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Lucky

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1.

Ben Solo is exactly one minute old when people start telling him how lucky he is. It's his father first--looking startled and unsure but so very happy--then his uncle, then the many acquaintances his mother has at the base.

Ben only knows this happened because his father never stops telling this story. That would be okay, except for the fact that the kids at school look at him with jealousy and can't stop telling him this either.

It doesn't help that they move around a lot because of his mother's position; it's even worse that he has none of his father's charm or his uncle's openness or his mother's way with words. He has exactly one friend and that's probably only because their mothers keep shoving them together while the grown-ups work.

Ben is five when he punches Poe Dameron in the face for saying how lucky he is. His friend count drops to zero.

 

2.

Aren't you so lucky, getting private lessons with Master Skywalker, one of the other padawans sneers in the hallway one day. Ben is ready to hit him with his wooden practice stick (they haven't started using lightsabers yet, to his vast disappointment), but the boy walks away too fast and Ben's uncle just happens to be passing by at the moment.

So instead all he gets to do is scowl at the boy's retreating back, and bide his time for revenge.

Ben is thirteen and knows Uncle Luke can sense his growing darkness and despair, even if he can't hear the voice in Ben's head. The "private lessons" are nothing more than a way to satisfy his uncle's conscience--a way to pat himself on the back for keeping Ben 'away from the Dark side,' a way to keep Ben from reaching his true potential with the Force.

 

3.

Aren't you so lucky that the Supreme Leader decided to forgive your failures is the first thing Hux says to Kylo Ren when he awakens, broken and battered from the fight in the snow. He can barely see (there's some kind of medical cloth all over his face and he vaguely remembers the blue lightsaber that belonged to his grandfather slicing his face open) and he's pretty sure he doesn't have the strength to stand. Then there are also the burns on his shoulders and the gaping wound in his side.

He thinks upon his next meeting with Snoke and wishes the scavenger had had the guts to finish him off, instead of leaving the First Order to find what what was left of him.

Kylo Ren is thirty-one and he knows that the Supreme Leader doesn't forget a thing, that he certainly doesn't forgive.

 

4.

Aren't you so lucky, I promised your mother I'd bring you back alive. The scavenger--Rey, some small part of his brain supplies--looks down at him with a large amount of loathing and a small amount of pity (the pity is somehow worse to bear) as he lays on the medical bed, in a wing far from the rest of the injured.

He may have turned at the last second, delivering the final blow while his guts threatened to spill from the gaping abdominal wound Snoke gave him--but she did all the work prior to that. And she resisted the urge to kill him or leave him for dead--which would have been so much easier for her and which she had every right to do.

Instead she somehow dragged his half-dead body away from the burning volcano of Mustafar, back to a ship, and somehow managed to get them both back to the Resistance, alive. She tells him all of this in a voice one would use with a five year old who'd burned their hand on a stove they were explicitly told not to touch.

Kylo Ren is thirty-three and feels like he's three again when Rey leaves the room and he spots his mother standing in the doorway.

 

5.

Aren't you so lucky, getting off so easy, one of the Resistance "justices" bites out as she passes him. There's a trial as soon as he's able to somewhat stand again (which means he has to grab onto whatever is nearby to not topple over in front of everyone). This is more than he expected, but he very quickly realizes that death back on Mustafar would have been less painful (he wishes someone would just spear him now and get it over with, but sadly no weapons were allowed in the room).

He dares not look anyone in the eye, but he doesn't need the Force to feel that every face focused upon him is a version of hate, spite, and anger. Everyone in the room has lost a brother, mother, daughter, husband, friend, lover because of him--many directly by his hands.

His release (also unexpected) is conditional upon him then completing a list of reparations that he's sure will still be unfinished if he lives to be a hundred (he seriously doubts he'll live that long, he doubts he'll make it out of this room without some kind of physical injury).

It also is conditional upon a top-ranking Resistance member becoming his permanent shadow. Luckily for them, they can rotate...all 2 of the Force-sensitive people who could possibly contain him, should he decide to put one toe out of line.

He doesn't know what to think when Rey decides it will be easier for her if she pretends Kylo Ren is dead. There's something wrong in the way she uses the name of a dead boy, a name he certainly doesn't deserve or feel particularly comfortable with being called. Especially when she says it over their strange Force connection, chiding him for this or that.

He wishes again that she had just killed him back on Mustafar...but then he wasn't that lucky.

 

+1.

The screams are somehow worse than he expected, but then again he hadn't expected to hear them with both his ears and his mind. The gap between them is starting to shorten--which he knows is a good thing, but he's also is stuck outside the room, unable to do a thing, and it's killing him.

He alternates between pacing while clenching his fists and closing his eyes and pressing his fingers against his forehead in an attempt to refrain from breaking something (he ruefully remembers how good it felt to destroy a control panel, if only for the few minutes of relief before guilt and emptiness set in). He hasn't broken anything consequential in years, but if he knows if he sits still for a moment it's only a matter of time before he breaks a chair leg with the Force or something.

Suddenly the door opens (he must have lost track of time) and his mother walks out with a medical droid, smiling brightly, smiling like he hasn't seen in at least three decades.

"You're so very lucky," his mother tells him before giving him a giant hug and ushering him into the room.

He stops hesitantly by the door frame and takes a moment to capture the picturesque scene before him, the two new heartbeats he can hear pulsing through the Force, her shining face. She smiles at him then and it's like he's flat on his back in the snow again, unable to walk.

"Come over here," she says softly. He's there within five strides, pressing a kiss to the top of her head and completely lost for words. He never could have imagined this, he never would have thought it was possible to have this much.

Ben Solo is thirty-seven when he pulls up a chair next to his new flesh and blood family and is in awe at how particularly lucky he is.