While the pair picked up their knapsacks, Lisa gave Erin an itinerary for the week. Erin almost groaned when she realized how little was planned for the Rogue's visit to Earth. A formal dinner tomorrow night, a few diplomatic functions, but as a whole, she would be the center of attention for Rogue Squadron's two greatest pranksters.
Force help me, I'm going to be their target for an entire week. Visions of stuffed ewoks and the words &uqot;Yub yub, Commander," filled her mind. Erin glanced over her shoulder to see both pilots grinning at her like demented fools. Wonder what the first practical joke will be.
Pushing away those thoughts before she had the good sense to panic, run back to her hotel, grab her gear, and take the next flight home, she stuffed the paperwork Lisa had given her into her purse. She gestured towards the chain link fence surrounding the parking lot. "This way, flyboys."
As Erin and company passed the Squadrons, a symphony of wolf whistles was provided by the Rogues and Wraiths. Erin ducked her head, hiding her smile behind the fall of her hair, enjoying the attention of the handsome men she idolized. When she looked up, Janson grinned at his fellow pilots and clapped a hand on Erin's rear.
Without thinking, Erin reacted.
Within a few heartbeats, the stunned Rogue was flat on his back, Erin's cowboy boot pressed against his chest. Whoops of laughter surrounded her as she blushed brighter than her hair and stepped away from Wes.
When she looked up, she found Wedge Antilles grinning at her. The great WEDGE ANTILLES was grinning at HER! Then he began to applaud. As did the rest of the members of the other squadrons. "About time the great lover was put in his place," Wedge chuckled.
"You're just jealous that I have better luck with the ladies," Janson winced as he stood.
"You call that luck?" Ton Phannon drawled. "We all know that you enjoy being flat on your back while in the presence of a beautiful woman, but we didn't know THAT was how you preferred getting into that position."
Ton looked straight at her, not hiding the prosthetic that covered most of his face. Erin was surprised when she didn't flinch away from the blazing red light that replaced his lost eye. He nodded to her then her attention was diverted by Wes' hand on her shoulder.
"Actually, I love it when a beautiful woman takes control of the situation." He emphasized his words with a quick kiss that left Erin dizzy.
A gentle nudge from Hobs set her in motion, but she almost tripped over her own feet when a familiar, voice that sounded suspiciously like Fozzie Bear intruded into her thoughts.
"Showgirls, I must see," Yoda announced. Erin turned and felt her jaw drop as she watched the famous Jedi Muppet argued with his tour guide. "But he..."
Hobbie wrapped an arm around her waist to steady her. "Lucas lied. Said something about it being more dramatic if Skywalker was the last of the Jedi."
A frazzled blonde gave Erin a pleading look then began arguing with her guest. Yoda glared at the woman then repeated, "Showgirls, I must see!"
The tour guide's patience was clearly being tried by the Jedi Master. "Master Yoda, I believe there are better ways for you to spend your time on Earth."
Undaunted, Yoda continued his argument, "Vacation, this is. Fun we should have."
The woman wrinkled her nose at the equally wrinkled Jedi. "But it was an awful movie, Master..."
"No, No, No," Yoda interrupted, striking the asphalt with his gaffe stick. "Refer to movie, I do not. Women in sequins I wish to see." The guide was still protesting as Yoda hobbled over to his luggage.
Glad I don't have her job. Escorting a cranky Jedi Master. Especially one that doesn't look human. What's she going to say? She's a ventriloquist? It's actually the world's largest interactive Yoda?
Erin's thoughts of Jedi Masters stilled when she realized Hobbie's hand was beginning some unauthorized exploration. Wes cleared his throat and she felt herself blush despite the fact that she had not encouraged Klivan's actions. "Trying to find the car keys, Hobs?" Wes asked dryly.
Erin broke out of Klivan's' grasp, ignoring the tension between the two pilots. Great, if they're not playing jokes on me, they'll be fighting for my attention. And Lisa calls this a vacation?
As soon as they hit the parking lot, the Rogues began arguing again. Both of the men wanted to drive the sleek black Firebird Lisa had rented for her. Erin, of course, said no. She loved the mean looking little car and the harsh rumble that erupted from beneath the hood.
Lisa only THOUGHT she had been brooding. Actually, Erin had crept out of the hotel and spent the evening racing through the desert. She LOVED the car and there was no way in Hoth she was going to let those clowns take away even a moment of driving pleasure.
"I should drive," Wes announced.
Hobs glared at him, "Why should YOU drive?"
"Because I'm the better pilot," Wes said smoothly.
Erin arched a brow; keys clutched in her hand and settled herself against the fender. This could be entertaining
"You're the better pilot," Hobbie laughed. "I've shot down more TIEs..."
"You've crashed more X-Wings..." That sobered Hobbie for a moment then he launched into another argument.
She let the boys argue for about ten minutes then interrupted. "NEITHER one of you is driving," she announced, jingling the keys. "I'm driving."
They both renewed their arguments, this time both targeting her instead of each other. She sighed as they listed dozens of excuses why she should let one of them behind the wheel. Eventually, she "won" the argument by pointing out that a) the back seat of a Firebird could not be as small as the cockpit of an x-wing b) neither one of them were licensed to drive ANY type of vehicle on this planet and c) since none of them were Jedi, they couldn't use the "You don't need to see our identification" trick on any patrolman that might pull them over.
Grudgingly, the Rogues climbed into the car; Hobbie somehow being conned into sitting in the back seat despite the fact that Wes was the shorter of the two pilots. She allowed them to play navigator while she drove back to the hotel.
Two hours later, they were in the middle of the desert with the outrageousness of Vegas far behind. Not that Erin minded. The long stretch of flat road was perfect for the powerful Firebird. But the company....
I wonder if they normally argue this much or this is a special performance just for me.
As they continued to make little verbal jabs at each other, her foot pressed harder on the accelerator until Hobbie broke through her thoughts. "I thought low level maneuvers were illegal on this planet." Erin shook her head and glanced at Klivian in the rearview mirror, "Huh?"
"If this thing had wings, we'd be flying," he grinned.
Finally Erin looked down at the speedometer and yelped. Both of the Rogues laughed as she began slowing down the car.
Eventually she turned around headed back to the city, suffering through the pilots' teasing until she finally commented "Glad you two fly with R2 units coz you two are lousy navigators." She smirked as the pair became silent.
By dusk they had found their way back to the strip and to their hotel. Checking in would have been annoying if Lisa hadn't already made the arrangements. Instead of having to bluff her way through explanations on why neither Wes or Hobs had credit cards or any other form of acceptable identification, the staff at the Mirage efficiently added their names to the computer and handed over keys to suites next door to Erin's room.
They found the Rogues' luggage in their assigned rooms. And of course
these clowns would HAVE to argue over who has which room. As the debate
raged over who should have the suite closest to where Erin was sleeping, she
scribbled a note telling them to meet her at 8 for a late supper and slipped
out of the room to take a much needed nap.
Continued in Part Four