A/N: I started working on this fic a year ago, and after getting back into ToR decided it was good enough for me to continue. I'm still developing parts of the story as I go along, and it's been over a year since I completed the Sith Warrior storyline, so if there are some glaring inconsistencies or mistakes, I apologize upfront. I'll try to catch as much of it as I can, though. Some elements of the game's cannon SW storyline/romance storyline have been deliberately altered for the sake of storytelling, but these are minor.
This fic is rated T for: swearing, violence, and some sensuality (mostly in the later chapters I have planned)
Disclaimer: I do not own SWTOR or any of the Star Wars franchise
"Yes, a break."
"Now, of all times?!"
"The crew need it, Master, they-"
"Do you have any idea what I'm on the verge of executing?! The very gears are in motion for me to plunge the Republic into war, and you, my deadliest weapon, want to take a break?!"
The pale-skinned Sith Lord closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath before letting it out in a slow sigh. She knew her Master could get in these moods every now and then, and sure, it frightened her at first, but now it was just… annoying.
"Lord Baras, please, we've all been run ragged by Taris, even a short break would be-"
"Not at this critical juncture! I am so close-!" The hologram of the Darth paused, his rage choking his words, and he paced slightly, growling out a harsh sigh.
"Master," She spoke suddenly, in a very curt tone. "At the very least, we need some time to recover from wounds. I broke three ribs, and took shrapnel to my shoulder. My gunner snapped her ankle, my apprentice a received concussion, my Lieutenant fractured his femur, and my Captain-"
"I assure you, Lord Baras, I am quite alright."
The Sith rolled her eyes, trying not to smile at the Captain's brave front, despite how he still slouched ever-so-slightly from his dislocated shoulder, cradling his still-healing arm to his side as it rest in a kolto brace. Of every one of the crew, she should have known that he'd be the only one to oppose a vacation. But that was Malavai Quinn for you…
"Regardless of my Captain's false claims," she said teasingly, leering at the Captain as the other three were just barely able to stifle their amusement at the remark. "In all honesty, Lord Baras, we really do need a break. If we're expected to carry out our duties to you to our fullest extent, then we need some time to recuperate, preferably outside of the confines of the ship."
The Darth sighed loudly, holding his masked face in his hand as he still paced slightly, grumbling to himself. It amused the Sith so how she could make her so-called Master bend to her whims, just by playing stool pigeon to him.
"… How long?"
"One standard week, Master, no more is needed."
"And… just which planet did you have in mind for this… 'break'?"
"I was thinking Alderaan." She said with a soft smile, feeling her spirits soar a little. "Specifically, a small village in the heart of a sector firmly under House Thul's control, away from the civil war."
The Darth was silent, clearly still fuming to himself as he paced, hands cradled behind his back. A lump rose in the Sith's throat, her body tightening somewhat as it seemed that Baras might go back on whatever promise of a respite he seemed to have been willing to grant just a moment before. Finally, her master let out a heavy, mechanical sigh.
"… Very well, my apprentice. One standard week of rest on Alderaan. However!" He rose a finger to the Sith, menacing towards her, showing he was still in charge, despite her manipulations. "You are expected, and in fact commanded to return to this ship and contact me at zero-nine-hundred hours, Dromund Kaas Standard Time precisely one standard week from this date, or else you will be very sorry." He hissed, mechanical voice dripping with venom that even made the pale-skinned Lord shrink ever so slightly with fear. "Do I make myself clear?"
She straightened herself, nodding firmly before bowing to her master, restraining her excitement. "Clear as day, Lord Baras. My crew and I shall convene on this ship in one standard week and await your orders. You have my word that we will carry them out to surpass your expectations."
Baras simply sighed, cocking his head away in a condescending manner, clearly upset that his plans had been delayed by a simple vacation. The holo then fizzled out, leaving the crew of the ship alone, and they all breathed a collective sigh of relief.
"Man, I thought he was gonna explode there for a second!"
"Indeed, Master. I was worried you'd overstepped your boundaries with him."
"Psh, so what if she 'ad? The old man owes us for Taris, 'specially you four."
"I still don't think we necessarily need a break, especially at a critical moment like this-"
"Oh shuttit, prettyboy. Don't ruin a good thing." The lieutenant snarled, glaring at Quinn.
"Yeah, c'mon Captain Stingy, lighten up! We get a break!"
The Sith sighed, letting her dark lips part in a smile as her crew vibrated with excitable energy, letting them all wind down from the brave front they all needed to put up in the line of duty.
"But a tiny town on Alderaan, really?" Vette piped in, shifting on her feet slightly, making her lekku sway. "I mean… not that I mind, but like, I'd prefer a place with more action, y'know? Like Nar Shaddaa, or even Dromund Kaas."
