Wes growled, an uncharacteristic scowl blanketing his face. He kicked a flightsuit that was lying on the floor, glaring blaster bolts at it as it fell into a heap two meters away. "It just isn't fair," he grumbled, folding his arms tightly over his chest.
"You know, sulking isn't going to do you any good, Wes," Hobbie told his roommate over the rim of his mug. "Just give you worry lines."
"Oh ha-ha. Listen to who's talking about sulking," he replied, his tone clipped and bordering on irritated.
"I just have a serious face!" Hobbie nearly shouted back in his own defense. "I do not sulk."
"Yeah, well, I have good reason to sulk," Wes countered, pulling out and then falling into the chair across the small table from Hobbie. He leaned his elbows on the smooth surface, cupping his chin in both hands.
Hobbie chuckled at his friend, who looked more and more like a cantankerous child with every passing moment. "There are worse fates, Wes. I don't think this is worth getting this upset over."
"You can say that, cause it's not you that has to do it," Wes answered with a long sigh.
"Well, if I was the one stuck with it, I wouldn't be acting like you are, that's for sure. And you lost fair and square, remember?"
"You must have cheated. How did you do it? Rig the cards? Use mirrors? How?!"
Hobbie just shrugged. "Just lucky I guess. Lucky at cards, unlucky in love."
"I'll give you one hundred credits if you'll do it for me."
"Nope," Hobbie smirked.
"Two hundred. And...and I'll shine your dress boots!"
"Sorry, you're stuck. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful day," Hobbie said, dryly sarcastic.
"Five hundred creds and I'll do your datawork for a week, as well as ALL your boots."
"Wes, take it like a man."
"I don't want to take it like a man!" he wailed, burying his face in his hands. "Can't I go up against a Super Star Destroyer instead? A Death Star, maybe?"
"Come on, now, it isn't that bad."
Before Wes could respond, the door annunciator chimed. "I think that will be for you-hoo." Hobbie couldn't help the sing-song tone that slipped into his voice. Wes just growled inarticulately at him as he got up to answer the door.
It was only a couple of steps to the entrance, but Hobbie stood anyway, wanting a good view of the spectacle about to take place. He placed the tips of his fingers in his ears as the door opened, knowing what was going to come next.
"Unca Weeeeeeees!!!" Solinda screeched, leaving her mother's side and launching herself at Wes. The little girl latched onto his knees, hugging them tight, and Wes's hand lay on top of her head, half submerged in a mop of red curls.
"Hi, Solinda. You looking forward to our little trip?" Wes asked as the little girl's round face looked lovingly up at him.
"Uh huh. You really gonna take me flyin'? Huh? Huh? Just like Grandpa Cracken?"
"Yeah, we're going flying," Wes confirmed, ruffling her curls. "To Fantasy Fun to go on the rides." He waved goodbye to the little scamp's mother, then closed the door.
"You win me an ewok, like last time? Huh? Huh?"
Hobbie burst out laughing, but quickly clamped a hand over his mouth. It was too late, though, Solinda had locked onto him. "Uncle Hobbieeeeeeeeeee!"
Pash's daughter quickly let go of Wes and set a course for her new target. Before he had a chance to move, Hobbie had a five-year-old wrapped around his legs. He bent slightly at the waist and picked her up, sitting her on one hip, her legs around his waist, her arms wrapped around his neck. "So you and Uncle Wes are going to go on a trip, huh?"
"Yeah, yeah," she nodded, red hair bouncing. "You gonna come too? Huh? Huh?"
"Now there's an idea," Wes chimed in. "How about it, Uncle Hobbie? You going to come with us? Huh? Huh?"
Hobbie would have loved to wipe that smug grin off his friend's face. But now he was stuck. There was no talking Solinda out of something she was set on, that much he knew. She was as headstrong as her grandfather.
"I would love to come along," he tried to say lightly, glaring at Wes. "Nothing I would like more."