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*Keldabe, five years after the end of the Clone Wars. 14 BBY*

SittIng in a dusty cantina Verda Tal Rose drummed her fingers against the bar. Keldabe was buzzing with action as usual, especially now that the Empire was here and setting everyone on edge.

Rose sipped her drink slowly as she watches the bounty boards waiting for something interesting to come up. She ignores the eyes that are staring at her. She knows she is a beautiful woman, especially for her age. Or maybe they were staring at the nice sniper rifle that was slung across her shoulder, or possibly her unusual armor paint job. Maybe even the fact that she’s a very dangerous, and well known woman. Hard to tell. She rolls her emerald eyes and sips her Tiharr. She hums quietly feeling the dull burn run down her throat with the clear liquid. She lets out a small content sigh and continues to watch the boards, waiting.

Being a bounty hunter pays pretty well for her, she considers herself one of the better ones. She has a nice shot and does well with really any blade. She thanks her crazy mercenary parents for those wonderful skills. She is an older woman but she is just as tough and just as quick as the younger hunters. At least for now.

Rose took another long drink of her Tiharr but nearly spat out the drink when a certain name caught her keen eye. Walon Vau. There’s a pretty large price on his head. ‘Wanted for crimes against the Empire. Huh, strange.’ Rose frowned a little at the thought.

There’s a nasty burning feeling in her nose and throat from nearly choking on the alcohol. Rose cleared her throat and let out a small cough. She did her best to ignore the burning and tried to get her thoughts straight. Rose couldn’t stop staring at the bounty board of her past work partner. Her past lover.

The bartender shot her a funny look. Rose looked at him and narrowed her eyes. She wasn’t stupid enough to try to stab a fellow Mandalorian, especially in his own bar. The man put his hands up in mock surrender, “Udesii.” He mumbled before he went back to cleaning glasses.

She rolls her eyes and goes back to looking at the board. She ignores the dull burning in her throat from the Tiharr, but the one deep in her chest burned way worse. She blinked back tears and shook herself out of the sad feeling. ‘Focus.’ Rose swallowed thickly and took in the details of the picture.

He was so much older in that picture, Vau’s gold eyes seemed darker and his hair was more silver than black. Rose let out a dry laugh noticing his hair style hasn’t changed since she saw him last, she stopped and let her smile fade when she remembered neither has hers. She ran a hand along her reddish brown and white braid, she sighed and blinked back more tears.

It's been so long since she’s seen him. About eighteen years in fact, she frowned letting her thoughts run off course yet again.

Rose was more surprised than anything to see the grumpy shabuir’s name in the first place. ‘Of course he faked his death. I should have known.’ She thought letting the emotions and alcohol take control of her thoughts.

Rose sat her glass down with a little too much force. So many feelings were running through her at once. Especially anger and irritation. The shock was still a dull buzz in the back of her mind, or maybe it was the alcohol. She rubbed her temples and frowned at her glass trying to get her thoughts back in check.

She would do it, she had to. She will find him and bring him in. She’ll even kill him if needed. This job might be harder than any other one she’s ever had, but she’d do it. He’s worth a brand new speeder and maybe a new gun. He’d be worth it. She missed him dearly. But all in all, she needed the money. Truth is, Rose still had strong feelings for him, no matter how long it has been. He may be an asshole, and sometimes a royal Pain, but she still loved him. She still missed him, even after eighteen years. Rose began thinking of ways to handle this job.

 

Rose luckily knew most of Walon’s weaknesses, considering they were so close till he “died.” Hell,l they were practically married. Walon didn’t have many weaknesses, he was athletic, skilled and far stronger than her. By just looking at the picture, she knew none of that changed. He was like a brick wall, but even the toughest walls have weaknesses. ‘He’s just a sarcastic, intelligent, mercenary with daddy issues….. And he has a nice face…’ Rose let a small sad smile twitch onto her lips, she quickly covered it up by sipping her drink again.

She still remembered his face and personality like she saw him yesterday. She would never forget his beautiful laugh, or his stupid smirk. Everyone always saw him as an ice cold monster, but she always saw through his arrogance, sarcasm, and testosterone. Rose knew the real Vau, the man whose soul was broken as a child, the man who was terrified of failure. The man that loved her, even after she almost killed him.Twice. Rose let a sad smile curl onto her lips yet again, but she kept back the tears.‘We were together for years, how could he-‘ Rose shook her head to get rid of the thought. ‘Don’t think like that. Keep a clear head. It’s just a job.’

Rose tossed back the rest of her Tiharr and quickly marked the bounty down on her personal holopad. She hesitated slightly before she put on her helmet, staring into the black visor she frowned at her face. She had a small scar on her cheek from when she first met Walon, he had one to match.Though, his rested on his nose. Rose almost smirked at the memory, she remembered how she brought her knee plate directly into his gorgeous face. She broke his nose and cut it deeply.

Rose breathed in slowly to hold back the hot tears that burned the corners of her eyes. She shoved on the old grey and scarlet helmet and tossed a credit chip to the bartender. She walked out with long graceful strides, she made sure to add an extra sway to her hips. Rose did have a reputation to uphold after all.

Leaving the dusty cantina quickly she made her way onto the crowded streets of Keldabe This job might actually be easy, that is, if she can find him, and push her feelings aside. Rose could hide her emotions very well, but only Walon could see straight through her mask.

 

She moved swiftly through the dusty streets of Mandalore’s capital. She was rushing, just trying to get back to her speeder. She needed to get a move on this job, and fast. She pushed through the large crowds and many busy street vendors. She rolled her eyes as she shoved aggressively by a Stormtrooper. “Buckethead..” She grumbled to herself, she felt the troopers gaze as she disappeared into the crowd.

Walon Vau would be a difficult man to catch. Where would she even start? Rose chewed her lip nervously and kept pushing past people.She thought hard about where to start. Vau was apparently seen in Keldabe recently, but that doesn’t mean he’s still here. He’s most likely still on the planet, it was his home. Well, his adoptive home.

