Beyond Echoes of Always - L/M - Complete - Second Fan Art added 4/10

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ginchy, Jan 30, 2012.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    He probably just ASKED HER OUT. I bet it was that simple. It could have been. "Here I want you to have my lightsaber...you earned it. By the way, do you want to go out on a date sometime?" Those two always thought out things WAY too much. They had to make everything way more complicated than it had to be.
  2. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    That would be the ultimate anti-climactic Luke and Mara story. I like it! [face_laugh]
  3. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2

    Well, we enjoy...[face_love] But, maybe, still, a small one...[face_blush][face_batting]

    Thank you for happy Luke and Mara - in both realities! [:D]
  4. CurtisZidaneZiraa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2010
    star 1
    Still gorgeous. The happiest day of their lives - in both universes. Just in very different ways.
  5. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    The love he felt for her curled tightly in his stomach, a beautiful ache.

    His emotions cast out over their bond, his love meeting and melding with hers until they both gasped with the intensity. He reached out a hand and tugged her back against him, wrapping an arm around her waist as they watched the waves hit the beach. It had taken them so long to get to this point, but the journey made the outcome sweeter, their love deeper than he had ever thought possible. He held his wife in his arms and smiled.

    He had never been happier.


    Beautiful. That's exquisite writing, my friend.

    Everything about this interlude is wonderful - the pacing, the way you parallel the events, the imagery - it's all perfect. The symmetry of the very different wedding days, matched with the constancy of the love, works perfectly.

    You outdid yourself, girl! I love this story!!![face_love]
  6. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Divapilot stole my lines!!!! ;) It is exquisite and so well written! *big smile* You were meant to write this story, girl! YOU!

    Bravo! =D=
  7. Mondra Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2010
    star 1
    I loved the new chapter and the interlude! How different those two wedding nights were - both beautiful. I think Mara acted quite civil while giving birth though. I don't know how is it in real life, but in fanfiction the women usually curse the men that put them in this condition until they're out of breath... ;)
  8. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Thanks everyone!! [:D] Chapter 5 tomorrow. We'll see how the rest of L/M's 24 hours pan out...



    JediMara77: Thank you so much for helping me with that bit of backstory! I liked what I had before but I LOVE this. So much of that was thanks to you?especially Luke?s wonderful line about Betrys wanting to celebrate with them. [face_love] And seeing ?our? L/M happy is always a treat? my favorite L/M flavor. hee.

    Jedi_Lover: Thank you, gal!! I always love to write emotions so that?s a great compliment. I want to write a bit more of Alt L/M?s wedding, so I that should give more answers to how they got together. There are a few more hints in the actual story, too.

    Hazel: Thanks, gal!! I think both versions are happy, and interestingly enough, both versions are probably getting very little sleep, just for very different reasons. LOL!

    kataja: Thank you, lady!! I?m so glad the pacing of the birth read well. When I gave birth it was such a long, hard ordeal. But my husband was a source of strength, just like Luke to Mara. And I love how you point out that being a married man would mean so much to him. He would love the title ?husband?. I think every chapter so far had brought a tear to my eyes. It touches something very deep inside, you know? But something that is better off for being touched, though it hurts... All I can say to that is [:D] Thank you.

    Briannakin : Yes, I think they are both happy, just in different ways. Thank you!!

    taramidala: Thank you so much, gal!!! As I was saying to J_L up the page a bit, I think I?ll definitely write the alt L/M?s wedding at some point. EoA proper has more hints of how they wound up together? let?s just say they didn?t have a major obstacle in their path like ?our? L/M did? Vague enough?? LOL!!

    Piper057: Thank you! I love happy L/M. [face_love] As for a shine, all I?ll say is? you know ginchy likes to shine things up. [face_mischief]

    CurtisZidaneZiraa: YES! That?s it exactly. The happiest day of their lives, up until that point. Thanks!!

    divapilot: Thank you so much, lady!! I?m so glad the pacing read right. I wasn?t sure how closely to parallel things so I?m glad that came off well. That part that you highlighted was a favorite of mine, too. I?m so glad you enjoyed the interlude!!

    Jade_Pilot: You have always believed in this story, girl, since I first said?hey, what if Luke traveled to another dimension and found a Mara there? LOL Thank you so much!!

    Mondra: Thank you!! LOL! Mara probably went for the silent sneak attack and broke his mechanical hand during an intense contraction. ;) When I gave birth I was surprised by how much I didn?t want to talk. I was so wrapped up in the baby and myself. I think that?s where Mara was. />
  9. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I had the hardest time with this chapter... What would you do with slightly less than 24 hours with the love of your life that you thought you'd never see again? Generally I would have gone straight for the 'shine, but there are extenuating circumstances. ;) So let's see how Luke and Mara fill that time...



    CHAPTER 5

    After their talk about Jacen, Luke went into the fresher to make himself a bit more presentable for the day. He also wanted to give Mara another few minutes to internalize what he had told her. Her shock in finding out that her nephew had been Mara’s murderer had been immense and gut-wrenching. It brought to mind images of Mara fighting Jacen that Luke didn’t want to contemplate. He once again pushed the dark thoughts into the corner of his mind.

    He walked out of the fresher and stopped when he saw that Mara was speaking to someone on the HoloNet.

    “…fine, Mom,” Ben’s voice rang out from the holocom. Luke’s heart constricted in his chest at the familiar sound. “Bets is mooning over one of the Queen’s guards, though.”

    “Is she?” Mara smirked at the receiver.

