Author's Note: Short little thing I wrote back in '06...just stumbled upon it while cleaning my hard drive! Pretty sure I haven't written any fiction since that year...pretty fun to re-read my earlier stuff. haha. Anywho...not really sure why I wrote this, or what the point was...but here you go. :-P
Disclaimer: I only put words together...I own a pair of Hunter boots and that's about it. :-P
Jagged Fel shielded his eyes from the powerful rays emitted from Tatooine's twin suns. Two weeks ago, he had received a message from Jaina Durron, urging him to come to Luke Skywalker's home planet. He had been aiding the Ithorians restore their new home planet - Telos II. He had been swamped with work, and being the perfectionist that he was, couldn't leave without seeing it to completion.
But now he was on Tatooine. Standing on the hot sand, under the even hotter suns. Mos Eisley lay before him, endless dunes around him. He turned the heat shield of his clawcraft on, and headed towards the city.
Jaina Durron stood in her husband's embrace; both of them staring out of the window. Kyp had his hands on her still flat stomach, but they both knew of the lives that grew inside of her.
"He's here." He murmured, laying his head on her shoulder.
She nodded, "Should we tell her?"
"After I leave. She won't want him to see her like this. But he needs to be here for her. They need closure." He kissed the side of her neck before turning her in his arms.
"Okay. Once she's well again, let's go home." She whispered, as he kissed her.
"As long as I'm with you, I'm home." Kyp told her through the Force. Then he let go of her. "I should probably go get him. I'll take him to the Jeh Bonegnawer, tell him what's happened."
"I love you, Kyp."
He smiled and walked out the door.
"Jag." Jag turned to see Kyp Durron standing in a cantina doorway. He acknowledged the older man with a nod, and then followed him into the bar.
"I'm assuming Jaina sent you?" He questioned as they took their seats.
"Yeah. She was probably going to yell at you for something or other if she had come, so she sent me. You know how her temper can be." Kyp smiled at the younger man.
"Don't I. How is she?"
"Good. Only about two months into her pregnancy, but we can already feel them through the Force." Kyp closely scrutinized Jag's face, and was pleased when he only found brotherly love shiningin the younger man's eyes.
"You must be excited."
"Yeah. We can't wait."
Jag smiled at Kyp's proud look. "So let's get to the point, we didn't come to talk about house keeping."
"That's my man." Kyp smirked. "Now before you run off fuming, hear me out." Jag nodded warily. "Okay, now I know you never really got over Shawnkyr's death right?" Again Jag nodded. "Why?"
"Because she's not dead." Jag had been adamant about the fact since being informed of her death three months ago.
"Well…you were right. She isn't dead." Kyp watched the color drain from Jag's face. "And she's here." Jag jumped up to run out of the establishment, but Kyp grabbed him. "You said you wouldn't run."
"Where is she?" Jag demanded in a slightly hoarse voice, retaking his seat.
Kyp ignored his question. "She was "killed" right outside of Denon right? Well since then she's been here. Someone had a vendetta, and was trying to use her as bait…but she wouldn't cooperate. After a month of trying to break her, they tossed her into a Rancor pit. She managed to evade the behemoth for almost an hour. Ryker and Tahiri were in the area, looking for a missing pilot, when Tahiri felt her pain through the Force. They managed to free her, and care for her until Jaina and I arrived. We've been caring for her for the last three and a half weeks."
"How bad is it?" Jag asked, slumped in his seat.
"She lost her right arm at the elbow, and suffered deep wounds all over her body. She'll forever bear scars from this. Her right eye was swollen shut when we arrived, but thankfully her sight wasn't impaired. Four ribs, and her left tibia and right ankle were all broken, along with a couple fingers. She's a strong fighter, but more importantly she's a survivor." Kyp looked over at Jag. He was just staring at something on the opposite wall.
"She doesn't know I'm here." It wasn't a question.
"No. She doesn't. Jaina felt she would turn you away." Kyp clasped Jag's shoulder as he stood to leave. "But she needs you…no matter what she says." He tossed some coins and a plex on the table. "Our address is there…join us whenever you're ready."
"NO!" Shawnkyr yelled, trying to hurl something at Jaina. "I don't want to see him!"
Jaina calmly held Shawnkyr down with the Force. "You need to. It's the only way to fully heal."
"HEAL! HOW CAN I HEAL WITH HIM HERE?"
"Shawn. This is your pride speaking. Listen to your heart." Shawnkyr slumped onto her bed, but still wore an angry, indignant expression as Jaina continued. "Jag knows you the best. I don't know how to help you anymore! You've healed physically. But it's your emotions I can't reach. I don't know what you're thinking, how you're feeling. Jag does. And he is coming here." Jaina gave the other woman a quick hug before walking out of the room.
Jag stood outside the apartment staring at the door, unsure whether or not he should go in. Whether or not he could face the woman he betrayed.
