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Posted: Oct 20 2010, 09:48 PM
King of Rick Rolls
Member No.: 90
Joined: 14-July 05
Title: Least Expected
Rating: PG for language
Timeframe: Takes place during Wedge’s Gamble.
Characters: Winter, Tycho, Wedge
Disclaimer: Nope, still don’t own the characters or the fandom. Star Wars and Wedge are property of George Lucas. Winter and Tycho were created by Michael Stackpole.
Summary: The operation had gone wrong in just about every way conceivable. Winter should have been prepared for anything, but it was one familiar face that caused her to stop in her tracks.
Notes: A birthday gift for Myra. Happy 19th!
I guess you could call this silly little drabble one of those missing scene fics. This particular story takes place during Wedge’s Gamble, right when Winter, Wedge, Corran, and Mirax arrive in the underground cavern hideout Tycho found. Also, this is my first stab at first-person writing in a little over a year.
He was the last person I expected to run into.
“You have to believe me,” Wedge said. “I wanted to tell you I just …” He paused, rubbing the back of his neck. “I couldn’t risk a security breach with him involved. Hell, most of Cracken’s people don’t know he’s here.”
I tried to formulate some sort of response but couldn’t find the right combination of words. Really, I couldn’t seem to think of a single word to say.
“If we were anywhere but here I would have said something,” Wedge continued. “I completely understand if you’re mad, I-”
“I’m not mad,” I finally managed to say, forcing a faint smile.
I was surprised to realize that I had lied. I was mad at Wedge. Of course the rational part of my mind fully understood why he had to play it so close to his chest. That didn’t seem to be enough to override the purely emotional reaction. Wedge had never been one for military regulations, so why did he chose this moment to suddenly start living by them? A small part of myself entertained the notion of verbally assaulting the Corellian.
I forced myself to take a deep, calming breath. All of us had been through hell the last few days, Wedge included. At least he was staying level-headed, which was more than what I could say about myself right now.
“I’m going to give the Rogues a few minutes to collect themselves,” Wedge explained. “In the meantime, you two should talk. I know he could do with seeing a familiar face.”
Wedge squeezed my shoulder before walking deeper into the dank cavern, leaving me with the man I least expected to run into. A thousand thoughts flashed through my mind as I took another good look at him. He really was standing there, clear as the twin Tatooine suns.
I felt as if I should be crying. At the very least, I should be doing something more than standing there like a damned idiot. Truthfully, the tears had stopped flowing a long time ago. I had given him up for dead when the reports began to trickle in that he had gone missing on a mission that only he would have been foolish enough to volunteer for. That was when I had allowed myself to break down.
When he went missing I lost more than a lover. I lost a precious friend and one of the few links I still had to my homeworld. Salm coming to my quarters to tell me he had gone missing over the skies of Coruscant seemed to have caused the Galaxy to come crashing down around my ears. It wasn’t fair. The Empire had already taken my home and heritage. That wasn’t enough. Iceheart had to take him away from me as well.
I mourned, but I knew before long I would have to force myself to move on. There was still work to do, an Empire to topple. I steeled myself and went back to NRI. He had been missing for months and by that point any hope that he would come home had been dashed. After that much time it was all but certain that he was either dead or had suffered an even worse fate. I knew I wasn’t going to see him again and the sooner I came to terms with that, the better off I was.
Two days before I shipped out I began to hear rumors that he had been found. Scuttlebutt said he had been captured by Iceheart and thrown into Lusankya. I even heard whispers that he was a ticking time bomb. I pressed General Cracken but he refused to give me an answer either way. Resigned to not knowing the truth and having only my suspicions, I began the painful process of placing myself in the Imperial City. I was given the codename Targeter and a stack of orders and intel to memorize. The game was on and I couldn’t afford distractions. I had to stop thinking about him and focus.
I rationalized. Even if he was alive and the New Republic had found them, chances were good that one of us would be killed before Coruscant fell. For a brief period of time I nearly talked myself into believing that he had become another one of Isard’s sleeper agents. That one didn’t last long. Ultimately it came down to my sense of duty to the New Republic.
The sense of duty we both shared.
He often liked to say that he didn’t join the Rebellion out of some desire for revenge, but rather the need to be vigilant. He was determined to do everything in his power to ensure the Empire would never do to others what they did to the people of Alderaan. That was why I agreed to come to Coruscant. I didn’t come here to personally exact my revenge on Iceheart. I came to ensure she couldn’t continue her Lusankya nightmare.
So I committed myself to the task, paving a way for the Rogues to wrest the jewel of the Empire away from Iceheart. It’s what he would have wanted. In the months I roamed the streets in secret gathering bits of vital information I didn’t think much about him. I was too busy to. At least, that’s what I told myself. Now I had to wonder if I had just erected emotional barriers around myself to keep from relapsing into an emotional mess.
I suppose those barriers came crashing down when I picked up that hothead Corellian, Corran Horn. After I discovered that the Corran was a member of Rogue Squadron I found myself at a bit of a quandary. The mission was of the utmost importance, but there was a question that was burning within me. Despite my better judgment, I asked Corran if the friend I had given up for dead was okay.
I got the answer I needed as well as some commentary from Corran I could have done without. The conversation we shared in the Imperial Center forced me to think about the love of my life for the first time since he had vanished. Later that evening I found myself alone with my thoughts. I should have been trying to parse through some data or study local area maps, but I just couldn’t focus.
I missed him terribly.
It wasn’t long after that conversation with the hothead that things went bad. It seemed like the Imperials were suddenly a step ahead of us. Idly, I wondered if that was my fault. For the briefest of moments I took my attention away from the task at hand and let myself indulge in foolish thoughts. Was he okay? What had Isard done to him? These weren’t the questions I should have been asking. This wasn’t the topic I should have been focused on.
Before long we were on the run and hiding out in this dark, miserable underground cavern.
I shook my head, finally ripping myself from my thoughts after …Honestly, I’m not sure how long I’ve been staring at him. Nor do I have any idea how long he’s been staring back sheepishly at me. For a few minutes more we stayed in this holding pattern. The only sound that could be heard was the steady drip of moisture falling off a nearby stalactite and to the ground.
I’m not quite sure when it happened, but I found myself wrapped up in his arms. Just then it felt as if the weight of the entire Galaxy had been lifted from my shoulders. For the first time in months I wasn’t thinking about Iceheart or Coruscant or whatever the New Republic’s best interests were. The only thing that mattered anymore was him.
He found me. He had come back.
“I missed you, Winter,” he said as his hold on me strengthened.
He may have been the last person I expected to run into, but he was the one person in the Galaxy I needed to see. I closed my eyes and buried my face in his shoulder, unable to stop the deluge of tears that I had been holding back for far too long.
“I missed you, Tycho,” I murmured. “More than you can possibly know.”
This post has been edited by LaneWinree on Oct 20 2010, 09:49 PM
Posted: Oct 21 2010, 02:52 PM
Member No.: 57
Joined: 29-April 05
A very honest and emotion filled fic, although i will read any Tycho/Winter fics this is one of the better ones i have read. Gem
Posted: Oct 31 2010, 01:36 AM
King of Rick Rolls
Member No.: 90
Joined: 14-July 05
Oh dear. Thank you so much for the kind words
Winter is an absolutely fascinating character to me. She's incredibly difficult to write, but also very worthwhile. It's a treat to try and delve into her mind.