Mandalorians rarely hunted their own, plus all he had to do to be safe was not remove his helmet outside of run down bars, or near any bucketheads. She almost snorted, ‘The bucketheads and their leaders aren’t the smartest group.’ Walon possibly had to repaint his armor though, black on black was very noticeable. ‘What am I thinking? He’ll be easy to find, he hates painting his gear.’

Rose stopped suddenly when she saw a very familiar looking person. A taller man in black on black armor, some of the pieces were a dark blue or similar color. She blinked trying to comprehend the man. He was either trying to stay out from under the Empires nose, or he just didn’t have much style. She almost wanted to laugh, ‘Vau would never look so silly…..or would he? Shit.’ Rose did a double take and noticed something else. Well more of a someone.

 

A very familiar looking Strill was trotting happily beside the lean man. She squinted and saw the Strill’s old black leather collar. It was hard to see under all the animals shaggy skin and fur. Rose couldn’t read the tag, or even see one. But it was most certainly say “Lord Mirdalan.” She smiled, Rose could never forget her favorite Strill. She nearly giggled when the golden creature licked at it’s masters fingers getting drool everywhere.

She quickly looked back at the man, she could look at the animal later. The man had perfect posture, he walked and held himself like royalty. She would know that walk anywhere. The weird course of familiar emotions clouded her thinking again. ‘Could that really be him? Shit. What am I thinking? Of course it is, no other man has that much pride and arrogance in just a walk.’ Rose almost snorted at the thought, If it wasn’t Walon Vau, then it was a man who seemed almost identical to him.

The man that seemed to be Vau walked beside two other men, one in sand gold armor with some armor patches that were sea green. ‘Gross color’ She wrinkled her nose and scanned the men again. There was another in dark green. They weren’t as familiar but the the man in gold had a familiar build and stance. Rose turned her head slightly, he looked a lot like Kal Skirata. She wrinkled her nose again thinking of the familiar name.

Rose had only met the shorter man a few times, yet she’s still not a huge fan of him. She didn’t agree with most of his views. He was a fool, and a hypocrite. The only thing they had in common was a thing for nice blades and a deep hate for the Death Watch. The person in the dark green was a different story, the only thing that stood out was the lightsaber that was hooked to their belt. It was probably just a trophy, many Mandos collected trophies. If this person was a Jedi then that would be a big surprise, almost all of the Jedi died in the purge. And why would one be stupid enough to come to Mandalore? “We are jedi slaughters after all.” she said out loud with a sneer and an eye roll. No one could hear her thankfully, if they could then she’d seem even crazier than she already was.

The Strill suddenly looked directly at her, it must have recognized her scent. She almost tripped over her own feet when she saw the animals gold eyes with red rims. It was Mird. With Walon Vau. Panic and sadness almost tripped Rose again. She was suddenly very nervous to see Vau again. Dread quickly replaced the panic and now all Rose wanted to do was hug Walon and rub the Strill. ‘Hold back, he left you for a reason. He doesn’t love you anymore. He left You.’ The thought made her feel worse.

The Strill wagged it’s whip of a tail excitedly and let out a happy squeal. Rose frowned and swallowed thickly. In all honesty, she missed the funky little creature more than Walon. Vau and the others looked back at the creature. Walon patted his thigh plate and whistled trying to get the animal to follow. He scanned the crowd carefully, trying to see what alerted his pet. Then, he must have spotted Rose, he immediately froze up. The man made a fist. Oh yeah, he definitely saw her.

Her sleek grey, and scarlet armor stood out. The only thing that she ever changed was a color. She painted over the black with grey when Walon “died.” Her strange pattern never changed, along with the scarlet color. Rose knew deep down that Vau didn’t realize it was her from the pattern. No, he knew it was her from the the small white rose that was carved into her left shoulder plate. He carved the rose in the armor a long time ago. Rose’s lip began to quiver a little and she self-consciously touched the small carving.’I wonder if he still remembers?.’ Rose had to shake that thought away along with hot tears. The white rose means a lot to them both. Neither of them would ever forget, it would be impossible.

His blank visor was staring straight at her for a long few seconds. Then, the man took a deep breath and nodded. ‘Oh yeah, that's definitely Vau…. ’ There were those stupid emotions again.

The other two looked back at her as well, the man that appeared to be Skirata tensed a little and looked at the taller man. The character in dark green just turned his head slightly, they had a very weird vibe.

Rose finally looked away and acted like she was shopping, she looked at some of the small street venders, pointing at some things and checking prices. She felt like an idiot, she never freezes. ‘Stupid feelings, always getting in my way.’ Rose stared at some beautiful, and expensive knives waiting to see if the three of them have left. ‘Patience, this will take time.They’re armed and they outnumber you. You need a plan.’

When Rose turned around they were walking away, she slowly made her way back into the crowded streets. She followed them at a distance blending in better than before.

 

The three men were obviously back tracking, of course they would. Being wanted made you suspicious, especially when the Empire was on your planet and breathing down your neck. Rose kept a few paces behind the three of them. The one in the dark green kept looking over their shoulder. ‘Strange, maybe they’re just extra suspicious?’ She shook her head. Taking down three strong warriors would be difficult, but she could hopefully handle it. She’s handled worse, but this was three Mandalorian warriors. They didn’t go down easily.

Suddenly Rose felt something grab her shoulder. she whipped around to see who wanted her attention but no one was there. She shook her head, she is just out of it today, and a little drunk. She quickly looked back down the road, they were gone! Rose cursed internally and looked around some more. ‘Where could they have gone?!’ Suddenly a gloved hand grabbed her and yanked her into an ally way. “Shiiiittttt!!” she screamed. Panic and fear shot down her spine as she was pulled away from the street.

Rose thrashed against her attacker trying to get any weapon she had on her to get the person away. The attacker held her arms close to her back and they held her down for a moment, then, she heard a low, and very familiar laugh. The laugh was like fine velvet. ‘I’ve missed that laugh.....’ She blinked at the thought instead of getting up and stabbing the fucker in the throat.

