The following day was quiet--which was a true
blessing, after all that they'd been through. After a night aboard the Echo Raider's
medical ship, the Sanctuary, Dalsuna had headed back to the Resistant while
Tag cajoled some of her people into bringing her to the Imladris's officer's
lounge. She slept there, on one of the couches, unobtrusively, for several hours before
waking to the sound of a shout.
"Indy!" The shout came from both Mike and his squadmate Glytch.
"Hi Indy," Jewl, Cody's sister, said.
Indy waved a hello and received a hug from her husband. "Hi."
Tag dozed off, half listening to the babble about last night's battle. Apparently, it had gone well, with most of the people on the New Republic end capturing some ships. She was awakened--once again--by a shout. Again, it was Glytch--he and Mike were fighting about the virtues of the Y-wing. Sighing, Tag realized that she just couldn't sleep anymore and took a datapad from her pack, which was leaning against the couch, and began to punch up a letter to Airen Cracken, requesting a transfer.
"It's a sleepy friggin hutt!" Mike shouted at Glytch as the other man's face purpled.
"I don't like flying them," Indy said slowly.
"Stick me in an A any day," Mike continued, "I'll vape the hell outta yer Y."
Glytch grinned at his fellow Phoenix. "Yeah. I makes it easier to kill you in a one-on-one."
Tag decided to put in her two cents. "Be appreciative, Y-Wings helped keep the Rebellion alive."
"Firepower and protection," Glytch said, referring to his starfighter of choice.
"Speed and maneuverability," Mike fired back, speaking about A-wings.
Glytch was indignant. "The Y is maneuverable enough if you think and plan ahead."
Mike scoffed. "Y is never maneuverable enough."
Glytch continued as if Mike hadn't spoken. "Not as much as an A, certainly, but it's still fairly good." He went on, almost only to himself. "Besides, I love the laser placements..."
Shaking her head, Tag went back to her datapadding.
Mike watched her for a moment, grinning. "Finally back to normal, whatever that is."
Dalsuna wandered into the lounge and was greeted by Indy. His uniform was clean today, and so was he. There had been no battles today, and that fact was welcome.
Tag looked away from her datapad and smiled at Dalsuna, who hurried over upon spotting her and kissed her on the forehead. She gave him a lopsided smile. "Hi."
"Ain't they cute?" Glytch grinned, referring to Dalsuna and Tag.
Miranda entered almost on her brother's heels, although unintentionally. "Hi hi hi!"
"Hi Miranda," Tag said, smiling.
Glytch bowed to her, being his usual silly self. "Welcome, oh cuuuuuuuute one."
Miranda looked at Tag. "How are you Tag?"
"Me? Not good...." She grinned, though.
Mike spoke up. "Hey Miranda, enjoying your Neb B and Carrack?"
Miranda hushed him, but not quickly enough. Dalsuna had heard.
"What Neb B and Carrack?"
Miranda tried to get him off the subject. "Nothing, Dal. You don't need to know."
"I got an ISD2 reactor and computer core," Deadmeet proudly boasted, "and a Carrack."
Dalsuna seemed satisfied to let his sister deflect him and put his arms around Tag, who winced at the touch, causing him to immediately loosen his hold. He sighed. "We'll both we using canes by the time we're thirty. Or wheelchairs....walkers...." He sat down next to her, in good humor despite his utter and total frustration with their lives.
Tag smiled faintly. "Not if I keep getting knocked around in the chest, Dal. Besides.....I'd be using one by the time I'm twenty-five."
It was then that Indy picked the inopportune time to check over Tag. She took out a scanner and began check her friend's medical readings. After a few minutes, she reported, "Taggie, your white cell count is still low."
Tag sighed and slammed her datapad down onto her blankets, exasperated. "What am I supposed to do about that, Indy?"
The other woman shook her head. "Nothing, I just thought I'd let you know."
As conversations began to rise about Mike's recent commendation, Dalsuna began to doze off and was rather rudely awakened by a slap in the face from his younger sister. "Wake up, concussion boy."
Dalsuna rubbed his cheek. "Ow."
Indy frowned down at him. "Knight, move, you're skewing my readings."
