Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ginchy, Dec 9, 2012.
Oh Han! There is no big news without his comments
Hahaha!!!! Luke's grin speaks volumes.
Han is so much fun to read and i absolutely love Luke's romantic side.
I'm really loving this story. You should post more often.
This fic is the highlight of my weekend because of Luke's romantic side, Mara's reactions to it LOL The Solos banter and reactions and saying they knew all along. Luke's Cheshire-cat-in-cream grin gave him away 'bout a year ago Lady Jade's got the stuff Callista never could Never mind, that was just a hiccup !!
“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.”
Hehe, love their banter.
[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.]
Ha! Chewie's a smartass, too! Gotta love it.
I love that they pretended to know all along, but the ring was the thing that confirmed it. Mara's got pregnancy brain already. And yeah, Luke's wearing her down...but Mara's stubborn AND pregnant now. I think she can hold off for awhile yet.
You know I love this fic! Moar!
This fix is great! More please!!
I love how Han and Leia found out about the baby and the someday-wedding. Mara's trepidation about all of it is fun to read, too. Han's right about Luke. He'll get his way eventually. Great update!
“Come on, Leia’s not nearly so scary as a Grand Admiral.”
Well... she is far less likely to attack people after strategizing by looking at artwork...
She said yes!! And Han and Leia knew! This is so cute, I can't stop smiling.
I'm sure Luke will wear here down sooner or later.
LOVED this update! (Not that I don't love them all...)
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.”
I really liked Mara being nervous to tell Leia... I can't say I blame her. And I really loved Chewy saying his debt only went so far... LOL!
A great new chapter! I can't wait to read more!
Apologies for taking so long to respond! I have to admit, I still couldn't quite believe you were going to write all 200 proposals, so skipping some is totally acceptable (and far more realistic ).
Absolutely loved this chapter, with all its little details - if I listed all the tiny details I squee'd at, this post would never end! Loved the appearance of the Solo family and Chewbacca in this chapter.
Just a little nitpick - shouldn't this be day 50 instead of day 51 if 26 days have passed since the previous post? The number of proposals and number of days since then don't match...
Jedi_Lover: hahahaha Han always knows, doesn’t he?? Thanks for reading, gal!
JainaSoloYJK: LOL! Thanks! I am glad you were grinning while reading it. That makes my day!
Briannakin: Goodness, I know. I think they deserved happiness like this for a time! I’m glad you’re enjoying, girl. Thanks!
Demendora: LOL! That is true. I love Han and his comments. He always nails it. LOL Thanks for reading!!
Hazel: Thanks, gal!! I love Han. It gets overshadowed by my all consuming Luke love/lust but I do love him. He’s so fun. And I just adore making Luke so romantic. You know he is.
Jade_eyes: Even better (in this Universe) Callie never existed!!!!! LOL! Thanks, gal!!
JediMara77: Thanks, lady!!! I enjoy writing banter, if I can get it right. And I figure Chewie just has to be a smart ass. He and Han have to mesh on more than just their love of the Falcon.
Jedi_Scooch: Thank you so much!! Here’s more!
Luna_Nightshade: You know Luke will. He’s very good at that!! Thanks so much for reading!!
Daenabenjen42: LOL! This is true! But maybe she thinks all the proposals are artistically done. Thanks!!
Immertreu: Thank you!! I think Luke will definitely get his way. But Mara has to make it a little tough on him, first! Thanks!!
Mavjade: Thanks!! I think Mara would be nervous around Leia. And somewhat embarrassed after announcing to her that she was going to murder Luke. Not the best foot to get off on. LOL!
Hans lil girl: Thank you so much!!
Valiowk: Oh, no! Was I a day off? As Charlie Brown would say, “Rats!” I am terrible with math. I hope I haven’t messed up any more of the days! I apologize for that! I’m glad you enjoyed the chapter otherwise. I love Chewie. I know that TTT makes it seem like Leia, Luke and Mara can’t understand his words (only his intention) but I figure Leia and Luke ought to understand him after knowing him so long, you know? Thanks for reading!!
By now you may have felt your baby's fluttery movements for the first time. If not, this next month will have that in store for you...
The transition to real space was uneventful. Mara checked the chrono from the bridge of the Wild Karrde and found that they were set to arrive back on Coruscant earlier than she had expected. She toyed with the idea of comming Luke to tell him the change in plans, so that he wouldn’t waste a trip to meet her. But she knew that he would drop everything to be there to greet her. She had been gone for almost a month and their last comm conversation had bordered on the pathetic, with wide blue eyes beseeching her to ‘come home already’ even if he hadn’t spoken the words aloud. Dealing with his sadness was bad enough, but the tug in her heart at the sight of his holo was maddening.
