Friday, May 01, 2009

Star Wars, Wedge Ficlet - Untitled

For otahyoni
-------------------

Wedge exhaled and looked out the X-wing's canopy window. All around him, the ground crew was cheering and celebrating. A brief smile appeared on his tired face as he waited for someone to place the ladder against his cockpit. After a few minutes, the thought crossed his mind that he might have to flag someone down, but a sudden thud let him know that he hadn't gone unnoticed. He opened his canopy, and a happy face greeted him.

"Welcome back, Commander! Congratulations!!!"

"Thanks...Burny," he replied, proud that he'd remembered the man's name.

The grounds crewman disappeared down the ladder, and Wedge hauled himself up. It felt good to stand. His legs were tense and he bounced up and down a few times, urging the circulation to return to his lower limbs. Making his way down the ladder, he surveyed the chaos around him. Pilots, mechanics, astromech droids, flight traffic controllers and other Rebel personnel were happily celebrating the destruction of the Death Star, and the collapse of the Empire.

His foot touched the duracrete and he was immediately surrounded by his squadron-mates. Wedge endured the good-natured back slaps and shoulder punches, laughing inside as Wes and Hobbie descended into petty bickering. Tycho stood by, grinning cheerfully. He turned to Wedge.

"We should make our way to the big party. Up in the Ewok village. Lando's waiting for us." He looked towards the hanger entrance, and Wedge followed his gaze. General Calrissian was laughing with some grounds crew, but looked up, as if he knew he was being watched, and waved at Wedge. Wedge nodded, and turned back to his friends.

"Come on Rogues...or what's left of you," he said playfully, and then stopped. Wes. Hobbie. Tycho. And himself. That was it. They were the only Rogues to survive. The four of them. And one other.

"Rogues?" Hobbie said sternly and threw an arm around Wes. "We're Reds at the moment. And Tycho is a Greenie. Are you reassembling Rogue Squadron right here, right now? Is this it? Are we it?"

Wedge shook his head and rolled his eyes. "The Force help us if the two of you made up one half of Rogue Squadron!"

"I think we our fearless leader is full of fear." Wes said slowly, and looked over at Hobbie who nodded solemnly.

"Maybe you should stay here," Wedge suggested, "and Tycho and I will join the General up in the treetops." Saying this, he motioned to Tycho and they left the two lieutenants to sulk.

"Are we really leaving them behind?" Tycho asked quietly.

"Of course not," Wedge retorted. "But, it's fun to let them think we are."

They reached Lando and the General happily shook their hands. "Come on," he said eagerly, "grab those two and let's go find the others!" Tycho nodded and ran back to collect Wes and Hobbie. "Why are they pouting?" Lando asked Wedge as they set off to the Ewok village.

"Because they can," Wedge replied and laughed. They paused and waited for the others to catch up, and then the group headed towards the music and laughter than floated down from the village in the trees.

They were greeted by Lando's co-pilot, Nien Numb, and were soon immersed in good tidings from ground troops and fellow pilots. Wedge peered over the crowds, searching for one person.

Ewoks ran around gleefully, some were playing instruments - large drums, and one had even set up a percussion set of sorts out of scavenged stormtrooper and Imperial gunner helmets. Wedge grinned wryly and slowly made his way towards the centre of the celebration. Small Ewoks danced together, their joy and happiness infectious. Even Threepio and Artoo were partaking in the festivities. Some familiar faces caught Wedge's eye.

Lando strode ahead, and laughed loudly as he saw Han Solo. The two men threw their arms around each other excitedly. Wedge watched as Chewbacca stretched out his long, hairy arms to Lando. Leia Organa stood behind them, her long hair free and she was smiling.

And then from the corner of his eye, from one of the walkways around the trees, he saw a figure clad in black walking towards the bonfires, towards them. It was Luke. The fifth remaining member of Rogue Squadron. No, Wedge corrected himself, he was the last of the Jedi now.

