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Saga - OT Blind Trust (AU post Rebels; Ghost crew, Luke, Leia)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ridley Solo, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010
    CHARACTERS: Ghost crew (minus Ezra), Han, Luke, Leia
    SUMMARY: Kanan Jarrus, instead of dying the noble death he was prepared for, survives the fuel depot explosion...but his road back will not be an easy one. At the same time, in another cell of the Rebellion, a young Jedi-in-training is desperate for guidance, but despairs of finding any. As far as he knows, the rest of the Jedi are gone. Sooner or later the Force will bring them together for a common cause...though one is far more reluctant than the other to embrace the role set before him.
    GENRE: Injury/Recovery, Friendship, Family

    My only warning is even the concept of this is still very much a work in progress. I haven't finished more than two chapters, and the story isn't flowing as easily as some of my others...I just felt I *had* to share it!
    Lothal Medical Center
    0 BBY
    6 months after liberation

    I’m not dead?

    It was such a strange thought to have, and yet it was the first of clarity to enter the mind of Kanan Jarrus.

    He was supposed to be dead. That was at least the impression he’d been getting from the Force. He’d prepared for it….expected it...thought it would happen instantly upon being engulfed by the explosion at the fuel depot. There was the horrible scream from the one he loved, the blinding light, the searing pain...and then nothing. No feeling of leaving his body or transforming into the Force, as he had been taught happened to those who died, just a simple black nothingness, wrapped up in hazy dreams.

    Most of these dreams were old memories on repeat. Training at the Temple...being chosen as a Padawan by Master Bilaba….Yoda’s wisdom...Order on the run...his mining job and drinking binges...meeting those who became his family, and all their crazy adventures. All these and more played in his head over and over until he lost all sense of time.

    His faith was shaken. This wasn’t supposed to be what the Netherworld was like. Was this some final test he had to pass...some last cruel trick of the Force? Kanan had no idea. He reached a state of knowing nothing but this perpetual limbo.

    But then a concrete feeling had at last returned, and it only brought further confusion.

    The Force was with him, as it always had been...but not just as an all-encompassing blanket in his dreams. It felt the sense a Loth-bat must have had using echolocation at night when passing from empty space into a mountain range. Actively using it was a chore, but he managed to discover he was in a place in which emotions ran high.

    And he wasn’t alone. The warm presence of a friend sat nearby, either resting or asleep. While he couldn’t remember exactly who this was, he knew them. But still he doubted.

    It wasn’t until the sense of touch returned Kanan knew he wasn’t dead. Whatever else death was, it wasn’t supposed to hurt. And Kanan hurt. As the moments passed and more senses began returning- hearing, smell, taste -the pain grew until it engulfed him, and he cried out.

    ...or he would have, if there hadn’t been a tube shoved down his throat. Kanan gagged and tried to take it out. But his arms wouldn’t obey. Neither fingers nor toes could do so much as twitch.

    He was paralyzed.

    It was a startling revelation. Kanan’s sense of touch had returned and he could feel every limb- each one caught in a vague ache -but none of them would move. Not even his eyes would open. His heart pounded, turning the rhythmic beeping on his left into a wild cacophony that matched his mood. That’s ironic. Survive an explosion only to choke to death on a tube.

    He wasn’t really choking. There was air coming in through the tube. But it was gagging him, and he could feel the bile rising. Unless someone or something took that tube out, he would choke. Why wouldn’t his companion do something? Were they as helpless as he?

    No. They had since jumped to their feet and let out a cry for help. Sounds were garbled as if underwater, and Kanan found it frustrating that he couldn’t put a name to that voice...but he knew it.

    Kanan grunted, gargled, and coughed, bringing an ache to his throat. All at once his eyes flew open. Hope rose when the light made him blink, then sank when the light faded to a dark gray blur.

    How odd to be disappointed about his blindness when he was about to choke to death…

    All at once a harried presence ran into the room, lifted Kanan by the shoulders, and took hold of the tube. They spoke careful, quiet words as a hand drew the tube out of his throat. Kanan gave a massive cough once it was out and felt something sour dribbling out of his mouth. When he tried to lift his hand to wipe it away, it didn’t move. He growled in frustration at his helplessness and kept glaring at nothing until the head of his bed was lifted enough for him to be a bit more comfortable.