    “No,” a feminine voice answered. Luke’s heart actually jumped a beat this time as he thought about the daughter who spoke on the other end of the comm. “I merely mentioned to Aunt Leia that he looked nice in bloodstripes.”

    “Hardly mooning, then.” Mara rolled her eyes in a playful manner. “Anyway, give my regards to your aunt, uncle, and cousins and I’ll speak with you again soon.”

    Luke listened as the kids said goodbye and walked further into the room when it was safe. Mara looked up at him and he realized that she had probably called to speak to her children out of a need to reassure their safety and separate herself from the reality he had told her about. He knew her well enough to know that her thoughts were probably racing, even behind her calm exterior. He longed for their Force bond, to send soothing thoughts to ease the chaotic thoughts.

    It was still a surprise to him that their bond was missing. It had been such an integral part of his life with Mara. He knew that others did not understand it and thought that it would be too confining, especially for Mara. But he and Mara had derived comfort from it, pleasure in being so intimately intertwined. To be without it now made him feel almost blind to Mara, though just being near her engulfed his senses. A dichotomy to be sure.

    “What are they doing on Naboo?” Luke asked.

    Mara’s head moved almost imperceptibly, as if she were shaking herself from her own thoughts. “Oh, Leia and Han went for a short vacation with their kids, and invited Betrys and Ben along. Leia wanted to show Allana off to Pooja, I’m sure.”

    Luke thought of his cousin, so recently met, and smiled to think that she and Leia were close. Allana existed in this universe, even without Jacen having been Dark. And Anakin—he was alive and thriving here, a Jedi Knight of rare caliber from what he had learned online. In fact, the only difference seemed to be that he—that Luke Skywalker—was dead. Long-dormant insecurities that he brought imbalance to the Force began to surface. He pushed them down and pulled on the Force for calm. He knew only a snapshot of this galaxy, after all, and couldn’t make blanket statements about it.

    He crossed to sit on the couch. “How are Leia and Han?”

    “Happy. Content. In a good place, really. I never thought I’d see Han Solo as a grandfather.”

    Luke grinned. “It is somewhat disconcerting. I see all these grays—” he pushed a hand through his hair, but his grin dropped when he noticed Mara looking away from him. “It’s surreal,” he finished lamely, realizing that he must look so different than the Luke she had known, with more creases on his face and the gray hair.

    “Yes, surreal.”

    Mara had never been one for small talk, and it seemed that hadn’t changed from one universe to another. A buzzer went off on her datapad and she shot him a look, while picking it up and tapping on it to retrieve her message. “From Tionne,” she said. “Let me just answer her.”

    He nodded but didn’t let his eyes drift from her as she tapped in her answer. The sunlight spilled in through the large window, backlighting and illuminating Mara’s hair. It was still a vibrant red-gold, even with the white streaks in her fringe and at her temples. He traced the familiar lines of her face with his eyes, taking the time to just watch her as she worked. It was almost a forbidden privilege to look at her this way. He knew she probably felt the weight of his gaze, but she continued to work and he continued to look at her, simply amazed to be with her again.

    A lock of hair fell down into her eye and she reached up to tuck it back behind her ear. As she moved her fingers through her hair, she looked up and caught Luke’s gaze. Their eyes locked, and for a moment the awkwardness between them disappeared as they stared at one another across the room. Her eyes were such a clear green, a color unlike any he had ever seen. Green eyes were common in the galaxy, but not this green. This color belonged to Mara alone, and he had been bereft at the thought of never seeing it again.

    The moment lengthened until Mara blinked. She cleared her throat and turned off her datapad. “Crisis averted.”

    Luke wondered.

    Mara tossed her datapad on the couch. “Come on,” she said, getting up and walking toward the door. She gestured to the guest room with a nod of her head. “Get your belt and saber. We’re going to spar.”

    “Spar?” Luke asked dumbly, brows raised at her.

    “We can’t just sit around here and sneak glances at each other for the rest of the day.”

    “… you’ve got me there. But we can’t just go out into the gym. I can’t be seen.”

    “We’ll use the Masters gym. With my code, no one will bother use. Surely you and your Mara used the gym for some private practice on occasion?” Mara smirked.

    “If I said we didn’t?”

    “Then I’d say you aren’t the man I knew.”

    Luke chuckled as he walked down the hall. Mara did always know just what to say to him.

    **

    Mara hadn’t given him any training clothes to change into but she hadn’t changed, either, still wearing her signature jumpsuit. She had pulled her hair into a ponytail and he smiled at how much younger it made her look.

    He knew the answer, but couldn’t help but ask anyway. “Did you disarm—”

    “Who are you talking to Skywalker? Of course I disarmed the security cams.” Mara rolled her eyes at him, but he thought he saw her squashing another smile. He wondered if her Luke had ever asked her the same question. He didn’t have time to contemplate that for long, however. Mara struck first, her saber at one moment resting comfortably at her hip and the very next ignited in an arc over her head, heading toward him.

    He dodged her thrust and body rolled back, grasping his own blade in his hand, turning it on, but not meeting hers with it yet.

    She eyed him with that familiar smirk, and pointed with her blade. “Still pretty fast for an old man.”

    “Cute.” He didn’t banter back. Instead he chose to draw her out and swiped at her with his green blade. The lightsaber she used was not Anakin Skywalker’s saber but one of her own making, somewhat different than the one his Mara had made after she had been Knighted. It was shorter, the handle light in her hand. But the blade was the same blue as Anakin Skywalker’s. Seeing the two blades together again, sparking with friction and ozone, brought a grin to Luke’s face.

