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Saga - OT And They Lived Happily Ever After / (Kanan/ Hera AU) OTP Spring Challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, May 2, 2018.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: And They Lived Happily Ever After
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Timeframe: Saga OT- 1 ABY and 10 ABY
    Genre: Mush, romance, AU (in the Marzra-verse continuity)
    Characters: Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, the other Rebels, Jacen Syndulla-Jarrus, OCs Ayelet Syndulla-Jarrus and Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus
    Synopsis: As they celebrate their tenth anniversary, Kanan and Hera remember their wedding
    Notes: written for OTP Spring Challenge

    Author’s notes: This story is based on a timeline I made up before Season 4 aired, and the Sims version of Kanan and Hera that I’ve been playing since last summer. (Where the cast of Rebels essentially settles down in the suburbs and has kids :D Well, Marzra-verse is the AU where everyone gets their happy endings!) The timing of Jacen’s birth is slightly different here than in canon, because Season 4, what Season 4? Anyway, this is me indulging my love of happy endings and Kanera mush.

    ———

    “Don’t look! Don’t look! And no using the Force, Daddy; it’s s’posed to be a surprise!”

    “I’m not.” Hera could hear the smile in Kanan’s voice as their small son pulled them by the hands from the conversation circle into the dining room.

    “Okay, open your eyes now!”

    “Surprise! Happy anniversary!” All three of the children—and Chopper—stood in a line in front of the table. The kids were dressed in their Benduday bests, though Hera noticed a splattering of brown gravy spots across Jacen’s tunic, a smear of finger paint on Ayelet’s nose, and Ronen...well, Ronen looked like he’d been wrestled into his good tunic, as usual.

    “We made dinner!” Jacen announced proudly, gesturing to a bowl of pasta with grayish-brown sauce. “Noodles with mushroom sauce, just like yours, Mom. I did not, burn it, Chopper!” he retorted as the droid muttered his customary unsolicited critique. “Okay, not much.” Their oldest, Jacen, looked mostly Human besides his emerald green hair and the dappling of green freckles that appeared across his cheeks and nose when he’d been in the sun too long. At ten, he was growing like the Lothalian prairie grass, and if he couldn’t be found, it was a safe bet he and Chopper were tinkering on one of the speeder bikes in the garage.

    “And we made you a present, too! A book!” Ayelet waved a sheaf of flimsi. She was five, part of the baby boom that followed the Battle of Endor. She took after Hera, though her skin was a shade or two paler green and the pattern of circles on her lekku was smaller. She was their dreamer, the one who heard the Force whispering in the breeze, and her artwork covered the front of the conservator. Sabine kept her in a steady supply of crayons and paints. “It’s all about you, and how you got married. Look, here’s Daddy asking you to marry him, Mama, way back when you were on Yavin.”

    “Read it now!” three-year-old Ronen demanded. He tugged Hera and Kanan into their seats and crawled up into Kanan’s lap. Contrary child that he was, Ronen somehow managed to have a thatch of wavy brown hair and short, blunt lekku with faint orange stripes. He was constantly in motion and as full of questions as only a toddler could be—or as his father had been as a boy. “Read it, Mama!”

    Ayelet handed the homemade book to Hera. On the cover, Jacen’s childish scrawl read “The Wedding of Kanan and Hera— A Love Story”. Below the words, Ayelet had drawn Kanan on one knee, in the traditional fairytale prince pose, holding up a lumpy object to Hera that seemed to be some kind of betrothal token. Hera stifled a smile. It was not exactly the way she remembered that day….

    ———

    “It’s positive.”

    The small slip of flimi shook slightly in Hera’s trembling hands. Without thinking, she handed it to Kanan even though he couldn’t read it.

    It was hard to gauge his expression as he took it; he was after all, a master of that inscrutable Jedi look that could mean anything from “I’m perfectly fine” to “I’m screaming inside but I’m not telling you that”. It was, Hera reflected, rather unfair that he could sense her emotions but she so often had trouble reading his. “Maybe you should do another scan,” he suggested. His voice was level, but she noticed that his hands were shaking a bit, too.

    “Kanan, this is the third mediscan I’ve done. It’s not going to change.” Hera tidied up the ‘fresher as she spoke, picking up the slips with the results of the previous scans, slipping them into the pocket of her coveralls, and putting the scanner back in the medical kit—trying to at least act like she was her usual collected self. She closed the kit’s lid firmly and rested her hands on it, exhaling deeply. “I’m pregnant.” Somehow, saying the words made them real, unavoidable. Hera wondered if Kanan’s Jedi senses let him understand how she was feeling any better than she did herself. She loved Kanan with all her her heart and soul, and she’d dreamed of having a family with him. But this wasn’t the way she’d pictured it. The Ghost had become their home over the years, but how did you raise a child on a ship, in the middle of a war? When everyday was uncertain and there was always the chance that she or Kanan--or both of them--wouldn’t return from their next mission? As much as her heart longed for this child, what kind of life would that be for him or her?

    “Come with me.” Kanan’s voice was soft, but it broke the silence of Hera’s meandering thoughts. He laid a hand on her shoulder and gently turned her to face him.

    “What? Where?” It was still hard to tell exactly what Kanan was thinking. He didn’t seem unhappy, more serious and thoughtful, but then, when wasn’t he?

    “For a walk.” He took her hand and drew her into the hallway. “There’s something I need to say to you, and I’m not going to do it in the Ghost’s ’fresher.”

    “Oh… I… yes, all right.” What was it about that simple statement that flustered her so badly? Something in his voice, the way he looked at her? Perhaps it was simply the fact that while there were several things they needed to discuss at this point, and the ‘fresher wasn’t an ideal setting for any of them, for once, they had no lack of privacy. When Hera first suspected she might be pregnant, she and Kanan had chosen a time when Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper were doing weapons inspections and Ezra was having lunch with Mara and Luke at the mess hall to verify those suspicions. But even though they had the Ghost to themselves, Kanan led her down the ramp, onto the path that meandered around Masassi Base and turned onto a narrow side path that was half hidden by vines and undergrowth.

    It led to a small clearing. To one side there was an outcropping black basalt, and a stream cascaded down it in a misty veil of a waterfall. Orchids in shades of blue and purple spangled the the forest canopy like stars; they even seemed to glow faintly. Hera had never been there before, but she recognized it all the same. “Isn’t this the clearing Ezra and Mara like to go to when they’re trying to get away from us?”

    Kanan smiled as he steered her over to the fallen log in the center of the clearing. “I’ve been told it’s very romantic.”

