Beyond - Legends Reaching Out (Luke, Ben - AU post-Sacrifice vignette) - cover art added

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Gabri_Jade, Dec 26, 2007.

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  1. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    Title: Reaching Out
    Author: Gabri_Jade
    Timeframe: post-Sacrifice
    Characters: Luke Skywalker, Ben Skywalker, others
    Genre: AU, vignette, angst (kinda sorta :p )
    Summary: Luke and Ben's relationship suffers in the wake of Mara's death.
    Notes: This was mostly written after reading Sacrifice but before reading Inferno. It took me a while to finish off the troublesome parts to my satisfaction. :p Bri, I hope you like it even if it isn't Friday. ;) Many, many thanks to LadyPadme and Knight_Aragorn, whose insightful suggestions greatly improved upon the original. [:D]

    Edit: Adding beautiful cover art, made by the talented rhonderoo. :D


    ~Best Canon Interpretation, Male (Luke Skywalker) - 2008 Beyond the Saga FanFic Awards~

    Thank you very much! :D

    "What about Luke?" a woman's voice asked.

    Luke himself hadn't been meant to hear, of course. Passing through the crowded room, smiling at friends and strangers alike even as he tried to ignore their curious gazes, the words hung whisper-soft in the stifled air, seemingly imperceptible to everyone else. To Luke, though, they were as clear as a homing beacon in wild space.

    Pretending unconcern, Luke made his way to a table filled with extravagant hors d'oeuvres. A helpful serving girl promptly pressed several upon him; preoccupied with his need to remain unobserved, he absently took them. The serving girl smiled at him--or at least, her mouth did. Luke avoided meeting people's eyes these days. The habit had developed months ago, when the pity he found there became too much to take, and he saw little reason to change it now.

    The serving girl left his side to smilingly help others, leaving Luke standing alone in the crowd, his eyes searching.

    "He's so withdrawn these days," someone murmured, and Luke knew that voice too.

    "In more ways than one," Leia answered Talon Karrde, and this time Luke saw them standing together about ten meters away, with Shada D'ukal--the first speaker--at Talon's side. Reflexively, Luke ducked behind a nearby pillar. Some part of his mind silently chastised him both for childishness and for eavesdropping, but Luke was well versed in ignoring his subconscious by now and remained where he was.

    They must not have seen him, nor Leia sensed his nearness; the quiet conversation continued unabated. "They were so close," Talon said, "and Mara's description of that Force bond of theirs made it sound like they were mentally entwined. I admit, when Mara"--Talon paused, then continued, his smoothly modulated voice suddenly gruff--"when she died, my first thought was that Luke might follow, just from the sheer loss. He hasn't, of course--but he's not the same as he was. I suppose that's natural . . . "

    "Yes," Leia murmured. "But not like this."

    "What about Ben? I haven't seen much of him since the funeral."

    [i]Neither have I.[/i] The thought still cut and bled. Luke let his eyes drift shut.

    "--fine," Leia was saying. "But I doubt he's as fine as he seems. He's good with his shields, but he forgets that an aunt doesn't need to rely on the Force to read her nephew. I think he's mostly being stoic. His parents' influence, no doubt." Leia's voice and sense both radiated exasperation. "Luke and Mara raised him well, but they both had the damned habit of hiding pain or vulnerability as though their lives depended on it, and Ben's inherited that."

    "There must be something we can do," Shada said. "Mara wouldn't want either of them to go on like this."

    "Mara's more than welcome to make some sort of appearance and bang their heads together, then," Leia said. "That, they might pay attention to." She sighed. "We've tried. They both just retreat. I don't like seeing them this way either, but I don't think either of them is ready to listen to any of us. This is probably something they're going to have to work out themselves. If they'd reach out to each other instead of pulling away--"


    Luke's eyes >
  2. LadyPadme

    LadyPadme Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 26, 2002
    Lovely as always, Mei.

    It all rings so true how hurt can drive people into their shell, how when their wounds are raw, people will misinterpret others' kind gestures or well-meaning attempts to help. What makes it worse is when it happens between a father and a son, and they've lost the glue that held their family together. Both of them hurt just as much as the other but in very different ways--Ben, still in his formative years losing a guiding hand and one of the only two people in the galaxy who could ever give him wholly unselfish love, and Luke losing his lifemate and soulmate.