He moved over, not exactly happy about the situation. He shot his sister a glare as the stinging in his face began to fade. Tag, meanwhile, had her commlink out and was talking to one of her officers--a sniper by the name of Lyle Kun. Miranda settled down to modify the eyepiece of her blaster carbine's headset. When Dalsuna began to nod off again, Miranda poked him with her blaster. As Dalsuna complained, Miranda waggled her blaster at him. "No sleeping on my watch."
"Hey, let me poke him!" Deadmeet said.
At that moment, Lyle entered the lounge and was greeted by several people, including his fellow Echo Raider, Mike. Tag tossed her commlink into her pack and began to sit up to greet her longtime friend Lyle, but fell back again, pain lancing through her ribs and shoulder. Indy swore as her readings skyrocketed. "Geez, Taggie...."
Dalsuna shook his head at Tag. "Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn."
Indy dug into her medkit for some pain medication, shaking her head, as Tag said, "Don't think I did anything...By the way, hi Lyle."
Lyle sketched a salute and a nod before heading to the bar to scout the wine collection.
Dalsuna watched Tag, concerned. He wondered why she was so stubborn--maybe it ran in her blood, he didn't know. He had to wonder what he was getting himself into with her--and wonder he did, but he never doubted that he loved her. Tag, for her part, grinned at him. "I'll survive."
He kissed her on the forehead. "Will you stay out of trouble? Ever?"
She smiled. "That I doubt."
"Can you at least stay out of trouble until the wedding is over and done with?"
"I'll have to try." She waved Lyle over. "Lyle, this is my fiancé, Commander Dalsuna Losoda. Dal, this is Lyle Kun--I knew him back during the Rebellion, and now he's with my fleet."
Dalsuna nodded to him, and Lyle grinned and nodded to Dalsuna before wandering back in the direction of the bar, fading into the populace.
Chaos, who'd heard little about Dalsuna and Tag lately, blinked. "You two are getting married? Couldn't say I didn't see it coming."
Dalsuna made a funny face as Tag returned to her datapadding. He was thinking over what Tag had said about trying to stay out of trouble--it'd just hit him that she'd said "I'll try" rather than "I will." "Whatever happened to that great Jedi saying, 'Do or do not, there is no try?'"
Tag grinned. "Doesn't apply to someone like me. I'm a pilot and a soldier.....times are different. Besides, it never applied to Corellian Jedi."
Miranda wrinkled her nose at her. "The fundamentals of proper use of your power don't apply to you?"
Tag just grinned until Indy said, "Taggie, I'm going to have to give you more meds soon."
Tag pretended to ignore the comment and reached over and tapped her yawning fiancé on the shoulder. "Hey....you OK?"
Dalsuna rubbed his forehead. "Concussion yesterday. Can't fall asleep. We roughed up the Impie fleet that took you, though." Hollow victory, if anything, but still...
She frowned. "You didn't have to do that."
"I know," he said. He took her datapad out of her hands. "Change of assignment?"
She nodded. "Finally getting around to punching it up." She took back her datapad and returned to punching up her request as Dalsuna got up and wandered off for a minute. The lounge was full of the usual--conversations about defense systems, roughing up friends and non-friends, drinking. Tag frowned at her request and wiped it out. It didn't sound right. Dalsuna sat back down next to her and frowned. "What happened to the letter you had there?"
Tag started to answer him, but she was cut off by Indy. "Meds time, Taggie."
She sighed. "IV or injection, Indy?"
Dalsuna shivered at the thought of a needle. "Needles. I hate needles."
"Alas, IV is necessary, it appears," Indy said, searching for the correct bag. "Internal bleeding was nasty. Saline and meds--your own custom blend, Taggie."
"You make it sound like caf."
Indy shook her head and set her up with the IV. Dalsuna shuddered and turned away. "Needles." He rubbed his temples, feeling stressed. He was tired. His head ached. He wanted to sleep, but he couldn't yet.
"Still doesn't sound right," Tag muttered, staring at her transfer request.
"Hand it over," Dalsuna told her. "I'll make the request." He offered her a grin.
With a sigh and a hint of trepidation, Tag handed over the datapad, then closed her eyes and sighed. "Whatever."
