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Beyond - Legends Miracle Child (L/M, AU) - Completed August 18th!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Briannakin , Feb 19, 2014.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    I got soooo far behind. :( I'm so sorry!

    I felt so bad for the family when Jacen killed himself, but in someways that's better (I feel awful saying that) than someone in the fam having to kill him.

    I love the idea that it was Luke that had fertility issues, I've always thought that the Force Lightening he was on the recieving end of would have some effect on his body and I could see that being one of them.

    I can't wait to find out what happens to Mara and the baby!

  2. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN: My muse kinda took a crash and burn when it came to this chapter, so it’s kinda 3 chapters packed in one really short one. Sorry for the mess. I’m sorta getting back on track for updating this more regularly. The renovations on my new place are ALMOST done, so hopefully afterwards people WILL LEAVE ME ALONE TO WRITE!

    PM List: mavjade, ethereallights, Gemma, EGKenobi, JediMasterJessica, Anakin Solo Revanchist

    Chapter 6

    Mara woke the next day, groggy. Luke was at her side, still in the same clothes that he had worn the day before. He looked up from his data-pad and smiled softly. “How are you feeling?”

    “Fine,” she said softly. “Did the galaxy fall apart with out me?”

    “No,” he said, “In fact, Corran managed to get the accusations thrown out, and I managed to get us the apartment we liked. We get the key-codes later this week.”

    “Oh, so you men can do things without me.”

    “Yes, we can.” He leaned forward to kiss her. When he pulled back, he noticed tears streaming down her face. Since their marriage, he had only seen Mara cry a handful of times. “Mara?”

    “I’m fine,” she said. “Just damned hormones.”

    “Good, because I was so scared.” He closed his eyes and embraced her closely.

    There then was a knock at the door and Dr. Selkak entered. “Masters Skywalkers,” he said with a slight nod. “The nurses have informed me that you have experienced no other contractions. Is that correct?” Mara saw the nurse behind him roll her eyes.

    “Yes,” Mara said.

    “Good. I’m going to discharge you. However,” he said as he disconnected her from the drip. “You have to spend the rest of your pregnancy on bed rest.”

    “What?” Mara deadpanned. She was not spending the next 20 weeks in bed.

    “I’m serious, I want you to spend at least 22 hours a day in bed or reclining on a couch, especially in the next few days. It is a bit of a outdated practice, but you are at a high risk for going into premature labour again. I’m going to be callus here, but you have to face the fact that this child will be born premature because of your age and your physically stressful lifestyle. You will do much to determine how premature he or she is.”

    Mara nodded coldly. “May we go now?”

    “Yes, of course.”

    Mara let Luke help her get dressed and down to their speeder. It was there that Mara broke down. “This is all my fault.”

    Luke sighed, he had yet to hit the ignition switch. “No. If anything, you saved the baby. We are going to go home, and you will spend the next four months resting. Now, lean your seat back, you need to sleep the drugs off, because you’re tired and hormonal.”

    “I’m tired and hormonal because I’m pregnant with your child.”

    “I know,” he said, starting the speeder. “And I’ll be forever grateful.”

    * * *

    Later that day, Luke sighed as he entered the master bedroom. Mara was sprawled out on the bed, sleeping. The next few months were going to be interesting. He was about to leave and let Mara have her sleep, but she grumbled.

    “What do you want?” she asked.

    “I just finished making dinner. Do you want to come eat in the living room?”

    She nodded. She started to get up, letting him help her. “Grab some pillows for me.”

    “So, Coran, Mirax and Nawara Ven will be coming over later to make sure Klenad can’t go after you again. Coran believes Klenad is trying to create some anti-Jedi sentiment. Nawara has some idea to blame this whole premature labour on him.”

    Mara nodded as they walked out into the living room. Luke got her settled on the couch and Ben gave her a tray with her plate on it. “Thanks, Ben.”

    The family avoided talking about recent events until the door chimed. “That’ll be Coran, Mirax and Nawara,” Luke said, taking Mara’s empty plate. “Are you okay to be discussing this stuff?”

    “Luke, I’m fine.” When he gave her a doubtful look, she added, “If I start feeling stressed, I’ll go back to bed.”

    “Okay,” he said as Ben was answering the door.

    Mirax came to Mara’s side and sat down. “Hey, how are you feeling?”

    “I wish people would stop asking that,” Mara said, frankly.

    “Well, you are pregnant,”

    “Thank you Captain Obvious,” Mara said, rolling her eyes. “So what’s the plan for getting this creeper off our backs.”

    “Well, I think the senator may be trying to mount some anti-Jedi campaign - his one last chance at the limelight,” Corran said. “But we can only keep him off of your back.”

    “We will claim that the senator put you under unnecessary stress during a time when your health could not take it. We are basically going to blame him for the pre-term labor and state it would be a risk to your unborn child if he had any contact with you,” Nawara took out a data-pad and handed it to Mara. “We want you to take out a restraining order on him.”

    “Is that it?” Mara asked, skimming the document in the screen.

    “It’s all we can do,” Nawara said.

    “I know you are never one to run from a fight, but please sign it for the baby,” Luke pleaded.

    “I don’t have any issues telling him to kriff off,” Mara said, pressing her thumbprint to the screen. “But what if he goes after the rest of you?”

    “We will deal with that when the time comes,” Luke assured her.

    * * *

    Later that night, Luke climbed into bed with his already sleeping wife. He had some work to catch up on and hadn’t been able to say goodnight to her. He gently kissed her cheek and turned out the light.

    * * *

    Mara woke to find the bed next to her cold and empty. “Luke?” she called, sitting up and looking around.

    He came rushing in, “Mara? Is everything alright?”

    “Yeah,” she said, shaking her head. “I’m just used to you waking me up.”

    “I was quiet,” he said. “You should go back to sleep. Leia is coming in a few minutes, but you should sleep in. I’m taking Ben with me.”

    “Fine,” she murmured, lying back down. “But you gotta give me a kiss.”

    Hebent over her and gave her a kiss. “Comm me if you need anything.”

    * * *

    Mara woke later that day to her sister-in-law coming into her room with a tray of food.

    “Really, Leia?” Mara said, sitting up.

    “Yep,” she said. “The more food I feed you, the less food I gotta pack.” She set the tray down and picked up a piece of fruit for herself.

    Mara started digging in. “So, what have you been up to?”

    “Packing all your linens,” Leia replied.

    “You don’t have to. Luke and I can hire movers that do it all.”

    “Yes I do. I have to do something while I babysit you, and before you say I don’t have to babysit you, I do. If I don’t, Luke will worry about you, you and him will fight and he will fall to the dark side.”

    Mara raised her eyebrow. “Really?” He mouth was full of food.

    “Han and I figured it out last night. It sounded better when he said it.”

    “Where is Han?”

