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

From Empire to Rogue
Part Fourteen
by Banshee



Terra relaxed in the co-pilot chair as the cruiser cleared Slynor's gravity well; she was thoroughly enjoying having a competent pilot on board, even if Tycho was still rather wet behind the ears when it came to anything with a hyperdrive or bigger than a one-person fighter.

He rested his hand on the hyperspace controls and glanced in her direction, "Did you want to double check my calculations?"

She shook her head, "Already have; whenever you're ready." She watched as he pulled back the lever and star streaks formed in the cockpit windows. "Nice job, by the way. I could definitely get used to this," she remarked with a twinkle in her eyes.

He leaned back in the chair and turned to face her with an impish grin. "So... how was lunch?"

Her shrug was non-committal. "It was fun catching up with Casey. I don't get to see him very often anymore."

"You two seemed awfully cozy when you showed up in the hanger," he pressed.

She smirked, "And you think I'm going to tell you all the juicy details?" When he nodded expectantly, she shook her head and replied stubbornly, "I don't think so."

Tycho crossed his arms over his chest and pretended to pout. "You're no fun," he grumbled.

"I thought you didn't like him," she teased.

"Yeah... well, Tootles set me straight on that," he answered petulantly.

Tootles bleeped proudly as she put on a mock scowl for the pair; "Don't tell me I'm going to have to hold a lecture about getting along with co-workers on the way back to the _Sentinel_.... "

Tycho surprised Terra by defending the little droid. "Don't be too hard on him. He had a little help from Kathreene." Tootles beeped conspiratorially at Tycho.

Terra moaned, shaking her head. "I don't know which is worse: the thought of the two of you ganging up on me or having to play referee." Tootles blatted an indignant assessment of that statement.

Tycho grinned mischievously. "Don't worry. I'm sure you'll get to do both." He returned to his earlier topic of conversation with dogged persistence, "Did you kiss him goodbye?"

"Celly! I really don't think that's any of your business," Terra retorted but her blush gave her away; she narrowed her eyes when she spotted his smirk. "Just wait till we get back and you're having to hide from all the attention," she threatened.

If they weren't so close, Tycho would've been worried. There were times when her protectiveness could be comforting and he had no doubt that, if needed, she would intervene if any of her subordinates got overzealous in their attentions toward him. Of course, that was assuming he minded the thought of so many females focusing on him; it was something of a young man's dream come true.

The young pilot shook his head, "One thing I have to say for Slynor: anyone who visits gets plenty of practice plotting hyperspace jumps. I didn't believe Tootles at first when he told me almost no one could come or go without making at least one course change. I must have plotted our route a hundred times and this was the shortest but still required three reversions."

Terra handed him a datapad and several datacards she had been looking over prior to their departure. "These should keep you occupied at least until the first reversion."

He eyed the cards curiously, "What are they?"

She smirked, "Your new identity and Guardien policy and personnel manuals. You will find that Celly is an old friend of Tycho's and their life stories are pretty similar except Celly never attended the Imperial Academy at Prefsbelt."

"Convenient," he commented sarcastically. "Should make it pretty easy for me to remember myself."

She ruffled his hair as she stood to head aft. "Sentinel is on a different time from us and I would like to be adjusted by the time we get there so I'm going to at least try to get some shut-eye. Give me a shout if you need me."

His blue eyes twinkled and he smoothed back out his hair. "You sure you trust me and Tootles to take care of things?"

She chuckled at Tootles' indignant "tttthhhhhdd". "I'm sure," she told him with a wink before disappearing.

****

Terra snuggled down into bed with a contented sigh; she really did like having Tycho on board. Despite his relative inexperience with hyperspace navigation, he was an excellent pilot and she knew that Tootles was more than capable of assisting him should the need arise.

She wasn't tired so she decided to try a little meditation instead. She relaxed, then reached out with her limited Force abilities, noting her surroundings and Tycho's studiousness as he reviewed the datacards she had given him.

His bone-deep sadness troubled her and he still was not sleeping well. Given everything that had happened to him recently, she was really not surprised and knew his strength would eventually see him through but Alderaan was a scar he would carry with him the rest of his life.

In that, he was beginning to remind her of the few memories she had of her grandfather; the old Jedi understandably missed his friends and colleagues among the Order.

****

As the time for the first reversion drew near, Tycho's nervous excitement grew; he was pleased that Terra trusted him to handle things alone but was eager to impress her and wanted everything to go perfect. From her cabin, she followed him through their bond, "watching" and ready to react but reluctant to interfere unless necessary.

In the cockpit, Tycho set aside the datapad and winked at Tootles. "Let's see how lost we are, shall we?" Tootles chirped encouragingly as the star lines faded to be replaced by a field of stars that was exactly like it was supposed to be. Tycho smiled in relief and oriented the ship on its new trajectory.

Once they were back in hyperspace, he picked back up the datapad, making a face as he resumed reading. In her cabin, Terra sighed and finally went to sleep.

A short time later, he turned the pad off. "I'm bored," he huffed. Tootles chirped a suggestion, which was translated and displayed on the pilot's console; Tycho nodded to the little droid, "Yeah, you're right. From what Terra has told me, we're going to be very busy so I should try to get some sleep, too."

He stood and headed aft; entering his cabin and changing into sleep pants and shirt. Without hesitation, he went back to Terra's quarters where he found her asleep.

He watched her for a few minutes, trying to remember the last time he had seen her sleeping; she was usually awake whenever he came into her room. With a start, he realized he never got to see her sleep, that she had always been awake.

Her expression was peaceful and the long dark gold waves of her hair framed her face like a halo. Although very pretty, she wasn't what most people considered beautiful but, at that moment, Tycho thought she looked truly angelic

He lay down gently on the bed facing her and she shifted slightly, reaching out her hand and covering his with it. Tycho smiled to himself when he realized she was still asleep; this was just another instance of her uncanny awareness of him.

He soon drifted off to sleep, thinking about the years they had known each other. His last thoughts were of the first time he had slept in her arms...

Continued in Part Fifteen