Beyond A Second Chance (SJRS EP7 Challenge) Updated: 11/15/14 - COMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi_Lover, May 24, 2014.

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  1. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    The telomerase explanation was really interesting. Hope they have a version without zombie side effects, then -- and no longer contagious. Sounds like the average person might still die from it.




    [face_laugh]

    Glad that they aren't trying too hard to pass everything off as a moment of crazy brought on by almost dying. :p
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  2. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 2
    Very nicely done! I love how they can tease each other in one moment and be heavy, deep, and real in the next.

    Great description of telomerase! I checked out the link. The one problem they don't mention in the article is that mice start out with insanely long telomeres relative to humans or other primates. It's part of the reason that mouse models in cancer and aging research are such a mixed bag. It also means what works in a mouse may not work in a human, particularly if it involves chromosome biology. If you are interested in telomeres and aging, you should check out the new work looking at resting membrane potentials and bio-electric fields in regenerative medicine. It's really cool, and I'm excited to see how it ties in with telomeres and stem cell maintainance.

    Anyway, enough science. Great writing! Looking forward to more.
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  3. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Thanks. I think mice also make telomerase throughout their life unlike humans and the mice used were genetically modified to be cancer resistant. As I said earlier I got my Master's in Biology 15 years ago. I also got pregnant 8 months before I graduated. My husband and I had been trying for a few years and I thought maybe I couldn't have kids...so I might as well go back to school. Anyway, I had my first son a few weeks after graduation and then 17 months later his brother was born. So I have never worked in the field. My knowledge on the subject is 15 years old. I did remember how excited my professor was about telomeres and decided to throw that into the story. I will have to look into those new studies you mentioned.
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  4. Demendora Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2010
    star 2
    The whole month of isolation!Even they didn't have sex in the laboratory, I am sure they will have a lot of it now, because farmboy now will look just gorgeous.
  5. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Excellent update. Bravo on all the medical technicalities =D= and love the banter [face_laugh] and initial confusion over "did we or not"? [face_mischief]
    Last edited by Nyota's Heart, Aug 1, 2014
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  6. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    [face_laugh]

    So if Luke's aging process is stopped or slows down a little he may feel more comfortable being with Mara - a good thing!
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  7. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Thanks. That is something I could picture Mara saying.

    That is what I thought. Now I just have to figure out what they are going to say and do.

    I do also! She said she needs the set up first. So I should be there in a few chapters.

    Thank you!


    Most likely age appropriate.

    I am glad they are not denying what they said also. In the profics there were so many mind games and people hiding the truth and screwing up everything.

    Thank you. It just seemed like the way they would discuss things. Mara was always a bit snarky even in the worst of times.

    I am sure if they have sex in the laboratory all the heart sensors will go off. [face_laugh] No, I want to have something romantic for them. Plus they are probably being monitored by cameras.

    I figure that would freak out most women if they woke up in a hospital and told they are now being tested for a pregnancy. I wasn't sure if Luke's response would be realistic. I don't know if any guy is going to be thrilled that a women he never really dated may be pregnant with his baby, but I also know that Luke would try to ease her mind no matter what was going on in his head.

    Yeah and I think having a younger Luke would make the story more...comfortable for some shippers who expressed concern over such a large age gap. There will still be a mental, emotional and maturity age gap but at least the physical one will be lessened.

    Thanks everybody for reading. This next chapter is a little short, but I didn't want to post a mega chapter.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




    Chapter 17

    Later that day the medical droid escorted Mara from the isolation room and down a secure negative pressure tunnel to a place where she would undergo a battery of medical tests. Luke was told he would face the same procedures later that evening. Before they left the 2-1B droid had removed the IV line from Luke’s arm and he was cleared to move around the room.

    Luke wrapped a robe over his flimsy hospital gown and slid on a pair of slippers before walking to the ‘fresher. He leaned over the sink and gazed into the mirror while running his fingers through his light beard. He was astonished at how long it had grown. He was originally under the impression that he had been sedated for weeks, but according to Doctor Minsk it was less than a week since his ordeal on Darten Six. He had been trying to grow facial hair for the last month but now its length had doubled in a few days.

