Title: A Date with Destiny Authors: Anedon, Adalia-Durron Timeframe: Beyond-Ledgends Characters: Marie Firestone, Adrian Malek Summary: After the end of the second galactic civil war Adrian and Marie go on their first date together. This story is another collaboration between me and @Adalia-Durron and once more uses @Warrior_Goddess character Marie Firestone. Other stories in the Marie/Adrian "verse": From Slavery to Aristocracy Powers vs Passions YOU DID WHAT? Bedtime Story Mom´s little Warlock ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The final battle had been fought, there had been loses, but as Marie climbed out of her X Wing and hit the deck she decided at that moment her fighter pilot days were over. She was not as young as she used to be she realised as she straightened up and rubbed her back looking around the Hapan hangar. It was way too fancy in her mind to be a space port of any kind, but it didn't matter, it was safe ground and that was all that was really important. As her eyes scanned she caught sight of Adrian getting out of his craft, she knew he'd survived, she'd made sure of it. She leaned against her ladder and watched with a warm smile. "We did it little guy," Adrian said to R-7. His hands where still shaking from the battle, his heart rate was only slowly getting back to normal again. Part of him still couldn't believe it was over. The war was finally over, he could go home again. He would not return to the military, he had challenged his lick beyond the breaking point in this war and felt he wouldn't survive another. It was just, if he left he would be separated again from Marie... He looked over to her, glad to see her smile. He returned it, while sadness overcame him. Her stomach growled and she looked down at it with a frown. It'd been at least 18-20 hours since she'd eaten and she was being reminded of that fact. She was exhausted, sweaty and she was sure that was her own body she could smell, but a second growl from her stomach confirmed her hunger. Looking up again to Adrian she gestured for him to come over. Adrian left his ship behind with R7 and gave a short look to Ilona gesturing they would talk later as he made his way towards Marie. He and his sister would have more than enough time together once they had returned to Eriadu. Running his hand through his black hair he realized how messily he looked. He wished he could do something to look at least a bit better but in this military hangar there was little chance of that. As he approached she straightened slightly and 'drank in' the image. Even with messy sweaty hair and a flight suit, he looked good to her. She bit her bottom lip as he stopped before her. "Well, that was .........harder than it used to be for me!" she confessed. Adrian nodded slowly, "worst battle of my life. Hope its true what they say, that it is no finally over." It calmed him a bit that Marie seemed to be just as sweaty as he was, though for him it made little difference to see her like that. "It's either over, or it's going to continue without me." She confessed with a lopsided smile as her eyes gave him a once over. "Could you possibly eat?" "I'm dying of hunger," Adrian admitted. Before the battle his fear had ruled him and so he hadn't been able to eat much. "As long as its something real, I've enough of pressed rations for the rest of my life." She attempted to look coy, but as a Dathomiran woman, she knew she wasn't good at it. "So....." she looked up into his eyes. "do we find somewhere to eat?" "If this space station works like they do everywhere else in the galaxy then there should be at least a few fast food restaurants around. Unless the Hapans are too snobby for that," he smiled. It was a bit crow calling the veermock black when he thought of the nobles on his homeworld but he felt the need to lighten the mood a bit. Reaching up she placed her hand gently in the middle of his chest. "Why Adrian, are you asking me on a date?" She was tired but suddenly she was tingling all over. They'd been flirting for weeks, no months and in her mind it was about time things began to move. Adrian shivered, caused by both Marie´s touch as well as her words. "No... I mean, yes, I mean... A date?" So he hadn't imagined the flirting between them. She'd gone too far, he looked almost scared. "I'm sorry, I was being forward. Ignore me." She was disappointed as she removed her hand. Adrian felt how his guts turned into ice at this words. This was it, he had ruined his one chance... "No," he said almost panicking. "We can go find something to eat, we can have... a date." "No.....I'm sorry." She stepped back. "I'm too .....well...too Dathomiran. I'm sorry I pressured you." She began to turn to head to the locker rooms. Maybe a hot shower and clean clothes would hide this wonderful sense of humiliation that was washing over her. "Please," Adrian said placing his hand on her shoulder to