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Beyond - Legends Saga "Our Love of Constellations" | Ficlet and Drabble Collection

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mira_Jade , May 26, 2019.

  1. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Title: “Our Love of Constellations”
    Author: Mira_Jade

    Genre: General (Drama, Family, Romance)
    Rating: PG-ish
    Time Frame: Before through Beyond; Legends; My Song!verse
    Characters: Ensemble Cast (see the Index for more information)

    Summary: Moments from a galaxy far, far away.

    Author's Notes: DRL has been quite the foe lately, and it looks like it's going to remain so for a little while longer. To help combat that, I've set the goal of writing at least five hundred words a day - usually based off of random prompts, especially the word of the day from Merriman-Webster. That's been a favourite of mine for inspiration. The drivels I like and want to share, I thought I'd gather here, especially seeing as how I haven't been able to work on my WIPs as much as I would like. Hopefully, that will change soon!

    In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy these little offerings, and thank you for reading! [face_love] [:D]


    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words. :)







    The Index

    I. "The Hand That Paused to Gather" (Saga-OT; Post-RoTJ) | Han Solo/Leia Organa

    II. "In My Sights" (Beyond-Legends; NJO) | Jag Fel/Jaina Solo | Jaina Solo & Jacen Solo | Jag Fel & Shawnkyr

    III. "The Best of Us" (Beyond-Legends; NJO) | Han Solo & Soontir Fel

    IV. "Know When to Hold 'Em" (Beyond-Legends; NJO) | Kyp Durron/Shawnkyr

    V. "What the Shadows Tell" (Saga-PT/Before-Legends; Pre-ANH) | Ahsoka Tano & Revan

    VI. "You Outshine the Morning Sun" (Saga-PT/OT; Song!verse) | Caleb Dume & Depa Billaba & Mace Windu | Leia Skywalker & Anakin Skywalker | Han Solo & Dewlanna | Mara Jade & Padmé Amidala

    VII. "Ode to a Rylothian Intaglio" (Saga-PT; Song!verse) | Caleb Dume/Hera Syndulla & Hera Syndulla/Thrawn & Ezra Bridger

    VIII. "Stand With Those Who Stand" (Saga-ST; TLJ AU) | Rey & Mara Jade & Ensemble Cast

    IX. "Not Knowing When the Dawn Will Come" (Beyond-Legends; NJO) | Luke Skywalker/Mara Jade | Jag Fel/Jaina Solo | Han Solo/Leia Organa

    X. "A People of Storms" (Beyond-Legends) | Mirax Horn/Corran Horn | Iella Antilles/Wedge Antilles | Han Solo & Soontir Fel

    XI. "As You Are" (Saga PT/OT; Song!Verse) | Anakin Skywalker/Padmé Amidala | Jesse/Amily Gabrees (OC)

    XII. "There is Only Peace" (Saga-PT; TCW) | Luminara Unduli & Aayla Secura & Shaak Ti

    XIII. "With the Holy Call Become a Howl of Prayer" (Saga-PT; TCW) | Barriss Offee & 41st Elite Corps

    XIV. "Where We Stand, Gravity Persists" (Saga-PT; Rebels) | Zeb Orrelios | Hera Syndulla & Ezra Bridger | Rex & Ahsoka Tano

    XV. "Our Dreams Are Beautiful at Center" (Saga-PT; Pre-ANH) | Breha Organa/Bail Organa & Leia Organa | Beru Lars/Owen Lars & Luke Skywalker

    XVI. "But I've Seen Your Hands" (Saga-PT; Rebels) | Sabine Wren & Ezra Bridger | Kanan Jarrus & Ezra Bridger | Alexsandr Kallus & Zeb Orrelios | Rex & Ahsoka Tano

    XVII. "This Earth Bends For Nobody" (Saga-OT; ANH) | Leia Organa & Winter Retrac | Han Solo & Luke Skywalker | Wes Janson & Hera Syndulla

    XVIII. "If There's Only One Song I Can Sing" (Saga-PT; Song!Verse) | Anakin Skywalker/Padme Amidala & Luke & Leia Skywalker | Obi-Wan Kenobi & Qui-Gon Jinn & Anakin Skywalker | Ensemble Skywalker/Naberrie Clan

    XIX. "In Another Life" (Saga-PT; Song!Verse) | Sintas Vel/Boba Fett

    XX. "Nothing That Can't Be Found" (Saga-PT; Song!Verse) | Luminara Unduli & Ahsoka Tano

    XXI. "With Both Hands" (Saga-PT; TCW) | Bly/Aayla Secura

    XXII. "Come: Let There Be Light" (Saga-PT; Song!Verse) | Anakin Skywalker/Padmé Amidala | Bail Organa/Breha Organa

    XXIII. "The Heart Surges" (Before the Saga; pre-TPM) | pre-Luminara Unduli/Obi-Wan Kenobi (Obi-Wan Kenobi/Satine Kyrze)



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  2. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    I.
    “The Hand That Paused to Gather”
    (Post-RoTJ | Han Solo/Leia Organa)


    Apposite

    The forest was alight with joyous celebration the night before. The Rebellion had struck a major blow against the Empire – perhaps the ultimate blow, so much so that they predicted the rest of the Imperial machine to yield to them in quick succession from here on out. What was nothing but an impossibility for so long, relentlessly sought after but admittedly so far away, was now a suddenly attainable victory close at hand. The Emperor was dead, and both his gross weapon of terror and Darth Vader were gone with him. With those obstacles removed from their path, there was nothing but the possibility of a new beginning – of hope fulfilled – for their cause and the wider galaxy they served beyond.

    While that knowledge inspired rejoicing around the fires, complete with dancing and drinking both from their own stores and the Ewok’s ale-like brew, a sense of purpose thrummed through their camp the following morning. There was still so much to be done, to an almost overwhelming degree. Knocking the Emperor from his throne was only the beginning; now, it was time for the real work to begin.

    Leia, of course, was the calm at the center of that storm. She was a natural-born leader as much as she was already firmly established in the Alliance hierarchy, and people looked to her for guidance and answers. She could hardly walk a step without pausing to direct this, approve that, or acknowledge the thanks and well wishes from the umpteenth starry-eyed freedom fighter. While Han knew that she had a job to do, and she was admittedly tempering the chaos of what comes next to an admirable degree -


    - well, he had no regrets when he pulled her away from the throng of frenetic activity to take a walk through the forest, alone. She’d been oddly pensive since speaking with Luke that morning, and both siblings (siblings, could you believe it?) had been gone for a good long time. When they returned, Leia’s look had been pale, and the joy that had been sparkling in her deep brown eyes was then dulled for a shadow. While her smile was sincere, there was a brittle quality to her expression that troubled him. When he tried to pry for the root of her distress, she had only squeezed his hand and promised to tell him later. First, she insisted, there was work to be done.

    Sure, it was all important work; he would never downplay just how vital a role Leia played in the Alliance. Yet, while she had her fingers on the pulse of her people as a true leader should, he was more concerned about her, herself. And she needed to take a moment to breathe, to decompress. Otherwise, she'd eventually be of no use to anyone. She was still made of flesh and bone, no matter how ethereal an image she seemingly presented to those she led. Between her caring for the whole, and him looking out for her, he was confident they could meet in the middle.

    At first, Leia was only annoyed when he tugged her down the path leading away from the village, yet his persistence soon paid off. Here, the ferns carpeting the forest floor were thick, and the air was heavy from the misting rain that had fallen that morning. The trees were still damp, and the spicy scent of their wood was sharp in their noses as they passed. Endor was a naturally beautiful place, he could admit, in its own earthy way. That beauty, in its turn, sparked a sense of peace that was impossible to deny. To that effect, he was glad when Leia’s look soothed the further they walked. Slowly, she remembered to breathe for herself again. When he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, she tucked in closer to him, sharing his stride. She seemed to sink against him in a boneless shape, allowing him to serve as an anchor for her, keeping her grounded. Though there was nothing formal yet connecting them – they hadn’t had a chance to sit down and discuss what, exactly, their relationship was – Han knew that there wasn’t anywhere else he wanted to be than right there beside her, helping to ease the burden weighing upon her shoulders.


    The hunting path wound through the trees until it eventually turned through a clearing in the woods. The interlocking branches were still a dense crown of greenery far overhead. The overcast sky just barely peeked through the lush canopy in drowsy rays of light that illuminated the frothing course of a small, quickly flowing creek. On the side of the creek-bed closest to them, a spray of white flowers grew. Their cups were smaller than the palm of his hand, with petals that were a near translucent ivory against the thick green of their surroundings. The plants were open and thriving from the succor of the rain, and something about Leia’s expression lightened to see their happy little faces peek out from the previous monotone of the forest.

    For her smile, Han felt an impetus push against him. He paused on the path, hesitating to consider his urge. When he didn’t immediately turn and keep on walking, Leia turned to look up at him, a question in her eyes. He knew that a flush threatened to light his cheeks, but once the idea hit him he couldn’t so easily shake it away. Lando, he knew, would never let him live this down. But -

    - he drew his arm away from Leia’s shoulders to step off the path and walk to the creek-side. There, he knelt down and picked what he thought to be the best bloom of the bunch. The flower had a soft, sweet scent. This close, he could see where its petals was more iridescent than white, veiling a myriad of colors to all but the careful eye. It was, he thought, a beautiful surprise to be found on the forest floor.


    Yet, he . . . well, he’d never given flowers to a girl before. He’d never been that kind of guy, just as he'd never had the kind of girl who expected, or even wanted flowers. But Leia was a princess; he could imagine that, back on Alderaan, his offering of the little woodland bloom would have paled in comparison to the hothouse bouquets her potential suitors would have gifted instead. Yet, Alderaan was gone, he reminded himself. Alderaan was gone, and he was certainly no prince, but Leia . . . she deserved flowers. She deserved flowers, and so much more.

    Han didn’t have any graceful words to accompany his gesture; that wasn’t who he was. Instead, he just handed her the flower, and tried his hardest not to let his cheeks turn as red as he imagined they were.

    The gift did the trick, though: Leia smiled at him to accept the flower. It was a real smile she gave him, then, chasing away the heavy pall that had dulled her gaze throughout the day. She lifted the cup of petals to her nose and inhaled, and against the pink that touched her cheeks the pretty little bloom couldn’t ever hope to compare. Not that Han would ever say that aloud, of course; he wouldn’t even know where to begin if he tried.

    Instead, Leia was equally as quiet in reply as she tucked in against his side to return to the village. She was then quick to jump right back into the thick of everything, of course, but there his token stayed, tucked into the plait of her hair as a reminder throughout the rest of the day.



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Here we are, with a gorgeous title leading to a squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious Mira ficlet thread! ^:)^ =D=

    Han's voice is so perfect, his shy spontaneous gesture, so inexpressibly adorbs!

