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Saga Red Five (Luke/OC) Updated 20 September

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JadeLotus, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Title: Red Five
    Characters: Luke Skywalker, OC, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Wedge Antilles
    Timeframe: 0 ABY - 34 ABY
    Summary: After the Battle of Yavin, Luke meets the only surviving member of the team who stole the Death Star plans.




    0 ABY

    Luke had never seen so many people in his life. The Rebel Base on Yavin 4 was absolutely teeming with souls; ground crew and technicians swarming over the few ships and droids who had returned from the assault on the Death Star, officers racing to meetings and debriefs, and regular personnel cheering and hugging each other in the hallways.

    He’d slipped away with Leia, Han and Chewie, and the Princess had pulled some petty officer away from the celebrations and corralled them into organizing quarters for him. They’d not bothered before, with Luke changing from his farm clothes into a flightsuit, hopping straight into the X-Wing and flying off to war. Grimly, he realized that they probably had not expected him to survive.

    But he had survived. He’d won the whole damn thing, and Luke pushed aside the sadness at all he’d lost in the past few days in order to enjoy the sense of accomplishment. The adoration of his fellow rebels certainly didn’t hurt - as they traversed the hallways towards his new quarters they kept getting stopped with Luke being greeted, thanked, hugged, cried on and receiving every other kind of relieved and profuse thanks. Men and women twice his age grasped his hand and shook it firmly, and no one looked at him like he was just some dumb farm kid. No, he was the man who had saved their lives, and struck a great blow against the Empire.

    Later, he would dwell on the losses - not only of his aunt and uncle and Ben, but of his comrades and even the enemy that had been stationed on the Death Star, unable to anticipate that their lives would be ended in the blink of an eye. Later, he would find out the death count, and have to come to terms with his mass-murder and the price that he had paid so that others would live. Later, he would cry for Owen and Beru and blame himself, he would try and reach out to Ben in the ether for comfort and find nothing. Later, he would tire of the constant adoration and wish to become invisible again.

    But for the moment, it felt pretty damn good to be a hero.

    When they reached his new quarters the petty officer gave him some grey fatigues so he could change out of his flightsuit. The material was worn and soft, so different from the homespun he’d been wearing since birth, the fabric as coarse and durable as the sand. Fatigues were far from luxurious and yet they were the best thing he’d ever worn, and somehow in them he felt even more the farmboy.

    “They’ll do for now,” Leia said lightly as he stepped out of the ‘fresher in his new clothes. “We’ll need to find you something else for the ceremony tomorrow.”

    “Ceremony?”

    Leia smiled indulgently. “Of course - we’ll have to evacuate soon, but there will be a party tonight, and an official ceremony tomorrow. I’m sure that Alliance High Command will want to award you all with honors of some kind.”

    “That’s nice,” Han said, lounging back against the wall. “I hope there’s credits to go along with those honors.”

    Leia scowled and pierced Han with a glare. “I’m sure that could be arranged,” she said in a clipped voice. “You know, Captain Solo, I thought for a moment there was a sliver of generosity in you.”

    “There is!” Han insisted a little too forcefully, and to Luke it seemed his earlier interest in the princess had not all been in jest. “I came back, didn’t I, at great personal cost to myself I might add.” At his side, Chewbacca gave a small growl that seemed like a chuckle. “I saved the kid’s butt as well as yours, Princess.”

    Leia glanced over at Luke and they shared a small smile that made his heart feel warm. Ever since he’d seen her on the hologram, Luke had felt inexplicably drawn to her for reasons that he couldn’t quite explain. She was beautiful of course, headstrong and confident in a way that Luke admired, and he would never forget the way she’d comforted him in those brief moments on the Falcon after Ben had sacrificed himself.

    “…and I should be gone, out of here like a shot,” Han was still ranting. “But since I’m so generous, I’ll stick around for a bit. Not long, though - I’ve still got a debt to pay off.”

    Luke crossed the small quarters to take a seat next to Leia on the bunk, nudging her conspiratorially. “And I’m sure you don’t want to miss being the center of attention tomorrow and getting another reward, huh Han?”

    He scowled in response, crossing his arms over his chest and slouching further back against the wall. “Look who’s talking, Luke. You know, I was going to lend you some nice clothes so you wouldn’t look like such a ‘Rimscraper, but perhaps you’d like to get your honors in your farm rags?”

    Leia looked Han up and down with clear skepticism. “You have nice clothes? she asked. “Why aren’t you wearing them?”

