A/N: An idea I'd always had, but didn't occur until later. Fetkkat's latest drabble encouraged it.


Ben leaned on the balcony outside of his parent's room, looking out over the cityscape. He sighed heavily and flicked another piece of gravel off the railing.

Luke stood in the doorway, watching the boy until he felt the moments was proper.

"Dad, I know you're there." The young boy muttered.

His father cleared his throat. "Yes, I suppose you do." He walked forward to join Ben.

When his father came to stop beside him, Ben asked, "What is it?"

"Excuse me?"

"Dad…" He drew the title out. "You want something, I can feel it." Ben shifted his eyes in his father's direction. "Just say it."

Luke smiled. "I guess you know me pretty well."

His voice was upbeat. "I'd like to think so. I mean, I am your son right? Plus, someone's gotta watch your back now that Mom' ….gone." The sparkle faded from his eyes, and his face fell. "You're…" He faltered again. "…kind of hopeless without me." Ben was trying to make himself jovial, but Luke could see the inner hurt.

A lump formed in his throat"You needn't feel like you had to do that, Son."

"I don't mind."

"No, Ben. I'm the parent. I'm the one that should have been looking out for you; guiding you. And I failed in that respect." He put his hands on Ben's shoulder and turned the teen to him. "Ben, look at me."

The youth looked up, trying to hide the tears that were in his eyes.

"I'm sorry."

Ben went to open his mouth, but a quick shake of his father's head silenced him.

"I should have been there for you, Ben; through all of this. Not only the finding your mother, but having to deal with her death. You bore a great burden no child should, and you shouldn't have had to do that alone. I should have been there to comfort you. But I was so mired in my own grief that I didn't see the pain you were in, and for that reason I'm sorry, son.

"No," Ben said, tears suddenly in his eyes. "You're a good dad. You may not think too much of yourself right but you've always been a great dad to me. Mom was your wife; you had a right to be hurting. I understood that. I never resented you for it."

He took a breath. "And for the record, If I ever did anything wrong in my life or stupid or reckless, it was never because of you. You always did your best with me. The best you knew how. You're a pretty astral person, Dad. You did put up with me. That's got to be worth something, right?" He gave a small grin.

Luke sank to the floor of the balcony.


"You always did have your mother's candor."

He looked up into his son's crystal clear light blue eyes that now looked darker in the nighttime. Yes, he may have lost his wife, but he had part of Mara that would live on. He had their son.

And though his heart may have been broken, it wasn't gone entirely.