    “You always grin while sparring,” Mara said. She parried against his thrusts, dancing forward over the floor as he moved back.

    “Only with you.” Luke didn’t stop to see the effect his words had on her, jumping instead to land behind her to draw the fight out further.

    It felt good to spar with Mara. He knew her strengths and foibles and they fought as one, even without the bond that had been such a hallmark of their marriage. As the Qom Jha had noted so long ago, he and Mara were always stronger together than apart.

    They moved around the room. His muscles burned with exertion as their blades met and parted, heat thickening around their bodies. Mara backflipped out of his reach and he moved forward after her. She swung her saber up but his blade was there to meet it. He pressed her until her back was up against the padded wall of the gym. He loomed over her, catching his breath as the combined blue and green light lent an otherworldly glow to her features. She was so close that he could smell her sweat and could see the tiny lines around her eyes. He could see the sweat that dappled her skin and took note of a gold chain around her throat, following its line to the neck of her shirt, where it disappeared, along with sweat droplets.

    But he knew Mara. He didn’t linger in his look, anticipating the leg that shot up between them. He jumped back just in time, and used her momentary lapse of balance to disarm her.

    Leaning with his hands on his knees, he took a deep breath. Mara called her saber back to her hand. She looked at him, warmth in her eyes that had been missing before. “I’ve missed that,” she admitted.

    He looked down, hot tears suddenly and unexpectedly prickling at his eyes. He had missed sparring with Mara, too. He tried to lighten the mood. “You missed being bested by the Master?”

    “We’ll see about that,” she returned. “Unless you’re too tired to go again?”

    He merely grinned and held up his saber.


    **

    “I haven’t had this much fun in awhile,” Luke commented as he sat down at the table across from Mara.

    She picked up the vegetable wrap in front of her and took a bite. After swallowing, she favored him with a rare smile. “It was nice to have a worthy opponent again.”

    They had spent the afternoon sparring and now the day was lengthening toward evening. Neither wanted to think that soon Naelli’s device would be recharged and Luke would be leaving. They hadn’t really spoken of anything deeper than surface thoughts of their children or the way things had turned out in each of their lives, but Luke could sense that Mara was troubled over what she had seen of his galaxy. And Luke was confused about the state of hers. He still had a nagging feeling that there was something more he should be doing here, something more than nursing his broken heart.

    Was it Mara and her children? When he left her alone again, what would happen to them? He tried to imagine himself never seeing this woman again, never knowing anything of Betrys or Ben. Luke’s heart tugged at the thought. Even though his son probably didn’t even know he was gone, he felt as if he had betrayed him by leaving him behind.

    “Not hungry?”

    Luke shook himself from his thoughts. “What?” He looked down at his own steak wrap, mostly untouched on his plate. “Oh, I was just…thinking. About getting home to Ben.”

    “Just a few more hours.” She finished her sandwich and took a sip of her water. “Can we address the purple bantha in the room?”

    He raised his brows expectantly. He took a bite of his sandwich and chewed slowly as he waited for her to plow ahead.

    “Why did you leave your—our—son to come here?”

    Luke swallowed and put the wrap down. His cheeks heated and he stared at the lines in the wood grain of the table. “I’ve…it’s been a struggle.”

    Mara nodded. “I understand.”

    “Do you?”

    Her eyes narrowed. “My husband died thirteen years ago. When our bond snapped, I thought I would never recover. I felt like half a person…” She didn’t seem willing to talk more about it, and he was honestly surprised she had said as much as she had. He didn’t think she would open up this much to anyone besides her Luke.

    “But,” she continued, “I had my children to take care of. I had to live for them.”

    “How did he die?”

    Mara stiffened. He expected her to get up and storm off, but she folded her hands in front of her and answered him. “I saw so much in the vision you showed me. How our relationships began so similarly and then diverged, but that you also faced the threat of the Vong. Luke was killed by Shimrra’s amphistaff. I watched him die and there was not a thing I could do.”

    Luke blanched, and his hand unconsciously rose to the scar he still bore from the amphistaff’s bite. Mara’s eyes tracked his movement and she stared at the spot, almost as if trying to see through his shirt to the old wound site. He unbuttoned the front of the tunic and slipped it to the side. She gazed upon the scar, her eyes suddenly glassy.

    “How did you…how did you survive?” When my husband didn’t. She didn’t say the words, but they were there, in the air around them.

    “Jacen,” he answered simply.

    “Jacen? But how?”

    “You said that the Jacen of my galaxy was not yours, and I think you’re right. I have to ask—you’ve mentioned Anakin…did he, Jacen, Jaina and several others lead a mission to Myrkr during the Vong war, after Ben was born?”

    Mara paused for a moment as if her mind were tracking back over those terrible events. “No…after Ben was born Anakin proposed leading a strike team there to destroy the Voxyn queen, but you wouldn’t allow it and sent another strike team instead. You said you couldn’t send such young Jedi on such an important mission, and Leia, Han and I supported you.”

    Luke’s eyes fluttered shut for a moment as he again cursed himself for the ill-fated, if successful, mission. “I did allow the mission to Myrkr in my own time. I was against it but could come up with no alternative.” He paused, not wanting to tell her the rest. “Anakin was killed, along with five other Jedi. Jacen was kidnapped and tortured…” Luke’s voice broke as he thought of his nephews and what their Jedi heritage had cost them.

