From Scratch

Chapter 44

Tenel Ka and Jacen only spent the next couple of days on the planet, most of which were tied up dispensing with their obligations. It wasn't until their final hours, when the Hapan ships were preparing to return to Hapes, that Flynn and Vola finally saw the pair again.

Vola, dressed in a new jump suit, her hair tied back from her face, met them with a welcoming smile.

Jacen returned it, Tenel Ka remaining impassive. "How're you two doing?"

Flynn, his face almost sullen, glanced up to look at Jacen, before looking back at his feet. Vola fairly beamed. "You wouldn't believe how nice everyone's been!"

Jacen chuckled. "I might, they are my family you know." Vola laughed, and he couldn't help but think how good it was that she'd been welcomed so completely. "Are you enjoying your time on Mon Cal?"

She nodded enthusiastically, casting a sudden glance at Flynn. "I can't speak for Flynn though."


Flynn almost glared at Jacen. "Nothing you can help with. You've done enough damage."

Vola went over to her companion and hugged him. "Flynn, we've been over this."

Jacen looked from one to the other. "What's the matter?"

Flynn suddenly lunged for the Jedi, nearly falling on his face as Vola tightened her grip on him. "Flynn!"

"Stupid Jedi! Taking us all this way from home only to try and separate us!"

Jacen looked to Tenel Ka, wondering if she was receiving the same jumble of emotions through the Force. She nodded fractionally, moving to the side. "Cousin."

Flynn turned his glare to her, only it lost some of it's strength. "What do you want?"

"What has happened? We have not tried to separate you."

Flynn glanced at Jacen. "It's his fault. He convinced us to leave, and now I'm having to fight off these creatures I've never seen before, who want to take Vola from me!"

Tenel Ka cocked her head at Flynn. "Do you find Vola attractive?"

Flynn blinked at the unexpected question. "Yeah."

"Is it not possible that they too find her attractive?"

"I suppose."

"Ah." Tenel Ka nodded once. "Ah ha. How does this become Jacen's fault? You chose to come with us, we did not make you."

Flynn appeared to think for half a second. "No, but you could have warned me."

"For something so obvious?" Tenel Ka arched an eyebrow at her cousin. "I do not think you daft."

"You could have said something to prepare me for this."

"Do not other men in your village think Vola is attractive?"

"Yeah, but that's there. They live with Yuuzhan Vong everyday, I was prepared to need to beat them off with a stick 'cause they hated her!"

Jacen chuckled softly. "Culture shock."

Vola hugged Flynn, "They're nice to me because I'm different Flynn. So are you. Haven't you noticed the women watching you exercise? The flowers and cakes? The pies? They're not for me, you know. I'm not the only one who's getting attention."

"They're just curious 'cause I'm from somewhere they remember," came Flynn's response.

Jacen came to stand by Tenel Ka's side. "Is that all it is, Flynn?"

"'Course it is, man. No woman here would want me. I'm too different."

"That is why." Tenel Ka shook her head fractionally. "Women want what they cannot have, cousin. You are new and exciting to women who have seen much loss. Vola will be fighting for you. Not you, for her."

"I already have!" He protested, but the truth in the Jedi's words was hard to dismiss.

Jacen slapped Flynn on the shoulder. "Women fight differently. Vola's learned something from Tahiri, from the look of her, about fighting off the wolves in their own arena. You wouldn't see it; you've never had to look for it. Where you're from it's accepted that you and Vola are an item, that you're going to be married and that's that. It's something they know and accept, and so don't challenge. Here, no one knows you. No one knows what the two of you have been through to make it this far, and so they're going to test you. Sorry I didn't warn you earlier, Flynn, but it's not something I really thought about."

Flynn made a face. "I hate it when you're right, man. Alright, I see what you're saying, but I still don't like it. Anakin and Tahiri have been super with us, I can't imagine bringing that kind of fight into their house. It wouldn't be fair, ya know?"

Tenel Ka met his gaze, her face betraying nothing. "Anakin and Tahiri have fought this war before. They can help you more than you think."

Vola laced her fingers through Flynn's. "Tahiri's been just great with me." she admitted, "and I think you're right, She of Flame."

Jacen smiled. "Tenel Ka and I came by to extend you an invitation to the Hapes cluster and the Fountain Palace once you've gotten settled. We'll be leaving this after noon."

"So soon?"

"I'm afraid so. We're going to be challenging and changing a lot of the old ways of her people." Jacen cast a smile at his wife. "It's going to be rough, but we just couldn't leave without saying you're welcome to come and see us."

