Oliver & Company
Oliver & Company
@beloved-death ❝ Hrmmmph... ❞ More conflicted Eerie noises as they sat with them.
Author's Note: Thank you to everyone! You're all so wonderful! <3
Much to her dismay, the rain didn’t let up into the morning. From out the window deep puddles had begun collecting on the street, and not even the drain grates were keeping up. Further in the distance she looked out at the barracks roofs, before checking the holopad on her side table. First, a message from Rex.
“Everyone made it back in one piece. Only I heard that you weren’t accepting multiples for the next three two days. I hope it’s nothing to do with you, and all to do with one of my vod.”
It was all in good faith. Rex wasn’t subtle when it came to his proclivity of being protective. Once a simple stomach virus put her out of hosting troopers for a week, only to find Rex banging on the door, insisting to let him in. Unfortunate Kix had been drug along on his only day off to make certain that she wasn’t in more serious condition than she was letting on. Admittedly, a week was a bit too long. But it was all because she didn’t want any of them getting sick either. But at that point she wasn’t aware of their modified immune systems. They physically couldn’t get sick from her if they wanted to.
“You need a week’s rest after losing this much water… But we can’t get sick anyways. It’s just a nat-born thing doll.” Kix had said with a sheepish smile. He was always one of the sweetest boys, and she couldn’t help but love when he had the opportunity to come and see her. Plus, not many clones drank tea, preferring the more immediate effect of caf. But Kix always asked if she had some type of tea in stock. To his surprise, she always kept a variety for him to choose from.
She calmed Rex’s fears with a simple response. One that would surely make the Captain, and all those who were made privy quite clear on why the key was no longer under the porchlight.
“I’ve got a Wolf at home.” She smiled at the immediate response.
“Be careful. I’ve heard they bite.”
And with that, she left the holopad on her bed and made her way to the kitchen where the most silent breakfast on Coruscant was made every morning. Apparently Wolffe liked a sweet breakfast. Something she hadn’t expected out of such man as himself. But nevertheless, she want about making his “flat bread and blue sauce” with a smile. She took a moment to type on the kitchen’s holoboard, unable to resist in using Wolffe’s own description of her meal. The blue fruit was easy to reduce into a thick syrup with the right amount of sugar and Dac honey that left the best aftertaste. As for Wolffe’s “flat bread” that was all homemade as well, with a recipe that her mother used when she was growing up. It wasn’t a normal breakfast for any of the other boys, who usual preferred more meat, and a little heavier bread. But when the Commander hadn’t been specific to what he’d wanted, the girl couldn’t help but jump at the opportunity to give a clone something sweet.
It was quite evil really, where the Kaminoans hardly let them eat anything other than ground vitamins compressed into a crumbly bar. However seeing as Wolffe practically devoured the entire plate, it was more than acceptable in her conscious to let him have whatever he wanted.
Blue sauce or not. She gave a little snicker at that.
When the first creak of the floorboards whined, she packed up the remaining things on the counter and slid the first helping into the hotbox. And she carried the second back into her wing, where a smaller kitchenette shared the same wall. There she could finish the second -and third helpings- without hardly a second wasted gathering everything. Only once she was back in the smaller kitchen did he hear the tap in the kitchen turn on. A glass filling, and then a long pause before the glass was filled again. She’d just finished the second plate of food when the hotbox light turned green on her side, signaling that the door had been opened and filled.
After hearing a few steps taken away from her, she switched the plates and gave a soft tap as to draw his attention back.
When the light turned red a wave of accomplishment flooded her entire body. Warmth radiating out to her fingertips and toes in a positively addictive way she still couldn’t get enough of. But the deep rumbling sound of the Commander’s voice had her almost stumbling backwards.
“What you’re doing here is… well appreciated.”
Her throat contracted in terror, wondering if he meant for her to reply back. He was the one who said no contact… but she had said it would be possible for her to hear him. So maybe not? In the pause of silence, she hoped he would make it a little clearer.
For a long while she sat on the kitchen counter, replaying the sound of the Commander’s voice in her head. Trying to figure out why he was so good at confusing her without even doing anything that she hadn’t already seen or heard. The troopers all had their differences that slowly came to the surface, whether it was their personality, or even the small idiosyncrasies that they did their best to hide from those who wouldn’t approve. Yet the commander was able to prove himself far unique to his brothers without even a full-hearted attempt at it.
The red light turned green again, and she repeated her process with the third stack of pancakes. A new record for him. Another little secret she liked to keep from even the closest of the men. Getting them to eat -maybe a little more than usual- always made her happy. Men that hardly ate anything in comparison to their body mass was practically insane. So allowing them to eat until they felt truly full, that was well worth it.
