Disclaimer:All the characters are property of Lucasfilm, I write for fun and don't make a dime off this. It's a Jaina/Zekk fic taking place at the end of Destiny's Way. No real spoilers, I don't think.
Disclaimer 2:"One of those Nights" is sung by Lorrie Morgan and I'm simply borrowing some of the lyrics, they're not mine. (Creative license, I'm only using the lyrics I feel are necessary/fitting) Lyrics are in bold talics.
One Of Those Nights
I've had one of those days, today.
I'm in one of those moods,
And it's just no good,
Nothing I wanna talk about.
Jaina Solo stepped from the cargo bay and out of the excited reception.
She'd managed to shake her parents and her head was still spinning from her recent promotion. What a week! The Voxyn chase, the Vong invasion of the moon, not to mention their deaths. The decisive victory of the New Republic fleet. Her head pounded, her throat tightening as she thought of all the friends she'd lost, all the comrades who'd given their lives to get them this far. Some Sword of the Jedi she was; she couldn't even protect her own squadron from their losses. She swallowed hard, trying not to think about that just yet.
She didn't want to face the deaths of her friends.
She began to run.
Her footsteps echoed on the deck plates as she ran from the cargo bay, away from her family and friends. Most of her friends. There was one person she'd hadn't heard from, nor felt, for several days and she was worried he'd become another casualty of war. She stopped in front of her quarters and palmed the button, the door sliding open on a silent track. She stepped inside, stumbling to her bunk and sitting on the edge. She wasn't sure she could face his death if it had happened.
Please let him have made it through the battle alright, she thought silently. She had enough people to grieve without adding one of her dearest friends.
A knock on her door brought her head up, the presence on the other side banishing her fears as she leapt up and hit the switch. It slid open to reveal the darkhaired young man, his emerald eyes sparkling with joy.
"Jaina! They got you out!"
She launched herself at him, wrapping her arms about his neck and hugging him tight. "Zekk, I thought... I thought I'd lost you too."
He chuckled softly, hugging her tightly and spinning her a couple of times. "Never. It takes more than some pesky Vong fleet to get rid of me. How're you feeling?"
She laughed and felt her feet hit the floor again as he put her down. "I'm fine. I was so worried..." she shook her head, motioning him to come in. "Eight days of enforced idleness is not fun."
He chuckled, taking the chair she offered and straddling it backwards, crossing his arms over the back. "Not for someone as energetic and involved as you, I'm sure. Are you sure you're ok?"
She shrugged. "I really don't want to talk about it. I'm so..."
She nodded. "Yeah. Think I could ask a favor of you?"
Her face grew serious, almost pleading. "Could you help me forget about everything? Just for a night?"
I just need for you to take me out,
And do the town, turn it upside down.
"Forget... You want me to take you out?"
She nodded. "I know it sounds strange, but I don't want to be alone tonight and sit here thinking of everything that's happened. I've had enough time to do that the last week. I want to get crazy, to go enjoy myself, remind myself what it is to live."
He searched her features. "Why me?"
She smiled. "Because you're my friend. I need to be with someone I can relax with." Her smile died. "I've lost so many friends to this war. I don't know if you can understand the way I feel about that, but I wouldn't ask otherwise."
"I understand what it is to lose loved ones," he told her quietly. "Running away from it isn't going to make it go away, though."
"I don't want to run, I just want a reminder. I've lived with death for too long. Please Zekk? Help remind me what it is to feel alive."
"Just for tonight?"
He smiled slowly, nodding. "I think I can do that." He pushed out of his chair and crossed to the door. "I'll be back in a couple of hours. Can you be ready by then?"
She nodded eagerly. "Sooner, if need be."
He winked at her, "See you in two hours, Goddess."
She threw her pillow at him as the door closed on his laughter.
I need one of those nights tonight,
Wanna go left when the world goes right,
Lost my appetite for this side of midnight.
Jaina shed her coveralls as she stepped into the sonic shower.
She wasn't sure what kind of entertainment they'd find this far out in space, but Zekk knew how to improvise. Zekk. Why did thoughts of having fun always seem to be connected with him? She shook her head as she washed her hair, soaping it twice to get the grime out. Spending a week in a vac suit was not an experience she wanted to repeat.
She stepped from the shower and wrapped a towel about herself, drying her hair with a hand towel before swiping the damp cloth across the mirror. She was a fighter pilot, a leader of her own squadron and the trickster Goddess. Or so she pretended. What did one wear when trying to have fun and escape each persona yet still look the part if necessary?
Jaina turned from the mirror and walked back into her room, opening the footlocker under her bed and examining the contents. Coveralls? No. She rummaged around, pulling out a pair of black leggings and examined them critically. They didn't look like something of hers... she shrugged, holding them up to her body and made the quick guess that they'd fit. Even if they weren't hers, she could return them tomorrow.
