Beyond Aftershocks - 4 ABY, directly after RotJ [Angst, Drama, Friendship] - Luke, H/L - Complete

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by immertreu, Sep 29, 2012.

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  1. immertreu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2012
    star 1
    Title: Aftershocks
    Author: immertreu
    Timeline: post-RotJ
    Disclaimer: Don't own anything or I would have my own Luke.
    Characters: Luke, Leia, Han, Wedge, Lando, R2-D2, C-3PO
    Summary: During the victory celebration after the battle of Endor: Luke is definitely not "fine". Han gets a lot more than he has bargained for when he goes in search of his friend.
    Notes: I know I'm not the first one to write about the ending of RotJ , but this is my take on how Luke handled – or rather didn't handle – what happened on the Death Star. Thanks to ginchy for telling me about these boards in the first place, and to Jade_eyes for convincing me to really post my fanfic here.

    by immertreu
    February 4, 2012

    Han found Luke only a few hundred meters into the forest, not too far from the still celebrating people milling about in the Ewok's village square. The black-clad figure sat hidden on a boulder, blending into the shadows. He was rendered almost invisible by low vines and branches hanging from the ancient trees that had grown on the forest moon of Endor for millennia, but a flare from the huge fire eluminating the victory feast had caught on the silvery hilt of the kid's lightsaber and given him away.

    The kid, Han thought. The warrior. The Jedi Knight.

    Luke was a Jedi. There was no doubt anymore. Han's rescue from Jabba's clutches had been impressive, sure, but they'd also had a lot of luck back there. Surviving another round with Darth Vader and his lightsaber, defeating the Emperor, and getting off the Death Star with most of his skin intact before it blew, though – that had been an impressive feat for the farmboy-turned Jedi indeed.

    Details of recent events were still a little sketchy – Luke had given them only a very abbreviated version of his adventures on the Death Star when he came back – but Han was sure it wasn't pretty. Luke had become very quiet and contemplative during the celebrations and slunk away after an hour or so. Han had finally decided to go look for the kid.

    Han still called Luke that because he would always be like a little brother to him. And speaking of brothers…

    He clapped a hand on Luke's shoulder from behind and frowned at the resulting jerk. "Shouldn't your Jedi-senses tell you when someone's coming?" he asked, trying to lighten the mood and hide his worries. Inattention could get you killed in these woods.

    "Huh?" Luke finally looked up at him, and Han was shocked to see the distant expression in his eyes. The kid was hurting badly and not just physically.

    Han sat down on a big tree stump opposite Luke's boulder and stared searchingly at his younger friend. Something must have happened at the party. Or maybe the enormity, the reality of what had happened had finally sunk in. Han suspected the latter to be the case and ran a hand through his hair in frustration. Where was Leia when you needed her? She was much better at this touchy-feely stuff. Oh, right, she was preparing everything for their departure the following morning. The rebel leader, always on duty.

    Pilots who got drunk after a battle that went to hell Han could handle. A distraught young Jedi – not so much.

    Luke was a tough kid – he'd proven that over and over again these past few years – but he'd also been through the ringer. Han tried not to look at Luke's right gloved hand that lay on the kid's knee. He hadn't been there to see the results of Luke's first disastrous fight with Vader, of course, but the few bits and pieces Leia had told him on their way back from Tatooine to the rebel fleet made him very glad that he hadn't. The thought of Vader cutting trough Luke's…It almost made him sick again.

    Han shook himself and regarded Luke for a moment, taking in the burn holes in the kid's black tunic and pants, the shaggy, sweat-caked hair, the sunken eyes and pale complexion caused by fatigue and…grief? Han squinted in the dark.

    What had the Emperor done to Luke? What other injuries were hidden under that non-descript Jedi attire? Why hadn't anyone noticed earlier?

    Unsure of what to say, Han remained silent. The kid didn't look as if he was up for any kind of banter. So it came as a surprise when Luke spoke up.

    "So…you and Leia…?" He didn't finish his sentence – but then, he didn't have to.

    The thought of his newfound girlfriend pleased Han, and he smiled deeply. "Yeah." His grin faltered slightly. "You okay with that?"

    Luke humphed. "Why wouldn't I be? I'm not her keeper." He looked away again.

