Day 1

Title: Day 10
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Star Wars
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my 'verse. I don't get paid a cent to play. Please don't sue and make things worse.
Summary: Luke does his best to concentrate on his training, but wonders why everything happens to him and at the worst of times.
Note: Part of the 12 Ficlets in 12 Days project 2010-2011. Requested by Anonymous


No one would call Luke Skywalker self-centered. But Luke had to admit that everything did always seem to happen to him. Of all the droids in the galaxy, he'd somehow crossed paths with R2D2 and C3PO, as if it were meant to be. And then, just like that, who turned out to be a Jedi? Him. Of all the ships fighting at Yavin IV, he was one of the few to survive, and it had been his, out of all of them, that Vader had targeted. And then, whose responsibility had it been to finally destroy the death star? His. Of all the scouts and officers to go out on patrol on Hoth, he was the one to get attacked and captured by a Wampa. And then, who had travel all the way to Dagobah and wade through the swamps? Him, of course.

Everything seemed to happen to him. Not to mention that it seemed to happen at the worst possible moment. Okay, so Master Yoda might have been right when he'd said there was anger in him. And Master Yoda was also probably right that he thought too much about what would happen in the future instead of what was happening in the present. But that was because the present wasn't so terribly great.

He wanted to be a Jedi more than anything, but he wished he could just be done with the training already. Besides. For one thing, Jedi Master Yoda's training was exhausting—not just in body but in mind. And for another, there was something about Dagobah that just didn't agree with him. There was this constantly wet swamp and that… that cave beneath the trees. He didn't like to think about what he'd seen in there.

Then, worst of all, his X-Wing had sunk down so far beneath the water and mists and gunk that there seemed like no way he'd ever get it back or get off Dagobah for that matter. Yoda had lifted it out in mere seconds, making it look so easy and making Luke look like a pathetic child for insisting it couldn't be done because he, himself, hadn't been able to do it.

He started his training again, as if starting all over from the beginning, as if Ben hadn't managed to teach him anything at all. But he had started again, because he knew he had to.

“Feel the Force,” Yoda instructed softly, more like a soothing suggestion than an actual command.

Luke felt it. It was hard to describe—both within and without at the same time—but he felt at ease with it now. It allowed him to reach out and control things around him. He could feel the rock a few paces to his right, and he could lift it into the air as easily as if a wind had caught it. He could reach out to another rock as well and help it do the same. And he could turn himself around in the air as well, if he concentrated. He could start out standing on his feet and then turn himself upside-down so he was hovering there, head toward the ground, feet in the air. It was amazing, really, how it felt to tap into the Force.

That feeling was intense and overpowering. It blocked everything else from his mind. It blocked everything, apparently, until it was nearly too late to stop it. Suddenly, without warning, he knew he was going to sneeze. It was Dagobah getting to him again. He didn't know if it was an animal here or a plant or even the scent of the fog, but something made his nose tickle and itch the way it did when he had to sneeze.

He considered it carefully, the tickly feeling playing in his nostrils that he desperately wanted to rub away—but how could he do so and keep his balance upside-down like this? Worse yet, if he rubbed at his nose, Master Yoda would know he wasn't concentrating the way he was supposed to. It was probably best just to ignore it and hope it wouldn't build up into a sneeze after all.

He reached out, aware of the two rocks, aware of his body, aware of the Force. It was all a careful balance, just as Master Yoda had said. He had to learn the place of things amidst the Force. It was almost as if it didn't matter where they were, so long as they were there somewhere, in harmony with— oh no he had to sneeze!

The tickle was growing stronger by the second. He tried his best to ignore how bad it was. Maybe if he didn't think about it, it wouldn't be as bad as he thought. Or maybe there was something in the Force he could use to will a sneeze away. Or maybe he could levitate a stick into the air and have it drift past his face, rubbing at his nose just enough to make the sneeze back off. But he wasn't sure what would work best, if at all, and suddenly it was worse. The sneeze was undeniable now.

