Saga "Son of Unveiled Secrets." AU Drama. Obi-Wan, L/M. Chapter #43 Thanks for the nom!

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  1. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Chapter #14

    Ben stood before the ornate, white door of the Naberrie residence. He had little choice, but to involve Luke’s maternal grandparents; he just hoped they would be forgiving and willing to supply provision for Luke. He would still need to find employment to support himself and Mara. Ben sighed. The child’s comment about hurting the men who killed her parents echoed in his ears. It would seem that the girl was still dealing with the anger that overwhelmed her at times. Both younglings had not been happy about being left with a sitter provided by the hotel, but Ben knew he’d done the right thing coming alone. He took a deep breath and rang the bell.

    A moment later a middle-age woman with smiling, hazel eyes opened the door. “Mr. Lars?”

    “Yes,” replied Ben.

    “I’m Lin Delia, the Naberrie’s assistant. Please come in.”

    Ben complied and followed her into a large sitting area, decorated with finely-made wooden furniture and art pieces on the wall.

    “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll inform Mrs. Naberrie that you are here.”

    He strolled through the room, adjusting his tunic and smoothing his hair. Perspiration pooled on the back of his neck. He wished he’d calm down. The large painting hanging over the fireplace caught his eye with its fiery reds and dark shadows. Strange how it seemed so out of place from the tranquility of the room’s blues and greens. As he stood before the painting, an uneasiness filled his heart.

    “It’s called Relentless Devastation.”

    Ben turned and looked down into the lovely face of Padme’s sister, Sola.

    “It was a commissioned piece for my parents after my sister’s death by our planet’s most celebrated artist, Ros Ve Lale.” She moved closer to the painting, standing next to Ben. “See how he uses the brush strokes to fabricate the haunted emotions of loss?”

    Ben cleared his throat and shifted to face Padme’s sister. “I was under the impression that I would be meeting with your parents today.”

    Sola raised an eyebrow. “And why would I allow that, Master Kenobi?”

    Ben averted his eyes, stepping back from the painting. “So, you know who I am…”

    Sola glided to an empty chair and sat down, indicating the settee across from her. “Please, won’t you have a seat?” She picked up a small bell and jangled it. Lin Delia silently appeared with a tray. “Tea?”

    Ben moved to the settee and sat. Immediately the smell of orange-spiced tea wafted towards him. He closed his eyes, breathing in the delightful beverage. It had been a very long time.

    “Honey?”

    “Yes, please,” said Ben.

    Sola added a generous dollop of sweetener and placed a spoon on the saucer. The assistant brought the tea to Ben while Sola loaded a small plate with delicacies. “I think you’ll find the chocolate biscuits particularly appetizing.” Miss Delia placed the plate next to Ben’s tea and drifted out of the room.

    “Please, enjoy. It’s been a long time since we’ve had anyone of Padme’s acquaintance from off planet visit us here on Naboo.” Sola lifted her own cup, stirring the delicate liquid slowly with a small spoon.

    Ben brought the cup to his lips and sipped. He was instantly flooded with memories of the Jedi Temple and his own fondness for this particular beverage. He reached out with the Force wondering if Sola was aware of this or if it was merely a coincidence. He drank again and savored the taste against his tongue.

    “We thought you were dead.”

    Ben coughed, placing the cup on the table and reached for the cloth napkin in front of him. “Not yet,” he sputtered.

    Sola drank, her eyes peering at Ben over the rim of her cup. She nestled the cup back into the saucer and placed her hands in her lap, smoothing a nonexistent wrinkle. “Strange, then that you did not attempt to contact the family when you heard of my sister’s death. A word of sympathy or your condolences would have been greatly appreciated.”

    Ben felt a flush rising to his neck and cleared his throat. “At the time, the Jedi were being hunted and I was on the run myself. Even now I must hide my presence from Imperial forces.”

    “So you did not know of my sister’s death until…”

    “Until later.” He picked up his cup and took a long drink. “I am deeply sorry for your loss. It was quite a shock.”

    “Indeed.” Sola slowly crossed her legs, her eyes never leaving Ben’s. “Then perhaps you did not know that she died under questionable circumstances.”

    Ben averted his eyes. “How so?”

    A small smile tugged the corner of Sola’s lips. “Well, for one thing it has been reported that her ship had landed on the planet Mustafar for several hours. Why would my sister travel to a mining planet in her last month of pregnancy?”

    “I’m sure I don’t know.”

    “And would you also not know why the cause of death is listed as strangulation while there were no visible signs of wounds on her throat?”

    Ben flinched then placed the cup and saucer on the small table before him. It would appear that Padme was not the only one in the family skilled in the nuances of subterfuge. “Mrs. Naberrie, I don’t understand your line of questioning. My purpose in coming here was to speak to your parents—”

    “There has even been some speculation that the method of strangulation was committed from the inside of my sister’s windpipe. Perhaps even by someone who is adept in the Force.” Sola dangled her foot in front of her. “Was that something taught within the Jedi Order?”

    “It most certainly was not.”

    “And yet, the facts remain. My sister’s death is shrouded in mysterious details. Very mysterious details. Isn’t that right, Captain Typho?”

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    Ben turned as Captain Gregar Typho walked into the room. He was in full uniform and still wore an eye patch over his left eye. His temples were greying, but he continued to exude the confidence of a man in authority. He marched up behind Sola and stood, glaring at Ben.

    Sola smiled. “What else was it that you ascertained about the night my sister died, Captain?”