Luke Skywalker headed straight for Princess Leia, and the two embraced. Like brother and sister, Wedge thought idly. As they finally released their holds on each other, Wedge's view of the reunion was blocked by Lando's excited gesticulations. He was relating the space battle to Chewbacca. Wedge smirked as he recognized his X-Wing in Lando's storytelling. Now, Luke and Han were greeting each other. A quick hug, a few words, and then Luke was making the rounds.

Wedge hesitated, standing uncertainly off to the side. Luke seemed different, older. He was a Jedi, and suddenly Wedge had an uneasy feeling that maybe there wouldn't be a place in Luke's life for his old squadron mates. His path was going to be much different now, and a tiny, cold knot formed in Wedge's stomach. Luke was his friend, a good friend, and he would support him however he could, but he felt like their friendship had reached a turning point. They had been through a lot together - two Death Stars, countless skirmishes with Imperial pilots, and Wedge blinked as he realized that Luke was his oldest surviving friend. They had been thrown together by a common foe, their relationship baptized by the deaths of their fellow soldiers, and a bond had been forged that he thought would have lasted the rest of their lives. But, now, maybe Luke Skywalker, last of the Jedi Knights, wouldn't need this cocky X-Wing pilot to turn to, or have a place for Rogue Squadron in his new "career" choice. The thought grabbed hold of a tiny piece of insecurity in Wedge's mind, and curled around it, threatening to bring it forward. Wedge's smile faded and he took a step back. Perhaps it would be best to just let it be as is, and return to the other pilots. And suddenly, Luke was in front of him. A welcome handshake, and he was pulling Wedge into a hug.

"Great to see you, Wedge!" Luke said, smiling broadly, and Wedge felt his fears melt away.

"You too, Luke," he replied, a wide smile blossoming on his face.

"I knew you'd make it out," the blond man said. "I just knew you would."

"Luke!" Wes Janson's voice rang out behind them, and Wedge stepped aside for the brief reunion of Rogue Squadron. He grinned as Wes and Hobbie enfolded Luke in a collective bear hug, and breathed a reluctant sigh of relief. Everything would be fine now. He had worried over nothing. He breathed in deep, content, and looked around again.

Han and Leia found each other and Wedge smiled. It looked like those two were finally going to allow each other into their respective lives. He'd have to tell Hobbie and collect on an old bet.

An unexpected tap on his shoulder caused Wedge the turn. Han Solo, momentarily freed from the Princess' warm grasp, stood there, his hand outstretched towards the X-Wing pilot. Wedge grinned, and clasped the other Corellian's hand firmly.And then Chewbacca approached him. Inwardly, Wedge grimaced, as the Wookie's large hand engulfed his shoulder and squeezed. He released General Solo's hand and gamely shook Chewie's. He hoped he wouldn't be expected to use his blaster anytime soon...that hand was going to be sore for a while.

He watched as Luke turned away from the celebration and looked out into the dark and trees just beyond the village. A small smile played across the Jedi's face, and Wedge wondered what his friend was thinking. And then the Princess was there, pulling Luke back towards the warmth and light of the fires. Wedge stood there, happier than he'd been in a long time, gazing out at his comrades, his friends, his family. They stood together, smiling and laughing - Lando, Chewbacca, Han, Leia, Luke, and the droids - almost like a group portrait, and chuckling softly to himself, Wedge took a mental snapshot of the moment.

"Hey Boss," Hobbie said, coming up from behind him. "Did you see General Solo and the Princess? I think you owe me fifty credits."

"Me? Hobbie...you're the one who said it would never happen..."

"Wedge..."

"Hobbie..."

"Wes was our witness, right? Wes...Wes...didn't I say that...hey Wes..."

Wedge allowed himself a chuckle. Yes, everything would be fine now.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jessica said...

YOU ALMOST MADE ME CRY.

Also, THIS IS AWESOME. Look how fabulous you are! This is so good! :)

In a couple days, once the ficathon excitement dies down (HOW COME YOU DIDN'T PARTICIPATE, HUH? HUH?!), you should post a link at wraithsquadron. You should you should you should.

IT'S SO GOOD. I want to hug it. I want to hug Wedge. MY ROGUES. OH.

10:34 AM

 
Blogger rachel said...

you don't really get the "feel" of this until you read it aloud!

9:44 AM

 

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