Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to Disney and is the intellectual property of George Lucas. He created the sandbox. I'm making no money off of this and am simply destroying the sandcastles.
Title: I Want You to Live
Characters: Cut & Suu Lawquane
Genre: Angst, Songfic, Character Death
Era: Eight years post Order 66
Summary: When Rex calls Cut for a favor, the cost is higher than the Lawquanes are ready to pay.
Author's Note: The song "I Want You to Live" is by George Canyon and is used without permission. The Vignette follows the basic story of the song - I recommend listening to it as you read.
Author's Note Two: Tissues. Bring Tissues.
I Want You to Live
"Isn't there anyone else, Rex?"
"Not that I can rely on,"Rex looked uncomfortable asking. "If I had another option, Cut, I'd take it."
"I don't like the idea of being away from Suu and the kids for that long." Cut glanced back at the house where the lights were glowing with welcome across the yard, his hands planted on the table in the barn as he looked at unexpected form of his brother. "Two months is a long time."
"If we work quickly, we might be able to do it in one."
Cut was already shaking his head. "Going fast means mistakes. I don't need to tell you that."
Rex readjusted his hands on his belt where he stood against the wall, out of sight of the house. "We have a few parents in the Rebellion, Cut, but none who speak Twi'lek as fluently as you and we can't use a droid. It's too risky."
Considering his brother, Cut turned away, walking to a nearby stall where one of the Eopie had its head hanging over the gate. He ran his hand over the smooth baldness, thinking. "Why Twi'lek?"
Rex exhaled audibly. "Because they're on Ryloth."
"They?" Cut turned, frowning. "We're going after someone?"
Rex's face was pained. "A boy and a girl."
"Children." Cut leaned against the stall as if Rex had just sucker punched him. How could he say no if there were children involved? "Twi'lek children should be able to disappear on Ryloth."
"They're… not just Twi'lek."
Something in his tone must have conveyed to the former GAR Captain that Cut was in no mood for mysteries and Rex explained. "Our source says they're a human-Twi'lek hybrid like your kids.
"That's not an uncommon mix, Rex," Cut smiled faintly. "Being the children of a Jedi shouldn't be enough of a reason to go after them, though."
"If they're the children of Jedi Generl Aayla Secura and her Commanding officer, it is."
"Her commanding…" he stopped. "A Clone?"
A clone-twi'lek pairing. Not unlike what Cut and Suu had tried for since the early days of their marriage, but been unsuccessful. He closed his eyes, knowing he couldn't say no and damning Rex for bringing this to him. "How old?"
"Nine. They're twins."
Cut exhaled, feeling as if he'd been sucker punched and opened his eyes to look at his brother. Rex looked disturbed, almost as much as he was. "You're a real pain in the shebs, Rex."
"I'm sorry, Cut."
"No. You're not." He cracked a faint smile which Rex echoed. "You knew I'd never turn you down once I knew kids were involved."
"Alright." Cut took a deep breath and made the choice that was no choice at all. "I'm in."
After learning the details of the plan, Rex had disappeared into the darkness, unwilling to spend the night and put Cut and his family in further danger. So Cut had returned to the house alone to eat dinner with his family and, once the kids were in bed, speak with his wife.
Suu was, understandably, upset when he explained as she undressed to join him in their bed.
"Why now, Cut?" She curled next to him as he pulled the sheet up and over their legs to her flat, bare stomach. "You gave this up. You gave up being a soldier. You are a farmer now."
"I know." Cut curled his arm around her, dropping his hand down her side and gently stroked her ribcage with his thumb. "But when Rex was injured, he helped me to keep you and the kids safe. He didn't have to."
"He is your brother. Of course he had to."
"No, he didn't." Cut had thought long and hard on that. He pressed his lips to the rounded top of one of her lekku. Rex's character might have dictated his help, but Rex had been wounded badly enough that he shouldn't have. Instead, Rex had put his life on the line to protect Cut's family. It was a debt he could never repay and felt keenly. "Rex is asking for my help in recovering someone important to him now. How can I say no?"
"Just like this," she tilted her face to his, looking him directly in the eye. "No."
He chuckled, dipping in to brush a kiss over her lips. "That's not a very convincing no."
"I have always had a hard time telling you no. Especially," her hand dipped down under the covers a fraction, "when I prefer to say yes."
