A World full of Nothing
Though it's not love
It means something
"Shall we dance?"
The question was innocent enough, but Aubé knew there was much more behind the innocent question. Tycho Celchu was the only fellow survivor of Green Squadron on the attack on the second Death Star at Endor.
He was also perhaps one of the few members of the raucous celebration that wasn't already three solar sails to the wind.
"Nails?" he asked, swaying slightly near the fire to a rhythm only he could hear.
All right, perhaps two…
"Dance…" Aubé echoed thickly, as General Calrissian mumbled incoherently from her lap. "Sure…"
General Solo had left with the Princess, Probably to sort out the thing with Commander Skywalker, Aubé thought to herself with a touch of drunken ire, leaving her with the Wookiee and the General, and neither of them seemed to be the company she wanted or needed right now.
It's just us, now, she realized as Tycho gently took her hand. We're all that's left…
Wordlessly, they waltzed together, one song blending easily into the next, and as the evening wore on, the party got louder, more boisterous, and Tycho seemed to grow more restless in her arms.
Too many times people had come to offer condolences, too many eyes…
"I have a tent, farther away from camp," he said suddenly. "Do you want to come?"
The acrid smell of smoke, and sweaty bodies so reminiscent of being locked in battle… she had to get away…
As they left the party, Tycho grabbed a flagon of beer from the fully laden table, leaving the mugs behind.
"That's pretty good stuff," Aubé muttered from behind him, almost desperate to break the silence that had fallen between them. In the dark silence of her soul, she could still hear the last words of her companions. Green Three! You've got one on your tail! I've got the son of a… Nails! Watch your… Rogue Null! I've been hit, but I can hold it…
"They'll stop soon enough," Tycho murmured, handing her the flagon, all the while marching forward. "A few more shots of this bantha rot will cut it off at the knees…"
"Thanks," she muttered, taking a long hard pull on the flask. As it sluiced down her throat, she relished the warmth almost as much as the though that indeed it did seem to numb the pain, if only for a moment.
They walked on, barely aware of the shouts of welcome that rumbled from the camp. Commander Skywalker had evidently returned, and she took another drink.
The campsite Tycho had set up was not too dissimilar from a hundred others like it that had come before, but for the fact that it was isolated from the others. Many years had been spent in perpetual close quarters, and the isolation felt almost alien… empty.
It was exactly what they needed.
Tycho sat heavily on a moss covered log, and patted the space next to him.
"Have a seat, Nails," he grunted.
Already tired, and more than a little drunk, Aubé gratefully, if ungraciously, slumped down next to him. "Thanks," she muttered.
He took a long pull from the flask, and handed the remainder to Aubé, who drained it in a single gulp.
She belched, loud and long, and gave her head an unsteady shake. "Gone," she said at last. "That's the last of it…"
"Just like us…"
"Yes," she agreed morosely. "Why…"
Without preamble, Tycho reached behind the log and pulled out a bottle containing a bottle of electric blue liquid, and Aubé's bleary eyes flew open wide.
"Alderaanian Brandy!" she gasped, as Tycho nodded.
"I wanted to save it," he said softly. "My father sent it to me for my 21st birthday…"
Although it was warm, Aubé shivered. It was well known in Green Squadron that Alderaan had been destroyed on Tycho's 21st birthday – an anniversary that had been forever tainted in his mind…
"I don't have any glasses," he said simply. "We'll just have to play 'pass the bottle' – just like we would have after a successful mission – except there's just you and me now…"
"They're still with us, Null…" Aubé whispered. "Every last one of them. Ryack, Elou, Spade, Gemma…"
She trailed off, shivering. Bail Gemma, was a fellow pilot had been killed shortly after the battle of Yavin. Lovers had come after, but Gem had been the closest thing to love that she had ever had.
Except Skywalker, the traitorous part of her mind remarked smugly. But almost all the women – and perhaps quite a few of the men too – harbored at least a sneaking attraction to him.
"Yep," Tycho murmured agreeably, breaking the seal of the bottle with an audible crack.
Unceremoniously, he took a large swallow before passing the bottle to Aubé.
"It's held up well," he muttered. "Still warm, too…" He shivered.
"Absent friends…" Aubé croaked as she too took a large drink.
"Some more absent than others," Tycho added wryly. "I think the odor of Ryack's socks will linger in the hull of the Santana's for a few lifetimes."
