Disclaimer: Star Wars and its characters in no possible way belong to me, they belong to George Lucas.
Author's Note: This chapter replaces what used to be chapters 1-3
Mara Jade was unable to believe her own heart's desire – to have a child. She was due to return to Coruscant the following week from her mission on the world Ord Mantell. Fighting her desire was getting harder by the minute, especially just sitting eating take-outs in her hotel room. She decided to go for a walk to clear her mind and hopefully her heart as well. Neither desire was going to happen for her.
She picked up her cloak and pulled it on while moving to the door, slipping the hood up as she did so. Mara hit the alarm switch before she left, knowing that she may have been followed when she came back to her room earlier.
She walked to the turbolift quickly so she couldn't bump into any male and fall for them, at least not let her heart decide that they would be a suitable father for her desired child. She did bump into someone though. He was just a few centimetres taller than she was, with blonde hair and piercing ice blue eyes.
"Sorry," was what he said as a murmured apology before lightly blushing as he noticed her physical beauty. He then bent to retrieve the papers he had dropped, as if to cover up his embarrassment.
"No, I'm the one who should be sorry," Mara murmured, as she bent to help him. She herself began to blush as well. "I should have watched where I was walking."
"It's ok. My name's Luke. Luke Skywalker," he said, reaching out to shake her hand.
"I'm Mara Jade. It's nice to meet you," Mara replied, taking his hand and quickly shaking it before withdrawing her hand and looking like an awkward and embarrassed teenager facing their fear of talking to their crush.
They stood in silence for several moments looking at their feet for what seemed to them an eternity. Mara tried to step past Luke as he prepared to step past her, only to bump into him again. Luke again dropped his papers. "I'm so sorry. I'm not normally like this around strangers I've just met," Mara apologized, becoming more embarrassed than she already was.
"As I said before it's really ok. I'm usually pretty much a klutz myself, so I'm used to dropping things all the time. If I were you, I wouldn't really worry. I'd better go. I've had a very long week and I've got an even longer one ahead of me."
"Look, why don't I treat you to dinner? My choice, just to save you the trouble of finding someplace halfway decent to eat at."
"That'd be great. I'll just ditch my papers in my room. I'll meet you back here in say, quarter of an hour?"
"It'll only take you five minutes to ditch the papers."
"I kinda need to get changed. I'm not exactly what you might call presentable, dressed like this," replied Luke as he looked down at his clothes and blushed again.
"Don't worry. I don't really eat at fancy restaurants. So don't worry."
"Ok. I'll be back in five."
Quarter of an hour later Mara and Luke were sitting in a traditional Naboo style restaurant, talking.
"So what do you do for a living?" Mara asked candidly as she prepared a bite of salad for herself.
Luke answered when he'd finished his mouthful by using his usual reply, "I'm a pilot and I'm a Jedi Padawan." Why did I tell her that? I don't even know her, yet.
"That doesn't say much," she teased gently, giving him a mischievous grin before taking a bite of her meal.
Luke for some reason felt comfortable talking to Mara – comfortable enough to say a little about what he piloted. "I mainly fly starfighters, but I can fly pretty much anything short of a Mon Cal cruiser."
Mara let her face show her surprise at his piloting skills, before she spoke again. Rather than speak of his piloting skills, she asked about the second thing he said he did for a living. "So what is a Jedi Padawan?"
"A warrior of sorts, however a Padawan can't really be called a warrior. A Padawan is a student of the Jedi arts, so technically I'm only a warrior in training."
"Is it easy to become a Jedi?"
"It's not; rather it's a very large challenge. My Master - Master Windu - has this weird idea that no challenge is ever too great. Sometimes I get this weird idea that he thinks that challenges aren't real, that they don't exist. He's weird like that."
"Who exactly is Master Windu?"
"He's my teacher. Before Master Windu took me on as an apprentice though, I was being trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi."
"Obi-Wan Kenobi? That name sounds familiar," puzzled Mara as their waiter took their salad plates away and replaced them with their mains orders.
"He was Vader's former master. Vader killed him in cold blood three years ago."
