The Midway
By Ili

Wedge looked around at all the amusement-park rides and then down at the small handful of creds in his hand. Don't spend it all in one place, Dad says. How does he expect me not to? Chewing on his lower lip and then pushing his dark hair out of equally dark, serious eyes, he set off down the midway to check out the games and rides. Being more concerned with deciding on what to do first, he stopped paying attention to where he was going. A few moments later, he realised what a bad idea that was when he ran right into someone. "Oof!"

"Owwww!" he heard.

"Uhm, sorry....I didn't mean to."

"...S'okay, m'alright..."

Wedge grinned sheepishly at the person he'd bumped into. The aforementioned person was a boy that looked to be around his age and had short blonde hair and pale blue eyes. "Hi. My name's Wedge, what's yours?"

The blonde haired boy glanced nervously around him and looked back at Wedge. "M'name's Derek." he mumbled.

"Are you from around here?"

"No, I'm from Ralltiir. Are you from here?" Derek seemed to be warming up slightly even though he still glanced nervously about him as if he was worried someone would jump out at him at any moment.

"Yup," said Wedge proudly, "My parents own the Gus Treta refueling station."

"Oh," replied Derek simply.

"Sooooo....have you been on any of the rides yet?"

"No," Derek looked meek, "I don't have any money."

Wedge's face turned incredulous, "You're at a park and your parents didn't give you money?"

"No." said Derek quietly.

Wedge took in the sight of the other boy, his clothes looked to be quite threadbare and hung loosely on his skinny frame. His straw- blonde hair combed down mostly but had a stubborn cowlick poking out of the top of his crown. Wedge stood for a moment in thought, chewing on his lower lip in contemplation. He was facing a moral dilemma, he could invite this newcomer to ride the rides with him but his money wouldn't last nearly as long as it would have by itself. However, Derek had a sad, hungry look in his blue eyes and Wedge's ten-year old conscience wouldn't let him walk away from a new friend in need. "Weeell....I could pay I guess."

The mournful look on Derek's face quickly turned to surprise, "I-...I couldn't ask you to do that..."

Wedge grinned, "You wouldn't be asking me, I'm offering."

For the first time since Wedge had bumped into him, a smile blossomed on Derek's face. Albeit, the smile was a small one, but it was a small nonetheless. "Well, what're we waiting for?"

Throughout the afternoon, Derek opened up more and more to Wedge and his smiles, although few and far between, became more frequent as time went on. Derek was very intelligent and witty for his young age and he and Wedge got along perfectly. After Wedge's money ran out, he and Derek spent their time walking around the midway, talking and watching some of the more interesting denizens of the park. About the time the sun was setting, Wedge's newfound friend suddenly stopped in midsentence and his entire body stiffened. Wedge looked over his shoulder in the direction Derek was looking to see a large, angry looking man motioning to Derek and calling his name. "Derek! You little git! We're leavin'!"

Derek's gaze dropped to the ground, "I've gotta go, thanks for bein' so friendly to me." he mumbled as he trudged toward the man.

Wedge watched Derek go and wondered if he'd ever see the boy again...


Some-odd years later, and Wedge is all grown up.


Wedge chewed on his lower lip nervously, an unconsious habit he'd developed as a child whenever he was thinking deeply. He had just recently joined the Rebel Alliance, hadn't had much time to meet anyone, and was stuck in a lounge with a bunch of other pilots he didn't know and who didn't seem too interested in getting to know 'the new kid'.

"Mind if I sit here?" a voice said.

Wedge looked up from his contemplations, the voice belonged to a pilot who looked to be not too much older than himself and also appeared to be naggingly familiar, but he couldn't place him. "Sure, I'm Wedge Antilles, by the way."

The other pilot nodded to him, "My name's Derek, Derek Klivian...though everybody calls me Hobbie."

"Nice to meet you, Hobbie."

Hobbie turned serious eyes toward Wedge, eyes that looked older than their owner, "You too." Wedge was certain he'd seen Hobbie somewhere before but he still couldn't place him and he was sure that it was one of those things that would awake him in the middle of the night with the answer..


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