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The Players: Lincoln, Sarna


After the late night and the interrupted sleep upon choosing to find out where Sarna had snuck off to, if not why, Lincoln had returned to the Office and caught another hour or so of rest. When he'd gotten up, there had been a quick shower and then with his morning caffeinated beverage, he'd taken the ladder to the hatch that opens up to the roof. The roof area is decorated like a patio in many ways with a music box that is currently playing some relaxing sounds as the sun is starting its ascent to the sky. Between the open hatch and the music, it would not be difficult to determine where he'd gone. Various other implements, a cooking grill surface, a swing under a canopy and where Lincoln currently is, sitting at a table with a pair of chairs all face different angles of the city to provide a view.


When Sarna awakes from a short morning nap in the armchair, the office is quiet, and Lincoln is nowhere to be seen. The door to his private room is ajar, and there's no sign of him, but then she catches sight of the ladder and the open hatch and a smile quirks her lips. With a quick glance to make sure she's not being watched, the girl climbs up to the top and looks out, surprised to find a rather cozy setting up here. She's glad he has such a place to escape to, and when she sees him standing there, she climbs the rest of the way up and clears her throat. "I hope I'm not interrupting your alone time," she says, glancing around at the view of the city from up here.


Lincoln glances over at Sarna as she climbs up and smiles warmly, "Naw, not interrupting. Most of life is alone time. I just like to come up here in the morning, get a feel for what the day might be like y'know?" He pauses a moment then embarrassed, scrambles to get her a cup of the morning drink as well from a pot that is sitting on the table, offering it via cup. "Everyone needs that quiet time."


"Thanks," Sarna says as she wraps her hands around the cup to warm them. She brings it to her lips and blows on it before taking a careful sip. Then she squints against the sunrise and nods her agreement. "It's a good spot to get your perspective for the day. I didn't know you had a secret spot!" With a quick wink, she turns and takes a slow turn around the rooftop, taking in the view and noting how he's furnished this small space to suit him. "Of course you don't usually have people crashed all over your place either. I'm sure we won't be cramping your style for much longer."


That draws a short laugh from Lincoln and he shakes his head, "Style? There's no style here. Honestly having you all around has been wonderful simply because it means my mother hasn't been bugging me of late." There's a humored truth to his tone as he moves to stand by Sarna and face out the direction she is as well. "Getting the perspective is... really what it's all about. I suspect that's why some people just try to get away from it all. I try to take a trip out to the mountains regularly for that reason. Some people may just visit Cantina's in the middle of the night," he offers Sarna a sidelong glance with a teasing grin.


Sipping from the cup, Sarna tries to hide her grin, but her brows arch as the marshal mentions his mother. Though she's curious, she stays quiet and listens on, then shrugs one shoulder uncomfortably as he questions her escape. "I just needed to get out of Delphine's shadow for a moment. She's worried about me, I know. But I don't know if I quite fit what she's expecting me to be." If she has another reason for running out the night before, she doesn't mention it, but she watches the sunlight start to glint off the side of the mountain and sighs longingly. "I didn't know it was going to be so beautiful here, either."


"Beauty is what's seen when a person takes a moment to simply exist in its presence," Lincoln says softly and then he actually blushes, looking away from Sarna since that was where he'd been focused. "I hear a lot of old sayings from the Elders and the like around here, I like repeating them." He trails a bit then takes a breath, "I was worried, simply because well... You're in danger, so I worried. But you were safe and that was enough for me I suppose." That is left for a moment before Lincoln sighs, "I don't want to ruin the moment Sarna but, I have to ask, what's really going on? I got good instincts, it's why I do this job."


Catching the blush out of the corner of her eye, Sarna looks over and turns, surprised at the change of tone. "I appreciate that everyone is worried," she murmurs. "And I'm sure your instincts are good. I won't lie..." She trails off uncertainly and takes a couple of steps away. "I really wanted to talk to you, but that wasn't happening. So I ran off, and maybe hoped you'd notice."


