A/N: Well, it's finally here. The long-awaited final chapter. So, without further ado I give you…
Luke Skywalker was nervous, incredibly nervous. He had been through a lot in his time, but even facing Palpatine seemed preferable to this. In a small room next to Coruscant's blossoming botanical gardens, the Jedi Master paced relentlessly, calling on the Force to calm himself.
His brother-in-law sighed. "That floor doesn't deserve the punishment you're putting it through, kid," Han Solo said.
Luke looked up. "'Kid'? I thought I was past that nickname."
"Figured it was a good day to use it for the last time."
Luke smiled distractedly. "Yeah. Probably. You won't stick to it though."
"Are you sure everything's okay out there?"
"Relax, kiddo, Wedge sorted it."
"And security can handle any other unwanted visitors," Luke said, convincing himself.
"Yes," Han answered firmly, rising out of his chair and straightening his stiff dress jacket.
"That's okay then."
There was a pause.
"Will you stop that pacing!"
Wedge Antilles appeared as the door slid aside. "It's all clear out here, Luke," he said. "We're ready when you are."
"Thanks, Wedge." Turning to Han, he said, "Take two."
"With no interruptions from crazy people this time," the older man said.
"Are you sure? I mean, if they say that third time is lucky, doesn't that mean that something should go wrong second time?"
Mara Jade was nervous. It was not a feeling she was accustomed to. She smoothed down the skirt of her dress for the fiftieth time, even though it was immaculately crease-free.
"Do you think everything will be okay, Leia?" she asked her companion.
"Everything will be fine," Leia Organa Solo soothed. "The trouble was dealt with."
"It's the fact that there was trouble at all that bothers me. Although I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. We always had critics. I always had critics."
"You shouldn't worry about this now."
Mara sighed and tugged her glove further up her arm. "I know. But I can't exactly help that. There's no shutting out the fact that I will always have enemies."
Leia put a hand on her forearm. "Like the rest of us. Only this time we have the same enemies."
Mara smiled at her soon to be sister-in-law. "True. And those people who say that Luke and I are marrying the Empire and the New Republic together–"
"Don't know what they're talking about," Leia finished.
Mara laughed. "I think I'm going to enjoy having a sister," she said. "I never had one before. I don't think I did anyway, I never knew my parents. Being brought up by the Emperor doesn't make you very sociable."
Leia smiled briefly. "We're all glad you finally broke away."
"So am I. Even if it took a while to do it. I'll always remember that day, hearing his voice echoing in my head telling me to kill Luke when I'd known for some time that I didn't want to anymore. His voice always had power over me. I think it was because I'd heard it all my life and it always had to be obeyed. When I realised I'd found a loophole in killing Luke's clone instead, I was a lot happier than I let on."
"Yes, I can understand that. I–"
Leia's reply was cut off by Wedge opening the door. "We all ready out here," he said.
Mara nodded and blew some imaginary dust off her bouquet of Commelina flowers. She took several deep breaths, then she and Leia left the room. Outside they joined Mara's bridesmaids and her old employer, Talon Karrde. Mara smiled nervously and took Karrde's offered arm.
"Do I finally get to give you away now?" he quipped.
"I didn't know you were so eager to get rid of me," she shot back light-heartedly.
The group made their way to the ceremony, ignoring the irritating but inevitable presence of the HoloNet crews. They made an elegant procession, turning all heads as they walked. Luke was waiting with Han and a select group of friends. He and Mara exchanged smiles as they stepped up to the altar.
The Mon Calamari high priest raised his hands for silence and a hush fell over the gathered assembly. Clearing his throat, he began, "Friends, family, people of so many diverse worlds, we are gathered here to celebrate the union of this man and this woman. Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade have come here to be joined in matrimony to express and honour their holy bond of love."
Luke and Mara turned to face each other, clasping hands. The high priest nodded to them and addressed Mara.
"Mara Jade, do you freely bind yourself to Luke Skywalker, to be his companion, partner, aide and comfort for all the days of your life?"
"I do," Mara said firmly.
"And you, Luke Skywalker, do you promise to forsake all others, to be Mara's comfort and confidant, friend, lover and companion for your mortal days?"
"I do," Luke replied with a nod.
Mara smiled at him. "For a relationship that started with me trying to kill you, this has become more than I could have imagined," she said. "I have never felt more complete than now, knowing we will be together for eternity."
"Well," Luke grinned, "since Leia always wanted to kill Han, I know where this could lead. You are more than I deserve, all that I desire and all I need to feel whole. I love you, Mara."