    A gravelly male voice started asking questions...his name? What was his name? Kanan. That much he knew. It was the name everyone spoke in his dreams, the one that had been screamed during the explosion. He tried to speak...and all that emerged was a grunt and another cough. His throat was dry and neither his tongue nor his jaw wanted to cooperate.

    The male voice- probably a medic -picked something up and stuck it in Kanan’s mouth. Kanan soon realized it was a straw and weakly pulled at it. The water filling his mouth was refreshing, and swallowing certainly helped his tongue move a little better. It also made his ears pop and the rest of his hearing return.

    “There. Just breathe for a moment. I know you’re disoriented and probably frightened, but try to relax.” If Kanan had to guess, the pitch and tone of the voice made it sound like a Rodian. “Now, try again. What is your name?”

    Kanan licked his cracked lips and took a deep breath. Relax. You can do this. “K...k...Kehhhhhn...uhn.” He made as much of a face as his muscles would allow and tried again. “Kehh...nun. J...Jaaa...uhsss.” Even that effort left him tired, but it seemed to make his young friend and the medic quite happy.

    “Good,” crooned the medic. “One of your young friends is here. Do you remember her?”

    “Kanan?” It was a young, hopeful, and somewhat emotional female voice. “Hey. You remember me?”

    Kanan tried to nod, though his head wouldn’t obey. Her name returned quickly. Sabine. I know you, Sabine. He wanted to say this, but all he could manage was, “Ssss...Sssseh...b...biiiiin.” Equal parts frustration and sympathy rose when he felt her spirits lift.

    “Right! I’m Sabine!” She sounded almost as if she’d cry, which in itself was unusual. Sabine wasn’t a crier. “Kanan, it’s so good to see you awake. Wait’ll Zeb hears. Bet the big lunk’ll go right through the roof!”

    Kanan’s mouth twitched upon hearing the familiar name. Others returned, names of those he cared about and wanted news of….especially one particular female Twi’lek. He cleared his throat again. “H-Hehhhh...uh?”

    “Hera?” Sabine made a sound like she was wiping her eyes. “Don’t worry about her. She’s all right. In fact, she’s-” The girl paused, as if holding something back. A strange combination of joy and sympathy radiated from her. Instead she took one of his hands. “She’ll be over the moons when she sees you. She’s not here right now,” added the young Mandalorian, “but we’ll bring her. I’m heading straight to a comm to call her, and I know she’ll be here as soon as she can.”

    She’s safe, but something else is wrong. Kanan frowned in confusion, but couldn’t even ask any questions yet. So, Sabine, Hera, and Zeb were all right, at least. There were still two members of the crew unaccounted for.

    “Oh, and Chopper’s fine. He’s with Hera, up to all his old tricks,” assured Sabine with a grin. “He’s gonna bust his boosters!”

    Kanan didn’t miss the fact one name had been omitted. His empty stomach twisted with trepidation. Don’t jump to conclusions. “Eh….Ehhhhhz...Ehhhhz...aaaa...” The sharp jolt of grief and uncertainty from Sabine, buried but still fresh, made Kanan’s gut twist harder. Something stung his blind eyes, and he managed a minscule shake of his head. What happened, he wanted to demand. Is he hurt? Captured? But his mouth wouldn’t obey.

    “The patient is not in any condition to receive more than basic news,” warned the medic. That didn’t help.

    Sabine sighed and gave Kanan’s hand a squeeze. “He’s…he’s not here...” When Kanan grumbled unintelligibly, her hand moved to his shoulder. “Don’t worry about it right now. Just focus on getting better.”

    Kanan frowned. Something is wrong. Ezra is hurt or…no. Kanan pushed that thought from his mind. No. He’s not dead. I would have sensed it. But he had been in a coma for who-knows-how long. Could a Master sense the death of their student in a state like that? Yes, he decided. Ezra’s not dead.

    * * * * *​

    It took several hours for Kanan to finish waking up, and even longer for him to find out what was going on. He didn’t even try and ask any questions about his own condition. All he knew was that he had somehow survived the blast from the fuel depot with all his limbs still attached. Many had been broken, however, and he had been badly burned from head to foot. Between that, and both spinal and head injuries, he had been kept in a coma for a very long time...just how long, nobody would say. All the medics did was work on getting him to exercise his jaw by speaking. They did assure him he would recover. It would just take time, since facilities on Lothal were very limited. They couldn’t afford the more advanced recovery equipment or medication. So, Kanan would have to relearn how to do everything the old-fashioned way.

