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Beyond - Legends Guardian (Ben, Allana, OC, Enter!verse AU, one-shot, Latin Phrase Roulette)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ViariSkywalker, Sep 29, 2022.

  1. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Title: Guardian
    Author: ViariSkywalker
    Timeframe: 55-61 ABY
    Characters: Ben Skywalker, Allana Djo Solo, Darth Festus (OC), other ECs & OCs
    Genre: AU, introspection, family, background dark romance

    Summary: If there’s one thing he knows with absolute certainty, it’s that he will do anything to protect her.
    (Or, Allana attracts the wrong kind of attention, and Ben notices.)

    Notes: I started writing this about eighteen months ago for @Mira_Jade's Latin Phrase Roulette in the mini-games challenge thread, and WIP month gave me the kick in the pants I needed to finally finish it. It isn’t quite what I envisioned when I started writing it all those months ago, but I suppose that happens to most of us sometimes, doesn’t it? :p

    Latin phrase: Vires acquirit eundo
    Translation: she gathers strength as she goes. (A quote from Virgil's Aeneid. The original context refers to Pheme, the Greek personification of fame and renown.)​

    This story includes several references to events in other fics; I’ll include links to the most relevant ones at the end.

    Disclaimer: I forgot to include a snarky disclaimer when I first posted this, so let's just pretend I said something clever here. [face_whistling]

    Thank you very much to @Gabri_Jade for her beta work and cheerleading as I frantically worked to finish this thing. [:D]

    I hope you enjoy! [face_batting]


    ~~

    Guardian


    Ben Skywalker never thought he’d be a big brother. For years he was the baby of his family, and the age gap between him and his older cousins meant that he was never really their peer, either. That was okay, though, because he loved their entire family just the way it was, and he figured things had worked out how they were supposed to. The will of the Force, maybe.

    Then Jacen fell, and his family fractured, and one by one he began to lose them all. And it wasn’t okay anymore, not even a little; but he didn’t have time to wallow in the people and things he’d lost, because somehow he found himself at the head of a new family, a family of orphans and a family of blood and of choice. The children of those older cousins were in his care now, and he became a big brother, a teacher, a friend—

    (never a father, though, not really; some things aren’t easily replicated or replaced)

    —and if there was one thing he knew with absolute certainty, it was that he would do anything to protect them.


    ~~

    55 ABY


    When the bacta patch comes off, there’s no trace of injury, not even a scar. Ben watches Allana breathe a sigh of relief as she runs her fingers over her cheek.

    “I wasn’t sure how it would work out,” she says a bit sheepishly. “I’ve never had a blaster burn before.”

    Ben uncrosses his arms and raises a hand to her face. “Ames says it was a lot closer than you made it sound.” He draws back, rubbing his hand over his jaw. “I still sense you’re not telling me everything.”

    She stares back at him, unflinching, but he can feel hesitation through their bond. The connection they’d forged as master and apprentice is still part of them, even if it doesn’t occupy as prominent a place as it once did. Ben would be lying if he said he didn’t miss those days when it was more prominent, just a little.

    “I don’t know what else there is to tell,” Allana says, quieter than before. “Festus and Ferrus showed up and shot the officers, then they separated us, and we fought. Ferrus tried to shoot the informant, and I got hit.”

    “And then Ames managed to beat Ferrus and Festus by himself?”

    Allana nods, glancing away for a second. “Are you going to stop letting me go on missions?”

    The abrupt shift in focus momentarily throws him, but he swiftly regains his bearings. “Why would I do that?”

    She levels him with a particularly withering look. “Oh, come on, Ben. Remember when you never let me go anywhere? And that was before I started getting my rear handed to me in combat.”

    “I’m not going to stop sending you on missions.”

    Her stare only intensifies, and he is reminded of the handful of times he saw that exact expression on Tenel Ka’s face. “You’re not?” Allana says skeptically.

    “Fine, I’m probably not going to stop sending you on missions,” Ben amends, trying for a hint of humor, even though he still can’t quite take his eyes off the patch of newly healed skin on her cheek. Just a couple centimeters to the left, and they wouldn’t be having this conversation at all.

    Her mouth curves up briefly in imitation of a smile, but he can see she’s distracted, her mind elsewhere.

    “I wish you would trust me with what’s really bothering you,” he says gently.

    Her eyes snap up to his, part guilt and part indignation. “I do trust you.”

    He nods, and he tells her to get some rest, and he doesn’t push her to talk after that, even when he finally watches the security footage that Ulin managed to scrounge up from Ord Mantell and sees what happened for himself. He doesn’t push her, even though he makes himself sick with worry for her, because he knows she’ll come to him when she’s ready.


