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New Fic: Universal Constant

Universal Constant
Fandom: Star Wars
Rated: PG
Category: Family. Gen.
Time Frame: Pre-ANH, but not by a lot.
Spoilers: Movie Canon Only, A New Hope.
Summary: A man, his teenage son, and a vehicle. Some things are universal.
Word Count: 1091.

xxx

He’s got that look, and I know what’s coming.

I put down my fork and just look at him, and it’s only a second before he notices and starts in again.

“I could use it for runs to Anchorhead,” he says. “To get supplies.”

I don’t pretend to not know what he’s talking about, since it’s the only thing he’s been talking about for months now, and I can’t help but sigh. We’ve been through this. A hundred times.

“The speeder works fine for that,” I argue.

“But it’d be faster.”

The speeder is fast enough, thanks.

“What about cargo space?”

“There’s enough.”

There isn’t, but whatever.

“And docking permits?”

“I could manage.”

I give him a look. “Really? After you’ve blown all your savings to buy the damn thing?”

“I can make extra credits! I’ll do odd jobs.”

“Where?”

“I’ll figure something out. I’ve saved enough to buy it, haven’t I?”

He does have a point there. The kid is nothing if not resourceful. Too resourceful, probably. That’s what I’m worried about. It’s too easy to run spice or other illegal cargo if you’ve got the means. This would give him the means. And let’s not talk about the races I’m not supposed to know about.

“You ought to know by now that the purchase price is just the start.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. But…” he hesitates, then gets that gleam in his eye that always makes me nervous. “But if I can’t afford it, you can just sell it again, right? Even make a profit!”

That’s a new one from him, but not entirely unexpected.

“How do you figure?” I ask, wondering how far he’s thought this out.

“Well, the one I’m looking at, it’s used, right? Beat up some. I can fix it up. Make it like new. It’ll be worth more when I’m done with it. And if I can’t afford the upkeep, you can sell it. I’ll even give you the money! Everyone wins!”

Again, he has a point. He can fix most anything. Half the money he’s got came from revamping vaporators from the farm next door when it closed down. He sold them to some traders at a neat profit. But this isn’t that simple. Besides, it’s not really the money I’m worried about.

“And if you crash into the canyon wall?”

“I won’t take it to the canyon.”

He says this like it’s a given, and I snort. As if. There’s no way he’ll stay out of Beggar’s Canyon with that thing, even if he promises he will. I was a teenage boy once, too, and I’ll believe that, well, never. But I let it go for now.

“And if you crash it into a sand dune? A vaporator?”

He looks at me like I’m crazy. “I won’t.”

He’s got me there, too. The boy can fly, I’ll give him that. And that’s the problem, isn’t it? I can’t keep him grounded. Literally. Hell, if he didn’t already know how to fly the thing, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Damn that Biggs kid, anyway.

I sigh again, this time bigger and louder, and his shoulders sag. He knows what’s coming. It’s not like we haven’t had this talk before. I glance over at Beru, quietly eating and wisely not joining our talk, like usual. It doesn’t help that she gets that half smirk and nods when he does this, like everything’s perfectly fine. Like everything’s perfectly normal, when nothing could be further from the truth.

With this kid, nothing’s ever been normal.

Though I guess this is as typical as he gets. I’m sure I’m not the first father to want to strangle his teenage son over a vehicle.

I never thought one word could drive a man crazy, but here we are.

What hair I have is fading fast, and I swear; if I have to sit through this conversation one more time, I’ll murder the kid myself. And as young as he’s started up with this, I’ve got years of it ahead of me.

I can’t last that long.

He sits up and opens his mouth to argue more, but I stop him with a raised hand.

“I need you here. I can’t have you running around all the time.”

“I know,” he says with a sigh, and down go the shoulders again.

He looks the picture of young misery, and I can’t help but feel a twinge of sympathy. Beru nudges my knee under the table and I meet her eyes. She nods toward the boy and I mouth a question at her.

“You sure?”

She nods again. The kid is oblivious. I look back and see him staring at his food; stirring it around but not eating it. I really do feel for him, but I still don’t like this. Between time, money, and mostly trouble, I don’t like it at all. But Beru is always telling me that he’s not a child anymore, and I suppose she’s right. I take a deep breath and dive in.

“But I suppose, if you still get all your chores done…” I start.

He looks up with huge eyes and an open mouth. The expression is priceless, and enough to keep me going, though I still don’t really want to.

“And you keep up with your studies.”

He grins. “I can do that.”

“And only take it out during the day.”

“Fine,” he says, clearly willing to agree to anything at this point.

I don’t even bother to mention the canyon.

“And remember it’s all your responsibility. I won’t be helping you with it. If you can’t afford it, or you’re not using it, we will sell it, like you said.”

“Okay. Yeah. Fine.”

He’s jittery and talking way too fast now, and I grin.

I glance once more at Beru, and she gestures for me to go ahead.

“Then just buy the damn Skyhopper already,” I manage.

I suppose the look on his face is worth it.

And since I can count on one hand the number of times he’s hugged me since puberty, well, this is probably a win all around.

Two days later, a T-16 is in my garage.

A week after that, the machine is flying off toward Tosche Station, sunlight glinting off its panels.

Beru and I watch it go. She takes my hand, and her sigh echoes my own.

We watch until it disappears from the horizon, then walk slowly back to the house, one thought on both our minds.

Be safe out there, Luke.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
browncoat_2x2
Sep. 23rd, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
Nice! I liked this! Great look inside Owen's head and their family dynamic. I love Beru :D
jackwabbit
Sep. 24th, 2015 06:33 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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