    The snappish reply didn't sound like the mild-mannered young man Han had gotten to know since his return to the Rebel Alliance. He wasn't sure how to respond and surprised himself by suddenly blurting out, "What's the matter with you, kid? You saved the day – with a little help from your friends, of course. You saved the galaxy, your sister's life – and mine in the process – made a lot of new friends, but instead of being out there, celebrating…," Han hitched a thumb toward the noisy crowd, "…you're sitting here in the dark, all alone, moping."

    He regretted the harsh words the moment they were out of his mouth and clamped his jaw shut with a clack of teeth. He needed to know what was wrong so he could fix it – maybe. He owed his friend that much.

    Jedi calm forgotten, Luke jumped up as if to turn his back on him. Instead he slumped back onto his rock, defeated. "You wouldn't understand," he finally mumbled, so low that Han had to strain to hear.

    "Try me," he replied, receiving only a shake of the shaggy mop of dark blond hair in return. "Come on," Han tried again. "What's wrong?"

    Luke finally raised his gaze, appraising Han with more than a searching look.

    "You really wanna know?"

    "Of course I do!" Han almost snapped. Hadn't he just said as much? He sighed and forced himself to calm down. Yelling wouldn't help either of them right now. "Why don't you just tell me? It can't be that bad, can it?" He flinched at the pained glare he got in reply.

    They kept silent for a long time, Luke staring into nothingness. He finally started talking the moment Han thought they'd be stuck on their respective boulders – or stumps, in Han's case – the whole night.

    "Leia told you we're siblings, right?"

    Han simply nodded.

    "Okay. So…we're not just brother and sister, we're twins." Han started to say something, but Luke cut him of with a raise of his hand. "No, we didn't know when we first met. I only found out recently. Ben told me." He waved away Han's objection that the old man head been dead for years and continued, sounding as if he were reciting someone else's story, "We were separated at birth in order to protect us because the Force has always been strong in our family."

    Han dared to ask, "So the Emperor wouldn't get his hands on you, right?"

    Luke's eyes were troubled, their usual brilliant blue dimmed by outer darkness and inner turmoil. "Yes – and no," he conceded, confusing Han even more. "You see, the Emperor wasn't the only one who would've loved to bend us to his will – or simply kill us. I can't be sure which he would have preferred."

    The matter-of-fact way the kid said this sent shivers down Han's spine. "What do you mean? Who else was there?"

    Luke swallowed and squirmed in his seat, then drew a deep breath and spit it out: "Our father."

    Han could only gape at him. Eventually, he said, "Your father is dead."


    "So...?" Han would have liked to shake the kid but only raised his hands in frustration. If he'd always hated Luke's constant chatter and crazy ideas when they first met, having to tear every single answer out of him like this was much, much worse.

    "He wasn't dead until recently. Not entirely. He…" Luke stumbled over his words and tried again. His voice came out as a whisper. "Darth Vader was our father."

    Once upon a time such a staggering revelation would have shaken the earth, accompanied by flashes of lightning to burn the skies, but at this moment, nothing so dramatic happened. The announcement left Han eerily calm, focused. When he spoke, he hardly recognized his own voice.
    "How is that possible? You told me your father was killed by Vader."

    Luke regarded him with an Ewok-in-the-headlights look, obviously surprised that Han was still there, still talking to him. Han could only sigh in regret. Sure, he'd never been the emotional guy you went to when you wanted to spill your guts, but he surely hadn't been such a bad friend either. Or had he? He'd think about that worrisome idea later. First he needed to get the kid back on track. And then he would think about the consequences of Luke's statement. He couldn't afford to do so now.

    "How could Vader be your father?" Han repeated, which shook Luke out of his silent musings and into speaking, although he was now talking to his boots resting on the forest floor.

    "He was once known as Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan – Ben – Kenobi was his teacher, his friend." He spread his hands in a helpless gesture. "I don't know how it happened, but he was seduced by the dark side and left my – our – mother when she was pregnant. He didn't know she had twins. She died shortly after. Anakin turned to the Emperor and became his servant. He…" Luke swallowed and continued gamely, "…he was barely human anymore. He asked me to take off his helmet shortly before he died. He said he wanted to see me with his own eyes, so I did. He had no hair, and there were scars all over…I don't know what the rest of his body looked like, but I know his right hand was an artificial one."

    Luke raised his own gloved hand and looked at it in disgust. "I know because I defeated him in a lightsaber duel and hacked it off."

