Sir why do you have so broad shoulders? Maybe to put my legs on them?
Sir why do you have so broad shoulders? Maybe to put my legs on them?
i like you *unwhitewashes your clones*
At this rate I don't think I'll be watching the Bad Batch
Please enjoy my art of Tech.
Pls do not repost
it’s like poetry, it rhymes
Hi guys Crosshair is pretty okay goodnight
It's still something I an chipping away at when I can, but gonna repost this because I don't have much else to show right now!
Mock frame for future reference below:
Cheers, hope you are all well! ✌️🐟💙
Training or the art of finding an excuse for physical contact™ (courtesy of @dilpickledd)
Hunter: Naturally, we are on the cutting edge of technology.
Crosshair, amazed: Wow...
Omega, to Crosshair: Well, what does that mean?
Crosshair: I don't know.
Crosshair, to Hunter: What does that mean?
Hunter, in a meeting: My policy is if you see something, say something.
Crosshair: I saw a squirrel in a tree today!
Hunter, with the tone of someone who is used to Crosshair: Outstanding.
Hunter: This is what I’m talking about people.
A/N: Y'all... this turned into a beast of a chapter REAL quick. However, I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Thank you to my dear friends (you know who you are <3) who commented and gave really good recommendations.
Please drop a comment, like, or reblog! And thank you to those who have done so! You all have my heart. If you want to be added to the tag list, message, ask, or comment! Happy Reading!
Warnings: Random drug tests, crack head level wet dream with descriptions of sex (MDI!), discussions of slavery and death. Let me know if I missed anything. A Dyslexic wrote this.
Previous Chapter-- Next Chapter
Bright Eyes was out of place, and by the seven suns, she felt it as she made her way to the upper-level Kaminoan offices, summoned by the Prime Minister himself. Her heart thumped in her neck, heat building and pulsing in all the wrong places as her body begged to bolt in the opposite direction, back down to the safety of her office. Dutifully though, her feet kept walking towards the inevitable reparation from those who demanded her presence in five minutes. Her comm went off, and she unlatched it from her belt to patch the speaker through as she rounded the corner for the lift.
“Bright Eyes, we’re landing in ten.” Hunter’s voice flitted through the comm, rough and spectacularly calming. Her shoulders relaxed at the sound; glad he was alive. “Should we expect you in the bay again?” Bright snorted and entered the lift, tapping one of the many white circular buttons near the top. Her palms felt clammy, but her thoughts still seemed orderly enough, not quite in a total panic. After all, she hadn’t done anything nefarious in a week or so… at least from what she recalled.
“I wish. Lama Su summoned Nala Se and me. I’ll be… busy.” Hunter scoffed on the other end, chuckling lightly as the sound trailed off.
“They catch you smuggling nail polish?” Bright shook her head, then rolled her eyes at her own nervous stupidity. He couldn’t see her movements, and she was rather stupid for doing it. She pressed her lips together.
“No, well, I don’t know. They haven’t tossed my rooms since Shem disappeared last week, and I don’t know what they want; I just know they summoned me to their upper offices, and with both Lama Su and Nala Se there, I can’t imagine it being anything good, hell, I’ve never been in a pleasant meeting with a Kaminoan, they have such a flat affect unlike you boys, most of you have expressive eyes, like you, and-”
“Cyar’ika. Breathe, honey,” Hunter instructed, and she huffed but complied nevertheless. For all Bright’s resiliency, she wanted him to talk her down from her ledge, out of her spiral- a mantle Shem and Bright carried for each other since their first days together. “If you got called upstairs for a meeting, it’s just a formality. If you go down, then you should worry. If they summon you down, comm me-“
“Even in the middle of a mission?” Bright joked as the lift slowed and opened, really just trying to lighten the mood to ease the anxious fire in her bones.
“For you, yeah, I would,” The sound conviction in his voice was heart pausing and fluttered in Bright’s belly like a butterfly's wings. For her? Did that mean if it were anybody else in the GAR or universe, he wouldn’t? She rolled her eyes. She was only exceptional because of her work and it was ridiculous to think otherwise. “If I don’t pick up, comm Cody.”
“Are you kidding me? Cody chases after Jedi, cleans up after the 212th and the entire GAR. He would never pick up for someone as far down the food chain as myself.” She stepped into the halls, admiring the stormy ocean below in the window-lined halls. The window ledge came to her shoulder, set up for the lanky Kaminoans and she had to tilt her chin up to catch the full view. Cody did hold a soft spot for the SWs and kept an eye out for them in whatever way he could. If there was an emergency, it wasn't improbable for him to help her, as would Hunter, apparently. Bright Eyes blinked and for a second she came back to the significance of her being called up above the waters and main areas.
“Wait, Hunter,” She stepped into a side hall and leaned against it to watch both ends for eavesdroppers. “Are you implying that if I were to get called downstairs, I would… disappear?” If the Kaminoans kept their dirty dealings below the water, maybe Shem was still on the planet. Bright Eyes could find her and find out how to get the papers off-planet and sweet talk Cody into pulling rank to get Shem off Kamino unharmed. She could have it all settled by the next month, and the shallow shifting in her tummy would be gone, and she wouldn’t feel so tired and paranoid. A giddy feeling bloomed in the pit of her belly. She could do this.
“Bright, don’t go downstairs,” Hunter ordered. A soft growl in the back of his throat had her leaning further into the wall, pressing her lips together. She had to try something to help Shem; it would be neglectful to allow anyone to wallow in the tunnels and tubes below the murky waters, nat born or not.
“Sargent, I have to try,” She whispered after a few seconds of silence had passed. “Shem is like a sister to me, and I can’t-“
“Sweetheart,” Hunter’s voice softened to a gentle lull, as if he used any other tone, she’d break apart. Her eyes shut as she focused on Hunter. “I understand more than you can believe about protecting your own, we’ve done it since we were cadets, but you cannot do it at the cost of yourself. Don’t let Shem take you to a place that hurts you both. You will not come back up if you go below the water.” Bright Eyes didn’t like it; she wasn’t naturally inclined to follow orders, preferring to follow her own morals over others'. She checked the time, needing a second to properly process the information when she didn’t feel like throwing up.
