Nights Without a Moon or Star
by Glimmer Girl

Noise. Somewhere beyond the oppressive quiet of his cell, there was noise. Tycho pricked up his ears and remained still. He was certain that a sound, although faint, had awakened him. Forcing his heart to remain calm, he pressed his eyelids shut against the darkness and listened.

It was not the darkness that frightened him. Tycho had known and felt darkness before - the lonely darkness at the loss of friends and family, the confused darkness of injury or sickness - and had not given into despair. It was the absence of light that scared him. Even the dark of night had the silver-soft glow of the moons and stars. But here there was nothing; with night came the deepest, coldest darkness he had ever felt. The four walls of his cell suddenly melted and were replaced with vast, empty deserts. The dark stretched in all directions, seeming to last forever.

The New Republic Security officials had placed him in a tiny cell after his arrest on Coruscant. During the day, when the glow of a holo-lamp illuminated it, the room seemed claustrophobically small. Most of the space was taken up by a hard sleep pallet and a 'fresher unit. Painted a dull grey, the walls were windowless; even door blended into the monotonous grey, creating the impression that no exit from the room existed. But Tycho had been able to choke back the panic that rose up in his throat the first time he saw the door slide shut. Panic that he had not let surface again. While he could see the door, he could envision it opening for one last time, his innocence having been proven and his time here at an end.

But when the dark came, it was much harder.

Tycho strained his ears again. Although not soundproof, the walls did muffle enough of the sound from the corridor that it was difficult to make out what was going on. The quiet noises could be the shuffle of footsteps or the hushed murmur of voices. He sat up slowly, the rough blanket falling from his chest, and braced himself against the cold air. The temperature didn't change from day to night, yet Tycho had taken to sleeping only in his undershorts. He needed a degree of order, some familiar routine in his life, and if the only thing he had left was undressing at night and dressing when day came, so be it. Quelling a shiver and keeping his eyes shut tightly, he waited.

The sounds became louder and more distinct until Tycho could recognize two sets of footsteps and one voice. As soon as he could distinguish the noises, they stopped. Suddenly, there was an eerie and expectant silence only broken by the rasp of his breath. Whoever was outside now stood before the door to his cell. Tycho pulled the blanket around his waist as a series of beeps indicated the clearance of a security code. Only when he heard the door start to hiss open did he open his eyes.

"You're awake. Good. You have a visitor."

In the harsh, white light of the doorway, two men stood. One was the prison guard who had spoken to Tycho. The other man walked past the guard, blotting out the light and Tycho could finally make out who it was.

Wedge.

"You've got an hour with the prisoner. And don't think I'm going anywhere, so don't try anything." The guard said sternly and touched the blaster on his belt. Wedge nodded slightly and walked into the small room.

As the door slid shut, Tycho noticed that Wedge stood in the doorway, still and holding a glow rod. He moved forward when the door clicked and locked; he placed the rod on the floor, so that a soft light filled the room. Bright in the center, weaker as it reached the corners, it gave the room an almost reassuring atmosphere. It was the closest to comfortable that Tycho had felt since he'd been imprisoned.

Wedge stood up slowly and let out a long, quiet breath. When he looked at Tycho, a mixture of anger, pain and determination flashed through his eyes before a smile crossed his face. He walked over to the small pallet and sat down. Both men were quiet for some time, sitting and looking at the glow rod's steady, gentle light. Tycho could feel Wedge's tunic brush against his shoulder with each breath, warm and slightly ticklish.

"I'm sorry I came at night. It was the only time I could get free." Wedge finally spoke, quietly as he continued to stare straight ahead.

"It's all right, you didn't have to come at all." The last remnants of sleep rubbed from his eyes, Tycho glanced at Wedge.

Nights when he couldn't face the infinite dark, he had lain awake, eyes pressed shut, and thought about a meeting like this. What would he say if Wedge came? Thousands of apologies, explanations, and reassurances had formed in his mind during those long hours. But now, when the man himself sat so close to him that he could see the tension in Wedge's jaw, the words lost meaning. Wedge was here, more emotion in his movement than voice, and that was enough to let Tycho know. His commander still had faith in him and believed he was innocent. Tycho pushed back the pang of despair that told him even that would not be enough. It would have to be enough; he had nothing else.