    Romantic? Hera’s stomach gave a sudden lurch and her heart thudded wildly. Kanan had to say something to her, and he wanted to do it someplace romantic? Surely… surely he couldn’t be thinking of…? After all this time? Oh, please, let that be it! her heart whispered, even as the practical part of her mind demanded, Now? In the midst of the war? “It’s beautiful,” she said carefully. Her hands were shaking again. ”I can see why they like to sneak off here any chance they get.”

    “I can picture it.” Kanan sat down on the log and pulled her down next to him. “I can hear the waterfall rushing down…” … he nodded towards it… “...I can smell the orchids in bloom…” … he lifted a hand gesturing up at the flowers…”...but none of it could be half as beautiful as you.” He lowered his hand to caress her cheek. “Hera, I know that this isn’t the way you wanted things to be—”

    She reached up and laid her hand alongside his. No, this wasn’t the way she’d thought it would be for them, but she didn’t regret a moment that they’d spent together. She hadn’t expected to be having their child now, while they were still fighting the Empire, but she would not change that, either. He had to know that. ”Kanan…”

    “No, let me finish.” He captured her hand in his, reached for her other hand and clasped them both, pulling her towards him. “I know you wanted everything to be put right in the Galaxy—the Empire defeated and freedom restored—before we made any commitments to each other, but sometimes…. Sometimes the Force brings changes into our lives that aren’t what we expected, but turn out to be the most wonderful gifts. It was like that when I met you.” Somehow, Kanan’s eyes met hers unerringly, eyes that, though blind, could still see straight to her heart. “I love you, Hera. I want us to raise our family together. Marry me.”

    Hera caught her breath. She’d longed to hear those words for so long, but for so long she’d denied the possibility that she ever would. But now…her love for Kanan and joy at the anticipation of their life together surged within her. Tears of joy welled in her eyes, and for a moment, Hera was overwhelmed by it all, speechless. But only for a moment—then she gave Kanan the answer that had always been in her heart, “Oh, yes! Of course I will, Kanan. Of course!”
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  2. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I love it, LOVE IT that you've gone with uncommon naming customs for your 'verse - this looks like something I would have done myself. :D

    Younglings being younglings - and we love them that way. Lucky that droids do laundry in the GFFA. And...I can totally see where the inspiration for such details came from. Not sure if funny, sad or both. :eek:

    Mama's boy. :hera:

    That's a lovely, lovely reference to Date Night. :D Perfect! And I love it how the kids actually got it right, a nice nod to what went wrong in that story...

    ...OK, one of the things that went wrong in that story. [face_monkey]

    You truly thought of every single little thing. I can totally see this happening! [face_love] Kriff, you might get me into happy AUs at some point. And I'm a hard nut to crack.

    And these kids' personalities - from the little that we got to see Jacen onscreen, you built him up into a believable youngster. Ayelet is precisely how I imagined that she would be from the game, the Twi'leky girly girl, and Ronen is just adorbs with his devilish lekku, if I may put it that way. He's like a chimera, a puzzle. :)

    In Ny's words - SQUGGLES!

    Now for the flashback...

    THAT WAS SO HERA. And the hesitation kind of reminds me of Jedi Night. :)

    And SQUGGLES again! It's THE meadow, another tie-in to a different story and another proof of how you fleshed out this 'verse to perfection. Your couples have their own special wooing spot and that's so incredibly romantic that I CAN'T EVEN. I HAVE LOST THE ABILITY TO EVEN!
     
  3. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEE, SQUEE, SQUEE, SQUEE! From them having 3 adorable younglings, THREE?! [face_dancing] With such endearing personalities and gorgeously exotic looks, to the "I'm pregnant" reveal, to the scene at Ezra and Mara's waterfall, and Kanan's proposal. Every, single, syllable, was perfection. [face_love] Thank you @Raissa Baiard -- I feel this was custom-made just for me LOL [:D] [:D]
     
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ah ha, it's here, it's here! :D I know you've been turning this story (and this particular chapter of the Marzraverse) over in your mind for a while, and it's so wonderful to see it brought to life—and to meet the fic counterparts to your wonderful Sims characters! :D I think I can see what you are doing in connection with the "couples game" theme of the spring OTP challenge—you're putting a very interesting spin on it that pits the children's idealized notion of things against How It Really Happened, rather than His vs. Hers views of how things happened. Definitely a very clever and creative approach, and I will look forward to seeing how it will take shape throughout the story. :)

    First, before I even get to the more serious love and marriage stuff: can I just say how much I ADORE the fact that you set Kanan and Hera's proposal scene in that beautiful orchid-filled grove frequented by Mara and Ezra! It's as though they are following in Marzra's footsteps, taking their relationship as an example for the new phase that their own is entering. And how fitting is that, because hasn't Marzra become one of the most exemplary SW relationships for us who have had the joy of getting to know them? <3 <3 <3

    In a way, the proposal scene drawn by Ayelet (wonderful choice of name, by the way!) could not be more different than the one that actually took place in that beautiful jungle grove (and which got its start right outside the 'fresher :p ), and in a way they have some notable similarities. In the picture Kanan is a fairy-tale prince, kneeling before his true love and presenting her with a betrothal token (and that one looks a little familiar, for some reason... ;) ), but there in the grove beside the waterfall he is no less heartfelt, no less giving of himself. His words to Hera are just gorgeous—so in character for him, so fitting for them as a couple and for their current situation. Kanan so often has the reputation of being the Jedi Who Disapproves of Things and Gives Stodgy Advice (I've been guilty of portraying him that way myself). But if one looks at the character closely (and I know few have more than you), he really does have a talent for being able to say just the right thing for the situation, whether it's fatherly counsel for Ezra or loving words for his beloved Hera, and his proposal to her at this moment is so just what the situation calls for. He's really onto something important here. Sure, they had originally hoped for all to be Set Right in the Galaxy before formalizing their commitment to each other—but perhaps one thing they can do is start to see their commitment not as something disrupting the process of setting the Galaxy right, but rather as one of the first steps in that very same process. Certain point of view, and all! @};- (And hey, kind of a new way of looking at that old Obi-Wan adage! ;) )

    Off to a lovely start! No one writes these two like you do! And it's always such an incredible treat to revisit the Marzraverse and to savor all its wonderful, life-affirming moments. This is indeed—as @Kahara once so eloquently put it—"the Star Wars AU that we all want to move to. Seriously, let's just all go there and stay." @};- =D=
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  6. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this!
    Well, Canon!Jacen's last name is Syndulla, so Hera gets the first name here. Hey, why not? Maybe it's a Twi'lek custom, maybe they flipped a credit to see who got "first billing". :D
    Yep, younglings will be younglings, whatever the universe. I'd say more funny than sad...because it's just part of life. And the Syndulla-Jarrus kids' stains and smudges were honorably acquired while making their parents' anniversary surprise, so that makes them less annoying than sweet.

    of course!
    Canon Jacen is described as "born to fly, just like his mother", so I built on that.

