Destiny Awaits, Epilogue by MioraaNyte ()
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Looking at his reflection in the holonet monitor, Cipher mumbled to himself about how bothersome tuxedos can be to adjust properly at times. Glancing at the chronometer on a nearby table, he noted it was now 1840 hours. "Zed!", the man call to his partner, still upstairs getting dressed, "will you please hurry! Mayla will be here shortly to escort us to dinner."
"I'm coming Cipher," Zed replied as she descended the stairs to the common area, "I was having a bit of trouble from the clasps, they were so small and difficult to find in the loose material."
Turning toward his teammate, Cipher was overwhelmed by the appearance of Zed in her formal gown. Stammering slightly, he spoke, "Zed... I believe this is the first time I've seen you out of uniform in the two and a half years we've been assigned together. You look... ... ... amazing!"
"You're too kind, Cipher," the woman replied sheepishly, "thank you. I've never worn anything other than a uniform or exercise clothing my whole life. This feels so strange." Looking at her partner, Zed then let out an exasperated sigh, walked over and began to rework his tie. "What is it with men, that the cannot seem to grasp the simplicity of properly fitting a bow tie?" ,the woman quipped, "no matter how many times I showed Keeper how to do this, he could never get it right, either."
"You did this for Keeper?", Cipher responded, "I never saw the man in other than his uniform, when did this happen?"
"More than I can recall," she answered, still working on the tie, "as director of Imperial Intelligence, he was often required to attend formal state functions." Then added with a slight laugh, "and he too hated wearing a tuxedo."
"Keeper, was also the Director? I thought he was just our section's supervisor." Cipher replied in surprise, "seems I was kept out of the loop on things. Is there anything else I should know, Zed?"
Finishing with the tie and with a look of satisfaction, Zed smiled at the man, "there, perfect. I may now say that you too, look amazing now." Speaking to the man again, Zed continued, "it seems like a moot point now, but at the time, that information was on a 'need to know' basis, and..."
"And, I didn't need to know," Cipher flatly responded.
"Oh, come now, you've been in this business long enough to know how things operate," Zed reminded her partner, "and as your watcher, there is much I still haven't told you." Then softly chucked, "now quit pouting Aurturo, I promise I'll share everything I know, but all in good time."
Smiling at the woman, Cipher replied, "thank you Zed, I can and do appreciate that. And..." Abruptly, it dawned on him what the woman had called him, "Zed, you called me by my name. That's the first time you've ever done that in the time we've worked together. Seems a bit unfair that I don't know yours." Then thinking about it for a brief moment, "let me guess... need to know."
With an evil grin, Zed responded, "that's why I do enjoy working with you, you're quick to learn and adapt as the situation requires. As I said, my good sir, all pertinent information will be shared when the time is appropriate." Having her words interrupted by a knock on the door, Zed looked at the chronometer and said to her partner, "it seems our escort has arrived and precisely at the appointed time. Let's not keep her waiting."
Offering his arm to the woman, the pair followed Mayla to Darth Nox's private dining room. During the walk, Cipher acted the perfect gentleman, keeping his eyes trained forward and watching their escort's lead. In his mind, Cipher began to thank whatever powers that may be, for gifting him with exceptional peripheral vision, as his thoughts echoed, "by the stars, she is so beautiful..."
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