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Beyond - Legends Our Weakness Is the Same (2021 Fanfic Olympics - Allana/OC Decathlon - Enter!verse AU)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ViariSkywalker , Jul 30, 2021.

  1. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent insightful and poignant conclusion as they each acknowledge subtly what they had, almost had, could have had. [face_thinking] =D= I'm absolutely intrigued at Allana's thinking that she didn't keep things going with Geridan because a piece of her heart was already taken.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2021
  2. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    drawn together forever and seperated too
  3. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    So close, yet so far. I love how you've written Allana. Easily my favorite portrayal; of her. =D=
  4. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess and Champion star 4 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

    Aug 9, 2002
    That's really the tragedy of this, that events beyond either of their control were what set them on this path. Festus didn't choose the Sith, and yet that's what he became, and what he still thinks of himself as - and is there really a world where Allana could entertain being with him as he is now? No matter what they each feel, they know it can't be. =((

    When you know what a sweet kid Festus started out as, and the kindness he showed to Allana before he was taken by the Sith, you can see why she'd have a hard time fully letting him go, even when she knows she should. :( Thank you for reading along and for sharing your feedback! :D

    That is their tragedy. :( Thank you so much for reading and replying throughout! :)

    [face_blush] That really means a lot to me; I'm so glad you've enjoyed Allana in this. She's become one of my favorite characters to write. [face_love] And her unlikely connection with Festus is one I'm not sure I'll ever tire of. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts along the way! :D
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    VIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!! I had to take a breath to find the words to say just how gloriously perfect this last event was, and in the end I think I took far too much time to reflect! :oops: 8-} So let me fix that now. ;) [face_love] [:D]

    Perfect soundtrack is perfect! [face_love]

    You are just killing it with these parentheticals, again. That what should be being so achingly juxtaposed with what is. I could completely envision this as Allana's headspace following IDWD.

    That's such a great line of description for Ben! (It reminds me of Luke, too. [face_love])

    Fair. I can't even blame Allana for clinging to denial here when the truth is . . . well, it's pretty gosh darn terrifying, otherwise. [face_plain]

    Look there at all the walls, again. [face_whistling] (This piece is mirrored across two POVs masterfully, that said!)

    THERE CAN NEVER BE ENOUGH WtWS REFERENCES. [face_hypnotized] [face_hypnotized] [face_hypnotized]

    Also, that makes sense with Geridan. It says a lot that she even realizes that much. Oh what a mess this just is for Allana!

    I just love everything about this new up and coming generation of Solos and Skywalkers and Co., too! [face_love]

    The quiet desperation here just gutted me. Allana is trying so hard to do the right thing - to think and feel the right things, because what even is the alternative? . . . and yet there's always that and yet . . .

    Dorian/Festus described in just a few heart-twisting sentences. This poor broken boy.=((

    I loved this reflection from their first battle. (You do so, so well at not shying away from everything messy and problematic and wrong about these two, again, which I can't you applaud enough for.) Festus is just as disgusted with himself for who he is and what he has done, even with that whole messy question of choices and needs must for survival and that whole awful, tangled web still in mind . . . =((

    =(( =(( I just couldn't with this parenthetical. GAH!

    LOVED THIS. [face_hypnotized]

    Ooooh, gorgeous, poignant imagery!

    Because that's what it all boils down to, isn't it? [face_plain]

    I love how this mirrored Allana's thoughts, again! =(( [face_love]

    Oh, I see where that's going now. [face_mischief]

    Yeah, what's that saying about best laid plans . . . [face_batting] [face_whistling]

    You know . . . it really says something that, after all of these years Festus hasn't taken that way out from his own hands. He's still going to exist and survive, even just to play that role he thinks he has to play. What, what's that about famous last words again? :p [face_mischief]

    To say in summary: I love how that, for being an ending, this really read more like a prelude. And what a prelude it is! This was such a haunting, spot-on character study, and a perfect primer for anyone who may be curious about just who, exactly, these two are and what they mean to each other. There was such a quiet desperation and a sense of push/pull to this entire piece that I just adored. You should be so proud of this event, in particular! It really checked all my boxes and then created a few more to go on and check from there. ;) [face_love]

