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Beyond - Legends Forces of Destiny (L/M/B)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Blackfish, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Blackfish

    Blackfish Jedi Youngling

    Feb 13, 2012
    Title: Forces of Destiny
    Author(s): Blackfish (Fettkat)
    Timeframe: Toward's the end of TUF
    Characters: Luke, Mara, baby Ben.
    Genre: Family/Drama
    Summary: My take on why Ben Skywalker withdrew from the Force in the early years of his life, and how his parents had to come to terms with it.

    The afternoon heat on Zonama Sekot tended to have a rather soporific effect on him these days. Or perhaps he was simply getting drained out faster from his healing trances for the amphistaff wound that had nearly killed him a few weeks ago.
    Whatever the reason, Luke Skywalker lay back on his bed with a sigh inside the pre-fabricated cottage he and Mara had come to call home here on Zonama and let his eyelids droop...

    The little red-haired toddler was exploring. Recently re-united with his family, he had suddenly found himself the centre of everyone's attention and had found that he didn't mind one bit!
    But he had missed being able to explore on his own as he had used to in Shelter Base in the Maw Installation, when Jedi Masters Kam and Tionne Solusar would sometimes find themselves too rushed to keep a constant eye on him and hand him over to one of the older apprentices from whose restless supervision it had been an easy task to slip away and go off on his own.
    Today finally felt like one of those days. His mommy had left him behind while she went to run an errand or two and had told him to be a good boy and not disturb his father while he was resting. Having his mommy to himself once again was better than he had even dreamed it would be, but his innate urge to explore this strange new place in which he found himself was irresistible.

    Something was missing. It was this niggling feeling of absence that woke Luke suddenly from his overlong nap. He struggled to sit, still groggy and heavy-headed and tried to think what it was that might be missing.
    Mara had gone out to tend to a few duties and errands leaving him with...

    Suddenly Luke was wide awake and searching through the Force in panic. The Force was strong on Zonama, everything seemed clearer and individual presences felt reinforced. But nowhere was there a trace of his son's bright Force-signature. He cursed himself mentally. How could he have been so careless?! He had completely forgotten about Ben! Instead of watching him, he had fallen asleep on the job! Truth be told, his son had only been back a couple of days and he still hadn't gotten used to having an overly-active two-year old around. He had seen him growing through the holos they had been sent from Shelter at regular intervals, but his heart still remembered him as the babe-in-arms they had been forced to part with on Borleias.
    "Ben?" he called out, worriedly.
    He struggled to his feet, and pulled a robe around himself.

    The door to the hut creaked open and a little shadow strolled in, squinting at the change from the bright sunlight outside to the dimness within and rubbed his eyes with dirty hands. He stopped at the sight of his father, out of bed, staring at him incredulously.
    "Ben? Where did you go...alone?!"
    Mara would have his head for this!
    "I was looking all over for you! You had me worried, son!"
    He rushed over and crouched in front of his son.

    Ben looked a sight. He had mud on his hands and shoes and the knees of his overalls were green with grass-stains. In rubbing his face, he'd even got some of the dirt on his face and his hair stuck up in spikes at the back of his head.
    He badly needed a bath, Luke realized.
    Ben was still staring at him calmly, but curiously, as if unable to understand what had suddenly gotten him so excited.
    And that was when Luke noticed it with a start. He couldn't feel Ben in the Force! His eyes widened in shock and he gaped at the little boy standing right in front of him.
    Finally, the toddler was getting restless.
    "Mm hungry," he whined, fidgeting with his overalls.
    His father was clutching him by the shoulders, a little too tightly, and Ben was beginning to feel slightly alarmed. He wanted his mommy.
    "Daddy? Need to go."
    Luke forced himself to snap out of it.
    "Need to go-o-o!"
    Ben was looking distressed, hopping from one foot to the other.
    Luke led him to the small 'fresher and helped him undo his pants, then he leaned his head wearily against the wall.

    Why couldn't he feel his own son in the Force? He had always been able to before, even when he'd been in Mara's womb. Ben was definitely Force-sensitive... had he lost his ability in the Force somewhere along the way? No, that was impossible! He would still be able to sense the Force in his son. Then how-?