    “I wanted to assess your mental status today, so he went to some upgrades on the Falcon. He’ll be here tomorrow. Plus I’m here to make sure you don’t miscarry. You may want to kill me after these few weeks, but I don’t want you, or Luke, to lose this child. I’ve lost two children. I will do whatever it takes to make sure Luke never knows that pain.”

    “Thank you.” With a sigh, Mara pushed away the food. “I think I’m going to go have a ripple-bath. I feel nasty.”

    “Is that a good idea? I know you are on strict bed-rest.”

    Mara started the process of getting up. “I’m allowed to be up 2 hours.”

    “And you don’t think you’ll need those 2 hours for urine breaks? Think about the baby.”

    Mara flopped down gently. “Luke is going to be using that for the next four months. Do I really need it from you?”

    “At least let me draw the water. I’m here to help you, and the baby.”

    “Fine,” she grumbled.

    * * *

    After her bath, Mara lounged on the couch, eating lunch, in a comfy pair of sweats as Leia packed some holos.

    “Is this what being a Princess feels like?” Mara asked.

    Leia smiled. “Kinda. When I was sick as a kid I had 10 servants and a private doctor at my beck and call if I had the sniffles.”

    “Sounds boring. How did you not kill anyone?”

    Leia laughed. “Well, I joined the Rebellion for a reason.”

    “So the truth comes out. Princess Leia is a homoicidal maniac.”

    “You’re married to the man who openly admits he joined the rebellion for the food.”

    Mara rolled her eyes. “Does that surprise anyone?”


    Mara smiled to herself. It was great to see Leia joking around.

    * * *

    A few days later, Mara found herself ‘supervising’ the move. Luke, Ben, Han, Leia, Jaina and Jag were all packing and moving boxes and furniture while Mara sat on the couch, feeling rather useless.

    “You’re not useless,” Luke said as he walked up behind her and wrapped his strong arms around her.

    “Stay out of my head, Skywalker, and get back to work.”

    “You are so bossy, Jade.” He gave her a kiss on the cheek. “We are almost done, do you want to go out to the speeder now?”

    She took a look around the place. They had only called it home for about six years, but they had still had a lot of memories here.

    “I’ll miss it too, but I’m also really excited for the new place,” he said, reaching down to rub her belly.

    “Alright, lets go before you get sappy on me,” she said, starting to get up.
    Jedi_Lover, Gemma and Falcon like this.
  3. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    great update and I can see everyone is pitching in and not allowing Mara to do anything. She'll be thanking them when the baby arrives safely more soon
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Glad the family is rallying around and that the pesky Senator has been legally stymied, for the moment. Leia and Mara are fun sister-friends. :) I know the whole rest a lot thing isn't Mara's style [face_laugh] but it'll hopefully ensure a safe healthy delivery. @};-
  5. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    This was my favorite banter.

    This is sweet.

    I really liked it when Leia was taking care of her and Mara asked her about being a 'Princess'. I like them being friends.

    I don't know what it's like to be on bedrest for a pregnancy; but I was on sit rest with a super bad knee injury for 3 months --- drove me nuts.
  6. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    Loved the scene with Leia and Mara - they really seemed like sisters.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  7. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Master star 4

    May 25, 2005
    I loved Leia and Mara's talk, and how sad that Leia wants to keep Luke from knowing the pain of losing a child. :(
  8. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Very nice update. 20 weeks on bedrest! Ack! I spent a little more than a month on bedrest and hated it. I couldn't imagine 20 weeks.
  9. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN: Thanks for reading everyone! I'm sadly losing motivation to finish this, but I'm going to update this until I reach a good point to leave it at (don't worry, I wont leave you for months with a cliffie). Hopefully I'll find the motivation to keep writing in a few weeks.

    Chapter 7

    Mara was 4 weeks into her ‘sentence’, AKA, her bed-rest and bored out of her mind. Luke, Ben and she were comfortably situated in their new home, and it already felt like home. There was just the matter of the baby’s room to do. They had yet to find out the gender of the baby. Luke had been busy with stuff. Of course he did not tell her what sort of stuff, claiming it would stress her out. She tried to embrace blissful ignorance, but she hated it, and how distant it had made her from Luke. She knew he was doing it for her and the baby, but the lack of communication was taking its toll on their relationship. Not to mention the fact that he put a stop to their love-making. He was too chivalrous sometimes.

    “Luke?” she called. “You coming to bed?”


    Mara turned off her data-pad and rolled over. She then groaned. The baby had slammed into her bladder.

    “Luke,” she yelled. “I gotta pee.” She had already had her 2 hours of moving around and she knew Luke got extremely worried when she went over that time and liked to be with her if she needed to be up.

    “Give me a minute!” he yelled back.

    Her bladder was not on his schedule. With a grunt, she rolled up and walked to the in suite bathroom.

    She was on her way back to bed when Luke finally came in. He let out a sigh. “What are you doing?”

    “I had to pee, so I went pee,” she grumbled as she climbed into bed. He wasn’t going to challenge her. He was such a pacifist these days. “Now, are you coming to bed?”

    “I have some work to finish up, I’ll come to bed in a bit,” he said, leaving.

    Mara huffed, set her alarm, and decided to fall asleep without him.

    * * *

    The next morning Mara woke early to see if she could catch Luke to talk to him. But as she shut off the alarm and felt the bed next to her she found it cold and empty. “Luke?” she called, to see if he was still in the apartment.

    The door opened, but it was Ben who stuck his head in. “What do you need Mom?”

    “Nothing. When did your father leave?”

    “Like an hour ago, he had a ton of shavit to do. I’m about to head out too. I think Aunt Leia and Uncle Han are coming in a few hours. Do you want me to wait till they come?”

    “No, It’s fine. I’ll see you later, kay?”

    He nodded. “Have a good day.” She then laid back down.

    * * *

    Mara couldn’t believe she was about to burst into tears as Han sat with her on the couch. Only he had come today. Leia hadn’t shown up with him - something about Luke needing help.

    “It’s just so frustrating to know he’s under so much stress, but he won’t tell me anything. He barely even talks to me the few hours he’s home.” Mara’s hormones were running pretty wild today.

    “Mara, Luke is a big boy. He can handle what he is dealing with, and he has a ton of help - Ben, Leia, Corran, all the other masters. He handled a ton of shavit before he married you. He’s just protecting you.”

    “So now he thinks I can’t handle stress.”

    “No, but you are under enough stress. He really wants this baby - part of why he’s so distant is because he’s trying to prepare to take lots of time off when the kid comes. Maybe you need to sit down and talk with him.”

    “When did you become a relationship expert?”

    Han laughed. “I’ve been where you are. Back when Leia was chief of state, she knew all these secrets that she couldn’t tell me. There were days when she refused to talk to me because making small-talk with me felt… meaningless, when she was dealing with the secret problems of the galaxy. It made me feel pretty shavitty, but I knew it would eventually end.”

    I nodded. “Thanks, now go make me some food.”

    “My gods, pregnant women are demanding.”