Again she felt her heart in her throat when the lowest, quietest chuckle permeated the walls and made it to her ears. His laugh was thicker than the Bluefruit syrup, and she couldn’t help but think that it was so much sweeter. Sinfully so.
“I’m full.” She heard him shut the door to the hotbox. “But… I’ll make you a deal.” Her heart practically stopped when another low rumble of a chuckle reached her.
“I had my breakfast, and after making all that I sure you haven’t eaten. So I’ll sit and wait for you, then I’ll clean your dishes like you’ve washed mine. I also want to see an empty plate.” He paused, waiting for her to make the next move.
It was enough to have her hands shaking as she reached for the door to the hotbox. There was no way on Coruscant she would be able to finish one of those pancakes, let alone the entire trooper-sized portion she’d made. Taking a deep breath, she stilled herself to open the door where she found the plate still sitting. Only this time there was silverware sitting next to the plate, and a glass of the milk she’d offered Wolffe during his last stay. Kriffing hell…
She ate almost everything, much to her surprise. But after realizing that she hadn’t eaten since long before his arrival it wasn’t really that hard to believe that she was hungry. Only then did she return the dishes to the box, and give a slight tap. Even shuffling out of the way of the box, like it would be remotely possible for the commander to see her through the closed side. A second later, dishes were shuffled out of the box and over into the sink where the tap was turned on without a single word from Wolffe. The glass clinked against the plate as the girl imagined just what it looked like to see the tall commander bending over her sink with his sleeves pulled up high enough not to get wet.
What a sight it would be. Big and tough Commander Wolffe of the 104th Attack Battalion, doing dishes for her. Motivation aside, the girl found herself wishing that she could just peak around the corner and get a small glimpse. But with the way she was struggling to keep her breathing under control, Wolffe would hear her coming a mile away. Instead she just closed her eyes, letting her overactive imagination roam far further than she’d normally allow; Picturing that same little slip of skin showing sinewy muscles over his hips and lower back.
Maybe Rex’s warning wasn’t as big of a joke as she’d thought…
Wolffe didn’t know what it was that made him do it. What possessed him to break the limit he’d set during his stay. At the same time, he was wondering if he could change his mind. Hearing the door to the hotbox answered at least one question he had. She could open it from the back side, which probably meant that the house was mirrored. But his overly confident assumption that she’d not eaten had spilled out of his mouth before he could stop himself. Basely, he knew it was the unconditional acts of kindness that made Wolffe so willing to do something in return. Even if it meant bargaining with this girl on the other side of the wall.
But all his excuses didn’t account for why she’d obliged his request. Either she didn’t mind, and -hopefully- took it as an act of camaraderie. Or she was too frightened to say no. Maybe he’d scared her with his tone and she didn’t feel comfortable saying otherwise. It made his chest burn with the desire to ask her, and maybe find out what she thought about him. But that kriffing holopad he’d filled out lingered. Maybe she was just trying to abide by the rules he’d set for his stay. Most importantly, he wanted to know if he could change those boundaries.
He’d have to wait for the right time.
Until then, he’d do his best to not make a complete ass of himself by staying out of the girl’s way so she could live in her house as freely as she would if he wasn’t here. In fact, he was already in the mindset to find that strange chair of hers, and take a closer look at it. Wherever she’d got it, it must’ve been important enough to fix it, or leave it like it was.
He kept a sharp eye open for the girl, or maybe a way for her to get around so quietly. But as he opened the door to the room with the strange rocking chair, he couldn’t see anything particularly different about the house that would aid in the girl’s sneaking ability. Inside the small room Wolffe spent a little time examining the room around him better. A small shelf with flimsy books sat on the opposite wall of the rocking chair, and despite their being carpet in the room there was a fur-like rug that covered most of the room in even more cushioning. It felt warm in here, despite the rain that still poured out of the sky and a two lights in the opposing corners of the room left a yellow glow so unlike anything Wolffe was used to.
Mechanics wasn’t something Wolffe thought himself an expert on. But for some reason on another he could himself squatting down to get a better look at the chair in question. He pushed on the armrest, letting the chair rock back and forth a couple times, before guiding a hand under the curved blades that the chair used to rock. The wood felt smooth, and planes flat to a degree of accuracy that finally made it obvious to Wolffe that the chair had been made that way purposefully. He smiled in appreciation of the strange chair before taking a careful seat in it. Fully prepared this time for the falling sensation that followed his weight transfer.
