Star Wars fan fiction
introduction and preview
Only For A Season
Chapter 1: Desert Visitor
Chapter 2: Game of Marbles
Chapter 3: Stargazer
Chapter 4: Dewbacks and Darklighter
Chapter 5: Skyhopper
Chapter 6: Beggar’s Canyon
Chapter 7: Boonta Eve
Chapter 8: Sunstealer
Chapter 9: The Stone Needle
Chapter 10: Shifting Sands
Chapter 11: A New Season
Chapter 12: Japor Strands
Chapter 13: Farmer’s Holiday
Chapter 14: Starkiller
Chapter 15: Setting Suns
Chapter 16: Seeds of Rebellion
Only For A Season
Luke and Breanna’s farmer’s holiday came to an end at dusk two days after it had started. Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru returned home to find the two of them in the kitchen, where dinner for four had been laid out in expectation of their return and in a show of appreciation for the time the newlyweds had been given alone. The four sat down to eat and settled into comfortable conversation, but when the meal was finished the newlyweds quickly retired for the night.
“I’ll expect you up early tomorrow, Luke. Lots to catch up on,” Owen called as they left.
Luke nodded before he disappeared down the hall. “I’ll be ready, Uncle Owen,” he promised. Then he took Breanna’s hand and followed her with a smile.
Owen and Beru exchanged amused glances once they found themselves alone.
“I’d say the two of them are getting along well,” Beru offered with a smile. Anything less would have surprised her, but it was still a relief to see that Luke and Breanna were happy.
Owen took a sip of his drink, hiding his own smile behind it. “Told you they’d be fine, didn’t I.”
Beru nodded. So he had, more than once, but she knew her husband had worried too. As mature as Luke and Breanna were for their years (as Beru had pointed out more than once), they were still very young.
“They’re not much younger than you and I were, starting out,” he reminded her.
“No, I guess not,” Beru agreed, but their case had been different. She and Owen had been officially bethroved and had loved each other deeply when they married. But years earlier Cleigg Lars had been compelled to take Beru into his home when he learned that his son’s betroved had been orphaned. After that, for a while, Cliegg, Shmi, Beru and Owen had lived together happily. But with her family gone and Cleigg and Shmi Lars dead, Owen and Beru had had no choice but to marry quickly if they wished to remain together and have any hope of keeping the Lars farm afloat.
It had been an incredibly difficult time for them both. Looking back Beru couldn’t imagine how either of them would have survived it without having each other for comfort. And even so, becoming accustomed to the intimacies of marriage had still required a period of adjustment. Beru released a small sigh; she was grateful that Luke and Breanna had had the benefit of family to help advise them and prepare them. She was proud that they would get a better, easier start than she and Owen; that was what every parent should wish for their child, and Beru loved Luke as much as she could have loved any son. She smiled. In time she fully expected to feel the same way about Brea.
“It’s still good to see,” Beru concluded. Then she stood and began clearing the table.
Owen nodded. “Hope they don’t plan to make a habit of this,” he warned as he helped Beru, even though that was usually Luke’s job. “I guess they did do all the work before hand though,” he conceded.
“It’ll take just a little time for them to readjust,” Beru soothed him.
Owen grunted. He didn’t like change; what he liked was to get into a successful routine and keep it that way.
“If I remember correctly,” Beru offered lightly, “after we married it took at least two weeks for you to get out of bed on time.”
“Did it now, Misses?” Owen asked playfully and kissed her on the cheek.
Beru nodded and smiled at him, humming softly as she continued with washing up the dishes.
“Luke Skywalker, I’m not going to tell you again,” Owen yelled from the hall. Luke had told him he’d be out in five minutes. That had been a half hour ago. Under normal circumstances Owen would have simply dragged him out of bed by now, but these were not normal circumstances.
Luke broke from Breanna’s kiss, both of them laughing.
“You’d better go,” she whispered. He nodded in agreement, and kissed her again. They had been through this at least three times already. “Before he really gets angry,” Brea breathed when they broke apart again, but she was holding him far too close from him to think seriously about pulling away.
