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  1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

Beyond - Legends My Immortal (Post Invincible Jacen, Jaina)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by snowduchess, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. snowduchess

    snowduchess Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Title: My Immortal
    Author: snowduchess
    Characters: Jacen, Jaina
    Timeframe: Post Invincible (Legacy of the Force)
    Genre: Angst, Tragedy
    Summary: There was a hole in his chest, a place that had once been filled with love and laughter and light. A place that was now numb, devoid of warmth and aching for the presence that sustained it.

    EDIT: I decided to remove all lyrics to avoid any copyright issues, but the story is set to "My Immortal" by Evanescence.

    --------------------------------------------​
    A chill swept through him.

    Though he couldn’t recall how he came to be in that room, there was no mistaking where he was. The space was bright, unusually cold, and sterile white. Square freezer doors lined one wall, and a row of metal exam tables stood starkly empty.

    All but the one before him.

    A colorless sheet was draped over a human form. He reached a trembling hand towards the edge of the cloth but stopped short. He couldn’t bring himself to lift that shroud, fearing whom he would find underneath.

    But he knew.

    There was a hole in his chest, a place that had once been filled with love and laughter and light. A place that was now numb, devoid of warmth and aching for the presence that sustained it.

    His twin was dead.

    He could only remember a flash of light. Their spiritual bond flared in anguish, and her pain became his. Blackness followed, swallowing time and circumstance and all else that followed.

    What had happened? What had gone so terribly wrong that she would be so definitively torn from him and thrust into oblivion? Part of him yearned to find out, to retreat from that desolate room and learn how his heart was still beating when half of it was missing. But he couldn’t leave. They had shared a womb, a life, a soul. They belonged together. He couldn’t leave her to suffer that void alone.

    Feeling a tingle in the back of his mind, he closed his eyes. He didn’t want to look, didn’t want to face that horrific truth. Still as a statue, he waited, listened, prayed, but the presence didn’t fade. Their uncle once said the Sword of the Jedi would never know peace. Is this what he meant? Was she doomed to linger between worlds, haunting the lives of her loved ones, unable to rest?

    In that moment, Jacen felt a cold rush of hatred. Hatred of his uncle for condemning his sister to her fate, hatred of the Force for letting him, hatred of himself for not being able to stop it. This was never the life she wanted, never the burden she should have had to bear. Another moment, though, and the sentiment passed. Anger helped no one. Steeling himself, he opened his eyes and turned.

    His heart clenched.

    Standing just inside the doorway was a familiar form staring at him with a troubled gaze. She was pale, her petite frame bruised and broken. Eyes that had once burned fiercely with liquid fire were as lifeless as the body under the shroud. He could sense the wide gash spanning her torso from hip to breast under her white medical tunic. As he looked upon her, a frail shadow of the woman he knew, something inside him broke.
    “Jaya?” he croaked.

    Her lips parted in a breathless whisper. “Why are you still here?”

    Under different circumstances, he may have smiled. Only Jaina Solo would believe it was a waste of time to stand around in the morgue with a soulless corpse; his sister was nothing if not pragmatic. He spared a glance to the exam table, half expecting—half hoping—it would be unoccupied.

    It wasn’t.

    “Because you are,” he answered simply.

    Staring at the sheet-covered body, Jaina took a step into the room, then seemed to reconsider. She wavered another few seconds before withdrawing from the mortuary, looking paler than ever. Jacen mutely followed her through unfamiliar hallways until she turned into what looked like an infirmary suite. Sinking down onto one of the cots, Jaina curled up on her side, quiet and dry-eyed. As she did, a glint of silver sticking out from under the pillow caught Jacen’s eye, and he quickly identified it as his lightsaber.

    A fierce longing came over him as he remembered the many times Jaina had come to his room and curled up on his bed when they were children. Back then, it had often been prompted by nightmares. Back then, he would sit with her and whisper words of comfort, stroking her hair until the tears stopped and she was able to sleep again. Now there were no tears to soothe away. Now the nightmare was real.

    Not knowing what else to do, Jacen sat behind her on the infirmary bed, hoping his presence would give what little comfort his words couldn’t. He closed his eyes and leaned back, feeling a tug on his subconscious.

    A chill swept through him.