    As always, thank-you so much for sharing this glimpse into these characters and this world. I can't wait to see what comes next for Festus and Allana. [face_mischief] [face_love]

    =D= [:D]
  6. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fanfic Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    "I think you're distracted, princess" [face_mischief]

    Ben, like his father, is going to be more concerned about the people he loves than the mission. Ben is the best [face_love]

    I like this. It's been obvious for a while that Allana's denial is just that, but it's also entirely plausible that Ben would be playing the same game [face_thinking]

    I mean, that's pretty fair, all things considered [face_skull]

    Look at everything that spun off from that one vig, Vi *so proud*

    Suuuuuure, Allana o_O

    This boy is such a tangled mess that he can't even figure himself out. Such good writing, Vi [face_love]

    I kinda love this? Because as crazy as he sometimes acts, he's always in control, deep down, and now he's not. And he doesn't know at all how to handle that.

    I definitely love this. It's both a good storytelling device and an accurate reflection of reality, where people can often sincerely hold two opposing convictions at the same time and feel torn apart by it.

    Super visceral and I love it so much [face_love]

    So very much depends on their denying this weird connection, for both of them. How's that working out for you kids? :p

    The angst, Vi, the angst!

    Famous last words :p

    This is like a summation of Festus's whole character, right here. Everything is so angsty and I love it so much [face_love]
    Kahara and ViariSkywalker like this.
  7. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess and Champion star 4 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

    Aug 9, 2002
    Well, I took way too long to reply to this awesome review, so I'd say we're even once again! ;) :p [:D]

    Also, [face_blush] [face_blush] [face_blush]

    I love it! :D

    I do love using parentheticals. ;)

    There's just so much denial on both sides, and even though Allana is being more real with herself here than ever before, there are still things she can't allow herself to dwell on, and the parentheticals are great for that. It's that level of thought that's not quite subconscious, but rather the things we push out of our heads as soon as we think them, and then pretend that we're not still thinking about them afterward.

    Because she definitely had a small glimpse of what her life might have been like in IDWD. And no, I'm not talking about a life as a princess, dancing at fancy balls and wearing pretty dresses, because that's not the life she wanted in the first place, is it? When she told herself, you could have had this life and you've always wondered how it would feel... who exactly was holding her in that moment? [face_batting]


    Definitely a Luke moment here, you're right! [face_love] (And also me sneaking in some more ocean imagery [face_whistling])

    Even though Ben is incredibly relieved that Allana wasn't hurt after an encounter with the Chaos Twins (and by now I'm sure he knows at least some the basics of what went on on Vjun years ago, so he'd have even more reason to be concerned any time Allana runs into Festus), I also sort of wrote this scene as "older brother comforts his little sister after she's just had her heart broken", which... is actually pretty much what happened. :(

    No good, sane person wants to admit they might have any kind of feelings whatsoever for a Sith Lord, or a killer, or the person who once tried to actually murder them. So what does that make her? [face_worried] (And after everything she went through with her father, especially. =(()

    I'm so glad the mirroring worked out! Some of it was very intentional and some of it just sort of happened naturally as I was writing, and I'm really happy with how everything came together. I knew going into this that, unlike the other pieces, this one really needed to show both POVs, and the mirroring helped it flow better.

    At one point before writing this, I remember thinking maybe I was getting overly indulgent by calling back to that vig over and over, and that I should ease off... and then I was like, nah, just go for it. Because even though I'd already written a lot of the sequel before writing WtWS, that vig was still quite a revelation for me. I know I've mentioned it to you before, but writing all of these shorter stories has helped me to know these characters better, sometimes in new and (sort of) surprising ways. And I probably wouldn't have had any of that if it weren't for WtWS. Over a year ago, I had certain ideas about their connection that I thought I should have, because of course anything else would be going too far. And if I'd tried to write things like this decathlon or IDWD right away, it probably would have felt like too much, too fast. But now that I've had time to explore the Allana/Festus dynamic further and get into both of their heads many times, I feel confident exploring their thoughts and feelings, even when those things don't fit into the mold of what should be.