    Kanan had been awake and asleep twice more before he sensed the one presence he’d wanted more than any other. She wasn’t alone, either. A new and completely unknown presence stuck by her like glue, and they were either very young or very small...probably both. While confused as to why Hera would bring some strange child with her, she had a big heart and was always picking up strays. That was probably why her gait sounded different as she arrived in the room, pausing in the doorway.

    “Kanan?” She was filled with too many emotions to keep track, pain, relief, annoyance, trepidation...but most of all, love.

    “Hehhh...w...w...” He made a face at how weak and pathetic his voice was. So, he tried again. “Heh...wa.”

    “Kanan-” Her voice broke. She entered at something of an uneven walk and was at his side in seconds. Her embrace was at once gentle and desperate, half clinging and half leaning away. Then she was crying and stroking the side of his face. “I thought I lost you,” she whispered.

    Kanan badly wanted to hold her, kiss her, tell her he was going to be fine and everything was all right...but his limbs continued to disobey. With a great effort, he slowly brought his head just a centimeter or so nearer, so he could feel her face on his. He wished Hera could connect to the Force so she could sense all the love and warmth he was sending her way. Maybe he could tell her. “Uh...uhhhhhhh-ah...ahhhh-eh...” Come on, idiot. Say it! “Ahh-eh...l...l...luhhhhhfff...y...y...uuuuuh.” A grunt of frustration made it past his lips as Hera pulled back, probably to try and figure out what the heck he was trying to say. “Ahh...luhhhf...y...y-yeh-” Then Hera put a finger to his lips, increasing his frustration...until she replied.

    “I love you, too,” she murmured, tears in her voice and her hand still holding his face. Then she leaned forward and gently kissed his lips.

    Kanan sighed through his nose in relief and felt his eyes start to sting. She knows. Oh Force, she knows! Annoyingly, his body’s next response was to shed tears. Embarrassment was profound as Hera had to be the one to wipe them away.

    “Shh. Don’t cry, love. I’m here. Everything is going to be all right now.” There was a gentle smile in Hera’s voice as she sniffed and wiped her own eyes. “I can’t even tell you how good it is to see you awake.”

    I’m supposed to be telling you that. Kanan managed a ghost of a smile. It faded quickly. There were so many questions he couldn’t ask, nor was there much he could answer. Being trapped in one’s own body was the worst sort of prison.

    “Can you see anything?” asked Hera softly. “Your eyes...they don’t look like they did when...when it happened, but...they are better than before.”

    Kanan sighed in regret. All he could see was a slightly darker blob in a sea of gray. “Nnnnnuh...”

    Hera was trying to hide her disappointment when she spoke next. “It’s all right. Kanan...I know it’s going to be a while before you’re feeling better, but...there’s something I need to tell you.”

    Judging by her hesitance, Kanan wondered if it had anything to do with the tiny presence in the room. Did she get a wild lekku and adopt something? Its presence was so close to her, they almost seemed merged. “Uh?” Hera, what did you do?

    Hera’s hand started shaking as she took hold of Kanan’s. “Remember that night we spent in Ezra’s tower?”

    Kanan’s mouth twitched for a second as the memory returned, then was overtaken with confusion when Hera put his hand on her. His brows knit as his thumb recognized her navel...but something didn’t feel right. It was too big, too round, too...full. When something shifted beneath his hand, he flinched and took in a sharp breath. couldn’t be… All at once the pieces fell into place. The night in the tower...that new, small presence...the movement… With the odd sensation of both joy and terror, Kanan reached out with the Force to nudge the little life. It answered! More than that, the child’s parentage was obvious. Hera’s emotion coupled with the unique Force signature confirmed his suspicions.

    Kanan fell into something of a state of shock. His mouth hung open as much as it could. He began to tremble. And then, hardly knowing why, fresh tears filled his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. Hera’s pregnant. I fathered a child...a child who’s strong in the Force...a child I won’t be able to hold or care for when they come...a child I’ll never be able to see. His face then collapsed into full on weeping.

