Title: BloodstripesAuthor: windu4Timeframe: NJO EraGenre: Coming of Age, Action-Adventure, Romance, Drama, ComedyCharacters: Sky-Solos, Corran Horn, Valin Horn, Danni Quee, Nelani Dinn, OthersKeywords: sandwiches Summary: Jacen Solo doesn’t dream. His sister dreams about epic adventures, tense space battles and last-stands. His brother has esoteric visions of the future and frightening dreams of the past. Jacen is different. He doesn't dream. It’s only been a few short months since Jacen accidentally took Tenel Ka’s arm and that has greatly affected his perspective as a Jedi. He isn’t entirely sure what he wants. Does he want to lead the Jedi Order like his Uncle Luke? Does he constantly want to fight for what is right like his sister? Or does he want to give up all responsibilities and roam the galaxy like his father? In all honesty Jacen wants to do all of these things and none of them. Yet when Jacen turns 17 and travels to Corellia at his father’s behest to “earn” his Corellian Bloodstripes he learns a valuable lesson about destiny, fate and how the tiniest decisions can have the greatest effect on others. Notes: Hey guys, I'm back! Some of you may remember me and some of you may not. Basically, Jacen Solo is my favorite EU character and I'm a big fan of AUs. This story is an alternate take on the YJK/NJO series and I've taken some liberties to this story for my own (and hopefully yours) amusement! This story is going to be different than most Star Wars fanfics because this (at its core) is a true "coming of age" film and will deal with some fairly mature content. Don't worry, though! It won't be too dark. If you have any problems with drug use, slavery, violence, allusions to sexual content or snark than this might not be the fic for you. Anyway, I work really hard on this and I hope you guys enjoy! Disclaimer: Just rollin' around in the sandbox.Chapter 1Jacen Solo was a morning person. If he stayed in bed past 0900 hours he would wake up feeling as if he had wasted his morning. He was almost always up by 0700 and ready to conquer the day by 0730. He was fairly certain that he had received this trait from his mother. His sister Jaina woke up early alongside Tenel Ka to exercise but waking up early always made Jaina grouchy. Anakin didn’t even roll out of bed until noon if he could help it. Yet there was nothing that Jacen loved more than watching the sun rise. That wasn’t the only thing he loved doing in the mornings either.“This is good stuff, Peckham.” The two of them were sitting on top of Peckham’s starfighter staring up at Yavin as they passed a small t’bac pipe between them. The bowl wasn’t stuffed with t’bac, however. Instead the t’bac had been taken out and a rare stimulant and been packed inside of it instead. Jacen wasn’t entirely sure what the official name for the stimulant was but what he did know was that it was made of a plant that was either green or purple depending on its quality. “Thanks, kid.” Peckham said with a chuckle as he took the bowl from Jacen. “Did you use the seeds I gave you?”Jacen nodded. “They’re still growing. I made some fertilizer and it’s helping them grow awhole lot faster, too.” Jacen stared down at his fingers as he said that and grimaced. That definitely had not been fun. Fertilizer was normally made of manure and while Jacen had plenty of sources to get manure (he had more than a dozen pets) he hadn’t been able to do anything about the smell. Tenel Ka hadn’t done as much as held his hand for at least a week after he had made the first batch. “They should be done soon. I know a few people who would be interested in getting their hands on it.”“You…haven’t told Master Skywalker about your uh, endeavors have you?” Peckham said in a slightly nervous tone as he lowered the bowl from his lips and exhaled a long stream of smoke.Jacen laughed. “Of course not! I mean, Uncle Luke is so relaxed that you would think he smoked but nope…apparently being a Jedi Master automatically makes you calm all the time.” Jacen shrugged and took the bowl from Peckham. He laid onto his back and stared at the small pipe. It was a small one and could fit comfortable in the palm of his hand. The piece was mostly purple with swirls of blue and green twirling along the sides. “It’s my birthday.” He said as he continued to stare at the piece.He wasn’t entirely sure how he felt about that. When he had turned 16 he had become a man by Corellian standards. His father had lauded him with tales about how much his life would change, how much more accountable he’d have to be for himself and the kinds of freedoms he would have. He had talked about how Jacen would soon learn how to pilot the Falcon on his own and how the ship would one day be his. Yet oddly enough, that wasn’t what Jacen wanted. That’s what Jaina wanted. At the end of the day it had been Jaina who had taken the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel Run with her father. It had been Jaina who had spent the ensuing weekends watching smashball games with her father or arguing over the finer points of ship mechanics with Chewbacca. Jacen couldn’t even remember how he had spent the days surrounding his birthday. All he could remember was the disappointment he felt for not sharing the same interests of his father.His dad hadn’t shown any sign of shame or disappointment in his son but Jacen could have sworn he felt it through The Force. He wasn’t sure if it was his own insecurities or not but there was definite guilt that he hadn’t become the Corellian Male (™) that his father had clearly wanted.