    Typho lowered his head slightly. “We know from Senator Amidala’s ship logs that she went to Mustafar to meet Jedi Anakin Skywalker the night of her death. There is no record of the Jedi leaving the planet, but her ship was recovered at a med-center on Polis Massa along with her body. It remains a mystery how she arrived and who could’ve taken her there. Perhaps you might have some information on the subject, Master Kenobi?”

    Ben swallowed hard. How could he explain the circumstances of that night without revealing the truth about Padme’s death? He had reconciled himself to the fact that he would have to admit to some things concerning her final night, but until now had not fully realized the implications. Of course he had not counted on facing Sola and her guard dog, but hoped that the grandparents would be so grateful to know about Luke that they would forgive him the deception. Four years in the raging heat of Tatooine must have fried his brain. He had grossly miscalculated his reception.

    He stood. “I’m sorry, I have obviously stirred up some very painful emotions which was never my intention. If you’ll excuse me.” He rose and headed toward the foyer.

    Captain Typho moved to intercept him as Sola stood. “Master Kenobi, I think it would be in your best interest to answer my questions…”

    Ben paused as Typho raised a hand, blocking his exit to the door. “I have nothing further to say. Please allow me to leave.”

    “Anakin Skywalker had been your padawan, had he not?” asked Typho.

    Ben looked straight at the captain, clenching his jaw. “If you don’t move out of my way, I will move you myself, Captain.”

    Sola was on him in a second. Even though her head barely reach Ben’s chin, she was an imposing figure with her eyes flashing and her barred teeth. She grabbed Ben’s sleeve and hissed, “Tell me what happened to my sister.”

    The door behind them abruptly opened, allowing Ruwee and Jobal Naberrie to enter. “Sola? Have we guests? Captain Typho, as pleasure, as always.” Ruwee looked at Ben and frowned as if trying to recall his face. “And you, my good man, have we met before?”

    Ben cleared his throat and extended his hand. “A very long time ago, Mr. Naberrie. I don’t think you’d remember.”

    Ruwee clasped Ben’s hand and smiled. “I’m usually very good with faces and yours does look familiar. Sola, have you offered our guests tea?”

    “Yes, Father,” said Sola, inclining her head.

    Ruwee placed a hand on Ben’s back, ushering him back into the sitting area. “Good, come then, shall we get reacquainted?”

    “Father, the gentleman was just leaving,” said Sola, trailing behind them.

    “Leaving?” said Jobal. She looked up into Ben’s face with a gentle smile. “Surely you can stay a few more minutes?”

    “Mother, he has already stayed quite a while,” said Sola.

    Ben took in the slight blush of Sola’s cheeks. It began to dawn on him that the little interrogation she had planned was not with her parent’s consent. Perhaps there was time to have a confidential conversation with Luke’s grandparents after all. “I would love to have moment to speak with you both in private—”

    “Absolutely not,” interrupted Sola.

    “Sola,” admonished her father. “Where are your manners?” He glanced at Ben and then at his daughter.

    “Father, you do not understand.”

    “Nor will I until I speak with our visitor.” He narrowed his eyes at his daughter. “Isn’t it time to pick up the girls from their lessons?”

    Sola pressed her lips into a thin line. She glanced at Ben and then stormed out of the room.
    Jobal guided the party into the sitting room and placed a hand on the captain’s forearm. “Would you care for some tea, Captain?”

    He bowed. “I’m afraid I must be leaving as well. Good day, ma’am.” He inclined his head to Ruwee and exited through the front door.

    “Well,” said Jobal, “I’m not sure what’s gotten into the two of them.”

    Ben smiled and resumed his place on the settee. “I’m afraid I have stirred things up a tad. Rest assured it was not my intention, Mr. and Mrs. Naberrie.”

    Jobal sat down across from Ben with Ruwee to her right. “Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us the reason for your visit then.” Jobal poured the still hot tea for her husband, handing it to him. “Would you like me to freshen your cup, young man?”

    Ben leaned forward with his cup and saucer, allowing a refill.

    Jobal took a cup for herself and poured the tea half full. “So tell us your name and what brings you to Naboo.”

    Ben sipped and placed his beverage back on its saucer. “My name is Obi-Wan Kenobi and I was a friend of Padme’s…”

    Jobal’s hand began to shake, tipping her cup from the saucer. Just before it hit the ground, Ben reached out and caught it with the Force, gently lifting it to the table beside her, the contents still intact.

    “Stars above,” said Ruwee, “you’re a Jedi.”

    to be continued...
  2. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Jade_Pilot, with this post you remind me all over again of how extremely talented you are, as if I needed one. =D= =D= The emotion was just coming out of the screen LOL! Very believable and in-character. I can totally understand Sola's desperation and seething anger, and confusion. It almost seems as if she's thinking Ben for some unknown reason attacked Padme and did away with her, or maybe she realizes he was her rescuer. [face_thinking]

    How much can/would it be safe for Ben to reveal, at least to put the Naberries' minds at rest and give them closure? Hmmm. So if the Naberries--Jobal and Ruwee--who seem a decent pair-- take Luke and Ben leaves with Mara, then L/M won't grow up together [face_laugh] So they can meet again later and the chemistry can erupt [face_laugh] Oh, dear I just thought of something. With Leia not in the story, :( !!! that kinda leaves Solo without a verbal sparring partner LOL for starters.

    :D
    Last edited by Nyota's Heart, Oct 15, 2013
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  3. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    well, that lets the whiskerkit out of the duffle, doesn't it? Now he has a choice - tell everything, even the painful things, to Padme's parents, or continue the ruse as he was attempting with Sola. Can he risk their alliance?