    The scene as you describe it, as well as the bloom, you can feel it easing Leia's tension - lighting her load, as it does the reader's. :)

    Han is so perfect for her, attuned to her moods, wanting to share her burdens and joys, and add to the latter in no small measure. [face_love]
     
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  4. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Oh my gosh, this is beautiful. I love the way you really have both Han and Leia down. She’s still burdened with responsibilities, troubled by the revelation that Luke has given her, but like the leader she has always been, she won’t allow her own feelings to interfere when there’s still a Job to be Done. Han takes it as his duty - his responsibility— to be her solace and respite from those burdens. His job is to take care of her.

    And the flowers - he sees his gift as inadequate, that he would have been unnoticed or even outright rejected back on Alderaan for trying to give her a gesture like that. But as Han reasons, this is a new day. Alderaan is no more. He has as valid a right to the princess’s time and affection as anyone. His gift, given out of love and complete selflessness, was the most treasured of all.

    This is really beautiful! @};-
     
  5. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Hello, my friend!!! Yes, I am so happy to have this outlet here to battle DRL, and I am so very thrilled to have you along for the ride, again. I thank you so much for your support and encouragement, as always. [face_love] [:D]

    Aw, thank you! It was great, this opportunity to show this softer side of Han's personality. He's such a romantic, and with Leia he can let that aspect of his personality out. He's really grown from the devil-may-care smuggler he tried to be; he was always more than that, and Leia saw through him from the beginning. [face_love]

    And dear Leia has the weight of all the worlds on her shoulders. That Han could be there for her, and help support her is one of the reasons I love them together so much. They have such spark and chemistry, on top of bringing out the best in and supporting each other. I love it, and I love them, and it was wonderful going back to basics, so to speak, to work with this OTP of OTPs here. [face_love]

    [:D]

    First off, I thank you so much for your kind review! It's always wonderful to have your feedback, and I appreciated every word. [face_love]

    And yes! That's exactly what I love so much about Han and Leia, as I said in my response to Nyota, and I am so happy that came across well in this ficlet. [face_love]

    Exactly! It's a brand new day and a brand new world, and in this brave new world he has a chance and a right to be a soulmate to the Princess of Alderaan. And his heartfelt gift, his love, is just what Leia needs to carry on and greet her burdens head-on, in return. Gosh, I just love them together so much! [face_love]

    As always, I thank you so much for reading, and I'm glad that you enjoyed! [:D]


    Alrighty, I'll have more up for you in a few minutes! :D

    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  6. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Notes: This double ficlet is set in the early days of the NJO, right after Jag and Jaina's first 'meeting' in space - though they still haven't met each other in person yet. These missing scenes wholly expand on (1) Jaina's grousing about losing to Spike Force in the sims to Ganner, (2) the line about Wedge and Tycho being the sole two able to claim a kill against Jag, and (3) the later insight we get that Jag always guns for the best pilot first, and in this case he was smitten by Jaina. [face_tee_hee] [face_love] I just adore that they had sparks flying, even before there was a physical attraction between then. This piece is also a homage to my favourite pilots - including the Syndullas. Because we mix and match Disney and Legends, ignoring all the stupid, for an ideal world in this house! I have to imagine that Hera would've loved to have a hand in Jaina's rising star. Now, that said, I need to write more along that line! But, first!

    Then, the prompt for this piece came courtesy of @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha! I had great fun interpreting it in a somewhat unorthodox manner. [face_mischief] :*

    Enjoy! :)






    II.


    “In My Sights”
    (Beyond-Legends; NJO; Dark Tide II: Ruin | Jag Fel & Jaina Solo)​

    I Concentrate on You

    No matter how she tried, she could never draw ahead of him in the sims.

    Him: Spike Lead, the insufferable pilot from the Unknown Regions who’d swept in at the last possible moment to save her and her wingman from certain doom against the Yuuzhan Vong above Garqi. His timely intervention had covered the Rogues’ tails; sure, great. She appreciated his assistance, and even would have said as much if it wasn't for his intolerable ego when he cut in over their comms. Jaina Solo was a fighter pilot, and just as accustomed to receiving aid from her comrades-in-flight as she was to giving that aid in return. Her confidence in her own abilities didn’t preclude her understanding that the squadron that flew together was the squadron that triumphed, rather than the lone ship flying alone. Yet, it was the arrogance in his voice that plucked at her nerves and set every last one of her fighting instincts alight with indignation. Especially – and this just rankled her ire all the more so – since his arrogance wasn’t quite arrogance, she was coming to find through the course of humiliating experience. His estimation of his skills was properly placed; he was beyond good, he was gifted, and he knew it. She could never get the edge on him in a furball, no matter how she tried. Every skill she’d so painstakingly practiced, and every trick she’d learned over the past seventeen years from the Rogues and Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker and Han Solo himself – not to mention her own prodigious intuition and the Force acting as her unmatched ally in flight . . . it was fruitless. She couldn’t cross him in her scopes and make her shots stick, just as she failed to avoid escaping his own crosshairs, time and time again. She was always close, so close, but ultimately so far away.

    Training against the three squadrons of the Chiss strike force, alongside Hobbie’s Wraiths and Syndulla’s Phoenix Squadron, was a battering experience for her ego. Yet, she felt that she came that much closer to finally scoring a killing shot every time they faced off. Jaina found the blip of his ship, just as she was drawn to every time, even over Rogue Lead’s instruction, her heart thundering and her blood rushing through her veins with the adrenaline of the fight. This time, she felt, maybe this time -

    - only to watch his clawcraft preform an insane maneuver that defied the laws of physics to end up behind her, rather than locked in her sights. The telling flare of a torpedo fixed on her engines, and even with her Jedi reflexes kicking in to steer away, a fraction of a second later her controls shuttered and then ‘died’ as they powered down to simulate the destruction of her craft. Red bloomed across her tactical screens in a spectacular declaration of defeat, prompting her to release her yoke in disgust as her astromech gave a mournful whistle. Sithspit! He’d shot her down; again.

    Better luck next time, Rogue Eleven,” his awful condescension sounded like a wink through her headset. His voice thrummed across her senses, and she felt an answering shudder trace over her skin, one that was all rage in shape. Disgusted, she gave a rude click and then flicked off her comm to avoid hearing him say anything further. Spike Lead could eat Vong plasma for all she cared.

    “Why,” later, Jacen asked after she finished her scathing rant, walking through the corridors of the Bothan Assault Cruiser Ralroost together, “is this bothering you so much, Jaya? You’ve lost in the sims before, how is this any different?”

    “Why shouldn’t this bother me?” had been her retort as she threw her twin an irked glance. She didn’t at all like the lopsided, knowing little grin he was shooting her. “This isn’t the same as having Wedge or Hera remind me that I’m still technically a rookie behind the helm! That’s like losing to Uncle Luke in saber practice. No; with him, the Solo pride is on the line. I have our name to prove to this quasi-Imp, and you better believe that I’m going to see his pretty ship in pieces behind me! Someday, me bearing down his scopes is going to be the last thing he sees before his screens going dark – mark my words, Jace.”

    “Whatever you say,” Jacen made a bland noise of polite affirmation, but his expression remained unconvinced. Her brother, Jaina scoffed, was being ridiculous about this. She threw her nose up in the air, but didn’t stop Jacen as he reached over to sling an arm around her shoulders. They’d already lost too much in this war for her to shove him aside, even in a playful fit of pique. Even so, she rolled her eyes to conclude, this matter – as far as she was concerned – was closed. She was being completely reasonable, and there was nothing Jacen could say to make her believe otherwise.



    .

    .

    For the most part, Colonel Jagged Fel was duly impressed with the premier squadrons of the New Republic Defense Fleet. To his eye, they’d lived up to their names and reputations to a spectacular degree. He’d had to fight and call upon every last one of his hard won skills to score kills against famed pilots like Hobbie Klivian and Corran Horn and Jacen Syndulla. So far, his only three losses were to his uncle Wedge Antilles, Colonel Tycho Celchu, and one spectacular schooling at the hands of General Hera Syndulla herself, who’d come out of retirement shortly after the Destruction of Sernpidal to lend her legend to the ranks of Republic command. As far as those runs were concerned, Jag simply took pride in how long he’d lasted before being gunned down; he’d learned more from those combat veterans in defeat than he possibly could have in victory.

    Yet, it was to his pride as a commander when Spike Force held their own against the Rogues and their comrades in the sims, proving their discipline and mettle every time they won. Colonel Gavin Darklighter had kept the squadron as elite as it’d been since the days of the Galactic Civil War, and its renowned stock of talent only made their many victories all the sweeter. Especially, he could admit, whenever he got Rogue Eleven in his scopes.

    He didn’t know why, but there was something about the pilot that'd caught his attention, and held it. She flew like a dream – breathtakingly daring in a way that would have scandalized his Chiss instructors, and innovative with a maddening unorthodoxy that made his head spin. She pushed her X-wing to the edges of its operational parameters and then some in a way that made his Corellian heart – even with it being properly subdued and disciplined into subjugation for so long – twist in admiration. Flying after her was like racing to keep up with the wisps of a nebula or a gale of solar wind; it took all of his own admitted talent and experience to land a kill on her six. Yet he managed, time and time again.

    “Better luck next time, Rogue Eleven,” he meant his words true as he saluted her, his blood still racing from the thrill of the chase. All that he received in reply was a rude click, and then nothing more. But, no matter; Jag had learned to expect coarse manners from most of the denizens of the inner galaxy, and Sticks was no exception to that rule.

    “A most excellent victory was ours today, sir,” Shawnkyr approved as they walked away from the simulator together. The crisp rhythm of their strides clicked to match as they marched through the corridors of the Chimaera. “Your flying was a testament to the discipline of our phalanx once more.”

    That was the highest of praise, coming from her. Jag inclined his head to his second to acknowledge her words. “You did well yourself, Kyrn,” he approved, his voice warming just slightly over her core name to emphasize his words. “Colonel Darklighter will remember that kill for some time to come.”

    If she were any less Chiss, he suspected that she would've grinned to relish her success against a worthy opponent. As it was, her fiery eyes glittered, and she tilted her chin up in an unmistakable show of pride. “It was for the honor of our strike force,” her voice was neutral to acknowledge his praise. A heartbeat passed, and she paused, the only sign of hesitance she gave before continuing to say, “That was, however, a victory that should have been yours to take, had you not been otherwise engaged against Rogue Eleven.”

    Jag paused, surprised by the note of . . . not accusation, or even concern in her voice, but something that somehow managed to be both, nevertheless. “I simply singled out the best pilot in the sky,” there was no misplaced flattery in his estimation of her skills, none by far. It was by force of long habit that the corner of his mouth didn’t turn upwards, but he knew that his eyes gleamed with satisfaction, regardless, “and then I took her down. And that too,” firmly, he closed the matter, “was for the honor of the Ascendancy.”

    Shawnkyr was more than his second and wingman; she was his closest friend, near as close as his own siblings were to him. He didn’t understand why she failed to look convinced, when he himself knew the truth of his words. “Of course,” she said, even so, and that was that. They marched on, the long halls of the Star Destroyer stretching out behind them.