“I have to go, Hunt,” She mumbled with a laborious push off the wall. “Have a safe landing. I’ll be in for evaluations as soon as I’m free.”
“Bright Eyes,” His voice dropped to a gentle whisper, coaxing her to try and imagine him whispering to her. She couldn’t quite remember the way his tattoo framed his eyes, but the honey brown color was exact. The way they shined and flickered reflected the depth that she remembered catching the first time she caught his eye in the hanger. “Stay alive, cyar’ika.” Hunter’s voice trailed off like he had more to say, which Bright was confident of, but she didn’t have the chops to comment on it- or the time.
“That’s my line.” It was the lamest thing she could say, and she cursed herself for it until Hunter snorted out of amusement on the other end.
“I’m not the one about to meet with the Kaminoan Prime Minister and his chief scientist.”
“Ugh, yeah, whatever, Sargent. Bye.” She dropped the comm from her face, shutting it off with a gentle smile. It was as much of a smile as she could muster up as she marched the few yards to the meeting place, the doors opening with a hiss. Bright Eyes banked on Hunter being right about the meeting being a formality. She brushed her hot palms on her skirt.
“SW, welcome. Please, have a seat,” Lama Su greeted first, blinking his large black and grey eyes at her slowly. The Kaminoan’s eyes reminded her of a fish’s eyes. Nothing swirled behind them but black and white ideologies and facts of nature, but she wasn’t fooled. She saw through the smoke and mirrors of servicing the GAR for the better good of the galaxy for the pension received. It lurked in the far corner of his eye, making the bare colors swirl in the unreadable way that secrets tended to churn up.
Bright Eyes placed a fist over her chest and bowed out of decorum before moving to a chair. With an inaudible huff, she hopped a bit, using her arms to plunk into the spoon-shaped chair, uncomfortably disproportionate to Bright’s small human frame. It had to be taller than Wrecker or at least the same size, and even for the tallest member of the GAR- probably Crosshair. It was disproportionate between species. The familiar white noise of HVAC units and rain patters kept her fingers from tapping on her thighs or, worse, picking, as she and Lama Su both braced in the seconds after formalities for the actual conversation.
“SW, it is my understanding you have a strong devotion to your duties, and I do not wish to keep you from them. However, it has been brought to our attention your participation in importing contraband from core worlds.” The problem with Lama Su was not one of ethics, it seemed. It revolved around soothing words and half-truths manipulated for the demise of others. Fellow SWs and troopers alike watched the Republic Senate be on the verge of significant civil rights legislation, only to be thwarted by Lama Su’s cunningness. Her teeth ground slightly as she folded her hands in her lap, crossing her ankles. The corner of her eyes crinkled as they narrowed.
“I haven’t left Kamino since being stationed a few years back, Lama Su. How can I bring in contraband if I don’t leave?” She spoke slowly but clearly, aiming to sound confident. Bright Eyes tilted her chin up and took slow disciplined breaths. Insecurity crawled up her neck like a weed’s roots, even more so when Lama Su narrowed his swirling eyes at her, tilting his head down like a boxer would before the bell rang. She just had to talk herself out of the situation and buy into her own words.
“Clones found a box of rolled spice in your office this afternoon. How do you explain yourself?” Bright’s eyes mimicked his, narrowing into a rare sneer she saved for moments like this. Contrary to popular opinion, Bright had a fierceness in her bones that made her good at the things she did, it was a natural tenacity she kept close to her chest like a Sabbacc card.
“Do you know how many people come and go without my knowledge in my office? Do you know how many other SWs share offices?” Bright Eyes hissed.
“So quick to blame others, SW?” Nala Se entered the room, a small kit in her hands. “I would not expect that of a woman of such prestigious standing amongst the Clones.” Bright Eyes fucking hated people calling her boys clones. It was degrading. She also hated when the Kaminoans mocked her to her face as if she was stupid enough to not read through the lines.
Bright Eyes could be described as a lot of things, but stupid was not one of them.
“And I would expect such scientific people to test their hypothesis before declaring conclusions.” Bright’s voice sounded similar to Crosshair's slow drawls. Still, unlike the hiss, her words chomped into whatever soft spots it could reach, tearing away weaknesses from bone.
“We will conduct a blood test for toxins in your system. If you fail, you will be allowed four standard hours to pack your belongings before being sent to Cosecant for-“
“With all due respect, Prime Minister, I am aware of the consequences for breaking GAR or Kaminoan rules.” Bright held out her arm. “Did you test all of the SWs?” Nala Se floated forward and opened the kit on the small table beside her, connecting a tube to a vial.
“That is classified information. We can only provide the results of your test,” Nala Se’s voice deceptively soothed as she tightened a pink band above Bright’s elbow.
“I didn’t ask about that. I asked if you provided one to them.” She stiffened as she placed a small sensor with a needle over the inside of Bright’s elbow. Within seconds, the sensor found the vein and poked, pulling a quick flow of blood out of her body into the vile.
“We did.” Lama Su stood and bowed his head to me. “I will be in contact.” The sensor beeped, and the needle retracted from her skin. Nala Se quickly covered the puncture point with a folded cotton pad and rolled the band down to hold it in place. Her long fingers were cold against Bright’s soft and warm elbow.
“Why did they toss my office, Nala Se?” The Kaminoan blinked at her kit once before turning her head back to Bright, unreadable.
“I’m afraid I do not understand your inquiry, SW.” The tube was sealed and went back into the pack.
“Please,” Bright Eyes scoffed. “Don’t play politician; it doesn’t suit you. You’re a scientist. What are the facts?” Nala Se started to the door and paused, glancing back for a moment at the SW still perched in the tall chair, before leaving the room with one piece of advice.
“SW, it will do you well to… mind your work.” The door slid shut, leaving the SW in the room with the humming HVAC. Bright Eyes buzzed her lips, sinking deep into the chair as her arm started to ache.
