Title: Out of the Dark Author: brodiew Characters: Luke, Mara Genre: angst, romance, humor, honest talk Summary: Luke and Mara are trapped in a lift A/N: Random Fic-Gift for @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha based on her prompt: * OTP of your choosing gets stuck in a lift during a brief power outage and ... Out of the Dark “I never liked these lifts,” Luke Skywalker said in complete darkness, moving himself into a sitting position against one wall. His movement caused his to brush up against the other figure in the darkness. “Watch where you’re kicking those boots,” said Mara Jade, orienting herself to the total lack of light. “I didn’t kick you, Mara,” Luke protested. “At least, not on purpose. There are two of us on the floor of a four foot square lift. And, no light.” “Stop talking,” Mara said. “Your unique way of stating the obvious is irritating. The last thing I need right now is to be irritated.” “Oh, you don’t need to be irritated?” Luke said, with growing frustration. “What about me?” There was silence in the darkened lift. Silence that lasted long enough to make a Jedi Master nervous. “Did the leader of the Academy on Yavin IV, a Jedi Master, just ask ‘what about me’?” she said, dryly, condemnation in her tone. “Because, if he did, he might never see me again.” Luke kept his peace and allowed Mara’s statement to hang in the air for a couple of minutes. “Is that a threat?” Luke said evenly. “Promises carry more weight with me, Skywalker. I prefer them kept and I don’t make idle threats.” “Are you suggesting I broke a promise in a moment of weakness? Luke asked, peacefully. “No, Skywalker,” Mara replied. “We have made no such promises.” “What are you so upset about?” Luke asked, directly, rising to his feet. He heard the rusting of her clothing and gear as she got to her feet as well. “You upset me, Skywalker,” she growled. “It’s that simple.” “I’m sorry, Mara,” he replied, genuinely. “I had no idea. I didn’t seem to be upsetting you before the lights went out. What changed?” She growled, again, gutturally, and he heard her fist collide with the wall of the lift. “Mara,” Luke said, soflty, flooding peace into the Force, filling their confined space. “What’s wrong?” He heard her whirl around from where she had faced the wall and her presence in the Force was a jumble anger, discomfort, and self-preservation. Her walls were weak in the moment and he soaked up the emotions which radiated from her without probing in the slightest. Her anger appeared to be rooted in- The pain shot white-hot into his brain. The pressure was enough to bring a non-Force user to their knees. “That is the Emperor’s Hand,” She hissed into his ear, close enough to feel her breath on his skin. “If you want test me…” Luke was surprised that her voice trailed off, but her grip on his testicals did not relax. "I have no intention of testing you, Mara,” Luke said, wincing at her grip, but purposefully not escaping it. “I want to know what is at the core of your reaction to our situation. I want to help.” “Which situation are you talking about, Farmboy?” Mara asked, coldly. “Whichever one you need it to be,” Luke replied, simply. “Whichever one will get you to let go?” She released her grip on him and exhaled, the feeling of her grip still present in his mind. “Okay, Luke,” she said, contentiously. “You want to know what has me so uneasy? You! I can’t get away from you.” The darkness of the life compartment made reading other nonverbal signals impossible, but Luke could tell from the stress in her voice that this was about more than a lift malfunction. “What do you mean get away from me?” Luke asked, curiously. “I mean that every time we meet the encounters are that much more intense and being able to get away from you is my only recourse.” Knowing that he might be poking the Rancor, Luke replied: “I don’t recall all the intensity you are referring to Mara.” It frustrated her further than he could not see the incredulity on her face. “I know you’re not stupid, Farmboy. You are the Jedi Master, remember?” “I am,” he said, calmly. “But what has that to do with your need to get away from me? Why are you having such an emotional response to be trapped here with me?” “Trapped, Skywalker!” she exclaimed with such force that she bent forward causing her forehead to collide with his. They both staggered back a hitting their respective walls. “Kriff!” “Mara?” he asked, concern lacing his voice. “Kriff! Kriff! Kriff!” She slid slowly to the floor of the compartment. “Mara?” “Just leave me alone, Luke,” she said, weakly, sniffing back the emotion that threatened to spill over. Luke sat down on the floor as well, stretching his legs across the compartment. He felt her boots brushing his hip. He place his hand on her boot, letting it rest there. “No.” “What do you mean, no?” she said, voice thick with emotion. “I mean that is impossible for me to leave you alone. The fact that we can’t see each other is perfect. We are in the void, Mara. Maybe I’m Luke Skywalker. Maybe, I’m not. Maybe you’re not Mara Jade which makes your need to get away from me irrelevant. I know one thing that I am for sure.” “And, what is that?” she replied, the emotion ebbing from her tone. “A guy who thinks you are astrally beautiful.” Mara huffed into the silence. “And what does that mean to me?” “I don’t know?” he answered amiably. “Who are you?” She was silent for a moments and he the rusting of her gear and the retraction of her boot from his hip. “Scoot over, Farmboy,” she said, and as he moved toward the lift’s door, she settled in next to him. Her hip on his hip, her hand, the one previously applying the squeeze rested, apprehensively, on his thigh. Though she could not see his face, she turned to him, anyway. “I’m a girl who has to run.” Luke swallowed a lump in his throat. “I know.” “I’m a guy who has to fight the fear of failure every day.” “I know. He placed his hand on her thigh. She did not move it. I’m a girl who likes your fresh off the farm handsomeness.” “Really?” Luke said, expectantly. “Really.” “I mentioned astral, right?” “You did. But I already knew that.” “I’m sure you did,” Luke said, knowingly. “But you have to run.” “I have to run.” “What if you didn’t? Run, I mean.” “I’d have to face him. The man in the dark. You, too. The other man in the dark.” “He’s dead and I’m not so scary.” Her hand moved slowly, almost trembling, up his thigh and rested in the crease. Her face, he could sense, was right next to him. “I’m sorry, Luke,” she said with a softness he never heard in the voice of Mara Jade. “You don’t have to-” “-Let me finish,” she interrupted, quietly. “I’m sorry for freaking out. It came out of nowhere. I don’t know if it was the darkness, my fear of…being with you…or my need to run. Probably all of them.” “The darkness, as complete as it is, would put most anyone open edge. Even The Emperor’s Hand. Bad astral smuggler. Force sensitive Jedi apprentice. Wait…being with me?” “I’m sorry for grabbing your private parts. Next time, I’ll be more gentle.” “Netx time?” Without warning, the lights came back on and the lift began to move. Luke and Mara covered their eyes, blinded by the light. Eyes covered, she leaned over and nipped his ear lobe with her teeth. “Next time,” she breathed.