    They continued in the vein for a while, but eventually the teasing gave way to more serious talk - of the Rebellion, of their own recent histories, their plans for the future. They skirted the serious topics of the destruction of Alderaan and the death of Luke’s aunt and uncle - he was sure that they would all confide in each other in the days to come, but for now the friendship was still too new. Leia did tell him what she knew of Ben - how he’d been a Jedi General during the Clone Wars along with Luke’s father. Apparently, he’d been a great hero, although Leia said with regret her father Bail had never talked about Anakin Skywalker much - Kenobi had been a closer friend. But Luke drank in the information, trying to reconcile his memories of Ben as a strange hermit and later wise master, with Leia’s tales of battles and bravery.

    Eventually the conversation petered off, and Leia excused herself saying she was required to assist with the evacuation plans. Han and Chewie stayed for a time after that, and some of Han’s bravado fell away as he told Luke, ruffling his hair, that he was glad he was okay. But soon they also took their leave to check the Falcon, with a promise they’d see him at the party that night.

    Finally by himself, Luke felt uneasy in the solitude - he’d spent too much of his life alone already. He wandered through the halls of the base, now less busy, until he found the pilot’s lounge where Wedge Antilles was having a quiet drink.

    “Luke!” Wedge called to him gratefully and poured him a generous glass of whiskey. “Glad you’re here, this place is dead. Literally.” He looked forlornly around at the almost empty bar, no doubt thinking of his comrades who had perished in the battle.

    Taking a seat and grasping the whiskey gratefully, Luke took an experimental sip. It was no less potent than Anchorhead moonshine, but infinitely better tasting; rich and pleasantly tingly on his tongue.

    “To our friends,” Wedge said, raising his glass, and Luke clinked his own against it, saying nothing. Other than Biggs, he’d barely known the other pilots who’d flown and died on his wing. “Guess we’re all that’s left, now,” Wedge continued, taking a long drink of whiskey and filling his glass up again. “Us, and Farlander,” he added on consideration, the surviving Y-Wing pilot of Gold Squadron Luke had met only briefly. “Oh yeah…and her.”

    “Who?” As far as Luke was aware, all of the female pilots had died in the assault.

    “You know how we got the plans to the Death Star in the first place?” Wedge asked, filling up Luke’s glass again.

    “Sure, they were stolen,” Luke nodded, taking another sip. The whiskey was giving him a light buzz, warm in his empty stomach. “And beamed them to Leia’s ship.”

    “They put together a strike team, most of them pilots,” Wedge said. “They said I was too young, not enough experience, and I guess I should be glad of that now, huh? They’re all dead except her.”

    “Who?” Luke asked again, slightly exasperated.

    Wedge waved a dismissive hand and drowned his whiskey. “Your predecessor,” he said as he filled up his glass again, and Luke put a hand over his own to stop Wedge from topping it up. “Red Five. Helluva fighter - only one of the strike team to survive, but she was half dead when they found her. Got blinded by a stray blaster bolt, or so they said.”

    Luke winced, not wanting to imagine the pain of such an injury. Ben had taught him to reach out with the Force when blind during the lightsaber exercises on the Falcon, but practice was one thing, and reality was another.

    “Is she here?” Luke asked, curious now about the woman whose callsign he’d taken.

    “What, you want to go see her?” Wedge snorted into his drink as if what he’d said was supremely funny. Surreptitiously, Luke moved the whiskey bottle out of his reach.

    “I thought I might,” Luke shrugged. “Pay my respects, you know.”

    Wedge threw his head back and laughed. “You’re a strange one, Luke,” he said between chuckles. “But yeah, go on,” he waved his hand again. “Give it your best shot - she’s in the medward, level six.”

    Luke drowned the last of his whiskey and stood, nodding to Wedge. “I’ll see you later.” He wanted to add don’t drink too much, but thought it wasn’t his place to tell anybody how to grieve.

    Wedge gave him a lazy salute. “Just be careful with that one, Luke,” he warned. “She’s, ah…prickly."
     
  2. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2004
    Ahhh!

    [​IMG]

    EMPTY CHAIRS AT EMPTY TABLES.... :_|
     
  3. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Very good, I like the dynamic you've written for the big three, you can see the growing friendship between them, and also Wedge.
     
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  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] [face_dancing] Love the authentic and in character feels of the friendship as we can see it growing through all the snark and early confiding. Looking forward to Luke's meeting with the prickly and competent pilot. :D
     
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  5. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Ooh, I didn't realize you posted it here, too! I love it all: Leia, Han, Wedge...and Luke, of course. And I can't wait to follow where you go with it.

    One small correction...Rogue. ;)
     
  6. mattman8907

    mattman8907 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2012

    yeah isn't Rouge like a dark red or something? lol. anyway I like the start of this.
     
  7. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    That's what I get for posting late at night!
     