The Kaminoans were in her office. They had overridden her code or framed her. By law, they had to share the phlebotomy lab results. Her results would be clean, and she would fly back under the radar to smuggle the testimonials out. She had to find Shem first. But what did Hunter know? What did she risk by going down? Did the facility stretch on like a weed’s roots? Or like the roots of a flower? Bright scooched to the edge of the chair and braced with one hand to jump off the chair, her skirt fluttering as she landed. One thing at a time, she instructed herself. Gathering up questions and using a pin to pull apart unnecessary threads would do her no good and it wouldn't do Shem any good either.
“SW!” Wrecker exclaimed as Bright Eyes entered the Batch’s barracks. The smell was slightly better, the stench of cleaning supplies wafting in from the bathroom. Wrecker grunted as he pushed up from his squat position; the box droid draped over his broad shoulders wiggled its little feet. Bight giggled at how cute it looked, wiggling when Wrecker clearly had it secured. “If you’re looking for Hunter, he’s with Tech.”
“Oh, thank you, but I’m not looking for them. I’m looking for you.” She smiled, setting her tablet on the table to hoist herself up onto it, getting comfortable in the environment. Little electrical parts were scattered in chaotic piles beside her thigh.
“Me? Why me?” He set the droid down, which waddled away like nothing had ever happened. Wrecker beamed with a crooked kind of smile at Bright Eyes, reminding her of a ray of sunshine. She wracked her mind for the Mando’a word for sunshine but couldn’t recall it. She’d have to ask Rex the next time he touched down.
“Why not you? Besides, I’m already here.” She gently spoke, swinging her feet. “And unfortunately, we have to do the psych evaluation.” Wrecker rubbed the back of his neck bashfully before tugging a doll into his arms, sitting in his bunk. He closed himself off, the brightness from his smile dissipating. Bright’s lips pressed together as her chest hollowed. Seeing him deflate disgusted her, reminding her of her friend from school who’d entered into a violent partner relationship. She, too, became a shell of a person in front of Bright’s own eyes.
“We don’t like doing those.”
“I haven’t met a trooper who does,” She gently sympathized. “Your doll, it’s cute.” Wrecker’s face lit up, and he turned the doll so she could see the markings on the front and the busted seams, which allowed the stuffing to poke out. Bright had a small sewing kit in her room. She could fix it up in fifteen minutes.
“Her name is Lula! She’s a tooka.” He tucked it back into his arms, squeezing it slightly.
“She looks soft. How long have you had her?” Bright Eyes asked, resuming swinging her legs.
“For a year? I’m not sure. It was a gift from a little girl I saved on a mission once.” His eyes bounced anxiously around the room, causing Bright Eyes to narrow her eyes. Troopers had plenty of reasons to be anxious; some didn’t like talking about their feelings or deployment history. Others were anxious about the consequences SWs could deliver… like they ever actually delivered them.
“Do you get the chance to save little kids often?” She joked, hoping it would put the trooper at ease. He shook his head, still shut off. Bright Eyes exhaled loudly. She needed to change tactics if he was going to open up and out of the entire Batch; he seemed the aptest to honestly speak to her.
“Tell you what, big guy,” She slid off the table, piquing his interest. “I have been tied to my desk all day and need to stretch my legs. Wanna come with?” He nodded, setting Lula on the bed after he stood up. Yeah, it was a complete lie, but sometimes one just had to lie for the greater good. They got out into the hall, walking in silence for a bit, as Bright Eyes opened her tablet. In all honesty, she hated being on her feet this much. Her ankles were already feeling raw from her boots rubbing over the same spot.
“What do you write in there?” Wrecker asked, bending over to sneak a glimpse of her screen. The corner of her lips curled upwards as she tilted it towards him to look at. She had nothing to hide from him.
“Whatever, I think I’ll forget mostly. Or I’ll write down if there is something I want to explore further. Your medical record said you’re deaf in one ear? I have a note to look into a cochlear or other accommodations if you would be interested.” He grinned, his natural eye glittering.
“Nah, I do fine without it! What other things do you have typed on us?” He wiggled a finger in front of her tablet, making her smile and gently smack it away with a giggle.
“I can only share what I have for you, Wrecker.” She affectionately spoke. She stopped after two troopers walked past them, and together, Wrecker and Bright watched them disappear, leaving them in the corridor alone. She stopped and turned to him, schooling her face into something more professional.
“Wrecker, I know this is used as a screening question for mental illnesses. If I catch enough symptoms, the GAR will have you discharged,” He nodded grimly, himself turning on his professional persona. “I’ll always lowball your symptoms on the reports to keep it under the Kaminoan’s radar. However, suppose there are services you qualify for or coping mechanisms you need to be taught; in that case, I need the evidence to advocate for them. I’m not mandated to report anything to the GAR unless you’re in danger from yourself or threatening others. But, if I’m going to help you, I need to know the truth. Okay?”
“You’re telling me that you don’t report that stuff to the GAR?” Wrecker questioned, raising his eyebrows while his cybernetic eye swirled, jerking between her left and right eye.
“My job is to equip you to thrive, not just survive. You can’t do that if you’re dead.” She spoke firmly. Wrecker broke into a wide grin before opening his arms to scoop her smaller frame-up. Bright Eyes squeaked, throwing her arms around his neck, and dug her nails into whatever fabric she could. She giggled and bent her knees, hugging him as tight as she could. She loved hugs. Tilting her head, she rested it on his shoulder joint, squeezing tight.
“I like you, tiny!” He plopped her down, gently holding her arm to steady Bright Eyes’ stumbling steps. His large and rough hand curled all the way around her elbow, jarring Bright Eyes slightly. Not many could make her feel small, she wasn’t the smallest woman in the universe, but she supposed she didn’t let enough people try in the first place to make her feel docile. Blinking, she smiled and smacked his bicep harshly.