    At least these kids didn't snarf down Mom and Dad's special dinner!

    The post-war baby boom seemed logical, given that's what happened in RL following World War II. And YES I WILL MAKE YOU BELIEVE IN HAPPILY EVER AFTERS SUBMIT TO THE MUSHINESS NOW RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

    Aww, thanks! Creating families is one of my favorite aspects both of playing the Sims and writing. It's one reason I just couldn't let go of the Marzra-verse after Season 4 of Rebels.I'd just grown too attached to the next generation I'd been working on! Ronen--well, he turned out to be a bit of a surprise for me, because my original plan was that he was adopted, a blue-skinned Twi'lek with a human "twin" sister adopted at the same time. And then the Series Finale happened, and Twi'lek/Human hybrids were canon, and I somehow made this weird looking toddler Sim with hair covered lekku... and Ronen took on a whole new direction and a life of his own :D

    [face_blush][face_blush][face_blush] Thank you. Kanan and Hera certainly deserve that kind of idyllic setting for once (yay for fanfic, that they can finally have it), and I don't think Ezra and Mara would mind loaning their meadow for the occasion. I hope you'll be able to EVEN again soon.

    [face_blush][face_blush][face_blush] Aww, thank you so much! [face_love] As I mentioned, I love building families; i can't help it. So when I planned Kanan and Hera's happily ever after, they got a whole houseful of younglings, because they're awesome, loving space!parents who will treasure each one. Maybe the family doesn't start the way the two of them would have chosen, but with their love and the support of the rest of their family, it grows into something wonderful and joyous.

    Thank you! I couldn't find a good way to do the he said/ she said version, so the idea of the way their children see Mom and Dad's "love story" contrasted with the more prosaic reality (even if it does have its share of romance, it's not exactly a fairytale) occured to me. It was also great fun to finally introduce these kids, too!
    Aww...I'm blushing, because I certainly never thought my wild hare of a 'ship (OMG, they're both with the WRONG people!) would ever achieve that sort of status! But I guess in a way, it is fitting that in this case, Kanan is following Ezra's lead. Despite Kanan's best efforts, Ezra's never really bought into the non-attachment doctrine (neither has Kanan, really, but he pretends he has :p), and Ezra and Mara have always been very open with one another about their feelings. So now that Kanan's finally bringing all his feelings for Hera into the open, what better place to start than in the "kids'" romantic getaway?

    [face_love] Kanan may be Disappointed Space Dad and Giver of Stern Advice, but that's one aspect of him...and it's really a reflection of that fact that he does care so deeply for his family. He wants to see them do their best and if he's a touch stern sometimes, well, he holds himself to the same high standards when it comes to being a teacher and role model, too. Again, it's because he loves them all so much that he doesn't want to fail them. I really love the bolded part; it's so lovely and so true. He and Hera have been deferring their dreams of a life together for so long because of their fight against the Empire, but the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. There will be added challenges, but in a way, taking that next step is a victory, a way of saying that the war doesn't define their lives.

    Thank you so much; it means a great deal coming from another Rebels fan like you!
     
  7. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you to @Findswoman for beta-reading @};-
    ----------
    Lothal, 10 ABY

    “…And she said ‘yes’!” Hera smiled as she turned the page. “So they hurried to share the…” She squinted as she tried to decipher the next word, the squashed letters hastily rewritten over a smear of overzealous erasing. “…joy… joyous….to share the joyous news with their family.”

    The page’s illustration depicted her and Kanan in a midst of a crowd of beings. Hera recognized most of them immediately, even if her daughter’s artistic skills were still developing. The bumpy purple figure with the pointy ears was Zeb, the woman with the multi-colored hair was Sabine, the dark-haired man (who seemed to be cheering wildly) next to the red-haired woman were Ezra and Mara and the squat, boxy shape in in the foreground was a droid with an orange dome—Chopper, of course. But who was the smudgy figure, halfway off the edge of the page, standing behind Zeb? In her enthusiasm, Ayelet had also included some family members who hadn’t been present that day—an orange-skinned Twi’lek who was clearly Grandpa Cham and a figure in Mandalorian armor seemed to be Uncle Maximus, Sabine’s husband. Crayon-dot confetti covered the picture, and everyone smiled…

    -------

    Yavin, 0 ABY

    By the time she and Kanan returned from the waterfall clearing, the rest of the crew had already returned to the Ghost and were gathered in the common area, swapping stories of the day’s events: perimeter maintenance duties for Ezra and heavy ordnance inspection for Zeb, Sabine and Chopper. “...dunno what they’ve been doing with those rocket launchers,” Zeb was complaining. “How the karking Karkadon did they get tok nut butter inside their barrels?”

    “Bwah b’bwah bwahp.” Chopper gumbled his opinion of organics and their slovenly habits.

    “Chopper! Humans are not all messier than drooling nerfs when we eat!”

    Ezra, of course, was the first one to notice that Hera and Kanan had come in, and he did a double take. “Ok, what’s going on?”

    “What do you mean?” All right, they were holding hands, but surely that wasn’t that unusual, was it? And maybe their expressions were a bit dreamier than usual, but that didn’t seem like it would be enough to warrant the intensely speculative way he was regarding them.

    “You two…” He frowned a little, as if he could sense that something had fundamentally changed about the two of them, something important but so subtle he wasn’t sure what it was. Hera wondered if somehow the old cliche about women in her condition glowing was true, at least if you could see in the Force. “You’re making the Force hum and the only time I hear it like that is when…” Ezra broke off, a slight flush coming to his cheeks. “Well, anyway, it doesn’t usually do that. So what’s up?”

    Kanan cocked his head, as if listening to a faint, faraway sound. “He’s right. It is humming. I think that means it approves.” His smile widened. He wrapped an arm around Hera’s waist and pulled her close, bending down to brush his lips against her forehead. She felt her own lips irresistibly drawn into a smile as she leaned against him.

    The crew exchanged significant glances, raising their eyebrows at this unwonted display of affection from their reserved parental figures. Hera, still a bit giddy—an unaccustomed, but not unpleasant, feeling for her—from the euphoria of Kanan’s proposal, nearly laughed. Now that they were getting married, now that everything was going to be official, why shouldn’t she and Kanan hold hands or embrace or even kiss in front of the “kids”?