"So... you ran away because you wanted to talk to me?" Lincoln asks with a bit of a chuckle and then he adds in a softer tone, "You could have just asked you know. I would have happily found time to be together." His hand lifts slowly to bring his cup to his lips, taking a small drink before asking with a hesitant question, "What did you want to talk about?"


"You would?" Sarna sounds genuinely surprised. Feeling very young, she bites her lip and struggles to answer the question. "I don't know that I had a topic in mind," she confesses. "I think I just wanted to talk about... you?" She find a chair and sits on the very edge, looking up at the marshal. "And, well, I did want to thank you for keeping me safe and letting me overstay my welcome. That's the very least I can do since I don't have much else to offer."


Moving himself, Lincoln sits on the other chair, not on the edge but a bit further back, "Oh, well... I usually don't talk about myself too much but I suppose I can. Although if I can be honest? You are way more of a mystery. Off world, the weapon you have, the things I've heard you do..." He sips his drink and smiles over the lip of the cup at her, "I haven't really done much in the realm of keeping you safe, just showing up at the wrong time. And you are nowhere close to overstaying any kind of welcome, I figure you easily have at least another month."


Sarna tracks him with her gaze as Lincoln takes a seat, and she sets her drink on a small table. Her eyes are dancing with amusement. "Wow, a month! You're very tolerant. I think Delphine would faint if I told her I wanted to wait that long." Her smile fades at that and she looks away, lowering her lashes. "She's probably right, too. Malideus will come back. I can take care of myself, but I don't want to get anyone else hurt." Still, his words make her glance at the lightsaber at her belt and she's thoughtful for a moment. "I suppose I am a bit of a mystery. I don't even know if I can explain it all in a way that would make sense. But I don't mind answering any questions, if you're curious."


"I don't even know what question I'd start with... so let's try this," Lincoln offers quietly, grinning at her. "Don't tell me something you'd tell anyone you meet. Tell me something that you want ME to know about you. Like for example, for me? I ..." Then he trails off and laughs softly before clearing his throat and levelling his eyes on Sarna's. "I think it'd probably be good for you to know that I've been off Valentine's World four times in my life and every time was a complete disaster... it's why I don't, why I don't leave."


"Well, why would you want to?" Sarna says with a chuckle, keeping the disappointment out of her voice as best she can. "You kinda landed the jackpot being born here. If I could've picked a homeworld, it would be here," she admits. Thinking for a moment, she finally blows out a breath and her shoulders rise and fall in a sigh. "You should probably know I spent all my life on a ship trying to get here. It was just the crew and my aunt and uncle. So my social skills are probably... uh... lacking." She looks down at her fingers nervously, worried about his reaction.


"No more lacking than any of us," Lincoln says softly towards her. "Everyone interacts differently based on their culture y'know? Like here on Valentine's people interact with each other way more different than off worlders would. So if you hadn't said anything I'd have just figured you being an off world traveler." He reaches out, placing a reassuring hand on her arm unless she pulls away. "And if you really want to know, it's nice growing up here but everyone knows everyone's business. Like..." Lincoln laughs and pauses then tilts his head in the direction of the town below, "Everyone down there knows the three of you stayed at my place last night. There's no secrets, no privacy. It's all family all the time."


Lifting her chin, Sarna glances at the city and the streets growing busier by the minute as the day begins, hoping that the flush she can feel on her cheeks is not too visible when Lincoln touches her arm. "I suppose that is a drawback. One thing I'm used to is my privacy," she says with a chuckle. "But it's nice to be somewhere that's so... easygoing and welcoming." Her hazel green eyes flick toward his and she pats his hand lightly. "That's probably why you don't mind being invaded. You're of this world, too. And Delphine, well, she's very beautiful..."


"Yeah, she is," Lincoln agrees quietly looking out at the city for a moment, "A lot of people comment about the beauty of the people on Valentine's, and they aren't wrong. Like I said, there's a lot of beauty out there when someone takes the time to seek it." He looks back at Sarna, no blush on his cheeks just a steady expression. "Are you jealous of her? Of her looks?" The question is given without judgment in it, "Because you shouldn't be."