“Come on, big guy, I only have a few more questions.” Wrecker had moments of bashfulness and pride alike, recounting moments of brute strength in battles and soft moments of heroics like saving the little girl. He came off a little brutish, but as they spoke, he kept bumping into her. He just had a hard time being aware of where he was in space. His body awareness could have been impacted by whatever caused the spider web of scars and the cybernetic eye, or it could simply be his disposition. That made him seem more brute paired with the boisterous vocal volume, but his heart was big enough to cram two GAR fleets in.
After she finished the lap and questions with Wrecker, they returned to the room where Tech stood in the middle of, fiddling with components on the table.
“What are you doing now?” Wrecker asked, lifting Lula up into his arms and collapsing into his bed, emotionally drained from their conversation. Bright Eyes had done enough of these to be able to do five in a day before needing to withdraw and recharge, enough for one squad.
“I am trying to reconnect the HVAC system to allow us to manually override the controls. The Kaminoans have changed some of the central wirings while we were on mission.” She sat on the table again, watching Tech fiddle with the parts. “Did you know, SW, Kamino is known to rain more than any other planet, and because of the temperature differences, the Kaminoans have to adjust their HVACs every three cycles?” Tech interrupted, pausing to adjust his glasses as he looked at her. She blinked at the change of topic.
“The more you know. Does it help you to have these projects?” She inquired. Tech picked up a sauder and a strand of metal.
“If he’s not fiddling, he has his nose in his holopad.” Crosshair stood up from behind the wall of crates, gun case in hand, revealing himself like she’d imagined a hawk would- slowly, knowing he could snap Bright Eyes in half within a blink of an eye. She couldn’t tell if she felt put off by it.
“And I suppose when you’re not sleeping or eating, you’re shooting?” Bright Eyes teased back, making Wrecker laugh. Crosshair rolled his eyes, the faintest upturn on his lips revealing his amusement at her.
“Sleep is for the weak.”
“Actually, we cannot survive without sleep. Your brain will make you hallucinate after three or four days, then your body will forcibly make you go to sleep. If you don’t, you will die after a week or so. Besides, you slept last night, even if you did have nightmares.” Tech’s ramblings forced the room to go uncomfortably quiet. A toothpick flew centimeters from her face, poking Tech harmlessly in the cheek.
“I have an enhanced mind, I am far from,”
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it,” Crosshair hissed, standing up. His fiery eyes glared at Bright Eyes, threatening a world of hurt. So, Bright quickly spoke up to ease the sniper.
“I’ve already told Wrecker this, but I don’t inform the GAR of mental illnesses unless you’re going to put somebody or yourself in danger. I take care of my boys. Dying over some nightmares or anxiety is overkill. Civies function fine with them; you can too.”
“How touching,” Crosshair mumbled, now chewing on a new toothpick. Bright Eyes furrowed her eyebrows slightly at it, reminded of the testimonials. She had to get it done soon. Her eye twitched slightly.
“Check my stats if you want proof.” Her side throbbed for the first time that day as the bacta cream wore off. She tried to ration it for as long as possible for the days it was awful, like the night before when she’d woken up in a thick sweat.
“Can you hand me those pliers?” Tech asked, opening his hand without looking. She glanced behind her, spotting a pair, and quickly handed it over, feeling Crosshair still studying her. But he apparently found what he wanted as he collected his weapons kit and started out the door, stating he would see Bright Eyes at 0700 the next day. After saying something about the gym, Wrecker left too, leaving Tech and Bright Eyes alone in the room.
“Do all of you have nightmares?” She asked softly after some time had elapsed. Tech kept fiddling for a moment, finishing whatever he was doing before standing to his full height to look at her. His eyes looked deceptively bigger with his glasses- it would have been comical if it weren’t for the conversation’s subject matter.
“Yes. We all have nightmares. Crosshair’s are by far the worst and has them almost nightly. I believe you would categorize them as night terrors. Hunter has them after missions, but Wrecker has them at random. It is a byproduct of repressed memories, I assume?” He paused to look up, seeking Bright as the professional verifier of his information. She blinked, not prepared for the sudden questioning about neuroscience. While she knew many things involving her profession, she might have forgotten about a lot of the biological explanations of mental health besides vague chemical imbalances and anxiety responses. Neuroscience tended to fall towards psychologists and psychiatric professionals.
“Well, it’s a combination of factors. Your baseline anxiety levels are higher due to combat, so your fight, flight, freeze, and fawn responses are all heightened as well. If your amygdala can’t regulate it during sleep, it may trigger nightmares or night terrors if you’re Crosshair.” His eyes widened then he placed the pliers on the table.
“The amygdala causes it?”
“Partly. Suppose the brain thinks there’s immediate danger. In that case, it will trigger the hippocampus to recall old memories resembling danger or creating false realities. Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s any one thing, though, and I can’t tell you much more than that.” Tech nodded in approval of her statement, and she sighed, thankful that it appeased him enough. Again, this wasn’t her area of expertise.
“Such is the way of the mind. Do you have nightmares of the day you got shot?” What? She felt led stiffen around her spine as the blood dropped from her face and into her gut, making her feel even more nauseous.
“I’m sorry, what?” She whispered, snapping her gawking jaw shut with a click of teeth. The SW prayed she misheard him; she really didn’t want to think about it. She wanted it to go away, and it just fucking wouldn’t, just like her fucking scar, just like everything else. There were no solutions, and she was exhausted. Bright Eyes inhaled and exhaled slowly, she couldn’t think about it or she’d shatter apart. She refused to break. She’d tape the pieces of herself together and figure it out like she always did, even if that meant avoiding talking about it like the plague.
“In your file. It said you were placed on medical leave due to a blaster wound. I’m assuming it wasn’t an accident as all contracted GAR personnel go through weapon safety training.” She blinked twice, her hand already pressing to protect the scar.
“Oh, um, no, well, I, I had- have- really bad anxiety afterward, still do sometimes, in emotionally charged settings.” She grimaced at how disjointed her thoughts sounded. She needed to change the topic immediately. “Anyways,” Bright Eyes cleared her throat, moving awkwardly into the standard questions the evaluations provided her with. At the same time, Tech tinkered, successfully multitasking. As they finished, Hunter strolled into the room, quickly removing his helmet, his curls slowly unfurled, unsticking from being compressed against his scalp.