    When he reopened his eyes, he blinked in confusion. There was no mistaking where he was. The same colorless sheet was draped over the same lifeless body on the same metal table. The room was just as cold, and his sister was no longer beside him. Panic seized him at the sudden notion that seeing Jaina had merely been a dream.

    No, he thought. She had been here. She was still here; he could feel it.

    He just had to find her.

    Leaving the mortuary, he ventured out into the yet-unknown maze of quiet halls. Every so often, he came across people who appeared to be military personnel, but they paid him little heed. The uniform seemed familiar, but it wasn’t until the third individual passed by that he identified the Hapan Royal Crest upon their breast.

    Was he on Hapes? It wasn’t Fountain Palace, that much he knew. It was too cold and sterile, far removed from the plush and exotic residence of the Queen Mother. A military hospital was a strong likelihood as it, again, clearly wasn’t the Royal Infirmary Ward or even the capital’s Regency Medical Center. Whatever the location, if this were indeed a Hapan facility, did he dare hope?

    Temporarily abandoning his search for his sister, he extended his awareness. The sentient presence in the building was almost exclusively human. He caught glimmers of people he was certain he could have named had he taken the time, but all were forgotten an instant later when his breath caught in his throat.

    She was here.

    Knowing she was near felt like a warm flame on a cold night, bringing him immediate and immeasurable comfort. He followed her resonance like it were a beacon, allowing it to guide him through the nondescript corridors and past countless identical doors until he reached one in particular. He sensed her inside, alongside his parents.

    He soundlessly entered what turned out to be a modest suite of living quarters and was met with the sight of a young child curled up asleep on the sofa. Copper hair framed a face eerily similar to the woman he sought, and a slender arm was wrapped tightly around a stuffed tauntaun. That same feeling of comfort enveloped him, though one question stood out in his mind.

    What was Allana doing at a military base?

    As he carefully settled on the end of the sofa near his daughter’s feet, he heard muffled voices coming from the kitchen. He knew the first to be his mother’s, and he easily recognized Tenel Ka’s gravelly timbre as the second.

    “Are you sure?”

    “Given the circumstances…it may for the best.”

    “You’re her mother.”

    Leia’s rebuke was gentle, but Tenel Ka’s tone hardened nonetheless. “And always will be. I know what I ask of you, but with Jaina—” The intended statement was left unfinished, replaced by a pregnant pause. When Tenel Ka spoke again, Jacen had to strain to hear her. “There is no one else I trust.”

    Allana shivered beside him, letting out a small whimper in her sleep. In true maternal fashion, Tenel Ka emerged from the adjacent room within seconds. She paused upon seeing him sitting with their daughter, drew in a deep breath, and let it out as a weary sigh. Jacen rose to his feet with a question of wellbeing on his tongue, but the woman merely brushed past him to take his vacated seat. She pulled the throw from the back of the sofa over Allana’s slight form and caressed her hair. The child’s quivering soon subsided.

    Jacen frowned as he took in his lover’s appearance. The young queen looked more tired and ragged than he could ever remember, and her gray eyes glistened with infinite sorrow. Behind her, Leia and Han lingered in the doorway. Both wore the same expressions of haggard grief he had seen too many times, and neither seemed willing to meet his gaze.

    Turning his attention back to Allana, he supposed he shouldn’t blame them. He knew the loss of a sibling all too well, but to lose a child was something he couldn’t fathom. Not daring to speak for fear of waking his daughter, he settled for silence as he and his broken family watched Allana sleep.

    A chill swept through him.

    Opening his eyes, he was greeted by the same grim scene. It was beginning to feel surreal. Maybe it really was a nightmare. He once again reached towards the white sheet but, in the end, he was gripped by that same unadulterated terror.

    No. If he was going to see her, he was going to see her, not the shell she left behind. He would talk to her and hear her voice in return. Then he would know why she left him; then he would know why she hadn’t left.

    He started in the direction of the infirmary suite Jaina had led him to before, but instinct told him she was no longer there. Feeling a pull towards the dormitories where Tenel Ka’s suite was, he quickened his pace. The closer he got, the more clearly his sister resonated, and it didn’t take him long to pinpoint her location.

    She was standing motionless in the middle of the room with her back to the door, reminding him of a lost child. The space was painfully sparse and reminiscent of the private barracks she often inhabited during the Yuuzhan Vong War. A single cot and a small desk occupied one side of the room, while a military locker housing what looked to be a set of Mandalorian armor stood on the other.

