This is one of the first stories I ever wrote (written originally around 1999-2000)—a song fic it focuses on the song Lady in Red by Chris Deburgh. Once again all characters here are property of Lucasfilm. I have edited the piece to comply with rules about song lyrics—and instead of the lyrics themselves I've noted the line information so that you can look up the lyrics and read them where they belong. If you would like the piece with the lyrics (instead of line notations) please e-mail me at with the title of the story in the subject line.

Also this will be slightly different from the 1999 version of the piece. I've edited it to make grammar, spelling and diction a little more smooth. I decided not to change the style drastically, as it would change the tone of the piece as I origionally intended it to be.

Time: After Luke/Mara's return from Garqi in Union

Lady in Red

Part I

Verse 1 Lines 1-2

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"She's radiant, Luke"

Luke followed Leia's gaze across the ballroom floor…

"I know," he whispered "I know.."

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The low light of the room created a warm halo of air, casting a surreal light on the reception. Standing within the halo was Mara Jade; her eyes sparkling like a brilliant Coruscant diadem showing off its beauty. As she laughed, her teeth flashed and her lips turned up into an unaccustomed smile.

When she felt Luke's touch, Mara shivered and she did not have to turn around to know he was watching her. Nevertheless, she turned from the others to scan the crowd in futility. Deciding against searching for him physically, Mara opened herself to the Force. There. Now she could feel his love and acceptance.

Since their return from Garqi, she and Luke had been shuttled from one appointment to another, and now… this—Leia had said that although the formal announcement had been made; they still needed to announce it to the Coruscant Elite…A small group, right? No—Never a small group.

Shavit! She'd zoned out again! Turning back to the group Mara tried to ignore the knowing smile on Mirax's face.

"So Mara, how did he ask?" Mirax's eyes twinkled with mischief.

Blushing, Mara retorted mildly, " You are loving this aren't you? Well if you must know…we were being attacked by giant arthropods native to some backward world we were on..."

"MARA!" Iella cried in exasperation…"That's not funny—Can't you see we want to know?"

Triumphant, Mara smiled "Gotchya!" and the group laughed. Waiting until they grew silent again, she let out a small laugh of her own…"It just happened…we just knew. He asked and I realized that the only answer I could give was 'Yes'."

"That's beautiful," Mirax wiped a mock tear from her eye. "Now I have to ask about your dress…its gorgeous…" she faltered as something behind Mara caught her eye.

"Mara, may I have this dance?"

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Verse 1: Lines 3-5

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Mara raised a questioning eyebrow towards the girls before turning around—"Why of course Ghent." There was something different here under his usual earnest expression. "Is everything all right?"

Nodding, he absently led her to the dance floor, answering with a quite "Yes," before focusing on her face. "Mara, what you and Master Skywalker, …what you two do each day of your lives, helping people, for real reasons, not just because everyone else is doing it…is an example. The last couple of weeks have taught me a thing or two. So thank you…thank you for your part in changing my life…Congratulations."

Astounded, not only by the stream of words coming out of the normally quiet crypt chief's mouth, but also by the sentiment, Mara thanked him—and the rest of the dance flew by.

As per custom, the couple danced the last dance before dinner, so for the next few hours she was whisked back onto the dance floor by friends and those she considered family.

Karrde, who grinned at her as he talked about his new plans for the organization.

Corran who smirked, stating, "I've known since you told me to look after him on Yavin." He and Mirax were enjoying this way too much, but when he escorted her back to the table he kissed her lightly on the cheek, whispering, "You two will be happy, trust me."

Then came Lando, Lando the brash, Lando the flamboyant. "My dear Miss Jade, you look prettier then I've ever seen you—what does Luke over there have that I don't?"

A little overwhelmed, Mara merely nodded answering with a slight jab of her own, "Lando you better not let Tendra hear that."

