An Unlikely Pair

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…

Two insecure clones fell for each other without knowing it…

Shard was a defect from the start. Cloning her was an accident. Her tube was breached early on, resulting in her mutation. Destiny told her she was meant to be this way. Fate proved destiny right.

From day one she was determined to prove all the other clones that she was just as capable as the rest of them. She joined the 41st Elite Corps to do it, becoming the best sniper in basic training. She was mocked and belittled. Told she would never be good enough. She didn’t let their words get to her. She ignored them as a matter of fact. She was the clone who was the rule bender and breaker. She was reckless. Though, she knew how to control it to gain her positions. But before long, she got lonely. She went from a head-strong, fearless and confident soldier to an insecure, depressed and broken inside clone. She was eventually respected due to her rank, but not liked among the troops. Gossip spread even to the navy. Curse was devastated at what he heard them say about her. He longed to make her feel loved, but couldn’t.
She was proud to have finally proven them wrong, yet she couldn’t shake the one thought that haunted her.

No one likes me. No one wants me here. She told herself this everyday. Convinced herself of it. Little did she know, there was someone out there…
And that someone was waiting for her. All she needed to do was look to the sky and she’d know.

When Life Day on Kashyyyk came, her whole world flipped for the better, when she locked her green eyes with the purple ones of the one she never knew she was waiting for all her life. The one who loved her from the start…

On the outside, Curse was your average clone. Handsome, intelligent, an amazing fighter. A better fighter than most. But deep down, he was driven by fear and anxiety. It made him a rule follower down to the exact word.

That is… until he met Shard. He fell in love with her as soon as he laid eyes on her. She’d never love me.

Or so he thought…

Curse was a Delta Squad member. He hated it. He longed to be in the sky. To be a pilot. The best one in fact. He made his dream come true, transferring from the ground to the navy that watched from above. He succeeded in becoming the best pilot in the GAR. The navy protected from the sky in the constant sea of fighters and battle. He did this for himself and for the girl he secretly loved.

He knew that if he could keep her safe down below…

Then maybe… just maybe… he would have a chance with her.

Fortunately, his wildest dreams became his reality that fateful day on Kashyyyk.

This is it Curse. Don’t mess it up.

Curse gazed into the green eyes that stared back at him. They sparkled in the lights. He couldn’t help but fall more in love with her the more he looked at her.

They stood there in dead silence until he worked up the nerve to speak, “Are you here with anyone?” he stuttered out nervously.

“Besides my unit, no.” she said plainly. The words rolled off her tongue so smoothly that it made Curse’s heart flutter.

He nodded slowly, blushing, “Would you maybe want to join me for the night?” he asked softly.

Her eyes lit up, “I’d love to.”

His heart pounded in his chest as he smiled and held out for his arm for her to take. She took it and they walked the Wookiee’s village streets.

Shard got lost in the handsome purple eyes that were before her. She almost forgot how to breathe.

She was on Kashyyyk celebrating Life Day with the Wookiees. The 41st was based on Kashyyyk, so to keep the Wookiees as allies, they celebrated all of their traditions with them. Life Day being the most important. Shard loved it. She loved foreign relations and cultures. So naturally, they were celebrating.

She had many Wookiee friends. More than she had clone friends. Ahnchu and Fehi being two. The Wookiees understood her. They even taught her how to speak like them. It took Shard months, but she learned how to. The noises Wookiees made were nearly impossible to replicate in a human throat. But she did it. She became the translator for the 41st.

It wasn’t uncommon for other units to show up via invitation from the 41st. But it was unusual that the navy showed up. They were never there. They always had some excuse or battle in the sky to protect them on the planet. All must have been peaceful or else they wouldn’t have been there. If the navy hadn’t shown up, this story would have ceased to exist.

One navy member approached her. He had black hair that was streaked with purple. His eyes were a vibrant purple as well. They matched his hair. He bumped into her, mumbled an apology and stared at her. The awe in his eyes was unmistakable.

Shard stared back at him. He was gorgeous. She got lost in his eyes. Is this it? She asked herself.