    “Anakin, dead? Jacen, tortured?” Mara’s brow creased with horror. “But how did that lead to Jacen saving you?”

    “He learned things in his captivity, had his mind warped, only we didn’t know the extent of it until much later. But he used one of his new abilities to wipe the venom from my system and I survived.”

    Mara was quiet, speaking only after a soft sigh. “Luke agonized over his decision, knowing how much Anakin wanted to lead that strike team. How he thought it was his destiny. But in the end he said he thought of Betrys, only a year and a half younger than Anakin, and of Ben, so like the baby Anakin had once been, and knew that he couldn’t allow it.”

    “I asked myself why and doubted myself for years afterward,” he said. “The fallout from that mission was vast and I would say that it is my greatest regret.”

    Mara’s eyes were soft as she looked at him. She reached across the table and took his hand in hers. Luke trembled at the voluntary touch, such a gift to him. He squeezed her hand and they sat there, both lost in their thoughts.

    **

    The rest of the afternoon passed quickly. Mara showed him some holos of the children and told him a bit about them. He confessed to wishing that he could know Betrys, finding her very existence to be so life altering.

    “She was her father’s daughter,” Mara said. “They were thick as thieves. You didn’t see him without her.” She paused. “She took his death very hard. She…she reminds me of the best of him. And that’s my comfort.” There was another silence between them, but this one was comfortable and familiar. Mara looked out over the setting sun. “It’s almost time.”

    And it was, the lights of the night flared up again outside of the window. Luke made sure his saber was still secure to his belt, and Mara’s lock of hair was still safe in his pocket. “Not much longer now.” He looked out the window at the city. In moments he would be back home, and could contact Ben…

    But the thought of leaving Mara was harsh. He had jumped into this universe for her, and ruefully realized the old adage was true—you couldn’t go home again. For Mara had always been his home, but this Mara, as much as she was just like his own, was not her. Still, it was so hard to leave, knowing that he would never see her again, never smell that unique scent, never hear the differing tones of her voice as she spoke to him, never hold her in his arms again. Those were all things he had wrestled with when she died, and now it seemed even more poignant with her standing mere feet from him. For all the good it did him, she might still be a galaxy away.

    A parallel galaxy away.

    He cleared his throat, even though he knew she could feel his presence behind her. She had always said he was hard to miss, in the Force or otherwise. “It’s almost time,” he said. “Mara, I want to apologize, again. I’m so sorry for disrupting your life, for springing myself on you.”

    She turned around, teeth worrying her lower lip. “Funny. That’s almost how I describe the beginning of our relationship.”

    Luke grinned. He reached out a hand, awkwardly letting it fall somewhat when he realized his unconscious intention. But as he realized he would never see her again, he decided to take the chance. He reached out for her arm and tugged her forward, wanting to hug her goodbye. Wanting to feel her in his arms, one last time.

    She hesitated for a moment but then let herself be propelled forward, her free arm automatically wrapping up under his arm to clutch at his shoulder. His arm fell to her waist and he hugged her close, her body fitting into the hollow of his perfectly, as always. He breathed in the familiar scent of her hair and laid his temple against its softness, stroking his left hand up and down her back. He felt her shudder against him, and her fingernails dug into the cloth of his tunic and his shoulder. His eyes misted. He forced himself to calm, though, savoring the moment. When Mara died he had tried to remember the last time he held her but couldn’t. He wanted this moment to last forever, a memory to keep through the long, lonely years ahead.

    She pushed back in the circle of his arms and looked up at him, her own eyes bright with unshed tears. He almost hadn’t expected that, knowing the tight rein Mara kept on her emotions. He opened his mouth to speak, but she put a finger to his lips to silent him. Her finger turned up at the last moment so that her thumb brushed across his lower lip.

    He wanted to say her name, but the air had changed between them. He stood completely still, not wanting to break the spell that surrounded them. Mara’s hand moved to his jaw and she pulled him in to her, brushing her lips across his softly. Electricity like he hadn’t felt in years coursed through his veins at her kiss. He pushed her upward with the hand around her waist, while plunging his other hand into the glorious hair that beckoned him.

    Mara pressed into him further, their lips moving together expertly. Luke reached into the Force and projected the love that he had felt for his Mara, and the pleasure he found in this unexpected gift. Mara met and returned the feeling, while her lips still tasted his as if she couldn’t get enough.

    A small beep startled them out of the embrace. Luke sighed as he pulled his comlink from his pocket, turning off the alarm he had set to warn him when his twenty-four hours were almost up. He let out a shuddering breath, and stole another kiss from Mara’s swollen lips.

    He grinned at her. “I missed that.”

    “Me too…Farmboy.” She caressed his cheek. “I used to call him that. Did your Mara call you that, too?”

    “Yes.” Hearing the familiar nickname made warmth spread through him.

    She smirked. “I wanted you to leave, but now I don’t know how to say goodbye,” she admitted.

    “Then let’s not,” he said. “Twenty-four hours didn’t give us a lot of time. We can just pretend this was all a beautiful dream.”

    “Such a romantic,” she teased. She cupped his jaw to caress his face one last time.

    Luke stepped back and pulled the device from his pocket and thumbed it on, looking at the code that popped up. It was different than what he had seen when he had jumped here, and could only pray that it was the way home. The way back to Ben.

    He looked up at Mara and smiled, wanting to watch her until the last possible moment. She raised an expectant brow and he couldn’t help but laugh at just how Mara the gesture was. Preparing himself for the strange feeling and sudden burst of travel, he centered himself with the Force and pressed the screen.

