Heat: 08 Rating: NC-17
Diana deRiggs

He came to, and noted that he had some difficulty breathing. He couldn't figure it out, because he was more concerned with the fact that he couldn't manage to see anything.

Jagged Fel was confused about where he was and what he was feeling. He was somewhere with very bright lighting, and though he didn't recall how he got here, he felt pretty certain that wherever he had been previously was not so garishly lit. He was forced to keep his eyes shut and so, he tried to use his other senses to gather data, first.

There were a lot of hums, clicks, buzzes, and beeps, though they sounded kind of echoish and muted. The air was slightly chilly and humid, and the environment smelled of antiseptic and flatulence ... and blood. Combined with the bright lighting, he surmised that he was in some sort of medcenter. He was rather pleased with himself to have come to this conclusion so quickly, then realized that he might have expected to be here. Had he been in a battle?

He turned his analysis inward, and discovered that pain was mostly centered between his eyes, and he was not breathing through his nose particularly well. Instead, a tube had been placed down his throat, past his esophageal opening to his brachia. He must have been having trouble breathing, so air was being fed directly into his lungs.

As he moved his thoughts down his body, he was rather alarmed at how sore he felt, as if he'd been in a fight. He wondered if he'd been in a tapcaf?

He delved into his memory, but was having trouble placing where he might have sustained these injuries. But he heard a sound that wasn't consistent with his conclusion that he was in an infirmary or medcenter, and it confused him.

He focused, eyes still closed, on the sound — some irregular breathing, some sniffling. A sort of hissing noise, as if someone might be blowing their nose, softly.

Crying?!

He was feeling more awake and more conscious now, and was concentrating harder on the incongruous sound. He tried breathing through his nose to pick up on smells but was unsuccesful, and realized that it had likely been broken, and there was packing in there. So, something surgical might have been done to him. In fact, he realized that the smells he detected before were more like tastes.

He ruminated on this for a while, and wondered if he was dying. The crying and sobbing noises were feminine, he realized. When one of his siblings died, his mother had wept, but this sound was not the same; they hadn't contacted his mother for a tapcaf brawl, surely?

Jagg discovered that he couldn't open his eyes after all, and that trying to do so was rather painful. Then he realized that he was not lying down, but was instead floating.

Aah ... bacta! That's why everything feels and sounds so tank-like! It was not his first time in a bacta dip, and he wondered how long they'd leave him in. And how did he get here, anyway?

Knowing it might be quite some time before he could talk to anyone to get answers, Jagged ruminated on how he'd been so badly injured. The last person he'd seen was ... the last place was ... hmn ...

* * * * *

"I can't believe you don't remember ... anything?" Jaina was trying hard not to sound demanding or whiny. But she actually couldn't help herself; being a pilot — even a battle leader — had not imbued her with the subtler range of communications skills.

Jagged, just freshly out of the bacta tank, smiled wanly and tried to shrug. "Sorry, babe. The shock must've been protecting me from the memory. I mean, what guy wants to know that the girl of his dreams not only punched his lights out, but did more damage to him that the time he had to bail out of a ship in some unknown upper atmosphere?"

Jaina cringed visibly and internally — because she'd kind of been responsible for the incident Jagg was referring to, too. And any time someone pushed her emotions into that place, she became aggressively defensive.

"You raped me! What did you expect?"

Jagged's healing lips were still a bit cracked, so he couldn't smile too broadly. But he was beaming, inside.

"It was fun, babe — so fun! You are the best fuck in the galaxy! Oh, how I've missed you, Jaina!"

She was stunned by his confession. "You ... you missed me?" She let him reach for her hand, and was amazed by how it felt to touch him.

"How could I not take your body, Jaina? You're all I thought about since ... well, since I was in exile. Any time, any where ... I was with humans and aliens, some known for their superlative sexual prowess and technique ... and there I was, mid-thrust, wondering if you were happy. And if you had replaced me! I'd fuck them so hard, in anger and frustration — I only wanted YOU!"

A tear escaped from his one undamaged eye, and Jagged congratulated himself on being able to produce it on cue.

Seeing the tear made Jaina catch her breath. She would realize later that what he was saying could actually be construed as an insult ... but she was overcome with emotion at the time, and thought his sentiment to be ... beautiful.

Still holding her hand, he pulled her closer to him and lowered the timbre and volume of his voice. "Jaina, I ... I missed you. I never should have let you leave me ... and I swore that if I got the chance again, I'd be ... firm with you ..."

She looked away, overcome. It all made sense to her. She's not sure if she said it out loud, but Jagged distinctly heard, "Oh, thank you ..."


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