Chapter Fourteen - Leia's Heartache
Wonder what was going on back in the Star Wars
‘verse while Luke and Mara have been stranded on Arda? Here you go! DISCLAIMER
I own nothing canon from either Star Wars
or Lord of the Rings
Leia lay still on her bed facing the wall. Han and Chewbacca were pacing nervously around the living room, as they always did when she shut herself in the bedroom. They were worried about her – she could sense that – but she didn’t care. Another tear ran down her cheek and onto the pillow.
Luke was gone. Mara, too. One moment they were there and then she had felt her twin brother swallowed up by the Force and disappear.
That was nearly three months before. Han and Chewie had raced home as soon as they got her hysterical message, but there was no consoling her.
She knew that the entire Republic was mourning with her, especially those who had fought with them in the Rebellion. Wedge, Lando, Admiral Ackbar, and even Mon Mothma had tried to come see her in the weeks following her tearful address to the New Republic, but she refused all of them. That was the last time that she had shown her face in public. Since then, she had done little more than lie in bed and grieve.
None of them knew the pain she felt. She appreciated their support, but their presence did not help. They had lost a friend, an ally, and one of the New Republic’s greatest heroes. She had lost her twin brother. There was a raw wound in her heart that no amount of time would heal.
There was a low knock and the door opened. “Mom?” came a soft voice.
Leia sat up and turned to see Jacen and Jaina standing in the doorway. They were holding hands, which she knew they only still did when they were particularly upset. Jaina sniffed and a tear slipped down her cheek.
The Solo twins had bonded with their Uncle Luke when they were toddlers. Luke’s spirit had been knocked out of his body and the two-and-a-half-year-old Jace and Jaina were the only ones able to connect with him. They were taking his death hard.
Leia opened her arms and let them curl up on either side of her on the bed. For a long time, none of them said anything. Then finally Jacen said, “I miss him, Mom.”
Choking back a sob, Leia tightened her arms around him and replied, “I know, sweetie. I do too.”
“What are we supposed to do now?” Jaina asked plaintively.
“I don’t know,” Leia admitted tearfully. “I guess we just have to find a way to keep his memory alive. Kyp and the other Knights can continue the Academy.” She took a deep breath, trying to steady her voice. “He’d want that.”
Jaina began crying softly. Leia felt Jacen mentally reach out to comfort his sister and her grief came back fresh. Luke would never do that for her again.
“Why don’t you two check on Anakin?” she said after a minute. “Make sure he’s okay.”
Reluctantly, the twins got up and headed for the door. Leia was left alone. She was just about to lie down again when her personal comm unit began flashing. The pattern indicated that it was urgent.
She sighed and wiped the tears away. She had no interest in talking with anyone, but she was still the Chief of State. “Organa Solo,” she said as she flicked on the image pad.
Her heart skipped a beat and her breath caught as she looked at the image of Luke on the holo. Then she narrowed her eyes. “Whoever you are, this isn’t funny!”
The image frowned. “What are you talking about?”
“This is a really sick joke,” Leia snapped, tears welling up in her eyes. “And when I find out who you are, I swear you’re going to spend the rest of your life in prison!”
“Leia, what are you talking about? It’s me. It’s Luke.”
A tiny flutter of hope rose in her chest, but she quashed it and shook her head. “Luke is dead.”
The image looked shocked. “Dead? I’m not dead!”
The flutter came back, stronger this time. “But he disappeared into the Force. I felt it!”
“Leia, I swear to you, I’m not dead!”
She was going to regret this. “Prove it.”
Luke’s image cocked his head. “Prove what?”
“Prove that you’re who you say you are.”
“Okay,” he said slowly. “I was late to your wedding.”
The hope faded again. “Everyone knows that.”
“Fine,” he retorted. “What about the time you kissed me in the med bay on Hoth? Only Han, Chewie, Threepio, and I
would know that.”
Leia cringed. Kissing her twin brother, even if they didn’t know at the time, was not one of her favorite memories. Then she suddenly burst into tears. “Luke Skywalker, I am going to kill you!”
Luke gave her a sheepish grin. “I thought I was already dead?”
“Don’t you dare joke with me right now! Where the Hell have you been?”
“I’m on Arda,” Luke replied. “I’m so sorry I haven’t contacted you before now. I’ve been kind of tied up.”
Leia frowned. “Meaning…?”
The sheepish grin came back. “I got arrested.”
She snorted. “Good job.”
“Arda has no technology,” Luke said. “And the Force is so distorted here that I can barely sense the people outside the ship.” Then he smiled. “But we found Mara’s father.”
She was able to smile back. “Really?”
Luke nodded. “There’s so much to tell you, but this link won’t last much longer. How soon can you get here?”
Luke nodded again. “Mara’s father wants us to be married by their laws. I want you and Han and the kids to be here.”
“Hold on.” Leia ran to the door and flung it open. “Han, get the Falcon
ready!” she shouted. Then she returned to the holo. “We’ll be there as soon as possible.”
“I’ll send the coordinates to the Falcon
,” Luke said. “You’ll see a walled city – land in the field by the river.”
Leia nodded. “Okay.” Tears gathered in her eyes again. “I can’t believe you’re really alive. I missed you so much!”
He smiled. “I missed you too. When I was in that cell, I was afraid that I’d never see any of you again.”
The image began to waver. “Luke, the signal’s dying,” Leia said. “We’ll leave as soon as the ship’s ready. I love you, little brother.”
He grinned. “I love you too, little sister.”
Then the connection went black. Leia leapt to her feet and ran to where Han and Chewbacca were looking very confused in the living room. She threw herself into Han’s arms. “He’s alive!” she cried into his shoulder.
Han pulled her back enough to see her face. “What?” he asked in disbelief. “You mean – ”
She nodded happily and grinned. “Luke’s alive! But we have to get the Falcon
ready. We have to get to Arda for Luke’s wedding!”
Frowning, Han said, “But sweetheart, Luke’s already married.”
Leia gave no reply, instead running to hug Chewbacca. “He’s alive, Chewie!”
Chewbacca hugged her back, but growled a question. Again Leia did not answer. Instead she headed down the hall.
All three children were in Anakin’s bedroom. They all frowned when they saw her in the doorway. “Mom?” Jacen asked. “What is it?”
“Your Uncle Luke is alive!” Leia told them.
At first none of them said anything. Then Jacen looked at her solemnly. “Uncle Luke died, Mom. With Aunt Mara, three months ago. We felt it. We all felt it.”
Firmly, Leia shook her head. “I just talked to him. They’re alive on Arda and they want us to meet them there.”
She could feel their disbelief, so she went and sat on Anakin’s bed. He immediately climbed into her lap, while the twins sat on either side of her. “Your Uncle Luke has taught you all to trust in the Force.”
The kids all nodded. Leia glanced up to see Han and Chewie listening in the doorway. “Well,” she continued, turning back to her sons and daughter. “The Force has helped bring your uncle back to us.” She hugged Anakin and grinned. “And now he’s sent us coordinates to meet him.”
Chewbacca growled questioningly. Han looked at him and shrugged. Then he said, “I guess I’ll go start up the Falcon
Leia nodded. “We’ll start getting packed.”