“Shiwon” Ashara hugged her tightly when Shiwon entered the bridge. “Do you really think this was a wise idea?”
Shiwon was confused for a moment. “What was? We went over the plan together…”
But Ashara shook her head quickly as she let got. “No, that is not what I meant, the plan is solid. I meant the flirting.” She looked at her master like a mother would look at their kid when scolding them. Shiwon was even more confused than before.
“I don’t flirt with Jiune, she is like a sister to me?” She wondered quickly if Ashara even been listening to the same conversation than she had.
Her apprentice only sighed. “Not with her, with Darth Marr.”
“What?” Shiwon spluttered. “I was NOT flirting with Marr.” Had the young Jedi in front of her lost her mind?
“Yeah, you kinda were…” Andronikos chimed in from the pilot seat. “It was fun to watch actually.”
Shiwon resisted the urge to stomp her foot down. “I most certainly was not!” At least she was reasonably certain she hadn't. She would have noticed after all. It was far more likely everyone on her ship had gone mad without her noticing.
“Master, I know you pretty well by now,” Ashara went on, ignoring Shiwon’s obvious protest. Sometimes she thought perhaps she was not really an authority figure to her apprentice after all. Most of the time Ashara treated her like an old friend and Shiwon didn’t mind in the slightest. Except for moments like these where the other woman seemed like she had an insight into Shiwon's mind. Like she knew her better than she knew herself. In those moments Shiwon desperately wished for some left over authority to hide behind.
“And I know you have this habit of constantly flirting with anyone that could be considered a very bad choice.”
“Hey!” Came from both Shiwon and Andronikos at the same time. Both sounded a little bit insulted.
“Argh, I didn’t mean you at all my heart,” Ashara tried to placate the pirate that looked like she had deeply wounded him. “But you must admit she has a tendency to flirt with the most dangerous people she comes across.”
Andronikos nodded at that. “Ashara is not completely wrong there. You my Sith have a thing for dangerous people.”
Shiwon scoffed. “I do not! I am marrying you after all!”
“HEY!” This time Andronikos sounded even more insulted than before and Shiwon had to catch herself not to laugh at him.
“Ash help me, your boyfriend is mad at me.” She looked at her friend with big eyes and a fake sad expression on her face.
Ashara only rolled her eyes. “He is also your boyfriend, so solve your own relationship troubles.” She somehow managed to never let herself get dragged into any argument between the other couple, even if it was only a playful one. Shiwon was sure it was a special Jedi-calmness skill the other woman possessed that she would never ever manage to master. She turned back towards Andronikos.
“Alright, I am sorry, you are of course very frightening and dangerous love. Whole systems tremble in fear of you. The most frightening pirate the galaxy has ever…”
“Ok, I get it, now you are just rubbing salt in my wounds.” Andronikos laughed back at her in good humor. “Ashara is still right though, that did look a lot like flirting.”
Shiwon sighed. “It wasn’t, we had a regular conversation.”
“In which you basically asked him to ask you out and take you to dinner…” The other woman had a look on her face that should technically not be possible for someone who didn’t even have eyebrows.
“That was for work and he knows that! Besides, from what I got he seems to kinda respect me but finds me very annoying at best.” There, that should shut them up.
“I had to break it to you Sith,” Andronikos winked at her at the use of his nickname for her, “but that is pretty much how I thought of you back when we met on Tatooine…”
Shiwon just snorted. “You are both impossible! And I have actual work to do. So go on gossiping if you want but me and my hurt dignity will be relocating to somewhere else.” As she left the bridge Ashara turned to Andonikos.
“I am actually worried you know? I don’t know if she is even aware that she is doing it but she could be playing with fire here.” Genuine concern for her master and her closest friend was written all over her face.
“Ah don’t worry too much. She is a big girl that can handle herself.” He smiled at her. Ashara’s concern for Shiwon was something he valued deeply. “Besides, if there would ever be something seriously happening she’d tell me in advance - we can still prepare for a major disaster then.”
Ashara leaned against his seat as he took her hand into his and for a moment they just said there in silence. “You’ll see,” he sounded encouraging, “if anything bad should happen…”
“When!”, Ashara interrupted him. “When anything bad WILL happen because it is really only a matter of time.” Worry and fondness mixed together in her voice she continued. “Because I just know the day will come when she brings home some Sith Lord that she fell head over heals in love with and I don’t have to tell you how many things could go wrong there.”
Though Ashara was constantly reminded about just how young she was by literally everyone around her she had seen her fair share of things since she started living on this ship and spending most of her time in the Empire. So far she considered them to have been lucky but in the end they had a pirate without standing in Andronikos, a fallen Jedi with absolutely no sense or taste for the dark side in herself and a Dark Council member that had no sense of self preservation and absolutely no filter in Shiwon. They worked well together, but Ashara never forgot even for a moment that most people in the Empire would hunt them down mercilessly if even one of them ever gave themselves away as less than the perfect Imperial citizen.
Andonikos seemed to sense how deeply worried she really was. “Hey,” he bumped her shoulder with his and pulled her a bit closer. “I am not saying there will never be any danger, because that would be a lie and you hate it when I lie to you.” He could see a small smile appear on her face as he went on. “But if, and I really mean IF not when something should ever happen we’ll face it together, all three of us alright?” Ashara held his hand a bit tighter as she nodded.
“After all, we are a family right? Everyone else can get spaced.”