Title: Promise Author: Divapilot Era: Saga, about ten years post-RotS Characters: OCs – Mirany Lansdotter and Kash Ferros Genre: Romance, angst Aithor’s note: written for the OTP & Pairing thread challenge, “OTP Quotes” The quotes I received are under the spoiler. Spoiler First quote: “I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” (Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice) second quote: “Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.” (Ilsa Lund, Casablanca) FYI, Info on my two OCs can be found here.. Connected works and SPOILER WARNINGS: This story takes place immediately preceding Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark but doesn’t spoil anything. However, there are some spoilers for Code Breaker: The Journal of Kash Ferros and for But One Hour Mine here. **** Mirany lay on her side, one hand resting under her face and the other hand, lightly on her stomach. Kash propped himself up on an elbow and watched her. She wasn’t sleeping; he knew that. He also knew that she was aware of him watching her. He studied her, as if cataloging her features. The fair skin, the freckles scattered across it. Her wavy brown hair that spiraled along the white pillowcase. The softness of her eyelashes, the full ruddiness of her lips. He traced his finger along the skin of her back and she smiled. He smiled too, even if she couldn’t see it. “I love you,” he whispered. Her smile grew wider, but she still didn’t open her eyes. He placed a gentle kiss on her shoulder. “I love you, too,” she answered. Her hand brushed across her abdomen. She opened her eyes and turned onto her back to look at him. She smiled. “The wedding festival is only a few months away. I’ll be showing by then, but we wouldn’t be the first couple to have gotten a head start on a family.” Kash brushed the hair back from her face. “It would be wonderful.” She stretched her arms and then rolled over, curling her body against his. She closed her eyes and continued. “You could apply for citizenship so that the baby would have a birthright as the firstborn in a Mehrine family. We would live in my apartment, over my parents'. Then, when the baby comes, my mother would quit her job at the bakery and come take care of the little one.” Kash looked at her contented face. He turned away from her for a moment and composed himself, careful to shield any distress from her. She was a fast learner and she had developed a knack for reading his emotional state. She wanted this baby so badly, and she was so very happy. Give her this moment, he thought. There would be plenty of time for sorrow later. She opened her eyes and looked at him warily. “What’s wrong?” she asked. She had read him anyway. Kash shrugged. “I just don’t think it’s safe to go back and live in Mehr right away. There was an inquisitor in Oestershore. He might have traced me to Mehr.” With a sigh, she considered his words. “Then we will live somewhere else for a while. As long as we go back to Mehr.” Her mood lightened, and she drew her hand across his cheek, her fingertips light against his bearded face. “We’re going to be all right. Don’t worry so much.” She paused. “I still love you, Kash. Nothing will change that. And I promise you, we’ll be standing at the wedding festival in the city square when the misty season ends.” She laughed. “We’ll be the oldest people there.” Mirany’s expression took on a faraway look. “I’ve already chosen the verse I’m going to say to you. It’s from a Mehrine poet, Jeannah Austensdotter, from the Age of Golden Forests.” She pursed her lips and frowned in concentration. “It goes like this: I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” Kash smiled gently at her. “It’s beautiful. And very true.” He lay back down and they lay together, her head resting on his shoulder. “Show me again,” she said suddenly. He laughed, then held out his hand. Gradually, a soft white light glowed just over his open palm. A subtle illumination spread around the room as the white light formed a globe and sparkled. It rose from his palm and hovered in the air. “It’s so beautiful,” she breathed. “It’s just a magic trick. All I did was gather dust motes from the room and vibrate them, then added some static electricity.” She looked at him. “But it makes everything so much brighter.” Mirany adjusted her head back against his shoulder. “It drives the dark away. Evil things hide in the dark.” Kash shrugged. “Don’t be afraid of the dark. Evil things are done in broad daylight. Don’t blame darkness for evil and don’t credit the light for good. Evil and good come from here,” he said, lightly touching her breast, over her heart. Then, with a wave of his hand, the sphere of sparkling white light vanished. “Besides,” he said, “you know how to shield yourself now. What frightened you in the dark has no power over you anymore. What you should be afraid of walks about in complete confidence, like Commander Holt. Or that inquisitor. They’re the ones you need to worry about.” “Why are you saying this to me?” she asked. She raised herself back up and looked down at him, her long dark hair falling across her shoulder. He smiled but the sadness crept in, despite his best effort to hold it at bay. He couldn’t tell her. It would only upset her. He raised his hand to caress her face and gazed into her frowning gray-green eyes, the color of the sea in the misty season. “I will love you until the day I become one with the Force, Mirany.” His words caught her. “Which will be a long time from now,” she said resolutely. “Nobody will find us. Times will get better.” “But they might not. Or they might get better when it’s too late for us. Trust no one, Mirany. Trust your instinct, trust your gut, trust the Force. Promise me that you’ll be careful.” She frowned and nodded. “I promise.” He had wanted to tell her before. It was so hard, so painful, to keep the evidence to himself. He had been so careful that she laughingly accused him of being paranoid: only staying in one place for a few months at a time, using forged scan docs, even going so far as to edit his old journal to reflect his alias and not his actual name. But the signs were all there now. Kash had had premonitions of the future all his life – until they stopped suddenly about four months ago. Not one single glimpse into his future. And then, when she told him she was pregnant, he recalled a conversation he had had once, years ago, in a vision – a conversation with a young man who told him that his own father had died before he was born. A young man who had been named for his dead father. If they came for him when he was alone, they would take him away and his life would be over. But if Mirany were there too, they would arrest her. They shot enemies of the empire, shot them in the street then hanged their bodies on the city wall, left to rot. He could only imagine what they would to someone who sheltered a fugitive Jedi. His stomach turned at the thought of the torture they would subject her to. He knew what he had to do. “Mirany,” he said quietly, “Let me hear you say you love me. Let me hear my real name, not this alias I’ve used for so long.” She started to say something in protest, then stopped. Instead, she looked at him curiously. “I love you, Silas Besht Ki-Armana. I love you.” He wouldn’t let her see how afraid he was, for her, for them both. For all three of them. He blinked back the tears that threatened to form. Caressing her face, he pulled her down to him. “Kiss me,” he whispered huskily. “Kiss me as if it were the last time.” She paused for a moment, then she brought her lips to his and she did. And it was.