Curse did his best to hide his awe. He knew he was failing. The way her blonde and green hair shimmered in the moonlight, the sparkle in her eyes, her character, her form. All of it. From that moment on, he knew she was the one he’d been waiting for this whole time. From that first time he saw her years ago in Delta Squad…

Shard had her fingers intertwined with the navy member who awed her. They walked around the village hand in hand. Though there was one problem: she still didn’t know his name. They had been silent in the tranquil celebration up until she finally asked, “Do you have a name? Or do you just go by your number?”

He looked at her with a gentle smile, “I go by Curse. What about you?” he said tenderly.

“I’m Shard,” she broke eye contact with him to look at the ground in sadness,“A defect. Always have been. No one wants me here.” she spat bitterly.

His face dropped, feeling for her, “You’re no defect from what I’ve noticed. Sure you look different physically, but you have more of a soldier spirit than anyone I’ve met.”

“You… you’ve watched me?” she inquired icily.

His cheeks flushed in embarrassment, “That’s not what I meant. I was in Delta Squad up until about a standard year ago. So what I meant is that I’ve seen you around.”

Her gaze softened, “I understand. I apologise if I misunderstood.”

“It’s alright. Now whaddya say we enjoy the festivities?”

They spent the rest of the evening celebrating. A few Wookiees approached the pair. The confusion on Curse’s face amused Shard. She translated what they said to Curse. He was bewildered and impressed all at the same time. He admired that she understood Shyriiwook, the most common of the Wookiee dialects.

“Where did you learn to speak Shyriiwook?” Curse asked in amazement.

“From my Wookiee friends, duh.” she answered with a chuckle.

“Then who were they?”

“Ahnchu, Fehi and a couple of their friends. Ahnchu and Fehi are my closest friends.”

“What do you mean? Don’t…” she cut him off.

“Before you say anything; no I have no clone friends. Like I said, no one wants me here.”

“That’s not true.”

“I highly doubt that.”

“I-” he swallowed, “I want you here.”

Shard looked at him with skepticality and confusion, “You hardly know me. How could that be possible?”

“You’re right. But from what I’ve gotten to know, how could anyone NOT want you here?”

“I don’t know. Probably because I’m not like the rest of you.”

“Well don’t listen to them. They don’t matter.”

“Thank you Curse. That means a lot. And I wish I could, but it’s hard when I’m surrounded by them everyday.”

“What happened to ‘You hardly know me?’” he joked, shoving her warmly.

All she did was wrinkle her nose and smile at him.

As the sun went down, the pair wandered away from the village to spend more time together. Curse savoured every second of it. He didn’t want to leave her.

Curse was a shy clone. He never broke any rules. He was what they call a Reg. though, that night, he let that Curse go and brought a new one to life, asking a bold question. One that might change his life for the better, or for the worse IF she said no.

“Shard,” he began, when they were somewhere private, “I… I was wondering if you would maybe want to come back to my quarters with me? Just for the night? I don’t want to be alone and I loved getting to know you and want to keep getting to know you.”
She looked at him with wide green eyes, “Curse, I loved getting to know you too. You’re kind, gentle and understand me.” she paused and looked down to the ground before whispering, “And yes, I will join you because I don’t want to be alone anymore either.”

Curse’s heart exploded in excitement, happiness and pride as he took her hand. He intertwined his fingers with hers as he led her to the fighter he brought. He beckoned for her to hop in first so she did. He was right behind her as he ignited the engines and flew off to his quarters on the Venator Class ship above.

Once they arrived, they ran to the door of his quarters and the second the door was open, he yanked her inside and twirled her inside. He dipped her, holding the leg that went up and looked into her eyes with a charming smile. They shone like emeralds. His love for her grew, but he kept it to himself until he knew she loved him back. So for now, he kept her as close to him as she would allow. Which, quite frankly, was a lot closer than he expected.

Shard was led into his quarters when, unexpectedly, he twirled her and caught her in a dip. She was growing to like him. Is he the one I was meant to find? No, I hardly know him! The thought swirled in her head and wouldn’t leave. But he’s gotta be the one. I… I love him. But how?
Once he brought her back up, he pulled her so close to him, their bodies were touching. His heart was pounding, he prayed she couldn’t feel it. The adrenaline coursed through their veins the longer they looked at each other. It made both of them impulsive.