There was a murmured ripple of delight through the congregation at the heartfelt words. Leia and Han couldn't keep the smiles off their faces as they remembered their own wedding.
The high priest turned to Han. "The rings, please."
"Got them right here," Han said, receiving them from the ring bearer. "Thanks, R2."
The little droid beeped, drawing a small frown from the high priest. "The rings are a symbol of your love, unbroken and shining," he announced. "They show the galaxy the vows you make here today."
Mara and Luke slipped the rings onto each other's hands and the priest continued. "You have exchanged vows and rings. I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Luke obliged and the crowd cheered. He and Mara made their way down the aisle and the priest proclaimed, "I present to you, the Skywalkers."
Luke and Mara exchanged a smile and another kiss. Mara threw her bouquet and laughed when it fell into C-3P0's hands. The guests all applauded and followed the newlyweds to the reception hall. Everyone was thrilled with the beautiful ceremony, but none more so than four unseen guests.
Obi-Wan and Sabé Kenobi, and the previous generation of Skywalkers followed their children, proud smiles on their faces. It had been absolutely perfect. And now there was only one more thing to do before they could settle to their own eternity together.
Sabé drifted away to place a data pad on a nearby balcony bench. Spirits could not usually manipulate anything material, but in this case the Force had made an exception. Working together, the ghosts managed to entice Mara out to the terrace. Coruscant was surprisingly quiet that evening, for which everyone was glad. Sabé wanted her daughter to be able to concentrate fully.
It was not long before Mara noticed the data pad and sat down to read the cover note on it. That was how Luke, Leia and Han found her. She was sitting quite still, her gown dazzlingly white against the gathering dusk.
"Mara?" Luke said, approaching her. "What is it? What's wrong?"
She turned to look up at him. Her expression was one of stunned astonishment. "I found this," she said eventually. "It's a data pad, a bit dated but still in working order."
"What's on it?" Leia asked, frowning.
"A message to me. I…I don't know if it's real or not."
"May I see?"
Mara nodded and handed it up to her sister-in-law. Leia scanned its contents quickly and her eyes widened.
The two men raised their eyebrows questioningly. "What is it?" Han said impatiently.
"It says that it's a journal," Leia told them. "Belonging to Mara's mother. It says it tells the story of her life and how she met Mara's father."
Han said, "Really?"
At the same time, Luke asked, "Who were they?"
"You knew the Jedi called Obi-Wan Kenobi, didn't you?" Mara enquired.
"Yes!" Luke and Han replied with enthusiasm.
"He was my first Jedi Master," Luke explained.
"If this note is correct," Mara said, "he is my father."
A stunned silence fell over the balcony. Then Leia broke it by exclaiming, "Sabé! That's who it was!"
"What?" three voices asked.
"Luke, remember on Endor we saw our parents and I said I recognised the woman with Obi-Wan? Her name was Sabé. She was Mara's mother."
"If the note's genuine," Luke offered. "We have no proof that it is."
"Oh yeah?" Han said. "How about that?"
He gestured and the other three followed his gaze. Four shimmering blue figures were forming in front of them, two Jedi and two women.
"Father, Mother," Luke greeted. "Ben. Sabé?"
Sabé nodded and Padmé stepped forward. "The information is genuine, Luke," she said. "Sabé wrote the journal and…well, I should let her explain."
Sabé smiled. "Hello, Luke. Mara, I am your mother. The whole story is in that journal. I wrote it while I was alive and I'm now delivering it into your hands so that you know the whole truth. It's the story of the four of us, really."
Mara stood up and faced the spectre, taking the information in. "You are really my mother?"
"I am. And this is your father." She waved Obi-Wan forward.
"Hello," she managed.
"Great, Luke," Han said. "You get that crazy old fool for a father-in-law." He grinned at Obi-Wan, who rolled his eyes. "Actually, you don't look that old anymore. How d'you do that?"
His comment seemed to break the ice and they all laughed.
"My appearance reflects how I wish to appear," Obi-Wan said. "When I'm with Sabé I appear as I did during our happiest days together. At the moment I don't want to look like a crazy old fool. A crazy young fool will do just as well."
"You got that right," Han said. "You still owe me fifteen-thousand, you know."
Obi-Wan shook his head. "No. We didn't actually get to Alderaan."
Han shrugged and turned to the bride. "Mara, how'd you like to pay off your father's debts?"
"I'm not taking anything you say about debts seriously."
Luke grinned and took Mara's hand. "Mara, I guess I should introduce my father, Anakin Skywalker."
"We've met. Sort of," Anakin said.
"I met Darth Vader," Mara clarified.
