anghraine: luke and leia watching a giant spiral galaxy in esb; text: the skywalker twins (luke and leia [the skywalker twins])
[personal profile] anghraine

title: reyes (2/??, haha I thought it'd be out of two I never learn)
verse: general headcanon; at this point I think it's strictly compliant with *squints* Distaff Lines + Ends of Smoky Days, Proper Names and mother tongue; up the waterspout; too late to go back to sleep; the first day and still the stars find their way; Reasonable Sacrifice; and Jedi Knight (anonymous review) + Reflections on the Vader Question. (tbh I thought there would be like three of these and progressively realized I've accumulated a little universe.)

II. Corellia

Ben was royalty, or something like it.

Because of Mother, he thought—no, that didn’t seem right. He was standing tall, shoulders square and strong beneath his metal pauldrons, and he could feel his cloak fluttering to the floor. Feel? Well, he could tell, anyway.

“We have detained the suspects, my lord. The senator appears to have been on a mercy mission,” said a man in a grey uniform. Like Mother’s and her friends’, but not … again, his mind recoiled.

Somewhere further than Ben could see—detect—a door whooshed open and closed. He could just make out voices: one a soldier’s, flat and toneless, the other female. The latter caught his interest. He knew her voice, a knowing that wrenched at him three ways, four, felt like it might tear him apart: but he couldn’t place it.

Then another officer was there, in front of him, tugging a small woman in a hooded robe after him.

Ben’s sigh reverberated throughout his entire chest. He knew exactly who she was.

At the same time, he didn’t know at all, and gazed at her curiously through reddish … goggles? It must be goggles.

The woman lifted one hand to pull her hood back, lifting her chin high.


“Senator Organa,” Ben heard himself say, a little surprised, a little irritated. Nothing more.

It wasn’t right. It wasn’t right. She looked young and angry, neither the strict but kindly parent nor the bossy general. And a senator—she didn’t like senators. But she was his mother. He’d know her anywhere.

Mother, he tried to say, and instead woke screaming and furious.

“Master Ben?”

Something hard, metallic touched his wrist. Ben kicked out, jerking himself backwards and upright.

“Master Ben! It is I, C-3PO! What—mmph—I can’t, Artoo, my programming does not permit me—please, Master Ben, stop that racket, you’re hurting yourself more than you are me—does not permit me to strike the young of any species. You know that!”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. He felt it in his bones. He swung his fist as hard as he could, too enraged to really feel a sharp metal edge catching on the skin of his arm.

“What could possibly have gotten into him? Oh!”

Something burned along his leg.

“No, Artoo! Put that away, you can’t—do something useful, will you? I don’t know! Get the princess!”

“SHE’S! NOT! A! PRINCESS!” He punctuated each word with an even harder kick, smacking his fists against the impenetrable plate armour. “Get away from me!”

He didn’t even hear his door slide open. But his mother’s voice cut through both the hubbub and the haze in his head.

“Ben Organa, what do you think you’re doing?”

Ben froze. As she stalked across his room towards his bedside, something in him shuddered from her. He pressed himself against the headboard of his bed, as far back as he could, his heart a cold, clenching weight in his chest. Ben’s breath came in quickening pants as she grew closer, her face all the grimmer for her old robe and floppy dark braid. He’d never been afraid of his mother, not ever, but in that moment, he shrank from her. He hadn’t fully considered what she was.

Ben shook his head. Of course he had. She was Mother.

“Come away from him, Threepio,” she said sharply, and stalked over to the edge of the bed. These days she was barely taller than Ben, but standing over him in the shadowed room, she towered. He twisted his blankets between his fingers.

Then she sat on his bed, right next to him. Part of him cringed again, but only a small part. The rest of him mostly wanted a hug. If he’d still been a little boy, he would have thrown himself into her arms and started crying.

“What’s gotten into you lately?” she said at last.

He just shook his head.

“Is it your father being gone so long?”

“It’s just a trip,” muttered Ben. “He’ll be back soon.”

