Title: Redemption Author: Anedon Timeframe: After Crucible Characters: Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo, OCs Categorization: Legends, AU Notes: This is the third part my story on Jacen Solo surviving LotF. The first two parts: Atonement and Forgiveness Atonement was an older fic of mine which I translated and then continued. This is the third part and deals with the Aftermath of Jacen´s travel to Mortis. As with the last two parts it probably won´t fit completly with FotJ and Crucible. But I will try my best. Great Thanks to my beta reader divapilot for the help and support. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prologue Gaven stared down at Jacen´s grave. It was a nice place, he had to admit; located in a small forest below the palace. It had nothing of the rich and ornate glamour everything else on Hapes seemed to have. It was just a small plate on the ground on which Jacen´s name was written but nothing more. Gaven asked himself what Jacen would have said to it and sadness overcame him when he thought back to his friend. The grave was a lie, of course, a prop to make the lie more believable. Gaven wasn´t even sure if there was truly an urn down there. Probably not, it was just a lie. For a moment Gaven thought back to the events in the last weeks. Was it truly only three months ago when Kenth Hamner had died? So much seemed to have changed since then, since the evening when Jaina had found him, alone and depressed in Kenth´s apartment. Since she had told him the truth about what had happened to her brother and since she had asked him to take care of him — a request that had changed his life. Three months ago he had just been a man from Darvin, just one Jedi among many others. Since then he had seen Nev again and finally admitted his feelings for her, he had met a surviving Jedi master of the old order, he had adopted an orphaned girl and started to train her as his apprentice and he called a former Sith his friend. And now he would meet a queen. Being born in the Teris sector Gaven mistrusted nobles but this queen was different. He had never meet Tenel Ka himself but he had heard about her, about the heroism she had displayed multiple times, and later Jaina had told him a little bit more about the adventures she and her brother had with the now ruler of Hapes. Jacen had rarely spoken of her, even in the rare moments he had told Gaven about his past he had mostly left Tenel Ka out of his tale. But Gaven had felt the pain that thinking of her was causing his friend. Tenel Ka had been, and probably still was, the girl Jacen loved. The mother of his daughter and from what Gaven had heard she had been very angry at him for years. She had visited Jacen in his cell only once and it had broken Jacen. But since then years had passed and now the Queen had asked Gaven to meet her. He had no doubt that she wanted to ask him about Jacen, and that she had requested himself instead of asking Jaina seemed to be a hopeful sign. "I´m glad you came." Gaven looked up and saw Tenel Ka walking towards him. She still wore the robes of the queen, but Gaven suspected that she would have rather worn something practical instead. "Anytime." He smiled for a moment while she stepped next to him. For a moment she looked down of the grave in front of them, then she asked, "How is Jacen doing?" Gaven was surprised how direct she was. "He has been badly mutilated by the mercenaries that attacked us on Learan. He nearly died from his wounds but he will heal in time." Tenel Ka´s face showed no reaction and again she said nothing for a moment. Then she knelt down next to the grave. "I´ve come here quite often in the last few years. And I remember the man I loved, Jacen like he was before he became this monster. Sometimes I think he truly died long ago." Again Gaven was surprised that she was telling him about this. "He isn´t Caedus anymore," he said. "Jacen, he was always there, it was his love for you and Allana that saved him from the darkness in the end." Tenel Ka looked up to him and for a moment Gaven believed he could see relief on her face. Then she turned again to the grave. "The day when I realized what had become of him, when I saw the Sith he had become. It hurt me more than anything else in the galaxy." Gaven said nothing to this but he knew what she meant. Seeing a beloved person die was horrible but seeing them turn into a monster? Gaven imagined that it was even worse. "But when his warning saved me and Allana in the end, I wanted to believe that it was a part of Jacen, a part of the boy he was." Gaven laid his hand on Tenel Ka´s shoulder. "It was him, he is Jacen again. He was willing to give his own life for you and Allana at that moment, it made Jaina stop her blade. He became Jacen again. He realized what he had done, and it broke him." Again Gaven though back to his friend, how much his guilt was tormenting him, how he could barely sleep and sometimes just had broken down crying. For a while he and Tenel Ka remained this way silently at Jacen´s grave thinking of their friend. Gaven knew that Tenel Ka was thinking back to the days before all this had happened, when she and Jacen had still been friends at the Jedi academy. Gaven wondered how Jacen had been in those days, when he hadn´t been riddled by guilt and his mind hadn´t been darkened by all the tragedy that he would face later in his life. He wondered what would have happened if he had been there in these days. If he had meet Jacen back then. Would they still have become friends? Could he have saved Jacen from the darkness inside him? Gaven shook his head, it was impossible to say. He had only become a Jedi when he was older, only become Jacen´s friend after he had become Caedus and now he was here. "He still loves you," he told Tenel Ka after a while. Again the queen looked up to him and Gaven saw the sadness in her eyes, that she was asking herself what could have been. "Can you tell me more of him?" she asked him. Gaven nodded and for a while they sat there together, the Queen of Hapes and he a man from Darvin. And while they talked Gaven felt more and more, that despite all that had happened between them, Tenel Ka still cared for Jacen.