Antigone smiled and stretched. What an unbelievable dream. What great fic she could write from it! Kind of a bummer, though, that she hadn't slept with Wes, since it was only a dream. Wouldn't that be a fantastic dream-memory? She'd have to tell the others about it. Later. She rolled over and snuggled back under the blanket.
"Hey, sleepyhead." Antigone yelped and opened her eyes to see Wes leaning over her.
"Oh my God! I thought it was just a dream!" She sat up and hugged the startled Rogue.
"So you're glad I'm here?" he asked, happily wrapping his arms around her.
"Uh, I wouldn't go that far." She felt his breath against her cheek as he laughed.
"Lie if you must. I know you like me."
"Maybe a little."
He stood and tugged at her hand. "Mar'E and Hobbie just got back with breakfast. She said I could use all necessary force to get you out of bed."
Antigone smirked and burrowed back under the covers, pulling the pillow over her head. "There is no force great enough to drag me out this early."
Wes circled the bed, looking for the best place to attack. Antigone squealed when he tore the blanket off of her and grabbed the pillow. She held on until his hand trailed down her side, eliciting a frenzy of giggles. He tossed the pillow to the floor and attacked her feet as she curled into the fetal position.
"Alright, you asked for it!" Antigone jerked her feet free and went on the offensive, tickling Wes' ribs while he tried to pin her arms down. He grabbed her by the waist and flipped her onto her back, holding her down with his body.
"Awake yet?" He grinned down at her.
Antigone stared up into his blue eyes, tensing under his weight. He was too close for her to breathe, his body like steel above her. All she had to do was raise up an inch... maybe less... and kiss him. She wanted to; wanted to feel his lips against hers and taste his breath. But in this position, would it seem more of an invitation than she was willing to give?
The moment stretched out as Wes held every muscle in his body rigid, willing himself not to lean down and bury his face in her neck. He watched the emotions flicker across her face; desire battling fear, and he remembered Claire's unfinished sentence on the monorail. Suddenly he understood her bashfulness, and vowed not to pressure her; to let her set the pace. Before her shy mask could cover her, he sat up, pulling her with him.
"Is this better?" he asked quietly. She nodded silently, then reached forward and trailed her fingers down his cheek. The tentative caress sent a jolt through his body, and his hands clenched the sheet to keep from touching her. He couldn't stifle a moan when her soft lips brushed against his.
"Hey, loverboy! You're supposed to get her out of bed!" Mar'E pounded on the door.
Antigone blushed and stood. "I'd better get dressed."
"Can I watch?" Wes asked playfully.
She picked up the pillow and whapped his shoulder. "Out. Now."
By the time she was ready to go, the others had dragged their bleary-eyed selves to the table. The television played quietly in the background. "What's on the agenda today?" Wedge asked, helping himself to a raison bagel.
Everyone was silent for a moment. Elizabeth took a sip of orange juice, then replied softly, "We ought to find the oracle. It's not fair to keep you here." Unhappy faces nodded their agreement.
"Will we get to it today, though?" Tycho asked suddenly. "I mean, it's all the way on the far side of the park. There's an awful lot to do before we get there."
"That's true," Hobbie nodded, "and we don't have to leave right away, even when we do find it." He squeezed Mar'E's hand reassuringly.
The nods this time were considerably more cheerful. Antigone tore her eyes away from Wes and glanced at the TV. "Holy jalapenos, Batman!" The group looked up in shock at her exclamation, and she rushed to turn up the volume.
The action on the screen was accompanied by an amused voice-over. "Police finally cleared the crowd away around one AM. None could explain why they felt compelled to Conga in the middle of Epcot Center."
Antigone turned wide eyes on Mar'E. "You didn't turn them off?"
The other girl clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh. "I thought they'd wear themselves out. That was, like, nine hours of dancing!"
Claire leaned across the table, a wicked glint in her eyes. "What other force-driven things have you done lately?"
Mar'E ruffled Hobbie's hair and archly replied, "None of your business."
- - - - - - -
"I don't think you'll fit," Antigone yelled.
"Ugh... just a little... deeper."
""Wes, you're too big."
"I started it... I'll... finish... it."
"What if you get stuck? Wedge, make him stop."
Wedge sighed and grabbed a handful of Wes' collar. "Come on, junior, get out of there. Leave Injun Joe's Caves to the kiddies."
"I just wanted to see what was in there!"
They'd spent the better part of an hour exploring Tom Sawyer Island, keeping Wes out of places meant only for small children. Next up was the glorious Splash Mountain and it's 1 1/2 hour wait. Mar'E was allowed to unleash her Amazing Mind Whammy on the attendents and get them to the front of the line. She'd been talking to the guys about the possibility of returning with them and training as a Jedi.
"Everybody's so happy," Hobbie mused. "We should drop Plourr here sometime."
Tycho turned on him. "And let her decapitate every singing rodent in sight? Or should we tie her up where she can't do any damage?"
