Title: Tempers & Temperatures Author(s): mayo_durron_666 (aka SITH_MAYO) Timeframe: (before 19ABY) Characters: Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade Genre: Romance? Mush? Keywords: Illness. Argument. Kisses? Summary: AU.. One-shot.. Just a bit of fun with one of fav couples.. Mara and Luke realise they’re both in trouble... Notes: (disclaimer - just playing with SW toys) Enjoy! Tempers & Temperatures They’d been snappy, very snappy. That wasn’t unusual. They always had a squabble. It was part of their routine, greetings and even messages. But today was more. Wiping sweat from her brow, Mara leaned down to grab a bottle of water from her pack. She was more than agitated. Normally she could figure out the cause. Today though was an enigma. Her comments had been bad, even for her. Glancing over her slim shoulder she noticed Skywalker seemed just as peeved, maybe more so thanks to her last few remarks. They were traveling through Yavin’s jungle, for a few days of camping in the wilderness, attempting to forget the galaxy’s troubles with each other’s company, trying Force skills and different combat exercises on the way. Somehow the third day had become a stupid day of escalating insults. Maybe it had started when she’d managed to pin the great almighty master to the ground, in only two moves, she was silently very proud. She had wanted to vent some frustration. Flattening the farmboy had worked brilliantly. Till they had that moment. Sighing deeply, Mara took another sip from her flask. She shook her head as if to rid the memory of it. Remembering it made her edgy. It was an incredibly hot day. That had to be the real reason she felt off. “You want to keep moving?” Casually Mara turned to face him, “Why not? Got the rest of the day to waste.” Red faced, Skywalker bent down to pick up his pack and muttered something under his breath. “Want to share that?” “Nope.” He said gruffly as he rose to his feet. “Why not?” Quirking a tense grin, Luke replied, “Cause I’m adventurous, not suicidal, Jade.” She arched a red eyebrow and glared, “Ha ha, very funny, Skywalker.” “Maybe we should both go cool down or something. This clearly isn’t a good day for us.” Shrugging, Mara said, “Well, we haven’t been shot at yet.” Narrowing his blue eyes, Luke gestured to the blaster attached to her thigh, “I’m waiting, believe me, I’m waiting.” “You can wait.” She tugged her bag onto her shoulder and added confidently, “But you’ll never be ready.” “For your sake Mara, I hope I will be.” Frowning as she started through the trees, Mara questioned, “What the heck does that mean?” Following behind, he responded curtly, “It means if you actually manage to pull the trigger on me someday, you’ll have to find someone else to put up with you and your moods.” “I’m not in a mood.” “Sure.” “I’m not.” She repeated indignantly. “I heard you.” Rolling her eyes at his blasé tone, Mara kept trudging through the wildness as she said knowingly, “Now I’m waiting …” There was a short pause before he finally aired his angry thought, “I swear you’re the only woman in the galaxy that can throw a guy on his backside and take offence from it. You won for Force-sake.” “There it is!” She exclaimed crossly, “Get used to it Luke. You can’t be master of everything.” Unbelievably hot, Mara briefly tugged at her vest top and brushed her hand across her forehead again. It was more than warm. She felt like her skin was coming alive, itching and burning. The desire to dive into a cold pool was becoming overpowering. Her body was uncomfortable and tingled. When she stumbled over a tree trunk, Luke caught her. The moment his fingers brushed over her arms, he noted her skin was strangely hot. He glimpsed down at her face and saw that she was slightly dazed. “Mara?” He pulled her back to his chest and felt her forehead with his palm, “You’re burning up.” “You have no idea.” She uttered distractedly, blinking rapidly to bring her vision back into focus. It didn’t work. A wave of heat washed over her. Her mind went hazy. And for once she wasn’t so sure of herself. “Skywalker ..?” Before she knew it her legs wavered. Holding her from behind, Luke gripped her around the waist and held her standing. Her head lolled back against his broad shoulder, her eyes suddenly weary and her breathing unsteady. Looking up at his handsome face, only inches away, Mara whispered, “Guess that was the problem …” “What?” Luke asked with alarm, “Mara? What problem?” “I let you get too close …” Her voice was thin, like she was far away, barely there, “ … when I won. Think you made me ill somehow.” Chuckling softly, Luke answered, “And I think you’re unwell by normal means. Are you hurt in any way? Infection can happen fast in the jungle, you know that.” With Skywalker holding onto her so tight, Mara felt more than overwhelmed. Tense with worry his strong arms held her carefully. His hands began to brush over her arms, lifting them for his inspection, looking for any cuts or grazes. It reminded her of the same touch he’d unconsciously given when she’d wrestled him to the floor earlier. It had been full of such tenderness it had made her shiver and ache. Then, like now, their eyes locked. Staring into those ocean blue eyes, Mara suddenly felt trapped, like a part of her was falling away into his gaze, forever into his keeping. This time, deliriously out of sorts, she almost leaned in for more. Beads of sweat trickled down her flushed face. Transfixed on his soulful stare, she swallowed back the impulse to taste him, though it tore her up inside to deny the need. His tempting lips