Luke Skywalker dropped a data pad on the counter next to where Han was making omelets.
"Is that you two?"
Han wiped his hands on a towel and picked up the pad. On it was a blurred picture taken at distance of two people in a chair. The woman was dressed in a white silk robe and was straddling the man. "That could be anybody." He tossed the pad back on the counter.
"Yes, but that's not what I asked."
Han ignored him. "You want one of these?" he asked, slipping the first omelet out of the pan.
"Sure. Look, she's a princess, not some chick you picked up in a bar." Luke blushed.
Han cracked eggs into a bowl and began to whisk them.
"I'm serious" Luke sputtered, "you can't just take her on the balcony because it suits you."
Han poured the eggs into the pan and sprinkled them with herbs and grated cheese.
Luke blew out a frustrated sigh. "The tabloids were running this picture on the vid. They were saying it was you two."
"That could be anybody," Han repeated as he shook the pan to spread out the egg mixture.
"Han, I'm serious."
"Yeah, I can see that." With a flip of his wrist the omelet was folded. He slid it onto a plate.
The kitchen door opened. "Good morning," Leia said.
"Breakfast is almost ready," Han said as he broke more eggs.
"Smells good, is there anything I can do?" she asked coming up behind him.
Han leaned down and kissed her. "Pour coffee."
Leia smiled. "Coffee, Luke?"
Leia noticed the datapad as she reached to open a cabinetShe looked at Luke. "Interesting choice of viewing material."
"It was on the tabloids this morning. They were saying it was you two."
Leia handed him a cup of coffee. "That could be anyone."
"That's what I said," Han said as he plated the third omelet.
"Sure it could be, but it isn't. It's you two."
"They don't know that," Leia said as she took her coffee and eggs out to the living room.
"I know it," Luke said with exasperation as he and Han followed her out onto the balcony.
"It's a beautiful morning," Leia said as she sat down at the table. "I'm going to miss being outside when we move on to the ship.
Han watched the traffic swirl beneath them. "I don't know. I'm ready to go."
Leia looked through the door into the living room, which was piled with crates. "It's a good thing, because today's the day. The movers will be here in an hour, right?"
"That's what they tell me."
Han looked at Luke, who had been staring at them as they talked.
"It was her idea," Luke said to no one in particular.
Han smiled and shrugged. "That's one of the many reasons I love her."
"Great." Luke rolled his eyes.
Leia refused to acknowledge either of them as she started her breakfast. Han got up a few minutes later. "I have a meeting." He leaned down and kissed Leia, "I'll see you two later."
Luke waited for the door to close behind Han before he turned to Leia. "I need to talk to you."
Leia set her fork down. There was something in his tone that set her on edge. "Okay."
"I found the Jedi temple, or what was left of it."
"It's a market bazaarnow, in the shell of a burned out building."
Leia took his hand. "I'm sorry. I know you're disappointed."
"I just…how am I supposed to continue from nothing. I just wanted to find something, some clue as to how to keep going."
"Perhaps Master Yoda or Obi-Wan?"
Luke snorted derisively. "They both say the same thing. All that I need is right in front of me, but—"
Artoo Detoo and See Threepio walked out on to the balcony. "Mistress Leia, Artoo and I would like to take this opportunity before the movers arrive to recharge if that's alright with you."
"Of course, Threepio."
"Do you need anything before I go?"
"No, we're fine."
"Very good then."
"I think I need to start at the beginning," Luke continued.
Leia looked at him. "What do you mean?"
"I think I need to start with us."
Leia frowned. "I don't follow."
"I've been thinking about this a lot since I found the temple. Maybe I'm going about this all wrong. I mean you and I are all that's left of the Jedi."
"You're all that's left. I'm not a Jedi."
"But you could be."
"But I won't be."
Luke frowned. "Nonetheless. We came from somewhere. All we know now is that Anakin Skywalker was our father and that he turned to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader."
Leia felt a wave of nausea. "I really wish you'd just let that go."
Luke looked at her, a clear expression of disbelief crossing his features. "How can you say that? Aren't you even the slightest bit curious about what happened?"