    Luke's reverie was interrupted by Ben's little frowning face staring up at him. He was tugging at his overalls, but was unable to do the buttons. Luke bent down to help him.
    "Want mommy."
    "Mommy's gone out for a bit, buddy. She'll be back soon. Come on, I'll get us some lunch, ok?"
    Luke reached for his hand and then frowned at the mud still on it.
    "But looks like we're going to have to clean you up a bit before that."

    Ben always laughed with Mara around. They seemed to have a method of communication all their own and Luke had watched indulgently over the last couple of days as Mara had revelled in the little miracle that was their lively little boy.
    But with him alone, the situation seemed entirely different. Ben fussed and fidgeted unusually restlessly and played with his food. With his already depleted reserves of energy, Luke couldn't keep up the fight for long and after eating only half of what was on his plate, he changed Ben's clothes and put him down to sleep.

    Ben was out like a light, his thumb unconsciously lodging itself in his mouth as he snuggled a stuffed bantha toy, but Luke's worries weren't set to rest yet. He still couldn't sense his own son in the Force and this thought disturbed him no end. He looked at him, sleeping peacefully, and the sight relaxed him. He sat back with a sigh. This was what they had been fighting for all these long weary years. For his future, for his safety. For a chance to be able to simply watch him sleep.
    Luke stretched out with the Force in a gentle, loving caress, the way he often had to soothe Ben when he had been a baby, and touched the infant's mind.

    Instantly Ben awoke with a terrified scream that startled Luke.
    "Monsterrr!" Ben yelled at the top of his lungs, sitting up tangled in blankets, clutching his toy in fright and backing up to the very end of his crib.

    Luke's heart nearly broke at the sight of his baby son's wide blue eyes stretched wide and haunted, brimming over with frightened tears.
    He rushed over to his side and attempted to pick him up and pacify him. But to his utter consternation, Ben shrank from the contact, looking up at him with almost no vestige of recognition.
    "Teeny!" he cried, finally dissolving into miserable sobs and flailing his tiny arms,"Teeny!"

    A worried voice spoke up from the entrance to the bedroom and Luke turned to find Mara surveying the scene perplexedly.
    "What's going on?"
    She walked straight over to her crying son and picked him up, rocking him back and forth and murmuring endearments to soothe him.
    "Teeny!" he still continued to call, but his voice came out muffled from where he had buried it in his mother's shoulder.
    Mara frowned at her husband.
    "What did you do?"
    Luke's anxiety was all too apparent in the tired blue of his eyes.
    "Mara...I-I... Nothing! I only tried to reach him through the Force, and this is how he reacted! Mara... can you- can you sense him?"
    Mara's frown deepened and she looked down at the sniffling child for a moment, concentrating within herself. She extended her love and comfort through the Force towards her child, but the instant she made contact with Ben's infant mind, the child thrashed in renewed terror.
    Mara herself teared up.
    "He- he wants Tionne...?"
    Luke looked at his wife helplessly.
    “I can’t understand it. It’s almost as if he’s afraid... of the Force!”
    Little Ben was trembling in his mother’s arms, refusing to lift his head to look at either of them.
    Mara stroked his back gently and chewed her lip, debating her husband’s comment.
    “I’m going to find Tionne and see what she says. I think we need to get to the bottom of this.”
    Luke nodded, sitting back down on the bed and wearily running a hand through his hair,
    He watched Mara leave with a still sniffling Ben and the hardest question flashed into his head.
    What if his son rejected the Force? What if he didn’t want to become a Jedi? Would he be able to let him go?

    Mara was smiling on the outside when she and Ben returned, and the child was almost back to normal. But Luke could clearly sense the edge in her composure and the doubt hidden within her gaze.

