The alarm on Lana’s chrono beeps at 3pm, Odessen time. Even though it’s the middle of the afternoon on the base, it’s 1am on the Gravestone. She’d worked out the time difference with Viri as usual, based on the ship’s hyperspace route back to the base.
”I have a meeting,” Lana says briskly, shutting off her console and walking away from the War Room. She heads directly to Viri’s suite.
As always, the rooms feel empty without Viri. They both know it’s not always possible to constantly be together. They each have their own tasks to complete to defeat the Eternal Empire, and sometimes it necessitates working apart. It’s better for them both to have their own interests and time to pursue them. It’s why they’ve both insisted on keeping their own suites instead of moving in together. Still, it’s not easy, and Lana always sleeps in Viri’s rooms when she’s away on a mission. Lana locks the door, takes off her boots and gloves, and gets a cup of tea while the secure channel starts up.
Viri settles down in her suite on the Gravestone. She’s just finished eliminating the Star Fortress that had orbited Belsavis, with Vette as her second. Despite the high stakes, it was fun tearing around with Vette, just like Viri’s Wrath days.
The room the Alliance has given her is far larger than the one she had chosen for herself, way back when they’d found the ship in a Zakuulan swamp. She’s gratefully accepted it, and appreciates the space, but her own travel requirements aren’t complicated. She must have her own room. She must carry the small valise with her belongings, which includes a portable white noise machine. When she’d asked Doctor Oggurobb to construct it for her, she had winked and said that she wanted to make sure that her private moments would be discreet. What the doctor had not realized was that the screams she wanted to conceal were not those of passion, but nightmares.
Viri drums her fingers on the headboard as the secure channel boots. When it’s finally clear, she only has to wait a few seconds before Lana appears on the holo. As always, she exhales with relief. Seeing Lana, even on a grainy holo image, even so many lightyears away, makes her instantly feel better.
“Hello, love.” The words, spoken in Sith, resonate through the room. Lana’s face echoes her own relief. Even though she won’t articulate it to Viri, seeing her on the holo after a mission – alive, well, and talking – assuages one of Lana’s most constant fears.
“Beloved.” Viri responds in Sith. It’s theirs, and they use it.
There will be no deep conversation on this holo-call; no discussions of their respective missions, or even how their days went. That will come later, when they’re together in person. The channel they’re using is secure, but it’s still a holo-channel, and they’re still at war with the Eternal Empire. It’s better not to put any chatter into space that could be picked up. That’s not why they’re here, anyway.
Viri stretches out in bed with the holo next to her, extends one hand, and concentrates. On the other end of the holo, Lana does the same. Sometimes they’re close enough in space for it to work; sometimes they aren’t, but they always try. Tonight the Gravestone is close enough to Odessen for them to bridge the gap, and they each feel the other’s hand clasping their own.
”I love it when this works,” Viri says softly.
”As do I,” Lana replies, squeezing her hand. Physically feeling Viri through the Force is one of the perks of their bond she loves most. “You need to get some sleep now, love.”
Viri’s eyes close, and she uses the Force to wrap her blanket around her. Lana does not let go of her hand. It’s how it always works: Lana will stay with her until she’s asleep without nightmares. It’s the only way she can sleep these days. When they are close enough to touch, Lana simply holds her hand; when they’re further apart, Lana talks gently to her until she nods off.
On her end of the holo, something dawns on Lana as she holds Viri’s hand. If they’re close enough to touch, then…
Viri’s almost asleep, but her eyes flutter open for a second and she smiles as she feels Lana’s lips against her own.
”Goodnight, love,” Lana tells her. “Sleep tight.” She will never tell Viri to have sweet dreams. It doesn’t work that way for her, and they both know it. When Viri is finally fast asleep, Lana reaches out and kisses her again, before releasing her hand and heading back to work.