Author's Note:

Not much to say this time around. I have about 3 more chapters of this written, and I'm gonna try and keep that buffer up, but I am writing other stories as well, so it may not happen. You'll see some frequent updates to this one over the next little while though.

Also, check me out on twitter: youngtivvy
And tumblr: minaraya

Enjoy,

BB


Questionable Cargo
Chapter Four

Reality Check

After a quick chat with Risha to find out their next destination, as well as quickly checking up on Bowdaar, Raya found Corso back in the cockpit as she flopped down into the Captain's seat and punched in the coordinates. She could feel his eyes on her, and when she faced him, he looked away, residual awkwardness from their earlier encounter coloring his cheeks. She had to hold back her chuckle. He had taken such incentive when he'd kissed her earlier (or had she kissed him?) and now he was giving her space. Stars, he was adorable. Little did he know, space was the last thing she wanted. He, however, probably needed the time to figure out what exactly had happened between them, and if she was honest, she had no idea. She had feelings for him—more than she'd ever felt for anyone. But could she see a future with him? She'd pegged Corso as the type of man who would want to settle down, raise a family. Probably on a farm.

Oh stars, what have I gotten myself into?

"Where to next, Captain?" He asked, clearing his throat, and the cloud of awkwardness left the room.

"Alderaan." She replied, "Gotta deliver an old rust bucket droid to some nobles, and a head-in-a-jar to some stuffed-shirt history buff."

"Sounds like fun."

She heard the sarcasm, but replied anyway, chuckling, "Wait 'til you meet the nobles."

He smirked at her, "That bad, huh?"

"Worse."

"I've heard about the planet, though." Corso said after a moment, "The mountain ranges go as far as the eye can see on the spaceport."

"Mhm," Raya added appreciatively, "It's a beautiful place. If I were to ever consider settling anywhere—as unlikely as that is," She added the afterthought too quickly, trying to let him know where she stood on the matter of actually settling down, "I'd consider living there. As long as it's as far away from the nobility as humanly possible."

"Heh, I don't see you giving up your ship anytime soon."

Oh. Well it's comforting he doesn't expect anything like that. Now I don't have to break the news to him if this… thing between us ever gets serious.

She chuckled, "Well that's the understatement of the century. But you're right. I'm going to find my sister before I'd ever consider it, but the thought of giving up the Legacy, Fellin's ship…. I dunno if I'd be able to do that to him. He left it to me and getting rid of it just doesn't seem like the best way to honor his good name and everything he did for me."

"Well, maybe you don't have to. Just because you got a house planetside doesn't mean you gotta give up flying. It just means you always have a place to come back to."

"You got a point there." She leaned back in her seat, propping her feet up on the control panel with a shrug, before fondly laying her hand on the galaxy map, watching it flare up and move through systems and planets with a faraway expression, "I love this ship; she's got battle scars, and some things that just won't work no matter how hard you try to fix 'em, but she's fast and she's tough, and the scars don't mean a thing when it comes down to it, because even when it seems like she's not gonna pull through, she'll never let ya down."

Corso leaned back, matching her position as he looked at her, and she watched a smile pull his mouth to the side, "You forgot beautiful."

Raya faced him, her brows furrowed in confusion, "What?"

"She's beautiful too."

"Well, yeah—"

"And smart, and funny, and she's perfect just the way she is." He leaned forward, cutting her off and taking one of her hands, "And she's got a set of blue eyes that take a man's breath away."

She stared at him, still processing what he'd said, and her heart skipped a couple of beats when it actually sunk in. She got comments like that all the time, sure. But never from Corso, so when he began to flatter her, really flatter her and actually mean it, she found it difficult to breathe all of a sudden. When had he become so bloody suave? Any why did she like it? "I… get the feeling you're not talking about the ship."

He shook his head, "Not in the slightest."

She stared at him a moment longer, trying to piece her thoughts back together and failing spectacularly. Er… what was I saying again?

Her thoughts came back to her in a rush, and she shook her head to get herself back on track, "Uh, yeah, Alderaan." She said, sitting back while Corso let go of her hand with a knowing smile and she fought to keep from throwing herself at him, "Where the nobles are as likely to stab you in the back with the same hand they use to greet you. And they can be smooth bastards, too."

She was later proven right when they delivered the rust bucket droid to a young nobleman and his sister. The first sentence out of his mouth was an insult to the droid, which he somehow twisted into a compliment (?) directed at her. Her eyebrow cocked upwards on her forehead as she entered and he introduced himself as Lenn, leering at her. She blinked at him, remembering Risha's warning about not getting on a noble's bad side by leaving a bad impression, so she tried to remain professional (HA, Raya. Professional.) and simply hint that she wasn't interested, but he was either dense, or just didn't care, because his flattery didn't stop there.

Corso was, well, less than pleased with the way Lenn was coming onto her, and when he suggested leaving while she talked over the mission with Lenn, she turned to him and said, "I need you with me, Corso."

Now, she certainly was no damsel who needed protection. She could have her blaster drawn and Lenn bleeding on the floor before he even knew what happened. But the circumstances of her past made her uncomfortable with any flattery, even if it was harmless. She would never admit it, but she was self-conscious of her scars, and not just the ones on her face. The doctor's behaviour that night, ten years prior when she'd nearly died made her uncomfortable with such attention, and the only reason she accepted it from Corso was because he had been with her long enough to gain her trust, and after that, she was the one who started the flirting. Corso probably never would have made a move if she hadn't started it all, but he was just so damn cute and possibly one of the most attractive men she'd ever seen. How could she not want a piece of that?

No, her thought process was more along the lines of letting Lenn down easy (which was weird for her. She had to keep reminding herself to leave a good impression) by making him aware there was something between her and Corso (nevermind the fact that she had no idea exactly what it was that was between them).

The way Corso said, "Anything you want, Captain," seemed to do the trick, though, because Lenn backed off a little. Seriously though, this guy just wasn't getting the hint. He wasn't even all that attractive. Why would she bother with him when she had a drop-dead gorgeous guy with her all the time, and who had shown a clear interest in her?

Because he wants to settle down, Her inner voice reminded her, And you can't bring yourself to love him and leave him.

I could settle. She answered herself mentally, Eventually. Maybe.

Kids?

Not a chance. But maybe he doesn't want kids?

Even if he didn't, what if in ten, twenty years time, she still hadn't found her sister? She had vowed to never quit looking until her sister was found, and she meant it. Could Corso wait forever? And even if he could, would she let him?

I'm gonna break his heart. She thought, and she knew it was true.