Really. This was getting quite ridiculous.
Besany Wennen was not the type of person to openly show her exasperation. But with each crash of thunder and flash of lightning, she was getting close.
After stumbling home to her apartment from a particularly wearisome days' work at the Treasury Office, not to mention arriving late due to some accidental overrunning of her allocated morning-'fresher time, she had been overjoyed to see Ordo waiting for her, sitting somewhat awkwardly on her living room couch, as though he couldn't quite decide how he should sit. He smiled when he saw her, the hopeful and slightly nervous smile that meant he wasn't sure whether or not his arrival was welcomed.
She smiled back, in what she hoped was a warm and reassuring way. Ordo's smile evolved into a genuinely happy one, and he rose from the couch to greet her with a warm hug, his face nestling atop her head of blonde waves.
They stayed embraced for a few moments, Besany listening peacefully to his heartbeat, strong and steady, revelling in the feel of his arms around her, knowing that the time they had together was a rarity these days and trying to enjoy every second. The HoloNews was on in the background, announcing some sort of problem with the Coruscant weather control facilities, and forecasts of heavy rain and thunderstorms were being broadcast. At the mention of the thunderstorms she felt Ordo tense, just slightly, but it was enough to make her heart sink just a little.
"Mmm. Your hair smells nice." It was barely a whisper, as though he was uncharacteristically cautious to speak his mind.
Besany smiled softly. "Washed it this morning."
"Mmm," He murmured again.
As much as Besany was enjoying this moment, her busy mind was thinking ahead. How long has he been here? Has he eaten? If not he'll be hungry...I know there's some roba sausages in the refrigerator somewhere, and I can nip out and buy anything else if he doesn't mind waiting a moment...and did I tidy the bedroom, or is it still in that embarrassing mess it was last night...? I wonder if he'll notice if I just-
"Bes'ika, I can hear you thinking," Ordo put his hands on her shoulders and moved to look into her eyes. Besany blushed.
"I was just...I mean...Ho-how long were you here before I arrived?"
Flash! The first of the storms was beginning. Ordo let go of her shoulders and went over to lean on the kitchenette, cocking his head to one side in baffled curiosity, but she could see his eyes dart to the windows sharply, as heavy rain began to splatter the permaglass.
"Fifteen minutes, at most," she was about to ask him the next question on her long list, but he interrupted her, "And before you ask – I ate before I left and, no, I am not hungry now."
Besany ran a hand through her hair and stared distractedly at the floor by his feet for a moment, listening to the rain and wondering what to say next. She saw him grin in her peripherals, and caved, grinning too.
"Do I always do that? Or am I just predictable?"
"A little bit of both. But nothing to worry about. You worry too much."
Besany yawned. "It's not hard, when you could be..." she trailed off, not wanting to say it. Accepting that he could be dead tomorrow was too much to wrap her head around. At least tonight. She yawned again.
Ordo seemed to sense the brooding atmosphere that had dropped over her. He shifted, but didn't move towards her immediately, as though unsure as how to react. When he did go towards her, he put his hand on her back and guided her to the bedroom steadily.
She walked willingly, her eyes suddenly heavy with sleep. She snapped awake suddenly as she realised that the bedroom was still a shambles, but it was too late to do anything about it now. As the door opened she watched Ordo take in the clothes strewn across the floor, the open wardrobe doors and the hastily made bed. She flushed again, and bent to pick up a pair of shoes that had not been deemed work-suitable that morning and had been discarded as she dashed out. Putting the shoes back in the wardrobe and scooping up a few items of clothing along the way, she grinned apologetically at him.
"I was late for work this morning. I promise you the bedroom doesn't always look like this when you're gone..."
She ran a hand through he hair again and started to straighten the bed, but Ordo put a hand on her arm and smiled gently.
"It's fine. Really," he pursed his lips and looked around again. "It's a nice change from the barracks. Not a folded shirt in sight."
Besany hoped he was joking about the folded shirts. Or lack thereof. She smirked and threw something fabric and shimmery-turquoise at him. He grinned suddenly and caught the projectile. As she continued to put things away, hoping to the Gods that none of her more...adventurous lingerie was lying in sight, he opened up the fabric she'd thrown at him and held it out in front of him.
"Do you remember the last time you wore this?"
Besany turned, and noted that it was a dress, just above knee-length with an off-the-shoulder neckline. She smiled and blushed heatedly. Yes, she did remember. And obviously he did too. It had been on one of their more 'normal couple' experiences – they had been out to dinner and afterwards walked along one of Coruscant's many sky-walks, admiring the night-time views of the city. Then a cab back to the apartment for more...private and intimate activities.
"Mmm-hmm," She dared say no more, hoping he wouldn't notice the flush across her face.
"Mmm." Ordo was obviously too absorbed in his own contemplations to regard hers. Quietly he folded the dress neatly and handed it to her. She put it on a shelf in the wardrobe and set away the last items.
She yawned again, her exhaustion returning. She saw him watching her and grinned tiredly.
"Guess I'm just over-worked."
"You should get some rest," Ordo walked over to the windows and looked out, a mildly anxious look on his face as the rain poured down outside. He flinched sharply as a clap of thunder sounded, and lightning lit up the Coruscant night sky. Besany's heart sank slightly. This was where the trouble began.
