My first Star Wars FanFic! YAY! Quite odd considering it's probably my favourite and longest running fandom!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not a thing! (Yes I couldn't be bothered to come up with a witty one today.)
Not Quite Sure
Mara sat on the steel floor of the 'Jade's Fire', legs crossed, surrounded by an unruly tangle of red, black and blue wires, a hydro-spanner was lying discarded by her right foot and a wire-stripper had been thrown half-way across the room in frustration.
She had been trying to repair the ship's hyper-drive after it had sustained damage on a run-in with a bunch of uncultured, tattooed pirates. Apart from the damage the ambush had ended quite happily, as soon as their laser fire had struck the engine she had blown them out of space; people had to learn, no-one hurt her ship.
Unable to get back to one of Karrde's out-of-the-way bases, and certainly too far from Coruscant to get back with no hyper-drive, (she'd have aged at least ten years by the time she'd re-entered the planet's air space), she had ended up having to land on Yavin IV. Of all the sith-damned planets that were nearby, it had to be this one that was closest and 'friendliest'! She had hovered the ship above the atmosphere for a good hour or so, debating whether to just try and trudge back towards the core planets, no matter how long it took; turning up wrinkled and grey on the galaxy's capital was surely less awkward than landing on the planet that housed the almighty Luke Skywalker, self-proclaimed Jedi Master of the New Republic. But eventually the practical side that had always ruled Mara Jade had won over her pride and she had steered her craft towards the familiar landing space on the emerald sphere.
Luke had not been there to greet her when she had arrived; instead he had sent Cilghall to welcome her in. The Mon-Calamari dressed in simple, white robes had been polite enough, apologising for her Master's sudden busy schedule that stopped him in welcoming her himself, and checking there was nothing that Mara needed while she tended to the 'Fire'. Mara had pleasantly declined any offers of food, accommodation and clothing, preferring to stay with her ship.
If Skywalker was making no effort to see her, then she would certainly make no effort to see him.
So far Mara had been stranded on Yavin IV for three, torturous days. There had been more damage to the delicate mechanisms of her beloved craft than she had anticipated and without all the parts she needed, she was having to improvise on more components than she would have liked. But if it got off this blasted rock any quicker, it was worth the risk.
And stranger still was the alarmingly short temper she had found herself experiencing; using her hands had always calmed her before; reminding her of the simpler times when she had been a true hunter, feared across the galaxy…when she had been useful, not the skulking, smuggler she was now, switching sides and allies more frequently than her flight suits. As the hours has slipped by, she had found herself growing more and more irritated with both herself, her ship, this planet and it's starry-eyed inhabitants…….but particularly she found herself thinking of him.
Not that it was unusual. She would often wake with his boyish face burned onto the back of her eyelids, and sometimes it wasn't even after a nightmare.
He was a mystery.
One of the few people that she found hard to read; at first he had been an open book; those clear, ice-blue eyes windows into his soul. But since his brush with the dark-side, the curtains had been drawn, the glass had clouded and now despite his faked openness that was still apparent in his smile and dimples, she knew that no-one really understood what the real Luke Skywalker was thinking. And his current actions especially confused her. After Callista had vanished, Luke had retreated into himself even more, that much was sure. But he had never purposefully ignored her, in fact she had been lead to believe that she was one of the few he would still confide in. But perhaps he had had enough of her brutal honesty, enough of being told to get over himself and get out of the deepening pit he had thrown himself into. And if that was the case, then fine! It was better if they avoided each other; she wasn't going to change to make him feel better, particularly if in the long run her change would only hurt him. Somewhere deep, deep down in her heart she wished he would come and see her, just to say 'hi'. That would be nice. But if he was going to insist on being a piece of Hutt slime, then she wasn't going to let it bother her.
The piece of paper she had scrunched up between her fingers was chucked carelessly to the other end of the corridor, and the stylus soon followed. She was not one with words, and she was not typically emotional, so all in all her plan had not been a good idea. In fact, she couldn't really recall why she had started the process in the first place.
"Lady's shouldn't use language like that you know," a voice sounded from the adjoining room, light-hearted and yet heavy all at once, "It's improper, or so I'm told."
"Whoever said I was a lady?" Mara replied with a throaty cough, her lips automatically peeling up into a one-sided smirk, "Perhaps I should blast them."
"Always so violent," the voice scolded playfully as a well-known face popped round the door.
It was a face she had seen a million and one times before: on the holonet, in her dreams, in reality and on Imperial orders time and time again. The face of the one and only Luke Skywalker: son of Darth Vader, hero of the Rebellion and Jedi Master of the New Order. He flicked back his head to dislodge a strand of silky, blonde hair that had fallen over his eyes. He looked good; better than she had seen him in a long time.
"Shut it farm boy," she called, now using the name that had first been formed as an insult fondly, "Or I'll blast you and all."
Yes definitely better, she though calmly to herself, a little taken back by the unanticipated joy she felt at that observation.
"You're looking perkier," she jested teasingly and for a second Luke seemed to be caught off guard by the almost-compliment, "You finally decided to wise up and listen to me then."
