Fandom: Star Wars: Expanded Universe, post-Legacy of the Force
Characters: Jacen Solo, Tenel Ka
Word Count: 1228
Date Finished: May 16, 2008
Author's Notes: Another just pretend he was arrested story. I was bitter after LotF okay, hahahah ;D
It smelled like rain.
He had always loved the smell of rain. It made him aware that a storm was on the way; a storm that would deliver rain which would cleanse everything it touched, washing away the dirt and grime.
For now, he sat in the sand, his hands holding him up and his palms planted in the ground behind him. The sand felt cool on his fingers and the breeze pushed grains across his wrists and up his arms. He could hear birds chirping and creating a symphony of calls in the forest behind him. He could hear the giggling of a little girl and the subdued chuckles of her mother ahead of him, their splashes in the water causing him to crack a smile.
Jacen Solo shut his eyes.
He thanked the Force he was still alive to experience this moment. He was still bent out of shape a bit, physically and mentally -- not to mention emotionally -- but in the two years that had passed since his reign as Darth Caedus, he was able to stop physically hurting himself for everything he did. He was able to stop blaming himself for every single thing that ever went wrong. He was able to finally stop crying.
He had gone through months of interrogation and apologies and therapy. He had even told a joke to his sister the other day.
It was the first he had told in decades. And she still didn't find it funny.
Although, she had wrapped him up in a hug after he told it, crying into the crook of his neck. She had told him time and time again that she missed her twin brother. She had missed Jacen Solo. She told him how overwhelming it was to have him back and how wonderful it felt to have that spot in her heart that was his filled again. They had sat awake all that night together in their nightclothes, both wrapped up in their own little cocoon of blankets and talked about everything from their childhood to the war to their parents and their little brother. He had asked her how her love life was doing, which got a good long-winded and unsure response -- and she asked about his. She asked about Tenel Ka.
"I'm gonna go live on Hapes," he had simply responded.
"I was told to relax... take time off to recover. And to contemplate everything that I've been through."
"And you think that can be accomplished on that planet?"
"I know, the suitors and the... the..." The everything, he wanted to say. "But Tenel Ka's there. And Allana. The most relaxing thing I can think to do is sit and watch her." He had paused, pulling the thick blanket tighter around his neck. "Jaina, she means the galaxy to me. Looking at her reminds me of... of everything I did... but I can't... I mean... I just want to be with her. I want to be there for her."
"And Tenel Ka?"
"Love her with all my heart."
Jaina had tilted her head, knowing her brother wanted to continue his train of thought. She felt it.
"Always have," he added in a whisper.
She had nodded at his statement, even though for years she had already known what he said was true. They had fallen asleep on the floor of her quarters at the Jedi Temple in Coruscant, in their respective messes of covers, as the first ray of sunlight stretched over the city.
So Hapes wasn't the most relaxing place in the galaxy he could've gone to, but at that exact moment in time it had to be the most peaceful Jacen had ever felt -- with his toes dug into the sand ahead of him and his head tilted back towards the graying sky.
His eyes slowly opened and shifted to the waves lapping at the sand ahead of them. The little girl was yelling for him and it made his heart leap every time he heard her call him that.
"Daddy! I'm gettin' all wet!" Her right arm shot up over her head as she pointed above her.
"Of course you are!" He called back, a lopsided grin seizing his lips. "You're in the water!"
"No, it's rainin', silly!"
He felt the warm drops on his face first; one on his forehead and another on his upper lip. Once those hit him, the shower grew a little steadier, covering him in a thin blanket of moisture.
"Well, then grab your mother's hand and you two get out of there. It's time for your nap anyways."
As the little girl grabbed her mother's right pointer finger, Jacen squinted against the raindrops and watched them both approach him. She was in a tiny sundress of pale blue and her mother was in a simple outfit that almost matched, except hers was a dark gray. Their feet were bare and the girl's hair was piled on her head in a messy bun. Her mother's was down and cascaded around her shoulders in copper waves, the strands getting darker as the rain hit them.
"Come on, Daddy!"
She let go of her mother's fingers and ran off behind him, back towards the Palace, and Jacen continued to sit on the sand, watching the girl's mother approach. He couldn't tear his eyes from hers. They matched the sky. Her lips pursed slightly and a drop of rain shifted down her jawline and dripped off of her chin. The way her dress had dampened against the curves of her body caused him to shift forward, pulling his hands from the sand. He was at her attention. He always was and he always wanted to be.
He loved Allana -- his heart beat for that little girl. But it belonged to Tenel Ka. It always had.
And Caedus had killed her father. He was surprised she would even look at him, much less still love him.
"Come on, Jacen. Let's go inside," she murmured warmly, holding her hand out to him to help him off of the ground.
He loved it when she said his name.
Slipping his hand into hers, he stood awkwardly, nursing his left leg and shifted his arm around her waist. "Sounds good, Your Majesty. We can go get you out of those wet clothes. We don't want you catching anything."
Over the steady patter of the quiet storm, he heard her laugh slightly and then felt her rest her head on his shoulder. They were moving together over the sand and the soil. He still had a limp in his left leg, from where his sister had injured him in their fight two years before when he had been Caedus -- and he knew he would have it for the rest of his life. It was another reminder of who he had been, just like Isolder's empty office he passed in the Palace everyday or the way Tenel Ka would occasionally fall into trance like states with her eyes glazed over and staring endlessly out to the sea.
With their daughter galloping ahead of them, he hugged her close to him as they walked, turning his head to plant a kiss on the crown of her head. He inhaled slightly, catching a scent from her hair and skin. It was clean and inviting.
She smelled like rain.