Beyond 200 Proposals [L/M] - Complete!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ginchy, Dec 9, 2012.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. lukemaraben Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 1
    How very Mara to react to this news by beating up the farm boy. Loved it. Can't wait for the next chapter!!
    ginchy likes this.
  2. Hans lil girl Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 2012
    I LOVE the story so far! keep up the good work.
    ginchy likes this.
  3. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    Lovely stories! Poor Mara, in love and still fighting. Give it up, girl. You're not gonna win this one.
    ginchy and Jade_eyes like this.
  4. Valiowk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    Poor panicking Mara who really isn't ready for a baby! ;) This was a really instantaneous proposal; no wonder Mara didn't take it seriously! ;)
    ginchy likes this.
  5. mavjade It's so Fluffy Fanfic & New Movies Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    Awww... love it!

    “You knocked me up; you haven’t changed my mind!”
    [face_laugh] That sounds so much like Mara!


    I can't wait to see where this goes (though I get the feeling something is going to go wrong with this baby :( but then, my brain always jumps to angst even when it's not always true. )
    ginchy likes this.
  6. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Well we already know that Betrys was born after a bottle of Ruge and a secret relationship from Echoes of Always, so I'd take heart. :)
    ginchy likes this.
  7. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    And before she knew it, her fist had arched out and hit Luke right in the bicep.

    [face_rofl][face_rofl][face_rofl] Look at you, writing L/M and all! Was this your NaNo for this year? Love it! Squee.
    ginchy and Jade_eyes like this.
  8. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Jade_eyes: LOL! Thank you!! I adore Luke and only want to make him happy. My secret is out. ;)

    Jedi_Lover: I know I have thought about punching Mr. Ginchy as he’s slept a time or two. [face_devil] LOL! Thanks, lady. I love Daddy!Luke.

    Hazel: Isn’t she though?? I lub him, which I am sure is not completely obvious all the time. ;) Thank you!!

    JediMara77: Glad to help and even gladder you’re feeling better! Thanks!!

    Bkwrm752003: oooh yes. He was being his impulsive self. Maybe in this chapter he’s learned his lesson… [face_mischief] Thanks!!

    Demendora: hahahahaa that joke is so very true. And if anyone can quarrel with a sleeping man, it’s Mara Jade. As to telling people, we’ll see that in Chapter 4… ;) Thank you!!

    Briannakin: I love me some Daddy!Luke, too. [face_love] Thank you, lady!!

    Lukemaraben: That is Mara’s M.O. LOL Thank you!!

    Hans lil girl: Thank you so much!!

    Divapilot: She never learns her lesson, does she?? Thanks, lady!!

    Valiowk: LOL, yes. Poor Mara. This whole fic is about her panicking. Let’s see how she does with a thought out proposal! ;) Thanks!!

    Mavjade: Thanks, gal!! I loved that line, too. As for angst, well, I think I maxed myself out on that in EoA. ;)

    Taramidala: I miss Bets. And Ais. ;)

    Jade_Pilot: Heeeeeeeeeeey, lady!!! This wasn’t nano, not really. I’ve been working on it since I finished EoA. Just wanted to tell the story of Betrys’s birth. Thank you, gal!! Miss you!!!
  9. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I should be writing my holiday fic, but since it's not going anywhere, I figured it was time to update 200! ;) Enjoy!!

    TAG LIST: @immertreu, @Hazel, @Briannakin, @lukemaraben, @bkwrm752003, @Valiowk, @Luna_Nightshade, @mavjade

    CHAPTER 3

    The Third
    Day 24

    By the end of this month, your baby will have completed a period of growth that involves the greatest size and physical changes of its lifetime. In five days, it will be 10,000 times larger than the fertilized egg though, in actuality, not much bigger than a grain of rice! You may have noticed that you’re experiencing some of the same emotions that often precede menstruation: moodiness, irritability, tearfulness…

    Mara trudged home from an Alliance meeting tired, hungry, and annoyed. She rode the turbolift to her floor and stepped off into the hall, brushing past a crowd of Bothans that had recently taken up residence. As she got closer to her apartment door she could feel the light of Luke’s presence and pictured the grin that she knew would still be on his face. The grin that hadn’t left his face in seven long days, since she had told him of her pregnancy.

    She wasn’t sure how he had managed to keep their secret under wraps, but he had. She should have known that he would be able to. After all, he had kept their relationship a secret for over a year. But the promise of a child seemed too big a secret to keep, especially from Leia and Han. And this secret came with a definite expiration date, but Mara kept pushing that thought from her mind. There was too much to think about and all it did was serve to make her more tired. Grouchier.

