Before Bennie (AU Pre-JA Xanatos/ Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon) - One post

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by dianethx, Feb 27, 2004.

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  1. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Title: Bennie
    Author: Diane Thx (Diane Kovalcin)
    Timeperiod: Before the Saga
    Genre: Angst
    Characters: Xanatos, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn
    Summary: Ben Kenobi is being tormented by a teen-aged bully.
    WARNING: Dark! Do not read if you think this is a fun one! It's not!
    -------------------------------------------------------

    "Hello, Bennie...." Mocking, deliberate, the harsh voice echoed in the deserted hallway.

    The young boy froze mid-stride. He recognized that voice, that hated, terrifying voice of his ever-tormentor. Raising wide frightened eyes, he watched as the merciless one, a tall, good-looking Padawan in his late teens, slowly sauntered toward him.

    "Please not again." But the child's frightened whisper was lost in the mounting silence. He began to shiver in the warm air, his small shoulders slumping in defeat. The sure knowledge that he could not escape, that he was alone with this cruel veldt, cut into him with all the impact of a vibroblade. It had happened before; it would happen again. He could only endure the pain to come.

    "Don't run, Bennie. Don't make me come after you..."

    Ben shuddered but stood his ground. He knew that it would have made no difference to run. But, as the Padawan approached, the light step and eager anticipation did not bode well for the child. The feral grin and hardened eyes made that all too obvious. The apprentice had seen the fear in Ben's face, the shudder that the boy had tried so hard to hide. And the ruthless hunter reveled in it, wanted it. It would seem that the delicious taste of terror was infinitely satisfying to those who knew how to savor it; the craving grew with each sweet morsel. And now it appeared that the child, quivering in panic before him, was a blooded feast.

    "Good boy. You've learned your lessons well."

    With a brief laugh at the fear-filled sight - the sound so arrogant, sure of conquest - the Padawan Learner closed the gap between the two. He straightened abruptly, stretching tall, towering over the young one. Slowly, he lifted one careless hand, waiting for the panic to rise. When it did, when the child tried to hide the fear and could not, he smiled smugly. He lightly tapped the boy's cheek before completing the motion and sweeping his own midnight-dark hair away from his face. Tossing his black braid over his shoulder in a reckless display of Senior Padawan status, he glanced at the quivering boy. His sapphire eyes seemed to gleam with the victory in this battle of wills; somehow, the apprentice knew that he had all ready won.

    "What's the matter, Bennie? Aren't you happy to see your old friend again? It's been a couple of weeks. Surely you haven't forgotten me so quickly..."

    Terrified, the small initiate shook his head, stammering out, "I...I haven't forgotten."

    "I...I..." Leaning down, his face thrust into the child's own, the Padawan mocked, "I'm sure you haven't, Bennie. I know that you enjoy our time together... as do I."

    The nine-year-old muttered something, half-stepping backwards in a small attempt at escape. The black-haired apprentice grabbed the child's arm, twisting it fiercely as he sneered, "What was that, baby Ben? Afraid of something?? Or maybe some...one."

    Ben struggled, trying to free himself . "You don't scare me, Xanatos. You don't..."

    The large hand tightened, the fingers digging into the tender flesh. There would be bruises later. Glaring down at the child, he spat, "Not afraid... of me? Oh, Ben, you should be. You should be..."

    "Let go of me. Let go, Xanatos." Frightened, Ben tried to twist out of the durasteel grip, his soft-soled boots scrabbling for purchase but it was no use. Desperate, he tried to use his small knowledge of the Force, hopelessly grabbing at anything that would come to his aid. But the teen was too strong, squashing with ruthless delight any attempt at using that awesome power.

    Grabbing a fistful of copper hair, Xanatos yanked backwards, forcing the child to bend awkwardly. The small cry of pain seemed to delight the bully. "Piti
  2. Healer_Leona Scattegories Host. Manager Emeritus

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    A big surprise that a post from you would leave me in awe... not true, I lie. :D :D Wow, is all my mind can think for the moment. I always thought Xani's vileness must have shown during his childhood when he had less control of himself and this shows it quite well. Can't say how relieved I was that Qui-Gon knew something was wrong before Obi-Wan said a word. Ahhh, their mission is to Telos... too bad Qui-Gon made his promise of not teaching should he not be able to turn Xanatos back to the light.

