Note: This is just a 3 part story by the way. ;)
Elara leaned against the opening of the Ebon Hawks loading ramp, arms folded, silently gazing at the bereaved pilot. For an hour, she had been watching him standing against the rail of the spaceport mulling over old memories both priceless and painful. It was just two hours ago he had revealed to her the reasons of his mistrust and hatred, he had lost everything to the Sith; his home and his family. She had been totally taken off guard when he spoke of his past to her, Carth had a wife and son, once, but now he had nothing. That explains all the paranoia issues. She felt for him so badly, such a horrible fate should have never been lavished upon such a kind hearted, beautiful man, she just wanted to make his pain disappear.
Elara had remained with him when he had told her, making sure she was there for him, but there was only so much she could do and Bastila calling for her assistance didn't make matters any better. Worse possible time princess Deciding he that might want time by himself she didn't return back to stand beside him, instead she stood silently watching him grieve.
A soft, cool breeze hit her as she wiped the tears falling sympathetically down her face, leaving her cheeks cold. Her thought was broken at the sound of a young, whining voice calling her from the main hold of the ship.
"Lara!" Mission yelled, "C'mon Lara! We can't be late!"
Elara sighed in annoyance as she remembered she was supposed to be getting ready for the celebration in the Wookie village. A celebration was to be held in their honour, for helping the Wookie's rid their village of Czerka slavers.
"Yeah Mish, I'm ready," She yelled back, "Get the others out here in 5, then we'll go."
Elara heard an exaggerated 'finally' echo through the ship and rolled her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she started to make her way down the ramp towards Carth.
"Uh, hey flyboy," she started softly, "if you're not feeling up to it, you can stay behind tonight."
Carth managed a sigh and ran his hand through his thick, brown hair and turned to face Elara, his voice was just barely a whisper. "No, it's fine. I'll go." He tried to muster a weak, appreciative smile, "Thanks though."
Elara glistened a warm smile in return and lightly squeezed his shoulder reassuringly; she was so proud of him and admired his strength to keep going after everything had been ripped from him so harshly. At that moment a deep, gruff voice boomed towards them.
"Can we go get drunk now?"
Elara smiled and clapped her hands, pointing toward the village.
"Yep! C'mon everyone lets go get drunk and enjoy ourselves." She followed Canderous down the walkway with the rest of the crew hot at her heels. Quickly she stole a glance at Carth, she hoped tonight would cheer him up a bit… her too.
Elara glanced around the room a little surprised, she never would have thought the Wookies were the 'partying' type, now matter how… different from a normal party you would find on Coruscant it was, the Wookies sure knew their stuff.
Taking a moment to scan the room to see where her crew was at, the biggest crowd that was drawing the most interest caught her attention. She spotted Juhani with her back arched attempting to make her way underneath a long stick which a Wookie on each side was holding up, trying not to touch it as a young Mission bounced up and down excitedly, encouraging her.
Smiling, she diverted her gaze searching the room for Bastila and their newest addition to the crew, Jolee, an old hermit who wasn't exactly 'friends forever' with the Jedi council. Elara found the two Jedi seated at the end of the mammoth sized banquet table, engrossed in deep conversation and oblivious to anyone around them.
That left Carth, Canderous and herself seated up the other end of the banquet table, enduring rounds of pazaak and playing for credits none of them even had, they were enjoying themselves… and that's what mattered. Canderous had gotten up to use the fresher, which left her and an uncharacteristically cheerful Carth. She'd noticed that his mood had lightened over the night immensely, she was glad… but it also scared her. It was probably just the alcohol taking effect, as they all had a heap to drink, but Carth seemed to be in exceptionally elated spirits, considering his previous state.
Apart from his unusual heightened mood, she noticed he'd been staring at her since Canderous left, not that she had a problem with it mind you but she was picking up unusual waves of emotion through him from the force.
Blushing at the silent moment of attention she was receiving, Elara shifted in her seat uncomfortably, suddenly extremely interested in her glass of ale. Finally Carth spoke, still gazing at her curiously.
She looked up at Carth, confused by his sudden choice of words. "Uh, for what?"
"For staying with me before, listening to me and helping me… for everything." Elara was taken aback by Carth's confession, but could see the seriousness on his face.
"You don't have to thank me Carth, you're my friend… probably even my best friend, ignoring how corny that sounds and you can always count on me." She said blushing, it was true though she couldn't remember even having any really close friends, he was kinda the first.
Carth smiled at that and it lightened Elara's world. "Oh, that reminds me, I'll be right back." As he got up he leaned down and gently brushed his lips on her cheek and made his way out of the room leaving a dazed Elara blankly staring at the door he'd just retreated from.
