Saga - PT The Best Way to a Man's Heart (Beru/Owen Oneshot for Monday Mush Challenge)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by devilinthedetails, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: The Best Way to a Man's Heart

    Author: devilinthedetails

    Timeframe: Saga-PT. Set between TPM and AOTC.

    Characters: Beru Whitesun, Owen Lars, Cliegg Lars, and Shmi Skywalker

    Genre: Romance, Family, Mush, and General

    Summary: Beru meets Cliegg and Shmi.

    Author's Note: Written for Monday Mush Challenge #6-Meet the Family.

    The Best Way to a Man's Heart

    Beru shaded her eyes with a cupped palm and kept them fixed on the arid landscape that surrounded her family’s moisture farm for kilometers. She was watching for the first signs of Owen’s approaching speeder bike even though she didn’t need to do so. The emptiness of Tatooine’s sand dunes meant that she would notice an incoming speeder bike long before it arrived on the Whitesun homestead even if she wasn’t looking for it. She just liked that first thrill of spotting a black blob on the horizon, knowing it was Owen coming to fetch her, and beholding every stage of his transition into a recognizable figure touching down outside her family’s home.

    As if her thoughts had summoned him, she glimpsed a dark blur in front of Tatooine’s twin suns. Her cheeks burned in a way that had nothing to do with the scorching rays of the suns as Owen’s form–attached to the speeder bike he had saved a season’s worth of the money his father paid him for helping with the harvest to purchase with spine-straightening pride in Mos Eisley–came into view. By the time he landed in the small sandstorm his speeder bike created, she was beaming like a sun herself.

    “Hop on.” Owen, never one to waste time with affectionate greetings, patted the seat behind him.

    Beru checked that the handle of insulating durasteel container in which she was keeping a fresh batch of her blue milk cheese cool was secured around her elbow before climbing onto the speeder bike behind Owen. Wrapping her arms about Owen’s waist to ensure that she remained aboard the speeder bike while it was in flight, she pressed her cheek against the rough cloth covering Owen’s board shoulder and thought that this closeness to her boyfriend was what she loved most about sharing his speeder bike with him.

    Unfortunately, the time she had taken to confirm that the durasteel container was secured about her elbow had given her family a chance to shout their farewell taunts and admonitions.

    “Ooh, off with your boyfriend, Beru!” chirped her little Dama, who was still at the age where she would scream and swipe away the slime of any kiss a boy dared to plant on her cheek.

    “Gross!” her younger brother Haro added, sticking out his tongue.

    “Your tongue will get stuck like that if you don’t watch out.” Beru waggled her finger at Haro, who ignored her.

    “Be back before sunset!” Her mother, hunched over a vaporator to collect mushrooms, stood up to call before Owen could swoop away from the homestead. “That’s when the Tusken Raiders come out to prey on helpless settlers.”

    “Yes, Mom!” Beru raised her voice so her assent could be heard by her mother even if she believed she was too old to need reminding of the perils vicious Tusken Raiders posed to the hapless settlers they delighted in torturing and slaughtering.

    “Make sure my daughter gets home safely.” Beru’s father twisted away from calibrating a vaporator long enough to stare sternly at Owen as the speeder bike took off, stirring up another small sandstorm. “Don’t crash that thing with her on it!”

    “I’d never be so careless,” Owen promised as he sped away from the farm and Beru’s pestering family.

    “Dad embarrasses me so.” Beru shook her head, cheek scratching against the rough fabric of Owen’s tunic.

    “He just wants to protect you.” Owen emitted a sound that hovered between a grunt and a laugh, a noise only she would understand indicated amusement. “He doesn’t want me getting you killed! He thinks I’m a dangerous risk-taker because I ride a speeder bike!”

    The idea of reliable, staid Owen being anyone’s notion of a risk-taker was so ridiculous that Beru couldn’t stifle a giggle. She wanted to shout a teasing comment back at Owen, but she knew that the wind would just blow away the words the screaming engine didn’t swallow. Instead she reveled in the wind rippling through the braids coiled atop her head and slapping life into her cheeks. She never felt so alive and so free as when she rode behind Owen on his speeder bike. Everything moved so fast on a speeder bike that even Tatooine’s stark landscape became somehow beautiful in its sharpness, and with the wind on her face, the sun reflected off the endless sand somehow became pleasingly warm rather than mercilessly hot.

    All too soon, the freedom of the speeder bike ride ended as Owen guided the vehicle to a landing outside the Lars homestead. Beru, who had never visited her boyfriend’s farm before, politely murmured her admiration of the fairly standard construction of the domed buildings that comprised the Lars homestead, hoping that the compliments would mask how nervous she felt at meeting his father and the stepmother he considered a mother.