Hunter gave her a long look, eyes flickering over her face, studying her. She shifted in her seat before dropping her eyes from his, suddenly overtaken by the feeling of wanting to hide. She didn’t like feeling so exposed to him.
“Why do I smell blood?” Hunter questioned, heading to his bunk to place his bucket on a shelf. Tech shrugged.
“I do not have any cuts on my hands.”
“Blood draw. That’s what Lama Su wanted me for.” Bright lamely offered Hunter a glimpse of the inside of her arm where the bandage sat. “They accused me of using spice, which I don’t use because of random blood tests.” Hunter shook his head. Untying his bandana, his curls flopped around his face, bouncing slightly. Bright tilted her head to the side, watching how his hands moved quickly and yet gently so as to not pull his hair.
“Did you talk to Crosshair or Wrecker yet?” He glanced over at her with his pretty brown eyes. Bright Eyes shifted in her seat, insecure of how she was sitting.
“I’ve talked with Wrecker, but not Crosshair.” Bright hated how breathy her voice sounded, but his eyes sparkled as they slid down her face to her lips, and she swore she could feel the path they took as her skin tingled. She licked her dry lips as her wrist buzzed from her comm.
Code black. Suicide watch, children’s wing 15.35. 2200-2300 and 0600-0700 hours.
“Fucking hells bellow,” She slid off the table, glancing between the men. Hunter squinted his eyes at her, concerned. “I have a suicide watch tonight,” She muttered softly, her shoulders slouching with her breath. “Kid’s block,” She pressed her hand against her neck, feeling calmer with the pressure. Hunter walked over and placed a hand on her shoulder. His warmth took off some of the edge she felt, lifting a weight she didn’t recognize off her shoulders. She covered his hand with hers and tilted her head to look up at him. “Thank you.” His hand was rough and steady and, seven suns above, it took every ounce of her willpower to step away from him and his dark musky scent.
Bright left the room deflated, her heart beating slow and deep in vibration Hunter could feel through the humid air. Hunter could feel her emotions flip like a switch as soon as her comm vibrated, and it worried Hunter, feeling the physical intensity of her disappointment and sadness. He moved to his bunk and started to unclip his armor. Suicide, unfortunately, was common in each batch of cadets and squads. But the rumors that whispered in the halls of those who’d taken their life had decreased in the last year or so.
“Is she gone yet?” Crosshair entered the room with his case and moved to slip it back under his bunk where he preferred it. He didn’t smell of strong blaster residue and metal from long sessions. Something must have stopped him from shooting.
“Yes. I also realized that I made you feel uncomfortable in her presence. I am sorry,” Tech spoke. Hunter raised his eyebrows, turning to Crosshair who shrugged and also started to unclip his armor.
“What happened?” Hunter asked, taking some cleaner from Tech’s table and sat it on the floor beside Crosshair, uncapped. The burning metallic smell in the air mixed oddly with the clean industrial smell wafting from the cleaning agent. He grit his teeth and stepped back to allow all of it to diffuse together.
“I mentioned his night terrors, of which she suffers from. Technically, I believe it stems from her undiagnosed PTSD. However, she only admitted to having Anxiety.” Hunter closed his eyes and sighed as he grabbed two rags from the table across from Tech.
“Tech, we were ordered to not make her life more miserable,” He reminded, throwing a rag at Crosshair who caught it, throwing his own rag on the floor next to Crosshair’s bunk. Hunter needed to grab his armor and move it over so they could share the tub.
“Cody cares too much about her. She doesn’t do anything,” Crosshair grumbled, grabbing his backplate and dipping the rag in the solution to buff out his armor. Hunter huffed and set his armor on the floor, resting his back against Crosshair’s wall of crates.
“Actually, she is the one who started what is referred to as the Testimonial Project or TMP. Shem organized the transfer of papers to Cosecant. Commander Cody, who has never been directly linked with TMP, is known for being a strong supporter of SW involvement on Kamino. It would be beneficial to keep SW Bright Eyes around to help the Clones.” Hunter sighed as he leaned back, his muscles sore from the post-mission flight.
“Then why is Shem dead?” Crosshair questioned, using his foot to slide over the jar to the Sargent. He thanked his vod and grabbed his shoulder piece.
“SW Shem has not been confirmed to be dead yet. She was arrested for direct violation of Kaminoan laws. Bright Eyes, on the other hand, does not actively participate in illegal Kaminoan activities-“
“That we know of,” Hunter interrupted, pausing his movements to glance at Tech. Crosshair glanced up as his hands continued in the memorized motions of methodical cleaning and upkeep. “The Kaminoans don’t need evidence to arrest her, and I have a feeling she’s going to get into serious trouble soon.” Hunter set the rag he was using down to use his nail to break up some black residue baked into his shin plate.
“What do you mean? What did you two discuss on the mission?” Crosshair set aside the small black piece in his hand to turn and face Hunter full-on, similar to Tech, who leaned against the table to see both Hunter and Cross.
“She wants to find Shem. Bright thinks she’s down in the lower levels-”
“If she’s in the lower levels, she’s dead.” The doors hissed open, stopping Crosshair’s sentence, and Wrecker came in, tilting his head to the side as he glanced from Tech to Crosshair and finally to Hunter.
“Whatever happened, it wasn’t me.” He held his hands up in his innocence and stepped over to his bunk. Hunter’s lips curled into a faint smile at his immediate assumption.
“We aren’t talking about you, Wrecker. We’re talking about our newest SW trying to kill herself.” Crosshair’s harsh words made Hunter’s eye twitch. He fucking hated the idea of her dead and despised the dismissive tone Crosshair took with her.
“Technically, she isn’t trying to kill herself. She is making poor decisions she has not thought through the consequences of. Hence, her upcoming death-”
“All of you are fucking morbid. Nobody is dying,” Hunter spoke up, exhausted by the many different ways to discuss Bright’s death. Crosshair snorted and glanced down at Hunter, setting his armor on his bed to rest his elbows on his knees.
