Where Am I Going To?
Dawn was rising on Endor. This wasn't anything extraordinary, as it had happened many times before, and would for a long while. Happened on most planets everyday, in fact.
But Luke speculated that you could appreciate every breath you drew more when you'd been truly threatened with the prospect of not breathing at all.
He'd gotten up early to realize he'd been dreaming of his father – and that wasn't really a good thing, as he now felt like a heavy rock was settling on his chest, and that could only sadden him more.
He'd wanted to get in the X-Wing given him and just get out of there before anyone woke up, but that was neither kind nor fair. Leia would be in her political element now, and men like Han and Wedge could deal with any situation. But him? Well, he wasn't the Imperial Prince, and he wasn't even a Rebel anymore as the Rebels were the power in the galaxy. So what was he? And he figured he'd have to leave to find out.
But he owed it to the people he loved who'd been with him for four years. So he had a quiet breakfast of sorts out in the open air with Leia and Han and Wedge. They didn't really eat much of anything, mostly sat there drinking caff, and talking; kind of quiet because they were in awe of what they'd accomplished and weren't sure where they would go from here.
But they'd do alright, Luke knew that.
"So where to now?" Leia asked him, standing at his side while Han leaned against a tree and Wedge sat on an old log.
"Honestly?" Luke ran a hand through his hair, immensely tired. "I'm not sure. Time to find where I belong."
Leia bit her lip. "Haven't you found that yet? Isn't that what this whole thing was about?"
"That's not what I meant," he corrected. "I know who I am, the people I will be with, what I am, in a vague sense. But I can't stomach the idea of Coruscant right now, and especially not Tatooine. Give me some time," he assured her with that ever so confident smile of his. "I'll pick a nice, pretty spot. Settle in."
"Be a hermit," Han finished. "You'll wind up just like Kenobi….Well, except the dead part…."
Luke laughed. "Looks that way, doesn't it?"
"Oh, don't be a hermit, Luke," Wedge insisted. "Hermits don't get any female visitors."
"I'm afraid Luke hasn't been interested in female visitors for a while," Leia teased, and he turned a deep shade of red.
"Look, it's not my fault you're my sister, I didn't know-"
"What?" Wedge had nearly fallen off the log, and his caff had spilled everywhere. "Did I miss something?"
"I'll fill you in later, Antilles," Han promised. "Believe me, it'll screw with your head for a while."
"But you…And she…."
"Anyway," Luke continued, trying not to look at Wedge's fish eyed stare. "I'll be sure to keep in touch. Are you setting up the New Republic on Coruscant?"
"Yes," Leia replied. "I know you don't like it, but maybe without all the Imperial ties, you could see your way to coming for a visit once in a while?"
Luke took her hand, smiled. "Alright, I promise. Unless I find someplace else, I might even be chained to Coruscant for a while." He embraced her before shaking the other guys' hands.
"Take care of my sister, Solo." It was almost a plea, and Han realized he was far too stubborn to ever go beyond that – he was supposed to hate Han, according to four years ago. And they still played at it occasionally.
For Wedge, however, he had an unrestricted smile. "Don't go getting yourself killed," and Wedge grinned back.
"We've had our fair share of close calls, haven't we?"
"But you always came back with me and even saved my hide a few times…I…I really appreciate that Wedge…"
Wedge cuffed his shoulder, the way friends do. "Don't mention it. Just take care of yourself, alright?"
"Oh, I meant to give this to you," Leia quickly added, handing him a small box. "It's a little vid link, you can hook it up to your com. I found it in surplus in the storage room they had below that bunker he blew up. I thought….if you were going away for a while…I could still see you this way."
Luke thanked her shyly, handled the thing carefully, and wondered where he'd be when he first used it. And with most of the other temporary goodbyes given, he eventually climbed back into his X-Wing, and took off.
But he was no more than a quarter of an hour off when he got the strangest com in probably his whole life; there was a sudden, quick beeping, a small red light flashing, and half expecting it to be Leia, he turned on his com link.
"Skywalker, how could you!"
His jaw nearly hit the floor, and he could hear Artoo buzzing at him to at least switch to autopilot if he had to talk.
"M-mara?" he stuttered. "How did you-"
"Answer my question first!"
Well, there was some welcome. But he'd known Mara since she was four, he ought not have been surprised. He clamped his jaw for a second, and firmly growled out, "I'm not sure what I'm answering."
There was a difficult pause. "You killed him."
And Mara could only be referring to one "him." He sighed, and did switch to autopilot at the droid's behest. "No, that was my father. I was there, though, if you particularly care about that. Unconscious," he added almost as an afterthought, "but there…."