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    J/J!!!!!!!!!!!! It's been tooooooooooo long!

    I love how captivated they are with one another's piloting prowess and how Jacen, and Shawnkyr are unconvinced by the motivation behind the "friendly" rivalry. ;)

    There's such a true sibling warmth between the twins and a genuine sense of respect and camaraderie between Jag and Shawnkyr.


    =D=
     
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  8. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha - I know, right??? J/J is still a favourite of my OTPs, and they always will be. It was so much fun exploring the inception of their relationship here! And Jaina and Jacen, and Jag and Shawnkyr? Yep, two more of my favourite bonds to explore. It was like coming home to old friends, writing this piece, and I'm so glad that you enjoyed them too. [face_love]

    I thank you so much for reading, my friend, as always! [:D]






    Author's Note: Since my muse is still in a mood, this next ficlet is set vaguely late-NJO; there's a dash of AU flavor thrown in for spice to set the scene. Honestly, I thought the books had so much potential that was never reached. One of those potential plot points was the necessity for a true Galactic Alliance to stand against the Yuuzhan Vong. I would have loved the fulfillment of that premise! And that, of course, would have created a chance for a meeting like this. [face_mischief]

    The prompt for this ficlet came courtesy of @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, once again. :) [face_love] Thank-you! [:D]






    III.


    "The Best of Us"
    (Beyond-Legends; NJO | Han Solo & Soontir Fel)​

    The Stars Fell


    He was, Han Solo thought, getting much too old for this. The fight had to be leaving him when the first thing he entered Cilghal’s medward to see was one Baron Soontir kriffing Fel, and he didn’t immediately want to break his fist over the pompous Imp’s pretentious face. Well, not wholly, anyway.

    Maybe, Han could at least admit that it was the bluster of his much younger self – who remembered competing in everything from the sims to Carida’s grav-ball league to who got the highest scores on their astrogation exams back at the Imperial Academy – that bristled at the presence of his former rival. Yet, it was a more careworn veteran who just shrugged and civilly inclined his head to acknowledge the other man. The war was making strange friends out of old foes, in so many unexpected ways. The Galactic Alliance they were called now, with the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant and the more independent factions like Hapes and Mandalore and now even the reclusive Chiss Ascendancy all joining hands to see this one impossible enemy defeated. Even the remaining Hutt syndicates and the criminal enterprises that ruled in the Outer Rim were covertly lending aid to the war effort. They were now fighting for all of their homes, from the first star to the last, and old grudges didn’t have a place in that new order.

    . . . for the most part, at least.

    After their polite greeting, Soontir seemed inclined to ignore him, which suited Han just fine. The baron stood in front of one of the many occupied bacta tanks at a stiff parade rest, with his shoulders squared and his hands held loosely behind his back. His only good eye was fixed on his son, who peacefully floated in a healing stupor, hardly blinking to stare no matter that he couldn’t be seen in return. The deep lines furrowing his brow knotted as he frowned, while his mouth remained pressed into a thin, pensive expression. He looked, Han thought, haggard and worn.

    But, Han couldn't judge the other man too harshly as he approached the tank adjacent to Jagged Fel's. He imagined that he didn't look much better as he lifted his hand to rest against the glasteel, right above where Jaina was ensconced in bacta to match her partner. It’d been a rough dogfight, he reflected grimly, one that had moved planetside when his daughter’s X-wing was shot down as the Vong scrambled for the glory of taking the heretic Yun-Harla to the Supreme Overlord alive. They’d held their lines, and Jaina had amazingly fought off the hordes until they could recover her – but their forces had taken a beating. Their victory, if you could call it that, had been close.

    “Hey there, sweetheart,” Han whispered, critically looking over his little girl’s many scrapes and bruises with a father's critical eye. He sucked in a breath, feeling as if every last one of her hurts had been carved on his own body, instead. “I have to tell you, your old man can't handle many more of these scares. You’ve gotta start worrying more about my heart, kid – it’s going to give out one of these times, you know? Give out and stop.”

    The tips of his fingers were bloodless and white as he pressed them against the tank. He looked, and thought to see where Jaina’s own hand twitched, reflexively reaching for him no matter the depths of her medically induced slumber. Han felt the corners of his mouth tug, by then more than used to the Force and its ways. His daughter was aware of his presence, he took comfort to know. Hopefully, she was drawing strength from him standing there, willing her to heal up hale and whole again. His jaw locked, and he had to close his eyes against the burning pressure that was threatening to release behind his gaze. If he could, he’d take every last of her hurts for her. She was still so young - too young, he stubbornly felt, no matter that she was the same age her mother was, blazing in white when he first met her in the detention center of the Death Star. Once was, that memory twisted, they’d fought so many battles, all so that the next generation wouldn’t have to rage as they had raged.

    How futile that had been, in hindsight.

    Because, now, here they were. Han was heartily sick of the fighting, of the wars. He wanted no part in grappling for the good of the many, not from here on out. His family had sacrificed enough on the altar of the galaxy’s safety; he didn't want to give up any more of what they had left.

    “I have to admit,” Soontir’s voice was a gruff sound to break the monotonous hum of the tanks' filters, interrupting his thoughts, “that at first I was nothing but incensed when I heard that my son had attached himself to such a reckless, foolhardy rebel as your girl. Her lack of discipline and daring will only see him worse off; she flaunts the very rules that keep fighters without the crutch of the Force alive during an engagement, to an abhorrent degree. I've raged at him for months about the matter; we still don't see eye to eye over his choice. It was Jaina’s bad influence, I’d thought, when he refused to honor my demands and drop the relationship immediately.”

    If Han was waiting for a but to that statement, he'd keep waiting until the stars burned out. At least, he grudgingly admitted, Soontir was honest enough to speak his mind to his face. He could respect that, to a point.

    Even so, Han felt a curious lack of offense for the baron’s cutting words. His grin, while lopsided, was as tired and it was tight. “It's funny you say that, because I couldn’t wrap my mind around why my daughter chose an arrogant, flimsi-board cutout of a quasi-Imperial with no sense of humor and a lump of ice for a heart, either. He's a chip off the old block, in my opinion. But, here we are now, aren’t we?”

    After coming to know the younger man better, Han knew that his harsh critique wasn’t true beneath what was first apparent on the surface – honest he did. Jag Fel had been the first to peel away from his own squadron and race after Jaina’s ship when she spiraled towards the planet, as reckless and daring as any Rebel would have been back in the day. He was a good kid; a good kid with a good heart who loved his daughter unconditionally. Han could scoff at the idea of that all he wanted, but, in his own way, he was thankful too. He was happy for Jaina and grateful she had such a man by her side, watching her back where her parents no longer wholly could.

    (Even if, only Jaina would look twice and see something more in a Fel.)

    “Thanks, by the way,” the words didn't sting as much as he initially dreaded. Beyond their barbs, Han even thought to understand everything that Soontir didn’t say. “Without Jag being first on the ground back there, she . . . she might not have been able to . . . ”

    But he couldn’t find the words to voice that particular what-if aloud. They tangled on his tongue and made his throat thick with fire. He couldn’t quite manage to swallow around the unspoken.

    In reply, Soontir blinked his only eye, long and slow. “I know,” he answered simply. Though he didn’t turn away from the bacta tank, Han glimpsed the shadow that flittered over his expression before being swiftly brushed aside again. He wasn’t the only one who'd mourned the loss of a child here, he reminded himself; he wasn’t the only one who was terrified to feel that loss again.

    So.

    “What were their names?” Han asked. The words sounded wispy, thin and haunted to his own ears. In that moment, he felt old in his bones. Too old.

    A minute passed, heavy with silence. At first, Han didn’t think Soontir would answer. He wouldn't blame him if he couldn't.

    Until: “Cherith,” Soontir finally replied, the name rasped from his mouth as if he hadn’t spoken it aloud in years. He drew the two syllables out as if they were precious. “Cherith was my daughter . . . and Davin was my son.”

    Han nodded, feeling as the stone in his throat only thickened. In the tank before him, Jaina’s hand brushed the glasteel while floating on the gentle currents, ghosting at the underside of where he’d flattened his entire palm against the barrier separating them. He’d come so close, his heart raced to know, so close again.

    “And you, Solo?” Soontir still did not look over to ask him. “What was your boy’s name?”

    He had to try once, and then twice to speak in answer. He couldn't immediately lend his voice a breath. “Anakin,” the sound was hoarse when he finally managed. Han hadn’t spoken his son’s name in so long – in too long, he knew. “His mother named him Anakin.”

    They didn’t say anything more than that. Instead, just stood in silence as, slowly, their children continued to heal.



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Your Han POV is so amazingly him, in all the tenderness, candor, and war-weariness. =D=

    His insights are so relevant to any time and place, fraught with the crazy chaos that only war and violence can bring.

    [face_thinking]

    It does break one's heart to think that he and Leia and others fought and sacrificed so the latter generation wouldn't have to, only to suffer more excruciating losses, but it's not just on one side, as Han, and we, realize -- because Soontir as well has experienced indescribable losses - twice! :eek: :(

    I love how connected he and Jaina are, even while she gets a bacta soak. And how protective and honestly grateful for Jag. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing this realistic and touching missing scene, because that's how I call anything you write. @};-

    =D=
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  10. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha - Thank you for your wonderful feedback, my friend! This was a tough subject to write about, it really was. Han is so weary and battle-worn, and for a good reason! But that's just going to make him hang onto what he has left of his family - and welcome that family to expand, even if that includes Soontir Fel ;) [face_mischief] - and hold them even closer. That's the only way I'll take my angst, you more than know - with a big ol' dose of hope and healing for the future to come. ;) [face_love] [face_sigh]

    [:D]





    Author's Notes:
    This next update is a companion piece to my last ficlet with Han and Soontir. After this, I'll have some more variety for you, I promise! For now, my muse was on a kick, what can I say? Now, with this ficlet, I am happy to present one of my favourite crack!ships from bygone days: Kyp Durron and Shawnkyr Nuruodo. Nope! Nothing is OOC here. ;) I think that I am the only person I know left paddling in this particular canoe - I can't even call it a ship, really! But I am loving every moment of it. [face_laugh] [face_blush]

    The prompt for this one came courtesy of @brodiew, for which I am more than thankful for! [:D]

    Enjoy! :)





    IV.



    “Know When to Hold ‘Em”
    (Beyond-Legends; NJO | Kyp Durron/Shawnkyr)​


    Taken Down a Peg

    With the arrival of Han Solo, Kyp Durron had been all too happy to hand over his vigil in the medward to Jaina’s father. On his way out, Han had affectionately squeezed his shoulder and thanked him for sticking by his daughter. His thanks weren't necessary, yet Kyp appreciated the shared sentiment. He could do nothing less than everything within his power for Jaina Solo; since his sincere apology on Hapes and the effort he'd extended to repair their relationship since then, he was bound to her like a planet to its sun, so much so that he had no wish to ignore the fixed laws of gravity. Still, Han was the only person left in the galaxy who could call him kid with any sort of positive sentiment, and his cheeks had warmed for the tangible show of affection. He’d take to his grave how much those little moments still had the ability to touch his heart, but that was the honest to Force truth.

