Fandom: Star Wars: Expanded Universe, post-Legacy of the Force
Characters: Tenel Ka, Allana, Jacen Solo
Word Count: 1890
Date Finished: November 2009
Author's Notes: I made a fanmix in November or 2009 that had two parts - each with six songs and a small story to go with each song. The first six songs/stories were if Jacen had survived after Legacy of the Force and they all cover small moments between him and Tenel Ka & Allana. Those will all be uploaded in one piece together soon. The last six songs were more in line with what happened in the books and cover Tenel Ka alone after the LotF series. Three of those were slightly longer than the others and will have their own uploads (like this one). The other three will be in one piece together. HOPEFULLY THAT MADE SENSE. :D
Buried With Time
The girl never really seemed to have a rebellious teenage phase, which she herself was thankful for. Some of her friends were getting a sort of snotty attitude about the galaxy in general. Allana distanced herself from those people and usually found herself hanging out with her grandparents or her Aunt Jaina and Uncle Jag. Occasionally Uncle Zekk, Uncle Lowbacca and Aunt Tahiri took her out for caf or dinner or dessert -- or all three. That was always fun too.
Right now she was with one of her favorite people though. It comforted her to be in the woman's presence and it always brought back a flood of memories.
"Mom, did you see Trisdan earlier?"
"Oh, that one's persistent. He has been at my heels for years."
"Why don't you get rid of him?"
The Queen Mother looked to her daughter, eyebrows raised and lips upturned slightly. "And how do you propose I do that, Amelia?"
Allana laughed. It was good to see her mother almost smiling for once. Whenever she saw her on the holonews she looked tired, serious and completely worn out. Reaching forward, past the small cup of steaming caf in front of her, she grabbed her mother's right hand and squeezed it gently. The small upturn of her mother's lips grew into a genuine grin and Allana leaned back, turning her head to peer out the tall windows along the chamber wall.
Watching her daughter, Queen Mother Tenel Ka sighed quietly. Visits from Allana were like visits from the girl's father had been. Few and far between, full of emotion and very secret. She turned back and Tenel Ka saw her own eyes looking back at her -- and she knew if Allana didn't still have the black dye in her hair to help keep her identity a secret, she'd be looking at a head of wild copper hair too.
"Mom, you know I'm fifteen now."
"Yes, what of it?" Tenel Ka snapped out of the slight trance she had fallen into and absently wondered why Allana had-- "Oh, the Jedi robes. Of course."
Allana grinned. Her mother had promised to give her the old Jedi robes she had worn sometimes at the Academy when she was that age. When Tenel Ka promised them to her, she always wondered (in a silent amused sort of way) if Allana would end up meeting a handsome, young man with a penchant for jokes while wearing them, much like she had.
Tenel Ka stood and took a quick sip of caf before disappearing from the room back into the massive closet she never seemed to use much unless she absolutely had too. Handmaidens were usually in here picking out gowns and polishing shoes and doing a whole slew of other things Tenel Ka said numerous times they didn't need to do but still did. Moving to the back of the wardrobe, Tenel Ka knelt down and pushed the bottom hems of some dresses away, revealing a large trunk. She punched the code in the front and it opened automatically, the lid lifting and moving back to reveal clothing and trinkets from times Tenel Ka felt were ages ago.
Rummaging through the chest, she shifted a set of her old rancor-hide armor out of the way and pulled the Jedi robes out, setting them on the ground beside her. Something had glinted below the robes, something that caught her eye and made her freeze. She saw the gort eggshell necklace Jacen had made for her atop a pile of green silk.
I thought I left that in the vanity drawer...
She reached down and pulled at it, the green silk caught on the necklace and coming up with it. Once she pulled the items out, she realized the green silk was the nightgown she had worn the first night Jacen had stayed over, during the Killik crisis. Tenel Ka quickly banished the flush from her face at the sight of it and peered back into the trunk. There was a datapad resting there now; it had been hidden under the nightgown.
Tenel Ka grabbed the small device and flipped the switch on the side. The life in it was almost drained and the screen was so dim that it was almost unreadable. But she could make out what it said across the screen in big, faint letters.
Please watch the attached.
- with love.
In the storage compartment along the back of the datapad, Tenel Ka found a holotape. It looked worn and old, a bit scratched up, but it was apparent that it would still work. Placing the nightgown back in the chest, she took the holotape and the necklace in one hand and the robes under her arm, then meandered out to the main chamber, back into the gaze of her daughter.
"Mom, are you okay? You look like you..." Allana trailed off as Tenel Ka dropped the robes on the table between them and met her daughter's eyes.
"Come with me."
