First of all, thanks to noelia_g for putting this ficathon on. I know I had a lot of fun writing my story, and I'm really looking forward to reading everything else!
Title: A Lull in the Storm
Summary: Just a visit to some friends.
Notes: I wrote my story for kayim, who requested Corran, Jaina, and Gavin, as well as Corran/Mirax. My prompts were rain, stuncuffs, and a tattoo.
The rain came down at a punishing pace, and soaked him through his pilot's uniform and to the bone. It didn't look like it bothered the Jedi he saw, who were either prepared, with their always-useful cloaks, or simply looked as though they were merely repelling the water. Gavin frankly thought this place was aggressively natural, but that was probably years of living in the cockpit, or on Coruscant, talking. He had grown up on Tatooine, after all, which had fewer buildings, kilo for kilo, than Yavin. But his childhood home had been sparse and hot and dry, and completely alien from this place.
He'd never been here before, though he supposed few non-Jedi were lucky enough to ever get the chance. But as luck would have it, they were in the Betheda system at the same time, and Mara Jade Skywalker had asked them to run an escort while she dragged another one of their rogue students back to the Jedi temple. Rogue Squadron was happy to help, for more than one reason. It was more interesting than their current assignment, for one- ever since the Empire had surrendered, and Tycho had turned Rogue Squadron over to him- well, it wasn't as though there was less work for them to do, for they never any shortage of systems putting up a fuss. But the work was mainly done by the diplomatic corps, these days, and while the job had always had a lot of sitting and waiting, these days it seemed like they barely saw any action at all.
The bonus of taking this mission was, of course, that Corran and Mirax and Valin were living out here now. It had been almost a year since the last time Gavin had run into them on Coruscant, and that seemed like an absurdly long time, especially considering how close he and Corran used to spend the day-to-day.
So they had backed Mara up, and the mission had gone smoothly, basically, according to her. Though Gavin had, from a good distance away, witnessed Mara engage the other Jedi in a dizzyingly quick lightsaber fight. Whatever danger the man had posed before, now he was de-lightsabered, stuncuffed, and currently being dragged before Luke Skywalker. They didn't discuss with him what sort of punishment the Jedi would receive, but Jedi got off notoriously light, and this one didn't even manage to kill any innocent bystanders.
As the ships landed, Gavin had spied Jaina Solo running up to the alcove to greet them. He experienced a moment of blind panic when she appeared to shrug off her aunt's welcome to make moon-eyes at him, but apparently the look was actually directed at his X-Wing. Though she did turn her attention to him once the vehicles were completely done with their shut-down procedures; she asked him to tell her all about their missions. Being Han Solo's daughter, Gavin was pretty sure she'd heard some impressive stories in her life. Of course, being in Rogue Squadron since before she was born gave him a lot of his own adventures to choose from, but unfortunately none of the stories that came bubbling up in his mind had happened during his tenure as leader. The battle for Coruscant was good; her father hadn't been involved in that one, so he put her off with a promise to tell it later, and excused himself to go visit Corran.
The rain had already started to fall by then, but his journey wasn't supposed to be far. He passed Inyri and Major Varth on the way out, and Inyri smiled a happier smile than he usually saw on her, and told him she'd be up to visit too, in a short while.
And it was only a short walk to where he was told their small dwelling would be, but the rain had gotten to him in the meantime. It was cold out, and hard to see- he thought maybe something was moving up in the trees, but he had no way to tell, not without the senses of a Jedi.
Mirax met him at the door, and gave him a tight hug, even as he splattered mud all over her immaculate floor. Then Corran was there, and he looked different. Older, more serious, maybe, but that could've been because of the scruffy beard that didn't quite look right on his face.
"Mara comm'd that she was incoming with a surprise," Mirax said with a wide smile on her face. I know she owed me one, for chasing off after Brunhil without me."
