Title: The Wind that Shakes the Corley Timeframe: A day or two before the Battle of Yavin Character: all OCs Genre: Drama, entry for the Celtic Song Challenge The song I got was “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” about a young man torn between his true love and the desire to fight for his country. The decision is made for him when she is killed by an enemy bullet (we never find out why). At first it seemed obvious that this was the story of Tycho Celchu, but then I thought of a slightly different twist. Barley is used to make whiskey, for which Ireland is known, and since it is EU canon that some of the best whiskey in the galaxy is made on Corellia, that is where our story is set, where two young men are planning their wedding together… Corellia really was a beautiful planet, thought Niall dreamily. It wasn’t the way he’d envisioned. It was known for being a planet of pirates and explorers, building some of the largest, most powerful ships in the galaxy, and the cities were famed as trading centers, cosmopolitan, full of the exotic treasures of a billion worlds, where beings from a thousand different star systems rubbed elbows. It was all that, but Niall had been surprised to discover how rural it was. There were only a few really large cities. Once you got outside of those, the planet was mostly given over to agriculture. He was less than 30 kilometers from Coronet City, the capital of the planet, and it was all fields of corley, still a pale green, with the tips making silver waves when the wind blew through the fields. In a few weeks, it would ripen to a rich gold, when it would be harvested to make the potent whiskey that Corellia was famous for. In the distance, the hills rose high, deep burgundy from the bracken covering them. If he squinted, he could make out grayish-brown clumps, the cranky nerfs which grazed on them, tended by shaggy, equally cranky herders. “…rose-gold or plum?” Niall was torn away from his reverie. “Huh?” Ryas looked over at him and grinned. “You haven’t been listening to a word I’ve said, have you?” “My mind wandered.” Niall smiled at the devilishly handsome young man, in his smart Imperial uniform. “It’s a little early, don’t you think? I’ve got at least eight more months of this rotation.” “And they will fly like a nightbird after a swifter,” said Ryas. He smiled, causing Niall’s heart to do a little jump. Something about those vivid blue-green eyes, with that mouth… “Now, what was I talking about?” “Uh, something about the flowers?” Ryas thumped him on the arm affectionately. “Table linens! What color do you prefer?” “Don’t care.” “And the flowers?” “Don’t care.” Ryas butted his dark head up against Niall’s golden one. “Look,” he said, “I’m only getting married once, I want it to be perfect!” “I’m only getting married once too,” said Niall, taking his fiance’s hand, “and as long as the right man is standing across from me under the archway, I really don’t care about anything else.” He considered. “Well, except for the food. It’s a tradition on Alderaan. No one leaves a wedding hungry.” “I think that’s a tradition everywhere.” Ryas drew back, and studied Niall. “Did you think about my suggestion?” Niall snorted. “Which one?” he asked. “The Imperial Surgical Corps.” “Oh.” Niall looked away. “I don’t know…” “The money’s good, and we could be together!” Ryas had been urging Niall to go into Imperial service. Niall wasn’t actually keen on the idea. His planet had a strong philosophy to pacifism, and a commitment to that. Apart from a small local police force, Alderaan had no standing armies, not even a militia, and had disarmed and sold off their fleets centuries ago. By living in peace, you set an example for others. Niall had always envisioned himself working in some civilian hospital, or perhaps in a humanitarian organization, bringing medical care to poorer systems which couldn’t afford it. Ryas, an up and coming officer in the Imperial Navy, had been trying to persuade his fiancé to sign up as well, thinking that it would be easier to stay together that way. Niall couldn’t get his head around the idea of serving in a military capacity, though. “You don’t know that,” he said. “It would be just my luck that you’d be assigned to a Star Destroyer, and I’d be stuck in some garrison town in the MidRim, treating troopers for exotic STDs. Plus…I’m not sure my family would be comfortable with my going into the military.” Ryas fell back on to the ground, making a sound of pure exasperation. “Alderaan!” he grumbled. “I am who I am,” said Niall quietly. “I’m sorry. I was raised to believe that the best way to find peace is to exemplify it. It’s the core of who I am. It’s one of the things that makes me the man you fell in lo—“ He was interrupted by the chirping of his commlink. “Tell them to go away. It’s hard enough to get time with you,” said Ryas, glaring at the small device. Niall looked at the readout. “It’s Dan,” he said. The young officer scowled. “You definitely don’t have to answer it!” Niall smiled, letting the incoming message go to record mode. “I don’t get why you’re so jealous of Dan,” he said. “He is my 'other brother', you know.” “I’m not jealous!” said Ryas, wrapping his arms around Niall. “You’re green with it.” “Well, okay. Maybe I’m a little jealous.” He leaned in for a kiss, and for a few minutes Niall was distracted enough to just let go and enjoy it. When they finally broke apart, they were both breathless. Niall touched his lover’s cheek. “Dan is just a friend,” he said. “JUST a friend. First off, he’s into girls, not boys, and secondly, he’s too short. I go for tall, blue-eyed hunks in uniform.” “And what about when they’re out of uniform?” said Ryas, with a wicked smile. Niall smiled back. “I like them even better.” He leaned in for another kiss. The commlink went off again. “Shavit!” Ryas snatched the comm link from Niall’s hand and threw it off into the field of corley. “Hey!” Niall frowned at Ryas, and clambered to his feet, trying to mark where the thing seemed to have landed. “Why is he calling you?” “I dunno. Maybe there’s an emergency.” “If there was an emergency, the hospital would be calling you.” Niall nodded. That was true. He moved through the corley, carefully bending the stalks out of his way so as not to damage them. He could hear Ryas’s commlink going off. It took a few moments of searching to find his own, but he finally found it. “Niall?” “I’m here, I’m coming.” The young man turned and began to make his way back. Ryas was looking towards him with a funny look on his face. “I…I’ve been called back to duty. I have to go. I’ll call you later, okay?” “Oh. Okay. I’ll ask Mom about her guest list,” said Niall. “Okay. I’ll talk to you later. I’ve…I’ve got to go now!” Niall stood in confusion, watching his beloved jog down the hill towards his speeder bike, straddle it, and roar back towards Coronet at top speed. He made his way back up to the top of their hill, patted the trunk of their tree, and took one more long look around at the beauty and the green. No point hanging around here, and he had to be on duty himself, soon.