Their lips met again as her fingertips teased his hard abdominal muscles, sliding further and further down. Cut pulled back to look, but made no move to stop her as he eased her down to the bed, his weight on one arm. Lifting his free hand, he gently stroked her lekku in the manner he knew she loved and was rewarded with a shudder as he bent his forehead to hers.
"If I didn't owe Rex-"
"Spare me," he could see the light in her eyes had dimmed and was laced with sadness, her hand now still, "you enjoy farming, Cut, but in some ways you have never been able to escape being a soldier. Our debt to Rex was paid when we helped him recover from his injuries."
"He's my brother, Suu, and he's asked for my help."
"And we are your family. Your wife and children. Do we mean less to you than your brother?"
Her fingers covered his lips before he could answer, her expression contrite. "That was unfair of me. Forgive me?"
"You and the kids are my world," he told her roughly, kissing her fingertips, "you know that."
"And yet you speak of leaving us to help Rex." She sighed, her touch gentle as it slipped along his jaw and over the side of his face. "I know you, Cut. There is nothing I can say to change your mind, is there." The way she said it, and how she was searching his expression, conveyed a statement of fact and not a question. Suu knew his mind was made up and he knew this was her way of coming to accept their inevitable separation. "What is this mission anyway?"
"A covert one," he smiled at her, "there shouldn't be any fighting."
She seemed to relax into his hold at that little fact, trailing her fingers across his chest and torso.
"If you must go," her lips touched his jaw, "at least promise me to return quickly."
"As soon as the mission is done," he vowed, tilting his head to capture her lips on a short, intense kiss. "Once our boots touch the deck and the package is secure," she softened in his embrace, her touch ardent and deliberate as she drew him down, "I'll be on the first transport back home."
It was the last thing either said on the matter until morning.
Four weeks later
The chirping of her comm as she finished the morning chores in the barn made Suu smile as she checked her chrono. Cut might say he'd devoted himself to farming, but the man was normally a slave to the schedule. He was late calling her - she was going to enjoy this. The Eopie in the stall next to her nudged her with its head even as the comm chirped again. She rubbed its smooth cranium even as she stepped away, answering the call with a flick of her thumb.
"You are late, Lawquane." She teased, as she moved towards the doors. "What happened to your pride in punctuality?"
The voice on the other end of the line wasn't the one she was expecting and it slowed her pace.
"Suu, it's Rex."
"Rex." Why would Rex be calling her? Cut must have told him just how against the idea of him helping them she'd been. Rex was smart, he'd know she'd have no desire to speak with him until Cut was home and by her side - safely. Perhaps he was calling to tell her Cut was on his way? "Was your mission a success?"
"Thanks to Cut."
There was something in his voice that made her smile disappear, a sense of trepidation overtaking her. "May I speak with him?"
"I'm sorry, Suu."
"What do you mean, you are sorry?" Her fingers tightened on the comlink, her stomach inexplicably tightening into a knot of dread. "Where is Cut?"
"He didn't make it."
"Did not make what?" She refused consider the dire connotation despite the way her palms had started to sweat and her heart leapt into her throat. "I want to speak with my husband, Rex."
"Cut's dead, Suu." There was a pause and then, ever so softly. "I'm sorry."
The words detonated in her head like a thermal detonator and sweeping her with a sense of unreality. Denial was immediate. "No."
"No, Rex." She repeated firmly, unwilling to believe it. "Cut cannot be dead. He swore to me he would come home."
"He said you'd say that."
"There, you see?" The resignation in Rex's tone made her hands shake even as her lips formed words she gave no thought to. "He cannot be dead."
A sigh was her response. "Suu-"
"Tell me what happened." Her voice wavered. "This was not to have been a dangerous mission, yes? Tell me how he… how-" she couldn't finish, couldn't accept Rex's words at face value.
Rex was silent for a moment before the comlink came back, crackling a little. "All of our missions are dangerous. Cut knew that."
"Why Cut, Rex?" Her hand gripped the comlink to the point where her fingers were going numb. "Why did you take him away from us?"
"It wasn't supposed to end up like this, Suu."
"Why did you ask my husband to help you?"
It wasn't an answer she was expecting. "What does our daughter have to do with this?"
"The package is a couple years older than she was when I first met her." Rex's voice cracked, giving her clues she could follow without giving away information on the unsecured transmission. "Cut put himself in front of the squad sent to kill them. He was a wall, Suu. He made sure we were able to get them away safely."