    But still, even as annoyed as Luke’s euphoria could make her, it still touched a part of her deep inside. He would be an excellent father. She could not have chosen a better man to be a partner, a lover, a father to her child. The only problem was that up until seven days ago she had had no interest in making him a father, not now or ever, really. Their lives were too complicated, the least of those complications telling Junior the story of just how mom and dad met.

    Mara sighed and stopped in front of her door. Her brain hurt from all of these thoughts. She needed to forget about the baby and huge decisions for the night. What she really wanted was a stiff drink, but that was definitely off the menu. She scowled with the thought and stepped inside the door, eyes narrowing at the half-lighting of the room. “Luke?” Delicious scents were wafting from the kitchen and her mouth watered. So far she’d been lucky enough to dodge morning sickness and planned to eat every bite while she still could.

    He stuck his head out from the kitchen. “You’re home!” He came out to greet her, and sure enough the large grin was still attached to his handsome face. “I missed you.” He pulled her into a kiss and she went willingly, the sheer happiness he was radiating in the Force helping to ease her grouchiness. A little, at least.

    “I was only gone a couple of hours, Farmboy.” Pulling back from his embrace she eyed the straight lines of his tunic. “Why are you so dressed up?” This tunic was black, but more formal than his usual style, impeccably cut. It emphasized his broad shoulders and tapered waist and suddenly Mara felt slightly underdressed in her leggings and belted tunic.

    “Hm?” Luke looked down at himself. “Oh, just something different,” he said, pulling her further into the apartment. “Besides, I made dinner for you and thought I’d make an effort to clean myself up a bit.”

    “Okay.” Mara looked at her dining table and noted that actual candlesticks were set out, their tips gently blazing. Two formal place settings were also set out. She turned back to Luke, gnawing suspicion sharing space with the fetus in her belly. “Skywalker…”

    Luke rolled his eyes. “I can’t make dinner for the mother of my child?”

    Mara made a face at that description. But her growling stomach betrayed her. “Depends on what you made.”

    He stole a kiss. “Smart woman. Baked flatbread, ribenes, and russets.”

    “You can make me dinner anytime.”

    Luke liked that answer and gave her a kiss on the forehead in gratitude. He ushered her toward the table. “There’s some non-alcoholic spritzer on the table.”

    Mara made her way to the table and picked the bottle up, making a face at it. “He’s thought of everything,” she murmured, reassuring herself in her mind that she was not talking to the baby. She wasn’t ready for that yet. She wasn’t sure that she would ever be ready for that. Beyond the lethargy, hunger, and a missed cycle, nothing really signaled the fact that a baby was being created in her womb. It was disconcerting to know that she was pregnant but to have so little proof. She had examined her stomach in the mirror only to find it as flat as ever. In fact, had she not taken the test, she would have just continued to believe she was just overworking herself and tired. Part of her wished that she had waited. That she still had a few more days of blissful ignorance.

    At the total opposite end of that spectrum was Luke. He had already downloaded information guides and a day-by-day calendar to pregnancy. She had the feeling that he would have shared them with her datapad, but didn’t want to freak her out more than she already was. He had somehow ended up with flimsy brochures for obstetricians, and had helpfully placed them on her bedside table, where they remained, untouched. She would go to the doctor soon enough. But there again, Mara knew she couldn’t put anything off too long. Decisions would have to be made, and sooner, in this case, rather than later.

    Two of her best goblets sat on the table and she filled them with the spritzer, the candlelight flickering off the glasses. The worry that he was going to propose to her popped back into the forefront of her mind. Because, really, what else could this set-up be? And he knew that she knew that. He was too smart to think he was pulling one over on her. But just because she was now pregnant didn’t mean her thoughts on marriage had changed. It was still a terrifying prospect...even more so now.

    She didn’t have time to fall further into panic. Luke chose that moment to enter the room with their plates. He sat hers in front of her with a smile and then sat across from her. She opened her mouth to cut him off at the pass, but he picked up his fork and started eating. Mara’s eyes narrowed as she waited for the catch, but he didn’t take a moment to stare deeply into her eyes, or slide himself off his chair and come to kneel in front of her on one knee.

    Stopping in mid-chew he looked up to watch her watching him. A half-smile appeared on his face, but he tamped it down and finished his bite. He swallowed. “Aren’t you going to eat? The sauce is just the way you like it: spicy but not overwhelming.”

    Still, Mara was looking for the catch. She even reached out across that ever expanding bond that had formed between them in the days after the events on Wayland, but nothing presented itself other than the usual combination of his love and care for her. “You’re hiding it well, Skywalker,” she muttered, but picked up her fork and took a bite.

    He gave her a ‘who, me?’ look that he must have stolen from Han. “I don’t know what you mean.”

