The Farmboy and the Archaeologist
A Star Wars one-shot by Andrew Joshua Talon
DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit work of fan prose. Star Wars is the property of Lucasfilm Ltd and Disney. I would ask you to support the official release, but cannot in good conscience after The Last Jedi.
Aphra cursed under her breath, and turned from the escape pod hatch. There he was. The farmboy.
"Nothing gets past you," she said dryly. Luke gave her that disappointed look she hated. It made her think about things she'd really rather not.
"You know, you could just steal a fighter from the hanger bay," Luke said with a shrug. "Lots of them around."
"Not really my style," Aphra said quickly. "Too many eyes. Too many security cameras."
"And an escape pod is preferable because...?" Luke asked. "I mean, you could just ask me to take you for a trip... You leave, or knock me out-"
"Pfft, yeah, like I'll be able to do that more than twice," Aphra snorted. Luke took a step forward, and she rested her hand on her blaster. He raised an eyebrow.
"... My uncle told me once that some people are always running, even when they're standing still," Luke ventured. "Ready to leave the moment they feel... Uncomfortable."
"Oh gee, standing in the center of a doomed Rebellion that could be blasted out of the sky any second by the Empire," Aphra sneered. "No wonder I feel uncomfortable! Surrounded by a bunch of suicidal morons!"
Luke shrugged and smiled. "Yeah, that's us. Charging into danger, heedless of the odds against us to save a friend... Sounds like someone I know."
"Don't," Aphra growled, pointing her finger at him. "Don't you dare. We are not - We did not bond. We're not alike. I am a realist. The galaxy runs based on who's strongest, and in this situation I needed you. I used you! You mean nothing to me!"
"I didn't even bring that up," Luke said, smiling that innocent farmboy smile she hated. Hated because of the feelings it inspired in her.
"I-Just in case you were getting any ideas!" Aphra growled. "I know you farmboy Jedi types! You think you can save me, right? The bad girl, saved by the shining Jedi Knight?" She stepped forward and poked him in the chest. "Well I'm not! I'm not that kind of girl! Stop being so obsessed with saving me! You can't do it, all right? So leave me alone!"
"Um..." Luke blinked. "... I didn't say any of that."
"You-You must be using some kind of Jedi mind trick on me!" Aphra babbled.
"I don't even know how to do that... Yet," Luke admitted. Aphra nodded.
"Good... Of course..."
"Look. You know what we're up against. You know what the Empire does. Just because they're strong doesn't mean they're right," Luke said. "Or that they're invincible. Strength can be relative."
Aphra shook her head.
"Right or wrong? It doesn't matter. If you want to survive, you go with the strong bantha. Not the weak, small one. No matter how cute they might be."
Why did she say 'cute'? Why why why?!
"And yet," Luke observed, "you, the weak, small archaeologist and me the weak, barely trained Jedi got out of that disaster. Against overwhelming odds."
"It's just one incident," Aphra argued, "it doesn't prove anything!"
"No, but it proves my point about strength being relative," Luke said. Aphra sighed, and leaned back against the hatch.
"Not every problem is going to have a thermal exhaust port you can hit," Aphra pointed out. Luke nodded.
"No... But it doesn't mean there isn't a way out," he said. Aphra looked aside. Luke sighed.
"... Look, why don't you at least just have some dinner first? Before you make your escape?" Luke asked. Aphra looked up at him. "I'm sure I won't be able to stop you, so there's no reason to rush things, right?"
Luke turned his back and started down the corridor. Aphra narrowed her eyes.
"I could just shoot you and run, you know," she said.
"Yeah. I know," Luke said with a nod.
"You're a tempting target, right now," Aphra continued. "Seriously tempting!"
Luke nodded again. "I'll save you some dessert, if you're interested." Aphra looked at the blaster, then at the escape pod hatch. She glared back at Luke's back.
"I really hate you, you know?" Aphra growled.
"I know," Luke said. Aphra sighed, and shoved her blaster back into her holster.
"Fine. Lead on," she grumbled, taking his arm. Luke flushed a bit, and led her off.