They sit in silence, watching the credits roll. For some reason, he has one arm around Nihlus and zero ideas about how it got there. And the bowl of berries is half-empty.

“That was so good.”

He blinks a few times. Nihlus is nuzzling against his shoulder, hips still trembling a little from the fast-paced action. It’s dark outside. The windows are streaked with dried rain.

“It was passable.”

Nihlus is still nuzzling — he moves on to Saren’s cheek and moves into his lap. Saren’s first instinct is to pull away. He fights it. Puts both arms around that slender waist instead. Rubs their noses together for the briefest of moments.

“Didn’t they get Zaeed spot on? Didn’t I tell you?”

He fights it. That which lurks beyond telling.

“To my knowledge.” He holds Nihlus still. “Yes.”

Their eyes meet. Nihlus grins. Then sneezes.

“Spirits. I must be dustier than a cask of good elasa.”

“Ridiculous.” He glances at the discarded plastiwrap in the corner, just in case. “That cover’s been on for…” he frowns. “… For twenty years.”

The hedge in the planter by the window is long dead. Only hollow branches remain, brittle to the touch. The ground is littered with shrivelled leaves.

Nihlus is unfazed. “Guess it’s just you, then.” He runs a thumb along one of Saren’s fringe-blades and mock-examines the result, pretending to blow away a layer of dust. “We should check for cobwebs. Do a complete search.”

Saren growls in reply. Nihlus just laughs.

Taking someone home shouldn’t be as hard as they say in the holos. Should it?

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