    Hera made a sound of sympathy, and brought him into another embrace. “Shh. Kanan...Kanan, it’s all right. Don’t cry. It’s all right. We’re fine. And you’re going to be fine. The medics told me this isn’t going to last forever. You hear me?” She took his face in her hands. “You are going to beat this.”

    That’s an order. Kanan recognized Hera’s tone at once and sniffled, twitching his head down in what he hoped she would recognize as a nod. “”

    Hera sounded like she wanted to laugh as she wiped Kanan’s eyes. “Good. You’d better.” She walked with her awkward gait- Kanan realized it must be a pregnancy waddle -up to a chair and set it down beside him. Then she took his hand. “Everyone’s so happy you’re awake. Did they tell you how long it’s been?”

    Kanan twitched his head to the left. “N...nnnuh,” he mumbled.

    Hera’s thumb rubbed his fingers. “Six months.”

    Kanan blew out something of a dizzy breath. Six months? And I’m still helpless? It wasn’t an encouraging thought, especially when it hit him that Hera would be due in only three months. If his shoulders weren’t already limp, they would have sagged. “H...ha..www...l...llll-ahhhhhn...t...tihhh...ahhm… beh...behhht...t...t...” Kanan groaned at his blasted jaw and tried again. “Hawww….lllahn...tih...ah-m...beh...tuh?”

    “How long ’till you’re-” Hera seemed to wince, and she squeezed his hand. “I don’t know, love. Too soon to tell. Months...maybe years.” When Kanan shut his eyes and blew out a short breath in aggravation, she took his shoulder with her free hand. “Hey. Listen to me. This is no time to drop into another mood, all right? We need you. No matter what it takes, I know you can get through this.”

    Kanan opened his sightless eyes and strained to turn his head. Finally it flopped over on the pillow to face Hera. He moistened his lips. “Ehhzz...wah.” When there was no answer, he knit his brows. “Ehz-wah,” he said, a bit louder. That sense of grief, pain, and a hope nearly buried rose in Hera just as it had in Sabine. “T..teh...m..mmmeh.”

    Hera let out a long breath and hesitated long before answering. Then she took his hand in both of hers. “Ezra’s gone.”

    Kanan’s heart dropped into his limp feet. He struggled to twitch his head to the left again., please...not Ezra...“Nuh...” His eyes filled despite his denial.

    Hera winced for him. Her voice wavered as she spoke again. “He’s gone, Kanan. It’s a long story. Before we found out you were alive, he...he went up to Thrawn’s ship and got it to jump to hyperspace. But he did what you did; he gave himself to save the rest of save Lothal. We don’t know where he went, or even if-” Hera took another deep breath and held his hand so tight. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

    Any tension that had made it to Kanan’s muscles left, and he went completely limp on the bed. Ezra, what have you done? Why did you do it? There had to be some other way. Ezra why? Why? More tears came. He could do nothing but lie there as they streamed down his face.

    Once again, Caleb Dume had failed the Jedi...and this time, instead of the apprentice failing the master, the master had failed the apprentice.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] [face_dancing] Wonderfully poignant and in character for everyone!! So many twisting and tumbling emotions understandably so! =D=
  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 30, 1999
    Got to learn not to read the sad stories while at work. Lovely work. Very poignant.
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    He is alive. And knows now that he is a father.

    And I bet at some point he might even join Sabine and Ahsoka on their quest to find Ezra (plus Thrawn).

    Let me guess, this is about 5 years after the explosion and the Battle of Scarif plus the one above Yavin have just been fought. This means Luke is around and has no master...

    Okay, I will stop my wild guess work for now.

    Update at any time you feel up to it.

    Those are strange and bewildering times. Writing can help. But now and then a fanfic author can get stuck.
  5. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
  6. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Yay! Thank you! :D
    @Kit' Awww! [:D]
    @AzureAngel2 You are VERY close...ish. :p This is set 6 months after the explosion and shortly after the Battle of Yavin. As for Luke....;) You'll have to wait until the next chapter for that! And yes, I tend to get stuck a LOT...and this is kind of stress relief for me.
    @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Oh, good, I'm glad you likey! :cool: Don't worry, more will come...eventually....
    AzureAngel2 and Kit' like this.
  7. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010
    And here we are, 5 months later. It has taken this long to finish the next chapter! OOF!