    He turned his head from side to side to get a better look at his fledgling beard. His brow furrowed in confusion when he noticed the gray stubble that was once present was now gone and replaced with a solid light brown color. He ran his finger along the side of his right eye looking for the laugh lines that were previously there, but couldn’t find any. In fact, his skin looked tighter and smoother.

    “Uncle Luke, are you in there?”

    Luke exited the ‘fresher at the sound of his nephew’s voice. On the other side of the transparisteel window he saw Jacen standing in civilian clothing. The young man waved and flashed a warm friendly grin as he talked through the intercom unit. “I’ve finally been cleared to leave this facility, but I wanted to see you first.” He scrutinized Luke’s face for a moment before smiling widely. “You look so much better than the last time I saw you. How are you feeling?”

    “I’m feeling great.” He hopped on his toes a few times and smiled. “That twinge in my knee is gone, but that doesn’t matter.” He walked up to the window and put his hands on the sill leaning against it. “Tell me what happened on Darten Six.”

    Jacen’s eyes went wide. “They didn’t tell you?”

    “I wouldn’t be asking if they did.”

    Jacen combed his hair back with the fingers of both hands and gave a shake of his head. “It was a biological and chemical mess. I got out and contacted the planet’s New Republic Emissary. He, in turn, contacted the nearest fleet ship, which luckily was a Star Destroyer on maneuvers in the area. They came down to the planet with a hazardous material team and brought me a suit so I could escort them inside. A medical ship was also dispatched out to the area. When we found you and Mara...I thought,” he hesitated slightly as his voice dropped down to a whisper. “I thought I was too late. You both looked very dead.” Jacen visibly braced himself to continue. “I don’t know what I would have done if I'd lost you.”

    The younger man fell into a sober silence and Luke had to prompt him to continue.

    “Did they kill those things in the lab and find anything else?”

    Jacen nodded. “The hazmat team went over the files on the office computers and figured out the not-quite-dead creatures could be killed by fire. They burned everything in the laboratories. They also discovered the Imperials quickly abandoned the facility almost thirty years ago because a tremor broke the seal of a hazardous chemical containment area. They quickly evacuated thinking they would return after the breach was contained, but then they realized a Rebel fleet was sighted in the system. They decided to get out of the area before they were captured and executed for war crimes.” Jacen paused for a breath. “There were stockpiles of lethal chemical agents stored in the mountain…enough that it could kill every living creature on the planet a hundred times over. A BioChem elimination task force was set up and they are working on neutralizing or incinerating the chemical and biological agents stored at the site. The groundquakes have been increasing and geologists have determined that in a month or two the tremors may have resulted in a total containment breach. The chemicals could have leached down into the well water and who knows what the biological warfare weapons could have done…especially if an infected person got to the spaceport.”

    Luke’s head dropped as he leaned heavily on the windowsill. “It’s a good thing we went there when we did.” He looked up at Jacen worriedly. “Everything is safe…right?”

    “Yes, it looks like things are contained.”

    Luke’s eyes narrowed. “Then why do I sense unease coming from you? What are you hiding? Was there a leak?”

    Jacen grimaced. “I can never hide much from you.” His eyes flickered to the ceiling and then to the floor before his gaze reluctantly returned to his uncle. “There was a leak…but not the type you imagine. The New Republic tried to keep this quiet because Darten Six was to become a major spaceport hub, but as you can imagine it is hard to keep something like this secret.”

    Luke ran a hand over his face in frustration. “Are people fleeing the planet? That can’t be good for trade and the economy.”

    Jacen shook his head. “No, the military has convinced the public that the danger is now contained. The problem is the media has put a spin on the story that might not be to your liking.”

    “Oh?”

    Jacen sighed deeply as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I did a press conference at the New Republic’s request. I kept telling them how you are the person who felt a disturbance in the Force and how it guided you to Darten Six. I explained that you and another member of our team were exposed to an unknown agent and are currently being treated by medical doctors. I wasn’t exposed and managed to escaped the Imperial laboratory and went for help.” He gave his uncle his most sincere expression. “That is all I said and somehow they warped my words so they would have a better story.”

    Luke stared at him gravely. “And what is this better story?”

