Author's note: I wrote these little drabbles just to have some sweet, fluffy scenes between my OC's, the Jedi Kalinda and the clone trooper Stonewall; basically, I wanted to write something happy and fun and totally devoid of that tricky rascal called "plot." They all take place during my other fics, which you are encouraged to check out, but don't need to have read to get the gist of what's going on. As always, reviews are appreciated; overall, please just enjoy!
The Intrepid slipped through the hyperspace lane, plummeting through the sheets of starlight towards Coruscant. Stonewall sat in the mess hall with some of the men, playing sabacc and loosing badly, though, to be fair, he wasn't really concentrating on the cards before him. His mind was elsewhere, specifically on the dark eyes of a particular Jedi that he'd met only days ago, a woman who was presently seated several tables across from him and the other men, chatting with General Kenobi. Though he couldn't hear what they were saying, Stonewall could make out the curve of her smile and the animated movement of her arms as she recounted something to the bearded man, who was watching her with amusement.
"You're going to be cleaning our kits for the rest of your life."
Stonewall glanced at Bolt, his brother who was sitting opposite him at the table, regarding him with a curious expression. Looking down, he realized that his attention had slipped and he was in the hole for a month's worth of tedious chores. None of his cards promised to offer him any relief, so he shrugged and set his hand down. "Luck isn't with me today, I guess."
Bolt nudged Neon, the clone beside him and raised his thumb at Stonewall. "His head's somewhere else."
Neon's eyebrows lifted. "I think I can guess where." All of the clones, except Stonewall, glanced at the Jedi, who were completely engrossed in their own conversation. "She's a looker alright."
"She's a General," Stonewall heard himself mutter. "A Jedi. Mind your tone."
"Didn't mean to offend, Lieutenant," Neon said, raising his hands. "Just kidding around. No need to get so snippy." He and Bolt exchanged knowing looks and Stonewall frowned as they snickered.
After a moment Bolt shook his head. "Leave him alone, Neon. Do you blame him? How many women have you been around?" He looked back at Stonewall. "General or not, she's easy on the eyes."
Stonewall reached for the deck and began to shuffle, the cards sliding through his hands easily. "She's our CO and deserves to be treated with more respect than that," he said, his voice firm. "Besides, they can hear far more than we can, you know," he added. "I wouldn't be surprised if they can hear everything that we've been saying." He took no small amount of satisfaction in the nervous expressions that came across the faces of his brothers as they considered this fact.
Finally Bolt stood up and nodded to them. "I think I'll turn in. May as well enjoy the downtime, eh?"
Neon watched him go before chuckling and raising a brow at Stonewall. "Five creds says he's off to calibrate his Deece."
Stonewall rolled his eyes but made no response. He held up the cards but his brother shook his head. "Think I'll head off too. 'Night."
There was a few minutes where he sat alone, wondering if he should go to bed as well, but something made him pause; finally, he glanced to his side and realized that General Kenobi had gone, leaving General Halcyon alone as she sipped a cup of tea. He felt his cheeks redden as she caught his eye and smiled, rising from her chair to come and take the seat across from him. "Feel like a game?"
He glanced at the cards in his hands and nodded. "I should warn you," he said. "The others pretty much cleaned me out."
She shrugged and extended her hands for the cards. "Just for fun." He watched as she shuffled the deck: the cards seemed to fly from hand to hand seemingly on their own. She smiled at his expression and put a finger to her lips. "Keep it under your hat that I'm using the Force for such a lowly purpose, okay?"
"I don't really wear hats, General."
She laughed openly at this. "You're right, Stone. I'm sorry...keep it under your helmet, then." At his confused expression she smiled again as she laid the stack of cards in front of him. "Just cut the deck."
He did; she dealt them each five cards and they were silent for a moment while they each looked over their hands. He had fared better under her dealing than previously, though he had his doubts as to whether or not he could beat a Jedi at this-or any- game. As if she could sense his thoughts-which, upon later reflection, she probably could-the General frowned at the cards in her hand. "Wow. This is the worst hand I've ever seen." She glanced up at him. "You?"
"It's okay," he admitted. "Better than before, with the others." He risked a glance at her and was startled to see that she was regarding him with interest. "I lost pretty badly," he explained. "I'll be doing chores for a month."
"That's how it goes sometimes," she replied, discarding two cards and selecting two more. By her expression they were little better than the last ones, if not worse. "Lucky I wasn't playing then," she said. "Else I'd be doing all of those chores. This is ridiculous." She turned her cards to his. "Have you seen one this bad?"
They were pretty terrible, but he was grinning at the fact that she was showing them to him without reservation. "Not really, General." In response, he set down his own hand and glanced at her as she realized that he'd won the round. "Another?"
She nodded and began gathering the cards again, offering them to him to shuffle but he declined, eager to watch her use the Force again. "Stone," she said after she'd dealt the cards. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Certainly, General," he replied, straightening in his seat. "Anything."
There was a pause while she seemed to consider something before she looked up at him. "Let me preface this by saying that I don't normally eavesdrop on other's conversations, but, well..." She frowned. "Much of your terminology is still new to me, but I'd like to learn, if you don't mind."
She knew we were talking about her, he thought, his skin growing hot. That's not good. He cleared his throat. "Ask away, General."
"When...Neon left," she said his name hesitantly, looking to Stonewall for confirmation that it was correct. He nodded and she continued. "When he left the table, Bolt said something about...calibrating a deese? What in the stars does that mean?"
Sithspit. Of all the topics of conversation in the galaxy, this was probably the very last one that he wanted to have with her. "Deece," he corrected, hoping to sidestep the issue. "It's an abbreviation for our DC-15 blasters."
She nodded. "I gathered as much, but Bolt's tone indicated some kind of...inside joke, I suppose." Her face was open with curiosity. "Do they need to be calibrated often? Is it some kind of...equipment malfunction?"
Stonewall was certain that his face was completely red at this point, but she made no indication that she noticed. He cleared his throat and pulled at the edges of his body glove that he wore beneath his armor. "Er...not exactly."
"Then what does it mean?"
Maybe I'll get lucky and the ship will get fired on or something, he thought, taking a deep breath. A pirate attack or droid ship would be nice right now. However, the ship continued to move through hyperspace unmolested, and he knew that he just had to go for it. "It's a...euphemism, sir," he said at last.
"A euphemism," she repeated. "For what?"
"Well," he said, shifting in his seat. When did it get so blazing hot in here? "It's kind of...a code for...er...spending some time alone. Some personal time. Alone." He couldn't meet her eyes but he was hoping that she'd understand.
The General tilted her head, considering. "Subtlety is lost on me, Stone. I'm afraid I don't understand. Alone? Can't you calibrate a weapon in public?"
"Er...not like this, General," he replied. His voice sounded strange in his ears. "It's a pretty...ah, personal thing. Something you do in private. Alone." Please don't make me elaborate any more, he thought.
She met his eyes for a moment before he saw spots of pink appear at her cheeks. "Ah," she said, biting her lip to keep from laughing. "I see." Her hand moved to her forehead; she was shaking her head. "Learn something new everyday, I suppose." Dark eyes met his own as she smiled at him, her face flushed. "I'm sorry it took me so long to get it, but thanks for explaining, Stone."
He swallowed. "Anytime, General."
Note: Thanks to Wookieepedia for the extensive list of SW slang that initiated the idea for this ficlet. Heh...clearly, I'm a twelve year old boy trapped in the body of a grown woman.