Disclaimer: I don't own any of this story or its characters. They all belong to others.

Author's note: This story is set after Destiny's Way but before Force Heretic. I hope you guys enjoy it and I'll try to post again soon. Please, please read and review, I really, really listen to most feedback.

Sword Of The Jedi

Jaina Solo looked grimly around at her surroundings. People of all kinds, shapes and sizes lay scattered around bruised, battered, or if they were luck, dead. Blood soaked the ground and the surroundings stank of urine and too many too long unwashed bodies in a small space. She hadn't had a decent meal in weeks and hadn't slept at all for the past week. She felt like a good breath of wind would be strong enough to knock her over, not the entire Yuzhan Vong brigade that awaited them behind the icy walls and tunnels they had carved out of Hothian surface to protect themselves. It was sheer luck that they weren't dead yet, well all dead anyway. The Vong's tunneling creatures hadn't been able to handle Hoth's atmosphere, and had frozen to death while attempting to tunnel into the area held by Jaina's troops, forcing the Vong to trek through the all ready established routes.

Feeling herself start to get sleepy, something that could be deadly in this environment, Jaina got up to check up on the rest of her team. She commanded a mixed group of Jedi and pilots; some, like her, were both. She had begun with fifteen people. By the time they had reached the relative shelter of this icy cave, she had lost four people. The remaining eleven team members, not counting herself, had made it into the relative safety of the small cave, but three more of her people had died in subsequent skirmishes. Although, Jaina though grimly, not without the Vong paying heavily for it.

Numbly she half-walked, half-stumbled towards the nearest person, a young naïve Tanabian boy, who wore a shell shocked expression that Jaina was all too familiar with. She knelt down in front of the boy, although, she supposed he should really be called a man, the look on his face made him look like a small distraught child. She made eye contact with him, Flight Officer Basin Flets, and laid a hand on his shoulder. She was not surprised when he flinched at her touch. She was well aware of her reputation. It always preceded her-Sword of the Jedi and Yuzhan Vong goddess. That was why she so seldom did this kind of thing. Kyp was supposed to be the one to interact with her troops, but he wasn't here so she would just have to do as best as she could without him.

"How are you doing, Basin? I know this is you first ground mission, but Lowie says that you've done well." Jaina softened her voice with effort, unused to getting emotionally close to her troops, as she delivered the Wookie's praise, high praise coming from Lowbacca.

The boy gulped and refused to meet her eye. "I miss Davin," he mumbled as if he didn't realize Jaina was still there, "And cold, I'm so cold. Just want to be warm. Don't remember being warm 'cept with Davin. Gone now. Just want to be warm."

Although Jaina remained externally calm, inside she was in tears. Lowbacca had told her that Davin, another mmber of her force, one that had died in the retreat, was Basin's life partner. "That was one thing," Jaina thought grimly as she began using the force to heat the air around Basin, giving him the only comfort that she could provide under the circumstances and knowing that even the greatest effort world be too small to heal Basin's wound, "that she had been spared so far in this bloody war, the death of a lover."

As she saw the look of contentment spread over his face, she too though of the last time she had been warm. Truly warm both inside and out.

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She was laying on a warm golden beach surrounded by glistening waters, teeming with life and surging with peaceful energy, exemplifying everything that the Yuzhan Vong weren't, despite all their climbs of biotechnology. As she lay back on a blanket against the warm sand wearing a decidedly non- regulation outfit, Jaina reflected on how she had gotten there. After her brush with death on Ebaq 9, the death of the Warmaster, and her forced inactivity, Jaina had concluded that she needed a vacation, and badly. Jacen had suggested Mon Calamari, so here she was soaking up sun on one of Mon Calamari's famous beaches.

Her mother and Mara had been conspiring about something every since Jaina had arrived-a fact that would rightly scare most sane people. Neither had been forthcoming about their new project and their frequent smirks in Jaina's direction, when she was around, had not only Jaina worried, but also Jacen, Han and Luke. As she lay there on the beach she felt two familiar presences approach, Mara and Leia. Sending them a warm greeting through the force, Jaina pushed herself up on her elbows and stared at the two women that had, had the most profound effect on her life.

Without preamble she asked, "Are you two finally going to tell me what you've been up to?"

"No."

A moment of dead silence then Jaina asked, "Well, what are you doing then?"

This time it was Leia who answered. "We are here to make sure that you are really relaxing."

"Hey," Jaina said in mock outrage, "I've been right here all day. In fact, Kyp and Jacen came by half an hour ago to confiscate me of my comm. link and any reports, tactical or otherwise, that I might have hidden away to work on."

At the mention of Kyp's name, Leia's and Mara's faces darkened though Mara's showed more amusement than the anger apparent in Leia's face.

"The nerve of that man," muttered Leia darkly almost beginning a tirade against Kyp.

Jaina could almost sense it coming on, almost here her mother saying, "How dare he even think of pursuing you? He's a bad influence on you, Jaina. You especially don't need to be around a man like him. He's nothing but trouble. Don't forget how he manipulated you to help blow up the world ship."