    Jacen blushed and looked down at the floor. “It’s being reported that I was exposed but wasn’t infected because I am some super Jedi, stronger than the Grand Master himself.” He threw his hands up in gesture of helplessness before he grinned sheepishly. “One holonet channel interviewed some so-called Ancient Prophesy Theorists who mentioned something about a prophesized ‘Chosen One’. That moniker was picked up by the other media outlets, so now I am called the Jedi Chosen One.” Jacen rubbed the back of his neck while averting his eyes. “Also…ah…Celebrity Sentient Holozine named me Sexiest Jedi Alive and Blaster and Ammo Holozine has proclaimed me the Galaxy’s Deadliest Warrior.”

    Luke stared wide-eyed at Jacen for two whole seconds before he burst out laughing. “Better you than me! Welcome to my world of stalking paparazzi.”

    “Don’t laugh. I've had thousands of interview requests. I don’t even want to leave this medical facility.”

    Luke eventually reined in his laughter and smirked at his nephew. “How exactly did this wild rumor developed from your totally innocent and humble remarks?”

    “You think I started that wild story?” Jacen glowered at his uncle for a moment before smirking slightly. “I really didn’t start those rumors…but I think I know who did.”

    Luke raised a curious eyebrow. “And who would that be?”

    Jacen gave a slight roll of his eyes. “I think Tenel Ka started that gossip in order to get me in the good graces of her parents.” Jacen’s smirk grew wider. “After all, how could her parents refuse to let her marry the prophesized sexiest Jedi warrior in history?”

    Luke could only shake his head. “I don't see how they could. It’s a no-brainer to me.” He gave Jacen a genuine smile. “I hope it works. You deserve to be happy. You are my best Jedi and you have done so much for the galaxy as a whole. You should have been recognized a long time ago for your service.”

    “Thanks.” Jacen looked around the room questioningly. “Where is Miss Jade?”

    Luke gestured toward her bed. “The medical droid took her somewhere for X-rays and a brain scan. I will get the same treatment later today.”

    “Sooooo,” Jacen stretched out the word. “How are things between you two?”

    In the past that type of question would have resulted in a defensive response, but this time Luke could only smile. “Good. Really good.”

    Jacen’s face went slack with surprise. “Good…as in ‘I might throw away my silly non-attachment philosophy, break the hearts of all the ladies at the Temple, and start dating Mara Jade’.”

    A broad grin split Luke’s face. “Yeah…that good.”
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Aug 3, 2014
  8. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Great conversation. And now Jacen gets to deal with the media. :D
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  9. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    Hallelujah! He has seen that light.
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  10. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Can I just say that I love your Jacen. This is more like what we should've gotten post-NJO, instead of that thing with Jacen's name. This Jacen is awesome!

    As to Luke and Mara...it's about time, Skywalker! [face_dancing]
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  11. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 2
    Yes! Luke comes to his senses, finally! :D
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  12. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    You are really loving this beard thing, aren't you? :p

    Great chapter.
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  13. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    Love Tenal Ka starting rumours to make Jacen look good to her parents. And good to see Luke's finally seen the light.
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  14. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Fantastic!!! Utterly fantastic!
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  15. Gemma Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2013
    star 3
    This brought a great wide grin to my face. Yes, a woman like Mara Jade is going to change his mind about his ways of non-attachment. Yeah! :)
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  16. Demendora Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2010
    star 2
    And now there will be no fanfiction without a beard thing))Disney, what have you done!? Lol! Now I want a smut with a hot Grand-master and young Mara!
  17. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    And he will probably get the girl. So all is good on that side.

    Finally! He is hard headed.

    I loved Jacen in NJO. He was the hero...and then the profic authors have to ruin it. He had so much potential if they only made him a Jedi that didn't like Luke's philosophy. If Jacen went rogue, but still was a good guy but more like a vigilante he would be more of a problem for Luke and so much could have been done with plots. He could be like the Batman of the GFFA. I hope EP7 does a better job with the characters.

    It took him long enough.

    Yep. You will see more of the beard in the next chapter. I will get that contest requirement in.

    I would think the media would be just as crazy in the GFFA as on earth. Maybe Jacen and Tenel Ka will get their own reality show. lol!

    Thank you! [face_blush]

    I think Luke already changed his mind.

    I should have the set up for smut by chapter 19.