She manages to keep her expression under control for the most part, but it becomes more difficult to look into his eyes. "No, not jealous of her looks. Jealous of her experience and charisma, is probably more accurate," she says, shocked that she can admit it out loud. "Beauty isn't everything, and it doesn't usually last anyway. Not that kind of beauty, anyway." Sarna sighs again and glances toward the open hatch, half expecting the Acolyte's blond head to poke out any minute.


"Sarna, I... I kind of feel you have a resistance to admitting how you feel about things, your emotions," Lincoln says softly towards her, looking the girl over with a steady look, his hand giving a gentle squeeze to her arm. "Experience and charisma are sometimes quite genuine, and sometimes forged from impression. Either way, you have your own experiences and your own charisma that are quite different and no less valuable. But at the same time the more guarded we are, the less open we can be, the harder it is to let people see those elements within us." He smiles, blinking his eyes as the light catches them momentarily, "I mean look at me, I'm an open book."


His assessment of her brings a smile to Sarna's round face and she takes the invitation to look him up and down, openly appreciative. "I mean, you're not wrong. I don't know how to talk about my feelings. It's not something I've done much of, even to myself. But I've always been confident I knew who I was until I came here. So," she adds challengingly, folding her arms over her chest and pursing her lips. Her eyes dance merrily. "Why don't you show me how it's done then, Mister Open Book?"


"Well, like I told you, I'd need to know what chapter you want me to open the book to," Lincoln says playfully as he leans back into his seat himself and folds a leg over his knee and resting his hands on his lap. "I suppose I could open to the Chapter about my family. About growing up. Or would you rather me open the to the Chapter about you?" He asks it and watches for a reaction, gauging for one before going on. "Because I certainly have thoughts about that. Difficult ones. Thoughts that really are challenging but being open about the challenge is how you work through it. Let me know, which chapter do you want Sarna?"


The girl watches him with amusement as he sits back, and if he's looking a reaction when he mentions her in particular, her hands clench on her knees and the flush creeps further up her cheeks to her hairline. "It sounds like you have some thoughts to work through," she says after a moment. "I didn't know I warranted a whole chapter..." Trailing off, her eyes meet his and she relaxes her hands by sheer force of will. "If you think I should hear it, that is."


"Well," Lincoln says softly, eyes not departing from hers, keeping the focus there. "I see a lot of people come through the system, particularly during festival as you've seen. But in all my years, there's never been someone who carried such a mystery about them. I mean, when I really step back and think about it. Here's this beautiful girl who exudes confidence but also has this element of innocence. Someone that doesn't need protection, but I find myself trying to protect regardless. She is a mystery in every sense of the world and it causes this boiling conflict of emotion, y'know? I know what I should think and do, what is appropriate. But that isn't what I feel either. Those damn feelings keep communicating the opposite." He chuckles softly and actually stands up then to turn and look out to the city, finally breaking eye contact but not stopping speaking quietly. "The thinking side of me says I should hustle you off this world and move on. But the heart side hopes you stick around because I'm curious. Curious about who you are, about where you're going... about what you think."


Once he starts, Sarna finds it difficult to focus on his words as her heart works to pound blood faster to her cheeks. But she manages in spite of her embarrassment, and even gives a coy shrug of one shoulder. "I didn't know I had made an impression," she admits breathlessly. "Why do thoughts and feelings have to conflict so much? I do wonder about that sometimes, finding the compromise between the two. But what do I know?" When he stands, she looks at the back of his head and frowns to herself before clearing her throat. "Well, I'm here now, at least. If you want to satisfy any curiosities. What do you want to know?"


"Well.. you said you spent your whole life on a ship to get here. Where is here, and where did you come from to warrant spending all that time on a ship?" Lincoln asks softly glancing over his shoulder to her. "Are you running away from something, or to something?"


"Ah." Sarna nods slowly and gathers her thoughts, giving him a reassuring smile when he glances back. "Well, I'm from another galaxy, you see. We came through the Hypergate. There were two ships, my sister was on the other. We were in danger before we were even born. My mother was being threatened by a Dark Lord of the Sith, and she found a way to keep us safe from him by sending us through the Hypergate." She runs her fingers back through her hair and looks out at the twin moons shining against the blue of the sky. "Something went wrong, though. Instead of coming through instantly, we were trapped inside for a long time, and we lost contact with the other ship."