She was searching for a shirt when her commlink buzzed. Wherever she'd left it, the buzzing was muffled and distant. She threw her covers around, finding it in a fold under her coveralls. "Solo here."
"Do you have a moment, Goddess?"
She grimaced. "No, Master Durron, I don't." She flipped it off just as quickly. She really didn't want to talk to her Master right now. She wasn't sure if he'd understand what she was intending to do.
The commlink buzzed again. "Solo."
"Jaina, I need to talk to you for a minute."
She groaned. "Kyp, please, not tonight! I'm busy!" she slapped it off again, going back to rummaging in her clothing locker. She discovered a long white shirt and a loose black over shirt near the bottom and threw them on the bed with the leggings.
She just about screamed when the commlink buzzed again and she flipped it on with a vicious snarl. "I told you I'm busy, Kyp! Not right now!"
"My apologies, Goddess."
She almost swallowed her tongue. "Er, sorry Zekk, Kyp just called twice, I thought he might be making a nuisance of himself."
"No problem. Listen, I know you want to go out on the town as it were, but there really isn't all that much around here for nightlife. Still trust me to throw something together?"
"Of course. I don't care what we do, just so long as it's something totally mind consuming."
His chuckle was almost evil and sent a shiver up her spine. "Yes sir, Lieutenant Colonel. Don't dress up too much, we might just end up space walking."
"Ugh, no! I've had enough of vac suits to last me a lifetime."
He laughed, "Alright, alright, no space walking. I'll surprise you, I'm sure. See you in a bit."
She flicked the commlink off and held it in her hand for a moment. With a decisive movement she turned it off.
I've got one of those jobs
And I've had enough,
You better walk me out this door.
The knock on her door an hour later found Jaina quickly pulling her hair back into a pony tail. "Come in!"
It slid open to reveal her partner for the evening. Zekk was dressed in black pants and a white shirt, a black jacket slung over one shoulder. Jaina laughed. "We dressed to match. Copycat."
Zekk eyed her critically. She wore a pair of skin tight leggings, a long shirt that fell to mid-thigh and an overshirt that was tied at her waist. Her black, military boots and flight jacket completed the outfit. He nodded approvingly. "We think way too much alike. Shall we?"
She grinned, "Let's."
The door slid closed behind them as they embarked on their adventure. Zekk led Jaina through the corridors of the ship, not touching her but his proximity showing they were together. She arched an eyebrow when he turned to head to the docking bays. Knowing she'd asked to be surprised, she held her tongue and allowed him to lead.
What could possibly be in the docking bays, or supply bays, that could lead to a complete mind consuming night?
I need one of those nights tonight,
Wanna go left when the world goes right,
Lost my appetite for this side of midnight.
Jaina looked around confused as she stepped into the docking bay. It was completely empty save for one ship. Zekk's ship. "You still have that thing?
"She's mine, about the only thing I'll ever own, so why would I get rid of her?" His lips tilted roguishly. "Come on."
She arched on eyebrow as he grabbed her hand, tugging her along towards the cargo-bay doors. The cargo bay was lit by several colored lights, a smell of something delicious wafting through the large space. Her eyes widened in surprise. "Bantha steaks?"
"I requisitioned them."
"Oh, did you now?"
He nodded. "You should have seen the General's face when I asked for them personally."
She grinned. "I can imagine. What'd you say they were for?"
"Relaxation. Something about a Goddess being overworked and needing a little comfort food."
"Nope. I just like to see you squirm."
She smacked him in the arm.
"Ouch. Thanks, I didn't need that."
She chuckled as he stepped further into the Lightning Rod and towards the hot plate that was holding the delicious smelling steaks. He motioned for her to have a seat. "I know you were probably expecting something wild and outrageous tonight, but I figured we could just play it by ear. Since there isn't a lot to do out here in the middle of no where, I had to improvise."
"Don't apologize, this is great. I admit I was kind of looking forward to a night on the dance floor or something, but this is better."
He turned his head to look at her. "You're sure?"
She nodded. "Nobody will think to look for us here and, to be honest, I really didn't want to be around people tonight."
"I know, I felt it when I came to see you." He picked up two plates and quickly dished up their dinner. He handed her one and then took a seat on a crate next to her. "Of course, the Jedi might sense we're here."
Jaina had made herself comfortable on a pile of wiring, not that she minded. She would be comfortable with him anywhere. "If they come, they come. We'll deal with it then. This smells delicious."
"Thanks." He poured her a glass of Corellian Brandy for her with a wry smile. "They still don't allow Jedi who don't have a rank with the military to requisition alcohol, so this is from my private stock. Don't tell the General, he'd have my hide."