    Yet, no matter that he'd left Jaina in the best of hands, he couldn’t bring himself to go too far; not yet. He’d wait until Cilghal made her final rounds before turning in for a few hours of shut-eye himself. To that end he'd claimed one of the hard plastoid chairs lining the corridor outside of the bacta bay to wait. He had company to pass the time, at the very least – like him, Shawnk’yr’nuruodo wanted to hear the health of her first confirmed before retiring for the night. She’d saluted Baron Soontir Fel when he arrived and surrendered her place by Jag’s side to his immediate family, yes, but she hadn’t yielded any further ground than that. Her concern was a feeling Kyp could more than understood.

    Since rushing Jaina and Jag to the medward, he hadn't bothered to pause and change out of his flightsuit. He couldn't; not yet. He was definitely due for a turn in the 'fresher, and he'd shaken his dark, shoulder-length hair loose from its messy queue without bothering to tie it back again. Likewise, Shawnkyr's flightsuit, usually pristine and white – he was pretty certain that Chiss didn't perspire like Humans did, with how impossibly put together she usually was following hours stuck in a cockpit – was scored with burn marks and streaked with mire. Her thick, blue-black hair was teased from its tidy braid, leaving loose strands free to frame her face in as casual a look as he'd ever seen on her. Even without the aid of the Force she’d been an asset during the battle, utilizing her pinpoint accurate aim and surprising strength when it came time to cover their fallback on the ground. She'd proven to be just as fierce a combatant planetside as she was in the air, and under different circumstances Kyp would have enjoyed flanking her side through the firefight; he would have enjoyed it very much indeed.

    Now, however, he simply shot her a lazy grin over the top of his cards, waiting for her to make her move. He was teaching Shawnkyr how to play sabacc to pass the time until Cilghal returned. After only an hour of practice, he already felt like he was gambling against a Corellian master. In retrospect, that shouldn't have been too surprising – Shawnkyr had a natural mind for tactics, and that when coupled with an unparalleled ability to mask her emotions made her a fierce opponent. Not even a twitch or a sigh gave him a clue about her hand, and he knew her better than most in the inner galaxy. It’d been well over a year since their first meeting on Hapes, and they'd grown past their initial uncertainty of each other since then. His violent and oftentimes checkered history could easily be considered anathema to the ideals of the Chiss – even to those of a renegade phalanx such as hers, Kyp had first been puzzled to think. Or, maybe, he gave, that was exactly why she didn't seem to hold his past against him, even more so than some of his compatriots did in the Alliance. He, in turn, hadn't been at a loss of what to make of the cool, confident woman who kept her emotions hidden from view, not for overly long. Eventually, he simply decided that he liked to nettle her; he liked to see what it took to make her crack – whether it be a smile or a frown or a quickly exhaled breath in reply to something, anything he did to provoke her. By now, he knew to watch the exact shade and glow of her eyes to clue him in on her thoughts, rather than looking for her to emote as a Human being would. Yet, as their hand drew on and the pot grew larger, even that tried and true method was yielding . . . hazy results, at best.

    For her turn, Shawnkyr placed only a single card into the randomizer, prompting Kyp to loose a low whistle in reply. Was that how she was wanted to play this?

    “You’re pretty confident about your hand, aren’t you?” his grin hooked. “Careful not to get too cocky – sabacc has a way of turning even the best intended plays on their rear.”

    “I thank you for your counsel, Master Durron. I’ll remember not to be too . . . cocky with my future plays.” Her voice had a naturally deep timbre, and the cadence of her tone remained even, yet something about her words still tugged on his ears. He couldn’t help but feel like he was being teased, no matter that he had no visual cues to confirm his suspicion.

    He brushed that impression aside. “Hey – you can only claim being a rookie for so long, and then you’re on your own. Enjoy the magnanimity of my advice while it lasts.” Han Solo, he recalled with a wince, gave him only a single hand before refusing to pull any punches. Kyp had learned how to play the game against the wily old Corellian, and he’d learned fast.

    As for his own hand, his brow furrowed to consider, he had two masters and two aces. Two high scoring pairs were respectable enough, but if his luck played out just right he'd rather see that pair grow into . . .

    Kyp too placed a single card into the randomizer – a move which Shawnkyr arched a single brow in her version of sardonicism for – and had to fight to contain his grin when he drew back the master of darkness. Ha! There were only a few hands that could beat his full house now. He was confident in his bet when he placed down all the credits he had left on him – including a slip of flimsiplast that promised to take a late rotation for the pilots on-call, and a rather silly scrap that surrendered his round of dessert in the mess hall for the next week. He was confident that he would get his bet back, and more, when he claimed the pot for himself.

    Until -

    “Yours is an impressive hand,” Shawnkyr hummed to approve. Yet, he sensed a but. Sure enough, her brilliant red eyes sparkled for a true shade of ruby when he looked – a clear indication of her confidence and satisfaction. With a sinking feeling, he knew that she’d uncover her cards to show -

    - huh, would you look at that? A full sabacc in air. Hers was one of the few hands that could solidly trounce his own.

    It was only a supreme force of will that kept his jaw from falling open. “This,” he pronouncing every syllable slowly, “is not your first time playing sabacc, is it?” He narrowed his eyes in clear accusation, already knowing the answer to his question.

    “Of course not,” she didn't hesitate to confirm.

    Kyp threw his hands up, and parroted, “Of course not? she says! Palpatine's bowels, but you could have told me! I was treating you like a newbie all this time – how was that even remotely fair?”

    “I didn't tell you because you never asked,” Shawnkyr twitched her shoulders in what passed for her version of a shrug. “Instead, you were quick to assume that you had something to teach me.” She drew her winnings towards her with a practiced air while Kyp tried not to wince for the dent to his pocket – and his pride. “The Fels are a fullblooded Corellian family, no matter that they have assimilated into Chiss society as if born to our ways. Many, including you, Master Durron, tend to forget that fact. And yet, some things about one's roots,” she swept her cards back with a flourish as if to punctuate her words, “are impossible to leave behind.”

    “Well then,” Kyp slouched in his seat with a noisy sigh, “just let me know when you want me to take that shift for you, and I’ll be there." He ran a weary hand over his face, wincing at the grime he still felt on his skin.

    That piece of flimsi, however, she handed back to him. “That won’t be necessary. We all have our part to play to end this war, and I’ll not shirk my duties. Yet,” and there, the fiery shade of her eyes flickered to sparkle with red-orange – comradery and teasing, he now knew from experience, as easy to read as a sun burned hot, “I will happily take your dessert. Bothan cream pie to start with tonight, if you please.”

    He flashed her a wounded look. “You drive a hard bargain, woman," he muttered. "But fine," he managed to scramble enough dignity so as not to pout, but it was a near thing, "I'll honor my defeat."

    “I never doubted your honor,” her voice remained level with that same familiar deep timbre. Her angular features gave nothing away, and yet something about her words sounded different to his ears. Full awareness teased at him, yet never fully solidified into understanding. “If you wish for a true challenge, however, perhaps we should play chakapra next?" she tilted her head to offer. "The game is like enough to your holochess that I assume they share a common ancestor. Only, the tactics are more advanced in the version my people play.”

    More advanced? Force help him, but he tried to hold onto his confident grin. No matter his efforts, he knew his expression wobbled. “This is going to hurt my ego, isn’t it?” he voiced his apprehension aloud, but refused to add that he was a more than competent dejarik player, which was like enough to holochess to be comparable. Han Solo had seen to that gap in his education, too. Turnabout, he could only hope, would be more than fair play.

    “I suspect it may," Shawnkyr answered his question. "But, for how long it does is up to you.”

    He blew out a loud exhale through his nose, and rubbed his hands together. “Well, you know that I can never resist a challenge," he said, even as Shawnkyr drew up the game on her datapad. A moment later, a holographic playing field flickered into view, familiar to what he already knew, but yet slightly different. "Come on," he welcomed her with a grin, "it's time for me to win back my dessert."

    “Or, Master Durron, you could just ask nicely." Something about her words, he couldn't help but feel, thrummed in a way that drew Kyp up short. She was looking down at the game, seemingly engrossed in her opening move, but her eyes glowed to peer up at him through her lashes in a way that he wouldn't hesitate to call flirty on any other woman . . . any woman but her. "I can be persuaded to share.”

    But he was not imagining that . . . or, at least, he didn't think he was. If he just barely kept himself from gaping earlier, he had no control over his reaction then: Kyp stared at her with wide eyes, his mouth falling open as his mind boggled. Did he really just hear her right, or had he been too many hours on duty and was imagining things? It must have been the space fatigue; that was the only thing that possibly made sense.

    "Now," as quick as . . . whatever that was appeared, it was gone between one heartbeat and the next as Shawnkyr steepled her hands before her chin. "Pay close attention, and you just may learn something new."

    "Try me," without realizing, his own voice had dropped to match her earlier tone. He didn't look down at the game; not yet. "I tend to catch on quick."

    Just barely, the corner of her mouth twitched in the smallest of smiles. "We shall see."



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh how utterly FUN, FUN, FUN!
    [face_laugh]
    Kyp's POV is a dream to read and he and Shawnkyr's dynamic is fascinating in the extreme! ;)
    =D=
     
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  12. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh] This was ace! Oh Durron.. [face_tee_hee] he was so cocky thinking Shawnkyr was a newbie to the game! o_O

    This was brilliant! Her words + his reaction = pure gold! [face_laugh]:D:p

    Really enjoying these drabbles, especially when they include Kyp [face_love] Oh I'm a sucker for Durron! [face_batting]

    Ace work @Mira_Jade :D =D=
     
  13. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    What an interesting set of drabbles! It's been ages since I've seen such Legends writing, with these characters again. Funny how they've retreated when they dominated the fanfic boards for so, so many years.

    My favorite was "The Best of Us" with Han and Soontir Fel. There's something universal in a parent's fear for their child. Whatever differences they may have in culture or personality, they share the same devotion as fathers.
    They have both experienced the same unspeakable grief of a parent who has lost a child. That alone gives them common ground, even if it is a common trait that they would have done anything to avoid. To lose Jaina and Jag at this point would be too much. They have put aside their differences to save the children who remain. Our hopes are that our children will carry on what is the best of us.

