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 Thirteen
by Banshee

It was several days later when Casey approached Terra nervously. She appeared to be alone, leaning against a tree and reading, but Kathreen had said "they" when he had inquired about her location. As he got closer, he noticed Tycho was lying beside her on the blanket, apparently asleep with Terra absently stroking his hair.

He hesitated momentarily, wondering if he should disturb them. The young man was clearly more than just one of her pilots and he appeared rather peaceful. Casey was glad he had decided to change out of his uniform before stopping by on his way home; Terra was obviously fond of the blond and Casey did not wish to upset him, if only for her sake.

Terra looked up from her reading before Casey could decide to turn around and leave. "Casey," she spoke softly, smiling warmly and indicating he should join them.

He glanced quickly at Tycho and then back at Terra. "I donít want to disturb you," he began.

"Youíre never a disturbance," she teased.

He chuckled softly as he sat on a corner of the blanket beside her feet, "Are you sure about that? I seem to remember a sleepover where Marx and I --"

"I stand corrected," she replied, cutting him off before he could finish. Amused, Terra watched Casey as he began to fidget, every so often stealing a glimpse in Tychoís direction. "What brings you by?"

"I was hoping you would be free for dinner tomorrow night, but it looks like you have other plans... "

She remembered Marxís hints about Casey having a crush on her and smiled. "What makes you think that?"

He looked pointedly at Tycho and she followed his gaze to her hand, still resting on his hair. She hadnít realized what she had been doing and blushed slightly as she purposely folded both hands over the closed book in her lap. "As it happens, weíre leaving tomorrow afternoon and I promised Mom I would spend tonight with her."

He lifted an eyebrow curiously, "We?"

She nodded, "Cellyís stationed on the Sentinel with me." She realized from the crest-fallen expression on Caseyís face that he was just one of the many to misinterpret her relationship with Tycho. "How about lunch tomorrow?"

He shrugged, "OK. Iím assuming youíll be pretty busy with last minute preparations so how about if I bring something by?" When she nodded, he nodded toward Tycho. "Well, I know what kind of food you and Kathreen like but what about him?"

She grinned impishly; Casey had always been a dear. "And what if I want you to myself?"

He returned her smile and shook his head, "Really. I donít mind. Iím used to your familyís tendency to pick up the odd stray here or there. Itís what makes you so endearing." He was also aware of her Jedi heritage -- Marx had told him shortly before he died -- and knew it was very much a part of who she was.

She nodded resignedly, "OK, but Celly will have to eat while heís working with the techs on the final checks on the cruiser." What she didnít add was that she really didnít want him to spend too much time with Tycho. The less Casey knew about "Celly", the better, for both of them.

Casey raised his eyebrows teasingly, "You know, I think you like being the boss just a little bit too much." He sighed and nodded, "How about Koranese food around noon? With plenty of fruit sauce."

She winked as he stood to leave, "Sounds good to me. Iíll see you then."

He smiled and they exchanged goodbyes. After he was gone, she was surprised to hear a soft voice from beside her, "Are you sure thatís such a good idea?"

She smirked down at a pair of sky blue eyes, "Am I sure what is a good idea: having lunch with an old friend or having you plot our course and finish the checks on the cruiser?"

Tycho just shrugged, "Actually both now that you mention it... but he is an Imp."

She frowned at his choice of words, "Casey is a very dear friend. And as I recall, you were an Imp yourself not too long ago." He winced as her remark hit on target and she continued softly, "My Little Celly, you worry too much."

He let out an almost inaudible "humph", rolled over and tried to go back to sleep as she picked back up her book and resumed reading. It wasnít long before her hand found its way back to his hair.

Continued in Part Fourteen