Amilyn Holdo was where she always meant to be, with her head in stars. Or as everyone else called it: astronomics. They had so little fuel and Admiral Ackbar and Leia had her searching for a place to hide. They were going to lose this fight, but they needed somewhere to run to. Her best officers were working around her, searching desperately through this part of space. That's where the Commander had found her, bend over a star chart.
She had felt the explosion; she knew some part of the ship had been blasted away; she knew that more people were dying. But this was a battle, she had faced worse. As Vice Admiral, there was no time to panic. She had to set an example and do her duty. Of course, how she ended up as Vice Admiral was beyond her. Leia always said it had something to do with no one being able to stay angry at her, so they had to promote her. She thought it was because Leia was trying to give her more work to do.
But the look on the Commander's face when the woman raised her hand to salute made her heart drop. She hadn't even realized how loud the ship was or how many people were speaking at once. But she heard the voice say, "Vice Admiral, you're needed on the…" The voice stopped and said, "You're needed."
The bridge. That's what the Commander was going to say. She was needed on the bridge, but there was a look in the Commander's eyes… "What is it?"
"I…" The Commander swallowed. "I'm so sorry to tell you this, but the bridge was breached just moments ago. There were no survivors."
No survivors. The bridge. Leia.
"The General?" she heard herself ask and could see the answer before the Commander even spoke.
"General Organa and Admiral Ackbar were both killed. You are the next in command. Vice Admiral, someone needs to take control of the ship."
Whatever was said next, she didn't hear. She didn't hear the people around her whisper their fears. She didn't hear them call her name. She need to hear her. Leia. This wasn't possible. Leia wouldn't leave her with a ship full of Rebels being pursued by Snoke himself. How was she the next in the line of succession? The only reason she was a Vice Admiral was because of Leia.
The only reason she was on this blasted ship was because she followed her Princess into a war for the soul of the galaxy. She did everything her Princess asked of her, but she couldn't do this. Become the leader? She was the follower; a dedicated servant to her Princess. Her Princess Leia.
Reality sped toward her at light speed as she snapped back to attention. The Commander was waiting for her. They needed a plan and a leader. Her feet acted as their own as they began walking for the door. More officers were waiting there, waiting to catch her up on everything she had missed while she had searched for a planet to set down on. But they should be reporting to Leia, not her. They should be talking to Leia.
Was this really how it was going to end for them? Space swallowing her up as they ran away? It seemed so meaningless. A part of her was glad it was quick. Leia didn't deserve to suffer in death as she had in life. And didn't Leia keep saying she was tired? Ever since Han…why was she thinking of Han? Because Han still got to be with Leia, even in death? That it would always be the Princess and her smuggler? No, that was petty. Leia deserved to be with him. Leia had suffered silently when he died; Leia wouldn't even talk to her about him. She had tried to be there for her, but Leia had suffered alone. Han and Ben had been Leia's burden to bear. Oh, Leia.
Someone was sprinting to them now. There seemed to be some confusion and they had stopped walking. Whatever they were saying, she wasn't listening. Why couldn't they just leave her alone? Leia was still there in her thoughts. Why couldn't they just let her be with Leia? She could still hear her voice, feel her skin, taste her lips. She closed her eyes and tried to remember the seconds spent with her princess; the young woman and the more mature. They had lived their lives together. Her whole world was Leia.
"Vice Admiral!" The commander was in her ear again.
She tried not to scowl. They didn't know what Leia was more than a General to her, or if they did, they hid it well. Not that Leia had ever tried to hide their relationship. Leia didn't hide from anyone or anything. But they wouldn't understand what it was like to love Leia. No one but Han knew that, and he was gone. They alone had known Leia in a way no one else could imagine. No one else had the honor of knowing that Leia.
The Commander grabbed her by the shoulders, forcing her to make eye contact. "She's alive. General Organa is alive!"
The Commander's voice seemed to echo in her ears. General Organa is alive. General Organa is alive. Leia lived. Her Princess was still alive. She felt the urge rise in her to see Leia, to touch Leia, to make sure the galaxy was going to keep moving forward. She needed Leia.
"Take me to her," she ordered, and the Commander seemed to smile. She realized then she hadn't spoken since the Commander told her about the bridge. They led her to the medical bay, people sweeping out of their way as if they knew that nothing could keep her from her Princess. From Leia.
When she entered the medical bay and saw the doctors crowded around the bed, she let out a breath she hadn't even realized she'd been holding. It was as if she had stopped breathing when they told her Leia was dead. Someone appeared to her left to tell her that they were stabilizing the General; that she was unconscious, but otherwise appeared to be in good health. Good health for being sucked out into space, she thought. Only Leia would be dramatic in not dying. She didn't even think to ask how she was still alive. She still had Leia.
So, when the doctors finally let her get close, Amilyn Holdo reached out to grasp her Princess's hand. This was Leia, still alive and breathing. This was Leia, still holding on to life. This was Leia, her best friend. This was Leia, her lover. Bending over to whisper in her ear, knowing she could hear her, she said, "I love you, Leia."