"I've got everything I think I need. Travel-worthy clothes, passport, whatnot." Thai reached down and patted a small bag she'd packed for the trip. It didn't have much in it other than legal identifications and a couple loose credits just in case. She could be worried and overpack for a small trip, but she wasn't stressing all that much.
"Whenever you're ready, lead the ways. I'll lock the doors on the way out."
"Got it all figured out do you? Alright if you insist, let's get goin."
Laren stood back up as he set his empty cup on the counter. He smiled at the beautiful woman across from him before setting his helmet back on his head. Once it sealed, he turned and began making his way towards the door. He stopped before leaving and turned back to face her and said,
"I'm glad you decided to come. Gets lonely without another person around."
"You don't seem like the kind of person to get lonely," Thai teased as she set the lock on the door behind them. With a smile like his, he probably had the ladies falling at his feet. Plus, if she were a Mandalorian tasked with traveling all across the galaxy going who knows what, she'd make a point to figure out a solution to all the time by herself. A travel companion, perhaps? Wait, shoot. Did he have a traveling companion?
"Don't you pilots have traveling companions? A droid maybe?" A droid would do for Thai, as long as it was one of the ones with good enough AI for conversation. Not a protocol droid, though. Those things were in-suff-er-a-ble.
"Yes actually, two. One is a super tactical droid from the Clone Wars. Long Story. Then there is my best friend in the galaxy. BD-3 or Buddy as I call him. He is small and easy to take everywhere. Cryptic on the other hand.. eh he can be a bit a pain though he grows on you."
Walking down the alley in the direction of his ship The Unforced. A good reliable Wayfarer class light freighter. Laren didn't mind the comment about loneliness. Yes he had droids but it was definitely a different type of companionship when he has someone special to come home to at the end of the day. Had he partook in some extra curricular activities with women in the past? Yea. Did he still want to do that? Not as much anymore. Something serious would have been fairly nice.
"I'm sure you'll love the droids, though don't go to the cargo hold. My Nexu are going to be upset from being awaken by the takeoff from the ship."
Laren chuckled as he mentioned it. He did love those cats.
Ah, so he does have droids. She figured correctly. Thai had never really had droids around. Her father never bought any for the lounge (neither did she) and they never had any around the house. Nothing against them, she just much preferred the company of sentient living beings. Like Laren.
"I'm willing to believe you about that," she replied in reference to his comment about her loving the droids. Thai stepped up onto Laren's ship, taking a good look at it as they entered. Damn, when was the last time I was on one of these? Probably a good twenty years ago, maybe more than that. Whenever her late father had taken she and her mother off Shilli. Didn't really matter.
"Okay so this is The Unforced! She is a reliable ship. Got me through hard times."
"Hello, I am Cryptic. Super Tactical Droid, and am delighted to meet you. Please do make yourself at home."
"Cryptic cut the act she's.. different than the others."
"Oh thank the droid god. I was really hoping I wouldn't need to do that the whole trip. Well I will go sit with Cabur and Buruk then."
"Yea you do that big guy."
Yes, Laren had a weird friendship with his droids. Try living with droids for years. They kinda become your best friend when you have no people around. The Mandalorian would walk to the cockpit where his BD unit would be waiting for him.
"Hey there Buddy, this is Thai. She's gonna be joining us for a little bit."
"No.. maybe.. no. She's different."
Laren sat down in his chair and turned to look at Thai then back to Buddy. Then back to Thai.
"You can sit in the copilot seat."
He looked at her and motioned his hand to the seat. The Mandalorian hadn't let a girl into the ship before. Usually his intera- yea he's never let a girl into his ship before.
"Hello!" Thai would give a friendly wave to any and all droids introduced to her. Though she was a bit concerned about the back and forth between Laren and them, she figured it was probably harmless. Though she was very curious.
"Thank you, Laren." Thai would set her bag down by the seat and brushed her hand along his shoulder before sitting down. She would then spin back around, getting a good look at his ship. It was nice. She really didn't have anything to compare it to, but it seemed nice.
"So, what all do we gotta do? Do you just press a button and the ship heads off? Is it more manual?" Thai paused after realizing it was probably a lot of questions. "Sorry, I'm unfamiliar with ships."
Almost melting inside he kept his cool when the fingers ran against his armor. The feeling would've been intensified had he not had his shoulder pieces on. Looking over at her through his helmet his goofy smile would be showing as she asked how to take off.
"Well, Yes and yes. I'll show you. So go ahead and press the green button and then pull the second lever to the right down."
He would watch as she followed the instructions. This was fun for him and probably very exciting for her. Everything about what he was doing was different. He was enjoying every bit of though. With this woman around there was a feeling of fulfillment. Fulfillment that hasn't been there since the loss of his family. When she finished the task he would add on,
"Now I'll put in the coordinates to the planet, and then you will press this button. I'll fly us out for now, but I would like to show you how to fly. It's a good skill."
He took his helmet off and set it to the left of him. Then turned to face her once more. His smile grew and he could feel a slight blush. Quickly he snapped his back to the console and then onto the sky as he would begin his flight. The two were off to Chandrila. The droid behind him would then comment,
"Buddy, I will come back there!"
Laren of course said it playfully. Though the droid made his remark how he wanted.
