Numa is the last soldier standing.
Her squadron had been ambushed coming out of the mountain pass on their way to the nearest Rebel base. They'd fought hard at two-to-one odds, with less gear, less ammunition, and running on fumes after their overnight trek. It was a miracle that they lasted so long and taken out as many stormtroopers as they had, but when the adrenaline rush dies down, Numa realizes she stands alone.
A stormtrooper is stumbling several paces away from her, his hands clutching blindly at his helmet. As he moves, she can see that her last shot grazed him close enough to sear his visor, leaving the duraplast scorched and melted. He can't see out of it, and Numa raises her blaster to finish him off.
She isn't sure if she believes in fate, but something makes her pause long enough for the stormtrooper to pry the helmet free and toss it away with an angry grunt. Numa can see his face now, but the implications of it don't hit her until he looks up and begins to raise his own blaster towards her.
The curved mustache. The golden-brown eyes. The irritated scowl. Despite his weathered appearance due to age and the silver that's sprinkled into his hair, she knows this is him.
Not even a lifetime apart could let her forget this man.
"Nerra?" She whispered reverently. "Nerra Boil?"
The man flinches, and Numa can see his hand begin to shake as he brings his other up to try and steady his arm. She starts creeping forward, not letting her blaster waver from his form. There was always a chance that this was some sick Empire trick.
"Nerra Boil." Another twitch. This was him without a doubt, but still, something was missing… "Where's Waxer? Is he with you?" Her eyes widen in horror as she steps over another still trooper on her quest to reach him. Was Waxer among them, lying broken beneath their feet? What had happened to Waxer?
Numa is close enough to see the amber flakes in his irises and the pool of tears welling in the corners of his eyes.
"D- dar'jetii," he haltingly mutters, shaking his head as if a swarm of flies is trying to cloud his senses. "Wax-xer. Nu… ma?"
"Yes, it's me. It's your numa," she reassures him and takes another step closer.
"Numa…" he slurs, trembling even harder. "Ryyyyloth."
"Yes," she encourages, almost close enough to touch him. "You saved me on Ryloth."
Hearing it from her must've triggered something, because while Numa is finally face to face with the clone, Boil is no longer present in any inch of his expression. The seasoned veteran in her saw the slight shift in his posture and the tightening of his grip on his blaster, and the shaking was now gone and he was shifting to aim it right at her chest and–
And the sound of a blastershot deafens Numa momentarily as Boil's body hits the ground. She'd shot first.
For a moment, only the sound of gurgling can be heard as Boil tries to breathe through the fatal wound he's been dealt. His attempts steal air straight from Numa's lungs as she stares in shock at the empty space where he'd stood.
"Nu… ma," he wheezes in time with his inhales and exhales. "Numa."
Fear that she hadn't felt since she was a little girl hiding behind a white armored leg courses through her like lightning. She falls to her knees, Death's scythe falling from her hand to rest next to its twin that rested ominously next to Boil's outstretched fingers.
"Nerra," Numa whimpers, her voice wobbling and vision going blurry as she fumbles with Boil's chest plate, trying to remove it to staunch the bleeding beneath. It won't matter in the long run. She knows that. But if she doesn't at least try– if she doesn't try to futilely save him after all these years trapped under the faceless mask of the empire, she'll never be able to live with herself.
She freezes as Boil rasps for her to stop and watches cautiously while he tries to lift his other hand towards her. She meets him halfway, lacing her fingers through his gloved ones, wishing that she could feel his skin against hers, to know with her whole being that this was real.
Instead, Numa reaches up to cradle his cheek. When he turns slightly into her warm touch, she sees the red stain beneath his head– he's hit it against a rock in his fall. There's no hope at recovery.
"Kei'nata tun, nerra Boil," she greets in a hushed tone.
She thinks he laughs. "Haven't– haven't heard that name in a while." His eyes drift from a point over her shoulder to focus on hers. "Su cuy'gar, vod."
"You finally came back," Numa smiles. She hopes she smiles, because she wants Boil's last moments– his first moments of freedom in years– to be full of beauty and peace.
"I guess I did," he murmurs. "Funny, that." A tear finally escapes and trickles out of the corner of his eyes, disappearing into his lightening hair. "Waxer didn't."
She hushes him gently. "He's with you, I'm sure of it. He's watching us now."
Boil's expression fractures and shatters. "I missed you, kid."
Despite their short time together, Numa understands what he's trying to say. "I love you too, nerra. You're here with me now."
"Tell me about your life, Numa," he begs. "Tell me what I missed."
She can't deny him his request.
She speaks long into the dawning dusk, as the smoke settles and the chill sets in. She speaks until long after Boil's chest has stopped its shaky rhythm and his hand has gone listless in hers. She speaks until his eyes are closed peacefully, as if she'd lulled him to sleep with a fairytale and a happy ending.
When Numa finally looks up after readying herself to move on to safety and regroup with the Rebels, there are two shadowy figures of equal height watching her from the edge of the battlefield graveyard. They're too far away to make out their faces, but she recognizes them in her heart before one raises his hand in farewell.
The figures are gone when Numa blinks.
She takes one of Boil's pauldrons and straps it to her shoulder as she walks away. When she closes her eyes again, she can feel her brothers' steady hands on her shoulder, protecting her back and guiding her forward.
Numa is the last soldier standing.
A/N: Based on a prompt by letitrainathousandflames on tumblr.
nerra = brother | numa = sister | su cuy'gar = hello (so you're still alive) | kei'nata tun = (greeting) respect to you