Oh my god, I've written something!! The last time I was actually active as an author on FF.N was 2005. I was a sophomore in high school. Holy crap. I'm currently going into my sophomore year of college. I decided to do a bit of a rewrite because my writing style has changed quite a bit in the past years. Hopefully you still like it!
Now When the Rain Falls
She couldn't sleep.
She hadn't had a good night's sleep in a while now. So many things were running through her head nowadays. Like whether she really wanted to go back to Hapes. Like asking herself if she really wanted to be a queen. Like trying to figure out what her heart had been doing to her recently.
Tenel Ka sat up in her sleeping pallet, knowing that with all of these thoughts running through her head, she wouldn't be able to sleep now. After she untangled herself from her sheets, she went over to the window of her room, looking out onto the moonlit night. A cool breeze swept through the window, chilling her bare arms and rustling her hair, already disheveled from hours of tossing and turning. She saw the jungle, heard the sounds of the nocturnal beasts roaming as they pleased. The warrior girl rested her arms on the sill and looked up at the sky. The moon was clear, but the sky to the west was covered with clouds. So, she thought, there is going to be a storm soon.
She wondered what he was dreaming. He never seemed to have any trouble sleeping, wherever they happened to be. He never seemed to be having an internal debate like she was, he just acted. She sighed. That was him. Jacen always knew the right thing to do. So why didn't she?
She thought of the times they had spent together. Meeting each other at the academy and attending Master Skywalker's lectures together. Becoming closer with each other after her lightsaber accident and dealing with the Shadow Academy. Seeing him fall from Cloud City and feeling the joy of realizing that he was still alive as he calmly walked into the hangar bay. Just thinking of them, good or bad, brought a rare smile to her face. Jacen seemed to do that to her. He didn't really even have to try, and that was what scared her.
What was she feeling? It was more than friendship, that much she knew. She had never felt this feeling towards Lowie, or Raynar, or Zekk even. This was much stronger. The sense of connection was so strong that sometimes she could sense what he was going to say before he even said it.
She had felt it ever since she could remember. She had felt it when they had been under attack by the Bartokk assassins on Hapes. She remembered feeling the tug when she saw him disappear into the Lightning Rod with Peckhum when they were fighting the Shadow Academy. It was there when they thought their lives were going to be ended by Boba Fett in the shards of Alderaan. She had felt it most when they were stuck together on the frozen side of Ryloth, relying on each other's strength to survive.
Tenel Ka turned her head towards the window of his room, where she knew he was sleeping. This ache in her heart was because of him. The feeling of hurt emptiness she felt whenever he wasn't near, and this feeling of completeness when he was close by. The way her knees felt weak whenever he gave her that lopsided grin he inherited from his father. The way her heart pounded whenever he had that serious look in his brandy brown eyes.
Her mind turned to another thought of what it could be. A thought that both scared her and overjoyed her at the same time. A feeling that she had never experienced before, and, honestly, never thought that she would.
Realization struck her mind like a blaster bolt to the stomach. Yes. It was. She loved him. She always had.
Tenel Ka looked away from his window, a look of disbelief on her face. Yes, she loved him. Her mind was whirling, sent into a spin by this revelation.
Her breath became shallow. This was too much to take right now. She needed to take her mind off of this. A run in the jungle would help her regain herself.
She hurriedly pushed her feet into her boot and used the Force to tighten the fastenings. She tore out of her room, desperate to start the run where she was hoping to regain her calm, to sort through her thoughts.
Jacen woke, but it wasn't morning yet. He blinked his eyes, trying to wake himself up. What time was it? He looked toward the chrono on his bedside table and did a double take at the face.
It was the middle of the night! Why was he up?!
He ran a hand over his face, trying to get the sleep out of his eyes. He sat up on his pallet and swung his legs over the edge. The stone of the floor was cold against his feet, chill with the night air. Moonlight streamed through his window, highlighting the metal of his lightsaber handle, which currently was laying on his desk.
Well, he was up.
What made him wake up? Oh, well, he thought. I won't be able to sleep now.
