Wow do I apologize for taking sooooo long to update. You probably all wanted to kill me. But here it is, hot off the erm...presses.
The Truth in Things
"That's a space station?" Juno asked, dumbfounded by the giant grey orb in front of her. "It looks like it could be a planet."
Starkiller only stared intently at the structure. "No. A planet ender."
Juno balked. "You can't seriously think that the Empire would do such a thing." Starkiller shot her a look. "Guess you're right."
"This explains the skyhook on Kashyyyk," the warrior said as he massaged his temples. "Wookies make excellent slaves. Not to mention how many of them there are."
"I'm going to assume you don't have a plan," Juno said, turning to Starkiller.
"Drop in, cause hell, rescue the rebels, get out," he said, clipping his lightsaber into his belt.
"Brilliant as always," the pilot said worriedly. "How are you going to get in?"
"It should have its own atmosphere by now to ease construction," he said, pointing out the viewport. "You should be able to drop me off easily."
Juno looked out at the fleet surrounding the construction site. "Sure are a lot of Imperials out there."
"I have faith," he said as he placed a comforting hand on the pilot's shoulder. "Besides, you won't be there for long. I don't want you hanging around. You'll need to survive to extract the rebels."
There was something in his voice that bothered Juno. "What about you?"
"Of course. We're both rebels now," he said slowly.
"Are you ready?"
"I need to center myself. If Vader and the Emperor are there...I'll need my mind to be completely focused," Starkiller said before slowly walking to the next room.
Juno sat in her chair and continued to monitor the equipment. It would not do to be caught right before the most important mission of their lives. Everything read green. Of course it did, she took meticulous caution in her jump and placement of the Rogue Shadow. The pilot desperately hoped that everything would go according to plan. She knew that given their history, nothing would. But this time, she was not so sure they could wiggle a way out. If she lost Starkiller…Juno was not sure what she would do with herself. Sticking with the rebels was the right thing to do, but she knew that her heart would not be in her actions without the man in the other room.
And that was it. These feelings that had been bouncing inside her head since the Empirical, the reason why every time Starkiller was in danger she raced after him, and why decisions suddenly seemed more complicated in regards to him. It was love. How could she be so dense? Granted, there was never time to sit and truly think on these things, but maybe it was because Juno did not want to admit to herself that she loved somebody like Starkiller. But she did. And she did not even know his name.
Why now of all times? Fate indeed was cruel. It would be selfish to spring this on him at a time like this. He had enough on his plate as it was. Still, she could not bear it if he died just like he lived: alone.
"Juno?" queried Starkiller, snapping the pilot out of her tumultuous thoughts. "Are you ready?"
Juno took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. "Yes? Are you?" He only nodded. "Very well. Engaging the stealth systems."
It was clear that the fleet guarding the massive space station was not expecting any visitors. The patrols were lazy and few and far in between. For the Empire's most closely guarded secret, it sure was not very secure. They were very quickly and quietly inside the atmosphere of the construction site and found a suitable chute to slip Starkiller into.
With the ramp lowered, Starkiller simply walked towards the exit. But Juno could not imply let him, the man she loved, go just like that. He was looking down into the pipes and pillars below when she caught up with him. "Keep the ship cloaked and wait beyond scanner range," he advised.
"I have a really bad feeling about this…"
"Well then maybe we're finally doing something right," he said with a smirk.
Witty to the end. "Am I…going to see you again?"
He sagged visibly. "If I can free the rebels, they'll need extraction."
"That's not what I asked," she said over the engines.
Starkiller turned and stared into her eyes. "Probably not, no," he said sadly before looking back down.
She could not wait any longer. "Then I'll never have to live his down," she said quickly before cupping his head and planting a kiss on his lips.
They were soft. That was the first thing she noticed. Starkiller seemed at a loss of what to do before finally adding pressure of his own.
"After that, I might have to," he said before backing away and to the edge of the ramp. "Goodbye Juno."
And that was the last time they would ever look upon each other the same way. Juno remembers guiding him through the station that would come to be known as the Death Star. She watched the security feeds as he systematically destroyed everything in his path, shutting down one of the seven convergence arrays with a few deft flicks of his wrist.
And then came Vader. Every time Vader lifted his lightsaber, Juno could barely watch. But each time, the former apprentice found a way to escape. Eventually, Vader's machine parts could not keep up with the much faster Starkiller, and he was thrown aside.
But the Emperor had plans of his own. As soon as Starkiller engaged the leader of the Imperials, Juno knew it was time to swoop in. Kota and the Senators easily clambered aboard, but Starkiller was nowhere to be found amongst the rebels. "Where is he?" she had asked.
"He has given himself for the greater good?" Kota had said quickly.
Juno went to protest before the giant observation window shattered behind her. Starkiller's body was still sizzling as Juno dragged him aboard the Rogue Shadow. Dead or alive, she was not going to leave him to rot here. Were it not for the need for extraction, she would have tended to him immediately. As it was, they had to escape first.
Looking back, Juno regrets her decision. Starkiller's wounds were worse then she could have possibly imagined. Almost every bone was broken, and burns littered his skin. He would not be helping the Rebellion anytime soon, if he even lived. The medical equipment aboard the Rogue Shadow must have taken a hit during the escape. The heart monitor was not working, as were a few of the other diagnostic machines. They could only treat the visible wounds as they traveled through hyperspace.
Kota, in his limited capacity with the Force could not feel him and his skin was so badly burned that checking for a pulse proved futile. Juno never left his side. How could she after all they had been through? Vader's machinations brought them together in a plan to group all of the Empire's enemies together and wipe them out. And somehow they made it this far. She did not know the fate of the Emperor or Vader, but Juno was happy that the rebels were safe and he was with her…more or less.
Juno did not know how long she was asleep, but she felt a presence in her head that snapped her awake. It was so familiar. She peered down at Starkiller's body, oxygen being pumped into his lungs whether he was dead or alive. Could it have been him? "St…Starkiller?" she asked, finding it tragic that she could not call a man on his deathbed by his true name.
"Galen," a voice rang in her head.
"You're alive!" she shouted, swooping closer to the man's body.
"Over here," called the voice, causing the pilot to turn.
There stood Starkiller, a shadowy outline of his body. "What happened?"
"I'm sorry Juno," the figure said sadly.
"You…you can't be dead," she said, fighting back tears. "I…I need you here…with me."
"The Rebellion needs you," he said simply. "I've done my part. I've given them hope, a cause, a rallying cry, and proof that the Empire is not indestructible."
"No…this is all a…a dream right?" she asked as tears slid down her cheek.
"You know it isn't."
It was the final straw for Juno. She crumpled to the floor, her anguish sending shudders through her body. "I…love you. I finally admitted it to myself, and now…now you're gone."
"I will always be with you," he said as his hand cupped her face. It was so cold, but Juno remembered the warmth it once had. "I know you have it in you Juno. You have the whole galaxy in front of you, and now you finally get to choose where you want to go." Juno took a steadying breath and rose to her feet. "May the Force be with you Juno Eclipse."
"May the Force be with you Galen."
And that's all there is! No seriously, that's it. Thanks to you all for being so awesome with your reviews and favoriting and suggestions. I woud love to list everybody, but there are so many of you and you all mean so much to me that I would hate to screw up.
Thanks for reading and making this little hobby of mine so enjoyable! Hope to write something else you'll all enjoy soon!