The In-Laws: Part One
Fel Compound, Csilla
Baron Soontir Fel stared down at the viewscreen that was filled with the hopeful, but still nervous, face of his son. When Jagged had left the Unknown Regions with his squadron to learn more about New Republic and offer Chiss support, Soontir had thought his son was the best choice for the task for he trusted Jag's judgment and observations. When he sent Jag back to the New Republic a second time, Soontir had had his doubts, but he believed that Jag's sense of duty would bring him back to Csilla. No one was more surprised than he when Jag requested an open ended return to Chiss Territories in order to continue offering support to the Galactic Alliance…and, Soontir would eventually learn, to Jaina Solo.
With his sense of honor, duty, and his talent for flying, Jag had been a strong student at the Imperial Academy and he was walking the straight path to the Imperial Remnant leadership. Having grown up with the Chiss, Jag was self-assured and strong-willed and Soontir was not afraid to admit that he believed Jag would surpass him one day. Soontir's hopes for him were high—still remain high—but he definitely did not expect this to happen. Soontir had prepared himself for the possible death of his son, but this…this was a different situation altogether. Soontir had always considered Jagged the child that was the most similar to him which was why, in his light moments, he wondered how he could not have seen this happening. After all, he'd fallen in love with Jag's mother despite her own connections to the Rebellion and married her anyway.
"So what do you think, Father?" Jag prompted.
The sparkle in Jag's green eyes had dimmed considerably as Soontir's silence stretched past comfortable levels. He ran a hand through his much longer black hair, the white streak getting lost in the thick black strands. Soontir hadn't expected the Rebels to influence his son as much as they already had, but the zipper of Jag's flightsuit was unzipped halfway down his chest and Soontir soothed his temper with the observation that at least the part of Jag's undershirt that was exposed was a clean, unstained white. He had a hard enough time believing that Jag had let his hair grow as long as it did but again calmed himself down by saying that at least the boy's jaw was clean.
"Father?" Jag said again, his jaw tense.
Soontir sighed and fought the urge to run a hand over his face. "Of course, Jag. The Solos are welcome to come."
The smile Jag offered his father was tight. "Thank you. I'll be sure to share your…enthusiasm. Tell Mom and Wyn I will see them soon."
Soontir stared at the blank screen for a heartbeat as Jag cut the connection without a word of goodbye. Syal found him sitting there and she put a gentle hand on his shoulder, her expression questioning.
"Have a seat, Syal," he said tiredly. "I've got some news for you."
MilitaryBarracks, Mon Cal
Jag leaned back in his seat, propping his feet up on his desk as he twined his fingers together, resting his hands on his flat stomach. He'd severed the communication with his father half an hour before but hadn't left his seat since then. He wasn't surprised with his father's reaction to what he had to say, but it didn't make him any less disappointed. It had taken him a lot of courage to finally ask Jaina to marry him, especially considering all that they face by getting married in the first place. An Imperial Chiss pilot marrying the daughter of Han and Leia Solo, the niece of Luke Skywalker, and a Jedi fighter pilot in her own right. It was an interesting match, to say the least, which was why they were keeping it a secret until their families had met. Hence, the necessary phone call to Csilla.
A small part of him had hoped Soontir would at least offer some semblance of congratulations, but all Jag had gotten from his father was a disbelieving stare that quickly turned into a careful expression of detachment. It was a look Jag had seen before, just never aimed at him. It was a look he'd come to recognize as one his father put on when he had to give an answer that he felt went against his better judgment and for Jag, it rankled. He had been missing home since he'd left it but after that conversation, he was actually not looking forward to seeing his family again. He wasn't sure how his mother would react but he doubted she wouldn't differ much from his father. He'd initially planned to speak to her as well but after speaking to his father, Jag hadn't the strength to face her reaction as well.
He was still in the same position when Jaina found him. She leaned against the open doorway of his quarters for a moment to see if he would sense her presence, but he didn't turn his head, his thoughts a million light years away. On silent feet, she crept up behind him and put a hand on his head, but before she could touch him, his hand came up to grasp her wrist and he pulled her down onto his lap before she could react. Laughing, she wound her arms around his neck and kissed him.
"Sneaky," she said.