    ~~

    56 ABY


    Something changes after their assignment on Reialem. He’s not sure what it is, exactly. Some intangible shift in their relationship, as if a window has closed between them. He can still see in, can still catch a glimpse of her heart more often than not, but now that direct link passes through an invisible barrier that muffles and distorts and diminishes what was once so easily shared.

    He’s never been good at this – opening up and baring his soul and letting others take on his burdens. He’s gotten better over time, and he likes to think he’s pretty honest with Allana in particular. So it’s strange to be on the other side of that equation, wishing to be confided in.

    He mentions it to Tahiri, which earns him a frustratingly knowing smile in response; thankfully she doesn’t point out what a pain he was at the age or make any comments about how taciturn he could be.

    “Just give her time,” she says sagely. “She’s still holding on to a lot.”

    He knows that. He knows Allana’s wounds run deep, and that they might not ever fully heal. He’s tried to help her through it as best he can, but there’s only so much he can do in the face of that pain, and he wonders if her pulling away now is a sign that he has failed.

    He goes to Elias and Arden for advice, too, and discovers that Arden has a very different take on the matter.

    “I don’t know, Ben,” she says in the middle of wrangling a very noisy and rambunctious toddler, smiling wryly. “Sounds to me like maybe Allana has a boyfriend.”


    ~~


    Allana is very, very quick to inform him that she does not have a boyfriend and hasn’t had one since she and Ames broke up over a year ago and she isn’t even remotely interested in anyone at the moment and maybe Ben should worry about his own romantic prospects instead of concerning himself with hers.

    He decides not to bring it up again.


    ~~

    58 ABY


    “He was just here,” she says, almost in a daze as her eyes drift across the crowded walkway. Ben follows her gaze, but there is nothing, no sign of the Sith Lord. Part of him thinks maybe that’s for the best, because he’s not sure how well a lightsaber duel would play out in a sea of pedestrians. The other part of him really wants to punch Darth Festus in the head. Repeatedly. He thinks that’s probably not the best impulse for a Jedi Knight to have, but he’s mostly made peace with that side of himself.

    They finish their assignment on Taris – the lead they were pursuing is a bust – and they head back to the enclave to get some rest and hopefully approach things from a fresh angle. There’s time to talk during the journey, though, and this time he has to say something. He can’t let it go.

    “It couldn’t have been a coincidence,” he tells her once they’re in hyperspace.

    She stares straight ahead at the spiraling tunnel of light, and she doesn’t answer.

    “That’s two times he’s come after you,” he continues, heat rising in his chest at the thought, at his inability to do anything about it.

    She dips her head, looking down at her lap. “Three,” she murmurs. “That’s three times.”

    He doesn’t have words for how much that revelation shakes him. “What?”

    She nods slowly. “It was when we were on Reialem, a few years ago. Remember how we took a day for ourselves, to explore the city?” He nods dumbly in response, and she keeps going. “Well, I decided to go outside the walls, see some of the wildlife, and… and he was there.”

    Ben takes a steadying breath. “Three times is a pattern. And if you count Vjun, that’s four times now that Festus has targeted you.”

    She jerks her head up to look at him. “You knew about Vjun?”

    His heart twists at the way she says it, and he wonders what else she’s keeping from him. “I’ve known for years,” he says, carefully. Why is this so hard? “Anakin told me what happened.”

    “He did?” The forced calm in her voice sets off every alarm bell in his head. “When? What did he say?”

    “After we left Zonama Sekot, he mentioned it. He thought you’d already told me.” Ben looks down at his clasped hands. “Why didn’t you?”

    “I don’t know,” she answers in a quiet voice. “We had more important things to worry about.”

    “Nothing is more important to me than your safety.”

    “I was fine, Ben. Anakin got there in time, and it was ages ago anyway. I’m not that scared little girl anymore.”

    “That’s what worries me.”

    “I can take care of myself.”

    “I know you can, but—”

    “Do you? Because it doesn’t sound like you do.” She looks away from him and breathes a heavy sigh. “I’m sorry. I know I should have told you back then, but things were crazy, and I just forgot about it. That’s all.”

    “But Reialem, Allana. I was right there, why would you keep that from me? Especially after everything else?”

    He doesn’t miss the way her voice trembles. “I don’t know, he’s had this grudge against me for years, and I was scared and… and confused. I guess I thought if I said something, that would make it more real.”

    He tries to project calm, and safety, but her sudden whirlwind of emotions batters him. “Do you know why he would have a grudge against you in particular?”