He’d promised. Mother and Dad had shouted at each other over some kind of job and he’d stormed out to the Falcon, but an hour later he’d called Ben to tell him that it was okay and he’d be home in a couple of weeks, it was only that he had to meet a friend on business in the Outer Rim.

“That’s right,” Mother told him. Her fingers caught under his chin, and he finally let himself meet her gaze, now that he couldn’t help it. She didn’t look scary any more: just Mother, with her big eyes and strong bones, stern but warm. “If it’s not Dad, then what is it?”

Artoo gave a long whistle-beep he couldn’t follow.

“R2-D2 is of the opinion that Master Ben was hallucinating some disturbing incident,” said Threepio.

Mother’s mouth curved slightly. “It’s called a dream. That’s normal.”

“Artoo doesn’t think so, General.”

She laughed under her breath. “Artoo doesn’t know everything—” However, turning back to Ben, her brows drew together. “Did you have one of your nightmares, Ben?”

He nodded. Then, thinking about it, he shook his head. Nothing really bad had happened. It’d been more … strange than anything else. But he’d felt— He nodded, shivering.

“All right.” Mother shivered, too. “Who left your window open? I know you like the fresh air, but it’s too cold this time of year.”

“The window is closed, ma’am,” said Threepio. Artoo gave a string of beeps. “Artoo says the temperature in this room is precisely the same as the rest of the dwelling.”

“Then he’s wrong,” Ben started to say. It was warming up, but a chill still lay over his skin. He wrapped his blankets more closely around himself.

An odd look crossed Mother’s face. She held up her hand, silencing all of them, and slowly got to her feet. Fingers still raised, she glanced all about the room, at once distant and very alert. Ben couldn’t tell what she was trying to find; nothing had changed since he went to sleep. But he felt sure she was searching for something.

When she sat down again, he knew she’d found it.

“Get me my com-link,” she told Threepio, and caught Ben’s face between her hands. “Sweetheart, tell me about your dream.”

“The whole thing? It wasn’t very interesting, until the end,” said Ben.

“All of it,” said Mother.

After he was done, her hands trembled against his face. But her face stayed steady and by then he didn’t feel cold any more.

“Ben,” she said, voice low. It seemed like she couldn’t think of anything else to say.

He blinked up at her. “I told you it was boring.”

The whole thing seemed far away now, as if it had all happened last week on Chandrila to people they slightly knew. But Mother suddenly took him in her arms, so tightly that her fingers pinched his skin.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered against his forehead. “Oh, Ben. I’m so sorry.”

He spat out some of her hair. “You didn’t do anything. It’s okay now, really.”

Mother’s grip only slightly loosened. But she said in her most General Organa voice, “Threepio, the comlink!”

“Right away, General.”

“You’re not going to call Dad?”

“No,” said Mother. When Threepio came back with the comlink, everyone stared at her. She ignored them all, one arm still around Ben, and punched in a code with her thumb. “Luke, get up.”

Uncle Luke’s voice, as sleepy as Ben was starting to feel again, grumbled out of the com. “Leia, it’s—”

“I don’t care,” she said. “You need to come home. It’s Ben.”

Ben shouted into the comlink, “I’m fine!”

Now,” said Mother.

Ben was embarrassed and annoyed by all the fuss over a bad dream that hadn’t even been that bad. Still, he found himself relaxing when Mother told him to shove over and crawled into his bed.

“It’s too crowded,” he said. He had his pride.

“You’ll live,” she told him, and pretended to go to sleep.

He knew she wasn’t really—she lay so stiff next to him, she might have been frozen in carbonite like Dad. But people didn’t win arguments with Mother, and he was too worn-out anyway. He fell asleep immediately, well before Uncle Luke arrived.

He woke alone in his bed, though the spot beside him still felt warm. And then he heard a low voice say,

“You’re sure it’s not just a vision? Like yours of Mother?”

Uncle Luke, Ben thought vaguely, still half-asleep.

“Yes!” Mother said. “It was the Dark Side, Luke. I could feel it, just like in Theed. You tell him to stay away from my son.”

“It’s not him,” said Uncle Luke.

