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Saga - PT A Little Bit of You / OCs

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by TheRynJedi, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Title: A Little Bit of You
    Timeframe: 24 BBY
    Genre: Drama, Romance, Songfic
    Canonicity: Mostly Canon / some Fanon
    Type: Multi-chapter
    Characters: Danyal (OC), Jeskal Dilan (OC) other OCs who may or may not be in other stories someday.
    Summary: A day in the life of Danyal, Ryn guitarist for Wachamio! a popular Corellian Way band. A day that turns out so right, yet so wrong.
    Content warning: Mild drug and alcohol usage, inter-species romance, general irresponsible partying.
    Last updated: 09/06/2018
    Status: Complete
    Other relevant information: Entry for One Hit Wonder Songfic Challenge - Song: “Mambo Number 5

    Wachamio! = Ryl (Twi’lek) word meaning “Let's go!”
    Music style reference: Spotify

    -----

    Aijan Vume, green eyes curious in his blue-skinned face, leaned into the doorway of his bandmate’s obsessively tidy cabin on the Wachamio! touring yacht.

    "Hey, Le'tzig, what you workin' on?" The Twi’lek asked.

    Danyal sighed, running a dark brown-fuzzed hand through his long tan hair in annoyance. The stage name his band mates had chosen for him years ago did lend a certain romantic mystique to his image (as if being a member of a near-mythical species wasn't enough); but he still wished they'd call him by his real name when they weren't on stage.

    His stage name, “Le’tzigane" was what Twi’leks colloquially called the Ryn species (or beings that followed a similar nomadic lifestyle), and it was often used pejoratively. It was kind of like Danyal calling Wachamio!’s lead singer “The ‘Lek" instead of Aijan. But, no matter how much he had explained it years ago, Danyal’s bandmates never quite understood the problem with their name for him. He'd long since given up.

    Danyal finished a few more notations before looking up from his mini computer’s terminal.

    “A new song for the band,” he answered finally.

    “Excellent,” Aijan said enthusiastically. “Let’s hear it.”

    “I don't have any lyrics yet, or a quetarra or bass quetarra line,” Danyal explained as he queued up the music composition app’s playback, “but here's the tune.”

    A syncopated beat on drums with an occasional accent of synthesized horns sounded from the speaker, after a few measures of intro, the vocal melody began, represented by some basic synth notes.

    Aijan nodded to the rhythm. “I’m likin’ that, a mambo, isn't it?”

    “With a little jazz and swing in it, yeah.” Danyal confirmed.

    “That's what, the fifth mambo you've written for us?”

    “Yeah, I think so.”

    Aijan started swaying, then improvising a few dance steps, front, back, side to side. He was the group’s choreographer in addition to the lead vocalist.

    The ship’s intercom beeped, and Aaced Vume’s excited voice echoed through the yacht:

    “Alriiiight, Wachamios. The Party Barge is fully docked planetside on Ixtlar, we got 36 standard hours until call time for the concert, time to get out and find some fun while our roadies start setting up. I think I saw a place to get some drinks ‘round the corner as we were landing. Let's ride!”

    Aijan laughed at his brother's announcement.

    “You heard my little bro, let's go.” He extended a hand and helped pull Danyal out of his chair at the terminal. “Which girl you want to hang with tonight?”

    “Dunno,” Danyal absently smoothed his short-trimmed tan mustache and goatee as he thought. The band had a mixed-race group of a half dozen or so female dancers and backup singers that toured with them. He didn't have a particular favorite. He'd ‘hung out’ with most of them at some point, like most of the band members had.

    “Let's just bring ‘em all,” Danyal shrugged, “it's been a long trip, we all need some time to unwind before call time.”

    “Little bit of all of them tonight, yeah?” Aijan winked, “I like the way you think.”

    Danyal grabbed a flashy, yet stylish, jacket from the many in his closet (this one had the band's logo in red across the back against the jacket’s black leather) and followed his bandmate out the door.

    The band's aircar had extended seating, it could carry the band’s five musicians (Aijan Vume the Twi’lek lead vocalist and choreographer; his brother Aaced the keyboardist, synth effects and secondary vocalist; Danyal on quetarra and other strings; Bardirel Chirran, a Klatooinian male, on percussion; and Sasta, a male Iridonian Zabrak, on multiple types of brass and wind instruments), plus all their dancers. The roof of the aircar was retractable, and today they rode with the top down. They took in the sights of Ixtlar’s capital city; scoping out the next bar, club, or spice den, whatever struck their interest. No one in the group was more than about twenty-five standard years old; they were young, wild, and free (as long as they kept their gigs). They had built quite a fan base among young adults all along the Corellian Run in their almost five years together.

    --

    “Hey, hey, so, check this out,” Bardirel said as he sat down at the band’s table in the private party room they'd reserved at a restaurant. They'd decided to meet up at the restaurant for dinner after a couple exhausting hours of club hopping. A few extra cute fans they'd run into along the way were tagging along, adding to their original group.

    One of those fangirls had recognized “Le’tzigane” immediately. After a short chat and a couple drinks, the green-skinned Mirialan hadn't left his side since. Not that Danyal was complaining, she was kind of shy, but damn cute. The fangirls usually went after the Twi'leks or occasionally, the Zabrak.

    “This guy I just talked to says there's a Fortune Teller nearby who burns these ‘special herbs’ for you and then reads the future in the smoke,” Bardirel continued excitedly, “any one question you want, and the futures are absolutely true!”

    Danyal rolled his eyes and scoffed, the snort coming out as a multi-note whistle from the holes in his fluted nose.

    The fangirl leaning against his shoulder jumped in surprise. “What was that?"

    Danyal covered his face in embarrassment. He'd worked really hard for five years now to change his natural breathing habits and mannerisms to not whistle like that. But right now he was half drunk and more than a little high, it was hard to focus on things.

    “It came from his nose!” Sasta laughed, a little too loudly, at Danyal’s embarrassment. “Le’tziganes can play them like some kind of musical instrument. I saw a group of them do it at a carnival once, it was so weird.”

