Forever Hold Your Peace Rating: PG
Diana DeRiggs, Rosie, Mace Vindaloo

The ceremony was going well. "Do you, Wedge Antilles, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?"

"Yes, definitely!" The dark-haired young man heard the guests giggle at his urgency to answer.

The big man officiating the ceremony peered at Wedge with satisfaction, then looked up at the gathering, "If there be any reason why this man and this woman should not be joined in marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace. That means keep it to yourself!"

There was some tittering, and the officiant noticed it was distinctly female in tone. He looked around the room more carefully and was astonished to see nearly every man in the room with a tear or more running down their faces. That's a twist. None of the women appeared to be crying. I wonder what the men are thinking ...?

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge," thought Wes, "a great guy like him shouldn't have to settle for second best!" He was thinking about the woman Wedge had tried to marry so many years ago. Her name was Reina Faleur, and she had died in her effort to keep the Empire from kidnapping him. Wes had wanted to date her too -- she was healthy, tall, dark-skinned, beautiful, and Wedge had told him that she was a great cook, too. They'd been engaged before she was arrested for treason, then died trying to save him. "No one loves Wedge more than Reina ... except for me, maybe!" He smirked to himself.

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge," Tycho Celchu wiped the tear from his eye, "how does he know she really wants him? What if it's just battle empathy?" He was referring to the fact that Wedge and Iella had been reunited on Adumar during military assignments and had become betrothed on the trip home.

Colonel Celchu worried that Wedge and Iella were being too hasty. His friend had been with Dr. Qwi Xux for many years, as the notorious Omwat's companion and bodyguard, and though many thought this was a terrible pairing, Tycho knew better. Wedge had lost faith in humanity, but rediscovered it with his Omwati girlfriend. Qwi had been attacked by the renegade Jedi Kyp Duron and had lost her memories. She could have been re-engineered in a scary, negative manner, but Wedge was her partner -- noble, good, brave -- and she needed him. And he needed to be needed.

What did this Iella Wessiri have to offer Wedge? She was strong, had her own mind, had been previously married; she was the antithesis of Qwi Xux. Would Wedge hold his own with her? Or against her?

Tycho rubbed away another tear.

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge," sniffed Hobbie Klivian, "he'll never be alone, and the guys won't be able to drop in when we need a place to stay overnight. Especially me!" He was referring to the many times he found himself so drunk that he couldn't walk upright. Wedge always lived a little bit away from the base, so Hobbie could crawl from just about any tapcaf to Wedge's place. His commander would always let him sleep off his hangover on the sofa, even if he crawled in almost naked.

What would happen now if Hobbie showed up like that? Well, Hobbie's wife might be upset about it, but it was sad to know that this easy option would no longer be open to him. Hmn ... "Wonder if I'm feeling sorrier for me or for him?" He tried to think about where else he could crash if he was on the outs with his wife?

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge, now I'll never manage it." Booster Terrik had only one eye, and he sometimes wished both of his eyes were prosthetic. Especially when a swell of emotion hit him and he started to weep. The smuggler had been like a father to the man being married today. He'd always hoped that the pilot would marry his daughter, Mirax. But his headstrong girl had married Corran Horn, the son of the man who sent him to the Kessel penal colony for five years.

Booster didn't mind Iella; in fact, he rather liked the girl. But for Wedge to marry Mirax, not only would Booster have to arrange for a way to get Corran out of the picture, now he's have to somehow out Iella, too. "What a stupid complication," Booster lamented. He didn't think he could manage to break up both couples and engineer the joining of his daughter and Wedge. "Damn it all," he sighed.

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge," Kell Tainer's handsome features twisted ever-so-slightly as he tried not to cry. It's not that he would deny his former commander the happiness of being with someone he loves. It's just that ... couldn't he fall in love with someone who wasn't Kell's current boss??? He felt a bit uncomfortable about that; his boss was not one to wear her feelings on her sleeve or anything, but Kell wondered if he really wanted to take orders from the person Wedge was sleeping with?

Kell would never be able to explain this to anyone, since it barely made sense to himself. But it was bad enough to have an attractive woman as your boss; having an attractive woman who was being bonked by the man you most respected in the galaxy would be too weird. He felt bad for Wedge, since Kell imagined everyone would feel that way toward Iella.

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge," Face Loran sighed, regretting that his friend and former commander's wedding would rate highly on the holonews. Years before, Wedge Antilles's "wanted" holo was circulated widely, and an underground effort to elect him as emperor had percolated. Wedge was terrifically embarassed by all the attention; he'd even received several marriage proposals as a result.

"Wonder how the groupies will handle the holos from this event?" Face hoped Iella would understand that the ensuing death threats to her should not be taken seriously. And the Wedge could handle all the reassurance his new wife would undoubtedly need.

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge," Corran sighed, determined not to shed tears. The man was marrying his former CorSec partner, a determined and stubborn woman. She was bright -- but could hold a heck of a grudge! Soon, she'd resent people thinking she married Wedge to move forward in her career. She was likely to be promoted to head of her section of NRI. But Corran Horn knew that Airen Cracken respected Wedge and that the old general had contemplated ways to attract the pilot into Intelligence. He hoped that Iella wouldn't think she was Cracken's second choice ... because she actually was.

"And poor me!" lamented Corran, also realizing that Wedge could not run interference between him and Booster Terrik anymore. Corran had married Booster's daughter; now that he couldn't ask Wedge to help him avert Booster's dislike of his son-in-law, what would happen to him now???

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge," Luke Skywalker tried not to weep so that anyone noticed. It would be unseemly for the Jedi Master to be seen so upset at the marriage of one of his oldest friends. The truth is that Luke actually felt sorry for himself. How did he -- the one referred to as the golden boy, the hero of the rebellion -- end up among the last of the old crew to be married? "That is, if I ever marry," he pondered glumly. He and Wedge used to drink to their bachelor state, the remaining members of an ever-dwindling club. Even Chewbacca was married now, and had a son!

* * * * *

"Poor Wedge," Han Solo was careful to not let his wife see him with a lump in his throat. He loved Leia, he truly did. They had been married for many years now, with three fine children. But sometimes ... sometimes ... Han missed being a bachelor. Specifically, he missed chasing after Leia, trying to convince her to stay with him. Somehow, having her was occasionally less fulfilling than the process of getting her.

He'd also enjoyed watching Wedge's clumsy attempts at a relationship with Qwi Xux, and regretted that that particular game was now over. And Han wouldn't be able to grab Wedge anytime and give him noogies anymore, either.

* * * * *

"I now pronounce you man and woman, wife and husband! What the Force has brought together, let none put asunder!"

Cheers erupted as Wedge Antilles happily embraced his wife, their lips locked in their first kiss as a married couple. The officiant noticed the men hollering and clapping rather loudly, while the women were more restrained.

* * * * *

Every woman in the hall had the same thought as the ceremony ended. "Poor Iella ... if only she knew what babies men actually are ...."


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