    Hopefully the next one goes up sooner even though I'm in the middle of NaNoWriMo and an apartment hunt.....


    Yavin IV
    0 BBY

    Luke Skywalker stood uneasily near the back of the hangar, biting his lip as blue eyes darted back and forth. Officers, infantry, mechanics, ground crew, and what few pilots were left traveled at a pace somewhere between a fast walk and a jog, most of them carrying one thing or another. Presently an overloaded young fleet trooper tripped over her feet and dropped something, earning a shout from a nearby harried officer. With a groan he and another moved to help the redheaded, blushing woman pick up her mess.

    Luke took a step forward to help. The only thing he carried was his bright yellow jacket and a small satchel of belongings. But in the time it took for him to take five steps and open his mouth to offer aid, the mess had already been cleaned up and the party were on their way. Once again he was left to stand by himself, shifting his weight in new stiff boots and wondering what to do.

    He should have known the celebration wouldn’t last. In a matter of days, the mood at the Massassi Temple had gone from one of joviality to one of urgency.

    One TIE fighter had escaped the battle. They were apparently equipped with hyperdrive, because they had found their way back to the Imperial fleet and informed them of where the Rebel’s headquarters was.

    The game was up now. Their secret base was no longer a secret, and everyone had to evacuate. Now it was a mad dash to pack as much equipment and personnel into the transports before the Empire arrived to wipe them out. Everyone was expected to help load things out and follow whatever ranking officer they were under, who in turn followed the lead of whoever was higher up...and even they seemed to be making things up as they went along. There just wasn’t time to put together a cohesive plan of escape.

    And in the middle of it all stood Luke, feeling very lost and out of place under those who, mere days ago, had been slapping his back in congratulations at his amazing feat. There was awe, envy, and disbelief directed his way almost by the hour. Everyone wanted to know how he’d done it without a targeting computer. It was supposed to be impossible. Luke had just blushed, shrugged, and said something along the lines of, “Well...I guess it was fate.”

    In truth Luke was still having trouble processing things himself. In the moment, he wasn’t really thinking, just feeling and reacting to the spectral, disembodied voice of his former teacher. Once the Death Star blew, euphoria took over, and then came the celebrations. But once that had passed, Luke was left with more questions than answers. The touch of the mystical energy field known as the Force was just as elusive as ever, and the weight of his father’s lightsaber against his left hip was more alien than comforting.

    With all this came doubts...doubts that he had really heard Ben’s voice...doubts that he had used the Force to direct the torpedoes...doubts that the Force was even there at all. How could he be sure it wasn’t all just an elaborate daydream or hallucination?

    There was no one left to ask. Princess Leia, whose flickering image had drawn him into this adventure in the first place, knew even less about the Force than he did, though she and several in the Rebellion held something of a casual belief in it. Han Solo, his newest friend (and the one who had saved his hide in the Death Star’s trench) openly scoffed at the idea that anything could control the universe; his belief rested mainly in his own skill and wits. He and Chewbacca had already gone off on their own anyway with a vague promise to meet up sometime. Even Biggs Darklighter, Luke’s childhood buddy, had lost his life in the assault.

    And Ben? Ben was long gone. Not even his ghostly voice had returned to Luke’s desperate ears. What he needed to find was another Jedi...Jedi, Ben had said, that were all but extinct. Had Ben been the last of them, or were there more out there, hiding from the Empire somewhere on a distant, quiet planet as Ben had, waiting for some sign that they could come out of hiding? There was no way to find out. And until such time as he could find someone else to pick up where Ben had left off, Luke was alone in his quest to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Jedi himself. That vague dream now seemed an impossible task. The sight of the lightsaber only renewed his sense of loss.

    Luke hung his head, sighing wearily. He hadn’t yet had a chance to properly grieve his aunt and uncle, let alone anyone else. So much had been lost in only a few short days. If he let it, the weight of loss could easily crush him. His eyes closed. I’m sorry, Uncle Owen. I’m so sorry, Aunt Beru. I should have been there. I should have done something. I should have-

    “Lieutenant Skywalker!” The stern call from a familiar feminine voice made Luke flinch with confusion for half a second until he remembered his new rank, just assigned to him that morning. Oh. Right. I’m Lieutenant Skywalker. He snapped to attention half a second before spotting the owner of that voice out of the corner of his eye...and heat rose in his neck.

