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I spotted him in the corner booth.  He was drinking alone, as usual; and as usual, I kept quiet when his eyes roamed to places unfit for polite company.  Devon took note of this, and grinned drunkenly at me, although I knew he wasn't as intoxicated as he seemed.  Eclavdra's silver eyes flashed from me to the corner and back to me again, and she nodded at me with her 'just give me the word' smile.  Maxwell stopped me to take my jacket and kiss my hand- he was always such a gentleman.

Past the sturdy oaken tables where sat members of the noble Highcastle family, past the open space where a dead king danced with a dark elf, past a half-elven pirate with a crimson mohawk and a feral gleam in her eye, I made my way to the corner.  The Red Rose Tavern was crowded these days, what with the adventuring season about to start.  I could even hear the Nine Gods stomping about on the roof, no doubt bickering about something mortals hadn't conceived of yet.

Load Game > Save 008: Ancient History

“Hey Atton,” I said, sitting down across from him.  “You look like you could use another drink.”  He grinned.

Influence gained: Atton

“I'm not in the habit of turning down juma,” he told me, “especially when a lady's buyin'.”  I motioned for a  waiter, and a green twi'lek sauntered over and took the order.  “Pfft!  Wish she'd been here the first time.  I spent ten minutes explaining what juma was to the last waitress.  Turns out they call it 'mead' or something here.”

“Oh.  Right.  I should've warned you about that,” I said, stifling a laugh.

“Well, a drink's a drink, right?” he leaned back in his seat.  “Aren't you having some, too?”

“No, not now.  I've got work soon,” I told him.  “However, now would be a great time to have that talk you promised me.”  Atton sighed.

“Alright.  What did you want to know?” he asked.

“Um, well, for starters, what was your childhood like?  I mean, what made you join the military?” I took out a small notepad.  

Persuade: Failure

The twi'lek sat Atton's drink on the table and vanished without a word.  He drained half of it in one gulp.

“Look, now's a bad time.  I don't really want to talk about it,” Atton said flatly.  I rubbed my temples in frustration.

“Alright.  Another time, then?” I asked, putting the paper away.

“Yeah.  How about a game of pazaak?” he produced his well-worn deck from his jacket.  I knew it was his trick deck- I could recognize it by sight now- but I agreed anyway.  Thirteen matches later, I was soundly beaten.

Influence gained: Atton

“It's been fun,” I said, standing and stretching.

“Aw, going so soon?” he asked with a grin.

“Like I said: work,” I replied.

“Thanks for the drink, Sweetheart,” he called after me.  I waved half-heartedly at him, not bothering to turn back.

Light Side Points Gained
Influence gained: Atton

Twelve hours later, I was switching off the lights and locking the door when I glimpsed his reflection in the TV screen.  He was standing behind me, watching me intently.  I turned around and raised an eyebrow at him.

“Hi,” he said, looking halfway apologetic.  “I could use some caffa.”

“I bet you could,” I laughed.  “Help yourself.  I'm going to bed.”

“Oh, come on.  Another hour won't hurt.  We could have that talk I promised,” Atton coaxed.

“Look, I'm off all day tomorrow.  Let me get some sleep.  We can do this later,” I said.

“I'm busy tomorrow,” he bluffed.  I could tell by how quickly he said it.  I sighed.

“Half a pot, Atton, and so help me God it had better make for a good story,” I told him, measuring out the grounds.  He smiled that self-satisfied smile; the one that made me want to simultaneously drool and kick him in the shins.

Influence gained: Atton

“Okay, okay.  You don't always have to threaten me with violence, you know,” he said, leaning against the sink.  

“I stick with what works,” I informed him.  “So what is this glorious and riveting thing that's keeping me away from a soft bed and a warm lover?”  His smug look melted into a devious smirk.  It made me swoon without fail, every single time.

“It's awfully... sordid,” he said.  He had my attention.

“Really now?” I asked, crossing my arms over my chest.  “Is it terribly dark?”

“Uncomfortably so,” he assured me.  I couldn't stop grinning.

“Tell me!” I leaped forward and grabbed him by the shoulders.

“After I get some caffa in me,” he said, chuckling.

“You teasing bastard!” I shrieked.  I smacked his chest, doing no damage whatsoever but making a satisfyingly loud 'pop!' on the stiffened leather jacket.  Atton laughed.  “Drink your damned coffee, jackass.”