“Still full of fire I see.” The fine accented voice said as he sat her against the dusty wall of a building. Rose grabbed her knife and pointed it at her past lover, “Wouldn’t you remember? Walon.”She said with a sneer as she looked up at the taller man. “Oh my poor sweet Warrior Blood Rose.” He almost purred the words. She growled. “You lost the right to use my first name when you left me!” Rose’s words were all venom as she sat up. She didn’t want to get up, she knew her anger would get the best of her and she’d stab him.

He scoffed before tilting his helmeted head slightly, “Why are you back here?” He asked. “I thought Mandalore was ‘too boring’?” His voice was like ice and it made the burning in her chest grow. She hated that tone.

Rose aimed her blaster pistol defensively. He did as well. ‘Dumbass.’ She opened her mouth to say something snarky but the Strill, Walon lovingly called Mird, ran over before she could answer and licked all over her helmeted face. “None of your concern.” She said as she holstered her blaster and kneeled scratching behind Mird’s ears. She heard him scoff and holster his weapon as well. She shouldn’t be off her guard but she did miss the Strill dearly. Walon was still dangerous, as were his two friends. ‘They are watching everything. Probably on a roof or against a wall. Might was well put on a show.’

Rose patted the creature one last time before standing up. She removed her helmet, letting her braided long brown hair fall over her shoulder. It was mostly a dark red and grey color now. Rose put her helmet down at her feet. She smiled softly at Mird but snarled when she looked at Walon.

She stepped forward so their chest plates were almost touching, she stared up into his blank visor. She narrowed her eyes at him. She also missed his gorgeous hard golden eyes. ‘Quit! Keep him distracted. You can do it. Don’t think of the past.’

“Kidnapping women are we now? That’s a new low Wa-” Her sarcasm was interrupted by his smooth voice. “Cut it out Verda.” He spat her first name like a curse, it made her blood boil, and he knew it too.“Why were you following me?”

Rose laughed dryly, “Because I live here. You should remember this.” She winked dramatically, She could almost hear his eye roll. He leaned down to her level, “You saw my poster?” Rose scoffed mocking his attitude, “No, asshole I didn’t. I saw your arrogant king walk. Plus, Mird gave you away.” Vau didn’t say anything, he knew her so well that he could see through her small lies. ‘Fine different tactic then.’

Rose breathed in slowly and looked away from the visor. She exhaled and it was shaky, “I thought you were dead. I mourned and cried for you. I saw the poster and knew I had to find you.” She said, voice suddenly a low shaky whisper. He didn’t answer for a moment, Vau’s shoulders lifted with a sigh before he quietly said “I had a job Rose, it was-“ Rose cut him off by putting her hands on either sides of his helmet. She always did know how to shut him up. He turned his head slightly, studying her. “More important than me? You said you loved me. Was all of it lies?” Rose whispered.

+++++
Walon sighed and his train of thought ran straight off course. All he could do was stare at her. She was as beautiful as ever. Her emerald eyes shined bright with tears, He had to hold himself back from caressing her face. Oh how he missed her. He hasn’t felt these emotions in years, he buried them all deep down when he left to Kamino. Now here he was, again. Tears in his eyes with the woman he loves a barley inches away from him.

He blinked away the tears that blurred his vision, “Now you know that isn’t true, I never lied to you.” He flinched when he heard Kal and Jusik laughing in the comlink. “Well at least for a very long time.” He heard Kal laugh harder and he cut off his com. ‘Jackass.’

 

 

+++++
Rose sighed and looked up into his visor. She never moved her hands, “I miss you, why didn’t you come find me? You never even tried to get in contact with me.” She said with disappointment in her voice and real tears in her eyes. “We made it work, we should of spent the rest our lives together.” She let out a shaky breath but didn’t look away. “Have a family, a home. We almost had that.”

He was quiet now, she rubbed her right thumb over some chipped paint on his helmet. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she felt a gloved thumb wipe them away. The taller man let out a shaky breath. She held back leaning into her touch. “Rose, listen I can exp-“ he was cut off yet again when she stuck a dart into his neck. “Save it.” She sneered. Vau shook his head quickly and let out a stream of cusses before collapsing to the ground with a loud thud. The strill jumped up looking surprised.

“Sorry Love.” she said as she stuck a dart into Mird as well. The creature wobbled letting out a small surprised noise, it collapsed shortly after. “Looks like you’ve gone soft, Walon.” She said out loud with a low dry throated chuckle. Right as Rose was turning back to the man's body, something very hard hit her in the back of the head, and all went black.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*Coruscant, Twenty two years before Walon Vau joins the Cuy’val Dar. 54 BBY*

“Hold still.” He mumbled as he gently stitched up the small wound on her side. “You’re taking to long!” Rose grumbled earning a low chuckle from her lover.

Walon sat down the needle and the thread,“You are far too reckless my dear.” he said as he stood up washed the blood off his hands. Rose stood up shortly after him, wincing with a bit of pain as she walked to him. She slowly snaked her arms around his shoulders and buried her face into his lean muscular back. “I know but thank you.” she mumbled out into his back.

His sharp gold eyes watched her in the mirror. Chuckling again as he turned around planting a soft kiss on her forehead, “You’re welcome. My beautiful blood rose” Rose blushed a light shade of pink and smiled. She would only let Vau use her real name. The little shit knew it too.

Rose looked up at him, running her fingers through his soft jet black hair, “I love you.” She murmured against his pale neck before pulling away to plant a soft kiss onto his lips. “I love you too, even if you are more foolish than me.” Vau whispers against her lips. Rose laughed at his comment. “I must be a pretty big fool then.” She stepped back from him still smiling.Vau watched her as she walked backwards out of the freshers and into their tiny bedroom. He smirked as he followed her. “Is that so?” he said with a playful growl closing the door behind them.

 

Rose opened her green eyes the next morning to wake up next to no one. She sat up blinking the sleep from her eyes. She looked around and yawned. Mird was still on the foot of the bed, snoring lightly. She grinned and rubbed the creatures shaggy head earning a low grumble.

