Title: Survivor Author(s): Blackfish (Fettkat) Timeframe: Post FOTJ Characters: Jaina S./ Ben S. Genre: Angst Summary: Notes: Posted concurrently alongside my Ripples in Still Water thread on FF.N. For a moment, he blanked out. Every inch of him was aching, there were a dozen bleeding slashes down his back and he was hobbling on a badly injured knee. He was drawing heavily on the Force simply to keep himself upright and he knew he was in desperate need of medical help. That was why he had somehow forced himself to stumble to her. She would get him out, she would find him a healer. She always did. But instead she had taken one look at him, stomped over, her eyes blazing with an unnatural fury, and started screaming at him. Ben Skywalker swayed on his feet, on the brink of collapse, and looked with frank amazement at his cousin sister, Jaina Solo-Fel, not lifting a finger to help him, instead yelling at the top of her lungs about what an irresponsible nerf he was. "...DO YOU EVEN STOP TO THINK?! DO YOU?! HUH?! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU DO TO THE PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT YOU?! YES, BEN. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT YOU! BUT ALL YOU'RE CAPABLE OF IS REFUSING DIRECT ORDERS AND RUNNING OFF INTO THE HEAT OF A FIGHT AS IF THE ENTIRE GALAXY WOULD FALL APART IF YOU HELD BACK TO LISTEN FOR EVEN ONE SECOND!! IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK BEING A JEDI IS ALL ABOUT?! IS IT?! BECAUSE IF THAT'S SO, THEN MAYBE YOU'RE NOT FIT TO BE A JEDI!!" "Jaina..." he gasped weakly, unable to fathom the vehemence in her tone,"Please...help..." Jaina regarded him, a furious flame burning in her eyes. He was in bad shape. His clothes were singed and slashed and stained with blood in countless places. He must have taken a head wound too because one side of his face was covered in a semi-dried river of blood. His blackened grimy hand that stretched pleadingly towards her was trembling violently. She fought back her tears, her overpowering urge to pick him up bodily in her arms and run at top-speed to the nearest medbay. He just kept doing this too often. Too bloody often! She marched over and hauled him roughly to his feet, ignoring his yelp of protest. She set his arm around her shoulder for support and half dragged him towards the nearest medbay. And all the while she didn't so much as look at him. "Jaina..." Ben was having to spit out blood from his mouth between sentences as he stumbled at her side, wincing in pain. "You- you mad... at me?" Jaina continued to ignore him until she found a recently vacated bunk and dumped him unceremoniously on it. He collapsed with a sigh and his tired eyes closed upon themselves. Jaina felt a lump lodge in her throat at the sight of her little brother, wounded and in pain. She brought her face up right next to his and spoke in a fierce whisper, "Yes, little brother. I am mad at you. And I have every right to be! What- what you did just now... that was the most Force-damned stupidly heroic thing I have ever seen! But did you have to do it alone? Do you always have to go out there alone? Because I die a little every time you do. You're the last one, Ben. The last brother I have left. I couldn't save the other two and I'll never be able to forgive myself if I fail to save you too. I beg of you, please! Stop this. Stop doing this to me. To all those you leave behind. We- we can't lose you, too!" She bent her head so he wouldn't be able to see the tears finally escaping down her cheeks. And that's when she felt her hand held in a gentle if trembling squeeze. She looked up, startled, but Ben's eyes were still closed. "I'm sorry I make you worry so much about me, Jen. But if I'm not out there, I can't ask anyone else to follow me into it. You understand, don't you? But I won't leave you. You won't have to cry for me. I'll come back, sis, I promise. Maybe begging you to carry me the rest of the way to a medbay, but...I'll always come back to you." She saw his eyes looking back deep into hers, shining with tears too. Tears of love and promise. Jaina attempted a shaky smile and hastily scrubbed her cheeks. She stood up and affectionately ruffled his hair. "I'll be waiting, little brother. But if you ever give me such a scare again..." And this time, his smile was a perfect copy of the lopsided grin her own father had made famous. "I know."