Folie à Deux: Part 4
Rating: NC-17
Gillian F. Taylor

The next morning, Tycho was woken by delicate kisses along his spine. He sighed softly and stretched as Wedge's hand slid along his flank, warm and loving.

"I love you," Wedge whispered, his breath stirring the hair by Tycho's ear.

Tycho closed his mind to everything but the tender touch of his lover as Wedge kissed and caressed him. He relished the sensations, feeling himself to be as loved as Wedge had felt the night before. Time faded into nothingness as he lost himself in the pleasure that Wedge was giving him. At last Wedge entered him, nestling from behind with his arms around Tycho. The hold was reassuring and intimate and Tycho began to feel that he too, wanted nothing more than to slide into oblivion, with this bliss as his last conscious experience.

* * * * *

Only Tycho left their quarters that day. Wedge stayed put, unwilling to leave his refuge against the reality that had overwhelmed him. Tycho met with Hobbie and Wes, listening to their reports, but not really hearing them. He rejected a suggestion that they should come by later and visit Wedge, saying Wedge didn't want to be disturbed. He didn't notice the puzzled looks of his old friends, as he went through the motions of attending to business. He told Hobbie to keep running things a little longer, then dismissed them. After picking up some food from the canteen, Tycho returned to quarters.

They spent the rest of the day together on the battered couch, saying very little with words. Hugs, caresses, kisses and eyes said more. Tycho held Wedge against himself, feeling the steady rise and fall of his chest as he breathed. He slipped his hand beneath Wedge's shirt and pressed it against his chest, feeling his heart beating strongly within. Tycho treasured those sensations, storing them in his memory for when Wedge was no longer alive and in his arms. Every touch, every look into Wedge's eyes, was the more precious for knowing they would soon be gone. These were the last hours of Wedge's life and Tycho clung to every moment of them.

Too soon, it seemed, Wedge kissed Tycho hard and then looked at him with expectation in his eyes. Tycho cupped Wedge's face in his hands and kissed him deeply in return. "I'm ready," he said.

"So am I," Wedge answered steadily.

Once more Tycho carried him into the bedroom, stripped him and fastened him to the bed. Wedge had earlier placed a vibroblade on the bedside unit. Removing his own clothes, Tycho picked the blade up and thumbed the switch. He looked at Wedge, who had willingly let himself be restrained so he couldn't fight or struggle. Wedge was looking at the softly humming blade, his face full of anticipation. Tycho climbed onto the bed and knelt astride Wedge's torso. He switched the blade off, and lowered it until the tip rested against the lower ribs on Wedge's left side. A quick thrust would bury the blade to its hilt in Wedge's chest. The blade would slice open his heart and maybe one or more of the major blood vessels, like the aorta. With the increased pulse rate of sexual excitement, blood would pour from the gash in his heart at terrifying speed. It would be over swiftly.

"Yes, there," Wedge said. "Put the blade into me there."

Tycho bent forward and kissed him. Wedge's response was hot and hungry and Tycho allowed himself to be swept into his urgency. Wedge's pupils were dilated with excitement and his body was already tense with need.

"I want to see blood," he said fiercely. "I want to see you draw blood."

Tycho obeyed, using the tip of the blade to slice a shallow cut from Wedge's chest down to his belly. Bright blood showed in a thin line, slowly seeping across the skin. Wedge sighed with satisfaction.

"Fuck me hard, Tycho; I need to feel you inside me."

Tycho couldn't bring himself to hurry. He kissed Wedge's face, kissing his eyelids tenderly, and brushing his lips across Wedge's skin. He moved his attentions across Wedge's trembling body. Each caress was a farewell; every inch of skin he could reach was saluted with his lips. The bruises on Wedge's throat were brushed with loving softness. Finally, Tycho kissed the bloody line he'd drawn with the vibroblade as silent apology for marring his lover's perfection.

"Tycho."

Wedge's mouth was open, seeking his touch. As Tycho closed his mouth over Wedge's, he felt Wedge's tongue on his lips, tasting the blood. The kissing was rich and sensuous. Tycho's body ached with the need to enter Wedge and reach climax but his heart wanted to delay that final act. When he finally broke the kiss, he looked into Wedge's eyes and knew it was time.

As he applied the lube, Wedge, fastened helplessly like a sacrificial victim, said.

"I love you."

Tycho moaned softly, then buried himself in Wedge's warm body. He pressed himself against Wedge's torso, maximizing the contact between them. Wedge's face was radiant as his body twitched in response to Tycho's hard presence within it. Now Tycho had committed to the last act, he didn't want to delay any longer. He began thrusting hard and deep, pushing Wedge towards his climax. Wedge's body trembled, straining against his bonds as his gasping cries grew louder.

Tycho shifted his weight slightly to one side, picking up the vibroblade and positioned the tip against Wedge's ribs. Wedge gasped urgently at the touch, a sound that might have been ‘yes'. Then his body arched upwards in orgasm, and Tycho pushed the blade in. It sank in effortlessly, and Tycho gave it a quick side-to-side wriggle, scything the deadly blade around inside Wedge's chest.

