"Don't mind if I do," he replied, somehow managing to get himself into the room and the chair without falling down. He knew he had a lot of explaining to do, but he wasn't really sure where to start.
As it turned out, Mira got there first. "I didn't mean to make it sound like I'm not grateful," she said, almost as soon as he sat down. "I am grateful to be away from Faraxen, and to be with family. I mean, just because I can look after myself, it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate having someone else looking out for me too, you know? It just ... it felt like you kinda didn't trust me to have basic common sense, and that kinda got me annoyed. But I shouldn't have snapped at you, and I'm sorry. I know you just want what's best for me."
He was both surprised and relieved by her apology, though he thought it entirely unnecessary, and yet, it gave him a place to start, as far as his own apology and explanation was concerned. "It's not that. I just ..." He drew a heavy sigh. Did he really have to spell it out for her? Wasn't it obvious enough already? "I don't want to lose anyone else, that's all," he said, without getting too specific.
"Well, then you better keep me around," she told him matter-of-factly. "You can stop me getting lost, and Yana can stop you getting lost. And we can, I don't know ... tie her to the ship with bungee cord so she doesn't get lost too?" It was a little facetious, and definitely teasing, but they were edging around a subject that had a lot of hurt tied to it.
"I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about Yana too much," he replied with a small chuckle. At least, not where getting lost was concerned, but then, he was taking her literally when she was probably talking figuratively. "I wanted to ask you about that though. About what you'd like to do with your life now that you're free of Garv."
She shrugged, drawing her feet underneath her as she settled more comfortably on the spare bunk. "I don't know," she told him honestly. "I've never really had to think about it, you know? I was pretty sure that my whole life would be spent at Garv's, up to my waist in broken down parts."
"Do you like being a mechanic?" he asked, thinking that was perhaps the best place to start. Now that they were on Rhy'Din, the possibilities were endless, and though he was secretly hoping she'd choose to stick around and become their mechanic, he didn't want to make that choice for her.
"I love ships," was her honest reply. "I love this ship. She talks to me, you know? Like ... I know the sub-light oscillator needs pulling out and going over, and I know that there's a bad circuit on the compressor unit for the life-support, and the reason the cargo lift doesn't work is because there's a whole hydraulic system missing. I mean, I haven't had a chance to look, but I know those are problems. I can hear them. It's almost like she wants me to fix her up."
"Hear them?" he echoed, arching a brow at her and wondering if she was somehow drawing on a little of the Force to tell her these things or if it was just a mix of intuition and know how. He understood how she felt about the ship though. He'd never had a ship of his own, and even only after a only a week or so, he was getting attached to her.
"Well, yeah, there's this ..." She trailed off, gesturing to her ear. "This is hard to explain. The sub-light oscillator is completely workable, but take off would be a lot smoother if it was cleaned up and reinstalled. The bad circuit buzzes when the life support goes into recycle-mode on a night cycle, but unless you know what you're listening for, you'd miss it. And, uh ... Well, things rattle in the engine room where that hydraulic system should be." She shrugged. "And that's just by listening to her. Pretty sure I'd find more that could be done if I went through her system by system, but I don't know if we have the money or the time to do that."
He nodded, afraid to admit he was somewhat relieved to hear it was a trained ear that had her knowing what the ship needed and not some religious mumbo jumbo he wasn't sure he believed in, and suddenly he knew exactly what he wanted to say, hoping he wasn't stepping on Yana's toes doing it. "Yana and I would like to make you a full partner," he blurted, even though it was something they'd only just been discussing a few minutes ago.
"Really?" If he'd thought Mira might say no to that, just the look on her face was enough to assure him otherwise. She looked delighted with the offer - surprised, but pleased that he and his girl were prepared to keep her on. "I don't mind taking orders, you know," she offered in return. "I mean, you don't have to make me equal so I'll stay. I want to stay."
"Yes, really," he confirmed. Though he'd been thinking the same thing, it had been Yana who'd suggested it openly. Of course, there were still some things they had to discuss as far as this little partnership of theirs was concerned, but at least, it was a start. "It's just ... I am not sure what to do now that we are free," he admitted further, hinting at some of his own uncertainty, and pointedly using the word "we", not "I" or even "you". He pushed one hand through the unruly mop of dark hair with a sigh. "We are quite the group, yes?"
She laughed, leaning back against the wall. "Hey, we're together," she pointed out. "That's a start. And I have no idea what it is that you do, so I really can't help with working out what to do next. I'm a grease monkey, that's all."
"I am ..." Kalen started, trailing off with a frown as he wasn't quite sure how to define himself anymore. He'd done so many things in his life, most of them unsavory. He fancied himself a pilot, but a pilot of what? A pilot of a broken down freighter? So, what was he really and what did he want to be going forward? A pilot, a smuggler, a businessman? "We can talk about it later," he told her, knowing Yana wanted to discuss it as a group anyway.
"Sounds good to me," Mira agreed with a smile. "I'm good with just about anything, you know. I mean, I'd rather we didn't fly straight into the side of a mountain, or take on a pirate fleet alone, but if you need me to, I'll hold Nemesis together with spit and hope."
He chuckled at her remark. It kind of went without saying that none of them wanted those things either. "Are you hungry? Yana went to get some food," he told her, changing the subject. He wondered vaguely if he should go track down the snowglobes before Yana stumbled across them on her own.
"I could eat," she nodded. "I wanna get my globe - wait right there, I got to show you this." Bounding up from where she sat, she shot out through the door, and a few moments later, she was back, tossing Yana's wrapped globe into his lap as she moved to put her own on the little shelf she'd set up. She grabbed a string of colored lights - another of Yana's purchases, it seemed - and draped them behind the little snowglobe, shaking it to set the glitter falling. Then she stepped back, and killed the main light, all but clapping her hands in delight at the pretty display she'd made for the present he'd bought her. It certainly had pride of place.
He opened his mouth to protest and even debated going after her, but after taking to his feet and swaying in place a moment, he decided it was probably better if he just stayed where he was. Maybe he should have taken BB up on his offer of a cure, after all. She was a little ball of energy, but he couldn't help but smile at the pretty display she'd created with his gift taking center stage. "I like that," he said, and not just because he'd given it to her. She had claimed her space and was slowly making it home - he and Yana could probably take a lesson from that.