    Leia Organa herself was rounding the corner, out of her formal robes and into the utilitarian wear of a gray-blue flightsuit, boots, and a faded green vest, rank insignia neatly pinned on. Her signature buns had been traded for a pair of thick braids wrapped around her head. Already she had left the persona of Princess behind. Now she was a commander in the military. She had been going over a list on a datapad with a fleet trooper and another ranking official when she’d looked up and seen him...being idle, Luke blushed to realize.

    “Oh! Uh...yes, Princess?” he replied, trying to snap to attention as he’d seen others do.

    “Is your evac group loaded?” Leia asked briskly.

    “Erm-” Luke blinked. Evac group? Right. As disorganized as everything else was, they had still be ordered into groups. Luke was to fly out with what remained of the pilots with working craft; which, at the moment, consisted of him, a Y-wing, and Wedge Antilles. It would take time to dig up replacement fighters. He glanced around, searching the hangar for Wedge. Where had the older pilot gone, anyway? “I think so...I mean, uh...blast!” He kicked at the floor, upset at his own awkwardness. Why couldn’t he just spit out what he was trying to say and not stutter all the time?

    Leia came to a stop, her demeanor softening a little. Sometimes she forgot, amid his achievements, just how new to all this Luke was...and how much pressure he had on him now. She sighed. ”Luke...”

    “Hang on; I’ll track them down-”


    Luke paused, biting his lip to look at her. There she was, shaking her head at him with that same soft, patient, kind expression. It shook him awake and made those recurrent ideas of romance dissolve like so much mist. She’s so far out of my league I’m lucky to get to talk to her. Why is she so patient with me, anyway, a clumsy farmboy from Tatooine? His shoulders fell a little. “Yes, Princess?”

    Leia reached over to take his hand. “I know it’s overwhelming. I can’t imagine how crazy this all is to you, given where you grew up. But you can do this.”

    Luke found his cheeks coloring. “Well...I hope so.”

    Leia smiled and gave his hand a squeeze before dropping it. “I know so.” The frantic whistle from an R2 unit startled her out of her reassurances and made her look over her shoulder. R2-D2 and Wedge were already waiting in the nearest group of X-wings, waving Luke over. She released Luke’s hand. Time for him to grow up a little more. “There’s your evac unit, Lieutenant. Move out.”

    Luke followed her gaze, waved to Wedge, and managed a sheepish nod back to Leia in thanks. “Yes, ma’am.” And he jogged back toward the X-wings.

    “May the Force be with you!” called Leia in parting.

    Luke paused long enough to give a smile in return. Hopefully, it will be. “You too!” He waved in parting, then sprinted to the ladder. At least flying wasn’t an alien experience.

    At least, in the cockpit, he could be sure of himself.
    Ewok Poet and AzureAngel2 like this.
  8. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Aww, that was cute. Like is feeling like a lost mooka pup, and Leia doesn't even know he's her brother yet, but she's already acting like a good big sister.
    AzureAngel2 and Ridley Solo like this.
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Fantastic!!!!! You describe young Luke so amazingly with all the conflicting and conflicted emotions at this victorious, organizedly chaotic time [face_laugh] The higher-ups are as discombobulated as he is in some respects but they cannot afford to let it show. [face_shhh]
    Ridley Solo likes this.
  10. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010
    That's our Leia, ever the in-charge Princess, but still ready to offer support to anyone who needs it. :cool:

    Thank you so much!

    And now, back to the Ghost crew...just a short one today.

    Lothal Medical Center
    0 BBY
    9 months after Liberation

    Kanan’s grief over Ezra was deep and profound. While it was good to feel the presences of Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and even Rex and the reformed Kallus, there was still a gaping hole left where Ezra had been. Treatment was taken in silence. Physical therapy, which was now the main part of his life, was just another way of going through the motions. And, it wasn’t as if he had much of a choice.

    Therapists used massage, electrical stimulation, and stretches to help his weakened muscles start moving again. Having to rely on others for food, drink, movement, and even personal care was humiliating. But Kanan couldn’t even protest beyond a grunt. Once he got upset enough to Force push one of the therapists away. Hera all but chewed his ear off after hearing about it. After that he grumpily submitted to what he thought of as ‘medically allowed torture’. Even the scars from his burns were preferable to this.

    Speech therapy was somewhat better, as he already had the ability to at least move his tongue and lips. With that he could form about half of the usual consonants and all but two vowel sounds. The speech therapist said that was half the battle, and encouraged him to talk as much as he was able.

    As time passed, Kanan heard more of his story. For weeks he had been nursed by an elderly couple on Lothal- both former medics -who were never sure if he would make it to the next morning. Together they smuggled medical supplies and took shifts in caring for the battered Jedi. It was nearly a month after the Battle of Lothal that the Ghost crew found their companion and were able to get him to a medical facility. From there it seemed his coma would be permanent, but his friends never gave up on him.

    Progress was painfully slow. By the time Hera’s due date had arrived, Kanan could only lift his head, turn it from side to side a little, and wiggle his fingers enough to try tapping messages on a datapad. His speech was a little better, but still very garbled.

    And then the time came for Hera to deliver their son. The sounds of her screaming just down the hall was a worse torture than the therapy. At that point Kanan would gladly have given up three limbs rather than keep lying there helpless. Zeb hanging around didn’t help, though Kanan knew his friend meant well. When the baby finally arrived, it was another long wait to find out what was going on and how Hera was doing.

    Finally, just when Kanan was ready to give up and let sleep take him, he sensed her familiar presence coming up the hall. She’s not walking around after giving birth, is she? His answer came with the soft whir of a hover-chair entering his room. Hera was utterly exhausted and utterly happy...with the smallest bit of worry left over for him.

    “Heh-wa?” he mumbled, lifting his head. “Y’...ah-wigh?”

    “I’m fine, love.” Hera was smiling as she approached. “Ready to meet your son?”

    Kanan’s eyes misted. No, I’m not ready. I can’t touch him. I can’t hold him. His head nodded anyway. He could already sense the baby, sleeping and content, in his lover’s arms. When he tried to move them, his own arms flopped uselessly at his sides.

    “Shh. I’ll bring him to you, love. Here...” Pushing painfully to her feet, she sank into the bed next to Kanan and picked up his left hand to brush the baby’s face, fingers, and toes. “He’s light-skinned. Blue hair.”

    Kanan flinched. “Gwee?” That was odd, though as his fingers formed a picture in his mind, he didn’t think he cared. Tears threatened, and he blinked them back.

    Hera laughed softly. “I know. That’s something even the medics can’t figure out. Near as they can tell, the pigment in my skin ended up in his hair, somehow. Other than that, he’s all you. But he’s strong and healthy, and that’s what matters.”

    Kanan gave one of his weak nods. How cruel the Force was in depriving him of the ability to hold the child! Here he had to rely on Hera to even know what his baby son looked like. At least they had been able to pick the name together. Hera had patiently read or recited every name she could find to get his input, which he gave in the form of a yes or no. “J..Jehhhhaaaa-ssen,” he tried.

    Hera seemed to nod. “Jacen Syndulla-Jarrus. Isn’t he beautiful?”

    Kanan wanted to exult over his son, to declare that the baby was absolutely perfect (green hair notwithstanding), but all he could manage was a grunt and a nod. What he wanted more than anything was to be able to hold him. Again he tried. Again his arms flopped uselessly.

    Hera briefly squeezed his hand. “I know...hold on, love. I have an idea...” And so, apparently laying the sleeping child in her lap, she reached over and began rearranging Kanan’s pillows. Two of them, she stacked in his lap. Then she lifted Kanan’s right arm and set it, palm up, on the pillow. “All right. Let’s see how that works...”

    What is she doing? Fear made Kanan flinch when he realized Hera was laying little Jacen in his arms. I can’t do this. I’ll drop him. What is she thinking? He didn’t even have a chance to grunt in protest before the tiny head was laid in the crook of his arm. The baby stirred a bit as he sank into the pillows, but settled back in quickly.

    “There. See? Nothing to worry about.” Hera's tone was one of reassurrance.