    Only this time, nothing happened./>
    Last edited by ginchy, Jan 30, 2014
  10. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    giiiinchyyyyyy. You are making me crrryyyyyyy. But they are beautiful tears!!! [:D]

    I love that, with only 24 hours to spend together, they decide to spar! Typical L/M; nothing else would have fit better!

    He looked down, hot tears suddenly and unexpectedly prickling at his eyes. He had missed sparring with Mara, too. He tried to lighten the mood. ?You missed being bested by the Master??

    Rawr. I love cocky Luke. [face_love]

    The differences in their universes are still fascinating. Mara's galaxy seems calm and peaceful - but Luke is gone. I can understand his concerns about his affect on the galaxy, but he better stop that! And I can so understand how Luke feels about Betrys. So many possibilities... And Mommy Mara is wonderful.

    And that kiss...damn, girl. I've read a LOT of L/M kisses (especially from you!), but this one takes the cake. So much is said in it. And I love Luke's comment about them thinking it's just a beautiful dream. Even just spending 24 hours together is a rare gift, and I hope they both appreciate it.

    BUT THEN YOU PULL THAT ENDING. When did ginchy learn to do cliffhangers???? I both want to punch you and hug you! [:D]

    Now I can't WAIT to see what happens next. :D
  11. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHHH! Don't stop there!!! Awesome chapter. I loved it. But I want MORE!

    I am glad they kissed. I knew Mara couldn't resist her sexy Farmboy...even with the gray hair and wrinkles.[:D] @};-
  12. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Wait, what?!? He pushed the button to go home and NOTHING HAPPENED?!?

    Uh oh.

    Iiiiiinteresting. More, please. :)
  13. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2
    What are you L\M writers doing to me??
    I'm crying...again...
  14. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Aaawwwww! I loved that they sparred. The last bit made be tear up.

    But the LAST LINE!!! It's one of those good 'oh shavit things' and a bad 'oh shavit' things at the same time.

    You make my miserable Monday's better Ginchy!!!
  15. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    I think Ginchy needs to start supplying us readers with massive amounts of tissues. :p

    Now seriously Ginchy, YOU CAN'T STOP THERE!!! Get back here and post more.

    Great chapter!
  16. RedGold Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2004
    star 4
    Yay! Lovely moment there. The angst is so delicious!

    And that ending... oh, we have taught you well young padawan, soon you will be a knight!
  17. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    Anothger, awesome chapter! And, well, for once, I didn' even miss a shine ;)

    Mara looked up at him and he realized that she had probably called to speak to her children out of a need to reassure their safety and separate herself from the reality he had told her about. He knew her well enough to know that her thoughts were probably racing, even behind her calm exterior.
    Once a mother, always a mother.

    Luke grinned. ?It is somewhat disconcerting. I see all these grays?? he pushed a hand through his hair, but his grin dropped when he noticed Mara looking away from him. ?It?s surreal,? he finished lamely, realizing that he must look so different than the Luke she had known, with more creases on his face and the gray hair.

    ?Yes, surreal.?

    Mara had never been one for small talk, and it seemed that hadn?t changed from one universe to another
    .
    So many delicate details.... [:D]

    Green eyes were common in the galaxy, but not this green. This color belonged to Mara alone,
    Yesss!!! I don't know why I just loev dthat! Maybe because I've always been annoyed with all those green eyes - but they're ok on Mara. But to make them common, was a great twist! [face_peace]


    Surely you and your Mara used the gym for some private practice on occasion?? Mara smirked.

    ?If I said we didn?t??

    ?Then I?d say you aren?t the man I knew
    .?
    [face_laugh] [face_blush]



    still wearing her signature jumpsuit
    Ohm, you just had to, didn't you? :p


    ?Still pretty fast for an old man.?

    ?Cute
    .?
    [face_laugh]


    ?You always grin while sparring,? Mara said. She parried against his thrusts, dancing forward over the floor as he moved back.

    ?Only with you
    .?
    AWWWWW!!!


    But he knew Mara. He didn?t linger in his look, anticipating the leg that shot up between them. He jumped back just in time, and used her momentary lapse of balance to disarm her.
    I just love how you bring up all their trademarks!


    The mix of Jacen's fates - masterly!


    It?s almost time,? he said. ?Mara, I want to apologize, again. I?m so sorry for disrupting your life, for springing myself on you.?

    She turned around, teeth worrying her lower lip. ?Funny. That?s almost how I describe the beginning of our relationship.?

    [face_laugh] Good point! And an omen, maybe? ;)

    When Mara died he had tried to remember the last time he held her but couldn?t. He wanted this moment to last forever, a memory to keep through the long, lonely years ahead.
    :_| *but smiling through tears*


    Only this time, nothing happened.
    Yessss!!!!
    [face_sick] I mean: Oh no... O:)
  18. CurtisZidaneZiraa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2010
    star 1
    Annnnd... whaaaaat? It's BROKEN! Now what're they going to do?
  19. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Love, love love it! [face_love] This chappie has EVERYTHING: action, humor, romance, angst, kissing and EVIL CLIFFIE! [face_devil]

    I love how Mara starts the kiss, thinking that Luke is leaving. It's all bittersweet and then....what the Hoth??????

    Bravo! =D=
  20. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    Mara?s eyes were soft as she looked at him. She reached across the table and took his hand in hers. Luke trembled at the voluntary touch, such a gift to him.

    My favorite line, because everything she has done has been a gift for him. Realistically, Mara could have ditched him at will, but she didn't.

