Chapter 10: Another Wedding
Episode 6 Ch 10
Disclaimer: Really, do I need this after 4 years? I own nothing except for Joyce.
9 months later
Dawn sat in her room, her eyes closed in a meditative trance, trying to will the sharp pains away. She was in her wedding robes - a brilliant, yet simple, pure white robe over a cream-colored tunic that was, by necessity, enlarged for her very distended stomach. Another pain and she gently placed her hand on said stomach.
“You had to inherit my patience, didn’t you?” she muttered to her unborn child. “Just a little longer…”
The young Jedi opened her eyes and looked behind her, where Joyce stood in an emerald green dress. She fidgeted nervously, tugging at the collar. Dawn smirked.
“Stop messing with the dress. You look fine.”
“I hate dresses,” Joyce groused.
“Well, that’s what you get for agreeing to be my maid of honor,” she chuckled. “Is it time?”
Joyce nodded. “It’s time. Are you ready?”
Dawn smiled. “I’m ready.”
Anakin smirked at his soon-to-be brother-in-law as he fidgeted in his dress robes. Zett shot the older Master a look.
“Were you nervous when you got married, Anakin?”
“To tell the truth, I was terrified,” he admitted. “But more for the Order finding out than for marrying Padmé. Marrying her was the only thing that felt right back then.”
“This feels right,” Zett said after a moment. “At times, I can’t believe that the old Order banned this. I mean, how can something that feels so good.”
Anakin nodded. “Just remember, don’t let your love for her control you, lest you slip into darkness as I almost did.” He paused for a moment and considered his fellow Master. “And don’t ever hurt her. She is my sister, after all. And I can kick you ass seven days a week.”
“Yeah, but Buffy likes me better.”
“Really? And what do you think she’ll do to you?” Anakin asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I still don’t know why I’m here.” Mara said as she took her seat behind Buffy. “Me and the bride haven’t exactly gotten along in the past.”
“Yes, well that was the past, Mara,” Buffy replied. “Now is a time for new beginnings.”
“Besides, she didn’t think you would attack a pregnant woman at her wedding,” Obi-Wan added. “Plus, Luke needed a date…” Buffy slapped him lightly on the arm.
“Will I be seeing what an Earth wedding looks like?” the former Hand asked. Buffy shook her head.
“Actually, today you will witness the first Jedi wedding in centuries,” she replied. “Dawn actually stumbled onto the ceremony going through the archives. Today will be the first time it has been performed in over four hundred years.” Buffy paused as Anakin came up behind her and whispered in her ear. “Ah, she’s coming. Let’s take our places, shall we?”
Dawn entered the hall and moved to take her place on the platform with Zett and Roan Shryne, whom they had picked to proceed over the wedding. Both figured he should have the honor - after all, he had pushed them together. Master Shryne handed both of them a half of a large Illum crystal, which they took before standing to face one another. He looked at the two and smiled.
“Welcome, my brother and sister Jedi, Slayers, family, friends and honored guests,” he began, looking out among the gathered crowd. “Today, we have a great honor to celebrate the coming together of Knight Dawn Summers and Master Zett Jukassa. Their bond with one another was forged through the Force and strengthened by it, so that their efforts together could be stringer than the efforts of any two other Jedi.”
“It was once thought that emotional attachments would make a Jedi vulnerable,” Roan continued, “but these two so complete each other that only strength will flow from this union.”
Dawn smiled as she looked at Zett. “I had seen you around the complex after you had arrived, but I never really got to know you until your second year here. And we didn’t exactly get off on the right foot - what with you walking in on me right after I got out of the shower. I remember I wasn’t very impressed with you at that moment.” She paused as Zett, and most of the crowd, chuckled. “It wasn’t long after that that I realized a certain Master was trying to play matchmaker- and somehow, you talked me into going along with it. That was the best decision of my life.
“You’ve been with me through the best of times and stood by me through my darkest hour. You showed me it was possible to go on after losing my best friend, without falling into darkness. You helped to give my life a new purpose - and for that, among other things, I shall always love you.”
Zett smiled. “I was raised under the old Council. Relationships, such as this, were strictly forbidden. As such, I never gave it much thought. And when I first met you, I regarded you as little more than Buffy’s apprentice. But due to a certain Master’s persistence,” he cast a sideways glance to Roan, who just ignored him, “I got to know you. And over the years, I grew to love you.