    But at least you gave them that glimmer of hope at the end. Love the ending :)
  3. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Stunningly beautiful. The hurt and stiff discipline that they have come to accept as normal behavior, the way Luke deliberately avoids looking at the pitying expressions on people's faces -- all very realistic. Wonderfully written.

    Ben floundered, then regained his footing. "Does it hurt you to talk about Mom?"

    Luke thought about that. "Yes," he admitted. "But not as much as not talking about her hurts."

    How very true. She's remembered, and that's important. No one can remember the details and the nuances the way her husband and her son can. To not talk about her is to not acknowledge how deep her loss is, how important her life was.

    Very touching.

  4. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 2, 2000
    You wrote something! And a lovely, tear-jerker piece, too. I hate how the books showed Luke and Ben so emotionally far apart. You did a wonderful job of describing Luke's pain, and his hopes of reconnecting with Ben. =D=
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    Amazingly touching, stunningly poignant and real in every emotional nuance. Huggles & BRAVO!! :* [face_love] :*
  6. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Apr 20, 2000
    You made me cry. Lovely job on getting the emotions of loss into your story. Very realistic.
  7. Dunc T'racen

    Dunc T'racen Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Mar 11, 2000
    Great work as always, Gabri. :)

    [On my way out, more later!]
  8. Meredith_Kenobi

    Meredith_Kenobi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 20, 2005
    Fan fics as good as this should be ILLEGAL. If this was in a published novel---man, oh, man, LotF would be 10X improved.

    Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
  9. SilSolo

    SilSolo Jedi Knight star 5

    Mar 5, 2004
    this is very touching. nice job with the characters.
  10. dawn7191

    dawn7191 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 23, 2007
    awwww thats so beutiful.
  11. dancing_star

    dancing_star Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 24, 2007
    This was heart-tearing but beautiful at the same time. @};- Stunning and perfect! I loved it. [face_love]
    =D= =D= =D= =D=
  12. bkbva

    bkbva Jedi Youngling star 1

    Nov 10, 2005
    You've written it so much better than the so-called professionals have handled it. Wonderful job!

    "There must be something we can do," Shada said. "Mara wouldn't want either of them to go on like this."

    "Mara's more than welcome to make some sort of appearance and bang their heads together, then," Leia said. "That, they might pay attention to."

    I'll second that! ;)
  13. Jedi Trace

    Jedi Trace Former RSA star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 15, 1999
    Just gorgeous, Gabri! [face_love] I love all the emotions and details: things like Luke pulling his shields around himself as tightly as a cloak against a sandstorm and the conversation about Mara's blaster and her hair still in the comb - marvelous layers of depth. Luke and Ben pulling away from each other would be natural to a certain extent, IMHO, and you portrayed the beginnings of their reconciliation beautifully. @};-

    "Did I ever tell you about the time your mother and Aunt Shada changed the Wild Karrde's transponder ID to read 'the Dancing Ewok?'"

    Ben's eyebrows lifted. "No."

    Luke grinned. "Your Uncle Talon should have known better than to annoy both of them at the same time." He steered Ben toward the kitchen. "It was back before you were born . . ."

    :D @ "Aunt Shada" and "Uncle Talon." ;) Inspired moment of levity at the end a little candle in the dark.


  14. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 26, 2005
    :_| :_| :_| :_|

    That was so bittersweet.

    It's so hard to visualize Luke trying to get though each day without Mara, especially with their friends who, I'm sure, mean well.

    If they'd reach out to each other instead of pulling away


    I hope, now, they will come together.