    [face_praying]

    Can't wait to see what direction this takes! This conversation will determine what he does from this point onward.
    Gemma, Jade_Pilot and Nyota's Heart like this.
  4. Demendora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2010
    star 2
    I still don't believe she's dead.
    Gemma and Jabari like this.
  5. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 9
    Sola is suspicious that Anakin is behind Padme's death and she's forcing Obi-Wan to tell the story of the events of Padme's death.

    Jobal and Ruewee are in for a shock when they find out about little Luke. But hopefully they'll take him in.

    Can't wait for more
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  6. Jabari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2007
    star 1
    Ooh, Sola is going to cause some trouble, I think. :)
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  7. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Thanks again to all for reading. And I really appreciate your comments: Jabari, Falcon, Demendora, sister-pilot, and Nyota's Heart! [:D]

    *****

    Chapter # 15


    Ben decided to tell them everything. Well, not everything. He left out the part about who Vader was, letting the Naberrie’s believe that he had killed Anakin on Mustafar. He also hesitated to tell them that Luke was a twin. Hearing that Leia had died would have only upset them more. He did tell them that he was the one who had rushed Padme to the med-center and that although there were signs of strangulation, their daughter had actually given up the will to live. That was the hardest part for them to understand. How could she just give up, leaving her two infants alone? The concept of the Sith and how the Emperor, had he known about Luke, would have taken him and trained him in the dark side of the Force was terrifying to them. Ben could feel their intense fear, almost taste it.

    Jobal, whose face had paled at each part of the story, reached into her pocket and retrieved a handkerchief. “So they were secretly married?”

    “Yes,” said Ben. “I did not know until Padme told me on Polis Massa.” Ben closed his eyes and breathed deeply. “Marriage is strictly prohibited in the Jedi Order. I was aware of his affection for Padme, but did not even consider that he would do something like this. At least, not until the very end.”

    Ruwee stood, pacing the room. “I understand that you were trying to protect Luke, but you must understand that this news—that Padme’s son is alive and has been kept from us—is hard to accept without some animosity.”

    “Ruwee,” said Jobal, piercing her husband with a look, “Master Kenobi did what he had to do to protect the child. It was not meant to punish us.”

    “No, it was not,” said Ben. “I do apologize, to both of you. Hiding Luke on Tatooine has kept him safe for four years. But now…”

    “Now you need some place new where he will be safe and you may continue to train him.” Jobal leaned toward Ben. “Tell us, how is the boy? What is he like?”

    Ben smiled. “He’s a most delightful child. Humorous, energetic and having a great curiosity about life.” He paused, pursing his lips. “His resemblance to his father is a bit uncanny. He does not share in Padme’s coloring, but does share her stature.”

    “He’s small?” asked Ruwee.

    Ben nodded. “He may yet go through a grand growth spurt, but I have my doubts.”

    Ruwee stood and seated herself next to Ben. “The other child, the girl child, you were raising her in the Jedi arts, as well?”

    “Yes, I am her guardian, too.” Ben noticed the Naberries exchange a glance. “The three of us are in need of a place where we will be safe, so that the children can grow and be nurtured. We are still being hunted by the Empire.”

    Ruwee paused in front of his wife and took her hand. “We could provide that.”

    Ben interrupted, “I would work for the provision necessary for myself and Mara.”

    “Nonsense,” said Jobal. “We would be very willing to provide for the three of you, isn’t that right, Ruwee?”

    Ruwee took a deep breath. “My apologies, Master Kenobi. This is all going to take some getting used to.” He strolled to the stone fire place. “Would it be possible to have some kind of relationship with our grandson?”

    “We would need to work something out that would keep him safe. I don’t think a public acknowledgment would be possible, but I think we could establish a familial link of some kind.” Ben chuckled.

    “What’s funny?” asked Jobal.

    “I was worried that you would have me thrown in prison or throttled by your very imposing Captain Typho.” He shook his head. “Instead, you are asking me if you may see your own flesh and blood. It’s quite humbling, I assure you.”

    Jobal took Ben’s hand in hers. “Master Kenobi, we are indebted to you. You have risked your life for our daughter and our grandson.”

    Ruwee nodded. “My wife is right—as usual. We would like to do whatever we can to help you and the children, both of them.”

    Ben swallowed and crossed to the fireplace to take Ruwee’s hand. “Your kindness is overwhelming. When would you like to meet them?”


    *****


    It was decided that their first meeting would be at Broadberry Meadow, a secluded park accessible only by boat. Ben had arranged for the three of them to arrive first granting them some time for play. After an hour, the Naberrie’s arrived with a picnic basket in tow. Luke was giggling as he tried to copy Mara’s cartwheel. His coordination was off which sent him tumbling to the grassy pitch each time. Mara joined in laughing along with Ben.

    As Jobal and Ruwee approached, Ben rose and met them at the dock. “Hello. I’m so glad you’re here.”

    Jobal’s face flushed as she extended her hand to Ben. “So are we, Master Kenobi.” She paused, her eyes shining as she watched the young boy gallop about. “May we approach?”

    “Of course, follow me.” Ben whistled and waved the children over. Luke, as always, raced toward Ben with the finesse of a jackalope. Mara followed close behind. “Mara, Luke, I’d like you to meet two very dear friends of mine: Mr. and Mrs. Naberrie.”

    Mara peered up into both faces and smiled. “Pleased to meet you.”

