After Vision of the Future
Mara pulled out of Luke's embrace deftly, and moved off to the ship's fresher. She shook her head at her reflection smiling, 'Farm boy? Really?'
"Mara, will you marry me?"
She had felt the most relief at his question, like she had been waiting for him to ask it for years! Had she?
The strange thing was how completely natural all of it felt; she was almost as familiar with Luke as she was herself. Touching, holding, kissing him felt like the easiest thing that she had ever done.
A tendril of doubt threaded through her…the ex-emperor's hand and the Jedi master? She imagined several people would have some pretty strong opinions about that then there was the small matter of Leia…Mara wondered what Luke's twin would think of their engagement…
Luke woke feeling Mara's apprehension. He rose distractedly smacking his head on the top bunk.
"Force!" he rubbed the top of his head, Mara poked her head out of the fresher, 'Are you all right?"
He nodded, "Yeah, are you? I felt some uh…nervousness from you just now."
She walked back to the bed and sat next to him, taking the place of his hand on his head, "I'm fine Luke, but I am nervous. Have you really thought this through? I mean really, I understand what was going on in the cave was pretty intense; we both thought that we were goners…"
Luke interrupted her, "Wait a minute; you think that I proposed to you only because I thought we were going to die?"
Mara shrugged and he asked, "And what? I wanted to secure you for the afterlife?"
She shook her head, "I don't know Luke – people do silly things in life and death situations. I would understand."
Luke took her hands in his own, "No Mara, clearly you don't understand. I love you; I have loved you for years and asking you to marry me was the smartest thing that I have ever done and I will eternally kick myself for not asking you when I gave you my father's light saber."
Mara laughed, "Farm boy I probably wouldn't have said yes at that point."
Luke returned her smile, "Even so, I wouldn't have given up. Maybe we could have gotten together sooner you know?"
Mara joked, "Maybe I would have killed you."
Luke kissed her softly, "No I don't think so. You have never been able to take the shot."
Mara scowled, "Hey, do you doubt my resolve?"
He shook his head, moving closer to her and wrapping his arms around her waist "No, I'm affirming that maybe your soul already knew mine and couldn't bear to lose me. Even back then at Jabba's palace, we hadn't been introduced but maybe something inside of you saw that I was the one for you…maybe?"
Mara laughed, "Wow, that's pretty far reaching romance Luke. I don't think that was it."
Luke nuzzled her neck affectionately, "Well that's what I'm going with."
Mara pulled him down on the bed with marked intent, "Whatever you have to tell yourself."
Leia practically skipped to her door, "It's Uncle Luke! She took the children as they scampered behind her.
She opened the door and Luke hugged her tightly, 'It's so good to see you Leia. Hey guys!"
All three of the Solo children leapt at their uncle, luckily he was a good catch.
"Whoa! You're a bit too big to be doing this aren't you?"
Han walked into the room, "Hey now! He's not a jungle gym hop on down."
The children obeyed their father immediately. Luke slapped his hands together, "Han, Leia I need to talk to you guys about something."
Leia sent Han a pointed look and said, "Kids, why don't you go play in your rooms."
Jacen spoke first, "Aww Mom seriously? We're too old to play!"
Leia replied, "Fine, then just go sit in there for a while."
Jacen continued to pout and Han replied, "Hey, I'll make it up to you guys later okay? Trammistan ice cream sundaes?"
Han hadn't even completed the word sundaes before the children were gone in a flash.
Leia motioned for Luke to sit, he blew a breath out and said, "Umm…okay. You know that Mara and I were on Nirauan…"
Leia nodded, "Of course, and Luke I cannot begin to thank you for retrieving the caamas document you have saved the galaxy from another unbearable civil war. You've done well brother, I am proud of you."
Luke nodded, "I'm thrilled that R2 was able to hang onto that after all we went through there, honestly I didn't have too much to do with it. But that's not what I wanted to talk to you about…well I guess it sort of is."
Han asked, "What is it kid?"
Luke took another deep breath, "Ok well it's like this. Mara and I got pretty close on this trip and well umm…"
Leia waited patiently, however it was not one of Han's many attributes "Well that's great kid, I'm glad you two are finally admitting you like one another. So what's the problem? You finally developed eyes and saw how drop dead gorgeous she is and how bad she wants you? You're gonna date her right see how it goes?"