    Great work on all three!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  14. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Hello, all! I have to thank you for the wonderful feedback - it's great to hear that you guys are enjoying these little drivels. [face_love]

    Thank-you! It was refreshing to write something so lighthearted and fun, especially for these characters and in this particular era. Back in the day, I read a few wonderful J/J stories with these two as a side pairing, and they've lingered in the back of my mind since then. They're a concept that I just may have to consider writing for further. [face_thinking] [face_mischief] [face_love]

    I greatly appreciate your feedback and encouragement, as always! Thanks for reading. :D [:D]


    In some ways, for how much Kyp has grown, he is still going to be Kyp!! I just couldn't resist having him fall so flat on his face. The cocky dork :p

    Thank-you!! My muse is smitten with the idea of these two, and the words just flowed from there. They definitely have a . . . unique dynamic, but I am intrigued as an author and Kyp most certainly is too! [face_thinking] [face_love]

    I'm thrilled to hear that you are enjoying these; thanks for stopping in! There will definitely be more Legends goodies - and Kyp [face_mischief] - yet to come. [face_love] [:D]


    It really is interesting, how the tone of the boards has shifted over time. These characters are still alive in my heart, though, and I couldn't resist revisiting such beloved old friends. I'm glad you enjoyed this trip down memory lane too! :D [face_love]

    You're too right! In the end, it's those similarities that unite us more than they drive us apart, and it was great to give Han and Soontir that moment. As much as I love the rivalry between these two, and I will read their bickering any day, it felt right to take a more serious look at their relationship.

    Exactly! No matter my issues with the EU from much of the NJO onwards, one of the things I really appreciated was Han's characterizations as a father. He's really holding onto his family with both hands, especially after losing Anakin. That is something that Soontir can empathize with. It's only fitting that there's a truce between them when their children are hurt, because they are parents, first and foremost, before anything else. [face_love]

    Thank-you! As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave such kind words! I hope you continue to enjoy these as they come. [face_love] [:D]


    :)

    ~MJ @};-
     
  15. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Note: Believe it or not, this little piece is the first thing I've been able to write in weeks. DRL has been particularly odious as of late, to say the least! [face_hypnotized] 8-} But, there's a light at the end of the tunnel now, and hopefully more of these ficlets will be soon to follow. :D [face_dancing] I thank you all for reading, in the meantime, and hope that you enjoy! [face_love] [:D]





    V.


    “What the Shadows Tell”
    (Pre-ANH/KotOR | Ahsoka Tano & Revan)​


    Lade

    She’d heard stories told of Dantooine before. More than the histories she studied as part of her education at the Temple, she knew the cautionary whispers, the warnings. Once, the Jedi had gone to war and the galaxy had trembled for their marching step. History, Ahsoka Tano couldn’t help but think, sure had a funny way of repeating itself.

    But, she'd arrived to scout a potential base for the burgeoning Rebel Alliance, not to indulge the ghost stories she'd heard in the crèche as a youngling. She walked through the grassy plains that had since reclaimed the planet's single settlement, and then across the cobblestone paths leading to the old Jedi Enclave, long overtaken by weeds. Curiously, though the planet was now uninhabited, she never felt alone in her sojourn. The Force thrummed all around her, drawn as if from a deep well no matter the discordant ripples frothing at its surface. There had been so much pain here, she could still sense; pain and suffering and betrayal. But, Dantooine had been fertile with seeds of new life in the Force long before the pall of the Dark crept in to taint the land. The Jedi had called this planet their home, once. That, the Force could never forget.

    As the sun set, Ahsoka made her camp in the courtyard underneath the boughs of a particularly gnarled blba tree. The base of the ancient trunk was black with ruin, but in the stubborn way of nature a new tree had grown over the dead stump of its ancestor. The eyes of its eaves had seen much, she could imagine; its roots held stories beyond the counting in silence. That night, she couldn’t seem to find her sleep for the memories the old Enclave held. Every time she closed her eyes, children seemingly laughed in the dark, running and playing and growing in power just beyond reach of her senses. Knights and Masters passed by the foot of her bedroll, debating philosophy and politics and everyday matters, while the distant hum of crossing sabers teased at her montrals until -

    What kind of Jedi would I be if I turned aside those who call to us in their hour of need? The Force is with us for a reason, Alek. We are not choosing to go to war, yet, now that this conflict is here, how can we ignore the cries of the Republic? I will not forsake those I am sworn to serve. Now, the question stands, my friend: will you?”

    - a woman appeared in clear view of her immaterial eyes, her form more corporeal and awash in true color than any of the wispy impressions she’d yet glimpsed of the old Jedi Order while on Dantooine. The phantasm walked with a man by her side, close enough to share her shadow, even thousands of years after they walked together in life. In contrast with her bright radiance, his form swam with molted shades of grey; Ahsoka couldn’t quite make out the features of his face. But the woman, she thought, had the kind of stride that snared others in her wake, that made legions fall in step to follow behind her – just like the man now did and would ever do. Her eyes were striking and vibrant in the Force, full of such intensity and life, no matter that the histories would only ever recall the mask she later donned. This fragment of Dantooine’s past, she knew, could be none other than Revan herself.

    Ahsoka stared at the legendary scion of power as she passed by the blba tree – the decorated hero of the Old Republic and the monstrous Sith villain both, and for a moment her heart was painfully, tortuously reminded of her old Master. Anakin, even now her spirit mourned. For a moment she couldn’t tell a difference between the way his incandescence had once shone to her senses and how the Force continued to cherish Revan in its deepest-most memories. Both were echoes of the other.

    It goes without question: you know that I’ll follow you,” a heartbeat later, the shadowed man didn’t hesitate to swear. “Through this and anything.”

    Once, the words were a vow; now they were a whisper and a warning. Ahsoka remembered how the story of Revan and Malak ended, after all.

    She felt a shiver dance up and down her spine, even as she inclined her head to acknowledge the will of the Force. “You don’t have to tell me,” she whispered, well knowing of the uncountable many who'd called their wars just before, only to fall to the wanting of more. “I’m not a Jedi, anyway . . . I’m not a soldier, either. Not really.” She, like Revan, was simply what her war had made of her. “I’m just trying to do what’s right.”

    The winds of the Dantooine danced through the boughs of the blba tree. Neither the Force nor its ghosts, Ahsoka sighed to understand, much seemed to believe her. From there, she stayed awake throughout the long night, trying to make better sense of just what she still believed in herself.



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb details of the historically rich locale, full of lingering memories of momentous decisions and tests of loyalty. [face_thinking] =D=

    You can really feel the similarity of Anakin and Revan-- each so full of light and then falling into darkness only to be reclaimed, although in vastly different ways.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  17. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    So glad I caught up on these gems! :) All were a joy to read, and your talent for characterization and introspection comes through in spades in each of them. And I love how you threw some more unlikely juxtapositions in with the familiar ones: a beautiful Han/Leia scene, and friendly competition and banter between Jag/Jaina and Kyp/Shawnkyr (and yes, I can totally see a Chiss out-Corellianing a Corellian at cards, especially where poker faces are concerned! [face_laugh]). But we also have also two very, very different dads bonding as their children heal in bacta (and even getting in some very characteristic repartee in the process, which in no way minimizes the bonding). And perhaps the jawdroppingest of all—Ahsoka meets Revan! :eek: :eek: :eek: Which was probably my favorite, as it shows how much those characters really have in common—besides being shaped so fundamentally by their respective wars, both are “prodigal knights” of sorts, and both sort of function as avatars of the Force itself during their respective eras. And I love the choice and use of the prompts, both from Nyota and from Merriam-Webster! As someone with sesquipedalian inclinations myself, I’m going to have to check out that “word of the day”—sounds like an A-1 source of writing inspiration too. Thank you so much, as always, for sharing your talents with us, and hang in there, throughout all that RL sends your way! @};-
     
  18. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Thank-you! It was a really interesting juxtaposition to strike between Revan and Ahsoka! I'm glad you enjoyed reading this one as much as I enjoyed writing it. [face_love] [:D]


    Aw, thank-you! It was so wonderful to have you stop in and share your thoughts as well. As always, I greatly appreciate your doing so! [face_love] [:D]

    What I love about ficlets and drabbles is that it allows you the flexibility to explore so many characters and situations that probably wouldn't have made it into a full fledged story otherwise, due to constraints of time and sanity! 8-} But I really do adore all of these dear characters - from every corner of the SW universe - and so it's been rewarding trying to give everyone possible a voice. [face_love]

    Thank-you!!! [face_blush] When first plotting this, I was trying to draw parallels between Ahsoka and the Exile, but then the Revan and Anakin similarities jumped out and smacked my muse, and then exploring how Ahsoka is really somewhere in between, especially when layering that with the betrayal plotline with Malak and how we know Anakin and Ahsoka's story is going to turn . . . yeah. In short, I had fun playing with the Force and history repeating itself and all of those fun things. This was my favourite piece I've written in some time! So, I'm glad you enjoyed it too! [face_love] [face_dancing]

    Thank-you!! Nyota is always the best source of encouragement, in so many ways. And I love, love, love Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day. You can even join the e-mail list and get it sent right to your inbox, which I enjoy like the nerd I am. :-B I think you just may appreciate that too. ;) [:D]

    As always, I can't thank you enough for reading, and for taking the time to leave your thoughts. :)


    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  19. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Notes: Oh, it's the best feeling to be able to finally sit down and write something again! [face_love][face_dancing] For these five ficlets, all of the prompts were gleaned from Merriman-Webster's word of the day, and are set in my Song!verse. Which is, for those of you who may not know, my sprawling AU where Anakin was not dumb and Sithy, and thus circumvented the events of RotS and the OT entirely. However, through visions, he is increasingly aware of the future he so narrowly escaped. From there, the canon deviations should be self-explanatory within the prose for any who are new to these stories. :)

    Then, the title for this set of ficlets is taken from Hamilton's Dear Theodosia, which was my anthem while writing these. For obvious reasons. [face_love]





    VI.

    “you outshine the morning sun (my son)”
    (My Song!verse, Post-RotS AU | Ensemble PT/OT Cast)


    Redaction (Caleb Dume & Miriam Dume (OC))

    For years, the Jedi Order had been the only life he’d ever known. He'd walked his path towards knighthood for so long that he scarce reflected on what was behind him, on the ties of flesh and blood he’d sundered in favor of cultivating his connection to the Force and immersing himself in his service to the Republic. He had parents, of course, but the memory of them was long since hazy, distorted by distance and time. Back when he was still a youngling, his mother sent holo-messages and little tokens from home every year on his lifeday. He was allowed to receive both, initially, yet the gifts, and then the messages too, soon ceased altogether. He never knew if his mother had stopped sending them or if she was . . . encouraged by the crèche-masters to end her contact. He’d never asked, and, in some ways, he hadn’t wanted to know.

    Now, with the Order shifting its mandate – allowing its members to hold onto their attachments as part of the natural order of sentient life and true intention of the Living Force, perhaps, rather than closing themselves off for fear of the Dark – Caleb sat in front of the comm-terminal and nervously bit his lip. He breathed deeply in and out to summon the courage he knew he possessed. He’d spent years on the front-lines of the Secession Crisis, he reminded himself. He was already a seasoned veteran of war, all at the tender age of seventeen; he’d seen planets liberated and dictators fall; he’d led soldiers into battle by his Master’s side and fought as they lived and died by the orders of the High Council and GAR command. There was very little in the galaxy that caused him true fear, not anymore.

