Fanfic / Reflections
) is a Tales of the Abyss
fanfic written by darkangel_mya
, 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in the original backstory, Luke fon Fabre escapes his captivity and finally returns home...only to find himself having been replaced by a replica version of him that everyone is (apparently) happy with. 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. Cantabile arguably counts as well, since in Tales of Fandom she wasn't fully an enemy and most certainly wasn't revenge obsessed like here.
- All-Loving Hero: Luke, like in canon except he's always like this. This actually has him be able to become almost friends with Arietta and even get to Dist.
- 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).
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Van earned his Commandant title. Duke Fabre later reveals that him letting Van teach his sons is because he can beat him.
- 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.
- This ends up deconstructed later on. Asch has basically built his new identity around his brother/replica and how he needs him. When he stops needing him as much anymore...Asch flips and has a serious breakdown.
- Big Brother Worship: Luke adores Asch despite their at times rough relationship. Van knows this well and uses the threat of Asch being doomed by the Score to manipulate him in the lead up to Akzeriuth. Growing out of this is part of his character development.
- Big Damn Heroes: Asch does this a lot, which Luke lampshades when he rescues him from Daath. Duke Fabre gets his own moment as well.
- Breakout Character: Cantabile didn't actually appear in the game, and was only mentioned in Tales of Fandom.
- Breather Episode: Chapter 48 is enforced as such by Peony, much to Jade's annoyance. It's a rather light one where the group gets to enjoy the Keterburg spa, Jade gets forced into wearing the hilariously awful swim suit Peony got him by the twins, and then they have a dance party with Peony (as well as Nephry to Jade's irritation).
- 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.
- The Chosen One: Like in canon, both Asch and Luke fit this, Asch as the original prophesied Luke fon Fabre and Luke as his replica who now goes by that name. Luke ends up fulfilling the first prophecy by destroying Akzeriuth and later on they both fulfill the Score at the Tower of Rem. By the final battle Asch realizes Luke is The Chosen One by dint of being the Unchosen One as his replica is not bound by the Score and thus is the one best to wield the Key of Lorelei to end the Score.
- 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 Asch 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.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Asch's kidnapping and his struggle to get home only to find himself "replaced" took a serious toil on him, which is why he discarded his old name of "Luke" and gave it to his replica. It's only thanks to Luke that he's on the side of good for quite some time.
- Declaration of Protection: Asch has this towards Luke. Per the usual standards of the trope, this quickly becomes much more complicated and filled with drama especially come the entire Tower of Rem situation.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Asch is aloof and cold to everyone but Luke and Natalia at first, but over time he starts opening up and reveals his softer side to the others.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Luke's Heroic Self-Deprecation and Cloning Blues tends to lead to this trope, especially as the younger "surprise" brother of the Fabre house and when he compares himself to Asch who definitely has a purpose in life as a future ruler of Kimlasca. Yet another thing Van uses to manipulate him... In the end, though Luke hasn't quite figured out what he wants to do in life except in the short term, he's much more stable and satisfied with his life.
- 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.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Do they ever which results in the return of both Luke and Asch two years after the end of Eldrant and the freeing of Lorelei.
- Enemy Mine: 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.
- Everyone Can See It: Tear/Luke is at times painfully obvious to everyone but them.
- Evil Counterpart: Like in canon, the God-Generals are counterparts to the heroes. However, there is a slight switch up as to who is a counterpart to whom thanks to Asch never joining the God-Generals and remaining firmly on the good guy's side: Sync is now Luke's counterpart being a replica that has no identity or purpose of his own compared to Luke striving to find his place in this world while Guy is now compared to Cantabile who never gets over her hatred and desire for revenge unlike Guy who early on turns away from that path. The final battle with Sync also draws comparisons between him and Asch in a "what could have been" fashion.
- Asch is ultimately compared to Van, both being doomed by the Score but in Asch's case he does not let the Score define him and believes in more than one future. Not to mention their treatment of Luke differs - Asch loves Luke and has him as his Living Emotional Crutch, while also being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold towards him. Van, meanwhile, despises Luke and wants to kill him for the sake of his plans, but pretends to care for him and is much more gentle than Asch in his treatment of Luke (at least until Akzeriuth). Luke's faith in the future is also contrasted with Van's bitter cynicism.
- 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 and the entire Tower of Rem situation.
- For Want of a Nail: Essentially what would happen if Luke reunited with his family...after they mistake his replica for him.
- Friendly Enemy: 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. In the end, the friend part ends as Cantabile's Revenge Before Reason stance clashes with Guy's choice to forgive and move onwards past his dark past.
- 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. This leads to her jumping to thinking the worst of Luke no matter the circumstances.
- Legretta has this to Cantabile about her relationship with Van.
- Headbutt of Love: Luke and Asch do a platonic version of this at the end of chapter 84 just before they disperse into fonons.
- The Heart: Luke is the emotional and moral centre of the group, especially when it comes to Asch. Though both Guy and Jade note at the end that Asch himself is also just as central to the group's ability to keep moving forward.
- Heel–Face Turn: Spinoza is revealed to have done this pre-canon (with the oneshot "Doctor's Appointment" explaining that) as he is one of Luke and Asch's doctors, in regards to any problems thanks to Luke being a replica. 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 Commandant. 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.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Luke does not feel confident in himself, especially when compared to Asch. This, plus the aftermath of a bad fight with Asch, is what Van uses partly to manipulate him into destroying Akzeriuth.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Well, Tear and Natalia certainly do. Noelle also comments on Luke/Asch's attractiveness, as does a poor nameless young maid Luke reassures of her nerves.