    “Approves of what?” Zeb demanded, planting large, purple fists on his hips. “Karabast, can’t you Jedi ever say something that doesn’t require a translator?"

    Hera looked up at Kanan with an inquiring lift of her eyebrow; he gave a slight nod in return. No reason to keep the good news a secret from their family, now that they were sure. “Kanan and I have something important to tell you… we’re getting married—”

    Around the common area, eyes widened, jaws dropped and a chorus of exuberant cries rang out.

    “BWAAAH!”

    “Whoa!”

    “Married! Oh, Hera!”

    “’S about time!”

    “And…” Hera took a deep breath. She was still a bit unsure how she felt about being pregnant, of how things were going to work, raising a child while fighting a war—but even if this wasn’t the way she’d wanted it to happen, this child was wanted and loved. And she and Kanan would do their best, together. “We’re having a baby.”

    “BWAAAAAAAAH?!?!”

    “When?!”

    “Baby? Karabast!”

    “Wait, wait, wait…” Ezra cocked an eyebrow at Kanan, crossing his arms over his chest, but there was a spark of mischief in his blue eyes. “So all that stuff about Jedi and non-attachment was more of a suggestion, then, huh?”

    “Ezra…”

    Kanan’s Disapproving Jedi voice did nothing to dissuade his padawan, who continued with a barely concealed grin. “Because you really can’t get more attached than—”

    “Thank you, Ezra.” Hera added in her best Surrogate Mom Who Is Also a General voice; he subsided, but still snickered a bit at Kanan, perhaps not surprising after all the times the two of them had gone around about the non-attachment doctrine and Ezra’s relationship with Mara. Hera answered Sabine’s question to change the subject. “The baby’s due in about seven months, maybe a little more. Interspecies pregnancies can be tricky to estimate.”

    “We don’t have a lot of time to put things together, then!” Like any good Mando, Sabine was instantly ready to take charge.

    “Put together?” Kanan looked bemused. “What do we have to put together? I’m sure we can find a justice somewhere on base, or maybe a notary…”

    Zeb grunted thoughtfully. “Hmm. Bet I could get one of those priest license-thingies from the Divine Church of the Bantha you see on the holonet.”

    Men, honestly… Hera sighed. She could almost understand Kanan not realizing that a wedding involved more than initialing a form—Jedi didn’t generally do this sort of thing, after all—but Zeb had been married himself, so what was his excuse? She tapped Kanan on the chest with one finger. “Oh, no. I’ve waited this long to hear the words from you, Master Jarrus. We’re going to do this right, and that means a real ceremony, not just a stamp on a piece of flimsi or a fake holonet priest.”

    “Right! We’ll need wedding wear—oh, Hera, you have to let me design something for you! And flowers! Those orchids from the jungle will be perfect! The wedding banquet—might be tricky if we have to have Dex cook it…” Sabine ticked off points on her fingers, her eyes lighting up with creative zeal. “Honor attendants… guest lists… a location… a real priest… or a ship’s captain, they can officiate, right?…”

    Kanan’s expression had gone from bemused to “oh dear Force, what have I gotten myself into?” Zeb shot him a look of sympathy—apparently he remembered what was involved in planning a wedding after all—while Ezra continued to smirk at his master. Hera would have admonished him that his turn would come—sooner rather than later, the way things were going with him and Mara—but at the moment she, too, was feeling a bit overwhelmed by Sabine’s exhaustive list of details, and that didn’t even begin to touch the preparations they’d need to make for the baby.

    There was going to be a lot to do in the upcoming weeks, and Hera could only hope that the Empire would oblige by holding off on any major offensives until afterwards. Even though she wasn't normally superstitious, she found herself crossing her lekku in the old Twi’lek gesture warding against evil.

    In the meantime…she hoped there would be time among all the planning to enjoy some time alone with her fiancé—even thinking the word made her smile—time for them to be not General and Jedi or “mom” and “dad”, but just Hera and Kanan, together, in love.

    Notes:

    Zeb being married: Fanon. If you read the Lasan Series, you may have a good idea who he married. ;)

    Uncle Maximus: more fanon. In my head canon, Sabine returns to Mandalore and meets the great-great (insert a whole lot of greats here) grandson of Canderous Ordo. Hey, she needs a happily ever after, too, and what could be better than a descendant of the Mandalore? They’ll have some awesome Mando kids, I’m sure! :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    :D :D [face_laugh] For the reactions and teasing: Ezra's especially and Sabine's efficient listing of all the stuff needing to get done. Love Hera's happy basking. [face_love]
     
  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Thanks for so much sweetness and light!

    I needed that after a rough time, my colleagues and I had at work... once more.
     
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    The fairy tale continues! As does its real-life counterpart, which is in its own way no less happy. How could it not be, also featuring the presence of (space!)family and friends? As always, you have the Spectres 100% in character: all their reactions to Kanan and Hera’s announcements were so perfectly spot on, and you could tell exactly who was who. Ezra’s “more of a suggestion” tease was absolutely priceless and so him! [face_laugh] I could just see him cheekily cocking his head in that cute Ezra way. Holonet ordination from “The Divine Church of the Bantha”—oh yes, I can see that appealing to Zeb’s goofier side. :D The way Sabine throws herself into the planning and preparations is so her, too—the take-charge Mando warrior is there right alongside the artist, who I am sure is going to come up with some ab-fab ideas for dress designs and floral arrangements. :cool:

    But Hera and Kanan most definitely deserve some time to bask, some quiet time together before all the hustle and bustle really picks up. This, more than any other, is the time for them to relish being Kanan and Hera, together, rather than just Jedi and General or “mom” and “dad” (they’ll get to the literal version of those roles soon enough, after all!). And of course how could I not smile at all the wonderful fanon tidbits you’ve thrown in throughout this chapter and, indeed, throughout the story so far—you know what all they are. @};- Can’t wait to see more of this joyful, life-affirming story! :kanan: :hera:
     
  11. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    SQUEE, SQUEE, SQUEE, SQUEE, SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! [face_love] Everyone in the house is wondering what the heck I'm squealing about, why I'm grinning like an idiot, and why I'm bouncing around like a pinball. :D

    You have made the dreams of my hopelessly romantic heart come true as far as Kanan and Hera go. I love everything about this story...everything, I tell you! =D= I'm a total sucker for happy endings. As always, you have every member of the Ghost crew absolutely perfect. Space Mom Hera, quiet but thoughtful Kanan, excited and plan-ahead Sabine, clueless-but-sweet Zeb, and of course the self-assured Ezra. I'm in love with their future kids and cannot wait to read more.