"Knowing Vader he probably raped some innocent girl."
Luke's jaw dropped. "Well, first of all, based on that suit, I think that's unlikely if not impossible and secondly, Ben clearly said that Anakin was our father, not Vader."
"But since neither one of us knew either of our parents what does that really mean, that he turned before we were born?"
"Possibly or right after, my point is, don't you want to know? And what about our mother? You say you have vague memories of her, but do you know her name?"
Leia shook her head. "It doesn't matter, she didn't raise me. Breha Organa was my mother."
Luke shook his head. "You don't really think that."
Leia looked down and realized she was still holding his hand. She jerked her hand away, furious that he'd used that against her. Luke grabbed her forearm. "Don't pretend. I can feel the conflict in you, the curiosity. There is no disloyalty to the Organas in wanting to know about your birth parents."
Leia pulled her arm away and stood. "Parent. I have no interest in him. I know more than I ever wanted to about him. And frankly, I don't see how she could be all that great either considering she took up with the likes of him. Jedi weren't even supposed to have relationships, so what does it say about them that they wantonly flaunted that rule."
Luke shook his head. "I don't know, but I'd like to find out."
"Fine, you go find out. I've got movers coming." She turned on her heel and stormed back into the apartment.
Luke quietly picked up the breakfast dishes and returned them to the kitchen.
Two days later, Han was helping Leia organize their bedroom when Threepio walked in.
"Master Luke is on the comm with a message for Her Majesty."
Leia leaned over her dressing table to pushed a button, causing the mirror to become a comm screen. Luke's grainy image appeared. He seemed very excited.
"You have to come to Tatooine, you won't believe what I found."
"I can't over the comm, you just have to see for yourself. It's amazing. It really has been right in front of us all this time."
"Luke, I can't leave right now. I have meetings, I'm still trying to get our quarters unpacked and the official launch is next week."
Luke's head bobbed up and down. "I know it's a bad time, but you have to see this and I don't want to do it there."
Leia had a sudden sinking sensation. She realized if Luke had information about their parents she didn't want him bringing it to this ship either. She nodded. "Let me get back to you."
Leia hit the button to turn the screen back into a mirror. "Damn it," she hissed.
"What's he on about?" Han asked from behind her.
"Nothing. He wants me to go to Tatooine."
"I gathered that. Why?"
Leia blew out a long sigh and rubbed little circles in her temples with her fingertips. "He's found out something about our parents."
Han sat down on the edge of the bed. "I didn't realize he was looking into that."
Leia sat beside him. "Apparently there's no discouraging him."
"I take it you're not interested in this information."
"I wouldn't say I'm not interested. I'm just not all excited about it. I mean who cares? They were probably two Jedi breaking their vows and then we happened, and that's all there is to it. Oh, except the part where our father went to the Dark Side and became the Emperor's right hand man and one of the most evil people ever. Hardly the sort of thing that inspires a big family reunion."
Han put his arm around her. "So don't go."
Leia sighed again and leaned into him. "I have to go."
"You don't have to go."
"Yes, I do. He's the only family I have. Blood calls."
Han kissed her forehead. "Fine, I'll warm up the Falcon and we'll slip out of here tonight."
Leia shook her head. "Oh, no. I need you here. We can't both leave with all this going on. As it is, I can really only give him two days. I need you here so I can give him that."
"I don't like the idea of you flying out there by yourself."
"I'll be fine. I'll take one of the new fighters and be there and back in a flash."
"Take the Falcon and take Chewie."
"Are you kidding? I need him here too. He's doing a tour for the Kashyyykian ambassador and coordinating most of the arrangements for that quadrant."
"Well, at least take Threepio."
"Han, no. He's going to have manage all the rescheduling of my calendar and keep track of yours."
"I don't want you going alone."
She patted his leg, "I'll be fine." She stood up and turned the comm back on. She didn't bother with trying to contact Luke directly. Instead she typed a quick encoded message that she would be there soon.
Han moved up behind her. "I don't like this."
She turned around to face him. "I know, but I won't be long."