“I love you,” he whispered.
She giggled and put her hand to his face. “Luke, I mean it,” she warned.
“What do you mean?” he asked innocently.
Her grin widened. “You know what. We can’t stay like this.”
“Had enough of me already then?” he teased, pulling back just a little.
She shook her head. “Impossible. I love you far too much for that.”
A slow grin spread across his face and he leaned toward her for another kiss. They both jumped when Owen pounded on the door again, then they dissolved into hysterical laughter.
“Brea, you’d better make yourself presentable, because if I don’t get Luke out here in five minutes I’m coming in after him.”
“You think he means that?” Breanna asked hesitantly.
“I don’t think we can chance it,” Luke admitted.
They got up and dressed after that but still didn’t make it out of the room before Uncle Owen returned to make good on his threat.
“Good morning, Uncle Owen,” Breanna offered as though nothing was amiss when he opened the door.
He nodded to her. “Breanna.”
“Breakfast ready?” Luke asked.
Breanna giggled and grabbed hold of Luke’s hand to pull him toward the kitchen (and away from Uncle Owen, who was still glowering at his nephew).
Owen Lars shook his head, but he couldn’t very well stay angry. It was only natural, and the side effects of a happy marriage were far preferable to those of an unhappy marriage. He just hoped things would get back to normal soon....
Married life agreed with Luke, and except for the occasional late morning start even Uncle Owen had no complaints with his work ethic. Luke worked hard, understanding that everything he did was for a purpose; that purpose was the last thing he thought of before he closed his eyes at night and she was the first thing he thought of the following morning.
Breanna also impressed her new in-laws with her hard work and attention to detail. She was a great help to Beru around the house, always cheerful and bright, willing to chip in anywhere she was needed, and eager to please. She and Beru worked well together and enjoyed each other’s company.
But most of all Owen and Beru Lars took comfort in the fact that Breanna and Luke were obviously and unquestionably happy together. So it was a surprise when several months into their marriage Owen stopped in the hall on his way to breakfast to call for Luke, as he always did, and he paused when he heard voices raised on the other side of the door. He pursed his lips worriedly, then continued down the hall. Regretfully, he supposed that the honeymoon couldn’t last forever; the two of them would have to learn to resolve their differences like adults, and without interference.
“Breanna, talk to me,” Luke demanded.
“I’ve already told you, Luke,” she insisted stubbornly.
Luke remained unconvinced, and Breanna was losing patience. She turned her back on him, trying again to end the unwanted conversation, and he grabbed her arm in protest. Luke saw the flash of anger in her eyes as she stared down at his hand, then deliberately lifted her face to his. But the anger was followed by something that scared him. For a split second she didn’t know what he was going to do next, why he had grabbed her. She had no intention of backing down, but Luke never wanted to see that flash of fear and betrayal in her eyes again.
He released her arm. “Brea,” he whispered, “please.”
She pulled her arm back from him for good measure.
“I know–” Luke whispered.
Breanna swallowed hard, regrouping her emotions and reclaiming her anger. “I don’t care what you think you know, you don’t know, Luke,” she snapped back at him. Truthfully, she didn’t want to hear what he was saying. Maybe he was right... she didn’t understand why she felt so scared and angry, so out of control, why she had been so tired and on edge, and hadn’t wanted Luke to–
He moved closer and tentatively put his arms around her waist. “Brea, I’m just worried about you.”
She shook her head and turned away, fighting back confused tears. “I’ve told you, I’m fine. Just leave me alone, Luke,” she asked tiredly. “I just want to be alone for a little while.”
Luke took a deep breath, feeling angry and hurt by her dismissal, but more than anything he was worried. Even if Brea wouldn’t admit it, he knew he was right.... He hadn’t understood it any more than Brea had the first time it had happened, but over the past couple of months he had realized that it was more than his imagination or even the intensity of his emotions where Brea was concerned. He didn’t understand it, he couldn’t control it, but Luke knew that he did occasionally feel part of what Brea was feeling or even thinking.
