By Angela Jade - email@example.com - constructive criticism and happy thoughts gratefully received ... please don’t flame me!
Set just after ‘Vision of the Future’ by Timothy Zahn
Main characters - Mara and Leia; cameo from Han.
Rated - PG13 - this chapter’s fairly clean. Unlike the others. :)
Disclaimer - all these characters belong to Mr. Lucas and Mr. Zahn (I love you guys!). I write about them as a form of flattery - please don’t sue. I’m making no money from this.
Summary - Luke’s off to sort out the Academy, so Leia takes Mara for a day out...
Written September 1999
Chapter 3 - Girls Day Out
Mara woke up in Luke’s bed and started to reach for him before she remembered he wasn’t there. He was off to Yavin to make a start on sorting out the academy. She’d said she would join him in a couple of days, but thought it better that he break the news of all the changes alone.
So last night they’d gone to bed early, made love, and said their goodbyes and ‘I love you’s. Then she’d watched as he dressed, packed a few things, and left. He was taking the Skyblue - he seemed to be getting rather attached to that little ship, she mused. She must talk to Leia about commissioning a decent ship for herself and Luke, before he got too attached to slumming it. She put her hand over her eyes and groaned. Leia. She’d agreed to meet her for lunch and Mara just knew she’d want to discuss the wedding. Ho-hum. Might as well get it over with. She sat up and stretched, then spied Luke’s robe on the bottom of the bed. She pulled it towards herself and buried her face in the material. If she could smell him, she could almost imagine he was there. Almost. She had only been with him a few weeks and she was going to see him again in a couple of days. So why did she feel like he’d taken part of her heart with him to Yavin? Mara fervently hoped she wouldn’t always feel this bad when they were apart - and she was sure there would be plenty of missions to keep them apart in the future. Leia and Han seemed to manage. Perhaps it would get easier with time.
She jumped out of bed and went to have her shower, before pulling on a jumpsuit. ‘Must get some new clothes,’ she thought. She had just finished breakfast when the door buzzer went. She opened the door to find Leia smiling at her.
‘I thought we were meeting for lunch,’ said Mara, inviting her in.
‘Cancelled meeting,’ Leia replied. ‘I thought we might go shopping first. If you’re not busy.’
Inwardly Mara groaned. A girls day out was not quite what she’d had in mind. No doubt another excuse for Leia to bend her ear about the wedding. ‘Sure,’ she smiled. ‘I need to shop for clothes.’
‘I also thought you might be missing Luke. I remember what it was like when Han and I were first parted on Bespin.’
Mara saw the pain in Leia’s eyes. ‘I think that had to be a million times worse than what I feel,’ Mara said softly.
‘Probably,’ said Leia, forcing a smile. ‘But even after we married, it still hurt when we were apart.’
‘Does it get any easier?’
‘Sort of. In a way I’m used to it now.’ She grinned. ‘The reunion is fun, though.’
Mara hiccuped in her mind. Did Leia just say what Mara thought she had just said? Hmmm, could be an interesting morning. ‘Just give me a minute to get ready.’
Mara quickly braided her hair, clipped her lightsaber to her belt and was strapping on her forearm holster when she realised Leia was watching her.
‘Sorry, I don’t mean to be nosy,’ said Leia. ‘Do you always wear that?’
Mara shrugged. ‘Mostly. Definitely if I’m going out.’ She clicked a power pack into the small blaster and popped it into the holster. ‘Besides, I need to know that it’ll fit under any clothes I buy.’
‘Logical, I suppose.’
‘Don’t tell me you go out unarmed,’ Mara said, meeting her eyes.
Leia lifted her jacket to reveal her lightsaber. ‘I don’t bother with a blaster for shopping trips, though. I usually have one of the Noghri hovering about.’
‘But not today?’
‘No,’ said Leia, ‘I figured we’d be able to handle anything between us.’
‘We’d not be much use as Jedi if we couldn’t,’ grinned Mara, standing
up. ‘Right, let’s shop.’