    * * *

    Luke didn’t get back till late that night. Mara was still on the couch. “What are you still doing up?” he asked as he shuffled off his boots.

    “Well good day to you too,” she said, flicking off the holo she was watching.

    “Mara, I got some stuff I got I need to prepare for tomorrow and it would really help me to know you were in bed, resting.”

    “And I would feel better if I knew my husband still loved me.”

    “Mara I—,” he paused. “I love you. I know I’ve been a bit of a jerk. Can I give you a foot rub and maybe spread some kakau oil on your stomach?”

    “I guess so,” she said, holding out her hand. He took it and held her as they made their way to the bedroom. They both got ready for bed then Luke helped her lie down. He started to rub her feet.

    “I’m sorry I’ve been so distant. I’ve just been so worried that I’ll stress you out.”

    Mara sighed, “I know. But it’s hard for me to see you need help, or just to vent and not be able to be there for you.”

    “I have people helping me, don’t worry,” he said, moving up the bed. He grabbed the oil and started spreading it on her swollen stomach. “And knowing you are taking care of yourself and the baby is enough to keep me going.”

    “Your such a sap,” she sighed.

    “Just wait till I start talking to the baby.” He kissed her belly. “Daddy has missed you so much. Yes I have.” He traced her belly with her finger. “Yeah. Daddy loves you so much.”

    “Your offspring is kicking.”

    He placed both hands, open, on her stomach. He smiled.

    Mara yawned. “I’m about ready to fall asleep. Are you going to join me?”

    He lifted her hand and kissed it. “Of course. It’s been too long since I’ve cuddled you.”

    She rolled her eyes. “Well come on then.”

    * * *

    Mara woke in the early morning; it was still very dark. Her bladder needed to be emptied, now. She rolled to her side to find the bed empty. She leaned and peered out the door. The office light was on. Luke was already working.

    She decided not to disrupt him. She got up herself, stepped over his pyjamas that were lying on the floor, and was half way to the ‘fresher when a sudden, instant pain burst in her abdomen.

    “Luke!” she screamed in pain as she lowered herself to the floor. Her inner thighs were soaked with fluid.

    Luke came running into the room, already on the comm. “Oh, gods, there’s blood.”

    “What?” Mara leaned up to see that her nightgown was soaked. There was so much blood. Mara felt faint. “No,” she said, trying to get up. Another contraction hit her.

    Luke was then on the floor next to her. One arm was around her back while the other hand grasped hers. “The medics are on their way, just take deep breaths.” She noticed he did not tell her to ‘be calm’. That was appreciated.

    Ben came in. “What can I do?”

    “Send Corran the document on my computer. Comm him and tell him he is now acting Grand Master and I’m transferring all my duties to him. Then comm your aunt and uncle and wait for the medics down in the lobby.”

    Ben nodded and left.

    Luke lightly kissed her cheek. “If it helps any, you are now the only person on my agenda for the next four months.”

    “Can you get the bag in the closet?”

    He nodded and crawled over to the closet. He brought back a bag she had packed for when she went into labour. It just contained clothes for her, him and the baby: a few gender-natural baby clothes in premature sizes and diapers specifically for premie babies.

    “I was hoping if I prepared, then it wouldn’t happen,” she sobbed. She started crying as he resumed his previous position.

    She screamed and he held her as contractions ripped though her.

    The medics came swiftly, loading her onto a hover gurney.

    * * *

    Doctor Selkak was waiting for them when they got to the medcenter.

    “Gods, not you,” Mara groaned though the pain.

    “Trust me, Master Skywalker, I didn’t want to see you so soon either,” the doctor said, examine her.

    “She’s six centimetres dilated, and going fast!” one of the medics announced.

    “Get her to a delivery room,” Selkak yelled, running along side the gurney.

    “No!” Mara gasped. “It’s not time yet.”

    “Delivering the baby is the only option, you are too far along,” the doctor said.

    Mara tightened her grip on Luke. He wasn’t leaving her side.

    They were about to enter a room when Luke was pulled from her side.

    “They are just going to scrub him in,” one of the nurses assured her. “We need to get you on the delivery table.”

    Mara was then lived off the gurney and onto a table that supported her entire body in a warm, flexible foam. She felt exposed as they cut away her bloody nightgown, positioned her and hooked her up to all sorts of drips and machines. Thankfully they covered her with a white sheet as Luke came in, wearing a surgical gown, cap and mask.

    He sat at her side and gently took her hand. “You can do this.”

    She shook her head, “But I’m not going to.”

    “Mara, you have to,” Luke said.

    Dr. Selkak, along with a half dozen more medical staff showed at the business end of the table. “Master Skywalker, the baby is in distress, we have the best paediatrician here. We need you to push, NOW.”

    “Push, Mara,” Luke encouraged her.

    “Hold me like you were before.”

    He nodded, sat her up using one arm and held her hand.

    She screamed, squeezed his hand, and pushed. It didn’t take long. In the end there were no cries, only Mara’s gasps.

    “Start CPR and get the baby to the NNCCU,” ordered a soft voice.

    “The mother is losing a lot of blood,” shouted someone, Mara was pretty sure it was Selkak. “I’m going to have to open her to find the source.”

    She was barely holding onto consciousness. “Luke, look after our daughter.” She then gave into the darkness.

    * * *

    Luke found himself pacing a bland, white waiting room. Leia and Han were in the corner, comforting Ben. They all looked tired and haggard. He probably looked worse.

    Luke had only caught a glimpse of his daughter before they had rushed her off. She had been blue, bloody and all too still. They had rushed him out of the room after Mara had lost consciousness.

    At his breaking point, Luke walked over to a wall and pounded it once with his fist. He then put his head on the wall. He then felt Leia’s gentle touch on his shoulder. He turned to see Selkak and the paediatrician from the delivery room - a soft looking blue Twi-Lek female.

    Leia led him to a seat.

    “Your wife’s surgery is just finishing up,” Selkak began. “She had a rare type of ovarian cyst that burst, leading to the blood loss and premature labour. We tried to do damage control, but with the pregnancy there was not much I could do. I’m sorry, I had to do a complete hysterectomy.”

    “But she’ll be fine?” Luke asked.

    Selkak nodded. “Yes. Once she wakes up I will go over the recovery protocols with you and her, but I know you have more pressing issues. I will go monitor your wife.”

    Luke then turned to the Twi-Lek who sat down across from him. “I’m Dr. Sylin Tayan. Might I be the first to congratulate you on the birth of your daughter?”

    Luke found himself smiling as Leia rubbed his hand. “How is she?” he asked.

    “At 24 weeks gestation, she has a lot to overcome, but she is stable right now. Would you like to see her? We can talk while we walk.”

    He nodded and got to his feet. He turned to Leia and Han. “Can you guys comm me if you get any other news on Mara?”

    “Of course, Kid,” Han said, “Now go meet your daughter.”

    Luke and Tayan were quickly on their way.