She looked into the small closet, Walon’s armor sat neatly stacked beside hers. Strangely, Vau was nowhere in sight. He almost always slept in, and if he didn’t it was because he had a nightmare. She always knew when he had nightmares, they were almost always terrible and left him shaky for most of the day. She frowned a little.

Rose looked at the stitches on her side, she traced her fingers over them lightly. She got a deep graze on their most recent job, Vau luckily took care of the person and took her home to fix her up. Good thing the job was in the lower levels of Coruscant so it was a fast trip back.

Rose got up and dug through the dresser drawers, she picked up one of his older shirts. She threw it on and pulled on a pair of small shorts. It annoyed him when she stole his clothing. ‘Shame. He’ll just have to get over it then.’ She grinned to herself.

Rose heard no water running, he must have already taken a shower. She walked out of the bedroom of the small Coruscant apartment. She stayed here in between jobs. Now Walon and Mird did as well. They keep eating her food and tracking blood in, they’re lucky she loves them, if she didn’t they’d be on the street for dirting up her house.

She stretched slightly and looked at the boxes that were in the hallway, they were moving back to Mandalore soon. Neither of them had many things, the boxes were mainly weapons or empty. They had to have so many to be a believable “regular” couple who weren’t on the run.

Walking into the small living room with the attached kitchen she saw her lover leaning on the counter, staring at a holopad. He was only in loose black sleeping pants. She blushed a deep shade of red and stared for a while almost missing the flour and other cooking items that were everywhere. She looked around her kitchen and gasped. “Walon Vau!!” He hummed a reply but didn’t look at her.

“What the hell!” Rose said as she walked to him, he watched her from the corner of his eye. “Why are you wearing one of my shirts?” He questioned. “Because it’s comfortable! And you’re not wearing it” Rose said in a mocking tone trying not to stare at his toned naked chest. Walon smirked. ‘Smug bastard.’ She felt her cheeks warm even more as she put her hands on her hips.

“Now answer my earlier question. What did you do to my kitchen!” “Our kitchen now, my sweet Verda Rose. How’s your side?” Vau questioned with a purr as he ghosted his hand over her side. She shivered. The very smug smirk never left his face. “You’re such a little shit!’ Rose flicked his forehead earning a dramatic scoff. “Ow! I just wanted to see how you felt! Can I not care about how you feel?” He purred out the words.

Walon was such a smart ass when he wanted to be. Rose glared slightly and he grinned wider. “You’re lucky you’re hot, because if you were ugly your ass would already be out that door.” Rose said in a fake stern tone. He scoffed again. “Oh come on, you know you love me.” Rose rolled her eyes, but she couldn’t help but smile. “Do I though?” She asked mocking his slight accent. He gave a snort in response.

“To answer your earlier question, I tried to make pancakes. Turns out, I don’t know how.” He said with a shrug as he looked her up and down. She was nearly crimson now. “I can see that, how’d you get flour everywhere anyways?” He shrugged and kept looking at her. “Quit that.” She said slapping his arm playfully.

He laughed and wiped some flower on her face. She gasped and wiped some on his nose. Vau let out a small sneeze and Rose busted out laughing. “Y- you sneeze like a kitten!” He blushed a deep red and rolled his eyes. Rose let out an ugly snort and it was Walon’s turn to laugh. She covered her mouth shoving him away playfully. His laugh was so beautiful and rare, it was also very contagious, she eventually began to laugh again.

Mird walked out of the bedroom making a low rumbling noise. “I’m sorry Mird.” Rose said apologetically as she bent down and rubbed the Strill. “He has to be so loud doesn’t he.” Rose said playfully earning a happy lick from the Strill and a scoff from her lover. She smirked and stood up straight.

She laughed and walked back over to Walon and wiped some flour from his cheek and planted a light kiss there. “We can’t get rid of him though, he helps pay rent. Plus he’s kinda cute” Rose started to giggle when the Strill made a strange noise of disagreement. The taller man narrowed his eyes slightly and she grinned.

She put her arms around his neck and sighed contently. “I guess I do kinda love ya” she kissed his lips softly and he smiled. He wrapped his arms around her waist holding her close.

Rose studied his handsome features. She traced his sharp jawline with her slender fingers and kissed his slightly crooked nose. He watched her carefully, “darling, you’re staring. Again.” He said with a mischievous smirk. She blushed slightly and ignored his wandering hands. He cocked a well groomed black eyebrow. “Cyar'ika?” She didn’t answer him, all she could do was stare at his features.

She looked into his eyes, “Do me a favor?” Rose blurted suddenly. Vau looked down at her. “I’ll do anything for you, my beautiful warrior blood rose, My darling Cyar'ika .” He whispered against her lips. Rose kissed him softly and put her forehead against her lovers, “Don’t ever leave me, okay?” “I would never do that my dear.” He said with a small smile. She grinned and let go of him stepping back.

Walon frowned and pouted, Rose couldn’t hold back her giggle. “I suppose I have to teach you how to make pancakes” Rose said kissing his jaw softly. He quickly grabbed her waist and pulled her back against him. She nipped his ear and realized her mistake too late. “Yes I suppose you do,” he purred gripping her hips and and kissing her again, this time not so gently. This was going to be a very eventful day.

They felt like the only people in the galaxy.

Happy, young, and in love.

Sadly,

Just a memory, long forgotten.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*Kyrimorut, five years after the end of the Clone Wars. later that day*

Fuck. Her head was pounding, Rose didn’t even feel like opening her eyes. Everything hurt. A bright light shines onto her face making her headache much worse. She groaned and turned her head. She was too comfortable to move. ‘Wait, comfortable?!’

Rose’s eyes shot open and she blinked quickly. She tried to get her blurry vision to adjust to her surroundings. She was in a bedroom? She sat up and looked around. ‘Fuck.’ She groaned again, she held her head in the palm of her hand as she scanned the small room. ‘At least it isn’t prison. I think.’

