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Saga Of Hollow Words and Hope (Leia, Luke)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by taramidala, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Time frame will be pretty clear, but in case it's not, it's immediately post-ESB. Also? I did this a bit on the fly so all mistakes are my own. :)
    All belongs to Lucasfilm Ltd. and the Disney Corporation.



    Of Hollow Words and Hope
    Leia sits in a small chair at Luke’s bedside in his private room on the medical frigate, watching the Two Onebee attend his wound. “The prosthetic continues to fuse as expected. He will be released very soon,” the droid says.

    She can't speak from exhaustion, so she only nods.

    It’s been a rough few days.

    Left alone, Leia gazes in silence. The pain and brokenness he’s shown is so strong, it’s begun to affect her, too, tangling in her heart like a knot that can't be undone. Her heart weeps for him; for all he’s been through and for all she still doesn’t know. He won’t be the same after this. All his innocence is lost to him now, even more than the day she met him.

    Her hand slips into his and grips tightly; the other brushes strands of still-damp hair out of his eyes. “I don't know what happened out there, but you're going to get through it, Luke.”

    Hollow words, but… She sighs.

    She's barely left his side since the Millennium Falcon returned from Bespin with him, emotionally and physically beaten, on board. Now, his prosthesis operation complete and healing, she’s relieved that it had gone well. Physically, he will improve quickly; as the droid said, it won’t be long before he was back to top health.

    It’s the emotional injuries he bears that frighten her now. She doesn’t know where he's been all these months, location or mission. He left without telling anyone. It's so uncharacteristic it hurts.

    But he'd come out of nowhere to save them, only to find himself in need of saving. Now injured himself, would he permit her to help him? Would he come to her about what he'd been through?

    He hasn’t yet.

    She loves him. She’s trusted him with her life and her heart from moment one. He’s her best friend, but...he can’t be more, could he? Not after Han... Han. Where was he? Was he still alive? She’s not sure she wants the answer to that.

    It’s all my fault,” she says to no one. Her fault. For not leaving Hoth when instructed. For depending on Han so much, for getting so close to both of them that she could be used as bait. Her fault for not running fast enough to catch that bounty hunter, for not immediately chasing down Luke instead. Her fault that –

    Le’a stop…” His whispered words cut through her bitter monologue, but no more. He’s stirred, but goes right back to sleep. Restless mumbling, tossing, and turning. A nightmare? A memory?

    Whatever Vader’s done to him holds his mind in a strong grip. Leia leans desperately over his prone form, wracking her brain for something to ease his pain. She rubs her thumb across the knuckles of his human hand and strokes his hair again. “It’s okay,” she whispers. “It’s okay.”

    She’s only felt helpless one other time in her life, looking on as her world blew to pieces. The pain of that moment had nearly been enough to break her, but for a boy and his companions who barged through her door.

    Is his mind now as broken as his body? As his soul?

    He’s never hesitated to talk to her before. They’re friends. They’re confidantes. She’s run to him as much as he to her; two halves of a whole, they’ve always shared every fear, every problem.

    But he hasn’t told her about this.

    Perhaps it’s too soon? She knows she should be more patient. He was, in the aftermath of their fateful meeting and Alderaan. It took her months to let her grief out, and he never pushed or complained. No, he sat and held her hand, just as she did now, and waited until she was strong enough to speak without shaking.
    Leia closes her eyes. If he could heal by the force of her willpower, she’d make it so. “Please, Luke,” she says. “Don’t you leave me, too. I need you.”

    What if he doesn’t want to tell her? An uneasy quiver jolts her stomach, flowing through her veins up to her heart. Was there someone else? Has she been replaced as caretaker of his secrets? Her eyes shift back down to him, still prone and shivering. No, that can’t be it. But what if –

    STOP.

    His voice rings in her ear as clear as it had in the Bespin skies. He’s stopped shivering, his breathing is even, and he’s made no actual sound. Sleep has finally taken him deeply enough that the pain can’t reach him, and yet…he reached her.

    Somehow that makes sense in a way she can’t explain.

    So he hasn’t told her what happened.

    Fine. She’ll live with that.

    But maybe he will someday.
     