were so close. Beckoning and begging for attention. It wasn’t fair. The urge was wrecking her up, knotting her stomach and jerking at her nerves. Inside she moaned silently. Outside, she bit her lip, hard. Everything in Luke stilled at the sight of Mara biting her bottom lip and gazing up at him, with such longing he wondered if he were dreaming. It was so unnatural for Mara to be so vulnerable and blatantly open in her expression. Slowly, still keeping her intent gaze, Luke’s hands travelled down her arms to clasp her hands, tangling his fingers with hers intimately, like he’d done it a million times. It drew Mara out of her daze enough to make her glance down at their joined hands. When she made no comment and sagged against him completely, Luke knew there truly was something wrong. “I’m taking you back.” He whispered into her ear, “You need help.” Gripping his fingers, she responded breathlessly, “I wish you wouldn’t …” “Why? Embarrassed to be carried back?” “No.” She breathed sadly, “Just won’t have you to myself. Way I like you ...” “Mara, why did you get so angry today?” Fighting to stay focused, she managed to reply faintly, “Sometimes you touch me … and I get lost in you. It’s unnerving.” It was then her stunning green eyes started to droop. Realising the seriousness of her health, Skywalker hooked an arm under her knees and cradled her limp body to his chest. He had to get her medical attention quickly. ~ There was a reassuring touch on her hand. A gentle murmur in her ear. And a cool breeze tickling her face. Together it was all very soothing. Gradually the darkness of sleep pulled away as she opened her eyes. To her side Luke sat patiently. His hand rested on hers. A brilliant smile plastered on his appealing lips. Mutely she thought he’d be a wonderful sight to wake up to every morning. “You are never going to live this down, Jade.” “What happened?” “You caught an infection from several insect bites on your leg. That, plus the severe heat … you fainted.” Mara groaned, “That’s not very heroic.” Caressing his thumb over the back of her hand, Luke shrugged, “I don’t know, some would say you’re quite adorable … unconscious I mean.” A strange twisting of nerves began. Mara felt his tiny touch all the way to her toes. She cleared her throat and asked quietly, “Did you have to carry me all the way?” Luke nodded, “I definitely got my work out.” With her free hand, Mara rubbed her drowsy eyes and shook her head in disbelief, “Wish I could say the same.” Laughing Luke answered mischievously, “Don’t worry I’ll come up with a punishment or payback. You owe me, Mara.” She grinned up at him, seeing the funny side thanks to his teasing voice and warm laughter. He had a way of bringing the light to a situation. For once she didn’t want to insult it away with harsh words. His hand still held hers. It was a strangely exhilarating feeling, their skin touching, their fingers fitting together and holding on absentmindedly tight. She’d never felt such a perfect touch. Bit by bit it melted her insides, worm-ing its way past her closed-off heart, and even infecting her pessimistic mind with little strange hopes she had never had before. “You okay, Mara?” Concerned Luke leaned closer, “You’re looking at me like you did before you passed out.” Briefly the jungle scene came back to her, clouded, full of unusual feelings. “How did I look at you?” She spoke ever so softly. For a long moment, Luke stared down at her, his eyes shining their brilliant blue. His mouth opened and nothing came out. He was lost for words. She’d truly baffled him in the jungle. And now seeing a similar glimmer in her beautiful eyes he didn’t know what to do or say. Searching her expression carefully, he finally uttered, “Differently.” “Do you like it?” Unintentionally her grip on his hand tensed, as if she was worried about his answer. Luke glimpsed down at their hands and smiled. Sensing the tension in her, he slowly lifted her hand and placed a lingering kiss on her knuckles, his lips hot and moist, ever so sexy. Timidly Mara bit her lower lip and Luke’s gaze turned hot. “I do.” He spoke hoarsely. Suddenly feeling hot again, Mara whispered, “Am I still feverish?” Huskily Luke spoke in a lost voice, “I think we both are Mara.” Once the words left his mouth, he closed the space between them and kissed her passionately. The contact jolted them both. Stunned, it took a second for Mara to react. Lost in the caress of his lush lips, her eyes fluttered shut as her mind lost all reason. Her free hand slipped up his neck to grip his dark gold hair and draw him ever closer. Unable to control herself, she kissed back, absorbing the taste of him. The moment she returned the kiss she realised she would never be able to stop, he was too delicious. “Jade, I think you’ve made me ill.” He whispered harshly against her mouth, “I can’t stop.” Irresistibly drawn, he kissed her hungrily. He wanted to devour her. Their simple kiss was more powerful than any lightning strike. His whole body shivered with excitement as he absorbed the amazing pleasure of kissing her sinfully seductive mouth. The demanding urge to steal her away, to brand her wholly his, swept over his rational mind. He had to have her. Every inch. All of her heart. Mara was meant to be his. “I don’t want you to stop.” She mumbled between fervent kisses, “When can I escape this place?” “I’ll abduct you now if you like ..?” With one impatient look from her, he did just that. Needless to say the rest of their holiday time was spent in bed. And their arguments, funnily enough, ceased all together. For now.