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Gungan to the left

Crown (G)

By : Jedi Freac

Archived on: Monday, January 13, 2003

In Walter John William's Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, Destiny's Way, Jacen Solo returns from the dead accompanied by fluffy Fosh Vergere. In the novel, he's greeted by a bunch of family members and friends but never by one of his oldest and closest friends. A few hours before the knighting ceremony, Jacen recieves a visitor. She's the ruler of a gazillion (63, to be exact) planets with red hair and a missing arm. And Jacen is completely different from the boy she used to know. Which sort of, uh, sucks.
Jacen Solo meditated.
There was a knock at the door.
He snaked out tendrils of the Force to discern his visitor's identity.
Familiar, yet distant.
The door opened.
Tenel Ka Chume Ta'a Djo.

She wasn't dressed her usual brief leather uniform; her formal suit screamed regal business. Her hair, once in rows of braids, instead fell around her shoulders, cut short and held back by a thin coronet of rainbow gems. Her countenance was steely, her eyes were moist, her presence burned brightly in the Force.

She stared up at him in a state of disbelief. Once she had been the taller one, now their heights were reversed. Everything was the inverse of before; everything a parallel and a paradox.

Tenel Ka's eyebrows drew together. Hesitant. She lifted her hand and rested it on his shoulder for a second before quickly pulling away.

They stood at the doorway for a long moment.

"You should come in," Jacen said awkwardly. He took a step back in deference.

Tenel Ka nodded and walked into the Skywalker apartment. They sat down in opposite fluffy sofas across the small table in the living room.

There always used to be something to say. He never used to be at a loss for words when he was around her. Jacen tried to remember to before his captivity, on the worldship at Myrkr. He vaguely recollected Tenel Ka stepping up to kiss him, Vergere intercepting and sweeping him away to a separate destiny.


They both spoke at the same time.

"You first," Jacen said, an elusive smile spreading across his face.

"You've changed," Tenel Ka said. "Of course. What I mean to say-" She looked away, stopped abruptly.

"Go on," Jacen said gently.

"Leaving you at Myrkr was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. And feeling you die...losing my mother soon after..."

"Your mother," Jacen said numbly, recalling Teneniel Djo. "I-I'm sorry."

"There is no death, there is the Force." Her voice was without bitterness.

Jacen cleared his throat. "The crown you're wearing. You're Queen Mother."

"I never wanted to be. But who else? My grandmother, Ta'a Chume? My Grandaunt Alyssia? One of my cousins? Certainly not your mother or sister. I was the only one in position to bring any good to Hapes."

"You said my sister?"

"Perhaps you shouldn't have asked. My grandmother wanted my father to marry Jaina."

He let out a sharp laugh. "That's ridiculous."

Tenel Ka smiled. "Maybe my grandmother is becoming senile in her old age."

Jacen composed himself again, reached out to her mind in the Force. "You don't seem to believe your joke."

"There is question that she was involved in my mother's death. No evidence, of course. Ta'a Chume is very careful and very experienced at murder."

There was bitterness now, and it was well warranted. But no thirst for vengeance, no hate...only calm acceptance.

"What has brought me to the crown is past. Irrelevant. I wear it now in hopes I never fail the Consortium. Sometimes destiny will take you down the strangest of roads."

"I think I'm in a position to agree. We should drink to it. Excuse me." He scrambled out of the guest area and into the kitchen gulping for air. Why was speaking to her again so difficult? He wasn't nervous, just uncomfortable. After some digging, he found a jug of blue milk in the refrigeration unit and two mugs in the dishwasher.

"They aren't chalices," he said, returning with the drinks.

"They're fine," Tenel Ka said.

At least something is, Jacen thought.

"To friendship," Tenel Ka's mug met his with a clink.

He'd forgotten the taste of blue milk. Jacen finished his drink at once.

"You look...different."

"Oh. Yeah." He held out his muscled arms and scrutinized them. "I'm almost as fit as you are."

"Maybe it's the beard," Tenel Ka said objectively. "It is so strange, speaking to you right now. I went through the past months knowing, unconditionally, that you were dead. I felt you die."

Her words reminded him of the hurt he'd inflicted on his family and friends. They'd felt his death, believed him dead...all of them except his mother. They'd grieved needlessly with that knowledge. The fact that it'd been necessary for their protection, to prevent them from rescuing him, did nothing to assuage his guilt.