"When are you leaving?" he asked wrapping his arms around her.
"Now, I guess. The sooner I get there the sooner I can return."
Han sighed and propped his chin on her head. "I don't like the idea of you traveling alone."
"I know. I'm sorry."
"Well, how are you going to make it up to me?"
Leia leaned back and looked up at him. "I don't know. I was going to shower before I left. I suppose you could join me."
Han pretended to think about it. "I guess. If that's the best you can do."
Leia smiled demurely. "Is that a challenge?"
Leia landed her sleek new A-Wing in the Jundland Wastes just a few meters from Obi-Wan Kenobi's cliff side home. Luke was there to great her as she pulled herself from the cockpit.
"How was your flight?"
Leia set her helmet in the seat of the cockpit and hopped down. "Good."
She followed him into the low dwelling and was pleased to find it was considerably cooler than the outside air.
"I've got dinner ready." Luke said.
"I'm just going to freshen up first."
When she came out of the fresher, Luke had set the table with fruit, cheese and bread. He was pouring a blue drink she was unfamiliar with into two glasses.
"I'm sorry about dinner, but the local markets are kind of limited in their selection."
Leia sat down and placed her napkin in her lap. "This is fine." She held up the glass of blue liquid.
"It's local. You'll find it very thirst quenching."
"It looks like blue milk."
"Just try it."
Leia took a sip. The taste was like a nothing she had ever experienced, but Luke was right, it was surprisingly thirst quenching. She nodded at Luke as she set down the glass. "Very good."
He smiled. "Well, eat up."
Leia took a piece of fruit and began peeling it. "So, why am I here?"
Luke took his time swallowing the piece of bread he'd been eating. "Yoda was right. Everything I needed was right in front of me."
Luke pointed to a trunk in the main room. "That's Obi-Wan's. He brought it with him when he moved here. He was apparently quite the war hero."
Leia nodded. "My father always spoke very highly of him."
"He was our father's master. He trained him."
Leia picked up a piece of cheese. "Apparently he was a better hero than he was a teacher."
"He took Anakin's fall as a personal failure, Leia."
Leia shrugged. "Reasonable."
Luke blew out a frustrated breath. "Well, anyway, I was looking through his things and I came across a picture of Obi-Wan, Anakin and two droids."
Leia took a piece of bread.
"Artoo and Threepio."
The bread dropped to the floor. "Why would they—"
"They were Anakin's droids."
"No, that's not possible. How could that be possible?"
Luke shook his head. "I suppose the Force wanted us to have them."
Luke raised his eyebrows. "So I just asked Artoo what he knew about Anakin Skywalker."
Leia felt her stomach lurch.
"Artoo," Luke called and the little droid rolled into the room. "Show Leia the file you showed me."
Artoo whistled his consent and then a holographic image appeared in the room. It was a young man with curly blonde hair and a scar along his right eye.
"Okay, Artoo," the image said. The young man cleared his throat. "Hello," he said. "I'm your father, Anakin Skywalker." He cleared his throat. "Your mother just told me today that she was pregnant. As you can imagine, we are very excited." His eyes were gleaming and his smiled spread across his whole face.
Leia covered her mouth with her hand.
"When Padme told me," Anakin continued. "I knew I wanted to capture this moment for you. So you would know, that no matter what, that you have two parents who love each other and who love you." He closed his eyes. "We are at war right now. The galaxy is in turmoil and the Republic is struggling to stay together. We do what we can, your mother in the Senate and me in the field, but this is a dangerous time and if something should happen to one of us…I just wanted you to have this."
The image of Anakin leaned down to adjust something. "We've been married for three years. Unfortunately, I've had to be away a lot with the war. But as Master Obi-Wan says, duty first. Anyway, over the last three years I've had Artoo take some holovids." Anakin winked at the camera. "You know, on the sly. So I've had Artoo put them together for you."
The image of Anakin faded to be replaced by the image of a balcony with a small wedding ceremony taking place. Anakin's voice spoke over the images. "This is our wedding, the day your mother became Padme Naberrie Skywalker, although, we keep that quiet."