“Perhaps it was growing up under Buffy, or growing up with Anakin, but I didn’t have much trouble disregarding the old rules when my feeling for you made themselves known. And those feelings have only grown as I’ve watched you become the magnificent woman you are today.
“I’ve pledged my life to the Jedi Order, Dawn, but I pledge my heart to you.” Dawn smiled as tears welled up in her eyes. Together, the two used the Force to lift the crystal halves into the air. They merged with a small flash of energy and Roan reached out into the Force and took hold of the now whole crystal .
“Let no one here doubt the wisdom of the Force. May the Force always be with you both and in your life together.” Roan smiled fondly at the both of them. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. and Mrs. Zett Jukassa!”
The crowd roared in approval as the two newlyweds kissed. All too soon they pulled apart, both with love in their eyes - though Dawn’s held some pain.
“Zett, would you do something for me now?” she asked, somewhat strained.
“Anything,” he replied
“Good. Could you take me to the infirmaAAAAH!” Dawn suddenly doubled over in pain and both Zett and Roan moved to catch her.
“Dawn!” Zett exclaimed as he lowered her to the floor. “What is it? The baby?”
“Yeah, the baby,” she replied through gritted teeth. “I think she wants to dance at the reception… oh, god, how could I let you do this to me?”
By now several more Jedi had joined the three on the stage, while the Slayers moved to calm the crowd. Buffy knelt beside her sister. “Dawn?”
“Need the Doc…” she groaned.
“Dawn, how long have you been in labor?” Mara asked suddenly, noting the time between the contractions.
“A little while…” she answered evasively.
“How long?” Mara reiterated. Dawn sighed and then winced in pain.
“Since five this morning.”
Xander glanced at his watch. “It’s two o’clock now… you’ve been in labor for NINE HOURS?”
Joyce chuckled. “You should have been a Mandalorian, Dawn.”
“Wasn’t gonna miss my own wedding - and she wasn’t gonna be born out of wedlock,” Dawn groaned. “Where’s the freaking Doc?”
“He was called to Coruscant a couple of hours ago,” Anakin noted, then looked back to the crowd. “Is there a doctor in the house?”
“I just want some drugs….” Dawn moaned. “Zett, if I make it through this, I’m gonna kill you.”
“No time for drugs,” Mara declared, kneeling down in front of Dawn. “Guys, turn your backs or leave. Anakin, I need a bowl of warm water and some washcloths. Farmboy, go get some blankets. Solo, clear the room, give us some privacy.”
“What are you doing?” Dawn asked, suddenly wary as Han, Wedge and Obi-Wan both moved to guide the guests out of the room.
“Delivering your baby, apparently. Don’t worry,” she added, “I’ve had training in emergency medicine. And I’ve delivered a couple babies on missions before.”
“Really?” Leia asked. Mara shot her a wry look.
“Not all of my missions involved killing Rebels,” she said, then looked back to Dawn. “Dawn, I need to see how far along the baby is. Just pull up your dress and spread your legs.”
“Ohhhh, that’s what got me into this mess in the first place,” she groaned, but complied. Mara’s eyes widened as she saw the small head starting to emerge.
“Okay, the baby is already crowning,” she announced. “On the next contraction, I want you to push with everything you got.”
“God, I can’t…”
“HEY!” Mara snapped, grabbing her jaw and forcing Dawn to look at her. “Are you the same Jedi that fought me to a standstill in the old temple? You can do this. When the next one hits, push!” she looked to Zett. “Now would be the time to use those fancy Jedi powers to lessen her pain.”
Zett nodded, then placed his hands on her temples, sending calming waves of Force energy though her. Mara noted her tensing. “All right, this is it. Push, Dawn! Push!”
“GEAHHHHHHHH, oh GOD… Ahhhhhhhhhh!” the young Jedi screamed with pain as she bore down. Mara moved between the girl’s legs and gently grasped the infant as she finally came free. Mara gave the infant a small slap on the back and suddenly her wails echoed throughout the hall. The former Hand used a small utility knife to cut the cord, then wrapped the girl in a blanket proffered by Luke and gently handed her over to Dawn who was sobbing happily, collapsing exhausted into Zett’s arms.
“Congratulations, it’s a girl;” she paused and then smirked. “As if there was any doubt around here.”
Dawn stared down at the girl in wonder. “We made her!” she exclaimed softly to Zett, who was looking at their daughter in equal reverence. “We made her!”
