11. White

She wasn't sure she would come. It's been months. Omega has needed a lot of work, a lot of repairs. Aria knows her own her abilities. She is skilled at destruction, and enjoys it immensely. Creation, reconstruction, was not something that came easy. But she can do it, when she wants to. But there was the proud Councilor, standing, untouched, surrounded by engines whirring, machines groaning, bathed in the beams of light tangled across the entire asteroid as it rose, reborn from the ashes of its occupation. A worried look passes fleetingly across her face beneath the shadow of her hood. Curious. Always odd to see the slips of emotion switch on and off the porcelain mask. The hesitation is obvious, to Aria, because she knows where to look. She comes quietly, surrounded by an unruly pack of loyal guards. They were told nothing except to protect her with their lives and were given everything, so they could. She has learned to take precautions, with the things she does not want to lose. The irony was not lost on Aria, that she smuggled in the Councilor on a merc ship.

The stripe on her bottom lip stretches, her hand reaches, grasping, eyes furtive, with mixed wonder and fear. Aria hushes her with a quick kiss, leaving the light spice of Noverian rum tingling upon the Councilor's smile. She tugs her along, powerful, yet eager, like a child. She dares not look back, she does not want a wayward look to destroy this moment she's waited for, the scene she's planned in her head. She feels the Councilor's fingers intertwine tightly with her own, can sense her gaze wandering, all five senses assaulted as Aria drags her through to the backrooms – to her private backroom. The halls blur together in a whirl of darkness and suddenly she finds herself in the doorway to an opulent office in one half, an equally decadently luxurious bedroom in the other.

The Councilor can still feel the primal thrumming music thudding through the establishment like a heartbeat. Like the pulsing lifeblood travelling throughout the station, never dimmed, never softened as long as Aria was here. Her own heart, somehow coaxed into beating in rhythm with it, suddenly jumps back onto its own wavelength. Into overdrive as Aria pulls her close, her lips murmuring calming, soothing things, so at odds with – with everything. But she's not complaining. Not when Aria sits down on the bed and brings her down with her. Not when her hands slip beneath her dress and her skin feels like it's on fire wherever she touches.

Aria loves the way she feels. The way the Councilor just molds into her like they were meant to be. She's not sure what this warm feeling is, unfurling in the depths of her stomach as she breathes in her scent and tastes her skin. She just knows she feels calmer than she has in months, now that she has her in her arms. She pins the Councilor by her wrists, to the bed, and crawls up her body, leaving a trail of kisses as she does. She feels her watching. Wary. She looks up into a swirling gaze of molten gold and mercury and jade and finds herself breathless, like the first time she held a shotgun and the recoil punched in the stomach so hard she was gasping for air for minutes. They don't even need to talk.

Her mouth twists into a crooked grin as the warmth spreads through the rest of her. It's mirrored by a more subdued one. She's learned, over the years, not to take things for granted. Especially not moments like these. Moments people wait lifetimes for. She feels the words forming themselves on her tongue, feels her heart push them off as she exhales instinctively, something she's never really been able to do before. Only fitting. Since it's something she's never said before. Though she hopes Tevos always knew.

"I love you."