by: Trickster_Jaina_Fel

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 this

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 read that.

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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 in…ages.

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 away…

She should be trying to escape. She isn’t; the thought never even crosses her mind.

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.

Never. Again.


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.

“Hello, Solo.”

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, now. (ShouldhavediedwithJacen.)

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.

Connection. Feeling.

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 with him.

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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