    Awesome post Diane.
  3. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    :eek:

    Diane. . . what can I say? That was one of the most beautiful and moving vignettes I've ever read, but as you say, dark. Xanatos was nothing short of terrifying - not just for what he is like as a teenager, but for the hints of what he'll grow into one day. You can sort of see the Dark Lord under the surface, waiting . . . *shiver*

    On the other hand, both QGJ and Ben were wonderfully written, particularly little Ben. I think you managed to capture perfectly the anxiety kids of that age do have for their friends as well as themselves.

    Great work!

    *cough*Any chance of a sequel?*cough*

    Nem :p
  4. Shaindl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
    With Nem, I am. A sequel we need. :D

    Sorry, I know how much you dislike Yoda. A wonderful vig, Diane. Xanatos had such stunning cruelty here - you wrote him brilliantly. I loved the twist coming out that they were just on their way to Telos, and how you threw hints out about what was to come: Xanatos coming after Obi-Wan again, hurting Bant, etc. Great foreshadowing.

    And I really, really loved Qui giving him the name Obi-Wan - I've never, ever seen anyone come at the name issue from that direction before. Everyone always tries to explain away Ben - so original to have it be Obi-Wan the second name. It gives so much more weight to the scene in ANH when Ben gets this stunned look on his face when he hears Obi-Wan Kenobi. And if we use your story as a starting point, the psychology behind him going back to Ben while on Tatooine is just incredible.

    I love it when a story gives me a new way of looking at things. I'll never look at that scene in his hovel the same way again.

    Great job!

    Shaindl
  5. Layren Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5
    Diane,
    Wow. That was truly well done. So this is what you've been doing instead of writing Betrayal eh? ;) Very very well written. You wrote Xanatos so wonderfully. I'm in awe. It was so believable and I could see Xanatos towering over poor Obi-Wan. Excellent work.

    Can I archive this one too? ;)
  6. forever_jedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2002
    star 5
    Wonderful vignette, Diane! :D

    I loved the cool twist about the name-change!! Gives all sorts of subtext to Obi-Wan readopting his name "Ben" on Tatooine!!

    I found Qui-Gon's realization and anguish heart-breaking! It must be so devastating to finally understand that the child you have loved so very much is utterly twisted and dark. I can see how this would push a sane, balanced man completely over the edge! And yet, in the middle of all this newly-understood pain, Qui-Gon took the time to heal and renew "Ben" - he could have just reached him to the nearest med center and gone away to nurse his own wounds! I believe, he understood though, that without his support, Obi-Wan would be damaged even further - all because of Xanatos! By giving Ben his new name, Qui-Gon is able to help him forget the last three years of abuse and his false perception of his own weakness in fearing Xanatos.

    And interestingly, by taking the time to soothe and emotionally heal Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon was also paving the way for his own healing in the future!

    Excellent, impressive! Brava!
  7. Zane-Marit Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 3
    I haven't read much on the adolescent Obi Wan but the title intrigued me, so I gave this one a shot...I am very glad I did. I must add you to the list of other writers to check out more...Excellent dialogue and emotional setting. The pacing moved well, the story flowed.

    The scary thing is that it reminded me a lot about being bullied...

    Excellent job.
  8. obi_ew Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2002
    star 5
    I'm sure this will come as no surprise to you, but I had a difficult time getting through this. I read it this morning and decided not to comment until I had time to let it settle. It was of course wonderfully written, poor Obi-Wan's fear for his friends heart breaking. I just have trouble reading a completely evil Xan. Your version seems to have been this way for quite some time. I almost felt some sympathy for him when I found out that he was reacting because of the visions he had seen of the future. An interesting look at him and his interaction with his master and Obi-Wan. You know how I am about this character so just ignore me! ;)
  9. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Wow, this was powerful enough to pull me out of lurkerdom. I was fascinated by the way that you really captured the mindset of the bully, showed the delight that Xanatos took in tormenting young Ben, and knew exactly how to threaten him to ensure that Ben wouldn't tell the truth about what was going on. I was fascinated by the motivation that you found for Xanatos -- the visions that showed him that Ben would supplant him. Great idea!

    Xanatos' story about what was going on was so horrific! The lies that he told, and the false solicitude that he showed for "poor Bennie who is struggling against his anger," sounded so realistic. It was like the happy ending of a cliffhanger when Qui-Gon realized the truth! I loved the phrase that "his eyes saw far more than the Padawan would have wished." I was also fascinated by the way that Xanatos began to get worried that Ben might tell Qui-Gon the truth, worried that his master wasn't buying his false solicitude, and then finally realized that he really was in trouble. I also liked the way that Xanatos immediately turned it around in his mind and made Ben responsible for the long discussion and much meditation that was ahead of him. Wonderful characterization!