    “We have her in a child/mother room. We believe that with you wife’s Force sensitivity, they should be in the same room. We will move your wife there after she wakes up. We can also put a cot in there for you.”

    “Thank you so much,” Luke said. “What are the odds of the baby’s survival.”

    The doctor shook her head. “I never calculate the odds. Every child is different. But you will have to prepare for a long road. And you will also have to discuss with your wife where to draw the line. I can keep almost all premature babies alive with the right machines and procedures, but some are not worth the child’s continued suffering.”

    “Is she suffering now?” he asked with a gulp.

    “We are keeping her as comfortable as possible. It could be much worse. It is often touch and go with children born so premature. I often say premies are the most delicate, beautiful patients, but they are also extremely spiteful. You must keep them happy, or they will do the unthinkable on you.”

    They turned another corner in their maze of a walk and Tayan entered a key code and a door swooshed open to a very quiet ward.

    “We have to scrub in,” she said. She taught Luke how to scrub in and put on a pink sanitary gown and cap.

    She then led him into a dark room. In one corner there was a standard med-center bed - empty - another blank wall with room for a cot, two glider chairs and, surrounded in machines and monitors was a incubation pod, covered in a blanket.

    “The darkness tricks her body into thinking it is still in the dark womb, so she grows faster. We need to keep the blanket overtop of the incubation pod for most of the next few days.” She led Luke to the pod, sat him down and lifted the blankets.

    Luke gasped. His daughter was pale - her skin almost translucent. She drowning in a diaper too big for her tiny body - she was so small in fact, she could have probably fit in Luke’s hand. She had so many tubes and wires going into her and coming out of everywhere. She was on a ventilator - her tiny chest rose and fell mechanically. They could see her ribs. Her thin limbs lay sill. A covering had been placed over her eyes. “She’s beautiful,” he sighed. “May I touch her?”

    “No, I’m sorry. Her stats are too low. But they have gone up since you’ve been here. Talk to her - I’m sure that would be the best thing for her. I’ll have a nurse come in when your wife is in recovery.” The doctor then left.

    Luke gulped and found himself pressing his hands to the pod. “Hey there,” he said softly. “It’s Daddy. You came a lot sooner than we expected you to.” He then found himself wiping away tears. “But we want you so you better make it. Do you hear me young lady? Fight. Make it.”
    Falcon likes this.
  10. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    :( She better make it

    more soon
  11. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    Okay, I know the baby has an uphill battle ahead of her. But she needs a name too. The bladder thing reminds me of what my Mother went through with both me and my sister. She told us later in life that she knew where every bathroom was in every department store both times she was pregnant. My Mom was tiny (still is) and couldn't carry to term --- we were premies but at least we reached the 7 month mark.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Super intense and Mara's definitely in character for feeling out-of-the-loop. Glad they both survived although the recovery will take a while.
    Falcon likes this.
  13. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Okay, if the last chapter in my current fanfic didn't end with Mara and Luke possibly dying from a hideous zombie producing virus...I would chastise you for leaving us with such a sad, tear jerking cliffhanger. :( But since I did something worse, I can't berate you for making my favorite couple suffer so.

    You better update soon and I want a happy ending! :D
    Falcon and Gemma like this.
  14. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN Thanks for reading everyone! I am close to FINALLY finishing this fic (maybe another 2 chapters to write). Not quite the fic I set out to write at the beginning of NANOWRIMO, but I'm pleased with it.

    Chapter 8

    Luke gently ran his fingers through Mara’s sweaty hair. The doctors said that she’d be awake soon so he had pried himself away from the baby. Mara too was pale and hooked up to too many machines and drips. She was on strict bed-rest for the next week and would have to take it easy for the next month. Luke had his work cut out for him.

    Mara let out a soft moan.

    “Mara?” he gently took her hand.

    “The baby,” she murmured. She was fighting the sedation. Her hands went to her stomach.

    “Mara, the baby is in the NNCCU and you are in the CCU,” he explained gently. She was trying to get up. He put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “You need to stay in bed.”

    “I want to see the baby,” she said, hoarse.

    “Okay. They have set our daughter,” he said with a hint of a smile, “set up in a mommy/baby room where you can be close to her. I’m going to check with your doctors. Sit tight.” He kissed her temple.

    * * *

    After Mara had listened to and agreed to recovery terms - one week strict bed rest and four weeks of lifting nothing remotely heavy - Dr. Selkak agreed to transfer Mara to the baby’s room.

    Luke walked alongside her bed. They scrubbed her in as best as they could, including braiding her hair in some elaborate style, as well as changing her bed and nightgown so she was sterile.

    Luke held her hand as they entered the dark room. They positioned her bed a metre away from the incubation pod.

    “Can I be closer?” Mara asked.

    “I’m sorry,” one of the nurses, a white bothan said. “We will need room encase there is an emergency, but we can put a lounger between you so Luke can sit with you both.” The nurses said as they said.

    Luke sat in the plain lounger. “Are you ready to meet your daughter?”

    Mara wearily nodded. The drugs were having a strong effect on her but she was not going to sleep till she met her daughter.

    Luke lifted the quilt and Mara gasped. There was a long, tense silence. He then lowered the quilt. “Both my girls need their rest.” He went to kiss her, but she stopped him. He would not let her say those words. “You are wrong. This is not your fault. You heard the doctor. There was nothing you or I could have done - you were doing everything right before the cyst broke. You gave her life. We are going to give her the fighting chance I know she has.”

    “You’re right,” she finally said. “We all need our rest.”

    Just as Mara was about to fall asleep, a nurse walked in, pushing a cart and checked the baby’s stats. She then addressed Mara. “Hello, I know you are trying to rest, but Dr. Tayan would like to get the baby on your breast milk as soon as possible. Pre-term babies benefit amazingly from their mother’s milk. I have a pump here.”

    Mara nodded as she rose up the head of the bed. As the nurse attached her to the pump, Mara asked, “How long until I can hold and breastfeed her?”

    “I don’t know,” the nurse sighed. “But you will be able to hold her in time. While you wait,” she said, digging in her large pocket. She brought out a small, pink, fluffy, stuffed lizard. “We encourage mothers to sleep with stuffies for a few nights. Then we give it to the child so she will have something that will smell like you.”

    Mara nodded, took the stuffy and tucked it beside her.

    * * *

    Both Luke and Mara managed to get some sleep over the day and into the evening before a team of doctors came in. Dr. Tayan came over. “My colleagues and I are going to do a thorough examination of your daughter to see how we can best help her. Some of the test might disturb you. Would you like us to close off the curtain?”

    “No,” Mara said, taking Luke’s hand.

    Dr. Tayan nodded.

    Luke and Mara watched and sent their love to their baby girl as they watched her endure endless scans and tests. Their hearts broke.

    After a long while, the doctors surrounded Mara’s bed. “We have good news and bad news,” Tayan said.

    A short, stalky male human doctor spoke. “Amazingly, your daughters gastrointestinal organs look to be fully formed, which is odd given her prematurity. We will continue to medicate her to make sure her digestive organs grow and develop normally and monitor her closely, but hopefully she will not need any surgery on her digestive track.”