    “As are we, my dear,” replied Ruwee.

    Luke squinted up at Jobal and then pointed at the basket. “Do you have any food in there?”

    “Luke,” admonished Ben, “once again I must ask where your manners are.”

    The boy glanced down at the ground and then back up at Ben. “Sorry, Uncle Ben, I’m just powerfully hungry.”

    “Ohhh, powerfully hungry. And do we let our manners fly out the window for powerful hunger?” asked Ben.

    Luke grimaced. “I suppose not.” He looked up at Jobal and Ruwee. “I am pleased to meet you, too, even if you don’t have any food in your basket.”

    Both Jobal and Ruwee couldn’t help but laugh, pleasure awash on their faces. “Well,” said Jobal, “why don’t we sit down and investigate just what’s inside.”

    They found an open area and shook out a large quilted blanket to sit on. The children were delighted by the plentiful feast: bread dumplings dripping with cloud berries, citrus snow cake, pallies, several kinds of cheeses and salted meats all washed down with chilled Belaria juice.

    Luke groaned as he stretched out on the blanket. “Best picnic ever.”

    “And?” prompted Ben, biting into a pallie.

    The young boy rolled towards Jobal and Ruwee. “Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. N’berrie.”

    “NA-berrie.”

    “Nuh-berrie,” mimed Luke as he got up and ran towards the garden where Mara was inspecting flowers.

    Ben shook his head. “We’re stilling working on diction. I suppose you couldn’t help but hear his outer rim accent.”

    “He’s wonderful,” whispered Jobal, blinking. “He has her smile. Oh, I see his father in him, definitely, but his smile…that’s pure Padme.”

    “Indeed,” said Ben, watching the children romp through the bushes. “How did Sola take the news?”

    Ruwee looked back at Ben and sighed as Joyal began to clear their repast. “We haven’t told her yet.” He grinned, looking back towards Luke. “It’s been hard on Sola these last four years. First her sister dying and then her husband.”

    “Darred is dead?”

    Jobal nodded. “Died on one of his constructions sites three months after Padme passed.”

    “I’m so sorry,” said Ben.

    “Sola has had a hard time dealing with the two losses.” Ruwee sighed. “She harbors such anger. I’m afraid she’s become quite bitter. She and her two daughters moved back in with us shortly after. We had hoped our assistance would make a difference, but…”

    Jobal placed a hand on her husband’s shoulder. “She’s so stubborn, both our girls are…were.” She shrugged.

    Ruwee brought Jobal’s hand to his lips. “We worry so much for her—and Captain Typho. I’m afraid he may pose a problem.”

    Ben leaned back on the blanket. “How so?”

    Ruwee shaded his eyes as he looked down at Ben. “He’s totally obsessed with Padme’s death. I can understand it to a certain extent, he was in charge of her security, but he’s allowed this investigation to become his life. His wife left him six months ago.”

    “It was Padme’s choice to go to Mustafar,” said Ben. “She made sure the captain did not know where she was going.” He paused considering the pain his words was likely to inflict. “Even I could not save her. I’ll admit it has haunted me to this day.”

    Jobal placed a hand on Ben’s arm and squeezed. “Master Kenobi, I know my daughter and her determination. I do not fault you in any way.”

    “Please, call me Ben. It’s what I’m used to now.”

    Padme’s parents nodded. “And we are Jobal and Ruwee to you.”
    “Thank you,” whispered Ben. He looked away a moment and then glanced back at the children. “You don’t know how much your support means. I had serious doubts that we would make it after stormtroopers landed on Tatooine.”

    “The Imperial presence is light here,” said Ruwee, “but I don’t expect that to remain so.”

    Luke ran up to the blanket and flopped into Ben’s lap. “Uncle Ben, they have aminals that float on the water here.”

    “You mean animals, youngling,” said Ben. He wrapped his arms around the boy and kissed the top of his head.

    Mara skipped up behind and wrapped her arms around Ben’s neck. “They’re called ducks.”

    Ben reached back and patted the side of Mara’s cheek.”

    “Ducks?” Luke laughed. “That’s a funny name.”

    Mara snuggled in close with Ben. “No funnier than bantha or womprat.”

    The three wrestled onto the grass, giggling as Luke and Mara jumped onto Ben’s torso, pinning him to the ground.

    From across the river, Sola Naberrie watched through macrobinoculars behind a large doela tree while her parents clapped and laughed.


    to be continued...
  8. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    The Naberries are as fair-minded and open-hearted as I could have wished and the first meeting /picnic went off splendidly. :D Am worried about the grief Sola and Typho can stir up [face_worried] and that Sola's snooping on the fun. :eek:
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  9. Jabari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2007
    star 1
    "What's a duck?" is one of my favorite lines from the EU. I don't know why. :D And yay that Ben gets a few more happy moments. Though, I feel like Sola is going to cause some trouble. And if the Naberries (or Sola, at least) ever find out about Leia...perhaps things won't go so well for Ben when they hear what he's been withholding.
    Gemma likes this.
  10. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I'm so behind!!! My hard drive died and then once I got a new computer I wasn't able to catch up because life has just been nutty. But I just read all the chapters in one sitting here. WONDERFUL. You know I love your writing, lady. And I love this story-line. Going to Naboo was really all Obi-Wan could do, but it does carry risks, especially with Sola and Typho being so shifty. I'm glad that Padme's parents got to see their grandson. But is Leia really dead or are she and Bail with Yoda, perhaps?? Maybe they'll all meet up and be fully trained Jedi!! I just hope L/M don't have a bro/sis bond. Might make things weird later. hahahaha I love how your Mara is so Mara, already, at such a young age. And young Luke is a delight. I can just see his big grins. I love this, lady. I love you!! Can't wait to read moar!!!!! [:D]
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  11. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    I was hoping someone would catch that! ^:)^
  12. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 9
    Sola and Typho are going to be a problem. I can't wait for more
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  13. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Thanks, y'all for reading! Ben's about to come face to face with the power of a Naberri woman in the next couple chapters, so fasten your seat belts!