    She meant to roll her eyes at him but the spice on the ribenes was perfectly done just the way she liked it, and the meat was tender, falling right off the bone and into her mouth. “This is good.” She didn’t mean to sound so grudging in her admittance, but damn it, she knew what this dinner was about and it was driving her mad that he didn’t just cut to the chase.

    “It is good,” he agreed, and something in the way he said it let her know that he didn’t just mean the food.

    She let the comment slide in favor of dipping her flatbread into the ribene sauce. “Very good.” She took a healthy bite and eyed him as he methodically finished the food on his plate. And if she was honest with herself, she wasn’t just talking about the food either. And he knew it. Damn the man. She cast about for a safe subject to discuss. “Did you make dessert, too?” She grimaced. After a dinner this big she shouldn’t eat dessert. She would have to spend extra time in the gym to work it off…Mara trailed off in her own mind.

    Oh.

    Luke didn’t notice her momentary disquiet. “I didn’t make it,” he said, in reference to the dessert. “Bought it at that bakery Leia found in the new commerce district.” He took a drink of his spritzer, managing to look as if he enjoyed the taste. “Frosted Drizzle-Spun Chocolate Cake.”

    Mara’s mouth immediately watered, even though she had been starting to feel full of the delicious meal he had cooked. They both shared a weakness for chocolate, though he often liked his in the form of that hot-chocolate drink that was hard to come by, even on Coruscant. “Sounds good.” And it did. She was beginning to relax somewhat, the food, candlelight, and lack of an engagement ring lulling her into what was probably a false sense of security.

    “I’ll go and cut us a slice, then.” He took her plate and his and headed into the kitchen. She listened to him putter around, opening cabinets and emptying the plates into the recycler. He knew her kitchen better than she did, not that she minded. He often cooked for them on nights when they had the time and hadn’t ordered in. He returned with the cake and placed a generous slice in front of her.

    She half-smiled her thanks at him and dug in, the rich chocolate exploding over her tongue and relaxing her even further. She couldn’t help a slight moan of approval, and looked up to see Luke smiling at her. He’d moved his chair next to hers and she was instantly back on guard.

    “You look like you just saw a Sith,” he teased, reaching out to rub at her lip. “Bit of chocolate,” he said, explaining his move.

    Mara’s heart raced as she anticipated a ring or some show of marital intent. But he just smiled that gentle smile at her and went back to eating his cake.

    Mara looked around. Was this it? Did he not have some grand master scheme of proposal? She took another bite of the amazing cake and considered him. He looked handsome in the flattering glow from the candles, his hair a bright contrast to the shadows at his cheeks from the play of light. She found herself idly wondering if the baby would have his cheekbones and swallowed her next bite with a bit of difficulty.

    The baby had cheekbones. At least, it would have cheekbones at some point. Some point very soon.

    Luke seemed to sense her unstated sudden panic. “Mara?” He reached out for her hand. “What is it, love?”

    “Cheekbones,” she muttered faintly.

    “What?”

    “…I…” She shook her head and blinked her suddenly damp eyes hard. “I think I just realized that this pregnancy is going to result in a real, live baby.”

    “That’s usually the way of it.”

    “I like it when you try to be sarcastic.” She took a deep breath and another bite of cake, chewing slowly as she was struck by just how normal everything was, her hormonally induced tears excepted. Before the pregnancy, this is how they spent their evenings. The precious nights they could carve out to be together. Things had become comfortable for them. Good, like Luke had said earlier. Better than good. It had become something she never expected. It was love and she… loved it.

    Loved him.

    “I have a gift for you.” His face betrayed no sign of nervousness. In fact, he was grinning as he held out a box to her. A box too big to be a ring box. “Well, it’s for you and the baby.”

    Cheekbones and a first gift. The kid was having quite a day. Mara reached hesitantly for it and held it gingerly.

    “No Sith in there, either,” Luke teased.

    Mara rolled her eyes, and opened the box. She pulled out a baby rattle. “Oh.” She shook it lightly. “Baby’s first toy.” She shook it a little harder and frowned as something rattled inside of it that sounded out of place. She pulled it closer for inspection. “Is there something—” Her heart stopped as she realized just what was inside of the rattle. But by then it was too late, and Luke was kneeling at her feet. She turned the rattle and saw a ring inside the bauble. “You got me,” she whispered.

    “Not yet.” His own voice was hoarse. “Mara…” He took her hand in his, and kissed it. “You’re cold…I wish this didn’t scare you so badly.”

    She had nothing to say. He knew her past. She put the rattle down to look into his eyes.

