At first, Tycho thought the officer’s lounge of the Mon Remonda was empty. He wasn’t too surprised, as Rogue Squadron was the only starfighter squadron currently off-shift, and not in their sleep-cycle. The ship’s own officers were clearly occupying themselves elsewhere. Tycho ordered a glass of lomin-ale from the bored Gotal bartender, and carried it over the to largest viewport set in the gently curving white wall.
He stopped in front of the transparisteel, ale in hand, and looked out at the starscape. The Mon Remonda was currently in deep space, offering a fine view of a spectacular nebula, that hung like a greenish-purple cloud in the star-sprinkled blackness. Tycho viewed it absently, his thoughts more concerned with his lover. Wedge was out there somewhere, on an undercover mission with his new, half-trained squadron of washouts and trouble-makers. Tycho sipped his ale without really tasting it, hoping that Wedge was safe.
A quiet, frustrated sound close behind him startled him from his thoughts. Tycho turned, and saw Hobbie, seated in one of the over-sized couches that faced the viewport. The high back of the couch had hidden him as Tycho approached. Hobbie was holding a datapad, looking at it unhappily. He ran his hand through his light brown hair, pushing it back and making his face seem even longer. Tycho momentarily wondered what he’d been reading, then recalled that a batch of mail had arrived earlier. He’d had a brief message from Wedge, who was too busy to write much. Of course Wedge couldn’t tell him anything about what he was doing, and it had been recorded two days ago. Anything could have happened to him since then.
“Message from Wes ?” he asked sympathetically.
Hobbie looked up, momentarily startled. “Er…yes, from Wes.” He sighed.
Tycho moved to sit beside him.
“Weeks selecting and training this new squadron, and now they’re off with these Wraiths for who knows how long,” Tycho grumbled, allowing himself the rare chance to show his feelings. “It’s, what, four months since we last saw them ?”
“Why didn’t you talk Wedge out of this idea of his for a commando X-wing unit ?” Hobbie asked.
“You know how stubborn he is,” Tycho said, shrugging. “Once he got set on the idea, there was nothing short of a star going nova that could make him change his mind. And besides, I think he’s right that we need a flexible unit like he proposed.”
Hobbie sighed. “Why is Wedge always right ?” He glanced sideways at Tycho. “Sorry, I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. It’s just, I want to complain about him taking Wes away to set up this new squadron, but he’s doing the right thing for the New Republic.”
Tycho sipped his ale. “And we’ve all vowed to serve the New Republic. It’s what we’ve been risking our lives for all these years.”
“And what we go on risking our lives for.” Hobbie’s melancholy was real. He shut down his datapad and slipped it into a pocket of his uniform.
They were silent, gazing out at the stars. Somewhere out there were the two men they loved. Somewhere in that infinite vista.
“So far away,” Tycho said softly.
“I just wish I knew what Wes was doing,” Hobbie said plaintively, without looking away from the stars. “He could be fighting for his life, dying, and I wouldn’t know about it until days later.”
Tycho looked across and saw Hobbie close his eyes, his jaw tightening as he tried to hold back his feelings. Setting the ale down, he put an arm around his friend’s shoulders, offering comfort. Hobbie leaned against him, his body tense.
“I’m frightened too,” Tycho said softly, looking out at the stars. “You know that every battle could be the last time you see them, the last time you hear their voice. I know that I might see Wedge die one day, and it’ll probably be so quick I’ll never have the chance to say goodbye. But it’s worse when you’re not there with them.”
He felt Hobbie’s head move in a nod. “I’d always be wondering whether I could have done something to save him if I’d been there.” Hobbie’s voice was slightly muffled by Tycho’s shoulder.
Tycho took a deep breath. “They’ll look out for one another. Wedge and Wes are a hell of a team.”
“Mmm.” Hobbie made an agreeing noise.
There was silence for a minute or so before Hobbie spoke again.
“I miss Wes. I miss his smile.”
A few seconds passed before Tycho spoke.