“It was. I know you don’t want—”

“Believe me, Leia, I know what his presence feels like, and there isn’t a shred of the Dark Side left in it. He can’t go near it, none of them can. It’s why Ben couldn’t help me in Cloud City.”

At the sound of his name, Ben stirred fully awake. He tried to lay still and pretend he still slept, but it was no good. They both turned around.

“You can open your eyes,” said Uncle Luke, amused.

Ben did, and sat up. “I didn’t mean to listen, I just—”

Mother lifted her brows. “Mm-hmm.”

He flushed, choosing instead to turn towards his uncle. To his immense relief, Uncle Luke looked very much the same as ever, dressed in black with his hair falling into his face, just like Mother’s did when she forget to pin it up. Irritably, he pushed it out of his eyes, his ready smile already touching his mouth. He never changed. But Ben couldn’t stop feeling that one day Uncle Luke would come back different.

Ben was eight the year his uncle left. Of course, Uncle Luke always came and went on Jedi stuff, like Dad. Not that Dad did Jedi stuff. But things. And it wasn’t like Uncle Luke stayed away all the time, or even that much of the time. Enough, though. Enough that he started to seem more a welcome guest than really at home.

Mother didn’t like it.

“Luke’s always had itchy feet,” said Dad. “Gotta cut the apron strings some time, Leia. You’re his sister, not his mother.”

“I know that,” she said crossly. But she still didn’t like it.

One day not long afterwards, Uncle Luke showed up with presents for everyone and barely concealed excitement.

“Luke!” Mother cried, and rushed over to hug him.

He must have been excited; he wasn’t a tall man, but his returning embrace swung her feet clear off the ground.

“I found it!” he burst out, almost babbling into her hair. “There’s some damage, but it looks like they didn’t bother destroying the place itself, it didn’t mean the same here—”

Ben’s father made his way over to them as Uncle Luke set Mother back on her feet. Dad clapped him on the shoulder. “Slow down, kid. You can take your time over dinner.”

“Right, right.” Uncle Luke took a deep breath and let it out. Then he went straight over to Ben, who was impatiently swinging his legs back and forth. “Taller already, hm?”

“I can’t help it,” Ben said, sullen.

Uncle Luke snapped his fingers. “Then we’ll have to figure that in when we put your landspeeder together, won’t we?”

“My what?” Ben, leaping to his feet, tried to peer past him, but it was past twilight—dark even in Coronet.

“You’ll see tomorrow.” Uncle Luke’s stomach growled, loud enough for everyone to hear.

Mother and Dad both snickered. He just wrinkled his nose.

“Did somebody say something about dinner?”

Ben was hungry too, so he regretfully turned and followed his family to the dining room. It wasn’t much like the other gaping rooms in the house, where Mother sometimes met with other generals or important people. Here the family sat around a table that could not have seated beyond two or three more of them, the ceiling low enough for Chewie to brush his head when he was there. Most of the rooms in this wing were like that; Mother, he vaguely remembered, had insisted that she’d have a place to call hers in her own house.

“So, Luke,” Dad said, passing a plate of bread around, “where’d you find it?”

“About a hundred miles off. Not the main temple, I don’t think, but that’s probably for the best.” Uncle Luke snatched up a roll. “Here, Ben, do you want any? Okay, get your mother one.”

Ben frowned at the plate, trying to fit the shape of his thoughts exactly around one of the rolls like Uncle Luke and Mother had told him. It only took a moment to grasp it and direct it neatly onto Mother’s plate.

Dad was uncomfortable, Ben could tell, though he didn’t say anything. But he always was, when it came to the Force. And Mother smiled.

“You’re doing great,” said Uncle Luke. “I was still figuring out that one right before you were born. Just ask Threepio.”

“I try not to ask Threepio things,” Ben said honestly.

They all laughed, Dad most of all.

“You and me both.”

“Are you going to be able to make anything of it?” Mother asked Uncle Luke, a thin line between her brows.

“I think so. Like I said, the temple’s in pretty good shape, really. It’ll need some repairs, but most of the damage is superficial. Scoring and the like. The worst is really the records. Obviously just about all of those were destroyed, but they didn’t take as much care out here. There’s some stuff left. Procedures and the like. We’ll see what I can pick up.”