    Wedding mush AND baby mush? AHHHH! Cannot take the cuteness! Drowning in mush!!! [face_love][face_love][face_love]
     
  12. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, you know Ezra couldn't let his master go without at least a little teasing after all he's had to say about Ezra's relationship with Mara :D And Sabine is always up for a challenge, particularly when she can employ her creative talents. No one deserves a little time to bask in the glow than Hera--Space!Mom that she is, she's used to putting everyone else first, but now it's her turn to be in the spotlight.
    You're very welcome; I'm glad you enjoyed it! Some days you just need to read (or write!) something sweet[face_love] Hope things are going well with you!
    Aww,, thanks so much! Again, you just know Ezra's not going to let Master Very Serious Jedi off the hook without a little teasing, after all, it's been obvious for a while that Kanan hasn't been all that strict about the non-attachment doctrine ;) Zeb seemed like the perfect candidate to volunteer to get ordained via holonet; and bantha worship is actually a thing in the GFFA. Sabine's got this all under control, yo! More about her designs and preparations in the upcoming chapter...

    They certainly do! With all they've been through and all they continue to do for their family and the Rebellion, they've truly earned a little time for themselves. And planning a wedding takes a lot of thought and work--even when you've got a dedicated family helping out. But they'll have their moments together to enjoy as well :)
    :D:D:D Aww, thanks so much, Ridley! I'm so glad you're enjoying the story :) Kanan's death in Season 4 broke my heart after all the sweet almost, not-quite, oh-look-they're-finally-kissing Kanera moments (you're a cruel man, Dave Filoni :p), so I had to come up with my own happy ending for them. Hey, what's fanfic for, right? :D Since I'd already planned out this wonderful life with adorable children for them, it seemed a shame to let canon get in the way! Once again, thanks for the great comment, and sorry it's taken so long but another helping of mush is on the way!
     
  13. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading @};-
    --------------

    Lothal, 10 ABY

    As he listened to Hera read the children’s story, Kanan reflected that over the last ten years his life had changed in ways that he never could have imagined once. He had a home now, a wife, children—all the commitments and attachments that the Old Jedi Order had discouraged, and yet he found that they were the very things that made his life worth living. He wondered sometimes what the Jedi Council would have thought about about the new order he’d helped establish, but more often he was simply amazed by the joys and challenges of marriage and fatherhood, and how much they’d taught him about about life, about himself—about the Force.

    For all the Old Order’s cautions that attachment lead to jealousy and possessiveness, Hera had taught him to love deeply but without fear, and having children had taught him how to balance the desire to hold them tightly with the need to let them go to make their own mistakes. And parenthood frequently seemed to be the Force’s way of teaching him that he didn’t really know half of what he thought he knew, and that often he had to unlearn the the things the things he did.

    When Jacen was born, Kanan had felt ill-prepared to be a father. Living with Ezra and Sabine had given him some small taste of parenthood, but he’d known nothing about babies and it had seemed like he’d fumbled his way through his son’s first years. By the time Ayelet arrived, Kanan was sure he had a handle on things, only to discover the difference between fearless adventurer Jacen and his thoughtful, artistic sister were far greater than the fact that she had lekku and he didn’t. And neither of them had prepared him for Ronen’s insatiable curiosity and boundless energy—for a wonder the little boy was sitting quietly on Kanan’s lap as Hera read, instead of wriggling like a mooka pup as usual.

    There was a swish of flimsi as Hera turned the page. “There was so much to be done!” she narrated. “Oh, and look, here I am with Aunt Sabine.” It had become second nature for her to describe Ayelet’s drawings to Kanan, at least as far as she was able. Though Sabine assured them that Ayelet had great artistic vision and a grasp of color theory far beyond her years, Hera confessed that the actual details of her drawings sometimes baffled her. From her slight pause, this was apparently one of those times. “What is it we’re doing here, Aya?”

    “Sewing your wedding dress! The one that Aunt Sabine designed for you!” There was a touch of exasperation in the sweet, girlish lilt of Ayelet’s voice. “See, there you are with the scissors and Aunt Sabine is at the sewing machine and there’s the dress!”

    “Of course; I see now. Yes, there certainly was a lot for us to do….”

    ————

    Yavin, 0 ABY

    In the following days, Kanan often found himself wondering what exactly he’d gotten himself into. Not with Hera—he’d never been more certain of anything than his love for her—but with the wedding and everything involved in “doing it right”. Neither being a padawan or living on the run after Order 66 had given him any experience with weddings, and he was finding that there were bewildering array of customs that had to be followed just so— all the pomp of a religious ritual combined with all the festivity of holiday celebration. While the importance of things like flowers and dresses baffled him, Kanan couldn’t deny that such traditions were important, the building blocks of a culture—or of a family—and he resolved that, whatever it took, he was going to make sure everything thing was perfect for Hera.

    Planning a wedding seemed to involve as much finely-tuned preparation as a full-scale military assault, except with more flair, so perhaps it was unsurprising that Sabine had appointed herself as commander/wedding planner for the entire operation. She’d immediately gone into a frenzy of sketching—flower arrangements, wedding gowns and formal robes—drawing, discarding, and drawing again, until the Ghost was littered with flimsi covered in her rejected designs. Every night at dinner, she presented Hera with a stack of her newest iterations and Kanan would listen, bemused, as the women went over them, discussing the possibilities.

    “I know I’ve said this before but this really is the design—it’s perfect for you!” There was the rustle of a sheet of flimsi and the click of Sabine’s wrist guards against the dejarik table as she handed the sketch to Hera. “A long skirt with simple, flowing lines, high-waisted so it’ll be comfortable and flattering even if you’re, you know, showing a little by then, white with a pattern of vines in green and gold for joy, prosperity and new life. The design occurs a lot in ancient Twi’lek art!”

    Kanan heard the brush of Hera’s fingertips against the flimsi and her soft exhalation, not quite a wistful sigh. “It’s beautiful, but where are you going to get the material for such an elaborate dress? We’re on a jungle moon that’s currently being blockaded by the Empire…”

    “Relax, Hera, I’ve already got it under taken care of.” Pride and confidence suffused Sabine’s voice, a Mando in control. “Leia donated the dress she wore at the medal ceremony after the Battle of Yavin…”

    “Sabine! Please tell me you didn’t ask her for--”

    Sabine made a small sound of exasperation. “Of course not! I asked her if she knew where I could get vine silk. Chipping in the dress was her idea. And she’s friends with a lieutenant named Amilyn Holdo, who somehow managed to smuggle her entire wardrobe with her when she joined the Rebellion. She’s a little odd, but when Leia told her why I needed material, she practically gave me everything she had, including some plain cloaks I can make over into robes for the men. And it turns that the para-foil from an X-wing’s ejector seat is exactly the shade of gold I need. Wedge found a damaged one in the mechanics’ shed that they let me have. Not my first choice of material, but it’ll make a nice contrast.” There was a wry twist to her Force-presence as she shifted to face Zeb. “So now the only problem is where I’m going to find enough fabric to make you a dress tunic.”