Luke looked down at his wrist chrono; he was running out of time he had to meet Mara in an hour, "Not really Han. It's a bit more than that…"
Han smiled wryly and Leia blushed and said reproachingly, "Oh…well Luke, that's not really something that I need to hear."
Luke shook his head, "No, not that…well actually…never mind. No, I umm asked her to marry me."
He stared into the shocked faces of his sister and brother in law for several long moments before Han asked,
"She say yes?"
More silence…more staring…
"Mara!" Karrde yelled from the table at the tap caf. She made her way over to him, and he handed her a cup of steaming caf, "Gods, thank you Karrde I certainly could use this."
Karrde motioned for her to sit, "It was the least I could do my dear. I was surprised to hear from you so quickly after your return to planet. How are you?"
Mara sat and smiled, "Well other than I feel like I've been run over by a pack of stampeding banthas I'm great."
Karrde's eye brow twisted, he had never in all the time he knew her hear her refer to herself as being great…
Mara smiled again…another clue that something was amiss.
She tapped her fingers on the glass, "Yeah, okay I need to talk to you about something."
Karrde nodded, clearly something had happened...now they were getting to the meat of this.
Mara stammered, "Well it's like this. Things got pretty intense for me on Nirauan and it's changed my priority's a bit."
Karrde nodded encouragingly and Mara continued, "Basically it goes like this…I'm umm…well we umm...I mean Skywalker and I..."
Karrde responded, "Mara you're making me nervous just looking at you. What is all this about?"
Mara huffed, "I'm getting to it, just give me a sec!"
Karrde smiled and motioned for her to continue.
Mara took a deep breath, "I'm just gonna come out and say it okay?"
Karrde nodded slowly and she spat quickly, "I'm gonna marry Luke Skywalker."
She nodded quickly, "Yep, that's it." and took a long drink from her caf mug
Karrde sat in stunned silence for several long moments and then picked up his mug again chuckling.
Mara asked offended "What's so damn funny?"
Karrde took a drink and said, "You've made me a lot of money Mara. Aves, Ghent, Dankin and Shada all owe me a lot of money. I won the bet."
Mara was incensed, "What bet?"
Karrde laughed again, "I bet all of them that at the end of this trip you and Luke would be together."
Mara slammed down her cup, "You BET on me and Luke?"
Karrde was so used to her temper he didn't even flinch, "Yes and I was right. Thank you and congratulations. So I assume a resignation is in order here?"
Mara sighed and said, "Yes, I'm going to go train to be a Jedi finally. This trip has cleared a lot of things up for me and that's one of them. I appreciate everything you have done for me Karrde so much, but you know as well as I do that it's time for me to move on."
Her employer (former employer now) smiled warmly at her "Mara, I am very happy that you've decided to become a Jedi, and that you and Luke are finally doing something about all these feelings you've had for years."
Mara narrowed her eyes at him, "What do you mean years?"
Karrde put the cup back to his lips, "Oh come on now…well I'll be the first to ask I hope, who is giving you away?"
Leia spoke first, "Luke…are you sure that jumping into marriage is a good idea here?"
Luke nodded not trusting himself to speak without engaging in an argument for the moment.
Leia continued, "Because you know that you could just date her for awhile and then after you get to know one another better…"
Luke interrupted feeling a slight edge to his temper why couldn't his family just be happy for him, he knew that they liked Mara so what was the problem?
"Leia, I've known Mara for ten years we've been good friends for just as long."
Han added, "Yeah and bitter enemies."
Luke sighed, "Yeah well it's not like that anymore. I love her, I love her more than I ever thought I could love anything and I'm going to marry her. I need my family's support on this, you don't understand yet but I promise that you will. Mara, she is everything to me. I didn't realize it before and I was stupid not to. I finally came to my senses, and thank the force she loves me too."
Leia and Han looked at one another and Han spoke up, "Well kid when you put it like that. I'm glad you finally have a girl with some fire for sure, she'll need it with all the craziness that seems to surround you. Congratulations kid, you deserve this."
They both looked to Leia who was still sitting rigidly "Well, I'm just surprised that's all. I'm happy for you brother. Han's right you do deserve this, both of you do."