Especially now that the pregnancy was so much more evident than it had been when she had left Coruscant. She was rounding now, her stomach growing slightly with each passing day. But she could still hide the small slope with artfully cut clothing, and as such had chosen her return attire carefully. The jacket was fitted at her breasts and flared, tricking the eyes, even her own when she had studied herself in the mirror. The secret was out to friends and family, but there was no need to let it leak out to the public a moment before they had to.
She had broken the news to Karrde their first night out. She had been unsure as to her future plans with his organization. Thinking of the future was overwhelming at best, but she didn’t like to go into any situation without a plan. And a baby wasn’t something she could easily plan on. She knew it was one thing to sit in front of Karrde while four months pregnant and say that she would be ready to travel with him again when the baby was twelve weeks old, but the reality would likely be far more difficult. By the end of their conversation, they were no closer to an answer than they had been in the beginning, but Karrde had given her the luxury of time, allowing her to take the rest of her pregnancy to make the plan she was missing and then to let him be privy to it.
His reaction to the news hadn’t surprised her any. Unflappable in most situations, he had merely nodded, taking a bare moment to process the information. Even now, sitting as she was in her seat on the bridge, she could picture the look on his face, not surprised in the least. She pursed her lips. Lack of shock seemed to be the prevailing reaction from all of their friends and family.
Reentry to Coruscant was as smooth as always, and soon it was time to gather her bags and leave the ship. A pang shuddered at her heart, though she didn’t betray any melancholy on her face. The ship had been her home for some time, though if she was honest with herself she had also begun to feel at home on Coruscant again. The evidence of that feeling was hiding under her loose jacket.
“Do you have everything you need, Mara?”
Looking up into Karrde’s eyes, she realized that they had landed while her thoughts had dwelled on home. He was intent in his gaze, as always, and it unnerved her slightly. “I’m fine. My thoughts were just wandering.” She unstrapped herself from the crash webbing and stood. “I’d like to thank you again for--”
“There’s no need.” Karrde placed a hand on her arm and squeezed just lightly before letting go. He glanced around as if uneasy himself. But no one was paying them any attention. “You just let me know when you know how things are going to proceed. In the meanwhile I have some contacts you can set up for me, right here planetside. I’ve taken the liberty to send the information to your home station already.”
The thought of still having work to do cheered her slightly. “Thank you.” She paused for a moment. “For everything.”
He nodded sharply and turned to speak with Aves, his gentle way of dismissal. Mara sighed. Even if it wasn’t forever, she still felt like she was saying goodbye to a part of her life that she wasn’t sure she was ready to give up.
Mara hitched her bag up further on her shoulder and started to make her way from the docking bay. Her stomach growled and she couldn’t help a small quirk of her lip. Stepping out of the flow of traffic, she dug into her bag for a ration bar. It wasn’t exactly a gourmet meal, but it would do for now and give her the energy that she had been lacking of late.
She unwrapped the bar quickly and took a large bite, consuming almost half of the ration before she could stop herself. Her mind cast forward to her reunion with Luke, one that she knew would feature a new marriage proposal from him. It had become something of a joke between them, his proposals. He had scaled it back somewhat, not wanting to overwhelm her with over-the-top proposals, but she found that she almost looked forward to them. Not that she would ever let him know that, of course. She smirked at the thought and was just beginning to step forward again when a small tingle ran down the back of her neck. Instantly on guard, the ration bar was forgotten as she straightened and turned, scanning the shadows of the hanger for the source of the Force warning. She let her hand fall subtly to the blaster and lightsaber that were ensconced in her bag, and cursed herself for not wearing them. She hadn’t wanted to bring attention to her midsection.
Everything was silent for a moment, but then she saw a shadow move behind a broken hyperdrive that sat in pieces on the floor. She moved around to situate herself between the shadow and the large hangar doors. From her new angle she could see beyond the shadows to a Dug who was now whipping his head back and forth as if trying to find...her. “Looking for something?”
The Dug’s head turned and though he looked startled, he still grinned, loping over to her in his strange cadence. “Found someone.”
He looked slightly familiar. She ran her eyes over him and noticed a holocam hanging around his neck. Great. A photog. They usually set up camp near Luke, following his every move, but most of them had sense enough to leave her alone. “You’ve found nothing.” Somewhat relieved, she turned to walk away.