“Is it?” Peckham frowned and cracked his knuckles before he stood to his feet. “Well then, I better get you a present! You shoulda told me sooner, kid. I would’ve gotten ya something real nice.” Peckham suddenly frowned and turned his head around quickly. “Where’s Zekk?”Jacen laughed (a little longer and harder than necessary). “He’s still in bed! I tried to wake him up but he threw a hydrospanner at me.” This was odd because Zekk wasn’t a mechanic nor did he want to be one. Jaina was the one who owned all the tools. She was a personal aid to the Deck Commander at the Praxeum and as a result spent an awful amount of time on ships. That hydrospanner had looked an awful lot like Jaina’s which meant that she was spending a little too much time in Zekk’s room. This also resulted in him wondering exactly why she left a hydrospanner in Zekk’s room but that wasn’t something Jacen really cared about.“Well, I hope he got you a good present.” Peckham grouched as he walked towards a hatch that led to the interior of his ship. “That boy doesn’t tell me shavit.” He muttered. “You want to meet me down there, kid?”“Sure.” Jacen said as he tucked the bowl into a pocket in his flight suit. Peckham was more than a little paranoid about letting people onto his ship. Jacen could only imagine why. The teenager stood to his feet and almost immediately fell back down. Sudden movement really wasn’t the best idea in this state. The young man stared up at the horizon again, altering his gaze from Yavin to the sun. It was a beautiful thing to watch but he also felt a sense of foreboding. It was currently 0800. Which meant it was quiet, dark and Jacen was able to think. Once it got busy he’d find himself under a constant barrage of emotions, responsibilities and people. Jacen hadn’t always considered himself a “person’s person”. That was his sister. She was the natural leader and the popular one. Jacen never felt like he was playing second fiddle to her. He was fine with his social status but people tended to assume that Jacen loved being around large groups just as much as his sister did…and that’s where it got frustrating.Jacen made his way to the edge of Peckham’s ship and took a quick breath of preparing before jumping. The young man barely had to reach through the Force. Instead it came to him. The fall was short but still managed to be exhilarating. Jacen landed on the grassy forest floor on both feet. He turned and glanced towards the exit of the ship and when he saw that Peckham wasn’t there sank to his haunches. It took only a moment of waiting before Peckham finally exited the ship. Jacen couldn’t help but chuckle at Peckham’s somewhat frenzied appearance. The man’s greying hair was sticking in all directions, his vest was splattered with grease and his boots were covered in mud. “Alright, kid. I know it’s your birthday or anything but do you wanna help load these goods onto my landspeeder? I’ll give you a ride to wherever you need to go on the Praxeum.” Peckham used to land in the hangar bay at the Praxeum but a certain ambitious kid and his barefooted friend had snuck on the ship and had caused quite a mess. Since then Peckham had taken care to park a couple of kilos away from the Praxuem. Jacen had no problem with walking out to meet Peckham and had no problem with walking back but a ride did seem appealing. “Sure.” Jacen said. “I can’t give you the present at your party or anything-.”“I’m not having a party.” Jacen said calmly. He had made that very clear to Jaina and his parents.“Alright…well then…here ya go. It’s on the house.” Peckham tossed a small clear bag at Jacen. The younger man caught it and immediately brought it to his nose. He sniffed and the overpowering smell of both lemons and fuel overwhelmed his nostrils.“It’s called diesel…because it kind of smells diesel fuel.” Peckham explained. “You might like it."Jacen stared down at the circular nuggets inside the clear bag. They were primarily green with spots of purple spread throughout each nugget. “I think I will.”“You got anything going on this morning? This might take a couple of hours.”“I told Master Horn that I'd give Valin some pointers on lightsaber combat.” Jacen said. “That’s at 1100. I’m free until then.” It had taken nearly a year for Jacen to finally convince Uncle Luke to allow them to do this and the project had just finished.“Alright then.” Peckham said. “Let’s get started.”Today was Jacen’s birthday but he was perfectly content with simply treating it like an ordinary day.