“I’ve never…” he murmured quietly, doing just as he had before; Rocking himself until the perfect rhythm had his body pulling him towards sleep. Even with the soft glow of the lights, Wolffe didn’t have any trouble falling asleep in the middle of the day. For the second time in his life.
His deep breaths could be hear in the room across the hallway where the girl had curled up on the couch under the window to keep an eye on the on-coming storm clouds. He wasn’t aware of her protective watch over him, looking much like he himself did when taking his turn on overnight patrols. But instead of a blaster in her hands, she held thickly yarned material to which she looped over and over again in hopes that she would have these last few blankets done before Wolffe and his brothers were called back out for another three months.
He slept late into the evening, sprawled across the rocking chair with his arms locked tight across his chest, holding onto as much body heat as he could. Even in this safe place, he desired that warmth. The books on the shelving caught the attention of his drowsy mind, pulling him out of the comfortable chair and towards a book with a red leather cover. A gold substance had been used to highlight the letters stamped in the spine. Carefully he pulled the book out and let the thin pages flutter apart, almost stunned at the ancient way people used to read. He’d never seen anything other than a holopad. After reading a small portion, he realized that it wasn’t meant for adults. It was for children.
Surprisingly the language was very simple, and many rhymes were used. Wolffe couldn’t remember ever being given anything that wasn’t meant for learning. A little story about some fictional creature hardly had any meaning behind it. But something about the knowledge of the book itself made Wolffe that much more aware of how different he was from the girl living here.
He wasn’t made to live in a house like this. Or speak to civilians in the way he had earlier. He was anything but domestic, as much as he thought it would be a nice way to live. This warmth, and a childhood hadn’t been afforded to him, simply because there were others who inarguably had priority over him. Offering to fight a war was much different than being created for one. And the girl letting him stay in her house, wasn’t born for this. She chose to involve herself in the ugly, bloodstained duty of being a clone trooper.
He put the book back, and turned to see a sign attached to the door in that same pretty handwriting;
I hope you slept well, Commander.
Dinner is ready, at your convenience.
Sleep, eat, repeat. A viciously addictive cycle if he’d ever seen one. Only now, he’d have something else to do after dinner.
Another smile tugged at his lips as he made his way back to the kitchen. Where a green hotbox light shined. He ate slowly this time, pacing himself through the meal in the hopes that the girl had made seconds out of habit. Not even the well-prepared food was enough to keep his mind off of his little plan. In fact, he was more excited to see an empty plate come back through the door than anything he’d experienced in the house so far.
He sat the plate in the box, and waited for the green light to appear again. A muffled sound of shuffling on her end indicated that habit preceded her memory of that morning, and his heartrate quickened. He grabbed found clean silverware and filled a glass with water, before stilling himself enough to speak.
“Did you eat dinner?” He waited with baited breath.
Two knocks on the hotbox door.
He couldn’t help but smile at her quick thinking. Even with his willful interaction she was more than capable of speaking without breaking their agreement.
“Is that a no?”
“You remember the deal?”
“I’ll be waiting then.”
Wolffe took a seat on the floor, and rested his head against the cabinets. There he closed his eyes and tried to imagine what the girl on the other side looked like. Rex had said she was small, but when a trooper called anyone small that could mean almost anything. He had no idea about anything else other than a powerful disposition towards troopers, and a great talent at cooking which had proven itself after one meal. But he wanted to know what she sounded like.
“Do you talk to my brothers?”
“How many have stayed here?”
A quick succession of raps on the door put her point across.
“I’m not surprised…” He trailed, rubbing the back of his neck much like a shiny after being sat on his ass during hand-to-hand training. “Do you live alone?” Not the best question.
“Do you like us?... Clones?” He asked.
Knock. Very heavily intonated.
Yes. He translated. “It seems as if you’re the guardian angel of the entire clone command.”
Before there was another knock, he heard the hotbox door again and the green light appeared. Wolffe pushed up his sleeves and opened the door to see an empty plate, saved for half of a roll that she’d left untouched. Even though it wasn’t what he wanted to see, he left it unmentioned and went about getting hot water running. In the meantime he tried thinking of another yes or no question.
“Do you feel safe with my brothers here?”
One firm knock sounded.
He hesitated, holding the glass up in his hand to see a visible bottom lip imprinted on the rim. A pretty shape and full. With what appeared to be a lip balm that had helped the print stick better. “What about me?”
The heaviest knock of them all, this time against the wall instead of the hotbox.
“I’m not a good man. No matter what anyone says about me.” He argued against her fervent response, wondering for a second if she’d damaged the wall hitting it that hard.