    I'm glad they kissed, but still - that's not her Luke, that's not his Mara. It's like kissing their twin.

    You and that evil cliffie, though. Girl, girl. Harumph. Did the device misfire? Or is the Force messing with them?
  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Oh, oh! Oh!

    [face_laugh] I thought I could stay away, but like chocolate mousse cake - I can't! [face_laugh]

    Sparring was a perfect choice for L/M to connect over. :)

    This was one of the best written scenes I've ever read dialogue-wise and that kiss - yummy! :D :D

    Woohoo! for nothing happening ;) [face_mischief]

    Now they can keep ... going.

    [face_laugh]

    On the divergences between times: brilliant pick for the fork in the road =D= being the Voxyn mission and the confrontation with Shimmrra. Your take on what was Jacen's downfall - totally spot on.

    :cool: It was that Vergere that did it. (Her convoluted theorizing always made my brain hurt.)

    :* :* You've captured J_e but good again @};-

    Big hugs!!!!!

  22. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Thanks for reading, everyone!! [:D] Chapter 6 is one of the shorter chapters of the story so you'll also get Interlude 2: "Death" next week. Stay tuned!!



    JediMara77: I?m sorry for making you cry!!! This story has enough tears to go around, I think. LOL I?m glad that you liked them sparring?I was afraid it would be too cliché, but I just couldn?t think of what else they?d do but sit and sneak glances at each other. And the kiss?you helped me refine it so much. I?m so glad it came out so well?there?s so much to be said in that brief kiss. As for cliffhangers, I guess I just learned from the best?. [face_devil] Thanks, lady!!

    Jedi_Lover: Thank you!! Hahahahaha, that was a mean place to stop, wasn?t it?? I?m learning from the cliffhanger goddesses!! And there is no way Mara can resist sexy farmboy. I mean, have you seen the THTBAW pic?? THAT?s what Mara?s up against? well, not yet, but maybe soon? [face_mischief]

    taramidala: Yes. Nothing happened?. Uh-oh is right. Want to lay odds on how pissed Mara is? LOL Thanks, gal!!

    Piper057: Oh, no! Like Hazel said, I should start handing out Kleenex with updates!! [:D] Thank you for reading!!

    Briannakin: Yay, thanks, lady!! I?m glad EoA is brightening your Mondays!! And you are so right? this device failure is at once awesome and terrible!

    Hazel: LOL! I should start handing out Kleenex! *passes tissue* I?m sorry it ended on a cliffie? I don?t think there?s too many more evil cliffhangers? ;) Thank you!!

    RedGold: I?m glad you?re enjoying the angstwich, girl!! Remember when I told you and Jade Lotus that I didn?t think I could write this? LOL! Yes, I?m learning the evil cliffie ways, but I bow to the Master!! Thanks!

    kataja: A shine, you say? [face_mischief] We'll see... Anyway, you are so correct about Mara. She is a mother first and foremost here and her kids (and Luke?s son) are always on her mind. I?m glad you like that about the green eyes! I can?t take full credit for it?Jade Lotus brought that up to me once and it made so much sense. So in my head canon green eyes and red hair are common in the GFFA and Luke?s beautiful blue eyes are the uncommon ones. And hahahaha?the jumpsuit?it?s a flightsuit, not a catsuit, I promise!!! Thank you, lady!!

    CurtisZidaneZiraa: Yep. Broken. Maybe the Geek Squad can help?? [face_thinking] ;) Thanks!!!

    Jade_Pilot : Thank you, lady!!! Yes, an evil cliffie!!! Duh duh duuuuuuuuuuuuh. Haahahahaha Yes, bittersweet is the perfect way to describe that kiss.

    divapilot: Yes. You are so right. Mara could have just thrown him out on his ear (and contemplated it, I?m sure!). But she can?t do it, because she?s selfish, too. She looks at him and sees what her husband could have been. Thus the kiss?which brings up all sorts of new craziness, or will, since the device didn?t work? You know that wacky Force, gal. Always something! ;) Thank you!!

    Jade_eyes: Welcome back!! Chocolate mousse cake?yes, please! ;) I?m glad you enjoyed the sparring and the kiss! That kiss was one of my favorite scenes to write and imagine. No duh there, right? LOL I?m glad you caught all the divergences. I really feel that mission to Myrkr was a mistake and Vergere?don?t even get me started there. LOL I know some of the things here in EoA are hard to read, but please know it is a love story. You know that I feel Luke and Mara are true soul-mates and that?s what I?m exploring here, among other things. This coming week?s two updates might be hard to read (especially the interlude) but we?re coming into good things. Thanks for coming back! ;)


    />
  23. Mondra Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2010
    star 1
    I'm sorry I'm late! (as always...) Evil ginchy! The cliffhanger is great though. I am loving this story more and more with every chapter. Wonder what will happen with the Force bond...
  24. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Mondra: Baaaaad ginchy is right. [face_devil] j/k... maybe. ;) As for the bond, that'll be talked about a bit more later... Thank you!!



    Chapter 6 is one of the shorter chapters in EoA, but still an important one. Due to that, however, you'll get Interlude 2: Death this week, on Wednesday. It actually deals with the aftermath of death and how both Luke and Mara were handling life in their own dimensions prior to the beginning of the story. Stay tuned!




    CHAPTER 6

    For a moment, he stood quietly expecting to feel the strange tug that would throw him from one universe to the next. When nothing happened, he tapped the screen again, naively hoping that he had pressed in the wrong spot. Still he stayed in place, the screen on the device remaining the same, with the strange code unmoving across it.