“I miss seeing Wedge still asleep in the mornings. Just lying in bed, relaxed and safe. Not stressed. Seeing him like that is so intimate.”
Hobbie made a small sound that was almost a whimper. Tycho hugged him closer and reached around with his free hand to stroke Hobbie’s hair.
“Hey, he said softly. “You can cry if you want.”
There was a muffled sob, then a long sigh.
“I don’t really want to cry,” Hobbie said. “I just want…” He clung to Tycho a little more closely.
Tycho was becoming acutely aware of the intimacy of their position. He could feel the warmth of Hobbie against him, feel his chest move as he breathed. After the months of loneliness and worry, he found himself enjoying the physical pleasure of holding someone in his arms. The contact was soothing, and yet, he realized, he was breathing faster. His brain told him to break the hug, but his body and soul were relishing the sensations.
Hobbie moved his head slightly, and Tycho gasped as warm lips touched the sensitive skin of his neck. The kiss made his pulse leap. He froze in place, unable to think clearly as Hobbie gently continued to kiss his throat. After a few moments, Tycho swallowed, and managed to speak.
Hobbie lifted his head and looked at Tycho. “I’m sorry,” he said softly, making no effort to pull away. “It’s just…I don’t know…being held by you is so comforting, after all these weeks alone. I think I wanted to distract myself.”
Tycho looked straight back at him, then before he knew what he was doing, he bent his head and kissed Hobbie full on the mouth. Hobbie’s mouth felt strange, his lips much fuller than Wedge’s and he tasted different. The contact still sent deep thrills through Tycho’s body. Eventually, he broke the kiss and they looked at one another.
Tycho slid his hand down Hobbie’s arm in a caress.
“I love Wedge, but right now, I think I need you.”
“I love Wes,” Hobbie replied simply, moving a hand to rest it on Tycho’s hip. “But he’s not here and I don’t know when, or if, I’ll see him again. So right now I need someone, you, to fuck me hard, to pound me into the mattress and release those feel-good chemicals in my brain.”
“To relieve the tension,” Tycho whispered, pulling Hobbie closer and kissing him.
For a minute or so they simply kissed and touched, bodies pressed close together. Tycho felt hot, becoming intensely aroused by the unfamiliar touch of Hobbie’s hands on his body. After the lonely nights, missing Wedge, not knowing what he was doing, or whether he was even still alive, Tycho desperately needed to feel close to someone. He took in a slow, deep breath as Hobbie tenderly scattered kisses across his throat. In return, he tugged Hobbie’s shirt loose and slid his hand up the warm muscles of the other man’s back.
A burst of chattering and laughing from somewhere across the bar interrupted them. Tycho and Hobbie broke apart, both slightly flushed. Smoothing his hair, Tycho peered over the high back of the couch that hid them from the rest of the room. A group of Mon Remonda officers entered, laughing, already holding a couple of bottles. A young female in the middle of the group had coloured streamers cascading from her hair. Two of her male friends, a human and a Twi’lek, picked her up and carried her to the bar, while the others chorused ‘Happy Lifeday’.
Tycho dropped back onto the couch and looked at Hobbie. The quiet was shattered, and their privacy unreliable. Tycho realized though, that the change in atmosphere hadn’t altered his mood though; it just frustrated him.
“Your quarters or mine ?” he asked.
“Yours,” Hobbie replied. “I’m sharing with Tal’dira, remember ?”
They stood, and Tycho drained half the neglected pint of lomin ale he’d bought. Leaving the rest, he followed Hobbie from the bar, waving in response to the greetings of the lifeday party. As they left, Tycho half wondered if the walk from bar to quarters, two decks up, would give either of them time to cool down and change their mind. But with his blood tingling in his veins, and Hobbie’s arm brushing against his as they walked, Tycho found himself impatient to reach his rooms. Alone for a few moments in the turbolift, they kissed, tongues touching for the first time. Tycho slipped his arm around Hobbie’s waist, and their bodies pressed together. Then the lift halted and they had to separate as the door hissed open. To Tycho’s relief, the corridor was empty, and they were safely inside his quarters just a minute later. As the door slid shut behind him, Hobbie turned and pressed him against it, his mouth hot against Tycho’s, one hand on Tycho’s shoulder and the other against his hip.