He made his way past the cages of his menagerie, most of their inhabitants sleeping soundly. At least someone is, he thought humorlessly. He reached the window and peered outside, looking to see if anything was wrong out there. Nope. Nothing he could see.
He contented himself with looking out over the landscape, letting his mind wander. His mind came immediately to her. Tenel Ka. The warrior girl he was in love with. Just thinking about her made him happy. He glanced over to her window, wondering what she was doing. Probably sleeping, like I should be.
He remembered watching her sleep.It was on Kuar, when the young Jedi knights had been looking for Raynar's father. It had been a clear night, the stars shining down on them. Both Jaina and Lowie were asleep and so was Tenel Ka. Her face had been completely peaceful and relaxed, showing none of the strain the search had bestowed on them all. Her right hand was curled next to her head and the remainder of her left arm was being used as a makeshift pillow. Her chest was moving up and down with her easy breathing. The thin blanket she was using covered her thin frame past her ankles, her feet tangled in the ends.
He wished he could see her like that more often. Without a care in the world, like whether she would take her planets's crown. Whether she wanted to or not, she would have to take the crown eventually.
Jacen sighed. She would be a strong ruler with her immovable will. He just wished he could be there to help her.
He heard a sound out on the landing pad. He snapped out of his daydream and looked to find where it had come from. There was a shadowy figure running across the field, running faster than most people he had seen run before.
Except one person...
Jacen checked to see if he could detect anything through their bond. All at once, he felt a wave of turmoil and confusion coming from her. That surprised him. She was usually so in control of her emotions.
Wait a minute...
This is the middle of the night! Why was she running now?
Jacen made a split second decision. He was going to find her. She could be in danger out there in the middle of the night. With her so out of control, especially compared to how she usually was, he wasn't sure she would have remembered to bring her lightsaber with her. And they both knew how dangerous the jungles could be, even in broad daylight, never mind the dead of night.
He dashed from his room, headed towards the landing pad. When he reached it, he started off in the direction he had seen her run. When he got about halfway across, however, the roar of thunder broke across the sky. He could see dark, ominous clouds rolling in front of the moon, bringing rain with them.
He had to find her. This storm was going to get ugly, and fast.
She sat down on the rock by the river, trying to catch her breath. She had torn through the jungle, looking for a place where she could calm herself. Where she could think things through.
She loved him. It seemed so simple now. How had she not seen it before?
Tenel Ka's heart felt light, yet she could not afford to lose herself to the feeling. Jacen surely did not feel the same way. Even if he did, they could not be together. She was the heir to the Hapan throne. She was expected to take a consort, not a husband. She would not allow Jacen to lower himself to the level of a servant to her.
It was then that she recognized her surroundings. It was here, on this very rock, that she had kissed Jacen. It had been right after they had defeated Nolaa Tarkona and eradicated the Emperor's Plague. There was a festival celebrating the completion of the Great Temple's reconstruction, and the group of friends had come here to the river to escape the milling crowds.
She remembered the words Jacen had said. "After all we've been through together, I'm not sure anything in the future can surprise me." She had been left with the perfect opening. He was sitting right next to her, his usual spot. She had said her signature phrase "Ah. Aha," and leaned over and kissed him. That was easily one of the best moments of her life. Then, she saw the look on his face. He was shocked. Shocked that someone like her would kiss him. She felt so foolish. Making it appear a joke, she brushed it off and they went back to normal. As if something so wonderful had never happened.
She sighed. For a moment, she had been the happiest girl in the galaxy. Then, the next, she was the most embarrassed.
Tenel Ka looked up, and a raindrop fell onto her forehead. The moon had been covered up by the dark clouds and the rain was starting to fall into the river and onto the leaves of the Massassi trees.
But, it didn't bother her. The rain was soothing to a flustered soul. Perhaps she would stay out here a bit longer. The rhythmic plinking of the raindrops started to calm her down.
Jacen was on a path towards the river when he felt the first raindrop. Great, he thought. Now he really had to find her.
He had felt her turmoil. Why was she so troubled? It was unsettling to feel this from her, the one who had been so stoic before. He had to help her find her control again.
But first, he had to find her. That could be an issue.