Elizabeth snorted. "Put her on 'It's a Small World'. She'd love that."
Wedge looked suspicious. "What would that do to her?"
Antigone shuddered. "Picture her sitting in a dark corner, rocking herself and singing. She'd love small children and fuzzy animals. And she wouldn't want to vape any more TIE's 'cause they'd be her friends. Until you deprogrammed her, then she'd be Plourr times 17,000 and out for revenge against whoever put her through that torture."
The Rogues exchanged sinister looks. "Sounds good to me," Tycho said. "Just don't fix her until we've got a nice long holo for blackmail."
They caught an early dinner in the Diamond Horeshoe Saloon, introducing the Rogues to the fine art of Vaudeville while they munched. Claire leaned toward Antigone and stage whispered, "Do you think we should take them to... the Mansion?"
"The Mansion? I don't know," Antigone replied. "It's pretty dangerous. They may not have... those things in their part of the galaxy."
"What things?" Wes demanded. "What's so bad about it?"
"Ghosts." Mar'E murmured, looking about as if the spooks might hear and come after her.
Wedge barked a laugh. "Ghosts? You must be joking. There's no such thing."
"Oh, there are on Earth. Supposedly this house was on the site when Walt Disney bought the land," Mar'E recited, eyes wide. "He was going to tear it down, until some of the workers said it was haunted. When he saw how many ghosts there were, and how... I don't think 'friendly' is the right word, but, you know, easy to see, he decided to use them as an attraction."
"Friendly is so not the right word." Elizabeth looked quite frightened. "There are 990-some ghosts now, but there weren't that many to begin with. Some people say..."
"Say what?" Hobbie asked, growing pale.
Antigone saw Elizabeth's look and knew it was her turn. She shivered and snuggled up to Wes. "I'll just stay here and wait for you, if that's OK. I don't want to go," she whispered.
"I'll protect you," Wes assured her.
"But who'll protect you?" she murmured back.
The pilots looked at each other, resolve on their faces. The women had as good as challenged them to go. "You ladies can stay here if it's that bad," Tycho offered, knowing how that tone upset Inyri and often got her to do what she'd rather not. As expected, Claire's eyes flashed.
"I am not going to sit here and let you guys be... be... chomped on or something. We'll go with you. Maybe Mar'E can use the Force to talk to them and make them leave."
As they followed the men out of the show, Antigone raised her eyebrows at her fellow conspirators. "Do you think they bought it?"
Mar'E chuckled. "I think they're scared Sith-less."
- - - - - - -
"You scream like a girl!" Mar'E howled. Hobbie glared at her and folded his arms.
"I was startled. A bit. Not scared."
"And you," Elizabeth turned to Wedge, "you're no better. I'm sure glad you didn't have a blaster with you."
Only one of the Rogues had made it past the hitchhiker scene without freaking out. The women formed up behind a smug Tycho, throwing scornful looks at their men. Wes shuffled his feet, then looked up with a grin. "You wound us up. Good job."
"Yub yub, Wes," Antigone smiled.
She blanched as she realized what she'd said. "Never mind."
"We're done with Liberty Square," Claire announced. "Fantasyland is up next." She didn't have to remind anyone that the oracle was there. Though the pilots didn't know what they were looking for, they trusted that the women would tell them when they found it.
They took the first few attractions in trepidation, knowing that the answer to the Rogues' predicament lay somewhere near. Wes rode silently next to Antigone on Cinderella's Golden Carousel, wondering exactly what an oracle was and if he really wanted to find it. She smiled at him and he reached across the horses to take her hand. He lifted it to his lips and kissed her palm gently.
A rustle of whispers caused the couple to look back at the riders behind them. "Does that count?" Elizabeth asked Wedge.
"No. She has to kiss him."
Antigone grinned and leaned across the aisle, resting her hand on Wes' shoulder, then kissed his cheek. "Does that count?" she asked the group.
Mar'E turned to Hobbie. "You owe me a backrub."
"You'd have gotten it anyway," he smiled back.
- - - - - - - - -
The oracle stood just beyond the Mad Tea Party. It was an obscure part of Fantasyland, not on any maps and usually overlooked by tourists. It wasn't even called the 'oracle;' it didn't have a name that anyone knew. It was the sort of fortune telling game found in arcades. A wax statue of a gypsy sat inside a glass case, looking into her crystal ball; when a question was asked, a typewritten answer came out of a slot in the front of the case. She'd never seemed so ominous before.
The group stood looking at her for a long while, before Claire stepped up. "How do the Rogues go home?" There was a long pause. Likely whomever was writing the answers had never heard that one before. They probably had a whole stack of 'what will I be when I grow up'predictions. Finally the paper shot out and Claire handed it to Wedge.
"You must return the way you came?" He looked at the statue. "Well, how did we get here?"
Silence. Then; "Someone wished upon a star."
"Great," Mar'E exclaimed. "They probably thought you were asking where babies come from. I guess that's better than 'the stork brought you.'"