Allana stood and followed her mother to the dim communications chamber attached to the Queen Mother's salon. She watched as Tenel Ka shut the door behind them and then waited for a scan of the room to be complete before she sat down beside where Allana had seated herself.
"What is it?" Allana whispered quietly, even though the scan came up negative for any interference or foreign equipment.
Without a response, Tenel Ka leaned forward and placed the holotape in one of the slots, a screen in front of them flickering to life. The holoscreen was the only light in the room and it showed a man, from the shoulders up, with a head of brown hair and eyes like Alderaanian brandy.
"Hi girls," his voice started, quiet and shaky. "I... I..." The recording shook his head and inhaled deeply before speaking again. "I'm worried about the direction the galaxy is going in and I've told myself that I need to do something to fix it. I need to make it better. It needs me. I just... Tenel Ka, I want a galaxy that's safe for our daughter to live in. I have a plan and in my head and it seems like it could work. Hm, I feel like my dad here a bit, I'm just gonna go for it. I mean... that's what the Solos do best, right?"
His smile, that smile, showed itself on the screen and Tenel Ka pressed her lips into a thin line. He had recorded this before Caedus.
"Hi Allana!" The recording of Jacen spoke up again suddenly, after a brief pause where he seemed to compose himself. "Hopefully I'm sitting here watching this with you and you can tell me what a nerfherder I am and how I was silly to record it. But... I... I just wanted to tell you that I know you're gonna grow up to be a wonderful young lady, beautiful and smart, just like your mother..."
Glancing over to her daughter, Tenel Ka could see the tears forming in her eyes. She looked away quickly, but it was too late; they were rising in her own now as well. Jacen drifted off and his tone seemed to change when he spoke up again.
"I'm a little afraid of what could happen, so I just wanted to record this to tell you both that whatever happens... I'm doing this for you. And I love you both very much. More than anything. And I'm not sure when you'll find this."
They watched Jacen's head tilt and a smile cross his face. His eyes were glazed over a bit and locked onto something random off-camera. It was like he was remembering something from a long while ago.
"I know you don't go in that chest much, Tenel Ka."
He looked back to the camera and Tenel Ka felt herself tense. Those eyes. How she missed those eyes.
"I don't know where I'll be when this is all over. I'm hoping it's with both of you. Whether it's in the Fountain Palace or on a sofa in some quiet, little house on Dantooine. I just want us to be together. The three of us. And if we aren't..."
They watched him swallow and blink back what could only be tears, his hand drifting up to his mouth momentarily.
"If we aren't I just want you both to know that I'll always be with you. Always. Tenel Ka, I've loved you since the Jedi Academy. I know I was gawky and awkward then and I probably didn't really know what the Corellian Hells love was, but there was a feeling there and it's grown so much since then -- I know now what that feeling was. I want to thank you for giving me the time of day, giving me a chance, listening to my jokes. I want to thank you for being you. For everything. I love you and I'll never stop loving you. Never.
"Allana, stay strong and curious and never stop learning. I love you more than you'll ever know. And I'm sure your mother doesn't show it much, but she loves you too. I want nothing more than to be able to teach you how to use a lightsaber, and hone your Force skills, and I want to go to the zoo with you, and... I want nothing more than to grow old with your mother and watch you grow up and become a Jedi Knight and get married. I want to spoil my grandkids rotten too. So just... I love you, Allana."
He stopped talking. For a good standard minute or two he stared down to the ground. When he finally looked back up, Tenel Ka realized he had been trying not to cry. She remembered fondly how horrible he had been at hiding his emotions.
"Guess that's all. Hope to see you both soon. Stay safe, princesses."
He gently touched his fingers to his lips and let a kiss drift towards the holo-camera before leaning forward and shutting it off, plunging the communications room back into darkness.
"He knew," Tenel Ka murmured. "He knew... he was going to..."
Allana reached over and wrapped her arms around Tenel Ka, pulling her close and pressing her head into her neck. She could still feel tears coming from her own eyes, but she knew this time was different. Allana hadn't scraped her knee and cried to her Mama for a bacta patch. Allana's pet crystal snake hadn't died and Mama wasn't comforting her bawling form till she fell asleep, no. It was her mother's turn to cry. It was Allana's turn to do something her father had been so good at.
This was the first time in years Allana had seen her mother cry. The last was only a vague recollection she had of leaving Hapes with her grandparents.
And Tenel Ka had lost count of how many times Allana had reminded her of Jacen. The fact that Allana was more concerned with her mother's emotional stability than her own at that moment made Tenel Ka ache even harder for what they had lost. Watching the holotape just made it hurt even worse, even though years had passed. They had lost a lover, a thinker, a fighter and a father. They had lost Jacen Solo.