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Saga - OT Ever After--Disney Quotes Challenge (Mara/Ezra)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, May 23, 2017.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: Ever After
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Timeframe: Saga OT
    Genre: AU, romance, drama
    Characters: Mara Jade Blayne, Annina Blayne, mentions of Ezra Bridger
    Synopsis:: An outtake from Star Crossed, after Ezra leaves Mara’s house, from Mara’s point of view. For the Disney Quotes Challenge.

    Thanks to Ewok Poet and Findswoman for beta reading @};-
    --------------------------------------

    ”You can’t get what you want just by wishing for it.--Tiana, The Princess and the Frog

    To be happy, and forever,​
    You must see your wish come true.​
    Don't be careful, don't be clever.​
    When you see your wish, pursue.​
    --”Ever After"​
    from Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim​

    ----------------------------------------------

    Mara sat on her bed, arms wrapped around the stuffed Wookiee, hugging it like she was three years old again, staring at nothing. She felt empty; how could she feel so lost and lonely already? How could she miss someone she’d only known for a day this much? She would not cry; she wouldn't let herself. Tears weren’t going to solve anything. You’re an idiot, she told herself. You’ve been listening to Mella and Velanie’s nonsense too long. A couple of kisses and you think you’re in love. You’re just infatuated because he’s got that killer smile and those gorgeous blue eyes.

    She buried her face in the Wookiee’s fur. She could tell herself that was all it was, but she knew it wasn’t true. Ezra wasn’t just good looking, he was smart, funny, brave…and as if that wasn’t enough to make her weak in the knees, he was a Jedi. There had only been ten thousand Jedi before the Purge. Even if ten thousand Force-users had escaped the Inquisitors, the odds of meeting anyone like him again… She was half-Corellian, she’d grown up playing sabacc, but even she wouldn’t take those odds.

    Tears started to prick the corners of eyes again. “Ugh! I’m so stupid!” Mara dashed them away angrily and threw the plush Wookiee across the room just as the door opened. Only Annina’s Jedi reflexes kept her from being hit in the head with the toy.

    “Hey, don’t treat Mr. Smuggles like that!” Annina picked up the Wookiee, kissed it on the head and brought it back to Mara.

    She snatched him from her sister’s hand. “Go away.”

    “This is my room, too!” she protested.

    “Just…go somewhere else for now.” Mara wished she could shoo Annina out like she had her sister’s equally fluffy and annoying pittin. She didn’t feel up to dealing with her nonsense right now, not after the way Annina had been giggling and squealing over the idea that her sister had a boyfriend--tee-hee!--ever since Mara had come back from the garrison that afternoon.

    “It’s time for bed,” Annina informed her, sighing her my-big-sister-knows-nothing sigh. She wriggled out of her sparkly tunic, pulled off her leggings and rummaged in her top dresser drawer for a pair of pajamas--pink, of course.

    “Great.” Mara stared dully across the room. She guessed she should probably get ready for bed, too, but why bother? It wasn’t like she was going to sleep that night.

    “So, did Ezra kiss you?” Annina asked, her voice muffled as she pulled the ruffled pajama top over her head.

    “Annina!”

    Her head popped out, curls standing up in a fluffy nimbus. “Ooh, you’re blushing!” She grinned like a tooka--a particularly sappy, lovesick tooka. “That’s a yes, then! I knew it!”

    Mara turned away so her sister couldn’t see the furious shade of red she was turning. He had kissed her, twice in fact--once in the alley by the spaceport when they’d escaped the Trandoshan bounty hunter and once in the roof garden under the stars, and they’ d both been….none of her sister’s business. “I thought you were going to bed.”

    Annina sighed again as she crawled into bed and nestled herself in among a dozen stuffed pittins. “Are you going to marry him?”

    “Annina Brandel Blayne! Would you stop?!”