    A flush started to build in his cheeks, and he dreaded looking up at Mara. He viciously jabbed at the screen again, but still he didn’t move, didn’t experience a blinding flash of light or anything other than a wall of annoyance through the Force, directed at him from Mara.

    “Problems?”

    “Um…” He mentally cursed himself. He was the Grand Master of the Jedi, but at the moment he felt more like a toddler caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “I’m not sure why it’s not working.”

    Mara was silent, and Luke braced himself. As always, with Mara, it was one step forward and many steps back.

    “Did you turn it on?” she asked sardonically, stepping close to him to look at the lighted screen.

    “Very funny,” he muttered, still embarrassed to be standing there when he should be home now, thinking about reuniting with Ben.

    Ben! Panic shot through him then as he looked down at the device, his only gateway home. “Why didn’t it work?” he asked aloud, flipping the machine over as if an answer might be imprinted there.

    “I hope you’re asking the tiny droid in your pocket that’s going to fix this thing,” Mara growled, her own face tinged red as she stood in front of him. Just moments before he had been kissing her lips, but now they were twisted on her face, her eyes above them revealing her anger. “Why are you still here? I thought this thing was going to pull you back to wherever you came from?”

    “It is! I mean—I used it to get here, didn’t I?”

    Mara’s eyes narrowed as she studied him, suddenly on her guard again.

    Luke reeled back as if slapped. “Please don’t doubt me, Mara. I promise you the same thing I did before—I am Luke Skywalker and this device brought me here. I just don’t know why it won’t send me back.”

    Mara’s eyes bored into his intently. “I…not five minutes ago I thought I’d never see you again. And now I find that I’m stuck with you, what? Forever? I know who you are—the Force tells me it’s true, and so does my heart. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Give me that.”

    She took the device from his hands roughly, but then relaxed her grip as if afraid she might transport herself away if she handled it too carelessly. The screen was still lit with the strange code visible, but there was nothing else to be seen, no instruction to tell them what to do next. “What happened when you used it the first time?”

    Luke explained to her about the strange pull he had felt in his body after he had pressed the device’s screen for the first time, and about how he had merely blinked and found himself in an apartment at once familiar and wholly foreign to him. His apartment, but not.

    “When you showed me how you came to find me, I saw that you had taken this from someone you had arrested. What did he tell you about it?”

    “It was all…very vague.”

    Mara’s brow arched. “Vague.”

    “He mentioned the twenty-four hour recharge to me, and how there were infinite places that we could jump to. That it was as easy as pressing the screen and leaving it all behind.”

    “And you wanted to do that? To leave it all behind?”

    It was unspoken, but clearly there in his face, her demeanor. A question that she had put to him before. What about your—our—son?

    “I struggled with it. I turned him down. And then later, I…” Luke trailed off and blew out a frustrated breath. He sat down on the couch, looking up at Mara as she continued to stare at Naelli’s machine, eyes tracing over the simple lines of it. Somehow he wasn’t ready to tell her he had ultimately used the device because of a Force vision. He could only imagine how well she would take that news. Mara may have become a Jedi of the highest order, but she had always shied away from the more mystical elements of the Force. A vision had led them together at Nirauan, but even that she had seemed uncomfortable with. This may be an entirely different Mara, but he had a hunch that she felt the same away about Force visions.

    After a long, tense moment she handed the device back to him. “I wonder if somewhere in the infinity of time there’s a Luke who chose not to push that screen.”

    He looked up at her, wounded, but didn’t speak.

    She gave her own sigh. “What am I going to do with you now, Skywalker?”

    **

    It was still early morning. Mara had retreated back to her bedroom, the closed door putting needed distance between them. Luke sat in a straight-backed chair in the spare bedroom, the machine that had caused so much friction sitting innocently on the table in front of him. If he didn’t know what it was capable of he would have thought it was a datapad, but this was far more intricate and dangerous.

    He had been so foolish. In his zeal to see Mara again he had given so much away, taken the easy way out. It was unseemly for a Grand Master to still be so impetuous, and yet the Force still whispered no hint of wrongness to him, no hint of imbalance or corruptness. Mara had always shied away from using the Force so indiscriminately, never using it for her own gain. He remembered how disjointed he had felt as a Jedi before Mara had given him a piece of her mind in the caves under Nirauan, and how her words, so simple and true, had helped lead him on a path in the Force that had been so right for him. The bond that had grown between them been a gift from the Force, a prize for finally seeing beyond his own nose and dialing back on the power he often used without questioning. His failure at Byss with the Reborn Emperor had forever altered the course of his life, and the path of the Jedi. Mara had helped him through that, even as he had started to come to the realization of his misuse of power on his own, she had been an impetus to change.

    But then there was the Vong War and Vergere and her insistence that he himself—and all the Skywalkers—had brought imbalance to the Force. He had listened to her when he should not have, and later proclaimed that there was no Dark Side. He had been completely fooled. It had taken time to get his head on straight again, to realize that he was taking the Jedi down a dangerous path. Master Yoda had been right—the Dark Side would forever dominate your destiny.

    With Mara’s death had come new challenges—his immediate killing of Lumiya and the period of darkness afterward that culminated with Jacen being revealed as not only Mara’s murderer but as Darth Caedus. A Sith Lord.

