Disclaimer: I don't own it; nor do I own Jaina, Zekk or anyone
or anything else in the SW galaxy. I'm not making any profit out of
Summary: She’s tired of caring.
What you need to know: Takes place five years after “Jedi Under
Siege” (YJK); Zekk never turned back from the Dark side and is now known
as Lord Onyx; Brakiss declared himself Emperor a few years ago; Jaina
and the Jedi have been fighting this Empire for a while; Jaina and Jacen
were captured by the Empire.
Author's Note: This is officially an AU of my monster trilogy
“Always” (more specifically, it’s an AU of the first book, Return of the Jedi), but
it goes off course at the very beginning, so you don’t need to have
It’s Jacen’s death, and then—when the storm implodes around her, and
everything is silent—it all aches and kills and shrieks, and she is
so tired of caring. Hasn’t it been five years of unabated grief and
anger and pain? All that’s left now are the parents she hasn’t seen
And this bone-deep weariness. It never goes away, anymore.
She doesn’t feel anything, now, because everything (Jacen’sdeadOhmyForcewhywhyWHY?)
hurts too much to feel. (AniUncaLukeKypJasa.) She could swear,
up and down, right, left and centre, to all the stars in the heavens,
that it would kill her if she started feeling again.
Do the guards dig their nails into her skin as they drag her away? She
can’t tell. Once the Imperial Palace was feared, her nightmare prison,
but now she barely notices it. Everything is just so cold, and so far
She should be trying to escape. She isn’t; the thought never even crosses
Ache. Emptiness. Void.
None of it is real. Nothing is; nothing ever will be, again.
Only vaguely does she realize that the guards have taken her up, out
of the dungeon (away from Jacen, where she should be, oh, Jasa, JasaJasaJasaJasa),
and into a far more luxurious setting. Then, into Onyx’s quarters, where
everything screams of the Darkest Knight.
Onyx. Once Zekk. For the first time since Jacen’s death (ohForceohForceohForce),
her heart beats. Then stops again.
He isn’t here. And Onyx is not Zekk.
Zekk. Green eyes dancing, laughing, luring; lips quirking, smirking,
grinning; voice gentle, teasing, playful.
The guards must have left, because now she is alone (in the end,
she is always alone); the room is silent, except for the sound of
the breathing that a dead person (JasaI) doesn’t need.
In. Out. In. Out.
It is so tedious to breathe, and it hurts her ears. Why does her body
insist on pretending it is alive?
(HelpmesavemeIcan’tbreathe Jasa’sdead twinbrotherotherhalf.)
A chill, a tingling feeling.
He doesn’t call her Jaina, and for that she has both regret and relief.
He will never call her Jaina—but he knows her, better than anyone else,
Onyx-no-longer-Zekk is real.
Ebony hands smooth over her shoulders, down her arms (feel that),
and a chin rests on her shoulder. Silk hair meets her cheek; leather-muscle
presses from behind.
He doesn’t say anything, for once, and she knows he understands.
She turns (it isn’t Zekk, can’t love him, don’tdon’tdon’t), and
raises her lips to receive his venom kiss.
Heart: Beat. Beat.
Onyx is not Zekk.
Zekk was (is?) friendlovetrustwarmthgreeneyes.
Onyx…Onyx is coldjadedarkelectricitymaybesomewhereZekk.
But everyone she can trust is gonedeadleft, and he is all she has now.
Sometimes, when the passion momentarily diminishes, and she lies in
his arms, his lips brush her hair, and she is warm.
When they finally kill him, Brakiss dies, so quick, so easy. (Snap-hiss-buzz.)
She watches, removed, cold. Always cold. Should she feel victorious?
Pleased? This emperor killed Jacen and her Uncle Luke. But it means
nothing to her now. If it did, she would shatter into something even
worse than what she is.
When the Emperor’s Guards lay at the feet of her and her lover, she
feels nothing. She only sidesteps the blood, and an unattached limb
or two, and watches (blank, dead, no heartbeat) as Onyx throws
open the windows, and declares himself Emperor. When he holds out his
hand, she takes it, and feels just enough alive from the contact to
hear him say he will enthrone her next to him, as his equal.
“Once a Jedi Princess,” Onyx mocks in that strange, cruel-tender way
of his. “Now mine. My Empress.”
So, so cold.
With a sharp tug, she is spun into the only thing real, and when he
kisses her, she feels him lose himself for a moment.
And her heart beats, and for a second she is warm. Only with him.
Onyx is merciless on his enemies, and the galaxy falls so fast, so hard.
He knows what he is doing, has all the people in place, and so he can
do what Brakiss could not.
Bend a knee, everyone (except her, never her) to the Emperor. Don’t
fight: It is futile. Don’t be sullen: The Empire is different from (not
necessarily worse than) the New Republic. Did your parents not enjoy
normal life under the old Empire for two decades?
Maybe she should be fighting; she was a Jedi, and even a Rebellion pilot,
once. A Jedi Princess, Onyx called her, and she supposes he was correct
in saying so.
But the chill, the distance and indifference, are always there…except
Once, she was lightsparkfight, but now everything is so cold, and she
is so tired.
Once, she thought Onyx was the ice to her fire, but now she knows it
is the other way around.
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