    Falcon: You are right, but will they both be?? [face_mischief] thanks for reading and commenting!

    ginchy: Hey girl!!!! [:D] I hate when my computer decides to do that. Mine crashed just after I graduated and I'm STILL trying to get Windows 8 figured out-grrrr! I also miss my Toshiba. Now I've got an HP and the keyboard is just....wonky. Yep, Leia is dead. I know, but it was necessary. It'll make sense later. Thanks for your encouragement!! Mara's feelings for Luke will go through several transitions. Right now, she sees him as a bit of a goofball and even competition for Ben's affection. She has a lot to work through, but then, don't we all??? @};-

    Jabari: YES! I love that you caught that. Sola will be a bit of a problem. She has issues, like Mara, that have to be worked through. Thanks for reading and posting!

    Nyota's Heart: Thanks for your faithfulness! Sola has taken her grief looking for a target to vent on. Unfortunately, Ben has become that scape goat. Let's just hope she comes to see Ben as he really is. Thank you! [:D]

    *******************


    Chapter #16

    It was decided that Ben and the children would stay at the Naberrie’s vacation home in the Lake country. There, they could be protected from unwanted observations and continue their training and education. Jobal and Ruwee generously supplied them with necessities and trusted staff to maintain the home. Private tutors were employed for the children, giving Ben some opportunities for leisure, something he’d not experienced in a very long time. The Naberries visited often and both children loved their special friends lovingly calling them, Nani and Popi. Ben worried about Sola and Captain Typho, but Luke’s grandparents thought it best not to tell either about the children—for now.

    “Breathe in and reach out with your feelings, younglings.” Ben sat cross-legged in front of the children. Mara had settled in nicely, her eyes closed, drawing on the Force and sensing outward. Luke, however, was squinting towards the lake and fidgeting. “Luke, I need your full attention, please.”

    Luke opened both eyes. “How much longer, Uncle Ben?”

    Ben closed his eyes. “As long as it takes…” He heard the boy sigh. It had been six months since they had landed on Naboo. Six months of complete bliss as far as he was concerned. The children were thriving, healthy and doing well in their educational pursuits. Luke had become almost obsessed with the lake, hardly being able to wait until their next water activity. As for Mara, she had a targeted focus on her studies in the Force that at times concerned Ben. He reached towards the girl, sensing a complete emersion and thankfully no sign of the dark side. “And release…” He stretched his arms and rolled his neck, sensing the Naberries within the house. “Okay, children. I believe Nani and Popi are here to take you swimming.”

    Luke barreled towards the house calling out to them, while Mara remained seated.

    “Sweetling? Is there something more?”

    Mara looked toward the lake and then shook her head. “Will we work on sabers this afternoon?”

    “Yes.” Ben crawled towards the child and then stretched out on his stomach before her.

    Mara mirrored his position and began plucking at the grass. A slight breeze moved over them, tossing the girl’s red-gold hair about. “Uncle Ben, why did my mom and dad die?”

    He took Mara’s hand in his own, noting the small perfectly-shaped, oval nails. “There is evil in the universe, child. Bad people do bad things.”

    “But why did it have to be my mom and dad?”

    Ben sighed, pressing her hand between his own two. “Do you remember what I told you about the dark side of the Force? Yes? Well, the Emperor wanted to train you to be a Sith and use your powers to do bad things.” He interlaced her fingers with his. “What do you remember about the day you were taken?”

    Mara paused as a tiny furrow formed between her brows. “I remember loud noises and yelling. I think my dad tried to stop the white men. When they came into my room, one of them placed something over my face and I fell asleep.”

    “I’m sorry, Mara. I wished I could’ve been there to prevent all that from happening.”

    “But you were on Tatooine with Luke. His parents died, too, right?”

    “Yes, said Ben softly.

    “Do you think one day the sad feelings will go away?”

    “It changes, dear heart. Becomes more bearable, but it takes time.”

    “Sometimes, I feel so sad inside I want to break the whole world.”

    Ben nodded, his eyes searching her face. “Yes, being sad can make you want to do bad things, that’s why it’s important to talk about these emotions. It keeps us from doing them. Does that make sense?”

    Mara nodded. “I’m glad I have you, Uncle Ben.”

    “And Luke?”

    “And Luke.” Mara smiled. “He is kinda silly though.”

    Ben stood, drawing Mara up with him. “My dear, you’ll find that most men in this universe are. Perhaps that’s why we have you ladies in our midst. To keep us on the straight and narrow.”

    Jobal and Ruwee Naberrie walked out onto to the porch with Luke already dressed in his water trunks.

    “Mara,” Jobal called, “are you joining us on the lake?”

    “Yes, ma’am.” She ran inside, mussing Luke’s hair as she went by.

    Ruwee joined Ben in the yard. “Everything all right, Ben?”

    “I believe so. Mara’s been through so much in her young life. I do worry about future repercussions, but I have great hope in the child. She’s very talented.”

    Ruwee cocked his head. “You worry about what she’ll do with that talent?”

