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Beyond - Legends A Future Assured - L/M/B one-shot [Old JC Repost]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ThreadSketch, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 22, 2013
    A few days ago, I made a very unexpected discovery - my old stash of fics, hidden away on a creaky, old little USB drive. Huzzah! Much of the material isn't postable as is (the Cheese is strong with this one [face_laugh][face_blush]) but there was one little ficlet whose quality I deemed satisfactory without any retouching. I once posted this here but it's now truncated, so I'll share it again for posterity.

    Title: A Future Assured
    Characters: Luke, Mara Jade, and Ben Skywalker
    Timeline: post-TUF
    Genre: Family/semi-fluff
    Summary: A short snippet of peace and love for the Skywalkers after the YV war.

    Disclaimer: All characters and situations are the property of the Mouse House [Disney], George Lucas, Del Rey and James Luceno; italicized portions are quoted from The Unifying Force.

    No sooner had Kenth dogged the hatch than Mara came running through the forward compartment, calling over her shoulder to Tahiri and the Noghri that everyone was safely aboard.

    "Where's Uncle Luke?" Jacen asked.

    Mara grabbed him by the arm and hauled him into the aft cabin space, where Luke was laid out on one of the small sleeping platforms. Han, Leia, and Jaina crowded in behind them.

    Jacen kneeled by the bed and carefully removed the dressing Kenth had placed over the deep puncture wound in the left side of Luke's chest. Luke's face and hands were white. His lips and the beds of his fingernails were slightly blue. His eyes were closed and his breathing was shallow.

    "Shimrra's amphistaff," Mara said anxiously.

    Jacen looked up at her and nodded. "I saw him get stabbed."

    Mara pressed her hands to her eyes and began to cry. Jacen took her tear-moistened hands in his and brought them to Luke's chest wound. He held them there for a long moment, removing his hands only once, to convey some of his own tears to Luke's wound.

    Luke's chest heaved as he took a sharp inhalation, and his eyelids fluttered open. Sobbing openly, Mara laid her head on his chest, and slowly Luke's left hand rose to caress her red-gold hair.

    "I'll live, my love," he said weakly.


    Mara reached up to unfurl her braid, to let her loosened hair give her an extra measure of warmth, as she walked through the frost-laden path in the boras forest that led back to home. Home. The small cliffside dwelling that she and Luke had been given by Sekot was oddly a place that Mara felt deserved the title of “home” more than any other residence they’d lived in. Aside from the obvious connotations of being closer to nature, she supposed it had more to do with the circumstances. There was something about reaching the end of a long, hard journey that made everything more significant. The threat of loss made every moment precious. But so did relief.

    She’d known well before she arrived at the cave that Luke had already returned from his meetings. The Errant Venture had finally come in the pre-dawn hours of that morning, bearing the Jedi children and their custodians from the Maw, and there had been many long-awaited reunions both joyous and solemn. The image of Luke hastening to meet the children and taking the time to sweep each of them into his arms was still fondly vivid in her mind, and brought a smile to her lips. But all else had paled in comparison to the moment in which she had seen Ben. No holo could possibly make up for the time they’d lost with him. One instant he had emerged toddling behind the rest of the youngsters, led along by Tionne, and in the next time became a blur. All Mara could recall of it was a sudden vanishing of the distance between them, and then Ben was in her arms. Luke had been seconds behind her, dropping to his knees and wrapping them both in a fierce embrace. All of them had been too moved to speak, the Force swirling through them in a maelstrom of elation.

    In that moment she never wanted to let her little boy go again.

    And so it went now. Even when they were apart, all she had to do was reach out and find him again, and hold his radiance fast to her. She had always been able to feel Ben no matter where he was, but with him so close now the ease and reassurance was exquisite.

    Mara grinned again as Luke appeared at the trapezoidal entrance to the dwelling, extending a hand to help her up the last rungs of the wooden ladder that was their only means of access in the otherwise bare, steep canyon.

    So, what have you two troublemakers been up to?” she quipped.

    Luke smiled. “Not much, really. Sorry to disappoint.”

