Fanfic / Reflections
is a Tales of the Abyss
fanfic written by darkangel_mya
on fanfiction.net, telling the story of how things could have turned out if someone else had been present in Luke's life growing up.
If you haven't finished the game or anime, much spoilers are below.
Like in the original backstory, Asch (then Luke) escapes his captivity and finally returns home...only to find him having been replaced by a replica version of him that everyone is happy about. About ready to break and leave, said replica stumbles on to him and their first, heartwarming, meeting sets in motion new events. Taking on the name Asch from the new Luke's attempts at speaking, the new twins set in motion a much changed future.
It has four Side Stories; "Doctor's Appointment
", "Luke's First Christmas
", "What Do You Get Jade For Christmas?
" and "Double Date
"Needs Wiki Magic Love
Reflections has the following tropes:
- Adaptational Heroism: Asch. Luke also starts off much more kind than in canon as well.
- Adaptational Villainy: Or adaptational jerkass in the case of Natalia. She gets better, though not after quite a few terrible decisions.
- Alternate Universe Fic: Of course.
- Always Identical Twins: Invoked by those in the know about Luke to hide his status as a replica. In practise they come across as this anyways, despite having only been together for 7 years.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: What Van wants to invoke in Asch once he realizes just how important Luke is to him and thus getting in the way of his plans. They come very close to it more than once, but ultimately avert it with both of them living.
- Ascended Extra: Ginji and Noelle get a lot more characterization than in the games, as does Asch who goes from being a Guest Star Party Member to a fully fledged protagonist. Cantabile is the biggest example since she didn't even appear in the game (as noted below).
- Backup Twin: What Van created Luke for in the first place, though he turns out to be a Spanner in the Works to his plans by accident.
- Big Brother Instinct: When Luke gets warped half-way around the world, Asch immediately sets off to find him. The distance between Kimlasca-Lavender and Malkuth is a few days by coach. Asch meets up with him at Cheagle Woods in two. It's implied there was probably a lot of violence involved, especially to get across the border without his passport. Short answer: don't mess with Luke, especially when Asch is around. If violence won't help, their Twin Switch is another valid way of payback.
- Breakout Character: Cantabile didn't actually appear in the game, and was only mentioned in Tales of Fandom.
- Character Development: Asch's original stagnation was graced away the moment Luke first met him as a kid.
- Children Are Innocent: The very reason why Luke managed to charm Asch when he returned to find a replica in his place.
- Cloning Blues: Luke hides it through him not making a fuss around those in the know, but for those who don't know he's a replica he makes a strong point to avoid revealing the truth because of this. He also has an inferiority complex in regards to Ashe that pops up when he's in a bad place mentally because of this. Also, like in canon, both Sync and Ion have this. Unlike canon, they also both manage to ultimately move past it - Ion through his friendship with Luke, while Sync is more implied in the epilogue to have moved past his issues.
- Cruel Mercy: Sync's final encounter is this. Even when left with a dagger, he couldn't bring himself to commit suicide.
- Dramatic Irony: All over the place, mostly in regards to Luke being unknown as a replica for a long time. The tendency for Asch and Luke keeping secrets also results in this, especially after they sync their fon slots.
- Enemy Mine: Guy gets kidnapped by Cantabile and the group goes after him. Where do they find him? Drinking tea with her in a cafe, having a civil discussion. To be fair at this point Guy wasn't aware of the extent of Cantabile's plans and was simply happy to see her alive. However, considering Guy's loyalties were already in question at this point, it's needless to say that the group is a tad miffed.
- Luke enlists Arietta's help in order to get his group out of yet another dungeon. All she asks is that the group leaves Ion with her, and since Ion is already Secretly Dying, he volunteers to stay.
- Foregone Conclusion: Though Asch's presence changes many of the events in the story, several major events were required to happen in order to keep the plot moving along, such as Luke destroying Akzeriuth.
- For Want of a Nail: Essentially what would happen if Luke reunited with his family...after they mistake his replica for him.
- Friend Versus Lover: Or rather brother versus lover in the case of Luke, Asch, and Natalia. At least in Natalia's eyes. In truth, once Luke is mentally old enough to understand, he's very supportive of Asch and Natalia's relationship. Natalia's insistence as seeing their relationship as this trope ends up being deconstructed hard.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Natalia towards Luke in regards to Asch during the worst of her jerkass behaviour.
- Heel–Face Turn: God-Generals Legretta and Sync are revealed in the epilogue to have turned over a new leaf, with Legretta semi-retired and training new Oracle Knights while Sync worked his way back up the ranks to become the new Commander. Dist is a borderline example - he's still Jade's "rival" but his projects are now more benevolent in nature.
- Heroic Blue Screen of Death: Luke post-Akzeriuth.
- Asch as well, After Luke beats him in a duel, and is chosen to go to the Tower of Rem instead of Asch.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Well, Tear and Natalia certainly do. Noelle also comments on Luke's attractiveness.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Asch and Luke fight each other over who gets to make one at the Tower of Rem. Luke has apparently made another one as of Chapter 81.
