Title: And Life Goes On

Author: Diamond

Rating/Warning: PG for language

Characters: Aliah, Tycho

Spoilers: Well, I suppose there might be some if you haven't read the X-Wing Series, and if you haven't...shame on you!

Archive: WAAS, anyone else please ask first

Summary: Danel, the man Aliah was to marry, was killed in action. After 6 months Al has yet to cope with the loss. Can her friends help her get past the pain, guilt, and anger so that she can learn to really live again?

Disclaimer: Star Wars and all the things associated with it are the property of Lucasfilm Ltd. I'm simply borrowing them for a while cause they are simply too much fun not to play with. I'm not making any money off them and I promise that I'll return them in the same shape I got them in, although if you really wanted to you could let me keep Tycho. *Grins* I wouldn't mind a bit. Aliah however is my own personal muse. She just decided that George's world was more fun and who can really blame her?

Feedback: Tell me what you think of my attempts at combating boredom and I might see fit to give you chocolate! diamond9697@hotmail.com


Chapter One: Loss


You worry too much Al, it's a routine mission and I'll be home before you know it.  Aliah "Al" Oliphante took another swig of whiskey as those words continued to repeat in the back of her mind. They were the last things Danel had ever said to her. The last ones he would ever say to her. A single tear slipped down her cheek but she brushed it away angrily. Routine mission my ass Danel.

Every so often she would glance towards the door hopefully, then curse under her breath. "Damn it Al, he's not going to just walk in here and you know it, so stop looking." Yet she found herself doing the very same thing a few minutes later, only to see Tycho Celchu walk in. She pressed as far back into the dark corner as she could in an attempt to go unnoticed, but had to mutter in frustration when he started to walk over. Seems the only luck I have these days is bad luck.

Tycho was the Executive Officer of Rogue Squadron, and Aliah had spent a lot of time in the last several years patching their X-Wings back together after they returned from their missions. During that time she had become friends with him, as well as several other members of the squadron. Some of them, like Tycho, had been good enough and lucky enough to survive well past the average life expectancy for fighter pilots. Some hadn't been. She quickly pushed that thought aside as Tycho reached her table.

Under normal circumstances she would have welcomed the chance to talk to him, but these were anything but normal circumstances. Aliah held up her hand in a warning gesture. "Not now Tycho. I'm not in the mood for conversation."

Tycho brushed a lock of hair off his forehead and sat down across from her anyway. "What if I promise not to say a word until you tell me I can?"

Al sighed. "That wasn't what I meant. I just…I want to be alone for a while."

"I know that Al, but just because you want to be doesn't mean that you should be."

Leave it to Tycho to be the one to find her, not that he would have had to look far. Of all the people she knew, of all the ones she had allowed to get close to her in her time with the Rebellion and The New Republic, she had only really trusted three of them. Correction Al, only two of them now. One was Wedge Antilles, the Commander of Rogue Squadron. The other was seated across from her now, and knowing how often the two had their heads together she wouldn't have been the least bit surprised to find out that they had decided that Tycho was the better choice to talk to her.

"Obviously you and Wedge must have gotten together and discussed what the best way to run my life is, but what I really want to know is what he held over your head to get you to come talk to me."

A faint flush crept up his neck. "Actually, I volunteered"

"So you admit to getting together for the express purpose of deciding what was best for me?"

"Well no, not for that express purpose, but we did talk about you. We're worried Al. It's been almost six months."

She sat back in her chair and took a long drink from her bottle as she thought about that for a few moments. Has it really only been six months? She could remember the night that Wedge had pulled her aside and told her about Danel's death like it was yesterday, and yet at the same time it seemed a lifetime ago. Every detail was burned into her memory, from the moment she saw Wedge walking towards her with that look on his face until after the ceremony that was held for the pilots who hadn't made it back. After that though, the days seemed to just blur together.

Aliah shook her head slightly to clear it and set the bottle back on the table. I don't need their pity. I don't need anything from them or anyone else. I can get through this on my own. No, I will get through this on my own.

Knowing that her eyes would give her away and not wanting to reveal anything that would make him suspicious, she picked a spot just above his eyebrows that she hoped would give him the impression that she was looking him in the eyes, then she smiled. "I know you guys are worried Tych, but there really isn't anything to worry about. I'm fine." As often as the lie had passed her lips in the last few months she could almost believe it were true herself…almost.

Tycho however wasn't fooled in the least. "You're not fine Aliah, and if you think you can fool me that easily then you must have very little respect for my powers of observation. A smile and a few words won't change what we have seen in you since Danel was killed."

Bristling instantly at his words, she narrowed her eyes at him and growled. "He was my fiancée Captain, and you and Commander Antilles have no right to tell me how long I can grieve for him."

He held a hand up. "Easy Al. We aren't trying to say you can't grieve for him, we just want to help you try and work through it." There was a long pause before he continued, his voice soft. "Sometimes, no matter how much we might want to do something on our own, we find that we need the support of friends. We have an idea of what you're going through. All of us have been in a situation where we have lost a friend, family member…Fiancée."

Her voice took shook slightly as she spoke. "You think I don't know that? You think I don't tell myself everyday that lots of people have lost more than I have? Hell, you lost your whole planet in this war, and I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself over the loss of just one person. You think I don't hate myself sometimes for that? "

"You shouldn't. How much a person has lost doesn't matter. What matter's is that we have all been hurt in the same type of way that you have been. We have been through similar experiences and we can help you through yours if you'll let us." He rested his hand on hers for a moment then stood. "Just think about it for a while. You might feel like you're alone now but your not. Your friends are here for you now just like we were there for you before Danel died. That much hasn't changed." He watched her sadly for a moment, then headed out of the Cantina.