Right now he knew that Brea wasn’t being honest with him. He knew that something was very wrong with her; whatever it was had her worried and scared. He had known that for days, but she refused to either admit it or talk to him about it.
Owen looked up worriedly when Luke finally showed for breakfast, late and without Breanna. Luke mumbled something about her not feeling hungry, quickly bolted down his own breakfast, and headed out to the west ridge to work on condensers.
“What do you think that’s about?” Owen questioned his wife.
Beru continued picking at her food, uncharacteristically silent. Owen put his own fork down and sat back in his chair.
“You know something about this spat they’re having?”
“Possibly,” Beru admitted, looking up at him slowly, “it may be something more than a spat.”
“Like what?” Owen asked, but from his expression Beru knew he had a good idea of what she was getting at.
“Brea hasn’t been feeling well for a couple of days now. She told me yesterday she was just tired.”
Owen nodded but remained silent.
Beru picked at her own breakfast for a few more minutes before she finally gave it up. “I’ll go check on her,” she said, bending down to kiss Owen on the cheek. “Your lunch is on the counter.
He nodded and smiled, but when Beru had made her way past him the smile abruptly vanished.
“Brea?” Aunt Beru called, knocking lightly, “can I come in?”
There was a moment of hesitation, then Breanna answered, “I don’t need anything, Aunt Beru.”
Beru Lars took a deep breath and opened the door. Breanna was curled up in bed, dabbing her eyes with a tissue. Beru came in, sat down beside her, and gently smoothed her hair. The show of kindness only prompted another bout of tears and a sniffle from Breanna.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” Beru asked gently.
“I don’t know, Aunt Beru,” Breanna admitted tearfully. “I just haven’t felt like myself lately. I feel so tired. Luke’s worried about me; I keep telling him it’s nothing– I don’t want him to worry. Then we got in a fight this morning. And now I just feel–” she trailed off into more tears.
“Sick,” Aunt Beru supplied the word, and Breanna nodded miserably. “Come on. Can you stand up for me?”
Breanna nodded. Her face turned a ghastly shade of pale and she clutched her stomach warily but managed to get to her feet without making herself sick.
“That’s a girl,” Beru soothed her. “Come and sit down in my room. I think I’ve got something in my medicine kit that will sort all this out for you.”
A few minutes later Breanna was looking at Aunt Beru with great confusion. “I thought you said you had something that would make me feel better,” she said tentatively.
Beru sat down beside her. “No,” she answered gently, “what I said was, I thought I could sort this out, and I think I have.” She showed Breanna a small test strip. “This is why you’ve been feeling so tired, and overly emotional, and sick.” The girl was still staring at her in confusion. “Brea,” Aunt Beru whispered, “you’re going to have a baby.”
Breanna blinked at her for a second, stunned. “A baby?”
Certainly it was possible, but it was the last thing Brea had expected. Growing up, her parents had always told her how they had waited years for her come. Sure, Cairina and Annalis had come much earlier, but then there were couples like Beru and Owen who never had children. Breanna had never expected a baby to come so soon for her and Luke.
Aunt Beru nodded and put an arm around her. Breanna leaned against Beru’s shoulder and wondered how something as harmless as a baby could be the cause for all the things she was feeling.
“You mean all this is normal?”
Beru nodded against the top of her head and stroked her hair affectionately. “It’s different for every mother and with every child, but yes. There’s nothing wrong with you.”
Brea laughed in relief, and immediately burst into tears again.
Luke went straight back to their bedroom when he got home that evening. When he passed through the kitchen Aunt Beru told him that Breanna had gotten tired again late in the afternoon and gone to lie down for a little while. Luke had frowned. Aunt Beru didn’t seem to find either of those strange facts worrisome. Luke opened the door and entered the bedroom slowly. Hoping that Brea wasn’t still mad at him, he shed his day clothes and his boots, washed the dust from his face and hands, and lay down beside her.
Breanna woke and her hand gently moved over the arm Luke had draped across her.
