Special thanks to my shy, secret beta-reader and best friend, Adrianne, for
Luke's dirty shirt was off of his person before he had finished to cross the
A strong body instantly jumped on him and tackled him to the floor, thus
*Welcome back, Luke,* she sent him with all her feelings for him.
*Hmm, are you sure this is not an assassination attempt?* he joked half-
He 'was' feeling dizzy from lack of oxygen. They reluctantly put an end to
"Positive," she smiled down, her loose hair framing the right side
"Good, then let's resume it," he smiled, pulling her back to his lips.
*I heard that the princess is still here,* the young woman commented after a
Luke interrupted their kiss to gaze at her.
"You know about this already?" he raised an eyebrow in surprise.
"I know about everything that I need to know, 'farmboy'," she
"Don't call me that, please," he pouted at the moniker the rebels
had used for
"Why? I kinda like it, farmboy," she smirked at his discomfiture.
Aware that he wouldn't make her change her mind, Luke sighed in acceptance.
"So why is the princess here?" his girlfriend inquired more seriously.
"Because I finally found out why I've always been intrigued by
"And?" she prompted him.
"She's my sister," he smiled wistfully.
Unlike his father, Mara couldn't hide her reactions behind a mask; he almost
"You---your what?" she finally stuttered.
"My sister," he repeated. "We were separated at birth, but we
ran a DNA test
Mara slowly digested this, their kisses forgotten as she leaned up and
"So what's the plan now?" she finally asked, barely able to hide
"Father and I will try to mellow her enough to add her to our
Or so he hoped anyway.
Jade considered his words carefully, seemed to weight the fors and againsts,
"Your sister, huh?" she asked with some amusement as she realized
*Never doubted it either,* Luke returned while he pulled her even closer to
His hands began to pull her jacket open; she helped him by peeling it off of
*As long as you let me wash you, hero of the day,* she told him lustfully.
*Like in the old Greem society, huh?* he teased her. *Well, if you want to
*You can't,* she assured him even as she pulled him back to a sitting position.
Slowly, while not breaking their kiss, they stood back to their feet and
Finally, Luke sighed in bliss, he was home.
Not far from there, Leia sat in the completely dark cell.
Well, more like a closet, she reflected sarcastically. A closet that wasn't
At the moment, she was sitting against a wall, considering yet again the
This had to be the most unhappy day of her life, she thought glumly for the
First, she had lost her cause, then she had lost her friend, and finally, she
Then, as if it wasn't enough knowledge to deal with, the young man she had
And she, most foolish rebel leader who had ever lived, had never seen past
She should have though, she berated herself.
She should have. But of course, she had felt so close to him that she had
Because he had been her long-lost brother, she then understood. For a moment,
Just like, she then realized, he was probably hoping to do with her... but
Her brother could try anything he wanted, she resolved adamantly; she would
Now she knew why, she realized. She too now knew the horrible secret that her
The loss of her other child and husband.
But, Leia wondered in growing concern, had her mother truly known things
She would never know, she supposed, since the Jedis were extinct now. One
Life was unfair.
Later, although Leia didn't know how much later, Leia's door swished open,
What was it this time?.. she wondered. Nobody seemed to be standing in the
"Are you going to spend the rest of the day in there?" Luke's voice
As if they were still friends, she noticed.
"Do we?" she sneered, recovering her sitting position.
"Yes," he told her, still not stepping into view. "We can do
it here if you
"And what makes you think that I will talk with you?" she
challenged. "How can
Luke's voice became more serious, more... dangerous, she decided, exactly
"I assure you that any attempt to escape would be completely useless,
Upon hearing this, she decided that she was probably better to not push his
When Luke understood that she wasn't coming out anytime soon, he finally
No wonder that he hadn't shown himself to her just yet, she conceded in
Luke Vader, servant of the galactic Emperor, was speaking to her now.
"You wouldn't go as far as a step away before you were stopped," he
Unable to stand the sight of the traitor, she forgot her fear and resolve to
As she tried to free herself from him, she dimly noticed that he didn't seem
"That was childish and too easy, even for you," he commented coolly
She continued her attempts to free herself from his weight, to no avail of
As she was now discovering, the cold deck was far from comfortable.
"All right", she growled, putting an end to her straining against
Luke flashed her a smile, temporarily dissolving the image of her dark
Next, he invited her to walk at his side. While she accepted his invitation,
A door opened upon their approach; she stepped through it, her brother right
"Worthy of a comfortable household, isn't it?" Luke asked her from her side.
She turned toward him, startled to hear him complete her thought, then glared
"Please have a seat," he told her in a most gentleman-like manner
before she had
Instead, she refocused on yet another new aspect of his personality. If she
She used the silence to study him yet again; he seemed to appreciate the
She added it on her mental notepad.
"It's good to be back home," he told her with a slight small, as if
aware of her
Materialistic indeed, she noted on her pad. She continued to evaluate him.