“We did,” he agreed, staring in wonder as the small baby grasped his finger.
Mara sat back and watched the couple with a deep sense of satisfaction. She looked up, then smiled as Luke placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Brave new world, eh?” he asked with a smile. Mara smile back.
“Yeah,” She agreed.
Several hours later, a very harried Dr. Milton emerged from Dawn’s room after giving both mother and daughter a clean bill of health
“Damn stubborn woman,” he remarked to Obi-Wan as he lit up a cigarette. “If she’d have come to me when labor had begun, I would have been able to take care of her.”
“I’ve found, over the years, that Summers women rarely do things the easy way,” Obi-Wan replied. Milton just grumbled and walked away down the hall, nodding in acknowledgement to Mara as she and Luke passed by. They both nodded back, then stopped before Obi-Wan.
“Master,” Luke nodded.
“Kenobi. How are they?” Mara asked without preamble.
“All are doing well. Dawn would like to see both of you,” he gestured to the door. “Shall we?”
The three entered as one. Inside Dawn lay on the bed, thought he monitors were disconnected. Joyce and Han were leaning against opposite corners at the far end of the room, watching in amusement as Buffy gently held her niece. Leia stood besides Han, her arm around his shoulder, while Wedge stood next to his wife with an arm around her waist. Zett, Xander and Aankin were sitting besides the new bride, doting on her and the baby.
“Look who I found in the halls,” Obi-Wan remarked, placing a hand on Buffy’s shoulder and leaning down to kiss her forehead. “How is she?” he asked, nodding towards the baby.
“Perfectly healthy,” Buffy announced. She smiled at the redhead. “Hello, Mara.”
“Buffy,” she replied.
“Mara.” She looked over to Dawn, who was smiling at her. “Thank you.”
Mara shrugged. “No big. Hell, with all the Jedi in that room, I’m sure someone would have…”
“But YOU did,” Dawn emphasized. “Buffy told me what she was talking about with you, before the ceremony. And she was right - I wanted today to be a new beginning between us. We don’t have to be enemies anymore.”
Mara glanced at Luke, who smiled encouragingly. Finally she looked back to Dawn. “I think I’d like that.”
“Here,” Buffy said suddenly, standing and handing the baby to Mara. “She wants to meet her Aunt.”
“Whoa!” Mara exclaimed, adjusting her grip on the tiny infant. “Aunt?”
“Well, Godmother was already taken,” Joyce said from her corner. “But you get the honors for the next one.”
“There won’t BE a next one,” Dawn stated emphatically.
Mara awkwardly rocked the child. “What’s her name?”
Dawn smiled. “I named her after two of the bravest women I knew - Violet Willow Jukassa.”
A sad smile came unbidden to Mara’s face as she looked down at the brown-haired baby in her arms. “It’s a good name.”
“The best,” Dawn agreed. The women looked at one another and smiled. In that one instant, years of bad blood were washed under the bridge.
The two started talking and Buffy moved back towards the door where Anakin and Obi-Wan stood. Buffy smiled as Mara subtly moved closer to Luke, who was listening to Zett intently. “Do you think Luke will be ready to lead the next generation of Jedi?”
“He won’t be alone,” Anakin noted. “We’ll all be here to assist him.”
“But in the mean time, our Jedi will be busy trying to keep the peace. Thrawn and Mon Mothma are still hammering out a treaty, but there are several dissenters and a few rogue Moffs to contend with.”
“We’ll manage,” Obi-Wan assured them. “We always do.”
The next few years brought many changes to the galaxy. As Willow had predicted, many star systems wanted to stay with the Empire and were allowed to do so by the New Republic. Likewise, several hundred systems were welcomed into the New Republic with the Empire’s blessing.
Luke Skywalker traveled the galaxy for several months, honing his skills and helping those in need. Soon after, he returned to Yavin 4 where he set up the new Jedi Academy. While the original Jedi were busy keeping the fragile peace, many Knights - and some Masters - made sure to spend as much time at the Academy as possible. Zett Jukassa became a favored instructor.
After a brief political courtship to Prince Isolder of the Hapes Consortium, Han and Leia finally fully acknowledged their feeling and were married. Within a few years Leia, who became Chief of State of the New Republic after Mon Mothma resigned, gave birth to twins - Jacen and Jaina. Buffy had tears in her eyes as she held her nephew, but was comforted by her husband Obi-Wan.