“I’m sorry we argued this morning,” Luke breathed. He pressed his lips to the back of her neck for emphasis. “I don’t want to fight with you, Bre. I just want you to be all right.”
She shifted to lay on her back and stare up at him. “I’m sorry we argued too.” Then she smiled. “I found out there’s a reason why I’ve been feeling the way I have recently, but there’s nothing wrong, Luke.” He frowned, but waited for her to explain. She smiled at him for another minute and placed the palm of her hand against his cheek. “Luke, I’m going to have a baby,” she whispered.
He stared at her for a long moment, completely dumbstruck. “A baby?” he breathed.
Breanna nodded, her beautiful blue-grey eyes filling with tears.
Luke laughed. He was going to be a father. He wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her soft hair, whispering incoherently in his joy.
Over the next nine months there was a restrained joy in the Lars household. Breanna and Luke were ecstatic preparing for the arrival of their first child. Owen and Beru were happy for them, but they also knew enough about loss to be worried, and Brea was so young....
When the time finally came Breanna woke Luke in the middle of the night to tell him that it had started. His heart was in his throat as he left her with a kiss and went for Aunt Beru. Gratefully Aunt Beru was calm, which helped to calm Luke. She told him everything was fine and instructed him to go sit with Brea for a few minutes.
“I don’t know what to do,” he responded, wincing over the words.
Aunt Beru smiled. “There’s nothing to do yet; just stay with her and be a comfort to her.”
As soon as he sat down Brea took hold of his hand, and Luke’s uncertainty was forgotten. “Aunt Beru’s coming.” His other hand softly brushed her face. “Are you scared?” he asked.
“A little,” she whispered cautiously. She had learned better than to try to lie to him, even when she wanted to spare his feelings.
Luke smiled and leaned close to her. “You know, if Aunt Beru wasn’t coming back at any second I’d climb into bed with you and put my arms around you.”
Brea grinned and squeezed his hand tighter. “If Aunt Beru wasn’t coming back at any second I’d pull you into bed with me and crawl into your arms,” she told him. Then she winced.
Luke touched her belly, gently rubbing his hand across the place where she carried his child. That amazed him just as much now as it had the first time he had felt a little kick from their son or daughter.
The pain passed in a moment. Brea’s hand rested over his, and they both smiled at each other in disbelief. The baby was really coming, now.
“I love you, Luke,” Brea whispered.
He kissed her lips. “I love you too.”
Aunt Beru shuffled in behind them, her arms full with linens and topped with her medical supplies. Luke sat back self-consciously, but Brea kept her hold on his hand.
“I called your folks to tell them it was happening, Brea. They’ll be here soon,” Aunt Beru assured her with an easy smile. Then she sat down on the bed beside Luke and started asking questions about how Breanna felt and how often the pains were coming.
Everything after that was a bit of a blur. Luke had managed to be fairly calm and patient throughout the longest night of his life. Honestly, until now, the worst part had been having to leave Brea in the first place. He knew he would only get in the way, and he had no idea how to help, but once Aunt Breu had gotten a few things ready and Dywn Stargazer had arrived the mothers had shooed him from the room. He had left Breanna with a kiss on the cheek and a sudden reluctance to let go of her hand. That had been many hours ago.
His head shot up as another gut-wrenching cry rang through the house. Though he had remained calm for the most part, Luke had become increasingly agitated over the last hour or so, as Breanna’s pain had become more intense. He hated that he couldn’t do anything to help her, and he was terrified to leave – even just to step outside for some air. That left sitting still and listening, however poor an option, as the only option.
Luke buried his head in his hands, anguished. “She’ll never want me to touch her again,” he agonized, convinced of that. And at the moment he wouldn’t blame her for it.
Owen Lars chuckled and rubbed his nephew’s shoulder in reassurance. “Couples have been known to have more than one child, Luke.” But Luke felt an unexpected pang of hurt in the words. “It’s not the having that hurts,” Owen added more quietly. “What a woman will give of herself for her family,” he shook his head, “there may be no greater power under the suns.... It’s the losing that truly hurts,” he concluded heavily.
