Beyond - Legends "He is Married Still" - Luke, Ben, Post-NJO AU vignette

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Knight_Aragorn, Aug 5, 2005.

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  1. Knight_Aragorn

    Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 15, 2003
    Title: He is Married Still
    Author: K_A
    Category: AU
    Genre: Vignette
    Characters: Ben Skywalker, Luke Skywalker
    Timeframe: Post-NJO

    Summary: Ben Skywalker reflects on his relationship with his father in a universe where Mara didn?t survive childbirth?

    A/N: I recently rediscovered this on my harddrive after writing it sometime last year. (Therefore no Dark Nest spoilers here!) I wasn?t totally happy with it then and I?m still not, but I?ll post it anyway. Maudlin mush and all...

    A/N 2: The title comes from a poem called ?Evening Alone at Bunyah? if anyone?s interested. It?s by an Australian poet (Les Murray), so I?m not expecting that people will be overly familiar with it?

    [b]He is Married Still[/b]

    My father walks ahead of me, his dark clothes merging with the shadows. He moves with customary grace, his footfalls soft and silent. I am trying to learn that care of step, but my boots seem loud in the quietness.

    The only illumination is that of distant starlight, falling through wide skylights high above. Pools of palest blue mark the light?s landing across the dark floor.

    This is a hall of memorial, to celebrate and commemorate and mourn the ones who gave their lives fighting in the war against the Yuuzhan Vong. To memorialise all those lost in that terrible war would take billions upon billions of plaques. Those plaques do exist, spread throughout the galaxy in an endless trail of mourning. Not here. This hall is for the Jedi who died in those days, and many silver plaques gleam faintly on these dark walls. Many names. My cousin?s name is here. My mother?s name is here.

    My mother, the woman who gave her life that I might live.

    My father speaks of her often, and I am grateful. I know it how it hurts him; I feel the pain in his sometimes-long pauses. But he tells me about her, and through him, I know her. I love her, and I feel her love.

    My father stops before a familiar plaque, gleaming in the gloom. It is too dark to read its inscription, but I know what it says. [i]Mara Jade Skywalker[/i], it reads. [i]Loved for all time[/i].

    My father turns his head, smiles faintly at me. Puts his hand on my shoulder as we stand together before her plaque. The weight is warm.

    I turn thirteen tomorrow. My birthday, the anniversary of her death. The official commencement of my apprenticeship.

    My father took me to dinner at an eatery we both like, an Ithorian place where tables sit amongst gardens, and you can hear the night sounds of nature all around as you eat. He was very quiet, as he usually is on this night.

    I?ve always known she died giving birth to me. But my father never puts it that way, never lays the words out in a way that could hurt me. He?s careful like that. He tells me it was a gift, that she freely gave to me. The most precious gift. It was her love that kept me alive while she faded. She died saving me; [i]because[/i], he says, [i]you?re worth saving, Ben[/i].

    ?Ah, Mara,? he says softly now. He lifts the hand not on my shoulder and touches the plaque, a lingering touch. His eyes are deep, and strangely distant.

    I look at the plaque too. A dark shape curls beneath the words: a rose, a now-extinct flower once found on select planets on the Outer Rim. My father?s fingers trace its curved length, marking the flowing lines of its lush petals, gliding over its graceful stem, lingering on its small thorns, so elegant and so dangerous.

    I asked him, once, why he chose that flower to go beneath her name. He smiled, sadly, and said, [i]She is my rose[/i].

    My cousin Jacen told me once that my mother?s death changed my father. [i]He loved your Mom so much[/i], Jacen said, [i]that a huge part of him died with her[/i].

    I?ve never known my father as anything other than what he now is, so I don?t know whether Jacen?s words are true. But it?s somehow frightening to think of ? that you could love someone so much that they become part of you. That losing them leaves you fundamentally shattered, on such a>
  2. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 25, 2005

    Oh, that was beautiful! And so, so sad! Poor know his Mother, yet not. And poor still be married, but not. And poor have missed it all (but to have given it all for love).

    What a powerful piece!

    And Luke reminded me strongly of Obi-wan here. I don't know exactly what it they're both in diffrent, yet similar circumstances (at least in my mind): mourning the past, and cultivating the future.

    Excellent work!

  3. jedi_of_ennth

    jedi_of_ennth Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 1, 2005
    =D= Your writing amazes me. This vig was so powerfully gentle and angsty and beautiful ... I'm at a loss. =D=

    There is a time that is spoken of only in silences amongst our family, in trailing words and weighted glances. Its voicelessness throbs like an angry sore, and I wonder.

    =D= You managed to perfectly capture a family's sorrow with that line. Beautiful. :)
  4. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    Break my heart why don't you!??:_| :_| :_| You captured who Luke would have been if Mara had died. And Ben was completely believable as a young boy of thirteen! I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this! Simply gorgeous!
  5. Dunc T'racen

    Dunc T'racen Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Mar 11, 2000
    I've been lurking on your stories for a while - better late than never. :)

    I'm usually not into the "someone's dead" stories, but this is really well done. A little too articulate for a 13-year-old, but I suppose that comes with the subject matter.