    Those eyes were burning with earnest need. And love. Always love. “I know I said I would wait forever. And that’s still true. But I can’t…I can’t not ask you to be my wife when you’re pregnant. With our baby. Our baby, Mara. I love you. I already love our baby. And I want you to be my wife. Mara—” He took the rattle and popped open the bauble, removing the ring. “Marry me?” His voice was barely a whisper.

    She had thought that her mind would race with terrifying thoughts and ‘what-if’s at this moment, but it didn’t. In fact, her mind was almost blank. The surreal events of the past week were suddenly not so much pressing on her, but rather surrounding her, enveloping her instead of engulfing her—much like his love. The love that had helped her to forge a new way of life, and that had made their baby. She knew then that her protests and worries over marriage were rooted in fear, of her past and an unknown future. And she would not let her child’s future be dictated by that fear. Given all of that, her answer wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be. “Yes,” she murmured.

    Luke’s eyes and sense in the Force lit up. “Yes?”

    She laughed, and swiped her thumb over his lower lip. “Yes.”

    He pulled her into a kiss, dragging her from her chair to sit on the floor with him. The kiss lingered softly, their bond awake and alive, crackling with their combined emotion.

    She pulled away and let him slip his ring onto her finger. “It’ll be our daughter’s, one day,” he said quietly.

    “Daughter?” Cheekbones were insignificant to the baby having a gender. “We’ll see.”

    He grinned. “Yes.” He kissed her forehead. “So…now we can tell everyone we’re a couple, right?”

    Mara huffed an amused laugh. “Yes.”

    “And start planning for the baby.”

    She nodded.

    “And start making wedding plans.”

    She leaned her head against his shoulder. “Um…”

    Luke took a breath and turned to her. His face was so close that she could only fuzzily make out his features. “‘Um’?” he echoed.

    “Well, it’s just...you said you’d wait forever, and...I don’t want to get married while I’m pregnant. That’s hardly waiting forever.”

    He pulled back so she could see his pursed lips and questioning gaze. “I see…” But after a moment his grin was back, full force. “Okay.”

    Mara frowned. “Okay?”

    He nodded.

    And again, she was left to look for the catch. Because somehow, in the blue depths of his eyes, it seemed almost that he had taken her marital condition….as a challenge.
  10. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    So very sweet. And Mara said yes! It may not be to his time schedule, but at least he has an answer. Wonderful update!=D=
  11. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Oh how utterly scrumptious! the dinner and the ambience with the candles :D then the proposal and her thoughts and emotions and best of all a yes!!!!!! [face_dancing]

    SQUEEE!

    [face_love]

    [:D] !!!
  12. mavjade It's so Fluffy Fanfic & New Movies Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    Aww... YAY!
    How cute to put the ring in the baby toy.

    I loved the mental image of Luke, giddily looking at baby development information. :D

    Great update! Can't wait for more!
    Thanks for the batcall!
  13. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Alright!!! Mara said yes [face_dancing], but then again who could say no to Luke.

    I'm going to go squeeze now.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  14. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 4
    Oh yay! She said yes!

    As for Luke's 'challenge', I can't wait to see how it unfolds, even though we know the end result.
  15. Demendora Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2010
    star 2
    Luke is such a smart man! The dinner with a cake as a dessert, all these preparations ans candles. Mara had no chance, because no woman can say "no" in situation like this! [face_love][face_love]

    Tag me in please!
    Last edited by Demendora, Dec 24, 2012
  16. bkwrm752003 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2006
    star 1
    Sneak attack proposal! At least he finally put some thought in to it this time. I wasn't expecting an acceptance so soon given the title but he still has a ways to go to get Mara down the aisle. Challenge Accepted! ;)
  17. Valiowk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    Ah, a yes this time! Though, seeing that there are going to be 200 proposals, it seems that Luke still has his work cut out to get Mara to go down the aisle with him!

    I'm really impressed by the fact that you've even planned out the exact dates of the 200 proposals - certainly not an easy task! =D=
  18. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2005
    star 5
    I'd have reviewed much, much sooner, but was lost to DRL (grrr) and an out of fandom experience... on the plus side: finally figured out why we've got so many Whoverse fics over in the NSWFF.

    “One day you’ll be ready,” Luke said softly, cutting into her thoughts. “I have faith in that.”

    She swallowed hard. He had more faith in her than the galaxy had stars. And it humbled her.

    “And I’ll wait until you’re ready,” he promised. “I’ll wait forever.”

    Good man, not putting any more pressure on, because she doesn't need that...

    “Luke, no one knows we’re together. You don’t even live here. I wanted to kill you less than three years ago. We can’t have a baby! We’re…I’m not ready for this!”

    Excuses, woman!

    The baby had cheekbones. At least, it would have cheekbones at some point. Some point very soon.

    Better than that... it has fingernails!

