She never thought he would be so cruel as to make her write a love letter.
Dear irritating and frustrating Skywalker,
I hope you're happy. I'm writing you a love letter, just like you said. I keep my word, when it doesn't endanger my life. (And sometimes even then.) Be aware, however, that I will get my revenge for this. Of all the things you could have chosen, you had to choose this - and that is your fault. (So is my losing, since you had to argue with me in the first place.) When I said whoever wins the bet gets to choose what the loser does, I didn't think you would be so cruel as to make me write a love letter. You didn't say to whom, by the way, and I was so tempted to write one to Han. I'd love to see you explaining that one.
I didn't appreciate your laughter when you won our bet, either. I mean, I suppose it might have been inevitable for me to lose one of these bets, but you didn't have to gloat, just because I gloated. I thought that you, the great Jedi Master, would be above such things. By the way, I tested our little bet again - a lightsaber does sometimes work in gelatin. Just not always. So you only half won.
As such, this letter is going to be short.
Let's see. Where to begin? Computer, pause.
I didn't ask to fall in love with you. I didn't look at you and think, "That would be a good guy to love, to marry." I didn't think of your potential as a mate. Quite frankly, during the first few years I didn't think of you as a man at all - just an enemy turned friend. Or maybe I was the enemy turned friend . . . No matter. I suppose I just didn't view you in that way.
I can't name any specific point where that changed. I don't think there was one. When I started to think of you - romantically - it seemed like a perfectly natural and obvious thing to do. Even so, I didn't act on it. Sometimes I felt the desire to do so, I admit, but I didn't see you often, and it was easy enough to control and suppress. I didn't ask to fall in love with you, remember. The entire thing was unexpected and confusing.
When you found me on that blasted planet with the Hand of Thrawn, I was so angry and embarrassed. Of all people, it had to be you. You ran off in the middle of a galactic crisis for me - and then it turns out my captors were trying to save my life. Even worse, you sensed what I was feeling. I knew then . . . I knew then that we were too close.
I never told you that when I gave the word to wake me from my trance state, I wanted you to say it first. I sometimes wonder, still, if you knew that. While our minds had been joined so intimately, I know that while I understood you and knew you completely in that moment, that connection was too much to take in, too much to remember and memorize. So I wondered if you knew that even then, some of my old fears were still carried within me. They no longer controlled me, don't mistake that - but they were still there. But you said it. I wasn't awake, of course, before you said it, but I know you didn't hesitate. Maybe you paused, because of . . . everything, but I know you didn't hesitate.
I love you.
Oh, computer, pause -
I still don't say it often. I know that - and I know that you know it. You aren't bothered, though. I sense that. Have I ever thanked you for that? You always try to understand, Luke. It's not enough to know something, you have to understand it - I think it's that understanding that makes you the person you are. You frustrate me and you fascinate me.
I see qualities in you that I'm glad I don't have, and ones that I wish I had. But more than anything, I see that those good qualities outweigh the bad, and even then . . . those good things are so much a part of you, they affect even those bad traits. Like all that trust that gets you into trouble.
Yeah, I know this isn't very love-letter-like, but I told you that you were only getting half of one, so deal with it. Though I suppose you always do, hmm?
It was easy to fall in love with you. Really, really hard to deal with that love, and to accept it, and even get over the idea that you returned it, but very easy to feel it. Sometimes, before we got together, I'd lay down before bed and use one of those meditation trances you taught me. I would focus on that one thing - how much I loved you - and it was enough. Even if you hadn't returned my love, it would have been enough to love you, because in the end, that is what made me live.
It is through our connection to others that we experience life. What is a beautiful flower if I can't think of how it's the color of your eyes? How you would smile because I even noticed the damn thing?
Force, but I am getting sappy. I knew this was a bad idea, and I blame you entirely, Skywalker. Not only sappy, but philosophical. Your bad habits are catching.
I guess . . . well, this is a love letter, isn't it? Then what really needs to be said? I love you, Skywalker. Now that's a love letter. I love you.
Addendum - I'm still going to get you for this, Skywalker.
Computer, end and close file.
Dear irritated and frustrated Jade,
Yeah, I know you're going to get me for that, too. But your life would be boring without me, admit it. Besides, it's worth any revenge to have received something like this from you, even if you do consider it only half a love letter. (Although for the record, if your lightsaber worked in the gelatin, you must have rewired it.)
