otp: before the storm

Before The Storm ●part three●

Summary: Y/N Barnes has always been content with her life. She has a great brother, and has become pretty close to his best friend, Steve. Just when she thinks she’s got everything in check, a distant relative returns with some news which is set to cause a huge rift in all their lives.

Characters: Steve Rogers x Reader [Eventual], Bucky Barnes x Sister!Reader

Warnings: fluff, angst, very brief/slight harm to reader, cliffhanger ending [what a surprise!] 

A/N: You have no idea how much I appreciate all the amazing feedback for this series! I’m loving writing pre serum Steve. He literally owns my heart rn. 


It had been a week since Freddie had showed up at the Barnes’ door and caused a lot of worry and heartache for not only Y/N, but for Bucky and Steve, too. It had been a tiring week to say the least. Thankfully, Y/N had managed to work overtime shifts at the hospital to help earn some extra money to go towards their uncles meds, while Buck and Steve had both found second jobs to lend a hand to the cause.

Freddie had made himself useful around the apartment over the last few days, often cooking dinner after the three got home late from all the extra work they’d been doing. It was hard to ignore the tension between the three of them and Freddie. Although he hadn’t mentioned his deal with the Grindon’s since his run in with Y/N where she straight up told him she wouldn’t be marrying Marty or any other man she didn’t love, that didn’t stop the hate Bucky felt towards his uncle for the way he treated his sister in the first place.

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i don’t need a love story to believe in us, doll.
you have magic enough for fairies to dance,
and your eyes held all those unexplored galaxies
no man can conquer, nor unravel.
there’s no need for fables,
books with old words sounding wise,
troubadours or poets.
no tale will ever amaze me as much as your mind,
your glowing warm disguized as
the widest of the smiles,
and that dreamy kiss of yours.
besides, doll,
everything i need to know about love
it’s you.
—  i have us to believe in love. // jackie on my mind. nc.
Review: Before the Storm by Michael P. Kube-McDowell

The first book of the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, Before the Storm, is mostly a set-up of the conflict to come. Action is very sparse, as the novel concentrates on world-building and politics. There are three storylines: plot A follows New Republic negotiations with Yevetha, plot B is about Luke’s Jedi crisis and the quest to find his mother, and plot C is a completely unrelated Lando adventure with a ghost ship.

I really like the picture of New Republic here, it feels very homey to me - the senators are bickering, but most of them have good intentions and the military are as always suspicious and ready to jump into a new fight. Both good and bad people go behind Leia’s back, with various results. I liked the feeling of continuity and that New Republic takes its past experiences with Thrawn and Daala into account as it prepares for the future, but still everyone believes that peace is in their reach. The machine isn’t broken and it’s capable of correcting itself. Just the presence of loyal good-hearted people like Ackbar, Nylykerka, A’baht or Tolik Yar is enough.

There is some interesting parallelism between the New Republic and the Solo family homelife, as in both Leia is the highest authority. Also in both Leia’s goal seems to be freed of the tragic, bloody past and concentrate on building a happy peaceful future for her children to live in. But even though her style of parenting and leadership is working so far, there are already problems which her generals bring to her attention (Ackbar and Drayson in NR and Han on both fronts) but she chooses to ignore or underestimate. And it’s going to bite her soon.

When it comes to antagonists, I’d say that the author created a truly loathsome villainous creatures in Nil Spaar and Yevetha. Their view on other sentients is simply terrifying as they refer to anyone who isn’t Yevetha as “vermin”. For them what they do isn’t genocide or a massacre - it’s a pest control. And that is disgusting, especially when Nil Spaar uses the democratic system of NR to justify his actions with well-fabricated lies, all aimed to weaken Leia’s leadership and therefore NR’s capability of taking decisive action against him.

Moving on to plot B, Luke’s portrayal is rather painful as he oscillates between hibernation and excessive use of the Force, coupled with unthinking brutality. I wish someone was there to kick his ass, because he really needs it. Also, I can’t stand how naive he is in believing Akanah’s phony claim that she knows his mother, when it’s obvious she just wants his help to locate her people. On the other hand that’s very similar to Leia’s naive belief in Nil Spaar’s good intentions. Both siblings are gullible, because they’d rather believe something that isn’t true rather than face the facts.

Lando’s adventure was quite good and I really enjoyed his characterization as it’s rare to find good Lando in EU. He’s accompanied by Lobot (another rarity) and the droids. From OT main crew only Chewie is out of the picture because he went to Kashyyk to visit his family, but even in the few short scenes he appeared in, he was written well.

I enjoyed Before the Storm and it scores 7/10 from me.

“I’m going to tell you something I’ve kept from you, just because of the way you are about this thing,” Leia said slowly. “Since the end of the war—since I made Coruscant my home, and the work of the New Republic my life—there’s been a steady stream of women coming here and claiming that they’re our long-lost mother.” She looked to Han. “How many have there been now, honey?”
“More than two hundred,” Han said, nodding. “More of them lately, for some reason—almost one a week so far this year.”
“The security staff calls them ‘mad grannies,’” Leia said. “Some of them aren’t old enough by half—some aren’t even human. But they’re all firmly in love with the idea that they married the monster and gave birth to the heroes of the Rebellion.” She shook her head sadly.

- Before the Storm, Leia tells Luke about their fake mothers

This book was written before PT,  so no one knew about Padme, but this situation is so plausible. People can be crazy like this.

In this book, Luke and Leia have opposite views on their family - Leia is focused on the future, represented by her children, as she made peace with the past, more or less. Her Vader issues were already addressed in Planet of Twilight and she accepted that their mother is unknown. But Luke can’t let go, maybe because he has no memory of her, so he believes Akanah’s obvious ruse on the small chance that she might lead him to find his mother.

Metaphorically, Luke is stuck in the Past and Leia is looking to the Future, but both lose sight of what’s important now and make mistakes because of it. Only Han is the practical one concentrating on the Present, but he can’t do much without the other two backing him up.