    Er... if that even made sense? :p But yeah, I agree, I'll reference the heck out of WtWS because I love it so much. And since this decathlon started with WtWS and also had an alternate dream version of it, it seemed fitting to include a mention here in the final piece. [face_batting]

    It really is a mess. :( At this point it's been several years since she and Ames were dating, so I imagine she's had a lot of time to reflect on what happened between them and why her feelings changed. It would have been a lot easier to think that she was simply afraid of the possibility of having children who might one day fall to the dark side like her father and great-grandfather did. (The same fear Leia once dealt with.) And maybe that's part of why she drifted away and never really connected with anyone else either. But the harder truth is that she did feel a connection with someone, and it was someone she shouldn't have felt that way about, and she could never get him out of her head. =((

    Me too!!! [face_love] And not that little kids aren't great and everything, but I've so enjoyed writing the younger generation as teens/young adults, and I can't wait to get to the sequel so I can share them with everyone else. :D

    Exactly. [face_plain] How can she be a good and rational person - a good Jedi Knight, even - if she loves him has any sort of feelings for him?

    I was honestly on the fence for a little while about whether I should include all of this insight into his character, because I worried I was giving away too much too soon. But as I worked on this decathlon and the twins' decathlon, some things I thought I might address in the sequel ended up coming about naturally here and in TaL. Things like, "how crazy is Festus, really?" and "has he always been this monster, deep down?" Or, perhaps more importantly, the question he asked himself multiple times in TLotD: who is he? The answer to the first being, essentially: nowhere near as crazy as he likes to appear. As for the answers to the other questions... well, perhaps some things are better left for the sequel. [face_mischief] [face_whistling]

    Okay, now I'm really starting to ramble. 8-}

    The ultimate praise! [face_blush] I know this pairing isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, and I know there are so, so many reasons why this shouldn't ever work. And I'm not even guaranteeing that it will ever work. Regardless of how I think things would have gone in a world where Dorian wasn't taken by the Sith, this is the reality for our characters, and it might be too much to ever overcome. But this is the story that's been beating at the inside of my head for the last year, and I'm going to tell it in all of it's twisted, messy, problematic glory. And I'll never pretend that what happened in EtF wasn't a big deal, or that it's something Allana should just "get over" so she can fall into Festus’s waiting arms. [face_plain]

    Which is why I'm glad you highlighted this part, and it's why I included it in the first place. Festus knows how terrible he is, and he has never forgotten or made excuses for what he did to Allana. He knows how screwed up it is that he fell in love with the girl he brutally assaulted. At the same time, IDWD takes place eight years after EtF. That's eight years away from the Sith, and as terrible and screwed up as Festus is, he's not exactly the same person he was back then. So what happens now? What good is his self-reflection when his crimes are so many and so great, and how could she ever forgive him for what he's done? (Why would she even entertain forgiveness as an option? She shouldn't, right?)

    Of all the things he revisits in his nightmares, this might be the thing that haunts him the most. =((

    Yay, I'm so glad!! :D This was one of the earliest parts I wrote for this, and I really wanted it to feel like he was spiraling here.

    Hee, thank you! [face_blush] :D

    Of course. It's the only reason he's survived this long. [face_plain]

    Does it ruin it if I say the mirroring nearly didn't happen? I was originally going to end with "He is the wall", but the section still didn't feel complete, and the tone wasn't quite right; so I added "He has to be", and then I realized I'd done something similar from Allana’s POV. (It was originally "She's stronger than that. She has to be stronger than that.") And then I pretty much made this face right here:


    And I changed it to "She has to be", and voilà! Mirroring! (And I love it sooooo much, Mira! [face_love])


    [face_whistling] [face_whistling] [face_whistling]

