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copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: Written for Rynne.
Luke had always thought Old Ben Kenobi was a strange old man, even when Old Ben wasn't so old.
Sometimes, Ben would come to the Lars farm when Luke was young, when Ben's hair was still mostly auburn. His brown cloak would flutter in the wind as he walked across the sand, and whenever he drew close to Luke, he smelled like snapcakes—which he often had hidden in the folds of his robes. Ben was never selfish, either, and always shared his snapcakes with Luke.
Luke knew he wasn't supposed to tell Uncle Owen when Ben came to visit. Aunt Beru didn't seem to mind, and would often urge Luke to go out and visit with Ben, even when Luke would rather play with his toys. Luke didn't often mind. Ben brought a pleasant sense of a safety with him. Luke knew he would never be hurt so long as Ben was around.
On day, Luke found Ben by the stone markers of his grandparents. He couldn't read their names yet, but he knew the names of Shmi and Cliegg Lars were emblazoned into the stone. Luke crept up next to Ben as Ben stared at Shmi's headstone.
"Grandma was a nice lady, Uncle Owen says. She made him snapcakes all the time, I bet." Luke glanced hopefully up at Ben, wondering if Ben would take the hint.
Ben seemed to understand. He smiled, an expression barely discernible through his beard, and handed Luke three chocolate snapcakes. Luke quickly stuffed them into his mouth, all at once, and beamed up at Ben. They were moist and made of chocolate, Luke's favorite. He quickly chewed and swallowed them, savoring the delicious sweetness that lingered on his tongue.
Ben laughed. "You should try eating those one at a time. And perhaps not eating so many. You'll get fat, like your Uncle Owen."
"I don't care if I get fat," Luke declared. "I don't wanna stop eating snapcakes."
Ben only chuckled. He continued to stare at Shmi's headstone.
"Did you know my Grandma?" Luke asked after a while.
"No. I wish I had. I heard a great many good things about her. I know when she died…" Ben bent down and dusted some sand off the stone. His voice seemed caught on something when he spoke again. "… when she died, a dear friend of mine was devastated."
Luke wiped snapcake crumbs off his face and stared at Ben. He knew so little about him, about this man who made his uncle uneasy and charmed his aunt, this man who lived all alone at the edge of the desert and only rarely came to town to buy supplies, this man who made Luke feel like he could reach out and touch the entire universe if he wanted.
"Do you think Grandma would have liked me?" Luke asked.
Ben smiled. "I'm positive she would have. She would be very proud to know her grandson was such a sweet child, so much like his mother."
Luke wrinkled his nose. "I'm not sweet. I'm very strong." He flexed his muscles for Ben. "See? I can even help Uncle Owen move things now."
Ben ruffled Luke's hair, his touch sending comfortable tingles down Luke's neck and back. "Your mother was strong, too. Just not strong enough." He looked away, back to Shmi's headstone. "Your grandmother, though. I think she was simply amazing. She did what I could not. She gave up her attachment to her child, let him go where he needed to go without any thought to herself. Would that I had been as strong as she."
Luke didn't really understand what Ben was saying, but he so rarely did. Ben spoke his own private language, one made up of secrets and grown-up things that Luke wasn't sure he ever wanted to understand. There was so much sadness in Ben's face all the time. When Luke grew up, would he be sad, too?
"You want to play, Ben?" Playing always made Luke feel better when he got into trouble.
Ben smiled and easily lifted Luke onto his shoulders. Luke had a strange sense that this wouldn't last much longer, an odd image in his mind of Uncle Owen finding out and yelling at Ben until he never came back, a sense that made Luke cling to Ben all the more.
"Yes, let's play," Ben said. "I think it's time I show you how to look without seeing."
Luke had no idea what that meant, but he urged Ben forward, eager for Ben to unfold the secrets of the universe for him again.