Three hours later and Mara’s opinion of Leia had risen a few notches. She had waited patiently while Mara had bought enough clothes to fill a small freighter. She hadn’t talked endlessly about her children, although Mara got the feeling she wanted to. And she hadn’t mentioned the wedding. Not once. The restraint this woman was showing was remarkable.
‘It must be time for our lunch date by now,’ said Mara. ‘I’m starved.’
‘Me too,’ laughed Leia. ‘What do you fancy?’
‘How about Correlian?’
‘Sounds good,’ said Mara. ‘Lead on.’
Leia took her to one of her and Han’s favourite restaurants, authentic enough to please Han and clean enough for Leia.
‘Nice place,’ said Mara.
‘Food’s good, too,’ replied Leia, ‘although some of it’s a bit spicy for me.’
They ordered lunch, and Mara raised an eyebrow as Leia ordered wine with their meal. ‘No more meetings today?’
‘Nothing I can’t miss,’ replied Leia. ‘Anyway, a couple of glasses won’t
A bottle and a half of Correlian Red later, and Leia was getting the giggles. Mara smiled at her over their empty plates. ‘Do you normally drink at lunch-time?’
‘Nope,’ giggled Leia. ‘Might do it more now. This is fun.’ She poured herself another glass, spilling a little. ‘Oops.’
‘Who’s looking after the kids?’
‘They’re at school.’ She glanced at her chrono. ‘Damn. I wonder if Han can pick them up.’ She pulled a comlink out of her pocket and pressed a few buttons.
‘Solo,’ came the gruff reply.
‘Han, it’s me. Can you pick up the kids, please.’ Leia stifled a giggle.
‘Leia! Where the hell are you? You’re supposed to be helping me and Wedge here. They want to cut the Rogues’ budget again.’
Leia pulled a face. ‘I’m sure the two of you can handle it. Mara and I are still shopping.’
There was a pause. ‘Leia, are you okay? You sound a bit odd.’
‘I’m fine. Wonderful. Just great.’
‘Leia, put Mara on.’
She handed the comlink to Mara and took another sip of wine.
‘What’s up, Han?’ said Mara.
‘That’s just what I was going to ask you.’
‘Leia’s just a little ... um ... merry. We decided to have wine with our lunch.’
Han laughed. ‘And I take it you’re still there. Well, she deserves a day off. Tell her I’ll take care of the kids. I’ll see you both later.’
‘Bye, honey,’ yelled Leia. She reached for the bottle, but Mara beat her to it.
‘Mine, I believe. And I think you’ve had enough for now.’ Mara poured the last of the wine into her own glass. ‘What shall we do with the rest of your day off?’
Leia looked at her over the top of her glass. ‘We could always discuss your wedding.’
Mara drained her glass, placed it carefully on the table, and leaned back in her chair. ‘Luke and I both want something small and dignified. The emphasis being on small.’ She could feel Leia’s disappointment.
‘I can’t talk you into a nice, big do? Not even by pointing out that he’s the only Jedi Master we’ve got and a hero of the rebellion to boot.’
‘A traditional wedding is good for morale.’
‘Not mine,’ replied Mara.
‘It’ll be expected.’
Leia finished off her wine. ‘A slight change of subject. When will you announce the engagement?’
Mara sighed. ‘Can’t you do it? You know - have the pleasure of announcing the engagement of your beloved brother, yadda, yadda, yadda. It’ll sound better coming from you. To be honest, I can’t believe that many people will be interested.’
‘Don’t you believe it,’ said Leia, waving a finger in Mara’s general direction. ‘The gossip columns reckon my brother is quite the catch.’
‘Then they’re going to have a field day with me.’
‘I’m sure you can handle it, Mara. Just ignore anything you don’t like. That’s what I do.’
‘But you still listen to what they say?’
‘Oh, yes,’ said Leia, nodding vigorously. ‘You should see some of the stuff they say about me and Han. It’s a riot. Apparently, we throw wild parties and we both have lots of affairs. Especially Han.’
‘I take it he doesn’t.’