    Han looked at Luke in horror. What exactly had happened up there? The kid didn't seem to notice Han's distress. Now that he was finally talking about his ordeal, he had to get it off his chest. All of it. Han tried to follow the erratic tale as best as he could.

    "The Emperor tried to turn me to the dark side. He taunted me. Told me he'd known about our plan all along and that the rebellion would be crushed soon. That everyone I cared for would be dead." Luke's voice almost cracked, but he kept going. "Vader was supposed to make me angry – and he succeeded because he threatened to come after Leia next. I used my anger to defeat him, but I couldn't kill him. When I saw his hand…I threw away my lightsaber."

    Luke finally gazed up again. "I know, not one of my smartest moves." One corner of his mouth curved into something resembling a bitter smile. "The Emperor hit me with Force lightning then. He was so angry, but still so calm, in control. It hurt. You can't imagine the pain."

    Han shuddered, remembering his own agony the moment the carbonite had enclosed his helpless body on Bespin, but he kept silent, not wanting to disturb Luke's frantic story.

    "I couldn't do anything against it. My whole body was on fire. Yoda had warned me not to underestimate the power of the Emperor – I should have listened to him."

    Han decided to ask about Yoda later.

    Luke balled his hands into fists as if fighting a remembered wave of pain. "Vader stood by and did nothing. I asked…I begged him to help me, but he just stood there and looked on. And then, when the Emperor started his final attack that would surely have killed me, something must have finally snapped in him. My father grabbed the Emperor and hurled him down an exhaust shaft."

    Seeing the look of surprise on Han's face, Luke nodded. "Yes, he saved my life. He killed the Emperor and turned back to the light – but he came in direct contact with the Force lightning when he touched the Emperor…He died shortly after that. I tried to save him, but I couldn't."

    Luke hung his head in despair.

    Although Han still didn't understand everything that had happened and could only imagine half of the terrible things going through the kid's head in the silence following this horrible story, he drew a deep breath and knelt down in front of his younger friend.


    Luke didn't react, so Han spoke more forcefully. "Luke!"

    Luke's head snapped up, blue eyes brimming with unshed tears, and Han lost his composure for a moment. Heartless bastards who sent a kid to fight their wars, he raged silently. He'd never felt so old.

    "Luke, it wasn't your fault." Way to go, Han. That has to be the dumbest line in the book. "You did what you had to do. You saved millions, no, billions of lives today. You didn't give in to the Emperor. You did not turn against your friends. And I don't believe you ever will. That's what's eating you, right? You're afraid that with all the power you've learned to wield, you might end up like Vader one day."

    Han couldn't bring himself to say "your father." He couldn't think of Vader that way.

    Luke's expression veered between anger and bewilderment, and Han snorted. "What, you didn't think old Han Solo, scoundrel and smuggler, would understand? I may not know anything about all that Jedi stuff, and I'm definitely not the one you want to turn to when you're having trouble with your love life…" That elicited an almost-smile from Luke. Encouraged, he continued. "…But I do understand what it's like to be afraid. To be lost. Not sure where to turn to. To hate." You're not the only one with a dark branch on the family tree, kid.

    Luke flinched and jumped up. "I cannot hate!"

    Han sat back, confused. "Of course you can. You're human."

    Luke shook his head. "I can't. Anger leads to the dark side."

    "Who's been feeding you that crap, kid? Do you even know what you're saying? You can hate and love and laugh. You can't turn off your emotions."

    "But I need to control them," Luke snapped and started pacing.

    Han was worried by the slight limp in his step. Had it been there before? The kid should go see a med-droid, sooner rather than later.

    "I'm fine," Luke growled, which shook Han from his thoughts. He almost laughed out loud.

    "Oh, good one, Luke! You're not fine, even I can see that. Do I have to remind you that I found you glued to that rock over there and that you look like something the rancor dragged in? So what's the real issue here? Is there anything else you haven't told me?"

    "Apart from the fact that the man who tortured and almost killed you, destroyed a whole planet just to make a point, and devastated countless worlds in the Emperor's name, was my father – and Leia's as well?"

    "Yeah, apart from that."

    Luke finally stopped walking circles around Han who still sat on his haunches and laughed, a mirthless sound. "You're one of a kind, you know that? Here I am, telling you all the dark secrets about my family, and you're not even worried in the slightest? You wanna go on as if nothing's changed?"