    “What’s wrong?” Owen’s forehead furrowed as if he sensed the anxiety behind her pleasantries.

    “What if your family doesn’t care for me?” Beru bit her lip.

    “Then I shall tell them exactly how wrong they are and how little their opinions matter to me compared to you.” Owen slipped an arm around her waist and tugged her to his chest, brushing a kiss over the coils of her hair.

    “So this is the girl who has stolen my son’s heart and dragged him away from his work on countless occasions?” A man who looked like an older version of Owen stepped out into the sunlight with this gruff greeting.

    As Beru gazed at the man her boyfriend would become in the future, a second, more feminine figure followed him, scolding, “That’s no way to welcome a guest to our homestead, Cliegg.”

    “Right you are, my dear.” Cliegg accepted the admonishment with a crooked smile. “I’m Cliegg, and this is my better half, Shmi Skywalker.”

    “Pleasure to meet you both.” Beru hoped Cliegg and Shmi wouldn’t feel the blood pounding in her veins as she shook each of their hands in turn. “I’m Beru Whitesun.”

    “No need to introduce yourself.” Shmi’s smile soothed Beru’s racing heart. “We’ve heard so much about you from Owen that we feel as if we know you even though we’ve just met. That’s why Cliegg has already forgotten his manners with you. Do come inside.”

    Shmi steered them out of the sun into a domed dining room, where Beru praised the pattern painted onto the ceiling.

    Shmi poured glasses of refreshingly cold juma juice for each of them and overrode Beru’s offer of assistance with a firm insistence that she was a guest who must be waited upon, but didn’t refuse the blue milk cheese Beru placed on the table.

    “This is the best blue milk cheese I’ve ever tasted.” Cliegg whistled his approval of the slice of cheese he had just eaten. Eyes twinkling at Shmi, he went on, “No insult to my dear wife intended, of course.”

    “None taken.” Shmi spoke between bites of her own slice of cheese. “This is the best blue milk cheese I’ve ever tasted as well.”

    “Must have been the blue milk cheese that stole my son’s heart.” Cliegg claimed a second slice of cheese, which he chomped into with enthusiasm. “Certainly could steal any man’s since we all know the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    rktho, AzureAngel2, Ewok Poet and 4 others like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    :D :D I ADORE the image of a young Owen and Beru speeding across Tatooine literally on a speeder bike. [face_laugh] I BET Luke doesn't know his so proper Uncle was a lover of FAST cars [face_mischief] ... Shmi and Cliegg are warmly welcoming although Shmi has to remind Cliegg of his manners.
  3. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you again for your lovely supportive comments:D I had a big grin on my face as I wrote about a young Owen and Beru speeding across the deserts of Tatooine on Owen's speeder bike. Just that level of youthful freedom in them was fun to write so it makes me so happy you adored that bit as well.

    I definitely don't think Luke knows how fast his proper, strict uncle used to like to speed. [face_laugh] His uncle might have more in common with him than he thinks, ha ha...

    I really wanted to capture how warm and welcoming Shmi and Cliegg could be to Beru since I liked how the AOTC novelization portrayed them interacting before Shmi was kidnapped. I totally picture Cliegg as someone who might occasionally need reminding of his manners by Shmi, but that's part of what makes them a good couple in my mind. :) So it makes me so pleased that you could pick out those parts to their characterizations and they worked for you so well!
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Another sweet Beru/Owen piece! [face_love] Oh, what lovely fun to see sweet Beru and stolid Owen so young and smitten with each other, and so recognizably themselves at the same time! I know that the main “meet the parents” here is with Beru first meeting Cliegg and Shmi, and I have to say I love the idea of her meeting Shmi—I already see how kind and caring she is toward Beru here. (And Cliegg is too, really!) But it was also fun bonus for us readers to get to meet Beru’s own family, too, from her worried mom to her teasy little siblings. Two wonderful “meet the families” in one, both centered around a beautiful couple you write so well—thank you so much for sharing! =D=
  5. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Findswoman As always, thank you so much for your kind and detailed comments! [:D] I really enjoy being able to write Beru/Owen pieces like this since they can be a great couple to use to explore what daily life is like in a galaxy far, far away so I'm so glad you enjoyed this story about them.

    I do love writing about Beru and Owen since I find her sweetness a great complement to Owen's stolid nature. With this story in particular, it was fun to have a look at this couple when they were young, smitten, and perhaps a bit wilder.

