Title: Abating Hope Author: Briannakin Timeframe: Sometime shortly after the Yuuzhan Vong War Characters: Tycho and Winter Celchu Categorization: Legends Canon Notes: Written for the first OTP challenge: I haven’t done much with Winter/Tycho lately, but this challenge just screamed them. I tried to give this challenge a conclusion (which was hard given the challenge), but I ALSO really want to pick this up again one day and make a multi-chapter fic from it, so this kinda reads like a “chapter 1” (which it might be). The Argument: “We can try again.” Tycho’s straightforward sentence broke the tense silence in the speeder. He piloted the vehicle with expertise. Wearing casual civilian dark blue trousers and a standard orange nerf-hide jacket, he still felt chilly, even though they had the top up on their speeder. Winter, her head resting on the side viewport, didn’t bother to open her eyes to look at him. She knew what he was referring to. “No,” was her simple reply. “What?” he asked, more in shock than anything else. Few could elicit strong emotion from the normally reserved former general. He glanced over at his wife of 13 years. She looked uncharacteristically defeated. Her white hair was held in a coiled bun by a dark blue clip that matched her long dress. She let out a long sigh before finally looking at him. Clear blue eyes met another pair of clear blue eyes. “We tried twice before the war. I only agreed to this round of fertilization treatment because you retired and I thought there was no harm in trying again.” “So you don’t wan’t kids now?” he asked, trying to understand. They had just left a clinic where they had been told their latest round of fertilization treatment had failed. “No.” He was used to prying answers from her. “Why? Since when?” She answered both. “A doctor just told me our four fertilized eggs died in me. I can’t lose any more children - even potential children. Not since Anakin.” She did not raise her voice, but she was firm. Tycho gripped the controls tighter. “You are not the only one who lost that boy. I loved him just as much as you did.” He referred to the fact that he and Winter had practically considered Han and Leia’s youngest son a nephew. “We all lost so much. Not only to the ‘Vong. Ever since Alderaan. I thought that’s why we got married - why we tried so hard for kids. So we could gain for once instead of losing.” By now, the buildings of Coronet City had disappeared. They were parked in the private hanger outside their apartment. Winter looked at him with cold, dead eyes. “I married you because I loved you.” * * * The Fallout: Tycho sloshed his Corellian whiskey around in the small tumbler. He wasn’t trying to get drunk or even numb the burn he felt from his argument with Winter. He was just trying to fall asleep. He knew she was suffering from the treatment failing again. But they had so many options open to them - more treatments, surrogacy, adoption - yet she just said no. Downing the rest of the whiskey and softly padding to the bedroom, he gently knocked on the door. It was closed. The slate grey was a plain divide. “Win. I’m heading to bed now.” He then padded back to the living room and tried to settle down for a restless sleep on the couch. * * * Winter quietly stirred her tea. It was afternoon. The sun was high. Leia was across from her, giving her best friend a gentle look with her deep brown eyes - a stark contrast to her white blouse. “So you guys haven’t spoken in a week?” They were at Leia’s apartment. Winter shrugged as she stared into her light brown drink. “What is there to talk about? He still wants to try. I can’t anymore. I don’t want to lose him, but I don’t think I can bare a doctor telling me I’ve lost my children again. I remember everything. That pain is just… well…” her voice trailed off. “I know,” Leia said simply. “I’m not sure what I would do if Han told me he wanted to try for more kids. I certainly don’t want any more.” “Then you know why I am already considering drawing up separation documents. I’m not sure how we are going to get over this.” “What?” Leia asked in disbelief. “No, you guys are logical. You two will find a compromise.” “What compromise can be made? He wants kids and I don’t.” * * * “Winter is just recovering from the war,” Wedge said as he banged open a control panel. Wedge and Tycho were helping Han do some upgrading to the Millennium Falcon. “Careful! Geez,” Han admonished the other general. “But Wedge is right. We all are.” He then looked away. “Though, perhaps recovering isn’t the right word.” He looked back, face etched with, what was it? Wisdom? Suffering? “Perhaps we are all learning who we are again, or what we have become.” He then dropped his hydrospanner. “Luke is better at these conversations. But just talk to your wife.” “Yeah, I’ll try,” Tycho said, reluctantly. “But the woman is too logical for her own good.” * * * Damage Control Tycho entered the apartment to a figure sleeping on the couch. She had fallen asleep watching the holo-news. Her hair was down, splayed across the dark fabric of the piece of furniture. Carefully, he picked up a blue throw blanket, settled next to her and covered both of their bodies in the warm blanket. Winter grunted in her sleep, but resettled her head on his chest. She always did say she slept better with him. He held her gently. After a long while, she stirred again. “Tych?” “Yeah,” he said, softly rubbing her arm. “Can I say a few things before you get up?” “No,” she said, her voice cracking. “I just want to enjoy being held by you.” “Okay.” So, he simply held her as she cried. He was unsure why she was crying, but he didn’t pry. In that moment he decided he only wanted one thing: for Winter not to cry.