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numbers game

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her touch burned like stars exploding in their last minutes and everything was too much and felt too good at the same time. it was horribly wonderful. it was only a small point of contact, but atton felt like he was on fire, and everything about her was exactly what he needed.

and hated, and never wanted to see again. he would often wonder how much easier things could have been if she never walked into his life,  if she never found him, if he never had stumbled across the polarizing force of nature that she is.

its funny how fate works.

atton really didn’t care about the force or the like, but if this had something to do with it he might just start to take a bit more notice.

the ever ominous kreia would always warn atton’s target of affection with vague messages of destiny and how, “the future is always changing” as atton would often mock. the old lady was probably one of the most distasteful, rude, and frustrating person atton had ever had the pleasure of meeting, but she did help him in a way.

with her threats against him veiled under care for the exile, she had forced him to stay. his plans to jump ship had been wrecked quick and fast by the old woman and her “fallen-jedi” of a companion. regardless, if kreia had not forced him he would be gone, and so would the exile.

he began to believe they truly were destined.

atton often looked back on the past with a loathing gaze, but the way he reminisced about their first meeting was especially scolding. he didn’t put enough thought into his first impressions, which are- usually important.

but the exile seemed not to care, and continued with her missions on peragus when they first crossed paths.

she would work with care, but also force. the way he watched her fingers move skillfully, and delicately, but rapidly at the same time over the cameras was mesmerizing to say the very least.

in his, “line of business” (if you could call scoring a few hundred credits off of some drunk soldiers a business) atton had learned that the small details were important. the minuscule movements and twitches of your opponent were the keys to a victory or loss.

and she was his opponent. 

she was so determined to find out everything about anything and everyone; he bets she could go on for hours asking question after question to every person she meets. she believes that everyone had their own story, one that was just as important as hers.

so when she would begin to ask for atton’s side of the story, he would reflect questions back. ask the color of her lightsaber, her old jedi friends, or anything that would get her talking about something other than him.

he would often wonder if he had somehow offended her with his questions, as she looked at him with an expression of distaste after he would ask from time to time. every look of hers that shifted filled him with dread.

she had the lead.

he knew how easily she could break him. kreia had invaded everything he protected in a few minutes flat on telos, and he knew for a fact the exile could do that too. she made his heart race with anticipation of her next move whenever they would talk.

but then again, sometimes it was different.

sometimes she felt... different.

like the times she would join him in the cockpit, and rest in the co-pilot’s chair; sometimes she would fall asleep, and other times she would talk. sometimes, they’d just play pazaak.

pazaak was easy for atton, a simple thing that he could always pick up and relax with (although, it was more numbing than relaxing), but she could beat him easier than he could beat anyone.

it was just friendly competition, and so they would talk throughout games. she would tell him about what she had accomplished that day (if atton had stayed with the ship), atton occasionally chiming in with a joke or question, and she would always laugh no matter how stupid the joke was.

she must not have been paying attention.

as they would lay their last cards down, she would give a little fist pump in the air  and celebrate her victory- again, but atton loved it regardless.

because it was more than a numbers game with her,  more than pazaak. it was an unspoken moment of vulnerability and  friendship.

he valued that more than any game of cards.

atton finally had a purpose, a person, and he was their lifeline. a person who honestly, didn’t care about him. sure, she checked in quite a bit, and brought him many, many places, but that was normal.

it had to all be a part of some plan; something kreia dreamed and put her up to. he often believed her “affections” shown to him were simply a tactic to gain his trust; but  that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t trust her with his life, as he had many times before.

after their game, she’d leave to rest for the evening (or meditate, whatever she does), and bid him goodnight.

he’d recline in the pilot’s chair and stare at the stars in the sky, whatever she had said during their meeting weighing heavy on his heart and his mind; and soon, the urge to rest washed over him.

sleep was vulnerable, and he hated it, but it was a necessity. his brain was still there and functioning, so he’d fall asleep playing pazaak, and wake up thinking of her.

and it burned.