    “I’ve been looking for you.” Though she visually acknowledged his arrival, Jaina remained silent. Discouraged, Jacen sat down on the cot and stared at his hands. “I saw Mom and Dad. They won’t look at me. Even Tenel Ka barely—” He exhaled. “I’ve never seen her like this.” He lifted his eyes to his sister’s. “Do you think they’re mad at me?”

    He received an odd expression. “Mom isn’t. Not sure about Dad; you know how he is. And Tenel…” Jaina shook her head with a shrug. “You haven’t exactly made it easy for her.”

    The statement caused his heart to sink. He loved Tenel Ka deeply. What could he have done to hurt her? Pieces of the puzzle were continuing to fall onto the table, but none of the them were actually connecting.

    “Jaina…what happened?” When she didn’t answer, he slumped. “I think you’re mad at me, too.”

    “You left me.”

    Never.”

    To prove his point, Jacen stood from the cot and pressed his hand against her heart. Slowly, Jaina mirrored the gesture, and his chest tightened when he could only feel the faintest shadow of her touch.

    “This, Jaya? Nothing can break this. Not even death.”
    His twin failed to respond, her eyes fixated on the hand she had laid over his heart.

    A chill swept through him.

    This time, he didn’t bother pondering the body on the table or why he continued to find himself standing over it. He simply turned on his heel and strode out of the morgue. Weaving through the corridors, he returned to the dormitory wing.

    Keying the door release to his destination, he quietly entered the suite. With the object of his thoughts not immediately visible, he moved deeper into the apartment towards the bedroom. There he found her hunched on the edge of her bed, her fingers twisting absently through the chain around her neck as she stared at the floor. On a second glance, he realized it was the Gort eggshell necklace he made her when they were teenagers.

    Dressed in casual sleepwear unbefitting her usual extravagant wardrobe, Tenel Ka was looking less the stoic queen she portrayed and more the fragile woman underneath. Even so, seeing her with her hair down and her features absent makeup brought a fond smile to his face. He had always preferred his lover this way; her natural beauty had never needed the embellishments that came with the crown.

    Deep in thought, Tenel Ka didn’t look up as he approached. It wasn’t until he lightly placed a hand on her shoulder that she reacted, her body tensing at his touch.

    “I’m sorry,” he murmured, withdrawing his hand as he sat down next to her. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”

    It was several seconds before she relaxed and the sudden alertness faded from her eyes. Though she had turned her head a few degrees towards him, she still wouldn’t quite meet his gaze.

    “Is Lana with Mom and Dad?” Her attention slowly sank back to the floor in reply, and Jacen nodded to himself. “Maybe it’ll be good for them. Something to help keep their mind off…things.”

    Disheartened by her silence, Jacen mimicked her posture with a heavy sigh. “There’s something I want to tell you. I need to tell someone, and I’m not sure what it would do to Mom if she knew.” He took a steadying breath. “I’ve seen Jaina, talked to her. I know—” A lump rose in the back of his throat. “I know she’s gone, but I can’t feel it anymore. Like she can’t possibly be gone because…because she’s still here. And I don’t know why.” He rubbed his eyes. “I don’t know a lot of things. I keep having these blackouts, and I can’t remember what happened to us. Jaina won’t tell me, I’m afraid to ask Mom and Dad, and…” He glanced over at Tenel Ka, finding her eyes still cast downward and her expression unreadable. “…and you’re not talking to me.” His already wan hopes wilted. “Why aren’t you talking to me?”

    His lover’s shoulders drooped, but she still refused to look at him.

    “Teka…” He touched her knee with the tips of his fingers, causing her brow to furrow. “I know you’re hurting, and I can’t help but feel I have a part in that, but…I’m here. If you need me, I’m here.”

    Jacen unconsciously held his breath when she didn’t respond, fearing she would keep her pain hidden from him as she had so often done in the past. He quickly learned it was much worse when her vacant expression crumpled and spilled tears from her eyes. A series of sobs wracked her body, and she slumped forward to brace her arm against her leg. Without hesitation, he hugged his arms around her shoulders and rested his head against her back.

    His lover only wept harder.

    A chill swept through him.