    “What? That’s the way it happens in the stories-- you meet your true love, kiss, get married and live happily ever after.” She propped herself up on her elbows and ticked off the points on her fingers. “Ezra’s your true…”

    “Stop it!” Mara sprang to her feet, her hands clenched into tight, useless fists at her side. “Don’t you get it? This isn’t a story! Things don’t work that way in real life. He’s leaving tomorrow and I’ll probably never see him again.” She choked out the words. “We don’t get a happily ever after!”

    Annina’s face crumpled, her lower lip juddering as tears welled up in her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said in a tiny voice. “I like Ezra; I just wanted you to be happy.”

    “Oh, ‘Nina…” Mara went to her and wrapped her arms around her little sister. Fat teardrops slid down Annina’s cheeks as she buried her face in Mara’s shoulder; Mara felt hot, angry tears start running down her own cheeks. She hated herself right now for yelling at her little sister and making her cry. For crying herself. For being such an idiot. And most of all, she hated the tiny part of her that had believed those stories, too. Some secret part of her heart had really thought that this could be it, that Ezra could be the one. That there could be a happily ever after for them.

    “Don’t cry, Mara,” Annina sniffled, hugging her tighter. “It’ll be okay; it has to be. True love always works out in the…” She stopped and clamped one hand over her mouth, chagrined.

    “Right,” Mara forced herself to smile and ruffle Annina’s curls. “I’m sure it will. But right now, you’d better get to sleep before Mom comes in to see what’s going on.” She tucked the blankets around Annina and handed her the rainbow-furred pittin that was her favorite.

    “G’night, Mara. I know it’s going to be all right.”

    “Good night, kiddo.” Mara turned out the lights and lay down, still in her clothes. She didn’t know how long she lay there, eyes closed, trying not to think about Ezra--his smile, the way it lit up his eyes--blue as the evening sky. The way it lit up the Force around him. The way the Force had hummed when he kissed her…

    She wished she could be as trusting and hopeful as Annina, but even if Ezra was--or could be-- her true love, there were no guarantees for them. There was no magic that was going to make things right. She couldn’t just wish on a star or have an enchanted hold-parent wave a magic wand, and...presto, instant happiness. There were a few pesky details like war and Inquisitors standing in their way. Mara smothered a bitter laugh; her real hold-parents were Bothan spies, great if you needed political secrets or black-market technology, but not so good for happily ever afters.

    Unless…

    She scrambled out of bed, dashed to her desk, grabbed her mini-glowrod and rummaged through the crate of broken and decommissioned comlinks from the garrison that Uncle Dev had given her to work on, to see what kind of information they could pull from them. She found what she was looking for at the bottom of the bin: a new-- model SW-95 transceiver. She held the glowrod between her teeth and pried open the comlink’s back panel with a screwdriver.

    “Mara? What are you doing?” Annina sat up in bed. She frowned muzzily and rubbed her eyes.

    “Making a happily ever after for my story.” Or at least creating the possibility for one.

    “Huh? I thought you said this wasn’t a story.”

    Mara set the glowrod down on her desk, grabbed a spudger from the tool bin and prodded the relay circuit. This just might work… “Well, no. I mean, life isn’t like a fairy tale. You can't get what you want just by wishing for it; you have to make it happen.” She held up the comlink. “I think I can modify this to transmit via the HoloNet instead of on the short-range planetary frequencies. And if I can do that…” She pushed back a sigh and the surge of hope that welled up inside. “I don’t know if I’ll ever see Ezra again, but at least I can talk to him.” And if they could talk, maybe--somehow, someday--they could find a way to get back together.

    “Can I help?” Annina asked, scrambling out of her blankets.

    Mara hesitated. Annina didn’t know the first thing about slicing or tech repair. Nick was a whiz at fixing things and even building tech from scratch, but Annina had always brushed off Uncle Dev’s lessons as boring technical junk. Things would go a lot faster if Mara worked on her own, but she saw Annina’s face alight in the darkness, eyes sparkling rapturously with the idea of happy endings and true love… “Sure,” Mara said. “Come on.” She peered down at the intricate maze of the circuitry. “I wish I had better light, though.”

