to you or me he may not be; he may be all sunshine smiles and corngold hair and the biggest eyes this side of the galaxy, but imagine you’re Dagger (stormtroopers don’t get proper names), firing at a boy, only the bolts never hit. They sing to the side. You think that there’s something wrong with your blaster, maybe, but none of your friends can hit him either. Finest shots in the Empire, you are, but you can’t hit this boy. And he cuts you down. He wields a weapon whose name you’ve never learned and he cuts you down into smoking bloodless bodies and your friends die before you – only he leaves you. Knocks you out with a blow of the Force – and isn’t that a nightmare of its own, unseen hands blotting out your thoughts – leaves you there in the cooling blood of your squadmates.
Imagine that you’re Cara Ilhyre and you’re a dancer for the Hutt and you hate it, of course you do, but it is a living, a living, and this boy comes in, fresh-faced and young and he says surrender or be destroyed only he and you both know that the Hutt do not and never have surrendered and when he says destroy there’s this grin on his lips, thin and sharp, and he’s kind, of course he is, but –
so you’re Cara Ilhyre and you’re a native of tattooine and like many of your specis you are force-touched and you were a girl, once, a very little girl, and your mother told you tales of krayt dragons who slumbered beneath the sands and gentled their young to their pearl-heavy breasts. krayt dragons are tender mothers, she had said, and it was meant to teach you something of the duality of nature, or to fear those with young to protect, or something; but all you can think is this boy, how he smiles as kind as your mother did, once, but you’re convinced that if you were to cut him down the middle you would find dragon-pearls in his ribs and fire instead of a heart
the boy cuts downs jabba’s goons like they are nothing, nothing, and afterwards, afterwards, you sense his sorrow. and somehow that makes it worse.
because you say, later, to your mother’s ghost (maybe) or to the desert, he knows that killing people is hard and that weighs on him and he does it anyway and –
and, you say, it isn’t as simple as: he makes the hard choices. he knew the hutt would fight. he wanted to burn them down, oh he did, and that sister of his –
“I know how to play a few on a guitar,” Keith offered. “I don’t own one, though.”
Shiro could see it. Keith, sitting in a corner or a bench somewhere, the roughened pads of his fingers on the taut strings. Maybe he didn’t sing, but did he hum?
“…Something on my hands?”
“Hm? I was just thinking you can see the callouses–” he reached for Keith’s hand, cupping it in his palm so he could see them better. “Your fingers are hard, right at the places where they’d meet the strings.”
The motion had been so easy that it took the soft hush for him to realize what he’d done. Keith’s hand was warm in his own, fitting so easily like it was only natural to be there.