    When he opened his eyes, the shrouded form was in front of him as expected, but he was surprised to find he wasn’t in the now familiar sterility of the mortuary room. Instead, he was standing under a twilit sky, faced with the mound of strategically stacked logs and tinder that had replaced the metal exam table.

    And he wasn’t alone.

    The first figures he noticed were his uncle and nephew. Ben looked somehow older than his fifteen years, while Luke appeared infinitely weary. More troubling to Jacen was Mara’s glaring absence. Allana—hair dyed black and demeanor uncharacteristically gloomy—was huddled between his parents, while Tenel Ka—dry-eyed and stoic—stood a peculiar distance away. Lowie and Raynar were at the Queen Mother’s side, along with her twin cousins. Again, Jacen was dismayed to not see Zekk and Tahiri among them.

    Amidst the numerous Jedi Knights and Masters, Jagged Fel stood somber-faced as ever. Though Jacen wasn’t sure where things had been left between the Chiss and his sister, he couldn’t help but pity the man. In contrast, Kyp Durron was wearing a stony mask, leaving him to wonder if the Jedi Master was hiding a deeper pain than that of losing his one-time apprentice. Lastly, he saw Jaina herself hovering near their parents while at the same time keeping a distinct distance. Not a single person there seemed to notice the haunting presence.

    It was with a strange detachment that Jacen watched Luke solemnly lower a torch to the pyre. It couldn’t really be his twin’s body being cremated, could it? Not when her spirit continued to linger beside him.

    It wasn’t long before the flames had overtaken the pyre entirely, and Jaina—seemingly drawn to the incinerating remnants of her former life—drew closer and extended her hand into the fire. Her expression remained chillingly empty. Ignoring the looks of concern he knew his family was sharing, Jacen calmly stepped up behind her, covered her hand with his, and joined his sister in her embrace of departing flesh. As he let the flames lick his skin, he realized it wasn’t his pain tolerance keeping agony at bay; he simply didn’t feel the pain at all, as though that part of him died with his twin.

    Jaina soon backed away from the pyre on unsteady feet. She seemed to hesitate for a moment before turning around and retreating with swift strides. It wasn’t until he moved to follow that Jacen noticed Allana staring at him. There was a part of him that wanted to stay with his daughter, to soothe the sadness and confusion and fear he knew she was feeling. In his heart, though, he knew his sister needed him more. He gently ran his hand over Allana’s hair, and the child whispered his paternal title in uncertainty as he, too, abandoned the pyre.

    No one questioned him.

    He tracked Jaina back to her barracks room. There, he was met with the distressing sight of his twin curled up in a fetal position on her cot, seized by uncontrollable tears.

    Carefully, he knelt next to her. “Jaina?”

    She unfurled just enough to look at him through watery eyes. “Why are you still here?” she sobbed.

    Reflexively, he reached out to touch the tears running down her cheek. When he pulled his fingers away, though, they were dry. Jaina unconsciously mimicked his motion and wiped the wetness from her face. It was that moment he noticed her hand was blistered and charred.

    “Your hand…”

    He searched her face for an answer, expecting to find confusion that mirrored his own. Instead, he found a mixture of different emotions flashing across her features as she stared at him. Horror, dread…pity? Her eyes fell to his torso, and his instinctively did the same. At first he believed it to be a trick of light, an illusion born of fear and guilt.

    But he knew.

    There was a hole in his chest. A gaping wound of blackened flesh and shattered loyalties. A place that had grown dark with anger, blood, and betrayal.

    He remembered the streak of violet light filling his vision before plunging through his onyx armor, the twin bond flaring in anguish when his pain became Jaina’s. He remembered his sister arriving at the morgue to visit the body it housed and turning a haunted pallor when she saw him. He remembered Tenel Ka looking through him to where Allana slept, walking past him as though she didn’t see him, breaking down in an empty apartment. He remembered the ethereal tether ever pulling him back to that lifeless body.
    “…it’s me…” he breathed in cold comprehension.

    Jaina could only whisper the same question she had been asking from the start. “Why are you still here?”

    He gazed into the face of his twin, the person with whom he had shared everything from the very beginning of life to the very end, and the sting of tears blurred his vision. The body on the pyre may have changed, but the truth in his heart hadn’t.

    “Because you are.”

    He squeezed his eyes shut against the flood of memories coming back to him. He relived every trust he had broken, every person he had hurt, every life he had taken. After all the things he had done to her, to their family, to their friends, what he couldn’t understand was why she was still there.