Wedge crumpled the paper up and tossed it in a nearby wastebasket. "Now what do we do?" They started to walk away.
The group turned back. No one was there. Shrugging, they continued on their way.
"Hey! I'm not done yet!"
Cautiously, they looked over their shoulders. The gypsy sat in her glass case. There were no children, no tourists, no park attendents. Feeling very silly, Mar'E walked up to the case and whispered, "Did you just say that?"
She shrieked and jumped back when the gypsy's eyes opened. "Of course I said that. See anyone else around here?" The gypsy rolled her head around as if she were working out a crick in her neck. "Goddam kids got no patience anymore. Ask a question and walk away. Didn't your parents teach you any manners?"
"We're sorry," Mar'E apologized, as the others stared, speechless. "We thought you'd answered already."
"Yeah, and you didn't like my answer, did you? Didn't wait for an explanation. Just stalked away like spoiled brats."
Wedge found his voice and stepped forward. "Could you explain it to us now? We promise to listen."
The gypsy favored him with a smile. "OK, so no one actually wished on a star; well, that one did." She nodded toward Antigone. "You've always been a superstitious little thing, haven't you?" She turned her attention back to the Rogues. "But they wished. That's my point."
"And to get back..." Tycho prompted.
"They have to wish you back."
Elizabeth looked at the other girls, then nodded, tears filling her eyes. She stepped up to Wedge, blushed, and kissed him gently. Mar'E and Antigone and Claire similarly made their goodbyes. Tycho recived a kiss on the cheek from each of them, then they looked uncertainly at each other.
"I guess this is it, then," Elizabeth said sadly. The WAASers closed their eyes and silently wished the men back to their own lives. Several seconds passed before Antigone opened her eyes.
"What?" Claire shouted. She glared at the gypsy. "You said..."
"You didn't let me finish. You promise to listen, then jump to conclusions and think you can solve everything. Save your tears. You can't do it."
"You think you are the only ones who want them here? That you're the only ones who wished them here? Everyday, lots, and I mean a ton, of people wish for you Star Wars guys. It just so happened that this one time, everyone wished at once. And they wished for you."
"Everyone? Like, every Star Wars fan on Earth?" Antigone asked in awe.
"Not every one. But enough, certainly, to cause a rift in your precious Force and set them down right where you four could get your paws on them. I bet your friends will hate themselves for missing them." She pointed at the pilots, then confided, "But you should be glad they did. They'd wear you out."
"And we have to get everyone who wished before to do it again?" Hobbie asked. "That's impossible."
"And they have to mean it. No half-assed 'yeah, fine, send 'em back.'" The gypsy seemed quite pleased with herself.
"Are you done explaining?" Claire asked, scowling.
"Well, eat Sith and die, then. You are so not a help. We ought to rip your stupid case out of the ground and feed you to the alligators on the Jungle Cruise!"
"Um, Claire..." Wedge began. "Those aren't..."
"I know they're not real. That's not the point. The point is... the point is...hell, I don't have a point, except that YOU SUCK!"
The gypsy shrugged. The group began to wander off, defeated.
"Or Tycho could use his comlink."
They turned back. The gypsy sat as she had when they'd first found her, lifeless as a statue. Wedge looked at Tycho.
The Alderaanian reached into his pocket and drew out his comlink. "We're too far out; it won't work."
""Now you're starting to sound like Hobbie," Wedge answered grimly. "Just do it."
With a sigh, Tycho thumbed it on and brought it to his lips. "Celchu to Rogue Squadron; come in please." No answer. He tried again. Still nothing.
"Do it again."
"Wedge..." the commander's glare prompted another attempt. "Celchu to Rogue Squadron. Please come in. Please come in."
~Tycho?~ A voice crackled from the instrument.
"Gavin? Is that you?"
~Sithspit, Tycho, where are you? Is Wedge there?~
"Wedge, Wes, and Hobbie. We're on a planet called Earth. How did you find us?"
The young man's voice was filled with relief. ~Several R2 units reported a massive energy surge in Wedge's office. They traced it to coordinates in the Unknown Regions, so we came after you. What are you communicating on, anyway?~
"Just my comlink."
~No way. I've locked your coodinates as four days away from here; we're not even past Tatooine yet.~
~The whole squad, Tycho, and General Madine. We've brought a med shuttle just in case.~
"So we're cooling our heels for four days? What are we supposed to do until you get here?" Tycho grinned at the others.
~Make friends with the locals. Tycho, if you're OK, I've got to transmit this to the General.~
"Yeah. Nice to hear from you. Celchu out."
He clicked the comlink off and looked around, amazement on his face. The others stared at him, then at each other, then fell on him in a group hug.
"I don't believe this!" Wedge exclaimed. "They're not even past Tatooine? No comlink can reach that far!" He wrapped his arm around Elizabeth and stared up at the stars.
As the group moved off, intent on enjoying the days left to them, a quiet voice called out, "You're welcome. Goddam kids."
except for the smutty epilogue.
Continued in Epilogue