stop her from leaving. "Its okay, I would like to go find something to eat with you." His hand on her shoulder stopped her, not only physically but emotionally as she slowly turned to face him. Weeks and months of her attempting to get his attention may finally be paying off. "Only if you're sure." "I am," at least that they could do, have this moment together before fate would tear them apart again. Marie glanced down. "Give me five to get out of this smelly flight suit?" she honestly didn't want him smelling her right now. Sweat was not a good scent and not often used to attract a man. "Sure, will see if I can find something better to wear as well," Adrian agreed, glad that she had finally turned around to him again. TEN MINUTES LATER. Marie stood in front of the reflector, a second hand shirt, a pair of dark green pants that were clearly too tight and her flight boots, it was the best she could do. Fluffing her hair one last time she turned and walked out to the hangar deck to find him waiting near her ship as techs crawled all over it. "I'm ready, nothing special, didn't plan on going out." She tried to sound light and sweet, so not her personality. "Me neither," Adrian said a little surprised she hadn't made a comment on his appearance. Unwilling to take any of the Hapan clothing he might have gotten he had instead taken his simple grey Eriaduan Jumpsuit he normally only wore when working on his ship. But was fresh and clean and thus an improvement over the flight suit. This was awkward. "Um, shall we?" she asked. They'd been so comfortable around each other all this time and suddenly it was uncomfortable. Why was that? "Yeah..." Adrian said seeking for words, what was going on with him? "So what do you want to eat?" He asked instead to keep talking. "Something ......bad for us!" She grinned. "Burgers!! If we can find some here." She hoped he was up for a challenge, finding what was considered fast food on a strange world. "Guess we should be able to find those," Adrian said with a smile as he would have searched for the same thing if it had been his choice. It took them a few minutes but soon they found a place called Burger Queen, that seemed to be just what they where looking for. Marie looked at the menu and noticed the Hapan women around her looking at Adrian with distaste. Instinctively she hooked her arm into his, she knew that look, she'd seen it before when she'd treated men as equals at home. Marie was very familiar with this kind of culture. "Stay close." She said in what could only be described as a protective tone. First Adrian didn't noticed what Marie meant but the disapproving looks the women around them gave him the answer to his question before he even opened his mouth. Staying close to Marie was probably the smartest choice. Leaning close she whispered, "Disregard anything I have to say, if I have to say it, and I'll have a deluxe burger and sides." "Okay," he whispered back. "I would take that spicy one with fries." Marie realised she had to do this as they were on Hapes and he would probably not be acknowledged correctly, so she did so and paid with her credchip. Once the food arrived she took the tray and guided him to a back table in the small establishment, placing the tray and sitting down. "This looks...........so bad for me!" she whispered across the small table to him. "The food?" Adrian didn't feel too happy with it either. In contrast to most of the fast food he knew this seemed to be worse. Marie smiled as she felt his displeasure. "If being a fighter pilot has taught me one thing, its that life can be short, and you have to live a little every now and then." she winked cheekily. "Think so, guess remind yourself that you are indeed still alive," Adrian replied returning her smile. "That's the spirit!" Marie said enthusiastically as she began to pick as the fried vegetables. Anything deep fried was never considered good healthy food, but it'd been at least two standard years since she'd indulged in this kind of 'junk food', tasting it she grinned. It was just as oily and delightful as she recalled. "Go on, you'll hate yourself for loving it!" "Already doing it, but hey we just won a war so we can allow that to ourselves," Adrian responded, taking a bite from his burger. "They call that spicy? I'm barely noticing anything." He said after chewing it a little. She laughed, eating Eriudian food was something she'd never be able to, having done some reading she knew his taste was way beyond hers. "Do you cook more than what I've seen?" She asked remember how they met with him cooking breakfast for the Team on Hawkbat. She bit into her burger, it tasted greasy and she loved it. "A few things, mostly small stuff, soup or grilled meat, nothing special." Adrian explained. It had always been more of a hobby to him than anything else. Something his mother taught him about when his father and sister where away. She