    “Will I be able to breastfeed soon?” Mara asked.

    Dr. Tayan was the one that answered. “We want to get you breastfeeding and skin to skin cuddling with her as soon a possible, but her cardiovascular system can not handle being out of the incubation pod yet.”

    Luke watched as Mara bit her lower lip. She was fighting to keep her emotions in.

    Tayan continued. “Her lungs are weak and we need to keep her on the ventilator. But it is her heart that concerns us the most. It is very small, smaller than it should be. It is very rare for a premature child, but we think the best course of action would be to take an organ tissue sample from a family member and begin the process of cloning and forming a heart for her.”

    “Who would be the best candidate for that?” Luke asked.

    “Preferably a younger family member, but you could also probably be a good match. It’s just a simple biopsy.”

    He nodded. He knew Ben or Jaina would do it, but he didn’t want to ask them to go through that pain. But it was for his baby girl.

    A tall, thin, younger human male stepped forward. “I’m Dr. Fibian, the neurologist who -”

    “Stop right there,” Mara interrupted. “I do not want you telling me about her brain damage. I know she had brain damage from lack of oxygen at some point, I know because I am her mother. But I don’t know how much and I don’t want to know how much. She is my baby and I am going to fight for her no matter what her function level will be.” She was huffing at the end of her tirade.

    The neurologist nodded. “I will respect your wishes. She is much too weak to try any sort of neuro-regeneration.”

    “I understand.”

    “We will let you have some rest now,” Dr. Tayan said. “Nurses will be in throughout the night to check on you guys and to pump more milk. I suggest trying to get as much sleep as you can.”

    When the doctors left, Luke embraced Mara, who had tears running down her cheeks.

    * * *

    Mara was startled awake in the middle of the night by alarms. Luke was already getting out of the cot.

    On e of the nurses pushed him back and closed the curtain.

    Mara looked at him. This time he was the one with tears streaming down his cheeks. She reached out her hand. He took it. “I’m going to ask if Ben can come in the morning,” she said, “And we will ask him for the tissue sample then.”

    Luke nodded. A figure then appeared. She was a female Umbaran with pale skin and sickly hollow eyes. “Hello,” she said, with a soft, soothing voice, “I am Dr. Hiran, your daughter’s night doctor. She is having difficulties keeping her oxygen saturation levels at a normal range so I put her on another type of ventilator - this one is much more invasive than the first, but it will get her through these difficult first days.”

    “Can we see her?” Luke asked.

    “You may,” she replied. “But many parents find this type of ventilator too much. You may take her off of it if you believe it is causing her more suffering than you want, but it is keeping her alive.”

    The curtain was drawn back and both Luke and Mara gasped. The tube stuffed down the baby’s airway expanded the skin and it could be seen clearly.

    “Two balloons are in her lungs, helping them explain then delivering diffused oxygen to her,” the doctor explained. “The ventilator is doing ninety percent of the work for her lungs.”

    “It stays in for as long as she needs it,” Luke said. Mara agreed with a nod.

    “I just got off the comm with Dr. Tayan. We both agreed that a full tissue transplant will be needed for both her heart and lungs to give her the best chance of survival. With both of your permission we will graph a piece of heart tissue from a donor to her own heart and we will form new lungs for her from the donor’s lungs. It is much more invasive for the donor. Dr. Tayan will be back in the morning and you can discuss it further with her.”

    * * *

    In the morning nurses helped Mara wash up as Luke, who had been convinced to take a sanisteam, cooed to their daughter as she lay in her pod.

    “Guess who is one-day old today?” he babbled to the baby. “You are. Yes you are. You made it through your first night and Daddy is so proud. You are going to have visitors in a few minutes. You are going to meet your big brother Ben. He’s really excited to see you. And maybe if you’re good, you’ll get to meet Uncle Han, Aunt Leia and Jaina.”

    One of the nurses, a human female the same age as Mara, laughed. “Is the great Luke Skywalker really like this?”

    Mara nodded. “May the Force be with me when we get grandkids.”

    Dr. Tayan entered. Behind her was Ben, looking unsure if he should enter.

    Luke got up and hugged him. “I have someone that I want you to meet.” He led his son to the incubation pod.

    Ben sat in the lounger and smiled. “Hi there. I’m Ben.” He then turned to his parents. “Dr. Tayan explained to me what she needs and they did the test - I’m a perfect match to be her tissue donor. I want to do it.”

    “Are you sure?” Mara asked. “It is a big surgery with a very long recovery time. You will be giving her part of your heart and part of a lung.”

    “I know the risks, but I also know that I will eventually recover 100 percent with the right medication. And I know she needs this, from me or she’ll have to take all sorts of anti-rejection meds all of her life. If I do it there will be a good chance she will be healthy. I want to do this for my baby sister.”

    “Okay,” Luke said, giving Ben another hug. “That brings us to our next business of the day. Since she survived the night-”

    “And because I’m tired of calling her her, we want to decide on her name and we want your input,” Mara told her son.

    “Is it still between Anyaka, Jade and Delina?” Ben asked, wrinkling his nose.

    “No,” his mother said. “We want a strong name for her. What names do you like?”

    “Well, Dad once mentioned that if I had been a girl that he wanted to name me Jade Bethania or Bethania Jade. I like the name Bethania. It sounds similar to Ben,” he said with a grin.

    “Bethania Jade,” Mara said, trying the name out. “Bethania Jade Skywalker. I like it.” She turned to Luke. “You aren’t crying, are you?”

    “No,” he said, quickly whipping away the evidence of his lie. “My son is naming my daughter. It’s a big moment for me.”

    “Man, you cry a lot for a Jedi Grand Master,” Ben said, rolling his eyes.
    Falcon likes this.
  15. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    Ben is a great big brother to his little sister.

    More soon :)
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  16. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    I have no idea why but this got me choked up. And I'm so happy that their daughter now has a name Bethania. BTW - great detail in all of this.
    Nyota's Heart and Falcon like this.
  17. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    Awww! Love the family dynamics in this.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Briannakin - am gripped by your depth and scope of medical details =D= Loved L/M's mutual support of each other and the medical staff's efficiency mingled with compassionate touches, like the stuffy ;) Beautiful name: Bethania. @};-
  19. bkwrm752003

    bkwrm752003 Jedi Master star 1

    Oct 26, 2006
    Lovely story. Please tag me on this. I want to see Bethania fully recover.
  20. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN: THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING EVERYONE!! It’s official, I’m finally done this fic! As I said before, it was NOT the fic I had planned to write, but I am still pleased with it and I hope you guys are too. There are 2 more chapters after this one and I’ll post them in fairly quick succession.

