Reconciliation by Jade Pilot

What would Ben Skywalker's life be like as an adult if he had continued to deny the Force?

Chapter #1

"Your father left another message."

"I know, I just didn't feel like responding to it yet."

"Ben, he's your father. He would really like to hear from you, as would your mother," Rachel Enjeris, Ben's wife for the last 15 years responded gently.

Ben sighed as he walked across the living room of their small home and sat down on the faded couch.

"He's just going to ask whether we're coming to the dedication of the new Academy, that's all," said Ben, frowning.

"And are we?" Rachel looked questioningly at her husband, trying to understand his reluctance.

"It's just another academy, it's no big deal," remarked Ben as he rubbed his hand over his eyes.

"Honey, they're naming it after him. It's quite an honor. Besides, I don't believe for one minute that you really think it's no big deal," Rachel responded with her open, honest face smiling.

"No, you're right. I just…" Ben paused, "It's just that …well, how will it look? The aberrant scion of Luke Skywalker returns to the birthplace of his famous Jedi father, we had so much hope for Young Ben and yet he was such a disappointment to all," intoned Ben, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Rachel walked over to where her husband sat and placed her hands tenderly on his shoulders.

"It will look like Luke Skywalker is surrounded by his family and friends during the dedication ceremony of the Academy bearing his name." Rachel said as she quickly kissed him on the cheek. "That's all."

"You know what I mean. I have put all that behind me and I have no desire to give the holonews more fodder for their sorrowful tale of Ben Skywalker – the galaxy's prodigal son." Ben shook his head. "Tatooine, of all places. Why'd they want to go and build a Jedi Academy on such a rotting dust bowl of a planet?"

"Well, he did grow up there," quirked Rachel, "and just who, may I ask, dubbed you with that prodigal son sobriquet?"

"Some stupid holo reporter way back when, like everything that ever went wrong in the entire galaxy was my fault because of my decisions," moped Ben.

"Careful, someone is starting to sound a tad bitter tonight."

"Oh, I guess you would prefer a husband with a more felicity of manner," said Ben, as he stood and playfully wrapped his arms around his wife.

"No, just you, my love," teased Rachel.

Later that evening as Ben helped the children prepare for bed; Rachel watched their growing brood with wonder and decided that no greater father existed on the face of Naboo. With water sloshing over the tub and onto her husband, she laughed as he didn't even blink an eye, but continued to rinse shampoo off their soapy heads.

How can he not see what a special man he is? She thought. Their life together has been so full of love and laughter, especially laughter since the kids were born. Kids! They almost had enough to start their own smash ball team.

Rachel placed her hand on her growing abdomen and smiled. She remembered the first time she had seen him, staring at her at the lake on Naboo. He had been all knees and elbows that day, skinny and so intense. When he finally got up the nerve to talk to her, he stuttered so badly at first that she had thought perhaps he was a bit slow.

There had just something about him. Rachel thought. I'd never believed in love at first sight, until that day. Those eyes, that never seemed to leave my face and his soft voice was so engaging. How could I have thought him slow?

She blushed at the memory, for his courtship of her had been anything but slow. They were married after 5 weeks and expecting their first child shortly after that.

He still has his intense moments, but seems content most of the time. I can see it in those clear blue eyes of his, as he laughs with the children and with his tenderness toward me. Who knew that this gawky naïve teenager would turn into such a loving gentle man?

Only thoughts of his early life seem to plunge him into a brooding melancholy. How I wish he would try to establish a relationship with his parents. If they really knew him now they would be so proud of the man he has become, not disappointed like he fears they would be. Rachel shook her head. As if Ben could disappoint anyone.

Rachel had never even met the Skywalkers in person but had tried to keep in touch through comm unit messages and holo pictures of the grandkids. It was Ben who never put forth any effort with his parents, not even inviting them for naming day parties and such.

Here was where she knew she had to be careful. Ben was so sensitive about his parents and could sometimes see her efforts as lack of support of him and his beliefs. There were just some things she would never understand about her husband, the Force and the Jedi.

"Not so fast, little one," Ben chuckled.

Four year old Abilee roared out the 'fresher without a stitch of clothing on, as Ben tried to stop her.

"Catch me Daddy!" she cried, red curls still dripping with water.

"Noody-kazoody! She's noody-kazoody!" screamed 3 year old Caleb, running after his sister with her pajama bottoms on his head.

"Mo-om!" cried 14 year old Nirice, "I'm on the comm unit with Dalen!"

"Yes, first born, and it's time you got off," countered Rachel.

Yes, it's time, she thought, time to reunite this broken family and begin the healing process.

Force help me!