With a big grin plastered across her face, Elara sat merrily watching the Wookies and her crew enjoy themselves some more. After 15 elated minutes of waiting she heard someone approach behind her, sensing through the force it was Canderous she turned around to face him and saw… was that worry on his face? Before she even got the chance to speak, he beat her to it, his voice low and almost a whisper.
"He went to the Hawk to get something." She raised her eyebrows in suspicion, "Why?"
"Alone?!" Canderous's booming voice rose causing Elara to jump, although it took not even a second for her to return back to her cocky self.
"Oh of course not," She started sarcastically, "He's in the back putting on his 'big boy' leash. Of course he's alone! He's not a fracking baby!"
Elara could feel the tension and worry coming off Canderous and it was really starting to scare her. This was a man who was as hard as a Wraid's backside, and here he was 'worried' that another grown man he disliked was all alone?
The Mandalorian started to storm out of the door when Elara called after him over the music and voices of the party, "Where are you going now?"
"To go get something." He replied mockingly as he stormed his way out the doors hurriedly.
Inhaling deeply to catch her breath, Elara kept a quickened pace alongside the Mandalorian stepping in time with his heavy footsteps.
"Canderous," She panted, "t-tell me what's going on."
"Nothing you need to concern yourself with," he said as he rounded the corner, "Why don't you go back to the party, eh?"
Elara stopped in front of him causing his footsteps to cease, folding her arms squarely over chest in that charming, intimidating way of hers, she looked Canderous in the eye and her voice was hard as steel and ice cold.
"You tell me what the frack is going on right now Ordo, or I swear I will put you in Stasis and through you over the edge of this walkway."
Shocked, he raised his eyebrows in disbelief; she was tough he gave her that, the true image of what Mandalorian women should be. He blinked and muttered under his breath, "You looked so sweet and innocent too."
"Ordo." She warned.
"Well, either way if I do or don't tell you, you're gonna be pissed," he said blankly, "but you have to believe me when I say it was for his own go-" Canderous stopped in mid sentence, mouth hanging open and staring incredulously right past Elara. She followed his gaze and her eyes rested on a sight that nearly knocked the wind out of her, causing her heart to race in a bliss of panic.
On top of the Ebon Hawk was Carth, who what looked to be jumping around playing the air guitar. Elara's mouth hung open, all she could do was just stare at him, force knows how he got up there and why. Blinking a few times she finally managed to turn her head towards Canderous who was still staring at the pilot.
"Shab" He said.
"Yeah, Shab Canderous! Our pilot is on top of our ship, looking like a complete di'kut and is seconds away from potentially harming himself!" She raised her eyebrows, her face furious, "Anything you want to tell me?"
Canderous chewed his bottom lip. "Look, I may have added a little something into his drink tonight, just to cheer him up a bit… no big deal."
"No big deal?! Carth is-"Elara stopped at the sound of Carth's drunk, mystified voice starting to sing a really bad rock song, while playing an invisible guitar, whatever was going on in that head of his it certainly wasn't natural.
Elara started running up to the Hawk, her spine tingling every time Carth jumped near the edge of the ship, she had to get him down before he killed himself.
"Uh, Carth?! You should really think about coming down from there."
Carth's bad singing stopped but he continued to hack at the air with his eyes closed, not helping Elara's nerves.
"Y'know Lara, I wanna be a rock star!" His words starting to slur, he was acting like a child! Elara frowned; there was no way she was going to get him to listen to her.
"ONASI! Get your arse down here right now!!" She yelled, ignoring the sound of Canderous snickering behind her.
"Bet you Jedi can't
top this!" He yelled, as he leaped off the Ebon Hawk;
Elara's eyes nearly fell out of her head.
"CARTH!!!" She screamed, and her reflexes kicked in immediately as she called upon the force to slow down his fall as he made contact with the hard, wooden ground and started convulsing, his body jerking up and down and shaking violently.
The moment Elara wrapped her arms around him; a force connected her with him preventing her from pulling away. She could feel the second hand pain washing through her body, causing tears to stream down her face. Fierce, intense broken up memories ran flashed through her mind, she could see explosions and death everywhere, there was a slender, crumpled body wedged under immense amounts of rubble covered in dark, crimson coloured blood. These were Carth's memories of Telos, it was horrific and painful, and she wanted it to stop so badly the pain was becoming unbearable. Then, a final agonizing, intense pain shot through her body, releasing her from the nightmare, as she fell back onto the ground, and could see through blurred vision, Bastila rushing towards the two of them just before passing out.