"Your father?" she stumbled over the words, and Luke felt that heavy pressure on his chest, rubbed at his temples with his hands in desperation.
"I can't handle this right now. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to flying my freaking ship, if you have a problem with tha-"
"Wait." She sounded…almost reasonable. As reasonable as she ever got, which wasn't much. "Wait, this…this wasn't how I wanted to start this out."
"You've got a lot of nerve," he growled. "Calling me after two years to berate me for something I didn't really do. And another thing, how the hell did you get my communication link number?"
"You didn't think you were the only one who could hack a code now and then, did you?" He could hear the reprimand in her voice. "A few hours and a lot of desperation will get you anywhere."
An idea struck. "Hold on a second," he told her. "Do you have a vid link?"
"Yes…." she responded cautiously.
"Turn it on, I want to see if this thing works." He hooked up the little disk, and flipped it on. Well, it was grainy and a bit unsteady now and then, but it certainly worked – for there she was, flowing, wavy red hair and slight scowl. She looked a little older, but that was to be expected with two years. She hadn't changed much, really. "Now," he sighed, "let's start at the very beginning: What's going on?"
"I…" She faltered. "I got a…request from Palpatine."
He leaned in. "Go on."
"No, we're not getting into what he said, but he's gone, and I know you had something to do with it."
Luke paused a moment. "My father did that. And now my father's dead, too, does that help your hell bent vengeance?"
"I am not hell bent on vengeance!"
"Then why are you calling me?"
"Because! Because we used to be…I needed answers, and you did used to promise me you'd listen when I needed to talk."
He blinked, seemed to inwardly collapse. "That was a long time ago. Things change."
"Then don't let us be one of them," she begged, and it caught his attention. "Please. I need this from you."
He leaned in again. "I'm listening."
She paused again, tried to decide what to say next. "Your father's dead?"
"And…and you're not-"
"No," he answered calmly. "I'm not the emperor. I told you that much. I kept my word."
"Oh…" she whispered. "That makes the rest of this difficult."
"Because…" she bit her lip, and Luke had a strange feeling about the whole thing. "There was someone I was going to introduce you to."
"Mara…." he said warily.
"Give me a second." And she left momentarily only to bring something back with her.
Someone, actually, and Luke really couldn't breathe for a good ten seconds.
A small person, a…a child, sitting in her lap, clinging to her in slight confusion while she dotingly brushed his soft hair back and kissed his cheek – and the look on her face was one Luke had never seen before. Not that he could really look at her, as his eyes were focused on the thing in her arms.
"Who's is…who's is that?" he stuttered, breathless.
She glanced coyly at the screen, at her height in power and manipulation. "His name is Ben Skywalker," she said, proud and defensive, and the breath was knocked out of Luke again. She was suddenly struck timid, struggling for a moment. "Those stupid nuns wouldn't let me get out of bed for a few days, so I had ample time to do some research. And since all you talked about when I last saw you was that Kenobi of yours, I thought…."
She carefully nodded, turning her squirming son to face the link. The shy creature continued to have his arm about his mother's neck, burying his face in her hair. "Why don't you say hi, Ben?"
"Hi," Luke said breathlessly, trying to comprehend what was happening.
"Hello," the small thing responded, an obvious introvert.
Luke's focus shifted back to Mara, momentarily indignant. "How…how dare you not tell me that I'd fathered a child?"
"And what was I supposed to do?" she demanded. "Get in touch with the Rebellion? Point him out to Darth Sidious? I don't think so," she snarled, holding the boy close to her. "His life wouldn't have been worth a credit for all that. No, I did what I could, now how about a thank you or something?"
Luke gave in to that, he could admit to being wrong. "Alright, alright. I'm sorry, I jumped the handle, but I…It's all so new and different…Does anybody know?"
She shook her head. "Except those nuns back at the Sisterhood of whatever their weird goddess' name was. But they're in the Unknown Regions, they're outside the Empire. Or Republic. Or whatever it is you've got up now."
"I wouldn't know," he sighed, resting his head in his hand, amazed. He finally looked at her eyes, whose greenness he could see despite the hologram. "You look tired, Mara."
She flushed. "You're not exactly alert yourself. But thank you very much if I haven't been working hard to keep your son safe. I was visiting him back at that Sisterhood where he was staying. They said the goddess had told them something was happening, he needed to leave, so I…Well, I took him with me, but I wasn't sure where I was going to keep him after that."