There was no decoration, just a bed, attached freshers, a chair, and small table in the corner. There was a few small windows, sunlight shined brightly through the windows, the room only had natural light. The walls were a pale tan color and they seemed rather old. Was she in someone’s house? Dear God, was she in Vau’s house? The house must be ancient, the doors had hinges and the whole room was rustic looking. Everything smells like old wood and nature. And even livestock.‘Perhaps I’m dead.’ She shrugged off the thought immediately. ‘This doesn’t look like hell, at least yet.’

Her armor was gone. ‘Damn it, someone better not have sold my gear.’ That thought made more anger bubble in her. ‘Walon bought me that armor, it means too much to me.’ She snarled and pulled back the soft blue quilt.

Rose was just left in a loose shirt, and a pair of sleeping pants that were definitely not her size. ‘These stupid clothes smell like Strill, I probably smell worse than a swamp.’ Rose grumbled and stood up, with a lot of protest from her aging bones. She groaned, everything hurt, especially her head. She felt like she just got trampled. She wiggled the old door knob. Locked. She tried the windows. Locked as well. ‘Perfect, just perfect! I’m trapped.’

She sat down on the foot of the bed, She unbraided her hair and ran her hand through the waves. She winched and felt the sting of tears. She stopped and rubbed the knot on the back of her head. All she could do was wait. And wait. She braided her hair again quickly and laid back with a huff.

 

When Rose woke up again something was licking all over her face, and it smelt like death. Rose opened her eyes slowly and it was Mird. She grinned. She wasn’t dead, at least yet. “Hey Mird,” she rasped as she rubbed the shaggy creature, “Good morning.” Rose sat up quickly when she heard the voice. She whipped her head around to look at no other then Walon Vau. Yep, she was in the bastards house. Or in hell. ‘What’s the difference?’ She narrowed her eyes. She rubbed her head and squinted, everything seems hazy. “Gross.” She groaned out.

She wanted to stare at his handsome features or tell him off, but the only thing that came out of her mouth was “Fuck. You’ve gotten old.” she sneered. ‘Idiot, you’re his prisoner’. “I should say the same for you.” He growled as he stood up from the chair in the corner of the room.

The stupid jerk was in regular street clothes, her eyes lingered on his form as he swiftly moved. He was a very tall man, he had long legs, and he was lean but still very muscular. He has an angular face and a jawline she could cut herself on. She could see his still very toned torso in that stupidly tight shirt. She narrowed her eyes.

Vau was just as handsome as ever, and he still seemed so in shape. All of this made this situation much worse. ‘Stupid feelings. Stupid stupid beautiful man!’ She stared as he strided over, Rose watched his long legs for longer then she would like to admit. She shook her head and looked at his stupidly handsome face. ‘Stop staring. It’s weird, and he’s your kidnapper.’

Rose looked around then back at him, “Two questions. One, were you watching me sleep?! And two, where am I?” She asked, glaring up at the man. “Yes I was.” Rose snorted, “Fucking pervert.” Walon rolled his eyes, “Where we are is none of your concern.” His tone was like venom. “Actually it is.” Vau rolled his eyes again. “No it isn’t.” Rose mocked his tone, “Yes. It. Is.” “No. It. Isn’t.” He was almost in her face. “Yes it is!” She didn’t back away.
“Child.”
“Bastard,”
He sneered and gave up on the childish argument. They stared at each other for a few beats, neither of them realized how close they were to each other till now. Her eyes flickered dow to his thin lips before she pulled away.

Walon pulled back quickly and walked back to the table, he walked back with a glass cup. It seemed to be filled with water.

He held out the cup of water to her. “How stupid do you-“ Vau narrowed his eyes at her and pushed it into her hands. “You have a concussion, you need to drink.” “Aww I’m so glad you care about my health... Pervert.” she mumbled as she sipped the cool water. It felt amazing going down her scratchy throat. “If you poisoned me then you really fucking suck.” He rolled his eyes.

“Am I least still on Mandalore? Because my ship and speeder are pretty expensive.” Rose looked into his gold eyes. He rolled his eyes again and shrugged. She really hated him, at least sometimes. “I’m glad to see that you’re still a dick,” Rose sneered. Walon sneered back, “I’m glad to see that you’re still childish.” She shrugged and looked at him past the end of her nose. Vau’s lips twitched a little trying to hold back a smile. She grinned averting her eyes from his face, she rubbed Mird hiding her smile.

Walon took the cup and sat it on the table. He stood beside her and rubbed Mird smiling slightly at the golden shaggy creature. “You’re still too reckless, you don’t just tranq someone in the middle of a busy city.” He said as he sat on the foot of the bed watching her. His smile was now back into a tight lipped blank expression. ‘ He’s playing ice cold again.’ She knew him to well, she could still read him like a book. He was looking at her, there was anger and something very familiar in those gold eyes. Sadness? Regret? Maybe both? She frowned, his eyes were still gorgeous too, but they don’t shine as much as they use to. He doesn’t seem very happy either. It’s like his soul was missing too many pieces to make him whole again.

His beautiful gold eyes always showed his emotions, at least to her they did. There was almost always pain in them, it burned like a raging wildfire. She could also read his body language well, the way his muscles moved, the way his jaw clenched. She shot him a sarcastic smile and he narrowed his eyes holding back a grin. Her soul ached for this very broken man, he may be a dick but he had his moments.

“I would have managed, besides I would have gotten good money for my struggle. But, your stupid friends had to knock me out.” Rose sneered showing her white teeth at Walon matching his expression. “Foolish,” He snarled, “We need to have a talk later.” He said as he swiftly stood and walked to the door, Vau patted his thigh for Mird to follow. “Till then, rest, please shower, and don’t try anything too foolish.” “I’ll try my best! Oh and say hi to Skirata for me!” She yelled after him. He stopped and looked at her for a second.

His eyes scanned her for a long second, before he sighed and walked out with Mird on his heels. He closed the door and locked it behind him. “This was one fine mess I’ve gotten myself into.” Rose mumbled out loud as she pulled a pillow over her face. This isn’t going to be Fun.

