Star Wars doesn't belong to me...obviously.
The inspiration for this one came from a review of TFA in which someone suggested that Kylo Ren feels out of sync with his face-based on the look of embarrassment and discomfort he has when Hux sees him without his mask. I just kind of ran with the idea. Enjoy!
As a boy, Ben Solo had always thought he'd been born with the wrong face. His father would always laugh, ruffle his hair and tell Ben that every adolescent felt that way; he would grow into his body, "just give it time, kid". Ben knew it was something deeper. It was all wrong: a sensitive face on top a gangly form. Lips that were too soft, eyes that were too expressive. People looking into his eyes were trying to peer into the soul of someone else; someone who was the proud son of legendary heroes. Someone who could sit in the hold of the Millennium Falcon with his family and their friends and not feel...empty, unsatisfied. Someone who didn't have the pain of wearing a face that didn't belong to him. As he grew older, so did his discomfort. Discomfort cycled into resentment, and resentment into rage; Ben began to destroy things when the storm within became too much. Destruction released the pain. He could feel the cloying concern his lack of control raised in his family, but it became harder and harder to care. He began to revel the feeling of raw power flowing out of him without restraint: power made him feel alive. On the other side of pain was pleasure.
He was sent off to train full time with his uncle.
His parents said it would help.
Ben could sense their fear.
As his teacher, Uncle Luke was stern and wise. Ben had the uncomfortable feeling that he could see straight through the wrong face into his real soul; whatever he saw there triggered a sadness, and something else.
Even worse, Master Skywalker was kind. Kind and gentle.
"I know it's not what you want to hear, Ben," he had said on more than one occasion, "but you need to learn control. Yes, you are powerful. But power without control is like a cracked crystal in a lightsaber: unstable and ultimately unsustainable. I know it's hard. I had to have that same lesson driven into my head by a stick...and a lot of pain." And then he'd always smile sadly and squeeze the boy's shoulder. "Control, Ben. To master the Force is to master yourself. Power alone isn't everything. Your grandfather found that out the hard way; he was the second-most powerful man in the galaxy and he was utterly alone. Until the end. All the power in the galaxy and he chose to save his family instead. Remember that, Ben. The Dark might seem more powerful, but love can ignite the stars. Find that light within yourself and let it guide you."
But...Ben had love. He had a mother who told him every day how much she loved him; a father who, though a mess of frustrating contradictions, was always there. A Wookie uncle who watched over him; a Jedi uncle who always had time for him. He was surrounded by love. If it could really ignite the stars, why couldn't it fill the void within him? What was wrong with him? Why did he feel so drawn to the stories of his grandfather as Darth Vader? Even to that day, beings still spoke of Vader in hushed, fearful tones. He was power personified...power for the Empire, but still one of the strongest ever to live. But Vader had realized the error of his ways, hadn't he? Reclaimed his true name of Anakin Skywalker. Showed strength at the end to cast aside the chains of darkness and save his son.
Maybe Luke Skywalker, Hero of the Rebel Alliance and the Jedi of the New Republic was wrong. Maybe Darth Vader was the pure form of the power that also ran through his veins.
Maybe Luke Skywalker hadn't lead Anakin Skywalker back into the Light.
Maybe Luke Skywalker had lead Darth Vader astray. Infected him with weakness.
Love, he decided, were the chains that were holding him back...the same chains that had strangled the mighty Vader. So one day, he broke free. He went straight to the one person he knew would give him power with limitations; the person who also favored strength over sentiment. No more limitations. No more weakness. He made for himself a new face, a strong face, one with eyes that finally matched the soul within. Finally, the boy who had been once called Ben Solo could look in a mirror and see himself. There was no weakness here, no soft lines or sensitive features. Here there was only strength. Only power.
He took a new name to fit his new face. Ben Solo, the weak son of foolish parents was no more; he was Kylo Ren and he was the heir to Darth Vader. Kylo Ren would succeed where Ben Solo had struggled.
Somewhere buried deep within him, a young child screamed in horror at the reflection that stared back at him.
The reflection of a murderer in a mask, who always stood alone.