"No, I had to come." Wedge rose and crossed the room. 7quot;You won't be here much longer, I promise, Tycho. I'll do my best to make sure of that."

Tycho watched Wedge as he paced back to the bed. He felt very cold, the floor hard beneath his bare feet and the air icy on his skin. But even more than that, he missed the warmth of the other man's touch, the heat of his body through the thin fabric of his tunic. Tycho reached up and placed his hand on Wedge's forearm as he stopped before the pallet.

He needed to know that his lover still trusted him. He needed to trust the man he called lover.

"I know. And thank you. It really does mean a lot to me, that you're here." He smiled briefly. "Especially now, at night. That's just about the worst time for me here."

Wedge slid his arm out of Tycho's grip. Their fingers entangled for a few moments and something very warm and very electric shot through Tycho. He wanted to crush those fingers in his and just not let go. Not until he was free again and didn't have to face the darkness of uncertainty anymore. With a quiet sigh he let Wedge's fingertips brush his and then drop away.

He sat down next to Tycho, silent once again, but this time he faced Tycho. The look on his face encouraged Tycho to keep talking.

"I can't get over how dark it is in here at night. The first night I woke up and when I opened my eyes, I couldn't believe that there was more light if I kept them shut. I had to get out of bed and walk across the room until I bumped my nose and toes on the other wall, I had to know there was still a wall there for me to bump into. It felt like the dark went on forever." Tycho's voice cracked on the last sentence and he turned away.

He hadn't meant for that much to come out. The words had spilled out before he could stop himself, and with them, part of the panic and hopelessness he felt during the long hours of night. Clamping his mouth shut, Tycho curled his fingers around the edge of the pallet. He had to keep the rest of his emotions inside, cling to them; or else he'd be stripped bare and would have to stand in the dark, empty, with only the rawness of fear inside of him.

The room was painfully silent as Tycho crushed his fingers into the durasteel frame of the bed and swallowed past the tightness in his chest. A touch settled on his hand, easing it away from the edge and uncurling the fingers. The pain that he felt in his cramped fingers was warm, but not quite as warm as Wedge's hand, and it dissipated quickly as their fingers entwined.

"You won't have to endure the dark for many more nights, Tycho. I'd get you out of here tonight, if I could -"

"Wedge -"

"No, listen to me, I would break you out tonight, however, I know how much folly there is in such a move." Wedge took a deep breath and slid his fingers from Tycho's, stroking his knuckles. "But I also know how wrong it is to leave you here, empty and alone."

Wedge slowly smoothed his hand over Tycho's forearm and up to his shoulder, resting it there as he leaned closer. In the muted light of the glow rod, the tiny cell was all at once too loud and too quiet. Too loud, for his own breath and heartbeat echoed in Tycho's ears, he had never heard them both so clearly before. And was that Wedge's breath he heard in his ear, too? Felt on his skin?

Too quiet, for there was nothing to disguise the sounds. The guard outside his door would pick up whatever noise they made, save normal conversation. He was never ashamed of the relationship he had with another man, but he would be damned before he shared this moment with someone else.

"We can't. They'll know, the guards will know." Tycho pulled away, even as Wedge's touch chased after him.

"Nobody will know. They'll never know, Tycho. Let me help you." Wedge's lips brushed over the fine hair at his temple. "Let me share the dark with you."

Turning his head slowly, Tycho looked at his lover's eyes. His lover, even here, in this cramped room where no light or love seemed to penetrate. He nodded and pressed his lips to Wedge's. Slow, soft and with patient passion, he kissed him.

"We'll have to be quiet." Wedge ran one finger over his bottom lip.

"I can do that, you know. I just usually choose not to." Tycho smiled, then caught the finger between his teeth.

