anghraine: chiaroscuro shot of leia; text: frozen (leia [frozen])
[personal profile] anghraine
...least of all with a teaching job and two grad classes, but there was no way backstory headcanon TFA fic wasn't going to happen.

title: reyes (1/2 or so)
verse: shares some of my old headcanon, but this part is mostly just tiny Ben and his OT3 parents mother, father, and uncle dealing with canonical stuff. Also fluff, mostly, but with references to (canon) genocide.

I. Alderaan

Other people, Ben suspected, assumed that he grew up knowing about Alderaan. Children all over the galaxy did—Alderaanian children most of all.

But he wasn’t Alderaanian. Not really.

Mother didn’t talk about it when he was small. At least, not around him. Probably not around much of anyone. It’d been new then; the whole thing seemed a distant relic of history to him, but when he thought about it, he realized that those early memories would all be within a decade of Alderaan’s destruction. A fresh wound, and Mother was not one to expose her wounds.

(Even after Ben died, he admired her for that.)

So no doubt he’d heard a few bits and pieces about Alderaan, but nothing that stuck—nothing that mattered—until he was perhaps five. Old enough that he could recall it later, but not with much consistency, a few clear, bright bits stitched together by habits of memory. It must have been late, because he’d woken from the usual nightmares and snuck out of bed. He imagined something caught his attention, a murmur of voices or a glimpse of fine robes. At any rate, he crept along the staircases until he reached a balcony overseeing the main hall of his mother’s house.

It was Mother’s house, even when everybody came home. Dad and Uncle Luke were the first to say so.

Peering through the transparisteel layers that ran along the ledges of all the upper floors, he could just see his mother, small and commanding, leading a group of men and women into a chamber beyond his sight.

“Who’s that?” he muttered to himself.

A telltale metal clink gave his watchers away. Ben sighed as only the coddled scion of war heroes could.

“I know you’re there, Threepio.”

“Well, of course I am!” Threepio clattered forward, Artoo rolling behind him. “You know that I am programmed—”

Artoo gave a string of beeps that Ben couldn’t understand, but agreed with, to go by Threepio’s response.

“You should know better than to use that kind of language around Master Ben—and me, too!”

“Who are the people with Mama?” Ben demanded.

“The representatives of Alderaan, of course,” said Threepio. “The arrangements took weeks to prepare and … well, you won’t understand that just yet. I suppose you didn’t hear about it.”

He blinked. “What’s Alderaan?”

Threepio gave a sound very like a gasp. But even Artoo wheeled back with a sharp whistle, lights flashing.

“Why, your family’s home,” said Threepio.

He started to say that their home was here, with Mama, but a yawn broke him off.

Artoo beeped.

“Quite right, Artoo,” Threepio said, setting one metal hand on Ben’s shoulder. “You should get back to sleep, Master Ben. You are much too young to be up this late.”

“I don’t like sleeping.”

But he trudged after the droids nevertheless, and put his not-home out of his mind.

He didn’t think of it again for a year or two afterwards—he thought it must have been that long. By then he’d picked up enough to know that Alderaan was a planet in the Core. It looked pretty in the pictures. He wasn’t entirely sure why the Alderaan people came to his mother instead of the Chancellor, like everyone else did, but the things Ben caught snatches of and didn’t understand could have filled half a dozen Star Destroyers. He cared about very few of them.

There was one thing he did care about, though.

Flying.

All his family loved it. Mother, too; when she wasn’t busy, she would sit down with him and play X-Wing battles, making the same whoosh and zot! sounds as Uncle Luke. Dad mostly just yelled–yeah! and aghhh! I’m hit!

For awhile, those were Ben’s best memories; with Dad and Mother and Uncle Luke all around, nobody fought and his dreams seemed very far away. Even Threepio clinking after him everywhere he went stopped bothering him, and he’d laugh when his ship hit Dad’s, and Uncle Luke and Mother shouted boom!

It was better, though, when they started taking him on the real ships. Mother’s, first, big and comfortable, with its own pilot and everything. It had giant windows that he nearly plastered himself to, staring at the stars and moons and then hyperspace, which was the most amazing thing ever. And there was the time she stole Uncle Luke’s starfighter after shouting at people all day, buckling a startled Ben into the second pilot’s seat.

She was quiet for awhile, but not like when she and Uncle Luke meditated—more like climbing high into the mountains, the air beating against his ears. But after a little while the pressure dissolved, and he could just enjoy the air rushing past and the trees and ocean beneath him. He felt scared more often than he’d ever admit, but not of heights.

“Won’t Uncle Luke be mad?”

He couldn’t see her, but he felt her smile. “Not if he doesn’t know.”

Ben giggled.

Of course Uncle Luke did know—he was waiting for them when they got back.

“Really, Leia?”

Mother just shrugged. “Really.”

Uncle Luke muttered something Ben couldn’t quite understand and she wrinkled her nose, jabbing him in the side. He shoved her back, but didn’t seem angry—they both laughed, and Uncle Luke touched Ben’s shoulder with his metal hand.

“Did you like flying the airspeeder?”

“Yes,” said Ben emphatically.

Mother and Uncle Luke laughed again. Not for the first time, Ben wondered what it would be like to have a sister.

Best of all, though, was the Falcon. It felt more like a real ship than Mother’s, which after the others seemed like a flying palace, but not as cramped as Uncle Luke’s one- or two-person starfighters. You could live in the Falcon.

“Couldn’t you?” he asked his father.

“Sure. I’ve spent half my life in this thing,” said Dad, patting a nearby wall like other people did their pets.

Chewie snapped something out.

“Yeah, yeah, you too. Don’t get your fur in a twist.”