    “…I…” She shook her head and blinked her suddenly damp eyes hard. “I think I just realized that this pregnancy is going to result in a real, live baby.”

    “That’s usually the way of it.”

    “I like it when you try to be sarcastic.”

    ...and I love it when they banter!


    ...and I also request tags, because I love this story. :)
  19. JainaSoloYJK Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    SQUEEEEEEE! Oh this is so delightfully mushy and adorable...[:D] Luke as a father-to-be is perfect!!! Seriously, who in their right mind would tell a man like that no??? And Mara as the terrified mom-to-be...priceless! [face_laugh]

    May I be added to the tag list, please?
  20. RedGold Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2004
    star 4
    I can see Luke like the proverbial kid in the back of the speeder "Can we get married yet? Can we get married yet?" :p
    Demendora likes this.
  21. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Jedi_Lover: Yes! I just couldn’t leave him hanging without an answer. Thanks!

    Jade_eyes: Thanks for the squeeeeeee!

    Mavjade: Can’t you just see him doing that? So cute. And thanks, I loved the idea of him being sneaky. Thanks for reading!

    Hazel: I could not say no, that’s for sure!! [face_devil] Ahem. ;) Thanks!

    Briannakin: I hope you’ll like the challenge! I think Luke’s up to it. ;) Thanks!

    Demendora: Mara could not say no! Not only was there this beautiful setup, but she knows a good thing when she sees it. Rawr. ;) Thanks!! And I will definitely tag you in!

    Bkwrm752003: hahahahaa yes. I just couldn’t have him not having an answer. You know I have a soft spot for Lukie. LOL! Thank you!!

    Valiowk: I hope I have them all planned out. I am horrible with math, but I kept trying to count by the pregnancy planner I used while pregnant. LOL Thank you so much!!

    Daenabenjen42: LOL! No worries, happens to all of us now and again! Thanks so much for reading!! And yes, fingernails. I totally thought of that line when I came up with the cheekbones thing. And I will definitely tag you in!

    JainaSoloYJK: Hi! Thanks!! I love daddytobe!Luke soooooo much. And I agree, just how could Mara say no?? She couldn’t! I will tag you in for sure!

    RedGold: It’s a testament to his …ah… other uses that Mara doesn’t kill him through the process. [face_mischief] LOL!!!

    ----------------

    EDITED: @lukemaraben I am tagging you here because I had no idea you could only tag 10 people per post. I apologize!!
    Last edited by ginchy, Jan 4, 2013
  22. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    TAG LIST:

    @JainaSoloYJK @DaenaBenjen42 @Demendora @mavjade @Luna_Nightshade @Valiowk @bkwrm752003 @Briannakin @Hazel @immertreu

    Note: You'll notice that we jump from the third proposal to the twenty-ninth. I totally realize this is probably cheating, but if I had to actually write all two-hundred proposals, well, let's just say it probably wouldn't have happened. And it would probably get really boring, really quickly. So from here on out there are random proposals on different days, each highlighting a moment on the way to the altar. I hope you'll enjoy and thanks so much for reading!!


    The Twenty-Ninth
    Day 51:

    You may begin to notice your clothing becoming tighter around the waist and bustline as your body changes and your baby grows. Are you showing yet?


    When Luke Skywalker set his mind to something, he gave it his all. Twenty-six days had passed since she had said yes to his marriage proposal with a proposal of her own: that they wait until after the baby came to plan a wedding. She’d thought he had taken her stipulation as a challenge and she was right. The very next morning he had awakened her with a kiss and another proposal before surprising her with a cup of de-caf that actually tasted like the real thing. But even her favorite beverage hadn’t been enough to sway her, so her answer had still been yes, just ‘not now’.

    He did not seem concerned, however, or even put out. She suspected it was because he could feel how much she really did love him, and therefore wasn’t worried. Instead she became the worried one, but only because bridal flimsies had shown up on her nightstand, next to the ones for obstetrician offices. Mara picked one up and rolled her eyes at the blushing bride pictured, shown wearing a ridiculous white dress. She tossed them all, unopened, into the recycling container.

    But she had finally taken the time to look through the ones concerning obstetricians. Merely eating healthy and taking vitamins wouldn’t sustain the baby forever. It needed to be checked by a doctor, and sooner rather than later. After much discussion she and Luke found a practice that had been set up near the Palace and found that the doctor was trustworthy, not someone who would sell their news to the highest bidder. The appointment had eased Luke’s worries, and Mara’s too, as the baby—one baby, thankfully—was growing well and seemed healthy and robust.