It sounded like something her husband would have done. Foolhardy and brave. "And you were you not watching his back?" The anger that swept her was immediate. "You asked for his help, Rex. You. It was your responsibility to make sure he came home to me!"
"And I'll keep that promise." A pause. "We're on our way to see you. To bring his body back, Suu. You and the kids deserved a chance to say your goodbyes and-."
Rex's voice continued but she heard no more as the wall of anger around her denial shattered along with her composure. To bring his body back. The comlink dropped unheeded from nerveless fingers, clattering to the floor. No. Rex had to be wrong. Cut. Her Cut could not be…
Her throat closed completely as the misery in Rex's voice caught up to her denials. Rex was honest and a true friend. There was no reason for him to lie to her and every reason for him to tell her the truth. Which meant-
Cut was dead.
No! He swore he would come home… he promised! Cut! Her heart cried out for her husband without answer, Rex's words echoing around and around in her head, feeling, seeming, unreal. Cut had promised. He had looked her in the eye, kissed her so passionately, and promised to see her soon. To see her as soon as the mission was over. He had promised-
Rex's voice, so similar to that of her husband's, pierced the shock as she slipped to the ground, catching herself on her hands and knees. She had heard the certainty in Rex's voice as he had spoken; the agony. She could hear he was suffering, in pain for the loss of his brother and for having to tell her. Part of her registered it, but that part of her that was quickly subsumed by grief. She had not expected… she had not prepared herself for-
"Cut..." Her voice was a whisper and a denial, as if the repetition of her husband's name would make him appear, a mantra against the pain. "Cut... Cut..." her head shook, her lekku swinging against her face, as if the adamancy of her rejection could make it real. No - Cut!
His name stuck in her throat as she cried her denial with every fiber of her being, her head against down towards the floor.
Her breath tore out of her on a gasp, a blinding pain ripping through her and leaving a gaping hole where her heart had been. It felt as if her still beating heart had been torn out through her chest. Her world had been upended once, when Shaeeah and Jek's father had left without so much as a goodbye, but that… that had never hurt as much as this. This was a living death and the agony of it was unbearable.
Cut was not supposed to die!
Suu's eyes closed, not hearing the distant call as the voice of her daughter reached the barn. The voice within her clamored to deny Rex's words with everything she had. This must be some mistake… yet even as the thought crossed her mind, Suu knew it was not. She could feel it. Lifting one hand to the center of her chest where the hole seemed to be, she pressed the heel of her hand against her breastbone, seeking relief and finding none.
Rex had no reason to lie to her. Not about the circumstances or the reason. And not about his fate.
Her husband, who was as equally her lover as her best friend, would never be coming back to her.
"Mamma!" Small, strong arms suddenly wrapped around her. "Mamma, are you hurt? Do you need a medic?"
She did not need a medic, she needed her husband! Lifting her head, Suu stared into the concerned eyes of her daughter and, for a moment, could do nothing to hide her desolation. She was able to see the concern slip from her daughter's gaze to be replaced by trepidation and then all out fear.
"Mom?" Shaeeah's voice trembled when she spoke. "What's happened?"
Suu opened her mouth to respond, but it was not her voice that emerged.
Shaeeah's gaze drifted downwards, towards the comlink that was practically at her feet. Before she could reach for it, Suu swept it off the floor and shut it off without a goodbye. Rex deserved better, but Shaeeah was her daughter… a daughter who had just lost her father and did not yet know it. Suu's eyes never left Shaeeah's as she struggled to find the words. The words to tell her that her father was not coming home.
"Was that… dad? Did you have a fight?"
Suu pulled her daughter into a tight hug, wrapping the teenager in her arms and covering her head as if she could shield her from the news. From the pain it would bring. As if she could protect her from the news that the father she adored would never be coming home again.
"No, Shaeeah." Her voice wavered and broke. "That was not your father."
"Mom, you're scaring me."
Taking a deep breath, Suu forced herself to bury her pain. Pressing it down deeply into the vacant hole in her chest, she took a deep breath. For her children and the future they would now need to build without Cut, she would need to be strong. Her moment of weakness was all it could be.
Releasing Shaeeah, Suu pushed to her feet, feeling numb. "Get your brother for me. I have something important to tell you."
"Is it about dad?" Shaeeah asked hesitantly, searching her face, tears already brimming in her eyes as if anticipating the news.
