Folie à Deux: Part 3
Gillian F. Taylor
"Wedge! Eject!" yelled Tycho, his heart standing still as secondary explosions tore through the shattered craft.
He held his breath, trying to pick out the ejection seat from the mass of debris and fire that expanded outwards. After a moment, Tycho thought to look at his sensors.
"Zap, can you get a signal from Wedge's ejection seat?"
When his astromech's message flashed up on the small screen, Tycho finally let out a long breath.
"Thank the Force," he murmured, before changing frequencies on his comm unit. "Forbidden: Rogue Lead is EV, possibly injured."
"I've got his signal," Nawara replied, from the support shuttle that had been keeping away from the action. "I'm on my way."
Try as he might, Tycho still couldn't get a visual on Wedge. Without the subspace radio of Wedge's destroyed X-wing to relay comms to Wedge's helmet, there was no way for Tycho to communicate with him. He had to blindly hope that Wedge had ejected in time; that he wasn't hurt. The light magcon field, that kept a layer of oxygen around a pilot in his ejector seat, provided no protection against the absolute zero of deep space. Ten minutes from now, Wedge would be unconscious from hypothermia; in another five, he would be dead.
"Zap, can you give me an estimate of how long it will take Forbidden to reach Wedge?" How long would Wedge have to wait, trapped alone in his seat, aware of his body gradually freezing? Tycho longed desperately to speak to him, to reassure and comfort him. This was the fate Wedge had foreseen for himself and dreaded: a lonely, silent death.
"Two: break port!"
Tycho acted without conscious thought, only realizing that it was Inyri who had given the warning after he had rolled his X-wing sideways. Green laserlight slashed past his canopy window, bringing an electronic squeal from Zap. Tycho's heart was racing as he brought the X-wing round, studying his sensor boards to see how the battle had developed since Wedge had gone EV.
"Thanks, Twelve," he said.
Battle-honed instincts took over as Tycho began assessing the situation. His conscience belatedly reminded him that with Wedge out of the fight, he was now in command, and to do anything less than his best for the squadron would be a betrayal of Wedge's faith in him.
"For you, Wedge," he whispered, turning his X-wing back to the fight.
* * * * *
Back in the hangar, Tycho shut down his X-wing's systems as fast as possible, and scrambled out of his cockpit. He wrenched his helmet off as he sprinted towards the Forbidden, which had landed a couple of minutes earlier. Relief flooded him as he saw Wedge making his way awkwardly down the ramp, a thermal blanket about his shoulders. Tycho threw his arms around him and held him tightly.
"You're all right!" he said, somewhere between an exclamation and a question.
"Cold and stiff," Wedge answered quietly. "No lasting damage."
Tycho abandoned military etiquette and kissed him there and then. In spite of the ten minute jump back from the battle, Wedge's lips and skin were still cool to the touch. His skin was pale, exaggerating the darkness of his eyes. Before Tycho could say anything else, cheery voices broke into their privacy.
"Wedge! You lost your fighter; you buy the drinks."
"I said we were due for someone to get blown out of their ship."
Wes, Hobbie and the other Rogues had gathered round, anxious to see for themselves how their leader was. Wedge managed to summon a weak smile for them.
"I'll be ... fine," he said. "Gh'zal told me to drink hot fluids and rest. I'm under medical orders to take tomorrow off."
Corran snorted. "There has to be a less drastic way of getting a day off."
"Yes, but Wedge chose a Corellian way," Wes said, earning himself glares from Corran and Myn.
"Don't you lot have work to do?" Tycho growled, his arm protectively around Wedge's shoulders.
With further expressions of relief at Wedge's survival, the Rogues moved away, only Wes and Hobbie lingering behind. Hobbie looked at Wedge, then at Tycho.
"I can get on with the debriefings and rough out a mission report," he offered.
Wedge didn't seem to hear at first, then he focussed on his old friend.
"Yes. Thank you, Hobbie." He looked acutely at Wes too. "Thank you, both of you. I couldn't have asked for better friends." His attention drifted inwards again as he stood quietly at Tycho's side.
"We'll see you in the morning," Wes said bracingly. "You'll be ready to fly again by then."
"Sure." Tycho answered for Wedge. He nodded to the others, then turned Wedge and carefully guided him away.
* * * * *
Back in their quarters, Tycho told Wedge to take a hot shower, while he brewed up some caf. Wedge did as Tycho told him, eventually emerging from the bathroom in his robe, his hair still rumpled and damp.
"You need to dry off thoroughly," Tycho told him, fetching a hand towel from the kitchenette. "You've got to keep warm."
As Wedge sat on the couch, Tycho stood behind him and rubbed his hair dry. That done to his satisfaction, he handed Wedge his caf and settled down next to him. Wedge sipped his drink, not looking at Tycho, but looking across the room without seeing it. Tycho didn't press him to speak, but waited for the words to come. He watched and waited, his heart aching at the lost look in Wedge's eyes.
"It was worse than I thought," Wedge said softly. "I hit the eject automatically, then I wished I hadn't. If I'd died with my ship, it would have been quick. No time to say goodbye, but no time for fear and regret. Instead, I was out there on my own, knowing you were somewhere near, but I couldn't talk to you." He paused and sighed.
