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there's no time to sleep

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Admiral Antilles was calm as he cuffed his sleeves, and smoothed his silver hair back. He stood in his quarters, staring at himself in the mirror. He wore a dark blue uniform — different in every way from the orange pilot fatigues that he lived in as a Rebellion fighter. He almost missed the tightness of his flak vest, with the weight of the life support box on top of it.

Now, Wedge felt the presence of the gold band around his ring finger more acutely than he had in the past twenty years. He brought his hand closer to his face, inspecting it. He noticed it felt uncomfortably tight, and he adjusted it on his finger. Although many people asked him about it, he had never considered the possibility of taking it off. It would not make anything easier; Wedge would inevitably still think of Luke everyday.

Luke. Luke, the man who he loves — the man who had left him twenty years ago. In spite of Luke’s disappearance, his affection for the man had not changed in the slightest. Wedge’s reminiscing had always been of his fondest memories of Luke — he tended to try and not think about the less pleasant memories. Luckily for him, nearly all of his recollections of Luke were, in truth, nothing short of beautiful; there were hardly any negative memories of him. He had ceased being bitter about Luke’s leaving long ago, and not once had he felt any anger for the Jedi. Any semblance of anger that Wedge had felt was directed towards only himself.

Yet now, Luke was coming back. Wedge had waited for this day for two decades, yet his emotions did not reflect the wait. Everyday, for years, he had imagined his emotions when the news would come of Luke’s long-awaited return. He had imagined relief, happiness, and giddiness. He had definitely felt such emotions when they had discovered the map to Luke, and he felt longing when the girl had left without him. He had wished to go, but the Resistance needed him, and he was unsure how long they would be gone for. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that he had waited twenty years, and he could stand waiting a little longer.

Instead of such excitement, Wedge felt unusually calm. It was unexpected. He felt a strange sensation in his chest. It was a feeling he had been experiencing many years, on and off. It was not painful, so he never really saw a reason to have it looked at. He dismissed it.

(General Organa had personally delivered the news that the girl was returning to D’Qar, with Luke aboard, the night before.

It had come with a knock on his door. The Admiral sat at his desk, barely being able to focus on the paperwork he was supposed to be filling out. At this hour, he thought, it could only be one thing. He got up and opened the door to his quarters, to find the General.

“Luke.” Wedge said, voice certain. Leia stared at him. She didn’t need to nod or say anything.

Perhaps Leia had felt it in the Force, or maybe Rey had simply sent a message informing the base of their return. Either way, Luke was returning. Wedge just moved forward and embraced Leia.)

Wedge sighed, then backed away from the mirror. He sat down on his bed, pulling on his shoes. He exited his quarters, and locked the door, then began on his way to the base’s control room.

As Wedge entered the control room, the normally bustling place got quieter, and many of the officer’s heads turned to the doorway, where he was standing. General Leia was standing at the centre console, looking at him, a small smile on her face. Wedge moved from his place at the doorway, and all the officers went about their business.

Approaching Leia, he fidgeted with his ring again, hands behind his back. When he stood before her, she reached out and placed her hand on his arm.

“He’s close.” The General assured him, quietly. “I feel it.” Wedge knew this was a greatly anticipated moment for her too, and having lost Han, the return of her brother to her life was much needed. He closed his eyes, and nodded. They hugged, and when they broke apart, Leia gave him an encouraging pat on the shoulder.

Wedge wanted to say he felt it too, the tug on his heart. He knew it was impossible, and that his mind was just exploiting a normal feeling in his chest as some sort of divine message of the Force. He sighed and shook his head as he made his way to his station in the control room.

Recently, the Resistance had him filling out more of the endless paperwork involved in replacing much of their fleet. The First Order had taken a hit with the destruction of Starkiller base, so it had been fairly quiet lately. They’d had minimal run-ins, and time to rebuild their fleet. So, there was not much for him to do except this mind-numbing work.

“Excuse me, Admiral.” Wedge heard a voice from beside him, as he was filling out a credit transfer form. He looked up to see Commander Dameron smiling down at him. Dameron was an incredible pilot — maybe even better than Wedge was at his age. The Admiral could rest easily knowing the Resistance was in the hands of the young and talented like Poe.

“Yes, Dameron?” He asked. He knew what Poe had approached him about, and, looking behind Dameron, he could see Leia with a smile on her face from across the control room.

“The Millennium Falcon has just been cleared for landing.” Dameron informed him. “She will be sitting on the tarmac in around ten minutes.”

Wedge nodded his head in understanding, then looked back to his paperwork blankly. He wasn’t quite sure what he was feeling. Luke was so close, closer than he’d been in the last twenty years, yet he did not feel anything too intense. He looked back up at the grinning commander.

“Thank you, Commander.” Wedge says, dismissing him. Poe dipped his head and left him at his desk.

As Wedge stood up, Leia approached him. She wrapped him in a hug, and gave him a peck on the cheek.

“Go get him.” She said, hands resting on his arms. Wedge smiled at her, straightened his jacket, smoothed his hair, and exited the control room. He made his way towards the tarmac. As he was walking, his face broke out into a huge smile. He felt the ring on his finger, yet he did not feel the need to adjust it.

By the time Wedge made it to the tarmac, his pace was quite brisk. At one point, he almost broke out into a run. When he got outside, he realized he was not the first person to come. Some others had already made their way outside, and more were coming out. Among one of them that had recently come was Leia, who walked over to stand beside him.

When the Falcon appeared in sight, Wedge almost gasped. He felt the feeling his chest again, more intense than he had ever felt it. He felt himself grab Leia’s hand, which squeezed around his, as the ship touched down on the ground. And, as the door of the Falcon dropped, Wedge felt himself be overcome by the emotions he thought weird he was not experiencing earlier. Joy overwhelmed him with such intensity, and giddiness rocked him thoroughly. He didn’t notice the silence over the crowd as it held its collective breath. He looked down at Leia, who looked to be experiencing the same thing; tears were streaming down her cheeks, into her dimples.

Wedge looked back to the ship to see Luke stepping down the ramp, with the girl,  Rey, at his side. Wedge meets Luke’s gaze and, in a split second, Wedge sees innumerable emotions pass through Luke’s eyes. He sees guilt, but he also sees tenderness. He sees sadness, and elation. He takes a moment and jams his eyes closed for a second, and opens them to see Luke still there — this is not a dream.

They move towards each other, and when they finally embrace, Wedge doesn’t think he could ever be more euphoric than he is in this moment.