"Even now, with you physically in front of's difficult to believe you are not some sort of imposter."

"I'm back from the dead," Jacen replied calmly. "But the boy you knew died at Myrkr."

"Then it's what I thought," she said softly.

"I wish I could say something to make you laugh."

"Just seeing you alive is enough."

Unexpectedly, he released a loud burp. "Sorry! I'm not quite used to normal food yet."

"I think blue milk has that effect on everyone." Instead of mortification there was a mischievous glint in her gray eyes. "Please, allow me." Her burp was louder.

"Excellent performance, Queen Mother of Hapes."

"I suppose we're different people, now. I gave up hope on you. I'm sorry that I did-that I let go of my love for you. I screamed and cried when I felt you die. Everyday I would look in the mirror, catch my reflection, look at my left arm. And I'd think..."

Jacen's gaze drifted towards the stump that was her left arm. He'd left that mark. A lifetime ago.

"You took it away," she began again. "My left arm. But you also replaced it, became it...until we went our separate ways after our promotion at the Academy. I thought maybe...on the voxyn mission...I was being idealistic. I never though Anakin would die. I never thought I would lose you. I loved you, and I grieved you. I forced myself to move on."

I didn't know, Jacen thought. Here she was, spilling her heart out to him. I'd wanted to her to... but when she did...I didn't even know.

It'd been obvious.

"And now you're alive, after all."

"I died," Jacen insisted. "The boy you loved died at Myrkr."

"No," Tenel Ka said firmly. "The boy I loved died at Myrkr, but the person you are..." she brought her hand to her heart. "Why would I stop? How could I?"

"You've always meant a lot to me," he said, "and nothing changes that. But I'm not the same. I'll never be back to who I was."

"I've accepted that truth." She rose to her feet, her eyes brimming with restrained tears. "I've also accepted that it is the wrong time and place. That I ask for too much. A few years ago I would've shaken my fist at the air and screamed about fairness. Things change. I accept that. Having you back is a gift. Wanting more would be greed."

Jacen maneuvered around the table so he could stand next to her.

He reached out to her in the Force again. Can I-?

As always, she took initiative and hugged him fiercely with her one arm. Hot tears wet his shirt. They stood in silence, holding each other, connected through the Force.

Jacen held back his thoughts. He didn't want to startle her with the details of his captivity on Yuuzhan'tar. How could he explain Vongsense to her, or his newfound empathy with the enemy? His despair and depression? His appreciation for Vergere, despite the pain he'd been put through?

She shared most of hers.

Her memories of her mother. Running wild on Dathomir-Dathomir, now a wasteland conquered by the Yuuzhan Vong. Racing through the trees on Yavin 4 at the Academy, looking over her shoulder to make sure he was never too far behind. Braiding her hair with one hand-a technique she had learned from Anakin. Anakin...if she'd saved him, perhaps Jacen would have been spared capture, perhaps Jaina would have been spared the dark side. Her joy in having him back, even if he wasn't the same person. Her willingness to let go...for the second time...because she had duties to her people, and in order to fulfill them she could not have him in her life. She could never ask him to be with her, ask him to be consort to the ruler of sixty three worlds. Not with the ongoing war. Not ever. Not while she held the crown.

"The timing is wrong," Jacen whispered.

"Yes. Our lives were never destined for the exact same path. I accept that truth with the knowledge that even the most separate paths may one day cross again.

"I'm releasing you," she said. "Do you understand? I'm releasing you to your destiny so I can fulfill my own. So you can stay true to yourself." Stepping out of the embrace, she wiped her arm across her face, straightened her hair and tiara.

"I leave for Hapes tonight, immediately after the knighting ceremony."

"See you when the war is over." But he cracked her a smile to let her know he was only joking.

"There's something I want you to have." She reached behind her neck, used the Force to help unclasp a thin silver chain. She placed the chain in his hands.

A large emerald ring dangled from the end of the necklace.

"My mother gave it to me just before she died. I'm not asking for you to wear it, unless you wish to. I give it to you in order to renounce my grief."

Grief over me. Grief over her mother, over Anakin, over Dathomir, over a life she wants but can't have.

Another knock at the door.

"Your majesty." A woman's voice. One of Tenel Ka's bodyguards. "The Chief of State awaits you."

"In a moment, Captain," Tenel Ka called regally.