"I was helpless, strapped into that little couch in open space. I couldn't communicate with anyone, couldn't hear your voice. Sith, Tycho, it was cold! I couldn't stop shivering at first, then I started to go numb. I was trying to think of you, imagining that we were in bed, and you were holding me, but I was too cold to think straight. I wanted so much to be with you. Then I started getting sleepy, and I knew I was about to lose consciousness and die out there, all alone." He moaned, a sound of pain and despair.
Tycho wrapped his arms around him, pulling Wedge tight against his chest.
"You didn't die out there. You won't die alone!"
Wedge tilted his head back to look into Tycho's eyes. "Promise me that! Promise you'll be with me."
Tycho held his breath for a moment, considering what he was about to commit himself to. "I promise."
Wedge put his hand behind Tycho's neck and drew him down for a hungry kiss. Tycho buried himself in the sensations of Wedge's lips and tongue, tasting him as though for the first time. Wedge was softly caressing the back of his neck, sending shivers down his spine. Wedge slowly broke off the kiss.
"Tonight," he whispered. "Make love to me, Tycho, then let me sleep forever. I want to feel utterly surrounded by your love and never wake up from it."
Tycho moaned low in his throat, but he couldn't refuse the desperate appeal in Wedge's eyes. He shifted his grip, holding the back of Wedge's neck to steady his head for another kiss. Wedge put his hand over Tycho's and moved it so it was gripping his throat. He tightened his grip, tightening Tycho's hold on his neck. Tycho looked into Wedge's eyes and saw no doubts.
"I love you," he said.
"I love you, and I surrender to you," Wedge answered.
Tycho picked Wedge up and carried him into the bedroom, handling him as carefully as if he were a newborn child. Tenderly, he stripped off the robe and fastened Wedge into the restraints. Wedge's breathing had speeded up, but he showed no fear as Tycho took away his freedom to move or struggle. Tycho's body was aching with a mixture of sexual excitement and fear. Wedge was so beautiful, displayed there on the bed, and so vulnerable. His body throbbed with life that Tycho had agreed to end. His eyes were brighter, more eager than Tycho had seen in weeks.
Slowly, Tycho stripped off his own clothes, and climbed onto the bed. His first, light, kiss, was met eagerly by Wedge's hot mouth. Tycho nuzzled Wedge's neck, inhaling the familiar musk of his skin as he expertly worked the spots that drew moans of pleasure. Tycho's doubts faded as he applied himself to the task of building Wedge's pleasure. Taking his time, he kissed Wedge from fingertips to toes, bathing him in sensual stimulation. He poured his love into every touch and kiss, expressing more than he could say with words.
Wedge groaned, hardly able to bear the sensations any longer. "Ohhhh, Tycho; I love you."
Tycho saw the expectation in Wedge's eyes.
"I'm ready," Wedge said.
Tycho applied lube and entered Wedge's body. Wedge gave a great moan of satisfaction as Tycho filled him and lay on top of him. Tycho kissed him, seeking the intimacy of his mouth. With his mouth still locked on Wedge's, he slowly began thrusting. As Wedge's body rocked beneath his, Tycho put his hand on Wedge's throat and gripped it. He closed his eyes and his mind, giving himself over to the feel of Wedge's body against his, and the growing delirium of approaching orgasm. Pure, animal need began to take over. He was gasping for breath as his thrusts became faster and he tightened his grip on Wedge's throat without realizing what he was doing.
He felt Wedge's body jerking, felt the tension within it. Wanting a kiss, he turned his face towards Wedge's and opened his eyes. Wedge's lips were bluish, his tongue swollen and his face was red with congested blood. Tycho automatically released his grip, just as Wedge's body bucked in a tremendous orgasm. He gave a harsh, strangled cry, his chest heaving as his body sucked in oxygen. Moments later, Tycho was swept away too, crying out in ecstasy and anguish.
When the orgasm passed, he buried his head on Wedge's shoulder. Wedge moaned in despair, unable to slow or stop his frantic gasping as his body gulped in life-giving air. When Wedge's breathing had finally slowed to a normal rhythm, Tycho raised his head and looked at him. He was relieved to see that Wedge's face had returned to a more normal colour, but his reproachful eyes shone with tears.
"Why did you let go?" Wedge asked, his voice hoarse.
Tycho withdrew himself from Wedge's body and released the restraints. Settling down again, he stroked Wedge's face.
"I couldn't stand the way you looked; your face was ... distorted. I couldn't bear it."
Wedge swallowed, the movement uncomfortable. "Oh, Tycho. It was just as I imagined it would be. You were in me and on me; there was nothing else but you. I felt so totally and utterly loved. And I was starting to lose consciousness and it felt so good, knowing I'd never have to wake up again." He paused to wipe the back of his hand across his eyes, leaving his lashes spiky with tears.
"I can't cope any more, Tycho. Ackbar wants me to command a star destroyer and a task force. 50,000 people all depending on me; all those lives and deaths on my conscience. I can't do it. And even if I left the military, there's already been too many deaths. Too many of my friends have died alone, no chance to say goodbye or kiss their loved ones. I want peace, Tycho. I just want to fall asleep in your arms and never wake up. Help me, Tycho," he pleaded.
Tycho folded his arms around Wedge, unwilling to let go. "I want a little longer with you. Another day."
Wedge kissed him softly. "Tomorrow night. Promise me you'll do it tomorrow night." Tycho nodded. "Tomorrow."
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