Suu gave a firm, quick shake of her head. "Your brother, Shaeeah. Now."
With one last look, Shaeeah spun and took off running, calling for Jek at the top of her lungs, her desperation penetrating Suu's grief.
Closing her eyes, she stretched one hand out to the nearby table to keep her feet on knees that wanted to give out again. Taking another deep breath, she opened her eyes as she exhaled and straightened her shoulders, locking her knees. She was going to need every ounce of strength to tell her children the horrible truth. And then she would have to watch each of them react and be strong for them.
Suu could not remember ever having a more horrible day in her life and it was only going to get worse. It was not over yet… and it would not be over for a long, long time.
I want you to live, I want you to love
I wanna go back to the way it was
To hear you say my name again
I wanna see your smile again
I want you to live
It was evening a week later when Rex arrived. Kix and Jesse were with him, as well as another Clone she did not recognize. Standing in the door of her home, her children at her side, she tilted her chin up as her gaze came to rest on the stasis module the four offloaded from the speeder.
Shaeeah and Jek stepped closer and Suu lifted her arms, tucking both teenagers close to her body. They wrapped their arms around her waist, each hugging her tightly and restricting her breathing. Together, wrapped in one another's arms, they waited for the honor guard to approach them.
The quartet carried the stasis module towards the house and then paused. As one, they knelt, placing the make-shift casket on the ground and bowing their heads. It was Rex, on the front and to her left, who finally spoke.
"It was Cut's last request we return him to his family," Rex lifted his head and Suu could see the red rims around his eyes even as she steeled herself for what came next. "You were his last thought, Suu."
She swallowed hard against the knot in her throat and squeezed her children, attempting to get them to let go, but neither released their grip even a fraction. "Shaeeah. Jek," her voice was low but her unspoken instruction penetrated their grief. Reluctantly they released her, allowing her to step forward, and she heard them step in to hug one another in her place.
Courage. She braced herself, stepping down to the ground where the men still knelt. Cut would wish me to be strong. She had cried herself to sleep many a night since she had first received the news, careening between desolation and denial. Here, before her, was the tangible proof that this was the final time Cut would ever come home. Taking a steadying breath, Suu knew she had to say something - so she did.
"Cut viewed you as his brother as well, Rex." Her voice was husky but clear. "He would have wished you here with us, given the choice."
Rex rose to his feet, the other three doing the same, and then stepped forward and hesitated, his hands flexing as if uncertain. "Suu?"
Suu understood what he was asking and made the move herself. Her doubts about this had been strong, even standing in the doorway, but she was weak. Taking the step, Suu slid her arms around Rex's neck and his hands came about her waist, hugging her gently at first and then more tightly, practically crushing her against his chest.
Closing her eyes, she let herself pretend for a moment that he was really Cut and not Rex as she buried her face in his neck. She let herself believe he had come home to her, alive and well. She let herself take comfort from the embrace. For a moment, her world had never shattered and she was being held tightly in a welcoming embrace.
Rex and his brothers were the closest thing she would ever come to having Cut hold her again, one last time - and it was all wrong.
Reality intruded as her senses caught up with her delusional yearning. He smelled wrong. Felt wrong. His chest was hard, yes, but lacking something she could not quite identify. Hugging him back as tightly as Rex held her, Suu's heart cried out to the man in the stasis unit who was beyond hearing it.
Cut… why can he not be you?
A hand touched her back, then another and finally a third, identical voices murmuring their condolences, yet Suu could pick out each one. Each different inflection and syllable showcasing the time that had ingrained the individual personalities on each one.
Not one of them is Cut. Not one of them could ever be, Cut. She eased her grip on Rex, sliding back to her feet as he released her. His hands stayed on her waist for a moment, an impersonal touch that held none of the passion similar touches from her husband had always conveyed.
Suu looked to each of the men around her, their hands back at their sides, her eyes swimming with tears. "Thank you," she told them, her voice cracking but not breaking, "each of you. Jesse. Kix." She looked at each one in turn. "And you I do not know."
"Fives." He supplied, subdued.
She nodded. "Fives. Thank you for bringing my husband home." Looking back to the steps, she saw the tear streaked faces of her children, so far away from the supportive group, and beckoned them. "Shaeeah. Jek. Come here."