“I’ve heard that Corellian Jedi weren’t exactly orthodox,” said Dad.

Uncle Luke gulped down his water. “Neither am I.”

Despite the landspeeder material just outside, Ben felt calmer than he had in months. “What’s orthodox?”

“Following the rules,” Mother said.

Dad winked at him. “You come from lines of proud lawbreakers, kid.”

Well—him, sure. Ben looked doubtfully at Mother and Uncle Luke.

She sliced the roll in her precise way. “It depends on the law. Luke, will you need help with the repairs? I can arrange it.”

“Maybe. They’d need to understand the … circumstances,” said Uncle Luke, frowning a little. Clear as life, Ben saw a door open into a long, narrow room beneath a ceiling arching high above them. Robes lay haphazardly over the floor from one end of the room to the other. Somebody must have left them in a hurry, because they weren’t neat, any of them, just crumpled up, faded, fraying apart. Then a boot nudged the nearest robe—the hood fell back—and a skull grinned up at him.

Ben almost screamed, just managing to keep quiet. Dad didn’t seem to have noticed anything, but Mother’s eyes were wide.

“Right,” she said.

Dad was the only one still eating. He dipped another roll into his bowl of soup and chewed for a moment. “You got students?”

Uncle Luke inhaled, then smiled and waved his hand. “I wouldn’t say that. I found some people who want to learn, that’s all.”

Ben glanced from his uncle to his mother, and back again. They were upset, he could tell. They’d seen the same thing—or Uncle Luke had, and—he wasn’t sure. He felt sick and fascinated, all at once.

Mother eyed her soup as if it were poison, but took a bite anyway. “I believe that’s the operating definition of the word student, Luke.”

“I’ve got a lot to learn to myself,” he replied. “We’ll figure it out together.”

The next day, Ben had all but forgotten the creepy skeleton thing in the temple or wherever. He stared at the metal frame of a landspeeder, gleaming silver under the lights of the garage, and an engine over there, and a shield generator, and whole boxes of tools just like Dad and Chewie had on the Falcon.

“Whoa,” he breathed. Then he grinned up at his uncle. “What do we do first?”

The best part was that Uncle Luke didn’t basically do everything. He pretty much told him what to do, but he made Ben try it with his own two hands except when he wasn’t strong enough.

“Don’t worry,” he assured him. “You’ll be plenty strong when you’re my age.”

“How old are you?”

“Thirty-two,” said Uncle Luke. “Same as your mother, remember?”

“I keep thinking she’s older,” Ben admitted.

Uncle Luke handed the hydrospanner back to him. “Nah. I’m older. A whole three minutes. Okay, you’ll want to tighten that bolt, too.”

Ben twisted the spanner as hard as he could, laughing when the bolt finally turned. “Don’t tell him, but I think Mother’s stronger than Dad. She can open anything right away.”

His uncle just grinned. “Oh, she definitely is. A better shot, too.”

“Better than you?”

“Probably.” Uncle Luke sat down, folding his legs comfortably. “Well—yeah. At least with a blaster. Okay, the casing here we’re going to have to put together. Get some more bolts.”

Ben looked around at the scattered parts. “This isn’t going to be ready for tomorrow, is it?”

Uncle Luke laughed. “Oh, no. Not if you want to get it off the ground. A project like this takes months.”


“Anything worth doing takes time,” said Uncle Luke.

It sounded just like the sort of thing Mother would say. Well, he was pretty sure she had said it. Probably last week.

“We are twins,” Uncle Luke remarked.

Ben almost dropped the box of bolts he’d picked up. “I didn’t say anything. Did you …?” He set the box down and gestured at his head. Something sick and cold seemed to clench in his chest.

“Not on purpose,” said Uncle Luke, very calm. “Things spill over with family, sometimes. The same way that your mother always knows where you are.”

“She’s reading my mind?” Ben tried to go over everything he’d thought lately, but he couldn’t remember it all.

