Keep 'Em Coming

I do not own KOTOR

The cantina wasn't as lively as some of the ones he was used to, but he wasn't quite sure what he was used to anymore. Sith? Jedi? Saving the galaxy? That's an awful strange group of things to be used to. Well ... not for her. Not for his Exile. He, however, was so much different that her. He could never compare and would never be good enough. He was merely a fool with nothing to offer one so great as her.

He sat down at one of the barstools and signaled the bartender over. Was it a wonder why he always wound up on some barstool in some cantina getting piss drunk and talking to whoever happened to be next to him about this? Just listen to the way he thought! You could bet that damned Disciple didn't beat himself up about the whole "I can't bring people I love" thing. He probably got one Hell of an ego boost from it.

But Atton knew.

She just didn't want them dragging her down. She could have stopped Kreia twice as fast without all of them tagging along behind, just trying to get her to smile on them once. She probably would have noticed Kreia was Sith a lot earlier if ... well if he hadn't been around complaining and flirting. He couldn't have helped it even if he'd tried though. He had been infatuated with her the moment he saw her in her jumpsuit. He had loved her since Telos... Or at least that was what he thought.

"Juma. Keep 'em comin'." He said to the droid that manned the bar. Who even puts a droid in charge of something so important as that? Damn droids.

"I'll have the same." Atton's attention was drawn to a body in the seat next to him and a voice that he was sure he'd heard before. He turned his head a little, it was best not to flat out stare in place like this, and tried to place who this person was.

He was hunched over his drink much like Atton had been, his eyes half-lidded in thought, and his face haggard with grief. He was probably the mirror of what Atton looked like ... only Atton knew he was much more attractive. The Jedi Scoundrel turned his eyes back to his drink and began his conversation for tonight.

"Tough day?" The man made a noise like a laugh, his eyes flicking on Atton.

"Tough four years," Atton whistled. He'd been having a rough few months. A sort of withdrawal syndrome from having to part with the Exile. A tough four years? No wonder this guy looked so bad!

"What's wrong? Bad marriage?" The look he was given was a little short of deadly. So he'd hit a nerve... He was good at that. "Sorry, didn't mean to offend. Hey, but we're both men right?" When he got no reply Atton went on. He had a few hits of juma in him and he was willing to talk to anyone. Even a crusty old soldier who liked to throw death glares. "I got woman problems too. See, I love this woman-and I mean there isn't anything I wouldn't do for this girl-who's got this thing with saving people. She's got a thing with getting shot out, arrested, and nearly killed but most of those I was used to." Atton looked over to see if his audience was captive. Unlike most nights this man was listening very carefully.

"Really? Bet she tries to help every damn person that crosses her path... Like some sort of Jedi."

"Yea, yea that's a good way to put it." Atton nodded. Traveling with the Exile had taught him many things and one was certain words just aren't safe in the galaxy. Jedi was one of them. Even drunk he wouldn't say it because that would endanger her wherever she was. And even drunk he could never live with himself if anything happened to her.

"I had a girl like that." The man muttered. Atton looked at him, still positive he had seen the man's face from somewhere in his travels.

"What happened to her?"

"I think she wanted to try to save the galaxy and she didn't want me hurt." Atton slammed his drink down on the counter and the man jumped a little.

"I got the same damned story." Then the anger on his face faded and he started to laugh. "Bet they're out there talking about us, huh? You know how girls can be." The man smiled and joined Atton in his laughter. The man raised his hand to the bartender.

"Keep 'em coming."

By the time they had to leave, Atton was piss drunk but he was not nearly so sad about it as usual. He had not spent the evening "woe is me"-ing every person to get within ear shot. He had talked to some soldier for the Republic about the Exile, about the good things about the Exile and in return had gotten stories about some woman named Saeve. They had never exchanged each other's names, there had never been the need. They were just two heartbroken men talking over juma and wondering if somewhere on the Outer Rim Revan and the Exile were talking about Carth Onasi and Atton Rand.