    She looks away, and his stomach lurches a little. “A lot of reasons,” she says quietly, shrugging. “Because I’m a Jedi. Because I was your apprentice and—” She takes a deep breath and holds it for a few seconds before exhaling. “—because I’m my father’s daughter.”

    He can feel her pain at that admission, but there’s something else underneath it, an emotion he knows all too well. An old, aching, bone-deep sense of guilt. He reaches across the gap between their seats and takes her hand in his. “Allana…”

    “I know, I know…” She closes her eyes and leans her head back against the seat. “I am not responsible for my father’s sins.”

    “You aren’t.” He winces a little at the harsh insistence in his own voice and tries to soften that edge as he squeezes her hand. “I need you to believe that.”

    “I do.”

    “Allana, look at me.”

    She does, slowly, her eyes glistening with unshed tears. Ben meets her gaze and holds on tighter.

    “Festus is a murderer and a sociopath—” She tilts her head down, and he touches a hand to her chin to stop her looking away. “—and if he ever said anything to make you feel this way, it’s a lie.”

    She nods, still silent, and he senses her resignation. He wishes he could fix this for her.

    “Promise me you’ll say something if you ever see him again.”

    She hesitates for a long moment. Too long. “I will,” she says quietly. “I promise.” Then she squeezes his hand one last time and lets go.


    ~~

    59 ABY


    Ben expected that Allana wouldn’t be exactly thrilled with her newest assignment, but he has to admit, he didn’t think she’d start yelling at him about it.

    “You couldn’t have asked anyone else to handle this one? You had to pick me?”

    “Well, if I’d known you were going to blow a fuse over it, I would have chosen someone else!”

    “I am not blowing a fuse; I just don’t understand why every time there’s a mission that involves a monarchy, I’m the one who gets stuck with it.”

    “That’s not true, would you stop exaggerating?”

    “Denrell. Yaga Minor. Crinorax—”

    “Oh my gods, Allana—”

    “—Tameth III. Eriste. Ludaria. Should I go on?”

    “Look, all you’re proving is that there are a disproportionate number of monarchical governments in the galaxy, or maybe that those governments tend to have more problems that require Jedi mediation—”

    Ben. They don’t just want a Jedi; they want nobility. They want a symbol more than they want a negotiator, and I don’t want to be that kind of symbol. I don’t want anything to do with that life.”

    Ben rubs his fingers in slow circles against his temples. “Allana, the Queen of Kurin requested you personally. I’ll assign someone else if you don’t want to go, but—”

    “I don’t want special treatment, Ben; you already coddle me enough.”

    He throws his hands up in the air. “Well what do you want me to do then?”

    “I want you to go back five minutes and not ask me to take the assignment in the first place!”

    They stare at each other for a moment as her shout echoes in the room, and then, before he can stop himself, he cracks a smile, watching her do the same – and they both begin to laugh.

    “Emperor’s bones,” he says, shaking his head as he tries to stifle that laughter, “you’re so annoying.”

    She flashes her sweetest smile, but her eyes spark with mischief. “I learned from the best.”

    He raises his right arm toward her and shrugs, and she steps into the offered embrace. As their laughter fades, he sets his chin atop her head and sighs. “You know you can handle it, right? I wouldn’t ask you to go if I didn’t think you could.”

    “I know.”

    “And the queen’s message mentioned that she was very impressed with your poise on Eriste.”

    She glances up at him. “Really?”

    “Yeah.”

    She frowns at that. “It wasn’t much of a conflict. I’m surprised anyone outside that sector would have even heard about it.”

    “Well, she did, and she was impressed.”

    Allana hugs him tighter, leaning her head against his shoulder. “Sometimes I do wonder… what I would have been like if I was still the Chume’da. If I would have been strong and made my mother proud, or if I would have been like I am now.”

    Ben rests his cheek against her hair. “You are strong. Not wanting to be a part of that world doesn’t make you any less than her. And your mother would have been proud of you no matter what path you chose. She was proud of you, and loved you more than anything.”

    She tilts her head back to look up at him and smiles. “Don’t you sound so wise?”

    Ben quirks an eyebrow. “You guys always seem so surprised. I am a Jedi Master now.”

    “And it’s so nice to see that the rank hasn’t gone to your head.”


    ~~


    A couple of days into the negotiations, the Queen of Kurin personally comms the Temple, asking to speak with Ben. She tells him how pleased she is with Lady Allana, and would the young Jedi Knight be permitted to stay an additional day or two so that she might attend the royal masquerade? Ben doesn’t tell Her Majesty that he wasn’t even sure masquerade balls were a real thing until this very moment.