Okay, where would she be? He thought of the places he had been with her before. She wouldn't go to the clearing where they had dueled with their lightsabers, would she? He hoped not. That place still gave him chills to think about what he had done to her. Where else could she be? Hopefully she didn't decide to climb a tree. He couldn't climb one of those when he was completely awake, let alone in the middle of the night during a rainstorm. Where else?
Of course! The river!
She always went there to swim, and a couple of times when he was searching for new creatures for his menagerie, he had found her meditating there on a boulder. Of course, he never bothered her. She was too calm and peaceful for him to feel comfortable doing that. She would probably have tackled him into the water for doing it, too.
He made his way to the river, getting more and more soaked as he went. When he found it, Jacen walked along the bank until he spotted the group of rocks that stood at the place they had come to during the festival to celebrate the defeat of the Diversity Alliance. He smiled. That was a good day. No, he corrected himself, that was a great day. Tenel Ka had kissed him! Of course, she had done it as a joke, but she still kissed him!
He was kind of surprised to see her sitting on that rock now. She was looking into the water, obviously deep in thought. Her shoulders were hunched over as her right arm was wrapped around her bent knees holding on to the stump of her left arm. He stood there for a second, just watching her. He reached out to her, feeling that she was more calm than before. I wonder what got her so worked up?
Jacen was reluctant to disrupt her reverie. But, he needed to see if she was okay. Plus, she was getting soaked from the currently gentle rain.
She started, not expecting anyone to be there. "Jacen, my friend, what are you doing up at this hour?"
He settled himself on the rock next to her. "I could ask you the same thing."
She looked away from him and stared into the disturbed surface of the river. "I could not sleep."
Jacen raised his eyebrows at her. Maybe it was her that had woken him up? "I was asleep, but something decided that it would be funny for me to wake up at 0200 in the morning," he joked.
Then he saw the corner of her mouth curl up the slightest bit. Okay, now that was weird. It usually wasn't that easy. "Okay, something's up. Why did you come out here? And in the middle of a storm?"
Tenel Ka hesitated. She inhaled deeply, steeling herself to begin. "I came upon a realization that I needed to think about, and I decided to come out here," she said hesitantly.
"That's not the whole story. I could feel your turmoil through our bond."
"What else could you feel?" she asked.
"I don't know, some frustration, but you seemed really flustered," he replied. "What kind of realization was this?"
She seemed kind of nervous now. Tenel Ka looked up into the canopy overhead, errant drops sneaking through the leaves and onto her face and shoulders. "One of monumental importance. It could affect the fate of my life forever, as well as the fate of my nation."
Wow. Now he was getting somewhere. "Do you want to talk about it?"
She stiffened where she sat. "Not especially, Jacen."
Jacen was a bit disappointed. "You know you can talk to me about anything, right, Tenel Ka? I'll always be there for you."
She seemed to calm down a little after that. "Thank you, Jacen, my friend." She reached over to him and took his hand in hers. They just sat there for a moment, taking in the sight of the storm dropping water in sheets on the jungle. The scent of the jungle was soothing, bringing out the fresh smell of the leaves and the damp dirt.
He watched the drops fall from the sky and land on a flower next to the river, its petals a deep scarlet. The blossom stood out sharply from the rest of the jungle, yet it was soft, tricking the observant.
It's just like Tenel Ka, he thought. Tough on the outside, but surprisingly gentle. Just being here with her was intoxicating, made him want to kiss her like she had kissed him.
Now that he thought about it, he still had some unanswered questions about that day. "Tenel Ka?" he started, hesitant to break the peaceful moment.
How do I start this? "You remember that day of the festival after the Great Temple was rebuilt? The one where we came down here and played in the river?"
Tenel Ka started to tense up again; he was hitting very close to the mark. "Yes."
"You remember when we all were talking, and we were sitting on this rock?"
"Yes," she said with a quavering voice.
Now he was starting to get nervous. "Do you...Why did you kiss me?"
This stopped her breathing for a moment. What would she say? He almost couldn't breathe in anticipation.
"Well... I suppose it was sort of an impulse, to surprise you. You had said nothing could surprise you, so... I kissed you."