Dawn Jukassa spent part of her time teaching at Luke’s Academy and the rest on Earth, working in the infirmary. She not only graduated from the Council’s medical program, but was licensed in the New Republic as well. She saved the lives of many Slayers and Jedi. Her daughter was often found in the infirmary, good-naturedly pestering the patients as only a young child could.
Xander Harris remained with the fleet, serving as Commander in the Republic forces. Aayla soon joined him, though her work was the government liaison to the Jedi Council. The two married in a quiet ceremony and, though they have no children of their own, spoil the children in their ‘family’.
Wedge Antilles continued to serve Rogue Squadron. His wife, Joyce, held onto her fighter, though her work shifted to security. For a time, she served as a liaison to the new government. After the birth of her first daughter, Syal, her priorities shifted elsewhere. Though she joined Rogue Squadron when needed, her work became more internal. Her Mandalorian training, her Jedi skills and her Slayer background have helped her adjust to a new life, one without the great risks, one where she can be with her daughters.
Tara continued to serve as the main Wicca on the Watcher’s Council. Together with her girlfriend, Kennedy, they continue to protect and serve the Watcher’s Council through apocalypse after apocalypse, only calling on the others, as needed. Though the laws of the world had not changed, their unity bound them for life. As such, their maternal bond became stronger as they adopted outside of the Council community, though slayers looked to the two as mothers over the whole Council.
Anakin and Padmé, despite putting in long hours in their respective jobs, never failed to show their love for one another and they were stronger for it. Indeed, their marriage became a template for all Jedi marriages. When they were working, Padmé advised first Mon Mothma, then her daughter. Anakin became a mentor to several of the young Jedi and Luke often sought his advice in his own training methods. Anakin happily provided guidance, but was always careful to let Luke stand on his own to feet.
And Buffy? She and Obi-Wan spent most of their time on Earth, preparing for the threat that Willow had alluded too. Between training and molding the last generation of the Old Jedi (and with much prodding by Master Shryne, much to Dawn and Zett’s amusement), the two finally recognized their feelings for one another and were married in the meditation garden of the restored Jedi Temple. Though they were parental figures to many of the younger Jedi, both decided early on that they would have no children of their own.
For several years the Skywalkers, Solos and Summers worked and loved, trained and prepared for whatever the future held for them. And while they didn’t know exactly what threat the future would bring, they were confident in knowing that they could face anything, as long as they faced it together.
Brave new world, indeed.
In deep space, in the darkness between the galaxies, several large, planet-sized ships slowly lumbered towards that galaxy far, far away. Indeed, the ships were planets, of a sort - completely biological, completely self-contained. And they contained the greatest threat any galaxy could face.
They were the Yuuzhan Vong and they were coming.THE END?
And there it is. Nearly four years, three jobs, three residences, and countless hours later, the two trilogies are complete. Now, I plan to focus on Avalon and Chronicles, but - believe it or not - I have started preliminary planning for my take on the New Jedi Order.
And here, at the end of all things, I’d like to once again thank all of my betas both past and present- The Muse, Shadow Master, Megan Gravel, my first Beta waaaaay back on Episode 1, Winterd and Fallenstar2-The Lone Survivor. I actually couldn’t believe that she’d been with this series since back in Episode 2. I’d like to thank each of them for their help on this story, I’d like to thank Winterd especially for originally inspiring me to write this monstrosity in the first place, and of course I’d like to thank Fallenstar2 for staying with me till the end.
And for reminding me to include Xander in the wrap up. D’oh.
And finally, I'd like to thank all of my regulars- and please forgive me if I miss a name or three. Almost all of the below were here from the beginning- Allen Pitt, Amber Penglass, Jedi-Princess/Nascar Girl, Marz1, General Mac, Stcobb, Just Me Prime, Cycloneozgirl, MaxCobra, Raiining, WISE, Sean Malloy-1, Little Cherry Tree, Twisterblake, and everyone else who reviewed- thank you for your support and continued reading, and know that even if I didn’t respond personally to your reviews, I have read every single one. As for why did I thank Wise? Well, an author really does need a good flame now and again. Too bad the punk couldn’t step up.
Well, For the foreseeable future, the galaxy far, far away will be closed while SG-1 and the Galactica crew play. But don’t worry, we’ll visit it again… someday.