Title: A Dinner with Friends Author: Anedon Timeframe: Around 55 ABY Characters: Ulrika Grau, Ilona Malek and other OCs Genre: Friendship, Celebration Summary: Years after the War with the Iron Alliance our heroines (and Tobin) meet for a double date at a fancy restaurant to discuss their lives and were their paths have lead them. This story is the next part in my growing Ilona/Ulrika verse. Which includes the Main stories: -Shadow over Curean -Path of Lies -The Value of Freedom -Into the Fire -Following the Thread -Trials and Tribulations -The Price of Victory As well the additions: -Anarchists and Aristocrats -Summer Camp Shenanigans -Old Friends -Can Love be a Sin -To Dathomir, with a Friend -Tales from the Southwest -The Beast and the Beauty Which also feature some of these characters. "So, back that day in the summer camp, when we first met, would you have ever guessed where we would end up?" Ilona asked, as she leaned back in the chair. "I think the most insane thing, given what happened shortly afterwards, was that we would end up going on a double date one day." Ulrika chuckled as she took a sip from her glass of water. Even now, as she was no longer on active military duty she refrained from touching alcohol. "But then again, that day I was crushing so hard on you I was more expecting that we would go on dates together..." An elbow from her wife hit her in the stomach. And Ulrika´s smile turned into a grin, "well until I would have dumped you for Ellie here." She leaned over and gave Elena a kiss on her cheek. "So I guess I should thank the fact that I´m into boys only that our rivalry didn`t become even worse?" Ilona smiled, before throwing a glance at her husband. "Not that the thing with your eye didn`t make me extremely angry. " "That was an accident," Tobin said quietly, his stylized prosthetic eye flashing for a moment. "I am as guilty at what happened as Ulrika, if not more so." "No, I was the one who came up with that prank in the first place..." Ulrika replied, become serious for a moment. "And I instantly abandoned you afterwards and acted like it had been an achievement to tear out your eye..." She sadly shook her head. How much of her life had been defined by that moment... when she had acted all tough and cool in front of Ilona and Kat and where would she be now if things were different? "I should have at least attempted to speak to you afterwards..." Ilona said. "Or when we met a few years later. We could have made up then, instead of me turning it into a war..." "Look at you guys," Elena muttered loud enough for all of them to hear. "Once you were all about trying to pin the blame on the others, and now you are fighting to see yourself as the guilty party." She played with her glass, "but seriously, your war cost us girls so much." "Five straight victories in the pride matches during every year," Tobin smiled. "I think that is a record for eternity." At the end of each year of their training the male and female ORSF cadets used to challenge each other to a mock battle to determine the 'stronger sex'. A mock battle that, due to Ulrika and Ilona being more concerned with screwing each other over than winning, the male cadets had won for the first five years of their training in a row, inflicting no small amount of teasing and humiliation on the girls each time. "Would have been nice to see all six through tough." In the sixth and final year Elena and Kat had teamed up to drug both Ilona and Ulrika with laxatives, so neither would be around for this round of the pride match, finally allow the girls a victory. "If just our kids were to join the military, then we could continue this pointless rivalry..." Ulrika said, as she picked up the menu in front of her. Having chosen their 'double date' in one of the most expensive restaurants on Eriadu they were actually offered handwritten menus instead of simple datapads like most other places. "That reminds me, do you think Mira can deal with them?" Ilona asked. For their date she and Tobin had left their son Ion, and Elena and Ulrika´s daughter Lena of the same age in the care of Ulrika´s adopted niece, Mira. "She gets trained by Asajj Ventress, she can handle two kids." Ulrika said confidently. "Yeah sure," Elena shot at her wife. "I bet when we return we find her tied up and locked in the closet while Ion and Leni trashed the apartment." "The spy mistress of the Coalition having her apartment trashed by two kids, would make one hell of a story." Ilona laughed. "Hey at least the Dathomirians aren`t around tonight..." Tobin said as he looked up from his menu. Ilona´s younger nieces and nephews, who lived with her family on Dathomir often visited their cousin Ion or were visited by him, and had quickly integrated Mira and Lena into the family as well. When all five of them were together hell was guaranteed to raise. "Your orders?" a young woman in a black and white waitress uniform approached them. "Doing well Mika?" Tobin asked her friendly. The young woman smiled, "I do, just helping out a bit here to improve my pocket money." "Let me know if you ever have troubles," Tobin continued. "Your father saved my life so many times, there is much I need to repay him for." Her father, Corvyn Scales had been Tobin´s best friend and right hand man for decades. Following through the depths of Coruscant Undercity and the depths of Eriaduan politics, up until the battle of Qaelan, were he had died of his wounds shortly after the victory, leaving behind his wife and young daughter, Mikaela, herself named after an old friend of them who had served in Ulrika´s squad and died a few months earlier. "I will," she nodded but her face turned a bit red. "I take the Lasagna, with hot sauce, wonder if you guys here can hold a candle up to Mrs Laric," Ulrika said with a smile. Thinking back to the mother of the Imperial Captain. Elena gave her menu a final look, "get me the large Pizza with that spicy Nerf sausage and Bantha cheese..." "If you girls are going all unhealthy I think I need to save our collective health's," Tobin grinned. "Taking a Valorum salad, with Corellian dressing." "So much for health, that dressing is pure poison for the body..." Ilona grinned. "Bring me the noodles with seafood sauce if you want to be so kind." "Thank you Mrs Malek, ah... I mean Mrs President." Mika stumbled across her words as she took