“Perhaps not,” the paparrazo said. Mara waited a beat as he said nothing more. She rolled her eyes, and started to walk away. She had almost reached the bay doors when the Dug made his move. “But I do wonder if congratulations aren’t in order?”
The words were loud as they echoed in the now empty hangar. Heat suffused Mara’s face, and rage tingled down her spine. But as she turned back to the alien, she knew that her anger didn’t show. Yet. “Congratulations on a successful landing back on Coruscant? Hardly something to offer glad tidings over.”
Another grin, more of a smirk, spread over the photog’s face as he loped toward her.
“Charming, as always.” He stopped in front of her. “The last time we spoke you threatened to break my hand.” He balanced on one hand and held the other one up, opening and closing his palm. “I wonder if you’ll follow through on it this time.”
Mara still couldn’t place him, but that did sound like something she would say. “You’re being very brave for someone who’s afraid I’ll break an appendage.”
The grin on his face sloped, giving him a devilish look. “I’ll take my chances for this prize.”
“There is no prize.”
“Oh, but there is, Trader Jade.” He rocked back on his hands as if well satisfied with himself. “Or, I should say, there will be when I’m the first to reveal to the galaxy that you’re pregnant with Luke Skywalker’s child.”
The icy chill that knifed through Mara’s stomach wasn’t reflected in the small chuckle she gave for the sleemo’s benefit. “Hardly the first. I think there’s been a story like that in every tabloid on every planet in the rim. Any woman that has even spoken to Skywalker has had that headline plastered somewhere about her.”
The Dug grinned. “But you’re the only woman who is actually carrying his baby. And I have proof.”
“Don’t lose your Sabaac face so soon,” Mara growled. “There’s no proof to be had.” She was quickly losing her patience, and her mind worked frantically, trying to think of what proof he could have, if any. It could be, after all, an amateur attempt to make her confess.
“Let’s just say I have friends in the right places. I could, of course, forget the information...under the right circumstances.”
White hot rage temporarily blinded Mara, but a deep breath calmed her baser instincts so that she did not revert into the Mara she had once been and rip the wannabe reporter’s throat out. He was still trying to play her, and she would not walk into that trap. Even if he did have proof, the baby couldn’t be hidden from the galaxy forever. But it galled her to think that the news of her and Luke’s child could be splashed across trash holonews sites. “Even if I were pregnant I wouldn’t buy the information off you.” Her voice was moderate, but she was barely managing to keep the anger out of it. Finished with the lowlife, she walked back to the hanger door.
“I’m surprised at you, Trader Jade. I had thought that you would want to make a deal.” The Dug’s voice carried from where he still stood in shadow.
Mara pulled open the door, not sparing a backward glance. “The only deal I’m offering is that you stay away from me, and from Luke." She paused to let him ponder that. "Stay away or you’ll wish that you had.”
She didn’t wait for his reply, and left.
She was just stepping out of the lift on her floor when an explosion of happiness through the Force nearly knocked her off stride. The door to her apartment opened and Luke’s head popped out. She knew he was restraining himself from running into the hallway and grabbing her in a hug, and she silently thanked him for that. As it was, she was barely in the door before he had her in his arms, his face buried in her neck.
“You’re back,” he whispered, nuzzling her. “Force, I’ve missed you.”
Mara’s stomach clenched at his words. In that moment she wanted nothing more than to relax against him, to let his warm scent lull her into a sense of peace and security. But he pulled back and tugged at the button on her jacket.
“Let me see.” He slipped his hands into the cloth and cupped her stomach. His eyes lit up as he grinned at her. “There’s an actual belly there now.”
“You’re not the only one to notice.” Pushing from his embrace, she folded her arms over her stomach.
“What?” He seemed confused, beginning to notice her conflicted feelings.
“On the way here I ran into a paparazzo. He knew.”
The smile fell from Luke’s face, and he stopped advancing on her. “About the baby?” He shook his head. “How?” He looked closely at her. “I wouldn’t be able to tell if I didn’t already know.”
“Does it matter how he knows? He knew, Skywalker. He made it very clear that he’s going to take the story to the press, unless, of course, we want to pay him to do otherwise.”
“Pay him?” Luke squeezed the fingers of his right hand into a tight fist. She could read the tension on his face as he looked into her eyes. “Are you all right? He didn’t hurt you, did he?”
“I’m fine.” She didn’t lower her arms, and hugged them tighter to her body. “But people know. Soon this is going to be all over the HoloNet...” Mara trailed off with a frustrated puff of breath.
“It’s okay,” Luke said, moving toward her again. “The baby will be safe, Mara. You know that.”
