Less than a week later, Prince Jarid was recalled from the Jedi academy for an undisclosed private family function. Han and Leia arrived within minutes of the would-be Jedi, and an enclosed carriage arrived bearing an individual no one could see. Rumor had run rampant as to what could possibly have happened for the once-Chume'Da to be so thoroughly disowned by the parents who had raised him.
There was dark talk of murder, Sith tendencies and unmentionable rituals being held below the Palace. Some spoke of his Jedi training having become so important it had caused a fracture and break within the familial bond. None of the Royals appeared anywhere, though Layne's voice, usually so controlled, could be heard at odd hours shrieking across the front lawn.
The family ceremony, an intimate and private affair, would have shocked Hapes...
"Gidden." Leia's smile was welcoming and open as she stretched her arms and then her legs to give him a warm hug.
Gidden hugged her back, slouching so she wouldn't hurt herself and placed a kiss on her cheek. "I'm glad you could be here."
"And miss the wedding of two of our grandbabies?" Han snorted. "Not likely. It's mind baffling kid. You could have any woman you want and you chose the little girl you helped raise."
Gidden flushed, not having heard it put quite that way before. "With all due respect, Tana's a woman, Grandpa Han."
Han blinked and then chuckled, smacking the younger man on the shoulder. "Why, so she is. You know, there's almost as many years between your grandma and me as between the two of you."
Gidden ducked his head, embarrassed. "I didn't know that."
"Hard to picture, huh?" Han winked at him. "You couldn't have picked a prettier bride, though."
"Thanks, Grandpa." Gidden searched the small room for Tana, but she wasn't anywhere in sight yet. Layne was speaking with Jarid in low tones, huddled together in a corner. Or rather, Layne looked huddled. Jarid was tall and broad shouldered with red hair cut close to his scalp and brown eyes that constantly scanned the room. His Jedi robes fell easily from his shoulder and he wore his lightsaber displayed proudly on his belt. Unlike Layne, he held himself casually, almost insolently. He was perfectly at home with his abilities.
Gidden left his grandparents and moved to where Isolder was telling a story to Kalen, Kym, Allana and Sayl. He listened for half a minute, hearing about "The lost bantha cub" and drifted away. What he didn't hear was Isolder go back to explaining to the children why Gidden and Tana could get married, but Layne and Jarid could not.
Jarid's eyes sparkled when they met Gidden's, brown meeting brown as Jarid quirked his eyebrow in question and half-challenge. Gidden recognized the expression. It was accompanied by the famous Solo grin. Jarid took after Isolder in his classic good looks, his physique a mixture of Jacen and Isolder's lean frames and Han's wiry strength. He looked almost half-finished, but Gidden suspected that Jarid would fill out in the coming years, much the way he had, and be beating the women back with a stick.
Jarid excused himself from Layne and move to the table where Gidden had stopped for a drink of punch. "Nice party."
Gidden grinned. "Nice of you to show, little brother."
Jarid's eyes sparkled. "I hear you were disowned. Any truth to it?"
Trust Jarid to have the tact of a bantha. "It was necessary."
Jarid shrugged. "At least you'll keep her out of trouble. Tana didn't deserve Cyris, no matter how wild she was."
Gidden chuckled. "Cyris didn't deserve the punishment you mean."
"Something like that. What'd you do to deserve it?"
Gidden grinned wryly. "Fell in love with her. Speaking of that, how's Jysella?"
"Great." Jarid's return grin was easy. "We're not quite as serious as you and Tana though. Just enjoying each other."
"She couldn't come?"
"Nah - Corran, excuse me, Master Horn wouldn't let her."
Gidden clapped the younger man on the shoulder. "At least you weren't raised as her brother."
"Point." Jarid nodded to the lightsaber on his belt. "Are you still going to be a Jedi?"
"Tana wants me to train her, so she's going to be my apprentice. Uncle - er, Master Skywalker advised against it, but Tana insisted."
"So I guess that makes you a Master then, huh?"
Gidden pushed his brother's head to the side, rubbing his hand on the frizzy hair. "Just a Knight playing Master, brat. How does Jysella put up with you?"
"Must be my charm."
Gidden chuckled, turning to meet Layne's disproving gaze. She didn't want to be here and was only here on threat of losing her title to Jarid - or worse, Kalen or Allana. Gidden's smile died.
Layne's eyes were full of hurt. She still didn't understand why Tana and Gidden hadn't listened to her and why he'd agreed to Jacen's decision to disown him before he allowed any kind of marriage. He offered her a tentative smile and she turned her back on him. Gidden sighed. She'd either become accustom to it or not. Either way, he and Tana had agreed not to flaunt their attachment. They would move to the Temple as Master and Student with few aware of their true attachment. When Tana was older and the public had become accustom to "Prince" Gidden being a pauper, a formal announcement would be made.
The noise died in the room and Gidden turned. His breath caught in his throat as Tana stepped in. Tenel Ka stood with her, a proud, motherly smile alight on her normally serious face.
Tana's face was aglow with happiness that came from complete understanding. Understanding of her surroundings, the path before her and of herself. She stretched her hand out to Gidden and he moved to take it, bowing low over it before placing a kiss on the back. He didn't notice her clothing - she could have been wearing a plastic bag and she'd have looked beautiful to him. "You look beautiful."
She blushed becomingly.
They'd agreed on a Jedi ceremony with the condition Jacen would officiate. It had been Jacen's condition. Together, hand in hand, they turned to face the man who'd raised them and would now send them off to begin a new life together. Surrounded by family and friends, they took their first steps into a larger world.