    The Mirialan pulled Danyal’s hand away from his face. She draped his arm over her shoulders and leaned against him again.

    “It's not weird, just different,” she smiled up at the Ryn. “It startled me is all.”

    Danyal gave her shoulders a little squeeze, he was liking this babe even more. Jess, he thought she'd said her name was.

    “Come on, Le’tzig,” Bardirel said, shifting the focus back to his exciting find, “You don't believe in it? Your people have Fortune Tellers, I saw them at that same carnival with Sasta.”

    “Yeah, fakers, taking your money and impressing you with cards and telling you vague stories that could apply to any situation,” Danyal explained, tapping a menu screen on the table with his free hand, ordering some appetizers.

    “I think we should do it! All of us!” Bardirel announced. “Hey, at the very least it's got an interesting herb involved, might be something we've not tried yet.”

    Danyal rolled his eyes again. “Alright, whatever, can we at least have dinner first?”

    “Yeah, yeah, sure.”

    --

    “Hey, are you ok?” Danyal said, turning to Jess. She'd been quieter than usual the past few minutes as the group ate dinner.

    Jess looked sick, in fact, like she was about to throw up.

    “Whoah, not in here, come on, let's go.” Danyal grabbed her by the arm and helped her to the nearest door out of the building. It led into a back alley behind the restaurant. He found and dragged over a garbage bin just in time.

    Her stomach emptied, Jess looked a bit better.

    “You really aren't used to drinking, are you?” Danyal asked as the young lady stood up. Her bare legs were a bit shaky under her short skirt. She leaned against the wall, wrapping her arms around her midsection.

    “No, I’m not. I’ve, uh, never actually drunk alcohol before tonight,” she admitted quietly. She sounded somewhat slurred and more than a little embarrassed. “Was trying to fit in, so you'd let me hang around.”

    “Babe, just showing interest in wanting to talk to me was enough, I bought you the drinks because I was trying to keep you around a little longer.” Danyal chuckled, leaning his shoulder against the wall beside her, hands in his jacket pockets. “I’m not usually the one the ladies go for.”

    “Why not? I think you're fascinating and amazingly talented.” Jess turned slightly to smile at the Ryn musician as she spoke.

    He shrugged, “Most of our fans tend to be more on the fully human or Twi'lek side of ‘humanoid’, Bardirel and I are little too far on the alien side.”

    “Well, I hitched a ride here from the next system over just to get a chance to see you in concert,” Jess admitted.

    She shivered slightly. The girl should have probably paid better attention to local weather conditions before deciding to wear that sleeveless top and skirt. Not that Danyal minded the view, but it looked a little cold.

    “I never dreamed I’d meet you in person,” the fangirl continued.

    “But still, why me?” Danyal asked, taking off his jacket and offering it to her, leaving him in a simple yet stylish red vest. Jess accepted the jacket and draped it over her shoulders.

    “I come from a musically inclined family, I've always liked the quetarra,” Jess explained, leaning back against the wall. She looked up at the fading daylight in the sky between the buildings stretching above her. “I’ve been learning to play for a few years now. Mostly classical though. But a friend at university showed me a few of Wachamio!’s vids, and I was impressed by your skill. Then I learned that every one of the best Wachamio! songs were ones you'd written.”

    Danyal smiled to himself a little as he leaned back against the wall again, folding his arms across his chest. He'd always thought his songs were better than Aijan or Aaced’s, but figured it was just conceit.

    “That told me that you were not just an excellent quetarra player, but a gifted musician all-around. All the various instrumental parts of those songs worked so well together, you must know how to play all of them,” Jess concluded.

    “To one degree or another, yeah... I do.” Danyal admitted self-consciously. “Ryn are pretty versatile musicians, but I seem to be even better at it than most of my people.”

    “See, you've got to be one of the best musicians in the Galaxy!” Jess exclaimed.

    Danyal scooted closer to the Mirialan. He whispered into her ear: “Hey, if you've been trying to flatter me into keeping you around, it's working.”

    “No, really, I’m serious.” Jess began. She turned to look at him, saw his smirk, and realized he was teasing her.

    She stared at him silently for a moment, and started to extend one hand from under the jacket, but stopped and switched to rubbing her chevron-tattooed chin in thought. It looked like there was something she was wanting to say, or do, but wasn't sure if she should.

    “What is it?” Danyal asked. “Go ahead, it's ok.”

    “Can I, um, touch your fur?” Jess asked, embarrassment turning her face a deeper green. “I’ve… I’ve always wondered what it feels like…”

    Danyal laughed, “Well, that's a request I don't hear every day. Sure, go ahead.” He uncrossed his arms and held his left one out in front of her.

    Jess reached out tentatively, laying her hand gently on his shoulder and running it down his upper arm. He shivered, and not from the slight chill in the air. His eyes followed her hand with its black inked diamond shapes on each finger.

    “So soft, like velvet,” she remarked in surprise.

    “Yeah, until you get to there, going that direction,” Danyal grabbed her hand as she reached his elbow, he lifted and repositioned it at his wrist and guided her to move upwards towards his elbow again. “You’ll run into some pokey bits if you keep going that other direction.”

    “'Pokey bits’? Is that the technical term?” Jess laughed as she stroked the somewhat longer and much thicker hairs on his forearm.

    “Nah, that's--.” He mumbled a word in Ryn, “um, ‘quills’, I guess is the best translation in Basic. I try to keep the bigger ones trimmed, they could inflict damage on someone if I’m not careful.”

    “Self-defense mechanism?” the Mirialan asked, carefully inspecting the hairs.

    “Yeah, mostly autonomic, but somewhat controllable.” Danyal squeezed his hand into a fist and shook his arm, numerous additional smaller barb-tipped quills stood out from the surrounding softer hairs.

    “That's pretty wicked, actually.” She smiled.

    “So, you feeling ok to go back in?” Danyal asked, smoothing the fur back down on his forearm a bit self-consciously.