Curse knew this was his one shot to tell her in a roundabout way that he loved her. His head swam with the mixed emotions that drove him to do something he never thought he’d do: he leaned in and kissed Shard with a gentle fire. She returned it which was the reaction he hoped for, but thought he’d never get. His stomach twisted itself into knots as he held the embrace for as long as she’d let him.

The next thing Shard knew was that Curse’s lips were on hers. Out of pure infatuation, she returned it. She couldn’t lie to herself that she hated it, because she didn’t. This was her way of knowing that someone wanted her. That she was important to someone. And she intended to get to know him down to the very thought he was thinking.

From then on… they both knew that they were meant for each other. That they had found the one that would protect them to the death to keep them safe…

Sunlight streamed through the window the next morning. Shard woke up next to Curse in nothing but her undergarments. Her armour was in a heap on the floor next to her. Curse was still asleep on her right side.

She remembered nothing from the night before except for one thing: she was indirectly told she was loved. She loved him too.

Curse woke up to find Shard next to him, already awake. He was in nothing but his undergarments as well. He had one memory from the previous night: he successfully told her he loved her. The only thing was he didn’t know if she loved him back. She can’t… like she said… we hardly know each other.

They rolled out of bed and Shard threw on her black undersuit, her cheeks flushed in embarrassment.

“I really need to go. My see oh is probably wondering where I am.” she stammered out rapidly.

“It’s ok. I understand. My admiral is probably wondering the same thing.” he said as he slid on his navy uniform.

She headed to the door and stopped. She turned back to see him standing behind her with a sad look on his face, “I’ll comm you later, I promise.” she smiled and kissed him gently. He returned her kiss and watched her leave, the calm wave that washed over him settled him.

She’s coming back! He celebrated in his head. He left to the flag bridge smiling a huge, stupid smile as he entered it.

A few of the members asked him why he was so happy. It was unusual for Curse. He normally was stoic. His only response was ‘Nothing.’ Of course no one believed him.

He had begun to hear idle gossip about Shard. How he was seen with the defect from the 41st. They said nasty things about her. The most common thing was ‘She’s never going to fit in. She’s not like any of us. She’s a girl.’ they spat her defect… no… mutation… no… difference like it was a poison. It angered Curse how much the GAR hated her. But if he stuck up for her, they’d mock him too. Is it worth it? If it means she has at least one friend in this shit hole.

Shard rushed back to the 41st’s base. She was glared at as she entered it. She held her head up proudly as she disappeared into her quarters back on base. She heard the usual chatter through her door. But one thing they couldn’t stop talking about was how she was seen with the navy member.

“How could he like her?”

“Is he a defect too? Why else would he like her? Or even want to be seen with her?”

“Yeah is he out of his mind?”

“Good thing he’ll never have to see her again. She’s an embarrassment to the Grand Army.”

Shard bit back her tears as she heard them talk. She picked up her comm and sent a line of text to him; I can’t do it anymore. The mocking, gossip, all of it. And now they’ve brought you into it.

Curse heard his comm beep. When he looked at the name that popped up, his heart skipped a beat. She really does want to see me! But when he read it, he felt his heart drop. He didn’t know what to do. He wanted to be there for her but he was back on his Venator and she was on the planet’s surface.

He wallowed in his sadness for days until he was released from duties for a few days to clear his head. This is my opportunity to let her know how I really feel. He didn’t want to move too quickly, but he couldn’t keep hiding his feelings for her any longer. He was going to shoot his shot. He prayed that he wouldn’t miss.

Shard sat on the floor of her quarters. She was crying silently, unable to hold it in anymore. She was in just her undersuit when the comm on her armour’s gauntlet beeped furiously. She answered it and Curse’s hologram popped up. She was surprised and tried desperately to hide the fact that she was crying.

“Hey there, Shard.”

“Hey.”

“How are you?” he asked, even though he could see she’d been crying.

“I’m fine. You?” she lied, masking her voice.

“I’m alright.”

“That’s good.” she paused and swallowed before whispering, “They talk about me. They hate me. And now they brought you into it.”

“Shard, I’m so sorry to hear that. I don’t hate you. I don’t know why they should hate you. There’s no reason to.”