    He inclines his head politely toward the miniature hologram of the queen. “I’m sure Knight Djo will be delighted… although I don’t think she’ll have brought the proper attire…”

    “Oh, you needn’t worry about that, Master Skywalker. I have already taken care of the arrangements. Lady Allana will look nothing short of resplendent, I assure you.”

    Ben stifles a grin, imagining Allana’s reaction to that particular phrasing. “It sounds like you have things well in hand, Your Majesty.”

    As the transmission ends, he hopes Allana won’t push back too hard against the idea. After everything she’s been through and all the hard work she’s put in since becoming a Knight, she deserves to have some fun.


    ~~


    The masquerade, contrary to expectation, ends in disaster.

    Ben tries to contact Allana as soon as he hears the news from Kurin, that an unidentified lightsaber-wielding intruder threatened the royal ball and abducted several guests. He never really thought anything could top the sheer, gut-wrenching dread he experienced when she ran off to Coruscant to face her father all those years ago – and maybe there still isn’t anything that can top that moment, not that he ever hopes to find out – but the hour and twenty-seven minutes between the time he comms and the time she finally responds runs a close second.

    She doesn’t say much. Says she’s exhausted, that she just wants to go to bed. Reminds him that it’s way past midnight where she is and says she’s already been cooperating with the investigation for the last three hours. She promises him she’s okay, that she wasn’t hurt at all.

    He asks if it’s true, what Ulin managed to gather from the fragmented reports, that the Sith Lord who interrupted the ball wasn’t working alone. He already knows the answer, but he wants to hear it out loud.

    The comm is audio-only, but he can practically feel her look away from the transmitter. “Yes,” she says quietly, “it’s true.”

    Over the years, he’s learned to read her silences, to know which one means she’s nervous or which one means she’s lonely, or guilty, or too tired for words. And even though they’re light years apart, he can feel that this particular silence is all of those things at once.

    “Are you sure you’re all right? He didn’t hurt you?”

    “No,” she says simply, in a hollow voice. “He didn’t hurt me.”

    They don’t talk about it after she returns home. They just don’t. Maybe she hasn’t fully realized the truth, or maybe she simply hasn’t accepted it. Maybe he hasn’t either. How do you even begin to have that conversation anyway?

    Hey Allana, just wanted to make sure you’re okay, and by the way, are you in love with the crazed Sith Lord who tried to murder you?

    He holds her close and watches her heart break, and he wonders how long they’re going to pretend that he doesn’t know.

    He’s afraid; he can admit that. He’s afraid of what will happen if he sends her out alone again, without backup, without anyone to counter whatever twisted lies Darth Festus has spun for her over the years. Isn’t that what he is, in the end? A spider weaving a deadly web, a creature whose only goal is to ensnare and paralyze and consume.

    She doesn’t volunteer for solo missions for a long time. For more than a year, actually, and Ben is thankful for that, and for the time he gets to spend with her because of it. They take assignments together like they did when she was still his apprentice, and they reflect on growing older and watching the next generation rise up. He teases her that she’s only just hitting her mid-twenties, and she teases him that being thirty-something hardly qualifies him as an old man; but they both get a little nostalgic when they see Davin and Dolan and Roan and all their friends building their first lightsabers or piloting starfighters or debating the nuances of galactic diplomacy.

    When she finally tells him she’s ready to go out on her own again, the old fear returns, that he will be waiting for her, somewhere, looking for the chance to take and destroy the person Ben loves most. But he tries to accept that fear for what it is: an emotion, one that has no power over the events that play out, no matter how acutely he feels it. He has to trust Allana, trust that he taught her the best he could to keep her safe. Most of all, he has to trust the Force, and he knows deep down that he has to let her go.

    He waits on edge for the first few missions, but she always comes back, and she’s always unharmed, and more often than not, she seems happy. So eventually he stops worrying – mostly, anyway. But he thinks that’s probably normal, when you love someone and you’ve watched them grow up and you have to send them out into the wider world. It doesn’t make it any easier, accepting that reality, but this is about as normal as their family gets, so he decides he’ll take it.


    ~~

    61 ABY


    “Another border dispute?” Allana doesn’t even bother disguising her annoyance. “Is that all we’re good for anymore?”

    Ben watches her pace back and forth. “We go where we’re requested; you know that.”

    She stops and narrows her eyes at him and flings one hand toward the door. “It’s been ten years since the Empire fell, and the Outer Rim is worse off than before. The crime syndicates are only growing in power, and then there’s the spice, and the slave rings… We should be doing more, Ben.”

    “I agree with you, and we will. We are. But you know we can’t just rush in wherever we want, lightsabers blazing.”

    “I’m not suggesting that at all. You know I’m not. But there has to be more we can do.”

