Survivors
Kelly M. Grosskreutz

This story's genesis was a post I made to alt.fan.wedge entitled Mock Endings For the NJO, where I came up with three humorous endings for the New Jedi Order series. Since this is mostly speculation, the spoilers are very few, but I feel I should post a spoiler warning anyway for the first three NJO books. There is also very minor slash. The characters of Wes and Hobbie, along with everything else in the story, belong to Lucasfilm. I am not making any money off of this story. Do not repost anywhere without the permission of the author!

Dedicated to the denizens of alt.fan.wedge.

* * * * *

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ...

It has been five years since the beginning of the war between the forces of light and the Yuuzhan Vong. After the horrendous and excruciating death of President Borsk Fey'lya, the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant joined forces to fight the Vong. But it was an alliance doomed to failure, for the Vong had already penetrated too far into the GFFA. Even the arrival of one of Grand Admiral Thrawn's clones was not enough to turn the tide. The New Remnant fell back to one of the last places not conquered by the Vong, the sanctuary moon of Endor. The battle was well-fought, especially by Rogue Squadron and by the few Jedi Knights still alive, but even it was doomed to failure. Ultimately, the Yuuzhan Vong used a biological version of the Death Star and blew up Endor. But they were so exultant in their final victory that they failed to notice two ships escaping the scene ...

The planet was cold, ice cold. It had to be the coldest place in the galaxy, no, make that two galaxies. Hobbie had sworn that he would never come back here, but yet, here he was. "You know," he said, breaking the silence, "I never thought I'd say this, but I am glad to see this place."

"I know what you mean," replied Wes Janson, standing next to him, surveying the bleak landscape of Hoth.

The two men were standing next to their fighters. Both were in less-than-perfect shape, having been through the toughest battle either pilot had ever faced. It also was the last battle for the X-Wings, as they were now completely out of fuel, and there was no hope of getting any more. Not here.

Hobbie shivered. "We'd better get out of the cold," he said. "Let's head for the location of the old base."

The two didn't have far to walk, having landed pretty close to the old Rebel base to begin with. They got inside, only to find that the place was not abandoned. Upon entering their old quarters, they were shocked to see two Bothan females already there.

The women looked a little surprised to see them there, and Hobbie had to admit that he was confused as well. But Wes, after a brief pause to assess the situation, gave the women a shaky smile and asked, "So, what brings a couple of nice Bothan ladies like you to a hellhole like this?"

Hobbie couldn't believe Wes was trying to pick up women at a time like this, but then realized that Wes had, indeed, asked a valid question in his pick-up line. "Yeah, what are you doing here?" he asked. "Did you escape Endor as well?"

The two women looked at each other, then one of them answered. "Endor? No, we haven't been to Endor. Why, what happened there?"

"You weren't at Endor?" Hobbie repeated, astonished. "I thought everyone was at Endor!"

The other woman shook her head. "No, we've been here for the past couple of years, ever since Bothawui was destroyed."

Wes looked astonished. "Two years? You've willingly lived here for two years? Why? There're other places you could've gone. Anywhere had to have been better than here!"

Hobbie murmured, "Not anymore."

"We came here because my sister predicted that it would come down to this, and figured this is the one planet in the entire galaxy that even the Yuuzhan Vong wouldn't bother with," volunteered the first Bothan.

"Wow," marveled Wes, "two years ..."

The second Bothan cut into Wes's musings. "So, what did happen at Endor?" she inquired with just a hint of impatience in her voice.

"The end of the war, that's what," answered Hobbie.

"Yes, and...?"

"Well, uh, I hate to tell you this ..." Hobbie found himself at a loss for words. After all, how did one go about telling two beautiful females that the four of them were most likely the last non-Yuuzahn Vong sentients left in the galaxy?

"We lost, didn't we?" the second Bothan asked in a tone that indicated she already knew the answer to the question.

Hobbie tried to think of a way to make the news not sound as dire as it actually was. Realizing it was an exercise in futility, he nodded his head. "Yes, we did. To the best of our knowledge, the four of us are the only ones left alive."

The first of the two Bothan women looked totally stunned, but the second one merely looked resigned. "I had a feeling when we left Bothawui that this would happen, but I hoped I was wrong. Sometimes I really hate it when I'm right."

Hobbie found himself at a loss for words, and glanced at Wes to see how he was holding up. To his astonishment, Wes had a smile on his face. "Hey, ladies, it's not all that bad. After all, you had the good luck to be exiled with a couple of single, good-looking men."

Hobbie's mouth fell open. He couldn't believe this! What was wrong with Wes? He had dismissed Wes's earlier pick-up line as Wes's way of relieving some tension, but this was going too far. He was acting like nothing had even happened!

"Wes!" he hissed, trying to stop his friend from making a total idiot of himself. "This isn't the time!"