"I love you," he gasped.

Wedge shuddered with the throes of orgasm, crying out with ecstasy, not pain. Tycho let go of the blade and clung onto Wedge, urgently seeking his own climax. He thrust harder and deeper into Wedge's body as it began to relax.

"Don't go; don't go!" Tycho whispered, wanting Wedge to feel the last climax he would ever have in his body.

Wedge opened his eyes and turned his head slightly, his mouth moving into a weak smile for his lover. Tycho moaned and came hard, rocking Wedge's limp body as he spent himself.

When Tycho could see and think again, Wedge's eyes were closed, his expression peaceful. Tycho could feel faint and erratic breathing in the body beneath his, but when he kissed Wedge, there was no answering response in his lips. He clung to Wedge until the breathing faded away and there was no heartbeat to be heard when he pressed his ear to Wedge's chest. Tycho gazed at Wedge's tranquil face, and gently kissed him on the cheek.

"Goodnight," he whispered.

* * * * *

There was some comment about Wedge and Tycho's absence from breakfast the next morning.

"Ooryl was understanding that the general was back on duty today?" Ooryl turned his compound eyes towards Hobbie.

"Maybe he and Tycho decided to breakfast in their quarters," Hobbie answered casually.

"Even Wedge's cooking has to be better than this glop," Wes said, lifting up a spoonful of yellow paste and letting it drop back into the bowl.

"I expect they ate the glop last night, and are in bed with stomach ache now," Hobbie suggested mournfully.

Wes glared balefully at him as the others laughed.

In spite of their casual words, both Hobbie and Wes were concerned about Wedge and Tycho's non-appearance. After breakfast, they went to Wedge's office, where they had been working, and waited for him. After half an hour, there was no sign of either of Rogue Squadron's two senior officers. Wes was pacing up and down in the small room, working off nervous energy in the turns of a Taanabian dance. Hobbie was sitting down, drumming his fingers on the desk.

"Have you checked your messages?" Wes asked.

Hobbie glowered. "Twice. The last time was two minutes ago. And stop that kriffing twirling."

"Stop drumming your fingers!" Wes snapped back. He paused and sighed. "Sorry."

Hobbie fished out his comlink. "Maybe they've just overslept."

From his expression, Wes didn't believe the excuse either.

Hobbie called both Wedge and Tycho's comlinks, without getting an answer from either. He switched his own off and looked at Wes, who nodded. Together, they left the office and headed for Wedge's quarters.

Wes hammered on the door, while Hobbie fidgeted beside him. Neither man could say exactly what they thought might be wrong, but both were uneasy. Wes hammered again, and heard a voice from within. The door slid open and Wes felt a moment's relief at seeing Tycho standing within. Then the details sunk in. Tycho was wearing his robe, loosely belted. There were dried, rusty-brown smears on his exposed chest and traces of the same stuff around his mouth. His fair hair was dishevelled and he blinked as though he'd just woken.

"Tycho?" Wes said tentatively. "Uh ... can we come in?"

Tycho looked blankly at them for a moment, then responded. "Of course."

He moved over to the double seat as Wes and Hobbie entered.

"Where's Wedge?" Hobbie asked.

Tycho smiled. "He's sleeping." He sat down, looking at his visitors with mild curiosity. Hobbie and Wes exchanged worried glances. Wes headed towards the bedroom as Hobbie sat down beside Tycho.

"Would you like caf?" Tycho asked. "We haven't had breakfast yet."

"No thanks."

Tycho seemed relaxed, more so than when Hobbie had last seen him, but Hobbie wasn't reassured. Already nervous, he jumped and bit his tongue at Wes' cry of horror. Leaping to his feet, he hurried to the bedroom as Wes came out, his face pale. Wes propped himself against the doorframe, staring at him with eyes wide with shock. Hobbie took a deep breath and walked into the bedroom.

Wedge lay in the centre of the bed, arms and legs spread-eagled and held by restraints. Dried blood was smeared across his chest and belly, and around his mouth. As Hobbie stared, he saw the vibroblade handle protruding from between Wedge's ribs, and the blood that had seeped from the wound and pooled beneath him. The blood had long since dried, but Hobbie's first instinct was still to check for signs of life. As soon as his fingers touched Wedge's cold skin, he knew there was no hope. He bowed his head and stood still for a minute, fighting down the need to scream in anger and disbelief.

"Tycho said he was sleeping," Wes said hoarsely.

Hobbie opened his eyes and blinked, trying to look at the ghastly scene objectively. There was a dent in the pillow beside Wedge's head, and when he touched it, the cloth was still warm.

"Tycho slept here all night." He swallowed, tasting acidic bile. "After he killed him." Hobbie looked down at Wedge's calm, expressionless face, and had to turn away. He looked helplessly at Wes, who was shaking his head in denial.