Anakin nodded and Luke gestured to Padmé. "And this is my mother, Padmé. Am I pronouncing that right?"
Padmé laughed. "Yes. We're so proud of you, Luke. And Leia too, of course. And our three grandchildren."
The Skywalker twins smiled. "Mother," Leia said, "since you're here…were you at my wedding?"
"And do you approve? Of Han, I mean?"
"Of course," Padmé reassured her daughter. "He's a good man. He clearly loves you a lot, I know you'll be well looked after."
"And he's almost as good a pilot as me," Anakin put in lightly.
"Kessel Run, twelve parsecs," Han muttered.
Mara exchanged a weary look with Luke. Sabé saw it and whispered. "Anakin did it in thirteen but he won't say."
Mother and daughter smiled at each other. Luke noticed similarities in their smiles and their upturned noses.
"Well," Obi-Wan said eventually. "I'm afraid our time here is short. We've had the chance to do what we never thought we'd be able to – see you and tell you the truth."
Sabé smiled. "We love you, Mara. We always have and we always will. You look beautiful."
Mara found there were tears in her eyes. "I love you too…Mother, Father. I'm so glad you've found a way to bring me your journal."
Padmé looked at her children. "And we love you, Leia, Luke."
"Never doubt it," Anakin said.
"Doesn't anyone love me?" Han asked.
"Oh, I love you, you big oaf," Leia said with a short laugh, sniffing back her tears.
Han wrapped an arm around her and kissed the top of her head. Padmé and Anakin smiled, joined hands and vanished.
Obi-Wan slipped his arm around Sabé's waist and they smiled at their daughter. Mara was openly crying, but smiling through her tears. Luke pulled her close, almost close to tears himself.
With one last look back, Sabé and Obi-Wan stepped away and faded into eternity.
There was silence once more on the balcony. Then Leia handed the data pad back to Mara and said softly, "Read it. No-one will miss us for a while with the dancing going on."
They all sat down on the benches. Mara lifted the data pad and began to read.
My name is Sabé. This is a story of two friends who fell in love with two noble knights. This is a story of two Jedi who loved…
A/N: Well, that's the end of my Star Wars epic. The wedding vows and the dialogue in between them belongs to Michael A. Stackpole from the comic book Union. I would like to thank everybody who has read and reviewed, especially those of you who've stuck with me to the bitter end. I'm sorry for all those painful delays, but you will (possibly) be glad to know that my dissertation is almost finished, nicely coinciding with this : )
I've been writing this story for over two years now. When I started it I was sane and very much in love. Now I'm neither, although the two are not related (I don't think so anyway). But while my relationship broke down and crumbled, Sabé and Obi-Wan's remained all the stronger, keeping my faith in true love. I find that this pairing have always done that and probably will continue to do so.
I'm planning other Sabewan stories after this one, although I very much doubt that any of them will be this long! I've learned the value of finishing a story before posting it, however, so hopefully I won't be stuck delaying again. I have been re-editing and improving the earlier chapters, which I will probably repost at some point. It wouldn't really be worth your while to read them unless you were going to do so anyway, as there isn't a large amount of 'unseen footage', as it were.
So, as a bit of shameless self-promotion, here is a small extract of my forthcoming Sabewan story, Repetition and Reflection (yes, I know that's a rubbish title, but I can't think of a better one!)
Pain was all anyone felt on Mustafar that day. The pain the bad felt was physical and self-loathing. The good suffered the pain of heartbreak. The noble felt the pain of betrayal and the tugging of old memories.
It was an eternal walk back to the ship for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Between the sleek craft that would bear him away and the evil he was fleeing from lay a ten-minute walk, where his memories ambushed him. An image flashed before his eyes of Anakin…Vader crawling up the banks of the lava flow, legs and arm severed. A splash of sulphur had caught the Sith Lord, setting the remnants of his tunic alight. The flames had spread quickly, further cauterising the wounds, sealing his fate. Vader had screamed his hate. Obi-Wan had looked away.
His own words came back to him, an echo of his anguished shout down the bank.
You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.
Had he then realised the awful repetition he was certain he wouldn't have said it. But the words had already been said, already set in motion the memories…
He had made a vow to himself to discover what had caused Sabé to act the way she had, although he couldn't for the life of him fathom why he should care as much as he did.
As Obi-Wan walked along the lava banks he sighed deeply, vividly remembering the moment he had made that vow. Little had his naïve twenty-five-year-old self known that he would get the story out of her in a prison cell…
That will probably be posted sometime in the near future, but I would ask you to remember how my definition of 'near future' usually turns out!
Again, thank you so much for your support. May the Force be with you : )