Ok, so I wrote this epilogue at the same time as the first one. I wasn't sure which one to post at first, but I think the original one was a nice way to end it. But I came across this one the other day and decided to post it toO, just to see what you all thought about it. It was going to lead into a whole other sequel of sorts with Luke and Mara (and some Laila too), but I dropped it when I decided not to use this epilogue. But here it is anyway, I'll let you all be the judge of which one you like better. :) Tell me what you think in a lovely review!!
And now for...
"Why won't you talk to me!?" Mara screeched as Luke stormed out the door.
She doesn't understand, Luke thought bitterly as he went to talk to his sister.
He pounded on the door and little Jaina answered with a pout on her face, "Uncle Luke, Mommy won't let me have another cookie! Tell her I can!"
Luke's mood brightened a little as he picked up his niece, "I'm sorry Jaina, but what Mommy says goes." He smiled at her but she was still pouting. She wriggled from his embrace and went off into her room.
"The mission failed, I couldn't get the extra cookie. Even Uncle Luke said no. Add him on the enemy list with Mommy and Daddy." She told her brother, Jacen. Jacen nodded and scribbled something down on the back of an old receipt.
Leia stood up from the table where the sought after cookies sat, fresh from the oven, and laughed at one of her twins' many failed mission, this being the 3rd one of the day.
Luke walked into the living room, "So how long have you been on the 'enemy list'?"
Leia sat down on the couch and motioned for him to join her, "Since they learned what the word 'no' meant." She laughed again but stopped when she noticed her brother wasn't.
"It's Mara isn't it?" Luke had been coming over more frequently now, over arguments with Mara.
"Just tell me, Luke. I can't help you if I don't know what the problem is."
Luke sighed knowing she was right, he couldn't keep running away from her, "She wants me to make a commitment."
Leia laughed out loud. Luke looked up startled, "It's not that funny!" he pushed her slightly.
Leia tried to catch her breath, "Luke…heehee…every woman wants the guy they love to make a commitment to them! Stupid!" she laughed again.
Luke grumbled, "It's not that I can't make a commitment, it's just…just…" he didn't know if he could actually admit that it was the ghost of his past that he couldn't let go of that was holding him back from Mara.
Leia stopped laughing and touched his hand, "Laila?" she asked warily. Along with being in arguments with Mara, Luke had been having awful nightmares about that fateful night when Laila had died. He would wake up in a sweat and not be able to go back to sleep for hours, only to be woken up again by the haunting visions.
"I just can't shake her off me." Luke told her, "I can't tell Mara either. She thinks I'm cheating on her! Of all the things to say! Me? Cheating?"
Leia looked at her hands folded in her lap, "Well, Luke, in a way you are."
Luke looked up at her shocked, "What do you mean."
"If you think about it, you haven't let go of Laila yet, you're still putting her above Mara. So in a way you are cheating on Mara. Jaina, get away from those cookies."
Behind them they heard a groan from the kitchen then some crackling of an old comm. link, "Mission failed again!" Another groan from Jacen. He muttered something in Huttese along the lines of "cursing Mommy for having Force-Powers".
"Jacen!" Leia scolded. "Daddy and Uncle Luke say it all the time!" Jacen protested.
Leia glared at Luke, who just shrugged it off.
"So you think I'm cheating on Mara with a girl who's been dead for 3 years?!" he asked suddenly very mad at Leia.
When Leia didn't answer he grunted, "Well, you're wrong! I can let go of Laila anytime I want!" and with that he walked out the door as Han came in from tending to the Falcon, "Hey, Luke…" Han started.
He came over and kissed Leia to the discomfort of his children who came up to tackle him.
"What's wrong with him?" Han asked her while trying to wrestle off his kids from his legs.
"Mara." She sighed.
"Oh," Han grinned, "What else is new?"
"Over Laila." She finished.
"Oh." Han said.
"Luke! Luke! Wait!" Luke turned around in the hallway to see Mara running to catch up with him, her red hair flying out behind her.
When she reached him, her eyes were a fierce green, "I did not come live in this excuse for a base to be with you just to have you shun me, Skywalker!"
"Mara, you don't understand!" Luke shook his head.
She took his hand, "Then make me understand."
He shook his head again, "I can't."
Mara dropped his hand, "Then I guess it's over for us then?" she started to walk away, her boots clicking lightly on the floor.
"Mara, wait! Mara!" Luke called after her. He sighed and went to go meditate.
As he sat down and closed his eyes he felt his mind empty and a vision began to swim into his mind's eye.
Luke shuddered over Laila's cold body.