"Do you have any idea at all what has happened to your sister then?" Lincoln asks softly, pondering, "If it was supposed to be instant did they come through... before you, still stuck? Someplace else altogether?" There is a flurry of questions that comes to him and he stops himself, frowning, "I'm sorry. You...probably would have said if you knew. It is the investigation side of me, I see a mystery and start peeling it away. What is this.. Lord? I have never heard of that. Are they in the Regency?" The concept it seems of 'another Galaxy' may be outside of his understanding.


Sarna smiles at the questions and the conclusion he comes to, and she nods as he comes to the correct answer himself. "I wish I knew," she says. "I have no idea. For all I know they are still stuck, or came through ten years ago. But I guess unless you saw another one of me come through..." She laughs at the thought, ignoring the bitterness at being separated from her twin. She is used to ignoring those feelings. When he asks about the Dark Lord, she glances at him furtively and her expression falters. "Where I come from... far away from Cresh... the Sithlords are the ancient enemy of my Order, the Jedi. They wield the Dark Side of the Force and want to enslave the whole galaxy. But there are no Sith and no Jedi here in Cresh, so my mother felt that we would be safe."


"So this is a safe haven to you," Lincoln says quietly and then nods slowly, "And Valentine's was the first world you came to?" He adds in thought. "No wonder you find things so different here. Those pieces all make sense..." The smile he has is one of understanding now, a bit of disappointment however has come to his eyes. "But things here in Cresh are not all peaceful and safe, especially in a lot of other systems."


"I imagine that's true," Sarna says fervently. "That's why my mother and my uncle made sure I was trained to use my abilities. The Jedi are defenders of peace and justice and that's what they wanted for me, even if I'm somewhere else. She glances at the mountains and the city with the golden plains stretching beyond to the forest, then stands up and clasps her hands behind her back. "Yes, this is the first world I've ever been on," she says, "but when I first came here, it felt like I had known it all along." Her smile returns a bit and she looks down at her boots. "It's like it was destiny."


"Destiny is a dangerous think you know, it can bind you to a path you do not want to take," Lincoln says softly and looks to Sarna with focus. "What's even worst? Being told what your destiny is like you don't have any control over it. But I'm curious, why did you feel that way? Was there something in particularly that made you feel this world, this path, was right?"


She taps a fingertip against her lips and returns his gaze, hesitating. "You promise not to laugh?" The cool morning breeze catches her hair like a banner and she smooths it back from her forehead with one hand. "I had a vision of myself here, older... happy. It was very vague and the details are hazy, but that feeling of belonging here never went away." Sarna touches the back of his arm and tugs on his sleeve playfully. "Lady Aurelia tried to tell me the Enclave would consider 'stationing' me here. I think she knows how I feel, too." Her head tips to one side and her lashes lower heavily over her eyes. "Destiny is a dangerous thing, you're right."


He doesn't glance down at his sleeve where she has touched him, in fact Lincoln slides a half step closer towards Sarna, looking at her with a small smile, "Is that so? Stationing you here as a representative of the Enclave? Staying here on the world, getting older... happy?" There's that gentle 'dreamy' tone to his voice as it trails off to a quieter tone. "Is that really the path you would have your life take?"


"Maybe..." she speculates, and her fingers wrap around his bicep as he shifts closer. "Though I don't know if I want to join the Enclave. I should learn more before I make a decision. Maybe they can at least keep me safe from Malideus, in the meantime." Those big eyes search his, the tone of his voice softening her expression. "Maybe I need to cure you of your fear of leaving home!" she teases, and playfully pokes him in the ribs with her other hand as she tips back her head and laughs lightly. "So is your curiosity satiated, Marshal Abrams?"


"Satiated? No... it's far woret I fear. No, Miss Sarna, I believe you've actually made me far more curious in you than I was before. Everything you say is like a bit more mystery to unravel," Lincoln's tone remains quiet, soft, his hand lifts up to brush at Sarna's hair some and puts it behind her ear. "You think you could convince me to leave here? That'd be a real challenge you know... to get me to leave home." He actually sounds hopeful about the possibility.