  2. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2005
    oooooh. I love this. I love Leia's thoughts and how thinking of Han is just too painful for her. But she has Luke there, and needs to focus on him. I love how she knows she needs to give him time, just like he did after Alderaan. And I love her thinking that they are two halves of a whole. [face_love] She's using the Force with him without even knowing it. It makes me wonder what could have been with their Force powers--or maybe what WILL be in Ep VII (how crazy that we can spec things like that now??). Lady, you have a wonderful touch with emotions in your writing and this is gorgeous. [:D]
     
  3. aleja2

    aleja2 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Beautiful and gorgeous and heartfelt and perfectly in character - I love it. Wonderful writing, nicely paced, just the right mix of emotion, introspection and narration. Brava!
     
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  4. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Evidently you need to write on the fly more often. :p =D=

    I don't want to say it, because it's horribly arrogant, but...this feels like a perfect companion to my first fic. I'm very sorry, I know how presumptuous that sounds, please forgive me; it's not even an accurate thing to say, since I could have never written the same thing. Curse my ego! *wrings hands*

    But anyway, this was lovely, and I also applaud you for keeping it succinct. Well, well done. @};-
     
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  5. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    I love this so much - Leia's state of mind after ESB has always interested me, and you've captured it beautifully here. Her emotions are so rich and complex, sorrow for Luke's pain, unease that he left without telling her and that he will likely keep secrets from her. It's such a fundamental change in their relationship, and one that must have hurt Leia deeply until she finds out the reason in ROTJ.

    And him reaching out for her to stop through the Force...oh my heart. But for that to give Leia comfort and confirm their connection is so lovely. I love the hope at the end.
     
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  6. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    I certainly hope that we see Leia with some knowledge of her Jedi skills in Ep. VII! Thanks, lady. :)

    Thank you!


    No offense taken! I actually was inspired by your post-ANH piece. I took the basic structure from a fic that's being completely re-written, and I'd held onto the scene for years hoping I'd find a way to do something with it. And now I have. :) Thank you!


    There's so much unexplored territory that we never got to see or read about. Thanks!
     
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  7. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Whew. Well, that makes me feel a little less crass. [face_blush] What I meant was the general theme of the Skywalker twins' proto-sibling relationship, and the different ways they support each other. I'm also glad you wrote this because I've wondered myself what exactly this moment in time would look like for Leia; now that you've done this I like this interpretation.
     
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  8. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Beautiful missing moment. I love how you have Leia trying to figure this out. It is as much of a new experience to her - hearing Luke in her head - and yet she is willing to wait for Luke to hep her with this. They are becoming closer to each other every day, working toward ultimately defining their relationship.
     
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  9. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Don't let this stop you! Write your version, too!

    YES! I mean, they had to have grown closer in between, right? It would make no sense otherwise, especially if Han offers to leave at the end of ROTJ, in my opinion. Thank you, diva! :)
     
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  10. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Oh, don't worry about that. I just meant that this is very helpful in informing what I might think of. I prefer to glean ideas from fanfic much more often than profic, lol. I don't just read fanfic to enjoy it, it's research, seriously!

    Very much true dat. Lolz, poor awkward Han...
     
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  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Look at how many reviews popped on this delightful one-shot since it went up =D= Beautiful and poignant. Leia is a very interesting character, full of depth of experience and emotion, but she probably feels like she has to keep it together and be strong - I think much of her snark with Han was just such an attempt [face_love] But I do think that with Luke she could be 'herself' more often than not, even without knowing precisely why. And she's right, what he experienced at Bespin is world-remaking on a very personal level. [face_thinking] But in the wake of losing Owen and Beru, she is an essential part of his family of the heart and he will definitely confide in her when he can put the pieces together and come to some semblance of acceptance.