    He's really not in a good place here, is he? [face_worried] This was something I alluded to a bit more obliquely in WITSE with his whole time to go be a monster thing, but yeah, this time I decided to make his intentions clear. And like Ferrus pointed out in TaL when they were stranded on their dying starship, Festus had been daring the universe to take him out for a long time. Up until now, I'd say it's been less "I want to die" and more "I've already been to hell, what else you got for me?" But here, now, with the weight of everything he's done and everything he can never be... this might be his breaking point. =((

    Oh, this just made me so happy. [face_love] I think I got a teeny bit indulgent with these replies, and now I'm running out of ways to say just how much I appreciate your feedback and enthusiasm and insights; but I'm really so glad to know how much you enjoy reading about these characters. :D [:D]

    Thanks for coming along with me as I continue to dive headfirst into this complicated mess of a pairing. ;) :p I can't wait to write what comes next! [face_batting]

    Your favorite part of that story, lol. [face_mischief] :p

    Right? I agree wholeheartedly, Ben is the best, and he's definitely his father's son in this moment. [face_love] And he doesn't lecture her or anything like that (like she previoisly worried he might). Instead, he's just there for her, a pillar of support as she deals with the uncomfortable and frightening truth of everything she feels.

    I mean, really, when you think about it, we're talking about people who can sense emotion through the Force. Just as it became impossible for me to imagine that Allana didn't pick up on Festus’s feelings as early as WtWS, it also became impossible for me to imagine that Ben didn't realize something was off about Allana in regards to Festus. I've had that realization in the back of my head for many months now, so I was glad to have an opportunity to bring it up more overtly.

    I was also recently reminded of the dynamic between Anakin/Padmé and Obi-Wan in RotS, where it's pretty clear that Obi-Wan knows they're together, but he pretends not to know for the sake of Anakin’s happiness. Which is way better, IMHO, than him being completely oblivious when he's a Jedi Master and Anakin’s best friend/former mentor. o_O Anyway, given how there are a few parallels between A/P and Allana/Festus, I thought it was appropriate that Obi-Wan's namesake should also realize the truth, even if he never says it out loud. Although Ben's silence on the matter isn't so much about Allana’s happiness as it is about giving her space to sort through her feelings because she's an adult and he can't control her but OMG he might actually kill Festus if he sees him because STALKERIEST STALKER WHO EVER STALKED.

    She's all but admitted it to herself, I guess we can give her a pass. o_O [face_sigh][face_whistling]

    Right??? [face_love] (And aw, thanks, Gabri. [face_blush] :*) It's been quite a domino effect of awesome this past year, and I've loved it. And you know, you were the one encouraging me to post WtWS when I thought it might be too weird or too much, so to say that your input and feedback have been instrumental in getting me to this point would be an understatement. [:D]

    ~ * d e n i a l * ~

    [face_batting] [face_whistling]

    [face_blush] Well gosh, I'm always glad to hear you think so. ;) And you know how much I love exploring the messed up, complicated psychology of this total dumpster fire of a character. [face_mischief]

    I'm so glad you picked this part out. :D What a perfect summation of everything I hoped to convey here! Festus is no stranger to living on the edge of sanity, but he's nowhere near as unhinged or crazy as he puts on. And that unstable persona is its own form of control, something he can lean into and use to his advantage against his opponents. Sure, sometimes he gets a little lost in the act, but like you said, there's always that control underneath it all, even when he's not thinking about it consciously. So when he loses that element of control, he has no idea what to do, and it drives him crazy.

    :D I'm so glad you liked that, it's one of my favorite parts. [face_love] (Okay, okay, I have a lot of favorite parts. Pretty much the whole thing, actually, :p) But like I told Mira, I wanted the reader to feel Festus starting to spiral, so I tried to write his POV to reflect that desperate energy and that lack of control.

