Posted by Darth Krzysztof
Twelve years before the Battle of Yavin…Zeva admired her handiwork until she sensed Kaylani just outside the crew quarters. This is it, she thought. Your moment’s finally here. I hope you’re ready.
She set it on her bed and pulled the sheet up over it, sliding over to sit on her footlocker as the door opened. Kay’s half-smile came into its full radiance at the sight of Zeva. “Hey, pretty lady,” the pilot said. “Thought you might be sleeping.”
“No.” None of them had slept well since the horrors of Alemgotti. None of them would, for many nights to come. “No, I… I had work to do.”
That gave Kay a moment’s pause. “Really? Like what?” She walked into the crew quarters, glancing around as she moved toward her bunk. “This place has been spotless for days. It can’t be that hard to keep it up, even with the Captain and me to pick up after. And now Casper.”
Zeva couldn’t tell if Kay kept misremembering Caster Novastar’s name on purpose, but could never find the right way to ask. “I’ve been making something. For you.”
“Oh, really?” Kay shrugged out of her flight jacket, laid it on her bed. “Making it in secret?”
Zeva nodded. “It has not been easy. But I’m finally finished. Would you like to see it?”
“Are you kidding? I can’t imagine what you’ve been up to.” The mischief that Zeva had come to adore crept into Kay’s grin. “It isn’t Life Day, is it? Because I know it’s not my birthday. At least, I don’t think it is.” Her eyebrows knitted, but only for an instant.
“I’ve lost track of time, too.” This cabin had never seemed so cramped, the space between them so insignificant. “It hardly seems to matter, after everything we’ve been through. I just wanted to make something nice for you.” But I guess I’m not ready to say why. Kay’s smart, though – especially when it comes to people. Surely she knows why.
“Okay, I can’t take it anymore. Show me.”
Without taking her eyes off Kay, Zeva reached under her bed sheet and drew out the slinky red dress.
Kay’s eyes exploded like novas. “I don’t… I don’t believe it,” she breathed, reaching out to touch the sheer material. “You made this?”
“It looks just like the one we saw on Velcor Station.” She suddenly grew serious. “No. It looks better than the one on Velcor Station.”
“Thank you.” Zeva scarcely remembered Velcor Station – but she recalled the dress in the shop window with crystalline clarity, because of the way she felt when she imagined Kay wearing it. She understood the nature of that feeling, now, and had spent the days between that moment and this one coming to terms with it. Sewing this gift helped.
The dress lifted slightly in her hands; she returned to her senses, realizing that Kay wanted to take it. “May I?” the pilot asked.
Zeva relinquished the garment. Kay held it up, marveling at the way it shimmered under the light, then held it to her breast and turned to look in the mirror. “It’s so beautiful, Zeva. This can’t have been easy for you to make.”
“I had to guess at your measurements, but I’ve spent some time mending your other clothes, so it’s probably close.”
“I’m sure it’s fine,” she said. Her voice softening, she asked: “Would you like to see me in it?”
More than anything. “Of course,” she said instead. Even now, when the time for truth had come, the Jedi feared to let it all out. This passion might frighten Kay as much as it frightened Zeva herself…
They looked at each other for a long moment. “Can I have the room for a bit?” Kay finally asked, glancing at the door.
The request surprised Zeva. I’ve seen you in your microgarments many times. Sometimes you’ve made it your business to be seen like that. After all this exhibitionism, why so modest now?
Because you’ve been keeping her at arm’s length ever since you had that dream, and now she knows you’re interested. Nobody spends that much time making a sexy dress for a casual acquaintance. Do they?
“Sure,” Zeva remembered to say, getting to her feet. “I ought to have a word with Captain Varn anyway.” She deserves to know that this is happening.
Kay nodded. “Thanks, Zeva. This…” Zeva couldn’t remember seeing the pilot at a loss for words before, though she clearly had a lot to say now. “It means a lot to me. Really, it does.”
“You’re welcome.” The door slid open for Zeva; she found herself smiling as it closed behind her.