AN: Because I couldn't help myself. Writing dead characters is way too much fun. Jacen's OOC, and also Kyp, to an extent . . . but who cares? Thanks for clicking!

Dead Like Me

"I hate Peace Brigaders."

Jaina batted away a flurry of shots, tossing a quirked grin in Kyp's direction. "Talking to yourself again, Durron?"

A nearby box burst into a shower of plastic splinters, sending Kyp dropping back behind the speeder for cover. "Perhaps." He threw his blade, watching it slice through a blaster carbine and its corresponding owner, then called it back and continued nonchalantly. "Confrontations with Brigaders always collapse into a free-for-all, and those make such a mess. At least with the Vong you get a bit of the Sith vibe – you know, lightsaber against amphistaff in a personal, deadly duel."

"Really? I would've thought you'd find a blasterfight refreshing after all the recent Vong trickery. You must be getting old."

Kyp didn't reply, instead giving a thermal detonator a hurried telekinetic push away from the melee. The explosive went off somewhere in the distance, diverting the attention of the Brigaders long enough for Kyp to find better cover. Ducking behind a pillar, he deflected a shot back at one of the Brigaders, catching the man in the leg.

"Two down. Care to make a wager?"

Jaina shook her head, brushing hair out of her eyes. "Nah. You'd lose."

He snorted scornfully. "Like hell I would!"

Raising his lightsaber into an offensive position, Kyp stepped out from behind his cover and moved towards the mob.

"Kyp!" Jaina yelled uselessly, as he ran towards the advancing horde. He threw her a wink, then turned back towards the fight.

"Fine, get yourself killed! See if I care!"

Kyp moved through the crowd of Brigaders with wary precision. His violet blade flew in his hands like a living extension of the Force, cutting down attackers and batting aside bolts – sometimes directly back at his assailant. The Brigade thugs spread out to hit him from a wider angle.

Unfazed, Kyp locked eyes with Jaina and smirked. "Well? Are you going to stand there and gaze in disbelief at my superior skills, or get your bum here and finish up this round?"

She opened her mouth to respond, then screamed and pointed to something just past him.

Danger sense tingling, he spun around to see a group of Brigaders begin to take aim at the power cell of the speeder.

"Kriffin' idiots . . ."

He was still running towards shelter when his vision was engulfed by a bright orange light, and then blackness.

"Wow, Kyp Durron! I guess fate finally caught up with you!"

Kyp blinked, trying in vain to focus on the shimmering figure looming before him.

"Huh, I wasn't expecting company at all – it's boring, being stuck out here. But I never would have guessed that you'd be the first one to join me."

The features of the other person swam into focus, and Kyp's jaw dropped in disbelief. "Jacen? Jacen Solo?"

The young man smiled proudly. "Yep."

"But . . . you're dead."

Jacen shrugged his shoulders mildly. "Not much I can do about that."

Kyp furrowed his brow in confusion. "I was fighting Peace Brigaders. With Jaina. And then there was an explosion . . ." His eyes widened into a look of pure horror; peering down at his shining, depthless body, he let out a sound halfway between a whimper and a scream. "Oh, no. Please tell me I'm dreaming."

" 'Fraid not."

"This has to be a nightmare. A hallucinogenic delusion, or something."

"You're just dead like me, Kyp!"

He pulled himself into a seated position and shrieked, his voice cracking in terror like that of an adolescent boy. Had he done something wrong? He realized that he had held some silly preconceived ideas about death – the bright light at the end of a long tunnel, the deepened understanding of the Force, the complete loss of his corporeal form.

But dammit, he'd never expected – much less hoped – that he'd have to share the afterlife with kriffin' Jacen Solo.

"Rather nice, isn't it?"

He glared at the young man. "It could be better."

"Well, of course things could be improved. I'm not too fond of this whole ghostly blue glow. It makes me look too pale."

Kyp fought back the desire to throttle Jacen; he was already dead, after all, and physical violence probably wouldn't have any effect on him. "Would you prefer to be a luminous pink spirit? Or would that be too girly?"

Jacen pondered the question for a second – or was it an eternity? Unfortunately, Kyp's perception of time didn't seem to have survived his shift to the supernatural plane. "Nah. That's a bit feminine. I guess a blue aura is better than the other alternatives."

"Undoubtedly." Kyp glanced around at his surroundings, trying to determine where in the galaxy he was – and once he attained that piece of information, a way to avoid this never-ending conversation with the dullest of the Solo children. But all he saw was the blackness of deep space. "So. What've you been doing out here for all this time?"

"Nothing much," Jacen admitted. "I haven't figured out how to visit my family yet – or anyone, really - and for some reason the Force won't let me move on to the final stage of existence."

Kyp groaned. "Lovely. We're stuck in the middle of nowhere, then?"

Jacen raised an eyebrow, attempting to look rakish but only appearing mentally impaired. "If you wish to be pessimistic, yes. I tend to look upon it as being at the beginning of a long and winding road of unknowns."

"Oh, that sounds very promising."

"I'm glad you agree," Jacen said, not picking up on Kyp's sarcasm. "Do you want to discuss philosophy with me? I've been attempting to formulate a grand unified theory about the role of the Force in galactic events while waiting out here, and it would be nice to run it by another person before it's too late . . ."

Kyp climbed to his feet, his eyes hardening with cool resolve. He had to get out of here – and he was damned if he wasn't going to bump Jacen Solo off any spectral plane in the process. He snuck up behind the chattering Jedi, and threw his arms around the young man's head in a stranglehold. "Shut up! You were annoying when you were alive, and you haven't gotten any better!"

But Jacen continued to babble on, oblivious of Kyp's violent intent – and as he kept on talking, Kyp's strength began to slowly fade. ". . . I just think that the whole concept of defensive action brings one too close to the dark side of the spectrum . . ."

His sight flickered, washing out in flashes of blinding light.

". . . while the idea of actually fighting the enemy might have worked during the war against the Empire . . ."

Head throbbing painfully, he released his hold on Jacen and staggered away, collapsing facedown on his previous spot.

". . . sometimes it's necessary to adopt a different approach, especially when dealing with an unfamiliar force like the Yuuzhan Vong . . ."

His mouth gaped in a silent cry, neurons in his brain firing and exploding into a mass of confusion. As if hadn't been enough that he'd been killed by Peace Brigaders' stupidity, now he was about to be bored to death by Jacen Solo's hypothetical ramblings.

Kyp was still screaming when he slipped into unconsciousness.

"Kyp! Wake up! We have to get out of here!"

Small, quick hands rolled him onto his back and shook him roughly. "Hey, Ego-for-brains, wake up!"

His eyes fluttered open, and he saw two concerned Jainas bending over him. "I'm concussed . . . and I'm not dead."

She snorted loudly. "Brilliant observation."

Kyp sat up gradually, barely noticing the destruction spread around him. "I could've sworn that . . ."

Jaina tugged him upright, her brown eyes full of apprehension. "What?"

He shook his head, grimacing at the pain. "Never mind. Just a dream."