Tycho put both arms around Hobbie, pulling him close, and squeezing him against himself. He relished the feel of Hobbie’s warmth and physicality against him. Hobbie pressed his hips against Tycho’s, and Tycho felt the soft bulge in Hobbie’s trousers press against his own growing erection. He took in a deep breath, which became a long sigh as Hobbie kissed his way up his throat to the corner of his jaw. Hobbie’s mouth moved to his earlobe, gently flicking it with his tongue.
“Sorry,” Tycho said. “Earlobes don’t do anything for me.”
“OK.” Hobbie pressed the flat of his hands against his chest. “How about here ?”
When Tycho nodded, Hobbie’s hands deftly unfastened his shirt and slid inside.
“Mmmm.” Tycho breathed soft sounds of pleasure as Hobbie’s hands circled over his nipples. His shirt was pulled open and Hobbie bent his head. Tycho’s hands tightened against Hobbie’s hips as a warm mouth gently sucked the nipples to hardness. Then the tip of Hobbie’s tongue flicked rapidly back and forth over a hard nipple. Tycho gasped, his back arching and his hips thrusting against Hobbie’s. Hobbie switched his attention to the other nipple; Tycho leaned back against the door, dizzy with the sensation.
Hobbie straightened and kissed him hard, filling Tycho’s open mouth with his tongue. Tycho slid his hands inside Hobbie’s untucked shirt and ran them up his back, relishing the feel of muscles beneath the skin. He stroked his hand back down Hobbie’s spine. Hobbie’s eyes widened as he broke the kiss to draw in a shivery breath. Tycho repeated the move with his other hand, watching Hobbie’s face in delight. Hobbie moaned and pressed himself harder against Tycho, kissing hard and deep.
When they separated, Hobbie dropped to his knees, his hands unfastening Tycho’s trousers to free his erection. Tycho leaned against the door, gasping as Hobbie’s warm hand fondled the sensitive skin of his scrotum. His eyes closed as Hobbie’s mouth engulfed the head of his cock. Tycho moaned, his hands bunching into fists as his penis slid in and out of Hobbie’s mouth, with Hobbie’s tongue finding all the most rewarding spots. His breathing rapidly became faster and deeper as tension flooded his body.
“Stop,” he said hoarsely.
Hobbie let Tycho’s penis slide from his mouth, and slowly stood up, giving Tycho enough time for the feeling of imminent orgasm to die down.
Tycho took in a deep breath, and simply said, “Bed”.
Less than a minute later, they were both naked, and Hobbie was lying face down on the bed. Tycho kissed him on the nape of the neck, then kissed and licked his way down Hobbie’s spine. Hobbie moaned, writhing under Tycho’s touch. Tycho made circles of kisses on Hobbie’s taut buttocks, his hand meanwhile sliding between Hobbie’s legs, which parted at his touch. He caressed the fine, soft skin at the top of the inner thighs; Hobbie’s moans took on a pleading note.
Tycho liked to indulge in foreplay, relishing the anticipation. Right now though, his need was simply too urgent, and so was his partner’s. He got the lube from the bedside locker, scooped some onto his finger, and began applying it around Hobbie’s arsehole.
“Oh, Sith, yes,” Hobbie breathed, clutching the bedcover with both hands. “Aaaaaah.” He made a drawn-out sound of pleasure as Tycho slid a finger inside him.
He writhed as Tycho stroked him, gasping and moaning. Tycho had no problem getting two fingers inside; Hobbie was ready and eager. Sliding his fingers out, he quickly rolled Hobbie over and was positioned between his legs. Another quick application of lube and he eased himself inside, moaning himself now at the sensations.
