Star Wars is the property of George Lucas and LFL. No profits were made and no disrespect is intended with this fic.



Angel One
Part Four
by Banshee


Terra walked down the hall of the Manari Mountains Retreat, stopping to knock at a door. Tycho answered and stepped aside so she could enter.

As she entered, he remembered what she had told him a few weeks ago about being able to sense strong emotions from him. "Uh, Terra? About this afternoon... After Winter arrived..."

She smiled knowingly; enjoying his embarrassment, "Don't worry. I know when to turn it off."

He took a deep relieved breath as Winter entered the room to see who was at the door.

Terra nodded to the other woman and turned to Tycho, "Why don't you join Wedge in the club? We'll be down shortly for dinner."

He looked back over his shoulder at Winter, who nodded. He retrieved his jacket from a hook next to the door and quietly left. He wanted desperately for Winter and Terra to be friends.

Terra noticed the holo of Ella she had sent to Tycho on the table in the middle of the room as she and Winter took seats facing each other. "I'm glad you were able to get the time off to be here. I've been looking forward to meeting you."

Winter smiled faintly, "Me, too."

The two women lapsed into an uneasy silence. Winter was looking at Ella's holo with a mixture of emotions, "She's very beautiful."

Terra smiled proudly, "Yes, she's been a rather unexpected gift."

Winter shifted in her seat so she could see the holo and Terra both. "How much does she know about Tycho?"

"Pretty much everything except his name - I wanted to talk to Tycho first. I think she has a pretty good idea who he is, though." Terra grinned lopsidedly, "I only have a few holos in my office that aren't of her: my parents and brother, a couple from Tycho's Academy graduation and one of the two of us taken shortly before he left the Guardiens."

Winter smiled, "Tycho has told me a lot about you."

"We haven't seen each other since he joined the Alliance so we've had to keep in touch through letters mostly, which isn't the same... He loves you very much. I would never stand in the way of that, nor do I want to," Terra told the younger woman.

Terra didn't need the Force to sense Winter relax as she continued. "Tycho has told me what he could about you including the time on Tatooine when you thought he had gone down with his ship. Did you really deck Wedge?"

Winter laughed at the memory and nodded.

Terra laughed, too. "I would have liked to have seen that."

****

Wedge could tell Tycho was nervous as they shared a drink at the bar, waiting. He had to admit to himself that the blond Rogue had good reason to be. After all, Terra and Winter were likely to either get along great or kill each other. Either prospect was scary.

Wedge caught sight of the two ladies over Tycho's shoulder and was about to say something when a warning glance and a shake of the head stopped him. Instead, he sat there, trying hard to ignore the fact that his best friend was about to be ambushed from behind by two very pretty and rather deadly women.

Winter snaked her arms around Tycho's waist and rested her chin on his shoulder. "Mind if we join you, flyboys?"

Tycho's look of relief was obvious as he turned to place a kiss on Winter's cheek.

Wedge looked questioningly between the two women. Terra just smiled mischievously and winked at him. He squirmed on his stool, "Tych, I'm not so sure introducing them was such a good idea. They could prove dangerous together."

Tycho smirked, "To me or the galaxy in general?"

"Both, now that you mention it." Wedge was rewarded with you'll-pay-for-that grins from both women and wondered if he had just signed his own death warrant. He cleared his throat nervously. "Perhaps we should find a table."

Wes and Hobbie entered the club and looked around. They spotted the foursome and Wes immediately suggested they join their CO. "I don't think that's a good idea, Wes," the mournful Rogue answered.

"Aw, come on. I think Terra likes me," the dark-haired pilot said as he raised and lowered his eyebrows suggestively.

Hobbie grinned lopsidedly at his cohort, "Only until she sees Wedge fly."

****

The next evening, there was a party going on downstairs between the two squadrons but Terra left early. They had started off the morning with a Rogues vs. Angels sim run then spent the rest of the day running various scenarios, either singly or in smaller groups. The two squads had been rather evenly matched with neither coming out a clear victor.

Terra was restless; she tried meditating for a while but it didn't help and finally poured herself a drink a walked out on the balcony she shared with the other penthouse suite. When she originally planned the retreat that room had been assigned to the other squadron commander. Terra wasn't sure why she hadn't reassigned the room when she found out the Rogues would be joining them instead.