    I also liked the way that Ben was blaming himself for not being smart enough to avoid Xanatos, and worried that his friends would suffer for his bungling. That's so typical of victims, to blame themselves!

    Great phrase, to write that Qui-Gon felt "unclean" with the revelation of evil in his padawan. And I liked the echo of this with the idea that Ben didn't want to be called Bennie anymore, because Xanatos had made the name sound dirty by saying it in such a way.

    It was both sad and wonderful to see how Ben wanted to assuage Qui-Gon's guilt, too, when Qui-Gon said that it was his fault, that he should have seen the darkness in Xanatos earlier and should have listened to others.

    I liked the ending, too, where Qui-Gon was "looking into the face of the future." :)

    An excellent story!
  10. Arldetta Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2002
    star 4
    Totally, totally AWESOME!!!!!!!!! :D :D

    That was fantastic. Wonderful. What a interesting look to the past. And it blends in so well with the fact the Qui-Gon suddenly realized his Padawan was evil while on Telos. Why he seemed to be more receptive to it then than before. I would defintatly lie to see more. I mean see other moments where Xan and Obi interact. Maybe show how far little Bennie has come since that day. But it would also explain a little why Xan seemed out to torment Obi almost as much as Qui.

    This was a brilliant vignette. I'll just have to go over to your house tomorrow and beg you for more. ;) And mark me, I will! ;) See you then.

  11. Bekah_K Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2002
    star 4
    When I first started reading this, I thought that maybe Xan would somehow turn out to be Obi-Wan rescuer. How wrong I turned out to be. [face_shocked]

    Even with knowing what the Force showed him about his life, ultimately it was up to Xan as to whether he followed that path, wasn't it? Torturing Obi-Wan all those years only drove him closer to making those visions come true, and farther from what he was trying to protect - his relationship with his Master and his own place within the Jedi Order.

    The thing about Ben getting his name 'Obi-Wan' from Qui-Gon was really neat - (for lack of a more appropriate term as of this minute.)

    Great job diane! :)


    ~Bek
  12. Sheila Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2002
    star 4
    Lovely diane. You describe a perfectly evil Xan, and although at first I was a little taken aback by the cruelty to a child, I realized that it fit in perfectly with the JA storyline. I always found it particularly vile that this grown man would threaten and hurt Obi-Wan and Bant when they were still very much children. He showed that he had absolutely no limits on the lengths he was willing to go to for his revenge.

    I also loved the way you came up with Obi-Wan's name, very nice. :)
  13. PadawanKitara Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    That was a wonderful little gem :) I think that Shaindl put my feelings into words, so I don't want to be redundant here.

    I will probably read it one more time to make sure I truly absorbed it.
  14. jedi_keladry Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2004
    star 2
    Oh, man! This is great.

    This Xan brought another character to mind. I would be much surprised if anyone who recognizes the origin of my handle doesn't think of a certain page named Joren of Stone Mountain when they read this. Joren's warped line of reasoning for beating up on Keladry of Mindelan and her chums was roughly the same as Xanatos': said s/hero was a threat to their comfortable future and pompous attitude.

    Good going, Diane, your style of writing is impeccable. Is there a sequel in the works here? Please?
  15. Opal Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2003
    star 4
    Since it's pretty obvious that I couldn't possibly say anything about this that hasn't already been said, I'm just gonna let you know that I read it and loved it.
  16. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    :_|

    Everyone else stole my other comments :p I love how sick and twisted Xan is, how Obi-Wan even at such a young age holds so much of the burden, and especially how Qui-Gon is gentle and smart enough to understand what his padawan has done. Yes, despite all I say, I do generally like Qui-Gon :) Fantastic way of setting up events yet to come!
  17. Happy_Hobbit_Padawan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    Wow. I don't know what else I can add that already hasn't been said. :) *agrees with above replies* :p I especially liked the fact that Xan acted out of visions - but in a twist, it seems he's the cause of those visions. Sort of like a paradox in a time travel movie, but not. :p I also like that you had Qui-Gon able to break free of Xanatos' lies. Xan is good, but finally the master was able to see the reality of his padawan.

