He tells himself he hadn't been looking for Tahiri when he finds her, but really she'd been the first thing on his mind after the initial excitement of an additional Skywalker dies down. He would have gravitated to her anyway – orbiting around each other is kind of their thing so naturally collision is inevitable.

She's lying on her back on the floor with strands of short yellow hair haloed around her face, knees pressed together, bare feet tucked beneath outstretched palms and she doesn't look up when Anakin enters her room. He'd forgone knocking a while ago ("I can feel you coming parsecs away, dummy"), but something keeps him rooted to the threshold of her door. Okay that something is nerves, and a little bit of pure unbridled fear, but it's also a shift in her aura, the bubbling constant chatter her force pattern usually emits exchanged for a stagnant energy he can't quite get a hold on.

"Hey," is his quipped prelude before finally crossing that threshold – and really it feels like he's crossing the divide of something greater and invisible – he drops to the floor beside her, parallel but in reverse to her position with his head down around her waist. He doesn't want to be near her face, doesn't want to be near her lips. Or he does so much that it's much wiser to keep his distance. He hasn't really decided yet.

She says nothing so he bumps her knee softly with his own. "I bet Mara would let you hold the baby sometime, if you wanted. He's kind of cute once you get past all the wrinkles. And the crying."

He's met with silence again and his palms are actually sweating, pulse thrumming hot and hard in his wrist and yeah, this was an absolutely terrible idea. He seems to be chalk full of those lately. He stares up at the durasteel ceiling, tries out a few more sentences in his head and what falls out isn't entirely something he'd planned.

"I'm sorry I kissed you and if I alarmed you – or uh, made you uncomfortable just tell me alright?"

Tahiri juts a fist at his shoulder and speaks for the first time. "Anakin Solo, you apologize for the stupidest things."

"Ow-" And it's then that he turns his head and sees that her lips are quirked slightly and she's blushing and for a moment he can't separate her tingling surge of affection from his own and he wonders how he hadn't noticed it the minute he'd walked through the door. How he hadn't noticed a long time ago. "Oh."


"It's um-"

"-Use your words, Solo, I thought you were getting better at that."

He sighs heavily and drags a hand through his hair. "Well you could help a little – I thought you said you wanted us to uh, figure this out, once everything had calmed down. So this is me figuring it out, I'd appreciate your input anytime now. This is kind of a new thing for me." He's rambling now to fill the silence and mask the rising splotch of color that's creeping along his neck.

Tahiri scoffs and sits up and Anakin follows suit.

"Yes and I spent all my time at the Praxeum kissing strangers when you weren't looking."

There's a pause, vacant and full of possibilities. Anakin spends it contemplating whether or not to muddle it with more convoluted words or to just let it be.

Tahiri takes matters into her own hands, as she so often does.

"I liked it, Anakin. And I wouldn't mind if we did it again. And if we keep doing it."

He swallows hard, glances at her out of the corner of his eye. "Yeah?"


"You liked it?"

"Yes, did you not hear what I just said? Honestly, sometimes it's like you have synthweave stuffed inside your ears-"

"I liked it too." He feels her hand go lax beneath his fingers and he gives it a gentle squeeze.

"Well then. That's good. Glad we're in agreement."

"We usually are."

"What alternate reality have you been living in, hero boy?"

Their eyes meet and they share soft, mirrored grins and suddenly she's very close and he can count every lash fanned around her green green eyes, can trace the three crouched lines above them to the short wisps of hair that static sticks to her cheeks and –- mouth. He'd kissed that mouth not a few hours ago. Kissed it three times. Tahiri swats back a stray lock of hair and her eyes flit down to his own lips shyly and he knows she's thinking along the same lines.

Their fourth kiss is warm and experimental. It starts slow, a thumb along her jaw as he tilts her head closer and their lips brush, just so. Tahiri takes both of her hands – cold from the durasteel and atmosphere of a space vessel – and cups Anakin's face gently. He closes his eyes and their mouths meet deeper, this time longer and far more certain. He lets his own hands tangle in Tahiri's hair before dropping one to the back of her jumpsuit to tug her closer.

There's really no direction to what they're doing – it's all trial and error, a grunt when Anakin's shifting knees squash one of Tahiri's bare feet, a murmur of content when her mouth sucks subtly at his bottom lip. Their noses bump clumsily, and Anakin laughs against her and Tahiri pulls back with a snigger and shake of her head before inching closer to him on her knees. She crawls into his lap and burrows against his chest and he's shy about it at first, hands resting oh-so diplomatically at the safe curves of her shoulders, but the ridiculousness of that compared to what they've just shared weighs in and he drops his arms to her waist, pulls her closer, tighter.

He feels her grin against his neck. "I'd call that figured out."

"We figured something."

She giggles, high and loud, and he can't remember the last time he'd heard that. Before Yag'dhul. Before Yavin 4 and the war that had spiraled all of this into place. She nudges his hand with her own, a light brush, barely a gesture, but he gets brave and threads her fingers between his and takes her sigh of contentment as a good sign. If he closes his eyes they're kids again and sprawled outside the Great Temple on Yavin 4, dreaming up their next grand adventure with nothing so pragmatic as the future weighing them down. Anakin's grip tightens on her and he solidifies this moment to memory.

Something tells him that he'll need it in the days to come.