Pairing/characters: Sly Moore/Taun We, mention of Palpatine and clones
Word count: 822
Summary: Taun We is a study in contradictions, and Sly Moore appreciates that.
Warnings: This is alien femmeslash, although not graphic at all. But if the idea squicks you, you've been warned.
Something Like Love
a romance in three stages
The first time Sly visited Kamino, she didn’t think much of Taun We. The Kaminoan appeared to be little more than a glorified greeter, and as such was not someone really worth taking notice of. She was a pretty face, but ultimately not very interesting.
Her next four visits did nothing to change that opinion. But on her sixth visit, as she was preparing her report for the Chancellor, strolling rather aimlessly along the observation decks and watching Palpatine’s army be birthed, trained, shaped and fed like so many animals for the slaughter house, she noticed something that gave her pause.
Taun We was on the lower decks, surrounded by a group of newer clones, each identical young face trained intently on her. She was holding a holobook, and appeared to be telling the new clones a story.
A slaughter house worker who risked becoming attached to her stock. Sly smiled. Now that was interesting.
She began observing the Kaminoan more closely. She took note of the sharp edges behind that soft-spoken voice, the way Taun We’s eyes flashed ever so slightly when she talked about her product, the way she told each of her visitors that the clones were all identical in every way, but when the visitors were gone, each group of new clones heard a different story before bed. It was…interesting.
When Taun We asked if she would like a more personal tour of the facilities, Sly accepted. And when Taun We’s fingers brushed over hers as they boarded the turbolift, that was interesting, too.
Sly Moore was probably one of the most well-informed beings in the galaxy, but she didn’t flatter herself. She knew that she would retain her position with Palpatine (and, very likely, her life) only so long as she was useful to him.
She didn’t tell him about Taun We, though he might have guessed all the same. But she did let it slip that she had a contact on Kamino, one who was willing to tell her more than anyone else. It was a juicy piece of information, and it served her purposes as well as his. It meant that she would remain useful, which was the most important thing. But it also meant that she would spend more and more time on Kamino.
Taun We guessed that Sly was hiding something, she was sure. But the Kaminoan had an intensely, adamantly carefree nature. She was gentle, and she didn’t ask questions, and she knew just how to make Sly forget her own questions.
“Do you ever wonder,” Sly asked her once, “how all of this will end?”
Taun We blinked at her with those great beautiful luminous eyes and almost smiled. “No,” she said in her gentle voice of edges. “I make it a point never to think about ends. They’ll come soon enough on their own.” And she kissed Sly’s fingers, and her neck, and finally her eyes.
Sly remembered that her lover was a slaughter house worker, and that she understood ends maybe better than anyone. But she had lovely long fingers and bright beautiful eyes and a storyteller’s voice made of sharp edges and velvet, and for now nothing else seemed to matter.
The Empire was a new thing, but it was also a very old thing. A manufactured thing, with a plastic face and mechanized breathing. And it was a thing about which Sly Moore knew far too much.
She was not surprised when she was labeled a traitor, although it was a bit surprising to hear that she was in league with the Jedi. She had to admire that touch, since the only Jedi she’d ever really spoken much with was Skywalker, and then only on Palpatine’s orders. It was irony at its best, and Sly could appreciate irony.
She went to Kamino, though she didn’t expect it would do her much good. It was the first and most obvious place. But Sly also appreciated poetry, and what better end was there than in the storyteller’s arms?
They spent three weeks together, slow and weightless weeks like something out of a fairy tale. But Sly could not live in a fairy tale, even if they were the best weeks of her life.
“When are you going to do it?” she asked Taun We one afternoon, lazily twirling a finger in her glass. They were having a picnic, which was completely ridiculous and something Sly would never do, but here she was, her head resting in Taun We’s lap. The drink had given her a strange slight buzz, and for some reason it made her think of poisons and tragedies and the fitting rightness of it all, and so she snatched up the glass and drank the rest of it in one gulp.
“Hush, love,” said Taun We, her long fingers brushing softly over Sly’s brow. “You know I never talk about ends.”