    PM List: mavjade, Gemma, JediMasterJessica, Anakin Solo Revanchist, bkwrm752003

    Chapter 9

    One week later, Mara sat up in her med-center bed. It had been one of the longest weeks of her life - not being able to hold or touch Bethania Jade (or Beth for short) was killing Mara. But her daughter was surviving against all odds, so Mara was grateful for that, plus she had Ben to take out all her mothering on.

    “Dad will be there when you wake up from the surgery,” she said, tying up his med-center gown. Today was the day that both of her babies would go under anesthesia. “I might be there, depending on how long Beth's surgery is.” After Beth's surgery Mara would finally be able to hold her daughter. The doctors were going to put both Mara and Bethania in an incubation chamber and let Mara hold her daughter as she recovered. Mara was worried about the surgeries, but also a bit excited to hold finally Bethania.

    A nurse entered with a hoverchair. “Are we about ready? I’m going to take Ben in now and someone will be in to get Bethania Jade.”

    Ben nodded, then hugged both his mother and father.

    “We love you,” Luke said as he helped Ben settle in the hoverchair. Ben was the pushed out.

    Luke and Mara then turned their attention to Bethania Jade. Luke helped Mara to the lounger and together they sat as they lifted the blanket protecting her from the harsh light. Beth had grown and gained some weight, but she was still tiny and connected to so many machines. Both parents were aware that this surgery would test her strength and will to live. She was awake, but laid still. With the ventilator she could not cry, so she had more drugs coursing through her veins than blood.

    “You know the drill Beth,” Mara said. “You just let the doctors do all the work.”

    Luke continued, cooing to her. “Just make it then you and mommy can cuddle. I hear the doctors might even let you have your first real meal. I’ll have to look after Ben, but knowing him he’ll just want to sleep so if mommy lets me, I’ll come hold you and cuddle with you for as long as you want.”

    The door then opened again and another nurse walked in along with Jedi Master Cilghal. Cilghal had met Bethania Jade when she was two days old and had been using healing techniques to help the child. The healer looked tired, even though Luke had sent her home to get some rest.

    “Okay Bethania Jade. We love you and we will see you soon,” Luke said, taking Mara’s hand.

    “I’ll be with her the entire time,” Cilghal assured the parents as the nurse started to take Bethania.

    “Thank you,” Mara said quietly. After they left with Bethania, Luke wrapped his arms around Mara.

    “You should get some rest,” he said.

    “Selkak said he was discharging me today. I think my time would be better spent going home, having a sani-steam and some real food.”

    Luke nodded. “I’ll go see if I can break you out of here.

    * * *

    Mara let the warm beads of water land on her skin. She let her hair out of the tight braids it had been in for a week. She took time to enjoy the ’steam, she didn’t know when she would get another chance to have a hot sani-steam in the near future. She heard the door open then close again and the clothes hit the floor. Mara smiled to herself as Luke stepped in with her.

    He gently washed her then held her. Finally, after a while, he said, “We should probably get out. I have some clothes packed for the both of us and a quick lunch in the warmer.”

    “Has anyone ever told you, you’re the best husband ever?”

    “Only you, my love.”

    “Good. Let’s keep it that way,” she said, patting his stomach.

    * * *

    When they arrived back to the med-center room they found a double cot in the place of Mara’s bed. A nurse walked in after them. “Good too see you two back. Ben’s doctor should come in a few moments on both your children’s conditions. But as you can see, we decided to make room for the whole family in here.”

    Luke smiled as he sat on the edge of the cot. “Thank you.”

    True to the nurse’s word, one of the transplant doctors - Dr. Reon, a male human just younger than Mara - came in. “I am pleased to say, Ben’s part of the transplant went extremely well. He is a healthy young man and should recover quickly. He should be out of the operating room in a few minutes. We will bring him in here for recovery. He’ll need to spend the night but I’ll probably discharge him sometime late tomorrow so he can recover at home.”

    “Thank you,” Mara said, “Do you have any information on Bethania Jade?”

    “From what I know, things are going well but they are going slowly. She is very tiny and it is making the operation difficult but we harvested some very healthy tissue from Ben. They formed the lungs out side of her and transplanted them, so that went smoothly, but her heart is giving them some difficulty. I will make sure one of her doctors update you as soon as they can.”

    A few minutes later, Ben was brought in. He was lying, asleep, on the bed, oxygen mask over his mouth.

    “How is he?” Mara asked the nurse bringing him in.

    “The doctors say he’s doing great. But he needs his rest, so make sure he gets it. He may feel short-of-breath when he wakes. Just keep him calm and call one of us if he needs anything. Someone will come into get you, Mara, to bring you to the incubation chamber.”

    Mara nodded and then she and Luke took their places beside Ben. Within a few moments he was moaning softly.

    Mara brushed the hair out of Ben’s eyes. “Ben?”

    “Yes Mommy,” he slurred. He was fairly drugged up.

    “Just seeing if you were okay.”

    “Go back to sleep, okay Ben?” Luke said, patting his arm. “I’ll be here when you wake up.”

    “’Kay Dad…” Ben trailed off. He was fast asleep.

    It was a couple more tense, and quite, hours until another nurse came in. “Master Jade Skywalker? Bethania Jade will be out of surgery soon. She is stable, but the recovery will be long. We want to get you comfortable in the incubation chamber now.”

    Mara nodded, picked up a small bag and got up. She kissed Luke across Ben’s bed. “Don’t get into any trouble.”

    “I’ll try not to. Give Bethania lots of love for me.”

    “I will.” Mara followed the nurse out, down the hallway and into a small room set up with a dozen machines and an incubation chamber. The lid was up and the bed was covered with pillows.

    “We need to get you in a gown with an open front.” The nurse held up the pink garment. “And we need to do your hair back in braids again.”

    Mara started to strip. “I brought some receiving blankets and a couple of her stuffies we’ve been putting in her pod. Can we have them in the chamber?”

    “Of course.” The nurse helped Mara put on the gown. It had a deep V in the front and offered no modesty. “It will be quite toasty in there, but someone else will be in the room at all times if you need anything.”

    Mara got on the bed and got comfortable, making sure she had receiving blankets within reach. She then heard footsteps outside. Nurses and doctors came in, surrounding an incubation pod.

    “The transplants went very well,” the head surgeon announced with a smile. “She is breathing on her own but her condition is not stable. We are going to put her on your chest, belly down, with her limbs under her. Just put your hand on her lower back. If her condition is the same when she wakes up from the drugs you can try breastfeeding with some help.”

    “Will you update my husband on her condition?”

    “Yes, of course, but first we are going to get you situated. Are you comfortable?”

    Mara nodded. She watched as the doctor lifted her daughter - who had a bacta-patch covering her small chest and still dozens of wires and drips attached to her - and placed Bethania Jade on Mara’s chest. Mara placed her hand on her daughter’s back. Everything just felt right. The incubation chamber was sealed and it started to warm.

    The majority of the doctors and nurses left, leaving Mara to talk to her daughter.

    “Hey there, Bethania Jade. It’s Mommy.” She bent her neck to kiss Beth's head. “You are doing so well. Just relax and let Mommy help you get better.”