They stared at each other for a long moment. Owen very rarely spoke about his and Beru’s inability to have their own children, and though he tried to hide the depth of his emotions Luke knew that the gravestones outside pained Owen as greatly as they did Beru. Luke was reminded of an old proverb: Beware the iron will which guards the soft heart.
Owen quickly smiled his gruff smile. “Don’t worry. When she holds that baby in her arms all the pain will be forgotten.”
Luke’s nervousness reached new heights when Breanna cried out again, the pain of childbirth testing her. He hooked his fingers behind the back of his head and stared down at the kitchen table under his elbows. It wouldn’t be long now, Luke told himself. It couldn’t be.... The worries he had tried to keep at bay since the moment he had reluctantly left her side washed over him in full force. How much of this could she take? What if something went wrong?
Luke’s head shot up again, in surprise this time. Only a few seconds after the last cry Breanna cried out again, and Luke feared the worst. The sound of her pain and the feel of his own fears tore at his heart.... Then Luke’s heart leap in joy when the cries of mother and child mingled.
“Easy there, Dad,” Owen teased when Luke jumped to his feet. “The women won’t be ready for you go in for a few minutes yet.”
Luke shook his head; that wasn’t a good enough reason to keep him away from his child. He was outside the door a second later, begging to be let in.
Owen smiled and sat back down. Likewise, Dyllan Stargazer sat down beside Owen, but for the first time tonight. He had been pacing throughout most of his youngest daughter’s labor.
“I’ll admit, I had my doubts when you took the boy in, not knowing much of his parents and all, but you and Beru should be proud of how you’ve raised him. He made a good husband for Brea and he’ll make a good father.”
“I wish we could take all that credit. We couldn’t be any prouder if he was our own son. Luke’s a good man, his own man. And whatever rough edges he had Brea has smoothed out. He loves her more than he loves his own life and he’ll love the child the same, as it should be,” Owen concluded.
“Just a moment, Luke,” Breu soothed, coming outside to him, but refusing to let him pass. “She’ll still be here,” Beru insisted.
“She?” Luke questioned. “It’s a girl?”
Beru smiled. “Yes. You have a daughter.”
Brea’s mother called that they were ready and Beru moved aside, letting Luke into the room. Dywn Stargazer was affectionately smoothing the damp hair from her daughter’s forehead when Luke rushed inside. Then he came to an anxious pause. Brea looked small and pale under the bed sheets, and with her hair plastered against her face and neck it looked like she’d been outside under the suns all day instead of here in this cool, darkened room.
Then she looked up at Luke and smiled the most brilliant smile he’d ever seen. “Luke,” she whispered breathlessly. “Come see her.”
Luke crossed the room and knelt down beside his wife to look into the blanket-wrapped bundle she held. And for only the second time in his life Luke felt completely overwhelmed by love.
“Bre– She’s so beautiful,” he whispered, tears he couldn’t hold back streaking his cheeks.
Brea glanced toward her mother, who smiled and softly kissed her own daughter on the top of the head before she took her leave. It was a private moment.
Luke touched his daughter’s face cautiously. “She’s so tiny.”
“She’s strong though, Luke,” Brea laughed. “She came into to world screaming.”
Luke laughed and kissed his wife’s forehead. “Are you, all right?” he asked tentatively.
Brea nodded. “Exhausted,” she admitted, “but I’m so happy, Luke.”
Luke walked around to the other side of the bed and climbed in beside her. His arms shadowed hers, holding their sleeping child, as he placed a kiss on Brea’s temple. And he lay there in the perfect silence while his wife and daughter slept. Luke was unspeakably happy, and perfectly content.
Outside in the kitchen Beru hugged Owen tightly. “It’s a girl, a strong, healthy baby girl,” she told him. “And Brea’s fine.”
“Thank heavens,” Owen whispered, holding her close.
So Let it Be Written Publishing © 2004