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  8. mattman8907

    mattman8907 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2012

    tag me for when u update this story.
     
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  9. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    I love the detail you bring into your stories. The idea that no one thought to get a place for Luke because they really didn't think he would survive, everyone's deferred grief- all these make the characters so human.

    I'm so curious who this original Red Five was!
     
  10. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Love this!
    I'm a sucker for pilot Luke stories and this is a great look at what could have happened here with a nod to what we could learn from the new movies.
    Love the still not really knowing each other, but friendly Luke, Han and Leia interaction.
    Diva is right, you bring so much detail, it really makes the story feel so real!

    “She’s, ah…prickly."
    I get the feeling she will be! :)


    Great job! =D=
     
  11. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2005
    I NEED THIS ON A TEESHIRT. I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT. ^:)^[:D]^:)^ I'd tell you even more how much I love it, but I pretty much bled all over the doc you sent us. hahahahahahaa [face_love]
     
  12. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    [face_laugh]:D Coming right up...

    Ugh, IKR? All of Wedge's squad gone in the blink of an eye - there's got to be some pretty heavy survivor's guilt.



    Thank you! At this stage the Big Three have really only known each other a day or so, but bonds form pretty quickly even though they're not BFFs yet.


    Thank you! I think that once Luke found out about the pilot whose callsign and position he'd taken, he'd want to meet them.


    [face_blush]

    I realised I'd rushed it a bit on Tumblr, so I'm going to revise and repost here and A03 - hopefully finished before TFA comes out to contradict anything!

    Yep - I am prone to typos, although Rouge One would make a great make-up tie in... ;) And thank you!

    Sure thing.



    Thank you! Luke threw himself head-first into the battle, and I can't help but feel the higher ups of the Rebellion let him do so because they needed pilots and they couldn't really say not to the guy who'd rescued the princess, but I don't think they had any expectation he would return.



    I love pilot!Luke too, and am intrigued by Rogue One and who it could potential tie in to TFA - speculative fic is so fun.


    [face_laugh] I appreciate it gal! Our speculation got the ball rolling on this after all ;)
     
  13. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Tags: mattman8907


    2

    Luke left the bar and took the time to navigate the way back to his quarters and retrieve his pilot’s helmet. It was beat up and dusty from the battle, and Luke ran his hands over the red stripes down the centre and the twin rebel starbirds on the crown. When he’d been given the helmet and X-Wing to fly, he’d not considered that he was taking the place of another pilot who had been grounded die to injury. When he’d run his hand on the underside of the ship and slipped into the cockpit it had felt so right, as if the X-Wing had always been sitting in the hangar bay waiting for him to claim it. And yet the scuff marks and dents in the helmet told a different story, and Luke smiled as an idea formed in his mind.

    He made his way up to the medbay after getting lost only twice, and entered the sterile white room containing a row of medical beds. Only one was occupied, and there wasn’t a meddroid in sight. Carefully, Luke approached the woman seated upright in the bed, staring unblinking at the wall straight ahead of her. She was perhaps a few years older than him, with dark hair that fell across her forehead and framed the side of her face, with the rest drawn into a messy bun at the nape of her neck. The whites of her eyes were red and bloodshot, with the skin around them bright and blistering, although from the shine a bacta salve had clearly been applied. Despite that she was beautiful, and for a moment Luke’s gaze lingered on her high cheekbones, full lips and vivid green irises which were bright despite the obvious damage.

    “So who has come to to see the invalid?” she asked in a clear, crisp voice betraying a Coruscanti accent.

    “My name’s Luke Skywalker,” he introduced himself as he approached. “I-”

    “Ah, the hero of the hour,” she interrupted him. “Aren’t I lucky.”

    “Oh, you know about that?” Luke asked, unable to stop himself smiling.

    “News travels fast around here,” she said shortly, her unseeing gaze fixed and unmoving. “If you’re looking for a thank you, go somewhere else.”

    Luke’s smile dropped immediately, nervously rocking on the balls of his feet. “I didn’t come here for that.”

    “Then why are you here?” she demanded of him. “Go and find some sycophants who will fawn over you, buy you drinks and offer you kriff knows what else. You probably deserve it, but you won’t get any of that from me.”

    Luke could see why Wedge had described her as prickly. “To be honest, I’m a bit sick of being thanked,” he said, finding that words were true. Although he had enjoyed the attention at first, the constant adoration on his way up to the medbay had begun to grate. “I didn’t do anything more than anyone else,” he told her. “In fact I did less, because they gave their lives and I didn’t.”

    She turned towards him slightly, and though he knew she couldn’t see him her unblinking gaze was oddly intense. “I know what you mean,” she said quietly, then stretched out out her hand straight in front of her and Luke shifted slightly so he could shake it. “I’m Valara.” She had a firm, decisive grip that took him somewhat by surprise, and so he held onto her hand for a moment too long before dropping it sheepishly.