    Long minutes passed and Mara simply held Bethania Jade.

    Mara looked up and saw Luke enter. He had a look of awe and wonder in his eyes. “Ben is still asleep and I just had to come see her.”

    She smiled. “The nurses say her stats are the best they’ve ever been, which is a small miracle considering what she has been through.”

    “She’s Daddy’s little miracle,” he cooed.

    “They say I can feed her when she wakes up in a few hours. You should go sit with Ben until then.”

    He nodded. “Alright.”

    * * *

    Within a few hours of lying still in the incubation pod, Mara was aching and sweaty. She didn’t want to complain, she was, after all, finally holding her daughter, but she was thinking about getting one of the nurses to get Luke to take over for her.

    Bethania Jade chose that moment to wake and start crying. Mara felt her heart start to beat faster. It had been so long since she had dealt with a crying baby, let alone a sick one.

    The nurse, this one was a male human in his early 20s, got up with a smile. “Sounds like someone is awake, and hungry.”

    “Can you send someone to get my husband? He wanted to see her when she woke.”

    * * *

    “Ben, the doctors said you should try to eat something,” Luke said, holding up a spoonful of nacaberry sauce to a very drugged Ben.

    “Really, Dad? I just want to sleep till I can feed myself solid food,” Ben slurred.

    There was a knock at the door and a nurse entered. “Master Skywalker? Your wife has asked for you.” Luke was already standing up. “Bethania Jade is awake and feeding.”

    Luke turned to Ben, “Do you mind if I go?”

    “Yes, please, leave me in peace,” Ben practically begged.

    Luke nodded then followed the nurse out. When they reached the room with the incubation chamber. He gazed in amazement as he watched Bethania Jade feeding.

    Mara looked up and smiled. “She can feed all by herself.”

    “Yes,” Luke said with a smile. “Because she’s my baby girl.”

    “After she’s done her dinner, do you want to switch kids for awhile?” she asked.

    “I would love to,” Luke practically gushed. He then cleared his throat. “I mean, I think Ben is getting a little sick of me.”

    “We should get you ready,” the nurse said. “I think the little one will be full soon.”

    Luke stripped his shirt. Once Bethania was done, the incubation chamber was opened and Luke got in behind Mara. She then put their daughter on his chest and got out, closing the chamber.

    Bethania fussed. Mara hesitated leaving.

    “It’s alright,” he softly said, rubbing his finger tips up and down her back. Her cries became softer, and eventually died down. “I know my chest isn’t as soft and squishy as mommy, but I love you just as much.”
    Gemma and Falcon like this.
  21. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    What a heart warming update. I hope everything continues to go well :) more soon
  22. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    This was so sweet -- and so Mara and Luke - spot on.

    And I adored Luke's comment to Beth about his chest not being as soft and squishy --- made me smile. Fabulous update.
  23. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Master star 4

    May 25, 2005
    Oh, I'm so glad Beth and Ben are both doing well. Poor Ben. He was cracking me up asking Luke to go. And I love that Mara and Luke both had time with their baby girl.
  24. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN. Thanks for reading everyone! I should have the final update up by the end of the week.

    Chapter 10

    “After three months of fighting for her, I can’t believe it’s all over,” Mara mumbled, mostly to herself, but Luke heard her. She was sitting in the glider chair. Luke was standing behind her. They were staring at an empty incubation pod.

    “It’ll be okay,” Luke said, rubbing her shoulder. “We can do this. I just gotta figure out this speeder-seat.” He bent down to try to figure out the new fangled speeder seat.

    Bethania Jade let out a small grunt. She was in Mara’s arms, dressed in a soft yellow dress, swaddled in pink blankets and had a pacifier in her mouth. She was now a healthy 5 pounds and ready to go home. Mara was ready to have her home too, but also worried. What if one of Bethania Jade’s lungs were to give out, or something were to happen with her heart.

    “We can do this,” he said again.

    “Stay out of my head, Skywalker,” she said with mirth.

    “What if I like it there, Jade?”

    “You are going to have to stop calling me that. Your going to confuse the poor Bethania Jade.”

    Luke laughed. “Okay. Sorry, Mommy.” He stood up with the seat. I think I got it figured out.

    Mara attempted to put Bethania in the seat, but she started to fuss and began crying. She like to cry. A lot.

    Mara sighed as she tried to get the pacifier back into Bethania’s mouth. “I knew that as a bad idea. Okay, okay, I’ll carry you out to the speeder.”

    Luke grabbed their bag and the seat. After many goodbyes to many doctors and nurses, they were finally out. Luke put the speeder seat in the back and Mara placed Bethania in the seat. She began to cry even louder.

    “I’ll sit in the back with her,” Mara said, getting in beside the carseat.

    * * *

    Bethania was still crying when they reached their apartment. “Your going to have to do that thing of yours,” Mara said. Luke had a way with Bethania Jade. She was Daddy’s girl.

    “I was planning on doing it anyways,” he said.

    When they entered they saw Ben, Han, Leia, Jaina, and Jag sitting on the couches. Ben was looking very healthy, fully recovered from the donation surgery.

    “We knew you guys wouldn’t want a baby shower, but we had to be here for her homecoming,” Leia said with a grin. The family had been to see Bethania Jade plenty of times but no one other than Luke, Mara and Ben had held her, for fear of infection.

    “Thanks Leia,” Luke said. He turned to Mara. “It looks like Bethania is going to have to wait to cuddle with me.”

    “I take it you want to finally hold her?” Mara asked her sister-in-law as she walked to the couch.

    Leia held her arms out. “Yes. Don’t worry. I’ll share her and give her back… eventually.”

    Mara placed Bethania Jade in Leia’s arms then sat down next to Ben who was eating a sandwich. Mara stole a piece off his place.

    “Hey! You just stole half my dinner.”

    “No one will believe you,” she replied, kissing him on the cheek.

    “Aunt Mara,” Jaina said, “We painted Beth's nursery the other night and we stocked everyone’s gifts in there. It’s all set up for her to move in. Do you want to see it.”

    Mara nodded. With the exception of a few nights a week, she and Luke had been barely home. She followed Jaina to Bethania Jade’s room and smiled when the lights were turned on. The walls were a light pink and the linens were white and poofie. Everything she needed was put in its place.

    Mara smiled. “Thanks so much. I’ve never done any of the girly stuff she deserves.”

    “Well, my mother will be more than happy to do anything you don’t know how to. I know you didn’t do it for them, but my parents are really excited to have a niece. If you need anything, please ask them, they are so excited to have her birthday parties and over for sleepovers when she’s old enough. BJ has really gotten Mom off my back about grandkids.”

    “That’s nice, but please don’t call Bethania Jade ‘BJ’. It sounds like some kind of sexual act.”

    Jaina laughed. “Fine whatever. Now I wanna see if I can hold Bethania.”

