Author's Notes: This tale was inspired by an image which is shown on Slick's speeder via the online comics (season 1: Shadowed.) It was also equally inspired by the U2 song Lemon.
This tale was written some time ago and may not completely follow the procedures of canon events. Also please be warned this tale does hint at a one-sided hetrosexual attraction which may offend readers. So proceed with caution…
Summary: She was a flight attendant, a nameless face, just like him. Her eyes said she had seen the galaxy in all of its beauty and ugliness. Her smile revealed that she had not given up hope. None of his training could have prepared Slick for her, or the rush of emotions she had awoken within him.
Slick could not remember if she was clad in mustard yellow or olive green. He would never forget her eyes; the vibrancy he saw in them, the compassion and joy. It was how he always wanted to remember her; filled with life.
He never forgave himself for being unable to protect the young woman, even when he later accepted the truth that it was not his fault, the guilt lingered.
They said the separatists showed no mercy and now Slick was expected to do the same. The truth later revealed that nothing was that simple, not anymore.
She was a flight attendant, a nameless face, just like him. Her eyes said she had seen the galaxy in all of its beauty and ugliness. Her smile revealed that she had not given up hope.
"Where you headed soldier?" was her first words to him.
"Anywhere, somewhere faraway I hope," had been his reply. Her smile grew sad, it spoke volumes to Slick, and it awoke something within him. He believed it was true love. Eleven years of life had not yet taught him the fanciful innocence found in a childhood crush.
"How long are you on leave?" she continued. There was no pity in her voice or in her eyes; he respected her more for it.
"Just a weekend pass."
The confession shamed Slick, though he did not allow himself to consider why, not yet.
"Enjoy to the fullest sergeant. You've certainly earned it." Her words were kind and sincere it was humbling.
"Call me Slick, only my commanders call me sergeant," he sheepishly explained.
It was the first time Slick had ever properly spoke to any female outside of Taun We; none of his battle training had prepared him for it.
"Slick it is then," she answered in warm tones, before suggesting some places he might want to visit. Slick did not know how she knew it was his first time off the frontlines but he knew better than to refuse the advice given. It was not long before they were caught up in a brief conversation about their lives and the war had affected it.
Slick learned she too had lost family members to the war, her husband and brother had both died during the initial separatist uprisings, her daughter was all she had left of her family. The little girl was the young mother's ray of sunshine. Little did Slick realize that the kind flight attendant had become his own symbol of hope.
A day later Slick was called back to the front lines. One day of rest was better than none Captain Rex said; Slick soon learned every moment spent off the front lines only made the return that much more difficult.
The flight attendant was there when he stepped onto the transport that would take him back to base. As before her crimson hair was perfect and wild at the same time, her gaze was gentle and filled with the wisdom that came only with experience. Nothing about her had changed in the day they had been apart, it was comforting.
Suddenly her eyes met his as she gave a surprised smile. Slick's heart skipped a beat upon realizing that she recognised him.
"Slick? I did not expect to see you back so soon."
Her smile once more was sincere, as were her words. He could not lie to her.
"Called back to the front, you know how it is."
The admittance was another confession, one he would soon understand. Her expression softened, as strong hands grasped his shoulders. Her touch was strong and warm, filled with emotions that no words could describe, it was another moment he would not forget.
"Good luck Slick. May you return safe and sound."
Before he had the chance to express, his gratitude someone urgently called his name, it might have been Shiv or it could have been Chopper. Everything happened so quickly that Slick could not quite recall. Whether he liked it or not, the war had found them.
The explosions were rapid and deafening while the bright flashes that followed temporarily cost Slick his sight. Robbed of his dominant senses Slick frantically tried to make sense of the unfurling chaos.
He was lucky, as were his brothers, a collapsed piece of the transport walls had shielded their bodies from the string of explosions that had torn the ship apart. The redheaded flight attendant had not been so fortunate.
Panicked, Slick tore the remnants of the transport apart in his desperate search for the young woman. He was rewarded with the flight attendant's lifeless eyes staring up at him from a jawless face. The rest of her petite frame was hidden under the caved in durasteel ceiling; field green or sunrise yellow crushed beneath charred greys and burning embers of red.
The young sergeant could not recall the rage and sorrow that gripped him only that his brothers had to use force to get him away from the wreckage.
Days later he discovered the transport's demise was caused by falling shrapnel from a damaged Republic ship that General Skywalker had safely landed. His actions may have saved lives, but it had also cost many more. The infamous jedi was rewarded for his heroic actions, earning the title of Tan. The war continued as it always did.
Slick swore he would find the young woman's daughter, to ensure the child was safe. He was only a soldier, one who knew nothing about child, save that she had her mother's fiery mane.
Instead, he found another way to honour flight attendant's memory. Sketch promised to draw her just as Slick had described; he did not disappoint. Her visage, so vibrant, so full of life and joy now graced the young sergeant's speeder.
To his brothers the image of the fiery redhead was something to admire and adore, to Slick she was much more. He did not fight for the Republic, the senators that represented, or even the jedi they now called masters. Slick fought in her memory, and the hope she represented.
She was the secret that all of his brothers desired but could never say; someone who saw them as the men they wanted to be, not the soldiers they were being forced to become.