    “I’m not arguing with you, Allana. You’re right.” He inhales and presses his mouth in a thin line, and raises both eyebrows. “Until then, we can’t ignore Argeneen. The border dispute might seem insignificant when weighed against the entire galaxy, but for the Argenians it’s a real problem that they live with every day. That’s their home, and they’ve asked for our help.”

    Allana lets out a long breath and nods. “You’re right. I’m sorry I got upset.”

    “Don’t be sorry for that. The fact that you care so deeply does you credit, and it’s why you’re the perfect Jedi to handle the assignment.”

    “I definitely wouldn’t say perfect…”

    Ben rolls his eyes at her. “Just take the compliment, would you? Stars.”

    Allana mimics his expression, then grows suddenly thoughtful. “What kind of government am I dealing with this time? Representative democracy? Theocracy? Feudal warlords?”

    Ben bites back a smile, managing to maintain a neutral expression as he says, “Oh, it’s your favorite – hereditary monarchy.”


    ~~


    She’s only been gone two days for Argeneen when he hears her panicked whisper in a dream. It startles him awake, along with the feeling of being trapped in a dark place that’s too small and too deep and too much.

    A comm to the royal palace in Argeneen’s capital confirms what he already knows in his heart – that she’s in trouble, that she needs him now.

    “There was an attack on Baron Valdos—” the voice on the holotransceiver is saying, “—a man with a lightsaber—”

    He doesn’t bother asking who the hell Baron Valdos is; he honestly doesn’t care right now.

    “—and Knight Djo led the pursuer into the mountains, where there was a collapse—”

    This is it. This is the moment he has dreaded ever since Coruscant, ever since Jacen and the Embrace of Pain—

    (ever since he viewed the security footage from Ord Mantell and saw Darth Festus pinning Allana to the ground)

    The messenger on the comm – who is he even talking to? – continues: “We would have started the excavation already, but we can’t be sure what we’ll find… we can’t risk freeing someone so dangerous—”

    “I’m on my way,” Ben says automatically, mechanically, his brain already running through everything he needs to do to get there as quickly as possible.

    “Thank you, Master Skywalker. We await your arrival, and we pray for Knight Djo’s safety—”

    He ends the transmission with a dismissive wave, and he reaches out across the vast divide, searching for her light in the Force.

    Hold on, Allana. I’m coming for you.


    ~~


    When Ben arrives on Argeneen, a mining crew is waiting to take him into the mountains. He doesn’t waste time with pleasantries, and neither do they; the only chatter he hears once they reach the site is a few men discussing how old this particular peak was. Five hundred thousand years old, according to one of them, and it took only a few minutes to bring it tumbling down.

    Ben extends his perception, searching the rubble for her presence, feeling it beat faintly against the inside of his chest like his own heartbeat. He has never played favorites within his family; he loves all of his young cousins more than he can ever express. He would do anything to protect them, and he nearly has. They’re as close to him as siblings.

    But Allana… she’s his heart.

    He kept his distance for those first couple years. Tahiri always said she couldn’t look at Allana without seeing Tenel Ka, but whenever Ben was around her, all he could see and feel was Jacen, and it was too much.

    He still remembers one time when Aunt Leia had to leave the enclave with his mom. Remembers standing there as their ship disappeared above the clouds, and Allana slipped her tiny hand into his.

    Don’t worry, Ben, she’d said, so quiet he had to strain to hear her. My grandma promised she’d come back.

    And then she’d leaned against him, her stuffed tauntaun held tight in her other arm, and he’d felt such warmth and love and hope from her. Seven years old, and her faith put his to shame.

    He can’t lose her now. He’s not sure he can bear it.

    They tell him to be patient. He follows their lead, moving rubble only when they tell him to. As much as he’d love to lift this entire mountain in one fell swoop – not that he actually could do that, despite what people tend to believe – he knows the danger of a complete cave-in is still very real. So he works alongside the mining crew, slow and methodical, burrowing meter by agonizing meter into the fallen rock.

    At last, they reach her. Relief hits him hard as he pulls her up out of the cave. She laughs as she collapses into his arms, and he chokes back tears to see her alive and unharmed.

    “You came,” she whispers, and there’s something worryingly desperate about the way she hugs him tight.

    “Of course I did,” he says. He pulls back a little to look down at her. “Who else was going to dig you out of there?”

    A small smirk tugs at one corner of her mouth. “Well, I’d have done it myself, but my master always used to say there’s more to being a Jedi than lifting rocks.”

    “He sounds like an idiot.”

    “Oh, he is.”

    Ben rolls his eyes and kisses the top of her head. “Come on, let’s get you home.”