    “Yeah, a lot better. I might even try another drink after dinner,” Jess joked.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  2. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Chapter 2:

    “Rel, this is ridiculous,” Danyal grumbled an hour later as they arrived at the Fortune Teller’s shop in a dark, seedy part of the city. “I doubt there's even room for all of us in there.”

    “Then just the five of us will go in. Come on, trust me, it'll be fun.” The Klatooinian begged.

    “Hey, I don't know if I’m just drunk, or Rel’s convinced me,” Aaced announced, climbing out of the car, “but I wanna do this.”

    “Alright ladies, go do some lady stuff for an hour or two, get a manicure or something, we'll comm you to pick us up, ok?” Aijan said as he got out of the aircar’s pilot seat.

    “Alright baby, see you then.” Rita, an orange-skinned female Twi’lek replied, sliding into the pilot's seat. She waved in a shoo-ing motion for Aijan to get going.

    Danyal somewhat reluctantly pried himself out from between the once-again drunk Jess (it had only taken her one drink, he'd cut her off after that), and one of the band’s dancers, a dark-skinned human named San’dra. The Ryn grabbed the open edge of the car and was about to launch himself over when a sharp tug on the end of his prehensile tail brought him tumbling backwards across the two girls’ laps.

    “What the--?” he started, but was silenced by a somewhat sloppy kiss from the Mirialan.

    “You have fun, come back’me soon, ‘k?” Jess grinned, slurring slightly as she spoke. She held the end of his tail in her hand.

    “Damn, I am definitely coming back,” Danyal promised, watching the girl run her fingers across the tuft of thick tan hairs at the end of his tail. It tickled. He liked it.

    “Come on, Le’tzig, you can play with the ladies later,” Sasta chided, reaching into the car to pull Danyal up, “You can do it all night if you want, but right now, you're coming with us.“

    “All right, all right, I’m coming.” Danyal sighed, reluctantly removing himself from the girls’ laps.

    The shop interior was cleaner, but no less mysteriously dark and shadowed than the alley outside. The bandmates were ushered into a room draped with once-colorful wall hangings. Their money was collected; and they were seated cross-legged on floor cushions around a small brazier of glowing coals. The heat was stifling, Danyal was glad he'd left his jacket on Jess.

    Suddenly there was a flash of light and a loud bang. When their vision and the smoke cleared, an old male Iktotchi sat across from them, sitting serenely as if meditating.

    “Welcome, gentlemen,” the Iktotchi spoke. “Questions you have, answers I can give, if you will complete with me the ancient rites.”

    Danyal rested his elbow on one knee and his chin in his hand. This was going to be GREAT, he thought sarcastically.

    “Which of you wants to begin?” the sage inquired.

    “Oh, oh, I do!” Bardirel yelped.

    “Come forward young man. Kneel before the brazier and take one of the leaves from the basket beside it.”

    Bardirel nearly upset the coals in his excitement to comply.

    “Now, think of your question about your future, ponder it carefully as you hold the leaf,” the Iktotchi instructed. “Then ask your question clearly as you lay the leaf upon the fire. I will read your answer in the smoke.”

    The Klatooinian took a leaf, and closed his eyes.

    “You are ready?”

    “Yes.”

    “Then ask.”

    “Will I still be rich and famous when I die?” Bardirel asked, laying the dry leaf from the unknown plant on the coals.

    The smoke rose, thin and twisting in the rising heat. The old Iktotchi watched the patterns, then breathed in the smoke. After a moment, he spoke.

    “You will be as rich and famous as you are today.”

    Bardirel raised a fist in triumph and sat back down.

    “I’ll go next.” Aijan went forward and asked his question.

    “If I ask Rita to marry me, will she love me for the rest of my life?”

    Aaced nudged Danyal and whispered, “See, like I told ya last week, totally saw that coming.”

    “Indeed, she will, but do not delay to ask her.” The Iktotchi replied.

    Sasta went next: “Will I ever find my sister, will she ever know I escaped?”

    The rest of the bandmates glanced at each other with raised eyebrows, Sasta was a really tight-lipped guy about his past, none of them knew what he was talking about.

    “She will know your story, but you will not be the one to tell it,” came the answer after a few moments.

    Sasta sat back down with a somewhat confused look on his face.

    “Your turn,” Aaced said, nudging Danyal again.

    “Nah, I don't even know what to ask.” Danyal answered. “You go first.”

    “All right, but you be ready.” Aaced grabbed a leaf. “Will my music live on after I am gone?”

    “Yes, your music will be passed on for many, many years after your death,” the Iktotchi prophesied.

    “Nice, THAT'S a legacy, man, my music passed on after I die.” Aaced smiled as he reached back and dragged Danyal over to the brazier.

    “Ask away, Le’tzig.” The Twi’lek said as he sat back on a cushion.

    Danyal knelt in front of the brazier. This is so stupid, he thought. The smoke in the air was making him a little dizzy, he just wanted to get it over with and get out.

    “Ask him about finding a girl.” Aijan suggested.

    “There was a pretty nice one sitting in the aircar you guys made me leave.” Danyal replied with a laugh.

    “Nah, he’s not talking about for tonight.” Aaced snorted. “We know you, you wanna settle down someday, make some babies, pass on your genes, all that stuff. You can't do that with that Mirialan babe.”

    “Do it, ask him about the girl you're destined to marry.” Bardirel urged.

    Danyal sighed and grabbed the last leaf from the basket. He closed his eyes and focused.

    How will I know who I am meant to be with forever, if there is even such a thing? Where will I find her? Will I have to go crawling back to my clan, abandoning my music career? Will I resent leaving this crazy life? Will she even want me?

    Danyal opened his eyes and asked, “who am I meant to marry? How will I know her?”

    He threw the leaf on the fire and watched the smoke rise. He looked up, the Iktotchi was staring through the smoke at him. The old one breathed, and spoke.

    “She is already known to you, but was lost, and will be found again...”

    Someone from my clan, Danyal thought, Damn, I’ll have to face Gandan again someday, it figures. Who was still missing from the clan when I left? Not many.