    “Luke,” he told her.

    “I know, remember?” she said dryly, although he thought he saw the corner of her mouth twitch.

    “Right,” Luke nodded, realising belatedly that the action was pointless. “Of course.”

    “You sound young,” Valara said shortly, and it was impossible to tell whether she was disappointed.

    “I’m nineteen,” Luke told her, unsure about whether she’d consider that young or not.

    “Nineteen, and the hero of the Rebellion.” Valara shifted uncomfortably in the bed. “How nice.”

    “I made a lucky shot, I guess,” Luke shrugged. He’d hadn’t told anyone - not even Leia - of how he’d heard Ben Kenobi’s voice in his head, telling Luke to trust himself. It sounded ridiculous even in his own mind, and he didn’t want the Rebels to think he’d lost his mental faculties and stop him flying.

    “A one in a million shot, or so I heard.” Valara was staring at him again, and Luke felt the hair raise at the back of his neck. He had the disconcerting feeling that she could somehow perceive him, even though she could not see. “It’s unusual for a pilot to claim luck instead of skill - I certainly wouldn’t if I’d made that shot. Where you from, Skywalker?”

    “Tatooine.”

    “Never heard of it.”

    “I’m not surprised,” Luke said, and perched himself on the side of her bed.

    “Did I say you could sit?” she snapped, her whole body tensing and Luke moved cautiously back to his feet.

    “Sorry.”

    Valara sighed. “I just...like my personal space,” she explained, gently touching her temple where the skin was covered in angry red welts. “Especially...you know.”

    Luke understood - they’d been times in the X-Wing when he hadn’t been able to see ships approaching in his blind spot, and knew the panic such uncertainty could cause. “They said you helped get the Death Star plans,” he said, trying a different track.

    Valara huffed, her mouth creasing with obvious displeasure. “Who told you that?”

    “Wedge Antilles.”

    “Yeah, Antilles would say I helped,” Valara said snippishly. “I lead the team, Skywalker.”

    Luke didn’t doubt it. “Well, I hope you’ve been thanked.”

    Valara tilted her head, fixing him again with her unseeing gaze. “They sent some grunt to give me a commendation - but to be honest visitors have been few and far between.”

    “What, with the warm welcome you give them?” Luke teased. “I don’t believe it.”

    “Ha.” Valara almost smiled. “No one wants to talk to the blind girl. Except you...the man who finished what I started.”

    “It seems we make a good team,” Luke said, and finally won a smile from her.

    “I wish I’d been in that trench with you,” Valara said wistfully. Luke wanted to say that he wouldn’t have wished the experience on anyone - comrades being picked off one by one around him, the heat of blaster fire searing his hull, almost losing Artoo, Vader breathing down his neck, his dark presence cold like death...

    Luke pinched his arm to snap himself out of the memory. “I heard you had plenty of excitement getting the plans to begin with,” he said, eager to change the subject.

    “You could say that,” Valara gave him a wry smile. “And got a blaster shot in the face for my troubles.”

    Luke winced, his eyes drawn once again the scaled skin around her eyes. Despite her churlish greeting, he felt strangely drawn to her - as if they shared some kind of affinity yet to be discovered.

    “It could have been worse,” Valara continued with a shrug. “Although it’s just my luck to get the helmet with the faulty blast shield.”

    “Speaking of which,” Luke held out the helmet he’d brought with him and pressed it into her hands. “I think this belongs to you.”

    She traced the marks and grooves, as if recognising it by touch. “I used to be Red Five,” she said softly. “The group that went after the Death Star plans was picked from a few different squads, and the mission wasn’t officially sanctioned, you see. We were rogues.”

    “Rogue Squadron,” Luke grinned to himself. “I like that.”

    “You keep this,” she held the helmet back out at him, her voice wavering. “It’s no use to me anymore.”

    “But surely...with bacta treatments?” Luke stumbled over the words, not exactly sure how to express himself. Valara seemed to understand, and she just sighed and shook her head unhappily.

    “My sight will come back eventually. But it will never be 100%.” She lightly touched the scalded skin around her eyes again and winced. “They’ll never let me fly an X-Wing again, that’s for sure.”

    “I’m sorry.” Luke had only flown in the snub fighter once, but he couldn’t imagine being told he’d never be able to again. It was something he didn’t even want to imagine.

    “I want you to keep my old callsign,” Valara said, and again pushed the helmet into his hands until he took it back. “And this - just get a new blast shield.”

    “Are you sure?” Luke asked, seeing that she was deeply upset even through her aloof pretense.

