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 Agent of Life (L/M) [VIG] 
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
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Title: Agent of Life
Rating: G
Genre: Angst, Romance
Summary: A short piece of possibility.

“Maybe Vergere’s medicine made you vulnerable to the Force, as an agent of life.”
~ Luke Skywalker, Balance Point


Steam from the shower clouded the mirror and Mara wiped it away, making just a large enough circle to see her face and shoulders. The strap of her nightgown slipped off one shoulder and she pushed it back up. She was thinner than she’d been when Luke had given her the gown. It didn’t fit right anymore, not the way it had at first, accenting her curves just enough to make her feel feminine and sensual.

It had been an unexpected gift. Luke always told her she could make a tarp look good, but he’d noticed how she had touched the material of this gown on a long-ago shopping excursion. Long before the war with the Yuzhaan Vong. Long before the disease that had been her way of life for the past three years.

More and more often, there were times when she didn’t recognize herself in the mirror. Her hair was brittle, her cheeks hollow. The strap slipped from her shoulder again and she fingered it shakily before allowing her hand to travel down the soft fabric, over muscles she fought to keep in fighting condition and succeeded with less frequency as the months passed.

The importance of physical fitness, proper diet, and adequate rest had been the foundations of her earliest training. She had been raised to treat her body with the same care she showed her weapons and she had always been healthy. There had been times, after Palpatine’s death, when she had gone hungry waiting for the next no-count job or paycheck, but even then she’d not had the dark circles under eyes that stared back at her now.

Pushing the strap back into place again, Mara rubbed her fingers over the flimsy-thin transparent skin of her shoulder and leaned against the wall. She had enjoyed a brief remission two months ago, but the disease had returned worse than ever this time and simply taking a shower had left her out of breath.

Inhaling and exhaling with slow deliberation, she made her way down the short corridor to the bedroom. Luke was already in bed, lying on his stomach with one arm flung off the side. Pausing in the doorway, Mara’s gut tightened in a pang of regret. He had gone to sleep without her. Again, something that happened more and more these days.

They’d been apart so frequently in the early days of their marriage that each night together had been a glorious re-discovery. Sleep was an irrelevant necessity, overtaking them only after hours of talk and laughter and lovemaking. And she had always fallen asleep in his arms, lying on her left side with his chest against her back and his arm draped loosely around her waist.

Making her way across the darkened room, she slipped under the covers and pressed herself quietly against Luke’s warm side. He turned over instinctively, without waking, and pulled her into his arms, holding her with tender protectiveness.

The musky scent of his skin stirred a longing within her that had been tamped down since the onset of this exacerbation. Angry tears burned her eyes. Some might have considered it petty, but her hunger – her need – for her husband was much deeper than any physical act. Passion was as much a part of their bond as the Force and denying it was like refusing to breathe.

Luke had told her, many times, that his love for her would never change, even if he could never touch her again, and she loved him even more. But she still had breath and life in her body and she wanted to spend it on him now.

Shifting in his arms, she pressed her lips to his chest, tasting the faint trace of cleanser from the shower and then the salt of her tears as they finally leaked down her cheeks.

“Hey,” he whispered softly. “What’s wrong?”

She did not answer, but tilted her head up and kissed him, slipping her hand behind his neck to hold his mouth against hers. His lips were soft and his beard stubble coarse and she clutched him to her in silent determination. Running her hand down the hard planes of his back, she reached the top of his sleep pants and tugged it below his waist.

Luke pulled away. “Mara?”

“I want you,” she panted, her lips still pressed to his.

He pulled back further and she could see his eyes shining through the darkness. “We can’t.” The last time they’d tried to make love, she’d grown weary too soon. Stubbornly refusing his offer to refresh her in the Force, she’d tossed in restless sleep, leaving him alone.

He had never mentioned his solitude, nor would he. Instead, he caressed her face gently. “You’re already having trouble breathing just from the shower. Maybe when you’re stronger -”

“No!” She pushed herself up onto her elbow, not even attempting to contain the flash of anger and frustration. “What if I don’t get any stronger?” she asked, her voice trembling with crackling emotion. “What if this is it? What if this is all the time we’ll ever get?”

Even in the dark, she could tell he’d gone pale. “Don’t say that. We’ll find a cure.”

“What if we don’t?” The words rang between them – words she’d never dared to speak before.

Luke stared at her, stricken.

“Please.” Mara leaned close to him again, her shaky touch begging him to understand. “I need you,” she whispered hoarsely. “I need to be us. To be who we are.”

He shook his head, kissing her fingertips. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You won’t.” Drawing him into her arms, she reassured him with a kiss; and this time, he did not pull away. For all his chivalrous protests, his desire was evident as he enveloped her in an embrace that was no longer chaste.

She had long been craving his weight on her body and she wrapped her legs around his waist, drawing him closer. His lips were hot as he enveloped her mouth and kissed neck hungrily. Her heart raced…

…too fast. Much too fast.

Luke pushed her gown up, sliding the silky fabric over her flushed skin…

…and she was dizzy. Luke’s face swam over her and she couldn’t focus.

“Mara?” His voice sounded distant, as if through a vacuum.

He started to pull away and she clutched him tighter, urging him forward. “Don’t stop,” she gasped. Long-repressed realization surfaced in unexpected desperation: each day could be her last. This union with her husband could be her last.