Chapter Text

*Kyrimorut, five years after the end of the Clone Wars, 14 BBY. The next morning.*

His head was killing him, he was exhausted and very irritated. Walon Vau was stretched out on one of the larger couches in the main room, with Mird happily laying on his legs. He had just shut his eyes when he heard Kal’s voice. “Walon! Have you talked to Verda yet?”

Walon slowly opened his eyes and let out a long irritated sigh. “Somewhat.” Kal stood over him and he narrowed his eyes, “Care to explain?” Vau let out an ever louder sigh and sat up, disturbing the Strill, who gave grumbling noises of protest. Mird jumped onto the floor with a dramatic huff, then it flopped onto it’s stomach with all six legs stretched out.

Walon blinked a few times when his pounding headache worsened, he slowly rubbed the corners of his eyes with his thumbs at an attempt to stop the pain. Much to his dismay, it didn’t work. Kal grunted at him, “Vau, what do you mean by somewhat?” Vau rolled his eyes and swung his long legs off the couch, he braced his arms on his thighs. He let out a long fake dramatic yawn to add to Kal’s annoyment. “Quit hovering and i’ll tell you.” Kal glared at that as he sat on the chair across from him.

The shorter man crossed his arms causing Vau to roll his eyes, he started to rub his temples. He probably looked like shit, but he didn’t care currently. “Vau, quit stalling. What happened when you were in her room?” ‘Her room? Shit, looks like Kal officially adopted someone else.’ He snorted out loud at the thought.

Vau’s golden gaze locked with Kal’s blue one. “Well for starters, she has a concussion, thanks to you.” Kal rolled his eyes. “She’s pissed off, and very curious. Rose’s concussion hasn’t affected her memory or ability to cuss. She’ll be okay, I assume. She just wants answers really.” Kal leaned back and chuckled dryly. “Oh, and she also says hi.” A small smile graced his lips which Kal didn’t fail to notice. Skirata rolled his eyes but grinned at his old friend. “What are we going to do with her?”

Vau frowned and rubbed Mird’s head, he hadn’t thought that far ahead. Luckily Jusik and Ordo walked in before Skirata could start one of his famous rants. Ordo handed Kal a glass of ale and sat beside him on the large chair, Jusik sat in the seat beside them. The pounding behind his eyes increased at the thought of the upcoming argument. He blew out a breath and looked down at the Strill that stared at him with a dopey grin.

Kal watched him as he slowly sipped his ale, “Any ideas of what to do with her?” Everyone knew the question was only meant for Walon. He shrugged and looked at the three other men, “I don’t know, possibly just talk to her. For now at least.” He ran his fingers through his hair and frowned at the soldiers expressions. “If I can get her back onto my side, which is sometimes yours Kal, then possibly we can let her go.”

Kal sat down his glass slowly, “She wants to kill you currently doesn’t she?” Walon clenched his jaw, he hated how Kal always underestimated Rose. “If she really wanted me dead then i’d be dead.” Kal went to say something but Ordo cut him off politely. “He has a point, Buir.”

Kal sighed and looked back at Vau. “Why would she join your side again? She hates you, remember? Because you disappeared.” A quiet growl left his throat when those last words left Kal’s mouth. She didn’t hate him, Right? Out of the corner of his eye he saw Jusik flinch. “We all know that stubborn women will hate you even more now. We did kidnap her after all. How do you know she’ll listen to you?" Kal nearly spat before taking a long sip of his ale. They were both getting agitated now.

“She’ll calm down. We were together for years, she can handle me and I can handle her. Rose will also listen to me because she wants to know why I left.” He closed his eyes briefly at the thought. Jusik glanced at him, Vau quickly straightened his back and put his walls back up. “I’ll talk to her now, okay?” He went to stand but Skirata forced him back in his seat with a glance. Walon nearly groaned as he leaned back.

“Vau, I know you miss her. Verda tried to turn you in, and she also tried to kill you, remember? She may expose us, If she’s given the chance. Don’t let your feelings get in the way of a wise decision.” Kal said calmly as he sat down his glass with a thud. Walon narrowed his eyes as he leaned forward in his seat. He snorted regally but held back calling him a hypocrite.

”I don’t let emotions get in my way Kal, unlike you.” Vau snapped at his friend. He was too tired for Kal’s hypocritical horseshit, plus his mind and emotions were racing causing his headache to worsen. Kal’s nagging didn’t help the situation.

Jusik looked at them both. He usually could never sense Vau’s emotions, but ever since Rose appeared, emotions like regret and anger have rolled off him in waves. It was very unsettling for everyone to see the veteran sargent show this much emotion.

Vau stood up and began to pace. Mird watched it’s master with sad eyes. The Strill let out a low whine which Walon ignored. Skirita opened his mouth but Vau cut off his words with a warning glance. He was pissed now.

Ordo and Jusik looked at one another then at the two veteran Sergeants. Things were getting very tense, they prepared to pull them apart if things got violent.

Walon stepped forward slightly causing Ordo to tense immediately. “Rose won’t kill me, she won’t expose us. She won’t burn down this whole kriffing place. I can tell that she hasn’t changed, she may be foolish and crazy, but she isn’t cruel. She can keep quiet, if you would just have the patience to let me talk to her then maybe you’d see that too.” He hadn’t noticed how he grabbed the older man by the collar till now.

“I may be losing my hearing but I’m not blind.” Kal snapped back in a cold tone, Vau didn’t say anything back as he let out a shaky sigh.”I know she hasn’t changed but she isn’t loyal to you anymore. Why should she keep her mouth shut? She’d benefit from turning us in. Dead or Alive. In love.. or not.” Walon stepped away from him, it took everything in his person to gain his composure back. Vau didn’t reply, he knew Skirata was right.

Kal blows out a breath and glanced at his sons, Ordo was tense and Jusik looked unnerved. He looked back at his old friend, Walon looked more broken than ever. “Eighteen years is a long time to be gone.” Walon’s voice was hoarse, “That’s why I need to discuss this with her. She deserves answers.” Walon ran his fingers through his hair in an attempt to calm his nerves.