She laughed. "Your secret's safe with me." She took a sip of the strong spirits and sighed. "Umm, well aged. I might just confiscate this myself."
"The rest of the bottle is yours, if we don't drink it all tonight."
"I'd better not have more than one glass, as tempting as it is to get drunk."
He shrugged, "If you feel like it, be my guest," he spread his arms wide. "I'm the only one who'll see you and after watching you the first time you did it, I'm more than willing to pour you into bed later."
Laughing, she winked at him, "Only a true friend knows how to hit you when you're down. Thanks Zekk."
They dug into their dinner, talking about the various experiences in the last few days. Jaina trying to explain how forced idleness just wasn't in her spirit, and Zekk telling her about the fleet movements and their positioning. They were nearing the end of their dinner when Zekk snapped his fingers. "I forgot desert!"
She blinked. "Excuse me?"
He looked chagrined. "Sorry, I had this all planned and I was going to get one of those pies they'd been making in the mess but ran out of time."
She laughed, "I'm stuffed. I honestly couldn't eat another bite. You're a very good cook."
"I have to be, I cook for myself most of the time. Eating boot leather isn't appealing so it was either learn or go hungry."
Jaina took another sip of her brandy, feeling the warmth spreading through her body as she reclined comfortably. "You know, after all the formalities, this is where I think I'd rather be."
She watched as he shifted on the box, reclining comfortably to match her pose as he refilled his glass. She offered hers, which was only half-full, and he topped it off. "Well, when we were younger, my folks were always doing some kind of diplomatic conference, or political party, or something. Now that I've joined the ranks, what am I?"
His lips twitched as he tried to fight his grin. "A Goddess."
She rolled her eyes. "Much as I hate to admit it, you're right. I'm posing as something I'm not so that we can win. Part of the role is exactly what I've been trying to avoid by going into the military. When we were at the academy, you, me, Jacen and Tenel Ka, we were a team. Lowie was always around, but it was almost like we paired off with the people we were most comfortable with. I remember when you were given this heap of junk..."
Her eyes danced, "Well, it is a heap of junk. Just like the Falcon is a junk pile. Don't interrupt. Where was I? Oh right, when you first got your ship I was so jealous. I'd always wanted a ship of my own, though you know that."
"Do I ever."
She looked around for something to throw at him, grinning. "Would you stop it! I'm trying to get to a point."
He laughed. "You're as long winded as a politician, just spit it out like the Jaina we all know and love."
"Fine. I was getting around to saying that this type of environment is what suits me best. Not the parties, or the ceremonies. Not the bridge of a ship, or behind the yoke of a fighter. This," she waved her hand at the spare parts stacked neatly in the corner of the cargo bay. "This is what I'm most comfortable with. The smell of oils, lubricants and coolants. I don't have time to fiddle with ships anymore, I don't take time to be myself."
He looked at her, her gaze resting longingly on the parts in the corner. "Well, we're not really dressed for it, but I'm sure we could find something to tinker with on the old girl if you really want to."
He nodded, pushing himself to his feet and placing the brandy on his seat before extending his hand to her. "Come on, the inertial dampners have been acting up, what say you we take a look at them, master mechanic?"
She laughed, taking his hand and allowing him to help her to her feet. "I'd be delighted, Captain."
He dropped her hand as she began to shed her over shirt and turned towards the pile of parts, digging through it to find his tool kit.
She stepped up behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder, causing him to look up and back at her. "Thank you."
He grinned. "Sure you should be thanking me? I'm getting free maintenance work done here."
She squeezed his shoulder as he retrieved his tool kit and stood. Stepping close, she wrapped her arms about his waist. "I'm sure."
He hugged her back briefly before stepping away. "Come on, Goddess, let's see if your divine fingers still have what it takes to rebuild a motivator from scratch.
Laughing, she followed him to the access hatch.
I'm in one of those moods,
I'm in one of those ways,
I've had one of those days.
Jaina stood on tip toe and brushed her lips across Zekk's semi-clean cheek as they stopped outside her doorway the next morning. It was nearing 0600, but neither of them was sorry. For one night, Jaina had been able to focus on something other than the war. She could never repay him for that.
Zekk rubbed a rag against her cheeks and gently returned the kiss in kind. "Sleep well Jaya. We'll see you later. Thanks for your help."
She shook her head, smiling. "Anytime. Thanks for making it a memorable night, Zekk."
"Anytime." He clucked her under the chin once before turning and walking away.
Jained watched him go, her body feeling heavy and tired. She unlocked her door and stepped inside, heading straight for the shower. After she'd slept, she'd deal with the problems of the galaxy. For now, she wanted a shower and a nap.
Reality would intrude all too soon.