    “Hang on.” Annina scurried back and forth, piling her plush pittins in front of the door, blocking the crack between the door and the floor. “There. Now we can turn the light on and Mom won’t see.”

    “You’re a devious little princess, you know that?” Mara laughed and ruffled her sister’s hair.

    “Thanks.” Annina grinned back impishly as she pushed curls hair back into place. “What do we do first?”

    ---------------------------------

    As these kind of projects always seemed to, it took Mara twice as long as she expected to rewire the comlink and install the holo-relay transmitter. At first, Annina handed her tools and parts, giggling and whispering questions--sometimes about comlinks, but mostly about Ezra. Mara answered the more innocuous ones--yes, she did think he was handsome, but no, as far as she knew, he didn’t have any brothers--and did her best to ignore the repeated queries about kissing and marriage. After an hour, Annina got bored and lay down on Mara’s bed to simply watch.

    Things progressed faster after that, but it still took many tries of connecting, testing, rewiring and testing again before she finally got the HoloNet relay on the SW-95 to transmit and many more tests before she got her own comlink to receive the signals. By the time she finished, Annina was asleep, her mouth open and drooling on Mara’s pillow, curled up with Mr. Smuggles.

    Mara smiled down at her little sister and tucked the blankets around her. She flipped off the lights, and scooped all the stuffed pittins up from around the door, arranging them next to Annina, who never stirred. She yawned and shrugged into her pajamas, and though she didn’t expect to be comfortable in her sister’s too-soft bed, Mara was soon asleep, too, the SW-95 comlink tucked beneath her pillow like a secret wish.

    ----------------

    “Wake up! Mara! Wake up!”

    “Huh?” Mara struggled against the currents of sleep, her heavy head sinking back down into them like a rock. The bed was warm and cozy, and she was loath to let go of the very pleasant dreams she’d been having of running over the rooftops of Merkesh City with a roguish Jedi whose eyes were as blue as the twilight sky.

    Small hands alternately shook her and poked her in the ribs, while something fuzzy patted her face insistently. Mara reluctantly opened one eye to find Annina standing over her, her face in an impatient pout. Princess the pittin was crouched on her chest and gave her face another swat. “The shuttle to the Corporate Sector leaves in two hours!” Annina insisted, pulling the blankets back and dragging at Mara’s hand. “You have to get to the spaceport before then!”

    “What?” None of this made any sense; why did she have to catch a shuttle? And why was she in Annina’s bed?

    “To get your comlink to Ezra! Come on! Get up!”

    Yesterday’s events came back in a rush. Mara stood up so quickly that Princess tumbled onto the floor with a startled “meep”. “Oh, shavit!” She grabbed the comlink from underneath the pillow and dashed for the door, too flustered to worry about the fact that she’d just sworn in front of Annina. “I’m never going to be able to convince Mom to let me go before she leaves for work!”

    “I already took care of it.” Annina scooped up Princess. She kissed the disgruntled pittin and cradled her over her shoulder as she followed Mara. “Well, I convinced Dad first. He was a piece of ryshcate. After that, it was easy to get Mom to agree, too.” She beamed, somehow managing to look innocently wide-eyed and completely pleased with herself at once. “I can be very persuasive.”

    Mara stopped and looked back at her sister. Maybe there wasn’t such a thing as wishing star, but this sparkly Star made her own kind of magic. Underneath all the fluff and ruffles, Annina was as sharp as a sabacc player and twice as charismatic. She could be a pretty good kid--sometimes. Mara hugged her. “Thanks, kiddo. I owe you one.”

    “You owe me more than one!” Annina informed her. “I already picked out your clothes-- the starflower colored tunic with the embroidered sash. But if you don’t get moving, I'll never get your hair braided in time.” She smiled up at Mara, all sparkles again. “I know it’s not a story...but it doesn’t hurt to look like a princess, just in case!”