    Ben closed his eyes, nodding his head. “Perhaps if I’d known what to look for, I could’ve prevented Anakin from—”

    “Ben,” interrupted Ruwee, “do you really think you could have done anything to prevent your padawan’s fall?”

    “I don’t know,” whispered Ben.

    Ruwee squeezed Ben’s shoulder. “Do you have the same concerns about Luke?”

    “Luke?” Ben shook his head, smiling. “Your grandson is a supernova in the light side of the Force. I’ve never observed such raw power in one so young.”

    “So it’s just Mara that worries you?”

    “For now.” Ben turned as Mara and Luke bolted toward the boat dock with Jobal. “But this time, I will do whatever it takes to keep the same thing from happening again.”


    ***

    Ben strolled down Plaza Palace, taking in the shops and bustle of the people around him. After spending an hour in meditation, Jobal had insisted he take some more time for himself while she and Ruwee made loop pastry with the younglings. It gladdened his heart to hear them laughing at Luke’s attics with the rolled, sweet dough. He just wasn’t used to a less restricted schedule and found it difficult to relax. Perhaps he should get a job of some kind. Bring in some credits to add to the paltry sum the Tatooine farm was bringing in. It never hurt to have emergency funds set aside. Ben ordered a turbofizz and sat down on a bench nestled near a rock garden with a small fountain. He’d always enjoyed the sound of water spray. It brought to mind his favorite room in the Jedi Temple, where he’d often go to meditate or gather his thoughts.

    “So you decided to stay on Naboo after all?”

    Ben startled as Sola Naberrie sat down next to him. She was elegant in her light, casual dress and wide brimmed hat. Her dark hair gleamed like burnished mahogany. What was it about this woman that enabled her to get past his spatial boundaries?

    “You’ll get burned to a crisp if you don’t start wearing a hat, Master Kenobi.”

    Ben chuckled, shaking his head.

    “What’s so funny?” she asked.

    “You sound like me, not too long ago.” He took a sip from his bottled drink. “What brings you here today, Mrs. Naberrie?”

    “Oh, this and that.”

    Ben’s brows rose. “Would I be the ‘this’ or the ‘that?’”

    She smiled, dimpling slightly.

    “Still trying to figure out why I’m here?”

    From under the brim of her hat, Sola glanced at him. “I would say I am past trying, Master Kenobi.” She turned to face him. “I know you are staying at my parents’ lake house with two children who I presume are Jedi padawans. I suspect that my parents are providing full provision for your little academy and that you are using them to rebirth the Jedi Order.”

    Ben took another sip of his fizzy drink, audibly swallowing.

    “So, when you travel off planet in search of more Jedi children, will you ask my parents to watch over the two you are currently training? Have you considered the danger you are putting them in?”

    “Yes,” whispered Ben. “But not everything is as you have surmised.”

    “Where have I gone amiss?”

    Ben rubbed his forehead with the heel of his hand. “I think should discuss this with your parents.” He noticed the flush of her delicate cheeks as she turned away.

    “They will not discuss it with me.” She crossed her legs, flicking her long braid over her shoulder. “You can imagine how that makes me feel. I am their only daughter for star’s sake.”

    “Perhaps I should have a word with them.”

    Sola glared at him, lifting her chin. “Perhaps I should have a word with the authorities.”

    Ben sighed. “You don’t want to do that, Mrs. Naberrie.”

    “Why ever not?”

    He had never agreed with Jobal and Ruwee about keeping secrets from Sola. If they were to stay here, they would need to trust her at some point. He downed the last of his drink and patted his lips dry. “Because innocent children would be hurt.”

    She smirked. “Hiding behind the skirts of children now, Master Kenobi?”

    “Ben.”

    “What?”

    “You might as well call me Ben. And if it takes using the children in that manner to keep them safe, then yes, I will.” He stood, dropping the bottle into a recycling container. “Good day, ma’am.” Ben trailed away from the bench with his hands in his robes. He would speak to the Naberries today. It was time to put an end to this deception and introduce Sola to her nephew.


    to be continued...
  14. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Ben's talk with Mara - awww! I think his love will go very long ways to keep er on the right track. And Ruwee's assurances are correct: even if Ben could have sensed the danger in time, how much of Anakin's downfall was preventable by another person's choices? Sola is indeed perceptive; once she meets Luke and Mara in person, they'll charm her I am sure. :) Even to just making an "exeption."

    ~~

    I am stoked to read/hear that this fic of yours will take L/M through many more experiences together. :cool:
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  15. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Nice update. I fell behind for a while, but I am caught up now. :)
  16. Jabari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2007
    star 1
    “Sometimes, I feel so sad inside I want to break the whole world.”

    You know, I think that may be one of the best conversations about why bad things happen that I've read in a long time.
    Also: Obi-Wan recycles! Silly, but I love it. :)
  17. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Very nice :) Curious about Sola...interesting development.

    I have a silly un-ignorable hope Obi will find a nice girl to help with those adorable children.
    Last edited by serendipityaey, Nov 1, 2013
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  18. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 9
    great update waiting for more
  19. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    Although the attention naturally turns to Luke, it's really Mara who is the one that needs the focus. What she decides to do with her anger at this point in her life will determine what she does from now on. Luke will always have someone to take care of him; he is just that adorable. But Mara is harder to reach. Luckily Ben is so loving to them both that he can see the potential danger and redirect it into something good.