    I too loved the intuitive use of the twin/Force connection. [face_dancing]

    (I was also reminded of ThreadSketch's debut) @};-
     
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  12. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    I was also reminded of ThreadSketch's piece. But this fic is still its own, and completely lovely. :) I love these looks at Luke and Leia, their bond, and the developing relationship between them. I especially liked seeing this from Leia's point of view, and how she's there for Luke. [face_love]
     
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  13. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Nyota's Heart and amidalachick, thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you found it insightful. I'm not used to writing Leia, but I've been encouraged by the response. :)
     
  14. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    And...now that you've done this little gem, you've given me an idea for salvaging another potential moment between them from a deleted ESB scene. Ah, the bunnies abide! :D
     
  15. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    I love it! But...it's not that deleted scene, is it? My poor eyes! :p
     
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  16. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    You're probably thinking of the right one, and...my use of the term "salvage" would mean how to cut that element out and make the scene more meaningful. Because, sheesh, srsly, squick! [face_sick] 8-}
     
  17. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    =D= Wow. That's a great moment and sounds very much like her voice/reactions in the films. The insight into Leia's thoughts rings very true; the guilt over not being able to save the day and protect everyone is so very much a part of her, I think. Seem to recall that in the books, the reason she told Anakin's ghost to get lost was because of Han and how she couldn't forgive Vader for wrongs done to others. Truce at Bakura may not be one of the fandom favorites, but I think that they nailed that reaction. Anyway, I liked seeing her try to sort through the details of the bond she shares with Luke and realizing that she has more questions than answers -- and still cares. Aww.
     
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  18. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Thanks, Kahara. Truce at Bakura is actually one of my favorite EU books, and that scene with Leia and ghost!Anakin is excellent. I hadn't thought of that scene when I wrote this, though, so that's a great parallel you noticed!
     
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  19. Luminous beings are we...

    Luminous beings are we... Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Beautifully done. Crisp and clear and so very right. I love it.
     
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  20. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013

    Looking back in hindsight, TTAB has really grown on me, compared to most of the post-ROTJ EU. Sure, the entechment plot was kinda weird and random and not quite-Star Wars-y, but in terms of characterization, I appreciate it. Some readers felt it was extremely petty of Leia to hold her grudge against Vader just for Han and not other far greater atrocities, but while Vader was present and holding her back at the destruction of Alderaan, it was Tarkin who held the most responsibility in that situation. It's him putting Han in carbonite - treating the man she loves like a worthless experimental meatbag to be cashed in - that would evoke the most visceral, personal pain and hatred from her toward Vader. It's plausible to me. I also thought Luke was great: reluctant with greater leadership responsibilities, still a little impulsive, stirred with the ordinary desire for a woman that any man would have, but drawn even more to the possibility of redeeming and teaching a new potential Jedi. He's far from perfect but his flaws are totally believable, instead of being off the charts. And most importantly, he's Compassionate with a capital C. Nice to see other fans of TTAB!

    *The only other quibble I had with this novel was the fact that Lando got so promptly written out of it, instead of including him. But oh well. I'm a hypocrite for saying that, since I hardly have any idea how to write him myself. :p
     
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  21. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Here in fanfic you find true gemstones: stories with a real plot, great characters and/ or great characterization and writers with a heart. Thanks for that special Leia & Luke moment. @};-
     
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  22. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Jumping on the love for A Truce at Bakura - all the characterisations are pretty much spot on, especially Luke. I agree with you ThreadSketch, I thought Leia's reaction to ghost!Anakin was pretty in character, and am surprised to hear that some readers thought she was being petty - Han and Leia were both tortured before Han was put in carbonite after all. And I think this fic demonstrates that her unwillingness to forgive Vader wasn't just about her love for Han, but her love for Luke as well, and the pain Vader caused him (even though Luke didn't see it that way.)

    So, taramidala, any chance you would write a follow up to this set post ROTJ? [face_batting]
     
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  23. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Plus...Eppie Belden is teh roxxxxors. :cool:[face_laugh]:D
     
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  24. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Luminous beings are we... and AzureAngel2, thank you so much for taking the time to read and for leaving such lovely compliments! [face_blush]

    o_O I'll never say never, but not right now. ;) I do have an idea or two though, so we'll see.

    I loved her. :cool:
     
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  25. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I just caught up on this ficlet and before I read your dialogue with ThreadSketch above I was already thinking that this and Enough are two short stories that complement each other perfectly. You two should start a collaborative thread to fill in the introspection blanks in the OT!

    Other than that, what can I say. This is yet another example of the dense, concise taramidala writing that always leaves me very emotional, so I'll shut up now and be emotional quietly :)
     
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