Biggest holiday of the year, and where do I spend it? In a hangar, banging away at this stupid, uncooperative, Sith-begotten ship. I could be down on Coruscant, watching the galaxy's biggest parade of ships and other "interesting" forms of transport, delighting young and old life-forms alike. I could be at parties, surrounded by beautiful women, but no-o-o-o-o, I had to draw the short straw, my ship had to be leaking, I had to be on duty, stuck on a hunk of junk orbiting the planet. I must be getting punished for all those practical jokes...
Wes Janson heaved a mighty sigh, taking another whack at the underside of the lower port-side engine. It served absolutely no purpose, hitting it like that, but it was the only thing he had at the moment that made him feel the slightest bit better. Another clang sounded out through the deserted hangar.
Techs get the day off... What about me? Maybe I could use this hopeless pile of junk as target practice from across the hangar... Just a few shots, enough to damage it beyond repair, and I'd have to request a new one... And I could string lights all over it, and make it a Genua Tree, festive and happy, just like the Genua season. Then blow it up...
It was one of the rarities: a holiday season that seemed to be celebrated by human and non-human alike. Both Rebel and Imperial stopped everything to celebrate, exchange gifts, be with family and friends.
But not me. Oooooh no, the good ol' Janson luck left me this time. Probably serves me right. I wouldn't--
"Ahh! Ow!" Sometimes it took surprisingly little to startle the brave and heroic Wes Janson, and this was one of those times. He jumped at the sudden voice, his head connecting with the underside of the lower wing. Clanging and banging was replaced by a rather hollow thud.
"Whoops, sorry," the female voice said quietly, with only a hint of a giggle to it.
Wes crawled out from beneath his X-wing, standing on his knees as he looked up at a bright-faced lieutenant, her blond hair tucked under her cap. She quickly saluted.
"Can I help you, Lieutenant?" he asked, returning the salute with a wave, wiggling his fingers.
"Uh, well, not really. I...well..." She seemed to be suddenly shy, now face to face with Wes. Maybe she hadn't realized who he was. He smiled a little to himself. "You see, I just came off duty... I'm a security officer, up on the bridge, and I was watching the security monitors, and there wasn't much going on, so I'd been occasionally watching you here all by yourself, banging away at your ship, and thought...well, maybe that you'd like some hot chocolate," she finished awkwardly, holding up a small thermal container in one hand, two small cups in the other.
Wes broke out into a grin. "Hey, that sounds great...uh...Lieutenant...?"
"Oh, Bartol. Mina Bartol. Pleased to meet you." She held out her hand, and he shook it.
"Wes Janson," he replied, climbing to his feet after releasing her hand. His smile grew as the look on her face changed a little. That happened a lot.
"Wes Janson," she echoed. "The Wes Janson?"
"I didn't realize... I mean, from the monitor, I couldn't tell... Sith, I didn't even catch on to the markings on the ship... You're a Rogue."
"Yup, in more ways than one" he joked, dropping his hydro spanner into the small tool box to his left. "Does that mean I don't get any hot chocolate?"
She broke out into a shy smile. "Of course you can have some. Uh, sir." She popped the top off the container, placed the cups on the wing, and started to pour the steaming liquid.
"No sirs," Wes said, watching as she poured, then handed him the first cup. "Wes is just fine. And I can call you Mina?"
"Yes, sir...Wes." Wes detected the slight coloring of her face. "I really didn't mean to bother you, Wes. But there aren't many people left on board, and even though I'm off duty I'm stuck here, and you were by yourself and looked like you could use some company..."
"I'm always looking for company," he said, and suddenly realized how that could sound. It was his turn to stammer a little. "What I mean is, I'm the only one from my squadron up here, and like you said, there aren't many around, so... Uh... Cheers."
They tapped the disposable cups together, and sipped. She smiled at him, and looked around the hangar. Wes searched for something to say. "You know, I'd had this crazy idea about putting lights on my X-wing, and turning it into a Genua Tree," he said with a chuckle.
Mina smiled in return. "I put up some lights in my quarters, but Reena--my roommate--asked me to take them down. She's a little depressed this time of year." She studied her cup for a moment. "You know, I could bring them here, we could put them up, make this corner of the hangar a little more festive."
Wes grinned, looking around at the mostly abandoned hangar. "You know, that sounds like a great idea."
Mina's smiled widened. "Ok, I'll be back soon." She left her cup on the wing, and disappeared through the exit.
It was only five or so minutes before she reappeared, a huge bundle of wires in her arms, with some other decorations dangling. She dropped them by the ship, and Wes laughed. "I think I can see now why your roommate objected."
"I guess it could be a bit much. I just love the holidays," she shrugged, in way of explanation.
"Nothing wrong with that," he answered, sat his cup next to Mina's on the wing of his ship, then rubbed his hands together. He picked up his tool box, and fished through it looking for something to attach the lights to the X-wing with.
It was more than a half hour of work, but far more rewarding than the mechanical labor he'd been doing before Mina's arrival. By the end, Wes's X-wing was festooned with lights. They started at the canopy, outlining the transparisteel windows, then worked their way down the nose to the cone at the tip. In the other direction, they circled the droid housing, then went left and right, spreading out along the wings in two suspended strands. The final touch was a string of lights twisted around each Taim and Bak laser cannon. Mina had three star decorations, which she hung from the tip of each cannon. The fourth cannon had a hydro spanner dangling instead.
Overall, it was a successful sabotage of the ship, and Wes felt certain Wedge would get the look on his face when he saw it. Wes lived for and worked hard to get that look. Besides, the decorations also brightened up what had been previously a very grey and dull space. Now, it felt more like Genua.
"I like it," Mina said, nodding.
"Me, too," Wes answered, standing beside her as they admired their handy work. "Very festive. Beats Genua on Hoth any day."
She turned to look at him, smiling widely. Working together had made her much more at ease. "When you were on Hoth, I was six years old," she chuckled.
"Sith, that hurt," Wes said, shaking his head. "Although I would like to point out that I was barely, barely an adult at the time."
"Wes, I've only known you for a short while, but I believe I'm not mistaken when I say you're barely an adult now." She winked at him, and Wes laughed.
"Well, no use denying it," he replied, grinning lopsidedly. "More hot chocolate?"
She nodded. "I think we deserve a reward for all this work."
Wes crawled under the wing of his ship, and picked up the carefully stashed thermal container and two cups. He sat down, leaning up against a landing strut, and started to pour. Mina joined him without need for an invitation. He handed over her cup, and they toasted again, sitting happily under his ship, with twinkling lights reflecting on the shiny hangar floor.
"Happy Genua, Mina."
"Happy Genua, Wes."