Despite herself, Aubé giggled. "Worse! What about Elou's farts?"
Aubé began laughing harder, the alcohol warming her soul as well as her body.
"Didn't Elou give you the Imperial Oven treatment on Hoth?" Tycho asked, eyes twinkling with inebriated mirth. "I think that your screams made the General think we were under attack…"
Aubé snorted. "Well, it turns out I was right, didn't it? We were…"
"A week later," Tycho amended, growing morose again. "We lost Wamp that day."
"Yes," Aubé said. "And Tober, and Blast, and Goaf…" She shivered, as Tycho put his arm around her. "So many… so many lost…" The easy tears of drunkenness pricked her eyes, and with infinite gentleness, Tycho wiped them away.
"Gonna loose your rep if anyone sees you like that Nails," he teased her gently, his hand cupping her face. He looked deeply into her eyes, reflecting her pain, and perhaps more…
"I'm still human," she whispered, barely aware that she was leaning closer. "I'm just so tired of blood, and fire, and death…"
"We're still alive, Nails…" he whispered back, slowly reaching around her back to pull her closer still. "We are alive…"
"Alive…" Aubé echoed, losing herself in his eyes. For the first time, she realized they were so utterly like Luke's. She was unaware, or perhaps unconcerned that his hand rested high upon her leg.
"I'm tired of death," he said hoarsely. "Everywhere we look…" The hand that had been cupping her face traced down her cheek, caressing her jaw as it slid down. His breath smelled of stale alcohol and cigars, but Aubé didn't care. She shivered again.
"Me too…" Tycho whispered. "Nails…" he gasped. It wasn't a question.
She wrapped her arms around him, holding him close and burying her face in his hair, as he roughly groped her breast through her flight-suit. Within moments, she was straddling him, leaning back to allow him to undo the fastenings. Like most pilots, underneath the flight suit she was bare.
She moaned wordlessly as he took one of her breast in his calloused hand, roughly kneading it as his lips encircled the other. Relentlessly, he suckled on her breast even as she pushed him back to attempt to undo the fastenings on his own suit while his now freed hands pulled hers down roughly over her shoulders. His fingers dug into her back as she freed his manhood from the trousers. In an instant, she was flat on the soft ground, her flight suit pushed down around her knees. Tycho quickly followed, his own flight suit only down to his hips.
It was enough.
He entered her almost savagely, and his very roughness brought her instantly to climax. She moaned again, digging her nails into the tough material of his flight suit with one hand, her other wrapped deeply in the locks of his blond hair, even as he pounded into her again and again.
It was finished almost as quickly as it had started. At the end, even as Tycho called for his long dead love, Nyiestra, Aubé had cried out a name she would not recall, and if Tycho knew that it had been the name of Commander Skywalker, he pretended not to notice.
"You're going back tonight?" Tycho asked, taking a long pull on the cigar that Aubé had offered him. "Not going to stick around?" Once again, he was sitting on the log with Aubé at his side.
"I want to see my family," Aubé said simply, running her fingers through her short dark hair in a half hearted attempt to set it to rights. "I have a leave coming up - I can get a transport to Corellia by way of Bestine, then back to join the Blue Mynocks for clean up duty on the Outer Rim. What about you?"
"I think I'm going to stick around here," he said. "They're going to need people, especially pilots. It's a good opportunity to start over."
Their eyes met, and Aubé noticed that the haunted look that had plagued them for so long had vanished, at least for now.
"Nails…" he began hesitantly, unsure of what, if anything he wanted to say. She looked back at him, brown eyes piercing into blue.
"It's done, Ty," she said simply. "There's nothing to be said."
A part of him wanted to cry out, But you're so wrong! Nails! Aubé…, but in the end, he kept silent.
"I should go," She said suddenly, rising and stubbing out the half smoked cigar. "I don't want to miss my transport…"
"No," Tycho murmured. "You don't…"
A heavy silence fell between them.
"I'll see you again…"
At last, Tycho stood up and extended his hand. "Be safe," he said.
Aubé took his hand in her own, and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Clear skies," she said softly, and began to pull away, but Tycho pulled her back.
"Ty…" she murmured. "Please…"
He pulled her close. "For luck," he said.
"For luck," she echoed
It was the first – and only – kiss of the evening. He watched her leave, not knowing, or even caring if he would ever see her again.
But now it no longer mattered.
It was finished.
For both of them, for all…