Leia gasped at the mention of her mother's name.
"That's why there aren't really any people at the wedding. Strictly speaking, we weren't supposed to marry. I am a Jedi, but sometimes love overcomes rules. Look at her, isn't your mother beautiful?" The image moved to a close up of the couple kissing.
The next image was of Padme in a diaphanous nightgown on a different balcony brushing her hair. "Here's your mother again. She loves to brush her hair outside under the stars in the evening. She has such lovely hair."
Leia stood, knocking over her chair. "I can't watch any more of this."
Artoo stopped the image just as Padme looked into the camera.
Leia covered her mouth again and ran through the room and into the desert night.
"Leia!" Luke hurried after her. He found her slumped against the building, sobbing. "What's wrong?"
Red-eyed, she looked up at him. "What the hell do you think is wrong?" she yelled and threw a handful of sand at him.
"Hey," Luke said, taken aback by her sudden rage. "What?"
Leia stood abruptly and stormed off toward her ship.
He moved to follow her but a wall of sand shot up in front of him and he stumbled back from it, shocked by the Dark Side crackling around him. As the sand fell back to the ground he watched Leia pull herself into her ship.
"What have I done?" Luke whispered to the night.
Luke walked slowly back into Ben's cabin. He cleaned up their dinner mindlessly and told Artoo to go warm up the X-Wing. Finally, he dropped down in front of Ben's ancient comm console and contacted Han.
"Leia's on her way home."
Han's face got bigger as he leaned into his console. "Luke, what happened?"
"I showed her the holovid of our parents. I thought…"
Luke looked up at him. "I didn't…she's on her way home, but she's not okay."
Han slumped back in his chair. "Great."
"I'll be there as soon as I can."
Han was waiting alone in the hanger when Leia's A-Wing touched down. He had cleared everyone else out and let them assume what they would about him wanting a private moment with Leia.
As she pulled herself from the ship, Han noted she was covered with sand; her eyes were red, and dirt and sand clung to her cheeks.
She landed softly on the ground and looked around at the empty hanger, then at him. Tears flooded her eyes and she fell into his arms and clung to him.
He soothed his hand over her hair. "It's okay."
She shook her head into his chest. "No, it's not."
Han took her by the shoulders and held her away from him. "You're going to be fine. Let's get you home." He walked her to the elevator and pushed the button for the top level and held his palm against the lock that gained access to their private suite.
Leia leaned heavily against him and mumbled things he didn't understand. "He was human and he loved her…why did it have to be Padme…why her? I chased her for so long…how could he have…I don't understand…why didn't they just tell me instead of letting me…"
Han got her inside and told Threepio to run a bath. Han took her hand and led her back to the bedroom where he undressed her. Leia didn't seem to notice. He led her back to the bathroom and got her in the tub. She moved numbly without purpose, mindlessly doing as he said.
Han leaned over the tub and bathed her. She let him without protest, without notice even until finally he had her clean and dried off and wrapped up in a heavy robe. He was pulling down the sheets to their bed when Leia looked at him for the first time that night as if she recognized he was there.
"I felt the darkness tonight. I know…Luke thinks I don't know…but I do. I felt the power and I know how he became Vader. I understand how the darkness swallowed him. It's the rage…and the fear…it's the rage and the fear that suck you in."
Han held her face in his hands and locked eyes with her. "You're not going anywhere," he said firmly. He wasn't exactly sure what she was talking about, but he knew he didn't like it. Leia nodded and got into bed. Han undressed and got in behind her and tried not to think murderous thoughts about Luke.
Leia was fitful all night and Han barely slept at all. She woke screaming four times. After the last time, he called down to the infirmary for a sedative. In the early morning he finally dozed off as Leia seemed at last to relax some. He was woken all to soon by Threepio lightly taping his shoulder. Han was relieved that Threepio understood not to speak until they were out of the room.
"Baron Solo," Threepio began.
Han rolled his eyes. He couldn't help it.
"Master Luke has arrived."
"Don't let him up here," Han growled. "Tell him I'll meet him in his quarters."