    Her smile fades, and her voice goes quiet. “Ben, there’s something else…”

    “Master Jedi!” the crew chief calls out. “We’ve got another one down here!”

    Allana turns away from him to address the chief. “Please be careful with him. He’s injured.”

    Cold dread grips him as he remembers the description of her pursuer. “Tell me that’s not who I think it is.”

    She won’t look at him. “You’ve been looking for a connection to the Sith, right? Well, I found you one. Or I guess he found me.”

    He always does, Ben thinks bitterly as he watches the mining crew pull the unconscious form of Darth Festus from the cave.


    ~~


    He doesn’t play favorites, that’s never been his way – but Allana will always be special to him. Maybe it’s because she was the first, or maybe it’s because she was his apprentice. Or maybe it’s because she’s the only one of his cousins who remembers the people they’ve lost along the way. Maybe it’s all of those things, or maybe it’s none of them. Maybe the truth is that their bond took root a long time ago, in a way he never could have anticipated, and it doesn’t matter that she isn’t his little sister in name, because in his heart, that’s what she’ll always be.

    Ben steps down into the detention cell, contemplating all the ways this meeting might play out, none of them particularly pleasant, and some of them decidedly brutal. And as he meets the Sith Lord’s ice-cold gaze and hears Allana’s name fall from the monster’s smug, vile mouth, he knows with absolute certainty that he will still do anything to protect her.


    Fin

    ~~

    Here are the stories that Guardian refers back to, if you're interested:
    • Enter the Foreign – the time travel epic that started it all, and obviously I want you to read all of it... but if you really just want to read about what happened between Allana and Festus on Vjun, that's in chapter eleven. It's not pleasant. (But seriously, you should read the whole thing... okay, fine, I guess you could read the Allana-Festus interactions in chapters nineteen, twenty, and twenty-one at the very least... [face_whistling]) (51 ABY; epic)
    • Where the Waves Shatter – Festus and Allana face off in combat for the first time since Vjun. (And no, Allana still hasn't told Ben about this particular encounter...) (54 ABY; vignette)
    • Forces of Gravity – Festus and Allana cross paths again when he and his brother are sent to kill a criminal informant that she's protecting; aka the one that takes place on Ord Mantell (55 ABY; vignette)
    • What If This Storm Ends? – Five times Darth Festus definitely wasn't in love with a Jedi princess, and one time she definitely wasn't in love with him. (43-61 ABY; vignette)
    • In Dreams We Dwell – After finishing up an assignment on the idyllic planet Kurin, Jedi Knight Allana Djo finds herself attending a lavish masquerade ball… and dealing with a dangerous uninvited guest. (59 ABY; short story)
    • Our Weakness Is the Same – She can’t escape his orbit, and he can’t escape hers. Allana/Festus. (43-61 ABY; vignette collection)
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2022
  2. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Miiiiiiiiiine

    [​IMG]

    Look, there isn’t a Ben Skywalker gif, I had to make do :p


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Magnificent!! =D= The intricacies of Ben's emotions and the sweet tender snarky depth of the relationship with Allana over the yeras is wonderfully poignant.

    Ben does not speak of the unspoken secret of the mutual magnetic thing between Festus and Allana, but if forms a large part of his fear for her safety, physically and emotionally.

    @};-
     
    Kahara and ViariSkywalker like this.
  4. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Formatting all of that is probably the most laborious part of posting a new Enter!verse story, tbh :p

    I love all of this, poor Ben, but Luke and Mara would be so proud of him

    Parentheticals :p

    He gets that one from both his parents :p

    His baby's growing up

    Love this wording :cool:

    But she's thinking it :p

    lolllll

    I still can't believe he went and asked her :p Also, my gosh, this is a classic example of "the lady doth protest too much" but she hit close enough to the mark that Ben backed off and didn't notice, this is hilarious

    Heh, another thing he got from both parents :p

    Poor Ben, he's already dealt with quite enough without adding this to it

    They're such siblings :p

    Mara would have been appalled :p

    o_O

    Even for the Skywalkers, this one's a doozy

    I was only a couple of years older than Allana when I was deemed the old lady den mother and Bri routinely threw gingko at me [face_decrepit]

    WELP

    Ben is too young to be dealing with all of this, tbh

    They're the cutest [face_love]

    Festus better watch himself [face_beatup]

    That last one really resonates. Even if Allana was very young when most of them died, she still remembers them. That would mean a lot to Ben, who was orphaned far too young himself =((

    [face_worried]
     
  5. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Love to see Ben and his thoughts. And he will protect Allana, she is family!
     
