Two nights before he leaves for the academy, Biggs Darklighter shows up at the Lars moisture farm in his nicest clothes, hair combed to the best of his ability. Owen looks a little surprised at his appearance but shakes it off. “You looking for Luke?” he says. “Kid’s at the station. You’ll find him there.”
“Actually,” Biggs says, tugging at a loose thread on his shirt, “I was looking for you.”
“Huh.” Biggs is sweating in the evening air. Whatever it is, Owen guesses it must be important. “Well, come in.”
He pours them each a drink and sits down at the table with Biggs, offering him a cup. Biggs doesn’t touch it. “As you might know, I’m leaving soon,” he says, fidgeting with his fingernails. “And… and there was something I wanted to do before I go.”
“Okay…” Owen scratches his chin. “What?”
“Well, I… I wanted to ask Luke if he would… if he would marry me.”
He’s expecting shock, surprise— Owen shows none. Hell, he knows what these kids get up to at night in the dunes, up at Tosche Station, in the garage. He’s seen the look Luke gets in his eyes when he talks about Biggs.
And Biggs, Biggs is a good guy. Good head on his shoulders, going places. And if those places were here on Tatooine, Owen would be saying yes.
But he knows his nephew. And he knows that Luke would never be content to sit safe at home while his husband was off fighting in the stars. If he was restless now, he’d be infinitely worse if he were married to Biggs. Owen and Beru would never be able to keep him grounded.
Times like this, Owen wonders why they have to. Why, in the grand scheme of things, it’s so important. Times like this, he thinks of all the battles they’ve seen play out in the skies, he thinks of all the men sent back in body bags. Times like this, he thinks of Luke, limp and dead in his arms, he thinks of a third grave outside, dug in the dirt. Times like this, he thinks of an empty seat at dinner, he thinks of Beru pouring an extra glass of milk before remembering.
And he thinks back to a tense dinner with Padmé Amidala, thinks back to watching his step-brother walk back to them across the sand with his dead mother and the shadows of all the Tusken raiders he killed. Times like this, he thinks of Luke turning his back on the good man he is and becoming some kind of monster.
But he’s been quiet for too long, and Biggs looks like he’s about to crumple from the stress. “I’m sorry, son,” Owen says, hoping he sounds like he means it, because he does. “I just… I can’t let you do that.”
Biggs nods slowly, unable to meet Owen’s eyes. “Alright,” he says, still nodding. “That’s… alright.”
“I’m sorry,” Owen tells him, and Biggs is standing up, looking so much smaller than he is. “I really am. Look, if things were different…”
But why bother saying it? Things aren’t different. Things are the way they are, and nothing can change that. “Thank you, Mr. Lars,” Biggs manages, and then he goes on his way.
The truth is, Biggs never laid a finger on Luke. When they were lying out under the stars, they were talking. When they were huddled up in the garage, they were talking. They were friends, as far as anyone else knew. They never even kissed.
But sometimes, and more and more often as time went on, Biggs would look at him, would see the way the sunlight caught his hair, the way he smiled, and he knew. He just knew.
They were just friends, as far as anyone else knew. They never even kissed. But that night, on the brink of war, Biggs Darklighter was ready to marry him.
Owen plans on telling Luke.
He really does. A few days after Biggs leaves the planet, Owen heads down to the garage to talk to his nephew.
Luke’s tinkering with his speeder and moping. “Hey, Uncle Owen,” he says, straightening up and trying to rub a grease stain out of his shirt. “Dinnertime already?”
“Oh, no, Luke,” he says, sitting down on the bench. His legs creak as he straightens them out. “I just wanted to talk to you.”
“What? Oh, I’m— I’m okay, really,” he promises, leaning against the speeder. “I know I’ve been kind of quiet lately, I just… I’m just really missing Biggs.”
“I know,” Owen says. “And that’s why—”
“I mean, I just keep forgetting he’s actually gone,” Luke says, interrupting. “I turn around and I think he’s gonna be there. I guess I need to get used to that, huh?”
And, God, the kid looks bleak.
Suddenly, Owen can picture it all happening. Darklighter gets drafted and dies somewhere lightyears away, and Luke has to hear about it here on Tatooine. And Luke has to live without him, has to go to his funeral and mourn him and move on and know the whole time that Biggs could have married him, would have married him.
It’s been hard enough to watch him sulk for the past couple of days. Owen doesn’t even want to imagine him grieving his whole life over what could have been.
“Yes,” he sighs, not meeting Luke’s eyes. “I’m sure you will have to get used to that. Don’t worry about it too much, Luke.”
When Biggs shows up at Tosche Station and tells Luke he’s joining the Rebel Alliance, he says nothing about the meeting with Owen. He tells him “I’ve missed you, kid,” and he tells him, “you’ve got a mouth bigger than a meteor,” and he tells him, “I’m leaving in the morning.” And then he’s gone.
And then there’s a moisture farm burned down, and an X-Wing shot out of the sky, and no one alive to remember that night that Biggs Darklighter was ready to marry Luke.
And then there’s one slightly tipsy Wedge Antilles, pouring one out with Luke for all the men they lost in the Battle of Yavin. “It’s just… strange,” Luke tells him, and Lord, he’s trying not to cry. “I keep forgetting he’s actually dead. I turn around and I think he’s gonna be there. I should be used to it by now, but I’m not.”
“Makes sense,” Wedge says. “He was your best friend.” Luke cringes at the past tense. A thought occurs to Wedge. “You must’ve known his boyfriend, right? Back on Tatooine?”
“His what?” Luke says. Then— “I mean, no. What?”
“Oh, he told me about this guy,” Wedge goes on. “Was in love with him. He said he went to the guy’s folks right before he left to ask for their blessing, but they wouldn’t give it.”
Luke shakes his head. “No, I didn’t know him. I didn’t even know Biggs was… with anyone.”
“I don’t think he ever got over this guy,” Wedge says. “Was always talking about him, though. Wouldn’t shut up, actually, which is ironic because one of the things he kept saying was that the kid had a mouth bigger than a meteor.” Luke’s mouth drops open. “What?”
“Nothing, Wedge,” Luke says, shaking his head like he’s trying to get water out of his ears. “Nothing, just… he must have really loved that guy.”
It’s not enough. It will never be enough, but maybe it comes close. Maybe, just maybe, it comes close to being enough, that one person in all the universe knows about the night that Biggs Darklighter was ready to marry him.