“They all talk about my ‘defect.’ They say I’m never going to be good enough.” a tear ran down her cheek. Curse noticed it and a tear fell down his as well.

“Shard, it’s not right how they treat you. And as your friend, I want what’s best for you.” he smiled gently and awkwardly, “I care about you and want to make sure you’re happy.”

“Thank you. That means a lot. But why would you wanna be my friend? I’m defective, remember?”

“That’s what they’ve titled you as. But it’s not who you are deep down. I can tell.”

“But it’s true. I’m defective and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

“No, it’s not.” he said firmly, “They got that in your head because they want to have power over you. You can’t let them or they will see it as a sign of weakness.”

She stared at him blankly for a moment before she smiled weakly, “Thank you Curse. I’m glad to know I have one person looking out for me.”

“Anytime Shard,” he smiled back, “Before you go… can I ask you something?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you doing anything tonight?”

“No, why?”

“I want to take you out to this cantina I heard about. It’s on Coruscant.”

“I’d love to.”

“I’ll pick you up at seventeen hundred then?”

“Seventeen hundred.”

The time came. Shard was in her ready room smoothing out the last wrinkles from her clothes. She was nervous, excited and happy at the same time. She was scared that he wouldn’t show. She didn’t want to be embarrassed again.

She waited for what felt like hours when her comm screeched. She looked at it and saw Curse’s name on it. Her face lit up.

She answered her comm, his hologram shooting up in the palm of her hand.

“Hey Shardy.” he said cheerfully.

“Hello Curse.” she returned the warm greeting.

“I’m on the landing pad right now. Where are you?”

“I’m heading out the door right now. I didn’t know you were here.”

“I said seventeen hundred didn’t I?”

“I mean yeah, but…” she trailed off.

“But, what?”

“I’ve been lied to so many times, I just thought that you maybe didn’t want to see me.” she whispered.

“Of course I want to see you. You’re beautiful.” Curse immediately regretted the last word.

Shard’s eyes went wide. She had never heard that compliment before. Or any compliment to be precise. “You… you said that I’’m…” she trailed off.

“You heard me. You’re beautiful.” he smiled.

“I… I’ve never been called that… or complimented in general… it… it feels nice.” she whispered.

He stared at her with a loving look. She was beginning to realise that he loved her more than she thought. She needed to know she had someone there for her. He didn’t care anymore if he was mocked along with her. He was going to be there for her through thick and thin.

Shard finally met him out on the landing pad. The ramp of his ship opened to reveal him standing at the top, smiling down at her. She smiled back. He beckoned for her to come up the ramp. She did so and was greeted with a gentle kiss on the cheek. She relaxed from the tension she was feeling. She was afraid that she was going to be abandoned yet again, but it all melted away when his lips touched her cheek.

Curse’s heart fluttered as he kissed her. He was afraid that she wouldn’t let him. She did, which made him rather happy.

They left the hangar moments later and headed to Coruscant, where Curse already had a reservation made at a cantina for clones. They sat and scanned the menu, finally deciding on what to eat.

Half an hour later, they finished. Curse wiped his mouth delicately with the cloth napkin and asked, “So what do you wanna do now?”

Shard swallowed her last mouthful and answered, “I dunno. How about just a stroll through the streets?”

Curse smiled, “I’d like that.”

Her cheeks went pink for a split second then it went away. “Let’s go then. We got nothing but time.” She stood up and waited for Curse, who was just finishing up counting the credits and leaving a tip for their meal.

He held out his hand for her when they got outside. She took it, something he didn’t expect her to do. He wasn’t going to complain but he was still surprised she did.

After a while, Curse stopped. Shard looked at him, wondering what was wrong. She noticed his cheeks were turning pink.

“Would you maybe wanna,” he swallowed hard again and went red, “Come to my place tonight?”

Shard’s eyes went wide for a moment, then her gaze softened and she replied quietly, “That would be nice.”

Curse looked down at her, into her eyes and smiled. A small flare of guilt bubbling up as he thought to himself, ‘Curse you’re such an idiot! Asking her BACK to your place? She probably doesn’t even like you the way you do her. Are you out of your mind?!’