Light Side Points Gained
Influence Gained: Atton

“This is good stuff,” he told me after his second cup.

“It's Colombian,” I replied, looking away from the screen and cracking my knuckles.

“I've never heard of the Colombian system,” Atton said.  “Corellian, maybe?”  I laughed.

“Never you mind,” I said, rolling my eyes.  “That's about enough to squeeze a story out of.  Mind if I take some liberties with the torture scene?  I'd like to draw it out a bit, you know, for dramatic effect.”

“Dramatic effect.  Right.  Whatever you want,” he told me. “I'm just here to give you ideas, after all.”  

“I won't keep you any longer,” I said, chuckling through a yawn.  “I know you're a terribly busy man.”

“Yeah, and you've got a squeaky bed and a snoring fiance to deal with.  You need all the sleep you can get,” he laughed.

“He doesn't snore loud enough to bother me,” I said.  “And what, have you been hanging out in our bedroom or something?”


“Now when would I have time to do that?  I'm a busy man, like you said.  Well, that's how you write me, anyway,” Atton retorted.

“Wouldn't be much to read about if I wrote about you getting drunk, cleaning your guns, and counting cards all day, now would it?” I asked, closing out the program.  I clicked the 'Safely Remove Hardware' button and pocketed the flash drive.

Influence Lost: Atton

“Frack no.  Couldn't compare to the secret-agent type operation you've got going with that info stick there.  You'd think it was the blueprint of some kinda secret super-weapon battle station,” Atton said, hands on his hips.  I scowled at him.

“Goodnight, Atton.  If that really is your name,” I said, turning off the overhead light.  He looked striking in the harsh light of the kitchen.  His stance was wide; overly aggressive.  Why would he pick a fight now, of all times?

“Does he even know?” Atton asked, blocking the doorway.

“All that he needs to, yes,” I replied.

“So he doesn't,” he said.

“No,” I admitted.  “But why should I tell him?”

“I dunno.  You're the one that preaches about communication and honesty and all that bantha fodder,” Atton said, a smile creeping onto his face.

“It was a rhetorical question.  And I'm not about to start valuing your opinion on relationships, Angsty McAngsterson,” I said.  He sneered at me.  “I think you should leave.”

Influence Lost: Atton

Atton let the door slam behind him, and with a huff, I went to bed.  My fiance was sleeping soundly, and barely stirred when I slid into bed beside him.  I felt my consciousness wavering as his warmth spread to me, lulling me into a deep slumber.

I woke up with only the smell of him in bed beside me.  I put on some sweatpants and an over-sized tee shirt and made a full pot of coffee.  I went about my morning ritual of checking my web comics and eating Ramen noodles in relative silence.  After a few minutes, I turned on the TV so it wouldn't be so eerily quiet.  The sun outside was freakishly bright, so I closed the blinds.  

“Creature of the night, eh?” Atton asked from my seat at the computer.  I was surprised he'd come back so soon.  “Sorry about last night.”  I poured myself another cup of coffee.

“Yeah, well, we all have our days,” I said by way of accepting his apology.  I leaned against the kitchen doorway.  Atton got up to offer me the chair.  I took it, looking at him suspiciously.  He sat down on the arm of the couch, about ten feet away.  I liked being at least five feet from him.  It wasn't like I didn't trust him.  I trusted him completely to do what he felt was necessary.  Also, that far away, I couldn't smell him.  He smelled like alcohol and cigarras and leather.  It sent shivers down my spine.  He must have seen me thinking about him, or maybe I blushed in the process.  Either way, he turned his gray-brown eyes on me and all I could do was watch him.

“Did you finish that story?” Atton asked.  

“Oh, that one.  Not quite.  Just a matter of getting it down onto paper, though,” I replied.

“Well, I thought of something else last night after I left- something you might like to write about,” he said with a smirk.

“Oh?  What was it?” I asked, stirring my steaming coffee.  Atton rose from his perch on the arm of the couch.  He wandered into the kitchen, studying the surroundings, running his fingers over the refrigerator and range top.  I watched him intently as he poured himself a cup of coffee.

“Well, there was this time that my little Jedi- block- trick backfired, but in the best way imaginable,” he explained, leaning against the fridge.

