Jade's Scion: Chapter 13 — Valin Rating: PG

Valin squints into the bright suns of Mos Eisely, and sees the mass of aliens brush past them, rushing to and fro on their arcane missions. He turns to look at his companion, and can see how pale her skin is, how pale her normally vibrant eyes are.

He is worried for her. "You doing okay Sannah?"

She shakes her head, and he can hear the beads that are tied into her hair jingle. Her voice is raw sounding and hoarse. "Not enough water in the air."

He takes her elbow in his hand, and looks around them; spying a cantina he leads her there. They enter and he looks around, seeing a corner booth which is currently unoccupied. Giving her a smile of encouragement, he leads her to the booth and once she is comfortably settled, goes and gets them both something to drink.

Settling into the booth across from her, he watches as she drains half of the glass of water in one long pull, and a small measure of the brightness comes back to her eyes. She notices his watchful stare and turns her attention to the glass that sits in front of her. "I'm sorry about that; I've just never been somewhere so hot before."

Valin smiles at her. "I'm the one that should be sorry; I should have realized how this dust ball would have affected you. You feel up to going back to the ship?"

He watches as she nods her head, and finishes her drink, something nagging at him in the back of his mind. Frowning at it, he quickly downs the remainder of his ale and then stands, extending a hand towards her to help her up. As she grasps his hand, he is brusquely shoved aside, as a large Devaronian slips into the booth. Unbalanced, Valin slips on something, and drops to the floor.

The Devaronian runs his hands up his horns and smiles at Sannah. His smile is full of sharp teeth, as he flicks his tongue out over his lips. "Hey, hey pretty, pretty. You find Qem fun? Lots of fems do. You look like much yum-yum."

Valin stands, feeling a surge of jealousy flash through him, and once more reaches his hand out to Sannah. "Come on Sannah, let's go."

She looks up at him, with what appears to be relief in her eyes, which quickly slips into horror as Valin's warning sense goes off. Before he has a chance to pull his saber, he can feel the muzzle of a blaster pressed against his side.

Whoever is behind him has had too much to drink, as the smell of alcohol permeates his breath. "What's the hurry, runt?"

Valin starts to turn, but the blaster is pressed harder against his side.

A quick laugh draws Valin's attention back to the devaronian who is looking at him. "Qem likes you. So Qem lets you go, but Qem keeps the fem. At least until the fun is over."

Valin can feel his anger at the insinuations, but he quickly lets that bleed into the Force. Taking a deep breath, he pulls the Force to him, preparing his body for the pain he knows is coming. Then he looks at the Devaronian. "That's not going to happen. Now, are you going to back off, or am I going to have to take your horns as decorations for my quarters?"

The Devaronian ignores Valin, and reaches for the one hand Sannah still has on the table by her empty glass.

Valin takes a step forward and a number of things happen. The first is Valin grabs the closer of the Devaronian's horns and uses it as a lever to slam his head into the table. The second thing is Sannah ignites her saber, its aquamarine shaft appearing right where Valin slams the devaronian's head hits. Valin hears and instantly dismisses Sannah's gasp as she sees her saber sticking out the back of the Devaronian's head.

The third and final thing is the person behind Valin, shoots him.

Valin grunts, the force of the shot knocking him onto the table. He realizes that he can hear Sannah screaming his name, as it echoes in the cantina, but blocks that distraction out, focusing on holding onto the energy that he absorbed from the blaster shot.

He grimaces as he stands back up, and uses the Force to lift the guy and throw him against the bar. As the guy falls to the ground, his limp form pushes against another patron, causing a drink to be spilled on an aqualish. The aqualish in turn punches the person next to him.

From there the cantina devolves into one large brawl.

As Valin touches his side where he was shot, he has to bite back a scream from the pain. Pulling his hand away, he looks at his fingers and sees them covered in blood. As Sannah stands and puts one of his arms around her, he looks down at her and attempts to smile. "That energy absorption thing didn't go quite as well as I had hoped."

Sannah looks up at him, and then at his blood covered fingers and gasps. "Come on; let's get you back to the ship."

Valin laughs slightly. "Wasn't that what I was doing for you that started all of this?"

She looks up at him again, a nervous smile trying to come to her lips. "So does this mean that every time you do something for me, you'll end up shot, and me having to do all the work?"

He looks at her from the corner of his eyes, happy with the playful banter. "How else am I going to get your arm around me?"

He questions the wisdom of his comments as she suddenly looks away from him, and lowers her head. And then they step outside of the cantina, back into the pounding light of the twin suns, and begin the long trek back to their ship.

They arrive back at the ship without any further problems, and Sannah props him up on the couch in the common area, and takes off his robe and tunic. Valin for his part leans back, and lets her explore his wound, trying his best to not gasp out in pain, or squirm in laughter from the light touches and probes of her fingers.

Finally, she grabs the medkit and slaps a bacta patch over the wound. "I'm not a healer, but I don't think it's that bad, though you'll probably want to go into a healing trance soon."

Valin lifts his arm to look at the patch, and then leans back once again, closing his eyes. "Thanks Sannah."

He hears her mumble something, but is not quite sure what she said. So he sits up and looks to her; watching as she once more stuffs her hands in her robes. After a second, she turns towards the medkit and begins putting the items back in it.

Finally he decides its time to find out why she puts her hands in her robe like that. "Sannah, can I ask you a personal question?"

He watches as her head shoots around from where she was repacking the medkit. She hesitates a moment before replying. "Yes."

He can see the wariness in her eyes and postures, so he just plunges in with the question. "Why do you keep hiding your hands?"

As he asks, she quickly does so again, and then turns back to what she was doing. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"But you just did it! Please let me see your hands."

She turns back towards him, and he looks at her eyes, seeing she is on the verge of tears, as she quickly exposes her hands. He looks down at them, and notices their reddish tint. Without thinking, he asks, "What's wrong with them?"

As he speaks, he notices they turn ever so slightly darker. Then she rushes to her cabin leaving him alone trying to figure out what it all means.

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