    “...she is the color of the sunset upon a field of ripe grain.”

    Huh, a light reddish orangey brown…? No, no way...

    Danyal began to laugh.

    “What?” Aijan asked. “Do you know who he's talking about?”

    Danyal did not answer for a minute, he was laughing too hard.

    “Thanks for the laugh, old man,” Danyal said finally, standing up. “I don't know how you know about her, or if it's a random guess, but thanks. Good night.”

    Danyal left the shop as quickly as he could, he needed to get out into the fresh air. His band mates came out behind him, confused and more than a little concerned.

    “What's wrong with you, man?” Bardirel asked. Danyal was still giggling, and it was starting to take on an edge of hysteria.

    “Yes, I know her, Aijan,” Danyal gasped for breath between giggles. “I’m not going to be making babies with her either.”

    “Why not?”

    “She's a fraking Jedi.” Danyal said, bitterly, his laughter abruptly changing to anger, of all things.

    The band fell silent at the venom in the usually easy-going guitarist’s voice. Aijan coughed awkwardly and pulled out his comlink, signaling the ladies to come pick them up.

    ---

    “How'd it go?” Rita asked as she scooted over to let Aijan take the pilot's seat.

    “Oh, standard fortune-teller stuff, mostly.” Aijan replied, leaning over to kiss the orange Twi’lek on the cheek.

    “And then he told Le’tzig he was going to marry a Jedi.” Bardirel laughed as he took a seat.

    Everyone laughed, except Danyal.

    “Wait, seriously?” San’dra asked as she moved over to let Danyal take his earlier place again.

    “Seriously,” he muttered.

    ---

    “So, what's your problem with Jedi?” Sasta asked. Somewhere near dawn, the party had made their way to the mostly empty cafe attached to the venue they'd be performing at later that night.

    Danyal was sitting in the back corner of a booth, still acting withdrawn and thoughtful. Jess was snuggled up next to him, still wearing his jacket, sipping an iced caf, trying to clear her head a bit after their all-night partying. The Iridonian Zabrak sat across from them with a cup of hot caf, waiting expectantly for Danyal to answer his question.

    Jess looked up at Danyal with interest, she was curious herself.

    “Let me tell you a story," Danyal said, and took a deep breath, letting it out with a brief whistle escaping his nose. He didn't even notice or care.

    “There was once a clan of Ryn, the Itannos. They lived a typical Ryn life, despite being on the run from a slaver who their clanleader had upset years before by resisting when the slaver tried to kidnap half the clan. The Itannos found a pretty good hiding place on a backwater planet, with jobs working fields and fixing harvester droids.”

    Danyal snatched Jess’s drink and stole a sip. His throat was dry, and this was going to be a bit of difficult talking.

    “Until one day, these two Jedi wander into the clan’s hidden camp, in the middle of a wedding feast. They say the Force brought them there, and one of them is carrying a little Ryn girl… ‘the color of a sunset on a field of ripe grain’... It's a pretty rare coloration, by the way, only she, her dead mother, and her aunt (the clanleader’s wife) had that reddish-orange coloration in the clan. The rest are all usual Ryn greys, browns, and blacks.

    “The Jedi, they saw the little girl using the Force to heal another little Ryn who got his elbow scraped while playing with the other kids. While the Jedi were talking with the clanleader, the slavers, who the Jedi led right to the hidden camp (probably by accident, but who knows) attacked the camp, stun-blasting and scooping up helpless women and children and killing as many men as they can. The Jedi, champions of justice, protectors of the innocent, do NOTHING. They take their prize, the little girl who can use the Force, and run. Leaving the Ryn clan’s camp to be destroyed, and most of its members enslaved.”

    “Damn.” Sasta muttered under his breath, his forgotten cup of caf cooling on the table.

    “The little boy and some of the members of his clan who survive the next eight years of hard labor in a mine are eventually rescued by the clanleader. The clan starts to regroup and search out the rest of the missing clan members. The little boy, though, is much more grown up now, and has spent the years watching clan members, including his mother and sister, die in the mines. He wonders if it was partially his fault, if he hadn't let his special little friend heal him…”

    Danyal’s voice became agitated, he pounded a clenched fist on the table in long bottled up anger.

    “If I had just sucked it up, dealt with it, the Jedi wouldn't have seen her heal me. They wouldn't have had their prize, and they maybe, just maybe, wouldn't have left with her, leaving the slavers kidnap us all. Or maybe they would have left earlier, without the slavers ever finding us.”

    “No, it wasn't your fault.” Jess covered Danyal’s dark brown fist in her light green hand, giving him a comforting squeeze. Danyal relaxed a bit.

    “Anyway, eventually, the clan leader started a partnership with another Ryn clan, the Kull. They're asteroid miners. Soon, the Itannos are doing the same kind of backbreaking work some of us had been doing for the last eight years as slaves. For fair pay this time, sure, but still much of the same work. The idea is that we will work to earn some ships and find the rest of our clan. Then, we'll make some kind of pilgrimage to Coruscant, to meet up with the girl the Jedi took away.

    I thought he was crazy. Even if we do manage to all make it to Coruscant, the Jedi aren't going to let us see her. She's not even going to recognize us. She's been living with the Jedi since she was barely more than a toddler. She probably doesn't even know our language anymore.”

    Danyal sighed, resting his head back against the wall. “I couldn't do it, I left, making my own way, playing my guitar. Ran into Aijan and Aaced eventually.”

    “I’m sorry, man. That's rough.” Sasta said, downing his cup of now lukewarm caf. “But what I don't get was how that fortune teller knew--"

    Their commlinks beeped. The roadies wanted to do a sound test before they all crashed for a few hours of sleep.

    “I don't know, Sas, I really don't.” Danyal replied. “Let's go.”

    --

    “Hey, Le’tzig, I made copies of your new song for everyone, let’s try it out.” Aaced announced as Danyal and Sasta climbed up onto the stage.

