I posted these on LJ in the spring and they never made it over here. I've had some active Star Wars fic claims still out there that I started several years ago and I needed to finish up. I really don't feel like this is the right time for me to launch back into lengthy in-depth storytelling, but I can never leave my stories alone for very long without feeling like I'm somehow trying to leave behind a part of myself. One Path never really goes anywhere for me. I've been thinking about what the story meant in my life during the time that I wrote it, what it means now, and how those things largely come down to the same questions. I wondered how the characters might see those things, and this is what I came up with. It's a collection of drabbles inspired by the above phrase. I didn't write them in any kind of chronological order; they' aren't meant to retell the narrative of One Path, they just came out of whatever thought I had when I focused on each character. I'm posting them as a collection for no other reason than that they fit a theme and I don't want to make a gazillion 100 word posts.
There were things she missed. Tea with her mother on a rare, lazy afternoon. Her nieces giggling in the yard. Tall trees, cool lake breezes. The desert was an unforgiving place. Her skin had grown dry and rough now. Her husband's shoulders had begun to bow under the weight of responsibility and regret. She would have shared it all with him if he let her, but sometimes he didn't. She knew that someday they would leave this place. But she knew that when they did, the Naboo they had left was gone. What remained was that they were together. Always.
I'm too old for this sort of thing.He thought that every day now. Sometimes more than once. He felt as if the weight of his life was enough for ten lifetimes worth of regret. He kept going because he knew that there were still young eyes watching. His sons, his daughter, now their children, all looked to him for guidance. He wasn't sure how that had happened. He wasn't sure what they saw. He only knew that they were present, and that they needed him. So, when he wanted most to hide behind his age, he found their eyes.
He listens to his children laugh, and he hopes the peace will last. Han says not to hold his breath. Hardy seems to agree. For Ani, it's different. For Ani, there's always a chance at peace. It's held in his children's laughter. Sometimes there are nightmares. Sometimes they don't sleep at all. His daughter still spends more time in the Falcon than she does at home, and he wonders if he did her wrong by letting her stay with Han and Leia so long. But she'll always help the boys with their gadgets, and they laugh together. There's always hope.
Sometimes she still feels shy when he smiles at her. She knows it's silly. They have three children. She's walked with him through more trials in the last four years than most couples on Tatooine would see in twenty—and Tattooine was no easy place to live. She watches his parents and thinks of how they'll be in thirty years. She wants him to look at her the way Obi Wan still looks at Padme. All her hopes are wrapped up in his smile. He doesn't give it as much as he used to, but hope is worth watching for.
Sometimes she thinks are pieces of her soul missing. He wants it to be simple, but it isn't. He thinks a stolen kiss is going to change things. She watched her planet die. Stood helpless and watched Alderaan shatter. She shattered inside with it, but there wasn't time to put herself back together. There wasn't even time to properly fall apart. She thinks the severed pieces might be finding a new shape now, but there are still missing pieces. Jagged edges. It's not that simple. It never will be. But maybe he's got some pieces that will fit with hers.
I love you!
It was that simple. A burst of instinct. Passion. Devotion. That was new. But that was how he lived his life. He knew it wasn't like that for her. She had to think about everything. She had to know exactly where she was going. What she was doing. Why she was doing it. That was okay. He knew she was grieving. Alderaan was a massive black hole inside of her that was never going away. She didn't even like to look at it. That was okay too. He was done leaving. It didn't work anyway.
Clouds. There are places with skies full of them. He wonders what that might be like. To look up and see a sky full of puffy white things. The glare of the suns is all he knows. Except for sandstorms. But he's heard of places where the storm are made of water. Water that falls from the sky. They don't have to farm it. They bathe in it. Someday, he says as he looks up at the setting suns, I'm going to see a sky like that. I'm going to see the stars. I'm to fly. Like my father.
She'd thought that she was special. Uniquely gifted and trained to fill a purpose in her Master's empire that she alone could fill. More than that, she had believed in the empire she sherved. Believed in its justness and in the peace that it brought to the galaxy. Her life had been built on misinformation, misrepresentation, misconception. It had not come crashing down all at once. It had been whittled away, one cherished ideal at a time, until the foundation crumbled. Then it crashed down. She spiraled free of it and struck the ground hard. But she stood up again.
He wants to be able to wonder when his life got so complicated. It would be easier if he could ask himself that question. His life has always been complicated. Double crosses. Triple crosses. Schemes and plans and angles. Dangling by wisps of vapor formed by his own breath, hanging above an abyss. Only now it's a whole different breed of complicated, and this one is a lot less comfortable. He's pretty sure he's going to regret where this ship is going, even if he doesn't know exactly why that is. He's the one who set the course, after all.
She finds herself watching the skies now. She watches for a lonely glint on the horizon that isn't a star, and she waits for a message that only sometimes comes. She waits for news-a voice she thinks is probably too smooth for its own good. She thinks about wings. Her aunt and uncle are coming home soon, but her cousins are staying out there. There's still work to be done. She has a part to play in it—here? Out there? The New Republic is growing, but still young. Still fragile. That glint in the sky is coming closer.
He still asks himself what he's doing here. The answer is painfully simple. There's nowhere else to go. The Empire still holds Imperial Center, and that's where his family is. He sent encrypted messages, but there were no replies. He's alone, except for the Kenobis. Ani's boys remind him of his nephews. They think of him as family. He can't walk away and leave them without even having a place to go. It's not much of a reason for staying, but it's something. Maybe someday it will be different. Until then, he'll just remind himself he's needed here. A little.
The mist seeps in through the cracks. He watches. He doesn't try to fight it. He lets it settle over his old, withered body and slowly sap his strength. He shivers a little as he listens to failure whisper in the rustling of the trees. The weight of a thousand generations is heavy on his heart. The swamp is wilting him. Every day, he becomes more tired. Less of a Jedi. More of a hermit lost in a dark wilderness. The wilderness is not the one that surrounds him. It's the one in his soul. But he waits. He watches.
I'm sorry to say I don't have a lot of news for my fic readers right now. It's been a bad summer with more time spent having a migraine and going to a doctor than not having one. I hurt my arm this week too, so I am restricted on typing.