"I wouldn't dare do anything but," mock-fear coloured his tone, "You being the Emperor's Hand, I've learnt that lesson the hard way."
Mara scowled at the use of her old title, she hated people using that name for her and Luke knew it. And her previous aggravation was leaving her spoiling for a fight. Altogether not a good combination. The next time she spoke, her voice was more like the growl of a wild beast than a human.
"Don't call me that again Skywalker," her eyes were narrow slits and were shooting laser bolts at the man stood before her, who simply sighed and replied in his really-annoying, thoughtful tone. She hated it when he tried to act wise, he was still so young, what right did he have to act as the authority on all things, especially her own personal matters.
"It's your past Mara; you can't run away from it."
"Prey runs. Victims run," she said, remembering having spoken very similar words many years before, "I'm not either and therefore I'm not running. Doesn't your amazing Jedi mind recall the days when I was trying to kill you…I would say that was more embracing than fleeing, hmmmmm?"
This time Luke frowned, mulling over her words while an adorable little crinkle formed on his brow, and his pure, eyes darkened, his fingers played along the edge of his cream tunic.
Ever since the Emperor was re-born he's been wearing that, never his usual black, and he says I'm running, Mara thought bitterly, and his sister is even worse than he is. Bloody Skywalkers.
"But since then what have you been doing Mara?" he asked, she opened her mouth to answer in a sharp comeback but he spoke first, cutting her off before she had even begun, "Zipping around the outer-rim with Karrde and his cronies, butting into Republic business here and there….."
"Helping your precious Republic I think you mean, farm boy," she snarled.
"Disappearing off the chart for weeks at a time and barely showing yourself on any civilised world where you'll be recognised. No, you're not running away at all Mara."
"You can talk Skywalker, locking yourself away for days on end because your girlfriend leaves," the accusation and disdain in her voice was rife, "Playing about with the dark side and constantly leaving your wide-eyed students to fend for themselves. Not exactly the greatest role model in the galaxy are we? Considering your title and all I'd expect you to act more like the Jedi Knight you proclaim yourself to be and less like the reckless, thrill-seeking teenager from Tatooine!"
The blonde winced at her harsh words even as the feeble excuses he had used recently formed on the back of his tongue. Not that he would say them aloud: why give Mara more ammunition when she had quite enough to shoot him dead already?
There was a flash of something more in Mara's fiery, green eyes and he waited for her to speak again. She didn't, deciding to remain silent and let the words hang in the air like a bad smell between them, letting them sink through their skin and into their blood and their beings where they could be digested.
Yet there was something else that had hurt her, something she was clearly not going to say. For a split second he prodded gently at the edge of her mind with the Force, trying to get a taste of the secret that straight-talking Mara was refusing to share. He was not gentle enough though, as he felt the impenetrable barriers encircle her swirling thoughts, pushing him out of her head and back to reality, where she was throwing him that sultry, death-glare he knew all too well.
"Got off my ship Skywalker."
Holding out both palms towards her in a sign of peace Luke took a step back, his boot making contact with the crumpled ball of white she had thrown there earlier. He turned and glanced down in wonder, and for a terrifying moment Mara thought he was going to retrieve it….read it even.
"GET OUT FARM BOY!" she shrieked at him again and he jolted up, abandoning the luring call of the tiny, crushed sphere, and took another step back, passing the ball and the pen in one smooth stride. As he reached the doorway, Mara continuing to stab him in the back with her eyes, he turned on his heel.
The intense dislike in Mara's face faded as she saw the tortured, undecided expression on his face. It was like he was trying to be caring and compassionate and hard-nosed all at the same time, so that it just looked like a muddle of feelings had been squashed together on a piece of Luke-shaped flesh.
"I'm sorry Mara."
And then, with the speed only a Jedi, or perhaps a highly trained assassin could manage, he was gone.
Mara stared at the empty doorway long after Luke had left and his aura had been swallowed by the life force of the forest surrounding her. What had he been apologising for? His cruel words? Or had he been in her head long enough to sense her upset at his avoiding her? Worse still, had he actually seen the note and the words she had scrawled across the blank space?
Shaking her head she tried to expel the confusion that had overcome her normal focus. It didn't matter now, he was gone.
Scrambling forward on her hands and knees, she hurriedly kicked the spanner out of the way and sent the electro-fastener spinning in a wild, clattering dance down the open hatch. She would retrieve it later. Stretching forward, the tips of her fingers brushed the rough edge of the note and she caught it between her nails, pulling it towards her at an alarming speed. Mara sat back on her haunches as she unfurled the paper delicately in the palm of her hand and read over the stiff, uniform handwriting that was her own. There were many crossed out lines, stating things that she could never allow him to see, begging him to let her in, pleading with him to let her help and one asking him to help her. Yet at the bottom of the pathetic, scribbled through sentences was the one she had kept.
I can't say how I feel………
Was it any good? Yes? No? Not sure?
Review anyway, it's good for your health. And thank you so, so, so much for reading it.
By the way I made this whole thing up from a crummy little prompt picture on some website I can't even remember.