    Great job. :D
  18. Calantha Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2002
    star 2
    This was very powerful. It was interesting, the motivations you gave Xanatos for being so cruel. I'm usually puzzled by bullies (how can they do that?) but your exlanation of Xanatos' motivations seemed quite believable. It was a little unsettling reading your story, because it felt real. And Xanatos was a chilling character.

    Wonderful. :)

    ~Calantha
  19. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Wow, your responses have been overwhelming. Thank you all so much.

    Leona - Not true, I lie. LOL. I'm so glad that you liked it. I was a bit hesitant at posting it since it did involve child abuse by a near adult but I thought it needed to be said. I've always thought that Xanatos was an evil character but he had to have shown it earlier than Telos (even if Qui-Gon missed/ignored the signs).
    As for Qui-Gon saying that he wouldn't teach again - well, that's part of JA so I had to include it. Plus I think he would really feel that way after realizing that his beloved Xani was hurting a child and he never saw the signs.
    Thanks.

    Nem Thank you so much for your comments. They warm my heart!!! I did want to put out the hints (well more than hints) that he was growing darker and darker. After all, by the time we see him in JA, he tries to blow up the Temple, tries to kill Obi, Bant, Qui and Yoda. Not a nice person.
    I'm glad you think I've written QGJ and Ben well. I tried to get a child's reaction to this abomination. I know also that Obi-Wan takes guilt onto himself with great ease. This wasn't easy to write but I thought it had to be written.

    *cough* NO SEQUEL *cough* I really don't like to write sequels (I love to read them, though). And I feel any sequel would dilute this story. But thanks for asking.


    Shaindl - No,not Yoda!!! Thanks for the brilliantly (it's always good to hear). With the foreshadowing, I did try and keep as close to the JA plotlines as I could within the frame of this story. That way, people could get a feeling of knowing what was to come.

    I also liked Qui giving Obi-Wan his name. That was the main reason for this fic, actually. But you do me too much credit. There have been a few other stories where Ben was Obi's first name and then he took a Jedi name. That Qui-Gon named him was original (I believe - I've never seen it elsewhere). That Qui-Gon named him would have given a lot more weight to Ben hearing Obi-Wan for the first time in the Tatooine hovel. I'll have to watch it again (gee, like I need an excuse..LOL) to see!

    Thanks. I do like to do different things (as you know) and I'm very glad I've been able to make you think!!!

    Edit: Sorry Shaindl, no sequel. My last sequel is still in progress and I swore I'd never write another sequel again. Besides, as I told Nem, I really believe it would dilute this one. But thanks for asking.
  20. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Layren - Thanks. I liked writing Obi and Qui but Xan gave me the shivers. I'm glad you liked it. And I've sent you the word doc for your archives. No problem....

    forever_jedi - Thanks. I wrote this fic specifically to address the name change. I thought that Qui-Gon calling him his brave one gave new poignancy to both JA and TPM. (plus I thought it was a neat idea). The other way of translating Obi-Wan (the one who waits) was a nod to ANH since he did have to wait for Luke to grow up.
    Qui-Gon's anguish was a deciding factor in the JA books. I thought it would be more appropriate if he had some hint that Xan was dark before Telos and that he would try (and fail) to turn him around. Makes for much angst!
    Qui-Gon would NEVER leave a child alone who had just gone through such torment (upcoming mission or not). I do have trouble sometimes writing Qui-Gon but I try very hard to get him right.
    Oh, I like your take that Qui-Gon giving him a new name was helping Ben to heal. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!!!

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    Zane-Marit - I'm happy you stopped by and even happier that you commented. I also liked how the story flowed, it made me quite content about what I did with this one.
    As for the bullying, I've never been physically bullied but I could picture it pretty well... the shame of being the victim, the power that the bully feels to hurt someone who couldn't fight back easily, the banked fury that someone else would feel when finding out about it. It's never acceptable but it happens.

    Thanks for commenting.

    obi_ew - I know it must have been hard for you to read this one. I actually picture Xan this way - the mean-spirited maniac that tried on several occasions to kill Obi and Qui and I have no sympathy for him at all (probably what clinched it for me was his willingness to jump into a pool of acid just to get back at Qui-Gon - insane and diabolical). I know that you don't see him that way (and you write him beautifully as grey going to white once more) and that's fine. That's what's so great about these boards - the variety of viewpoints (and the stories that go with them).
    And I can't ignore you....LOL. I read and enjoy your fics too much! Thanks for your post!




  21. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Jane - So that's where you've been hiding - in lurkerdom. I'm glad I was able to pull you out even for a little while. You've been missed!