"Meeting with the Chief of State?"

"One of many necessary evils."

Before she stepped out the door, Jacen took her hand. He held onto it, unsure of what to say. Would saying goodbye only hurt her more? "I'm grateful for you, Tenel Ka."

She raised her chin high, a posture fitting for the Queen Mother of Hapes. "And I, you."

It wasn't enough for her.

It was all he had to give.

His forehead rested against the cold metal of the door.

"A friend of yours, Jacen Solo?"

At the sound of her voice, Jacen turned to face his mentor. She sat perched on the sofa, her crest of feathers flushed a bright green.

"Yeah," Jacen nodded. "Hello, Vergere."

"Interesting. A matriarch, a Jedi Knight. A Hapan Jedi Knight. My, the galaxy has changed." She tilted her head to the side lazily, like a child unwilling to divulge secrets. "A pretty girl. What happened to her arm?"

"It had a little accident with my lightsaber."

"Ah." She hopped off the sofa, began pacing around him in a wide circle. "There is much I don't understand about this new order. Marriage, romance, all permitted? Love is possessive, it leads to disarray."

"How much did you hear?"

"It's not a matter of hearing, Jacen."

"Maybe lack of love was what brought the old Jedi order to its knees," he argued half-heartedly, too tired to make up a concrete defense. Arguing with Vergere was always a waste of time. The didactic way she phrased her responses made it worse.

"Perhaps." Her eyes narrowed. "In times of war, a romance is hardly fitting."

"You're right, Vergere. But I disagree."

"Oh?" Her pacing stopped.

"You're trying to tell me that it isn't worth it at all. I know for a fact that it is." He shut his eyes, conjuring up stubborn memories. "You's strange. I remember you blocking Tenel Ka from me before I went to kill the voxyn queen."

Vergere's voice was acerbic. "Of all the memories from your old life, why do you remember that one?"

Jacen smiled at her and shrugged. "I don't know."

The metal chain felt foreign around his neck, Tenel Ka's heavy ring resting against his sternum. Sighing, he slipped the thing off and gripped it in his fist for a moment before wrapping it in paper and tucking it into his luggage.

He didn't need to wear it to remember her.

Some memories were difficult to forget.

Original cover by Jedi Freac. HTML formatting copyright 2002 TheForce.Net LLC.

Fan Fiction Rating

Current Rating is 8.99 in 114 total ratings.

Reader Comments

Add a comment about this Fan Fiction

Author: Star Wars Lady
Date posted: 1/14/2003 5:58:08 AM
Star Wars Lady's Comments:

The story was pretty good, but I almost didn't read it because of the summary. You used the word 'gazillion' then you used the phrase 'which sort of, uh, sucks'. It sounded rather immature and I was hesitent to read the story, fearing it would be poorly written. My advice to you would be to remember that a summary is not to be used as a joke, it it a way to get others interested in your story. I fear your summary may turn people away from an otherwise fine story.

Author: Nova
Date posted: 1/15/2003 7:32:50 AM
Nova's Comments:

Very good. You captured Jacen and Tenel Ka beautifully. Like a matured Young Jedi Knight book.

Date posted: 1/15/2003 8:58:10 AM
OBI-WOBY-DOO's Comments:

i really liked the story right now i'm in the middle of reading "destiny's way" so i cant wait to see what walter jon williams portrays

Author: Opie-Wan
Date posted: 1/15/2003 9:31:26 AM
Opie-Wan's Comments:

Well written. You captured what i think would be their reactions to each other after meeting again.

Author: stellrx
Date posted: 1/15/2003 9:57:12 AM
stellrx's Comments:

Some might say this piece doesn't fit. I tend to disagree. This little story fits seemlessly into Jacen Solo's new persona, and is a perfect fit for Tenel Ka. It is a bittersweet pain they feel. There is joy in seeing each other, but all over again they are forced to let go in the hardest way possible: by choice. This is the exact opposite decision of Anakin and Padme. For Jacen and Tenel Ka, duty is above all-even love.

Author: Yodiss
Date posted: 1/15/2003 3:33:07 PM
Yodiss's Comments:

wow. i almost didn't read it because of the summary, but it's very good. the characters were almost exactly the same way as in the books (meaning nice job capturing them). keep on!