    Excellent update as usual! I could completely visualize the scene between Ben and Sola. Lovely.
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  20. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Nyota's Heart: "...even if Ben could have sensed the danger in time, how much of Anakin's downfall was preventable by another person's choices?" It's a very heady thought, isn't it? I think the Jedi Order, itself, was blind to this very tenet. They believed in such strict controls to prevent someone from 'falling' and yet, some still did. They lost sight of our own personal choices and how, although the actions of others may influence us, ultimately the decisions are ours to make! Nice insight!!

    Jedi_Lover: Thanks! DRL does have a tendency of getting in our way, huh? I always appreciate your reading!

    Jabari: You know, I think that may be one of the best conversations about why bad things happen that I've read in a long time. Thanks! I do believe it comes down to how we react to the world around us. I can't control what happens to me, but I am responsible for how I respond. You always catch my little things like Ben recycling! Love it!

    serendipityaey: I like your curiosity about Sola. [face_mischief] This next update will add to your speculations. What a romantic you are! I love romantics! Thanks for reading. :)

    Falcon: You are so faithful! Thanks for reading. @};-

    sisterpilot: Yep! You are absolutely right. I love how you see into my mind and where I'm going. Mara will always have a harder time staying 'in the light,' but I think Ben realizes it and hopes to use measures that the Jedi Order frowned upon: namely-loving relationship. Ben is beginning to recognize that the Order bears some responsibility for its own defeat. Thanks for reading!

    *****


    Chapter #17

    Jobal looked down at her folded hands and sighed. “Do you really think it wise, Ben?”

    “At this point, I think it would be best for everyone involved if Sola was informed about Luke.” Ben rubbed his chin, scratching at his beard. “She’s already threatened to go to the authorities. One word and we could have the Empire on our backs again. And besides, it’s time she was made aware that Padme’s child lives.”

    Ruwee looked over his shoulder watching the children working at the dining room table in the other room. Mara seemed to be paying more attention to Luke’s work than her own.

    Mara pointed to a cipher on Luke’s page. “That’s not right.”

    “Shut it, cheeka,” replied the boy.

    “I’m just trying to help, sand boy.”

    “You’re not the boss of me,” said Luke.

    “Civil tongues, younglings,” called Ben from the other room.

    Ruwee grinned. “I can’t argue with any of your points, Ben. It’s just…”

    Jobal picked up where her husband left off. “We don’t expect her to take the news well.”

    “You’re afraid she’ll come after me. Try to have me arrested or sued or tar and feathered, perhaps cast in carbonite for all eternity,” said Ben.

    “We’re serious, Ben,” said Ruwee. “She’s become most unpredictable and…and a little unstable.”

    “Ruwee,” Jobal scolded, “that was just after her husband died. She’s not like that anymore.”

    Ben frowned. “The woman I’ve interacted with appears very capable and cognizant of what is going on around her. She knows. She just doesn’t know everything.”

    Both Naberries glanced at their grandson and remained silent.

    “We knew this day was coming, right?” asked Ben.

    Ruwee nodded. “We just don’t want to put you and the children in a position where you would have to leave Naboo. Stang, do you think she’s hired someone to investigate?”

    “I don’t think she’d do something like that,” said Jobal. “She wouldn’t want to upset us.” Jobal stood, smoothing her skirt and looked at her husband. “But, I think Ben is right. I think we should invite her here for dinner and the two of us should talk to her.”

    “Are you sure, dear?” asked Ruwee.

    “At some point we’ll have to trust her.”

    Ben stood, facing Jobal. “Would you like for me and the children to go into town while she’s here? We could even stay at a hotel if that will help.”

    “Dinner out sounds like a good idea, but please come home after,” said Jobal. “Regardless of her reaction, it’s probably best she get to meet Luke. Perhaps seeing him will help heal some of her wounds.”


    *****

    Ben paid the air taxi and gathered the children at the walkway that led to the Naberrie’s lake house. It had been three hours since their departure, surely that had been enough time for Sola to come to terms with the news her parents had to give her.

    “Uncle Ben, I don’t want this anymore.” Luke handed him a half-empty fizz bottle and started for the door.

    “Wait, Luke.”

    Luke paused, looking up into Ben’s face.

    “Let me check on something.” Ben closed his eyes, reaching out with the Force and was rocked with the intensity of emotions he sensed. Not good. He felt Mara slip her hand into his own as he opened his eyes. “Younglings, I would like you to go to the courtyard by the boathouse and play while there is still some daylight left, okay? I need to talk with Nani and Popi.”

    “What’s wrong?” asked Luke.

    “Someone’s angry,” said Mara.

    Ben huddled to face them both. “Everything will be just fine. You know I would never allow anything to harm either of you, right? I just need to go in alone and talk with a lady who is inside with Nani and Popi. Can you do that for me? Stay there until I come to retrieve you.”

    Mara took Luke’s hand. “We’ll be fine, Uncle Ben. Luke and I are very brave, aren’t we?”

    Luke nodded, his eyes flickering between Ben and Mara.

    “Good. Now, off you go.”

    The children trotted away from the residence to the courtyard where various toys awaited them.

    Ben watched until they settled in, then walked to the front door, using his key to open it. He immediately heard the strident tones of the Naberries’ eldest daughter. He entered the foyer, placing Luke’s bottle on the table and continued into the open sitting room where the argument was taking place.

    “Can’t you see what this man is doing? He’s taken advantage of you in your vulnerable state and fooled you into believing something that can’t possibly be true.” Sola stood with her back to Ben while Ruwee and Jobal remained seated. Ruwee stared at his daughter with his mouth slightly open.