    Great job on this

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
  15. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 2, 2005
    Beautiful, Gabri. Of the post-Sacrifice interpretations of the Skywalker family's pain, this one rings among the most true. You don't overdo the angst, but the ugliness and finality of their grief is only more accentuated by your understated style. Both Ben and Luke were wonderfully in character. I enjoyed reading this thoroughly. It really resonated. A great bit of writing. Thank you for sharing it with us. :)
  16. Leia

    Leia Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Aug 8, 1998
    As you well know, I don't read the EU anymore, so my happy little universe has been peaceful since Balance Point...but this vignette made Mara's death real for me for the first time. I hate you. :p

    This was such a nuanced look at grief--the way it can drive people apart in this slow, seemingly inevitable, infinitely painful manner. I also thought you did very well addressing the hurt Luke feels in both thinking about Mara and not thinking about her. As a great user of avoidance tactics myself, haha, I find it very true to form! :D Bottling emotions is not good for the soul, a lesson Luke would do well to remember at some point, from both Mara's and his own past experiences.

    Brilliant work, Gabri! [:D]
  17. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 25, 2005
    I actually read this when you posted, but could not post a comment. You double-whammied me, because just before I read your fic, I had read some pet euologies that were posted in my local paper and was already bawling my eyes out. Reading this fic just continued the trend, and I cried for a good fifteen minutes straight afterwards.

    I've felt so enraged with ... profic of late, not just because of Mara, but she does seem to be a focal point, for me, at least. Your fic really helped me to let the frustration out. Thank you.

    I'm glad that your Luke and Ben were able to finally turn to one another here--it's what they need. Wonderful work, as always, gal.
  18. Knight_Aragorn

    Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 15, 2003
    I adore this in so many ways. :D [face_love] It's the kind of story that has to be read more than once, because there's a whole wealth of emotion in there to be absorbed. Luke is perfectly characterised - quietly falling apart at the seams, held together only through discipline, careful to keep up a pretense of coping. And you can feel how much it's hurting him. Ben, also, is spot-on. He's very self-contained, but there's still an uncertainty to him, a vulnerability. He needs Luke, both as his father and as someone who understands exactly what he's going through, what he's lost. It's almost like he's caught between adolescence and adulthood, facing this terrible loss, struggling to find someone to turn to.

    I love the way the atmosphere of loss is built so subtly, in small details - Luke unwilling to meet people's eyes, the starkness of the family home, the way he and Ben make the motions of connecting for outward appearances while they have such a distance between them. And the reconnecting is beautiful. They're both very tentative, hurt feelings layered on top of grief, but there's almost a sense of catharsis there, a hope that they can rebuild and go on, remembering and honouring Mara together. And that in itself is tremendously important, because I think Mara would count her family as her greatest legacy, for all the other things she achieved in her life. [face_thinking]

    In short, this is a truly beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing it. [:D] :D
  19. Myriad_Daydreams

    Myriad_Daydreams Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 22, 2007
    This is absolutely amazing. I absolutely adore this fic. [face_love] I could gush on and on for hours about how much I loved this, but it still wouldn't be enough. This is truly a masterpiece =D=@};- Luke's pain here is so realistic, it hurts to read. By the end of reading this fic, I was laughing, smiling, and crying right along with Ben and Luke, and it has compeltely made my day! [:D] Excellent, favulous, wonderful job! :D

    Those memories, and so many more; all speaking of the life he'd once had, when facing pain and danger and loss had been vastly less daunting, because it had all been faced with Mara at his side, strong, practical, sarcastic, fierce, gentle, deeply loving, with tender and loyal depths that no one else ever fully saw. He laid them reverently on the floor, one by one, until the trunk was empty. Sitting there alone in the dark, with the cherished debris of his life before him, Luke exhaled, trapped between a lost past and a bleak future.

    :_|:_| So true.. so true...@};-

  20. JediKaren

    JediKaren Jedi Youngling star 3

    Apr 26, 2007
    *sniff* That was so good!
  21. MaraJade4S

    MaraJade4S Jedi Master star 2

    Feb 27, 2005
    Wonderful! =D= I absolutely loved it. It was so touching seeing them reach to each other...