    Although I've never been physically bullied, I could picture how it could be done - Xan's anticipatory waiting for the prey to arrive in a secluded spot, the instinctive fear that the victim (Ben) would feel (especially after it happening again and again), the horror that Qui-Gon would have to face when finding out his beloved Xan was so dark.

    As for motivation - I always like to have some logical or emotional motivation for why people are the way they are. Otherwise, they just aren't believable. Unfortunately for Xan, acting on his visions only brought about the result. That and the fact he liked to hurt others....

    As for Xan's thought processes, a lot of times the criminal will blame someone else, anyone else for their misdeeds (but usually the victim). I read it in the paper every day. I thought it would make sense for Xan to blame Obi-Wan for his own crimes. Makes it seem more real.
    And Obi-Wan the victim. You are so right when victims often blame themselves. Since Obi-Wan's known for bearing the guilt of the world on his shoulders anyway, I thought it might start at this young age.
    Qui-Gon feels very deeply. I think that is one of his more endearing traits. He would feel awful about finding that his beloved Xani would do something so horrible. As for echoing, you know I like to do that...
    I also liked the ending. I thought that both Qui and Obi needed to heal and could help each other do so. Plus Obi-Wan is the future..

    Thanks for your comments. I always love when you do!!!

    Arldetta - We had fun yesterday but I'm exhausted.
    Glad you liked it. I do love writing Qui and Obi. And you've all ready heard that I am NOT writing a sequel. But thanks for asking anyway.... So go write. I NEED that next chapter.

    Bekah - I can see where you would have thought that Xan would be the rescuer. But this Xan is much closer to the JA books - dark, enjoys hurting others, blames everyone but himself for his crimes... You are right, though. He did help make his own future and the visions come true. If he hadn't acted that way, things might have turned out very differently.
    As I said, I wrote this story for the name change. I wanted some way to explain it!! And I also thought (as you said) that Qui-Gon giving him the name was neat!

    Thanks.

    Sheila - I also was a bit unsure of whether the cruelty to a child, especially this child might make some very uncomfortable. I know that I was in writing it. But it seems that Xan would have had the darkness in him before going to Telos. It doesn't just spring up overnight. And you are right. In the JA books, he was going after 13 and 11 year olds. And trying to kill everyone in the Temple! Not a nice person.

    I did write this with the name change specifically in mind. I do admit to liking it myself!!

    Thanks.

    Kitara Thanks for dropping by. Redundant is always nice but a "wonderful little gem" did quite well, thank you so much. Read it as many times as you'd like. I admit that I read my favorite fics several times!
    See you in ATFF!!!

    jedi_keladry - Thanks. While I don't recognize the Joren reference, I'm sure that Xan's attitude could be found among many megalomanics!
    Thanks about the "impeccable"
    Unfortunately, I really don't like to write sequels. The one I'm doing now has sucked up my entire life and I would like it back. And a sequel would just dilute the piece. I did try and make it so that the JA books were an appropriate sequel to this story.... so sorry no sequel. Thanks for asking, though.

    And thanks for stopping by!

    Opal - Thanks for the comment. I'm so glad that you loved it. It was quite difficult to write (not the writing but the content was uncomfortable for me). I'm happy it came across so well.

    Jade - Everyone stole your comments! Go steal them back...LOL. Gasp, you actually.....LIKE Qui-Gon. Oh, oh, get out the matches because hell is
  22. Calantha Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2002
    star 2
    Don't be sorry!

    I think the reason I enjoyed your story so much was because it was unsettling. If fiction never had any impact on me, I'd be better off spending my time staring at the wall.

    ~Calantha
  23. Jenny_The_Jedi_Girl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2001
    star 4
    SEQUAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  24. Tanith Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2003
    star 1
    Pant, pant....runs in after being internet-less for the last 4 days......

    Wow, that was amazing Diane. Xan was so dark and manipulative - very true to real life bullies, can twist people round their fingers and lie so convincingly.

    Poor little Ben :_| to be bullied by one he should be looking up to and learning from. He is so lucky that Qui came across them, and that the abuse will stop with Xan going to Telos.

    Fantastic as always.

  25. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    I totally enjoyed it, what folks have said be correct. My favorite was when you depicted Qui-Gon's gentler side to listen to a little boy instead of his Padawan that he supposedly loved and was proud of. When he told Xani off...that was priceless!! Great job and excellently played out alongside of the JA series!!
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