She must have seen his disappointed face, because she added on quickly, "I thought you wouldn't mind the joke."
Oh, I didn't mind alright. He really wanted to kiss her right now. "No, I didn't mind at all. It was... kinda nice."
Tenel Ka snapped her head up. Her tone was unbelieving. "Really?" She looked beyond relieved and she visibly relaxed.
His head started to move closer to hers, and hers to his. "Really," he whispered.
Her eyes moved to his lips. "That is good, because I thought so too."
Now it was his turn to be taken by surprise. "Really?"
Now was the time to make his move. "Would you mind if I kissed you now?"
"No, Jacen, my friend."
He closed his eyes and moved his head the last millimeter. Her eyes fluttered shut as his lips met hers. They were tentative at first, but they grew bolder. The rain didn't bother them as they were lost to each other. Her hand moved to rest on his chest over his heart, and he enveloped her in his arms. Her lips were so soft, as soft as he expected the petals of the flower to be.
Oxygen became essential, and they parted, the kiss lingering. Granite gray eyes looked into brandy brown. All that he could see in them was something he had never seen before. It was...love.
She leaned his forehead onto his. Arms still wrapped around her, he closed his eyes and opened his bond to her. She responded and he was blown away by the strength of the emotions rolling off of her.
"So what does this mean? About us, I mean?" he asked.
"I do not know," she said with a sigh.
"Neither do I." He decided to throw caution to the wind and lay it all on the table. "All I know is that I love you."
She looked up at him again. Her eyes were shining with unshed tears and a grin was working its way onto her face. "I love you too."
He smiled his lopsided grin at her and cupped her face with his hand. She leaned into it, eyes closed. He leaned in and stole a kiss, sweet and loving.
The rain had been slowing down, and now it was just a gentle sprinkle. They were both soaked to the bone, but that didn't matter to them.
They parted once again. Jacen looked up at the sky where the clouds were uncovering the moon, making the remaining drops glisten in the soft light.
"What do you say we head back to the temple? It's probably a lot warmer than it is out here."
Tenel Ka nodded. "This is a fact."
They both stood from the boulder. When they started back down the path towards the Jedi Academy, Jacen draped his arm over Tenel Ka's shoulders. She leaned into his body and they began their walk back.
They arrived back in the temple and Jacen walked Tenel Ka to her room. While they were walking there, he realized something.
"You never told me your revelation. Would you care to tell me why you needed to go running in the jungle in the middle of the night, forcing me to go after you and make sure you were okay, which then led me to confess my love to you?"
Tenel Ka looked at him. "I realized that I love you."
Jacen was shocked. "So all the conflicting emotions I felt were because of me?"
By now they were at her door. He took her into his arms again. "I like causing big reactions."
She nodded in assent. When she moved to try to go into her room, he wouldn't let her. "What, don't I get a goodnight kiss?"
She nodded again. She met his lips in a chaste kiss. When they broke apart, she turned to open her door. The door closed halfway, then she peeked her head out the door. "Goodnight, Jacen, my love."
"Goodnight, Tenel Ka."
The door closed and he was left alone. He watched the door for a moment and then turned to go to his own room. He knew he wouldn't be able to get back to sleep now. He'd be too busy thinking about her.
Tenel Ka walked over to her dresser and pulled out some dry clothes. She dried herself off and readied her bed. She crossed her room to the window. Some raindrops still lingered on the sill.
There were still things that they needed to work out between them. Like the whole Queen Mother's consort thing. And whether she would be able to remain a Jedi. But for now, they would be content to be with each other.
She'd always remember that night. Now when the rain fell she would remember him. His kiss.
Turning away from the window, she crossed back to her bed. She snuggled under the covers and closed her eyes.
Now, she could sleep.
Wow, it's been a long time since I've written anything. I decided to go back and edit this and maybe The Forgotten Kiss too. Just changing up some of the wording to make me happy. The plot is still the same and the story is still exactly the same. This story was inspired by the song Now When The Rain Falls by Linda Eder, I think it's from The Scarlet Pimpernel the musical.