no limits, and I expect you to provide strong evidence, you know.”

    Thrawn regularly went to High Command now that he was back on planet, but more often than not, he stayed and worked from home. “My task force is detached from the Fleet command structure,” he explained. “There is no need for me to go to the Palace when I have such a wonderful room to work here.” He spent hours on end in his study and soon noticed that Ayesha avoided entering it as often as possible. “Is there a reason you never come in?” he asked her once.

    She shrugged. “I just think you should have a space at home where you can be an admiral.” Her reply earned her an inquisitive eyebrow. “I learned more about your work in the past few weeks than in all the time I have known you, Thrawn. I’m still getting used to it.”

    He studied her face carefully. “Would you like me to take my work back to the Palace? I am entitled to a private office there if this makes you uncomfortable.”

    “Of course not. Your admiralness is part of you. As I said, I just need some time to get used to it.”

    He gazed at her in silence. “I will at least hold my meetings elsewhere,” he said finally. “I do not want to disturb you with a constant flow of visitors.”

    “No,” she said firmly. “You will hold your meetings here and nothing will disturb me. This is our home now and you agreed to act as if you own the place, barring what, I’ll spill the beans on the Empire of the Hand.” She marched him to his study, forced him on his chair and planted a kiss on his mouth. “Get to work now. And just keep running your business the way you always did.”

    She strongly suspected that he had ignored her threat because no visitors showed up, until Voss Parck came over on a Centaxday afternoon to report on the status of the Admonitor when the Star Destroyer finally returned to Coruscant. Ayesha greeted him with a warm smile and led him to Thrawn’s study, then fetched two tankards of Forvish ale and closed the door behind her as she left. She returned to her workshop to get some work done and went to prepare herself in a hurry when she realized it was time to go to the Centre. The two men were still conferring when she knocked on the door to tell Thrawn she was on her way out. “I’m sorry I must leave, Captain Parck,” she said politely. “I’m babysitting tonight.”

    “I’m the one who should be apologizing for disturbing you in your home,” Parck answered.

    “You are not disturbing us at all, Captain. Next time I hope we can have dinner together.” She turned her gaze to Thrawn. “There’s food on the stove if you ever decide that this man needs sustenance,” she added sternly. “I know I’m a rotten hostess, but I can’t have the Captain telling the whole Fleet that all he got here was flat ale.” Parck struggled hard not to laugh as he turned back to Thrawn. The admiral was his cool, calculating self, but the twinkle of amusement in his eyes didn’t go unnoticed.

    The doorbell rang again two weeks later, and Ayesha found a man barely out of his teens standing on the landing pad. “Crewman Halber Prashat, at your service, Ma’am,” he said, snapping his heels nervously. “I’m Admiral Thrawn’s orderly and I have an urgent message for him.”

    She ignored his bemused look when she held her hand out for him to shake and led him to the study. She was already back in front of her potter’s wheel when Thrawn knocked softly on the workshop doorframe. “I am afraid that I must leave Coruscant for a short while, Ayoo’sha. Something came up that I must deal with.”

    She stood up without hesitation. “Do you need help packing?”

    His expression clearly indicated that it was not the reaction he had expected, but he merely smiled. “Not at all, Ayoo’sha. Although a small bottle of that sweet Wookiee addiction of yours would not be unwelcome for the shuttle trip to the Admonitor.”

    She went to the kitchen to prepare a bottle of chilled wroshyr sap syrup for him and brought a glass for Prashat who was waiting by the door. The young man blushed intensely as he accepted it from her. “Thank you, Ma’am, that’s very kind of you,” he mumbled.

    She laughed. “Please don’t call me Ma’am, Mr. Prashat. Miss Eskari or Miss or just Ayesha is okay.”

    His blush turned crimson. “Yes, Ma’am.”

    His eyes wandered around to avoid her gaze and finally settled on the black stone statue in the atrium. “You like my Twi’lek Dancer?” she asked.

    “It’s beautiful, Ma’am,” Prashat answered timidly. “It looks like it’s alive.”

    “That’s a nice compliment, Mr. Prashat. Did you ever see a Twi’lek dance?”

    “Unfortunately not, Ma’am. I’m from Thyferra and there aren’t any Twi’leks there. This is my first time offworld,” he added apologetically.

    “Really?” Ayesha asked. “Did you join the Navy recently?”

    Prashat swallowed and blushed again. “Yes, Ma’am, this is my first tour of duty. I was assigned to the Admiral’s service only a few days ago.”