    But this, this -

    . . . was terrifying. It was the bravest thing he ever did, hailing the Dume family’s home comm-frequency and waiting as the call was put through and then accepted. He held his breath as the screen flickered, and then, only a heartbeat later he saw his mother for the first time since the early days of his childhood.

    He recognized her with a glance, was his first thought, no matter the years that had kept them apart. Miriam Dume had his same green-blue eyes and thick brown hair, no matter that grey now streaked through her temples and there was a sorrow to her gaze that wasn't there in his youth. His father had died midway through the Clone Wars, her first message had said, back when she initially reached out for contact following the reformation of the Jedi Order. He was still uncertain of how he felt about his grief, with his mourning being more reflexive rather than sharply piercing his heart with any more stronger an emotion.

    But that feeling seemed larger, then; it settled on his shoulders and refused to let go as he sucked in a shuddering breath. For the first time in fourteen years he summoned what a lopsided grin he could and said, “Hey, Mom, it’s me . . . Caleb. You know: your son.”

    No . . . no! Had he really said that? He winced. Of course his mother knew that he was her child; a part of him liked to think that she’d know him anywhere, from a crowd of anyone, no matter how many years had passed. Wonderful; he was as smooth as the edge of a blade, there. He could have smacked himself.

    But, at the very least, the awkwardness of his phrasing broke something about the line of strain that first held them taut. Miriam smiled such a smile – one that Caleb could feel latch onto his heart and then anchor him against the weightless feeling that seemingly flooded his body. His eyes burned, but he felt full enough of light then that he was surprised that it didn't burst out from his skin like a young sun slipping the bonds of its nebula. He couldn't help but smile in answer, little as the expression did to express just how much he was truly feeling in that moment.

    “And it’s me, Caleb,” Miriam leaned forward as if she could reach out to him through the holo-call. Her eyes were wide, so wide, but Caleb would always remember how they shone in that moment. “You know," she made a sound that was half teasing and choked sob, " . . . your mother.”

    And with that, the tension cut completely. Together, they then went about filling in all they had lost.



    Cogent (Depa Billaba & Mace Windu)

    Depa Billaba could not help but pace the hall of the communications bay while she waited for Caleb, back and forth in an endless loop of motion. It was impossible for her to attain any semblance of serenity in that moment; she could not be still; not then, not for this.

    Though she respected Caleb's privacy, she kept her bond with her Padawan as open as she possibly could without being intrusive. This moment was for Caleb, she knew; it was for Caleb and his family as per the decision about his attachments that was now his right to make. Depa was only there to serve as a guide, a touchstone. In no way did she want to be a hindrance or a distraction, but at the same time she wanted to be close at hand in case Caleb had need of her. She was only seconds away should he call. Caleb did not have to, nor would he, go through this alone.

    It helped that she only felt happiness stream in a bright wave of light from her apprentice. Apprehension and uncertainty were both still present, but what dwarfed everything else was a soul deep, burgeoning contentment. This was the right choice for Caleb, she knew in her heart. She’d long suspected as much from seeing how easily he’d woven himself into his bonds with the men and those they met on campaign away from the strictures of the Temple. So many Jedi did, Depa allowed herself to reflect, and through that reflection acknowledge. Knight Skywalker was not the only one who’d learned to thrive and circumvent the Dark through his earthly bonds. Now, for his championing reforms in the Order, she was, at the very least, happy for what those changes now allowed her apprentice.

    And, yet . . .

    “Just because Miriam Dume is now a part of her son’s life does not in any way lessen the bond he shares with you. You will always hold a place in Caleb’s heart. You know that to be true, Depa . . . don't you?”

    Depa started to hear his voice, and paused from the long prolix of her path. At first, she'd nearly forgotten that her old Master was there, calmly sitting in one of the chairs lining the corridor and watching her with something soft crinkling the corners of his expression. As much as she wanted to be there to support Caleb, she suspected . . . no, she knew that Mace Windu was there for her.

    Yet, she was fine - that went without question, obviously. There was no need for Mace to worry.

    “Of course I know that, Master.” She didn’t huff, but a certain . . . remembered juvenile irritation was nonetheless present in her voice. She fought the urge she had to wince at the mulish tone she'd so unwittingly struck; she thought she'd left that unflattering timbre behind with her formative years.

    After all, she didn’t have parents of her own to reach out to. She'd never felt as Caleb felt, like she was cut off from something essential to her being and carrying on in spite of the phantom loss of a missing limb. Instead, her earliest memories were of Mace whisking her away from the pirates who'd first slaughtered her family. She remembered clinging to the front of his tunic as he tucked her face away so that she didn’t have to see the carnage he'd left behind him. She remembered the assurance of his voice; she remembered the safety of his arms. In many ways, that day had been her true birth. She was an orphan, and had long since made the Order her home in every meaning of the word. She’d made the Jedi her home through Mace, and though he was one of the staunchest defenders of how the Order had previously been structured . . .

    She hesitated. At first, she almost brushed the impulse aside in its entirety. Even just a few months ago, she would have, without question. And, yet . . .

    It felt like a thing of bravery, taking her seat by her former Master’s side and attempting to find her serenity once more. She reached out, and tightly grasped his hands between both of her own. She held onto him, letting herself seek out comfort and clinging to it once found. Mace, after all, was the closest thing to a father she’d ever known. In her heart of hearts, she knew that she loved him. It was an attachment that defined her . . . and she could see no risk of the Dark in that.

    It was a moment . . . a long moment, but eventually Mace squeezed her hand, and allowed her to hold onto him like the lifeline he truly was.



    Afflatus (Leia Skywalker & Anakin Skywalker)

    There were nights when her dreams were dominated by a figure in black, a shadow who wore steel instead of skin and rasped with a voice that sounded like thunder rumbling across empty bones. She dreamed of a void, fathomless and empty, existing where she currently knew only such a bright, succoring light in her heart to connect her to her family and everyone she loved. Some nights, like tonight, she even dreamed of another family, no less profound to her senses and yet different than the family of her birth. Yet, just as inevitably happened next, those ties only filled her with a deep ache before they too were torn from her with such a brief, impossibly bright flare of pain and sorrow before nothing, nothing, nothing -

    - and Leia Skywalker awakened, the same as she always did, with her breath shuddering in her chest and her eyes inexplicably wet with tears. She couldn’t fight away the sense of loss that still lingered, even with the nightmare’s end and her return to her reality. It felt so real, her feelings of desolation and mourning. If she but closed her eyes, she could imagine the figure in black holding onto her shoulders with a pitiless grip, forcing her to watch as everything she loved burned and turned to ash before her eyes. In his shadow, she knew but couldn’t even begin to understand, was the beginning and end of her dreams. The Other was all through and because of him.

    Through force of habit, however, Leia knew that she did not have to endure her visions alone. She was never truly alone, no matter the sense of devastation still echoing in her heart.

    Though she was long since much too old to run to her parents’ bed for imagined fears in the night – Leia was eight now, and almost quite grown up – that didn’t stop her from padding down the hall on silent feet towards their room. Yet, she didn’t have to make it far. Hardly a moment passed before the door opened, and then her father was suddenly right there waiting for her. His face looked sad in the dark, even as his mouth quirked with a wry sort of understanding. Her father, she knew, saw the same as she saw. He too knew the shadowed not-man and the pains he inflicted. He too, Leia thought, caused her father to know fear.

    “Was it the nightmares again, princess?” Anakin asked.

    In reply, Leia could only nod.

    “Yeah,” his sigh was as rueful as it was sympathetic, “I know. It’s been a bad night for me too.”

    But her remembered fears didn’t seem quite as devastating when he bent down to scoop her up. She clung to him as he held her, closing her eyes to burrow in close against his chest. She hung on as tight as she could, her fingers turning white at the knuckles as she fisted her hands in the fabric of his sleepshirt. She never wanted to let him go. Inexplicably, tears burned at the corners of her eyes, threatening to fall. A sob hiccupped in her throat before she swallowed it away.

    “It’s okay, Leia, I’m here,” Anakin soothed, tightening his grip around her with one arm and cradling the back of her head with his opposite hand. Even the cool touch of his inorganic fingers as they ran through her hair was comforting, all for being a sensation that was father and home and love to her heart. For a long minute he only held her before turning to carry her back into the room he shared with Mother. “I’m here, princess, and I’m not going anywhere.”

    Padmé was awake too, Leia peeked her eyes open to see. Her expression was creased in concern, but also with warmth and understanding. Leia only conceded to leave the safety of her father’s arms when he placed her down on the bed and she crawled towards her mother. Her hugs were just as good as Father’s were. It was even better when she laid down, snuggling between both of her parents as she willed the frenetic beating of her heart to still. No matter what she saw in her dreams, she reminded herself, this was her here and now, this was her family, and she was never going to let them go.



    Sedulous (Han Solo & Dewlannamapia)

    Han Solo looked himself over in the mirror with pride, carefully adjusting the cadet’s bar so that it hung perfectly straight over his chest. It was a small token, only a single square of orange colour against the grey tones of his uniform, but a building block to something bigger nonetheless. Today, he’d trade his cadet's square out for his lieutenant's rank, proclaiming to the galaxy loud and clear that he had done it: he’d struggled and persevered to graduate with top honors from Coruscant’s GAR Academy for Pilots and Naval Officers. No matter where he'd come from, no matter the loud voices of the nay-sayers along the way (including, at times, the voice in his own head), he’d stubbornly held on and proved the odds wrong. He was now officially an officer in the Grand Army of the Republic, and on his way to bigger and better things.

    With a critical eye, he made sure that there was not a single wrinkle to his uniform. Every line was crisply pressed, and his boots were polished to a high shine. He was clean and presentable, with not a single hair daring to stand out of place. He looked good, if he did say so himself, he looked handsome - no, dashing, even.

    That was, until Dewlanna huffed out a growl and reached over to ruffle the top of his hair with one of her massive paws, ruining all of his hard work with a single gesture.

    “Hey!” Han yanked away from her with a roll of his eyes. “For the last time, the Republic Navy does not agree with you that I look better scruffy. Do you know how long it took me to get my hair just right?”

    Dewlanna only made an amused sound in the back of her throat, clearly unrepentant and yet happy to be so. Han sighed, knowing he’d get nowhere with this particular argument.

    But, still . . .

    He took a step back from his surrogate mother, and spread his arms out so that she could get a proper look at him. “Well, what do you think?” his grin drew up on one side to invite her scrutiny. “Do I look like an officer? I look respectable now, right?”

    Lieutenant Solo, he'd be called from here on out. The title had a nice ring to it.