Dalsuna entered into the pad, "To Whom it May Concern, I require you to transfer my fiancee out of dangerous duty so that we can get married safely, and without Imperial assassins after us, with out nasty family members chasing us down, without any more delays or dangers to our health because of her duty. Thank you for your time." He signed it "Commander Dalsuna Losoda" and handed the datapad back to Tag. "There you go."
Tag frowned at it. "I can't send this."
Dalsuna sighed. "I know you can't. I'm just a little frustrated at the events in the past few days, that's all."
She smiled gently as he took her hand and squeezed it. "I know."
"You need to relax," he said. "I'll tell your CO you need some time away."
Tag smiled. "I am my CO--and as for NRI....you'd never find them."
Shaking his head, Dalsuna remarked, grinning, "In that case--Tag Rendar, CO of the Echo Raiders, I request that you transfer my fiancee to a safer duty for the time being." He squeezed her hand again. "We're getting married--and with all the hustle and bustle, we've been shot at, beat up, and shipped halfway around the galaxy and back... just in the last two weeks."
She sighed. "I know."
Dalsuna kissed her. "You're your own CO. You decide whether you can have a vacation or not."
"I take a vacation from ER, I have to do NRI work," she pointed out.
Dalsuna bit his lip. "I've got some connections Tag. You want me to deal with NRI?"
She shook her head. "No, I'll handle it. I can get a desk assignment for the time being."
"Are you sure?"
"I can get you an answer by tonight," he pressed. "How does that sound? Vacation? Honeymoon? Rest? No Impies coming after us? I can make it happen."
"I'll get all the rest I need, but I have to find someone to take over my mission--and I'd have to brief them."
Dalsuna stared at her, wondering why she was balking. "Think of the beach Tag...the sun....warm weather."
She smiled. "I grew up near the beach."
"Now quit being so stubborn," he ordered. "It's not good for you--or for us."
She sighed. "You don't understand....this is what I've done all of my life. Ever since I was very young."
Dalsuna took both of her hands. "I think we both need this, Tag. We need to get away."
Tag closed her eyes. "I can't just walk away....it'll tear me apart inside."
"You're not walking away," Dalsuna said, "you're taking a well deserved break--and so am I."
Mike entered the conversation. "You need to learn how to truly relax, Tag."
"I know how to relax," she objected.
Chaos snorted. "Liar."
Mike rolled his eyes. "You're a workaholic, with harder work than most."
Tag felt her rage and desperation begging to burst free within her. Why couldn't they understand? "Just not in the middle of a mission that will prevent the Empire from tearing us apart from within!"
Dalsuna shook his head. "There are people that can handle that, other people. The New Republic will survive. It has before. It will now."
"No!" She shouted. "No one can! This is my mission, my case. I'm so close--don't ask me to give this up now! I'm the only one who can do this."
It was then that Mike slapped Tag across the face. "And you say I have a large ego. You're not as important as you think--none of us are."
Even as her cousin stepped in front of her and threatened Mike's well-being, Tag closed her eyes and rubbed her cheek. "Mike, that hurt."
Mike sighed. "I'm sorry for that, but it needed to be done."
Tag shook her head, tears rolling down her cheeks. "None of you understand...."
Mike retreated, pulling Chaos along with him, as Dalsuna sighed and took Tag into his arms. "I'm sorry."
She stared at him with read eyes and a tear-stained face. "There is so much you don't know.....so much I can't tell you."
He kissed her and wiped away her tears. "I understand, I think. Get some sleep."
She nodded. "OK."
He kissed her again, and then let her sleep. As she slipped into sleep and dreams, Mike used his Force abilities to slip her into a healing trance, not realizing that it wouldn't help her all that much.
Several hours later, when the usual people from Alpha-shift were beginning to filter into the lounge and after a rather heated argument between husband and wife over something Mike had done to Tag, thinking it would help, Dalsuna wandered back in after getting in a few more hours' worth of work. With him, he carried a bouquet of red roses, and asked, "How's Tag? Is she awake?"
Indy shook her head. "Not yet."
Dalsuna kissed Tag on the forehead, then hunted up a vase for the flowers. He found one and put the roses in water, then set the vase on one of the little tables near the couch. He looked over at Indy. "How is she?"
"Hanging in there," Indy reported. "I could've killed Mike--he dropped her into a healing trance."