"Where are you now?" he asked, bringing up his map.
"Felucia," she replied. "After Palpatine's last message, I…wanted to park and wait to see how things blew over."
"Stay right there," he stressed, changing his course despite Artoo's buzzing. "I'll be there quick as I can. I…."
And they didn't know what to say after that, and so Mara had to default to her customary acid. "So, you've won this little revolution of yours, have you?"
"Now don't be a sore loser, Mara."
"Have things really changed? Are you reinstating the republic?" And then she struck the point she was really asking. "How are things with you and Princess Organa."
Luke faltered for a moment. "It's not like you think."
"On the contrary, I believe it's very much like I think."
"No, because, you see…." He was almost going to enjoy the irony of this. "She happens to be…my twin sister."
There was a long moment of silence after that. "Come again?"
"Crazy isn't it?"
"You don't have a twin sister."
"You'd think that, wouldn't you? No, she's it alright – amazing, I know."
"You mean….you were hitting on-"
"I was really hoping you'd forgotten that."
Quite straight faced, she added, "You have a lot of explaining to do."
"Yes," he leaned back in his seat, watching the pair on the screen with a keen pleasure. "Yes, well, all that in due time. I think I…I think this will all work out quite nicely."
"It'll make a nice change, won't it? We never worked out for a happy ending, did we?"
He watched her with a look of utmost repentance in his eyes, and after a moment, she couldn't meet his gaze. "I never loved you as well as you deserved. I don't think I knew how. I maybe never will."
"Just love me – I don't ask for well or long or anything, I just ask for it."
"And that's what I can promise you."
And breathlessly she had to ask, "Where are we going to?"
"I'm don't know. Home, I think."
"Home? I'm not sure I know where that is."
"Don't worry. We'll find it. I can promise you that."
And she believed him – that was that.
Yup, just as it says up there: The End.
It is a year to the very day (how ironic) of WAIGT's first birthday. It's so much to believe….It's really amazing, and there's so many things I want to say but don't know how – but I do know that you all made it possible. Without your wonderful nagging and support, I wouldn't have made it past the prologue. This fic wouldn't be nearly as grand as it is now; not as much scope, not as much depth. I'm immensely proud of its success, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Bear in mind, it's not really over. WAIGT will never truly be over. I'll continue posting sidelines, so keep your eyes on "Where You Were Going To." I'll put up more snippits of Luke's childhood, and Mara's pregnancy by popular demand. I'll even continue updating this in a way – I'll still respond to reviews and give people updates on…
Of course, that's precarious. Basically, I'm willing to go out and buy a domain name, but, once again, I'm really going to need people's help. I can do some basic frame layouts, but I want this site to look good, so I'm asking for anyone with a talent for html-ing to please e-mail or message me. Artists would be nice, too, as I'd like to put up some pictures on the sight to make it look a little nicer, and maybe do a web comic of the fic in the future. I'd be selling t-shirts, holding contests with prizes, that sort of thing. The work would be volunteer initially, but if I can get this going anywhere, I might be able to give you small amounts of cash, depending on sales and on donations. But anyone interested in helping me with the layout, with the content, with ANYTHING please contact me. I can't do this if I don't have help, there's too much for me to do already. So, please keep that in mind.
I don't think there's much more to say than I'll be taking a brief respite from Star Wars only because I promised my friend Hanna I'd work on a down fic I had after I finished this. But after that, it's straight into my next big fic, which I think you'll all like even better than this one. So if you liked this, keep your eyes on me for the future, there's plenty more to come.
And that's really all, I guess. Just know that I love and appreciate you all and that none of this would have been possible without your support. Please feel free to e-mail and message me at any time, I'll always respond. Much love, many kisses, yours – Shadow13.
Myotismon13: Thank you very much, I'm really glad you loved it.
Schnickledooger: Thank you so much! You've been there since the beginning pretty much, and that's awesome!
HermioneSkywalker: XD! A prequel? Seriously? You all really want me to write one? I don't think it would be very interesting, but I'll seriously keep it in mind if you're all demanding one….
Relyan: Wow, I'm really touched I could move you that much. Thank you.
Stephanie C: I hope Mara didn't disappoint too much.
Jessica -Angel- Skywalker: Thanks much, here's the last of it!
Madame Naberrie: Thank you very, very much. Your reviews have been wonderful.
Jedi X-man Serena Kenobi: Thanks so much!
Ledagirl321: You're all so anxious for Mara and the end, and suddenly you don't want it. How comical. But thank you very much.
Princess-Aiel: -bows- Oh, thank you so much!