"That's probably how I know his name. I must've overheard Lord Vader telling the Emperor of Kenobi's death at his hand."
"So, enough about me, what about you? Where do you work?"
"I'm an Imperial Assassin; more specifically I'm one of the Emperor's Hands." Why am I telling him that? He's a complete stranger.
"That's interesting," said Luke as he took a sip of his wine.
"Why's that interesting?"
"I'm a Rebel Alliance Pilot, wanted by the Emperor because I blew up the Death Star and because I'm a Jedi."
"What's so interesting about that?"
"Think about it. You work for the Emperor and I work against him as a member of the Alliance."
Mara smiled as the realisation hit her. "You've got a point. I'd probably be the person the Emperor would send to kill you. Lord Vader's been stalling on killing some Rebel lately, so much so I'd say he's asking for permission to change how they're wanted to alive only. Your name is rather familiar; I swear I've heard it somewhere. I really shouldn't be talking about my employers." What am I saying? He's a Rebel.
An awkward silence followed Mara's last spoken words until Luke spoke again. "So what does your family think of your occupation?"
"I don't know. I was taken from them when I was fairly young, by the Emperor himself. I don't really know my family at all," answered Mara as she began to eat her meal.
"That sounds rather cruel. Who were you raised by?"
"This woman, Natye for fifteen years and at the same time this man, I can't remember his name at all for some absurd reason. I can't really remember my real parents at all."
"I guess I was lucky in that respect. I was raised by my Aunt and Uncle."
"Were they your real aunt and uncle?"
"My uncle was my father's stepbrother."
"What were they like?"
"My uncle was really strict, but my aunt really nice in comparison."
"Do you miss them?"
"A lot. Do you ever wonder about your real parents? And what they'd think of what you do for a living?"
"I do. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to them and what life would be like if I hadn't been taken from them. What about your real parents?"
"I was taken to Tatooine when I was a baby. My mother disappeared when I was four and my father was killed before I was born, by Vader."
"I can see why you belong to the Rebellion."
"That isn't all of my reasoning for belonging to the Rebellion."
"What do you mean?"
"My Aunt and Uncle were killed by Imperial Stormtroopers when I was eighteen. My aunt didn't deserve to die."
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked."
"It's ok. Their deaths are part of my past and I've come to accept them as that," Luke said noting her slight discomfort at having brought up a sore subject.
At this point Mara noticed that they had both finished their meals. "Dessert?" she suggested, not knowing how he'd answer.
"How about we pay for this lot then get dessert as takeouts? We can walk back to the hotel and eat it on the way," was Luke's calm reply.
"Sure. Sounds like a plan to me."
"So do you know anything about your dad? Or any other members of your family for that matter?" Mara asked as she stepped out of the Ice Cream Parlour a step ahead of Luke.
"My dad died during the Clone Wars. He was a Jedi Knight, and well known pilot. I don't know anything about my mother, except what my sister and mother's family have told me."
"You have a sister?" Mara asked, surprised, after picking up his unspoken request not to ask about his mother.
"Yeah, I was reunited with her when I joined the Rebellion; she's also my twin. Neither of us actually knew we were twins until a couple of weeks ago. We were on a diplomacy mission to Naboo, when we found out."
"How exactly did you find out?" Mara asked as she took a bite of her ice cream.
"The port officials on Naboo have this habit of taking a blood sample from everyone arriving on Naboo, whether you're a citizen or not you have to have it. As far as I know, no one gets a choice in the matter. Leia was detained by the officials, when she went through immigration. When I went through five minutes later, I was also detained. Since we were brother and sister we were both led away to fill out a pile of paperwork in a room together before we could say a word, not that either of us were complaining or anything. Leia spent the first day in shock, vaguely noticing the world around her. I spent that first day with my Aunt Sola, cousins Ryoo and Pooja as well as my grandparents. The port officials were obliged by law to give Leia and myself the contact details of our next of kin and contact them for us. When I got back to where Leia and I were staying that night, I got into a lot of trouble," Luke replied between bites of his dessert.
"Let me guess, you weren't back until well after midnight and you failed to tell her where you were going?"