Time seemed to stop as the implication of her thoughts reverberated across their bond. She felt his horror and grief – his determination not to let her go. The room tilted and went gray, swimming out of focus, and she pressed her lips to his, teetering on the edge of consciousness…

…his voice sounded silently within her heart, My love

This time, he did not ask her permission, but infused her with his Force, filling her completely, body and soul. Their bodies met and merged in the intimate dance and, awash in his light and love, she was swept to heights of bliss where there was no pain or illness, only his strength and the power he imparted to sustain her.

She was whole.

She was strong.

In his arms, she was what they once were.

In the mute of raw understanding, they lay tangled together in the darkness. He stroked her hair, lulling her to sleep with soft whispers of affection as the Force ebbed around them, fading into quiet peace.

And that night, in the sacred hollow of her womb, his love…

…became life.


Last edited by Trace on Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 18 Jul 2007
Posts: 293
Location: Kentucky
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Oh my gosh. So beautiful and heart wrenching! Girl, I'm ready to sob here. I love how they created life together on so many levels... Just exquisite. Love

"Love we have, and passion." Mara/Luke
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Joined: 19 Jul 2007
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That is absolutely beautiful!! Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad They have such a beautiful relationship. What a wonderful story!

"You will kriff Luke Skywalker!" ~ The real last command.

I love my EOD man!
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Joined: 17 Jul 2007
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Location: England, Midlands
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Beautiful, sad, and yet hopeful! Love

Imperial at heart...
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007
Posts: 34
Location: South Carolina
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Whoa, that was gorgeous! Poor Mara was just breaking my heart, but I love the little bit of hope that you squeezed in there.

Awesome work! Worship

Love Love Love

I don't have a signature. These words are a figment of your imagination.

Don't worry, I'm sure there's help for that...
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Joined: 01 Aug 2007
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Okay, very fine writing throughout, but this kind of depressed me the first time I read it. All of the futility was somehow more painful with both Luke and Mara trying so hard not to hurt each other. Now don't get me wrong, I really hate it Evil or Very Mad when they are fighting and cheating on each other, but still there was something so frustrating about watching them walk on eggshells. However the last bit does set things in perspective and restore some of the hope that seemed to be lost in the NJO. Hell, maybe that's what they intended and they just went too far overboard for me. Up until the very end of this story, the lovemaking felt like as though it would/could be their last. The reference to "was what they once were" cut so deep. However, the "life" does a good job of drawing one back from the darkness of the NJO and reminds us that Luke and Mara were still able to win through. It also does a good job of setting the lovemaking in perspective, turning from a desperate encounter into a demonstration of the sheer force of will and depth of connection between these two. Thank you.

Ceterum censeo Bastion[sic] esse delendam!
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Joined: 01 Aug 2007
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Location: UK
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Beautifully written and certainly pulls on those heartstrings Crying or Very sad , this fic has a really dark-tainted wistfulness about it that really works in favour of the two characters Smile

"You can run, but you'll only die tired."
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Joined: 01 Aug 2007
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Sad, but really lovely.
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Joined: 03 Aug 2007
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Location: Central FL
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Lovely!! Mara's love and vulnerability and Luke's gifting of love and strength to her Kiss! Love My lands, this is the prequel to Balance Point--and that's a fact. Clapping Marvelous!! Unforgettable!! Hugs! Rose

Luke & Mara forever without end!! Always. Love Dancing!
A.K.A. Jade_eyes, at TFN. Laughing Mischief
Have a SQUGGLES! here also Hugs! Very Happy
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Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Posts: 104
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I know, I know, I've already reviewed this on TF.N. But I just couldn't resist saying again just how much I love this fic! Hugs! Love

I have the extreme urge to print this out and stick this somewhere in my copy of Balance point! Perhaps I will, it's just as good (and way better) than anything I've ever seen in profic... Wink

Excellent job, Trace! Worship Love Rose

. . . why so serious?
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007
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Location: Tennessee
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Oh wow - thank you all!! This vig was very emotional and difficult to write. It's been sitting on my computer for over a year and I never had the nerve to finish or post it because I was quite afraid that it sucked. The muse finally kicked it out of my heart, for better or worse, and your responses have made my week! Truly! On Cloud Nine

ginchy: Thank you so much! This kind of fic is hard, hard, hard for me and I really appreciate that. Hugs!

AG88: I was hoping the beauty of the romance would outweigh the suffering - thank you!! Rose

JayCee: Thank you! You know I can’t do pure depressing angst. Gotta be a light in there somewhere. Love

kayladie: You're too kind, sis! Hugs! I'd like to think that there is always a little bit of hope in everything. Somewhere.

EtahnAbaht: As always, your review left me flattered and floored. Blush This was really hard to write, for all the reasons you mentioned. I agree with you about the walking on eggshells – that drove me NUTS in the NJO. I’ve always thought that L/M were a lot stronger than they gave them credit for, which is kind of where this viggie came from. Thank you for the thoughtful reply!

Blue: Thank you! I like what you said about ‘dark-tainted wistfulness’….that’s a good way to summarize the sadness that was the early NJO for them. Rose

bkwrm: Thanks! I appreciate that. Wub You

Lady_Mara: Thank you so much! I’ve always wondered what Mara was remembering when she thinks back to the night that Ben was conceived in Balance Point. Love

miss dreams: Awww… Blush Thank you so very much! Hugs!

"Star Wars is epic and epic things must occur."
- John Ostrander
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Joined: 01 Aug 2007
Posts: 218
Location: Virginia
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Shoot, I thought I commented on this here!

Beautifully written.


I'm so rotten at this. Such an uplifting story, and here I am in tears. Crying or Very sad
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