"I've noticed." Suddenly serious, Wedge slipped both arms around his waist and pulled Tycho closer. "I miss you."

In that moment, Wedge's arms around him and eyes staring into his, Tycho felt desperation mix with his growing desire. He didn't just need the satisfying release of orgasm. He needed the touch of his lover, he needed to feel Wedge's heart beat against his skin, he needed to feel like there was something more than four grey walls and lonely thoughts in his life right now.

"I miss you, too. As much as I miss the light of the moon and stars."

With that, Tycho slid his palms up Wedge's chest and began to strip his tunic off. They moved together quickly and quietly, past nights of hurried loving enabling them to undress without clumsiness. Tycho stood and stepped out of his shorts, watching as Wedge made fast work of his pants and boots. He approached Wedge as they both stood nude and aroused, the cold of the room long forgotten.

Wedge touched his cheek lightly and smiled, the caress moving down his neck and chest. A warm path that ended at his hip as Wedge drew their bodies together. Tycho just wanted to forget where he was, what had brought him there, what sins and treason he was accused of. He knew that those wrongdoings didn't exist in his lover's mind, there was no reason why they should in his lover's arms. Skin, blood and heartbeat were more real than anything else at that moment was. Eyes closed and fingertips skirting over Wedge's back, Tycho pressed his erection into his thigh. Equally hard and hot against his own thigh, his lover's erection nudged into him.

Tycho choked back a gasp. In the back of his mind the word 'quiet' kept repeating; a mantra that told him how important it was that no mark of their loving remain anywhere else but in their hearts and minds. He couldn't forget where they were, try as he might. Reminders kept banging into the wall of illusion he built up around the two of them - the need for silence, the clang of boot heels outside his door, or the sharp bark of orders from the prison warder to a minor official.

They walked toward the bed, taking the few steps together. Tycho lowered himself onto the pallet and lay on his back. Petting Wedge's hip, he urged his lover to join him, but Wedge shook his head a moment and stepped away. In the space of a second, the room was plunged into complete darkness. Just as Tycho felt panic and surprise rise up in his chest, Wedge's body covered his. Scattering quiet kisses over his neck and shoulder, Wedge murmured soft, wordless sounds of comfort.

When Wedge pushed his tongue between Tycho's lips, he let the gasp out into his lover's mouth. Even if he was still in his cell, he wasn't alone. This wasn't alone, this was warmth and companionship, this was living and thinking, this was breathing and feeling. This was light, despite the darkness. The kiss tasted of everything he remembered, but so much better than the memory-kisses. Tycho slid his tongue over Wedge's and let both enter Wedge's mouth. He had to have it this way; he had to create new and strong memories for the nights to come.

And this memory would be nothing, if not strong. The darkness leant a new quality to their lovemaking. Without sight or sound, touch became more intense. The lips that whispered along his jaw were softer than any Tycho had ever felt. Breath and skin combined, the kisses were maddeningly light. Tycho clutched at the bed sheet and twisted the material. The desire for a closer, firmer touch had him scrabbling at the cover, then finally digging his fingers into Wedge's back.

Beneath his hands smooth skin and hard muscle that he knew he had stroked or rubbed so many times before. But running his fingers over them, he was forced to *feel* the working of Wedge's s shoulders as he dipped his head down to nibble Tycho's neck, the twist of his hips as Tycho reached the sensitive area beneath his rib cage, the heaving of his chest as Tycho smoothed his palms over Wedge's ass and the man's control faltered. Body pressed to body, breathlessly close, they lay still until their mouths came together in a painful kiss.

But it was painful as only a kiss of desperate desire, tempered by love, could be. Tycho slid his tongue out of Wedge's mouth to kiss his lips, his chin, tangle their tongues together once more. With closed eyes, it was easier to kiss with such abandon.