    How did his carefree nephew become so tainted and changed? How did he go so far down that dark path as to become a Darth? Luke remembered Leia’s fears before she became pregnant, discussed only once and with shame, even though he completely understood and could even somewhat relate. It hurt to see that her fears were realized through Jacen, and did not even know how she felt about one of her twin children had to kill the other.

    There was so much that he blamed himself for, and the Solo children were at the top of that list. Short-term bandage solutions had been the only way to fix so many problems, a galaxy full of problems that he was ill equipped to handle. Mara told him time and again not to take it all on his shoulders, and he had learned, had let others help him and take the lead. But even still, he felt a duty to the galaxy as the last of the Old Jedi and the first of the New.

    Placing a shaking hand to his temple, he regarded the lines of traffic outside the window. It was just lightening toward morning, but the vehicles still had their lights on. He watched them pass, wondering at who was in them and what their lives were like. They had their own troubles and tribulations, of course, but he liked the idea of taking a speeder and queuing in with traffic, flying far to the other side of the planet and taking a passenger freighter to a destination unknown.

    The feeling was fleeting, though. He could never abandon Ben, the Jedi…or Mara. Mara, lying down the hall, undoubtedly not sleeping. He could picture her lying with one arm and hand crooked up under the pillow, supporting her head, her legs splayed slightly out and nestled under the cover. Even if she wasn’t his Mara, she was still Mara…and his heart yearned for her. He wanted to go and slip in behind her, to lie with her and hold her, to find an answer as to how to get back home, even if the thought of leaving her still frightened him.

    And that gave him pause. What if his intention was what kept him here? Could it be that he wasn’t quite ready to leave Mara behind?

    He nixed that thought after a moment, knowing that though his heart was heavy, it alone was not what kept him here. The device did not react to his panic the last time; he had deliberately used its power.

    He felt so unbalanced here and that thought also gave him pause. He had assumed that the nagging feeling he felt was due to him being out of his own time and place, upsetting the Will of the Force. But the feeling was still there, just at the edge of his perception, and he still needed to talk to Mara about it.

    Casting his eyes in the direction of Mara’s room, he again sought the comforting feel of her presence in the Force. She had her shields completely up, but he could still feel her essence and basked in the warmth it provided. Somewhat refreshed, he dropped into a meditative pose and delved into the waves of the Force, seeking an answer or at least a direction in which to turn to find his way home.


    **

    “Here,” Mara said later, thrusting a small bundle at him. “Those are all of his clothes that I have left.”

    “Oh.” Luke looked down at the small bundle in his hand. He thought it strange to think that she only had a little bit of her Luke’s clothing left. He had yet to go through Mara’s belongings, except to pack them away in boxes and move them to storage. He planned to get around to it one day. “Thank you.”

    She didn’t answer, settling at her holocomm station. She opened the HoloNet and typed an inquiry. Her back remained to him as she typed and he wondered what she was thinking. He figured that she was embarrassed for kissing him when she thought he was leaving forever. He felt somewhat similarly, though he had a bit more embarrassment on his side after making a mess of things and jumping into her life unexpectedly.

    Her fingers continued to move over the controls and he cleared his throat, not wanting to interrupt but unsure of what to do. “Uh, Mara…would you like me to leave? I mean, since we don’t know how long I’ll be here—”

    “Where are you going to go? You don’t have any credit accounts here, Skywalker,” she snapped, apparently still on edge.

    “Well, that’s true, but I have some creds on me.”

    “Enough to last you indefinitely? Just stay here. We’ll reevaluate when the kids come back.”

    “Are we—you—going to tell them about me?” he asked, thinking of her Ben and how similar he was to his own son, and of the daughter whose existence still amazed him.

    “We’ll make that jump when we get there, but the short answer is probably not.” She tapped at the controls a few more times and then turned in her seat. “Right. I’ve cancelled a few meetings and handed over my classes to other Masters. Now we have nothing but time. How are we going to get you home, Skywalker?”

    Luke smiled at Mara’s all-business demeanor. She really was a universal constant. “Well, I meditated, and I think I know a good place to start. Or, should I say, a good person to start with. His name is Marse Naelli, and he’s the man I arrested and took this device from.”/>/>
    Last edited by ginchy, Jan 30, 2014
  25. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    He was the Grand Master of the Jedi, but at the moment he felt more like a toddler caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    Heeeee. That line just makes me giggle.

    After a long, tense moment she handed the device back to him. ?I wonder if somewhere in the infinity of time there?s a Luke who chose not to push that screen.?

    He looked up at her, wounded, but didn?t speak.

    She gave her own sigh. ?What am I going to do with you now, Skywalker??


    Ouch.

    And Mara - I can think of a few things. [face_mischief]

    I love how you describe Luke's feelings of self-doubt. He was always cocky but lacking self-confidence, a great combination to make him a farmboy/pilot/Jedi. You do a great job with that without making it angsty or emo.

    And that gave him pause. What if his intention was what kept him here? Could it be that he wasn?t quite ready to leave Mara behind?

    Hmm. An interesting question, indeed. [face_thinking]

    ?Here,? Mara said later, thrusting a small bundle at him. ?Those are all of his clothes that I have left.?

    :_|

    Luke smiled at Mara?s all-business demeanor. She really was a universal constant. ?Well, I meditated, and I think I know a good place to start. Or, should I say, a good person to start with. His name is Marse Naelli, and he?s the man I arrested and took this device from.?

    Yes, good plan!!! I look forward to seeing what happens next. :) As well as the interlude - you know I love them. And the next one...oh, it's a doozy. :_|
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