An uneasy silence settled among the four men before Kal spoke up. “Go talk to her. She’s just as sarcastic and stubborn as you, so she may not even listen.” Kal sat back down, “Take your time though, I'm in no rush to say I told you so.” ‘look at him trying to clear the tension.’ Vau nearly rolled his eyes.

“Shut up Kal.” Vau sneered. “I’m going to tell her, it’s the only way to clear this up. If all goes well, she may even stay.” He shrugged off his own thought. He needed to get his emotions in check again. Their relationship was a thing in the past, just a distant memory.

Kal nodded slowly, but he was still ready to punch Vau if needed. Skirata looked at jusik who was watching Vau closely. You didn’t need to be Jedi to sense the turmoil in Walon Vau’s heart.

Mird whined up at its master, Walon kneeled down and rub the Strill’s shaggy golden fur. He sighed but cracked a small smile when the animal rolled back onto its back with all six legs in the air.

Ordo sat up straighter and finally spoke up. “We could just make her ‘disappear’, I’m positive it wouldn’t be that difficult.”

That really pissed Walon off, “That isn’t an option, Ordo.” He snapped. “My only option is talking to her, we will see what to do next from there.” Vau spat out, his tone was only ice. He stood up and walked out swiftly with his Strill on his heels.

Once Walon was out of the room Kal chuckled, “poor ol’ Wal’ika still has feelings.” Ordo and Jusik grinned at that. Yes, Walon still did have feelings for Rose, and it was very obvious.

 

Walking to Rose's room had Vau on edge, he was terrified. He knew for a fact that everyone, not just the Jedi, could feel it. His emotions were running wild, he didn’t even have a plan. ‘What am I going to say to her? Will she even listen?’ Vau blew out a nervous breath and ran his fingers through his hair.

Walon paced in front of her door for what felt like hours, he hasn’t felt this much emotion since Sev died. He frowned at the thought and ran a hand down his slender face, he looked at Mird who sat at his feet whimpering. He patted the Strill and squared his shoulders. He tried to ignore the aching in his chest and head, but he failed miserably.

He let out a shaky breath and knocked on her door. “Stay Mird. Keep the Nulls away, and anyone else who might try to listen in.” Vau whispered to his pet quietly. Mird let out a low rumbling noise of protest. He shot the Strill a warning glance and it rumbled and sat back on its haunches. Once Walon gained his composure he knocked twice more.

+++++
She was drying off after a much needed shower when she heard the soft knocking. Walon. Rose rolled her eyes, ‘I can’t have a moment of piece can I?’ “Fuck off!” She barked at the door. She heard a shaky sigh behind the ancient wooden door.

“Rose we need to talk,” Walon’s voice was calm and smooth, but there was sadness undertone to the smooth accent.

“I disagree!” She sneered as she wrapped the towel around herself. She grumbled to herself as she looked around for clean clothes.

Vau walked right inside and swiftly shut the door behind him, he left Mird outside. ’Grand.’ “You still don’t listen do you!” She yelled as she continued to search. He blinked and looked away from her, the towel didn’t exactly cover much. Walon scoffed at her, she smirked when she noticed him blushing like a fool.

“I told you, fuck off.” Rose sneered at him as she dug through the old dresser for some clothes and a comb. She eventually found a pair of old shorts, undergarments, and a faded black long sleeve shirt. Rose dropped the towel, she was too mad at the man on the foot of her bed to care about her nudity. “Well I didn’t think you’d be naked” Walon mumbled as he rubbed his temples avoiding his gaze. Rose rolled her eyes as she yanked on the clothes.

Rose sat beside him with a huff. She wanted to make a snide comment or kiss him, maybe even punch him. All options seemed satisfying. Rose combed her fingers through her tangled hair winching slightly. Walon frowned, “How’s your head?” Rose snorted at him and rubbed the knot on the back of her head, “Hurts. I thought you had a degree in whatever nerf shit goes on with life forms, you should know this. Walon.” He flinched at her comment. He handed her a comb which she gladly accepted.

“I’m not a doctor. I basically just have a degree in anatomy and physiology.” Vau mumbled as he crossed his legs looking regal but still flustered. He was probably hiding something, she bit her lip to keep from laughing. Rose put on a fake look of distaste and shrugged, “big difference.” She had to hold back a grin when he glared at her. “There's actually a large difference.” Rose smirked and nodded. “Mhm. Whatever.” Vau shot her an angry golden look again, she couldn’t help but grin. He was always so easy to aggravate.

 

+++++
Walon sighed trying to get his thoughts together, he knows she’s playing with him. He frowned as he watched Rose comb her unruly hair out.

Walon looked at her, he was studying her face, Rose raised a well groomed eyebrow at him. That hard glance caused him to blow out a breath and try to gain his clean thoughts back. He nearly shook his head, “Mji will visit you when we’re done talking. He’ll bring food and real clothes for you. He’ll also look at your head.” Rose only nodded. He uncrossed and crossed his legs, ‘Damn woman.’

Vau took a moment to look at her beautiful features. Her tan skin contrasted well with her deep red hair, her hair only had some silver streaks. Her emerald eyes still shined bright with mischief and defiance. Her nose was a little crooked, like most mandalorians. She had sharp high cheekbones and a sharp jaw. She hardy aged since the last time he saw her, he also didn’t fail to notice the five piercings in her ears. All the small gems were different colors, they represented the people, and Strill, she had lost throughout her life.

Rose noticed his glance and touched her ears self consciously. “Yours is the gold one. I know you caught a glance at my tattoos too.” She pulled up the sleeve of her loose shirt to show her beautiful grey and scarlet rose stem tattoo that winded up her whole arm. “I got it finished, your name is on the black rose.” She sucked in a shaky breath, “hers is on the white one.” Vau only nodded mutley as she pulled her sleeve down.

+++++
“Come on, tell me your reason.” Rose said after a few minutes of tense silence. Vau looked away and sighed, “I-I have no excuses. I should of told you about the contract I took. I was a greedy fool.” She narrowed her eyes, “what was the reason?” Vau raked his long fingers through his hair, “Jango needed my help training the clones, it was a good chance for me.” Vau looked back at her “I ran off to Kamino with a group of others, Mostly Mandalorians. We trained a large group of clone soldiers.” He opened his mouth to add on but Rose cut him off. “So it was a good chance for money?” Rose said as she stood up. Anger and betrayal was now burning her chest.

