~*~ Preface and Acknowledgments ~*~ Not so long ago, in a forum not so far away, @Jedi_Lover wrote a fic for mavjade titled Shattered Ties. I read this fic. Bunnies ensued. After much wrestling, angsting, and hand-wringing, I approached Jedi_Lover and spilled my guts about my dilemma, and much to my relief, she was gracious enough to allow me to go forth with my fic. It's presumptuous and rather unprecedented to want to write something in exactly the same vein as another author, and I still feel guilty about it no matter what. So all credit for the idea behind this story goes to Jedi_Lover for crafting it in the first place, and I dedicate it to her in gratitude. Years ago, under an old account, I wrote some brief L/M pieces that are now cut short and exist nowhere else, and in addition to them many other drabble-length snippets have come to me and taken up space in random OpenOffice documents and pieces of scratch paper. When my wicked brain decided it wanted to run away with J_L's plot, it also wanted to make this story the place to roll many of these fragments of L/M together, as well as reincorporate bits of the old partially-lost material. Because this is meant to be a longer story, I'm including what I typically do for my larger projects and making this a little multimedia. Whenever possible, I will post a link to a musical piece that accompanies the scene or chapter. If you feel that this will be a distraction to your reading, then by all means feel free not to participate in this feature; it's entirely optional. If I am unable to provide a place to listen to it, I'll at least list all the information so that you might go searching for the track yourselves, if you're up to it. (For my purposes, Grooveshark is such a boon.) My hope is to post roughly bi-weekly, but I do apologize if I need to take some extra time to make sure a chapter is polished enough; I'll notify if that's the case. Of all my longer works simmering on the stove, this one has the most realistic outlook of completion, as I have the ending cemented and am determined to see this one through. What fascinated me about this scenario was the potential to explore what a more ordinary relationship between Luke and Mara might be like - no explosions or invasions or warlords or mystery threats, however fun those may be. Just a lot of talking, a lot of thinking, a lot of snarking, a lot of angsting, and of course, a lot of mushing...eventually. To help set the tone of the entire story, I chose the piece "Ensemble" by Biggi Hilmars from the album Cinematic Songs to serve as a sort of audio trailer. So without further ado, on to the story!