"Laila! Come back! Come back to me!" he held her close and rocked back and forth. He traced her facial features and touched her silky hair. He knew he needed to get out of the Death Star; it was about to blow up he reminded himself.
He scooped up Laila's body and deposited her into the ship carefully. He went back and took his father's body too and took it into the ship.
Once he was situated he started up the engines he heard a very familiar voice, "Luke, open your eyes."
Luke obeyed the voice and opened his eyes. Straight across from him on the floor sitting cross-legged sat Laila in all her Force-ghost glory.
"Laila!" he sat back.
"Luke." She smiled and stood up.
"Wh-wh-what are you doing here?" he asked her stuttering.
She wondered around the room, "Just checking up on you," she picked up a holo of Luke and Mara from a few weeks ago, "Who's this?" she asked.
Luke rushed up and grabbed it and placed it face down on the table, "No one."
"She looks like a pretty special no one." She said glancing at the many other pictures of her on the table.
"Just a friend. Just a friend." Luke told her.
Laila gave him a stern look, "Don't lie to me, Luke. You think I don't know who she is?"
Luke hung his mouth open, "You know who she is?"
Laila chuckled, "I was to be the next Empress after Vader, of course I know who she is! Mara Jade, the Emperor's Hand. If I had failed my mission she was to assassinate you."She said nonchalantly.
"Right." Luke replied.
"I also know that you love her." Laila said standing the holo back up.
Luke's head shot up, "I do—do—don't love…her." He gulped.
She looked down at the pictures, "Because, it's okay if you do. You're allowed to love somebody else."
"It is?" he asked softly.
She nodded, "It is," she looked at him, "Luke, it's been 3 years. Let go. Let go of me."
Luke felt the tears coming again, "I don't think I can, Laila."
"You have to. You're driving her away, Luke. Do you never want to see her again," Luke shook his head, no, "then tell her! If you're looking for my permission, you have it."
For a few minutes neither said anything, the Laila spoke up, "I've met your mother."
Luke looked up, "You have?"
"She's a wonderful person, Luke. You're just like her." She grinned, "And your father is doing quite all right also," she giggled and Luke reveled at the sound, "Just yesterday he was trying to convince Master Yoda and Master Qui-Gon Jinn to play strip poker with him!" she burst into laughter.
"Did they?" Luke asked chuckling.
"No, of course not. This is Yoda we're talking about!" she laughed again.
Laila glanced at his pocket and the japor snippet he kept there at all times rose out of it and into the air.
"Hey! What are you doing with that?" he tried to grab it but it kept moving just out of his reach.
"You don't need this as a burden of me anymore, Luke."
"It's not a burden!" he said still jumping for it.
"It is. You feel it's your fault I'm dead. It's not Luke," she called the snippet to her, "It's not. But, Luke. You can't not tell Mara. She's here, she's now," she started to pace the room, "She can't walk threw walls."
Luke averted his eyes from hers.
"Love her Luke. Love her like you loved me. Be there for her, just like you were for me."
"I don't know if I can." He said staring at their picture.
"Just because you love me doesn't mean you can't love her also. Love doesn't have a limit, Luke. It's always growing."
"Skywalker! I just have one thing to tell-" Mara slammed the door behind her and almost fell down when she saw Laila's ghost there.
"Laila? Vader's apprentice?" she regained her composure and looked from Luke to Laila and back to Luke again.
"You. It was never another girl, it was you," she said staring at Laila. Her gaze turned to Luke, "You've been cheating on me with someone's who dead?!"
Luke put his hands in the air, "For the last time, I am NOT cheating on you!"
Laila giggled again, but turned serious quickly, "Luke."
Luke let out an exasperated sigh and faced Laila again.
"I have to go back now. I think you need to talk to her," she gestured to Mara, "Forever, remember," she held out the snippet and walked over to Mara and placed it around Mara's neck, "Take good care of him, Mara. Or else I'll have to go all Jedi on you," she chuckled again and walked over to Luke.
"Goodbye Luke." She brushed her lips against Luke's but all he felt was a breath of cold air, "Let go of me." She whispered right before she disappeared.
Mara walked over and took Luke's hand, "Skywalker, I'm sorry. I didn't know-"
He stopped her with a gentle kiss, "I know, Mara. And that's my fault." He fingered the snippet from around her slender neck, "But I think that's another story for another time. What do you say we go out to dinner tonight? We could go to one of the best spots in the system, the Chateaux du Jedi."
"There's a Chateaux du Jedi?" she asked incredulous.
Luke smiled, remembering Laila's similar reaction so long ago, "No, but wouldn't it be cool if there was? I was really thinking this great little place called the Rose Chambers… pretty nice from what Han's told me…" he told her as they walked out of the room, together.