"You want to ask tons of questions," he told her matter-of-factly
"Really?" she sneered while drawing away from him. "Is reading
His voice gentled. "I don't need to read your mind to read your
heart," he told
Number two, she noted, clever.
Number three, sensitive, for a darksider, then she decided to exploit his
"All right then, answer this: how did you end up with him?" she
If he was as clever as he seemed, she thought that he would understand that
"He bought me," her brother answered her seriously, his eyes
glazing slightly as
"Bought?" she gaped despite herself, unfolding her arms in shock.
Luke took a deep breath at this, his eyes gazing at the floor as he nodded.
"He wasn't responsible for it. I had been kidnapped and enslaved... He
While Leia reflected that anybody would be terrified to be purchased by
"How old were you?" she asked, forgetting her wariness.
Now, she wanted to know him.
"Six and a half," he informed her.
A mere child, she realized...
Four, she noted with surprising compassion, he had had a tough past.
"What happened next?" she asked him. "Did he tell you right away?"
"No. To protect me from the Emperor's wrath, he took his time to raise
"What do you mean?" she asked, this time puzzled.
How could a first encounter be lethal for a child?.., she wondered uneasily
"I was rebellious, Leia," he told her, meeting her eyes this time.
Leia was flabbergasted as she understood what he was trying to tell her. Hurt
"Did he free you to teach you those things?" she asked in genuine
"No," He shook his head.
"Then how did he teach---" she began incredulously.
"Through my servitude," Luke explained. "While I was serving
him, I learnt how
Leia had slowly began to scowl during his accounting. The thought that a mere
"He freed me on the day of my ninth anniversary," her brother
continued as if he
Luke then smiled wistfully at her, horrifying her even more than she was upon
Then she noticed that Luke's smile softened slightly, as if sensing how
"Don't worry," he tried to reassure her, "by then, he had
shown me a lot of
Five, he was a comedian, she decided angrily as she understood where he was
"Oh, you'll make me cry," she sneered, foregoing whatever opening
she had begun
"For the others, yes, I agree, and so am I," he informed her,
"but inside the
"If he cares this much, 'brother'," she snickered, "how do you
explain the marks
She was glad to see him falter slightly... but not too much either.
"That was at the beginning, and they are not all his," he explained
"Except for the last time of course." she meanly reminded him.
Luke's warm gaze suddenly cooled down a few degrees, giving Leia a glimpse to
"'That' wasn't his doing," he informed her slowly, very seriously.
"It was the
"Yet you were hurt for real---" she began to argue.
"Because I deserved it," he cut her off, his cool temper slowly
giving way to a
Leia glared back, using that silent moment to study that new data.
Her brother was obviously holding some kind of grudge against the Emperor for
Six, he was loyal to the Emperor.
Leia decided to drop the subject; instead, she came back on the caring topic
"I still won't believe that you are able to care after what you did to
He shrugged. "Still, you now know that it is part of our private lives..."
"I don't---" she began to argue.
"How else do you explain that you are in my former slave quarters
instead of the
Seven, he was cold but diplomat.
"So that you can twist my heart more easily," she spat, although
she wasn't that
She could somehow feel that her brother cared about her; he wanted to save
Luke sighed in resignation. In time, he reminded himself.
"All right, let's do this another way. Ask me your questions," he
"No matter what they are?" she asked him dubiously.
"Yes," he nodded resolutely.
He watched her furrow her delicate brows as she considered his proposal, then
"Tell me who you really are," she asked seriously.
"Who I am?" he tilted his head in confusion.
"Ever since I met you, I keep running into different Lukes," she
He laughed at her figure of speech.
"Well, I've been trained to be a man with many faces... I am, or rather
While he had enumerated his typical mission, he had noticed the slight,
"You forgot to say that you're also a dark Jedi," she added sarcastically.
"Yes, I am, and I'm proud of it," he smiled, then added: "I
"Nine?! I never---" she gaped, then fell silent as if she had
Luke understood that she knew about the Jedi order.
"Where did you learn about the Jedi traditions, Leia?" he inquired in interest.
She slightly hesitated, as if pondering whether to answer him or not, then
Sudden tears brimmed into her eyes at this, showing how fresh the scar of
"I'm sorry..." he apologized earnestly. "I didn't mean to
bring that up again.
She gaped slightly at him, obviously surprised by his kindness, but she
"What do you plan to do with me. I'm sure 'Dad' has told you about his
"Except keeping you with us, nothing," he admitted.
"Nothing?!" she asked, incredulous.
"Nothing," he repeated. "In time, we hope that we will be able
to trust you and
"Protect me???? From what?! Influences from the regular world?!"
"From the Emperor," he corrected. "Every new Jedi potential
represents a threat
She obviously did; she remained mute even as her beautiful features paled in
"Then he will simply destroy me," she finished defiantly,
resignedly, ready to
"No," he shook his head in denial, both for her and himself.