    “Master Kenobi is an honorable man, Sola,” said Jobal. “He is trying to do the right thing by us and the children.”

    “He is using you for his own benefit and lying about the boy to get you to fund his efforts. Father, tell me you’ve seen through this deception.”

    Ruwee stood. “We aren’t simpletons, daughter. We had a DNA test done—he insisted on it. He’s been honest with us since the moment he came here.”

    Sola huffed. “This borders on the psychotic! If he’s so honest, where is he?”

    Ben cleared his throat. “Right behind you, ma’am.”

    Sola swung around, nearly falling. She stood staring at him trying to catch her breath. “How could you do this to them? What kind of charlatan are you?”

    “It was never my intention—”

    “You are a sick, twisted man. My sister is dead. Her child is dead.” Sola’s voice broke, her head lowered. “You are the worst kind of monster…”

    Ben took a step closer, his hands lifted. “If you would listen just a moment, I can explain—”

    Sola’s head snapped up. “You will leave here this very night. Gather your things and your acolytes and go.”

    “Sola!” cried Jobal.

    “He is leaving or I will notify the Emperor, myself!”

    Ruwee rose and took his daughter’s arm. “You will do no such thing!”

    “Please, Mrs. Naberrie, just listen…”

    “Enough!” Sola shook off her father’s hand and lunged at Ben, raking her nails down his face. “Get out!” They both fell against the foyer table, the bottle shattered as it hit the floor.

    Wincing, Ben felt blood trickle down his face and attempted to protect himself without harming Sola.

    “NO!”

    Luke stood at the door near the dining room. He ran at Sola, yanking her long braid and pulling her to the floor. Luke maneuvered around her and stood in front of Ben, with his arms out. “You will not hurt my Uncle Ben. You are a bad lady!”

    Mara appeared from behind Ben with her training lightsaber lit. Although the saber could not sever any limbs, it would produce a stinging burn if held against skin for too long. “Are you okay, Uncle Ben?”

    Ben scooped Luke up into his arms and pulled Mara to his side. “I’m fine, sweetling. Turn off the saber, now.”

    Luke sobbed, patting Ben’s face with his hands. “Blood. She made you bleed. Why didn’t you throw her in the lake?”

    Ben kneeled down and embraced both children, guiding them away from the broken glass. “Because that’s not what Jedi do. She doesn’t understand, but we don’t injure someone because they don’t understand.”

    “But she hurt you.” Luke buried his face in Ben’s neck.

    Ben smiled. “I’ll be fine. I promise.”

    Luke turned to face Sola still lying on the floor. “Uncle Ben is not a monster. He’s the bestest Uncle Ben ever. You leave him alone!”

    Sola Naberrie sat up, never taking her eyes from Luke’s face. “I’m…I’m sorry. I didn’t understand, I—”

    “Here, daughter.” Ruwee extended his hand and pulled Sola to her feet. “Sit down, now. Jobal, perhaps some tea? And some milk for the children?”

    “Of course,” said Jobal. She squeezed Sola’s shoulder as she passed on her way to the kitchen.

    Ben stood, pulling the children with him to the lounger. “It’s okay. Let’s just sit down while we wait for refreshments.”

    “Can we have loop pastry, too?” Luke stood, and then hollered towards the kitchen, “Nani, can we have loop pastry, too?”

    Ben frowned. “May we have loop pastry—”

    “May we have loop—”

    “Yes,” called Jobal from the kitchen.

    Luke sat back down on the lounger, leaning towards Sola, pointing a finger. “And you don’t get any loop pastry.”

    “Luke,” admonished Ben, “apologize immediately!”

    The boy huffed, crossing his hands across his chest. “Sorry. Maybe you could have one.” His face softened as he looked at Sola. “We made it. Right here. I washed my hands before and everything. I itched my nose one time, but Popi made me wash my hands again.”

    Sola took a breath and let it out slowly. “How is this possible?”

    Luke cocked his head. “Well, Nani and Popi helped. I wanted to put the tray in the cooker, but they said no.”

    Sola shook her head. “It’s amazing.”

    “What is?” asked Ruwee, still holding his daughter’s hand.

    “How much he is like her,” whispered Sola. “Just like her.”

    Mara tugged on Ben’s arm. “What does she mean, Uncle Ben?”

    “Luke reminds Mrs. Naberrie of someone she used to know,” said Ben, stroking Mara’s head.

    “So everything is all right now?” asked the girl.

    Jobal entered with refreshments and handed Ben a warm compress.

    “Yes, youngling,” said Ben, pressing the cloth against his face. “I think everything will be just fine.”

    to be continued...
  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Woo! JP, that was one rockin' update =D= =D= Luke and Mara are troopers [face_love] !!! Whew! Sola's realization says it all. :D @};- @};- I think it was a shocking discovery but definitely will help. :)
    Last edited by Nyota's Heart, Nov 5, 2013
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  22. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 9
    Sola immediately saw Padme in Luke and recognized her as Padm'e son. This should help her now.

    More soon?
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  23. Jabari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2007
    star 1
    The question is, is Sola just in shock, or is this a permanent change? I like it. :)
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  24. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Oh, yes. Jabari asks a very intriguing question. I hope it's permanent and she warms up to Luke and also ... Ben along the way. :D
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  25. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 9
    I'm hoping for a permanent change, knowing her nephew is still alive may put evrything into perspective. Palpatine is still lurking and if he heard about Luke, there's no telling how that would turn out.
    Last edited by Falcon, Nov 7, 2013
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