nodded. "I never learned; mother always had servants." she explained. "Servants?" For a second Ilona´s worries flashed through his mind again. Was Marie checking his worth as a slave? No that was absurd. She swallowed her food. "Mother......preferred to have males to cook and clean for her. I can clean, but the few times I tried to cook, my ....." she saw his expression, "employees say I'm dangerous in the kitchen." It was clear the stories of Male slave on Dathomir was playing on his mind and being surrounded by Hapen women looking down at them wasn't helping. "I see, so you have employees?" Adrian asked, surprised by this revelation. She smiled, the liked his curiosity. "Yeah, after the Vong war I went back home and opened a starship maintenance business. Took time, I built it up and began to employ some of the younger men, gave them wages, a place to live and taught them everything I knew, everything I learned." She rolled her eyes as she picked up her drink and sipped it. "Boy did that upset Mother! I didn't care, things have to change, and I figured I might as well be the start." Adrian wasn´t sure how to respond, he had known that Marie disapproved of how things where on her homeworld but not that she was actively fighting it. "Seems you’ve made quite a living for them and yourself then." She shrugged and bit her burger again. While eating she wondered why he'd not made any moves on her. Clearly, he wasn't a child, and she knew he was attracted to her as she'd 'felt it' the moment they met. Yet not once had he suggested anything in the past month or so that would indicate he wanted to spend more time alone with her. So swallowing she had to ask. "Have you been on many dates?" Adrian took another bite and chewed slowly while he thought about how to answer. He had not been to many dates, if he was honest this was probably his first real one. "Not really," he admitted. "In the first years of my life my family was moving around a lot due to the Vong War so I never met many girls in my age. Then later on Eriadu, well wasn’t much either, a few noble women showed interest but that was more as part of a political move rather than anything real." It had broken his heart when he had realized one girl who had danced with him, laughed at all of his jokes and just seemed fun to be around had just been interested in him because of his families standing. When Ilona had that revealed to him it had hurt more than most other things in his life. Now he was glad she had because it had saved him from the disaster her first relationship had turned into. "And then in the GA military I was the little Tarkin, even those who didn’t pick on me because of my homeworld where hardly friendly." She listened quietly, and wondered if she was not in too deep. Marie hadn’t had a great deal of ‘dates’ herself but she wasn’t backward in coming forward and it was becoming clear to her the man opposite her, well, wasn’t as strong as she’d like. Being a strong woman, she’d always felt she needed someone to push back, someone to challenge her, not someone who’d just do as she said. The men on Dathomir did that already. “So how did you……” she stopped, that was rude. "What do you mean?" Adrian asked, was she afraid of asking him that? Did she think because of his inexperience he couldn’t handle her? "Well, back when I was GA, to get your rank you had to be .....bold, forward, a leader.........you're a Major....." She looked away, this was difficult, "I'm sorry, I just don't see those qualities...." She shook her head, this date was over now, she'd just insulted him. "Adalia made me one, when she found me." But maybe it was true, maybe he just wasn´t made for this. "She did, her cousin knew my dad so maybe it was because of that, or maybe because she felt someone who had gone through years of relentless abuse without snapping could make for a reliable second in the war." Adrian said his frustration putting a sliver of anger in his voice. She frowned. “I’m not attacking you.” Sitting forward she placed her hand on his. “Just trying to find the real you. If Addie saw something in you, I want to see it too.” She said softly. Calming himself down Adrian said, "well the real me would want to shout right now. Wants to throw this food into every disapproving face staring at me. Wants to tell the people how much their society enrages me." Marie grinned. “There you are!!! I knew you were in there somewhere.” She knew now that she wasn’t seeing the real ‘Adrian’. “How do I see that you more often?” "If you give me the feeling that I'm not alone against the galaxy. And if you could convince me that my actions actually matter, actually change things," he said without even thinking about it. Marie leaned closer and pushed her food aside. “I have that in spades. Stick with me and we can change …..” she glanced around, “The galaxy.” She winked. Adrian grinned, "then what are we waiting for?"