"I'd like something a little more detailed," Dalsuna said.
Indy shivered. "You don't want the details."
Tag opened her eyes and moaned. Dalsuna turned and looked down at her. "How are you?"
She mumbled something unintelligible as Miranda walked into the room, toting her carbine, headset, and a datapad. "I have more toys," she announced.
Tag coughed, and mumbled, "Great, now Miranda's a walking arsenal. Just great."
"Are you OK, Tag?" Dalsuna asked her.
Dalsuna kissed her. "Is there a day where either of us is not hurt?"
Tag smiled faintly. "Not since two weeks ago."
"Well," Dalsuna began, "when can you start walking again?"
"I don't know," she answered, rubbing her eyes.
"We should take a walk on the beach," he grinned, "me and my cane, you and your repulsor chair."
Tag smiled at him. "As long as I try to take it easy....I think it's do-able."
After another quick kiss, Dalsuna took out his datapad, sitting with Tag, and began looking it over. Tag looked over his shoulder. "What are you doing?"
"Just looking over the repair list for the Resistant," he said. "Selan says his best estimate is a month."
Suddenly, a all-too-familiar voice broke through into the private conversation. "Tag, you should rest. You need it."
Tag ground her teeth. She'd already heard that about nine or ten times from Mynok, and she'd already threatened his well-being. Now, she just snapped, using the Force to toss him against the wall.
Miranda got excited. "Ooh, do I get to use my blaster?"
Tag shivered in sudden exhaustion. She mentally damned her current condition--her trouble in Force-usage was beginning to go away, but at that point, it was at its worst.
Dalsuna yelped as Tag threw Mynok into the wall with the Force again anyway. "Tag... stop, please--before you hurt yourself."
Tag sighed, her anger and annoyance beginning to drain away. "Fine."
Indy marched right over to Tag and dosed her up with some antibiotics, painkillers, and a sedative. "Take a nap, Tag."
Tag mumbled angrily at her and fell asleep.
Indy turned to Dalsuna. "She'll wake up soon. Now move so you don't skew my readings."
Testily, Dalsuna got up and moved across the room as Indy began her check. Watching the current bar-brawl didn't succeed in holding his attention and he began banging his head against the wall at random intervals, looking up at the ceiling. His sister plopped down in an easy chair nearby, playing with her blaster. After a few minutes, half of the bar's populace was in the hot tub at one end of the lounge--Dalsuna had never asked how or why it was there--and he went back and sat by Tag, waiting for her to wake up.
He wasn't disappointed. He'd barely sat down before she started coming around. He looked at her, wondering how she felt.
Thinking it was a mistake, he should've just asked. He hadn't known before then, but she could catch some of his thoughts without trying. "I'm all right," she said.
He frowned at her. "You're not all right. You're barely in one piece." Then, he kissed her, smiling. "We have a wedding to plan. Guest lists to pick out, picking a ship to live on.....all that fun stuff that comes with marriage."
She grinned. "I know."
He held up one finger. "And before all that happens," he told her, "you need to take a breath and get some time off to relax and forget about everything that's bothering you."
Tag sighed, rolling her eyes. "Let's not have that discussion again."
From the hot tub, Mike laughed. "Don't you just love it when he's right?"
Dalsuna gave her a serious look. "Don't be telling me you can't or don't need it, either. You'd be lying again."
Tag's gaze was equally serious. "You have to understand that there is no way I can give up being an NRI agent."
"But you can take a break from being one, Tag."
She sighed. His point was valid, but not valid enough. "I'll take a break when I can. I've sent all of my data to a protégé of mine. Hopefully, she'll be able to handle this mission."
Dalsuna kissed Tag on the lips and pulled away, wondering when she'd notice the vase of roses sitting beside her. What he didn't know was that she had noticed them and just not said anything. She did now, and he smiled.
"Now are you going to take a few weeks off, or am I going to have to tell General Cracken that he should assign you to me? 'cause I can get him out of bed and on the comm in five minutes."
Tag smiled. "I think Airen will release me for a bit."
"Good. I'd hate to see you have to follow my orders." He grinned. "He owes me a few favors."
She shook her head.