“What’s the plan?” He muttered, eyes narrowing in excitement.. Hunter could hear Crosshair’s teeth rubbing against the wood, crunching it between his back molars. It fucking sounded awful. He grabbed his back plate and rubbed the cloth against it hard enough to drown the sound.
“We need to keep an eye on her. Commander Cody won’t be happy if she gets hurt,” Hunter glanced at Tech. “Keep an eye on the cameras. If she’s in an area she doesn’t belong in, whoever is closest gets her out.”
“And do what, Hunter? Ask her nicely to walk away?” Crosshair slurred with narrow eyes. Hunter shrugged.
“Maybe. If that doesn’t work, comm me. We’ll drag Bright Eyes out as a last resort. Got it?” The others nodded in response, muttering varying affirmatives. Hunter grunted and picked up the cloth again to finish his armor pieces. Bright was an intelligent woman, and he banked on that intelligence to keep her from going down into the tunnels and getting caught. She'd be just as dead as Shem was if she didn’t heed his warning.
Bright Eyes drifted bonelessly, like light and air, like what a star might feel deep in the galaxy, surrounded with a thousand other stars, pulsing with energy. There was her, but she wasn’t alone. A large hand brushed along her arm, so soft it could do nothing but soothe her taut muscles in the abstract darkness, making her chest wash over in warmth. No, she very much wasn’t alone. She was with him.
“I told you to relax,” A voice whispered in her ear. Warm lips ghosted over her skin, not quite kissing it, his breath just heating the small area, leaving a little bit of condensation on her sensitive skin. Bright Eyes arched closer to the man standing at her back, eyes closing as she huffed, wanting more of him than just his hands and sweet words.
“I'm trying.” Her hands reached behind her for some semblance of touch, but she just… couldn’t. One second she could feel the heat of another body at her back, and then as she tried to touch, he disappeared. The man reached behind her thighs, tugging her into his lap. Bright Eyes gasped, high pitched in the back of her throat as she reached for his bare shoulders. Her bare chest brushed up against his, drawing a contented sigh from her lips. Pressing closer, her hands slid from his broad shoulders to his back, dragging her nails slightly to revel in the strength of his touch.
“Cyar’ika,” Hunter’s eyes appeared from the darkness, making her gasp at the intensity and detailed depth seemingly sparkling out of the dark nothingness. His right hand slid from her hip, squeezing the extra skin and fat, before continuing up her flank. Bright Eyes gasped at the ticklish sensation before his large hand cradled underneath her breast and used his thumb to sweep just under her nipples.
“Hunter,” She breathed, rolling her hips on his thigh.
“Pretty little thing, aren’t you?” He condescendingly chuckled as he tipped forward to plant little ghost kisses along her neck, all of them missing the wet heat of his lips. “So sensitive.” She wanted to swear at him for taunting with his touch, but Bright’s head spun with his body consuming hers. He swallowed her up, covered her, pressing and squeezing, and- stars above- he bit into her neck, making her gasp loudly.
Where the hell was she? Bright Eyes furrowed her eyebrows and glanced around, seeing nothing but darkness and Hunter’s broad body above her. When did she get under him? Hell, when did they get naked? Hunter rolled his hips into her, pressing his hardness against her thigh. Fuck, she moaned and pushed back into him, angling her hips up.
“Fuck, pretty girl. You feel so good.” She shook her head as he gripped her thigh and hoisted it up to his hip. She wasn’t ready. His touch suddenly made her gut shift sourly. Warning bells went off at the shift, cold sweat coming to dot her hairline; something was not right.
“Wait. Hunter? Wait, wait, wait.” She couldn’t speak; her throat closed up like it was full of dry cloth. She rocked to her side, his touch disappearing like morning smoke off the ocean. She was cold without him.
A grating beeping sounded, making her groan and open her eyes. It was a karking dream. Somehow in the midst of her stupid wet dream, her body apparently decided to take matters into her own hands. She groaned before pressing the heel of one hand against her eyes, her dominant hand between her thighs, pressing lamely against her clit. Her alarm beeped louder, demanding Bright Eyes’ attention. She removed her hand, wiping the wetness on her leggings.
“Fucking hell, shut up,” Bright Eyes clicked on the light before turning off the alarm to sound for her final suicide shift. The hot wetness between her thighs throbbed quick, and even as she pressed her thighs together, the urge to be sated roared in her body. She needed relief. She needed caffe. She wanted Hunter. She wanted him to barge into her room, slice her thin clothes from her body with his vibroblade, and press into her again and again and again until she snapped and soared into oblivion.
Bright Eyes dragged herself up to the bathroom and used a wet cloth to cool her tacky cheeks and neck. She dried off and glanced in the mirror. Dark bags already formed under her eyes as her skin puffed from the choppy few hours of sleep and whatever that dream was. She could take care of herself after breakfast. Yeah. After breakfast. She would come back to her rooms and rub her clit fast and… Bright Eyes sighed again. It wouldn’t be enough. She couldn’t touch herself anywhere close to the way even dreamlike Hunter could. She pulled on a pair of leggings and a heavy tunic belted around the smallest part of her torso.
Entering into the halls, Bright yawned loudly. She was an SW. Sleeping with her clients, in this case, any trooper on her caseload, was not acceptable. She’d lose her license if anyone found out. She shouldn’t even be having wet dreams about it like she was a stupid teenager again. The entire situation was utterly ridiculous, and she needed caffe.
Bright rounded the corner to the children’s wing and found a tired woman sitting in a chair, scrolling through her datapad, deciding to use the watch time to work on case notes.
“Is he finally asleep?” Bright Eyes whispered to the light-haired woman as she sunk down, back against the wall, beside the other SW’s chair. She knew of the SW, SW Manmathu, through Shem’s chatter, but never had directly worked with the middle aged woman before.
“Yes. SW Keiko got him down before I took shift,” She stood up and sighed as she glanced across the rows and rows of bunks, the squad’s four pods stuck out from the walls as they too wanted to be closer to their vod, hoping he lived through the night. “Do you think he’ll be okay?” Bright forced a light smile on her face, regardless of her churning stomach.