    Yet, if someone would have told him that this is where he’d end up when Ahsoka Tano found him again on Corellia, three years ago now, and helped him – and Dewlanna – break away from Captain Shrike's hold, he would have laughed outright. Him? Not only a respectable member of society, but serving the same greater good he’d once scammed and cheated and stole from through joining the GAR? It was a ridiculous idea (dream), and it would have remained as such without the hard work he’d put in every step of the way to get there.

    But now, here he was. Han didn’t even mind when Dewlanna gave a soft rumble to express her pride and satisfaction, saying that he’d always looked respectable to her. She wrapped her long arms around him, and he returned her embrace as best he could. For a moment, he just closed his eyes, his heart full and twisting in his chest. Later, when his name was called and he took his diploma – and his new rank bar – from Admiral Head Dean Wyrmyr, her howls were amongst the loudest of the cheers to be heard from the crowd. Han felt as if he was walking on air as he stepped down from the podium, certain that there could be no greater high in his life to crest than this.



    Girandole (Mara Jade & Padmé Amidala)

    Mara Jade was the only one of her fellow Padawan learners whose birth-family did not attend her knighting ceremony.

    They were all there: Ezra’s parents and little brother flew in from Lothal an entire five-day early, and Rhysa’s whole zypra of parents and zy-siblings made the journey from Zeltros to see her knighted. The entire Skywalker clan was gathered on Ossus for Luke and Leia, of course, including Master Kenobi and General Tano and Commander Rex and a whole slew of clone troopers. The Organa family had been able to attend, as well, and Amilyn Holdo with them from Gatalenta to see Leia take this crucial next step in her path. Half the people in attendance were there for the Skywalker twins, it seemed as the guest-list grew.

    Mara was the only one who didn’t make her way down to the landing platforms to welcome anyone from offworld. She told herself that this didn’t bother her, and in a large way it didn’t. She knew that the Skywalker family was just as happy for her as they were for Luke and Leia. They were her family too, in every way that truly mattered. She knew her blessings in having Anakin for her Master, and she thanked the Force daily for rescuing her from him and showing her the way to her true family instead.

    Even so, she rose early the morning of the ceremony, and went about her usual habits and hour of meditation as the sun crested over the jungle. Luke came out to join her on their favourite Temple balcony, as was his wont, sitting with her and letting their thoughts ebb and flow together and through and around each other. Lately, their joint meditations had an edge to them that they didn’t always have when they were children – a spark that was becoming harder and harder to ignore the older they grew. Mara was almost certain that it was the same way Ezra looked at Rhysa – or the way Master Anakin looked at Padmé – and even just the idea of that caused flutterflies to tumble in her stomach. But, they hadn’t talked about whatever it was between them any further than that vague sense of knowing. Mara didn’t want to disrupt the place she'd found in the Skywalker family if she was wrong about this, and Luke – well, a tooka had his tongue, to hear Leia put it, and he seemed just as hesitant as she did to take things any further than the deep friendship they already shared. Maybe, now that they were no longer Padawans . . .

    That thought was admittedly at the forefront of her mind as she readied herself for the knighting ceremony. She put on her best robes, and made sure the hilt of her lightsaber was polished to a high sheen. She sat in front of the mirror after that, knowing what she wanted to do with her hair, but yet unable to quite get the hang of the style she was aiming for. She grew frustrated with herself before too long, wishing that she’d paid more attention to Leia and Padmé over the years and willing her ungainly hands to just cooperate -

    - I bet Leia isn’t struggling like this, the thought was more grief than envy as it shuttered through her heart with a dull throb. Her mother is here, and she can just whip up any style she wants in no time. She never has to worry about being alone; she will never be alone, not matter what, while I . . .

    . . . I can still lose this family, if I'm not careful; they are not tied to me like they are to Luke and Leia.

    Every attempt came out even worse after that. Mara couldn’t seem to get a hold of herself, and suddenly her eyes were burning and she was ready to hack the entire red mass off at the roots but for her Padawan braid and be done with it.

    That, of course, was the exact moment Chancellor Amidala picked to arrive.

    “Mara?” Padmé peeked into her room after knocking. “I wanted to see if you needed any help -” but her words caught in her throat as she took in her red, puffy eyes and the mess she had undoubtedly made of her hair - again. “Oh, you dear girl,” Padmé said softly, and before she could even insist that she was fine, she was being wrapped in an embrace. Mara buried her face against the older woman's chest as she sank into the hug, not understanding until then just how much she’d needed to be held. She cried for the first time in years for all the unknown variables in her past, and sniffed ungainly as she exorcised her grief through her tears. But, in the end, it felt like she was letting go of something ugly rather than holding her sadness trapped inside of her. When she finally pulled away, her shoulders felt lighter. Her heart wasn’t quite as heavy.

    Padmé then sat her down without a word, and started to work on her hair. Her touch was soothing as she eased away the knots with patient fingers and styled a loose crown of braids about her head, leaving only her thin Padawan braid and string of beads loose for when it would be symbolically cut free later in the day. It was better than what she’d first wanted for herself, Mara thought as she looked in the mirror; it was perfect.

    “I don’t know if this is too forward to say, but you have to know how much we cherish you,” Padmé tilted her chin up to meet her eyes, not quite ready to let her earlier grief go. “I think of you like one of my own, and I know Anakin does as well. You are more than just his apprentice. If it's what you want, we would be honored if you thought of us as more too.”

    The invitation was there, soft and sweet and so, so yearned for by her heart. Even if, then, all Mara could do was wipe at her eyes and nod.

    It wasn’t until after her knighting ceremony – when she looked and saw Master Dume and General Syndulla and little baby Jacen applauding for Ezra, and Master Eerin looking on Rhysa with such a glow in her eyes, while the entire extended Skywalker clan cheered for Luke and Leia and then her – that she understood, irrevocably so, that it wasn’t just families of flesh and blood that were being celebrated that day. Even Zaed – Maul, as he was formerly known – had been allowed to attend on her behalf, and while he did not smile outright, there was something soft about his expression as she knelt and let Master Yoda cut her Padawan braid away. The bonds of choice she saw represented in those gathered were every just as important as those others were born into. How could love that was chosen ever be anything less than that which was assured by birth?

    When she hugged Padmé after the ceremony, it was only the first time out of an uncountable many that she called her mother, and heard daughter in return.

    (It would yet be six more years before she and Luke finally finished their awkward dance around each other, and then she called the Skywalkers mother and father by every sense of the definition.)



    [face_love]!!


    ~MJ @};-

     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, exquisite! Duh! =D= Caleb's feelings of anxious anticipation are very understandable and then the moment of not just physical but emotional recognition with the exchange of a light and tender tease on both sides, beautiful!
    :)

    ~

    Depa Billaba's concern for Caleb's well-being as well as over her own place in his life, now that he is reaching out to his birth family ... lovely, as are her reflections about Mace and his role in her life, as rescuer, mentor, and family. @};-
    That he's there to lend her moral support speaks volumes.

    ~

    That Leia and her father share such visions of other times and profound losses ... just means they can give each other solace!

    No matter what she saw in her dreams, she reminded herself, this was her here and now, this was her family, and she was never going to let them go.

    Yup, this is my SW here and now too! Permanently.

    ~

    LOL! This!
    "Hey!” Han yanked away from her with a roll of his eyes. “For the last time, the Republic Navy does not agree with you that I look better scruffy. Do you know how long it took me to get my hair just right?”

    Is ALL HAN! He's rightly to be proud of his effort and perseverance to reach his goals. Knowing Ahsoka had a hand in it, and that Dewlanna was able to continue as part of his life, makes it all the sweeter!

    [face_party]

    ~

    Beautiful, and so in character... Mara's sense of belonging with the Skywalker family, feeling something on the brink with Luke (mega SQUEE!) and then Padme picking just the right-moment to come and do her hair and tell her plainly she was part of their family if she wanted to be ...

    I ADORED the "bonds of choice" expression and the sense of so many wonderful families of the heart celebrating for Caleb, for Ezra, ;) and the fact that Ahsoka and Rex are in attendance. :cool:

    I am so CHUFFED the Song!verse is continuing, and its beautiful heartwarming, affirming tone hasn't lost any of its oomph. [face_laugh]

    ^:)^
     
    Mira_Jade and Findswoman like this.
  21. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh my goodness, but I can't thank you enough for this wonderful review! I appreciated every single word! I have to admit - and I think you know ;) - that this entire set was completely self-indulgent. But sometimes we just need these little gems of warmth and happiness in our fiction. :D

    Then, in particular, I'm glad that Caleb's reunion with his birth mother came over so well. I have such plans for him - and our entire beloved Rebels crew - in this 'verse, and ficlets are a great way to share just how wide and epic an AU this has turned in my mind. 8-}

    Mace Windu is secretly an old softy at heart, and I will die on that hill. It was wonderful to write this moment for him - and Depa too! [face_love]

    Exactly!! Since this entire AU is tied to a rupture in the Force caused by the destruction of Alderaan, it only makes sense that Anakin and Leia will share this burden and comfort each other in their turn. [face_love]

    Aw, you're too sweet! It's mine too. [face_love] [:D]

    Thank-you!! This is one of my favourite parts of this AU! Dewlanna is still alive, and Han has just replaced his youthful goals of service to the Empire with the Republic, who will be worthy of him in return. And, of course - we all know where that will lead. [face_whistling] [face_tee_hee]

    It's interesting, how much things change and yet still stay the same. But Mara has a big beautiful family who loves her - and even more for Luke! [face_mischief] I want to write so many YJK-esque tales for Luke and Leia and Mara and Ezra and Rhysa now. [face_love]

    I couldn't help but include ALL OF THE LOVE AND HAPPINESS in that scene, yep. As I said: completely self-indulgent, but boy, was it ever like a good ice-cream sundae in the end. I regret not a single word. ;)

    And I thank you, my friend, for, as always, being the best reader and online buddy an author could ever ask for. There's definitely more from where that came. ;) [face_love]

    [:D]


    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  22. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Notes: This next piece is more of a story snippet, rather than a traditional stand-alone ficlet. Back in June, I started plotting out exactly how Hera and Kanan's story would work in my Song!verse for the OTP Misunderstandings Challenge, when I ran into the combined wall of my muse tuckering out and DRL not pulling any punches with my free time. Yeah, it was quite the wall. :oops: 8-} This is still an idea I'd eventually like to revisit, but, until then, here's a little excerpt I can share in the meantime. Enjoy! :)

    [:D]






    VII.


    "Ode to a Rylothian Intaglio"
    (Saga-PT AU; My Song!verse | Caleb Dume/Hera Syndulla/Thrawn & Ezra Bridger)​


    Ekphrasis

    Caleb Dume never considered himself a man much prone to jealousy – quite the opposite, in fact. From his childhood on, he'd walked a path as both a Knight in the Jedi Order and a commander in the GAR. For his sense of duty, his expectation of self-sacrifice was as inherent as it was implied. In keeping with that dedication, he was prepared to give everything, just as he'd ever given his all for the citizens of the Republic. Jealousy, by its very nature, was anathema to the tenets by which he endeavored to live his life.

