Fandom: Star Wars: Expanded Universe, Legacy of the Force-era
Characters: Jaina Solo, Kyp Durron
Word Count: 1879
Date Finished: April 12, 2008
Author's Notes: This was a present written for a friend who helped out when I had some ridiculous vet bills for a babby furball of mine. I wanted to write something funny BUT YOU KNOW ME WITH THE ANGST. :|
Jaina Solo had been awake for thirty-four standard hours straight, six of which had most recently been spent staring at the blank wall of her temporary quarters on Coruscant.
Night had fallen and apart from the city lights streaming into her window, there was no form of illumination in the room except for her datapad which was tossed on the plain sofa beside her, still lit up with the message from her mother.
I hope you're okay after the meeting the other day. Please contact me and let me know.
Jaina could hear in her head the part her mother wanted to add at the end of the message -- You're all I have left -- but didn't. She didn't need to be told that, she could feel that from her mother. It was that sense of desperation that Leia Organa Solo would mask with her strength and her steely resolve. There was a bit of that distress that chewed a hole in her mother when Chewbacca died, it just got bigger with Anakin's death. Now with Jacen's fall to the Dark Side, it had been eating her mother alive.
In her first major movement of the night, Jaina let out a long sigh, pressing herself back against the decorative pillows behind her. She heard her back crack, as well as one of her shoulder blades, but neither the noise nor the feeling jarred her.
Her mind bounced around hundreds of thoughts in the amount of time she had been sitting there, the main two being her twin brother -- or what used to be her twin brother -- and her family in general. All the things they would never have. There would be no family reunion dinners later in life where her brothers would argue about stupid things and Chewbacca would break them up with a big furry arm between their mock-angry faces, there would be no holos taken of the Solo family at big gatherings -- their dad with nerf ears over the boys. No brothers to talk to when their parents were fighting and no brothers to gather strength from when she was having a particularly annoying day.
No brothers to smile up at her from the front of the crowd when she got married one day.
No brothers to be uncles to the children she might have one day.
No brothers to help her bury their parents in the hopefully far future.
She knew children who had no siblings. Zekk. Tenel Ka. They were strong without siblings, sure. But they never knew what it was like to have them. To have them and then watch them ripped away in such a violent fashion.
She felt a fleeting pang of sympathy for Alema Rar and how she lost her twin sister.
Jaina swallowed a mouthful of stale air and balled her fists up in her lap.
She attempted another Jedi calming technique. Something she had tried and failed at roughly twenty-six times within the previous six hours. But unlike those past attempts, this one was interrupted by something. A knock at the door.
Her lips thinned into a line and her brow furrowed. It was probably her mother, worried about the lack of response to her message. That thought changed when she heard the voice coming from the corridor beyond her front door.
With a flick of the wrist -- and the joint cracking in the process -- Jaina used the Force to flip the switch to open the door. She never looked away from the spot on the wall and her hand fell back into her lap next to the other.
A block of light flooded into her quarters from the hallway, vanishing as quickly as it appeared once her visitor shut the entrance behind them. Rounding the couch, the visitor stopped; hip cocked, arms crossed and head tilted. She finally shifted her head and her eyes, looking up at him.
She had been spending all of her time working with Zekk and Jag, listening to them banter, keeping them from arguing. She found that keeping herself from arguing with them was just as difficult as keeping them from doing it with each other. Kyp Durron was a welcome change from all that. He usually wasn't any more pleasant than the others she had been spending time with, but tonight he looked like a different man. Maybe it was because she hadn't seen him in so long.
He was standing up straight and the slouch she was used to wasn't apparent. It had either vanished completely or he was hiding it well. His ebony hair, now peppered with distinguished streaks of gray, was past his shoulders and clean -- not up in that crooked ponytail and slightly greasy, like she remembered. Normally a dull shade of green, his eyes were now a bright emerald and wider than before. He looked like a high-ranking official and a well-respected Jedi Master. He looked like a grown man.
"Hey there," his voice echoed in the quiet room. It was still the low, husky tone she knew.
"What were you expecting?"
"I don't know. 'Kyp! I haven't seen you in so long!' or maybe 'Oh Kyp! How I've missed you!' I would've also accepted, 'Your hair looks horrible like that, cut it!' or 'You clean up nice.' I guess a plain old hi is fine too. At least you said something."