"Anakin and Tahiri must with you." Tenel Ka made the condition non-negotiable by her tone. "They can help you if we cannot."

Vola stepped forward and hugged Tenel Ka, then Jacen, tightly. "Thank you for everything."

Flynn shook Jacen's hand before hugging his cousin. "Yeah. And we'll keep in touch. We're planning on a wedding sometime soon so that this ridiculousness can stop, and we'd like you to come."

"Plan for it," Jacen told him with a slap on the back. "If you have an idea for what kind of area you want to get married in, let me know. My Uncle Luke, Aunt Mara and I can probably put our heads together and find you a locale that's acceptable."


Vola, Flynn and Jacen shared a laugh, Tenel Ka simply arching an eyebrow at their reaction. She voiced the invitation again. "You must visit us on Hapes."

"We will." Flynn assured her.

Jacen chuckled. "I think what she means is that you could probably find a location on Hapes alone that would match where you'd want to be married. Having connections to the Royal Family certainly has perks."

Flynn smiled. "Thanks, man. Thanks cousin. And I'm sorry I lost it."

Jacen shook his hand again before hugging the other man. "We're all prone to errors, pal. When you come see us, maybe you'll have settled into all the newness of the universe. Take care."

"You too."

Tenel Ka grasped Jacen's hand. "We are going to be late."

Jacen made a face. "Can't keep Ta'a Chume waiting apparently, even when she is in the brig." he winked at Flynn. "Keep in touch, we'll see you later."

Flynn and Vola waved as Tenel Ka took Jacen away before sharing a smile between them. They had friends in the Skywalker/Solo clan. Friends that cared enough to miss important events and make time for them.

"We'll have to go see them on Hapes, you know." Vola told him calmly, settling into the couch where she'd been when Jacen and Tenel Ka had first arrived.

"Is that such a big deal?"

Vola shook her head, smiling. "Can we start planning for it now?"

Flynn laughed. "Anything for you, Vola. Anything."

Vola dragged him down to the couch with her and hugged him tightly, a sigh on her lips. They were in strange territory, surrounded by aliens, yet by friends all at the same time. Their future would be bright indeed.

Jacen and Tenel Ka said their farewells to the Skywalkers and the Solos on the foot of the Hapan Battle Dragon that would take them to Tenel Ka's flag ship. Hugs were exchanged along with invitations to come and visit, as well as admonishments from Luke and Leia for the two to keep in touch. Vola and Flynn turned up to wish them well as they were boarding and pass along a data pad with their information on it so not to loose touch.

Jacen watched Mon Calamari fade beneath the ship as the Hapan Battle Dragon shot towards the capital ships, his thoughts on his family and friends as they disappeared from view. He shook off the feeling of unease that was starting to settle on him as they approached the Hapan flag ship.

They'd come out of this impulse far better than he'd hoped, but Jacen couldn't help but think they'd missing something somewhere. Sooner or later they were going to be separated and neither he, nor Tenel Ka, would be able to stop it. Taking a deep breath, he turned away from the view port to look at his wife. She was sitting on the floor, relaxing with a series of stretches as they were brought nearer to a confrontation each could feel brewing.

"I love you, Tenel Ka."

She didn't look up, "Fact. As I do you. Are you prepared to face these trials?"

"I'll live."

She nodded once, bending forward until her chest brushed the ground, before looking up at him through the warrior braids she'd chosen to wear. "We will prevail."

Jacen sat opposite her and reached to take her hand. "With you by my side, I can't doubt that."

She said nothing as she slowly straightened, looking him straight in the eyes. And through the Force he could feel her reach out to touch him, to feel his strength and doubt, and he could feel her own.

He smiled, which he saw returned in her eyes, even though it didn't touch her lips, and leaned forward to rest his forehead against hers. His eyes closed as they traded strength through the Force, and prepared for the journey that was certain to be ahead. One that they would come through. Together.

Fin. (June 2004)

Stay tuned for the sequel - From the Ground Up

Author's Note:

Thank you to all my readers, you've been wonderful from start to finish with this fic! I know a lot of you were expecting more from the ending, however, I do intend to do a sequel that should cover all of your expectations. Including what happens to Jana and Ta'a Chume, who is supposed to be in exile!

Stay tuned for the sequel – "From the Ground Up"

Feel free to e-mail me with suggestions, comments and constructive criticism at

Thanks for reading!