    --------------------

    “Comm him!” Annina urged, for what must have been the fiftieth time in the last five minutes.

    “Ezra’s probably not even out of hyperspace yet,” Mara protested. As if she wasn’t nervous enough-- worrying that her modifications wouldn’t work, that the holo-net would go down for the entire Hydian Way, that he wouldn’t answer when she commed--her sister had to keep bugging her, squawking “comm him!” every five seconds like a trained florakeet. She was going to go crazy pretty soon; sometimes she really wished Jedi mind-tricks worked on younger siblings.

    “Nick’s chart said 5 hours to Yavin and it’s been 5 hours. Comm him, already!”

    “If I comm this soon, I’m going to look desperate!” She didn’t usually pay attention to anything that was written in Empress! magazine, but she pretty sure it said women weren’t supposed to comm first. And even though this seemed like a stupidly arbitrary rule, she didn’t want to screw things up by getting it wrong. She definitely did not want to seem desperate...even if she felt a little...anxious.

    “Mara, you know you want to,” Annina said, shaking her head as if as if she was the expert who had to explain the way this all worked. Apparently, the stupidly arbitrary rules of dating seemed even more stupid and arbitrary if you were ten and a hopeless romantic. “He’s your true love, I bet he’s waiting for you right now!”

    “I’m not calling with you in here listening!”

    “Fine,” Annina sighed gustily, climbing off her bed. “I’m going.” She peeked back around the corner of the door frame as she left. “Comm him!”

    Mara stared down at her comlink, one finger hovering over the keypad. She shouldn’t comm this soon. She really shouldn’t. It was too soon. What would Ezra think if she commed him now? Would he even answer? But...Annina was right. She did want to comm him. She took a deep breath, punched in the commcode, and pressed “send” before she could change her mind. “Ezra? Are you there?”

    “Hi, Ace,” he answered, and there was a smile in his voice that lit up the Force. “I was just thinking of you…”
     
  2. MartyAvidianus

    MartyAvidianus Jedi Padawan star 3

    Registered:
    May 14, 2017
    How old is Mara and Anninna?
    I like the premise. Ah a stuffed wookiee.
     
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  3. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Let me give you a Wookie hug for mentioning a stuffed Wookie doll in this fanfic. I basically melted away!

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I love the idea of how this story flows into the other. In Star-Crossed, we see the commlink, but in this one, we see Mara's angst, we see her curled up in her bedroom and then Annina, out of all beings in the household, comes up with a great plan for her big sis to keep in touch with Ezra.

    The way you painted the picture of their room, and the process of them making the comm was marvelous. Uncle Dev's lessons might have looked ridiculous at first, but hey, you never know when you need them. How about right now?

    Sorry that this comment is short, I commented on the dynamic between Mara and Ezra elsewhere and Annina is such a complete character, that there isn't much to add about her - perhaps one of the best you have ever created.
     
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    You've dovetailed with Star Crossed in a very cool way here—I don’t know why it took me this long to realize that this is concurrent with some of the end scenes of SC, leading up to the presentation of the transmitter at Mara and Ezra’s farewell and form there to the very same sweet, sincere greeting that also concludes SC: “Hi Ace, I was just thinking of you…” [face_love]

    The prompt quote is so true to the Mara you’ve developed in your recent stories: a go-getter who takes initiative to achieve her goals, and who meets her obstacles with courageous resolve. At the same time, she’s navigating the fine line between that practical, go-getter nature and all of those tender, romantic feelings that have been fililng her—almost despite herself—since she met the Spectre with the winning smile and the eyes as blue as the evening sky. :ezra: There’s definitely something within her that yearns for the fairytale “ever after” outcome that little sis Annina insists upon, even as she explains so adamantly that "this isn’t a story!” (Metaaaaaa! :D ). But those two things aren’t at all mutually exclusive, as she finds out: sometimes a judicious application of practical skills in the here and now is all one needs in order to make one’s dreams real.