    It warmed my heart to write about Beru meeting Shmi and being warmly welcomed by her. I also agree that Cliegg is welcoming in his sort of gruff way. [face_laugh]

    It was awesome for me to be able to delve into Beru's family, and it is wonderful to hear that you as a reader appreciated those glimpses into her home and family life. I had so much fun writing her worried mom in contrast to her teasing little siblings (because that's what siblings are for--teasing). You're right this story did turn into a chance to meet two families. That's kind of cool even though I didn't appreciate that at the time I was writing it. Sometimes I'm smarter than I know apparently;)
    AzureAngel2, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  6. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    What a lovely look at Beru meeting Cliegg and Shmi! Love the glimpse at her family too.

    [face_love] Great image of Owen and Beru just being young and in love and free. And your description of the landscape and the warmth is gorgeous. Great work!
  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @amidalachick Thank you so much for commenting!:) I'm so glad you found this to be a lovely look at Beru meeting Cliegg and Shmi for the first time and that you enjoyed the glimpse at her family as well. This was definitely a fun, cute story for me to write.

    I loved the mental image of Owen and Beru being young, free, and in love, so I'm happy to hear that shone through for you, and that you liked the description of the landscape and warmth.

    Thank you again for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!
  8. afterlight

    afterlight Jedi Master star 3

    Nov 4, 2019
    This actually gave me butterflies. I remember that feeling so well.

    This is an unexpected side of Owen, but I totally buy it. I felt like I walked away from this fic with a more rounded idea of Owen as a person whose history amounts to something more than "Luke's scolding guardian."

    Aww. [face_love]

    I remember this feeling well, too. I could really feel her anxiety here.

    This is an amazing turn of phrase, and so true to life.

    Aww. Shmi's such a good person. It's nice to see her happy here -- I so often think of her as grieving that it's easy to forget that she must have had some better years.

    I love how real Cliegg feels here -- it was so easy to visualize his words and gestures and imagine his outlook and sense of humor. This is a phenomenal fic and you should be proud of it.
  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @afterlight Thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed comment!:D I'm so flattered that my description of Beru watching Owen come to pick her up gave you butterflies. I really wanted to capture that feeling of anticipation for the simple joy of a loved one's presence so it makes me so happy that worked for you.

    I enjoyed being able to explore a different side of a younger Owen here while still trying to keep some of the traits that he has as Luke's stern, lecturing guardian, so it's awesome to hear that you appreciated seeing this different side of a younger Owen delved into in this story.

    The exchange between Beru's father and Owen warmed my heart to write it, and I'm happy that it warmed yours as a reader as well.

    I definitely wanted to try to convey the nervousness that Beru feels about meeting Owen's family for the first time since that can be one of the hardest things to do in a relationship but it can also become one of the most rewarding as Beru discovers as long as the family is accepting and open-hearted as Shmi and Cliegg prove to be to Beru.

    Thank you so much. I honestly agonized over the phrasing of that and spent so much time trying to get it right, so it makes me so happy to know you felt I pulled it off.

    I very much wanted to showcase Shmi's welcoming side in this story and to give a glimpse into the happier times I like to imagine that she had with Cliegg, Owen, and Beru before being kidnapped by the Tusken Raiders. She had a very hard life with so much sorrow but I like to imagine that she did have some good, happy years as well even though I know she must have missed Anakin terribly.

    Cliegg didn't get that long an appearance in this story, so I did want to try to make him feel as real as possible, so it's wonderful to know you felt you could visualize his gestures and imagine his outlook and sense of humor.

    Thank you again for your kind words, and I'm so flattered you found this fic phenomenal!:D
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    OK...this is brilliant. From the title, I expected them to sit down somewhere, eat food and watch the twin sunset, instead of that it turned out to be a short multiple character analysis that just happens to be upbeat. :) An awesome insight into what characters forced to deal with a handful of enormous traumas and hardships within roughly three years, a mere moment in the bigger picture, used to be before all that happened to them!

    Imagining Beru coming from a big family gives her an immediate connection with those who were not fortunate enough like her. Of course that a widower and a woman who had such a rough life as a slave would be immediately enamoured of her. It's the kind of warmth that matches the theirs, the missing piece. And, in return, they can cut her some slack as she is clearly not the oldest child meant to be responsible etc etc etc. She is THE girlfriend.

    This reckless young Owen who would do anything to charm and kind of shock his girlfriend is a stark contrast to the man who later scolds Luke for some of the same things he liked in his youth - fast speeders, in this case. Hilarious.

    Schmi's caring for Cliegg is adorable. And Cliegg seeing everything in a simplistic manner. He seemed to give off a somewhat rough vibe in AoTC and I can totally imagine him like this.