    This is another short chapter. I am surprised I got any writing done lately. My muse is on strike. :(

    Hopefully you will like this chapter even if it is short.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Chapter 18

    About an hour after Luke and Jacen said their goodbyes Mara was escorted back to the isolation room. She was still wearing a plain white hospital gown under a cheaply made striped bathrobe, but she had a way of making standard issue patient garb look sexy. Her long red hair fell loosely around her shoulders as she casually sauntered across the room to where he was sitting in an extremely uncomfortable plastic chair.

    He smiled broadly. “How’d the brain scan go?”

    She gave a roll of her eyes and smirked. “They determined there is one present…although I think it might have been malfunctioning when I decided to follow you to Darten Six.”

    Luke chuckled as he got up and pulled an identical plastic chair from across the room to where he was sitting. “Have a seat. It looks like we’re here for the duration.”

    Her lips gave a half pout. “If they are going to keep us here they could at least give us a holonet projector and some real clothes.”

    Luke smiled broadly. “You mean you don’t like exposing your backside every time you forget the gown is open in the back?”

    She sat down and gave a shameless grin. “No, but I don’t mind when you forget.”

    Luke blushed knowing he more than once exposed himself after forgetting to put on a robe. He gave Mara a coy wink. “Who said I forgot.”

    She let out a laugh. “What happened to my shy, no-attachment, stuffy Grand Master?”

    Luke shrugged. “He had a near death experience and had some second thoughts concerning his life’s path.” He expected a witty retort from his companion, but Mara remained silent, her expression hard to read. “What’s wrong?”

    She shrugged. “I guess I’m nervous. It is easy to flirt with a man when he is unavailable, but things are different now.”

    “What do you mean?” His nerves started to dance in his stomach and he truly hoped he didn’t just open up his heart to possible romance only for Mara to get cold feet. “Did you change your mind about us…dating?”

    She shook her head forcefully. “No, no, it’s not that. It’s exactly what I said. I’m nervous. After my young boyfriend was taken away, I never dated again. This is all new to me.”

    A feeling of relief swelled through his body. Nervous he could handle, rejection was another matter entirely. “Mara, I’m nervous also. I don’t have much experience in this arena either.”

    Her eyes widened slightly. “Are you a virgin?”

    He sat back in his chair in surprise. “What? No. I wasn’t born a Jedi. I used to be a Rogue fighter pilot. I had a few girlfriends.”

    She gave him a curious look. “Then how did you give it up? If you knew what it was like to love a woman, how do you walk away?”

    The question elicited a pang of sadness within him. “They died. The women I dated throughout the years fought in the Rebellion. One-by-one they died heroically and for a just cause. And when they perished a little part of my heart died with them. Eventually I decided it wasn’t worth it. I dedicated myself to the Jedi.”

    She took in a deep breath and let it out with a nod. “So why take the chance now?”

    Luke leaned forward in his chair and gazed into her piercing green eyes. “Because when I thought I was dying in that laboratory I realized that death would one day find us all. Everybody dies. It doesn’t matter if you are young, old, a parent, a lover or a celibate Grand Master. Death will find us eventually, so we might as well live our lives to the fullest. As I squirmed in agonizing pain on that laboratory floor I realized I had so many regrets…and now I have a second chance to make things right.”

    “You definitely have a second chance according to what Doctor Minsk told me today.”

    Luke leaned back in his chair and regarded her quizzically. “What did he say?”

    She gave him a slow, sexy smile. “According to the good doctor the virus we contracted won’t do much to me since I was so young. I hadn’t experienced the effects of aging. My cells hadn’t reached the point where my chromosomes were compromised and the cells stopped dividing.” A mischievous gleam flickered in her eyes. “You on the other hand, were deep in the throes of old age and were experiencing…how did he put it…oh yeah…substantial cell deterioration. Therefore when you were exposed to the virus it resulted in the repair of the chromosomes and all your old and feeble non-working cells once again started to divide. In other words your biological age has reset to what it probably looked like when you were thirty. I will most likely have a normal life span…but you…you might have gained and extra twenty years…if you don’t get yourself killed in an accident.”

    Luke scoffed. “I think the doctor is wrong. I look and feel basically the same.”