    And Annina… well, what can I say, that devious, sparkly little princess is a real tour de force. :D I’ve commented in your other stories featuring her on the way she seems to be the prime mover of the action, and here too, in a way, she makes everything possible. Even though Mara had the idea and the tech skills to rejigger the old comm equipment from Uncle Dev, she wouldn’t have been able to bring that project to completion without Annina’s quick thinking and stealth skills (even her stuffed pittins have more to them than meets the eye!). And without Annina’s skills in persuasion, Mara would not have the chance to run and say goodbye to her Spectre—and to deliver to him the doohickey that will allow them to keep in touch. Mara and Ezra both definitely owe her more than one! I wonder how… perhaps we’ll see in a future story. [face_batting] (Yes, I know I shouldn’t be providing you with more bunnies, but… :p )

    I always love visiting and revisiting the cool, in-depth, richly characterized ‘verse you’ve created with this combination of OCs and ECs—keep it coming! :) @};-
     
    Raissa Baiard and Ewok Poet like this.
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEEE! Annina is a darling and Mara is herself even in this different back-story/family. :cool: How cool and awesome is that? [face_love]
     
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  7. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Mara is seventeen and Annina is ten in this story. Thanks! And a stuffed Wookiee seemed like a good GFFA alternative to a teddy bear :)
    Aw, thanks! [:D] Warm Wookiee hugs to you, too, for sharing your cute picture!
    Thanks! Annina may be a fluffy romantic, but she's got more going on beneath those pretty curls than most people think! It was kind of a surprise to me, too, when I was developing her just how sharp she is. She and Mara have an interesting relationship, because they're opposites in a lot of ways, but very much alike in that they're both shrewd go-getters.

    Annina's going to come to appreciate Uncle Dev's advice more in the future :) You can't be a member of the Blayne family and not be into secrets and spycraft in some way. Their parents should be proud of their enterprising children (even it they are concerned about the application of said enterprise)

    To paraphrase Han Solo: short comments are better than no comments :han: No seriously, I love getting any and all comments, and this one was great[:D] Annina sends you several enthusiastic hugs as well; she's not going to let her sister forget this!
    Thank you! I enjoyed writing Ezra's perspective in Star Crossed, but it meant that there were certain scenes I couldn't do' this challenge was the perfect opportunity to show one of them and take a look at Mara's side of the story.
    When I received this quote, I knew I wanted to do something with the tension between hopelessly romantic Annina who believes wholeheartedly in fairy tales and true love and her much more practical older sis, who insists she's not romantic even as she's in the throes of her first big crush. Mara has the capability for romance deep inside, though, and she finally find the balance between practical and romantic when she puts her skills to good use to make her own happy ending.

    Annina is quickly becoming a favorite of mine as well, partly because there's a lot of my own sparkly, devious Youngling in her, and partly because as I mentioned earlier, she's turned out to be a deeper character than I first thought. She is a mover, and even Mara underestimates her sometimes. And Annina will no doubt have plenty of ideas for way Mara and Ezra to pay her back in the future :D

    Thank you! I can promise there will be more in the future
    [face_dancing] I have earned a "SQUEE " [face_dancing] I feel like I have truly succeeded in writing mush now [face_love] I'm so glad you enjoyed it and that Mara still is true to herself here. I enjoy writing this version of her so much, and I'm happy that you enjoy her, too!
     
    AzureAngel2, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  8. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    This is such a sweet story! I love, love, love Annina here. She is such a vibrant character - you can completely see this little princess. Pitkins squeaking and purring all over the place, stuffed animals (rainbow colored, no less) piled on the bed, sparkly pink shirts - she is such a complete princess girly girl.

    But smart as a whip. I loved the scene where she piled all her stuffed animals against the door so that they could work conspiratorialy together. They are wonderful sisters.

    Excellent use of the Disney quote here. This is a wonderful addition to your Raissaverse! =D=