    Ben played happily with the few toys he had on the floor while his parents kept an eye on him, sitting with mugs of caf in their hands as they talked.
    “So what did Tionne say?”
    Mara fidgeted with her mug as she replied, which Luke knew wasn’t a good sign.
    “He was apparently always wary of using the Force in Shelter, Luke. He hates it whenever anyone uses it to try and reach him.”
    Luke frowned.
    “It wasn’t like this before, though. We would always soothe him using the Force.”
    “Tionne says he refers to the Force as ‘bad’ and has created some sort of monster which he says will come for him if he uses it.”
    Luke’s heart sank on hearing this. This seemed to be aversion of the worst kind.
    “But Mara, he’s only two! How is he able to hide from the Force already? Shielding your presence isn’t easy, and as Jedi Masters over and above being his parents, we should be able to find him most easily!”
    Mara raised one eyebrow at her husband.
    “Doesn’t that tell you then how naturally strong he is in the Force?”
    Luke looked over to where the toddler was crawling with an X-wing toy and giggling to himself.
    “But why would he want to hide from us, Mara?”
    His voice reflected the ache in Mara’s own heart. She reached over and laid her hand gently on his, her eyes uncharacteristically soft.
    “Maybe... maybe he’s still not used to us, Farmboy. He’s spent the last year and a half getting close to Kam and Tionne, and now he has to re-adjust to having us in his life. It’s not easy at his age. We have to give him some time. Atleast... that was what Tionne said...”

    They both fell silent, watching their infant son at play, still silent and invisible in the Force.

    The instant she awoke, she knew it wasn’t her own nightmare that had woken her.
    Luke was still fast asleep beside her, the fatigue of the day reflected in the tired lines on his face.
    Sparing him only a glance to decide firmly to let him keep sleeping, Mara tiptoed into the adjacent room where her son had been tucked in for the night.

    The child was still asleep, but she could see him shiver and twitch. His blankets were a tangle beneath him, trapping his arms and legs in odd positions. His eyes flickered rapidly beneath tightly closed lids and his lips moved as if making inarticulate sounds. Ben was deep in the throes of a nightmare.

    But for the first time, Mara sensed the Force bleeding out from him. Pulling up a chair close to his crib, she closed her eyes and expanded her sense to share in his, careful so as not to intrude on his mind in the process.

    Luke awoke in the morning to find the other side of the bed empty, but immediately sensed Mara nearby. He pulled on a robe as he got out of bed and followed her trace outside, checking in to see Ben still asleep in his little cot.

    Mara’s Force-aura was tightly drawn around herself as she stood in a relaxed meditative posture just outside the front door of their cottage. She was breathing in deeply, allowing Zonama’s strong Force presence to mingle with hers. But Luke wasn’t fooled. He could tell she was troubled and hadn’t slept much the previous night.

    As he neared, he was startled when she abandoned her meditation and turned to him, burying her face in his chest.
    “We failed him, Luke,” she whispered and Luke felt her tears against the thin fabric of his robe.
    Gently, he pulled her up to look at him, the expression adorning her face one of utter misery.
    “Mara? Love, what’s wrong? Whom did we fail?”
    “Our son,” she mumbled, looking away and squeezing her eyes shut.
    Luke frowned, puzzled.
    “Ben? How? What’s going on?”
    Mara took him by the hand and sat him down on the grass.
    “I felt him last night, Luke. For the first time in a long time. I felt Ben in the Force. But he wasn’t controlling it. He was having a nightmare and his emotions were all over the place.”

    Mara lifted liquid jade eyes to her husband’s clear blue ones, and he felt a pang when he saw the pain within them.
    “I shared his dream, Luke... except that it wasn’t just a dream. More like abstract memories. And...and...”
    She swallowed in a throat gone dry, suddenly unable to go on.
    Luke waited for a whole minute before taking her hands in his.
    “What did you see, Mara?” he asked quietly.
    Tears rolled down Mara’s cheeks afresh and the pain almost seemed to come to the surface.
    “I saw Anakin, Luke. I saw everything.”

    Luke felt an icy grip tighten over his heart. Suddenly, he felt too weak to be able to sit without support.
    His youngest nephew. The greatest loss of the war.
    Ben and he had never even gotten to know each other.