- 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. Both do this in Chapter 84 to free Lorelei.
- 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.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Like in canon, Asch has this. In this case, it's tied to his Big Brother Instinct and Declaration of Protection towards Luke. His self worth and entire life after he became Asch is bound to him being able to protect the one person who "needs him".
- Insane Troll Logic: Van has a tendency to blame Luke for nigh everything that is going wrong with his plans. His inability to get Asch on his side, Tear's refusal to join him...he misses the fact that even without Luke his plan is just that crazy and against what they stand for that they won't agree to it.
- In Spite of a Nail: Despite various changes, some things still happen like in canon:
- The group still ends up in Choral Castle and Luke and Asch's fon slots are synced.
- Akzeriuth is still destroyed
- Luke and Asch have a duel in Yulia City.
- The miasma still rises after the timeskip and thus so does the Tower of Rem incident still happen.
- Luke and Asch end up Secretly Dying due to fonon separation.
- Ion dies and Anise and Arietta end up in a Duel to the Death.
- 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.
- Jerkass Façade: Asch pulls this on a lot, especially when it comes to situations which are dangerous to those he cares about. Gets taken Up to Eleven during the Tower of Rem incident.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Asch and Natalia. Asch just is abrasive to pretty much everyone unless your name is Luke or Natalia, while Natalia's jerk side comes out more around Luke and when it also involves him as well at her worst moments. Both develop past this.
- 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.
- Lighter and Softer: The fic as a whole compared to the canon game/anime. Though things still get bad, the worst aspects are avoided thanks to Asch's character being kinder than in canon, not to mention the lack of him being a Static Character. The ending and epilogue are the greatest examples there, as unlike the Ambiguous Situation of a Gainax Ending that canon is, both Luke and Asch return and have a future to look forward to.
- Like Father, Like Son: Asch and Duke Fabre, which gets lampshaded as time progresses. Both of them are Sugar And Ice Personalities who aren't very good at expressing themselves but truly do care a lot about the people around them. Not to mention are quite protective of their family. Unfortunately this results in their relationship being strained at best. By the epilogue, Asch and his father finally are able to have a better relationship.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Luke to Asch, something which becomes more apparent as the Tower of Rem incident draws near. Luckily, by the end Asch is not as dependant on Luke anymore.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Luke, like in canon. After the destruction of Akzeriuth he lampshades it and works to being more informed. The rest of the group is also temporarily out of the loop as to what really happened with Akzeriuth and the fon slot syncing between Luke and Asch even longer.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Asch and Luke, being noted to be attractive and having long hair (especially since Luke skips the canon Important Haircut here).
- Love Epiphany: Tear has a long and heartbreaking one leading up to and during the Tower of Rem incident about Luke.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Legretta, even more then in the game. Natalia also has a bout of this.
- Magnetic Hero: Both Luke and Asch - Luke is more obvious as his kindness and optimism is an obvious lure to others, but Asch himself has his own leadership qualities that balance out the sheer positivity of Luke's.
- Mama Bear: Sickly she might be, but Susanne manages to push Asch out of the way of an attacking arte and take it for him before anyone else can do anything.
- 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.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Or rather brother in the case of Asch. It's mainly downplayed, but he's noted to be not too happy with Tear's attraction to Luke (and Luke's own interest in her too). Though he at most just pranks her (and the others) when they do get together, Natalia notes he really is worried for Luke in regards to his relationship with Tear.
- The Not-Love Interest: Asch and Luke to each other. The main driving relationship is between them but they are nothing more than twins and brothers and have others as their Love Interest.
- Not Now, Kiddo: A variation; Natalia's reasoning (however flawed) to explain to herself her thoughts and later actions in regards to Luke not being "right" to be involved is that because he's actually seven he is in no way ready to deal with any of this properly. The truth is that Natalia, what with her being manipulated by Van and her jealousy towards Luke warping her perceptions of him, is the one who is truly not understanding the danger they are all in.
- 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.
- Oblivious to Love: Tear and Luke, much to the amusement of the rest.
- Official Couple: Asch/Natalia, Luke/Tear, and Guy/Noelle.
- Papa Wolf: Crimson Herzog fon Fabre as demonstrated by his Big Damn Heroes moment against Van in Sheridan which he wins. He might be terrible at expressing himself, but you do not cross his family.
- 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.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Ion and Peony are this like in canon, but also King Ingobert and Duke Fabre compared to canon. Unlike in canon, Ingobert immediately accepts Natalia as his daughter even though she's not by blood.
- Revenge Before Reason: Guy averts this. Cantabile plays this dangerously straight to the point she dies because of it.
- 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.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: Asch does this to Natalia on Eldrant as they say goodbye. Tear does this to Luke when the twins return in the final chapter.
- Spanner in the Works: The story is based on Luke being 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. On the minor character side, General Frings lives as well in a blink and you miss it moment, as does Class I and Aston.
- 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.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Asch. The sugar at first only comes out towards Luke and Natalia before he defrosts.
- 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.
- The Unchosen One: Luke is revealed to be this. In an interesting twist, his status as this is what makes him the true Chosen One between him and Asch, as since he is not bound by the Score and his very nature as also being a Scion of Lorelei means he can end the Score and free Lorelei and the world.
- 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.
- Everyone goes after Asch after he runs away from Baticul and refuses to explain things in regards to what he is doing and why post timeskip. Not even Luke gives him a break in this regard.