    He was fidgeting with his empty glass. Ayesha took it and put it down on the table by the door next to the Gree sculpt Thrawn had brought for her from the Unknown Regions. “I’m sure you’ll do fine,” she said reassuringly. “You’ll see all sorts of new things and you’ll learn a lot, and I assure you the Admiral isn’t as scary as he looks. Although if you insist on calling me Ma’am, I might tell him to go all scary admiral on you for real.”

    Prashat was beet red when Thrawn emerged from the hallway with his luggage. He took the space bag and ran away to the speeder after a mumbled thanks to Ayesha. Thrawn watched him flee with a cocked eyebrow, then turned back to her. “I am sorry for this, Ayoo’sha’nek. I did not expect to have to leave again so soon, but I am hopeful that this mission will not last more than a few weeks.”

    “Don’t worry about that. I know that you going on missions is part of the package.” She gave him a long, teasing kiss. “Just a taste of what you can expect when you come back,” she whispered as she pushed him through the door. “Go now, and be nice to that poor boy, he’s terrified enough as it is.”

    * * *​

    Thrawn returned a month later and found the bedroom empty. It was the middle of the night between Taungsday and Zhellday and Ayesha was supposed to be on shift at the Centre. He was therefore quite surprised when he found her very early the next morning, sitting cross-legged in her nightdress on the floor in front of the Twi’lek Dancer, as if she had just gotten out of bed. “I thought you were not here,” he said.

    “I didn’t know you were coming back,” she replied. “I spent the night in the guest room with the second most amazing man in the Galaxy.” Both eyebrows shot up in astonishment. “Naval strategy really isn’t all it’s touted to be. I find you amazingly predictable.” She clapped her hands. “Come out now, Tammy. Thrawn’s here and we’re going to have breakfast all together.” The little boy leapt out from behind the conversation circle and flung himself at Thrawn’s legs. Ayesha was still laughing as she led them to the kitchen. “Kal and Mira were invited to a party last night, so they asked me to babysit,” she explained before Thrawn could place a word. “I fell asleep in the middle of the lullaby. They’re coming to take Tammy to the nursery in half an hour.”

    “Hafanawaw,” Tam repeated proudly.

    She donned an apron and took the child on her lap while they ate – “you’re wearing your uniform,” she said, “what you really need if you want to feed Tammy is full-body armour” – and asked Thrawn about his trip, but he was answering her questions evasively. “State secrets again, uh? Okay, can I at least ask how crewman Prashat is doing?”

    Tam was shovelling blue yoghurt in and around his mouth. “Kwew’an Pwashat,” he warbled.

    “That would be Corporal Prashat now,” Thrawn corrected. “He managed to distinguish himself quite quickly and he already earned his first promotion.” His lips twitched. “We can officially add him to the ranks of your admirers, Ayoo’sha. I do not know what you did to him while I was packing my bag, but he is absolutely smitten with you. I believe the entire Admonitor, if not the whole task force, has heard from him how beautiful, how talented and how kind the admiral’s wife is.”

    It was her turn to arch an eyebrow. “The admiral’s wife?”

    “De ad’iwalz wayf?” Tam asked, sputtering blue droplets all over the table.

    Thrawn chuckled. “I did try to rectify that to lifemate, which would be the appropriate term for the Chiss and also, as I understand, for Wookiees, but I am afraid that the damage was already done. Corporal Prashat talks much more and much faster than I do.”

    Her expression softened. “Lifemate, eh? I like the sound of that.”

    “Laif’ayt, eh?” Tam repeated cheerfully, waving his spoon.

    Ayesha laughed and escaped briefly from the kitchen as Mira arrived to pick her son. She returned immediately to stand in front of Thrawn, who was still sitting at the breakfast table and finishing his caf. “I imagine you have to leave to the Palace soon, since you’re all dressed up, but your lifemate would like a cuddle before you go. You will be pleased to hear that she missed you.”

    Thrawn pulled her close to bury his face in her belly. “I am also pleased to find you at home, Ayoo’sha. I did not expect to see you until this afternoon, I thought you would still be in the Centre so early in the morning.”

    “I changed my schedule in the Centre. From now on I’m doing a 24-hour shift, from Centaxday afternoon to Taungsday afternoon.”

    He looked up at her. “Will that not be very tiring for you?”

    She swatted the top of his head. “Oi, mother avian! It won’t. We don’t have work around the clock, so I’ll be getting naps in-between. And I’ll be doing one trip a week instead of two, so you’ll worry only half as much, which was the whole point.”

    He held her tighter and buried his face in her belly again. “Thank you,” he murmured.