“What, did you make some Sith's head explode with all the pent-up anger inside that melon of yours?” I asked with a wry smile.

“Not exactly,” Atton said, his dark eyes flickering over me as he turned to open the freezer.


I fumbled for the USB port, finally hitting home with the flash drive and plugging it in.  I hurriedly opened the word processor and waited, hands poised over the keyboard.  I heard him shut the freezer door.

“I'm ready when you are,” I said, turning so I glimpsed him in my peripheral vision.  He was standing behind me now, chuckling softly.  The cursor flashed once for every three beats of my heart, and I could feel blood rushing to my face at him being so near.

“Trust me, I was anything but ready when she got hold of me,” he said.  He was leaning over me now, resting his arm on the back of my chair.  I knew my face was probably flushed by now, but I couldn't care less.  My skin was tingling all over, and I felt like my heart was going to tear itself out of my chest.  Atton brought his hand up and touched my neck, just behind my ear.  It was cold- too cold to be flesh.  When I felt the water running down my neck and dripping down my shoulder, I realized it was ice he'd gotten out of the freezer.  I could feel his warm breath on my ear and scalp.

“What should I call it?” I managed to ask.  He moved his hand away and I could immediately feel the heat returning to the numb trail of frigid skin he'd left.  Atton dropped the ice cube into my still-steaming cup of coffee, where it cracked loudly.

Shameless,” he whispered.
The first story he mentions is Fail, which took me forever to get onto paper once it formed in my head. The second and last one he suggests is, of course, Shameless, which took almost no time at all in comparison.

I'm convinced I could write something like this every day, if not about Atton/Jaq then one (or more) of my OCs.
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Nemonus Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
Hey, I'm checking this out because I read =PrincessJaden's fic inspired by it--and I'm glad I did. "delightfully", shamelessly "meta" is certainly the word for your effortless worldbuilding. Love Atton confusing juma for mead (or vice versa) and the whole use of the game system, especially Influence Gained by offering him a drink. Very funny. There's so much wish-fulfillment in here, but also some just plain awesome dialogue-- I love how much isn't said in things like "Does he even know?" Nice work--I love this combination of meta-fan-fiction and realism--your "real world" becomes so complete because of details like "I went about my morning ritual of checking my web comics and eating Ramen noodles in relative silence."

P.S. The title is also excellent.
SmirkingLibertine Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
:blush: Aw, thank you. It means a lot to me that people accept (and occasionally enjoy) my nerdy-ness. And neuroses. :crazy:
Nemonus Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
Haha, it encourages my nerdiness/neurosis, so I can't say no. ^_^ You're welcome.
dom31284 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009
You're dying for this, sweet pea.
Nevar23 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful! I'm so relieved that I'm not the only one who has conversations with Atton, lol!

This was such a fun read. I loved the part where he's standing behind you. *fangirl swoon*
SmirkingLibertine Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009
Oh God, I felt so lame and/or crazy when I wrote this. But at least there are two of us!

So glad you liked it. I had fun writing this, that's for sure :devilish:
PrincessJaden Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009   Writer
Told ya before that this is fantastic. In all my imaginings I can't quite equate my obsession with real life, so it's awesome hearing you wrestle with Atton (figuratively ;p). Gah, if only we could get Nevar to do something like this.
SmirkingLibertine Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009
:omg:I KNOW! :eager: I want her to do something like this. I am a proud advocate of fangirls wrestling Atton to the ground and using him for whatever purpose presents itself.:devilish:

Have you ever been doing something important, like working, driving, etc, and inspiration strikes like a bag o' bricks, demanding you to drop everything and write on pain of losing it forever? 'Cause Atton pulls that trick on me all the damn time. I was originally going to write in him ambushing me at work, but it didn't make the final cut. Oh well.

Glad you liked it!
GrecianUrn Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009
How delightfully meta. While I admit that I was initially hoping for literal inmates in a literal asylum, a well-written tale featuring Atton is always great. I particularly liked how game conventions bled over into real-life (Influence system, LS points, etc) and interactions betweenthe fictional you and ever-snarky Atton were hiliarious. Nice work! + fav
SmirkingLibertine Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009
Thanks so much for your kind words. :heart:The crazies really are running the show 'round here, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
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