    Feeling an airy pressure around his wrist, Jacen opened his eyes to see Jaina clutching him with fire-marred fingers. All their lives, they had felt each other’s pain—both in mind and body—whether they were across the room or across the galaxy. Was she feeling his now? Or had the fire been her last remaining connection to him?

    Turning his own hand over to cradle hers, he ran his thumb over her blistered flesh and frowned. “What were you thinking?” he chastised quietly.

    “I wanted to know what you—” Jaina stopped when her voice started to waver, and she took a moment to collect herself. “I wanted to know what it felt like.”

    “…does it hurt?”

    She looked down at their interlocked hands and let out a breath. “Not nearly enough.”

    He nodded in subdued understanding. “And everyone else,” he began, fearing the answer. “They, um…they don’t know I’m here, do they?”

    His sister shook her head sadly, and Jacen experienced the first true pang of aloneness, of otherness. The selfish part of him felt slighted that his own mother couldn’t sense him anymore, that his lover had merely reacted to a phantom touch. But, for the same reason he hadn’t tried to tell his parents about Jaina, the rational part of him wondered if it wasn’t better that way. He doubted they would find comfort in his lingering presence.

    His thoughts turned to Allana. His daughter had seen him, he was sure of it. Would she be confused? Afraid? It pained him to think it. He had moved the stars for her safety but failed where it mattered most. Now he was forever deprived of the opportunity to mend the wounds he had inflicted.

    “Will you do something for me? Tell them—” Jacen cut off abruptly, not wanting to insult his family with pointless apologies. Sentimental declarations would likewise fall flat in wake of his actions. He shrugged in defeat, a lopsided grin teasing the corner of his mouth. “Make up a joke, tell them I said it.”

    Jaina gave a bittersweet laugh. “Shouldn’t be too hard. Your jokes were never that good.”

    “No, they really weren’t.” His wistful smile slowly slipped from his face. “I think…I think I have to go now.”

    Jaina sat up in earnest. “I’ll go with you.”

    “No!” His sister flinched at his quick refusal, and he softened his tone. “No, you can’t. There are people here who need you.”

    “But, Jasa…”

    “I know,” he assured her, squeezing her hand. “I know.” He played with a frayed corner of the blanket on her cot. “Do you think they’ll be waiting for me?”

    His sister didn’t have to ask who he meant. “Of course. You know Mara’s going to want to kick your ass.”

    This time, it was Jacen’s turn to laugh. “I suppose she will.”

    Their reprieve was once again short-lived, and whatever semblance of composure Jaina had cobbled together started to crumble.

    “Jacen…” She hugged him around his neck, and his arms instinctively slipped around her waist. “I love you.”

    Even though her embrace was little more than a feather against him, he was enveloped by a sense of peace when the Jaina-place in his chest grew warm. It was a sensation nearly foreign to him after all that had happened. A sensation he hadn’t realized, until that moment, he desperately needed to feel.

    “Love you, too, Jay,” he murmured in her ear. Beginning to feel the telltale tug on his subconscious, he held her tighter. “Not even death, okay?”

    Her nod was punctuated with an indiscreet sniffle. “You’ll stay with me?”

    “Always.”

    Kissing her temple, Jacen climbed onto the cot behind her and prompted her to lay back down with an arm still snug around her waist. The warmth in his chest began to spread and turn to buoyant light.

    “You’ll be here when I wake up?” she pressed quietly.

    He tapped his fingers against her chest. “I’ll be here. I promise.”

    His sister’s grief was far from alleviated, but she nevertheless began to relax in his arms. Feeling the world lift away, he reached out one final time.

    His mother and father.

    His uncle and nephew.

    His lover and daughter.

    With their faces in his mind and his twin in his heart, Jacen closed his eyes and let the light take him.

    Fin.
     
    Black Ribbon, AzureAngel2 and Tarsier like this.
  2. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2005
    That was really beautiful. Sad, but beautiful. It's good to see Jacen back to himself before he's truly gone.

    P.S. I love your avatar!
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  3. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    A beautiful piece, showing the true Jacen
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Always loved that song. It makes the story even more intense... @};-
     
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Breathtaking - heart-wrenching -- you really are the tops with Jacen =D= snowduchess [:D]