Evelyn frowned, pushing a brown lock out of her face as she tried her best to keep from slurring. Though, when the bartender merely smirked and poured her another glass of what smelled vaguely like kerosene, she remembered that she wasn't in the type of establishment where they cut you off after one too many. No, she'd stumbled into this place because she'd been kicked out of the bar she and Vier used to frequent. The kind of place they'd sample different wines, joke about being able to pick out imaginary nuances like "forest floor," or "hints of graphite." Whether the wine was great or terrible, they enjoyed themselves either way. His hand would reach for hers as they spoke, thumb idly stroking over her knuckle, and . . .
The 25-year-old human female hurridly downed her drink, but it was too late to numb the pain. A different flood of memories hit her hard enough to make her physically sway on the barstool.
Three days ago, she and Vier walked down the street, her hand snug in his. The morning air was crisp, slightly chilled, and she couldn't remember the last time they'd gotten out of bed this early without some external obligation that required it.
"Ow! Vier, stop it!"
She glared at him as he playfully jabbed his finger into her ribs, the spot that always made her squirm and jump with discomfort. He thought it was hilarious; she disagreed, but found it hard to object too strenuously when he so clearly enjoyed needling her.
"Out of the Corps for three weeks and you're already becoming a wimp, Evie. I'm just trying to keep you tough!"
Vier was a cargo pilot for the Republican Navy. The military was how they met - up until a month ago, Evelyn served as a logistics officer, jumping through hoops and pulling miracles out of her ass for commanders who all too often seemed to believe logistics involved little more than wishes and fairy dust.
"I'll show you tough - do you know the kind of damage I could do with this thing?"
Evelyn held up her left hand, mostly as an excuse to admire the sparkling ring on her finger. It wasn't a huge diamond, but the moderate size fit her just right, and she still found herself looking at it with a stupid grin. He proposed months ago, and she couldn't help but feel like everything in her life was falling into place. The tomboy grav-ball player who always felt she'd somehow missed the "how to be a proper lady" classes had somehow snagged the man of her dreams. Sometimes that's how she felt- that this was all a dream, and one day she'd wake up and realize she really 40 and alone. She grinned up at Vier, leaned in to peck his cheek - and paused, as a strange, foreboding feeling came over her. She couldn't explain it, but some instinct made her flinch, tugging Vier's hand to try and pull him to the side with her.
She didn't pull hard enough, not quite trusting her instincts; another half meter, and he would've been clear.
Instead, when he half-turned, the blaster bolt caught him in the chest. In what felt like a long moment, he looked down at the smoking hole, puzzled. He looked up at her; their gaze locked, and he reached out his hand . . .then crumbled to his knees and slumped over, motionless.
Evelyn stared. Blinked once. This wasn't happening. She knelt beside him, tried to lift his shoulders.
"Oye! Frakkin' nerfherder got in the way of my blaster!"
A thug on a speeder came up on them, a similar-looking fellow on his left.
"Well you frakkin' idiot, ya missed the shot, now we gotta catch that asshole Durbin before he gets his crew riled up!"
Both sped past her without a second glance, without a care that they'd just blasted her fiance. No rhyme or reason to it, just bad luck, wrong place at the wrong time.
"Vier. Vier, handsome, come on. Get up. Get up, please."
Her numbness was rapidly giving way to panic. Pain, stronger than anything she'd ever felt, tore through her chest.
"You have to get up!"
As Evelyn screamed the last word, the pain and rage tore through her with a dark pulse of energy. A few windows nearby cracked; she didn't notice. All she could see was her future crumpled on the ground in front of her.
Three days later, and she was still waiting to wake up. The first day was shock. Trying to deal with his family, with his command, who had too many questions for which there were no answers. They said they'd have the funeral in a week, to give his family time to arrive on-planet so everyone could say good-bye. Which was bullshit, of course. She didn't get a chance to say good-bye; hadn't known that she should form the words then, before the errant blaster bolt ended his life. Evelyn felt a storm of emotions, so powerful they frightened her. Somehow, even though she wanted nothing more than to be numb, her senses felt heightened. It was as if she could feel the pity and uncertainty coming off Vier's commanding officer, his mother's grief over the holo. She kept coming back to that foreboding sense right before Vier was hit - as though she'd known something was going to happen. How could she have known? More to the point - if she'd known, why hadn't she been able to save him? She felt lost, without purpose, and utterly without peace. Though she'd always imbibed in moderation before, now she drank to make herself go numb. To push it all away. Because she didn't know where to go from here, didn't even know where to start.
"We're closin' down, sweet cheeks. You wanna stay and drink with me, yer welcome to . . . I got a nice cozy room in back-"
The bartender leered at the intoxicated young woman, reached his hand out towards her wrist- she surprised both of them by grabbing his first - faster than she should've been able to, especially given the alcohol - and twisting it in a wrist-lock she'd learned in the very basic version of combat training that the Corps required of all its officers.
At least she there wasn't much to slur there. And she stumbled out of the bar into the night, misting rain. It was never really dark on Coruscant, of course - too many neon lights and air traffic for that. She picked a direction and put one foot in front of the other, with no idea where she was going, or what she was heading towards.