He shook his head, and placed the freshly washed dishes to the side of the sink to dry. He stared hard at the wall, like if he looked hard enough the wall itself would disappear and reveal the girl behind it in all her stubborn pride of the troopers.
“If you let me stay, you’ll find out just how bad I am for anyone. Even you.”
The girl either let him have the last word, or understood what he meant clearly enough that she’d decided to let him be. It was the end of their conversation. An end that had ended particularly so, due to Wolffe’s own fault to which he wasn’t very contented with. But that didn’t keep him from going back upstairs to check the messages left on his vambrace. Even off-duty he was still being bombarded with battle-front updates and the occasional check-in by vod, or General Plo. To his surprise, nothing came of his check. Not a single status report or comm had reached him in almost twenty-four standard hours.
Whether by luck or piss-poor stamina Wolffe wasn’t awake for much longer. Fully engrossed in self-doubt combined with the ever-present rain he didn’t last long before the worst of his memories came to disrupt whatever sleep his body had demanded of him. Loud screams, a clenched jaw and tightly fisted hands were all that Wolffe had to fight off the seemingly endless amounts of battle droids maniacally laughing as they approach him, and his pack.
Thunder boomed, shaking the whole house with a ferocity that rivaled the deep shouts and screams coming from the commander’s room upstairs. Lightning crackled in deep gashes over the dark shy, flashing light into all corners of the dark house. If anything could make Wolffe’s night better, shutting out the horrendous storm would be a good start. But at this point, there was nothing the girl could do to help. Wolffe had been adamant that he wasn’t good. But the screams she had been hearing were anything but the sounds of an evil man. He was hurting. Fighting for his life and there was no doubt in her mind Wolffe was already close to losing despite only hearing him for the past few minutes.
She stood stiff at the door to his room, hand hovering over the knob debating on whether or not to go in. It was dangerous to walk in. All the troopers -Wolffe included- kept their blaster in the room with them. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d walked in to soothe a nightmare only to be at the business end of a blaster, primed and humming with a finger over the trigger. Even Rex had been less than an inch away from putting a fist-sized hole in her chest.
But Wolffe’s screams were getting louder. So much so that his voice was breaking from the exertion and her own heart was getting heavy enough to make her sick. The commander wasn’t giving her much of a choice anymore. So without much more of a thought, she opened the door as quietly as possible. She spotted his blaster right off the bat, sitting far out of reach on top of the tall dresser across from the bed.
“Sinker!” Wolffe thrashed against the bed, his head jerking back and forth. “Fuck… s-stay.” He whimpered, settling long enough for his mind to being recreating the next horror for him to endure.
The girl avoided the loudest floorboards and made her way over to his side, just far enough out of any danger while trying to think of the best way to help. She wasn’t sure that speaking would help. In most cases they hardly heard her, or their mind translated it badly enough that it made things worse. She leaned back quickly, staying out of his swinging arms range.
Touch… you know it works. He just needs touch.
Wincing and preparing for a hard hit to the face she placed a hand on Wolffe’s head. It didn’t quite help the way she’d hoped but it did limit the range of motion on one arm well enough that he’d at least hit her arm first before making contact with her head. Doing her best to avoid his scars, she ran her fingers through his hair. Doing anything she could to contradict the physical sensations he was used to experiencing. His sweat slicked hair curled around her fingers as she repeated the process of sweeping it back away from his damp forehead. Wolffe had barley settled, and she resorted to the only thing she thought might work.
“Shhh, Wolffe… you’re safe.” She whispered, brushing the pad of her thumb over his eyebrow; Paying close attention to the deep lines slowly fading from between his brows. “Sinker is safe, Wolffe. Everything’s okay.” Her voice softened, with the his body’s less frequent lurches.
“That’s it Wolffe, you’re doing great. Let go.” She soothed, letting her fingers trace over the scar above his eye. Another crack of lightning had Wolffe practically shivering and the girl cursed under her breath. It was almost useless with all of the thunder. He was going to wake up far sooner than she was going to be able to stop the storm.
She continued her soft touches over his face, humming a low tune she’d heard from Cody many times. He told her it was Mando’a almost like a lullaby. Whether Wolffe knew it or not, she wasn’t sure. But it had worked a couple of times before and she was running out of options. It wasn’t an easy song to sing. Most of the notes were far too low for her to reach, but she did her best to mirror it that same way Cody did.