    And, yet . . .

    The conviction of his higher reason didn’t quite explain why he trailed after Captain Syndulla, a suspiciously unpleasant feeling sinking deep into the pit of his stomach now.

    When he first invited Hera to see the United Free Peoples’ Exhibit of Rylothian Art with him (the UFP had started as one of Chancellor Organa’s attempts to further inner-species unity within the Republic, and their charter garnered all the more support underneath Chancellor Amidala’s stewardship), he’d been disappointed to learn that she already had plans to attend the exhibition with another friend. However, that disappointment had lifted, just slightly, when she invited him along as well, saying that there was no reason they couldn’t all go as a group. While this wasn’t quite the outing he’d first intended (and a voice that sounded suspiciously like Master Billaba's in his head chided that Hera couldn’t return what he so guardedly kept to himself), it was still time spent together. He'd been content to settle with whatever she was prepared to give him; above all else, Caleb was valued Hera’s friendship. So quickly, at first beyond his notice and now well beyond his control, she’d become essential to his being, so much so that he couldn’t imagine a path where his course and hers failed to intertwine. As much as he valued what they had together as friends and comrades, he now found himself poised on the awkward cusp of wanting more while having absolutely no idea how to move their relationship forward. He was stuck, poised on the edge of a precipice and hesitating before the fall.

    Really, the very idea of more was terrifying in of itself . . . it was just as terrifying as their current outing was proving to be admittedly frustrating to the extreme. Because, here he was now: trailing a few steps behind Hera with Ezra, rather than walking by her side as he wished, leaving Hera free to chat with her other friend from GAR command.

    Their Force-awful triad was playing out like a badly staged holo-film, Caleb couldn’t help but grumble – especially for knowing that he was the superfluous third booster engine in that equation, so to speak. He frowned at the couple in front of him, hating the envy he could feel roiling in his gut, but nonetheless unable to hack the emotion off at its root. The negative feeling was just as much a mark against his own character as it dishonored Hera, he censured himself; it needed to end. Caleb huffed, aggravated by his shortcomings and admittedly stupefied by the quandary he'd somehow stumbled into.

    Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo was Hera’s initially selected companion for the evening, and the current bane of Caleb’s existence. A Chiss recruit from beyond Known Space, Thrawn had vaulted through the GAR's Naval Academy for Pilots and Officers in a staggering three months’ time to graduate with the highest of honors as a lieutenant, already outshining his peers beyond any shadow of a doubt. He’d only continued to ascend through the ranks, and had since neatly ensconced himself amongst the higher echelons of command as one of the brightest tactical minds in the entire Republic navy. Hera, Caleb scrunched his nose to admit, seemed just as smitten with Thrawn as the rest of the GAR, and in more ways than one. Caleb, however, had sense enough not to trust the other man – not yet, not when his true motivations and loyalties were still so unclear. It didn’t matter that Anakin Skywalker himself had vouched for Thrawn; it didn’t matter the victories he’d help them win against the growing pro-Return of Palpatine factions within the Restoration movement; it didn’t matter that, apparently, Thrawn knew everything there was to know about everything, including the old forms of Rylothian lethi negative-relief carvings that were currently on display in this section of the gallery. He could go on and on – and currently was – about the composition of the pigments and philosophy beyond the markings, markings that admittedly all looked like loops and squiggles to Caleb. They were very nice loops and squiggles, sure, clearly painstakingly carved and prettily tinted on the stone, but still loops and squiggles nonetheless.

    Yet, when Thrawn was able to tie the intentions of one particular artist to the pale ochre designs on Hera’s own lekku, chosen as a coming of age ceremony back on Ryloth, the back of his fingers came close as a whisper to her skin as he gave an elegant gesture to encompass the long, sleek length of her head-tails. Caleb felt the corners of his mouth drop for the blush that so clearly stole across her cheeks in answer. Something ripped across her lekku for the almost-touch, something that Caleb hadn’t seen from her before and was thus clueless to interpret – and he was at a point in their relationship where he thought he was reasonably confident in his ability to understand his friend, in every way.

    Caleb knew that he was staring at them like a bantha-brained idiot, his expression oscillating between gaping surprise at Thrawn's boldness and an unflattering glower of envy. No matter how he tried, his emotions must have been as easy to read as the day was clear, when -

    “ - you know, you could just tell her how you feel. If you did, you’d be right there next to her,” Ezra pointed out, his logic unencumbered with the innocence of youth. “Even if she tells you she's not interested, then at least you’d know for sure. You wouldn’t be back here stewing while she makes nerf-eyes at someone else.”

    What? Tell her how he felt? Caleb could immediately think of at least ten different reasons why that was the worst idea ever. He scowled, before the rest of what Ezra said drew him up short. Was she really making nerf-eyes? he wondered next. Eugh; gross!

    Thankfully, enough of Master Billaba's training kicked in, and he kept that last part to himself, the Force be thanked for small mercies. Yet, even so: “You are still very young, Padawan,” Caleb turned up his nose to brush Ezra’s advice aside. Instead of meeting the boy’s eyes, he pretended to stare intently at a shapeless high-relief carving, willing some insight more than: this is beautiful in a way I can’t explain to jump out at him so he could share. Beyond him and Ezra, Hera’s laughter was then bright and tinkling in response to some quip comparing lethi intaglios to the Nercathi Crystal Busts of Three that was the exhibition's crowning attraction that admittedly went right over Caleb’s head. The sound caused his breath to catch in his chest, a more pure emotion than the jealousy he was so diligently trying to banish from his heart. At least, he tried to resolve within himself, she was happy – even if that happiness was caused by someone else. He knew that Hera hadn't always had such easy reasons for joy for the hurdles she'd overcome to get to where she was in life, both for her people and herself.

    “Believe me,” Caleb muttered to conclude, “we’re not having this conversation until you’re older – much older.”

    And that was that.

    Ezra meanwhile, looked from his Master – who was staring at a particularly squiggly piece of clay as if it held all the answers to life and the universe, to Captain Syndulla, who'd glanced over her shoulder as if to better catch Caleb’s eye to share another piece further on in the gallery. She looked uncertain for a moment, he thought, and her lekku fluttered before she finally gave up and turned her attention back to Commander Thrawn again. Ezra gave a noisy sigh, fighting the urge he had to roll his eyes. Adults were hopeless, he concluded. When he was older, he’d make sure that he was never this ridiculous about a girl – ever.



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I am so not surprised that Thrawn climbs the ranks quickly and shows tactical brilliance. :D
    It is very promising that Hera didn't think of her and Thrawn as on an "actual date", that's why she invited Caleb and Ezra along.
    Although Caleb wants to be happy for Hera's sake, while the almost touch and feeling like he's on the brink but not knowing how to move forward with her... awesomely detailed jumble of emotions.

    Ezra's concise bit of advice: I echo it wholehartedly. At least that removes the uncertainty. :p

    =D=
     
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  24. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Catch-up time! Sorry I’ve fallen behind on this wonderful series...

    VI. Love the common theme of family, both blood and found, that runs through this group of stories. And, as the Hamilton epigraph/title hints, there’s a particular emphasis on the parent-child bond, or the bond between parental figures and their child-figures. That’s a major theme of the Saga in general, as we know, and it’s no less of one in this wonderful AU of yours—in a way, even more so, with the Jedi no longer being closed off from those kinds of connections. And you take us through pretty much every possible permutation of that relationship here: there are the Skywalkers and Organa and Bridger families, of course, and Rhysa’s zy-family, who have been there for their scions from the beginning; the scene with Anakin and young Leia is probably most emblematic of that, as she take refuge in her father’s embrace from a dream that is frighteningly familiar to both her and to us (for different reasons—and I know the destruction, or not, of Alderaan is a big focal point in your Songverse). Then there are some who still have living family but have been out of touch with them for far too long, like Caleb Dume, whose first-in-a-long time comm call to his mother (I like her already!) we get to witness. Yet others, like Depa and Han, were forced to form parental bonds outside their birth families when those birth families fell to tragedy: as Depa watches her own Padawan contact his mother, she can’t help but think back to the time that Master Windu took on the role of father to her. Depa ended up choosing a similar path to her master, while Han ended up taking a path he never dreamed of at all. And which probably Dewlanna didn’t totally anticipate either—yet she cheers the loudest of anyone in the room when the scruffy Human boy she adopted takes his diploma to become an officer of the GAR.

    Now, Mara is in a class by herself here. She pretty much never knew her birth family at all and is only just now discovering “bonds of choice” and a found family—in Padmé as a mother figure, in Luke in a romantic way, and in numerous friends, even the enigmatic Zaed/Maul (and I like the way you’ve integrated him in this universe—he still has all the mystery about him with none of the sliminess and manipulation). But I think those bonds are going to be all the stronger for her precisely because they were by choice. Once again, what a wonderful, nuanced group of character studies in true Mira fashion—thanks for sharing!

    VII. Oh ho, what a very, very interesting way to bring Mr. Mitth’raw’nuruodo himself into this universe! :D It definitely is intriguing to contemplate what his tactical genius would be able to contribute to the formation of a New Republic, put to the use of good rather than evil—and of course it stands to reason that he would still be as much of an art know-it-all in your universe as in the “prime” one (yes, those are scare quotes :p ). Not at all surprising to see him rising so quickly through the ranks and Making Impressions on pretty much everyone around him. All the same, I can’t blame Caleb either for his misgivings—even knowing that this Thrawn is likely nowhere near as much a villain as the “prime” universe one. It is encouraging, at least—as Nyota says—that Hera was OK with their all going together as a group (though that arrangement most certainly had its awkward moments for Caleb, as we see). And dear Ezra—Wisdom from the Mouths of Blueberries is a real specialty of his in all the universes, isn’t it! :ezra: Yep, Caleb, you’d do well to give that advice a go sometime, though Force knows it won’t be easy. And of course I would jump for joy to to see that story continued, either in this series or elsewhere! :D

    As always, it’s such a joy read your interpretations of these beloved characters in this amazing AU—they are just as in-character as always, and arguably even more so. Mighty fine work once again, ma’am! =D=
     
  25. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Okay I've bee catching up on this drabble thread for past day or two and loving what's on here! ;)
    Hope you don't mind but I'll just start by talking about the most recent posts..

    VI: “you outshine the morning sun (my son)”
    This post had so many wonderful moments in it but my favourite by far was the bit with Leia/Anakin. [face_love][:D]
    I wish this scene could of happened for real in the Star Wars canon.. :_| It's not fair. But you captured it brilliantly, thank you! :)

    VII: "Ode to a Rylothian Intaglio"
    Oh Caleb you fool! :p She wanted him and his attention afterall. He should of said something!
    This was nicely written, I really felt for Caleb in this. You captured the awkwardness perfectly.. its so painful to be unsure with regards to affairs of the heart. Better luck next time, Caleb! [face_tee_hee]

    Great posts! =D= Look forward to more! :D