‘Couldn’t even if he wanted to. He knows I’d know.’
‘Jedi thing?’ asked Mara.
‘Wife thing,’ replied Leia.
They ended up spending the afternoon wandering round an art gallery, before settling in the cafe next door.
‘Let’s find a nightclub,’ said Leia.
Mara almost choked on her hot chocolate. ‘It’s a bit early, isn’t it?’
‘This is Coruscant,’ she replied. ‘I don’t think they ever close here. And I feel like some loud music and a few more drinks. Call it your engagement party.’
Mara hesitated for only a moment. ‘What the hell. I’ve nothing better to do.’
‘Sorry,’ said Mara. ‘I didn’t mean that to come out the way it did. I am having a good time.’
‘So am I,’ said Leia, ‘but I’m sure I’ll have a better one once we find a club.’
‘Do you want to let Han know where you are?’
‘Not particularly. He might try to join us.’
‘And we don’t want that?’ guessed Mara.
‘No, we don’t. We can have a good time without men around.’
‘Well, I certainly can,’ replied Mara. She drained her cup. ‘Don’t know how much practice you’ve had.’
They found a club only a few blocks away and were soon sitting at a table near the dance floor, drinks in hand.
‘It’s a bit quiet,’ Leia commented.
‘I’m surprised there’s anyone here at all, at this time of day,’ said Mara.
They watched the music holo playing on the stage for a while. Four rodians got up to dance and Mara stifled a laugh.
‘Did you know,’ said Leia, staring speculatively into her glass, ‘that Luke once had a crush on me?’
Mara turned to look at her, eyebrows raised. ‘No, he forgot to mention that one.’
‘Oh, we didn’t know we were brother and sister then. He rescued me off the first Death Star when we were only 18. Along with Han and Chewie.’
‘What was he like then?’ asked Mara.
‘Cute, in an innocent sort of way. And so nice. Totally committed to the rebellion. When he blew up the Death Star, a lot of people said it was a lucky shot. Then they put him in an X-wing simulator.’ She smiled. ‘He creamed the lot of them.’
‘And he had a crush on you.’
‘You’re not going to tease him, are you? He’ll go ballistic if he finds out I told you.’
‘I promise I won’t tease him ... much,’ said Mara with a grin. ‘Besides, we shouldn’t have secrets.’
‘So what secrets can you tell me?’ asked Leia.
Mara thought for a moment. ‘He’s good in bed.’
Leia’s blush was noticeable even in the dim lighting. ‘I don’t think I needed to know that.’
‘Oh, come on, Leia. You’re the one playing “let’s be best buddies”. So dish the dirt. I take it you and Han still do the horizontal tango.’
‘Of course! He’s not that old,’ Leia replied, indignantly. ‘I just think it’s sort of private.’
‘You need another drink,’ said Mara, waving frantically to the waiter
droid. ‘So do I.’
Leia had lost track of the time. Her hearing had dimmed slightly and her world looked a bit fuzzy at the edges. Her gaze wobbled round to Mara. How come she still looked so alert? Didn’t the woman ever get drunk? She was yammering on about the ‘Jade’s Fire’ again. Leia nodded sympathetically. She still didn’t have a clue what had happened to Mara’s precious ship, although she vaguely remembered agreeing to ask the senate to provide her and Luke with a new one. She jumped when her comlink beeped, then flicked it on. ‘Hello?’
‘Leia.’ It was Han. ‘Surely you’re not still shopping?’
Leia grimaced as Mara stared into the bottom of her glass. ‘No, dear. We thought we’d go out for a little drinkie.’ She giggled.
Mara could hear Han sigh from her side of the table. ‘I thought you said smugglers were a bad influence.’
‘But they’re such fun, Han. Don’t you remember?’ Leia laughed out loud, as Mara took the comlink gently from her hand.
‘Han, it’s Mara. In her infinite wisdom, your wife has decided we need to do a little bonding. You didn’t tell me she couldn’t hold her drink.’
‘How much did you give her? I didn’t think she was that bad.’
