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Respite

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It had been days since Hoth without any hint of the news Shara wanted. She had arrived at the rendezvous to take her place on Home One two days ago, desperate for any word on Kes.

The transport he was supposed to be on had docked this morning, with no Kes. No one knew why he hadn’t made it.

Shara spun the ring on her finger as she walked the corridors, an absent, anxious gesture she couldn’t seem to make herself stop doing. She had gone on patrol yesterday and the outing had barely sufficed as the faintest of distractions. The Rebellion would go on, discovered but not defeated, their forces slowly converging again after their escape from Hoth, but that seemed small comfort when Kes was missing.

If anything, Shara thought, it was her that should have been late, on her own in her little A-wing. Not Kes, who should have been with a large group of ground troops and personnel. All the heavy transports were accounted for now, leaving only a couple of the small ones. Shara told herself Kes was resourceful and would surely have found his way to a different ship, had something prevented him from making it out to plan. Kes wasn’t always good at plans. Maybe…

There was still time. Princess Leia hadn’t even arrived yet. She had been supposed to be on this morning’s transport as well, but the word was she’d gone with Captain Solo.

Though she hadn’t entirely meant to, Shara wasn’t terribly surprised when she realized her feet had led her to the hangar bay. It was mostly empty, just a couple of astromechs running repairs. Shara found her A-wing, a few blaster marks scoring the paint but mostly none the worse for wear. She stroked her hand over the nose and fought to find her optimism.

Neither of them had thought this would be easy or without struggle. Kes would find her, as he always did.

“Hey, babe,” said an altogether welcome and familiar voice.

Shara turned so quickly around that she felt a wave of dizziness wash over her. She stared for a moment at Kes’ cheeky grin before throwing herself into his waiting arms, feeling him hold her tight, his face tucked against her neck.

“Where have you been, laserbrain?” she demanded. “You missed your transport!”

As Shara felt him shrug against her, Kes said, “Got delayed, had to figure something else out.”

Pulling back so she could see his face, Shara said, “You got delayed? That’s it?”

“Well,” Kes said, still with that big smile, “I could explain more now, give you the whole long story, or you could show me how much you missed me.”

Shara raised an eyebrow. “I could, huh?”

Kes backed her up until she was pressed against the side of her ship. “Or I could show you how much I missed you.”

“Better.” Reaching up, Shara touched her fingers to a cut on the side of Kes’ face. “The delay meant trouble, I assume?”

“A little.” Kes caught her hand and put it to his mouth to kiss. “Probably no worse than what you went through. But later, okay? I… I did miss you. And I didn’t know if you were okay.”

The brush of Kes’ lips over her skin sent a shiver through Shara. She slid her hand around the back of his neck, scraping her nails through his short hair. Her fear from the past few days, since the trouble on Hoth, not knowing if her husband was alive or dead, seemed to ebb away, because he was here. With her.

“Remind me you’re okay,” she said, tugging his hips to hers so she could feel the length of his body against her.

“I’m okay,” Kes promised, his mouth dragging lightly over her jaw, his hands on her waist, her hips. He kissed her and Shara breathed into it, lips parting.

We’re okay, she thought, we’re okay. She could feel the solid metal of her starfighter against her back and the warm weight of Kes holding her there. Like this, it felt like she could do anything, like she could face whatever this war threw at her, like she could take whatever the Empire had to give, because she had this to return to. Kes, who loved her, and their sweet baby boy, far away, but safe and waiting for them. This was what she was fighting for, and this was what she would remember the next time she was in her ship, flying for the Rebellion, for the better galaxy they hoped to build.

Kes rocked his hips against her, his mouth hot on hers, and Shara bent her knee, rubbing her heel against the back of Kes’ leg. He stroked his hand over her thigh and murmured, “Have you got a bed in this place?”

Shara laughed softly. “A bed, sure. Privacy? Not so much.”

Groaning, Kes dropped his forehead down to her shoulder. “Wanna do it in your ship?”

Smacking him, Shara said, “You know my cockpit’s too small for that.”

“Knew I should’ve pushed for you to get a Y-wing.”

Shara wrinkled her nose. “Those slow, bulky disasters? Not for me, babe, thanks.”

“Not even for me?” Kes asked with a pleading tone, lips tilting in a not unimpressive pout.

“Not even for you,” Shara affirmed with a sad shake of her head. “Can’t beat an A-wing for speed and maneuverability. Can’t beat that rush.”

Kes’ hand was brushing over her body teasingly. “Well, if it’s speed you want, I guess we’ll just have to be quick about it.” He dropped to his knees, pressing his face against her lower belly.

“Kes! Don’t be ridiculous, we can’t--”

“Can’t what?” Kes moved a little lower, and Shara’s breath hissed beneath her teeth.

She batted ineffectually at the top of his head, pulling the short strands of his hair, before she settled for holding him where he was. “Mmmm, I dunno, I forget, I… Kes.”

“Yes,” Kes said, and reminded her they were here, together, safe and alive.