After so many nights alone, he knew this one would be etched into his mind for a long time. Their bodies moved together with such ease, hips and erections grinding together in a rhythm both slow and sensual. Even without haste, Tycho felt his arousal grow with every movement his lover made. The roll of his hips, the feel of his chest as he breathed with constraint, the slide of Wedge's fingers through his hair, everything sent a dizzying need to climax through his limbs. Tycho jerked his hips up off the bed, a broken groan catching at the back of his throat as Wedge pushed him back down.

Wedge shuddered and buried his face in the crook of Tycho's neck. His breath came fast and hot against Tycho's skin, his lips damp as they pressed a kiss there. Tycho hugged him tight, then relaxed the hold as Wedge drew himself up again. All this time, Tycho had kept his eyes shut, still denying the darkness this moment. A touch to his eyelids made them flutter. Blinking rapidly, after a few moments he could distinguish the outline of his lover.

Wedge knelt between his legs, both hands rubbing his thighs with a touch both arousing and comforting.

"Keep your eyes open, for me, Tycho."

He hesitated. The dark, it was everywhere, on all sides. It wouldn't claim his lover. He couldn't let it. It had the rest of his life, why should it have this too?

"Even the stars and moon shine in the dark, whether or not we see them. Open your eyes."

He did.

Tycho watched as Wedge leaned forward and nuzzled his chest. Soft hair tickled his chin, then neck as he threw his head back. Wedge circled one nipple with the tip of his nose, a stream of air tickling the skin before a kiss covered it. First, a gentle brush of lips, then a bite, a lick, and a firmer bite. The same, slightly more enthusiastic, to his other nipple had Tycho grunting. Through clenched teeth, he hissed out a long breath.

A series of small, closed mouth kisses down his torso, halting at the base of his erection. One last kiss, to the hollow of his hip, and Wedge sat up again. In the dark, Tycho saw his eyes glittering. Wedge caressed his erection and Tycho knew, even if he kept his eyes open, he'd see stars when he came. He was close already, thrusting into the touch. Wedge smiled, took his hand away, but only to run his fingers up and down the hard length. He seemed to move more smoothly, like a shadow, in the darkness of the cell. The thought amazed Tycho, as he lay, captivated by what he couldn't see.

Slowly, Wedge reached forward and spread the filmy pre-ejaculate over the tip of Tycho's erection. As Tycho strained to keep quiet, he suckled two of his fingers, removed them wet and glistening from his mouth, and stroked them over Tycho's erection and down to his opening. The tingling inside his center turned to trembling; Tycho felt his throat ache with unexpressed need. He pressed his lips together and suppressed the urge to shout and arch off the pallet as his lover pushed warm, slick fingers into him. Tycho pushed back against the touch and whimpered when it pulled away.

But then he was full, his lover buried inside of him. He was full and saw light in front of his eyes, the rush of climax coming upon him quickly. Wedge let out a shaky breath and lowered his body closer to Tycho, so they were chest to chest, eye to eye again. They moved together again, bodies joined, breath mingling. Tycho knew he'd come soon, there was no way he could hold back with such feeling screaming through his body. For one second he shut his eyes and stopped seeing, hearing, smelling or tasting. He just felt. The light, the dark, everything. The force of his lover inside him, the strength of his orgasm as Wedge climaxed. Clasping Wedge close, he hid his face in his lover's shoulder.

With a quiet sob, he came.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The guard banged on the door minutes later. Tycho remained sitting on the bed as Wedge smoothed down the front of his tunic and walked to the door. They had said their farewells as they lay in bed together, there was nothing left to say now. A shared smile, a brief touch of hands, and an assurance that they'd see each other soon, and then Wedge was gone. The bright light illuminated the room for a few seconds, then disappeared. But somewhere, not very far, the moon and stars shone bright. He'd see them soon. Tycho could have sworn he saw them tonight.

Finis


As the mist leaves no scar
On the dark green hill,
So my body leaves no scar
On you nor ever will.

When wind and hawk encounter,
What remains to keep?
So you and I encounter,
Then turn, then fall to sleep.

As many nights endure
Without a moon or star,
So will we endure
When one is gone and far.

~ Leonard Cohen, 'As the Mist Leaves No Scar'

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