    Mara leaned forward and gazed at his face before standing and walking up to him. He looked up at her as she ran her fingers through his hair. “The grey is gone. I remember you had gray at your temples when we went on our date to the theater. It’s gone now.” She ran a finger down his jaw line and stopped at his chin. She knelt down as she inspected his beard. “The gray is also gone from your beard.” She gave his whiskers a playful tug. “Which is growing in at a much faster rate.” She stood and returned to her chair and crossed a leg over her knee as she continued to observe him. “Why are you growing a beard anyway?”

    Luke grinned as he ran his hand over his emerging facial hair. “It’s the standard Grand Master beard. I’m contractually obligated to have one. How else can I look the part of the old and wise Jedi Master.”

    “Actually being old and wise might be a good start.” Mara gave him a dismissive wave of the hand. “I think you should shave it.”

    Luke chuckled at her cocky demeanor. He ran his fingers through his beard thoughtfully. “You do huh? I’ll have you know I don’t shave for just anyone.”

    She gave a slight shrug. “That’s fine. Stay a hairy chaste monk. I like kissing clean shaven men.”

    He stood abruptly and walked to the ‘fresher. “Then for you, I shall shave.” He opened the draws of the sink vanity searching for a razor before giving Mara a mock look of panic. “I can’t find a razor. Maybe the medical droid will lend me a scalpel and I'll scrap it off my face.”

    She closed her eyes briefly before standing and moving to the ‘fresher. She pushed him further inside before closing the door behind her. She leaned against the entry smiling at him nervously. “To preserve my modesty, Doctor Minsk informed me that there are security holovids all over the isolation ward…with the exception of the ‘fresher.” She walked forward and wrapped her arms around his neck while giving him a shy smile. “I want some privacy as I decide whether or not I can get used to a beard.”

    Her touch caused a jolt of pleasure to rock through his body. He reached up and ran a caressing hand down her hair and along her cheek. “Are you sure? I don’t want to force you to endure my unshorn face.”

    She laughed. “Shut up and kiss me before I change my mind.”

    He hesitated only for a moment before he pulled her snuggly against his body and lowered his mouth gently to hers. The kiss was long and slow and full of unspoken promises. As soon as their lips touched he felt invisible threads binding him together. It wasn’t just an emotional and sexual attraction, but a bonding of the Force. For the first time he could feel the Force flowing through her. Its current burned bright and strong and it drew him closer to her like a moth to a beacon.

    When the they finally broke apart they stared at each other, startled by the intensity of the moment. “What was that?” Mara whispered. “I’ve never experienced anything like that. It was such powerful…feelings.”

    Luke took a few ragged breaths before answering. “I think it was the Force. It’s drawing us together.”

    Mara’s eyes went wide. “Why? What does it want from us?”

    Luke gave a soft chuckle as he leaned closer until their foreheads touched. “I don’t know,” he whispered. “But maybe we should continue doing what we were doing until we find out.” With that said he leaned forward with one smooth movement and covered her mouth with his own.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Aug 11, 2014
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  18. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    What else would you expect when you leave them alone in an isolation ward? [face_laugh]

    I'm not generally a fan of mush, but this is wonderful. And great job with the beard challenge. :D
  19. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Oh yes! I'm loving this. Now they gotta make Skybabies and live long lives!
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  20. bkwrm752003 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2006
    star 1
    I am loving this story so much. I liked how you weaved the beard challenge into it. Clever!=D= I am super excited for new chapters now that Luke has seen the light. ;) I wonder what else they can get up to hiding away from the cameras? I can't wait to find out!
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  21. Demendora Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2010
    star 2
    This was wonderful. All of it. And sex in the fresher of a closed medical ward! Wooohoo!
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  22. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 2
    I think your muse snuck back across the picket line briefly. That was lovely! Kuddos on the beard challenge and the hints of bonding in the Force. Definitely looking forward to chapter 19!
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  23. Gemma Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2013
    star 3
    Excellant update -- I loved it all. The kissing was yummy as always.:)@};-
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  24. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    [face_laugh] Mara is really a delight in this fic. And LOVED the scene with her and Luke all anxious and tentative but then the lovely kiss and the beginnings of a Force bond [face_love]
    Gemma likes this.
  25. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    That is one smooth Jedi Master. [face_mischief] And I love that he's looking somewhat younger. I wonder what Han and Leia will think about that. I love Mara's gripes about the beard. I hope he does shave it off, or at least trim it up!! No hermit looks for our Lukie now. I love this fic!!
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