    “Hmmph,” Zeb grunted. The acceleration couch creaked as he leaned back, bracers clinking as he crossed his arms. “Won’t be a problem, because I’m wearing my Guard uniform.”

    “Zeb! You can’t wear armor to a wedding!”

    “So you’re gonna be wearing a dress, then?”

    Beside him, Hera shook her head, lekku swishing gently, and Kanan felt the warmth of her fond exasperation as the two debated the differences, if any, between beskar’gam and plain armor and the suitability of each as wedding wear. However, when Hera brushed past him, gathering the dishes from the table, he sensed an undercurrent of sorrow beneath that affection. He slid out of his seat and followed her into the galley. “Are you all right?”

    The dishes clattered as she set them on the counter. She turned towards him with a sigh. “Just a little overwhelmed. When I said I wanted to do things right, I was thinking a small ceremony with our family. I wasn’t thinking of a gown or a banquet or flowers… I certainly wasn’t expecting the entire base to get involved.” A smile touched her voice, but the shadow in her emotions remained.

    “I guess we have an extended family now.” Kanan gathered her in his arms. “But there’s something else, isn’t there? Do you want to talk about it?”

    Hera sighed again, more deeply this time, as she leaned her head against his chest. “It’s just that all this has got me thinking… On Ryloth, we’d hang new beads on our family kalikori as part of the wedding ceremony. And another bead when a baby is born. But Thrawn still has my mother’s kalikori. I won’t be able to add you to it. I won’t be able to add our child.” Her arms tightened around him; pain and anger choked her voice and clouded her presence. “I’d rather it had been destroyed in the explosion than have my family’s history wind up as some kind of trophy for his twisted little art museum!”

    Kanan leaned forward, brushing his lips against the top of her head, and let his love and reassurance enfold her. “We’ll get it back, I promise.”

    “I know, love.” She tipped her head up and he sensed her eyes meet his. The faith in her voice touched his heart; her hope and trust had always been what kept him going. But though Kanan meant his promise absolutely—he would return the kalikori to Hera, no matter what it took—there was no way he could do so in time for their wedding or their child’s birth, and its loss would cast a shadow on occasions that should have been joyful for her.

    Kanan lay awake that night, haunted by Hera’s sorrow. At times like this, he keenly felt the differences between growing up within the Jedi Order and in a family. True, the Jedi had their own traditions, but there was nothing that could compare to this. Sometimes a holocron would be passed down from master to padawan, as Master Billaba had with him, but that was small thing compared with the generations of family history contained within a kalikori’s carved blocks and beads.

    Feeling like a youngling again, mind abuzz with questions, Kanan slipped out of bed and picked up his datapad. He turned its volume down so that he wouldn’t disturb the others as he researched the traditions of the kalikori—traditions that would become his now, too. He read articles on Twi’lek history, religion and art looking for some clue as to how he could make things right for Hera. And it came when he discovered that the word “kalikori” was derived from the old Twi’leki word for “beginning”. Perhaps he couldn’t give Hera back her mother’s kalikori so that she could continue its legacy, but he might be able to give her something that symbolized this new beginning for their family. Kanan returned to bed with a new sense of resolve, knowing what he needed to do now.

    He approached Sabine in the corridor after breakfast. “I know you’re busy with the wedding gown and robes and...all that, but I need your help with something. I want to make a kalikori for Hera.”

    “What?” It didn’t take a Jedi to sense her astonishment at this unprecedented request.

    “Well, not a whole one, just the base, something she can hang beads on for our wedding and for the baby. Something that can symbolize the beginning of our family,” Kanan explained into her amazed silence. “I should be able to find a piece of Massassi wood that will work, but do you have any carving tools?

    “You’re going to carve it yourself?” Another current of surprise jolted through Sabine’s presence, not because she questioned his capability—a Jedi who could still duel with a lightsaber could handle a simple knife—but because the idea of Kanan doing something creative seemed so wildly incongruous.

    He couldn’t really blame her; he’d never exactly been the artistic type, never done anything remotely like this before. But for Hera, there was nothing he wouldn’t do, and he would put all his talent, however small, into this project. “It won’t have the same meaning if I don’t.”

    Kanan felt Sabine’s smile ripple in her Force-presence. Art as an expression of one’s heart and a giving of oneself was something she understood well, something that she lived. And she was never one to turn down a challenge, no matter how long the odds. “Okay….well, I’m really more into two-dimensional art, but I’m sure I can find something. I’ll see what I can get together, you let me know when you have the wood.”

    He ventured into the jungle, letting the Force guide him until he found what he needed: a Massassi branch a meter and a half long and nearly as thick as his forearm, broken from one of the forest’s venerable giants when it was struck by lightning. Besides the charred end, it was solid and sound, and still resonated in the Force with the deep thrumming signature of its parent tree. He cut it into manageable segments and took it back to the Ghost, where Sabine had laid out a variety of carving implements for him: a pair of well-used chisels borrowed from the base’s maintenance shed, a multitool with a five centimeter vibroblade from the Ghost’s toolkit, the precision blade Sabine used to sharpen her colored pencils, and a heavy knife nearly forty centimeters long that seemed to vibrate with a familiar energy. “This is Zeb’s utility knife, isn’t it?” he asked.

    “It’s the sharpest blade I could find, and besides, he made me take it.”

    Of course he had. As Kanan set the knife back down, his fingers brushed a small chip of stone laying on the worktable. He picked it up, turning it over in his hands. It was a crystal shard, about the size of the tip of his little finger and it hummed when he touched it, a high, sweet note. “Where’d this come from?”

    “Oh, that? It’s from Ezra. He spent all morning looking in the jungle for it. He and Zeb both insisted that Hera needed to have a rock…” He sensed Sabine shake her head and shrug at her crewmates’ incomprehensible vagaries.

    It seemed that every member of the family had found some small way to contribute to his plan. And for a project that was all about love and family, that seemed very right. He picked up Zeb’s utility knife. “So how do I do this?”