"Your being with
"But I won't be free," she reminded him with a glare. "I'd
rather die than be a
"Do you really want to escape from us, Leia?" he asked her seriously.
"You bet I---"
If reasoning wasn't working, he thought seriously, he was going to
"Do you remember how you felt three days ago when you slept on me?"
"significant?" Luke suggested, using the word she had in mind.
"It was---" she slightly hesitated.
"My doing?" he suggested again.
Her eyes threw laser bolts at him as she understood what he had just done. He
"Why you inconsiderate darksider!" she exploded while leaning
closer to him.
"Calm down." he soothed her, gently lowering her hand from his
"What do you mean in yours?" she queried with barely receding animosity.
"You felt my pains, remember?" he reminded her.
"Yeah, but---" she began.
"And you instinctively knew that we were close to one another, that you
"I---" his sister tried to argue, but she was speechless.
"You came to me after the medal ceremony, remember? And you came to me
"Because of your simulated personality." she tried to argue.
"Because of our family bond, Leia..." he corrected gently. "I
was too naive to
A moment of silence followed this analysis; Leia broke it a few seconds
"Our twin relationship..." she whispered as if afraid to admit the truth.
"Yes." he nodded in heartfelt agreement.
Would she understand and accept it? he wondered earnestly. He tried to give
"Do you want to know what was one of my hobbies for a long while?"
"What?" she shrugged.
"Collecting holos and data about you," he admitted, blushing
"What?!" she gaped, leaning back in her armchair.
For a brief moment, Luke wondered if he were unknowingly repeating the
He refocused on the young woman, who still couldn't imagine a young dark Jedi
"Yes, I did," he nodded in confirmation. "I've never been able
to explain it,
"And how will I know that it isn't something that you did to prepare for
Because he had stashed it so far away that even 'he' hadn't taken a look at
"Do you feel any lie in my words?" he inquired seriously, his voice
His sister sighed heavily in frustration; he understood that had made his point.
"No," she finally admitted out loud. "but I can't say that
Luke impulsively rested his hand on her shoulder, hoping to reassure her.
"You still see us as monsters, Leia, and I understand. Nobody but
She frowned at his words.
"My partner," he explained, then sighed as he stood up. "I
guess what I'm
He himself knew that it would be a first step toward becoming a servant for
Leia was speechless in front of such a wise offer... The most infuriating
"Leia..." he said again, lightly resting his hand on her shoulder.
She looked up and met with the kindest eyes she had ever seen in her whole life.
"Trust your heart, please..." he gently told her.
And her heart, he probably knew, was telling her that she could trust her
She had known that ever since he had barged in her detention block, she
Her assaults on him, she then understood, hadn't been caused by a lack of
If a very slight one.
"All right, Luke," she nodded. "I will give you one chance to
She expected him to be irked by her arrogance, but instead, he smiled in
"You will not regret it, Leia. I promise you won't regret it."
He offered her his hand to help her up from the armchair.
"Do you give me your word that you won't try to escape?" he asked
her as she
"As I understand, it would be useless, right?" she asked him seriously.
"Right. Come, I'll show around and which room you can have if you want
Still holding her hand, he shifted his hold, then led her back into the
He opened the door.
"It will be more comfortable than the closet," he told her as he entered.
"Hey, Flyboy---" Mara began, then stopped short as she spotted the
Leia also stopped in her tracks in surprise. She obviously hadn't expected to
"Mara, this is my sister, Leia. Leia, this is my partner, Mara Jade."
He chuckled inwardly as the two young women sized each other up for a few
"Pleased to meet you, Mara," Leia finally said coolly.
"The same, I'm sure," Mara retorted, walking closer to the twins.
"Can I speak
"Sure." He turned toward his sister. "Excuse us a
moment," he told her before
*What do you think you're doing?* Mara asked him through the Force while she
*I'm trying to show her around. What's wrong with this?* he asked her.
*You told her about us!* she exclaimed in disbelief.
*Yes,* he shrugged as if it her identity wouldn't matter much to his sister.
*You still didn't have to tell her about me,* Mara growled, frustrated.
Luke took her hand in his own. *Mara, come on, it's not this bad... She won't
He was relieved to hear her sight in acceptance of his logic.
*Will you spend all your time with her now?* she then asked, slight animosity
Luke's lips twitched into a smirk.
*Am I mistaken or are you jealous of my sister?* he asked, pulling her closer
Luke interrupted her tirade with a deep kiss.
*I love you, Mara, and only you. I don't want to kiss her; I want to kiss
His lover twined her arms around his neck and deepened their kiss, forgetting
In the still opened door, Leia watched them silently, startled to witness
Even though she wasn't trained yet, she could feel the deep love that was
If her brother was able to love a woman like that, she slowly mused, then he
When her brother returned alone, she pretended to have inspected the room.
To be continued in part 19: Daughter
Copyright 2000, SJ (email@example.com)
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV