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Beyond - Legends Completely Irrational -- Luke/Mara, Ben vignette

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Knight_Aragorn, Mar 23, 2008.

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  1. Knight_Aragorn

    Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Title: "Completely Irrational"
    Timeframe: Between Dark Nest and Legacy of the Force
    Setting: Jedi Academy on Ossus
    Characters: Ben Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade Skywalker

    Summary: Ben overhears a discussion between his parents about his training with Jacen

    A/N: I think the timing's right in terms of Ben's training with Jacen, etc., but if anything is wrong I apologize. I don't have the books with me to check, and Wookieepedia was somewhat elusive as to when, exactly, Ben started formally training with Jacen.

    But on to fic...


    ?? I don?t know why you can?t look at this as a positive thing??

    ?? refusing to see the worrying aspects??

    Ben halted where he stood, halfway down the short corridor in his family?s Ossus residence. The family study was at the end of the hall. Mom was working in there ? alone, Ben had thought. She had to work on the accounts, she had said.

    ?? comes down to it, he isn?t trustworthy. That?s all there is to it ? ?

    ?? qualifies as trustworthy, exactly??

    Ben frowned. He recognised his father?s voice, but shied from the tone of the voices within the room. His parents argued sometimes ? with others, in political meetings on Coruscant Ben got dragged to from time to time, and in Council meetings often ? but he?d never heard them turn that tone on each other.

    ?? about a decision that?s going to affect the rest of his life??

    ?? [i]know [/i]that, that?s why??

    Ben hesitated, then cautiously edged forward a step. His parents were both carefully controlled ? they were always cautious with their emotions, for his benefit or by habit, he wasn?t sure ? but right now, they felt different. Ben felt for the shape of the emotional barriers they?d each erected, allowed himself to sense the tendrils leaking around that control. Dad was mostly frustrated, with shades of something like confusion, while Mom was angry, and ? oddly ? there were shades of something else there in her feelings, something like hurt or upset.

    ?? want him to reach his potential, then it has to be this way.?

    ?? make this into an ultimatum!?

    ?? make [i]me[/i] the criminal here.?

    ?? just needs time??

    ?? finally opening up, and it?s with Jacen, and you don?t like that ? ?

    Ben twisted his lips together tightly, and stopped in place.

    ?? saying I?m somehow resentful??

    ?? put words in my mouth!?

    Ben scuffed the carpet with his shoe. The sole was coming away where he?d been scrambling across the dust-boulders with some of the students from the north enclave earlier. He kicked again, and it came loose further. He glared at the dusty mark on the carpet.

    He had felt uncertain about staying here, about listening, but if they were talking about him, then why shouldn?t he? They shouldn?t discuss him as though he was one of the crèche younglings. He had a right to hear it, almost. Didn't he? It was his life they were arguing over.

    ?? so obsessed with perfection??

    ?? does that mean??

    ?? victim of [i]your[/i] need to be perfect ??

    ?? wary of Jacen because he has a broader range of experience than you were able to access??

    ?? know nothing about where he?s been or what he?s learned, and you want to??

    More feelings were leaking around the barriers his parents had erected. More hurt. More anger. Ben sank to a crouch. He imagined the control like a transparent drinking bulb, filled with boiling, flashing colours, bright angry red and harsh orange and flat black-blue. He pictured putting a lid on it, trapping the colours inside, and covering it, so that he couldn?t see the colours or the bulb.

    Would that be better? He still knew they were there. Maybe he should leave, because he didn?t want to hear this. But it was about him, so didn?t he have the right?

    Ben chewed his bottom lip, unthinkingly. Then he bit his tongue instead, because he was sure that biting his lip made him look younger than he was.

    ?? worried about being subverted than you are about the welfare of your son.?

    ?? accusations, when I?m trying to di>
     
  2. canadianjedimama

    canadianjedimama Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2008
    =D=

    That was wonderful! I especially liked the little inuendo about Luke and Mara "meditating". [face_laugh]

    [face_thinking] Is that what the Jedi call it?

    Great vignette.
     
  3. Jaina_and_Jag

    Jaina_and_Jag Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2003
    Loved it! :D [face_love] Luke and Mara fighting over Ben's training with Jacen was very believeable since something of the sort happened during LOTF. And then the Luke/Ben bonding was adorable. [face_love] Plus Luke and Mara made up. [face_love] Great job! :D
     
  4. mara_jade_rox

    mara_jade_rox Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Wonderful! You did an awesome job with characterization. Everything that happened was totally believable. I loved it!!

    Nice job.

    MJR=D=
     
  5. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    oohhh K_A, that was positively wonderful!!! Absolutely breathtaking...everything was so dead on! I like that Luke and Mara were trying to hold back on the arguments for Ben's sake, but that he got to see a little bit--its not healthy for kids to see their parents fighting exclusively or happy exclusively....something that I think profic misssed a little bit. But you did it so well...absolutely balanced! And the ending was scrumptious!!! Just the way they'd do it! Plus the meditating bit = [face_laugh] LOL!!!!

    Huggles! A marvelous easter fic (even if you didn't plan it that way!)

    [face_good_luck] Irish
     
  6. kataja

    kataja Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 4, 2007
    I've just finished Sacrifice so this fic couldn't have been better timed for my peronal needs, I think! Thank you so much! ;)

    You manage in a quite fabulous way to encircle the problems Luke and Mara's were facing here. I loved to see a real quarrel like this, not only see it referred to, as it was in LotF. I wouldn't have minded to see more of the confronation, since the problem field still remains hard for me to grasp, but that's just my personal needs speaking. I seriously think you've done a great job here!=D=

    This viggie moved in a beautiful arch from the fight to the father-son talk, of witch Ben understands so little, [face_blush] and to the settling in the end.

    Again wonderful precision with the characters. Mara's dry "Kidnapping now?" was a gem. The precious bond and understanding that Luke and Mara share was perfectly shown here. I remind me of something you often do in your fics. You "show it" instead of just "saying it"! That's rare and that's grand!
     
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Perfect choice to have it be Ben's POV. Your dialogue is intelligent and honest, as usual--even the arguing. And the end was scrumptious. The whole effect was very real. A superlative missing scene. =D=

    [:D] !!!!
     
  8. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    Wonderful piece! You really nailed how insightful and observant Ben is, even at this younger age. I loved how Luke benefited from this cooling down period he got from talking with Ben.

    I guess I'm not as insightful as some of the other readers, though, because I interpreted differently Luke's half-smile at the thought of Mara meditating. I assumed that Mara didn't like actual meditating, and so Luke was thinking how her having to do it as a sort of 'punishment' for her un-Jedi-like arguing would be a subtle payback for her disagreeing with him. [face_thinking]

    Anyway, really enjoyed the piece. And it drives home how things could've been so much different if Ben hadn't trained with Jacen; if Jacen hadn't been tortured by Vergere and the Vong; if the Vong had never come... The EU, just like real life, is full of what-if's.
     
  9. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Excellent characterization on the whole Skywalker family. Although, I wish we could go back and show this argument to Mara before she had the idea of going after Jacen ALONE! But, hindsight is always 20/20. And we would never see Luke and Mara get that mad at each other in profic. It always seems that the authors don't give us readers enough credit for realizing that these arguments would happen.

    Bravo! =D=
     
  10. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    What a beautiful vignette! You really brought them to life!

    His father gave him a smile, then looked back at Mom. Ben sensed a strange, half-familiar flicker between them in the Force, like a snatch of private music on the edge of hearing. Mom?s face seemed to soften.

    Dad squeezed her hand, then turned and climbed the stairs. ?Who?s hungry?? he said, over his shoulder. ?I think a warm dinner sounds good.?

    Mom gave Ben a quizzical look, but followed Dad. ?Hurry up inside, Ben,? she said. ?It?s cold out here.? She hastened her pace, and caught up with Dad in the entryway.

    Ben ascended the steps more slowly, letting them draw ahead in the hall. He took off his coat and hung it in the closet.

    Mom was talking, up ahead. Ben opened himself to the Force, just a little, and felt the normal intensity of the flickering ebb and flow of his parents? emotions.

    Ben kicked off his boots, and went to join them.


    =D=
     
  11. Dana-Skywalker

    Dana-Skywalker Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Lovely vignette! [face_love] I love how you portrayed a very realistic situation - of course we all love L/M, but they aren't perfect, and they do have fights. I can see this fitting right in with profic.

    Hm, I didn't quite interpret the meditating bit like some others . . . [face_thinking] o_O

    Great Luke and Ben bonding, and wonderful L/M! Nice job, K_A!
     
  12. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2005
    What I thought was amazing about this fic was how perfectly you captured the rhythm of the fight between Luke and Mara. Far far away or next door, Jedi or Joe Blow, I guess everybody uses the same old ugly phrases and tactics. :) Lovely bit of realism. I always appreciate the character nuances of your writing. The resolution was wonderful in that it was satisfyingly real, too. Ben was a great viewpoint character. You rock, K_A! :D
     
  13. Blue_Milkshake

    Blue_Milkshake Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Great viggie!=D=

    I especially loved all of Ben's very controlled glimpses into the Force. It made me think of someone cracking open a door and peeking inside.
     
  14. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade VIP star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    I really love this one, especially for two particular reasons: I love seeing Luke and Mara actually fight (come on - deeply in love or not, Force bond or not, there's no way those two could live together and not fight now and then), and Luke is actually being a good parent here (unlike in much of the latest profic). And of course there's your usual writing style. :cool:

    The way Luke and Mara's argument progresses is very realistic. They start out fairly objective and reasonable, progress to the beginning-to-get-personal stage, then go for the throat, with Mara insinuating that Luke's jealous of Jacen, and Luke saying Mara's risking Ben's welfare by superimposing her own weaknesses on him. That's the real kicker about fighting with someone you know so well - you know exactly where to aim the barbs. And on a total tangent, it makes me so sad to see Luke being so wary of Jacen. I remember how overjoyed Luke was when he first saw Jacen after Traitor, when they all thought he'd been killed, and then to have that devolve into this. Stupid profic. *sigh*

    More feelings were leaking around the barriers his parents had erected. More hurt. More anger. Ben sank to a crouch. He imagined the control like a transparent drinking bulb, filled with boiling, flashing colours, bright angry red and harsh orange and flat black-blue. He pictured putting a lid on it, trapping the colours inside, and covering it, so that he couldn?t see the colours or the bulb.

    Beautiful imagery - that seems a very realistic way for Ben to think of these things. And his thought processes throughout seem extremely authentic for his age.

    Ben moved reluctantly, dragging his feet. Dad touched his shoulder, lightly but firmly, forcing him to walk properly, propelling him forward.

    Love this. :D Such a very fatherly thing to do.

    ?Let?s take a walk,? Dad said decisively, in the same tone that he used when chairing unruly meetings. It wasn?t abrupt, but it didn't invite argument.

    This is great, too. Luke may be quiet and controlled most of the time, but hey, this is still the guy who led Rogue Squadron and has been head of the resurrected Jedi Order for years. He's no wimp; he knows perfectly well how to exercise authority.

    ?How are you, Ben?? his father said at last. ?I missed you while I was in Coruscant.?

    ?And Mom?? Ben demanded.

    ?And Mom.? Dad echoed him, but sounded distant. Or maybe distracted. ?Of course.?


    This is a beautiful example of the whole less is more narrative style. Ben's young and unused to hearing his parents argue with each other; it would have been easy to simply state straight out that he's worried about whether or not they still love each other. I think most kids are scared about that when their parents fight - I know I always was. But it makes for a much richer narrative to imply it this way, with Ben demanding to know whether or not Dad missed Mom, too, not just him.

    ?You were not. You were fighting. Don?t lie.?

    His father gave him a brief hard look. ?Watch your tone, there.?


    I've already said it, but oh, it is so nice to see Luke actually putting his foot down with his son for once. The profic obviously thinks that Luke and Mara are afraid to say "boo" to Ben. :rolleyes:

    I won't quote the whole next passage, but Luke talking to Ben is great. Luke at this point in time would definitely be deliberate with his words, and it's nice to see Ben observant of that. I also think it's very in character how Luke doesn't say a single negative thing about Jacen or Mara to Ben, even though he's doubtless wary of the one and exasperated with the other, and his insights on both are pretty dead on.

    His father looked resigned. ?I?m afraid your mom and I are exceptionally good at getting angry from time to time.?

    ?That?s not very Jedi-like.?

    ?No, it?s not.? Dad sighed. ?I guess I?ll have to assign myself some meditation sessions.?

    Ben wasn?t entirely sure he was joking. ?Mom, too. She was mad as well.?

    ?Mm. She?d love that.? Dad actually loo
     
  15. Knight_Aragorn

    Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 15, 2003
    canadianjedimama: Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed.

    Jaina_and_Jag: I found Luke and Mara's perspective on Jacen training Ben was somewhat confusing in DN/LotF. A trifle inconsistent, at times... But that's the EU for you. ;) Thank you so much for reading.

    mara_jade_rox: Thank you! High praise indeed. :D

    Irish_Jedi_Jade: It was actually written a few weeks ago, so not quite an easter fic, in intent at least. :p Thanks very much for your feedback. :)

    kataja: A bit more elaboration in the LotF series would have been good, considering that there could really be some interesting things to bring out in the interactions between the different characters. [face_thinking] I originally had a little bit more to Luke and Mara's argument, but it dragged and I had to snip it. It wasn't all that fascinating, anyway. ;)

    Thanks for reading. :)

    Jade_eyes: Thank you, glad you enjoyed!

    Jedi-2B: I really think it would be hard for Ben not to grow up a pretty perceptive kid, given who his parents are. I'm glad that's not just my take on his character. :D

    I guess I'm not as insightful as some of the other readers, though, because I interpreted differently Luke's half-smile at the thought of Mara meditating. I assumed that Mara didn't like actual meditating, and so Luke was thinking how her having to do it as a sort of 'punishment' for her un-Jedi-like arguing would be a subtle payback for her disagreeing with him.

    LOL, if you're not insightful, neither am I, because that's more what I had in mind with the comment. I think Luke would well know how annoyed Mara would be at the suggestion she do a little remedial meditating, and he's not above being pleased at the thought of being able to tweak her. Jedi-like, indeed. :p But each to their own interpretation...

    Thanks for the lovely feedback. [:D]

    madman007: Hard to see those two not disagreeing from time to time, given the fact they both possess healthy tempers. Luke might pretend otherwise, but Mara knows exactly the right buttons to press, I'm thinking.

    Glad you enjoyed, and thank you for reading.

    VaderLVR64: Thank you. :D

    Dana-Skywalker: Thank you! And I didn't interpret the meditation quite that way either. :p It was nice to write Luke and Ben having a healthy conversation, so glad you enjoyed that side of the vig. Thanks again for the feedback.

    furrylittlebantha: What I thought was amazing about this fic was how perfectly you captured the rhythm of the fight between Luke and Mara. Far far away or next door, Jedi or Joe Blow, I guess everybody uses the same old ugly phrases and tactics.

    So true - it's something of a down side to knowing each other so well, that you'd know the little barbs that are going to hurt most - maybe because of the edge of truth in them? Luke and Mara might be a great couple, but I can't see them always being perfect.

    Thank you for the feedback. *blushes* ;)

    Blue_Milkshake: Thank you! Glad you picked up on and liked that aspect - I was trying to keep it true to Ben's earlier wariness of the Force in that he's not entirely comfortable with it, especially when it comes to strong emotions. Poor kid has had too much Force related trauma already, so you can't blame him.

    Gabri: I love seeing Luke and Mara actually fight (come on - deeply in love or not, Force bond or not, there's no way those two could live together and not fight now and then), and Luke is actually being a good parent here (unlike in much of the latest profic).

    I couldn't agree more re Luke and Mara and their, ahem, occasional differences of view. :p And oh, how I wish we could see more of Luke as a competent, loving father. *sigh*

    The way Luke and Mara's argument progresses is very realistic. They start out fairly objective and reasonable, progress to the beginning-to-get-personal stage, then go for the throat, with Mara insinuating that Luke's jealous of Jacen, and Luke saying Mara's risking Ben's welfare
     
  16. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Ooh, goodie. I'll get back to read this asap. :)
     
  17. Tahi

    Tahi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2002
    This is wonderful, K_A - it gets us into Ben's head perfectly. And your descriptions of the way he uses the Force were - as i often say with your work - so real and true. I loved the contrast between how he perceived them in the Force at the end and how he heard and felt them at the start.

    Luke, too, was a wonderful characterisation. You captured his anger and hurt and his humour beautifully. I liked the point about how Ben was aware of how Luke's tone has meaning, even when he doesn't always quite understand what that meaning is. Again - it's such an excellent evocation of Ben at this stage.

    I get the feeling that Ben inadvertently helped Luke sort out his thoughts and helped him cool down. I think even Mara was surprised, but also amused, at that.

    Even though this focused on an argument, I thought it was beautiful because it showed a family bound together by love. As you can guess - I loved this viggie. [:D]
     
  18. Bri_Windstar

    Bri_Windstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 27, 2002
    Ooooh. It's so rare nowadays to see them as anything other than schmoopy that this is a very welcome respite. I like that it focuses on a different aspect of their relationship. It makes them more real and accessible. And I like how you get that from Ben's POV. Each one of them only wants what they think is best for him, naturally, and there are going to be disagreements on what that is from time to time. Of course he'd be confused by that when he's only hearing snatches of the convo and he himself hasn't really seen anything wrong. I like that it's Ben, the subject of the convo, that makes Luke step back and gather his focus again.

    The meditation line was funny, but I'll admit, I'm mystified as to how that could be construed as innuendo. :confused: I, personally, saw it for what it was- meditation. :p

    I'm probably a parrot at this point, but you always have such insight and such a way with words. At the risk of debasing myself completely, I fangirl you like whoa. :p @};- :D

    *fangirls* [face_dancing]
     
  19. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    I keep finding wonderful things in the stories you write, KA. On Gabi's advice I've taken to reading all of the stuff of yours I missed while I was away. I usually don't read things set in this time period, as the current EU makes me...well...eeegghh. But I loved this. The bit at the end, where something passed between them and Ben could feel it...

    ...well, it's amazing to know you have parents who love each other, isn't it?

    <3 Awesome, KA, just awesome. :D
     
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