"I 'ave to agree, M'Lord." Lieutenant Pierce butted in, arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the door frame leading to the cockpit, favoring his injured leg. "I'd prefer a spot that's a bit more lively than Alderaan, tends to be more fun that way."
"What ever happened to 'not ruining a good thing'?" She replied with a snarky grin, coming to defense of her Captain. "Nar Shaddaa is too dangerous of a place overall for the kind of break I have in mind, and Dromund Kaas is far too close to Barras for my liking. Alderaan is… calm, peaceful, and beautiful." She said with a soft sigh, almost fondly remembering her time on the planet.
"I agree with the Master." Jaesa said, coming to side with the Sith Lord on the matter. "Alderaan's a far nicer place to fare than Nar Shaddaa. Although, I would've liked to have seen Dromund Kaas…"
"Don't worry Jaesa, I promise you you'll see the Empire's capitol soon enough. In the meantime, you should be excited to be heading home for a while. The younger Sith grinned, eyes sparkling in anticipation, and she nodded.
"Yes, Master, that makes me very excited." The Sith couldn't help but grin at her apprentice's brightened expression.
"Besides," she continued, turning slightly to address the rest of the crew "I never said that tiny town was our destination, just mine. We'll dock the ship near House Thul,and then we can go our separate ways from there until our break is over." That seemed to make the rest of them buzz with just a little more excitement. Sure, the city surrounding House Thul still wasn't Nar Shaddaa, but it was a city nonetheless.
The whole of the crew then turned to Captain Quinn, eyeing him for a response as he remained quiet, keeping his braced arm still. He scanned all of their faces, looking around the room before settling on his commander's face. She locked eyes with him, quirking a brow in curiosity as his cold, blue eyes refused to break contact with her bright yellow eyes for a good thirty seconds or so. It made her shudder slightly, a rare feat for someone to accomplish, as sparks seemed to fizzle across their lines of sight. Finally, he closed his eyes, letting out a heavy sigh, and hanging his head slightly.
"Well… I suppose some time on Alderaan would be best to clear our heads…"
Vette and Jaesa practically jumped for joy, high-fiving one another before scurrying off to gather their things. Lieutenant Pierce rolled his eyes, seemingly sickened by their girlish behavior before trudging off to his quarters. That left the Captain alone with the Sith Lord, the both of them leaning on the holo terminal, falling into a silence. It wasn't… quite an awkward silence… but it wasn't comfortable either. It seemed to be happening a lot lately, much to the Captain's dismay.
"I suppose I should put in co-ordinates for Alderaan, then."
She nodded, smiling at him softly. "Yes, that would probably be a good idea."
"Very well, My Lord, I'll get to it." Quinn said with his typical, professional demeanor, and he walked towards the cockpit corridor, ready to bring up the Galaxy Map. He heard a sigh behind him.
The Captain stopped, somewhat startled by what his commander had said. It wasn't a word he recognized. Perhaps it was another Mandalorian phrase? She often interjected Mando'a into her typical vocabulary, though for what reason, he couldn't quite discern.
"I… beg your pardon, My Lord?" He watched her shake her head, smiling almost in exasperation.
"You know, you don't always have to address me as 'Lord'. I do have a name, Malavai…" The Captain seemed to tense at the mention of his first name, straightening up in the door frame as the Sith Lord stood, strolling across the room to meet him. She came quite close to him, leaning against the doorway to the cockpit as she looked at him, eyes slightly lidded, the bright-yellow framed in smoky black eye makeup, standing out starkly against her porcelain skin. Quinn raised one of his brows, eyeing the commander wearily.
"I have a name, and it's Tan'shae." She repeated simply, smiling softly at Quinn, head cocked, hoping for a response from the stoic Captain. His eyes remained the same unreadable blue, his handsome, angled face devoid of all emotion, cool and calculating to the last, and it made her recoil slightly.
"I… see." he said, almost defensively as he strode into the cockpit, over to the captain's chair, and he brought up the galaxy map to punch in the coordinates to Alderaan. Tan'shae sighed, shaking her head slightly.
"You know, it wouldn't kill you to call me by my name at least some of the time, everyone else does…" she said, after some silence between them, and she sighed heavily before turning around and heading for her quarters.
"Maybe so. But, it would be… inappropriate."
She rolled her eyes again, dismayed somewhat as Quinn went back to his Captainly duties, laying in the coordinates for Alderaan. She just let out a heavy sigh and walked away. They'd arrive in two hours or so, and for what the Sith Lord had planned, she needed to make sure she was packed. She only hoped that this break would do her Captain some kind of good. It wasn't healthy to be so wound up all the time as he was. If anyone really needed this break, it was him.