    “Damn,” Danyal swore, “it isn't even done, Ced, it doesn't even have a bass line, or lyrics.”

    “It has lyrics now.” Aijan and Aaced announced in unison.

    Danyal groaned. If they'd come up with lyrics that quickly, they were going to probably be dumb, their first drafts usually were.

    “Alright, let's get this over with, I need to get back to my cabin.” Danyal muttered.

    Aijan stepped up to the microphone, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Mambo Number Five!”

    Bardirel began the syncopated beat on the drums, Aaced added the synthesizer line, and Sasta’s horn joined in, on a repeater to make it sound like a whole group of horns.

    It didn't sound too bad... until Aijan started singing. The lyrics were basically reciting everything they'd been doing most of the night before, with a chorus that wasn’t much more than the names of their dancers and the couple other ladies that had tagged along with them. The second verse was Aijan choreographing out loud. The last half-verse or so though, sounded pretty good. When he got to that part, Aijan grabbed Rita’s hand and started dancing with her, singing the words to her:

    I do all
    To fall in love with a girl like you
    You can't run and you can't hide
    You and me gonna touch the sky


    He launched into the chorus one more time, then ended hand in hand with Rita, looking into her eyes.

    “A little bit of you makes me your man, Rita, will you let me be your man, forever and always? Will you marry me?”

    Rita looked stunned for a moment, laughed, then tackled Aijan in a massive hug and kisses.

    “Nice, congrats you two,” came a voice over the band’s headsets as everyone was cheering. It was the band's chief technician. “But we need Le’tzig to play something, there weren’t any of his mic pickups in that song.”

    Jess tapped on the Ryn’s leg from where she sat on the edge of the stage. “Play something you learned from your people.”

    Danyal looked down at the Mirialan girl with one eyebrow quirked.

    “That's where you told me you learned to play the quet-- guitar,” she replied, using the Ryn word he had used for his instrument. “Play something you learned growing up.”

    “I, ah, I haven't played that kind of music for a long time.” Danyal replied, looking around self-consciously at everyone, they were all watching him with variations of curiosity and interest. “And I, um, don't have my acoustic guitar. It doesn't sound right on an electric one.”

    “Excuses!” Aaced yelled across the stage, “It's over there with the other equipment, it's even been tuned up. We've got songs in the set list you play it on.”

    “I haven't heard you play that kind of music since you auditioned for Aaced and I years ago.” Aijan commented from where he sat in the middle of the stage, Rita wrapped around him still. “Why not?”

    “Because it's not Electro-pop-funk-swing or whatever people call our music.” The band members laughed at that, it was a constant debate among the music critics. “It’s not Wachamio! music.” Danyal paused, thinking. It hurts to play it. It represents the clan and family I abandoned. “It's part of the life I left behind me when I joined the band.” He said aloud.

    “None of us can completely escape the experiences that shaped us,” Sasta said, walking over carrying the old, but well cared for guitar. “Nor should we.”

    “Ok, ok. I’ll do it.” Danyal gave in. “But I mean it, it's a totally different kind of music.”

    “Different can be good sometimes.” Jess said, many of the band members nodded in agreement.

    Danyal took his place on the stage, adjusting the microphone pickups. He strummed the guitar, it was technically in tune, but not quite right for what he was going to be singing.

    He turned away from the mic pickup slightly and started re-tuning the guitar, Itanno style. He whistled a note through his fluted nose, and plucked a string, tweaking the tuning to match. He did the same with each string, tuning it to match the corresponding note whistled through his own natural instrument.

    He was painfully, embarrassingly aware of the band members, and tech crew, and dancers and followers, and Jess, watching and listening to him re-tuning the guitar in his odd way, but he made himself ignore it. He had said he would do this, he was going to do it right, dammit. It wasn't a ‘technically perfect’ sort of tuning, it was a personal one, it would make the guitar resonate with his own voice.

    Danyal turned to face the mics again. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes to shut out the world around him and began to sing.

    It was a mournful song, of lost love, regret, and torment. It wasn't in his original Ryn language, but a trade language from a region of space that his clan had spent centuries living in. It was as native as Ryn to Danyal, and more native than Galactic Basic most of the time, its sounds often accented his speech. The song started slow, but picked up speed, and his guitar set the pace as his voice soared high and dipped low. As his voice faded away, he played a last complex flourish on the strings, and the world around him returned with a crash. It was dead silent, and everyone was staring at him.

    “So, um, yeah. I told you it was different…” Danyal began awkwardly, lowering his eyes and fiddling with his guitar absently.

    “It was beautiful.” Jess said, wiping her eyes on the sleeve of his jacket, which she still wore. “So sad, and... beautiful.”

    “Wow, Le’tzig--” Aaced began.

    “Danyal,” the Ryn interrupted quietly. “My name is Danyal.”
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  3. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Chapter 3:

    The light hurt. Danyal squeezed his eyes shut against its glare. This was one nasty hangover, he didn't even remember making it back to his bed on the Party Barge.

    Assuming that was where he was. He wasn't sure, everything ached, but was numb at the same time. Jess, the Mirialan babe, had she come back with him? That had certainly been his plan. His left arm felt like there was something lying on it, a bit numb and tingly, maybe she was asleep on top of it.

    Damn, how long is it until call time? Danyal wondered. We have a concert to perform.

    He tried to sit up, groaning in pain. Something pressed down against his chest. He tried to reach up to brush it away and found his right arm was restrained.

    “What the hell? What's going on? Where am I?” he asked in a bleary panic, not even sure if he was speaking clearly, or in Basic. Danyal tried opening his eyes again, but only one was working. The other was covered by something, holding it shut.

    “Please remain calm,” came a synthesized voice. “You are in a medical facility, you are injured. A doctor has been alerted, they will be here to speak with you soon.”

    Danyal tried to remember what happened. The last thing he remembered was playing his guitar and singing, then doing a few bits on his electric quetarra and bass to check them. He thought he remembered playing a Wachamio! song with the full band to check balance. But then… nothing after that.

