Work Header


Chapter Text

Luke jerked awake in the darkness of the barracks, the air filled with quiet snoring, mutters and shifting of fourteen other bodies.

His heart was racing, his hands shook, aching with how tight he was clutching the sheets and he needed to leave. The air was pressing in, bearing down on him with the single, screaming imperative that he wasn't safe.

Swallowing bile, Luke slowly unclenched his hands and pressed the heels of his palms to his eyes, sending colourful starbursts into the darkness behind his eyelids. He couldn't just leave! He was two and a half months away from graduating, and he'd just gotten through the accusations of cheating on the flight simulators... even if there'd been that worrying warning of 'watching you, Skywalker' and he was sure he'd heard the headmaster mutter something about sending the tests higher up. But aside from that worrying incident two weeks ago now, which so far hadn't brought any negative consequences, he wasn't even sure he'd be able to graduate at the level he needed for TIE fighter pilot training.

To be honest, at this point he wasn't sure he wanted to.

All he'd wanted to do was learn to fly, after all, and he wasn't particularly fond of the Empire or the military structure of the Academy, but giving up, at the same time...

His breathing wasn't slowing down.

His heart was still hammering away and his gut was twisting itself into knots. He wished he could talk to Biggs, but Biggs' father had made sure his son had gotten into one of the more prestigious Academies... frowning into his hands, Luke wondered if he was imagining that even, raspy breathing.

It reminded him of his dream---

No, he'd just imagined it. For a moment every noise in the large room had just coalesced into that strange, reverberating noise. Another whiplash of warning cracked through him and Luke had rolled out of the bed and was struggling into his pants before he even thought about it. The past months that feeling had started cropping up the longer he was at the academy, and he'd learned to listen but...

But if he left now...

Staring at the vague outline of his hands clutching the rumpled sheets on his bed, Luke couldn't move. But he also couldn't stay and he wasn't even sure why.

Run. The word was banging against the inside of his head and he couldn't think.

He had the bag over his shoulder and was staggering out the door before he was entirely aware of what he was doing.