Miraculously, it was working. Although he was still shaking like a leaf, his face had slowly begun to relax and the constant stream of strained whimpers and yelps had almost completely stopped. A deep breath filled his lungs, and she smiled victoriously. Running her hand back into his hair, she lightly scratched her nails against his scalp. Still humming that ancient song low in the back of her throat. Her eyes trailed Wolffe’s deep scar, and how dangerously close it had come to ending his life. Although she knew better than to say it, she was happy he’d survived.
Wolffe began to stir just enough that she felt confident in refraining from touching him anymore. She’d been lucky not to wake him up. But it appeared that Wolffe wasn’t keen on the idea himself. His arm closest to her searched out, bumping into her leg and immediately grabbing at her. Heavy, and hot his hand tried to find purchase on her bare leg before finding the hem of her shorts and tugging at it.
She knew about how many of the troopers sleeping together. How two men to a bunk wasn’t unusual, and oftentimes they forwent bunks altogether and slept in piles. She watched Wolffe’s expression turn frustrated with every effort he put in going unrewarded. But she really didn’t know what he wanted. So she reached for his hand, and tried to slip her fingers between his fisted hold on her bottoms attempting to draw his attention away from the fabric. Apparently, Wolffe wanted nothing to do with it. He’d gotten just enough of a hold to actually pull her closer to the bed, and she yelped when a few stitches in the hem popped.
She huffed in frustration, and finally gave in to the adamant requests of the Commander. Pulling his hand away took quite a bit of effort -no doubt stretching out her shorts- but when she was finally free she settled herself down next to him. She leaned against the headboard, and waited patiently for Wolffe to figure out where he wanted to be. By the time the commander had gotten comfortable his head rested on her upper thighs with an arm slung over them; His huge hand curling around the back of her thigh in a tight hold. His other arm had wedged itself behind her and his fingers had fisted themselves into the fabric at the waistband of her shorts.
Wolffe practically clung to her, every so often jumping at the thunder, resuting in an even tighter grip on her hip and leg. She did her best to calm him, returning her fingers to his hair and humming to keep the sounds of the storm at bay. But after a few hours of consistently tight holds on her legs, she could feel the soreness of bruises beginning to form on the back of her thigh. It was the closest any of the troopers had ever been, and despite the anxiety of how she was supposed to get up without disturbing him, a part of her wished that she didn’t have to. Wolffe was unreasonably warm, running a temperature far higher than she did. But it wasn’t too far of a jump to assume that all the men ran hotter than a nat-born. It was frustratingly relaxing to feel such consistent heat, and she was certain that was what Wolffe was wanting too.
The girl took the opportunity to admire his features; At least the ones not hidden in her legs. He had a strong jaw, and the sensitive skin on her thighs proved he’d not shaved in a few days. The mental image of Wolffe standing in front of a mirror to shave sounded wildly domestic, yet contradictorily part of his clean-cut persona. His scar was barely visible, but she tried not to dwell on it just for his own benefit. It was obvious how desperately he tried to hide it. Even when he walked down the street towards her house he wore his bucket. Hardly any off-duties wore them voluntarily. The helmet gave him a way of looking identical. Thick strands of hair shined a hue of blue in the moonlight, so dark that it almost disappeared into the shadows of the room. As for the curls, it was a wonder that he could keep it in the style he wore without a couple loose strands falling onto his forehead. It seemed Wolffe couldn’t get away from being professional even when it came to his hair. Even the thought of Wolffe having tattoos like his brothers sounded practically unbelievable. Yet with the blacks coming up high on his neck, and the sweats she supplied, there was no telling what kind of ink the commander could have hidden away under his shirt.
But here, he couldn’t hide. Not with the way he’d soothed himself to sleep by burying his face into her shirt. Wolffe came into her house looking like the true embodiment of duty and honor. A soldier who took orders with full confidence, and not a single ounce of question. Not just a clone, but a warrior. Laying here though, he looked like man who needed something more than battle plans and a gun. A person who desired purpose, but wanted a choice in what that purpose was. The girl knew Wolffe wanted a life.
She spent the night putting braids into Wolffe’s hair, twisting little knots just to let them fall out. Of course she tried to stop multiple times after her fingers begun to get stiff, but the fussy commander wouldn’t allow it. He’d fidget and complain silently until she found another way to pacify him through the night, either tracing her fingers down his back or running her nails over his scalp. It was an enjoyable affair, watching him respond so willingly to her simple comforts but she had to remind herself that it wouldn’t last past night. By morning she’d need to make breakfast, and be back to hiding away like he’d requested. He wouldn’t remember anything other than a lack of nightmares, and that was the way she had hoped it to be.
But sleep didn’t just come for Wolffe.
It came for the girl just as quickly as it had for him.
job searching . stress
It’s a... It’s a family photo