    Mara’s voice was like a flat, emotionless drone.
    “He sensed Anakin die in the Force, Luke. And he was with Leia at the time. Leia! I saw her Luke! The way he saw her! She-she... It was awful. And Han. And all the panic when they were leaving Coruscant. He could feel us, Luke. He felt all our emotions through the war as well as everyone else’s. He even felt you fall on Coruscant and he can feel you’re hurt. ”
    She laid the lightest of touches on the bandage covering his poisonous chest wound. Involuntarily, Luke shivered.

    “He’s so strong in the Force. He could feel the Jedi even far away beyond Shelter.”
    She shook her head regretfully.
    “All that time we thought we were protecting him, he could feel the war anyway. And it haunts him, Luke! It haunts our baby!”

    She turned pleading eyes to her husband, and her voice was softer than before.
    “I don’t blame him for withdrawing from the Force after experiencing all that, and I don’t want you to either. We’ll see about it as he grows up. And even if he decides maybe not to be a Jedi, I will still love him. I won’t lose him again, Skywalker. I don’t care what it takes.”
    Her eyes held a fierce emerald fire this time, the same fire he had fallen in love with so many years ago.

    Luke turned back to look towards the cottage in which their son still lay sleeping and heaved a dejected sigh.
    “That’s it then? My son is afraid of the Force?”
    “He associates the Force with all that is terrifying and sad and evil. That’s all he’s known, Luke. That’s what comes of having a baby in a war.”
    The last was said with such unfamiliar bitterness that Luke looked up sharply.
    “He blames it. He blames the Force. And he wants nothing to do with it.”

    He closed his fingers over Mara’s hand, unconsciously rubbing the wedding ring on her finger.
    “Maybe it’s just a phase. Once he grows up a bit, maybe we can sit down and have a talk with him. Explain his fears away.”
    Mara’s eyes flashed.
    “You won’t force him into it, Skywalker. My poor child’s been traumatized enough! And if you ever dare suggest he’s a disappointment because he’s chosen against the Force-”
    Luke fought to overcome the flare of anger arising within his chest, but she didn’t give him a chance to retort.
    “We are going to be there for him from now on, you hear me, Skywalker? No matter what happens, no matter what he decides. We’re going to give him the life he deserves, a life of love and peace and...and normalcy!”
    Mara’s fists were clenched tight to her sides and her chest was heaving with passion after this outburst.

    Luke looked at her and could feel her turbulent emotions layered one on top of the other. Her anger at the injustice of the universe for having let her child suffer like this, her doubts about whether she was choosing wisely for him, her fear and determination to ensure his well-being and happiness, and underlying it all, a love so deep and fierce, it overwhelmed every other instinct in her body.

    A love he knew he carried himself.

    He pulled her closer to him and touched his forehead to hers, letting her understand that he agreed. That he would do whatever it took to make the galaxy a safer place for their son.
    They sat there for a long time, letting their essences and emotions, their fears and hopes mingle freely with each other’s before achieving a new sense of calm.

    Finally, Mara stood up.
    “I’m going inside to make breakfast. Ben will be up soon. You want to stay outside a bit longer?”
    Luke nodded slightly and gave her a brief smile. She smiled back tentatively and then walked back.

    He let his head fall back against a tree as his eyes dimmed.
    Will I be able to let him go?
    No. I will fight so that I may never have to.
    And I will love him. No matter what.

    “No matter what,” he heard himself mutter under his breath.
    Yes. Without the aid of a Force-connection, they would have to be parents the hard way.


  2. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    Oh, poor Ben! :(

    It must have been terrifying to feel all that so he shut it down.

    Fantastic job on this fic!
  3. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Fantastic job! Poor Ben. I feel bad for Luke and Mara as well.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Stunning, touching, real. =D= I love Mara when she speaks her mind [face_laugh] [face_love] !!!!! Luke really does deserve her, lucky bloke. [face_love]
  5. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    I am sure if I had a Force connection with my teenage boys I would go insane. Still, I feel bad for Luke and Mara. Nice job!
  6. Catsmeow

    Catsmeow Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 8, 2012
    Poor Ben. I do however, love how Mara speaks her mind so openly in this story.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    LOL on catsmeow's siggy ;) @};-
    Blackfish likes this.