    The "we're okay" is what makes it, though. :)
  6. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Apr 20, 2000
    :_| that was so sad and so realistic.

  7. Jaina_and_Jag

    Jaina_and_Jag Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 19, 2003
    :_| :_| :_| OMG! I think this is the saddest piece I've ever read. Whenever I got to around the second paragraph tears just started rolling down my cheeks and didn't stop until the end.

    That was just amazing. A beautiful piece, but horribly sad. You captured Ben's vision of Luke perfectly.

    Just... just an amazing job. :)
  8. FelsGoddess

    FelsGoddess Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Sep 5, 2004
    My birthday, the anniversary of her death. That has to be a bittersweet day.

    But it?s somehow frightening to think of ? that you could love someone so much that they become part of you. That losing them leaves you fundamentally shattered, on such a level that you can never quite recover. That you never even try to recover. How true. It is very frightening.

    :_| :_| Beautifully written! Excellent job!

  9. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 20, 2002
    Oh wow, this was beautiful. But I'm afraid to cry because the thread's already flooded. :p

    I think something happened, after my mother died. There is a time that is spoken of only in silences amongst our family, in trailing words and weighted glances. Its voicelessness throbs like an angry sore, and I wonder.

    That was perfect, the way you hinted at something very dark happening with Luke, but Ben never quite knows what it is. But it's clear that had a huge impact on the entire family. And it's so sad that this is the Luke Skywalker he knows, and not the Farmboy. :_| Yet the ending is optimistic, in a way. [face_love] Can I convince you to write more about this? :D
  10. JediJainaSoloFel

    JediJainaSoloFel Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 5, 2004
    I hate to think of Mara as dead but you captured what would have happened perfectly. How Luke would do everything to make sure Ben knew about Mara, that he would have a good life. How his grief and love for her would be unending. And how Ben would view his part in his mother's death, and what his relationship with Luke to be. It was so sad, but so beautiful at the same time.
  11. LVB

    LVB Jedi Master star 1

    Feb 23, 2005
    I'm coming out of my lurker shell.

    Wow, that was a truly beautiful AU. It had many emotional, touching moments.

    I asked him, once, why he chose that flower to go beneath her name. He smiled, sadly, and said, She is my rose.

    That image is so touching.

    Wonderful =D=
  12. obaona

    obaona Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 18, 2002
    Wow. I love it. That was beautiful, K_A. My favorite part? That he and Luke are okay. That Luke still loves Ben, that you don't diminish that in the light of Luke's love for Mara (which I think sometimes happens in fanfic writing). Instead, you somehow make his love for them both real and strong, that Mara's death hurt him, but then, too, there's Ben. It just - didn't really seem quite sad to me, even though it had sad points. It seemed sweet, even hopeful - though maybe that's me, seeing that life goes on.


    Just lovely. @};- Thank you for continuing to give us such beautiful stories.
  13. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrel Wrangler of Fun & Games star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    Oh my, that is stunning beautiful and heartbreaking. I do not need to start my day in tears... :( :(
  14. Vongchild

    Vongchild Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 2, 2004
    It's not like me to write long reviews hi-lighting my favorite parts, because I feel silly (don't ask.) But a brilliant fic like this deserves at the very least a decent paragraph from me.

    The AUs that always strike me are the ones that almost happened. The inifinities comics have always been a favorite of mine, and the fact that this one is not relatively close to canon and yet stemmed off the same events amazes me.

    Ben's speech paterns were very articulate. Then again, I'm not one to question the internal monologue of an almost-thirteen year old. :p

    I was crying at the end!

    So there you have it. You've squeezed more than five sentences out of me. Congrats!

  15. Knight_Aragorn

    Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 15, 2003
    So many responses so quickly! :eek:

    ginchy: Hm, you?re right. There is a very Obi-Wan vibe to Luke here ? the similarities hadn?t occurred to me, but there is a definite likeness in the way that they both lost something that fundamentally defined them, and are working to build a future despite that. I?ve noticed even in the EU that Luke is reminding me more of Obi-Wan as he gets older. [face_thinking]

    Thanks very much for reading! :D

    jedi_of_ennth: Thank you. :) I was a little worried about this one, so it?s great that you liked it. :D

    VaderLVR: Aw? *passes out tissues* Thank you so much. [:D]

    Dunc T'racen: Ben?s voice was one of the things that bothered me about this story. The demands of his relationship with Luke ? that he?s so sheltered, in some ways, and yet has that intrinsic understanding of how much Luke relies on him - would make him more mature than the average child his age? but it still niggles and doesn?t seem quite right. Couldn?t fix it, though, so I gave up. :p

    Thanks very much for the feedback. :D

    RebelMom: Thank you! :)

    Jaina_and_Jag: *Passes more tissues* :p Thank you for reading! I?m glad you enjoyed reading it ? hope you weren?t too depressed. ;)

    FelsGoddess: I think the Force would make it a thousand times more difficult to let go of someone? I guess there?s a price for that closeness that would come from a Force bond like Luke and Mara?s. :( Thanks for reading. :D

    JadeSolo: Yes, it is getting rather wet in here? [face_worried] :p

    I can see Luke struggling after Mara?s death? maybe not falling to the dark side, per se - especially with Ben there - but definitely toeing the line. And I was going for an ending that wasn?t completely depressing, because the love that?s there hopefully counters the pain.

