Before Yuuzhan War, at the beginning of it and at the end.
He toasts a glass of Whyren’s Reserve because today is the first day of the rest of his life.
That’s what Hobbie said, his tone solemn and Hobbie knows how to work a cliche. Wes grins and mutters that it’s going to be a very short rest of Wedge’s life, because retirement is just announcing you’re ready for the grave.
Tycho only smiles because he knows.
Knows what retirement means. Work is done, there is peace. Not everywhere, not completely, not forever, but enough.
Enough to rest, let the liquid warm your throat, look at stars and hope it lasts.
He looked into the stars, too peaceful for the war with Yuuzhan Vong to be waged up there.
But it was.
He asked Iella and she smiled, knowing it wasn’t really a question. Smile that was broken, eyes that were sad, she kissed him and said that of course he had to.
That was what he did.
He sat at the roof, Tycho at his wing, untouched whiskey between them.
Tomorrow... tomorrow maybe they will be up there, again, shine of explosions, the silence of space.
Today they pretended it was a normal day. That it was a peaceful time.
Silence of space. He used to like it. Moment of peace betwen missions, time to think, to enjoy the flight.
He still did, but it was tainted with guilt. So many lost.
They called it Survivor’s Guilt and there was something about that, because how many times he was the one surviving, the one left? Starting in space of Yavin, when there was nothing he could do?
He set up to do more, do something, and maybe he did, maybe the difference had been made.
Maybe he could rest.
For as long as it would last.
He was heading home.