Twenty minutes later, Han pounded on the door to Luke's cabin. He was furious and ready to tear the kid's head off until Luke opened the door. It actually looked like Luke had aged in the few days since Han had last seen him. His face was drawn and haggard and his eyes were red rimmed as if he'd been crying.
"What the hell?" Han said in exasperation.
"I'm so sorry." Luke said, and motioned for Han to come in. "How is she?"
"Sedated." Han looked at Luke. "Why don't you know that?"
"She cut me off when she left Tatooine."
"Can't you just—"
"No," Luke shook his head. "She's much stronger when it comes to our connection. She can cut me off at will, has been able to for sometime actually. I have to really strain to cut her off and if she really wants access to my feelings, I can't stop her."
Han sat down on Luke's couch. "Well, that's kind of disturbing."
Luke laughed bitterly. "You don't know the half of it."
Han pinched the bridge of his nose. He was too exhausted to talk about this Force mumbo jumbo. "Do you have any coffee?"
Luke shook his head. "I have tea?"
"Sure, want some?"
Luke went to make tea but kept talking from the kitchen. "I want you to know I never would have sent for her if I'd known that was going to be her reaction."
Han shook his head in disbelief, his anger starting to well up again. "What the hell were you thinking giving a face to that monster?"
"I thought she'd want to see the man before he became the monster. He was our father, Han. How could she not want to see that?"
"He tortured her, Luke. Me too, and I certainly wouldn't want to see him as a man all happy and in love, excited about his children."
"You seem to forget I lost a hand to him, but it doesn't bother me."
Han snorted. "Come on, Luke. There's a world of difference between being in a one-on-one, man-to-man fight and losing than being stuck helpless in a tiny cell."
Luke handed Han his tea and sat down. "You're right. I hadn't thought of it that way." They both sat quietly drinking their tea for a while. "You know she missed the best part."
Han looked at him.
"We have family. Anakin was an only child but Padme had a sister, Sola, and she has children. We have an aunt and cousins and grandparents. I don't know if they're still alive, but it would be easy to find out."
Han scrubbed a palm over his face and looked at Luke, shocked at how dense he could be sometimes. "How are you supposed to do that, Luke, without revealing the whole truth?"
"Leia is never going to be okay with that Luke. And frankly, neither am I. The AVB already has her on their hit list, you want half the galaxy wanting her dead now too?"
"He was our father, but he didn't raise us."
"People place a lot of stock in blood, Luke. Word gets out and you'll destroy everything we've worked for."
"But our mother's family, don't they deserve to know we're alive and well?"
"You're assuming a lot there, kid."
"What if they didn't approve of the marriage? Worse, what if they didn't even know? What if they saw her pregnancy as bringing shame on the family? That wouldn't be unheard of, you know?"
Luke dropped his face into his hands and pressed his fingers against his eyelids. "What a mess."
"Yeah," Han said, "but it's not one you made. Just don't add to it."
"I'm afraid I already have."
Han sipped his tea. "Leia will be fine."
"I need to talk to her."
"Not tonight. She'll come to you when she's ready. Don't push."
"It needs to be sooner rather than later, Han. Something else happened. Something I can't let slide. We need to talk."
Han nodded and set his cup down. "I'll do what I can, kid."
Luke nodded and Han showed himself out.
It was late afternoon and Han was working in his office when he finally heard Leia stirring in their bedroom. He got up and went into the kitchen.
A little while later she came padding in and sat down at the table. Han set a plate with a scrambled egg and toast in front of her.
Leia looked at the breakfast in front of her then up at Han. "I love you so much."
"I know," Han said, "who wouldn't?"
Leia nodded as he poured her a glass of water.
"But would you still love me if I stopped cooking?"
Leia smiled faintly and nodded.
Han snapped his fingers. "I knew it."
She laughed softly.
"Well, you know the old adage: the fasted way to a Princess's heart is through her stomach."
Leia raised an eyebrow. "That's an old adage?"
Han grinned at her. "Maybe just in my family."
Leia took a forkful of eggs, but then set it down. "I'm really sorry about last night."
"Don't be. You're allowed a rough night now and then."
