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you long to be something better than you are today

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Lando won big this visit to Canto Bight, big enough that even having repaid the debt collectors on his tail, there was a tidy sum left over.

Enough for a visit to the tailors in the casino atrium, in fact.

"You're wasting your money," L3 said. "Scratch that. You're wasting our money."

"Who just got new circuits and a shiny cranial case?"

"Upgrades!"

"So is this."

She levelled her red eyelight on him. After a moment, he huffed and turned back to the bolts of fabric arrayed before him. He pinched two silks, one in each hand, considering.

"Now what are you doing?"

"Evaluating. Hush."

"They're all brightly-colored and quite flimsy. There, done. Let's go."

"No," he said quietly. "They're beautiful."

His capes, eleven in all, were either second-hand or sewn by his mother. She was wonderfully talented, and he'd come far in her clothes, but he needed, required, something more. This would be his first bespoke piece. He could hardly breathe.

"Gratuitous self-indulgence," L3 announced before she clanked away, calling, "Find me at the spa."

"You'll rust," he murmured, but she'd already gone.

When the cape was complete, Lando insisted on wearing it out, despite the Glymphid modiste's disapproval. The cape's exterior was a pearly jacquard, heavy enough to drape dramatically, but not so heavy that it could ever be mistaken for outerwear. The lining, a soft blue silk shot through with slubs of raucous lavender, featured several concealed slits, suitable for various purposes.

"Cheating," she said later as he modelled for her. "You mean cheating."

"Options, my dear." Arm around her petiole, he drew her close. "Smile for the holo."

"You first."

As he activated the holo-recorder, Lando went up on his toes and kissed her cranial case. He'd never felt this close to being his true self.