    The Ryn looked around as well as he could with his left eye covered. White walls, computer terminals, an end table covered with flowers (a LOT of flowers); a droid that hovered in and out of view as it puttered around, checking readouts and occasionally scanning some part of Danyal's body.

    Danyal was covered with a blanket, so he couldn't see most of himself. His arms were secured to the bed with restraints. He could feel that his left arm was wrapped in bandages from his upper arm to the wrist. He couldn’t see his fingers. They felt a bit numb, but he thought he could move his fingers; that was a good sign at least. His right arm seemed ok, it had some sort of tube going into it, intravenous fluids, he guessed. He understood the restraints now. If he had been flailing around like he'd tried to do when he first woke up, he could have done some serious damage to himself. He took stock of his lower limbs. His right leg felt ok, just a bit achy, but he could move it. His left leg felt like it was wrapped in bandages, too. His tail felt ok, though it was restrained also. Probably a good idea, he thought, that thing has a mind of its own sometimes. He had just started to try to turn his head for a better look at his left arm when the doctor arrived.

    “Good to see you awake, Le’tzigane--" the dark brown skinned human female began.

    “Danyal.” He croaked. Wow, my throat is really dry.

    “Excuse me?” The doctor asked.

    “My name is Danyal. Le’tzigane is just my stage name.” Danyal clarified.

    “Ah,” the doctor made a note on her data pad, then started undoing the restraints on his wrists. “Sorry, all we had to go on were your public bios for the band, which, by the way, did not list your species.”

    “Ryn.” Danyal answered, lifting his right arm and flexing his wrist. He wiggled his fingers. No problems with that hand at least, it would play music again. He wasn't so sure about his left hand, though.

    “Hm, not a species I am familiar with,” the doctor replied. The medical computer had trouble identifying you as well.”

    “Not surprising.” Danyal muttered.

    “Where is your home planet? Somewhere out beyond the Outer Rim? Wild Space?” The doctor asked, unstrapping his left wrist and checking the circulation in his hand.

    “We don't have a home planet,” Danyal sighed, impatience and worry coloring his voice. “Look, doc, I’d love to discuss my people's long mysterious history. But right now I’d really like to know what the hell happened to me, and why you couldn't ask any of my bandmates or the crew about my name or species.”

    “I apologize.” the doctor said, stopping her ministrations and looking Danyal in the eye. “My name is Doctor Morgan, you are in Ixtlar General Hospital. You, your bandmates, and crew were involved a multiple-aircar accident on the way to your concert venue from your personal ship. Initial autopsy results showed that the pilot of the first aircar had a delayed reaction to a toxic substance he had been exposed to, or ingested, causing a seizure. The first aircar carrying you, your bandmates, and the dancers, impacted the second one carrying your tech crew, and both crashed rather horribly, I’m afraid, just outside the spaceport.”

    Danyal was cursing, in multiple languages, as her story unfolded, his heart growing more heavy with each word.

    “How--” Oh STARS, how could I be asking something like this? he thought. “You said there were autopsies, Aijan was probably that one flying the band aircar… How many survived besides me?”

    “Just one. A female Mirialan.” Morgan replied.

    Danyal squeezed his good eye shut in agony. No, this can't be, it has to be a dream, a nightmare.

    “She and you were thrown free of the first aircar together during the accident,” the doctor explained. “Your body took the brunt of your collective impact, saving her from getting as much physical trauma, but a piece of debris struck her head. She is in a coma in the room next door.”

    “Do you know anything about her?” The doctor asked as she lifted the blanket to check on the Ryn's lower limbs. “We didn't find any identification on her.”

    “Her name is Jess, she plays the quetarra, she came here from another system, hitchhiked on a ship over, to see--" Danyal swallowed at the growing lump in his throat, “--to see Wachamio!, and particularly, me, perform. She wouldn't even be in this mess if it wasn't for me.”

    “Danyal,” Doctor Morgan spoke consolingly, spreading out the blanket again, “it is very likely that she wouldn't even be alive if it wasn't for you. In the last seconds before the crash, you shielded her with your own body. It very nearly killed you. We’ve repaired broken ribs, a punctured lung, a fractured skull and cheekbone, a shattered left leg and broken left arm.”

    “How long have I been here?” Danyal wondered aloud.

    “Three standard weeks,” Morgan replied. “We kept you sedated as we put you back together, so you wouldn't inadvertently do more damage to yourself, and to save you from the pain.”

    Danyal snorted, or, tried to. His nose was covered in bandages. The air pressure blowback sent a shock of pain through his entire head.

    “Oh, try not to do that. Our surgeons had to do a lot of reconstructive work in the left side of your forehead, cheek, and sinus cavities,” the doctor explained, “without much besides the undamaged side of your face to go on as reference. You have a very complicated nasal structure.”

    “I’m glad I was such a fascinating subject for you all,” the Ryn replied bitterly. “Congratulations, you all have seen more of the insides of a Ryn than anyone in the Galaxy, besides the slavers, that is.”

    “Ah, that explains the old scars,” Doctor Morgan murmured, making another note on her datapad.

    “When can I get out of here?” Danyal fumed, he was already getting tired of being a scientific study for these doctors.

    Morgan helped Danyal sit up as she explained the treatment plan for the next few weeks of recovery. “It will be another month before we consider your skull fracture healed enough to be allowed out of our care. But there will be plenty of rehabilitation to keep you busy, plus meetings with the lawyers.”

    “Lawyers?” Danyal asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.

    “You are the last surviving representative of your band. They have been calling for two weeks asking if you were conscious yet.” Morgan explained. “They are trying to adjudicate the band's assets and pay off its debts.”

    “Patch them through tomorrow,” Danyal sighed. “I don't want to deal with that today.”

    What he did want to deal with was going for a walk. With the occasional help of Morgan, a medical droid, and a cane, Danyal made his way slowly to Jess’ room. She lay quietly on the hospital bed with barely a bandage on her.