Wes continued on as if he hadn't heard him. "Which reminds me, I was going to ask you two if you were doing anything tonight. Here is fine, it looks like you've got the place fixed up real nice, but if you're looking for something a little more intimate, you could always come back to my X-Wing. The cockpit's still more or less intact ..." Wes trailed off as he finally became aware of the venomous glares the two women were giving him. "What'd I say?"

The first female turned to the second one and sighed. "Of all the guys in the galaxy, why did we have to get saddled with these two?"

"I thought they looked familiar," the second one commented.

They turned back to Wes and Hobbie and gave them a closer look. "Oh, no," groaned the first Bothan. "Didn't we meet you two losers ten years ago or so?"

Hobbie was startled. Had they met these particular Bothans before? He and Wes had tried to pick up so many over the years, but ... "Now that you mention it, you do look familiar," he replied, surprised.

"That's right, I remember now!" Wes exclaimed, his face lighting up. "Didn't we run into each other in that tapcaf in Drev'starn? What was it called again?"

"Sei'lar's Flight," Hobbie supplied, memories flooding back. Yes, they had encountered these two women before.

"You remember the encounter," she continued. "That's good. Now do you remember what we said when you two lamebrains tried this the last time?"

"That you'd never go out with us, even if we were the last two males in the galaxy," Hobbie replied, sighing. He had a really bad feeling about the rest of the conversation.

"Well, guess what?" said the first woman. "You two are the last males in the galaxy, and we still don't want to go out with you."

Wes looked disappointed. "What?" he gasped. "But things have changed. You can't be serious. Besides, think of all the fun you'd be missing."

The two Bothans turned such a vicious look on Wes that Hobbie was glad that their eyes weren't capable of shooting blaster bolts. "What nerve!" harumphed the second woman.

The first female let out an exasperated sigh and threw her hands up in the air in disgust. "That's it! I've had it with you, flyboy!" she yelled at Wes. "This complex is large enough for the four of us. We will stay on this portion of it, and you and your friend can stay on the other side of it. Once you leave this side, do not cross the line, or you will not like the consequences."

Hobbie opened his mouth to protest, but before he could get out one word in his defense, she spat out, "Don't even say a word. Just take this idiot and get out of here."

Hobbie knew he would get nowhere trying to talk to either sister right now. They were too angry and disgusted with Wes to be reasonable. He silently grabbed Wes's arm and dragged him from the room.

* * * * *

After they had ensconced themselves in quarters on the other side of the compound, Hobbie decided to break the silence that had been between them since leaving the Bothans' quarters. "Well, that could've gone better," Hobbie said.

Wes looked at Hobbie angrily. "Better? Better?! Well, of course it could've gone better! Hobbie, why'd you drag me out of there?"

Hobbie sighed. "Wes, they were about thirty seconds from killing you, and probably me afterwards."

Wes looked like he was about to continue, but then thought better of it. A thoughtful look came on his face, then he asked, "Do you think they will ever talk to us again, Hobbie?"

Hobbie sighed. "I don't know, Wes. In time, perhaps, but I think it'll be a long, cold day in Hoth before they'll actually like us."

"Uh, Hobbie, we are on Hoth, remember?"

Hobbie blushed, embarrased. "Oh, yeah, you're right," he mumbled.

Wes looked at Hobbie closely. "Were you just blushing?" he asked.

"N-no, I don't think so," Hobbie stammered, wondering why Wes was looking at him so strangely.

"Yes, you were! You were blushing!" Wes exclaimed. "Did anyone ever tell you that you're cute when you blush?"

"No," he said, starting not to like this conversation. Wes stillwasn't sounding like Wes. Had the stress of the battle been too much for him?

Wes sat down next to Hobbie on the bed. Hobbie scooted over slightly, putting a little bit of space between them. "Hobbie," he began, a serious note entering his voice, "I'm sorry if I embarrassed you back there. I know I probably blew our only chance of contact with other sentient life, not counting the Yuzzies, but I couldn't help it."

"What do you mean, you couldn't help it?" Hobbie asked suspiciously, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer.

"I know we need the contact to survive, but I just couldn't take the chance of them becoming a significant part of our lives." He paused. "Of your life."

Hobbie looked at Wes, stunned. Please don't tell me he's saying what I think he's saying ... "What are you getting at, Wes?"

Wes looked at Hobbie intently. "Hobbie, I love you."

Hobbie's jaw dropped open. He knew he'd had a bad feeling about the direction this conversation was taking, but he never would have predicted this. "You love me?" he repeated, not knowing what else to say. Wes held up his hand, as if to stop Hobbie from saying anything more, than continued. "Yes, I do. This isn't easy for me to admit, Hobbie, and I've tried so hard to pretend it wasn't true, but I've loved you since the first day I saw you." Now that he'd started to talk, Wes's words came out in a rush, as if afraid that Hobbie would jump in at any moment and stop him. "I remember when I first saw you, you looked so sad, I just wanted to put my arms around you and give you a big hug. Then I realized that you always looked like that, and I knew that my heart was no longer mine."