Realization hit her like a train, “Money? You greedy bastard! You left me for money! I thought we had something important!” He looked up at her, “Rose, you know that’s not the full reason. Jango needed me, the clones needed me. If you would just let me expla-” He stopped mid sentence and he stared at her. Rose sighed and wiped her eyes not looking at his face. Her voice came out shakier than intended “W-w had a good life together, a family. I thought that’s what you wanted.”

He opened his mouth but she cut him off, again. “We could of had a longer life together! It would have been difficult, maybe, but we could have made it. We lasted all those years after all” Rose choked out. Walon sighed and looked at his boots. He was at a loss of words for once in his life.

“Rose, I’m….i’m so sorry.” “Oh you’re sorry for breaking my heart?!” Rose barked out a sad dry laugh “That makes this whole situation so much better!” Walon flinched, “Rose.........” “No! You broke my heart! I thought you were dead! I loved you! I mourned for you! I was alone. Again!” Her voice was full of pain and it made his heart ache.

“You probably never even cared! We were together for years! We had a home! A good life! We even had a child for God’s sake!” She breathed in a quick breath which didn’t quite fill her lungs, “You just threw all of that away…”

Walon stood up to face her, tears burned in the corners of his eyes. “I didn’t throw it away for nothing!” He snarled at her, “And don’t you dare bring our daughter into this! She barely got to live a life before it was brutally taken from her! So don’t you say I didn’t care about you! Don’t say I didn’t care about what we had together!” Have you grown so ignorant that you don’t think it hurt me to leave you?!” His voice was shaky now, and he was visibly upset.

His hair was slightly messy from raking his fingers through it constantly, his gold eyes shined with tears and emotions. He looked shattered, and all because of her.. Rose realized she probably looked just as bad.

They could both hear Mird whimper and scratch at the door. The Strill could sense the emotions in the room, they were both angry and sad. You didn’t need to be an animal or a Jedi to sense the tension.

++++++
Walon Vau was raised and trained to always be cold and detached. His father thought he beat everything out of him, now he wished his father had. He can usually keep a straight face in even the toughest situations. Currently, Vau was a mess. He was upset as he was when their daughter died, or when he had to leave Rose. He’s been too emotional lately, Walon Vau wasn’t too keen on feeling the burning in his chest so often.

Rose backed down slightly and wiped her eyes again. “You really hurt me” she said looking back at him, tears were streaming down her face. His heart shattered at the look on her face, he did this to her. He caused that pain.

+++++
He breathed in slowly and tried to choke back tears. “My beautiful beautiful blood rose. You really don’t think it hurt me to leave you? I loved you more than anything, and I-I still do.” His voice was suddenly soft and barely a whisper. “It killed me to leave you, but I had a duty. If I had the chance to do it all again I would.” He was crying now. Rose felt a spike of guilt down her spine, it made her shudder. Walon continued on, “I’m here for you now, and I won’t leave again.” Rose sighed and felt her heart break all over again when his voice cracked. His voice Never cracked.

Rose looked up into his stunning gold eyes, his eyes were glazed and red rimmed from the tears. She looked away from him, she couldn’t bare the pleading look on his face. She would hate herself for this thought. He watched as she breathed in and let out a shaky breath. ‘I knew she would protest, my arrogance rubbed off too much.’ He frowned and waited for her to speak.

Her frown turned into a snarl, “You’re lying. You’re just saying this so I won’t turn you in!” She was angry again. ‘Shit.’ “No Rose I’m not! I’ve missed you more than I thought I would! I tried to push these feelings down but I failed!” He stepped forward just a bit. Rose let out a shaky breath but didn’t step back. He was taller and stronger but he would Never hurt her, he wasn’t like that.

They were now very close together, their chests nearly touching. Vau gently placed a shaky hand on her cheek, he almost sobbed when she leaned into his touch. Rose closed her eyes and sighed. He gently wiped a tear from her cheek with his thumb, “Rose….” He barely whispered her name. Rose shook her head and stepped away from him. “I can’t.. Y-you know I can’t.”

“I need time to think, pl-please leave.” She blurted after a few seconds of tense silence. Walon studied her for a moment before he nodded hesitantly and walked out. He opened her door with a little too much force making her flinch.

+++++
Mird jumps up and looks up at its master while letting out a low rumbling noise. He slammed the door behind him causing the creature to flinch and whine at him. He locked the door with the old rusted key. He clipped the key back onto his pets collar. The Strill made a low noise and gently pulled on his shirt sleeve.

He put a hand on the wall to steady himself when a few silent sobs racked his body, his father's poisonous words ran through his head nearly making his knees buckle.
“You are not going to cry!” His father had barked in his face as he yanked him up, “You will not be weak.The strong do not cry and hide!” He was only eight at the time, Vau shuddered at the memory.

Rose was bringing out old emotions and memories he thought he had left behind when he left her. He was wrong, again. She always knew how to kick down his walls with just a look, she made him weak. Walon looked back at the door and cracked a weak smile, ‘Maybe some weakness is okay.’ Vau was taken aback by his own thoughts. He rubbed his stinging eyes aggressively and walked across the hall to his room, with a sentimental Mird on his heels.

Vau slammed his door shut and held back screaming at his own stupidity. He sat on his bed with his face in his hands. “Mird i’m a fool, I don’t deserve her forgiveness. I don’t deserve her.” he let another silent sob rack his lean frame.

Mird whined and jumped onto his bed laying its head in his lap looking up at him. Walon let out a shaky breath and buried his face in the golden creatures fur. He didn’t have any idea of what he would do about this.

Vau missed what they had. Hopefully Rose will forgive him. He needed her too. He wanted her back, but he also wanted to protect his clan. He made too many mistakes, too many rash decisions. She may never forgive him because of these mistakes.

A broken heart can never be whole again. There is always a piece missing.