Author's note: Two years. Two years since I last updated this story. Wow. What can I say? I blamed my long hiatus on writer's block. Or a lack of interest. Neither of those were true. Subconsciously, I knew that I just couldn't do it. When I started this in 2001, I was nineteen years old. I hadn't been writing very long and this was going to be my first multi-chapter fic. But I couldn't do it. This fic was going to involve multiple canon characters, plus a major OC. It was going to take place on several planets, requiring research. In short, I had neither the experience or technical skill to do this story right. So I didn't. But here I am, about to turn 21, with 2 more years of writing under my belt. And to quote one of my favorite TV shows: "I wasn't ready before, but I think I am now." I can't promise to update every week, but I promise that my chapters will be as good as I can make them. Thank you.

Leanne

7/30/03

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Like A Fine Wine

Chapter 4: Stuck in a Room with You

Tania Rishant didn't get to be a detective in the Coruscant Police Force by giving up. Which is why she was still there, in that room, with him. She pushed her chair back away from the table at which she was sitting. The legs of the simple metal chair made and obnoxious screeching noise as they scraped against the duracrete floor of the interrogation room. Detective Rishant stretched her arms up over her head in an effort to relieve the pain and tension in her shoulders. The prisoner in front of her made no attempt to do the same. It would have been quite useless, however. His hands were confined by manacles that were attached to the top of the metal table where they were sitting.

Detective Rishant was growing tired and frustrated- a bad combination when it comes to police work. The tiredness could make her sloppy. She could miss something- a tic, a flinch, a guilty look. Not that he would ever let anything slip past that calm demeanor. The frustration was worse. Frustration often became anger, which often became violence. And she wasn't letting this one slip away due to some bogus police brutality charge.

Detective Rishant looked around the room again. Anything to avoid the penetrating gaze of the man sitting before her. She was unnerved that he affected her so much. She had interrogated hundreds of criminals- many of them right here in this very room. That fact that this one man had her so off her game concerned her.

How can he be so serene? she thought. This room is driving me nuts and I'm not even the one chained up. The room was simple. Four walls, a table, and two chairs. No windows and one door. The table and chairs were made from the same plain metal. All three were both unadorned, function being of much greater importance than fashion. The floor was solid duracrete and the walls were made of some sort of synthetic, green in color and impervious to blaster fire. The room's only decoration- if you could call it that- was a simple holocam in the south-west corner. It was recording everything that happened. Detective Rishant had hoped to use it's images to during the trial, but unless the prosecution needed three hours of film showing Luke Skywalker sitting still and not saying anything, it wasn't going to be much help.

Detective Rishant took a deep breath and tried one more time. "Master Skywalker, I have no problem going over this again. Even if it takes another three hours. Now, why did you pay Tezz Smythe to kill your wife."

"I told you that I didn't. I didn't pay anyone anything. I love Mara."

"Listen," said Detective Rishant as she leaned over the table. "I need a break. But I'm going to come back in ten minutes. I suggest you use this time wisely and think about what you want to tell me when I get back."

The detective stood and calmly strode out of the room. As the door automatically closed itself behind her she took a deep breath. She looked around the deserted hallway. No visual reprieve out here. It displayed the same Spartan decor as the interrogation room. The only difference was that every meter or so, there was a window. Not a large one, but a window nonetheless. Tania didn't know why the designer had installed them Perhaps it was to give the prisoners a small glimpse of the outside world as they were being marched back and forth from their detention cells to the interogation rooms.

Tania heard the turbolift at the end of the hall open. She turned to see who it was and her face lit up with a tired but genuine smile as she saw the turbolift's lone passenger step off. Her friend and ex-partner, Jareth, walked up to her. In his hand he held a small glass of water. She shot him a grateful look and took the cup from him. She swallowed the water in one long gulp. "Thanks."

"No problem, Champ. How's it going in there?"

"Not so great. I was hoping he'd crack before now. I mean, we've cut him off from the force, no visitors since his sister and General Antilles stopped by. He's got to be feeling lonely- desperate. What's it going to take to get this guy to buckle?"

Jareth shrugged. "He's a Jedi. Isn't that supposed to be about self discipline and mental strength?"

"Forget mental strength!" Tania said as she hurled her formerly full cup across the hallway. "I need a confession. I don't know what I'm going to do if I don't get one."

Jareth looked carefully into Tania's eyes and said, "Maybe he doesn't have one to give. Maybe he's innocent."

Tania looked at Jareth, the trust in her expression now replaced with wariness. "I never figured you for a Jedi-worshipper."

"Not 'worship'," he corrected. "Just a well deserved sense of respect."

"Great. You go ahead. Respect away. Just remember, we've got a guilty man in there whose going to get away with murdering his wife."

"What makes you so sure he's guilty?"

"What makes you so sure he's not?"

"I never said that I was sure."

"No. You just think he is. Why? Because he's Luke Skywalker. Hero of the New Republic. He single-handedly killed the Emperor and brought the Jedi Order back from the brink of extinction. And you know what," she said dejectedly. "That's what a jury is going to see too. A hero- beyond reproach."

She slumped against the door. "Jareth, what am I even doing? Maybe you were the smart one. Taking that promotion and the desk that went with it."

"Well, I didn't exactly have a choice. Besides, a desk job would drive you nuts. You need to be out there, in the thick of things."

"I don't know. I'm getting pretty old."

"Yeah, right," said Jareth. "You're what? 34? 35?"

"Turned 36 last month."

"Now if you were one of the shorter lived species, I'd agree, but seeing as you're a human, I don't think it's time to put you out to pasture quite yet."

"I just hate that this guy thinks he's above the law."

"Then show him that he's not. Go back in there and get that confession. Or, if he's not guilty, look over everything again and figure out who you need to go after."

Tania smiled at Jareth again. "Thanks, old man."

"You're welcome." Jareth turned and started back towards the turbolift, whistling what Tania recognized as an old Corillian folk tune.

Tania squared her shoulders and steeled herself. She placed her hand, palm out, on the scanner for the interrogation room's door. The scanner studied her fingerprints and then lit up green to show she had been identified. With a soft beep and a whoosh of air, the door slid open. Detective Rishant stepped inside and looked down at Luke Skywalker. He was still sitting the same position as when she left. Luke tilted his head up and his haunted blue eyes looked at the detective. Tania grinned wickedly and said, "Shall we try this again?"

TBC...........