    After the appointment Luke had taken the holo they’d received of the first prenatal-scan and watched it on repeat. There wasn’t much to see. The baby was still mostly a small cluster of cells, but one could almost make out a head and stumps for the arms and legs. The heartbeat was the main attraction of the holo, the steady and fast
    thumpa-thumpa-thumpa hypnotic and amazing. Taking her hand in his as they watched, Luke had leaned his forehead against hers and whispered, “Marry me,” into her temple. And as her eyes watched their baby’s beating heart, she didn’t exactly turn him down. She had responded with a simple, “I am.”

    Yet every morning, he had awakened her with another proposal, and this morning had been no different. Her eyes had barely blinked open when she saw Luke’s wide blue eyes staring at her. She rolled her own eyes in greeting; she knew what was coming. But a grin only spread across his face in reaction and she put her hand over his mouth to cover it. “Too early for that.” Her voice was husky from sleep, and she cleared her throat. He kissed her palm and she shivered.

    “Too early for that?” he asked against her hand.

    She shook her head, but smiled exasperatedly at him. “I think you’ve already done enough of that, and look where it’s gotten us.” Removing her hand, she traced his lips with her fingers.

    His hand snaked between their bodies to splay against her belly. “‘l’ll take the blame.” He rubbed tiny circles over the small raised patch just below her navel. To anyone else, and under Mara’s clothes, it was invisible. It had only become evident over the past few days, and Luke couldn’t keep his hands off of it, the small bump that held their baby. While the idea of her burgeoning belly thrilled Luke, the idea of it still scared Mara. The reality of the baby was becoming more tangible with each passing day.

    Flopping her head on the pillow, Mara threw her arm over her eyes to hide from the sunlight creeping across the bed. “You’ll take the blame. That’s good. Unless the little chat you arranged at your sister’s for tonight has been cancelled?” Mentally, she crossed her fingers. Maybe Leia had been called away on a diplomatic crisis. Perhaps Thrawn had been resurrected somewhere. That would certainly tie up Luke and the Solos for a few weeks. The Force owed her a small favor, at the very least.

    That last thought broadcast over their bond, and Luke chuckled next to her. “Come on, Leia’s not nearly so scary as a Grand Admiral.”

    Mara removed her arm and turned her head to glare at him. But his damnable smile only grew.

    “Well, I know of one way you could make her happier,” he said, picking up her hand and rubbing her bare fourth finger. Her ring was on the nightstand, and he reached over her to grab it. She was careful not to wear it in public yet.

    This time Mara did roll her eyes. “So we’ve come to that portion of our morning, have we?”

    Luke placed the ring back on her finger and kissed her hand. “Marry me, Mara.”

    “Later.” She forced herself to sit up and started to leave the bed. “What’s for break—” She found herself cut off as strong arms wrapped around her.

    “One day you’ll marry me,” Luke whispered hotly into her ear.

    She shivered again, gooseflesh rising in his wake. But she pulled from his arms and gave him an impish grin. “ ‘One day’. Now you’re getting it, Farmboy. Come on,” she said, grabbing his hand. “You can fix us breakfast.”

    Us. The word stuttered through her mind, as she realized that was the first time she had thought of herself and the baby that way.

    Mara frowned. Yes, a Grand Admiral was definitely easier to deal with than all of this.

    *

    Mara tried not to squirm as she stood in the lift to Han and Leia’s floor. She wasn’t so much nervous as she was uncomfortable. She tugged at the fabric of her trousers and frowned down at them. They were her loosest pair, and even they were now tighter than usual. The shirt was thankfully one that draped gracefully over her midsection, meant to be voluminous. But she still couldn’t understand how such a tiny bulge could make her clothing feel so tight, already.

    Luke seemed to sense her unease, because he reached out and took her hand. He gave it a single squeeze before letting it drop back to her side as the lift stopped and the doors opened. “Ready?” He reached up, running the hand through his hair and Mara realized that he was nervous, too.

    She wanted to assuage his worries. Truthfully, in the deepest part of her mind, she knew that everything would be fine. Han and Leia and some of Luke’s other friends might be hurt that they hadn’t known the truth of their relationship, but the baby, while a shock, would be a balm to soothe any ruffled feathers. And they had never set out to hide their relationship. The first time they’d had sex wasn’t planned, and hadn’t really been anything Mara wished to discuss afterward. But Luke had pressed his advantage, and eventually they had fallen into a pattern of being together. It had helped that Luke was often away from Coruscant, planning his Academy and helping the New Republic. She, too, still worked for Karrde, even if her home base was with the Smugglers’ Alliance. Slowly, over the course of a year they had fallen in love, and now…

    Well, now it was time to face the music. “Where’s that Grand Admiral when you need him, Skywalker?” She smirked at him and nudged him through their still new and seemingly ever-expanding bond in the Force.

    He laughed lightly, and his presence felt lighter as he released his anxiety.