“No, no,” his uncle told him. “It’s just a … sense of a person. You get a feeling of them being around, that’s all. You’ll only hear thoughts if you try, or if they’re very strong.”

Now he did remember the skeleton thing. “Like last night.”

Uncle Luke flinched. “You saw? Yes. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Ben said. He meant it, at least in a way. He wasn’t mad at Uncle Luke. It was harder to get mad at him, really. “What … happened?”

His uncle held two sheets of metal together, nodding at the overlapping holes. Ben tried to hold the bolts in place and screw them in at the same time.

“I’m probably not the best one to tell you,” said Uncle Luke, once Ben got the first one tightened. His grip didn’t waver.

Ben glanced up quickly and lost hold of the bolt. Grumbling under his breath, he picked it up. “Like Alderaan?”

The sheet did jerk then, the half Uncle Luke held with his real hand.

“Sorry. Yes, a bit. Who told you about that? Wedge? Lando?”

“Dad,” said Ben. “Well, and Threepio.”

Even Uncle Luke seemed taken aback. “Threepio?”

“He said it’s where we’re from. That we’re Alderaanian, I guess—it was a long time ago. I don’t remember exactly. Mother was having a meeting with the other ones.”

“Huh,” was all Uncle Luke said.

They worked in silence for awhile. Finally, Ben couldn’t stand it any more and said,

“You never lived there, did you?”

“No,” said Uncle Luke. “I never even saw it.”

“Just like me! I’m not—it’s not the same.” The last bolt screwed in more easily than any others. “Dad’s from here. Not the house, but Corellia, right?”

“Coronet, even,” his uncle replied.

“And I grew up here.” Ben considered that. “Mostly.”

Uncle Luke smiled at him. “You’re thinking you’re more Corellian than any of the rest? That’s fine. We wouldn’t have settled down here if we didn’t want you thinking of this place as your home.”

“Like the Falcon,” he said proudly.

“Just like it.”

“But—” A frown knitted his brows together as he worked. “Not like you. This isn’t your home.”

Uncle Luke hesitated. “Not my home planet, no. I grew up far away from here, in the Outer Rim.”

“I mean, right here.” Ben’s hands were busy, so he jerked his head towards the house and the door out of the garage. “With us.”

Uncle Luke dropped his gaze to the bolted sheet. Then he carefully lifted it and set it against the wall. But he didn’t pick up any of the other parts, just sat down next to Ben, one leg folded.

“Ben.” He looked straight at him, blue eyes very clear and bright. “Believe me, this place, with your mother and you and your dad, this is more home to me than anywhere else in the galaxy.”

“But it’s still not,” Ben persisted. “That’s why you’re going to go live in the place with the bones.”

“It’s not like that.”

Ben folded his arms and glared. “Then what is it like?”

He felt a flicker of—he didn’t know what. Something complicated. Uncle Luke kept looking at him steadily, but it seemed like he was unsure about something, swinging back and forth. Then his mouth tightened: a decision.

“You asked what happened at the temple.”

Ben’s frustration transmuted into nervous excitement in an instant. He dropped his hands into his lap, straightening up. “Yeah.”

“I’m not telling you the whole story,” Uncle Luke warned him. “Your mother would kill me if I did, and I wouldn’t, anyway. But I don’t want to lie to you. Just know right away that I’m leaving important parts out. We’ll tell you about those when you’re older.”

He thought about protesting, but suspected that he wouldn’t hear any of it if he did. Ben sighed. “Okay.”

Uncle Luke talked slowly, picking his words. “Lots of people used to live there, before the Empire. People like us.”

“Us? You and me?” Ben asked. “And Mother and Dad?”

“Not your father,” said Uncle Luke. “Like Leia and you and me—people strong in the Force. Jedi. It was their home. They lived there from the time they were small, almost babies, until they died, spending their lives learning about the Force and helping the Republic.”

None of this seemed like anything Mother would have a problem with. Ben, suspicious, nodded.

“What happened?”