Author: Qwi_Xux  (signed)
Date posted: 1/15/2003 7:33:04 PM
Qwi_Xux's Comments:

Well, I did read this despite the summary--because I figured it had to have gotten through at least two betas and two reviewers. ;-) And it was such a bittersweet story! It was perfect. You portrayed the situation very well. The choice that Jacen and Tenel Ka had to make was so sad. But it is very true in life that sometimes two people don't have the same path, as much as they think in the beginning that they do.

Author: Adalia
Date posted: 1/16/2003 4:11:43 AM
Adalia's Comments:

Excellent work, well written and I liked the story. The dialogue was close, could have been a little closer with the Queen, she has a very individual way of speaking ie 'Fact'.

Author: Jedi Freac
Date posted: 1/16/2003 4:31:02 PM
Jedi Freac's Comments:

Uh, in my defense...

1) I never take my summaries seriously...all the serious ones I write are corny.

2) "Fact" A lot of people hate the word 'Fact', and I guess that one part where she says 'yes' could have been 'fact'...but uh...I sort of wanted to prove to those haters that yes, this character can carry a normal conversation without using the word 'fact' every 3 sentences.

3) Thanks for all the nice comments, since this is my first archived fan fic. =)

Author: DropkickJake
Date posted: 1/22/2003 3:21:21 AM
DropkickJake's Comments:


i read yjk b4 any other sw books, so i have naturaly always loved the Tanel Ka- Jacen.

you did a great job. i did like that, unlike his Grandfather he chose duty over love.

Author: Lady_Jedi_Carenix
Date posted: 1/22/2003 10:30:22 AM
Lady_Jedi_Carenix's Comments:

Wow. I'm very impressed with this piece. When I was reading Destiny's Way, I was extremely unhappy that the author choose not to have a reuniting scene with Jacen and Tenel Ka. Other than the fact that Tenel Ka never says "Fact" (which I didn't even notice until it was pointed out in other people's comments), this scene could have fit perfectly into the novel.

Author: Mcily Nochi  (signed)
Date posted: 1/23/2003 5:28:36 PM
Mcily Nochi's Comments:

This was a wonderful story! I've mourned the lack of scenes like this in the NJO. The relationships are there, but there's little sense of romance in them. This short story really adds to the existing story, and fits the nature of book very well.

Well done!

Author: JediChrono
Date posted: 1/27/2003 12:32:12 AM
JediChrono's Comments:

What a fantastic story! After reading Traitor, I really connected with Jacen for the first time in his history and now he's one of my favorite characters. I thought he was poorly written in Destiny's Way, so I really enjoyed the story because you got the elusive, true Jacen down. Thank you!

Author: Fanothefiction
Date posted: 1/28/2003 6:37:11 AM
Fanothefiction's Comments:

It was very good. Placed in an appropriet time and place in the series. It's sad they can't be together because it was obvious they were supposed to be to gether from the start of young

Author: Jade-Walker  (signed)
Date posted: 2/4/2003 5:35:58 PM
Jade-Walker's Comments:

I really enjoyed it. It provides what is missing in the NJO--some resolution/addressing of the felings that Jacen and Tenel Ka held for each other in the YJK and SbS. I wish that Williams had addressed this as well.

Author: Amidala_Skywalker  (signed)
Date posted: 2/6/2003 7:59:22 PM
Amidala_Skywalker's Comments:

A Jacen/Tenel Ka fic in the archives? *gasp* This is certainly the first one – and I hope it won’t be the last. Good story! As others have said, I could truly see this happening. Perhaps with more description, it could slot straight into the pages of an NJO novel. I loved the symbolism you used. Very powerful, very simple.

Beautiful cover-art!

Author: SudenKäpälä  (signed)
Date posted: 2/9/2003 7:28:44 AM
SudenKäpälä's Comments:

Sadly, i have not had time nor opportunity to delve deeply into the EU. So... i don't know much yet about the New Jedi Order and the 'next SW generations'. Even so, i've read your story with pleasure. Of course it is quite bitter, but from the blank point of view that i have, it was very solid and entertaining. Indeed the Force works in mysterious - and often sorrowful - ways. The manner in which Tenel Ka reacts to that is so... Jedi like. I wish I could be like that... ;-)
Well done!