‘She’s okay. I promise to bring her home in one piece.’
Leia smiled at her. ‘You’re nice.’
Oh, boy, thought Mara. ‘Han, we may be some time. Don’t wait up.’ She passed the comlink back to Leia and watched as she struggled to put it back in her pocket.
‘I want to dance!’ announced Leia, standing up and swaying slightly.
‘Fine,’ said Mara. Anything to get her off the booze. They made their way over to the deserted dance floor.
‘Were you really a dancer at Jabba’s palace?’ asked Leia. ‘I don’t remember you there.’
‘You were probably a little preoccupied. I remember you, though. He put you in that awful gold-bikini thing, didn’t he.’
‘I’ve still got it,’ said Leia. ‘Han rather likes it.’
Mara reached out and grabbed Leia’s arm as she stumbled. ‘I’ll bet he does.’
‘I killed him, you know,’ Leia said with a smile.
‘Jabba. Put the chain around his neck and strangled him.’ She frowned at Mara. ‘He really pissed me off.’
‘I heard.’ Note to self, thought Mara, don’t piss off Leia.
‘What happened to you that day?’ asked Leia.
‘I hung around for a while. When the news got back to us that Jabba was dead, I headed back here. The Emperor was not a happy ewok.’
The song finished and they headed back to their table. Mara surreptitiously ordered Leia a non-alcoholic drink. She didn’t seem to notice.
‘What was Vader like?’ asked Leia quietly.
‘I didn’t know him that well,’ replied Mara. ‘I don’t think anyone did. He always seemed to be away on the odd occasions I was here.’
‘He terrified me.’
‘He tortured you, Leia. That must have always coloured your view of him.’ She leaned back in her chair. ‘I remember him as being incredibly Force-strong. And he didn’t suffer fools gladly. Didn’t suffer them at all, in fact.’
‘Luke says he turned to the Light side at the end.’
‘I’m sure he did.’
‘How can you be sure, Mara?’
‘We have a Force bond. I know what he felt that day, what he saw.’
‘Wow,’ said Leia. ‘That’s some bond.’
‘It is.’ She met Leia’s eyes. ‘I can’t imagine life without him, Leia. What if I had succeeded in killing him?’ She buried her head in her hands. ‘It’s just too awful to contemplate.’
She felt Leia’s hands on hers. ‘Don’t think about it. It didn’t happen. It’s not going to happen. Life goes on.’
Mara felt Leia’s hands stiffen, and looked up to see a human male standing behind her, his hands on her shoulders.
‘You two look like you could do with a little cheering up,’ he exclaimed. ‘Come and dance.’
‘No thanks,’ said Mara. ‘Please go away.’
‘I insist,’ said the man, his grip on Leia tightening.
In one fluid movement, Mara was standing beside him, her blaster pointed towards his stomach. ‘I suggest you rethink.’
His hands held high, the man backed away. ‘Okay, okay. I’m going.’
‘Thanks,’ whispered Leia. ‘I should have seen him coming.’ She lowered
her head into her hands. ‘I think I’d like to go home now.’
Han opened the door to find Mara trying to keep Leia vertical.
‘Hello, darling!’ said Leia, smiling and focusing somewhere around his left ear. She tried to take a step forwards and stumbled into his arms. He scooped her up and she nuzzled into his neck.
‘Bonding, huh?’ said Han.
Mara shrugged. ‘Her idea, not mine.’
‘You’re looking fairly sober.’
‘I’m not,’ replied Mara. ‘I just disguise it.’
‘Do you want to come in for a nightcap?’
‘No thanks, Han. I think I’ll just head off to bed.’ As she turned and walked away, Han thought he could detect a hint of a stagger in her step. But he might have been mistaken.
Once she was back at Luke’s apartment, Mara undressed, removed her make-up, and crawled into his bed, pulling his robe in beside her. ‘To hell with this,’ she thought. ‘I’m going to Yavin tomorrow.’
Onward to chapter four
Back to adult Luke/Mara fanfic