“It’s not about the baby!” With those words it was like something snapped within Mara. “Of course we’ll keep the baby safe. But the baby is … it’s complicated. I had to leave Karrde’s organization today and then this sleemo was waiting for me and now you’re here and I can’t breathe!”
Luke’s eyes had widened during her outburst, but now he smiled at her gently. “Of course, you’re tired. Here, I’ll make--”
“Don’t do that. Don’t you dare patronize me. I’m not tired; I’m... I don’t know what I am. Frustrated. Angry, even. Everything is changing and it’s all so fast and now our news is going to be the business of everyone in the galaxy.”
“I don’t like it anymore than you do. The thought of our baby being made an item of gossip. But sooner or later...” he gestured to her stomach. “We can’t hide the baby forever.”
Mara laughed, but wasn’t amused. “You think I don’t know that? You try hiding your protruding stomach! Or racing from the room during an important meeting to throw up. I’m the only one--”
“The only one what?” The good humor had gone out of Luke’s face. “I know it’s not easy for you, Mara. But what more can I do? You left with Karrde and I stayed here, respecting your wishes. I can’t help you if you’re not here.”
“My career is with Karrde. You knew that when we started this.”
“Yes, I did. And that’s why I knew you had to go. But with the baby things are going to have to change somewhat.”
Mara bristled. “I know that! For kriff’s sake, do you think I don’t know that?”
“Of course I know that you know that. Look, let’s just calm down. I’ll fix us something to eat...”
“Calm down? There’s a sleemo reporter out there probably sending out news releases right now. I won’t be able to move on any planet in the Core without a horde of them on my back. No one will want to do business with me...”
“Come on. We’ll just sit down. The stress can’t be good for--”
“You don’t want to finish that sentence,” Mara growled.
Luke rocked back on his heels. “This isn’t how I imagined your homecoming.”
“What? You expected me to rush into your arms and tell you how I can’t live without you?” Mara rolled her eyes. “Well, the real world intruded on your romantic plans. Sorry, Skywalker.”
The color drained from his face, and he nodded firmly, as if he had come to a conclusion. “I think maybe I should leave. Before we say something we regret.”
Mara stared at him, trying to call his bluff. “Maybe you should.”
“Fine.” She didn’t hear the door open or close behind him, but she did feel a deep ache in her heart, and wasn’t sure if it was her pain, his pain, or a mingling of them both through the Force.
Mara punched her pillow and tried again to situate herself in the bed. Her bunk on the Wild Karrde was against the wall and she had grown used to pressing her back against it during her time away. She briefly imagined lying with her back against Luke’s chest but shook her head to remove the thought. Despite herself, her eyes tracked to the chrono on her bedside table. 0230 and Luke still wasn’t home. She thought of his apartment, the one he so rarely used when they both were on Coruscant, and wondered if he was there.
Flopping onto her back, she picked up her engagement ring from the chain around her neck. Light from a passing speeder illuminated it for a moment, allowing the stone to shine in a pulse of brightness. She sighed and rose slightly to remove the necklace. She slid the ring off the chain and placed it on her finger, discarding the necklace next to the chrono. Luke had been right, of course. Things were going to change with the baby. And the marriage. Because even as she was putting the wedding off, she knew it was going to happen. She wanted it to happen.
There wasn’t any way they could raise the baby in separate apartments. As much as she wanted to pretend that things weren’t going to drastically change, they were. Throughout their relationship Mara had been able to hug her freedom to herself, to pretend that she could love Luke but keep a part of herself separate. But the longer they were together, and now with their child, she still feared losing that part of herself.
Her hand slid over the small mound of her stomach. “Your father would say that fear leads to the dark side,” she murmured. Mara stared up at the ceiling, continuing to rub her belly. “I don’t think I’ve ever really spoken to you before.” She bit her lip before continuing. “It’s not that I don’t...that I don’t love you. I just haven’t gotten used to the idea of you. I had only just gotten used to the idea of your father.”
She felt slightly foolish speaking to her own stomach, and sighed. “I can’t believe you’re not home yet, Skywalker.”
Just then her personal comm beeped and she answered it before she even realized she had moved to grab it. “Where are you?”
“I didn’t wake you?” Luke’s voice was slightly tinny, as if he was speaking from an echo chamber.
“You’re at the Temple, aren’t you?” Luke was still working to get the Jedi Temple back for the permanent use of the Jedi Academy he wished to start. Every time he made progress, something blocked his path. The Force at work, he told her, realizing he needed to slow down and carefully plan the resurgence of the Jedi. Hard work, being patient, for her impetuous love.