    * * *

    After the Solos and Jag had left, Luke took Bethania Jade to her room. It was toasty warm since he had the heat cranked. He took her clothes off, changed her diaper, then rested her in the V of his tunic. He sat in the lounger and started to babble and hum to her. It was one of the few things that always calmed her down and got her to sleep, if only for a few minutes.

    Mara came in eventually wearing sleep pants and a maternity tank. “Hey, it’s about time for her bedtime snack.” She rubbed Beth's back, as well as the back of Luke’s neck.

    Luke knew Mara hated waking Bethania as much as he did, but he also knew Bethania was still small and underweight. “Okay,” he said, handing Bethania to her. The baby woke and began to cry, but as soon as Mara traded spots with him, Bethania began to calm down.

    “I’m going to have a sanisteam and get ready for bed,” he said.

    Mara nodded. “Kay, see you there.”

    * * *

    When Luke got out of the ‘fresher, he found Mara hovering over the pink bassinet in their bedroom, cooing. “Yep, tonights the first night at home with Mommy and Daddy and Ben. Your going to be a good girl, right? You’re going to let Mommy and Daddy get some sleep okay?”

    Mara continued to babble and Luke simply leaned against the wall. After so many weeks in the medcenter, he never thought this night would come. He eventually left his post and stood behind Mara. Bethania was swathed in white pyjamas. From the look on her face, Luke could tell that she was about to fall asleep and Mara just continued speaking softly to push her over the edge. Finally Bethania went and Mara sighed. “Lets see how much sleep we can get before she wants her next meal.”

    “Okay. But I’m kinda hungry,” he said before leaning down to nibble her ear.

    “I can go to the kitchen and make you something,” she said with mirth as she wrapped her arms around him.

    “You are not going anywhere,” he replied in a husky tone.

    * * *

    One Month Later…

    After four months of paternity leave, Mara could tell that Luke was getting restless. He loved spending time with Bethania, but he wanted to get back to work. Mara’s maturity leave was over as well, but she wasn’t so sure about going back to work. Caring for Bethania Jade was frankly a full time job. And if she was honest with herself, Mara wanted to give her daughter the childhood that she herself never got, and that she was never able to give Ben.

    She was already dressed in her standard teal tunic and grey leggings and ready for the day. She was getting Bethania Jade ready in her little pink Jedi robes and slippers. They were a bit ridiculous, but incredibly adorable, and handmade by Tionne Solusar. The outfit was finished off with a headband with a very large pink bow. Mara then had to make sure she had the diaper bag packed.

    “Are you almost ready to go?” Luke said, sticking his head in Beth's room. “The council meeting starts in -.” He stopped mid-sentence when he saw his daughter’s outfit. “Oh my stars, who is the cutest little girl in the galaxy!” He rushed to then changing table and swooped Bethania up. “Are you ready for your first day at chèche?”

    “Come on,” Mara said, rolling her eyes, “before you turn into some babbling idiot. Oh, sorry, too late.”

    “Ouch. But I don’t even care,” he replied. He held his head high as he walked out of the room.

    * * *

    Mara was blatantly restless as she listened to some senator of Onderon droned on. Bethania Jade was in the chèche, under the care of some Jedi apprentices. They would take good care of her daughter, and she would be stopping by every few hours to nurse her, but she couldn’t help but feel worried.

    And she was right to. Suddenly, something felt wrong. She got up, but Luke was already out the door. Igniting her lightsaber as she ran, she felt thankful that the other masters were right behind her.

    They reached the balcony of the grand entrance to see a large commotion. An assassinator droid had Bethania Jade in it’s clutches. Five YVH droids surrounded them. Bethania Jade wailed as dozens of Jedi, lightsabers ignited, surrounded the droid. Fire broke out and Mara could tell that Luke was considering making the 50 metre drop. She stopped him and gave him the “don’t be a complete moron” look. They ran to the turbo lift and agonized as it took them down.

    When they reached the grand entrance, the fight was over. The droids were in pieces and a few Jedi were on the ground, being attended to by other Jedi. In the middle of it all was Ben, holding a very upset, very loud Bethania Jade.

    * * *

    Mara sat still in the darkness. The only sound was Bethania Jade feeding. Mara held her close under the nursing blanket. She was uninjured from the firefight, but Mara was not letting her out of her sight. Ben was at her side. They were in Luke’s office, away from all the chaos.

    Ben’s data-pad beeped. “No one was seriously hurt in the fight,” he read out-loud.

    “That’s good.” Mara was feeling calm because Tekli had given her something… good for her nerves. “Do they know what kriffing idiot-”

    “Mom! Language. Don’t want little Bethania growing up like me.”

    That made Mara crack a smile. “I blame you on your father. I just want to know what dummy dared to send droids into the Jedi temple and take one of my children.”

    “Someone with a death wish or suicidal tendencies?”

    Before Mara could retort, Luke walked in, rubbing his temples.

    “Any leads?” she asked.

    “I’ve got some ideas, but I want to get you guys to the safe-house before something else happens.”

    “Luke,” she sighed. “You were hiding something from me before I had Bethania Jade. What the kark is it?”

    “Senator Klenad has been a thorn in my side since the day he accused you and Corran of murder. He’s trying to create some anti-Jedi movement. He isn’t a real big threat, just enough to REALLY ruin a day. Sending six droids into the Jedi temple to kidnap our baby is exactly the kind of half-baked plan he has been known for.”

    “Can I kill him?” Mara asked.

    “If someone could get away with it, I would have the afternoon he accused you of murder.” Luke took Bethania, who was done her snack, away from Mara and held her in his arms. “But let’s go to the safe house. Mirax has someone’s playpen already over there and Corran, Jysella and Valin are going to stand watch while someone takes a much needed nap.”

    * * *

    Mara smiled as Jysella sang to Bethania Jade as the little one fell asleep. Jysella was going to make an excellent mother one day.

    The effects of the relaxant drugs Telki had given Mara were starting to make her exhausted, either that, or the fact that she hadn’t gotten more than two hours of sleep at one time in four months was starting to catch up with her. Either way, she was struggling to stay awake.

    Mirax sat down beside her with a soft smile. “Why don’t you get a couple hours of sleep? We’re here, we can take care of her.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “No, the kid is a little horror,” Mirax said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Beth was sound asleep. “Takes after you in fact. Go! I can take care of her.”

    “Fine, fine,” Mara said, throwing up her hands as she got up.

  25. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    “Are you almost ready to go?” Luke said, sticking his head in Beth's room. “The council meeting starts in -.” He stopped mid-sentence when he saw his daughter’s outfit. “Oh my stars, who is the cutest little girl in the galaxy!” He rushed to then changing table and swooped Bethania up. “Are you ready for your first day at chèche?”

    “Come on,” Mara said, rolling her eyes, “before you turn into some babbling idiot. Oh, sorry, too late.”


    someone attempting a kidnapping :eek: Like Ben said, someone has a death wish.

    Can't believe it's almost over :(