She stayed silent.
Durron sighed audibly and sat to the left of Jaina, the blinking datapad still on her right.
They sat in silence next to each other for a few minutes, Kyp fiddling with a stray thread hanging from his tunic. He knew why she was acting the way she was, or part of the reason, anyways. He had been at that meeting. Han and Leia had shared with the family and a few close friends that the child they had helped rescue wasn't only Tenel Ka's, but Jacen's as well. They discussed how obvious it should've been to them, what with how close the two had always been and all the times Jacen or Tenel Ka had dodged the subject. Discussion turned to Jacen himself and all the things he had done and Kyp could see that Jaina had been growing distant throughout the whole meeting.
"You okay?" He finally asked the dark room ahead of him, nudging his right shoulder to her left.
Jaina responded with only a grunt, which Kyp took as a no.
"When was the last time you ate?"
"When was the last time you slept?"
"What are you, my mother?"
"If I was, you wouldn't be sitting around here moping like this." He turned his head to look at her, shrugging slightly. "Not that I don't think your mom doesn't do a good job with her kids. I particularly like your mom."
"It's not like she has to work that hard anymore. Two of her kids are dead."
The universe seemed to come to a halt after Jaina's words hit Kyp's ears. He knew the girl had a slight temper, he knew she had been through a lot. But he never expected something like that to come out of her mouth. He didn't acknowledge it, knowing it would only fuel her frustration. Instead, he pushed himself back against the couch and placed his hands in his lap, mirroring her posture. Her temper didn't seem to stop with that comment though, and a few minutes later she spat out a question.
"How are things with you and your girlfriend?"
"Do you really care?" He snapped back.
Jaina said nothing.
Standing up, Kyp stretched briefly before pacing behind the couch towards the small kitchen area and getting himself a tall glass of water. He didn't ask her if she wanted anything. He figured she didn't. He figured she would ignore him if he asked her. So he just returned to the couch and sat beside her once more, the water glass in his left hand and resting on his thigh. With his right hand he reached over her and fiddled with the datapad until he got a good grasp on it, then he pulled it to him and glanced over the message on the screen, flipping a switch on the side to get the backlight to dim and turn off.
The message Leia had left on her datapad stuck in Kyp's mind after he turned the screen off and set the device on the low table ahead of them. He knew Jaina hadn't answered the message.
He took a long, cold swig of the water and sighed, asking another question to the dimly lit room that surrounded them.
"So how does it feel to be an aunt?"
Kyp didn't mean for the question to garner the reaction it did, but Jaina moved. She moved from her frozen position on the high-backed couch and collapsed to her left against his side, her shoulders suddenly racking with violent sobs. Without hesitation, Kyp shifted his right arm around her and absently rubbed his hand up and down her right shoulder. He knew there had to be something to break her out of that trance she was in, he just didn't know that Jacen's daughter would be the thing to do it. She seemed to hate everything that remotely related to her twin these days -- a fact that Kyp wasn't surprised by at all. But he remembered the look on her face when Leia and Han had put that image of Jacen and Tenel Ka's daughter up on the holoscreen at the meeting. Jaina had visibly flinched, her jaw setting and her eyes flashing. Like someone had slapped her square across the face.
Little Allana was going to finish growing up without a father, just like Jaina had finished growing up without her brothers. The little girl knew him and loved him and then he would be viciously torn apart from her, just like Anakin and Jacen had been stolen from Jaina.
They had both lost Jacen and Kyp figured her reaction to his question was more for her niece's sake then her own.
Hugging her to his side, Kyp finished his glass of water and reached forward, setting it on the table. He whispered an apology to Jaina for having shifted, but when he moved back and glanced down, he realized she hadn't heard him. There were faint trails on her cheeks from the few tears she had cried, but those had ceased and she was sleeping peacefully against his side.
"Guess that answers the sleeping question," Kyp murmured to the dark room. He let his eyes drift over to the window and watched the hover traffic pass by outside as his hand continued to rub up and down Jaina's arm. The night went by very slowly for him and he made the time pass by letting his mind wander, before finally falling asleep himself, his head propped against the arm of the sofa.
When Jaina Solo woke up late the next morning, Kyp was gone and her datapad was on the table ahead of her beside the empty water glass, flashing with a message.
You're welcome for helping you with the insomnia. You know where to find me if you need me. Feel better.