    “Yes,” she said shortly. “You can have my blessing if it will alleviate your guilt. Now you can go.”

    Luke put the helmet aside on an empty chair and held his ground. “I don’t have anywhere else better to be,” he said, absently looking up at the fluorescent lighting that glared down on them. “Are you alright with these lights?” he asked, unsure why the meddroids hadn’t turned them down or put bandages over Valara’s eyes.

    “I’m fine,” she said shortly. “I’m not going to sit here in the dark feeling sorry for myself.”

    “So you’ve been sitting here with the lights on feeling sorry for yourself?”

    “I have not!” she protested forcefully.

    No one wants to talk to the blind girl,” he affected her crisp accent and tone perfectly.

    She reached out and slapped him on the arm. “Shut up, Skywalker,” she said, but couldn’t hide her amusement.

    “Okay, okay,” he raised his hands in mock defeat and grinned, pleased to have punctured her steely countenance.

    “The sooner I can acclimatise to the light again, the sooner my sight will come back,” she looked up at the ceiling and squinted as if her recovery would be accelerated through sheer willpower.

    Luke didn’t know much about medicine, but to him that hardly sounded like a good idea. Old Mari Sandskimmer had gone blind in her old age, and she always said the twin suns just made it worse. “Don’t you think-”

    “I know what I can handle Skywalker,” she cut him off, in an instant her smile turning back into a scowl. She turned away, as if expecting him to have had enough abuse and simply leave, but Luke was not so easily cowed.

    “Where are you from, Valara?” he asked lightly, “that you learned such fine manners?”

    “Coruscant,” she said, her gaze still askew, although Luke could see that she bit down on her lower lip to keep from smiling. It seemed she liked to be teased - perhaps no one else ever had the courage to do so. His gaze lingered on the curve of her neck and the way the corner of her mouth creased. He wasn’t quite sure why he was so adamant about staying - perhaps he felt a kinship with her, since he’d flown her ship into battle and it had brought him home safely. Perhaps it was something else entirely.

    “In the orphanages they teach you to follow orders, not to be polite,” she added, her face still turned away.

    Suddenly her behaviour made a lot more sense, and Luke moved instinctively closer. “I’m an orphan, too,” he told her. “I was raised by my aunt and uncle, though - I guess I was lucky.”

    “There’s that word luck again,” she said, and briefly Luke recalled Ben saying there was no such thing. “You got lucky being raised by family and making that shot on the Death Star - I was unlucky by being born alone and getting shot in the face. Is that how life works?”

    “No,” Luke conceded, seeing her point. “So how did you end up in the Rebellion?”

    Valara sighed, and for a moment Luke thought she wouldn’t answer, but eventually she began to speak. “The orphanages feed right into the military academies and no one has a choice about it,” she said, her voice soft and sad. “Not that you’d choose otherwise at that age, with Imperial propaganda pumped into you practically from birth. They give you a different name, close enough to your own to feel familiar, but still a reminder that you’re theirs, that they own you.” Her mouth twisted bitterly, and at the back of his mind Luke felt - something - almost as if he could somehow feel her sour memory. The skin around her eyes crinkled, and she hissed in pain and finally blinked. Luke wondered if tears had tried to form in her seared ducts, and instead had burned her again.

    “How did you escape?” Luke asked. Biggs had jumped ship from the Imperial Academy fairly easily, it seemed, but he guessed that absconding from Coruscant would be slightly more perilous that from some ‘Rim outpost.

    “It’s a long story.”

    Luke shrugged. “I’ve got time.”

    Valara pursed her lips, and Luke saw that he’d touched a raw nerve. “Tell you what, Red Five,” she said, turning her unseeing eyes back to him. “I promise I’ll tell you all about it one day.”

    He was happy to leave it at that, and pleased with the implication that they would be spending more time together. “Are you going to the celebrations?” he asked, checking his chrono and seeing that they would be starting soon.

    Valara sniffed and looked away again. “What’s the point? I can’t even walk around by myself.”

    “I’ll help you,” Luke suggested.

    “You’ll be stuck with me all night,” Valara said shortly.

    Luke kicked his toe against the side of the bed sheepishly. “Yeah...”

    Valara smiled, her face lighting up with a beautiful warmth that made his stomach flip-flop - she flashed hot and cold, but that only made Luke more determined to figure her out.

    “Alright then,” she held out her hand so he could grasp it and help her out of the bed. She was slightly unsteady on her feet, and Luke’s arm grasped her around the waist, holding her firm and helping her walk.

    “Not too much in your personal space?” he asked softly into her ear, surprised at how husky his voice was.

    “A little,” she whispered back, leaning further into him. “But that’s okay.”
     