    Kanan’s eyes were leaking again as he held his newborn son, left hand cupping those tiny feet. He wanted to speak to his son, tell him he was perfect, and loved, and that his father would protect him and teach him...but he couldn’t. So, waiting for Hera to wipe his eyes, he let his head droop until his chin brushed Jacen’s soft head. Then he reached out with the Force. Jacen, I’m so sorry. I want so much to take care of you. I just can’t right now. But don’t be afraid. Your mother, and Zeb and Sabine will all keep you safe. And maybe someday, when I can move again and you’re old enough to understand, I’ll tell you about the Force. It connects us all. Not everyone can feel it. Those that can are very special...and you’re one of the few. More tears fell as Kanan shifted to kiss Jacen’s sweet forehead. I love you, son. I love you and your mother so much. “Ah...luff...ya,” he whispered with effort. Then, not wanting to rest too much weight on that little head, he brought his own back up with effort. Then he turned to Hera with what might have been the galaxy’s craziest idea. “Heh-wa?”

    “What, Kanan?” Hera asked with a smile.

    “Wi ya...m...mah-weh...meh?” And the words were out before he realized how foolish they sounded. His face colored and he grimaced, turning away. Are you insane? You can’t even feed yourself! What are you asking Hera for?

    “What?” Hera lifted Kanan’s chin, voice thick with emotion. “Are you asking me to marry you?”

    Kanan went bright red and tried to shake his head. Instead he nodded. What? No! You weren’t supposed to do that! You know she’s going to say yes and ruin her career as a pilot.

    The happiness that Hera felt threatened to break down the walls. “Oh, Kanan...” Carefully she kissed him, then pressed her forehead to his. “Of course I’ll marry you.”

    Poor Kanan was left with no recourse but to grunt and let more tears come, this time of frustration. Well, this is just great. She thinks you’re engaged now. Won’t be long before she tells the rest of the crew. Nice going, idiot!
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Fabulously touching with poignancy mixed with tenderness and love and what did I just do? ;) =D=
    AzureAngel2 and Ridley Solo like this.
  12. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010
    Thank you!

    Apologies at not doing anything else with this story, much as I'd like to. See (long story ahead), my husband and I have been looking for our own place away from my parents for a while now so he could start his new job, but so far no dice. We had been living 150 miles away from said job and the metro area. So, on Monday the 14th, my husband and I decided to make a 5 day trip to look at apartments and hopefully sign a lease. On the other side of a major mountain range, our transmission blew and we have no money to replace it; it would be cheaper to get another car at this point, but nobody will finance us since my husband *just* started his new job *and* we've spent half our savings on the car and unforeseen hotel stays. The transmission has been fixed as well as the mechanic could manage, but it's essentially a ticking bomb and could go any time. We're holed up in an extended stay hotel room and while I have my computer, my thumb drive with ALL my stories is still at my parents' place! So....yeah. That's what's up.

    TL;DR: we made a sudden move we weren't prepared for and most of our stuff is 100+ miles away.

    I WILL get back to this as soon as I have my drives, but I don't know when my parents could send it through the mail. Thank you for your patience!
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  13. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Have some moral support as we wait semi-patiently for you to finish your latest battle with Darth Real Life. :D
    AzureAngel2 and Ridley Solo like this.
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Adding a [:D] !! I know it'll be worth the wait. Your stuff always is. :)
    AzureAngel2 and Ridley Solo like this.
  15. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    I wish you all the best to settle your private matters and tons of good luck & sunshine. On all your actions! [face_good_luck]

    Do not worry about us. We can wait. Patiently and loyally, as long as things are getting more okay for you.
  16. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010
    Well, one more complication has arisen to slow things down....I'm pregnant. That is why, despite full intentions to get back to this by January, my plains were foiled by morning sickness and fatigue...and a chronic lack of ideas!

    To be continued....
  17. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Congratulations! Here's hoping that the morning sickness goes away, and the ideas come back, soon.
  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Congratulations! That's awesome news! :)

    And I will be reading this, definitely. Maybe it inspires me to write the AU I have been plotting myself. Similarly grim, different premise.
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow, @Ridley Solo -- sweet that you'll be a Mommy soon; hope the morning sickness goes away though. :D @};-
    Ridley Solo likes this.