Madge hurries through the corridors of the Liberty, the report from Admiral Ackbar clutched tight in her hands.

Any moment now they'll be going into battle against the Empire and its second deadly Death Star, any moment they'll revert to real space and enter what could, potentially, be the final battle in this long, bloody war. Madge can feel the possibility chugging through her system like a burning train and she's almost afraid to imagine it, a galaxy free of the Emperor's iron grip.

She can't remember a world without him, a life safe from his cruelty but this could be it, the day they set the galaxy free. She's almost dizzy with the thought and then she turns a corner, nearly runs straight into Gale.

He catches her, just like always and she looks up at him, mostly suited up and ready to dogfight with every TIE fighter in space.

(Gale's never been much for moderation)

He grins, more like smirks, eyes flashing her favorite gray.

"What's the hurry? Afraid you wouldn't get to give me a good luck kiss?" he asks and Madge scoffs, can't fight the bubbling in her chest.

"I have an important report for the General, actually," she explains, settles her arms around him as he pulls her a bit closer.

"Well, I'd hate to keep you," he murmurs and Madge tries to memorize his face, his every detail. They'd already said their good lucks and goodbyes, can't afford to be too emotional today but still, Madge never wants this moment right here to end.

"It's alright though, I'm not going to need any luck," he tells her and she pinches his side.

"Don't be cocky," she warns but Gale just grins and steals a quick kiss.

"It's part of my charm," he offers with a wink and Madge rolls her eyes, wishes she could fight the smile tugging at her lips. She knows their time is running out and she wants to say something else, or at least grab him, kiss him breathless but that would be like admitting this is her last chance and it isn't.

It isn't.

He offers her a salute, smirk still present and then he's off while Madge watches his back and promises herself they'll meet each other again soon. He's almost out of sight but she can hear him laughing, probably at something Thom's said and she breathes in deeply, tries to perfectly capture the sight of him, to carry with her through what's to come.

She turns then and walks back to the bridge, can't afford to let herself be distracted by Gale. They both have jobs to do and Madge is going to do hers, is going to do everything she can to make sure the Empire falls. And maybe, she allows herself to hope, just maybe when this is over they can live a normal life, one without wars and dictators and oppression.

She delivers the report to the General and then settles into place at her station, pulls up schematics and puts on her headset. Everyone around her is jittery, their anxiety pulsing like neon lights and Madge can feel it crashing against her like waves over rocks. She closes her eyes and takes calming breaths, ignores the sweat on her hands. You can do this.

"Exiting hyperspace in 5…4…" comes the general's voice and Madge opens her eyes. "…2…1."

And so it begins.