    More? Well? that never even occurred to me with this one. Have to think about it. [face_mischief] Thanks for stopping by to read!

    JediJainaSoloFel: Thank you! You?ve summed up exactly what I was going for here. I don?t usually like to kill characters just for the sake of having them dead, but this story just wouldn?t leave me alone. I?m glad you enjoyed it. :)

    LVB: Thank you very much for emerging for this story! [:D] Great to hear that you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the feedback. :)

    obaona: You always seem to get exactly what I?m aiming for in these viggies. :D I was trying to capture that sense of ?life goes on? ? that things don?t just stop for the pain. Even though Mara?s death hurt Luke a great deal, I think he has the strength to go on despite that, to continue to be there for Ben and to raise him as he and Mara always intended.

    Thank you for the feedback. [:D]

    Healer_Leona: *More tissues* I?m sorry! Thank you for reading, anyway. :p

    Vongchild: AUs are strange things, aren?t they? [face_thinking] I love playing around with how one tiny change can lead to this, which leads to that? and suddenly you?re miles away from canon. :p

    Oh, I agree about Ben. He was a strange character to write, because in some ways he is very young and sheltered and naïve, and yet at the same time he has that understanding of Luke?s pain and the emotional damage that his mother?s death caused, and the way that it?s never really healed or going to heal. That gives him an emotional maturity, I guess, in that he almost tries to protect Luke in some ways. [face_thinking]

    And it wasn?t a silly response at all. ;) Thanks so much for the feedback! :)
  16. Jedi Trace

    Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Dec 15, 1999
    It took three tries [face_worried], but I finally made it all the way through. :_|

    Heartbreaking and beautiful.....and probably one of the saddest things I've ever read, in a good/poignant way. [face_blush]

    Lovely, K_A! @};-

  17. RedGold

    RedGold Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 29, 2004
    That is just so beautiful and sad!

    I'm in tears here!
  18. oldjedinurse

    oldjedinurse Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 6, 2003

    Absolutely beautiful, K_A...


    I really enjoyed your characterization of Ben, as well as the ways in which Luke, Han and Leia have evolved in this AU.


    Sooooooooo sad. When I was reading Rebirth, I recall wondering if something like this was going to happen. Thanks for writing the scenario out so well.



    P.S. =D= =D= =D=
  19. cheersweetie27

    cheersweetie27 Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 20, 2003
    That was beautiful. I don't even know what to say right now except that I feel like crying. Lovely job Knight Aragon. You captured the characters and the emotions amazingly well. @};-
  20. Kaylle

    Kaylle Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 17, 2004
    This is simply lovely. I can't even say how lovely. I'm in awe :) I love the warmth between Luke and Ben, still with that touch of distance, and Luke's determination to let Ben know he was loved despite the circumstances of his birth. Just beautiful all around.

    Great job =D=.

  21. StarFighter5

    StarFighter5 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 25, 2003
    I enjoyed reading this. You were able to describe Mara's character without actually coming out and discribing it. If that makes any sense to you. :p I think that it let the reader understand how Ben has come to know his mother, and in a way we learn about her with him.
  22. Golden_Jedi

    Golden_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 10, 2005
    Sad, oh, so sad! But beautiful, in a way... Poor Luke!
  23. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005

    And yet there are places he goes sometimes, inside himself, that even I cannot penetrate. When his eyes go deep and distant, and I feel him withdraw.

    I do not think they are warm places.


    I really like Ben in this, I can imagine him being very introverted without Mara's influence. His reflections on his father, the mother he never knew, his training as a Jedi - carry a sort of melancholy, rather than a sadness.

    I loved the section with Leia an Han. In my mind, that ius exactly how the two of them would react, and become unintentionally overbearing.

    Ben and Luke's relatinship is interesting to think about, and wonderfully expressed. The whole fic is beautifully rendered =D=

    It's been too long since I studied poetry... Les Murray sounds so familiar, but I can't place him! [face_blush]
  24. Azeria_Jade

    Azeria_Jade Jedi Padawan star 4

    Feb 3, 2001
    My eyes filled with tears after I read that. That was so well done. So touching!


    I need a tissue.
  25. MaraJade1225

    MaraJade1225 Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 29, 2004
    =D= that was absolutely amazing! it was so touching and heartfelt.

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