Author: Rigil Kent PM
Fifteen minutes can be a lifetime. L/M.Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama/Romance - Luke S. & Mara Jade - Words: 1,203 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 4 - Published: 05-08-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4245090
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Time Frame: No idea. Post-TLC, but happily AU in that the KJA and Callista nonsense is absent.
A/N: Written for the "Wordless Romance SRJS Challenge" over at theforce . net boards. The idea for this little fic occurred to me while I was doing my daily bike workout…
There were fifteen minutes left.
As she stood before the transparent wall that separated her from the medical bay, Mara Jade found herself doubting that the patient currently within would survive that long. The droid surgeons were doing everything that they could, but the damage inflicted was simply too much. Another man – a lesser man – would have died long ago, but Luke Skywalker was no ordinary being.
He was her friend.
Clenching her hands tightly, Mara fought the surge of despair that washed through her as the droids worked. It was her fault that Luke was so badly injured, her fault that he was on death's door, her fault that he couldn't touch the Force to initiate a healing trance. If he died, she didn't know what she would do.
"What the hell happened?" Talon demanded as he approached, and Mara felt a flicker of anger directed toward him. It had been at his behest that she had sought Luke's assistance for this mission, despite being confident that she could handle a gaggle of poorly organized pirates alone. The anger vanished almost at once, though.
"It was a set-up," Mara replied more calmly than she felt. "Luke was the target and they knew I'd go to him for help."
"Who was behind it?" Karrde asked coldly, fury leaking into his voice. It wasn't something she had heard often, but Mara recognized his intent. Whoever had manipulated his organization to kill the Jedi Master would pay dearly.
"The Remnant," she said grimly. To her surprise, she realized she didn't care what sort of reprisal that Talon had in mind, not when her friend – her best friend – was dying less than a meter away.
Tentatively, she stretched out with the Force, wincing at the scattered, unfocused signature that was Luke Skywalker. Among the weapons used by the pirates had been flechette weapons dripping with some sort of poison that targeted Luke's Force abilities; before he lost consciousness, Skywalker had theorized that the poison targeted something called the midichlorians, but she hadn't been sure if he was serious or in the grip of a fever dream.
Even as she strained to reach out to him, Mara ran into the mental barrier that always prevented her from realizing her full potential. According to Luke, it was a self-imposed mental block created by her subconscious out of fear. It seemed ridiculous that she, who was afraid of nothing or no one, was scared of the Force, but Mara had long since admitted to herself that the idea of wielding that much power terrified her. Since even before Wayland, she had been hesitant to touch her birthright out of the crippling fear that she could become another Palpatine. Luke had tried to help her work through those fears but she remained unable to fully embrace her heritage.
"He's not going to make it," Mara murmured as she leaned toward the plexiglass barrier. Tears prickled her eyes but did not fall. Unconsciously, her hands reached toward the dying Jedi.
"Mara…" Talon's voice was soft and compassionate, but she refused to listen as she fought against herself. She could save him, her best and only friend. She could use her birthright as nature intended. If only she was strong enough…
Closing her eyes, Mara focused on touching Luke's waning Force presence. Using the training he had given her, she pushed everything else out of her mind. There was no ship, no Talon, no droids, no window separating her from the man she held so dear.
There was only the Force.
Let me go, Skywalker's soul seemed to whisper to her, caressing her with soothing warmth. He had embraced his fate and was ready to allow himself to pass on. If this was to be his destiny, he would not fight it.
Not a chance in hell, Mara almost snarled in response to him as she strained against the mental block. It buckled, and she grimaced at the pain that seemed to throb through her mind, but she struggled on. Fear of losing Skywalker washed away her fear of the future and she felt the barrier fall apart.
A thousand sensations seemed to overwhelm her at once as the Force flooded into her. It was an avalanche of molten ice, a sirocco of icy fire that swept away her fears and buried them under a torrent of raging energy. Her muscles quivered as the painpleasure raced through them, amplifying her natural talents to superhuman levels. She could feelhearseetastetouch everything. The universe crystallized around her, showing her a billion different possibilities in the span of a picosecond.
It was unbelievably beautiful.
The sudden agony that pulsed off of Luke snapped her out of her stunned reverie, and she opened her eyes, gasping at the sharpness of everything. It was as if she had always been watching a holovid on a 2D viewer and had discovered, for the first time, what it was like to actually see.
Mara? Skywalker's thoughtvoice was weak and shot through with torment, but Mara recognized his joy at seeing her finally embrace the Force fully. His emotions slammed into her, slicing through her meager mental shields as if they weren't even there, and she inhaled sharply at what he felt toward her. It was almost painful in intensity and Mara could taste his sudden sheepish embarrassment. He hadn't meant for her to learn of it in this way, but she smiled nonetheless. There would be time later, she reflected, to give him grief over it.
Stretching out, she compelled her Force presence to mingle with his, directing the life sustaining energy to combat the poison that yet coursed through his veins. It was hard – like trying to catch smoke with her fingers – and Mara felt sweat break out across her body. Talon said something, sounding alarmed as he spoke, and she recognized her name though she did not respond. Her breath began coming in ragged gasps as she drew deeper of the Force and directed it – all of it – into Luke's body. Again, Karrde exclaimed something but she was too deep within the Force to comprehend his meaning. Nor was she aware of the nimbus of light that seemed to surround her as her every cell labored to obey her demands. All that mattered was Luke.
It was an eternity that lasted only seconds, a single moment in time that changed everything. The Force thundered through Mara's body and into Luke's like a maelstrom of healing fire, supercharging the dying cells there and saturating him with power. Their heartsmindssouls entangled, swirling together so closely that it became impossible to tell where one began and the other ended. Against such might, the poison that was killing him could not survive.
And the last barrier between them was swept away.