"Got it in one," Luke answered with a slight smile. "Leia is my younger sister by seven minutes."
"How? How did you know I was going to ask that?" Mara stammered before realising, that like her, Luke was Force sensitive. "Its part of being a Jedi isn't it?" she asked as she looked back towards the young mother and child situated nearby in front of a beautiful fountain.
"Yeah it is, but sometimes you can just guess that someone is going to ask a question like that. Does the Emperor know that you're Force sensitive?"
"Yes he does. That's why I'm one of his hands."
"Lucky. I'm on his most wanted list currently because of my sensitivity."
"No wonder your name sounded so familiar. I should've realised it earlier; I think I overheard the Emperor and Lord Vader arguing about you before I came on this mission. From what they were saying, I'd say they knew your father. That is if there was only one Skywalker before you."
"I don't know about that, but I do know that before me there has only been one Jedi by the name of Skywalker. This really isn't something we should talk about out in the open. I could get shot for talking about this."
"You won't. As I said earlier, Lord Vader's been stalling and I'd say that it was your status that he was stalling on."
"That's a bit weird. Why would he want me alive? I'm his enemy."
"He might want to turn you to the Dark Side. That's all I can think of and I was kind of wondering, what's it like to be a twin?"
"Weird and well I don't quite know how else to describe it, since I've only known my sister for three years."
"Didn't the person who separated you know that twins should never be separated?"
"My former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, told my grandparents that it was the last resort and all the other alternatives had been tried and had ended in failure."
"So you ended up on Tatooine with your Aunt and Uncle for?"
"Eighteen long years - the most uneventful years of my life," replied Luke good-naturedly as he opened the door to their hotel.
"They weren't that bad, were they?" asked Mara as she and Luke entered the hotel and began to walk towards the lifts.
"They were. Nothing eventful happened until just before I met my sister, and since then everything that's happened to me or around me has been eventful with a reason for being so. Since I left Tatooine my life has become more enjoyable."
"I know you don't really want me to ask anything about your mother, but what was her name?"
"It's Padmé, or more correctly, Padmé Naberrie Amidala Skywalker. All I know about her is that she was at one time the Queen of Naboo and later the Senator for Naboo."
"She's still alive?"
"Yeah, but she refuses to talk to myself or Leia. My sister doesn't know."
"Will you tell her at some point?"
"I'll have to," Luke replied as he came to a stop in front of the turbolift in the lobby of the hotel he and Mara were staying in. "Since neither Mom nor her friends will talk to me."
"Do you know why they won't talk to you?"
"Not really, though I think it is either my being a Jedi or the fact that I look a lot like my father."
"That's ridiculous. Just because you're a Jedi and you just happen to look like your father is no reason to not talk to you."
"I know, and there's something else. It's like there's this big family secret to do with my father, and no one seems to think that Leia and I deserve to know it," replied Luke as he turned away from Mara and looked back toward the entrance to the hotel.
"I can see your point to that. I don't know anything about my parents at all and no one has seen fit to tell me anything about them."
"Well, there are hundreds of people in the galaxy in either the same situation or a similar one with no way out," Luke stated, rather matter-of-factly.
"Nice point, but I think we should head up to our floor before people start staring?"
"That would be a good idea," Luke said while pushing the button to call the lift. Neither knew why they did it, but they leaned towards each other in the very moment that Luke turned to smile at Mara and they kissed briefly on the lips. They both pulled away from the kiss when it ended, looking rather embarrassed. They were saved at this point by the arrival of the lift, though not from each other.
The majority of the ride up to their floor was spent in silence, and as far apart from each other as possible, but only because there were several other people in the lift with them. Once alone in the lift they were forced to fight the urge to kiss each other with every last bit of self-control they possessed. The lift opened on to their floor, with the two of them relenting and giving into their desire to kiss each other. Luke was subconsciously aware on some level that there was no one watching them as they kissed and made their way to his room. Why am I taking her to my room? Han or Leia will probably come and wake me tomorrow and they never let anything like this go unspoken. Well I guess I'll just have to face them, were Luke's last thoughts before leading Mara into his hotel suite.