From the living room came the smell of fresh caf.

* * * * *

A forensics team and a psych-med left Coruscant for the Dubrillion system within an hour of receiving Hobbie's holomessage. Rogue Squadron returned to Coruscant with them, pilots and support staff alike barely able to believe what had happened. Tycho, still in his dream-world, was committed to a specialist hospital.

It seemed no easier, two days later, as Hobbie and Wes sat down to talk to Dr Kayta, the psychological specialist assigned to the case. The room was intended to be informal, with comfortable chairs, potted plants, low tables and holoscreens on the walls showing serene landscapes. For all that, both pilots expressed tension in their postures.

"Will Tycho be tried for murdering Wedge?" asked Wes, whose face seemedto have aged with unaccustomed grief.

Kayta shook his head. "At the moment, Colonel Celchu is not mentally fit to stand trial. If there is a trial, there can be no doubt that his mind was disturbed at the time of General Antilles' death, so he would not be tried for murder."

"I still can't believe Tycho would do something like that. I thought something was up with Wedge, but Tycho seemed perfectly okay, up until the day it happened," Hobbie said.

"He loved Wedge; why should he kill him?" Wes asked plaintively.

"I think that the answer is that he loved General Antilles too much," Dr Kayta said. "There is a rare condition known as Shared Psychotic Disorder. Presentation varies, but most usually, one individual develops a psychosis or delusion, which is transmitted to someone they are in very close contact with: a lover, sibling, child or parent. When the second person is removed from the influence of the first, their disorder usually resolves itself.

In this case, General Antilles seems to have been suffering from clinical depression, following the events at Distna. He developed a belief that he would be killed in his X-wing, that he would die alone. His only source of comfort was his relationship with Colonel Celchu and he became fixated on the idea that the only way to avoid dying alone in space, was to die in his lover's embrace. Over time, he passed that fixation to Colonel Celchu, who came to believe that helping him achieve that goal was the right thing to do."

Dr Kayta finished his explanation and looked sympathetically at the two pilots.

"You're sure Wedge really wanted to die?" Wes asked softly.

"His judgement was affected by his mental condition, but yes, I know it's what he wanted." The doctor picked up a remote and aimed it at a holo-unit built into a small table. "His thinking was clear enough that he understood that Colonel Celchu might be blamed for his death. The forensics team found mini holocameras that he had set up in the bedroom of his quarters."

Dr Kayta touched a button and a close-up of Wedge's face appeared above the table. Wedge cleared his throat and started speaking.

"I'm planting these cams to protect Tycho; he doesn't know they're here."

Wedge was gazing straight into the lens, his dark eyes solemn.

"I've had enough; I can't cope any more. I just want to sleep forever. And I don't want to die alone. I want to be with Tycho, feeling him hold me, feeling loved and secure. I can't cope with any more responsibility, so I want Tycho to do it. I just want to slip away as he's making love to me.

These cams will film what happens in this bedroom, so you can see everything that happens. You'll see that it isn't murder; that I'm consenting to whatever happens. Please don't be hard on Tycho; he's only going to do what I want."

Dr Kayta paused the recording, leaving the image of Wedge's face frozen in the air.

"General Antilles' recordings of what happened in the bedroom between himself and Colonel Celchu helped us considerably in our analysis. It may be some comfort to know that he did achieve the kind of death he sought. I don't think he felt any pain or fear in his last moments."

Hobbie sighed softly.

"What will happen to Tycho now?" Wes asked. "You said that Wedge was influencing him, but when the second person is removed from the influence, their disorder usually resolves."

Dr Kayta nodded. "I believe that Colonel Celchu will soon begin to recover from his delusion and understand the reality of his actions."

"It'll eat him up," Hobbie said miserably.

"Colonel Celchu will remain in psychiatric care for as long as he needs support in coping with what has happened," Dr Kayta reassured them.

Wes leaned forward. "Is there any way we can help?"

"Can you forgive him for killing your friend?"

Hobbie nodded slowly. "Yes, Tycho didn't know what he was doing."

Wes hesitated, and when he spoke his voice was harsh. "I'm angry with Tycho for killing Wedge. I'm angry at myself for not seeing what was happening, and I'm angry at Wedge for doing this to us; for not asking us, his friends, for help." He paused again, and swallowed. "But I can't blame Tycho. Wedge was ill: he wanted Tycho to kill him. Tycho's a victim too."

"That's good," Dr Kayta said. "If you can forgive Colonel Celchu, that will help him to forgive himself." He looked seriously at the two pilots. "All members of Rogue Squadron have been ordered to attend counselling sessions. You'll find details in your message boxes. We're here to help you as well."

Wes gazed at the image of Wedge still displayed above the holoprojector. He saw the face of a man who had desperately needed help, at his breaking point and only able to see one way of escaping his problems. Blinking away tears, Wes whispered:

"Rest in peace, Wedge."



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