"It wasn't that exciting," Gavin assured her. "She took him down real quick." Mirax gave a nod of satisfaction, and sat herself down in a chair, motioning at the boys to do the same. Mirax had changed as well, he supposed, as had all of them through the years. Her hair was shorter now, the skin around her eyes a bit tighter, and he could've sworn he saw another tattoo lurking on the underside of her arm by her sleeve, but it seemed impossible to look at her and not see the same impressive woman he had first gazed upon with sixteen-year-old eyes; lithe, confident, and with an edge of mysteriousness. "Valin?" he remembered to ask, as he sat in the chair she offered.
"In classes right now," Corran said, and Gavin could hear the pride in his voice.
"Why aren't you in classes?" he teased lightly. Mirax snickered.
"Oh, trust me," Corran said. "I get plenty of time in training." He leaned back slightly, and Gavin could see his lightsaber hitched to his waist. He had seen that lightsaber a million times, as Corran had carried it with him almost from the start, but now it seemed somewhat different, more intimidating, and Gavin realized that it was because Corran was wearing Jedi robes now, instead of the familiar pilot's uniform. His mind flashed back to Mara and the lightsaber fight, and he thought, can Corran do that now? It was easier for him to picture than he thought it would be; Corran had always seemed almost greater-than-life to him, though that may have been because he was comparably young when they had met. He had gone from a sparse, backwoods planet, to interacting with the New Republic's best and brightest in such a short time. If he was guilty of looking up to these people with such sacred wonder, well, they had proven worthy of it.
"What?" Corran asked him, after a moment.
"Nothing," Gavin said, shaking himself out of his thoughts. "S'just… I can't believe I'm actually the one in charge of Rogue Squadron now.
Corran twitched his lip, in the beginning of a smile that wasn't very Jedi, but an old cocky one that had graced his face many times before. "You know, I'd have been up for it instead, if I hadn't decided to quit and go all Jedi."
"Yeah, right," Gavin snorted good-naturedly. "What makes you think that? You may be older, but don't forget, you never had seniority."
"But I always had the better record," Corran said, with a full-on smirk now.
"Yeah," Gavin said, "you had that even before Tycho retired. But that doesn't make one a good leader. I have to train these kids, manage them, inspire them. Would you have been able to do all that?"
"They would have asked me, at least," Corran insisted. "That's why I had to retire."
"Oh, yeah," Gavin said. "The Jedi thing was just a bonus."
He shrugged, and Gavin thought the look on his face grew more serene. "It's worked out, I'll say that. In both cases. Gavin, you can't be doubtful of the job you're doing…?"
"No," Gavin assured him. "I mean, It's working out really well, for now. I put together the best group I could, and with practically no attrition, we're working together amazingly. It just… it doesn't feel like Rogue Squadron. Maybe because we don't have an Empire to fight. Maybe because you all aren't there.
"There was a Rogue Squadron before you and me," Corran said. "Before Tycho even. And there is a reason they decided to give it over to you, rather than retiring it, and letting you lead a different squadron, or promoting you up past the fighter corps."
"It's all in the name," Gavin half-asked.
Corran shrugged. "The universe still needs a Rogue squadron," he said. "Or the New Republic does, at least."
"Yeah," Gavin said vaguely, and tried to shrug off his pensive feelings.
Mirax asked him to stay for the midday meal, which he was happy to, not in the least because he knew both military rations and Betheda cooking had absolutely nothing on Mirax Terrik Horn. He told them Inyri would be around shortly, and they smiled a secret smile and told him they had a little announcement for when they were all together, and Gavin thought: baby. He had made his share of this sort of announcement, after all. And they looked inordinately pleased with themselves.
Mirax hitched the door open as Corran and Gavin helped themselves to the tray of brukali appetizers she put down; the storm was over, or at least in its eye, and there was a fresh breeze blowing past that made his nose itch a little, but he ignored it. He didn't have a lot of time left before he had to crawl into the cockpit again, and they still had a lot of catching up to do.