    “Hmm.” Sabine considered this. “The famous Naboo artist Mikael Bonaroti said that his sculpture was already complete within his stone, and all he had to do was chip away the superfluous material.

    Kanan frowned and started to tell her that was not particularly helpful advice...except that it was. Everything—every being, every plant, every rock and chunk of Massassi wood—had a presence in the Force, an essence that was unique to it. Maybe within the Massassi wood’s presence was the presence of the kalikori, its essence refined and distilled into its purest form. He took the piece of wood in one hand as he held Zeb’s knife in the other and breathed deeply, letting the Force flow through him, feeling his connection to each of them. And since a kalikori was supposed to be a stylized representation of the Twi’lek form, he called Hera’s image to mind—her beauty, her grace, her strength, her shining presence in the Force, all that was uniquely her—and began to carve.

    He worked steadily, losing track of time as he carved the Massassi wood into blocks, each one a memory: meeting Hera on Gorse and joining the Ghost’s crew, and each new addition to the crew that had become their family—Zeb, Sabine, Ezra. Over the next few days, he moved from Zeb’s large knife to the smaller blades, smoothing the wood and adding symbols to represent each event. Once he had every line as clean and precise as he could make them, he spent another night smoothing the blocks with scraps of sandpaper until they were as smooth as vinesilk beneath his fingers and polished them with the linn seed oil that Sabine used as paint thinner, though she assured Kanan it worked equally well as wood polish.

    When they were perfect, when their presence in the Force was as clear and beautiful as Hera’s own, Kanan pegged them carefully together, a flat base at the bottom, the blocks atop it gradually tapering upwards. Finally, he chiseled a small indentation in the center block and set the crystal there. It fell into place with click and a hum and the whole kalikori seemed to vibrate to the crystal’s sweet music—the music of the Force and the music of love.

    He found Hera in the common area, by herself for once. There was rustle of flimsi as she looked up from whatever intelligence dispatch she’d been reading when he came in, and her smile shimmered in the Force. “There you are, love! You’ve been disappearing mysteriously the last few days. What have you been up to, Master Jedi?”

    “I’ve been working on a special project. You see, I realized I’d never given you a betrothal token, so…” Kanan took a step towards her, suddenly feeling nervous about presenting his gift. It seemed like such a small thing, this arrangement of wooden blocks, not nearly on par with the lavish tokens of jewelry, precious metals and gems that seemed to be traditional. “I made this for you.” He held out the kalikori, hoping that his simple handiwork was enough to express his love for her.

    He heard her indrawn breath and sensed awe and amazement flash through her presence as she rose and quickly crossed the floor to him. She took the kalikori from him, cupping her hands around it and holding it as gently as if it was made of spun crystal. “You made this? By yourself?”

    “Well, Sabine helped me find all the tools, and Zeb and Ezra found the crystal,” Kanan confessed. “I know it can’t replace your mother’s kalikori, but until we can recover it, I hope this one can stand for a new beginning for us and for our family.” Belatedly, it occurred to him that, given a kalikori’s near-sacred status in Twi’lek culture, a Human making one might have broken some sort of taboo. “I hope...it wasn’t...improper of me…since I’m not a Twi’lek.”

    “Kanan! Even if it was ‘improper’ I wouldn’t care!” Hera threw her arms around him, embracing him fiercely, the kalikori still clutched in one hand. Laughter and tears mixed in her voice as she continued, “This is the most wonderful...the most thoughtful...amazing thing anyone’s ever done for me! I thought I’d lost my family’s heritage, but this…. you’ve made a new heritage for us, a way to connect our child to our family legacy, something we can pass on someday.” Hera drew him down towards her, and when their lips met, her cheeks were wet with tears of joy. “Thank you…”

    As he held her, Kanan breathed a silent thanks to the Force for guiding his hands and his heart as he’d made the kalikori, a thanks that he’d been able to make things right for the woman he loved.

    Notes:

    Amilyn Holdo being on Yavin is fanon, because I needed someone fashionable to donate clothes and she seemed like an ideal candidate!

    Kalikori in general

    Hera's Kalikori: Thrawn took Hera’s kalikori when he invaded the Syndulla family home on Ryloth in the episode “Hera’s Heroes”.
    In canon, Kanan retrieves it from the Imperial headquarters on Lothal when he rescues Hera, and she adds a bead to it to honor him after his death. However, since the events Season 4 never occurred in this universe, the kalikori is still in his possession here.

    Mikael Bonaroti-- (fanon)the Naboo version of Michaelangelo Buonarroti, who once said, “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”

    Giving Hera a rock--refers to the (fanon) Lasat custom of giving a stone, particularly a crystal, as a betrothal token. See: When the Time Is Right and From the Mountain’s Heart
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    EXQUISITE! Kanan's POV is fantastic in this, and I adored the love that went into the gift! And the artistic details! Bravo! This is so my heart-canon, forever! ^:)^ =D=
     
  15. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Awww! [face_love] Oh m gosh, this is beautiful...from Kanan wondering at Hera reading a story to their children, to Leia and Holdo both donating mterial for a wedding dress, to Kanan's thoughtfulness in making her a new kalikori for their family....[face_love] You made me cry! :_|
     
  16. mavjade

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

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Awww.... Kanan! [face_love] What an amazing, thoughtful gift! And I loved that all the rest of the family they've made found a way to chip in as well! That makes it even more special than it already was! It's awful that she's lost that connection to her family, but it's so perfect for her new family to help start a new tradition so she doesn't lose it completely!

    This truly was mushy in the very best way!

    This was a beautiful paragraph! I love how love and family have taught him so much about himself and the Force.

    I'm pretty much living this feeling right now! [face_laugh] I loved that description!

    [face_laugh] I literally laughed out loud at this!
     
  17. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Woot! What a joy to see this sweet story continuing, and what a lovely idea to integrate it with the first MMM challenge! Very cool to get Kanan’s point of view (!) here, in both sections of the story; his reflections on all the changes and adjustments that have come with fatherhood are wonderfully spot-on. Each one is different, and new challenges arise with each stage—once you get used to one thing, they’re right on to another, and for someone like Kanan, so used to stability and order, that’s quite an adjustment. But I think he’s doing a great job with it all in your hands. :D

    I especially love the way you’ve marked this as “Kanan’s chapter” by making so many of the descriptions nonvisual, with things described by their sounds, textures, or Force signatures, whether it’s the reactions and motions of his crewmates or the variety of carving and cutting tools laid out by Sabine (and of course sweet Zeb lent his Honor Guard knife! :D ). It makes me feel not just like I’m there but that I’m there and experiencing things the particular way he does.