“He made it through another night. He’ll be okay for one more day. That’s all we can do for him.” He still had to deal with the fall out of his severe Depressive episode and that would be the real challenge. “Go get some sleep. It’s late” SW Manmathu nodded and gave Bright a timid and exhausted smile before leaving Bright alone. Once the doors to the hall shut, Bright bathed in the emergency lighting along the walkway. Leaning her skull on the wall, she sighed long and slow, letting her shoulders sink down. Her neck still buzzed from the wispy touches and kisses from her dream, and it was so wrong for her to feel such a deep pull in her belly from it, aching for more. Bright could not let her body- or her romantic notions- impede upon her work. It was too important to be sacrificed for a man who was likely to be dead within the year like every other damned man created on Kamino. She could only see two options- not acting on her emotions and keeping her license to work, thus seeing major civil rights passed for troopers. Or, acting on her emotions, and losing her license (and the chance to help get legislation passed), and seeing Hunter die within the year. It wasn’t a hard choice to make.
There could never be enough coffee on Kamino to make her function the hours after a suicide watch. On a typical day, Bright Eyes’ endless vat of patience ran thin before her 0730 caffe, the glaring Kaminoan décor deepening the fixed squinting glare on her face. She sipped her caff as she entered the Batch’s room, hoping to the stars and suns in the heavens above that Hunter was not there. Bright wasn’t very inconspicuous when she was embarrassed. It would be easier to avoid the situation altogether rather than have him question why she couldn’t look him in the eyes- or why her heartbeat was so fast. Hell, what if he could smell her? Bright immediately shoved that thought aside, not liking the heat which washed through her body.
The room hummed with white noise and not much else except the occasional click of metal against metal. Bright Eyes walked around the stack of crates to find Crosshair cleaning his rifle, toothpick between his lips.
No Hunter, thank the stars.
“Morning, Ram’ser,” Bright Eyes muttered as she sat on the floor, tucking her legs under her to lean against the crates. Lifting her cup, she took a slow pull of hot caffe. Crosshair swept his eyes along her body without turning his head from his rifle.
The SW decided it was too early for his sneering glare.
Bright Eyes took another slow pull, closing her eyes briefly. She imagined her one functioning brain cell trying to do the job of three in a whirlwind tornado in her very empty brain.
“You look like hell, SW,” Crosshair muttered, also keeping his voice low as to not disturb the calm morning peace. For once, the sun peeked around the vast rolling clouds, like it was playing peek-a-boo with the inhabitants of Kamino. The splashes of color in the early morning reminded her of her first Kaminoan sunrise and the flaking colors from torn burial shrouds.
“Aren’t you a charmer?” She hummed lowly, sipping again. “I had to do suicide watch for a kid last night. How was your range time?”
“Why do you care?” Bright Eyes huffed, suppressing the urge to roll her eyes, and chose to resettle her legs crisscrossed.
“Curiosity killed the cat, sweetheart,” Crosshair placed the pin back in place and cradled the rifle against his shoulder to check the scope, keeping the barrel away from her. “But you know that. Don’t you?” Bright Eyes frowned and inhaled the steam dancing over the lip of her cup. Her one brain cell flew out into fuck-knows-where, leaving her with her instincts and no more fucks to give.
Yeah, it was shaping up to be that kind of day.
“I know that satisfaction brought the cat back to life, Ram'ser," Bright paused, glancing up over the edge of her mug. Crosshair's head slowly turned to glance at her.
"You can't bring the dead back to life, SW. Didn't Hunter tell you that on your little call?" Bright glared at Crosshair, sneering deeply, if not deeper, than him.
"I'm not one for following directives."
"Like being directed to call police troops on psychotic cadets?" Fucking hell. Bright gawked at him, watching his eyes harden even more. Prickles of discomfort nipped at her exposed skin.
"What? Did you boys have a fucking gossip party about me? How much of my file have you read?” Crosshair placed the rifle back in his lap and began to wipe it down.
“Enough to know how stupid you are.” The comment stole the breath out of her lungs, covered by a slow pull of caffe, giving herself a second to refrain from snipping back at the sniper. She wasn’t stupid. She knew how far her intelligence could get her and utilized it as much as possible. She liked being smart, flaunted it as much as she could without insulting others. She just did stupid things due to her stubbornness… like secretly plotting how to find Shem.
“Why do you think I was stupid?” She finally asked in a neutral, quieter voice, before tilting the cup to swirl the bitter liquid around.
“Nala Se controls everything on this shit hole. Undermining her is a death sentence, SW.” Every instance of undermining Nala Se wasn’t personal. Bright’s job required stepping on toes to advocate for her boys; Nala Se usually was the face to the issue. She sipped again. “Shem was wrong to flaunt smuggled imports around Kamino,”
“What? Like your toothpicks aren’t smuggled?” She couldn’t help herself as she recrossed her legs when one foot fell asleep, sending fuzzy static up into her ankle. Crosshair slid his eyes over her face again, reading her expression.
“I’m not the one smuggling sensitive information, SW.” Her eyes snapped up to his, cutting the thick silence between them. Unlike Hunter’s eyes, Crosshair didn’t carry willing warmth. He was closed off, using roughness to keep people an arm’s length away.
“It doesn’t matter. I don’t know who smuggled out the papers for Shem or where they went.” Crosshair sniggered and grinned.
“Good thing you know me. I’ll ask around.” Bright snorted, trying to raise an eyebrow at his offer.
“I’m sorry, you would?” Crosshair tilted his head, beginning to disassemble his rifle to put away.
“Like I said, curiosity killed the cat,” He sat tall before he smirked with a glance over at her. “I’ve also bet Tech 10 credits on you getting them off-planet successfully.”
“Wait, the whole Batch knows about the testimonials?” Bright rubbed her eyes again and laid her legs in front of her. “Great.”
“You can thank Tech. Shem, however, did confirm it.” Bright gulped down the rest of her drink, letting the warm liquid settle in her belly.