"Trust me, I don't deal with all sneaks this way," he said, idly tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Good or else I think we'd have a problem."
Jaina grinned at him but it faded when she did not get an equal response from him; instead he looked off to the side, his expression studiously blank. There was a shadow over his face that she hadn't really seen before and she put a hand on his cheek to draw his attention back to her. He couldn't seem to hold her gaze and her eyes narrowed.
"What's wrong? What's happened?"
"I talked to my father," he said flatly.
Jaina froze and she slid off his lap. She went to sit on the edge of his bed and he swiveled in his seat to face her.
"He's not throwing us an engagement party then, is he?" she said.
"How soon can we leave for Csilla?"
"As soon as Dad makes sure the Falcon isn't going to fall down around our ears," Jaina said. "I'm sorry, Jag."
He merely nodded. "If you don't mind, Jaina…"
She understood what he wanted and stood. She pressed a kiss to his forehead and left the room, making sure the doors slid shut behind her. Jag went back to the position he was in before she came in, silent and still as a statue, the only life in the room the obstinate gleam in his green eyes.
Diplomatic Quarters, Mon Cal
"I don't imagine he'd been too excited to have us as houseguests," Leia said thoughtfully.
"Rebel riff-raff," Han said, spooning some food onto his plate. "I don't suppose the fact that your mother is a Princess would make much of a difference?"
Jaina shrugged. "It really shouldn't matter at this point, Dad."
"I'm kidding, Sweetheart. I'm sure whatever's on Soontir's mind, it's pretty much what we're thinking too."
The warning look Leia threw her husband was too late and Jaina visibly bristled. Seated across from his sister, Jacen sighed, the spoon that had been making its way to his mouth freezing in midair.
"Lay it out, Dad," Jaina said, her voice low and dangerous.
"Don't get angry, Jaina," Leia soothed, though she knew it was probably useless at this point. "Your Father and I do like Jag. He's a good man and he's good for you…"
"But," Jaina prompted. "He's an Imperial right? And Dad was a smuggler. And you were all rebels. We all have our titles, Mom, but I thought that after all that's happened, we've moved beyond that."
Han looked at Jaina and she saw a seriousness on his face that deepened the lines that fanned out from the corners of his eyes. "I knew Soontir Fel, a long time ago, and we know now all that he was a part of. He's a tough man to like, Jaina. Jag's a chip off the ol' iceberg."
"Don't judge Jag by his father, Dad."
"I haven't," Han said, his brow furrowing. "But I can't help but see the similarities between him and his father. I didn't say Baron Fel was a bad guy; let's just say that we never saw eye to eye."
Jaina understood now why Jag had been so quiet and troubled earlier. When they'd told her parents they were getting married, surprised silence was the initial response but then Han and Leia congratulated them heartily, hugging Jag and welcoming him into the family. They hadn't talked to her about it since, and now she knew why. She should have known that nothing was that easy.
"No, you haven't—I'm just surprised, that's all. You haven't said anything about Baron Fel before, not really. I knew the fact that Jag is an Imperial would raise some questions, but…What do you think, Mom?"
Leia looked as if she had a lot on her mind but she offered Jaina a small smile. "Don't ask me. I married a smuggler."
Despite the situation, Jaina couldn't help but laugh at that. "We sure know how to pick them."
"Hey, don't knock it, Kid," Han said, shaking a finger at her.
"We just want you to be happy, Jaina," Leia said.
"And if that means we have to learn to play nice with Baron Soontir Fel and his family, we'll play," Han finished with flourish.
Jaina nodded and turned her attention to her twin brother who remained silent throughout the discussion. Jacen was idly pushing his food from one end of the plate to the other, his expression thoughtful. She reached out to him in the Force and he looked up with a serene smile.
"I trust you," he said simply.
She never wanted to hug him so badly in her life. "You'll come then?"
Jacen blinked. "You want me to come?"
"You've already met them," Jaina pointed out. "You're the one Solo who has dealt with both sides and that should facilitate the meeting, I think."
"It's not a diplomatic assembly, Jaina," Jacen said wryly.
Jaina glanced at her parents, her father's words echoing in her head. "I wouldn't be too sure about that."