I Can Wait Forever
Kyp found Jaina just as Tycho Celchu described. He went to her and gathered the sobbing Jedi into his arms. For lack of a better, more private place to talk, he carried her back to his quarters. Once inside, he sat down on the bed with her still cradled in his arms. He held her close, rocking her gently and stroking her hair while she cried herself out. When the tears slowed, he took a deep breath and pulled back to look at her. “Want to tell me what’s wrong? Did I cause this? Is that why you’re keeping your shields up?”
Jaina sighed, but didn’t answer.
Not knowing what else to do, and not wanting to let her go, Kyp continued stroking his hand over her hair and down her back. He looked down at where her hand was curled on his shoulder and noticed her knuckles where scraped and bruised. “If you wanted to hit me so badly, you should have just popped the lock and come in. I’d rather have the bruises on me, Goddess, then on you.” Kyp lifted her hand to his lips and kissed each torn knuckle. With the Force, he eased away her pain and used his carefully guarded, small talent for healing to sooth the angry flesh and bone before her hands started to swell and become unusable. Then, he did the same for her other hand.
“That feels good.”
“Umm hmm. Ready to talk, yet?”
Jaina shook her head, “It wasn’t you, not really, it’s stupid and I wish you’d just let it go ...”
“What did you just call me, Durron?”
“I called you a coward, Sweetheart, deal with it,” Kyp goaded her. Jaina gave him a dirty look, and he flashed a grin. “How about if I promise not to laugh?” Jaina sighed. “Fine! You want to know so badly, I’ll tell you. I was beating the Sith out of the training dummy, wishing it was your smug, arrogant, Jedi flyboy face. When I stopped, I was hot and tired and my hands hurt, but the worst part was that it didn’t matter. I’m not going to need my hands for flying, when the paperwork is finalized I won’t even have a ship. I’ve had that ship for a while, and I know every inch of it, every glitch and dent. Without it I’m going to be stranded here, or wherever they decide to drop me off. Then what will I do? How will I get home? That’s a stupid question, because I don’t even know where home is anymore! Home has been my squadrons for years ...” Jaina rubbed at the fresh tears impatiently. “See, I told you it was stupid. I’m crying about a ship. Anakin’s dead, Chewie’s dead, the Vong laid waste to whole planets and I’m crying about a stupid ship! What’s wrong with me?!”
“You’re wrong.” Kyp murmured in her ear and smiled as he felt her shiver. “The ship may have started it, but you’ve been suppressing your emotions for so long, you were bound to crack at some point, or burn out and get yourself killed. Your ship is a symbol, your freedom, your independence. Nobody wants to be at the mercy of someone else. Is the Millenium Falcon just a stupid ship? It’s taking your life into your hands if you make a comment like that to your dad. To him it’s a home, an escape, a way to make money, something he’s poured his sweat and blood into ... As for your home, it will be where the people you love are, Jaina, for now. Or it may not be a ship or an apartment or a physical place at all until you’re older and feel a need to settle down. There is nothing wrong with you that some serious downtime and a visit with your family won’t fix.”
“Do you have a place you call home, Kyp?”
“Is it where you grew up?”
“Where is it?”
“Classified information,” Kyp watched her for a long moment. “But, maybe someday I’ll take you there.”
Jaina nodded, “I think I’d like that.”
There was a long stretch where neither said anything, but it was a comfortable silence. Kyp wondered at how easily they could sit for hours and not feel the need to make mindless chit chat. Or sit up talking all night and never lack for a topic they both felt passionately about. He didn’t want to ever lose that. “Jaina, I’m sorry about earlier. I was out of line. I know you’ve got feelings for Jag, and I would never do anything to interfere ...”
“Are you sorry for kissing me or for throwing me out into the corridor?” She kept her head against his shoulder, but there was heat in her tone.
“Jaina,” Kyp whispered, “look at me.” He gave her a slight nudge with the Force, and her brandy colored eyes slowly rose to look up at his face. His hands moved as if possessed by a will of their own, brushing the tears from her cheeks with gentle caresses. Kyp wondered at how nice her skin felt like warm satin under his roughened fingertips.
“What are we doing Kyp?”
“I wish I knew.” He brushed a soft kiss on one cheek and then the other. “Do you want me to let go?” In answer, her head went back to its comfortable resting place on his shoulder, and her arms wrapped themselves around his ribcage tighter than was comfortable, but Kyp couldn’t bring himself to complain.
Jaina fit like she belonged in his arms.
Jaina seemed to read his thoughts. “Maybe you really did miss me.”
Kyp lowered his head to rest on her shoulder, so he could whisper in her ear, “Don’t ever doubt it, Goddess.” In a bold move, he brushed her hair off of her shoulder and placed a small kiss on the bare skin where her neck and shoulder met. When her response was only a shiver and a sigh, Kyp pushed his luck and repeated the move a little harder.
“Kyp, do you ever get visions? Visions of possible futures?”
Kyp debated on how to answer and decide to go for the truth, “Once or twice. Why?”
“Did it scare you?”
“It shocked me, and yeah, maybe it scared me a little, too. The future isn’t set, Goddess. You know that.”
Jaina slid off his lap and took a few steps to put distance between them. With her back to him, she said, “I had a vision of my future, Kyp, a few days after you left. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next.” She stopped near the table and turned to look at Kyp.
“Trust to Force. Trust your friends. Anyone else, Sweetheart ... watch your back.”
Jaina gave him a smile that melted his insides, “You sound like my dad.” She walked the short steps back to the bed and sat down next to Kyp, careful to keep their thighs from touching.
“Jedi Masters aren’t the only wise beings in the universe. Your dad is one of the smartest men I know.”
“He’s always been a great dad to us, even without the Force to guide him.” She hesitated. “Do you want kids, Kyp?”
Again, Kyp went for honesty. “I’ve been thinking about it, but I never thought I’d find someone crazy enough to want to marry me and have a family. Rogue Jedi Masters aren’t high on the eligible bachelor lists. It didn’t seem like a bad vision, though. The kids didn’t look like Sithspawn, just normal precocious little Jedi.”
Kyp gave her a rare full smile, “Only five, or so.”
Jaina gaped at him in disbelief, “Five?” The color drained from her face. “Any sets of twins?”
Kyp just laughed. Better not to let her know how doomed she might be, just yet.
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