    You know, I actually cried reading this... it's very touching.
  22. Angelmine_29

    Angelmine_29 Jedi Master star 1

    Aug 29, 2004
    Very nice piece of work! I really enjoy these glimpses of Luke & Ben's relationship - even if the overall tone of the piece breaks my heart.
  23. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    Jieh: I almost hate to think of Mara as the glue that holds the family together, because I prefer to think that Luke and Ben would be close to each other regardless. But the way most of LotF has been written, it seems that the profic considers Mara just that. Taking that into account, I wondered just how Luke and Ben would adapt to her death when they were already somewhat estranged. I'm glad it worked. Thank you again for your suggestions. As always, they helped polish my writing considerably. [:D]

    divapilot: I completely agree, and I've seen that sentiment repeated over and over again when people lose someone close to them. It hurts to think of the loss, but it hurts so much more to forget, or to think that others have forgotten. The way Luke rid the apartment of Mara's belongings was also inspired by sentiments I've heard from those who have lost someone. I remember when a friend lost her husband, a mutual friend who had also been widowed cautioned her to not get rid of the deceased's belongings. She said that it was the first instinct, to get rid of the memories to avoid the pain, but that you would wind up regretting it. That struck me as very poignant, and I could see Luke doing something like that.

    Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it, and I appreciate the kind words. :D

    Michele: I know; can you believe it? :p I dislike most of the profic's portrayal of Luke and Ben myself. This was partially written to try to rectify that. Thank you; I'm glad you liked it! [:D]

    Jade_eyes: Thank you; I'm pleased you liked it. :)

    RM: Thank you. :) I'm very glad it was realistic. Death is a tricky subject, emotionally, and I've been fortunate so far in not having lost anyone especially close to me. I was a little concerned that I might not do justice to the sorrow Luke and Ben had to feel. I'm sorry I made you cry, though. [:D]

    Dunc: You delurked! :eek: That's the ultimate compliment, right there. ;) Thanks! :D

    Meredith_Kenobi: You flatter me. [face_blush] Thank you very much. :D

    SilSolo: Thank you! :)

    dawn7191: Thanks! :)

    dancing_star: Thank you, that's kind of you to say. :D

    bkbva: Thank you! :D I rather wish that Mara would make an appearance, myself. Most of the characters could use a good slap of common sense right about now, methinks. :p

    Trace: Thank you so much! [:D] I'm really trying to create and maintain levels of depth in my writing (when I write :p ), so I appreciate your comments about that. :D It was surprisingly easy to visualize the sorts of things that Luke might keep and the emotions they'd evoke in him, once I started writing that part. Some things are obvious (like the blaster), but I think he'd cling to the little every day things like a lipstick tube or a hairbrush with hair still tangled in it as well. They're parts of Mara, really. Aside from Ben, that's all he has left, and if Ben is emotionally distant, how much more would Luke cling to the material things? It's all quite sad to think about. :(

    Of course it would have to be Uncle Talon and Aunt Shada! ;) I think that close friends of a child's parents are very often "uncle" and "aunt" to the child; in that respect, regardless of how the profic might not show such relationships, I think Ben must have had a simply tremendous amount of uncles and aunts. Talon, Shada, Wedge, Iella, Tycho, Winter, Corran, Mirax, Wes, Hobbie - Luke and Mara have so many good friends, I think it would surprise even them once they started counting. :p

    You can thank K_A in part for that ending. She very rightly observed that my original ending wasn't quite what it should be, and this is what resulted. I'm glad it worked. :)

    KELIA: It is hard. :( There are so many people who would try to help Luke, but I'm sure that would only be more painful for a while. I'd like to think that Luke and Ben would come together to deal with the loss, too. Thanks for reading. :)

    furrylittlebantha: I'm so glad to see you on
  24. Jedi_Master_Cazz

    Jedi_Master_Cazz Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 13, 2005
    :_|:_|:_| *Hugs the Skywalker boys,* [:D]:_|

    So perfect!

  25. ROTSFan

    ROTSFan Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 25, 2006
    I haven't read Sacrifice, but that was a really sweet take on the healing process of Luke and Ben's relationship. Very easy to picture and relate to...

    He wondered, sometimes, whether Ben blamed him for Mara's death, or whether they truly just had that little in common.

    That is sad. I can't determine which would be worse. :(

    Ben smiled back, slowly. "Okay. Can we--I mean--" Ben floundered, then regained his footing. "Does it hurt you to talk about Mom?"

    Luke thought about that. "Yes," he admitted. "But not as much as not talking about her hurts."

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