Tycho pressed himself against Hobbie, feeling the other’s hard penis digging into his belly, and began thrusting. Hobbie clutched his arse, his hips synchronising with Tycho’s as both gave way to their overwhelming need. Tycho gasped unevenly, bending his head to kiss the shoulder and throat beneath him. Hobbie moaned in a deep, throaty tone, very different to the sounds Wedge made. The sound reminded Tycho that he was doing something illicit, producing an intense reaction. He thrust harder, almost recklessly, his body almost out of control.
Hobbie’s body suddenly bucked beneath him, as he gave way to a sustained cry of pleasure. Tycho grunted the as muscle spasms squeezed his cock and thrust even deeper than before. Moments later, he too came hard, driving himself into Hobbie’s body.
When he opened his eyes again, Tycho was lying limply atop Hobbie, his head pillowed on Hobbie’s shoulder. He lay there a few moments longer, simply enjoying the sensations of Hobbie’s warm, sweaty skin, the smell of sex, the steady movements of Hobbie’s chest beneath him, and the close presence of another living being. Reluctantly, he pulled himself free and slid off. Hobbie rolled to face him and snuggled against him. They lay together, arms around one another and their legs tangled. At length, Tycho moved his head slightly to kiss Hobbie on the cheek.
“Thank you,” he said softly.
“And thank you,” Hobbie replied. “You gave me what I needed.”
“I guess it was mutual.”
Silence fell, neither man knowing what to say next. Tycho caught Hobbie’s eye, seeing his own awkwardness reflected there, and broke the silence with a laugh. Hobbie smiled in return. “I don’t think anyone ever produced an etiquette guide to cover this situation.”
“ ‘What to say afterwards to your comfort fuck when both of you are in steady relationships with other people’,” Tycho suggested.
“Catchy title,” Hobbie answered. “It’ll sell by the half-dozen.”
Rolling onto his back, Hobbie stretched and yawned. “I should clean up and get back to my own quarters.”
“You can clean up in the en-suite refresher here,” Tycho said.
Hobbie peered across the room. “You get an en-suite ?”
“Wedge does,” Tycho told him. “Why else do you think I chose the commanding officer to sleep with ?”
“I’ll tell him you said that.”
Tycho laughed and shoved Hobbie towards the edge of the bed. “Go get cleaned up.”
While Hobbie splashed about in the bathroom, Tycho picked up and tried to sort out the clothing scattered about the floor. As it was day uniform, and he and Hobbie were much the same size, he had some difficulty in telling which items belonged to who. Eventually deciding that if he couldn’t tell, then it didn’t matter, he had a set ready for Hobbie when he emerged. Hobbie dressed, and stood looking at Tycho.
After a few moments, they embraced, then separated. Tycho knew that whether Wedge, Wes, Hobbie or himself should be killed, the survivors would have the strength of one another to draw on. It was comforting to be reminded that he wasn’t alone, and that he could share his feelings and be understood. He leaned forward and gave Hobbie a gentle kiss on the cheek.
“I’ll see you in the briefing room tomorrow morning,” he said.
“Only if my alarm goes off at the right time,” Hobbie replied gloomily.
Tycho laughed and gave him a push towards the door. “Go on, get to your own quarters. And don’t forget that you can talk to me when you need to,” he added more soberly.
Hobbie nodded. “I know. Good night, Tycho.”
When Hobbie had gone, Tycho went into the bathroom to shower and clean himself up. As the hot water cascaded down his back, Tycho thought about the fact that he’d slept with someone other than Wedge. He didn’t love Hobbie, not in the way he loved Wedge, but he didn’t regret what he’d done. There was no need to Wedge to know, though. Trying to explain the loneliness, and the need to hold someone and briefly fill the gap that Wedge’s absence left in his life: he didn’t think he could do that.
As he rubbed the gel cleaner across his chest, Tycho remembered the stunning sensation of Hobbie’s tongue flicking back and forth across his hard nipples. He’d have to try that on Wedge when he returned; it would drive him crazy. Smiling, Tycho cleaned the traces of Hobbie’s sweat and semen from his body. When he was clean and dry, he climbed into the half-empty bed, and fell asleep alone, thinking of Wedge.
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