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Saga Word Gets Around (Aurra Sing/Hondo Ohnaka - OTP RomCom Challenge)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Briannakin , Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    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.
    Chyntuck, Sith-I-5, Anedon and 6 others like this.
  2. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    What an interesting pairing! I really liked this story. The idea that she is so, so ancient and has seen so many friends, compatriots, lovers, enemies all fade to age and die, while she stays young and vigorous, must have an impact on her. She would be very choosy about who she befriends, based on that knowledge alone.

    Maybe that's why she is an assassin and a bounty hunter. She has such a familiar relationship with it anyway - Death is her oldest, closest, most loyal friend. And it can be a kind friend, too.
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Definitely a very original and interesting choice of couple! I have been partial to Aurra Sing since the early days of TPM (and I remember being thrilled to meet Michonne Borriague at a convention—there may even be a photo of me with her someplace that I can't easily dig out), but her new Canon backstory was new to me, as was the nonaging business (wow, she could almost be a GFFA underworld Elina Makropoulos!), and it all makes her character even more fascinating than before. So I'm tickled pink to see her in a story that really goes interesting places with those aspects of her.

    And what a story! At first it gives the impression of being a regular old slightly-awkward-reunion-of-two-old-underworld-lovers situation, with a kiss thrown in—but it takes a completely different turn at the end when we learn of the poison lip gloss and its effects (oh my gosh, what a concept!). Of course this is where I ask if Natari Poison Gloss is established or original to you—because if the latter, well, you probably know what I'll invite you to do. :p (Ditto lung patosis—what a way to die! I guess the lip gloss was almost by way of a mercy killing, then.)

    I like the way the "word got around" motif frames their conversation—first "word got around" that Hondo was dying, and then just as Hondo is on the threshold of death, he thinks of the way word has been going around about their relationship, and about Aurra's ultimate faithfulness to him after all those years. That's a poignant, wistful moment for him, of course, and it's thrown into extra relief by the fact that she obviously no longer gives a care. And she will go on living in that coldness, that ghost-white youthfulness, for Force only knows how long. (In a certain way, it's similar to Winter's eternity of memory in the vignette you wrote about her, only Aurra's situation is sort of the twisted inverse of that—though in a very cool way of course. :cool: )

    Fantastic work on this, Bri! You have a talent for packing a lot into your short stories, and I always enjoy reading them. @};-
  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you for taking part in the challenge. :) That was an extremely unexpected and cool use of the prompt you got the story title from! The other, too.

    Your mini-analysis of Aurra that could easy be overlooked given that this story is quite humorous is...chilling. I can totally see how somebody who's so well-versed on death not to be amused by the peace of what appears to be a geriatric ward. Of course, there are all these lovely things such as stench, the chemicals, blood...but there is no action!

    And then it turns out not to...holds the ol folk in captivity?

    Pfft, what a place. I WANT MY CREDITS BACK.

    I was immediately intrigued by how you described the process of Hondo's aging - I can see that this was never described before. Given how...aged the Weequay appear having been living on such a harsh planet and all, I would totally be interested in your fanon on their biology. Do they start looking more, err, normal as they grow old? Same goes for Hondo's illness. Looks like he's burning on the inside, almost. Tell us more, tell us more!

    There could be a very sinister way to see this - she looks like a ghost to him after he had not seen her in such a long time, what if he thinks he's really, really doing.

    What else is interesting is how Hondo's lack of success is attributed to taking sides, and Aurra got all she wanted because she never took a side. Who'd think opportunism could be so useful?
    Aww, they LOVE each other. Look at how...merciful...she was.

    And then...she kills him in a very creative way and it's a confession of love and an act of mercy?!

