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Okay, well, I'm not entirely sure about this one, but I'm going to go ahead and post it anyway. Please let me know what you think!
Jacen Solo walked aimlessly through the garden outside of the large reception hall where his sister's wedding banquet was being held. He had felt distinctly uncomfortable in there despite the presence of his family and friends inside. This day was Jaina's, however, and he wouldn't ruin it for her. The joy his twin was feeling at the moment was enough to dim even some of the pressures of Jacen's worries.
He was truly Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong now, leader of the most hated species in the galaxy. He had seemed to be the perfect choice for their leader, though. He had won that right and he had the power and understanding to hold his position among the Vong. The Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, the Imperials and the Chiss accepted him because they saw him, somewhat mistakenly Jacen felt, as one of their own. Still the job of being Supreme Overlord was exhausting both from the challenges of his own warriors and his durasteel determination to enforce peace between this galaxy and the Yuuzhan Vong. There were moments that it all seemed overwhelming and impossible. Jacen, whether he was surrounded by Vong or beings he had known all of his life, still felt incredibly alone.
"Friend Jacen," the words from behind him, started Jacen quickly out of his thoughts. He knew before he turned to face the person who it would be. Only Tenel Ka would address him as Friend. What Jacen wasn't prepared for a he turned with a weak smile to face Tenel Ka was how absolutely stunning she looked. Jacen felt his jaw drop dumbly as he stared at the beautiful queen of Hapes. In the dimming twilight of the Naboo dusk her crimson curls glowed and she seemed completely different from the girl he remembered. Years of separation had stripped the blinders of familiarity from Jacen's eyes and he truly saw her. The pair seemed to be frozen in silence as their eyes met across the short distance that separated them.
Not breaking eye contact Jacen bowed deeply to the Queen of Hapes. "Congratulations on your coronation."
Jacen thought he saw a ghost of a smile twist across Tenel Ka's lips, but dismissed it a moment later as an illusion of the fading light.
Tenel Ka gracefully matched his bow with a curtsy twitching her skirt up in her one hand. "Congratulations on becoming Supreme Overlord." She drew the traditional veil that covered her face back behind her head and found a seat on an elegant stone bench, before she looked back up at him. This time he knew that he didn't imagine the enigmatic smile as she spoke. "Now we are both rulers of beings that hate our heritage and the fact that we take pride in being Jedi Knights."
Jacen shook his head. "I don't know what I am anymore."
Tenel Ka responded as if it were the easiest answer in the world. "You are Jacen Solo, Supreme Overlord and Jedi Knight. Everyone follows the Force in a different path. Jaina's path is no yours as much as Master Skywalker's path was not your mother's. Would you argue that she is not a Jedi?"
He cocked his head and Tenel Ka and answered slowly. "No."
"Then just because you have taken a different path does not mean that you are not a Jedi Knight. You are as much a Jedi as I am."
"Thank you for the reminder, Qu-Tenel Ka," he stumbled over her name. Jacen wondered suddenly why he was so nervous. He hadn't felt this way in a very long time. "How are things on Hapes," he asked a moment later, as the silence suddenly grew too heavy.
Tenel Ka responded calmly, "Things on Hapes rarely change. There is always intrigue, plotting, deception and attempted violence." A proud smile shown on her face an instant later, as she added, "However, the new measures that have been put in place since my rule began has prevented any assassinations or other forms of political violence in the last four years. It's a record for Hapes."
"You should be proud of it," he said with a smile, surprising himself by taking a seat next to her. "I know you never wanted the position, but you've become one of Hapes' best Queens." For some reason he couldn't quite meet her eyes as he finished speaking, but he couldn't take his eyes off of her either.
"Thank you," she said quietly. A flicker of worry flashed across her face and she rose to stand again. For the first time in many years, Tenel Ka seemed uncertain and worried to Jacen. They were emotions that she rarely showed. She spoke again with an abrupt non-sequitor. "I missed you, Friend Jacen," she said quickly. "When I thought that you had died," she paused at a loss for words for a moment. "I was so full of rage. For an instant I went mad. I couldn't think. I didn't know what to do without you there, somewhere to try to make me laugh with at joke that wasn't even funny, or to talk to me when I needed someone to confide in. I missed my friend and I missed what might have been."
Jacen was speechless. He didn't know what to say. So for once he followed his instincts and his heart rather than endlessly thinking a situation through. He stood up and took a step forward, closing the distance between he and Tenel Ka and leaned down to kiss her. He got lost in the sensation of her soft lips against his and pulled back only reluctantly.
"Tenel Ka..." He spoke her name with reverence, but there was an edge of pain and hesitation in his voice as well.
She put a finger against his lips. "Don't say anything," she whispered softly. "I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that this is a mistake. That it is too difficult and too dangerous and that we should forget that this ever happened. You don't want us to be hurt."
The look of sadness in her eyes cut into Jacen's heart as he reached up to encircle her hand with his own. He curled her fingers around his hand and tilted the back of her hand up so that he could press a kiss on it. "I don't want you to be hurt," he murmured, "And I'm afraid that you'll be in danger from my warriors," he shook his head, "but I know that you can take care of yourself. I'm not going anywhere." He took another deep breath and then continued. "I think I've been in love with you since the first moment that we meant, but I just never realized it."
Tenel Ka laughed. It was a beautiful, rich sound that surprised Jacen. It was a laugh of relief and joy. "I love you, as well, Friend Jacen," she replied as she leaned towards him for another kiss. They would never be truly alone again.
Well, this was going to be the last missing moment that I did, but I was considering writing Jaina and Soontir's duel. Is anyone interested?