    I have no idea what else I am about to encounter reading your stuff, I became curious when I saw that you wrote these two particular pairings, but if Dama is going to be featured in anything...I would love to see a boy's attempt to woo her and experience some misfortune. Or two boys fighting over her while she is still in this "ewwww, boys" phase. [face_laugh]

    LMAO! [face_rofl][face_rofl][face_rofl] Younglings are magnificent, aren't they?

    Also this bit...

    Like...yeah, you can crash it when you're on your own, who cares?! AHAHAHAHA. I have a feeling that Owen dining at Beru's family home would not go as smoothly. Many things here imply that it would be trouble. Hilarious trouble, though.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Most of the time it's worthwhile following the trail of @Ewok Poet, because she finds the best stories around here.

    I cannot believe that I forgot to comment on this one. But during my lunch break I am not locked in most of the time. And sometimes I simply forget to come back when I am at home. Please forgive me!

    I love the way how Owen & his sweetheart came together. A good foundation like that helps to master any (sand) storm. [face_love]
  12. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Ewok Poet Thank you so much for reading and commenting!:) I'm so flattered that you found this story a brilliant multiple character analysis because I very much enjoyed exploring the different characters of Beru, Owen, Cliegg, and Shmi in this and how they all might have related to each other. It was very interesting for me to look at these characters before the trauma and the disaster of Shmi's abduction and death struck in AOTC. The era of the calm before the storm in a way.

    I'm so glad that you like the idea of Beru coming from a big family and that giving her the sort of natural warmth that makes her immediately connect with Shmi and Cliegg. I think coming from a larger family Beru would definitely empathize with those who had to create a small family from being a widower like Cliegg or being a former slave like Shmi, and you are right that I think it would be a real treat for her to be seen as the girlfriend rather than the oldest child who is expected to be responsible all the time, which can absolutely come to feel like a burden.

    Writing a young Owen who is very reckless and in love with his fast speeders and generally doing all the things he will later scold Luke not to do really amused me so I'm pleased to hear you found it amusing as well. This young Owen who wants to shock and charm his girlfriend is a joy to write and gave me the chance to really flesh out Owen beyond his stern ANH self. To look at who he might have been in his youth.

    Shmi caring for Cliegg did really warm my heart to write, and I really wanted to showcase how Cliegg sees everything in a very simplistic light so it's wonderful to know that came through for you. From AOTC, I got the impression that he had a bit of a rough and gruff vibe like you describe, but that he also had a good heart under all that gruffness, so I wanted to try to capture those qualities in writing him.

    I haven't written anything else with Beru's family in it so far, but perhaps I will in the future. It would indeed be funny to have boys try to woo Dama and experience some misfortune as you suggest[face_laugh]

    Younglings are always good for a laugh, and it was nice to be able to write about Beru's little siblings. They definitely put a smile on my face as I was writing.

    And I think you're totally write that Owen dining at Beru's would not go as smoothly. I think it would be a hilarious disaster. Maybe I should write about that hilarious disaster some day when I want to be cruel to Owen and Beru[face_devil]Because I think that could be untapped comic gold.

    Thank you so much for your kind and detailed comments, and thank you again for reading. So glad you enjoyed it:)

    @AzureAngel2 Thank you so much for commenting:)No worries about forgetting to comment. I definitely do that sometimes myself! I read a great story, want to comment on it, don't have the time, and then forget to come back later and leave a comment. So I totally know that feeling!

    I'm so glad you liked this glimpse into young Owen's relationship with Beru and I absolutely agree that a good foundation helps master any sandstorm and mastering sandstorms is so important on Tatooine especially[face_love]
  13. rktho

    rktho Jedi Knight star 1

    Apr 29, 2020
    A heartwarming story indeed! I really like your characterization of Owen. Even in his youth, he is clearly straight-laced and prudent, but he's not by any means uptight and enjoys a good ride, which is some excellent characterization because really, what is he going to do with that speeder? There's nothing but flat sand for miles. If he wanted to crash it, he'd have to go out of his way to look for something to crash into. All the fun of being reckless without nearly as much risk as there appears on the surface, especially in Owen's careful hands. I can see why Beru would be amused by her father's reservations.
  14. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @rktho Thank you so much for commenting!:) I'm so glad that you found this to be a heartwarming story because that's exciting what I was hoping to write. It also makes me so happy that you really liked my characterization of Owen because it was interesting to imagine what he might have been like as a young man before he becomes Luke's stern uncle Owen. All the fun of being reckless without nearly as much risk as it seems on the surface especially in Owen's careful hands is a great way to describe Owen and his speeder bike indeed. And I had great fun writing Beru's amusement about her father's reservations[face_laugh]
    rktho likes this.