Dalsuna changed the subject. "We need to get moving on these plans, you know. I can't do it all myself. I'd rather not... cause... you know how I am with these things."
She grinned at him, then said, "I'm not sure that a formal wedding would be a good idea--not right now."
He nodded, wondering where she was heading. She beckoned him closer and whispered in his ear, then he grinned. "Maybe we should get some guests? I think there are a few that might want to attend."
"If you want," she said.
A flurry of activity ensued as people ran in and out, changing clothes, and--in Ironman's case--demanding food. After about twenty minutes of quick running around, everyone was ready. Dalsuna ran his finger along the inner edge of his dress uniform's collar and glanced at Tag, who smiled up at him from where she sat on the couch in her dress uniform jacket and beret--part of her unit's dress uniform. Mike was tapping his fingers against a book of regs, ready to preside over the marriage. Miranda stood at the door, acting as a sentry, as Ironman stood near Dalsuna as his best man and Indy stood near Tag as the matron of honor.
"Short ceremony, Mike," Tag told him, coughing lightly into her fist. She was somewhat uncomfortable in her position, but it was worth it.
Mike began the ceremony as Dalsuna looked into Tag's eyes, smiling, marveling at the exotic nature of them, a sort of warmth filling him. He listened to Mike, but his focus was on Tag.
"We are gathered here today in the presence of the Force to recognize the commitment of these two fine officers...Dal do you take Tag to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
Dalsuna grinned. "I certainly do."
"Tag, do you take Dal to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"I do." She accepted a ring from Indy. It was a man's ring--Dalsuna's.
Indy handed Dalsuna the other ring as Mike prompted, "The rings?"
Dalsuna nodded to Mike, handing him the rings. "Right here."
Mike looked like he was about to start laughing. "Actually, I was indicating that you should start, I had assumed you'd written your own vows."
Dalsuna cringed and Tag coughed. "We didn't," she said, "but we can improvise."
Mike nodded. Tag took the larger ring and slipped it onto Dalsuna's finger. "With this ring, I commit my soul and life to you. I give you my life, my heart, and my love, now and forever."
Dalsuna smiled nervously and took the other ring, sliding it onto Tag's finger as he spoke. "With this ring, I give you the promise of my protection, my love, and my life if need should arise... let's hope it doesn't." He smiled and winked at her, and found himself flushing as she smiled broadly at him, also turning red.
"Then by the power vested in me by the New Republic Fleet Command and the Sedith Brotherhood, I now pronounce you husband and wife." He grinned at Dalsuna and gave him a little shove. "You may kiss the bride."
Dalsuna knelt down and kissed Tag on the lips, his arms going around her. She put her good arm around him and kissed back, clinging tight to him.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Dalsuna Losoda!"
The pair released each other as the applause began. Dalsuna nodded to Mike. "Thanks."
Indy pointed to the couch. "All right, c'mon Taggie, time to lie down now."
Dalsuna gave Tag a little squeeze. "Tag Rendar Losoda... like you wanted it."
She smiled at him as Indy helped her ease down to lie flat.
Ironman snorted. "That sounds ugly as hell."
Deadmeet was confused. "Isn't there some serious partying in order?"
Orian stood up from his seat at the bar and said pointedly, "No."
"Not with this bride," Indy said.
Dalsuna shook his head at Ironman, grinning. "Thanks IM. That was nice."
"Of course," Ironman said. "Now where the hell is the chicken?"
Indy tapped Dalsuna on the shoulder and pointed toward the couch. He turned and smiled gently. Tag was fast asleep, her beret and jacket in a rumpled pile next to her. He reached over and drew a blanket over her and kissed her forehead.
Miranda grinned at her brother. "Hey, Dal, it's time for my wedding gift to you." She hesitated. "Well--The entire crew of the Resistant, actually, who have expressed in unison, 'IT'S ABOUT TIME'." She pointed to the viewport where a fleet of sixteen ships, all in perfect formation, had just dropped out of hyperspace. Dalsuna shook his head.
"What did you do this time?"
"Just a wedding gift, Dal," Miranda grinned. "Maybe you won't get this one too banged up."
Dalsuna laughed, then looked down at his sleeping wife. "I guess we'll have to try." Yes, he thought, we'll have to try.