Mara heard her comm link and answered while still mulling over business details with Karrde, "Jade" she said quickly.
"It's me" she heard the familiar voice ring through clearly.
Happiness spread through her like wildfire at hearing the calm dulcet sound of his voice she visibly relaxed, Karrde chuckled and she through him a hard look.
"What's going on?" she asked trying to keep her voice down
"Oh you know, I just left the Solo place."
Mara nodded, "Ah, well are we still on?"
Luke replied, "I was thinking let's just meet up at my place. That way we can be alone."
Karrde chuckled in the background and Mara scowled at him, "That sounds amazing. I'll meet you there shortly just wrapping up some details about my resignation from the Wild Karrde."
Luke chuckled, "You still with Karrde?"
Mara smiled, "Yep, I'm never gonna live down the 'meet at my place' remark either. Thanks a lot."
Luke retorted, "Hey, you said yourself that it sounded amazing I'm just trying to do my part. I'll see you soon."
Mara put her comm back in her pocket blushing furiously. Karrde smiled widely at her, "Why Miss Jade I do believe I have embarrassed you, I did not think that it was possible."
She huffed, "Shut up. I'm not embarrassed."
She tapped on Luke's door and he opened it at the same second. He yanked her in quickly and hugged her tightly, "Force, I didn't think it was possible to be this happy to see someone."
She smiled into his shoulder at his never ending exuberance.
He sighed into her hair and said, "I'm cooking you dinner."
Mara chuckled, "Such a romantic."
Luke threw his hand towel at her as he walked back towards his kitchen, "Hey! I'm told it what's fiancée's do."
Mara questioned, "Told? Who told you?"
Luke put his back to Mara and stirred the pot on the stove, "Oh…well Han."
Mara laughed, "Sith spit! You took romantic advice from Han Solo? Gods preserve us."
Luke turned off the burner, "Don't you want to know what they said? About us?"
Mara swallowed, "Yeah I guess I do."
Luke took her hands and they sat. Mara felt a warm feeling curl down her spine as his strong hands enveloped hers, she smiled and Luke began, "Well, they were surprised of course but they're happy for us. Leia wants to talk to you about the wedding as soon as possible."
Mara smiled, "The wedding? Yeesh, I hadn't thought of all that circus. She can do whatever she wants all I want to do is be your wife as soon as I can."
Luke touched her cheek, he was so flattered, his heart pounding just by being close to her, "Do you think I'm going somewhere?"
Mara shook her head, "No, I just don't want to waste any more time. We've been so prideful and stupid wasting so much time. I love you, you love me what are we waiting for anymore?"
Luke pulled her in for a soft kiss, which deepened into an intimate embrace. His hand wound around to her lower back and he pressed her against him. Mara moved deftly to sit on top of him and attack the exposed skin of his neck.
Gods he smelled so amazing, like clean fresh rain.
He was just as intoxicated by her, the feel of her skin, the weight of her pressed up against him. He didn't know what was better, the feel of her of the feel of her in the force.
She ground against him playfully and the answer to his previous musing became quite clear.
A rap on the door interrupted them. Luke seethed, Mara shook her head "Just ignore it."
The rap came again, and Leia's voice rang out, "I'm not going away just so you know!"
Luke let out a frustrated groan as Mara leapt off of him, and went to the door opening it, "Leia, come on it."
Luke had to call on no small amount of the force to calm down his ardor when his sister walked into the room.
"Luke, Mara I wanted to talk to you two about your wedding. Now of course we'll have it here on Coruscant and let's say about 3 to 4 thousand guests will attend, plus we will have it broadcast on the holonet so they entire galaxy can see it -"
Leia continued talking in massive extravagance while Mara and Luke both stared at her blankly, Luke finally said "Leia, I think we'd rather just have a small ceremony at the praxeum."
Leia looked back and forth to both of them and asked, "Mara is that what you want as well? I mean, this is YOUR special day."
Mara inwardly flinched at having 3 to 4 THOUSAND people staring at her, plus how ever many on the holonet done up like a pretty princess in white…she didn't think that she could do that.