"I don't know," she replies honestly. "You don't have anything to run away from here. I can see why you wouldn't want to ever leave." She dips her head and looks up at him from beneath the screen of her lashes. "But it could be a great adventure, too. If you're ever tempted to have an adventure, anyway..." She tips her head side to side a couple of times, taken a bit aback by his confession. "What would it take, you think?"


"To run away from here? Not really. I mean..." Lincoln trails off and blushes a bit, but doesn't avert his eyes. "It would be kind of nice to get away from, well..." He pauses then coughs, "My mother is constantly trying to find me that 'right person' and sets me up with the daughters of her friends. But other than that, not a lot to run from. Maybe instead... something to run too?" When he says something, he looks directly into her eyes, "Someone?"


Sarna laughs at the maternal problems, a bit of sympathy in her gaze. "Having a doting mother. That does sound terrible," she says teasingly "I'm a little bit jealous, but if you're looking for someone to run to?" She rubs at the back of her neck nervously. "The way you're looking at me means you either mean me, or perhaps Lady Aurelia if you're feeling particularly devious." She can't help but laugh again and catches her lower lip in her teeth. "I suppose if you wanted to solve all my mysteries..."


Lincoln gasps, a softly teasing tone, "If I solved all of the mysteries... then what would there be left to discover?" The question has a genuine note to it and if it were possible his voice has become softer. "But the issue is not the way I'm looking at you, or anyone else for that matter. My culture, my heritage is... well off worlders sometimes find it very different and in some cases confusing. It's why those of us that stick to some traditions stick among our own kind. Not all on Valentine's do, but some of our traditions at least." Despite that subtle warning, he doesn't back away. "The way I look at you... at anyone really, is the way I was raised."


Her brow furrows as she tries to parse out what he means, and as much as she's gotten to know the people of this place, there are certainly things she has not yet learned about them. She takes the warning in stride, though. "I suppose that explains your charm," she says, her voice losing its teasing tone and dropping softer as well. "Those blue eyes can do a lot with just a look. Especially when they're attached to someone handsome and protective and curious about me. So you were just raised to sweep every woman off her feet?" Sarna smiles again at that and arches one questioning brow at him.


"Of sorts?" Lincoln says softly and then clears his throat a bit, "I don't really. There are some of our family who are multi-relational. So they do work on attracting a lot of people. I'm not really like that, so my mother always tries to help me out with it by, like I said, putting her friend's daughters in my path." He bites his lip, grinning some. "So when I look at someone it's difficult because I was raised to sort of look at anyone at anytime regardless of the situation. And offworlders, people not used to that tradition I've found, have a tendency to struggle with the jealousy that can come from that." He pauses then adds, "Handsome?"


"Uh huh," she utters unapologetically. "Don't pretend you don't know it, marshal. Very handsome!" Sarna wrinkles her nose, remembering her earlier jealousy, and uncertainty threatens to rob her of her courage, but she pushes past that bitterness and her fingers finally slip down his arm to lightly touch his hand. "And it sounds like your mother just wants you to be happy," she adds, another thing she can be jealous of. "So should I be telling myself you just look at everyone that way?" she asks softly.


"I do look at almost everyone that way..." Lincoln says softly, "It's if I stare that way that it's a thing. I try to keep it from being a dominant thing, but I am who I am?" He offers, his own hand turning some to take hers in his. "Is that something you could handle? Knowing that someone who may be very interested in you also cannot avert his gaze?"


Sarna is thoughtful, since all of this is so foreign to her experience. But she has no judgments against the Nahrahm culture, even if it's different from how things might be where she's from, and she slowly nods her head. "Of course, you are who you are. I wouldn't want you to be anything other than that. But... I think you're saying you're interested," she whispers hopefully. "That maybe... this time... it might be more than a look?" She looks down at their hands and gives his a squeeze. "I think I could maybe handle that."