Uncle Luke told him, “There were people back on Coruscant who … decided they was going to take over everything, the whole galaxy, and they weren’t going to let anything stand in their way. They knew the Jedi would fight them, so the one in charge tricked them into trusting him, especially—well, he tricked them. And those people managed to get rid of almost all the Jedi. Even the ones living quietly in a little temple away from the capital.”

Ben swallowed. “They sound awful.”

“Some of them were,” said Uncle Luke. “And some of them didn’t know any better.”

“Well, they should have!”

“It’s easier to see right from wrong when you’re looking back,” Uncle Luke said. “Anyway, there were only three Jedi left after that.”

“Ben Kenobi!”

“Right.” Uncle Luke smiled, but it faded right away. “And Yoda, who was the greatest of all the Jedi. And … another one. I’ll tell you about him a different time. This all happened right when your mother and I were born.”

The pieces clicked together. “That’s why they split you up, isn’t it?”

Uncle Luke lifted his eyebrows. “Good job, Ben. Yes, that’s why. So we could keep the Jedi alive. And some other things.”

“For when I’m older, I bet,” said Ben.

Uncle Luke could be surprised, but not embarrassed. “That’s right.”

That was just like Mother, too. And the thought reminded him of last night, at dinner. They’d talked about … cleaning it up. Students.

“You’ve found other Jedi,” he said eagerly. “More than just me and Mother.”

He laughed. “You’re not a Jedi yet, young man. And these people aren’t, either. But they want to learn. And I still have a lot to learn, myself, and it’s my job to keep the Jedi going. So it’s not because I don’t want to be here with my family. But I made a promise when I became a Jedi, and I have to keep it. Corellia’s as safe as anywhere in the galaxy, so I’ll still be here. It’s not that far.”

Ben managed to smile. “Well, okay. But you have to help me finish my landspeeder.”

“Of course. How about you hand me that thruster? The blue one.”

That was three months ago. Now Ben sat on his bed, as miserable as any eight-year-old boy could be, his mother on one side and his uncle on the other. The cold had vanished altogether, and the strange wild feeling in his gut. He never felt things like that when they were all together; he was just humiliated.

“You feel okay now, Ben?” said Uncle Luke.

“Yeah,” he mumbled. “I said, it was just a dream.”

Uncle Luke looked over his head at Mother. “Have you told him?”

“Of course not,” she snapped.

Ben didn’t have to feel weird to run out of patience with all of this. “Told me what?”

“What you saw—”

Mother was already shaking her head. “No, Luke. This isn’t the way to tell him.”

“I’m not telling him all of it,” said Uncle Luke, in the same irritable voice. Ben didn’t often hear it from him; he looked as tired as Mother did half the time. “Just enough to clear his mind. Think of how bizarre this—how we—must look to him.”

“Fine,” she said. Ben whipped his head around to fix his attention back on her, sleepy enough that the quick motion made his head spin. “Ben. We understand that it seems like we’re making a big deal out of nothing and you’d rather forget about it.”

“Yes,” said Ben.

“The thing is—what you dreamed? It really happened.”

Ben stared. “That doesn’t make any sense. You were like in the holograms. I never—I’d remember all that!”

“It happened before you were born,” she said, tethered patience in her voice. Or maybe just in her, seeping into his head like everything else. “You were seeing it through the eyes of … someone else.”

He blinked several times, trying to make sense of it all. Finally, he said, “You were a senator?

Uncle Luke burst out laughing. “Don’t worry. I have trouble believing it, too. Not exactly born for polite disagreements in the Senate—were we, Leia?”

“Oh, shut up,” she muttered, but she was smiling a little again. The tense muscles in Ben’s neck and shoulders started to relax. “So, dreaming of something that really happened is a bit different than just bad dreams, and we’ve got to figure out exactly what’s going on. We will, I promise.”

Ben honestly didn’t know whether it sounded more disturbing or interesting. Like the skeletons, really. But he was tired, his eyelids heavy, and instead his mind went to the odd, tense glances Dad gave him when he lost his temper or used the Force. When any of them did Force stuff, really, but Ben most of all.

“What’s Dad going to say?”

Mother and Uncle Luke exchanged another long look over his head.

“Don’t worry about your father,” she said.


anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)

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