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, oh. I like Valara. =D= Why am I not surprised? ^:)^ Wonderful Luke-ness in this post. [face_love] [face_laugh]
     
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  15. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    I have a sneaky suspicion... but I will wait until I find out more. Valara is great- there is a complex and caring person under there, with a fully fleshed-out backstory. I like what you're doing with the idea of seeing - how Valara, the blind woman, can see Luke more clearly than the backslapping hero worshippers that he is uncomfortable with.
    Lady, you amaze me with your ability to create multiple stories at a time, each of them so beautifully deep and meaningful. ^:)^
     
  16. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    Well, it's official. Not that there should be any surprise whatsoever, but I love Valara. Like, officially in love. You can feel how much physical pain she's in, and how it's causing her mood to suffer, and poor sweet fresh-off-the-farm Luke just wants her to feel better! [face_love]:D

    And this...
    [​IMG]
     
  17. mattman8907

    mattman8907 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Really liked this chapter. Looks like the start of a beautiful friendship between Luke and Valara.
     
  18. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Very nice, you have me intrigued!

    Not least because I honestly don't know yet how I feel about the idea of the Felicity Jones character potentially turning out to be Luke's love interest if she's not Mara Jade. I'm afraid I don't fall into the THTBAH category - if it's not Mara, let him be a hermit! (Unpopular view I know). But I am looking forward to Rogue One so so much and really want to love the Jones character. So I'm really hoping your version can win me round in case of that eventuality. No pressure or anything! ;)
     
  19. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    I LOVE Valara! She already has a rich backstory and an interesting personality! I can't wait to learn more about her!

    I really liked how Luke was shy and kinda awkward at first... adorbs!! I like how the two of them have similar but still very different stories.

    I'm looking forward to more!
     
  20. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    I like how you've captured the mood after the Battle of Yavin, where things are beginning to (not quite yet...) sink in, but the celebration is still on, and Luke's state of mind being the center of attention. And Valara is great; I love her interactions with Luke. He does seem to have a way of breaking through the walls there, and I get the impression that she's going to be a good influence on him too in her own unusual way. [hl=black] Not to mention that there's something awfully familiar about their dynamic. ;)[/hl]
     
  21. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2005
    [face_love] [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]

    You know I LOVE this fic, gal!!!!!!! ^:)^[:D]
     
  22. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005

    Thank you! I'm glad Valara is likable despite her hard edges :D

    :D It will probably only ever be implied and not outright stated - left up to the reader's interpretation.


    Thank you! When the plot bunnies, bite, they bite hard...

    While Luke initially basks in the adoration, I think he realises pretty quickly that it doesn't mean much, and while these people are impressed and grateful by Luke's deeds, they don't actually know him. He appreciates Valara's forthrightness as a contrast to that.

    Thanks, lady! And I appreciate you helping me flesh her out.


    ;):D[face_whistling]


    Yes, friendship... :p


    I'm so sold on the Felicity Jones theory - I'm sure I'll love the character whoever she turns out to be, but I was really inspired by the idea of her Rogue One character having a bigger part to play.

    I don't want to let go of Mara, and she and Luke will always be my OTP, but I don't think she's going to show up in the new canon and if that's the case I want Luke to be happy with someone (awesome) and can't bear the thought of him being a secluded hermit all alone for however many years.

    I hope this pairing can win you over! :p


    I haven't written a great deal of Luke in this era, since he's on the cusp of transforming from that determined farmboy into the soldier and leader we see in ESB, but it's certainly interesting to throw someone into the mix, but he seems to be drawn to bitter, sarcastic people and his goodness tends to rub off on them...

    Luke's still in that semi-blissful hero state, before the realities of war set in, and he's never received so much attention in his life so its natural for him to enjoy it. And yet, he doesn't find it overly satisfying as actually connecting to people on a deeper level, and generally trying to spread sunshine wherever he goes.


    [face_whistling] Indeed.
    Thanks gal, and I appreciate all your help and support!
     
  23. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Oops, forgot to tag: mattman8907



    He lead her down to one of the halls where there were already hundreds of people milling about, and no one seemed to care that Valara still wore her white medclothes. Wedge found them first, and he glanced at where Luke and Valara’s hands were clasped and their arms hooked in together, and gave him a slow shake of his head. Still, he was smiling, and he and Valara exchanged a few good-natured insults before he procured them each a bottle of ale.

    “You probably shouldn’t have any,” he warned her. “Not with all those painkillers, but I know you can’t make it through the day without one, so…”

    Valara looked as if she would’ve rolled her eyes if it didn’t hurt so much, but accepted the ale with her free hand and took a long swig. “Too bad they can’t give me a painkiller to make you go away.”