Leia smiled at him. She ate her eggs. When she was done, she leaned back and looked at him. "I wasn't…I didn't expect to unravel like that."
Han shrugged. "If you'd expected it, it probably wouldn't have happened."
Leia nibbled thoughtfully on her toast. "To be honest, I'm not sure which was worse, finding out that Vader used to be a charming man who loved his wife and was excited about having children or finding out that Padme Naberrie was my mother."
"I thought you liked Padme Naberrie?"
A tear slipped from her eye, and Leia pushed it away. "Yes, from a very early age she was presented to me as a role model. Someone whose path I could follow, something to reach for."
Han was confused. "Then—"
More tears fell. "Don't you see? It was just more manipulation."
"Luke's family loved him."
Han was struggling to keep up with her train of thought.
"Did you know his Uncle Owen used to chase Obi-Wan Kenobi off their property?"
Han vaguely recalled Luke saying something to that effect.
"When Luke wanted to go to the academy, his uncle kept making excuses for why he should stay on Tatooine."
Han shook his head. "I don't—"
"They wanted to keep him safe on Tatooine. They tried to spare him, to save him from his destiny. They loved him."
Finally, Han understood where she was going with this. "Leia, I'm sure your—"
"No, they didn't. Not like Luke's. I was raised every minute with my destiny in mind. Alderaan was a peaceful planet. A planet of pacifists, yet I was taught to shoot a blaster. I was taught to fly, not cruisers, fighters. They put Padme Naberrie in front of me and said to follow her example. She was one of the originators of the rebellion along with Bail Organa and Mon Mothma. She lived a double life, triple really if you consider that she was also secretly married to a Jedi. From birth, I lived a lie. Two-faced in the Senate, I thought I knew the lie I was living, but I didn't know the half of it. Then I turned 18 and suddenly Bail Organa got tired of waiting, I guess, and he packed me off to find Obi-Wan. I see now that he was sending me there to be reunited with Luke and for us to begin our Jedi training." She looked up at Han, her eyes dry now. "So you see, all along, I was just a tool to them."
"Luke couldn't escape his destiny either, Leia. His Aunt and Uncle might have tried to save him but it didn't make any difference and they ended up dead for their efforts."
Leia slumped in her chair and stared at the wall. "But they tried, and that makes all the difference."
Han took her hand. "At least it's over now. You can write your own destiny from here."
Leia gave him a look that sent a chill down his spine. "I'm not so sure," she said.
It was three days before Leia approached Luke. She came unannounced to his cabin in the early morning.
"You wanted to see me?" Leia said as he opened the door.
"Yes," Luke nodded. "Come in."
Leia settled herself on the sofa in his living room.
"Can I get you anything?"
She shook her head. "I'm fine."
"Look," Luke said, as he sat across from her. "We need to talk about what happened on Tatooine."
Leia let her head fall back against the sofa. "I'm sorry I fell apart like that. I wasn't expecting him to be so…human."
Luke shook his head. "I don't care about that. It was thoughtless of me to show you that without warning you first. I didn't consider how it might make you feel. It didn't occur to me that you would feel differently than I did."
Leia nodded. "Okay."
"What I want to talk about is what happened after."
Leia looked at him and their eyes locked. "With the sand?"
"Yes, there was—"
"Darkness there. I know." She dropped her eyes.
"I don't know. It just happened."
"You haven't been practicing, trying to make things move?"
"No. It was a natural extension."
Luke shook his head. "The Darkside isn't natural."
Leia looked at him. "You're wrong. It's all natural. Light, dark, two sides of the same thing."
"Listen to me, you taught me to meditate, and when I do that's what I see, the Force everywhere spread out before me in all directions in every shade of gray, black to white, it's all there, everywhere."
"But the Dark Side is dangerous."
"So is the Light."
"Don't you get it? Manipulating the Force is unnatural. It's arrogant. The Force flows through us, but not only through us. We can manipulate it, that's what makes us different but it doesn't make us better. It just makes us dangerous."
"What are you talking about?"
"You are the last of the Jedi."