She was still surprised at how well she could read Wedge. She had encountered several individuals that were strong-willed enough for her to sense their presence at a distance but all she could do was tell that someone was nearby. She had never really been able to distinguish any other information: mood, thoughts, etc.

She could tell when he returned to his room and knew he would probably be joining her soon. She retrieved a second glass and the bottle of Whyren's Reserve. Sure enough, Wedge walked out on the balcony as she was sitting back down.

He smiled politely. "If you would rather be alone... " His voice trailed off as he spotted the second glass. "You're rather good at that. You sure you're not a Jedi?" he teased good-naturedly.

She laughed, "I take it Tycho told you about my abilities." She knew he still did not know about Ella yet -- Tycho had wanted to tell Winter first - but didn't know just how much Wedge knew about everything else.

"And for the record," she continued as she poured him a glass, "It was really just a good guess. Most squadron commanders make themselves scarce when the troops need to loosen up a little."

They laughed. She and Wedge had even been tricked into dancing together by their XO's and Terra could have sworn she heard Hobbie tell Wedge that Wes was interested in her if the Rogue's leader wasn't.

He accepted the offered drink and sat beside her on the two-person glider. "They deserve it, too. I still can't believe how well the Angels did against us."

She grinned evilly, "You're quite the pilot yourself. Want to go head-to-head sometime? Just you and me; no one has to know."

He ran his hand through his hair as he thought about it. "Should be fun. How about tomorrow night, after everyone clears out of the sim room?"

"Sounds like a date to me," she teased.

He winced, "Just don't let the Rogues find out. I'll never hear the end of it."

She snorted. "I can hear Wes now." She cleared her throat and made a rather Wes-like comment in a surprisingly good imitation of the playful Rogue.

Wedge laughed, "You know, you're pretty good at that."

"I had a great teacher: Garik Loran."

Wedge was surprised, "You know Face?"

She smiled sadly, "Knew, actually. He was killed several years ago, or so I heard. I worked on several of his holos. He was really a good kid once you got past the Imperial programming."

Wedge didn't know how to respond so stayed quiet. It wasn't really public knowledge that Garik "the Face" Loran was not only alive but also serving as Wraith Leader.

"He sort of reminded me a little of Tycho during his Academy days," Terra said softly. "He's told me everything you did for him after...

That you fought for him to stay with the Rogues. I'm glad he has friends like you."

Wedge shrugged, "He's saved my life so many times I've lost track."

"I tried to talk Cracken into releasing him to the Guardiens but he wouldn't hear it. That's how I found out Tycho wasn't getting my letters. I gave Cracken an earful over that one." She laughed softly, "Guess it was a good thing I was still recovering from the shuttle crash otherwise you would have had to deal with me when I showed up to pick him, permission or no."

Wedge chuckle, "Considering no one knew about your ability to track him and that our location was classified, you would have made things a whole lot worse for him if you had shown up."

She grinned wryly, "Yeah, I know. I think that's probably why I let my staff intercept me on my way to the hanger." She shrugged, "I just get so protective when it comes to Celly."

Wedge watched her quietly before speaking, "He told me about the slavers."

She stared blankly down at her hands. "I'm glad he can finally talk about it. I never could; it's not exactly something I'm proud of."

This was not exactly the reaction Wedge was expecting, "I'm not sure I follow."

She looked up at him and Wedge nearly recoiled. "I didn't just kill them. I used what I knew of medicine to torture and mutilate them. I betrayed everything my father ever taught me."

She took a trembling breath and tried to steady her voice, "I didn't even have to kill them; I could have just tied them up or let the authorities handle it."

Wedge was incredulous, "If you had stopped to tell the authorities, would they have been in time to save Tycho? And even if they did capture the slime, how long would it have taken for them to be back in business? How many other kids did you save from the same fate? I'm not saying the means justifies the ends but..."

Terra was stunned by his anger. "I guess I never really thought of it that way. I've tried not to think about it at all. Every time I do, all I can see is the look on Tycho's face. I haven't been able to wear the clawblades since."

Wedge put a comforting arm around her shoulders. They sat quietly for a while, both trying to decide on a lighter topic of conversation. It was Terra who spoke first, "So, what time do you want to meet downstairs in the sim room?"

He laughed, "I don't know. Are you sure we'll be able to get back in after everyone leaves?"

"Don't worry, I have the key. We can even lock ourselves in all night if we want to," she teased him.

He smirked, "Now that sounds like a date."


Continued in Part Five