Ben could tell that Chewie wasn’t really mad. Chewie was never mad, really—he even let Ben sit in the co-pilot’s chair and would show him what buttons to push. And Dad would help him pull the lever to go into hyperspace, blue-white lights shrieking past. Ben just stared out the viewscreen, mouth open and eyes wide.

“Chewie’s wondering if you’re trying to catch something,” said Dad.

He snapped his mouth closed. Then he said in tones of reverence, “Flying is the best thing ever.

Dad messed his hair, grinning when Ben pressed it flat and behind his ears. “Yeah, it is.”

“Will I be any good at it?”

“ ’Course you will,” Dad said. “You’re a Skywalker and a Solo. You won’t be able to help being good at it.”

Ben thought about that. He wasn’t named Skywalker or Solo. But Uncle Luke was a Skywalker, and Mother’s brother, and everyone said he was a great pilot, maybe the best in the galaxy. And Dad was amazing. Mother didn’t like Ben watching the HoloNet, but even Threepio pretended not to notice when Dad’s races came on and the Falcon slid right past everyone else.

“Your mother and dad were pilots? And Uncle Luke’s and Mother’s?”

An odd look came over Dad’s face. He glanced over at Ben, then away, then back at him. Finally he gave a short laugh.

“Luke’s father, yeah. Don’t know about their mother.” He shook his head. “And not my folks. Probably the only Corellians alive who couldn’t tell a rear thruster from a hyperdrive.”

“Those are totally different!” said Ben, appalled. Then he frowned at the half-familiar word, turning it over in his mind. “Corellian? That’s what you are?”

Dad nodded, his real smile back on his face. “Me and the Falcon. Two of a kind.”

“I don’t understand,” Ben said, trying to figure it out and failing. “I thought we were from Alderaan.”

“Alderaan!” Now Dad wasn’t even fake-smiling, just staring at Ben like he’d grown a third eyebrow, his own furrowed. Right then, Chewie seemed to remember something else he had to do and marched out. The door slid shut behind him—quietly, but it felt loud. “Who told you that?”

“Threepio.”

“Threepio,” Dad repeated.

Ben eyed him, worried. “Sorry. I can ask Mother.”

“No!” Dad turned so fast that his elbow hit the edge of the control panel. “Shit.” He pointed his finger at Ben. “I didn’t say that.”

“Okay,” said Ben agreeably.

Dad leaned back in his chair, rubbing one hand over his chin. “Alderaan’s … I’m not the one who should be talking to you about this. I don’t … aw, hell.” He gave Ben a sharp glance. “You didn’t hear that, either.”

Suddenly Ben had an idea. “Oh, I’m being stupid. You’re not from the same place as Mother and Uncle Luke, right?”

“No,” said Dad. “Well, yes. I mean—”

“Don’t worry, Dad. I’ll just ask Uncle Luke.”

His father folded his arms over his chest, mouth twisted to the side. Finally, he let out a quick, heavy breath. “Nah. He’d probably do a better job of this, but—no. What do you know about Alderaan, kid?”

“It’s pretty,” Ben said. “I like the mountains.”

“Okay.” Almost like he was nervous, Dad moved his arms again, behind his head. “This is fine. Right. The thing is, Ben, it’s—it’s not there any more.”

Ben tried to figure that one out, and succeeded no better than he had the first time. “Not … there?”

“No. And—look, I’m doing this completely wrong. And Threepio was wrong. It’s not … Leia was … your … ugh. Okay, Luke and Leia didn’t grow up together, see? When they were born, things were pretty messed-up. Your grandmother died and her friends decided that Luke and Leia would be safer if they lived on different planets. So one of them, a nice man from Alderaan, took your mother. And old Ben Kenobi took Luke.”

“Ben!” said Ben delightedly. “Like me?”

His father’s face relaxed, a little. “Yeah. He was a good friend to your mother’s family—both her families. He took Luke to his father’s people, and watched over him all the time he was growing up. Not much of a life, to be honest. The Skywalkers came from a miserable sort of place. But Organa gave Leia a good life on Alderaan, raised her like his own.”

Organa.
That was his name, too.

“So that’s what Threepio meant,” Ben said. “Mother’s home is Alderaan, not ours.”

“Was,” said Dad. “It got … sorry, kid, there’s not an easy way to explain it. Better to hear it this way, though. The whole thing got blown to smithereens awhile back.”

Ben’s eyes rounded. “The planet?

“Yeah. Long story, there.” Dad straightened up. “And one for another day. All you need to know is that your mother saw it happen. It’s hard for her to say anything about it, even think about. That’s why I didn’t want you asking her. She’ll talk when she’s ready.”

A whole planet, blown up. Ben couldn’t imagine it. Awful, he thought, and tried to ignore the part of him that thought it sounded pretty impressive, too. He remembered the pictures in the holos—all gone, just like that.

It doesn’t matter. They probably deserved it.


Ben shook his head. It’d be … millions and millions of people. And Mother saw that? Those people who came to see her, too. Who were they? Nobody could have lived. People who just hadn’t happened to be home?

“Oh,” he said in a small voice.

It wasn’t his home. He’d never seen it, no more than Uncle Luke off on that nasty place where he’d grown up. They could never see it now.

Ben looked at his father. “Dad, does that make me Alderaan—Alderaanish? Or Corellian, like you? Or whatever Uncle Luke is?”

“Alderaanian on paper,” Dad said. He flicked Ben’s cheek. “But that’s up to you. And it’s not important in the long run, anyway. You can be anything you want. Doesn’t matter what you came from.”

He pulled the hyperdrive lever and the Falcon squealed into space.
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anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)
anghraine

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