    It was a trip he would make every day for the next month. He sat and talked to Jess for hours a day. The doctors said it sometimes helped patients in comas to hear a voice they knew. After having the lawyers get someone to bring his guitar to him at the hospital, Danyal played music for her too. Slowly at first, as his left arm recovered its strength and dexterity.

    He worked with the lawyers. He ended up having to sell off much of Wachamio!'s assets to pay the debts owed to the various venues their concerts had been canceled at, unsettled tabs at clubs and bars along the Corellian Way, damages claimed by bystanders who were injured in the aircar accident. Plus other miscellaneous things in the endless documents the lawyers brought to his hospital room each day he was feeling well enough to deal with them.

    When all was done, all that was left of Wachamio! was the personal belongings of his deceased bandmates. They were packaged and shipped to the closest relatives the lawyers could find. And the Party Barge. Danyal insisted on keeping the ship, no matter how much of his share of the remaining monetary assets it cost him. He had plans for it when he was recovered. Most of the cabins had been emptied (besides his own, which he'd asked to leave secured until he could sort it out himself). Clothing, costumes and other similar items that had not been claimed by kin had been sent to auction houses in an attempt to reclaim their worth.

    As Danyal recovered, he wondered what he would do when the day came that he was well enough to leave the hospital. He felt an obligation to watch over Jess until her family could be found, but he couldn't stay here forever. One morning near the end of his recovery, the question was answered for him.

    Danyal sat in Jess’ room, in his usual chair by her bedside. He was holding her hand and talking to her like he often did.

    “Hey, beautiful, how are you doing today? The doctors said I am ok to leave tomorrow, but I’ve been worried about leaving you alone with these strangers, as nice as they've been to us.

    “I went to the Barge yesterday for the first time since… Well, you know when.” Danyal leaned in and whispered to his unconscious friend. “My cabin was quite a mess, by the way, there was bedding, towels, and clothes everywhere. I don't know what you were wearing on our way to the concert, but it wasn't that sleeveless top and skirt. I have no idea what we did in my cabin that day, Jess, but I hope it was fun, it looked like it was.

    “I found your bag too,” Danyal continued in his normal voice. “It had some identicards in it, I handed them over to the police to see what they could do to find your family. Well, today, the hospital got commed by your parents. Someone connected some dots somewhere and matched their missing person case to you. They're on their way here right now.”

    Danyal thought he felt her hand twitch. It happened sometimes, but this time seemed much more deliberate than usual.

    “Jess, can you hear me?” he asked excitedly. “Can you squeeze my hand again?”

    This time there was a definite response, her hand tightened in his, stronger than it ever had during her weeks of unconsciousness. Danyal's heart began to rise out of the darkness it had inhabited for so long. He moved to sit on the edge of Jess’ hospital bed, holding her hand to his chest with one velvety hand and reaching out with the other to stroke her cheek.

    “You! Get your filthy hands off my daughter!”

    Danyal jumped in surprise at the sudden ferocious yell, he snatched his hand away from Jess’ face and turned towards the shout. A Mirialan man stood in the doorway to Jess’ room, a look of absolute fury and disgust on his green-skinned face. Jess’ hand squeezed Danyal's tightly as the man screamed again.

    “I said get away from her, alien! Why is she so uncovered? What have you done to her?”

    Danyal reluctantly let go of Jess’ hand and retreated back against the wall of the small recovery room. The man rushed to his daughter's side on the opposite side of the bed from Danyal and covered her with the blanket. He pulled it up to her neck, and grabbed a towel to cover her hair.

    “I- I don't know what you're talking about,” Danyal stammered, then saw what must be Jess’ mother, in the doorway. She was wearing clothing that covered her, head to foot. Her face and hands were the only bit of her green skin exposed to the world.

    Danyal swore under his breath and tried to explain. “She wasn't dressed like that when I met her, sir, no one knew--”

    “Enticed by your sinful music, making her sneak away from us and dress herself so immodestly,” the father ranted. “I recognize you from the vids I caught her watching, seducing her with your songs...”

    “Frankly, sir, she was the one who started it, coming on to me.” Danyal yelled back, pain and confusion fueling him as he lashed back in anger.

    Nurses ran into the room, trying to calm the angry men yelling at each other over their not-quite-so-comatose patient.

    “Did you touch her? Did you defile my daughter?!” The man screamed past the attendant who was trying to pull him away from the bed.

    “You know what? I don't even remember, we were too DRUNK or maybe HIGH!” Danyal yelled back, perversely enjoying the even deeper shade of shocked green on the Mirialan's tattooed face.

    The man's words dissolved into sputtered curses in his native language. His wife joined the nurse in trying to turn her husband away from the fight.

    Danyal started to lapse into his native Ryn, there were some amazing insults in that language; but too many of the words relied on tones that whistled or resonated through his nose, and they weren't coming out right. It didn't sound like his voice anymore. It made him even more frustrated and angry, but it made him briefly stop trying to yell. His hands balled up into fists and he took a step towards the sputtering Mirialan man.

    Doctor Morgan reached for Danyal, attempting to drag him out of the room. She yelped as she grabbed his forearm, then grabbed his shirt sleeve with her other hand and pulled him out.

    “What was that?” She demanded as she shoved the Ryn back into his own room ahead of her.

    “How was I supposed to know her family was religious zealots-?” Danyal began.

    “No,” Morgan interrupted, “that!” She pointed to the back of his forearm, numerous stiff quill-like hairs were bristling out of the usually soft-looking fur. Some of the quills were sticking out of the doctor’s palm where she had tried to grab him initially.

    Danyal swore, and started brushing the fur back down. “I’m sorry, I was upset, it's a self-defense… thing…”

    “Then I guess you better be glad I got you out of there before Jess’ father ended up with a face-full of them,” the doctor said with a growl. “Or were you wanting to spend your first night out of the hospital in a detention center for assault?”

    “I… just… I would have done nothing to her without her permission,” Danyal fumed, “besides watching over her for the past month.”

    Morgan flagged down a nurse to bring her some tweezers and a bacta patch.