    ViariSkywalker and Kahara like this.
  6. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    AWW! [face_love] I absolutely love the sibling-y cousin relationship you've painted for Ben and Allana here. They both need it so much in this timeline, and it's just heart-tugging to see them choosing to hold together and be family even though they have lost a lot of the rest of the Skywalker-Solos over the years. It's also really intriguing and sometimes hilarious to see how Ben perceives the whole Festus and Allana situation. :p As much as I enjoy your stories about their weird fixation on each other, that must be terrifying from Ben's perspective and you really bring that home here!

    [face_laugh] Festus is rather punchable.

    Aww, Allana! :( This makes a lot of sense for how she'd react to all of those encounters (scary Sith is scary even if she does eventually have some feelings for him!) and I just really found this part of their exchange poignant. It's good that she has someone completely and totally on her side in all of this.

    I can definitely see Allana -- any of the kids in the Skywalker-Solo family, really -- struggling with this. It's this weird mix of privilege, constant danger, and isolation for them, even with everyone's best efforts to the contrary. Then you throw in her childhood in hiding and the whole thing is even more Complicated.

    :_| I'M GLAD SOMEONE IS THERE TO HUG THIS SAD JEDI.

    :p

    :confused:[face_laugh][face_worried] ... how do you have that conversation?
    Lil Allana! This section really got me! =((

    I've been liking him more and more as I get further into EtF, and this just adds to my admiration for who Ben Skywalker is in this universe! And Allana too; it's so heartwarming/worrying/sad/wonderful to see her grow over the years. @};-
     
    ViariSkywalker likes this.
  7. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
    Aw thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I love writing Ben and Allana's relationship so much. It's nice to be able to write them post-EtF, after they've mended the bond between them. And I'd say sweet, tender, and snarky sums up their dynamic very well! [face_love]

    Yeah, this whole situation has to be so, so hard for Ben. :( He just wants to keep Allana safe - especially after everything she went through in EtF - but she's an adult now and has to make her own choices, and to an extent, he's forced to sit back and watch what happens and hope that if the time comes, he's not too late to stop Festus from hurting her. [face_worried]




    @Gabri_Jade
    [face_laugh] :p

    This is completely accurate. 8-}

    They so would be, Ben is the beeeeest. [face_love]

    [face_batting]

    He absolutely does. [face_love]

    :_| [face_love]

    Heh, thanks, babe. :D

    lollll yep, you better believe it o_O

    [face_mischief]

    (Look, Arden's just calling it like she sees it. [face_whistling])

    lol, how awkward must that conversation have been? :p Poor Ben. [face_laugh]

    lollll [face_beatup]

    And he still doesn't even know about the beach fight on Kordros... [face_whistling]

    They aaaarrre, I love them so much, Gabri. [face_love]

    "dance thing" [face_mischief]

    As my kids have recently become fond of saying (for reasons that completely elude me): ~ * e m o t i o n a l * ~ * d a m a g e * ~

    Aw yeah [face_mischief]

    Well I always thought it was cool that I was a teenager with a friend in her twenties, if it's any consolation. :* ;)

    YEP [face_worried]

    My poor baby, he really is. :(

    THE CUTEST [face_love]

    [face_tee_hee]

    I feel like I want to have something very profound to say in response to this, but I can't think of anything right now, other than to nod and say, yep, exactly.

    The sequel is going to be fun. [face_mischief]

    (If I ever finish writing it. [face_shhh])




    @earlybird-obi-wan
    I'm glad you liked it! Ben will certainly do whatever he can to keep Allana safe, even if she doesn't always make it easy. :p




    @Kahara
    Ben and Allana's relationship was one of my favorite things about writing EtF, and I really enjoyed being able to show it maturing here. And then of course I love the way that found families exist alongside biological families in SW, and even though Ben and Allana are related by blood, they've also chosen to stick together as a family throughout everything, and I just love that. [face_love]

    Right?! Look, obviously I love my sad Jedi princess and my tortured Sith Lord, and I love writing the messy complexity that is Allana/Festus, but let's be real - Festus is terrifying. He's not good, he's not honest, and he's not safe. Every fear that Ben has is completely 100% rational and justified.