    I'll walk myself out, thank you. :eek:
  5. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 11, 2016
    That was pretty dark.I liked it. :)
    I´ve never been a fan of Aurra Sing but it was nice to read something from her PoV. So she is together with Hondo in the new canon? Intersting, I liked it that she kinda showed some emotions for him in your OS, even bounty hunters and pirates need some love. A nice way of killing someone with poisoned lips, a kiss of death. Correct me if I´m wrong but I like the ambiguity if she kills him to end his suffering or to fullfill her contract.
    Kahara, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  6. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    This was pretty good.

    Great relationship between the two; nice steady dolings out of their backstories; great and quite realistic depiction of a SW disease, eg. coughing black particles into a breath mask (yuk.)

    Quite a touching story with a hint of River Song - poison lipstick. Well done, devoting some thought and words into how she made herself immune.

    For a short piece, this was very good
    Ewok Poet, Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  7. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Though I don't know much about either of these characters beyond the basics, they both have the feel of being people who run on one path because it's the only one they understand. So when Hondo figures out what's up, there really seems to be no bitterness from him. I agree with earlier commenters regarding that we don't know how much of Aurra's poisoning of him is motivated by revenge or outside factors; to these two there may just be no significant distinction between doing what you do as a matter of expediency and acting out of caring. Or from a grudge, for that matter. They both seem to have this sense of comfort with being static; Aurra will live forever (until someone kills her, probably), and Hondo would have kept on in the mercenary/conman life that he had before if he were well enough. Hondo might not always be as conspicuously stabby as Aurra, but I suspect he's no less stubborn about his particular way of dealing with the world. They understand each other, or at least they're content enough to assume they do. [face_thinking] Mostly.

    Anyway, I liked the characterization and sense of history that plays into this short encounter. It's poignant that there's this persistent connection between them, when they both seem to have been sort of incapable of dealing with soft and squishy things like Feelings (ack! the scandal!) for pretty much their entire lives so far.

    ("pirate-ship" -- Thanks Briannakin, that's a total dad joke and I'll never get it out of my head now. :p )
  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Whoa...a dark, mercenary romance :eek:

    My knowledge of Aurra is limited to the 3.5 seconds she appears on screen during the pod racing scene in TPM, but I rather like what I've seen of Hondo in Rebels. Part of that is because he's voiced by my all-time favorite voice actor, the awesome Jim Cummings (Darkwing Duck, Winnie the Pooh and many more!) and part of it is his personality. He's a thief and a scammer, he'll cut and run in the face of danger...but he's got such attitude that you just can't hate him! Even in his pain he keeps some of it-- asking Aurra if she's there to collect her debts and his crack about "horribly cute children." (LOL, that's quite a mental image!)

    Aurra seems to be a real contradiction. She seems to have feelings for Hondo--if not precisely love, some level of caring--but the way she expresses them shows how hard her life has made her:
    Other reviewers have noted there are many ambiguities in the story, so I'll add another: does Hondo know her lips are poisoned before he kisses her?

    Interesting take on the romance challenge and creative use of the prompts =D=
    Ewok Poet, Findswoman and Kahara like this.
  9. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    So! The funny thing is that I only got to the Aurra/Hondo scenes in the Clone Wars just last night. No joke. (Yes, after years of avoidance I finally gave in and am binge watching the show - and I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality! But that's a rant for another place. ;)) When I saw this, I kinda just grinned like an idiot and clicked. And I'm glad I did!

    Their banter was so in character! The wry flirting; the undercurrent of violence; the knowing - all of it was completely spot on. I can completely see Aurra taking this route with her old flame. In her mind this is so clearly a mercy, one that I'm sure that, in his own way, Hondo appreciates as well; he'd rather be sent out by her than by a disease. I adore that he knew what she was doing, and that they had those last few moments together. Even little things about this - Hondo ticking off criminal elements even when he's no longer a top player in the game, your expanding on their first meeting, his waxing poetic about the idea of their having a normal life under different circumstances - ack, it's just perfect. Every word of this was perfect. [face_love]

    Thank you so much for sharing! I highly enjoyed the read. =D=
    Findswoman and Briannakin like this.