Title: Always Author: mavjade Timeframe: Sometime after The Dark Nest trilogy Character(s): Mara, Luke and a little of Ben Genre: AU future fic Keywords: Luke, Mara, Angst Summary: Song Fic. Several stages in Mara's life after Luke's death. Song: "Even in Death" by Evanescence Authors Notes: This is my first attempt at fanfiction so I'll apologize in advance! I'm not normally one for songfics but I keep listening to this song and I couldn't help myself. Many of you might not have heard this song, it was from their first record "Origin", which wasn't released mainstream. A huge thank you to my Master NYCitygurl for her help, for betaing and for her encouragement. Without her I would have been to to post this ! Disclaimer: Star Wars and its likeness belongs to George Lucas, Mara Jade belongs to Timothy Zahn, "Even in Death" belongs to Evanescence. I made no money off of this, (even though as a starving college student I could use it ). So without further adieu.... 5/10/15 - Truncation fix ~*~*~ Give me a reason to believe that you're gone I see your shadow, so I know they're all wrong Moonlight on the soft brown earth it leads me to where you lay They took you away from me but now I'm taking you home Walking along a dark path with only the moonlight guiding me, I realize I am exhausted. I know it is not from exertion, because the walk is not far and on level ground. I feel as if my heart has atrophied from ache. You left me too soon; you left your family too soon. Every time I look at Ben, I see you: your piercing blue eyes, your heart. I look at him and I can't help but wonder if you would have done a better job raising him than I will. You have compassion, and patience that I could never have. I kneel down where they have built a monument to you, and I know you would have hated it. You were their hero, their savior; time and time again, this galaxy has you to thank for its safety, but no longer. Yes, you saved them again, but who will be there next time? I will stay for ever here with you my love The softly spoken words you gave me Even in death our love goes on Tears fall from my eyes, clouding my vision; for the first time I let emotion come to the surface. Here, alone, I feel like I can let go. As I weep, I feel arms wrap around me, familiar arms I thought would never hold me again. "Luke," I whisper. "Don't cry my love, I'm here." He turns my head towards him, and wipes away the tears that have fallen. For several seconds, I don't say anything as my heart hammers in my chest. I hoped he would appear to me so I could tell him just one more time how much I love him, how he saved my life, how he gave me the greatest gift of all: his love, and our son Ben. But now that I have the chance not a single word passes my lips. "I know," he says with a gentle smile on his face. "Stay out of my head, Skywalker." I don't say it vehemently, as I once did, but with a small, sad laugh. "There's the woman I fell in love with." "Why, Luke? Why did you leave me?" I manage to say. "You know the answer to that," he says to me with his eyebrows raised, as if looking for an answer. "I know, it was the will of the Force, but hadn't you given enough? Couldn't you just be happy? See your son grow up? Couldn't you..." "Shhh," he puts his finger over my lips. "I will be here with you, and Ben. I could never leave you. Death can't stop our love." "What happened to 'There is no death; there is the Force,' Master Skywalker?" I ask with a sly smile. "Well, the Force can't stop our love, either," he laughs. We just sit there and look at each other for what seems like eternity as I try and memorize his every feature. His gorgeous blue eyes, his heartwarming smile, even his faint scars from all those years ago. I don't think I could ever forget, but I am afraid I may not see him again. "You are a wonderful mother, Mara, and Ben is a great kid. I have complete faith in you," he says, trying to comfort my fears; he must have picked up on them earlier. "You just didn't want to deal with him as a teenager, is that it?" I joke. "Well... I remember what I was like as a teenager." "So you're gonna leave me here, alone with your son, to deal with whatever he gets into?" "Your never alone, Mar," he whispers as he pulls me towards him. Silence falls over us once again and I lean into his embrace. He runs the back of his hand down my face and gives me a sad look. I know that our time together is over. "I must go, my love, but I promise I will be with you, always." Tears begin to fall again as I whisper, "I love you, Luke." "I love you Mara... always," he says as he disappears, and I am alone once more. Some say I'm crazy for my love, My love But no words can hold me from your side, Oh my love They don't know you can't leave me They don't hear you singing to me It's been years since the day that Luke appeared to me, and it's times like these that I miss him the most. Today is the day that Ben is being Knighted. My little boy has grown up; if only Luke could see him now. I walk up to him as Kyp Durron ruffles Ben's fiery red hair, and puts his hands on his shoulders. "Your father would have been very proud of you." A bright smile crosses Ben's lips, a smile that goes all the way to his eyes. "He is," Ben says as he gives Kyp a hug. I find it kind of strange that Kyp Durron, someone who was always at odds with Luke, would take Ben under his wing after Luke died. "He's right, you know; your father would be proud of you," I say as Kyp leaves to give us some privacy. "I know he is, he told me so." "He did?" I question. "This morning, before we came to the ceremony." I want to hear more, but I know he is eager to go and celebrate with his friends. I give him a hug, the best smile I can muster, and send him on his way. There is time later to hear the whole thing; though I wonder how many times Luke has appeared to Ben. I'm not jealous of my son for seeing him; I know he needs Luke just as I do, but I wish I could have seen him again. "Always, my love." I smile as I close my eyes and I feel a loving warmth come over me. "Always." I will stay for ever here with you my love The softly spoken words you gave me Even in death our love goes on And I can't love you any more than I do I know my time is growing short. I can feel the Force calling me to another place. I don't want to leave my son, but there is nothing I can do to stop that now. I feel hot tears fall on my face from above. "Mom, please don't leave me," Ben sobs. "Please?" I open my eyes and look into Ben's sad blue eyes, the eyes of his father. "I love you, Ben. Your father and I love you very much." My eyes close once again, and I wonder if Luke is here now, with me at my end. As this thought crosses my mind, the excruciating pain that I was feeling is gone. I open my eyes once again and see the most beautiful site that I have seen in a very long time. Luke takes me by the hand and smiles. "Always." My darling true love is forever.