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First Date, Worst Date

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It wasn't the worst date Jade had ever had. Admittedly, the only reason it wasn't was because of that cruise ship vacation she'd gone on just out of university that had gotten a little too close to a black hole, but still. It wasn't the worst. Just... close to it.

Very close to it.

There was a scoff to her left. "As pirate hijackings go, I've seen better."

Jade shot the woman crouched next to her an irritated look. "For the last time, will you be quiet?" she hissed. "They're going to find us."

Evy rolled her eyes, making a show of zipping her lips. She stopped talking, though, so Jade counted it as a win. In the handful of hours that she'd known her, she'd gotten the impression that getting Evy to be quiet was almost miraculous. The other woman was gorgeous and very much Jade's type on a purely physical front, but from what she could tell their personalities were almost polar opposites.

Jade didn't know what Skylar had been thinking. She really needed to start saying "no" to Sky when they wanted to set her up on a blind date. She loved her sibling, really, she did. But their taste was questionable at best when it came to picking women for her to go out with.

Kathryn had turned out to have been wanted for tax evasion in three systems. Val had been an undercover cop trying to get evidence on Jade's neighbor. Heather had been a smuggler. Amelia had literally robbed a bank five minutes before their last date, which had become clear when the police had shown up at the restaurant they were having dinner at to arrest her. And then there'd been Mae, who had apparently been switching places with her twin, Tania, for half their dates before Jade had figured it out.

If she actually believed in any gods, Jade would think that they were laughing at her. She'd watched soap operas that had less drama than her life did.

Shaking her head, Jade lowered herself back down to the ground and carefully looked through the tiny crack at the bottom of the door. She hadn't decided yet whether it was a good or bad thing that the closet they were hiding in was shoddily made enough that its door wasn't airtight, but for the time being it at least gave them a way of seeing if anyone was heading their way. Thank the spirits for cheap tourist ships that didn't care about interstellar safety standards, she supposed.

The corridor just outside was still empty.

Jade stayed in place for a moment, watching to make sure nothing changed, before she pushed herself back up into a sitting position. She glanced over at Evy and shook head. "No change," she mouthed.

Evy snorted. "Can I talk now?" she asked, keeping her voice down at least.

Jade resisted the urge to reach up and rub the bridge of her nose in frustration. Barely. "We don't want them to find us," she whispered, trying to keep her voice just shy of inaudible.

"You just said that there's nobody out there," Evy pointed out. "Who exactly are you so worried is going to hear us?"

"The pirates who hijacked the spaceship!" Jade hissed back.

Evy rolled her eyes. "If the pirates aren't in the hallway, then they can't hear us," she said matter-of-factly. "That means there's no reason we can't talk as long as we're quiet."

There was a large part of Jade that really wanted to argue with that statement. It took a lot of effort to keep her mouth closed, but if she'd tried to argue back then she would have had to talk herself – which would have made her point moot. For once, she decided that silence was the best response.

Evy's eyes lit up slightly, clearly taking Jade's silence as a win on her part. "I think we should try to take back the ship."

Jade stared blankly at her. "You're kidding, right?"

The grin that Evy shot her was worrisome at best and downright terrifying at worst. It was also surprisingly hot, considering the circumstances.

Especially when she reached under her shirt and pulled out an almost ridiculously large energy knife from spirits knew where.

Jade blinked twice before letting out a sigh, deciding it would probably be safer in the long run if she didn't ask just where Evy had been stashing that. "You're not kidding."

She really needed to start asking more questions when Sky told her they'd found someone she just had to meet. This was getting ridiculous.

"They're clearly amateurs," Evy said lightly. "They would have checked the ship more closely to make sure they didn't miss anyone otherwise."

"Amateur pirates are still pirates," Jade hissed at her.

If anything, Evy looked even more amused. "Come on," she said. "It will be fun."

*

The cursing on the other side of the door grew louder as the sound of a laser gun going off died down, but the door remained closed. Judging by the sounds, whichever pirate had decided to use their weapon to try and get through the door was finding themselves the target of their fellow pirates' anger just then, presumably because the beam had ricocheted.

"I can't believe that worked," Jade repeated for the third or fourth time, still not even trying to hide her utter shock that they had actually managed to pull it off. She'd given up on the plan after thirty seconds and just started following Evy's surprisingly competent lead.

Evy grinned at her, more cheerful than she had any right to be considering her split lip and the rather prominent black eye forming on her face. "I told you it would," she said. "There's no way they're going to get that door open from the inside, not with the subroutine you used when you hacked it." Her grin grew a bit brighter as she winked at Jade. "That was brilliant, by the way."

Jade felt her face warm up slightly at the praise, and she just knew that she was blushing. She had to admit, it was nice to get some praise for her tech skills for once. Of course, considering her heart felt as if it was about to race out of her chest from the pure adrenaline rush going through her, she was glad blushing was all she was doing just then. There were definitely many worse reactions someone could have in the aftermath of outsmarting bloodthirsty pirates, rescuing a hijacked ship, and not dying in the process.

Bursting into tears was fairly high on the list of other possible reactions, actually. She was especially glad that one seemed to be being held at bay.

"I still think you're crazy," Jade said, although she was well aware that her tone was lighter than it would have been just a few hours earlier. It looked like Evy's specific brand of insanity was growing on her, whether she liked it or not.

The fact that she'd taken out four pirates with nothing but her fists and a knife had been impressive, if nothing else.

"Yeah, I get that a lot," Evy said with a shrug, her grin not fading in the least bit. "Come on, let's go let the crew and other passengers out. Then we'll see how many free drinks we can convince the bartender to give us."

Jade opened her mouth, not entirely certain what she was going to say but pretty sure she needed to say something. Before she had a chance, though, Evy leaned over a pressed a kiss against the side of her lips. It was quick, barely more than a peck, but it was about as far from being chaste as a two second kiss could possibly be.

Whatever Jade had been about to say died almost as quickly as her ability for conscious thought did.

"Come on," Evy said, looping her arm in Jade's. "I'd really like to get someone that isn't a partially compromised AI back at the helm before it flies us into a star or something."

"You just had to say that, didn't you?" Jade asked, shaking her head. A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth despite her best efforts.

Evy laughed.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't actually the worst date she had ever been on.