The two teenagers were down the steps in a flash, Shaeeah bypassing them all and going straight to the stasis unit, Jek on her heels, her cry for her father tearing at Suu's control. Shaeeah stopped at the side of the stasis unit, looking down into the clear cover, something Suu couldn't yet bring herself to do. Her daughter's lips trembled, her broken cry for her father driving a blade into Suu's chest as Shaeeah threw herself on the stasis unit, sobbing, her arms trying to encompass the sides.
"Daddy! Daddy, no! You can't be dead, I need you, daddy!"
Shaeeah's voice broke as she cried the words that Suu could not, her daughter giving in to the emotional ruin that threatened Suu with each second.
"Come back, daddy." The fourteen year old tucked her face against the unit, her tears sliding off the smooth surface as her voice dropped to a ragged whisper. "Please come back."
Suu lifted joined hands to her lips as she watched her daughter, stepping towards her, only to have Rex place a gentle hand on her shoulder. Glancing at him, she saw him shake his head, the tears brimming in his eyes matching the ones silently streaking her cheeks.
Even as Rex held her back, Jesse stepped next to Shaeeah and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. He said something Suu did not catch, drawing Shaeeah's head up. And then her daughter launched herself at the other Clone, wrapping her arms about his waist with a cry, her sobs loud in the evening air.
Jesse gently led Shaeeah a few feet away, the trails of her tears on the stasis pod reflecting the light of the setting sun. Shaeeah. Once she saw her daughter was in good hands, Suu's gaze drifted to her silent son, concerned for him. Jek stood near the stasis unit, his lips moving, but no sound coming out. Whatever he was doing, tears streaked his cheeks, but he continued.
Shaking off Rex's hold, Suu stepped over to her thirteen year old and placed her hand on his shoulder. His hand crept up, curling around hers, the other touching the stasis pod. Standing like that, as Jek spoke in silent whispers with his father, Suu looked down into the container.
Inside was the still form of her beloved. Cut's eyes were closed, his silver streaked hair loose about his face, the way it had always been in their bedroom and never anywhere else.
He would hate that, she thought affectionately, her vision blurring as more tears streaked down her cheeks. Cut was dressed much as he'd left her. With his vest over his chest, bare but for the addition of a thick bandage which covered him from mid-chest to his waist band, the bandage disappearing into his black pants. Her hand tightened on Jek's shoulder unconsciously as she fought the urge to reach for him.
Cut was gone.
All that remained before her was the shell of the body he had once inhabited. No spark of life remained in the sickly pallor of the body within the containment unit. No indication he had ever been more than a blank slate for the Kaminoians to imprint.
But she knew better.
For all the empty shell before her could have been, at first glance, any of the men standing in solemn honor guard, Suu knew better. She was intimately aware of each and every scar on his body, right down to the smattering of shrapnel wounds in his buttocks. She knew the callouses on his fingers and hands, gained from working in the fields and often used to bring her bliss. She knew each groove that formed the character lines in his face. Lines gained from laughing and loving, smiling and frowning. Lines of an unfair half-life lived to the fullest and without regret.
Her hand seemed to move of its own accord, touching the smoothness of the pod, her throat so tight she could not have formed words if she had tried.
Suu was unaware of the passage of time and it was not until the exterior lights of the farm blinked into life with the setting of the sun that she realized what she was doing. Straightening her shoulders, she unabashedly lifted her tear-streaked face to the men surrounding her. She refused be ashamed of her tears. Let them see. She loved her husband totally and completely and did not care if they saw her grieving.
Taking Jek's hand, she turned to where Shaeeah had subsided to soft shuddering sobs in Jesse's arms, and held out her hand. Her daughter came to her, grasping it so tightly she nearly cut off Suu's circulation. But Suu didn't feel it as she pulled Shaeeah in close.
Looking to the men around her again, she nodded to each and then turned in the direction they would need to go. "This way."
It was all she could manage as she led them towards the prepared burial site.
I want you to live, I want you to love
I wanna go back to the way it was
To hear you say my name again
I wanna see your smile again
I want you to live
The package arrived a week after Rex had brought Cut's body home.
A week after she had interred his mortal remains behind the barn, in the ground he had loved so much, with a simple and heartfelt ceremony. A week after burying Cut had made it all real in a way that it had not been before, providing her with tangible proof that this was the final time her husband would be coming home. The final time - and he would never to kiss her, hug her or make love to her again. Cut would never get to see Shaeeah and Jek grow up.