They left back to his place for the night. Curse opened the door and let her in first. But before she could sit down, he took her hands and pulled her close to him.
Shard was confused about what he was doing but she liked it, him being that close to her.
“I, I love you Shard. I know we’re clones and aren’t programmed for this, but I can’t help it. I always have loved you,” he whispered softly.
She stared at him in shock, her very thoughts coming from his mouth as if he had read her mind.
“I love you too, Curse. Ever since that day on Kashyyyk, when you wanted to be with me. It showed me someone cares.”
He smiled at her and the only response he gave was a gentle kiss on her lips, her stomach tying itself in knots.

They woke up the following morning to the sunlight softly leaking through the blinds, Curse holding Shard in his arms, looked down at her and kissed her forehead gently. Did I just…? he asked himself. Did we…? He had a look of confusion on his face. Shard woke up, kissed his jaw softly and smiled at him. He looked back at her and put one hand on her jaw, pulling her face to his ever so benevolently, and kissed her. They had taken a trip to Naboo to get away from the structure they loved byt hated.

“Did we…?” Shard asked after he released his lips from hers.

“I think so,” he responded in a reassuring whisper.

“Well then.” she shrugged and snuggled up closer to him, nestling into the shape of his body.

“I’m not complaining,” he said. wrapping his arm around her, pulling her closer.

“Neither am I.”

“Now what?”

“I’m not sure…”

He lifted her head up and looked into her eyes, smiling softly. She looked back at him and smiled. He always made her smile no matter the circumstances. He had a charm about him that she couldn’t resist even if she tried. They remained in each other’s arms for a while, not letting go.

That evening, they went out for a stroll through town. Though there were dozens of people, they felt like they were the only ones in the streets that night. The universe seemed to melt away the longer they spent together. As if nothing else matters. They drowned in each other’s company. They could be in dead silence and still be the happiest couple in the galaxy. They were truly happy with each other. They thought that fighting for the Republic was where they found true happiness, but boy were they wrong. After that first kiss, they knew that that was what they were truly fighting for. For each other, for the world they wanted to enclose themselves and stay in, for their future.
Every day, it seemed, they talked about their future. What they wanted, how it would be. It all sounded so wonderful to them.
And they couldn’t wait to make it their reality…

It had been 3 weeks since they returned from their little vacation. Having almost gotten used to not worrying about the war, it was a little difficult for them to get readjusted to military life.

The next day Curse burst into the room, sliding on his feet toward her, with a big grin on his face, “Guess what I did Shardy!” he looked like he was about to burst.

“What?” She looked up from her most recent art project, her hands covered in paint, put them on her hips, and glanced over her reading glasses to him with a smirk.

“I got promoted to admiral!” he bounced up and down slightly with a stupid grin on his face, biting his bottom lip.

She pulled the readers off her face, wiped off her hands, and looked at him with confusion and shock, “You did what?!”

His smile faded to slight concern, “Yeah… is that ok?” he asked.

“Y-yeah Curse, I’m so happy for you,” she nodded her head, her eyebrows scrunched, still looking slightly confused.

“Ok. I’m sorry I didn’t tell youI was working toward that rank," he lowered his voice and looked at the floor.

“No it’s ok. As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters.” she smiled softly and embraced him, lifting up his head, her forefinger using his chin to make eye contact with him.

He locked eyes with her and smiled.

“Wait… but that means you won’t be here as often, and I can’t protect you,” her face dropped marginally as her eyes had an almost pleading look in them.

“I’ll be surrounded by squadrons to protect me, I’ll be ok Shardy.” he reassured her.

“But I can’t be there to make sure.”

“I promise I’ll try my hardest to make sure I stay safe, for you.” he reassured her, “Then again, I could delay the time it takes to finish my ship,”

“Meaning you wouldn’t have to leave me yet.” her face lit up slightly.

“Not as soon, no.”

She looked away sadly, “But you still have to go,”

“For a while, yes, my dear.” he looked at her with a sad frown.

“Promise me you’ll come back,”

“I promise, I won’t leave you alone. I’ll make it back for you.”

“What will I do until you return?”

“Keep fighting, staying alive for me. Making it back for me.”

She nodded a small nod and took a quiet breath in and let out a long exhale.