This is a work of fanfiction. 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 Five
by Banshee

Terra sat in the small office aboard ship, staring at the screen of her computer console. She was having a hard time concentrating on the proposals she needed to complete for the smashball teams; her heart and mind just weren't in it.

Her thoughts kept drifting back to Tycho. She was worried about what would happen when his defection was noticed. Between the false IDs, doctored ship's transponder and faked schedules, she had covered her tracks so well it would be close to impossible for anyone to even find out she had left her home planet. But she just couldn't help thinking there was something she had missed.

She looked up as Tycho entered. At her questioning gaze, he replied miserably, "I couldn't sleep."

"I know the feeling. I haven't been able to sleep very well either."

He settled into the plush chair across the desk from her. "Got any ideas on how to pass the time?"

She smiled, "None that your shoulder could handle."

He snorted, "A round of calisthenics would probably do me some good. Might get my mind off of..."

"If that's all you want, I could use some help on these proposals," she smirked awaiting his usual reaction to paperwork or homework of any kind.

"You mean reports? Ugh!" he grimaced.

"OK, then. You suggest something," she told him as she sat back in her chair and crossed her arms. She realized that she needed a distraction, too.

He opened his mouth to speak then closed it again and sighed. "I can't really think of anything."

An idea occurred to her and she grinned mischievously, "How about if you show me around the ship and then you can teach me how to fly it?"

He laughed. It was their special joke; one developed when she first started teaching him to fly so many years ago. He knew that between what she had taught him and what he had learned at the Academy, he would have no trouble handling the sleek craft.

They spent the next several hours engrossed in the ship and were surprised when Tootles alerted them that it was time for reversion to real space. Terra waved Tycho into the pilot's chair as she took the co-pilot's seat.

He looked nervously between Terra and Tootles as he sat down. "You sure?"

The little droid moaned electronically and Terra laughed, "Tootles! Be polite! Celly, if you want to fly with the Guardiens, you are going to have to learn to fly our ships." She winked playfully and added, "Besides, you've been taught by the best. I have faith in you."

He grinned impishly, "I'll be sure to let Major Fel know what you said next time I see him."

She snorted, "He is not who I meant."

He laughed, "I still don't understand. I thought the two of you made a rather cute couple."

She scowled at him, "He's too in love with himself and his uniform to see anything or anyone else." Except maybe you, she added silently but decided now was not exactly the best time to mention how much his instructor, Soontir Fel, had been infatuated with his star pupil.

Tycho lifted his eyebrows in surprise at the bitterness in her voice, "He wasn't that bad."

She sighed heavily, "I'd really rather not talk about it. Now concentrate on what you're doing."

Tycho returned his gaze to the control panel just as the timer beeped indicating it was time for them to come out of hyperspace. He executed the reversion, course change and re-entry perfectly and turned a smug smile on Tootles.

Terra laughed as the astromech gave the young pilot an electronic raspberry, "OK, children. Do I have to separate you two?"

Tycho tried to look innocent as he faced Terra, "He started it!"

She shook her head in mock exasperation, "Celly, I think you've had too many of those painkillers."

Tycho turned to glare at the little driod when it made a "hardy-hardy-har-har" noise. He chuckled evilly, "I think maybe someone is overdue for a memory wipe. Could use a restraining bolt, too."

Tootles' screech drowned out Terra's laughter. "Don't listen to him, Tootles," she told the R2 unit then turned on Tycho. "You, out!!" she ordered with a scolding tone as she pointed down the corridor.

Terra finally got Tootles settled down and decided Tycho should probably be resting. They still had a twelve-hour flight in hyperspace and then an hour or two getting back on planet and to a bacta tank. To make matters worse, that shoulder had not looked good when she had changed the bandages earlier.

Fortunately, he was beginning to tire from the exertion of the past several hours and it was easy for her to tuck him back into the bed in her cabin. With a promise to check in on him often, she headed back to her office to try to get a little paperwork done. It wasn't long before sleep began to pull at her as well.

She headed back to her cabin and gently climbed into bed, careful not to wake her young friend. She laid down against his back as she had done when he was younger but instead of wrapping her arm around him, she placed a hand on his right shoulder blade. She reached out through their bond to get a sense of how he was feeling then drifted into a state that was part meditation, part deep sleep.

Continued in Part Six