    “Can I help?” Danyal asked contritely.

    “Have you extracted these from someone's skin before?”

    “Yeah,” Danyal said, smiling sadly at the memory. “My buddy Bardirel’s face, after he picked a fight one night while we were drunk.”

    “Alright then,” Morgan said softly. “Let's get me fixed up and then get you packed, it's time for you to go find your new life, young Ryn. Or, maybe revisit your old one, and go spend some time with your clan.”

    “If I can find them,” Danyal muttered.

    --

    Danyal had one last stop before he left Ixtlar. He had set up an account for any residual future income from Wachamio!'s remaining assets, and at the Ixtlar branch of the bank, he used a portion of those funds to rent a safe deposit box. Back at the hospital, he gave Morgan the keychip.

    “If you get a chance, when Jess’ parents aren't around, give her this, please.” He instructed.

    “I will do my best, Danyal.” She replied. “Good luck in your new life.”

    --

    It had taken her nearly a year to get a break from her overprotective parents and return to Ixtlar, but Jeskal Dilan finally managed to do it. She sat in a private room in the bank, holding the key Doctor Morgan had given her in a moment of solitude before she’d left the hospital. A large box sat on the table before her. She inserted the key into the computerized lock, and a holorecording began. She smiled at the image of the young Ryn musician she hadn't seen for over a year.

    Hey there Jess. I’m sorry I had to leave, just when you were starting to come around, but your father REALLY doesn't like me, and frankly, if my father and mother were alive, they wouldn't be too happy with my life either.

    I’ve left you some things here that I hope you will be able to use, and one thing that I never want to see again. You are the only other still-living person who has heard it live,
    Wachamio!'s last song. Though I might make some money releasing it, I never want to hear it again, too many memories. Plus it was a pretty stupid song. Hopefully your memories of it are better.

    I’ve realized something over the past month, you know, the fortune teller the guys and I went and saw, he was right, on every fortune. I tried to find him again, but no one seems to know what or who the hell I’m talking about. So, hey, maybe there's something true to my fortune too.

    At any rate, I think I’m going to try to track down my clan. If you really want to find your Ryn friend Danyal, start where I’m going to start, with the Kull mining clans. Who knows, I might find my way to Coruscant, where I’m destined to belong to the one girl who I can't have. Maybe that's my reward for my life of wanton debauchery these past five years.


    Anyway, enjoy the gifts, or sell them to a collector and get something you actually need to make yourself happy, for real.

    Goodbye Jess.

    Inside the box was “Le’tzigane’s” electric and bass quetarras (autographed and notarized, in case she wanted to sell them), the black leather jacket with the band's logo, and a datapad recording of the band performing “Mambo No. 5,” as the Twi’lek brothers had oh-so-cleverly named it. Jeskal wondered however, whether the recording continued, and included Danyal's sound test too. She started the recording and skipped a bit ahead, heard Aijan’s proposal to Rita, and then, there it was. Danyal's friends begging him to play some of his people's music, then the beautiful complex sounds of his guitar and plaintive voice.

    Maybe she would try to track him down. If only to hear music like that again. And maybe, learn to play it herself.

    (End)

    The Kull Mining Clan is a creation of @Gamiel Link to fanon entry coming at some point.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Bittersweet.
     
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  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb interactions and feelings of something blooming on the brink but of course we know their paths diverge. =D=
     
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  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    I know that it has taken me inexcusably long to write up a proper review for this story, and part of my excuse (!) is that I wanted to really sit down and concentrate and find the right words... because I’m just in awe of the way you’ve transformed this rather doofy, goofy song into a compelling character study rich in drama, romance, and introspection. No mean feat at all! =D=

    You’ve created a wonderfully full and believable character in Danyal. He’s a musician with genuine talent who’s living that bad-boy-rockstar life, playing and drinking hard and “hanging out” with the groupie girls. But we learn that he’s got no small amount of sadness and loss in his past, too—and of course I recognize from “Destiny” the tragic story about that little boy that he tells to his bandmates. On top of that has to deal with all the baggage of being an “exotic” species both culturally and biologically. He is clearly a valued member of Wachamio and his bandmates, even the outspoken Aijan, clearly encourage his talent—and yet, at the same time, they too fall into the exoticization trap, to the point where they’re not even in the habit of calling him by his real name. So many differing dynamics are at work in this character and those around him (whom you also did a great job characterizing), and you do a fantastic job negotiating them all in a believable manner. :cool:

    Even though Danyal learns in this story that his romantic destiny will end up being elsewhere (I know who that lady “the color of a sunset upon a field of ripe grain” is! ;) ), his little romance with Jess is very sweet and tender in its way. It starts out as if it’s just going to be another groupie fling, but there’s a lot of genuine caring in it too, on both sides. On Danyal’s end, we see it close to the beginning when he takes care of her after she gets sick, and we see it at the end in his message to her accompanying all his remaining personal effects. On Jess’s end, we see she really is interested in Danyal’s music as music—his talent, even more than his exotic looks (though she’s not immune to them either), is what first drew her to him, and what she remembers about him at the end. I truly hope she will get the chance to learn to play some of that amazing music herself. @};-

    Music is very much at the heart of this story, of course, and the two very different songs performed by Danyal are its literal heart. One is the goofy mambo performed by the whole band, with the names of all the lady friends; the other is the hauntingly beautiful Ryn song performed by Danyal alone (and I am now never going to be able to hear anything by the Gipsy Kings without thinking of wonderful Danyal now. [face_love] ). I thought the trade language that was “as native as Ryn to Danyal” was a very cool touch: the language of that song seems to bear the same cultural relationship to Ryn as, say, the Spanish of “Un amor” does to Romani (and of course I smiled at “Le’tzigane,” too, because natch Ryl = French! :D ). It’s so fitting that both those performances are recorded for posterity and part of the personal effects that Danyal bequeaths to Jess at the end.

    Bravissima, and thanks once again for introducing us to Danyal and for sharing his love-, hope-, and music-filled story with us! =D= =D= =D=