“You know me well,” he said ruefully. And sighed. “I should know you better. I’m sorry for upsetting you tonight, Mara.”
Mara’s lips curved in a small smile. “Stop apologizing in an attempt to make me apologize.”
Luke laughed, but sobered quickly. “I think we need to talk about some things.”
Mara nodded, even though he couldn’t see the action. “In the morning. But come home now. I’m tired.”
“Is that Mara-speak to say that you miss me?”
“Get your ass home, Skywalker.”
He chuckled warmly. “On my way.”
The comm call disconnected, but she felt his bright presence reach out for her in the Force and allowed him access to her, meeting and mingling her essence with his in a way that she was slowly becoming accustomed to. ‘I love you’ she thought in his direction, and felt his answer in the rush of emotion that poured through her and through the tingling in her stomach, tiny spasms that seemed to pulse with their own beat.
Relaxing her head against her pillow, Mara’s eyes began to drift shut, but the flutters in her stomach continued, down low, past her navel. She placed her hand there, and her brow furrowed as she contemplated the strange sensation. There was no feeling of it from the outside, but inside it felt like tiny vibrations of... movement.
Mara’s eyes shot open. “You’re real,” she whispered, in awe. “Oh, my baby. Hello.”
The bed dipped as he climbed in behind her, settling in. He kissed her jaw as she stirred. “Shhhh, go back to sleep.”
Mara nuzzled back into his body, sighing as his warmth seeped through her gown. She took his hand and placed it on her stomach, eager to share her news. “I think it’s too early for you to feel yet, but she’s real, Luke. She moved...I felt her for the first time just a little while ago.”
“She did? She?” Luke turned her in his embrace so he could look into her eyes.
Mara nodded, a smile threading across her face. She cupped his cheek. “I felt that, too. She.”
The grin on his face was blinding. “I knew it.” He closed his eyes momentarily, and she knew he was reaching toward their unborn daughter through the Force. The peace and contentment on his face as he found her presence was unmistakable. “Hello, baby,” he whispered. “I love you.”
Mara rolled her eyes through her smile. “She’s turning us both into saps already.”
Luke’s amused chuckle kept the damnable smile on her face.
Turning back into her original position, Mara locked her hand with his on her stomach. She was just relaxing again when Luke’s soft voice whispered into her ear. “Gonna marry me?”
She squeezed his hand, allowing him to feel the cool band of her engagement ring against his fingers. “Soon,” was all she could say before falling into peaceful dreams.
Well, Mara had to freak out at some point.
Gah, I hit post before I tagged people!! Sorry, guys!!
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Oh that was great. You write it with such detail that I can just picture them together snuggled in bed. How come I never saw this in the profics!!!! I wanted more L/M mush in the profics. I hope Zahn writes some more books of their early relationship like Survivor's Quest.
Awesome update! I loved it!
“Let’s just say I have friends in the right places. I could, of course, forget the information...under the right circumstances.”
If those "friends" of his in the "right places" are what I think they are, then that's an outright confidentiality violation. Bad tabloid reporter!
"I think maybe I should leave. Before we say something we regret.”
And that was how Luke learned the lesson of not arguing with a pregnant woman...
And... baby bonding!!!!
Dawwww! Yes, Mara had to blow up at some point, but I LOVED the mush afterwards.
More soon please!
That was a lovely update! Everything rings so true, it feels like it's actually happening.
I wonder, who is the information source. But whoever is this, let it be on their conscience. Luke and Mara will marry, their baby will be born, and the rest of the galaxy can only bite their elbow with jealousy.
Wonderful post. They're so like married folks already How necessary he is to her Yum!! !!!! P.S. I don't ever ever ever want this fic to end LOL
Mara’s eyes shot open. “You’re real,” she whispered, in awe. “Oh, my baby. Hello.”
This fic is making my biological clock pound like a drum. I hope you're happy!
As always I loved!
Poor Mara. It's not just a job she is leaving. It was her first time with real independence and stability in her life and now she has to leave it unexpectedly and sooner than she would like. I was totally sad for her too.
I wonder who these "friends in high places" are. I bet Leia could find out and make them sorry! It is funny that all the people they have made their announcement to are not surprised in the least!
And what a lovely ending.
Awww! Mara wouldn't be Mara without having a blow-up at some point, but Luke is so...perfect the way he handles things! Who wouldn't want a boyfriend like that!?!?!??
And the ending...SQUEE!!!! It almost made me cry.
So sweet, and I love the way they dealt with Mara's little freakout. Love their baby bonding, and how you worked a proposal into it. Lovely update!