“I’m going to need more fucking caffe with you boys, aren’t I?”
“You’re more than welcome to pass us along to the next SW.” Crosshair latched his gun case shut and used his hands to reverently slide the case under the bunk. “But you won’t do that, will you SW? Just like you won’t stop with the testimonials.”
“I'm not passing you off. You boys deserve consistency. And, nobody else is going to do it,” Bright Eyes muttered. “Somebody has to clean up the Kaminoan’s shit, and I’m tired of seeing you boys doing it.” Bright Eyes watched the pale brown liquid swirl. What the Grand Army of the Republic did- fuelled by the Kaminoans- was, without a doubt, slavery. Slavery the Jedi and Republic Senate funded and encouraged, hiding the atrocities under thick propaganda and hush money. It left a bitter taste in her mouth, one she refused to share with the troopers.
“No one asked you to advocate for us... Do you think you can change this?” The question he posed wasn’t judgmental. It came out soft, seeking an honest answer from Bright Eyes. She sucked in a deep breath and shrugged.
“I’m not sure any person can, but I’ll try my damndest to throw whatever wrenches I have into it.” She glanced up at him, fire burning behind her eyes, and Crosshair curled his lips into a smile. "I'm not a trooper, but I'm a witness to the bull shit that happens here. It's exhausting and, quite frankly, unnecessary for the creation and support of a military." Crosshair nodded slowly, and Bright sensed that was the end of that conversation. She sighed, feeling tension lift off the back of her neck, and launched into his evaluation. They talked softly for a while longer, Crosshair returning to his cautious-minded speech as they dived into very personal questions, keeping his emotional armor up, but not lashing out as she expected.
During her academic years, professors who hadn’t been in the field of social work for decades loved to drone on about the importance of engaging clients. Build up a rapport, or a semblance of friendship, before the real work begins. She did not have that luxury with the troopers, either because of revolving SWs or the tragic death rate of troopers. Nobody seemed to have enough time in the universe during wartime. For not having a solid rapport with the sniper, her evaluation wasn't as awful as she thought. Bright Eyes scanned her case notes for gaps, pleased with how much she could actually read in her exhausted state.
“Crosshair, chow hall’s open,” Hunter spoke as the doors opened. She couldn’t see him with the wall of crates, but it didn’t stop the utter embarrassment and rush she got out of hearing him speak, vivid tingles and brushes lighting up her skin where the dream him touched. Bright Eyes huffed, shifting slightly on her sits bones. “Bright, did you get breakfast?” She narrowed her eyes at Crosshair, who just smirked between the two of them. Her skin prickled with the secrets he knew.
“Is caff breakfast?” She spoke up, recrossing her legs. Hunter side-stepped the crates and raised an eyebrow at her. “No?”
“No, ma’am.” Oh fuck. The sound of his voice not only warmed her skin, but for some reason, that entire sentence stole the breath out of her lungs and sent warm heat elsewhere. Hunter chuckled and tapped the crate with his palm once. “Come on, you need to eat, cyar’ika."
Bright huffed and stood up with her datapad in one hand and cup, empty except a stained ring of brown in the bottom, in her other hand. Hunter sidestepped her, gesturing to the door with an open palm.
“How did suicide watch go? You look tired.” Hunter glanced down at Bright, giving her his undivided attention. She smiled lightly at him, just enjoying the simple and easy nature he carried.
“Funny, Crosshair said something similar when I came in. But, it was uneventful, thank the stars.” Hunter nodded, slightly brushing his armor against her shoulder as they both stepped closer together before keeping their space.
"Crosshair can be… blunt. Did he give you any problems?" Hunter’s face fell slightly, making her mirror the movement.
“No, he was good. He answered the questions I needed to be answered. It wasn't anything I couldn't handle." Hunter seemed to sigh, relaxing at the news.
“Good. Wrecker and Tech told me about their psych evaluations. Wrecker likes you.” Bright Eyes laughed, a grin spreading as they steered down a different adjacent hall. Their arms brushed by mistake, and Bright stepped away, frowning. She had to stop with the infatuation. Bright Eyes was not about to risk Hunter’s life and her career for a wisp of a second in time. Her head swum enough with her exhaustion, much less the emotional rollercoaster she seemed to be harnessed into.
"I'm glad to hear it! I only have you left out of the Batch to finish up. You won’t need to do another eval until you come back from another mission.” A yawn crawled up the back of her throat, and she quickly covered her mouth to be polite.
“Music to my ears, mesh’la,” Hunter muttered, glancing down at her with a softness in his eyes. She bashfully smiled and nodded. She knew a fair amount of Mando’a from her proximity to the troopers and some trainers, but there were always new things to learn. “Do you want to get it out of the way during breakfast so you can get some shut-eye after?” Bright Eyes nodded with a smile, watching Hunter walk in front of her to get the door to the mess hall open for her. Like a gentleman from the Inner Rim, he held the door open for her. She, with all the grace she could muster up, glided around him. Just because she couldn't fantasize about Hunter, didn’t mean he couldn’t fantasize about her.
"Crosshair told me there's a bet running in the Batch involving me. You wouldn't happen to be involved?" Bright smirked as she set her things down at a table before moving to the chow line.
"No. Somebody needs to stay neutral," Hunter paused and smirked at her, making his tattoo lift slightly up. Bright leaned forward and bit the side of her mouth. "But I'll always bet on my girl."
Tag List (message, ask, or comment if you want to be added!):
@uponrightful @itsagrimm @critter67-blog
A drawing of my two ocs from my Bad Batch story. Callista and Jace. Two awkward teens falling in love, what could be cuter than that!😍 And we've got the beloved Havoc Marauder in the background.
Interruptions = Cranky Tech
I wonder how many other enhanced clones there were, I don’t think there’s any way there was just four
You know-reasons. Tech ftw!
Unfortunately I don't know who made that gif, it's not mine.
Tech: ...I'm pretty sure that place is fire-proof, or something. Wrecker, grenade in hand: Alright, but is it explosion-proof?