"And what of the Sith?"
"Father destroyed the Sith when he killed he Emperor and then he died. There is no one to continue the Dark teachings."
Leia shook her head. "The Force seeks balance."
Luke nodded, "yes."
"If you start a new Jedi academy, the Sith will rise again. It's inevitable, the Force will balance itself."
"But there is no one—"
"I am my father's daughter." She gave him a hard look.
"Arrogance is assuming I would have a choice."
"Leia…what are you saying?"
"I'm saying the Jedi fell for a reason. Let's not repeat the mistakes of the past. Right now there is no Jedi Temple and no Sith. It's balanced. Let's leave it that way."
Luke stared at his hands. "But I always thought I should pass on what I know. Don't I have an obligation to do that?"
Leia stood. "I can only tell you what I see, Luke. Think about it. I need to go. I have a meeting."
Luke walked her to the door. When he returned to the living room he found the shimmering images of Obi-Wan and Yoda sitting on his couch.
"Understand you sister does, the true nature of the Force." Yoda said.
"Well, that's great." Luke said, "Why wasn't that mentioned in my training?"
"Your own conclusions about the Force, we hoped you would draw." Yoda explained.
"Besides," Obi-Wan added, "at the time, we were most interested in preparing you to face Vader."
"So, I let it go, like Leia said, and the knowledge dies with me."
"No," Yoda shook his head, "pass on your knowledge you must."
Luke flopped into an armchair across from them. "Master, I don't understand."
"The Jedi lost sight of the true nature of the Force—" Obi-Wan said.
"Arrogance over all we had built," Yoda added.
"We started to feel like we controlled the Force instead of merely channeling it."
"Transferred from parent to child, knowledge of the Force should be." Yoda nodded.
Obi-Wan nodded. "But in the end, Jedi children were separated from their parents, separated from those they loved. Forced to abandon all attachment in order to serve the Force first and foremost."
Yoda shook his head. "Wrong was that."
"The Jedi started to think of themselves as above the fray. Better than those they swore to protect."
"No understanding was there for the lives of those they served."
"Better to be connected to the world than to rise above it." Obi-Wan said.
"So who am I to teach?"
"Teach your children, you will."
"And your sister's children." Obi-Wan added. "There might be those who find their way to you through the Force."
"Teach them, you should." Yoda said.
"The Force will direct your path." Obi-Wan smiled.
"Trust it, you should." Yoda nodded.
A few months later, Han was returning from the bridge feeling pretty good about his life. He opened the door to the suite he shared with Leia to find the lights out and her standing looking out at the stars through a large window in their living room.
He set down his data pad and moved to stand behind her. She leaned into him as he wrapped his arms around her; he leaned down and kissed her ear.
They stood quietly for a few minutes.
"I miss being outside," Leia whispered softly.
Han kissed the top of her head. "Then let's go somewhere and make landfall for awhile."
"I hope you don't mind, but I've purchased an estate."
Han moved in front of her and sat down on the window ledge. "An estate, where?"
Han's eyebrows shot up.
"It's in the lake country. There are cliffs and meadows. You get to it by canal, it's very beautiful, very scenic."
"You've been there?"
"No, but I've seen the vid the realtor sent."
"You bought an estate you've never seen?"
Leia smiled. "Are you worried about the money?"
"No," Han laughed. "That just seems unlike you."
"It's the Naberrie family estate."
"Oh." Han frowned. "Why are they selling?"
Leia shook her head. "The realtor didn't say, but to let go of property like that generally implies some sort of financial crisis. Or perhaps, they simply vacation elsewhere now and don't want to continue staffing such a large estate."
"So you bought it."
"I felt it should stay in the family."
"You didn't tell—"
"Of course not. I'm just a woman with a lot of money looking for a lovely place to spend holidays."
Han pulled her on to his lap. "Well, okay then."
Leia kissed him softly on the lips. "Thank you for understanding."
Han nodded and kissed her back. "The sex keeps me compliant."
Leia laughed as he stood and lifted her with him. "You're incorrigible."
Han grinned at her as he carried her back to their bedroom.