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find a star to soldier on

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“I should have stayed on Earth,” Kix says. Kix bemoans, because that’s what this is. It’s a lament for his sanity and a plea for someone to rewind time so he can make better choices and not commit himself to years of dealing with idiots, no matter how dearly he loves said idiots.

“It’s not that bad,” Fives says with all the dignity still available to him. Fives is currently sitting in his underwear on one of Kix's biobeds, though, so Kix is pretty sure his opinion doesn’t count. Especially seeing as he may or may not have picked up an exciting new sexually transmitted infection that Kix has never seen before and very desperately never wants to see again.

“You slept with an alien,” Kix tells him, despairing. “And you didn’t even use protection.”

Fives goes bright red, though he’s still trying to pretend at dignity. “It was a heat of the moment thing,” he protests. “And besides, I didn’t know that things were, uh. Transmissible. Across species.”

“Oh,” Kix says, sensing an opening and a prime use for all the truly horrifying lectures he had to sit through in xenobiology. “Did I never tell you about what Togrutan Shingles do to human muscle tissue? Because it’s fascinating—”

“Ah,” a soft, bright voice says, and Fives's newest conquest leans around the partition with a smile. “There you are, Lieutenant.”

“Hey, Feral!” Fives says, and wriggles out of Kix's grab for his shoulder to throw himself at the ambassador he apparently rescued dramatically and with great deftness. And then promptly slept with when they got trapped in an ancient fortress by a suspiciously dragon-like creature that they eventually managed to lull to sleep with an even-older harp.

Kix has stopped questioning these things by now. At least Fives has better luck than the captain. Obi-Wan should never be allowed off the ship ever at all under any circumstances, and particularly not when Kix isn't with him.

“Are you feeling any better?” Feral asks kindly, and his eyes flicker to Kix as Kix sneaks up behind Fives with his hypo out and ready. They make eye contact, and Kix is ready to freeze—

Feral gives Fives his sweetest, most innocent smile, and reaches out, laying his hands against Fives's bare chest. Ducks his head a little, looking up through his lashes as Fives goes red and stutters. It’s the perfect opening, and without hesitation or mercy, Kix strikes.

He feels a little better about sending Fives collapsing into Feral’s arms when Feral hoists him up with apparent ease and deposits him back on the biobed, muscles with more definition than any human’s flexing in his back and shoulders. And—maybe Kix doesn’t agree with Fives's decision to sleep with a diplomat who’s the younger brother of two very scary Zabrak warlords, but. Potentially he can see why Fives made the (terrible) choices that he did.

“Sorry about that,” he says, helping Feral arrange Fives's various limbs. “He’s still contagious, so he can't leave yet.”

“That’s fine,” Feral says, giving him a smile. “I had no idea Humans were so delicate or I would have been gentler.”

“I think he liked that part,” Kix says, and doesn’t even want to think about some of the bruises he treated. Fives bragged about all of them, right up until Kix remembered that one obscure vaccination Fives was missing that had to be administered in a very particular spot, and then Fives spent most of the rest of the time sulking, but blessedly quiet. “Just—next time use protection.”

“Fives promised me next time will be in his quarters, so that should be easy enough,” Feral says without a hint of shame. In fact, he looks very pleased with this idea. Kix kind of wants to ask why Fives is such a catch, but he also really, really doesn’t.

Still. Still. Fives is part of his crew, and Kix loves him, and if Fives is sad the whole ship is going to be sad, so Kix takes a breath, picks up a hypo, and looks at Feral.

“Be careful with him,” he says. “Not just physically.”

The or else is pointedly implied in the way Kix snaps the applicator onto the hypo with a loud crack.

Feral looks about as intimidated by Kix as Kix would expect from a man whose brothers can probably bench-press shuttles and eat bowls of nails for breakfast. Which is to say, not at all. But he smiles at Kix, leaning in to touch his shoulder, and he says, “I will, don’t worry.”

That smile is dangerous, Kix thinks, eying it. No wonder Fives is so stupid about him. “Good,” he says, in lieu of anything more threatening he might be able to manage. He’s entirely certain it won't have nearly the impact he wants it to. “Uh. Thanks for the help.”

“Help?” Feral says, blinking at him with perfect guilelessness. “I have no idea what you mean.”

Fives, Kix reflects, is going to get eaten alive. What a way to go, but—well.

Kix also really, really does not want to know any of the details, ever.