in the orders. "Hey, to you its Ilona. And it will always be Ilona," the black haired woman smiled. Leaning back into her chair she muttered, "President Malek... still hard to wrap my head around it, even after several years." After its foundation the Coalition of the Southwest had been lead by a council, including many military figures and representatives from all the major factions who had come together to form the Coalition. The council still existed, even if it was these days more an advisory board for the President and the democratically elected assembly. Even as one of the most well known heroines of the war against the Iron Alliance, and the daughter of a former Senator, Ilona had been surprised that many had considered her for the office of President. "Well who else of us could have been it?" Elena chuckled, "I´m out due to my father's legacy, Ulrika has caused far too much trouble that could cause scandals, and Tobin... well he would have been a great President, if he had an easier time opening his mouth..." Tobin gave her a sad smile. Ilona´s husband was a great military tactician but when he wasn`t involved in a battle Tobin was quiet, withdrawn, keeping mostly to himself and his wife. Yet at the same time his military accomplishments had made it possible for him to rise to the post of supreme commander of the Coalitions Military without facing accusations of Nepotism with his wife being President at the same time. "It's not that I actually lead our government..." Ilona muttered... And it was true. Unlike the Empire and the Galactic Alliance the Coalition had split the positions of the Head of Government and Head of State. As President Ilona served in the latter position while Chancellor Florianne Idril fulfilled the other. Ilona and Florianne had first worked together in the aftermath of the war with the Iron Alliance and despite being not always on the same page both women greatly respected each other and thus had formed their coalition of several parties of the political center, the liberals preferring Ilona as much as the conservatives looked up to Florianne. By working together they held a balance and kept radicals from either side out. "Sometimes I feel a little lost amongst you..." Elena said, but she smiled during it. As the only one of the four she had by now ended her career in either military or government, being already fully covered with taking care of House Kyr´s growing business ventures as well as a spunky and adventurous young daughter... needless to say that even with the success of the investments in Qaelan and other liberated worlds, Lena was the far greater challenge. "Hey..." Ulrika placed an arm around her wife's shoulders. "You are also the only one amongst us who can enjoy more than six hours of sleep every night, or just take a day of to relax..." "True..." A grin appeared on Elena´s face. In the earlier years she had been heavily involved in helping her wife and others build the Coalitions combined secret service, for a time even been its deputy leader, but in time she had reduced her commitment, even if she still was somewhere on the inside today... "Wonder what my dad would say if he could see where I am today..." she muttered to herself. In the last few years she had finally been able to successfully reach out to her mother and once so distant and greedy gold digger had finally opened up to her family and granddaughter. And yet... the specter of her father was still there, as it always had been. "I am sure he would be happy about your foundation," Ilona said firmly. "If nothing else, he always saw you as a woman and did everything to get you the best treatment possible." Elena nodded, as much of a human centric her father had been he had always given his trans daughter his full support, both emotionally and financially, unlike his wife who had barely reacted to it. And yet the treatment that Elena had gotten, a treatment that made her indistinguishable from a cis woman, was only affordable for the richest people of the galaxy. And her transition had been one bought with dirty money... But at the same time it had inspired Elena to do more, to be better than her father, while also honoring what he had done for her. And so she had set up the 'Cedryc Kyr Foundation for Trans People', first only on Eriadu was its influence now growing, offering counseling, therapy and treatment for those unable to afford it themselves. "I am sure he would be made that I offer it to non humans as well," Elena grinned. Even if a part of her, the strongest part of her mind if she was honest, secretly hoped her father would recognize and accept the direction his daughter had taken their family in. "My dad was so proud in the night of my election..." Ilona said. "Actually he was the first to congratulate me..." Tears filled her eyes again as she thought back to her dad who had died two years after her election, and her mother who had died about ten years before her husband, due to a rare disease she had been battling for years. Her parents had been born in the slums of Eriadu, poor workers children for whom joining the ORSF had been the only way out... Her had, Ethan, he had been Wilhuff Tarkins adjutant for a time, before deserting from the Empire, eventually joining the Rebellion and fighting and Hoth and Endor, while Tanya his later wife had joined the local resistance on Eriadu... after liberation her father had been made a Senator for the New Republic... their family had become part of nobility. And now Ilona had continued her father's work, but knew in hearth that for all her accomplishments she would never be the person her parents had been, even if most of the galaxy knew her name and heads of state such as Jagged Fel or Tenel Ka Djo treated her as an equal... "Guess we didn`t just make it in the galaxy..." Ulrika said. "We made the galaxy... well at least our little corner of it..." "Surprisingly philosophic... and extremely corny." Ilona joked. "But guess you are right, we wrote our names into the stars." "And in the meantime I had your food." Mika gave them a smile as she pointed at the carrying droid behind her who brought their meal. "Your generation will get their time." Tobin assured her as he took his plate from her. "Well then ladies and gentlemen," Elena said after they all had their meal in front of them. "To us." "To our friendship!"