    Yay! I was proud of that imagery. :D

    Not so great, I'd say. :p Gee, I wonder if they're ever going to have to actually deal with it rather than continuing to avoid it? [face_whistling]

    [face_batting] [face_whistling] [face_mischief]

    (Me and my high angst tolerance, lol)

    [face_whistling] ;)

    Music to my ears, dearest. [:D] I think you mentioned once that Festus was a perfect case study for how the stories we tell ourselves can unnecessarily define our reality, and it's so painfully true. He's relied on stories ever since he was little, as a way to escape his reality. And that wasn't so bad when he was a grieving child who'd lost his home and his surrogate parents, because hey, sometimes we need to get away from our crappy lives for a while. But then he was stolen away and tortured, and suddenly escaping reality became the only way to stay sane. So you have a young boy clinging to a story like Ganner Rhysode's - the brave Jedi guarding a threshold against impossible odds - because that was essentially his situation, and what he felt he needed to be. (Is it any wonder that later on, as Festus, he embraced a more dramatic and charismatic persona, with a bit of the theatric in his mannerisms, when it was Ganner's story that stuck with him most in the early years of his captivity? [face_thinking])

    And then as he gets older, all the mantras he repeated to tether himself to reality start to become twisted, and it's just this cycle of self-loathing and criticism, and the stories he tells himself are all about how weak and worthless he is, how he must be a monster because look at what he's done to survive, good people don't do those things, what's wrong with him? And in the context of the stories he grew up on, that makes him the villain; and if that's the only role he fits into (and if the alternative is death), he's going to play that part to perfection. [face_plain]

    The irony here is that he became what he hated in order to survive, but now that he's become this monster who would hurt the woman he loves, the only end he can envision for himself is death. =((

    Your feedback, as always, is such a treat to read, my dear! [:D] I'm so, so glad you liked this vig in particular. ;) [face_blush]
    Mira_Jade and Gabri_Jade like this.
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, oh, oh! How did I miss commenting on this? Perfect conclusion is perfect: first, our two almost-kinda-sorta-maybe-lovebirds separate, and go back to their old lives, and try to forget, but it isn't quiiiiiite happening. They really and truly are their own walls, both of them, or they think they are. AND THEN! An opportunity presents itself! To see each other, but also to maybe to be honest with themselves, finally at last. I actually really love how the story leaves us hanging at the end, stopping juuuust short of their meeting, because there are oh so many ways this could end up going that would be completely in character for these two, and the "right" way is only one of them. Wonderful job with this group of stories—you packed a lot into these short forms and really painted both Allana and Festus so beautifully in all their angst! =D=
  9. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess and Champion star 4 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

    Aug 9, 2002
    Oh, goodness, no worries! I'm always thrilled when someone likes a story enough to come back and find it again later and comment, so thank you for that! :D I'm really proud of this last piece in particular, so I'm glad to know it resonated with you as well! There are certainly a lot of obstacles between these two, and I love exploring them.

    I do love a good cliffhanger. [face_batting]

    So I actually left off here because the events at the end of this final vig lead directly into the EtF sequel that I've been working on for the last two years (and which I really hope to have finished or mostly finished by next spring), and yeah, it's gonna be a trip. [face_mischief] If you want a little bit more of a hint of how things will play out, my newest fic, Guardian, includes several scenes that take place concurrently with this last piece, and some scenes even extend into the events of the sequel a bit... [face_whistling]

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments and for following along with my odd little pairing throughout this collection. [face_blush] :D I appreciate it more than I can say! [face_love]
    Mira_Jade and Findswoman like this.
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004

    (I was going to save that bit for my Guardian feedback, but I still have all the words to type, and this was here and now. Who am I to pass such a golden opportunity by? So yay, bonus pester. [face_batting] [face_mischief] [:D])
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2022
  11. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess and Champion star 4 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

    Aug 9, 2002
    [face_rofl] :p [:D]

    I did some work on it today! I didn't get a whole lot written, but I read through most of parts two and three and kind of mentally played through some unwritten scenes to prepare myself. Listened to some SAL while I was writing, which was perfect. ;) [face_love]
    Mira_Jade and vader_incarnate like this.