"Umm…Leia honestly, I'd much rather it be a more private thing. I'm already dreading people's remarks about Luke's would be assassin becoming his wife and I'd rather not perpetuate it. "
Leia nodded unconvinced, "Of course Mara but people will make those kinds of remarks regardless of who is watching. At least this way everyone knows that you and Luke are serious about your commitment to one another."
Luke finally chimed it, "Why should it matter what other people think of our commitment, we will know it's serious and it's our marriage, that's all that matters."
Leia put on her best political face, "Luke, you're absolutely right but if we don't do this thing as big as it should be regarding your status it will only exacerbate the rumor mill wondering if you have something to hide."
Mara looked at Luke and wondered if they were fighting a losing battle here.
Mara nodded slightly at Luke, who answered for the both of them "Okay, we'll do the big white Coruscant wedding but we have a few conditions."
Leia nodded her head and motioned for them to continue.
Mara spoke up first, "I get to pick my own gown."
Luke added, "We will have a small ceremony on Yavin first in two weeks for the Jedi and for the ceremony here I want it in a month and limit the guests to 200. Close friends and family only, this isn't a political arena."
Leia pinched her lips but nodded again rather reluctantly.
Mara looked at Luke and said, "Then there's just one more thing…"
Leia gave a little sigh and Mara asked, "Would you be my maid of honor?"
Her future sister in law's face lit with happiness and responded joyfully, "Of course I will Mara thank you!"
Mara smiled and cleared her throat, "Okay and just so you know Leia I don't know the first thing about weddings, or ceremonies, or receptions or anything like that so you're in charge."
Leia squeezed Mara's hand, "I won't let you down! I have to go! There is so much to do! One month, I can do this. Bye you two! I'll be in touch."
In a flash she was gone. Luke pulled Mara down back onto his lap, "Where were we?" he asked
Mara shook her head at him, "A big white ceremony, Gods I am dreading it already."
Luke rubbed her shoulders, "Think of it this way love, when we go on our honeymoon everyone will know we are newlyweds and they'll leave us alone."
Mara smiled at him, just the thought of being Luke's wife was so thrilling to her. The wedding part she could do without but the idea of being with him forever was the happiest she had ever felt. She could deal with the rest of it as long as she knew that at the end of all the pomp and circumstance she would be with Luke.
"You know." She said snaking her arms around his neck, "It's your job to plan the honeymoon farm boy."
Luke smiled brightly, "I see, I plan the honeymoon my sister plans the ceremonies, what exactly do you do?"
Mara planted a gentle kiss on his soft lips, "I show up looking gorgeous."
Luke slid his arms around her pulling her closer, "That shouldn't be difficult for you, and you're always gorgeous."
She shook her head at him rolling her eyes, "Oh farm boy…"
After the big white ceremony
Luke asked her, still holding her close again him dancing "Was that so bad?"
Mara chuckled, "Other than the attempted sabotage? No it was lovely. But don't get me wrong I am glad it's over."
Luke rested his forehead on hers, "Thank the force you said yes that day, I don't know what I would have done if you had turned me down."
She looked into his clear crystal blue eyes, "I never would have. Even if you had asked me ten years ago on the roof when you gave me your father's lightsaber, I would have said yes."
He smiled, "Again, I will eternally kick myself for not asking you sooner."
She replied, "Let's not think about that now, we're together finally and nothing is going to tear us apart."
Luke rose an eyebrow, "No one could take us, not together anyway."
Mara laughed, 'True farm boy, so true. Separate we're pretty damn lethal but together…yeesh they really don't stand a chance."
Luke spun her gracefully and brought her close again, "I'll never let anyone tear us apart, neither will you. If they try, force help them you just don't take on Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade without expecting a fight."
Mara slapped his chest, "Hey! It's Mara Jade Skywalker now."
Luke beamed, "Very true Mrs. Skywalker I apologize. "
Luke stared into the eyes of his beautiful wife and thanked the force again for blessing their union, he wondered what fortunate star he had been born under to be married to the wonderful Mara Jade…Skywalker.
Luke couldn't have married anyone, she had to be strong and understand his way of life. Mara was strong and smart, she was force strong, powerful and stang she was so beautiful.
He whispered unconsciously, "I am so lucky."
She replied kissing him passionately, "We both are Luke."