- Ion sacrifices his life to cure Tear of the miasma contamination, and dies slowly over the course of weeks.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Since Luke skips his Important Haircut in this story, the only way the party, or anybody for that matter, can differentiate Asch and Luke are their clothes. Played with when the two use this to their advantage to switch places without anybody being the wiser except Jade, of course.
- Playing this more straight, Asch has a scar that's hidden by his hair that he got trying to escape from Choral Castle. Luke has no such scar. This is how the villains can tell them apart.
- Insult Friendly Fire: Tear has a very unhappy history with fomicry, and repeatedly says she hates it and that nothing good ever comes from it. While traveling with Luke, whom she loves and doesn't realize is a replica until later.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Guy and Cantabile.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The characters make several comments throughout the story that poke fun at various aspects of the game it's based on, such as Luke commenting that he hates Daath, since nothing good ever happens there, and Asch commenting that had he joined Van, he'd probably have done something stupid like joined the Oracle Knights.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Legretta, even more then in the game. Natalia also has a bout of this.
- Morality Pet: Luke's very innocence and acceptance of him is the reason why Asch hasn't fallen. Character Development has Asch reducing his dependence on Luke at the same time as Luke steps forward on his own.
- Mutual Envy: Luke and Asch both envy each other for what they don't have. Luke envies Asch for being with a purpose in life and his confidence, while Asch envies Luke's optimism and freedom to choose his path in life as well as how easily he is able to open up and befriend people.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Natalia, after trying to turn Luke over to the God Generals, and she finds out that not only were the God Generals not going to keep their word of returning him to Batical, but that it was actually Asch, who had switched with Luke.
- This is also everyone's reaction when they find out thanks to Asch's insistence what really happened in Akzeriuth, rendering their chewing out of Luke as invalid and even a bit irrational.
- Tear has this reaction when she realizes she's been travelling with and is falling for Luke, who is a replica she claims to hate as a product of formicry. And she said it repeatedly around him.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Happens frequently whenever Luke and Asch are keeping secrets from the group, particularly during events shortly before and after the Tower of Rem. Anytime Tear or Natalia bring up the idea of having a happy future with them, they're both reminded that their fonons are dispersing.
- Pet the Dog: Asch does this mainly with Luke, but his interactions with Natalia also invoke this. Later on Dist does this to Luke by revealing his true birthday.
- Plot Detour: Averted. In the original game, the gang has to pass through Fubras River since the bridge to Akzeriuth was down. There was no such problems here and they got to see what the town had to offer before the subsequent miasma outbreak and destruction.
- Secretly Dying: Ion, after he transfers Tear's disease to him. Luke and Asch soon find themselves in a similar situation after the Tower of Rem.
- Spanner in the Works: The story is based on Luke become one to Van: convincing Asch to stay with his family instead of joining Van. This leads to Van showing a much greater degree of open contempt for Luke, since he serves as the primary anchor for Asch. It also makes Luke a much bigger target, since Van knows that if he dies, he can blame it on the Score and have Asch join him.
- Asch also manages to be this for Mohs by rooting out Anise as his spy ahead of time. Ion dismisses Anise from the Fon Master Guardians, and finds her parents a place to live outside of Daath (while Anise remains unaware and rejoins the group out of lack of any other options).
- Spared by the Adaptation: God-Generals Legretta and Sync, as well as both Luke and Asch—though the last two depend on your interpretation of the original game's ending.
- Spoiled Sweet: Luke in this version, thanks to Asch's influence. Contrary wise, Natalia has some Spoiled Brat moments due to Luke and his strong bond with Asch, which often makes her feel less important to him than to a replica.
- Token Evil Teammate: At first, Asch shows a mutual annoyance to everyone but Luke and Natalia, and he holds contempt especially towards Tear and Guy.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Natalia gets unpleasant while they are trying to avoid the Outer Lands falling but have no other method than reducing the collateral thanks to what Van has done and not having the knowledge to come up with something else. Natalia, who already is frustrated with Asch apparently choosing Luke over her, gets down right catty.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Asch ever so slowly gets better at opening up to others over the course of the story. Natalia also shakes off her more jerkass behaviour and beliefs once it gets hammered into her just how bad she's been acting.
- Twin Switch: Apparently, this is Luke and Asch's favorite game. It even has some plot importance more than once.
- At the very end, in one of the most heartwarming moments of the fic, Asch and Luke try it one last time, and fool absolutely no one.
- Twin Telepathy: Asch and Luke learn how to use it seamlessly shortly after returning to Baticul for the first time. They don't reveal it to the rest of the party until much later, leaving them baffled as to how the hell they seem to get into fights or make up without even speaking to one another. They also use it to greater effect against Van, coordinating their attacks to create an opening.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Everyone's (except Asch and Ion) reaction to Luke destroying Akzeriuth is to chew him out. Unfortunately for them, it ultimately turns out to be a What the Hell, Hero? moment for them (for jumping to conclusions) instead of Luke once the truth of the incident is revealed.