Timeframe: Post Swarm War
Characters: Jaina Solo, Jag Fel, Mara Jade Skywalker, Luke Skywalker
Genre: Short Story, Angst, Romance
Summary: After the battle at Tenupe, Jaina recieves another strange call.
Disclaimer: Star Wars is owned by George Lucas, Lucasfilm and assorted other people. I do not own any of Star Wars and I'm making no money off of this.
Note: I'll be updating this every Wednesday.
It was a whisper of sound - a chant barely heard, dancing on the edge of consciousness.
Her name boomed through her skull, demanding attention, action.
Jaina Solo jerked upright in bed, startled back into consciousness. "Jag?" She blurted his name out before she had a chance to think about what she was saying. "Jag…" She repeated his name, more softly this time.
Jaina was truly beginning to wake up, to let her conscious mind sort through the thoughts and images that had been in the distant murky place where her mind had been moments before. Something – someone – had been calling her name, calling for her.
Separated as she was from the Unu, and from Taat, the call disturbed her. It wasn't like the call to return to Ossus that she and Zekk had ignored, either. But it was a call nonetheless.
Jaina flung the bedding of the narrow bunk aside and got up, pulling on her tunic and trousers as she rose. She could feel the distant edges of the call still in the back of her mind.
Sometimes it was lyrical and jaunty, free and teasing, mischievous; other moments it was haunting or hateful - hiss of syllables that left her chilled. This call would not be ignored, either, but it wasn't all-consuming. She still had reason, thought, and a will of her own. She had still had the will to fight it, even if she realized that she wouldn't win the battle.
Jaina moved quickly, not because she was in a particular hurry to race towards a goal, but because she always seemed to be moving quickly, rushing from one disaster to the next. She scooped up her lightsaber from its place underneath the limp pillow on the bunk, slipped on the holster and blaster that were sitting on the small table beside the bunk, and fitted twin vibroblades into her boots. She spared one last glance for the small room, stalling, really, and then slipped out into the corridor.
She was edgy and wanted to walk. At the moment, few people would be around onboard the ship. It was technically the nightside. Her meeting with Master Skywalker was scheduled for the early hours of the morning, which was actually only a few hours away. Hopefully by that time, she would have worn herself out pacing the decks.
Jaina rounded a corner, thinking for a moment about going to wake Zekk and making her mind-mate keep her company while she paced. She dismissed the thought almost as quickly. Tonight she didn't want to hear her own thoughts echoed back to her in someone else's voice, especially not in Zekk's accusing tone. She didn't want to hear his thoughts on what was occupying his mind. Jaina didn't want to have to deal with his hurt or his jealousy. Tonight she was happy to be alone.
The haunting chant was back. This time the words seemed to slither over her skin, an ethereal hand brushing against her shoulder. There, and then gone before she had a chance to turn and look. The touch had seemed familiar, if not necessarily comforting.
That was the moment that Jaina knew. She realized that she knew the voice, the touch, everything. She knew who was calling for her. It was Jag.
She knew that the he was still down on Tenupe, and she knew that the Chiss had refused the Jedi's offer to go and search for him. It was understandable, but a decision that she had been upset about. She knew her parents were unhappy about it as well. Deep in her heart, she felt guilty for what had happened to him.
She had loved him once, and now she had betrayed him, betrayed the loyalties and codes of honor that he had held so dear. She had fought against him, most likely killed his friends, and tried to shoot him down.
Jag had always forgiven her many faults, but she knew that he would hold this against her. She had seen the revulsion in him as he looked at Zekk and her, and she didn't have to even try to feel the anger and bitterness that he felt towards her.
It was over between them now, certainly, but this was just something that she had to do. It was simple, really. He would have done the same for her; maybe not now, but once upon a time, and she would do no less.
Jaina was lucky to find even one Stealth-X still in working order when she reached the hangar bay. The battle had been a violent melee and quite a few of the Jedi's Stealth-X's, including her own, had been badly damaged or destroyed beyond repair. That was why Jaina would be borrowing her uncle's for the trip down to the planet. It would also make it a little bit more difficult for him to follow her down to the surface when she didn't show up for her meeting.
She had just finished her careful check of the fighter's underbelly, and she was about to jump up into the fighter when she heard someone call her name.
This time it wasn't simply in her mind. Someone had actually spoken to her. Jaina turned and was unsurprised to see her aunt behind her. Only Mara could still sneak up on her without her noticing.
"Aunt Mara," she replied carefully, knowing she looked as if she had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Things were still tense between her aunt and her. Gone were the comfortable days of her apprenticeship, when Mara had seemed like her trustworthy confidant. She knew how uncomfortable her joining had made Mara, and she also knew that the older woman was upset with her, both for her previous comments to Luke and her failure to show up on Ossus when she had been summoned.
"Going somewhere?" Mara asked with apparent casualness as she approached, with one red gold eyebrow raised challengingly. "I'm sure you weren't thinking of doing anything that might start another galactic incident that your uncle will have to come in and clean up. Or borrowing your uncle's fighter without permission, for that matter?"
"Mara," Jaina started, but couldn't come up with anything to finish her sentence with. She had messed up so much, and she had no one to blame for her actions but herself. She hadn't thought that losing Mara's trust would hurt so much. And she hadn't expected to see Mara up and about so soon. A new shipment of bacta must have come through.
"What are you doing, Jaina?" Mara's voice was softer, but no less intense.
It jerked Jaina back to the moment. "Jag," she blurted out again. "Jag's down on Tenupe."
"I know that. From what your and Zekk's report said, you tried to shoot him down. Why are you so concerned about him now?"
That stung. Jaina snapped back before she could think. "I was concerned then, too! I told him to bail out!"
Mara stared at her, her expression still indiscernible.
"Mara, please…let me do this. It's important."
"The last important thing that you had to do almost drove the entire galaxy into war!"
For once Jaina remained silent.
Mara sighed, eyeing her former apprentice. The young woman generally had good intentions, but trouble seemed to follow her as much as it had her father.
"You had better not be seen, Jaina," she warned.
Jaina was already leaping into the Stealth-X's cockpit.
"Jaina," Mara called out as the cockpit was slowly closing over her, "how are you going to find him?"
The Chiss hadn't been able to find Jag with their instruments or search and rescue teams, and while Jaina had once had a very strong connection with him, that had been a long time ago. Mara knew that her former apprentice had never been the best at locating a person with the Force.
Jaina flashed her aunt a confident smile and yelled back, "It's easy. He's calling me."