    “Ha,” Wedge laughed sarcastically. “Thankfully, there’s no need for me.” He slapped Luke on the back. “Since I see Luke here’s been roped into charity duty.”

    Luke wanted to interject and point out that it wasn’t the case since he’d practically forced Valara to come, but it didn’t feel right to intrude on their ribbing - they were squad mates, after all. Well, former squad mates.

    “And who is on charity duty for you, Antilles?” Valara asked lazily, craning her head as if she was looking over at the bar. “I’m sure there are some floozies over there who might just get drunk enough to take you home.”

    Wedge gave her a lazy salute, and Luke wasn’t sure if he’d forgotten her blindness or was just mocking her. “As always, Valara, it’s been a thin slice of heaven.” He slapped Luke on the back again and then gave him a warning look. “I’ll see you later, Luke. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

    Luke watched Wedge indeed approach the men and women taking shots at the bar, and turned back to Valara curiously. “What do you think he meant by that?”

    Valara laughed and shifted closer. “I think he meant don’t do anyone he wouldn’t do.”

    Feeling his face flush, Luke squeezed her hand a little tighter but was unsure of how to respond. He took a long drink from his ale before changing the subject to the safe topic of flying, with Valara more that willing to tell him the history of the X-Wing he had inherited from her.

    Occasionally people would approach to engage him in conversation or give him a congratulatory pat on the back, but most seemed reluctant to linger, giving a nervous glance at Valara before turning away - he was unsure whether that was because they were uncomfortable with her blindness, or whether she had more of a reputation than Wedge let on.

    “You aren’t getting as much attention as you should,” Valara pointed out after some time, mirroring his thoughts. “Am I scaring them away?”

    “Probably,” Luke squeezed her hand. “I should take you with me everywhere.”

    Valara laughed lightly, and Luke found himself only enjoying her company, now that he seemed to have gotten past her hard-edges. One person unafraid to approach was Leia, who breezed over still wearing her white gown, evidently having come directly from leadership meetings.

    “Valara,” Leia greeted her warmly with a light touch on the arm. “I was so happy to hear they’d found you.”

    Valara stiffened slightly and she dropped Luke’s hand, straightening her back as if drawing herself to attention. “I’m just glad you received the transmission...I’m sorry about Alderaan.”

    It was Leia’s turn to flinch and Luke’s instinct was to reach out and comfort her, and yet she retained her outward composure. “Yes,” she said after a brief pause. “But tomorrow we can mourn our losses - tonight we should celebrate our successes.”

    Conveniently, Han arrived with a fresh tray of drinks, and they all took one gratefully, sipping in silence for a few moments. As deftly as he could, Luke took Valara’s hand again, although of course Han noticed immediately and smirked into his drink. The conversation turned into a gauntlet with Han who was a never-ending source of innuendo and jest, with Leia sharply rebuking him every now and then to leave Luke alone. At first Valara simply seemed amused and gave as good as Han did, but after a while Luke observed her face become pinched and her body language uncomfortable.

    “Are you alright?” he asked her quietly. “Are you in pain?”

    “No,” Valara squirmed a little self-consciously. “I just really need to pee.”

    “Oh.” Luke’s face flushed, unsure if he should offer to take her but the thought made him uncomfortable for both their sakes.

    Thankfully Leia tapped his arm and disengaged it from Valara’s. “I’ll take her,” she said, and once again Luke was grateful for her taking charge. He watched Leia lead Valara through the crowd, as attentive and careful as any nursedroid would be, and tried to ignore Han’s knowing glare. After a few moments Wedge sidled up to them again with fresh ales and a smirk.

    “So…” Wedge was clearly trying but failing to sound nonchalant. “You two have hit it off.”

    “Yeah, you move fast, Kid,” Han patted him on the back. “I’m impressed, she’s got a fortress ‘round her that would rival Jabba’s.”

    Luke shrugged. “I like her,” he said plaintively as he took a sip of his ale. “Is that so hard to believe?”

    “You should just…” Wedge sighed and looked uncomfortable. “You should know what you’re getting into with her.”

    “And what’s that?”

    Wedge eyed him. “Other than the fact she’s generally an unpleasant person to be around?”

    “I don’t believe that,” Luke told him. “You were just joking around with her, she can’t be that terrible.”

    “Yeah,” Wedge shrugged. “We’re teammates, but I wouldn’t call us friends - I don’t think she has any, keeps to herself mostly. She’ll have a drink with you, gamble with you, joke with you, but none of us really know her, at least not the way you should know someone who is flying on your wing.”