    Luke's voice was coming too close to being hysteric for Han's liking, so he got up from the ground and stood directly in front of the kid, staring him down. "Nothing has changed, not for me. You can't choose your parents. You tried to stop Vader – and the Emperor – from enslaving the galaxy, and you succeeded. That's all I need to know. In my eyes you're still that crazy farmkid from some third-rate backwater planet I picked up for money."

    Luke chuckled. "Thanks. I think."

    Han grinned. "You're welcome."

    They grew serious again, and Luke's shoulders sank.

    "What are you gonna do now?" Luke asked.

    Han started in surprise. "Me?"

    "Yes, you, Han. Now that you know." Luke sounded impatient.

    Han shrugged. "Nothing. I told you, nothing's changed. Hey, you saved the known universe! We should be celebrating with the others, not standing around in the dark." A thought occurred to him, and he grabbed the kid by his sleeve, tugging him back toward the fire. "Come on. Let's get you drunk."

    Luke shook off his hand and stood rooted to the spot, his face illuminated by an errant flicker of light finding its way through the underbrush. "Han, I'm serious."

    "Yeah? So am I. I think you've done enough for today. You need a good night's sleep, a few drinks, and a stop by the med-center. Not in that particular order, though."

    Luke frowned, but he never got the chance to reply because Leia chose that exact moment to enter their little clearing. "There you are!" she exclaimed, giving Han a quick kiss and turning toward her brother. "You look terrible!"

    Luke's snicker came out as a half-sob. "You look beautiful."

    Han couldn't have agreed more, but Leia wasn't in the mood for compliments. "What happened?"

    She fixed Han with a stare that made him raise his hands defensively.

    "Hey, it wasn't me. Your brother is overthinking things a little, that's all."

    "I see." Leia turned back toward Luke, and Han could only admire her strength. It was her secret, too, after all, but it hadn't had time to hit her yet. Han made a silent promise to be there for her when it finally did. If her brother's reaction was anything to go by, she'd need a strong shoulder to lean on.

    Right now, Luke was the one who needed a shoulder to cry on. Han hadn't even seen him move, but suddenly he was there, in Leia's arms. Han didn't know what to do, whether to leave or stay to offer some support, but it was over as soon as it had started. Luke drew back, clearly embarrassed, and looked at Han who shrugged it off.

    "Thanks for waiting until Leia arrived," Han quipped and received two angry stares in return – one dark brown, one brilliant blue, both rimmed with red but eerily similar. "Never mind," Han mumbled. "How about I get those drinks I promised you?" he said a little louder.

    Luke and Leia nodded in unison, still holding hands, and Han couldn't help but grin at them. Brother and sister indeed. Funny he hadn't noticed it earlier. "You know you're creepy when you do that, right?"

    Han didn't wait for their reply this time but turned around to get those drinks and give the twins some time by themselves. He bumped into Wedge when he entered the fire-lit village square and stumbled.

    "Hey, watch it!" the other pilot groused out while trying to maintain his balance. Then he recognized Han. "Oh, hi, Han!" Wedge glanced toward the direction from which Han had come. "Don't tell me you lost."

    "Huh?" Han could only stare at him uncomprehendingly. "What are you talking about?"

    Wedge shook his head in mock amusement. "You, Luke, the princess. Seeing that you are back here, but Luke and Leia are not…What else am I to think? It's obvious they love each other."

    Han grabbed the other man by the collar of his flight suit before he'd even finished his sentence and dragged him into the half-light under the nearest tree. There he let go.

    "Hey, what's the matter with you?" Wedge rubbed his throat. "Sorry, buddy, but looks to me like you're not very good at playing second fiddle."

    Han sighed and tiredly scrubbed a hand across his face. "Wedge?"

    Wedge eyed him suspiciously. "Yeah?"

    "Shut up."

    Thankfully, he did.

    Han glanced around, confirming that no one was in hearing distance, and leaned a little closer to the pilot. Just to make sure no one was listening in.

    "Wedge, I'm only going to say this once, and you're not to repeat it to anybody unless I – or Luke or the princess – tell you to do so, all right?"

    Wedge stared at him, somber now, and nodded.

    "Okay. No, I didn't lose, and no, we're not having a love triangle." Wedge opened his mouth, but Han cut him off. "Luke and Leia are brother and sister. Twins, in fact. So you better stop spreading rumors and help us out here. They don't want anyone to know just yet."

