Because I
by Glimmer Girl

I don't want him.

Corran stared into a suddenly interesting cup of kav and took a slow, deep breath. The fact that his eyes kept wandering in Tycho's direction bothered him. The fact that his thoughts kept wandering there, too, bothered him even more. This sensation - this heart pounding, stomach twisting sensation - was both new and unpleasant. For, he had often found himself thinking about or glancing at Tycho, but had marked those actions down to simple curiosity. Today, Corran had looked up from his first meal and gazed across the mostly empty canteen. Tycho sat with some of the other officers, talking quietly and gesturing with a free hand occasionally. Wondering what Tycho was discussing with his companions, Corran watched him. A slow smile curved his lips then froze.

Tycho's eyes flickered up to meet his. In the background a dish clattered to the floor and broke the early morning hush. Startled, Corran looked down and tried to convince himself the loud noise was responsible for the thudding of his heart.

Minutes later, the sound had faded and only dregs of kav remained in his mug. But his heart still beat with nervous anxiety.

But I don't want him.

Sure, Tycho interested him, perhaps even fascinated him, on some level. That, however, was not the same thing as wanting him.

It was not his eyes that Corran paid attention to. Even if they were that clear-blue color that could go from crystal cold to soft warm in the space of a smile. No, not those eyes, but what lay behind them. What determination, what motivation, what depth of feeling was reflected in those eyes? Corran knew there was something more than desired vengeance for a planet destroyed that lurked behind those blue eyes. He could feel it in his veins, in the pulse of his own blood when he looked at Tycho. And not only did he feel it, but also he felt like he had to find out what it was.

He wanted to see the galaxy through Tycho's eyes and realize how that perception of the universe defined the other man's actions. He needed to see what Tycho say when he closed his eyes and become aware of how the darkness defined the other man's feelings. And then, maybe, if Corran knew what memories and expectations made his eyes dull or bright, he could look into Tycho's eyes. And then maybe he'd know him a little better.

But I'd never know him well enough to want him.

Nor was it his touch. Corran had never considered his touch, had he? A handshake, a clap to the shoulder, a grip of strong fingers on his forearm - none had ever so much as let the thought of desire slip through his body. Even if Tycho's hands were firm, steady, and slightly callused, witnesses to the discipline the man had, both in his personal and professional life. The few seconds he had those hands in his own, the contact brief but telling, let Corran know that he could trust Tycho. But he needed to know why he should trust Tycho, why, in effect, he could put his very life in Tycho's hands.

If he could hold them a few minutes longer and trace the lines that criss-crossed over their palms, would he be able to read Tycho's history? Would the reasons suddenly become clear, why this man had joined the Alliance, why he was so dedicated to their cause, why he could train pilots, yet was not allowed to fly with them? Would it all be simple, or more like Corran envisioned, a complex past for a man Corran suspected was not at all simple himself. A past of criss-crossed events, a latticework of experience and pain that all came together to help create the man that Corran knew. Or, that is, wanted to know.

Want to know him. Indeed, that's all it is, no more no less.

Even if Corran wanted to know him well enough to look into his eyes and grasp his hands in his own. Surely, that was not wanting. Others had noticed the way the light caught his eyes when he smiled, or the smooth way his fingers unzipped his flight suit? Others must have wanted that smile to linger a bit longer or to run their fingers through his sweat damp hair after Tycho's own fingers had raked it back off of his forehead. Others must have felt what he did and like him, decided that whatever it was, it was not desire.

For, if nothing else, Corran knew one thing.

Tycho had looked back at him that morning, while Corran was thinking of him. And he saw the brightness in his eyes and the smooth movement of his hands for a few short heartbeats.

He knew he could never want Tycho.

Because there is no way he would ever want me.


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