"Well.. at least while you're here?" Lincoln adds softly, "But I think you do need to hear out Miss Aurelia, just to see what they're about. Not that I want you to leave at all but, if it can help you." That last he whispers, stepping closer. "Besides, it's not impossible to keep in touch. But I can put my own desires aside to see you have a chance to find out what they're offering?" He leans slightly closer, "As long as you let me know if you ever feel jealous."


Surprised at her feelings, Sarna gives a soft sigh and her free arm slides up around his shoulders when he leans in. "I don't wanna think about Lady Aurelia right now," she chides playfully. "With my luck you'll just summon her here." She looks pointedly toward the open hatch leading downstairs, and then back into his eyes, humor and affection in her hazel green eyes. "Okay, if you promise not to be mad if I can't help it sometimes?" Not wanting to think about how short her stay here might be, she closes her eyes and leans her head against his chest.


He lifts his hand, gently placing it on the back of Sarna's head and letting it rest against his chest, holding her there slightly. "I think I can live with that. See where things go? But I'll be patient, I can promise that much. Especially if you can too." Lincoln pauses then leans back some to look down at her, "I mean, I'm from a different culture than you're used to, you've been on a ship your whole life. What sort of misunderstandings won't happen?"


"There's something else you should know," she says, enjoying the moment and feeling the warmth of him against her. Pulling back at last, she meets his blue gaze and takes a deep breath. "If I wanted to, I could use the Force to see your thoughts." She admits it without hesitation, but tightens her hold on his hand as she goes on hurriedly. "But that's not something I would ever do without permission. As oh so tempting as it can be, I would rather you tell me than cheat and find out without your knowing. So I get misunderstandings. I know I'm probably going to be a weirdo compared to most around here, in more ways than one!"


"Read my thoughts, hmm?" Lincoln asks quietly with a hint of curiosity, "Well, most of the time my thoughts are easy to find out by asking but I think with time and building trust?" He pauses then goes on, "I don't have jealousy so you know, at least about things like this. It's not our way. So I'm not sure how... weird... it will be compared to what you would expect."


At least he hadn't balked at the idea, and Sarna's obviously relieved by his reaction. "You're lucky to be immune to jealousy. But I don't think I'd find things so weird. There's a lot I admire about this place, this culture." A pretty smile crosses her face as she watches him talk, her gaze drifting from his eyes to his mouth and back again. "And I like that you're willing to tell me just by asking. There's an awful lot of talking going on, I think."


"Nothing wrong with talking, it's how you get to know one another," Lincoln points out and gives her hand a soft squeeze, still gazing into her eyes. "I'm about to say the words I hate more than any. The day's about to get underway... and there's a lot of folks out there that are expecting me to make sure things don't get out of control."


Sarna gives an askance look down to the street below and clings to his hand tighter as if that might change the fact the moment is coming to an end. "I know, the Festival calls. The patrols must go on." Stepping closer, she leans up and kisses his cheek right beside his ear and whispers there. "Thanks for listening to me. And treating me like a grownup. I appreciate it more than you know."


Lincoln shakes his head a bit and whispers back, "You are a grownup on any world I know of. When you act like what you are, others will accept it. If you allow others to treat you as other, then you will be that in their eyes. So when you speak with Miss Aurelia... speak to her not as a subordinate, or even a peer, but as an authority. Be polite, but be assertive and confident." His own lips curl to blow gently on her ear before he straightens. "Speaking of, you should grab breakfast with her while I do the work type thing, then we can look to lunch together?"


She can't help but shiver with excitement and when she tips back her head to look at him again, her eyes are soft with longing. "I'll remember that. Confident and assertive. That's me." Relenting, she nods her head and focuses for a moment. "I think she's awake. And probably wondering where we are. I'll go reassure her I haven't run off again." Her smile returns and she taps the tip of his nose with her fingertip. "Lunch sounds lovely. But no more nerf kebabs."


With a soft chuckle and release of her hand, Lincoln nods, "No more Kebabs then. I'll figure something else out." He adds then, "Assertive and confident. Want me to let her know you're up here? It's a good place for talks...as you've seen."


"Nah," she says. "I think I want to keep this spot secret." Sarna winks at him, gives him one last playful poke and heads for the hatch.

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