    “Hopefully nowhere near,” he said, placing a hand on the small of her back to guide her to the door. “After you,” he said off her look, palming the controls for secure entry.

    Mara looked back and rolled her eyes, but Luke’s unrepentant grin didn’t falter. And in any case, he won no victory. The entry hall was deserted. She gave him a triumphant look of her own, and stalked forward.

    “Must be putting the kids down,” Luke mused. “I wonder if—hey, Chewie.”

    Chewbacca was heading into the kitchen from the dining area and growled a welcome. [The children are protesting bedtime.] He barred his Wookiee fangs in a grin. [Han is trying to wrangle them into their bed clothes.]

    “And you’re not helping?” Luke’s voice was amused as they followed him into the kitchen.

    [My debt runs only so deep.]

    Mara smiled outwardly, but in her mind was mildly panicked. She found herself wondering just how to keep a Force sensitive child in a bedroom they didn’t want to be in. “Are they like this every night?” The question was asked before she could stop herself.

    [Not every night,] Chewie answered, after a split second of thought. [But enough of them to drive Han crazy.]

    What about Leia? Mara wondered. But she didn’t have time to dwell on that thought as Leia herself came out into the kitchen, smoothing her hair back from her face.

    She smiled and hugged Luke, leaving a slim arm around him as she turned her smile politely to Mara. Tilting her head up, she gave her attention back to Luke. “I was glad to get your comm. We haven’t seen much of you lately.” She pecked his cheek and looked back to Mara. “It’s nice to see you again, too. I can’t remember the last time we spoke.”

    Mara smiled faintly. “Not since the Alliance moved headquarters to its permanent suite.” The Smugglers’ Alliance had kept her mostly grounded on Coruscant in the months after Thrawn’s unsuccessful campaign, and she had often run into Leia in the corridors of the Imperial Palace. Leia always found time to stop and exchange pleasantries, to give updates on the twins and inquire as to how Mara was. But in the months before and since Anakin’s birth they hadn’t crossed paths nearly as often. Mara had resumed her duties on the Wild Karrde and her time on Coruscant had been limited or taken up by other…activities.

    “Do you find it easier to liaise now that you’ve had some time to settle in to the position?”

    Leia seemed genuinely interested and Mara glanced between Luke and his sister as they stared at her, awaiting her answer. They were more alike than they even realized. “Let’s just say that sometimes I think running the senate would be an easier prospect.”

    Leia grinned. “Let me disabuse you of that notion. In terms of the senate, sometimes dealing with cranky two-year-old twins is easier.”

    “Says the woman that left me to finish the bedtime routine,” Han groused, walking into the room and throwing his signature lopsided smile at his wife. “Say, Junior, can’t you go and use some of that,” Han moved his hands around his head in mocking fashion, “to put the kids to sleep? This toddler bed switch hasn’t gone over so well.”

    Leia let Luke go and poked her husband in the side. “No, he can’t.”

    Chewie wuffed a laugh. [She means that she already tried and it didn’t work.]

    Han pointed his index finger at Chewie and pantomimed firing a blaster. “I think you’re right, pal.”

    Luke laughed and even Mara tamped down a smile, but the twisting of nervous energy in her stomach wasn’t abated by the Solo/Wookiee comedy routine.

    “And besides, I didn’t leave you to finish bedtime routine as much as I was kicked out,” Leia said, picking up the earlier thread of conversation. “The twins like to have their father to themselves at night,” she explained to Luke and Mara. “And I had to check on Anakin.”

    “Yeah, still sleeps like an angel. Here’s a tip, Kid.” He mock-punched Luke in the shoulder. “If you ever have kids, keep them in the crib as long as possible.” He slung himself down in a chair. “Let’s stay in here awhile, let the ankle biters calm down before we head out into the den.”

    Chewie was agreeable to that and sat down in another chair, while Leia gave her husband an eye-roll. “Honestly, Han. Ankle biters?”

    “I’m sorry, Junior Senate Leaders?”

    Even Leia smiled at that one, but turned to Luke. “Help me with the cake?”

    “You got cake?” He moved over to the counter with her and pulled a few plates from a cabinet. Mara watched them with a distracted interest, more to keep from sitting down at the table with Han and Chewie than out of any real interest in what they were doing. The cake that Leia pulled from the bakery box did look delicious, however.

    “You said that you wanted to come over and talk to us, and that you were bringing Mara. I thought dessert would be nice.”

    “Have a seat, Mara.” Han used his foot to push a chair out from the opposite end of the table.

    She eyed the chair. “Charming.” But she sat and accepted a plate of cake and a mug of what she suspected was hot chocolate. A sip confirmed it and the liquid heat of it seemed to calm her nerves slightly. But she glanced over at Luke and noted the set lines of his face and her stomach lurched just slightly again.

