Jade Shadow Rating: R
Thrawn McEwok & Lowbacca-of-Kashyyyyk

Wrapped in shadows, Anakin Solo blinks his blue eyes open, and tenses, instantly alert. Then, with a wry lift of one eyebrow, he wonders why he has woken up.

The cabin is quiet, still and dark: everything is as it should be in this familiar place. He can sense Ben, sound asleep in the adjacent bunkroom — innocent and utterly content.

In his mind's eye, Anakin catches a glimpse of the corridor outside, but he can sense nothing untoward: empty deck, bare bulkheads; shadows, nothing more.

He smiles.


There are times when she becomes invisible in the Force, her presence only registering as a subtle sharpening of his own perceptions — a heightened awareness of the way the night-time shadows overlap against the plating, or a shaft of soft light in the warm air of the day.

Anakin has grown used to her night-time prowling — she is restless, a light sleeper, and it soothes her. In the years since Myrkr, she has become ever more adept at hiding, at not-being-seen, but she is happiest when there is simply no-one to see her, no-one to hide from — when she can roam and range at her own whim, exploring every last niche and duct of Avenger Base without worrying about unexpected encounters with other people.

The night is the time when she reaffirms her territory.

His smile grows fond and familiar, and he snuggles down between the mattress and the sheets, watching the doorway and waiting for her to arrive. He can feel the dance of her fingers on the lock — and then he shakes his head ruefully.

It is Ben's cabin she is going into. Of course.

He sees her crouch beside his bunk, hears the soft noise as her hand ruffles her son's hair, and he feels a warmth of emotion, wondering at the silent beauty of the bond between a mother and her sleeping son.

He lies still, holding his breath — keeping a safe distance, observing but not intruding.

He misses his own mother.

Then Mara stands slowly, and turns — hesitating a little — and walks back out. He can see her slipping from one mode to another as she moves. The hatch slides open in front of him, and she steps in, moving with her usual poise.

He reaches for her in the Force, and she answers with a soft click of greeting, a proprietorial glance that tingles on his skin. His grin flashes ghostly in the dark, and she flicks a silent gesture back at him.

His eyes rove up and down her body, and her hand goes to the strap at her shoulder. She smirks, knowing that she has his undivided attention, and tugs down the shoulder strap of her catsuit, undressing in the dark.

Anakin smiles back, and watches her. The darkness does something amazing to the curves and tones of her silhouette, and as she moves, her body seems to become a dance of shifting shadows.

Naked, Mara is one of the most perfect creatures in the Galaxy; garbed in the black of night, she becomes a thing of mystery and wonder.

Anakin pulls back the covers, allowing her to slide in with him. She settles into his embrace, and smiles, and as she does, he realises that she is still wearing her blindfold.

With a shake of his head — almost rueful — Anakin reaches up to untie the knot. She touches her hand to his wrist, asking him to hesitate.

"You don't need that, Mara," he tells her, untying the knot and letting the bandage fall. "Not with me." He kisses her gently, caressing her lashes and her slightly parted lips.

He can feel the ache, still tangibly physical after three years — still as sharp and bright as the knife that cut out her eyes and tongue.

Her mind speaks a question to him, quiet and intense.

"You're still beautiful," he whispers, running his fingers through her hair, brushing his knuckles down her cheekbone. "Trust me."

She answers with a dubious quirk — amused, flattered, distinctive.

He grins.

Blind and mute, she is still more eloquent and observant than he thinks he will ever be. He is simply content that he can enfold her in his embrace, and fill the void that the Shapers etched into her at Myrkr.

Perhaps he is a little greedy, he muses, taking advantage of her need to feel complete.

Nature abhors a vacuum ...

But she kisses back, her hands pressing on his chest and shoulder, and she shifts her weight against him. She is in control here: she is still the Master, and he is still merely an Apprentice. Skin glides against skin, and he closes his eyes, lifts up, and nuzzles tentatively against her lips.

For a moment, they pause; but then their minds touch, their Force-bond opens and they exult in the brightness of each other's lives. All thoughts — all hesitations — are forgotten.

They love.

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