    Mara gazed at him knowingly. It had been over a month since Luke had recovered from his injury, but he had yet to fully heal, and it was questionable whether he ever truly would. She’d hardly left his side for the first week afterwards, despite knowing he’d pull through. At least by now it was apparent to no one outside the family that he still tired easily, and suffered random afflictions on occasion. For that, she couldn’t be more thankful for the prolonged peace they’d enjoyed on Zonama, and the well-earned rest it gave him.

    An inquiring noise from Ben broke into her thoughts. Seated on his father’s bedroll, the little boy held up a completed puzzle cube for approval. “Very good,” Luke crooned as he walked back and lifted him up, studying the toy. “And so fast!” Throwing a wink at Mara, he sat down gingerly and shifted Ben around to face him fully as he stretched his legs out. Mara came to crouch beside them, staring on in amusement.

    You always make me proud,” Luke murmured softly into his son’s hair. “You know that, Ben?”

    Finally drawing his attention away from his project, Ben looked up at his father and gazed unblinkingly at him for a long minute, round little face completely solemn. Then abruptly he reached up and poked Luke in the cheek, his aim playfully random. Luke pulled back slightly, chuckling. Ben lunged forward again, but this time to encircle Luke’s neck with his small arms, and bury his head under his father’s chin. Luke fell contentedly silent, one hand coming up to stroke the child’s soft ruddy hair.

    It was a silence Mara didn’t wish to interrupt. As ordinary as that brief interaction had been, it somehow felt profound to her.

    Luke’s eyes had drifted shut, his only movements being the placid rise and fall of his chest and his thumb caressing Ben’s crown. She wanted to freeze that tableau in her memory forever.

    His quiet voice brought her back from abstraction. “I was thinking of him.”

    Mara’s brows knitted slightly. “What do you mean?”

    When I went under, after you found me in the Citadel. I was willing to give up my life to protect him, to protect us all, but...when I knew I was dying, I didn’t want to leave him. I didn’t want him to grow up like me.

    He was what kept me fighting in that trance.”

    Mara shivered, a gall tightening her throat. She hoped she never had to feel such a horrible thing again – at least, not for many, many years to come. The experience of sensing Luke slowly being torn away from her had been like watching all the stars in the sky wink out, one by one. It had shaken her in a way nothing had before, not even the Emperor’s death.

    Detecting his mother’s echo of distress, Ben came aware again and flailed out towards her. Luke held him out to her, and Mara pulled him in with a kiss. “Thank you, sweetie.” She rocked him as she met eyes with Luke over the top of his wispy locks.

    Thank you, for more than you can possibly know,” she whispered.

    Luke leaned forward to slide an arm around her back, and pressed a kiss to her forehead. Mara reached up and cradled the back of his head so that he would stay like that, his warm breath stirring her hair.

    Promise me that if anything happens, you’ll love Ben with all your heart, and you’ll make him the center of your world, as he is to me.

    I will - if you’ll make me the same promise.

    Then no matter what, the future’s assured.
    Gemma, ginchy, Revanfan1 and 2 others like this.
  2. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Aw! That was really sweet and cute. Here's to finding old fics!
    Kahara likes this.
  3. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 22, 2013
    Here here! (Or hear hear...whatever it is. :p) *raises glass to toast*

    I think, IIRC, this may have been inspired back then by witnessing a real interaction of a toddler girl and her mother on the NYC subway in the way that Ben does here with Luke. I also just wanted a family moment at the end of TUF, so voila.
    Kahara likes this.
  4. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    A sweet moment of recuperation. Glad you found it back. I liked seeing Mara and Luke get to actually spend some time with their son. The three of them have a nice sense of communication, whether verbal or not. :)
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Yesness! A perfect additional/missing scene. Love family moments of mutual affection and just enjoying the fact of being together. @};-