Wes let out a little laugh. "You know, I admired you for not being afraid to show your people your true feelings. I was a total mess back then. I got sick with that fever, and Jek had fought and died at Yavin in my place. I wanted to break stuff, beat up people, take on the Empire by myself. I even contemplated killing myself a couple of times. But I never could cry. I saw you, and pegged you for a man who was able to cry when he was sad."

Wes shook his head, and a little grin tugged at the corners of his mouth. "Listen to me, I'm rambling now. I guess it's because I can't find the words to say what I want to say. I've never been good at telling people how I really feel. Every time your X-Wing went down, my heart was in my throat, because I thought that you might die. Every time you went on a date with a woman, I was afraid that you'd found the one you'd want to marry, and I'd be alone. But yet I could never tell you, because I was afraid of what you'd say. That's why I act like such an idiot around women. That's why I'm always cracking jokes and playing pranks. If I present myself one way to the world, maybe no one would ever find out my true feelings for you."

Wes finally stopped and took a deep breath, then visibly braced himself for Hobbie's reaction. Hobbie found himself just staring at Wes, his thoughts completely in turmoil. This can't be happening, he thought. He loves me? I knew he always considered me a very close friend, and that he'd always be there if I needed him, but he loves me? How could he have felt this way all these years, and I never saw it? I thought I knew him!

Hobbie could see that Wes was waiting for a response, but he couldn't escape the feeling of unreality that was assailing him. All he could do was sit and stare mutely at Wes.

Then, as if in slow-motion, Wes slid closer to Hobbie and put his arm around him. Hobbie wanted to move away, wanted to tell Wes he wasn't interested, wanted to do anything except sit there and stare at Wes. What is going on?! he thought helplessly as Wes leaned closer and touched his lips to Hobbie's ...

"NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Hobbie screamed as he sat up in his bed. In my bed? he thought, confused and disoriented.

Wes came running into the room, blaster in hand. "Hobbie, what's wrong? Are you all right?"

"No," Hobbie yelled, shrinking back against the headboard, shuddering. "Stay away from me! I'm not interested!"

Wes frowned at him. "Not interested? Not interested in what?"

The tone in Wes's voice was finally able to penetrate the mists in Hobbie's mind. Wiping sleepsand from his eyes, he took stock of the situation. He wasn't cold, so he couldn't be on Hoth. From the looks of his quarters, he had to be on Coruscant. As for Wes, he looked concerned, but nothing more.

"Oh, thank you!" he whispered.

Now Wes looked really confused. "Thank you for what? Not interested in what? You're not making any sense, Hobbie," he complained.

"Uh, never mind, Wes," he answered quickly. "I'm fine. Just had a bad dream. You can go back to bed now."

The confusion left Wes's face, but the concern was still there. "Are you sure, Hobbie? Because if you want to talk about it, go ahead. From the way you were screaming, it must've been really bad."

Hobbie thought for a minute. He really didn't want to talk about his dream, especially not with Wes, but yet he knew that he should say something, if only to get rid of Wes. He knew it was only a dream, but he still felt really uncomfortable having Wes in his bedroom in the middle of the night. "I dreamt that the Yuuzahn Vong had driven us to Endor, and that we lost the war there."

A brief shudder went through Wes's frame. "That would qualify as bad. I hope I never have a dream like that."

"Me, too," returned Hobbie.

Wes yawned. "Well, if you're sure you're going to be all right, I'm going to go back to bed. Tomorrow seems to come earlier and earlier all the time."

"Yeah, go ahead," Hobbie urged, trying not to sound relieved. He must've succeeded, because Wes left the room without another word.

Upon Wes's departure, Hobbie laid himself back down and put his arms behind his head. At least it was all just a dream, he tried to reassure himself. But he knew that he wasn't going to be able to rid himself of the image of Wes leaning in to kiss him or the feeling of Wes's lips on his. Could Wes really feel that way about him? he wondered. He sincerely hoped not, but he knew that that thought would keep him awake the rest of the night. He sighed and stared up at the ceiling, waiting for dawn.

Copyright July 28, 2000 by Kelly M. Grosskreutz.



Disclaimer: All content is made up, and no profit or lucre is expected, solicited, advocated or paid. This is all just for fun. Any comments, please e-mail the author or WOOKIEEhut directly. Flames will be ignored. Characters and situations are based on those which are the property of LucasFilms Ltd., Bantam Publishing, Random House, and their respective original owners and developers. The rest is this story's author's own fault. This story may not be posted anywhere without the author's knowledge, consent, and permission.