    After everyone was seated, Han set his utensil down and regarded Luke and Mara. “So, kids, what did you want to talk to us about? I figure with those serious faces the two of you are sporting it’s one of three things.” He held up his hand and started ticking off with his fingers. “One, Thrawn’s come back to life.” He glanced around at the others at the table, and receiving no confirmation, moved on. “Two, you’re moving to Endor to join the Ewok branch of the family.” Luke’s eyeroll seemed to take care of that supposition, so Han moved on. “Then there’s three...” he chuckled before continuing. “Mara’s pregnant.”

    The word had barely left Han’s mouth before Mara choked on her mouthful of chocolate and zest cake, coughing and trying to draw in lungfuls of air as Luke rubbed her back and said her name, panic in his voice. She waved her hand at him to push him back, swallowing hard to clear her throat.

    Luke jumped from her side to get a glass of water, and she took it gratefully, clearing her throat again in the silence that had fallen over the group.

    “I can’t believe…we knew…” Leia’s sputtering voice broke the hush before trailing off again.

    [That they’re moving to Endor?]

    “Yeah, that was my guess, too, pal.” Han looked back and forth between Luke and Mara. “So when’s the big move, kids?”

    Mara rolled her still watery eyes. “Cute.”

    But Luke was looking at his twin. “What did you mean, Leia? You knew? Knew what?”

    Leia’s mouth quirked in amusement. “I meant that Han and I suspected there was something between you and Mara, but we obviously didn’t know everything.”

    Luke flushed and looked down at the table. “We never meant to keep anything from you. But Mara and I have been…together…for a while.”

    “About a year, right?” Han was also looking entirely too amused by the situation. “Give or take.”

    “How did you—”

    Even Chewbacca was grinning now. [It wasn’t that hard to figure out.]

    “Yeah, not when you suddenly stopped showing up here all the time, and when you did, wearing a huge grin on your face…”

    Mara’s cheeks warmed. “He wasn’t that obvious. Was he?”

    “Keep telling yourself that, sister.” Han chuckled and then looked somewhat uneasy. “So...kids…”

    Mara glanced sideways at Luke as he nudged her through the Force. She nodded slowly and he turned back to their captive audience.

    “Mara’s pregnant.”

    “We got that,” Leia said with a smile. She jumped up and threw her arms around her brother. “Congratulations!”

    Luke smiled into her shoulder and returned the hug, and Mara couldn’t help the small smile that tilted at her lips as she watched them. A memory tugged at her mind, of once speaking to Leia about family, back when she had been angry and confused. She’d changed a great deal since then, she realized, and it wasn’t as much of a shock as it once would have been. She barely had time to process the thought before Leia was bearing down on her with a hug, too. She patted Leia’s back awkwardly, but was genuinely pleased that she was happy with their news.

    Leia returned to her seat and leaned her head against Han’s arm. “I’m going to be an aunt.”

    “I noticed.” Han smiled his indulgent ‘what am I going to do about her?’ smile. “So, baby makes three…when’s the big day?”

    Luke told him the baby’s due date, but Han shook his head. “No, Kid, I mean when’s the big day?” He pointed to Mara’s left hand and the ring that graced it.

    Mara’s eyes followed his and her face turned white. “Knew all along my ass,” she muttered, cheeks warming at the Solos’ knowing gazes.

    [We’ve known for sure since you walked in the door, at least.] Chewie barked out a laugh.

    “Well, here’s something you didn’t know: we’re not getting married yet.” Mara watched the flicker of shock across Leia’s face with a small measure of satisfaction.

    “She doesn’t want to get married while she’s pregnant,” Luke explained. “Don’t worry, I’m wearing her down.” A devious smile threaded across his face and Mara scowled to see an identical one gracing his twin’s. She took another bite of her cake and regarded the others at the table: her future family. Her stomach twisted at that thought and the realization that Luke had just gained three supporters to his cause.

    Han smirked. “Kid, you’ve knocked up the woman who once wanted nothing more in this galaxy than to kill you.” Luke’s cheeks burned red again at the description, but Han wasn’t finished. “I believe you can do anything you set your mind to.”

    ---------------

    heh. ;)
    Last edited by ginchy, Jan 4, 2013
  23. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Sweet!! Luke couldn't pull one over on Han! They knew! Love it!
  24. JainaSoloYJK Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    This is my face reading this post: :D LOL it's too cute! Luke's constantly proposing and being sweet, Mara's paranoia, Han's descriptions....it's just so...squee-worthy!
  25. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 4
    Hahahahahaha! I loved Han in this chapter! Such a sweet universe. Why couldn't the profics be like this?
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