    Wedge gaped at him and finally found his voice again. "Wow…When did this happen?"

    "Oh, some twenty-odd years ago, I'd suspect," he deadpanned.

    "Solo…!" Wegde glared at him, and Han grew serious again. "It's complicated. I'm sure they'll tell you when they're ready, but keep it to yourself for now, okay? They have enough on their mind already. They don't need any additional complications."

    Wedge nodded. "Sure, whatever you say." Then he whistled. "Twins, huh? Who would have thought. They aren't alike at all."

    Han smiled at that. "Oh, you have no idea…" Then he switched tacks. "So, where do I find the good stuff? Not just this root beer the Ewoks are brewing. Is there any Corellian brandy around? Hapan wine? Anything?"

    Wedge grinned, good humor restored, and waved toward the crowd surrounding Lando and Luke's two droids. "Better ask your old buddy. I'm sure he's…organized something by now."

    Han laughed and slapped Wedge on the back. "Thanks. I'll do just that."

    He sauntered over to where the former smuggler-turned general was busy handing out mugs and bottles. "Hey, Lando! What's the strongest stuff you've got there?"

    Han couldn't wait to forget, if only for a little while.

    The End
    Last edited by immertreu, Oct 2, 2012
  2. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Yay, it's posted. @};- Han's voice is terrifically in character-- and Luke's reaction - bravo! It totally makes sense that in the midst of the triumph is a great deal of personal upheaval about how you view yourself and how others will once they know. [face_thinking] Han's reaction is sincere and true for a loyal friend: Who you are as a person and what you have done - those things make differences to your friends and the ones who really care. :)
    immertreu likes this.
  3. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Very few people that I know of do Luke in pain after all of those events.

    Han seems to have it in him to be nice like this.

    Off to get drunk on something besides 'root beer'. Well if it tastes close enough to the American soft drink by the same name than all the more for me; :) :p
    immertreu likes this.
  4. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    Great story! You capture the scene perfectly and manage to get up all the most urgent questions for Han to handle! And handle them well too! Love the tone and humor here as well as the serious stuff! Well done!!! =D==D==D=

    And welcome to the boards!!! [:D]Looking forard to see more from you!!!
    Last edited by kataja, Sep 29, 2012
    immertreu likes this.
  5. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Very nice short story. I just had to laugh at Wedge's comment.

    I really like these missing scenes from the movies. I mean you have Leia telling Han "He's my brother." but we never see the conversation that had to happen afterwards, like "How did you find out? And why did you French kiss him on Hoth!" :p

    I never considered that Luke would be worried about Han's reaction to the Vader is Luke and Leia's father revelation, but that makes perfect sense.

    I look forward to reading more of your stories. Welcome to the boards![:D]
    immertreu and Jade_eyes like this.
  6. immertreu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2012
    star 1
    @Jade_eyes: Thank you - again! [:D] I think Han is very loyal. His best friend was a Wookie, after all. Glad you think I got the characters right. :D

    @Lady_Misty: I always thought there weren't enough stories about Luke's way of dealing with things, so I decided to change that. ;) Haha, I don't know what root beer tastes like, but I don't think I want to try it if it's brewed by Ewoks. ;)

    @kataja: Thanks for the welcome! [:D] I don't think I can imagine Star Wars without a little humor...I don't want to read or write stories that only deal with pain and suffering, wars and death. :( There are so many sad moments, especially in Luke's story.

    @Jedi_Lover: Thanks for the welcome. [:D] Glad you liked my fic. :) I couldn't help myself, I just needed some Wedge humor in there.
    I often write missing scenes from movies or tv shows. I always want to go deeper and explore what we didn't see on screen (usually because there wasn't enough time in the movie/episode). ;)

    Thank you so much for the lovely comments everyone! You've made me a very happy writer. @};-
  7. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Oh, yay!! Another great one of yours that I enjoyed. I'll just bump this one up, too!
    immertreu likes this.
  8. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    Wow. There aren't enough fanfics showing Han and Luke's friendship.
    Wedge's comment of 'when did this happen' had me rolling, and Luke opening up had me close to tears. This is excellent! =D=
    immertreu and Jade_eyes like this.
  9. immertreu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2012
    star 1
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