"I never expected to get married. Especially in such a fashion."
Leia’s voice filtered across the Falcon’s comm unit, strangely metallic but still full of laughter. "What do you expect, Winter? You’re marrying a Rogue. Did you expect flowers and airy music?"
Winter stared out the viewports of the starfighter she could only fly with marginal skill. At least marginal when compared to the man she was about to marry. "Well, I did expect to be married on the ground…"
"That is still an option, dear," Tycho’s voice was soft, as it always was when he spoke to her. Soft and warm and comforting her despite the decades-old sorrow that filled her. To again visit their homeworld, the shattered remnants of their home, during such a joyous moment of her life added a strange counterpoint to her happiness. Seeing the hollow vacuum that had once been the vibrant world of Alderaan added poignancy to the moment, showing her the definitive moment that had forged her path in the Rebellion. A path that had led her to the amazing man who would soon become her husband.
She smiled. She knew he could not see the expression, but perhaps he would hear it over the comm unit. "No, Tycho. This is the right place. This place has been the focus of so much sorrow; it’s time that we bring it a measure of joy. It was time to come home."
She looked to her left and could see Tycho’s x-wing in position beside her ship. Like two nervous lovers, she thought, letting herself remember the shyness she had abandoned when she had became the aide to a brilliant young senator. "It’s still a rather strange wedding," she pretended to grumble, enjoying the chuckle her complaint elicited from her fiancee. "Why did the flight suit have to be orange?"
"Because it’s tradition," countered another voice. "Rogues wear orange."
With those words, eleven x-wings emerged from the silvery grave of Alderaan. Artoo gave a whoop behind her as he recognized the squadron that had materialized into view. Absently she gently chided the astromech as the sight of the starfighters caught her breath. Deadly and elegant, they arrowed towards her and her fiancee. One ship flew lead while the others fanned out behind. They slowed as they neared until they were only kilometers away, forming a V behind their leader. Each ship shimmered white against the velvet darkness of space, the traditional red stripes of the unit blazing brightly against the snowy metal.
Winter remembered her view of the ships as Han had escorted her through the hanger, taking on the role of the adopted father she and Leia had lost. Each ship had been given a fresh coat of paint for the event, causing them to sparkle like child toys lined up in a toy store desplay. All kill markers, save the death star emblems that marked both Wedge and Tycho’s ships, had been masked. Today was a day of joy, but also of remembrance. That joy was reflected by the obliteration of the marks of war, a moment of peace in a turbulent galaxy. Remembrance and triumph symbolized by black markers that glittered darkly on the two Rogues’ starfighters.
It seemed fitting that Wedge be the one that presided over the ceremony. Luke Skywalker may have been the one that destroyed the original Death Star, but it had been Wedge who had participated in the destruction of both of the weapons. And it had been Commander Antilles who had led Tycho on the fateful mission that had drawn her to the Rogue. Wedge was her lover’s wing and one of his closest friends. Who else could they ask to marry them?
But that didn’t mean she couldn’t tease him a bit before the ceremony began. "Wedge, I know orange is a traditional Rogue color, but couldn’t the bride wear something more subdued?"
"You don’t want to be a Rogue?" Tycho teased, his voice gently soothing any nervousness she might have felt.
"Yes, but I wish that there was another color option."
"Don’t worry, love. You look beautiful."
She wasn’t sure she believed her groom’s words. Looking beautiful while dressed in a shapeless orange flight suit seemed an impossibility. But Tycho’s eyes had been radiant as he gazed upon her before they had climbed into their ship, his fingers gently toying with one of the blossoms Leia had woven into her pale hair.
Wedge politely cleared his throat, dispelling the wandering her mind had taken. "Are you two sure that you want me to…Luke was the first Rogue Leader…"
"A position you took over, Wedge. And you’ve done a far better job leading them than I ever could," Skywalker’s voice was smooth and tranquil but firm. There would be no arguing with their choice. Wedge would be the one to marry them. "You deserve this honor far more than I do."
Winter looked over her shoulder, but could not glimpse the Falcon; Artoo beeped happily at her, his optics flashing merrily. Skywalker’s presence had been a necessity for this momentous event, as had the presence of Leia and her family, but it was the "slayer of stars" that should preside over the ceremony. And deep in her heart, she was sure Bail Organa would approve of their choice.
And of course, since Luke had given up his commission with the New Republic, only Wedge had the authority to marry them. A fact that she quickly reminded Wedge of. Everyone wisely remained silent at Wedge’s embarrassed stuttering over that bit of logic, then slowly everyone settled, waiting for the perfect moment to begin.
Finally, Wedge began to speak. "I am not as gifted speaker as Leia or as wise as Luke, so please forgive any inadequacies in my words." His voice gained strength with each moment until its rich power flowed over the comm units, filling each cockpit intimately, giving each listener a sense of harmony. "Today is a very special moment in the lives of two beings we care greatly for. And they have blessed us by allowing us to witness the official bonding of their souls. Though anyone who knows Tycho and Winter knows this event happened years ago and today is just a formality."
A few of the Rogues quietly chuckled at his words and others murmured their agreement. "Today may be a formality, but it is a vital occasion in both the lives of our friends and for the billions of beings that can only watch this wedding through the beauty of the Force."
Winter sat back against the pilot’s couch, amazed by the raw depth of Wedge’s voice. Luke must have coached the pilot in the basics of the Force but the words and the emotions behind them were genuinely Wedge’s own. "Today, the spirits of Alderaan gather to celebrate the joining of two of their children. The tragedy of the loss of your home gives you a common grief, but the joy in your hearts give you a common love. This love, and the love of others throughout the Galaxy, will ease the sorrow of such momentous loss and perhaps bring peace to souls that have only known sadness."
Of course, Wedge would understand grief, Winter realized. His own family had been lost to him decades ago. Though not the literal loss of a whole world, the loss of the only family he had would easily be akin to the psychological loss of one’s home.
Antilles’ voice gained warmth and Winter could picture an almost shy smile painted across his features. "Your love needs no formal vows or validation. But here, among the spirits of your ancestors and family, may it be blessed and strengthened." A soft pause filled with friendship. "I’m sure they are rejoicing for you."
Tears stung her eyes. The words were simple but they conjured up images of Bail and the adopted family she had shared with Leia. A hitched breath echoed through the private comm setting she and Tycho shared and she knew that her husband felt the same sense of nostalgia. Then his voice streamed over the public channel, allowing all to hear his vow. "I love you, Winter."
Her voice wavered as she scrubbed the tears from her cheeks with the sleeve of her flightsuit. "I love you too, Tycho."
Applause filtered through the comm unit, crackling in her ears. "Then no other words are needed. Congratulations." Wedge waited for quiet before adding, "When we land, you must kiss the bride. And that IS an order."
As he spoke those words, the Rogues behind him slowly began moving out of formation into a complex celebration of the marriage of one of their own. Weaving and looping, dancing through the velvet of space, each ship tipping its wings towards the couple, saluting Tycho and the woman who had become both wife and honorary Rogue.
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