    “For nothing. I know that you take your life-oath to the letter, and I’m grateful for that, but I see that you’re concerned and I should do what I can to put that mother avian mind of yours at ease.” She felt him kiss her through her nightdress and he had soon tugged the thin fabric up to her hips. “Keep that up and you won’t be leaving to the Palace anytime soon,” she whispered.

    “The flimsiwork in the Palace can wait a little longer,” he breathed huskily. “I am confident that I can make time for more than a cuddle.”

    * * *​

    When Thrawn returned from the Palace in the evening, Ayesha was cooking dinner. He dropped a thick pile of flimsi envelopes on the kitchen counter and sat on one of the bar stools. “It seems that high social life in the Empire knows no limits,” he said. “These are the invitations to Palace events that were waiting for me in High Command after less than a month of absence. I thought we might want to look at them together.”

    Ayesha nodded and wiped her hands as she came to sit at his side. There were invitations to the premiere of an opera in the Imperial Concert Hall – “this we should avoid at all costs,” Thrawn said, “I know the librettist and his work is what you call pompous bantha poodoo,” – to the graduation ceremony of a new batch of Royal Guards – “urgh, I’m not coming to that one,” she muttered, “those guys just give me the creeps,” – to promotions of junior officers, to the unveiling of a new Star Destroyer, to another dance recital in the Emperor’s private auditorium – “thank the stars the date already passed, I know it was our first evening out together, but I really don’t want to repeat the experience,” – and to a myriad more smaller Palace functions. They were reaching the bottom of the pile when Thrawn opened a large envelope with the Empire’s seal.

    “His Majesty mentioned this to me when I saw him earlier today,” he said. “He thought you might want to come given your interest in diverse cultures. New ambassadors are presenting their credentials, and there will be a concert and traditional dancing after the ceremony.”

    Ayesha grimaced. “If the Emperor mentioned it, it qualifies as a summons rather than an invitation, doesn’t it? Which worlds are the ambassadors from?”

    Thrawn ran through the list. “Dantooine, Palanhi, Arkania, Dac – this is interesting, the planet has all but officially joined the Rebellion – Mimban, Daalang, Hypori, Drexel, Woostri and Kiffu.”

    “Umph,” she grumbled. “Let me guess. The Kiffar ambassador is from clan Malki.”

    Thrawn checked the flimsi sheet. “You are correct. Paraseel Malki is his name.”

    Her entire body jerked. “Paraseel Malki? Paraseel Malki is the new Kiffar ambassador?”

    He looked up at her sharply. She was deathly pale and trembling. “Ayoo’sha, are you alright?”

    “Paraseel Malki is the new Kiffar ambassador,” she repeated, and she suddenly broke into maniacal laughter, shaking so hard that she fell off her stool. Thrawn knelt at her side. “Don’t touch me!” she yelled hysterically when he held a hand to her shoulder. “Stay away from me! Stay away from me!” She was clutching her head in her hands as if it were exploding, her eyes had become glassy and unfocused and were swivelling in all directions, and more incoherent screams came out of her mouth in a jumble of Basic and Old Kiffar.

    Thrawn tried to talk to her and to hold her hands, to bring her out of the seizure somehow, but she did not even seem to notice his presence anymore. She was soon writhing and banging her head on the floor, fighting him tooth and nail when he tried to restrain her and prevent her from hurting herself. It took all of his strength to subdue her and carry her to the bedroom. By the time he came out of the ‘fresher with the medpac, she had torn off her clothes and was crouching in a corner, rocking back and forth and chewing her wrist so hard that blood streamed down her chin. Without hesitation, he pressed the hypospray to her neck and, as soon as the sedative took over, he laid her on the bed, bandaged her wrist and covered her with a warm blanket. He then went straight to the comm desk in the dining area and looked for Flo’s diner’s number to get in touch with Simon at the Centre – she had it saved under ‘donuts’ – but suddenly changed his mind and keyed for ‘home’ instead. The holo of a dark-furred Wookiee flickered to life. “I am Thrawn,” he said. “Ayesha needs your help.”

  24. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003

    OMG, it happened.
    It was just a matter of time, but still...
    Poor Ayesha.

    And poor Thrawn.
    I guess Palps found a way to get to Thrawn, after all, as this will hit him hard, too, as protective as he is of Ayesha... Palps did that on purpose, no doubt!

    Waaah I'll be like [face_nail_biting][face_praying]until Thursday...
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Enjoyed muchly the interactions with Parck and the Corporal. :) Ayesha and Thrawn seem to be on an even keel in the earlier scenes. And the one with Tam, just beyond cuteness! The final scene: :eek: is right! [face_nail_biting] and complete edge of seatness even though I knew this was coming. @};- ^:)^