His eyes tried to close. His breath tried to hitch. His tongue pressed to the top of his mouth. And out came one deep, strong “Huhhhh” of a breath he had neither issued nor controlled. Blood rushed to his head, which was all full of fuzzy, ticklish buzzing now as the sneeze built. He almost couldn't find the Force any more.

That, he knew, would be awful. Master Yoda already had such a bad opinion of him, all he needed was to do something silly like sneeze and fall on his head now. He forced his eyes open and glanced over at Yoda. The Jedi Master was staring right at him. Just wonderful. No room for making mistakes now.

Ohhh the sneeze. His nose felt warm now, the tickles turning into insistent tingles and little pinpricks. They were getting stronger, harsher. And his breath caught again. “Huhhhhh!” He held his breath, forcing himself to regain control, and one of the rocks wobbled. Quickly, he reached out through the Force to steady it. Balance. This was all about balance. Balancing the items within the realm of the Force, balancing his need to sneeze and the exercise he was supposed to be doing. He could do both, Luke realized. He was going to be a Jedi one day soon; he could do anything.

Hehh! Hehh!” The need to sneeze was so immediate that he had reacted purely on instinct, completely without thought. He lifted his hand and rubbed two fingers beneath his nose back and forth, back and forth. It wasn't until he felt the sneeze back down a little that he realized he was balancing now on only one hand, the rest of his body suspended in the air, as though on invisible strings. Luke was surprised on two levels now. Not only had it worked to suppress the sneeze a little bit, but he had also not fallen. The rocks were still right where they were supposed to be. Good. He had had some luck at last then.

Luke felt his body hum with the Force, as if he could take his other hand off the ground and just float there, gently hanging, surrounded by the Force and all its goodness. “Eh-heh!” His breath caught and one of the rocks went thumping onto the ground. He rubbed his fingers against his nose again, and then he pinched his nose between his thumb and forefinger. It didn't work this time. It wasn't working at all. Why wasn't it working this time? He scrubbed at his nose and felt as well as heard the second rock hit the mossy ground.

He gasped and his nostrils flared. He gasped again and his mouth turned down. He tried to stop it, tried not to breathe. But he couldn't help it. He gave up, gave in, letting it take hold of him. He had to… had to sneeze. “ehhhh-hehhhh-heyuhh-Chooo!” The sneeze threw him onto the ground, where he lay as yet another sneeze came upon him. He cupped his hand to his nose and mouth, which had dropped open and stayed open. “hehh-ehyyehhh… ehhh-Choo!

This one had taken hold of his shoulders, shaking him, bending him forward. And still there was another coming. Speech was entirely out of the question. All he could feel was the sneeze, like his nose was on fire. It made him take another deep breath and snap forward again. “ehhh-Chishhhhhh!

Luke opened his eyes and saw Master Yoda staring at him, eyes narrowed. “Not ready you a—”

“I know!” Luke sighed, lying back upon the squishy, wet ground. “I know I'm not ready. I know you think I'll never be a Jedi. I tried my best, I really did. But there's something that's… hehh…” His nose was fiery and ticklish again. “Something that's bothering my-ehhhhh-my nehhh… nooohhh-CHOO! heyihChooo!” He scrubbed the back of his hand against his face. Were his eyes starting to itch now too? “Sniff! Sniff!” His nose wasn't just tickly now, but runny. “Aren't Jedi allowed to sneeze sometimes?”

Hearing a soft chuckle, Luke opened one eye, glancing suspiciously in Yoda's direction. “Sneeze, yes. Jedi can sneeze.” Using his stick, Master Yoda pulled himself forward several feet. He bent over Luke, blinking kindly at him. “Hrmmmmm. Need some tea of gnarltree root, you do. Come with me. Done with lessons of balance today, we are. Start lessons about listening to yourself better, we will.”