Wearing Cut's coat, Suu accepted the mail, sent via special courier, turning it over in her hands with a frown. Rex had passed her a sack of belongings that Cut had in his possession when he had been killed. Nothing else should have been forthcoming. Perhaps she was being paranoid. The package likely had nothing to do with Cut.
It was a rare moment when Suu was alone in the house in between chores. Both of the kids were out in the fields, working through their pain because they all knew that the crops would not wait for them to grieve. Cut had done the first of the harvest before leaving and they would need to finish what he had started if they wanted to survive the cold season.
If nothing else, Suu was grateful for the work. It kept them all busy. It was when they stopped, when she stopped, that things were the worst.
Nights were the hardest. Lying in the bed she had shared with Cut for over a decade and suddenly sleeping alone again. Reaching for him in the night, waking from the nightmare of his death, only to remember that it was the nightmare of her new reality and crying herself to sleep in the aftermath. His pillow, which still smelled of him, was almost in tatters with how badly she mangled it in an effort to keep Shaeeah and Jek from hearing her crying down the hall.
Exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically, she had no choice but to go on. The children needed her to take care of them with, or without, Cut and she would always do whatever was necessary to give them every advantage.
Standing in her kitchen, Suu examined the couriered mail. Moving to the table, she opened the package and pulled out a holodisc and a holoplayer. She frowned, turning it over and nearly dropped it. A single word was written on the disc's case. Her name. As she stared at it, her hands began to tremble, her eyes burning. She knew that writing - it was Cut's.
With shaking fingers, she set up the holoplayer and slid in the disc, wrapping her husband's jacket more firmly about herself and she hugged her own torso, a part of her dreading what she'd find. The disc took a moment to open and, when it did, Cut's beloved countenance appeared. Not like she had seen it a week ago, sill and pale in the stasis pod, but full of life and vigor - except his eyes were solemn.
"Hello Suu. If you're seeing this, I guess that means I'm not going to be able to keep my promise to come home to you and the kids."
Her eyes filled with tears, her husband of ten years reduced to nothing more than a holodisc image and memories. Suu lifted one hand to her lips to stifle the sob that threatened to escape, wishing she could hold him just once more as her own arm crept around her midriff.
"I'm sorry for breaking that promise - but I'm not sorry I came to help Rex." He looked so serious. "I never would have been able to live with myself if I hadn't come - but you know that." His words were soft, but full of conviction as he tapped his chest. "And I know you're right here with me, every step of the way, just as I will always be with you, Suu. I love you. I have always loved you. Ever since the day you taught me what name to put to my feelings and well before."
He had been so naïve. Just remembering brought a bittersweet smile to her lips as he continued to speak.
"I know I don't have the right to ask for anything," the image paused, as if watching her, weighing his request.
Immediately, her mind was screaming for him to name it. Anything, she wanted to cry. Anything if you will come home to me, alive and well!
"But I have one last request."
There was another silence as he seemed to collect himself to speak, his shoulders straightening, his chin coming up. When Cut's image spoke again, it was not something she would ever have expected him to say.
"Live, Suu. I died knowing you loved me better than I ever deserved. You gave me a family. A home. You gave me love and joy and peace. In return, I'm giving you heartache. I want you to live, Suu. To love again, eventually. But I don't want you to do it for me or the kids, I want you to do it for you. You deserve to be happy. To smile. The galaxy would be a poorer place without it. Live for me. Live for the kids, if you must, but most of all, live for yourself." There was another pause as he reached towards her, hesitantly before his hand disappeared again. "I love you."
I want you to live, I want you to love
I want you to go on and not give up
I want you to live, I want you to try
I want you to know that I'm alright
I want you to fall in love again
I wanna see you smile again and again
I want you to live
His lips formed his last words on a smile. "Goodbye Suu… and thank you."
No, she wanted to say as she collapsed into a chair at the table, her hand dropped to her still flat stomach, tears slipping down her cheeks as she stared at the last, fading image of her husband until the holo image disappeared completely. Thank you, Cut. He had left her precious memories and, on that last, passionate night together, a priceless gift they had both given up on ever creating.
She would love.
She would live.
She would smile.
And through it all, despite the fact he was gone, a part of Cut would live through her. She reached to the holo player and turned the disc back on. Rewinding it to that that last, beloved image, Suu placed her fingers upon the distorted image of his cheek.
"Goodbye, my love."