The quiet, constant hum of the kolto tank buzzed soft and low against the back of Vyen’a’s consciousness, creating an almost comforting blanket of sound.
Except the sound wasn’t comforting. And she was so cold.
She stared down at her legs, her boots still speckled with bits of a mix of sand and blood. How long had she sat here? She lifted a datapad from the floor by her foot, tapping the display to life.
By Galactic Standard Time: four days, sixteen hours, four minutes.
That is how long it had been since she nearly broke flight speed records, cursing and biting back tears the whole way from Tatooine to Coruscant, precious cargo stable and asleep in her med bay’s kolto tank.
It wasn’t that she didn’t trust them. Sotori and Rikur were fine medics. But the man in the tank was still unconscious when they left the planet. And he still hadn’t woken up, even after a steady stream of doctors and specialists had poked, prodded, checked and rechecked his vitals, his bioscans, and everything else they could think of.
Jerax still did not stir when they moved him from the kolto tank after day three, laying him in a fresh layer of sheets on a narrow hospital bed.
He didn’t move when his mother and father came, sitting a while with Vyen’a, urging her to take a room in the wing designated for family members.
He didn’t move. So she didn’t move.
Vyen’a sighed, lowering her head to rest on the pillow next to Jerax, fingertips turning the thick platinum band around and around his ring finger.
All she could do was wait, they had said. He could wake up in a day, or he could wake up in a decade. So she waited.
She would always wait.
The datapad bleeped an alert on her lap, making her sit up with a slight start to look at the readout. She couldn’t help but choke back a strangled sob of a laugh. The calendar was displayed, a small mark on the day.
She set the datapad down on the floor again with a small sigh, running fingers through her unkempt hair, and leaned forward, kissing the man’s brow softly and whispering almost inaudibly.
“It’s been a year since Ord Mantell.” She paused, then sighed, resting her forehead against his. ”Happy anniversary, Jerax.”
The man did not stir.