As she changed and brushed her teeth in the 'fresher, she heard the deep rumbles of thunder outside and hoped fervently that the storms would cease by some miracle before she exited the 'fresher. She had been hoping to get some sleep tonight.
She remembered her long conversation about Ordo with Kal Skirata, and she had asked him why he always slept with his head under the covers, and why he hated storms. Kal had explained about the live-fire exercises on Kamino and the constant gloomy weather, and since then she had had a deeper understanding of why Ordo was the way he was. She couldn't imagine living a life like that, where your training could kill you if you put one foot out of line, or where the people who controlled you – or tried to control you in Ordo's case – were unforgiving beings with no regard for whether you lived or died anyway. It was terrifying. Besany shuddered at the thought. It just made her want to love Ordo more, to make up for the lack of it in his earlier life, save for Kal.
After she left the 'fresher, she went round the apartment and turned off all the lights and checked the front door was locked, before walking back to the bedroom to find Ordo lying in bed, staring out of the window tensely.
Purposefully she strode over to the windows and drew the curtains before climbing into bed and switching off the light. The sound of the rain outside was comforting to her, but she worried for Ordo. She moved closer to him in hope of giving him some comfort, and he put his arm around her to draw her to him. He never wore a shirt to bed when he was with her, and the rippling strength of his muscles was eminent, yet he held her lovingly, his fingers sometimes caressing her shoulder or arm as her head rested on his chest or on his shoulder, his steady breathing and gentle kisses sending her off into blissful sleep.
But tonight his breathing was not steady, and his heartbeat was fast. Besany opened one eye and saw the muscles in his neck drawn tightly as he watched the windows, swallowing hard in nervous anxiety.
Flash! The lightning was fierce and sudden, and Ordo flinched violently. Besany jumped and gasped quietly so as not to let him know that he was disturbing her, but his heartbeat was loud in her ear and very fast, and the crash of thunder that followed caused him to convulse suddenly again, his arm pulling her tightly into him. Beads of sweat were forming on his brow, but his eyes never left the window.
Besany was distraught. She wanted to help him somehow, but she had no idea what to do. Thinking logically, she knew that if she were in his position she would want to feel someone near her who wasn't scared, someone who could offer her some sort of distraction or comforting gesture. Ordo usually liked complete darkness, but the gripping – fear? Is that what it is? - was preventing him from thinking straight and he was therefore unsure what to do. He needed prompting. He obviously doesn't want to ask me for help, and if he had the option of diving under the covers he would worry about leaving me abandoned all night.
Besany puzzled out in her head, all the while the storm raged outside and Ordo jolted and recoiled almost in sheer terror at every flash-crack of the storm. She could feel him reaching the end of his tether, when an odd yet simple idea occurred to her. Her heart beating in slight nervousness, she hoped to the Gods it would work and reached out to touch Ordo's face.
He flinched and his head snapped around to face her; she jumped slightly at the suddenness of his reaction, but kept eye contact in the gloom.
Slowly, and feeling a little self-conscious, she pushed the covers down to their hips and lifted the hem of her shirt.
"Come on. Don't be afraid." It was a whisper. She wasn't even sure if he'd get the message.
Ordo seemed to understand. His eyes might even have been displaying gratitude, but it was too dark to see. He moved down the bed and she pulled out her shirt so that he could get his head under it. He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head above her navel. She dropped the hem of her shirt around his shoulders and put her hands on either side of his head, gently resting them there.
He still shuddered when the thunder crashed the next time, but after that he seemed completely at peace. Soon she felt him relax in her arms, the terror of the storm completely forgotten, pausing only to kiss her stomach once before drifting off into a deep slumber. She sighed in contentment and relief.
For a while Besany lay, indulging in how his warm breath skated across her bare skin, and how his thick eyelashes tickled her whenever his eyes moved in his dreams. She mulled over how ironic it was to feel as though she were holding a child, because truthfully that was what Ordo was inside. He may have the body of a grown man and a good part of his mind matched his physical appearance, but there was still a part, a part that revealed itself more often in him than in his brothers, that was pure childlike innocence. The part that made her want to hold him close and tell him everything would be all right, that he was safe, when more often than not he was the one telling her that. She hoped, one day, that she and Ordo might have a child. But that day was far away. Right now, Ordo was all right, and he was safe, and that was all he needed to know. Besany's eyes dropped closed in exhaustion and she finally drifted into sleep.
Tomorrow, of course, she'd put up blackout curtains.
Disclaimer: I do not own Ordo Skirata, Besany Wennen, or any of the characters mentioned in this story, or the Republic Commando books from which they come.
Now that's out of the way, I can explain a bit. :) I recently read the Republic Commando books and absolutely ADORED them. I am so crushed about the lack of an Imperial Commando: 2, but let's not go off on a tangent. I always thought Besany and Ordo were so sweet; there was this deep loving care towards one another but there was something cutely awkward about it too, and Ordo's innocence just...gah. It is so sweet. I just wish Karen Traviss had played the romance up a tad more.
Anyway, I really hope I captured the innocence and slight awkwardness about their relationship in one simple little gesture (which may sound quite odd, but don't we all want to smother Ordo? XD), and if you think I did something horribly wrong please let me know...gently. If you loved it let me know why! Reviews are received with singing angels and a happy dance around the computer. :)
Also, there's a poll on my profile which would benefit from some votes. :) Thanks for reading!