Title: Her Answer
Disclaimer: I don't own this. Star Wars belongs to George Lucas, Lucasfilm, and the NJO probably belongs to Del Ray. Anyway, it belongs to people who are not me, I'm just playing in this universe.
Timeframe: Six months post Unifying Force
Summary: Something very important is missing from Jaina's life.
Author's Note: Basically I haven't written a happy Jaina and Jag fic in a while and I just felt like writing something mushy, and short. 'Cause normally I have real problems with short. So here. The lyrics here are the opening lines of the Sarah Mclachlan song, Answer.
I will be the answer at the end of the line
I will be there for you while you take the time
In the burning of uncertainty I will be your solid ground
I will hold the balance if you can't look down
If it takes my whole life I won't break I won't bend
It's all worth it in the end
'Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
Jaina Solo sat on the top of the new Jedi Temple. Her legs dangled freely off of the side as she gazed at the beautiful landscape around her and simply let her mind wander. It was something that she had started doing more and more often since the war had ended. During the war her mind and her thoughts had been disciplined and controlled by the its presence. Her thoughts had been forced into orderly and efficient ways of thinking, to keep her and the beings that were depending upon her alive. Now she accepted the lack of control and let her mind drift from thought to thought. It was almost like a sort of meditation for her and it certainly left her feeling more refreshed and clear headed than she had felt in some time.
Still there was something that nagged at her, lingering in her subconscious. It was always there to haunt her, never allowing her to be content, but it was always just out of her reach. That was why she had come here to Ossus and the new Jedi Temple- to seek the advice and help of her twin. Jacen was teaching a small course about the Yuuzhan Vong to some of the younger students. He was also using his free time to gather more information from the Temple archives before he set off throughout the galaxy once more on his journey for a better knowledge of the Force.
So far Jacen and their daily joint meditations hadn't helped her any. As hard as they meditated, as much as she concentrated, or let her thoughts drift, whatever was bothering her continued to elude her. Jaina let out a sigh and looked down. There were still a few older students lingering outside in the last rays of the fading daylight. Other students hurried into the Temple, either late for an evening class or for their nightly meal. She smiled almost wistfully at the memory of the years that she had spent as a student on Yavin 4. Then there had seemed to be only fun and adventure, not the horrors of war.
A small knot of young children- younglings- came tumbling out of the Temple. She watched them play for a moment, noticing how a few of the children were subconsciously using the Force to aid them in their game. They would grow into great Jedi someday.
She heard the quiet thud of footsteps approaching her, but she didn't look up. A moment later, Jacen had dropped down to a sitting position behind her. He draped a long arm casually over her shoulder and gave her a quick light hug.
"Hey, Sis." Jaina grinned. Jacen was in a rare playful mood, and at that moment, he seemed more like their father than their uncle.
"Jasa," she responded, teasing him with the childhood nickname. He flashed her a lopsided grin and then stared at her.
Finally Jaina's patience ran out. "What," she demanded abruptly.
Jacen ignored her question and stared at her with complete seriousness. "Why are you here, Jaina, really?" His question was blunt and it hung in the air between them, demanding an answer.
She stared at him in surprise for a moment and then rose sharply to her feet in one smooth motion. "If you don't want me here, Jacen, I'll leave," her voice was tight and controlled and her face was an emotionless mask.
"Sit down, Jaina," Jacen said quietly. "You know that's not what I meant."
She stared at him, but didn't move. Jacen reached up and caught her hand, tugging on it gently until she relented and sat down again. They sat in silence for a moment.
"I like having you here, Jaina," Jacen said softly. "You know that, but I think you need to consider why you're really here."
"What do you mean?" Jaina's voice was so soft that Jacen could barely here her.
"I talked to Kyp today," he admitted. "He was worried about you. He said that the Council had a mission ready for you, but that you turned it down, and requested leave to come here instead."
"So?" But her voice wasn't confrontational. Instead it was barely audible.
"That's not like you, Jaina. You don't refuse missions or request leave. You work until you can't and then you keep going until you end up in the med ward." He sighed, "I just want to know that you're okay, Jaina. I'm worried about you. I just want you to be happy doing what you want to do."
Jaina cocked her head, glancing over at him. "I don't know, Jasa. I don't know what I want. I thought that I wanted to be a part of the Council, but now....I go on missions for the Council. I act like a good Jedi. I meditate and negotiate. I carry secure messages to far outlying worlds and I hate it all. I hate all the lies that I have to tell just to get through one meeting and I hate the way the governments fight with their petty squabbles. None of them can see the bigger picture, Jacen. They don't care about the galaxy outside of their own little systems." She met his eyes, her voice wistful. "I would trade it all just for one moment in an X-wing."
Her last comment drew a small smile from Jacen and Jaina returned it with a very subdued smile of her own.
"It's okay," he said quietly. "At least it will be." He wrapped his arm around her shoulders again in a reassuring embrace. "I have plenty of experience in this searching for a path thing, so I can tell you how you're doing so far."
She grinned at that statement, some of her tension and frustration leaving her. "But I'm supposed to be the sensible twin."
Jacen laughed aloud. His sister hadn't used that tone of voice since she was eight years old and trying to get their parents to buy her a full size racing swoop. "Now you're just whining."
Jaina shot him a glare, and then conceded his point with a ghost of a smile. "Well then what do you suggest I do, oh wise brother?"
Jacen flashed her a smug Solo smirk. "I was hoping that you would ask that."
"Really," Jaina's light query held surprise. She hadn't really expected Jacen to have any blunt answers for her. He had always preferred asking the hard questions.
"Yeah. I think you should take a trip, now that you're at loose ends. Journeys are often the best way to find answers where you least expect them and it will give you a chance to fly again."
Jaina looked at him with a mixture of wariness and curiosity. She had a feeling that Jacen was proposing something specific with this, leading towards something that he thought would be important to her, but she couldn't see what he was suggesting.
"And where would I go," she asked, responding the way that she knew he wanted her to, anyway.
Jacen smiled. "You have over two months of leave accumulated, why not go somewhere you've never been before. I hear Csilla's pretty this time of year."
Coming up Wednesday: Will Jaina take Jacen's suggestion or will she be stubborn?