    I feel like Ferrus would agree with this sentiment 100% [face_laugh]

    Agreed, it's a relief that she has Ben to lean on, even if she doesn't allow herself to be completely honest and open with him about Festus. And then this scene in particular takes place after a very, um... heated lightsaber duel during which Allana may have come to some very confusing and unwelcome realizations about her own feelings for the murderous trash lord... [face_whistling]

    Complicated is definitely the right word for it! The whole Sky/Solo clan is awash in trauma, they need a break. (Not that I'm the author to give them that break. Not yet, anyway. :p)

    ME TOOOOO. =((

    I love them. [face_love]

    lol, apparently you don't, if you're Ben. [face_laugh] o_O

    Lil Allana always gets to me, you're in good company. :p :_|

    Aw yay! This makes me so happy to hear! These characters have come to mean so much to me over the years, and I'm thrilled whenever someone else enjoys my portrayal of them. :D Thank you so much for reading and for this lovely review! [face_love]
     
  8. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    So. Week 1 of your Kessel Run reminded me that I still had yet to leave feedback on this wonderful story - mostly because of time, and I wanted my review to properly convey all of my feelings properly. But now too much time has passed, and I still love this story oh so much, so let's go. I'm gonna gush and flail and hope that I make some sense in the process. :p

    [:D]

    [face_hypnotized] [face_love]!! Just like that, I was hooked! The depth of Ben's love, his pain for his losses, that devastating parenthetical, and Ben's bone deep protective certainty that brackets this entire story and is threaded throughout as its beating heart - *chef's kiss* all of the gold stars for you!

    This was a fantastic detail! [face_love]

    Ben's hit-or-miss attempt at humor was so reminiscent of Luke. [face_love] And then of course you trod on my heart again, as you do. :p

    Tahiri is an absolute gem! [face_laugh] [face_love] [face_mischief]

    First: yay, Elias and Arden and their growing family! [face_love]

    Second: Arden is so spot on and that has to hurt! Poor Ben and the throbbing vein in his forehead. [face_laugh] :oops:

    [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl]!!!

    Every word of this passage was gold. :p

    You know, this is completely fair and I feel like Mara and even Luke would agree. [face_whistling] [face_beatup]

    Poor Ben and his ulcer named Festus. :p

    This is just so hard for Ben and Allana, isn't it? Allana is all grown up and more than capable as a woman and a Jedi Knight, but of course Ben still feels protective of her - how can he not? Then, there's some natural awkwardness as they learn to redefine their adult relationship beyond mentor/mentee, big-brother/little-sister, and that's made trickier due to them being two of the very few survivors in their family and the scars Jacen left behind. They're both doing the best they can and gah, but they love each other so much it hurts! =(( [face_love] :_|

    This is just so much to deal with. =(( I really appreciated the imagery of Ben's attempt at serenity. It's incredibly difficult to be the calm in the storm when you're caught in that same storm, but I love that he tries!

    Jacen, look at what you've done! :_|

    There's so much to absorb here, it's masterful. [face_hypnotized] I love Ben wanting to fix this for her, and Allana not wanting to disappoint Ben in return. Then, there's Ben's very black and white outlook where Festus is concerned. Allana knows she should look at Festus the same way, too, but she doesn't quite. As a result, there's guilt for that something more in her heart that she doesn't want to look at too closely and Ben's fear for that same something more, and it's just such a wonderfully tangled and complicated mess all around!

    [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl]

    They banter like siblings and I love it. [face_love]

    =(( [face_love]!!

    THIS PRECIOUS, PERFECT BABY GIRL - BOTH OF THESE PRECIOUS, PERFECT DEARS HAVE MY HEART!!!

    Famous last words. :p

    :oops: [face_plain]

    Because how do you even??? [face_laugh] :oops: o_O

    It's so interesting that there is no web weaving on Festus' part - he's just as ensnared and paralyzed in his own way - but it's that consumption . . . yeah, that's the tricky part.

    Look at this wise Jedi Master with all of his wise introspection. I'm so proud! [face_love]

    And I love the normal as their family gets line, too. There's always that. :p

    [face_rofl] [face_love]!!

    *screeches*

    IT'S HERE, IT'S HERE, IT'S HEEEEEEEERE!!!

    Oh, Ben, but this parenthetical was absolutely gutting. =((

    =(( :_| [face_love] :_| =(( [face_love]

    VI, MY HEART!!!

    =((! :_|! [face_love]! :_|! =((! [face_love]!

    I WAS A MESS OF SMILEYS BY THIS POINT, YOU HAVE TO KNOW!!!

    [face_laugh] [face_love]!!

    It's really something how you ricochet from banter to dread to those deep, dark, twisty emotions and back again so easily! [face_hypnotized] =D=

    VIIIIIIIIII, YOU CAN'T END IT HERE, I NEED MOOOOOOOOAR!!!! [face_hypnotized] [face_hypnotized] [face_hypnotized]


    Don't for a second think that I missed the note in your Enter!verse primer that said the sequel could be posted this year. I do hope you mean closer to January than December. You know what you have to write now, so get cracking! Consider this your latest round of pestering! [face_mischief] [face_batting] :*



    =D= [:D]
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023 at 7:03 PM