I didn't expect to fall in love with you either. I suppose that goes without saying, doesn't it? You were so adamant about killing me, and for a long time, you didn't really give me any reason to think otherwise. Somehow, though, I knew you wouldn't. Even so, that sort of hostility and our radically different pasts seemed to make even friendship so difficult, so hard won. It was a victory just to get you to put down your blaster, let alone smile at me or trust me.
Do you know what I noticed about you first, though, when I woke up in Karrde's custody on Myrkr and found you guarding me? It wasn't the hatred in your expression, or the blaster in your lap. It was your hair - the color of flame, or an exotic sunset - and the brilliant green of your eyes. I thought you were the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen.
It was only then that I noticed your weapon, or even that I was suddenly blind to the Force. And I knew there was more to you than your hatred, no matter what you wanted me to believe. Computer, pause.
Looking back, it's hard for me to understand why I didn't pursue a romantic relationship with you earlier. It's not that I wasn't attracted to you, Mara. It's just . . . there was so much happening when we first met. And there was so much to take care of, and I thought that I had to take care of so much of it myself. After a while, it was easier not to think that way. You had your life, and I had mine. They didn't intersect very often, it seemed, until I had that vision of you on Nirauan, and knew that I had to come after you. Even then, as close as I felt to you, as easy as it was for us to sense each other's thoughts and emotions, I didn't realize how much you meant to me until Child of Winds referred to you as my 'beloved companion'.
He was right, and I knew it, but I tried hard to deny it, Mara. I was still afraid of hurting you somehow; that if I let myself care for you, something terrible would happen to you. But when we melded in the Force fighting the sentinel droids, I knew it was pointless to pretend - especially since you knew exactly how I felt anyway. When I proposed, it didn't matter that we might - probably would - die. All that mattered was that you agreed, that we would have that bond no matter what, that we could be together even beyond death, if that was our fate.
When you told me that phrase you wanted to wake you from the trance - I never thought about insecurities or fears, Mara, not for an instant. It was still so new to me, so incredible that I did love you, that you loved me, that you would want me to say 'I love you'. And when I found you lying in that pool of water, looking . . . dead, my heart stopped. I was so terrified that you might have died despite my best efforts. To lose you like that, to have to go on alone after finally finding you . . . I couldn't have. When I said your chosen phrase, and your eyes opened and met mine - I knew that I had everything I'd ever wanted, more than I deserved, and I could have held you forever. Nothing else mattered.
I would never change you, Mara. I don't care if you say 'I love you' every hour for the rest of our lives, or if you never say it again. I know you, I know your heart and your mind and your soul, and I love every aspect of you. I don't need words to remind me that you love me. You show it every day, when you smile at me, when you glance up from something you're working on and your eyes welcome me. It still amazes me that you can feel that way toward me, and I cherish every moment we share, every instance where your love is obvious with or without words. I wish I hadn't wasted those ten years without you, but sometimes I think that it only makes me treasure you more now.
You're a wonderful person, Mara, never doubt it. So few would have been able to survive the life you've had, let alone rise above it so completely. Have I ever told you how much I admire you for that?
I know that there are still those who look at you and see an Imperial assassin, or a smuggler. I don't see those things, I never have. I see a strong-willed, compassionate, honorable woman who's always done what she believed to be right, no matter what the cost to herself. I see someone courageous enough to turn her back on everything she ever knew and build a new life for herself, someone who never gives up, who will fight to the last for a cause she believes in or a person she loves, and I feel privileged just to know you, let alone be married to you. Whether you're sarcastic or sappy or philosophical or pragmatic, you're still the best part of my life, and I love you more than words can say.
I hope we have a hundred more years of this life together, Mara, but even that wouldn't be enough. I don't know exactly what awaits us when we become one with the Force, but I know that somehow we'll be together regardless. I won't let you go - and I know that you won't let me go either, and the knowledge humbles me and thrills me all at once. The least that you deserve in return for the love and devotion you've given me is a love letter of your own, so . . . here it is, I suppose. I love you, Mara, ever and always.
Addendum: I dare you to write that love letter to Han.
Computer, end and close file.