Title: Word Gets Around Author: Briannakin Characters: Aurra Sing/Hondo Ohnaka Timeframe: 33ABY Genre: I have no idea, but not romance. Categorization: ????? I’m taking into account both Clone Wars/Rebel Canon, and facts Legends establishes (her past and the fact that Sing was alive in 40 ABY and had not aged since 32BBY), so I guess either really (I purposefully left out any mention of details that would place this). Notes: I found myself with a few hours of free time and for some reason I had the desire to write Aurra Sing(? Random, I know, but I’ve always liked her). I then realized my idea kinda worked with what I got for the OTP challenge (common setups and eventual confessions of love; which I got “customer complaint” and “word gets around”) so I figured why not give my “villainous/pirate-ship” OTP a shot. Not my greatest effort, but I had fun not working on something that required no brain power. I think I kinda played fast and loose with the spirit of the challenge, but come on, do you expect anything less from Aurra and Hondo? Aurra Sing was not used to such places. It was not the quiet, dimly lit grey halls, nor the darkness; not the death that hung in the air nor the stench of cleaning and sanitation chemicals. It wasn’t even the faint metallic sent of humanoid blood. She felt at home in all those elements. It was the peace. She had not felt such tranquility since her time as a youngling in the Jedi Temple, before she had been torn from that life by a kidnapping and other misadventures that had forever turned her life, not that she had ever been suited for such things as peace. Perhaps that is why she wanted to run, or kill something. She had to be in the wrong place. But all the rumours said Hondo was being held here. Slipping around another corner, she spotted the cell number. No. She mentally corrected herself. Room number. It felt… odd, entering a room without having to crack a lock or blow it open, though the contents of the room looked remarkably like some Republic prisons: a small window, nightstand, chair, and a bunk with some pathetic being laying on it. Aurra’s eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness and she saw the details of the cracked Weequay’s face. Honda Ohnaka looked so old covered with a blanket, wearing a white nightshirt. His once dark skin was somehow lighter and greyer in tone and his closed eyes were covered with folded skin. But when she stepped closer into the room, his eyes snapped open and scanned her silhouette. “My dear? Is that you?” She couldn’t help but grin at his accent. Such emotion cracked her normally serious face. She sauntered in, allowing her long legs to swing her hips, letting her arms dangle, flicking tendrils of auburn hair off her shoulder. She was bald with the exception of her classic high ponytail, currently in dreadlocks. She was almost glad she had settled on a black jumpsuit for this business. It would give an old man a thrill before he died. “Who else would it be, my sweetheart? Everyone else you know is either dead or is glad that you are dying.” He laughed as he sat up in the med-centre bed. His laugh devolved into coughs and he grasped at a clear mask on the nightstand. He held it to his mouth and took a few deep breaths, while his other hand flicked on the light. “And by the looks of you, I’d say you fall into the first category,” Hondo commented when he finished his fit. Aurra Sing had not aged in sixty years. She never knew what races she descended from, but someone, somewhere in her past, must have lived a very long time. Most thought she was a ghost, and in some ways she was, and it wasn’t just her white skin. “What are you doing here?” “Unfortunately for you, I’m in the latter category.” she said, sitting on the edge of his bed. “Word got around that you were finally dying. I guess I just had to see for myself.” “So you’re not here to collect any debts I still owe?” “I know, as does the galaxy by now, that would be a fool’s errand.” “And you never were a fool.” He placed a cracked hand on her thigh and sighed wistfully. “What has it been, seventeen years, since our paths last crossed?” “I’ve been avoiding you. And this is the end of your path if what the Hutts are celebrating are true.” He nodded. “It would seem as if my days have finally caught up with me.” “Your a wash-up. You have been since the early days of the Empire. You fell on the wrong side of Clone Wars.” Hondo had infamously lost his ship after the Emperor took over the galaxy, and had been in one unsuccessful con after the next. Even when the Rebellion was successful, Hondo had scorned and failed half the galaxy’s underground. He had spent the two decades since then pissing off the other half. Meanwhile, Aurra herself had worked as a Jedi Hunter under Vader and had maintained a certain talent and willingness as an assassin to whatever side wanted to hire her. “Oh the Old Republic. How I miss those days.” He sighed with a painful longing. “Remember how we met?” She rolled her eyes. “Yeah. Times were simpler then. Though everyone still hated you.” “Well, not everyone.” “I met you when three different crime lords hired me to kill you. They had some pretty grievous customer complaints. Something to do with borrowing credits for shares in an non-existent mining company.” “But then you didn’t kill me,” he then with a grin. He then broke into another fit of coughs. This time he spewed black particles into the clear mask. Aurra sought to be crueler than the galaxy, but lung Patosis was a death even she thought the gods had gone too far when they inflicted it on a being, even someone like Hondo, who definitely deserved it. In clinical terms, his lungs were hardening, becoming solid masses of toxins. He was slowly suffocating to death. She didn’t move to comfort him. “Yeah. That was a pretty dumb move. But you did offer a fair price to convince me to let you live.” “I never did ask, did you ever receive any customer complains about that?” She shrugged her boney shoulders. “I guess there’s no harm in coming clean with a dying man. What I had failed to tell you while we were negotiating the price of your life -. “Negotiating?” Hando humpfed. “I do believe you had a blaster to my temple when you asked me to give you a good reason why you should let me continue breathing.” She rolled her dark eyes. “What I had failed to tell you was that two of the crime lords had been taken into custody between the time that they had hired me and when I got to you. I wanted to see if you were willing to pay more than the last remaining contract, who you then hired me to kill. You had conned so many people, you never even bothered to ask who had hired me.” Honda chuckled. “I knew I had always liked you.” He let his head fall back into his pillow. “What happened to us?” Aurra grinned, leaned down, and gave him a long kiss. “I was always too smart for you.” “You were selfish, and ran when we got into trouble.” “Which I remember happening a lot when I was with you.” He sighed. “I’ve found myself wondering, if our chosen careers had been different, would we have made it work?” She glared. “What are you trying to get at?” “Maybe gotten married, had horribly cute children, and had a normal life.” “I don’t know what delusions are going through your mind.” That kind of life. Perhaps it had been a possibility for Hondo, but it had never been one for her. She somehow always knew she would outlive him. She always knew she was going to have to watch him fade as an old man, while she remained young for many more years, possibly centuries. “I always loved you. And word goes around, my dear. There was no one after me. You always loved me.” “Again, I don’t know what kind of delusions-.” He interrupted her one last time. His voice was becoming weaker and his breaths quickly became rasps. “Maybe it’s the poison I just sucked off of your lips.” Aurra had no clue how long death from Natari Poison gloss would take - apparently it was going to be quick as she had hoped, but she had not anticipated Hondo realizing her actions. She had taken immunity pills for the past three weeks, simply so that she could kiss him with the assassin’s poison on her lip, and he would drift off, unknowing of her final kindness to him. He gave her half of a smile. “Your secret is safe with me,” he gasped softly. His eyes then closed and Aurra gently held his hand as he drifted off.