Author: SoloGirl
Date posted: 4/27/2003 8:17:59 AM
SoloGirl's Comments:

I noticed this fic when it first got archived, but not knowing much about Jacen and Tenel Ka then, I ignored it :-(. But last night I just finished reading "Remnant" (don't worry, no spoilers here! :-) and I was thinking about J/TK and I remembered your story and dug it up again. Sooo...

I thought it was great!!! You managed to capture that wistful mood, that sense of could-have-beens...I guess I'm not making any sense but I did love this fic and I think you did a great job with it- especially when Jacen says "I wish I could make you laugh" or something like that; you really managed to combine the 'old' YJK Jacen and the 'new' post-Traitor Jacen. To be honest, I didn't even notice the omission of Tenel Ka's "Fact", and even though the summary is a little silly, it certainly didn't scare me away :-) Great job!!

Author: rhonderoo
Date posted: 7/14/2003 6:12:33 PM
rhonderoo's Comments:

Great story! This was very eloquent and the cover art was great!(I know you do both!!) ;) Don't worry about the summary, it's actually what drew me in. I have a little more expansive mind and could tell that with your eloquence was also a casualness. Something more fanfic writers should have. Everything doesn't have to be just so so. Casualness makes a more enjoyable fic sometimes. Great job!

Author: Safire Ranmako  (signed)
Date posted: 8/23/2003 12:14:48 AM
Safire Ranmako's Comments:

This is good, but it could be better.

Author: yellowace
Date posted: 9/14/2003 5:33:51 PM
yellowace's Comments:

this was a good story--i wish it was longer, because from Destiny's Way and after the New Jedi Order books totally sucked. I wish something like this would have happened in the series; i doubt the author of Destiny's Way actually knew anything about the Jacen/Tenel Ka thing instead Jacen's now with Danni (totally strange)

Author: Bria  (signed)
Date posted: 10/6/2003 11:21:32 PM
Bria's Comments:

Very, very nice. I'm another who was quite disappointed that Destiny's Way didn't touch on Jacen and Tenel Ka. I really can't accept that they wouldn't have seen each other priately, at least for a few minutes. I could see this scenario happening very easily. =)

Author: The Stormtrooper Shrink  (signed)
Date posted: 2/15/2004 3:57:04 AM
The Stormtrooper Shrink's Comments:

Ha, ha, ha! See ya, Tenel Ka! Bring on Danni!!!

Actually, I really hated Danni at first, but now I think she's okay. A nicely worked out story here.

Author: Jóhan Herlon  (signed)
Date posted: 3/19/2004 6:59:02 AM
Jóhan Herlon's Comments:

I loved the way you described Vergere. You hold true to "Traitor" and the other mentionings of her in the other books. Super!
Tenel Ka felt somewhat different, though, but I really liked the way she opened herself to Jacen, and how they both concluded that their destinies were leading them in other directions. Very good. A bitter-sweet ending, but to my liking, nonetheless.

Author: Phobia
Date posted: 5/31/2004 8:32:06 PM
Phobia's Comments:

This was phenomenal. And so sad! I've read a few Star Wars novels sporadically, and the only series I've finished has been YJK (what's up with 'fact', anyways? wasn't it always 'this is a fact'? the latter being far more tolerable and which I've heard from people every now and then - in normal conversation!). I've only been slightly clued in as to what's been happening in the Star Wars universe 'more recently' by the fanfiction, but it's /so/ incredibly dissapointing to me that Jacen and Tenel Ka never got together. *sigh*.

You're little fanfiction gives me a bit of closure. I mean, it was so good, that I'm almost not so upset that they never hooked up. Not that I won't stop searching endlessly for Jacen/Tenel Ka fiction, which there isn't enough of - at least not enough of good stuff, not stuff like this. Not only is it written well, but it also has depth that most fanfiction is lacking, further insight into the decisions of the characters that really makes a good fanfiction /good/.


P.S. I, too, almost didn't read the story by the summary. It's okay if the summary sounds corny - usually I just check for appropriate grammar and nice word choice. Usually the technical quality of the summary is synonomous to that of the story.

Good job, again, I'm impressed! And thanks!

Author: Lead Nohgri Commandoe (NC_Ruhk
Date posted: 6/28/2005 5:54:29 AM
Lead Nohgri Commandoe (NC_Ruhk's Comments:

I liked it. Personally I think that Jacen and Tenel Ka should really get married. Cya ;)

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Archived: Monday, January 13, 2003

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