Title: Sand and Suns Summary: Ben’s life as an adult—supposing he continued to deny the Force. Author Note: This viggie is a response to the April challenge found here: [link=http://boards.theforce.net/fan_fiction_resource/b10304/22850448/p1/?1048]Legacy Child[/link]. The words sobriquet, scion, aberrant and felicity must be included. Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to George Lucas, not me. Sand and Suns “It’s aberrant, this life you’ve chosen for yourself,” Mara Jade-Skywalker commented to her oldest child. Twenty-two year-old Ben Skywalker turned to face his mother. His hair, which once was redder than anything, was now a sandy blonde, having been bleached by his time spent under the harsh Tatooine suns. “It suits me,” he said softly. “I grew tired of being known as the scion of the Skywalker dynasty. I didn’t want a dynasty, just a life; a normal life.” Mara moved closer to her son; a son she’d not seen in three years. “You didn’t have to come all the way out to Tatooine.” Ben scoffed. “Of course I did, Mother. Out here they leave me alone. Out here I don’t have to be a Jedi, or the son of Luke Skywalker. Out here I can just…be.” “Your sister misses you,” Mara told him. A rare smile crossed Ben’s tanned face. “How is Peaches?” he asked, using the sobriquet he’d used for his sister from nearly the moment she’d been born. If there was a regret he had in leaving his family behind, it was leaving Sylara. “She’s well,” his mother told him. “She misses you, naturally.” “I miss her as well,” he said with a nod as he turned away from Mara. “Then come home,” Mara pleaded with her son. “Stop denying who and what you are, Ben.” Ben whirled to face her once again, his blue eyes blazing in a familiar Skywalker haze of anger. “I deny nothing, Mother!” he yelled. Ben gestured to the vast sea of sand that spread out before them for many kilometers. “These sands are who and what I am, Mother. These sands hold the blood, sweat and tears of this family. To be a Skywalker is to belong here, on this world. The ground is solid here and it doesn’t let my feet sink further down as I walk like they did on Coruscant. There is no pressure here to be anything other than who I am; just a man.” Mara’s own eyes darkened. “And the sheer felicity you had as a child with your father and I and Sylara, does that exist for you here?” she demanded angrily. Ben shook his head. “Not in the same way, Mother, but yes, I feel it here as well. I feel at home here, more so than I ever did on Coruscant or Yavin or any of the other hundred places we visited when I was a child.” “Why?” Mara finally asked, her voice sounding tired and full of sadness. Ben moved to stand directly next to his mother. He placed his arm gently around her shoulders in a comforting gesture. “Sometimes I wonder that myself,” he began. “I just know that being here is where I need to be, at least for now. It feels…right. I think Dad and Grandfather took their name to seriously; Skywalker. They wanted to walk the skies. All I want is to keep my feet planted firmly on solid ground. I thought coming to Tatooine was a bit like coming home.” Mara leaned into her son’s strong form and rested her head on his shoulder. “Well, I don’t suppose I can argue that. These sands do seem to call to you Skywalkers.” “Like I said, these sands have our blood, sweat and tears, our history in their small grains,” he said to her. “We would be nothing without these sands and the twin suns. This planet is who I am, who Grandfather was and who Dad is…whether he still remembers it or not.” “I remember, Son,” said Luke Skywalker from his spot behind his wife and son. Mara had felt him approach, but Ben had not. His disuse of the Force remained a constant, even when everything else in his life had changed. Mara took the moment as Luke approached to kiss Ben’s cheek before going inside Ben’s home, leaving father and son alone. Together, and without a word being said, Ben and Luke Skywalker stood together and watched the twin suns of their home fall slowly below the horizon. Silence prevailed as the two simply enjoyed the moment. As the last rays of sunlight dissipated, father and son moved towards the sunken home behind them. Sand swirled as they walked. Their feet remained on solid ground.