Afterwards there were dignitaries, each conveying a subtle sense of…want through the force—like they wished for what she and Luke had. On the outside Mara's unease faded, but inside she needed to find Luke, desperately. Opening to herself to the force she reached….

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Verse 1: Lines 6-9

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Feeling her touch, Luke turned from the view on the balcony—tonight Coruscant was glowing. It was all light. From where he was standing she could not see him, but he could see her. Sitting with Leia at a table, her dress shimmered as she smoothed it with her left hand, then tucked loose strands of hair behind her ear.

He sensed his brother-in-law behind him. "Hey Kid---"

"Han."

The taller man stepped up to the railing, "Its time I told you something"

Tearing his eyes away, Luke blinked at the serious nature of the former smuggler's voice. "What?"

Running fingers through his hair, Han set his face into one of his grins, "Well, Leia and I were worried..." the smile faded, and he started again. "There was a time, when we thought that you would never find someone. We thought you would be looking for Callista forever. Then after---the only time we ever saw you happier was whenever Mara swung by…for some reason she took the dark out from you. Now, you know I can't claim to understand your "Hokey Religion" (at that Luke smiled), but it seemed like the Force was trying to tell you something you couldn't see." Swallowing, Han rushed out the last words.

"I haven't ever told you this—but you are my brother in every way that matters—seeing you happy means a lot to me."

"More than the Falcon?"

"You're pushing it"

Luke covered his laugh with his hand, "Han—thank you." His brother-in-law nodded and walked back towards Leia.

Luke watched him leave, and then walked back out to the balcony and drew a deep breath. As the sweet air filled his lungs—he flung his questions into the glistening sky above—Why didn't I see it befor? Sso much wasted time…

That didn't matter now, everything was perfect.

A short time later he felt a hand on his shoulde, and he knew even before he was told…

"Its time."

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Chorus

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Mara stiffened as she saw the hall manager indicate that the dining area was nearly ready. That was the signal—Last Dance. Why am I nervous?

Then she heard him, whispering in her ear, appearing like an apparition out of a dream. "Because, you are afraid, but Mara let go, fall in, trust in the light, and they will see that we are meant to be."

Shutting her eyes, Mara stood up, picked her gown up with one hand, and placed the other on Luke's arm. "I'm trusting you," she whispered "I have faith in you." Aware of the eyes on them, Mara let Luke walk her to the center of the dance floor, her eyes still shut.

The opening chords of an Ithorian waltz began to bounce off the iridescent walls of the room, swelling and following the waves of an invisible hand. Right before the beat, Mara felt feather-kisses on her eyelids urging them open and causing her to let out an inaudible gasp. When she finally saw Luke's brilliant eyes of crystal ice, staring innocently at hers, they began to move in the tentative steps that she had learned in Palaptine's court, and the steps she had recently taught Luke. Mara, fall in, he urged Trust the Force.

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Luke had to stop himself from grinning as he saw Mara's surprise at his Force touch. Inside he couldn't take his eyes off her. Her red hair, her dress that in the glow of the room shimmered a myriad of shades of red, and deep emerald green. As the waltz began to increase in speed he slid his arms tighter, and moved her closer so he could feel her breath on his cheek. How did I get so lucky?

Time seemed to stretch out, and just when they reached into a series of complicated steps he felt Mara reach for him, and their bond grew stronger. Intertwining his fingers in hers, he could feel her apprehension die. All around them, shadows danced as other couples joined them on the floor, shimmering in the chandeliers light. To Mara and Luke, it was the darkness of both their lives merging together, promising once again to share both sorrow and joy together.

The final chords faded, and they tore apart. Each glowed through the Force, sensing what was going to happen next. Kissing her lightly, he thought I'll never forget tonight. Unconsciously replying, Mara returned the kiss and gripped his hand tightly, neither will I.

The sound of applauding rushed to their ears as Han whooped and announced. "May I present my brother-in-law Luke Skywalker and his fiancé the soon to be Mrs. Skywalker, Mara Jade."