Kyp was sitting in the kitchen sharing a mug of juice with his wife when he felt the younger man's presence through the Foce.
"How'd he take the news?" Jaina asked.
"He was shocked…but he took it well. The fact that he's here right now gives me hope. How was Shawn?"
"Well, she fell asleep after I told her...I just can't read her anymore. If he can't reach her…I don't know who can." Kyp rounded the table to take his wife into his arms.
"They'll be okay. I'll go let him in." He kissed the top of her head and walked towards the door. "But he's getting the couch."
"Me? I was thinking about you, of course!" Jaina chuckled as he disappeared outside.
"Hey Jaina." She embraced Jag as he entered the room. "I want…no I need to see her."
"She's asleep." Jaina cautioned, but she let him into Shawnkyr's room anyway.
He vaguely heard the door close behind him, but his mind was on the woman who lay before him. Her beautiful blue skin was now a purple color, the area above her severed arm almost black in hue. She wore a simple short tank top, and regulation underwear. Kyp had been right, he thought, there were scars all over her body. Crooked scars showed where bone had broken through her skin, jagged one from claw marks. They look more like young krayt dragon marks than a rancor. She truly was a survivor to have endured.
He looked up at her face to see her dull red eyes staring at him. Tears welled in his eyes at her lose, he tried to reach for her but she shied away. "Go away Jag." She whispered. He nodded and silently left the room.
Jag walked into the living room to find Kyp and Jaina talking softly on the couch. The couch was long, obviously meant to hold her whole family. He stretched out next to them, and put his head in Jaina's lap.
She ran her fingers through his hair until he spoke. "How can I help her?"
"Believe it or not, just being here helps."
He nodded, and said no more.
Eventually the couple got off of the couch and went to their room, leaving Jag to his tortured dreams.
A month went by before Shawnkyr allowed Jag to begin helping her recover. During that month, he had secretly gone and watched her sleep. He wasn't sure what was worse…being close and unable to help her or knowing that he had once had the power to save her…but had ultimately betrayed her. Memories from forever ago plagued him night and day. Promises given, trusts broken.
"I promise you." Jag told Shawnkyr's family. "I'll watch over her forever."
"You do realize that forever means forever, don't you?" Shawnkyr asked him later, when they were heading back to headquarters.
"Yeah. I meant it. I'll always be there for you. No matter what."
But he hadn't been there for her. He had broken his promise. And why? All because of a stupid argument. She had told him their work in "Jedi" space was done. That it was time to go home. But he had felt a bond with the people, and he had immersed himself into helping restore countless worlds…forgetting about her "betrayal". He thought that she had understood. He needed to help the galaxy become whole again. He had lost contact with her. He hadn't known if she had gone home or stuck around. Somehow he had convinced himself that he didn't need her, that he was better without her.
But it had been a lie.
"Hey Jag!" Jaina yelled from the other room.
She poked her head into the room. "Kyp and I have to go to the doctor's. Will you be okay here?"
"Nothing. Just a routine check-up." She smiled.
"Okay. Yeah, we'll be fine." Kyp popped his head in, smiled, and then the two left.
"Are you ready?" Jag asked Shawnkyr.
She mutely nodded. They moved to the "exercise" room, really just a converted living room. He helped her through the motions, stretching her muscles, carefully watching her expressions. She could hide her feelings from even her parents, but not him. He always knew what she was feeling…at least he thought so.
He was helping her with her marksmanship again when she snapped. Flinging the gun at his head, she ran out of the room. Jag let her slam her door shut before he followed her. Cautiously he opened her door, to see a sight he never thought he'd see.
Shawnkyr was sprawled out on her bed, but that wasn't the odd sight…it was the fact that she was sobbing.
He lay down on the bed behind her and took her into his arms. She stiffened at first, but his soothing presence soon had her relaxing and falling asleep in his arms. Settling himself next to her, he drifted off to sleep as well…but not before sleepily whispering, "I love you."
Kyp and Jaina came home four hours later, after going to the doctor's, shopping around, eating dinner, and just sharing each other's company. All was quiet as they made their way to Shawnkyr's room. Jaina opened the door to find her friend and Jag asleep in each other's embrace.
"I always told you he was wrong for you." Kyp whispered.
"What are you talking about?"
"Look at them. They're perfect together. He's only right for her."
Jaina smiled at her husband, then the two of them went to their own room and fell asleep in each other's arms.
Shawnkyr slowly awoke to find herself warm, safe, and…content. They were feelings she hadn't felt in a long time. She looked up to find herself staring into Jag's dark eyes. Awkwardly she looked back down. She heard him chuckle, then he gave her a quick hug and got out of bed. He was out of the room and the door was closed before she looked back up. She placed her left hand where he had lain, then smothered her face in the pillow he had rested his head on…the one that still bore his unique scent. She didn't want to analyze why...but she knew that she wouldn't mind waking up to that scent for many, many years.