    Luke didn’t answer, and looked to Han for his opinion. The smuggler hadn’t exactly been a pleasant person to begin with either, but Luke had sensed there was more to him, and he’d been right. He felt the same way about Valara. Well, he corrected himself, not quite the same way.

    “You know, at first they thought she was a spy,” Wedge said in between long sips of his ale. “They watched her for years, never really trusting her - a lot of people still have doubts.”

    “Why?” Luke frowned. “Surely most of the Rebellion is made up from Imperial defectors.”

    “Yeah, but none of them were part of the Emperor’s inner circle.”

    “What do you mean?” Luke asked, unsettled by the serious turn in the conversation.

    “Have you ever heard of the Inquisitors?”

    “No,” Luke said, but saw Han wince. “Who are they?”

    “The best and brightest from the Academies, the Imps with the most zeal and the least scruples,” Wedge explained. “They’re the Emperor’s personal spies and assassins - Rebel hunters.”

    Luke pondered this for a moment - Valara had told him that her past was a long story, but she certainly hadn’t tried to conceal it. He thought it was no wonder she made no effort to be nice to her comrades - most of them probably still thought she was a spy.

    “Surely she’s proven herself now,” he argued. “She’s a hero.”

    “Yeah, sure,” Wedge shrugged, and took another swig of his ale. “But think about it this way, Luke. She’s a rude, blind former Imperial who doesn’t like being ordered about by anybody - bein’ pretty doesn’t make up for that. You’re a fresh-faced farm kid who will smile and shake hands and do what you’re told to advance the cause - who do you think the bosses are going to want to put in the propaganda?”

    The alcohol was starting to make Luke’s brain go a bit fuzzy, and he didn’t really know why he was having such an intense conversation at what was meant to be a celebration. He didn’t care what Valara’s past was - what anyone’s past was - he cared about the future, and he trusted his instincts.

    “I know what Wedge’s saying, Kid,” Han chimed in, putting a hand on Luke’s shoulder. “Just be careful, and don’t run into things too fast. Have fun, if you like, but don’t get yourself involved in other people’s problems - I know that’s hard for you, but not everyone needs saving.”

    “I think you should both take your own advice,” Luke said hotly, not willing to be coddled. “And stay out of it.” He stalked over to where Leia was leading Valara back across the room and took her hand back, placing it back in the crook of his arm.

    “I think we should dance,” he told Valara firmly, and lead her over to the floor where numerous couples were already moving to the music. To her credit Leia just gave him an encouraging smile and a nod before flittering off to engage a tall blonde-haired woman in conversation.

    “I love to dance,” Valara said wistfully as she put her arms around his, and he didn’t feel the need to pry further. They moved slowly to the music, even though its was fast-paced pronk and the couples around them were moving their feet and flailing their arms frantically. The lights dimmed, leaving the room lit only by the blue and green flashing illuminums which swept across the crowd. The darkness made him bold, and Luke held Valara close, his hands splayed gently across her back as they swayed side to side. Although her eyes were vacant and unseeing, she turned her face upwards towards him, and it almost felt as is she could see him, or was looking into him through some unknown power.

    “Have you ever kissed a girl, Skywalker?” she asked him softly.

    Luke was grateful she couldn’t see him blushing. “Not in any way that counted.”

    Valara smiled and bit her lip in the most enticing way Luke had ever seen. He felt a tug in his gut, so different a feeling from when he looked at Leia; it was more immediate, primal and base, and like nothing Luke had ever felt before.

    Gently, Valara’s touch began to skirt his skin, first gliding over the back of his neck, and then up to his face. She traced his features and Luke swallowed heavily, her feather-light touch tickling his sensitive skin as she tried to divine him. Then she gently cupped the sides of his face, drawing him down until her lips met his. Luke’s arms tightened around her, falling into the kiss as if it was his destiny, his eyes fluttering closed until all he could feel was his lips sliding against hers, her arms around his neck and the warmth of her body pressed against his.

    When he reluctantly pulled away Luke was breathless, and he pressed his forehead against Valara’s as happiness flooded through him. He felt her fingers tease the back of his neck, twining in his hair and sending tingles down his spine.

    “Let’s get out of here,” Valara whispered, her hand running down his arm lightly.

    “Alright,” Luke smiled nervously, unsure of what she was suggesting but just as anxious to be rid of an audience. “I’ll take you back to the medward.”

    “No,” Valara shook her head. “I can’t bear to go back there tonight. Take me to your room.”
     
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  24. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2005
    Valara: living the dream. [face_devil]
     
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  25. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2004
    Things are developing quickly...but we shouldn't be surprised when it comes to Luke Skywalker, should we? Hehehe.

    An Inquisitor, hmmm? Does she know Buffy? [face_laugh]
     
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