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Leia and Holdo drinking and commiserating about Kids These Days.

December 29 2017, 1:11am

Leia doesn’t sleep; Leia paces.  At night when most of the ship is quiet, when corridors are down to half-illumination to save on power, she glides on silent feet past empty rooms and darkened quarters. The night crew are used to her haunting the dimmer spaces of the ship; most only give her a smile and a nod as she passes by.“General?”  a young woman startles her out of her meditative pace.  Newly promoted, this one, and so fresh-faced it made Leia’s heart ache.  “Lt. Connix, isn’t it?”“Yes ma’am.”  She hesitates, then presses on.  “I don’t mean to bother you, but the Vice-Admiral…”  Leia watches, amused, as Connix tries to find a diplomatic way to say ‘the Admiral isn’t sleeping and she’s making the crew nervous’.  She lets the girl twist for a whole two seconds before holding up a hand.  “I’m on my way to her quarters now,” she says, and the relief on the girl’s face would’ve made her chuckle in another time and place.  “Thank you, Lieutenant.”The door is open when she gets there, though the room is dim.  A flicker of blue and green light shines against the walls as Amilyn sits, watching the radar of yesterday’s battle play out at an odd, irregular pace. “I knew they’d send someone.  I’m glad it was you.”  Amilyn’s eyes never leave the hologram as she speaks in that odd, flat tone.  Her expression never changes, unless you count the slightest narrowing of her eyes when one of the simulated ships was hit and went barreling out of view.Leia closes the door behind her and crosses the room, pausing only to pour herself a glass of whatever it was Amilyn was drinking.  “Do you know how old they were?”  Leia shoves Amilyn’s shoulder, squeezing into the same seat with her so they were resting hip to hip, knee to knee.  “You mean do I know how young they were, don’t you?” “Yes.”  Amilyn starts the simulation again with a flick of her fingers.“Yes.  I know.”  Leia pauses the simulation, reaching out to tangle their fingers together so it couldn’t be started again.  “Young enough that they wanted to go.  Young enough that you couldn’t have stopped them even if we’d known.”“I know.”  “And we won. And there’s nothing that you could have done.”Amilyn finishes her drink in one hard swallow.  “Better intelligence…“

“That they wouldn’t have waited for.” “A better plan…” “That they wouldn’t have followed.”  Leia gestures at the simulation with her glass; the holographic ships hover in the air, still and silent.  “They’re already out of formation, less than a minute after enemy contact.  Kids don’t like plans.  Kids like heroes.  They want to be heroes.  Worse - they want to be us.”“I wish that they were smarter than that.”They share smiles – crooked, wry – and Leia lets go of Amilyn’s hand, lets the simulation play.  They sit in silence as the battle tangles and untangles in front of them, first in real-time, then at triple speed, then slowed down at key points, letting them see every detail.  By the time the third play-through is done Leia’s glass is empty and abandoned on the console edge and their fingers are twisted together again, each offering and receiving quiet comfort as the images fade. “That’s enough,” Leia says as Amilyn reaches for the controls again, firm enough that it at least gets her to pause.  “You’re not seeing anything new – and we both need sleep if we’re going to keep up with these idiots tomorrow.”“If you leave, you’re not going to sleep,” Amilyn says, and Leia curses low in the back of her throat – the kind of creative language that’d have her father reprimanding her in public and congratulating her on her cleverness in private.  “There are days I wish you didn’t know me as well as I know you,” she says, and that makes Amilyn very nearly laugh.  “Fine.  I’ll stay and we can talk ourselves to sleep like the old days.”