Slowly the days continued to pass, Jag watched Shawnkyr gradually open herself up to him again. Seven months had gone by since she had "died", physically she was completely healed…but mentally she was still healing.
She didn't break down again, but that had been the icebreaker. She willingly did whatever she needed to do to recuperate. Jaina was now six months along…Shawnkyr's recovery was hastened when she decided to start helping around the house. She started to smile for the first times in months, and one day when he and Kyp returned from the spaceport he heard her laughter.
The two men walked in to find Han and Leia Solo sitting at a table with the girls. Shawnkyr looked at Jag and started to laugh even harder. Tears started to stream down her face.
"What? What have they been telling you?" Jag said, sitting to Shawknyr's left and next to Han.
"All the things my father did to you and blamed on someone else." Jaina managed to say between her giggles.
"Oooo. I wanna hear this!" Kyp said leaning forward.
"Well," Han began, "Jag was sleeping over our house on night…"
Jag groaned as he realized where this story was going.
"And I found out an extremely interesting fact about him."
"Oh please no."
"He sleeps in the buff." Han had a very smug smile plastered to his face, Leia, sitting next to him, covered her mouth with her hand…but you could still see the merriment in her eyes.
"So what does my father do? He steals into his room after he feel asleep and stole all of his clothes!" Jaina exclaimed, clearly enjoying Jag's embarrassment.
Kyp roared in laughter, Shawnkyr couldn't see through her tears, Jag's face was tomato red, and the other three were giggling.
"So I also happened to know that Jag gets up every night and drinks a glass of water. I accidentally slipped some sleeping pills into it."
"And turned his alarm clock off." Leia added.
"Hey don't blame that on me, it was your idea!"
"So anyway," Jaina interrupted her parents, "We were having some guests over…like fifty of them. It was some dignitary get-together thing. So we're all talking and out walks Jag looking like he'd just woken up-"
"Which I had!"
"And at almost 3 in the after noon…it was scary." Leia added.
"You should have seen his face when he realized that some fifty odd people were staring at him wearing nothing but a pillow! My father had stolen any form of blanket from his room and locked all the others. It was priceless! He backed out of that room so fast! I thought I was gonna die!"
Shawnkyr leaned her head against Jag's shoulder as she continued to giggle.
Jag couldn't help but smile at her obvious enjoyment. A little embarrassment with old friends could hurt. Wrapping an arm around Shawnkyr's waist, he settled in for stories about the "good ol' days".
Their relationship was far from perfect. But little by little, Shawnkyr was reopening herself to Jag. A week after Han and Leia's visit, Jaina found Shawnkyr in the living room. The men were out on an errand, so Jaina decided it was time for girl talk.
"Hey." Shawnkyr looked up from the paper she was writing. She smiled at the sight of Jaina…having just entered her eighth month and having twins, she resembled a baby Hutt…not that Shawnkyr would ever vocalize that. "I was wondering if we could talk?"
Shawnkyr let out a little laugh. "It's not like I'm going anywhere. What's up?"
"Kyp and I have been discussing where we'd live to have our children…and we've decided that we'd like to be close to my parents." Shawnkyr nodded as she realized where this conversation was going.
"So you'll be leaving soon?"
"We'd like to, but we wanted to make sure that you're 100% comfortable before we do anything." Shawnkyr looked ready to protest, but Jaina held her hand up to stop her. "You have made amazing progress in the short time that Jag's been here. We just wanted to make sure that you're okay with being alone with him. If you're not, you are more than welcome to join us."
"Jaina, you will never know how much I appreciate your friendship. Seriously, I know that I wouldn't be here without your help. But I'll be okay without you guys. I know I have a long road ahead of me as far as completely trusting Jag goes…but I think we can manage. I won't lie…there's always going to be the thought that he might leave me again in the back of my mind…but I want what you and Kyp have. And I know that I can't get that if I don't have a little faith." A throat was cleared behind the woman. Jaina looked up to see that the men had come home early.
"Hey babe. Come help me decide what to make for dinner tonight?" Kyp asked holding up their shopping bags…though he was clearly just trying to play matchmaker. Jaina gave Shawnkyr's hand a squeeze before following her husband into the kitchen.
"Shawn…I don't know how I'll ever be able to make up for the decisions I made in the past. But I know that I want you in my future. We can take it at whatever pace you want…even if it means we'll just be friends. Being here with you and the Durrons these past few months…it's just felt so right. I know it won't be the same as before…." Shawnkyr put a finger on his mouth to stop his tirade.
"Jag, it can never be the same as before." He face fell a little, but she continued on. "But I don't want it to be. I've changed. You've changed. We couldn't have the same relationship we had…but I want us to have a new one…if you're willing that is." Jag smiled. Their road wasn't going to be an easy one…but with her words, he knew that it was going to be one worth the journey.