Fandom: Star Wars: Expanded Universe, post-Legacy of the Force
Characters: Han Solo, Tenel Ka
Word Count: 1539
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
A Scoundrel to a Princess
They had returned to Yavin IV for Jacen Solo's funeral, which was a well-attended event. It wasn't broadcast anywhere, there weren't invites sent out, there was no announcement. The only thing it had going was word of mouth.
Han and Leia were almost surprised how many people showed up. They saw many people and beings from their past including Kyle Katarn, Danni Quee, Kyp Durron, Tekli, at least six Barabels... they were surprised Jacen's reign as Caedus didn't drive everyone away. There seemed to be some resentment in some of the speeches made, but nothing overly obnoxious. Everyone seemed to nod in agreement whenever anyone mentioned what a wonderful person Jacen had been before his fall. Han and Leia (Leia especially) were happy that people chose to remember the good in their oldest son.
Jaina had even stood up to speak for a bit. What she said was surprisingly lengthy and poignant and she shocked over half the beings in attendance when she got too choked up to finish and left the podium, rushing back to her seat and burying her head in her mother's shoulder.
Han Solo had been keeping a watchful eye out on the crowd. He was ready for some upstart, some crazy to begin babbling about everything Caedus had done. Much to Leia's dismay, Han had brought his trusty blaster along with him in case one of those beings should happen to show themselves. This was a funeral for his son, not the thing his son had been taken over by.
Grand Master Luke Skywalker was up now, and Han let his eyes wander as he listened to his brother-in-law speak about Jacen. He mentioned all he had done in the war with the Yuuzhan Vong and all he had done to get Ben, Luke's own son, out of his shell when he was little. He then moved into younger territory, speaking about what an amazing and curious child Jacen had been at the Academy. He spoke of the boy's animal menagerie and how he cared so well for each one, he spoke about how Jacen used to listen intently to other students and help when they had problems, he spoke about the jokes Jacen used to tell to everyone...
That was when Han saw movement out of the corner of his eye. His hand went directly to a spot near his blaster, but dropped when he realized what the movement had been. He watched as the Queen Mother of Hapes, Tenel Ka Djo, pushed away from her seat on the aisle and hurried to the back of the Great Hall, exiting through the double doors. He looked to Leia, who was already staring at him with a look of worry on her face. Han felt her shift, knowing she was about to stand and follow Tenel Ka, but Han stopped her, gently pushing her back into her seat and standing himself. He raised his eyebrows at her and forced a weak smile before turning and following the path Tenel Ka had taken moments earlier.
As he moved, his mind raced to his kids. With every child Han and Leia had themselves, it seemed like they gained at least one or two more. They cared for Tahiri Veila like their own, especially after their youngest, Anakin, had died. Zekk and Kyp Durron were both orphans, each one welcomed into the Solo family at one point or another and both excited to finally have some sense of home. As for Tenel Ka, Leia and Han always saw her like a daughter. She always put that silly grin on Jacen's face. She was always with their kids. She was always there for them. Leia had said to Han years earlier, once Jacen returned from Yuuzhan'tar, that she hoped Tenel Ka might be their daughter-in-law one day. Once they found out the truth about Allana, Han remembered that Leia cried for just over an hour out of something between pure joy and absolute sadness. They gained a granddaughter but their son had been so far gone.
He found her, what he now considered his daughter-in-law no matter what (politics and laws be damned), outside under the canopy of trees. Han shoved his hands in his pockets and watched her shoulders shake quietly. He was almost nervous about speaking up and disturbing her and he wondered sickly whether this was what Jacen had felt like when he was younger and went up to talk to her.
Han noted quietly that she was wearing black. Sure, most of the attendees were in dark colors, it was natural. But Han didn't feel comfortable with Tenel Ka, specifically, in black. He was used to her in blues, or greens -- some sort of armor, even a nice brown he would've been fine with. She was always sporting some sort of color, that's just how she was. It was her cultures meshing, her style, it was her. But this, no, this made it fully sink in for Han. Tenel Ka was wearing black.
Jacen Solo was dead.
"You... you okay, Your Highness?"
The simple gown of ebony shimmered in the diffused sunlight as she spun around to face him, quickly dragging her right arm across her eyes in a rushed and unneeded fashion to try to mask the tears. She wasn't sure why she was trying to hide it from anyone, especially Han Solo, especially now, but Tenel Ka never felt comfortable letting her emotions show. Her arm fell to her side, her posture loosened and she opened her mouth to say something to Jacen's father... but nothing came out.
"Hey, hey, kid." Han crossed the small clearing to where Tenel Ka stood and without warning wrapped her up in his arms. It was just in time too, he thought. Another round of sobs started from her, now muffled by his shoulder. He didn't mind, not at all. His shirt was covered in the tears of others from that day. Leia, Jaina, Lowbacca, Tahiri -- he had even used the collar of his shirt to wipe his own away at one point. "Shhh... it's okay, Tenel Ka. Come on, Jacen wouldn't want you to be crying like this, huh?"
He didn't expect an answer to his question, but he felt her shake her head against his chest and he smiled faintly. Reaching back, he grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her back a little bit, looking down into her bloodshot eyes. She seemed to flinch, and Han had no idea it was because he was wearing a lopsided grin, one that his son had inherited from him -- one that Tenel Ka had enjoyed so much. The expression she was wearing caused the grin to melt from his face and shift into a crooked frown. She looked so worn out. So gone.
"Leia and I don't like seeing you like this. I'm sure Jacen wouldn't want to see you like this either. I know you're stronger than this." He had placed a few calloused fingers under her chin and was pulling it upwards -- he felt his stomach drop at the way her tears glinted in the sunlight. His heart had been aching all day and he didn't think it could get any worse, but this exchange was doing just that. Tenel Ka and Jacen had always reminded Han of Leia and himself in a way. The clever boy going after the princess and stopping at nothing until he had her in his arms. Her tears right now were showing him that nothing was invincible. Everything could be easily torn apart by something, even love.
Across the clearing, in the shade of the entrance to the old Temple, Leia Organa Solo watched her husband and Tenel Ka with a hand over her mouth. She thought she had already cried all the tears she could, but the sight she was watching now caused another flood to arrive. She cried for Tenel Ka and the fact that she lost the man she loved, she cried for the fact that Allana had lost her father... she watched quietly as Han placed his hands on either side of the Queen Mother's face and kissed her forehead.
At the moment his lips met her skin, Leia felt something on her own. It was like hands were on her face and something had brushed her forehead. The touch was soft and warm, it was welcome. She inhaled deeply and blinked, shifting away from where she had been leaning on the over sized frame of the entrance. That was when she felt something pass by her, a breeze rustled her hair, which reached down to the small of her back, and a jolt of energy went through her arm where something slipped by her.
Turning around, she lost her breath at what she saw. Her oldest son was standing in the entrance way of the Temple. His eyes were sad but his lips were upturned in a weak smile. He blew her a kiss and waved slowly before vanishing from her sight. Leia turned back towards the clearing and saw that Han had Tenel Ka wrapped up in his arms again. She only hesitated a moment before crossing the clearing and joining them.