Fortunately Mara spoke up before Leia could begin to vocalize her opinion of Kyp Durron. "Jacen was with Kyp? That must have been interesting to see."

"Yeah that was pretty weird, Aunt Mara. They both looked like they weren't sure whether they should be at each other's throat's or enjoying conspiring against me."

"Both of them have changed. A lot," remarked Mara.

"True," agreed Jaina. Then her face took on a more serious expression and she turned slightly to face her mother directly as the two women took seats near her on the beach. "How is Jacen doing, really, Mom?"

Startled by the revelation that Jaina believed she was not the most knowledgeable about Jacen's mental condition, Leia and Mara shared a quick worried glance.

Choosing her words carefully, Leia glanced around the deserted private beach and said, "I think he's fine. At least as fine as he will be. He has wounds that he doesn't want to tell us about but time will heal those. I think it might help if you talked to him, though." Leia said the last words fully expecting Jaina to explode at any moment.

To her surprise Jaina merely looked down, discomforted at her torn and dirtied fingernails that more accurately fit her role as Jedi and pilot than as a goddess, and began studying them intently. Finally she looked up, out past Leia and Mara out towards the ocean. In some ways even though she began speaking, it was as if she was talking to herself, not realizing that they could still hear her. "Both of us have seen things- done things- that we don't want to remember and definitely don't want to burden each other with."

Her eyes, flicking uneasily around the surroundings were the only sign of her anxiety. "We're so busy protecting each other we can't connect, not like we used to. We've both changed so much."

"But that connection will always be there, Jaina." Mara reminded her gently. The red haired Imperial assassin turned wife and Jedi Master momentarily showed an uncustomary reticence to speak but then said, "There were so many things that I had done that I didn't want Luke to know. My past is filled with darkness, senseless darkness," her voice grew stronger as she continued, "and it will always be there, but so will my connection with Luke, just like your connection to Jacen. You just have to make the effort to connect, Jaina."

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Surveying her cozy, or more accurately, small quarters, Jaina checked all of her preparations. All of her gear was stowed neatly away, dinner preparations were under way, taken care of by R2-B3, courtesy of a special program that was originally R2-D2's. Now all she had to do was wait. For the first time in years, almost four years, Jaina forgot about the war. She felt like a normal girl waiting for her normal twin brother so that they could eat dinner together. It was a strange feeling, strange to Jaina at least. Her reverie was interrupted abruptly by a knock on the door to her quarters.

Surprised at Jacen's formality, Jaina quickly called out, "Come in."

Jacen entered wearing a dark tunic and pants that resembled a more formal attire than his usual practical flight suits. Both stood there for a moment, stiff and formal looking as if they were greeting foreign diplomats rather than a beloved sibling. Suddenly sensing the absurdity of the situation, Jaina began to giggle, which set off Jacen and soon the two were laughing so hard they were crying, supporting one another to keep from falling over.

Jaina was the first to catch her breath as the laughter subsided. Her tone of voice though was more serious than the laughter of a few minutes previous. "I'm sorry. I haven't been as open to you as I used to be. So much has changed." Focusing her eyes on Jacen's, making him look at her she continued, "I did some things after Myrk, that I'm not very proud of, but I felt that I had to do at the time and I just wanted to protect you from the knowledge of what I had done, had become."

As Jacen continued to hold his sisters gaze, he was shocked to notice the shiver of fear, fear that would reject her, disown her, that passed over her eyes when he didn't respond. "Jaina," he said quietly, "I don't care what you did. You will always be my twin sister, my best friend in the whole universe."

To her shock and somewhat chagrin though it wasn't as bad because it was Jacen and only Jacen with her, Jaina began to cry. "Besides," Jacen continued, as he wrapped her in a comforting hug, both through the force and physically, "I've done things I'm not proud of as well."

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Late into the evening the twins remained sitting there, talking about their lives, loves, sorrows, joys, and pains, thoroughly reacquainting each other with their lives; getting to know one another once again as they had all of their lives. Finally many hours later, dinner was served. After dinner, Jacen smiled at his sister and instead of trying to tell her how much he had missed her, and still missed their younger brother Anakin, a person they would never be reunited with until they became one with the force, Jacen simply allowed his emotions to flow through their constant bond. Into their bond spilled their mutual pain-the pain of missing a third of the whole-a pain understood and returned by Jaina.

Silently the pair walked to the door. Pausing at the exit, Jaina hugged her brother tightly, and putting her face close to the side of his, she whispered hoarsely, "Jacen, if word of this ever leaks out, especially to my squadron, you will face the wrath of the Yuzhan Vong goddess Yun Harla."

Then she quickly kissed his cheek and turned to enter her quarters quickly snapping the door shut behind her. Jacen, laughing, at his sister's comment, although he wasn't a bit surprised by it, strolled confidently down the corridor towards his own quarters, smiling as he hadn't in months.

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Unseen, Jagged Fel, stood shocked, at the other end of the corridor, as he watched an unknown, handsome, young man walk out of Jaina Solo's quarters, late at night. Spinning on his heel, shame turning to fury, Jag marched away down the corridor, determined never to come back, to never again be played or manipulated by Jaina Solo.