Title: Duty and Devotion Author: SabyneAmberle Era: Before the Saga, The Old Republic Genre: Drama, Romance Characters: [Main] Malavai Quinn, Lord Lycuneae Terzas (Gammon), [Secondary] Lt. Pierce, Vette, Jaesa Wilsaam Summary: In a war-torn galaxy, anyone finding affection is a miracle in and of itself. But what about for a Sith Lord? And how about when the other party tries his best to sabotage things along the way? Notes: Like most of my other TOR fics, this takes a bit of dialogue from the game, and adds my own spin to it. I just reached the conversation this is based on last night, and wanted to try my hand at working with it. ******** Today is the day. Lycuneae took her hair out of its standard high ponytail, running her fingers through it briefly before repeating the action with a comb. She had always liked her hair, its deep crimson locks reminded her of the blood she often spilled when fighting her enemies. In the past, some had complained that her hairstyle was too severe, said that she should wear her hair down more often to soften the look of her high forehead and slightly narrow eyes. She paid no attention to those critiques; to be a lord of the Sith, one could not be focusing undue attention on their appearance. That was a waste of energy, energy that could be spent on important tasks meant to secure power. As she removed the last few knots from her hair, she thought of her master. While not what one would picture a 'typical' Sith Lord looking like, Baras' cunning and skills at manipulation made him nearly unmatched amongst his peers. She was honored to be his apprentice, honored to be the hand that worked to enforce his will throughout the galaxy. She hoped to continue working alongside him, at least until the day came when he died by her hand. Her hair free of tangles, she returned it to its previous high ponytail before picking up a small cosmetics brush. She pondered the small collection of jars and tins that sat before her with a mix of puzzlement and curiosity. Having admitted to Vette that she didn't have the first clue about cosmetics and the wearing of them, the young Twi'lek had coerced both her and Jaesa into a quick 'girls only jaunt' into Kaas City to find the proper accoutrements. While she had been shown the proper way to use the cosmetics they chose for her, Lycuneae was still a bit hesitant. This was the domain of both her sister and aunt, whose elaborately painted faces hid equally cruel hearts. She herself had been taught to keep her face as clear and open as her heart, that she would learn her lessons more quickly that way. Now, she was in the midst of learning a new lesson. She selected a soft green eyeshadow, and dipped the tip of the brush into it. As she applied the pigment over one cold blue eye, she thought of Quinn. A smile formed on her lips as she remembered all the ways she teased him thus far through their mission together. Finishing the first eye to her satisfaction, she gave her other eye the same treatment, thinking of all the times she had pointed out the reddening of his ears, the ways she was obviously flustering him, their first shared kiss... Her hand stilled for a moment as she remembered that kiss. He protested that their involvement together was improper, but they both knew they were attracted to one another. Her fingers trembled a bit, and she stifled a curse as she dropped the brush, the pigmented tip drawing a long smear down her cheek. Setting the brush aside, she wiped at the smear with her fingertips for a moment; when she saw the color wasn't budging, she switched to a damp towel to clean the spot. With it cleaned to her satisfaction, she hastily finished the rest of her makeup, then paused to admire her work in the mirror. She smiled at what she saw. “This has to be the day,” she said to her reflection. “The day he tells me his feelings for me.” Only a blind man could have missed the signs this day was coming. She caught every plaintive look he cast her way, saw several times where he appeared ready to speak and decided against it. For several days, this game had continued; she had even asked him point-blank what was troubling him, only to have him swiftly deny anything was amiss. Finally, only mere hours earlier, he had approached her as they were boarding the Fury and requested a private audience with her. It was a request she granted almost eagerly, and the look on his face told her he was as surprised as she was at her response. As she left her quarters, Lycuneae's attention was caught by three of her crew members. Jaesa gave her usual sweet smile, inclining her head in a deferential bow. As she straightened, she gave her master a playful wink, which was swiftly returned. Since Nomen Karr's defeat, Jaesa had fit in well with the crew of the Fury; her knowledge of the Force and ability to take tactical direction had more than aided in a number of battles. Next to her apprentice, Vette stood in her usual stance; she casually leaned against the nearby doorway with her arms folded. When their eyes met, Vette gave her a look that she knew all too well. It was that half-puzzled look she wore anytime Quinn was touched upon. One didn't need the Force to know what that look conveyed. Lycuneae laughed a bit as she imagined Vette's words as that look translated them. Really? You and Captain Stuffy? Well, all right, if it makes you happy... The gruff sound of someone clearing his throat caught her ear, and she turned her focus on Pierce. He sat in a chair that was positioned suspiciously close to the doorway to the cockpit. He had his large gun on his lap, and appeared for all intents and purposes to be cleaning it. But she knew better, particularly when her sharp eye caught a small tin sitting on a shelf clear across the room from where he sat. Without a second thought, she used the Force to pick up the tin and send it over to his seat. She smirked a bit when he accepted it, a surprised look briefly crossing his face. “Working on that experimental 'dry polish' I've heard is so good to keep guns from rusting?” she asked. “Or just trying to find an excuse to sit near the cockpit door?” “Err, I must...I must have left it on the shelf when I was looking for a place to sit,” he replied, though she could easily hear him scrambling to cover the lie. “Space travel always makes me a bit forgetful, y'know?” “I understand. Just make sure it doesn't make you forget your place, Lieutenant,” she said stiffly. “Of course not, my lord.” Passing by Pierce, Lycuneae stopped at the doorway to the cockpit. If she were anyone else, one might think she was hesitating, or even afraid. And maybe she was, romance was new territory for her, after all. But she would be damned if she let that get in her way. She took a deep breath, squared her shoulders, and walked through the doorway. All the while, she felt the eyes of her crew on her, and she resisted the urge to groan and roll her eyes. This was already going to prove awkward enough without contending with an audience. “Quinn?” she ventured, letting her eyes adjust to the lighting in the cockpit.