    Kahara likes this.
  6. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Beautiful family moments. :) Well done. =D=
  7. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 22, 2013
    Thanks, all. :D Yeah, given the quality of the profic that came after the NJO, I would have been content if they'd just called it a day here, for the most part (at least for the Big Three). I vaguely remember being pretty well convinced that Luke might actually be killed off in TUF when I first read it, and while I was relieved he wasn't, the hint that he was irrevocably changed resonated with me. I liked the balanced (no pun intended) way that the climax of the war affected him permanently (or, uh, so we thought) while still leaving him around to actually enjoy his family. The character was barely reaching middle age at this point, but it would have been a good way for him to at least semi-retire and just spend the rest of his days being more of a family man than a Jedi Master still at the forefront of everything. If the profic had continued in a better way, he could have just done a few cameos here and there while the new generation carried on, and that would've been fine with me.

    I'd probably been on this sort of thought train for another incomplete fic that I'd completely forgotten about, a rather depressing but still sweet and funny novella-length work where Luke develops cancer several years after the YV war as a result of his poisoning. The sad subject matter was tempered with a lot of touching and comical scenes of the Skywalker family life (and I was surprised that the quality of these old scenes wasn't half bad, enough that I'm sorely tempted to mine them out as stand-alones with a little editing). The overall purpose of the story was to show how his battle with Shimrra had lasting consequences, but Luke is nevertheless determined to live long enough to see his son grow to young adulthood, and is able to make peace with his end because he sees it coming a long way off, along with having plenty of time to help Mara cope.

    Anyway. It still bums me that the Legends EU gave Luke and Mara a child but, in keeping with post-modern trendiness, had to bog the family dynamic down with an overload of death, gore, uber!angst and estrangement. But I digress; I've been on this soapbox before, lol.
    Kahara likes this.
  8. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 3, 2013
    Great work on this piece! =D=
  9. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 22, 2013
    Thank you! [face_peace]
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  10. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Master star 4

    May 25, 2005
    I totally remember reading this before! [face_love] Fathers and sons, the heart of Star Wars. Of course Luke would fight to get back to his son. I love how Mara wants to freeze the moment in her mind forever. It's so cliche, but they do grow up so fast. I've barely blinked and my daughter is 4. I'm trying to keep my eyes wide open so my baby won't be a teenager the next time I blink. Really lovely.

    ETA: Didn't you also write a ficlet about Luke gifting the Sabre to Mara? Cause I remember really loving that one, too. I believe it might have been locked by the time I read it, so I was never able to comment on it.
    Kahara and JediMaster_Jen like this.
  11. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 22, 2013
    ^^^THIS, times a million, yes.

    Yeah, not only does Mara want to remember the sweet moment for posterity just as any mother would, but as another way to outweigh the pain of what she experienced when Luke was dying. She'd rather have ugly memories like that shrouded over by better ones, especially since they've been so rare up until then.

    Indeed I did, Maiden Voyage. :D BUT. That was written to more or less go along with the official EU. An alternate version of this scenario is going to figure very heavily into I'll Come With You, so it's going to be kind of absorbed and blenderized. (Improved, maybe? Hopefully?) I did recover it from the USB drive, though.
    Kahara, JediMaster_Jen and ginchy like this.
  12. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    This is very sweet! I look forward to reading more things as you recover them from your old USB.
  13. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    Oh, this was wonderfully moving. I adore Skywalker family moments and love Luke expressing that Ben kept him going because he didn't want him growing up without a father like he did.

    I'd like to read this! What other gems do you have on that USB?
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Woot, I remember Maiden Voyage. Oh I squeed and loved the intricate and beautiful detail of the Sabre. Sweet missing moment and will look forward very much to the updated version. :) :D
  15. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 22, 2013
    The majority of the stuff is broken fragments of notes and incomplete plotlines, so at best I'll probably just mine them out to rework them for new stories rather than posting it entirely. :)

    Ah, the requisite pain of being a Skywalker dad - can't ever raise a kid without some angst, lol. And I've got quite the random assortment; turns out I've got fic bunnies I didn't even remember. [face_dunno] I'll get back to you on that...

    I'm just relieved I've got a description of that ship somewhere, otherwise I'd be flailing around right now. :p Wookieepedia is surprisingly scant on its details.
    JadeLotus likes this.