Green button... lever second to the right... Thai's eyes swept across the console until she found them. A finger pressed the green button, and a hand grasped and pulled down on the lever. The ship rumbled to life, and a smile crept up onto the Togruta's purple lips. She listened to his next instructions, waited for him to input the coordinates, then again pressed a button. Her eyes met his for a just a moment before Laren turned away, a slight pink in his face. Thai's smile only grinned. It was so cute how humans blushed; it was cute how he blushed.
"I don't know if I'm quite ready for flying... I've yet to ever fly one of the taxi cabs." Thai said this jokingly, as though the idea of flying a ship was downright terrifying, it was also exciting. "...but maybe I'll let you show me. One day."
With that, Thai would lean back into her chair and take a good look around of the place, stealing glances at Laren every now and then. She shook her head at the droid's tease (or what she assumed to be a tease), amused by it and Laren's relationship.
I will tell you one thing, Laren sure didn't think he could get this way about a woman after the years and years of being a single bachelor. The Mandalorian was loving every moment he was spending with this woman. When the ship finally left atmosphere, he threw it into lightspeed, as the stars would turn into streaks of light passing by. It was a cool sight, to those who haven't seen it over and over again.
"Beautiful isn't it? Space, the lights. It's enough to leave you in awe the first time around."
He would lean back in his seat after engaging the autopilot. He smiled as he thought about the woman next to him. He felt at home. Though still traveling foreign waters at the same time. His droid hopped onto Laren's lap and proceeded sit as best a BD unit droid can sit.
"Oh, absolutely. Yes." Thai was enamored by the streaking blue lights of hyperspace. While she'd seen pictures of it, they were nothing compared to the actual thing. "To think we're traveling so fast that light is all we can see is mind-blowing." She would continue to look for a while before sitting back.
"Does it ever get old? Traveling, I mean. I know hyperspace travel can take days sometimes." They should have no issue, traveling within the Core, but if he'd been beyond the center space... well, all she knew is that her shipments could take a while to make it to Coruscant sometimes.
She was making good points to travel. It does take a while but it never got old. For Laren at least. There was a peace to it. The travels were where he could relax and have peace, now he was sharing this peace with Thai. Something he hadn't shared with anyone but his brother. I mean his droids too but they don't have souls.
"To be honest, no. I like the comforts of my ship. She has gotten me through so many tough times. It's my home. Well for now anyways.. Until I help liberate Mandalore."
He took a moment to pause. It was heavy subject to talk about, but he was prepared to speak about if that was the topic to bring up. For now he leaned back in his seat opened a secret compartment with a hidden bottle of Onderoninan Wine. Laren has liquor saved for special occasions, and trust me, a pretty girl being along for the ride and seems to possibly be interested in Laren? Yea that's definitely a special occasion.
Liberate Mandalore? Thai might be a little embarrassed to admit she had zero clue about galactic politics. Zero fucks, too, if she were being honest. In her opinion, as long as nothing out there came down to affect her and her home, whatever. She wanted to ask about Mandalore, but she didn't want to come across as insensitive by not being aware of current events. She was so curious though...
"Could you tell me about it?" Thai would ask this gingerly, as if she didn't want to provoke him. "If you want to talk about it, that is. I'm embarrassed to say I am not...up to date on galactic politics." Anything she knew about came from Taldorak when he returned every so often, and he wasn't exactly in the political side of things.
"Well I mean, what is there to tell? It's a fight between true Mandalorians and the followers of a false proclaimer. I could go on and on but you don't want to hear about that.. it's just political mumbo jumbo. I plan to just rid Mandalore of the infestation of heretics and bring the new way of life into the role of leadership among the Mandalorians."
Laren stopped to look over at this woman, she must be bored of his words. There is no way she could be enjoying the blabble he was pouring out. Whether she was seemingly interested he would just chuckle to himself and then look back to her and begin to let more words come out of his mouth,
"I probably shouldn't keep going, I don't want to scare you away... I think I might like you."
The last part came out as a mumble to himself. e wasn't confident enough to say it to her face. Which was pretty weird cause he was usually one to have all of the confidence, but somehow she made him vulnerable. She was like his kryptonite. She was definitely the one, in his eyes.
"I uh.. I don't know how to say this but uh.."
He would turn to look at her with a blush forming and a goofy smile at the thought of her. The Mandalorian, fearless warrior and great verbal communicator, was worried he would say something wrong.. quite unusual.
A fight between the true Mandolorians and the false Mandolorians. Thai didn't even know there were multiple sects or even beliefs within them. Her experience with them thus far had only been Taldorak and now Laren, and the former did not speak of Mandolore. Nor did he speak of hordes of heretics which needed to be driven out. Most of their conversations were either business-related, small talk, or him relaying stories of his travels.
"Oh, no it's fine! I don't mi-" Thai paused as his trailing words reached her. Did he just say what I think he said? Thai didn't really know how to react to them, so her face remained constant. He began to stutter, his white skin reddened, and he had a goofy smile as it all happened. She didn't know how to respond to it either.
Just then, the ship dropped out of hyperspace. It jolted her forward a bit, but not so much that she was in danger of falling out of her seat. Chandrila appeared before them, replacing the streaking blues of hyperspace with the rich greens and blues of the planet's earth and seas. Thai stared for a moment, in awe of the natural appearance of the planet in contrast with Coruscant's gray cities and orange light pollution.