    So exciting to see the wedding preparations coming along; Sabine is really throwing herself into this wedding planner/designer role with great gusto, and she’s the perfect person for the job. I loved the thought of dear Leia ponying up her Yavin ceremony dress for this affair for Sabine to work with (it or something with the same basic shape would look great on Hera too), and what a fun touch to bring in Amilyn and her fabulous wardrobe—that made me laugh aloud, too! Those two are real darlings, both of them, and it just goes to show how much Hera is appreciated and loved by her fellow Rebels, even beyond her own crew. And Sabine is so creative and resourceful that she can see textile potential even in old X-Wing foil—that's the mark of a real artist right there, and that'll make for quite a striking effect! :D

    Of course I totally understand how all the hustle and bustle and bickering (as fun a touch as Zeb and Sabine's little armor argument is) is becoming a little overwhelming to Hera, since this whole business is also fraught with more than a little anxiety on her part. No surprise to see Kanan right there for her, picking up immediately on her unease, and then immediately taking thought and action to try to make things some little bit better. No surprise, either, to see the whole family chip in (!) once they know they know his plan, each contributing time and material from their talents and abilities.

    One way (of several) by which I can tell this was written by someone with in-depth understanding and experience of art is the wonderfully detailed way you describe Kanan's process in creating the new kalikori. This whole art business is a new thing for him, but he finds a way to work by feel and by the Force in a way that fits so perfectly with both him and with the axiom quoted by Sabine (I grinned such a doofy grin at the "Naboo artist Mikael Bonaroti" :D ). He moves progressively from Zeb's big knife (I'm picturing a slightly oversized Ka-Bar type thing) to the smaller tools as he chips away at the wood to find the sculpture lurking inside, and all along the way he calls to mind all the memories he's made with his found family. The addition of the crystal "heart" is the icing on the cake and such a beautiful touch, recalling the Lasat betrothal custom and to the crystal that Ezra found for Mara.

    And how it pays off! What could be a more thoughtful, more meaningful gift to Hera after everything that's happened, and what could be a more wonderful token of Kanan's love for her? (All of the Spectres' love for her, really.) Not much can bring tears to the eyes of this resolute space!mom, which is how we can see what a truly amazing gift this is. And of course it's a beautiful touch that Kanan doesn't know she's crying till they kiss and he feels the tears on her face. [face_love] The Force is with them in that moment too—because it, like all the "family members," played its own role in the making of this beautiful gift.

    Lovely addition to this story and a superb contribution to MMM—bravissima, and keep it coming! =D=
     
  18. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    I had to read this because of the title. I'm all about happily-ever-afters! :D

    And I'm so glad I did read it, because it's a really sweet, gorgeous story!

    I love the format, switching between Kanan and Hera reading the book with their kids and remembering how things actually happened. And I love that the kids made them a book for their anniversary. Such a sweet gift and it seems very fitting for this lovely family!

    Beautiful! It sounds like a special spot, and perfect for a proposal. [face_love]

    I love this idea, that even the Force is happy for them!

    And of course everyone jumps in to help with the wedding plans. Loved the reactions and all the offers to help. :D

    Awww!

    I really loved this line, both the part about Kanan feeling Sabine's smile (and the whole concept of how he 'sees' through the Force) and the quote about art being a giving of oneself. It's so true.

    I love Hera's reaction to the kalikori, and Kanan making it for her in the first place is just so beautiful! [face_love]

    This is such a sweet fic and I hope to see more of it! =D=:)
     
  19. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    It got better.
     
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  20. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, ummm....hi... So it’s been a while since I posted on this (almost 2 years:eek:), but better late than never, right???
    Thank you! It was definitely a new experience trying to write without using visual descriptions! Kanan’s not the artistic type, but there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Hera (as we know) and that more than anything makes his gift special.
    Thank you so much! I hope they were happy tears—I’ve enjoyed giving Kanan and Hera the kind of mushy happy ending that I would have liked for them to have (even though I get why Canon is the way it is).
    Thank you! The kalikori means a lot to Hera, so much that in Canon, Kanan makes a special effort to retrieve it from Thrawn’s office while he’s rescuing Hera, so I knew he wouldn’t do any less for her in this universe. I thought it was appropriate for everyone to chip in, not just because they all love Hera, but because it’s their family history, too.

    This was a beautiful paragraph! I love how love and family have taught him so much about himself and the Force. [/quote] Thank you; I think love, marriage and parenthood really do teach us those kind of lessons. When we have other lives that are so closely linked with ours, it puts a lot of things in a new perspective.

    Yeah, that is pretty much how I remember my own wedding planning. And I figured if anyone could pull of that feat, it would be Holdo (I bet she and Sabine had a nice long chat about hair coloring, too).
    Well, thank you...I’m sorry that it has taken so long to continue it. I think becoming an actual SpaceDad would be an adjustment for Kanan, but for someone who’s all about the rules, he can be remarkably flexible about them! (And that’s another thing parenting requires) Marriage and family aren’t as incompatible with the Jedi ideals as the Old Order seemed to think.

    [face_blush] It was an interesting exercise as a writer to do this chapter from his perspective! You almost don’t realize how visually oriented your writing is until you try to write without describing how things look!

    Oh yes, Sabine is in her element! Creativity and organization! (Not as antithetical as some people assume). I think Hera would be well-liked and respected for her leadership and compassion; she is SpaceMom after all!

    It really is appropriate that they all add something to the project. It may be Kanan’s gift, but they are a big part of the story that is told on the kalikori’s blocks and beads. In a way, it’s their kalikori, too, as part of the family.

    Thank you! Like Sabine, I’m more into two dimensional art, but I guess the sculpture class was good for something ;) I did enjoy art history, though, so I’m glad you got a kick out of “Mikael Bonaroti” (Naboo being Space Italy, of course). And I picture Zeb’s Guard knife much the same, in fact the Ka-Bar is the model I used for describing it elsewhere.

    How could she not be moved by such a tangible display of Kanan’s love? He really went above and beyond for his betrothal token, stepping outside his comfort zone and pouring himself into it heart and soul. It doesn’t replace her lost kalikori, but it creates a new tradition for the family she and Kanan have built—and are still building.
    Aww, thanks! I love happy endings, too. Not that I don’t like Rebels canon, but it's been fun to give them the mushiest happy-ever-after ever. They deserve it!

    The kids' book was the perfect way to fulfill the original challenge of differing perceptions of the same events. The kids, of course, have this storybook version of their parents' wedding that isn't quite the way it happened. And with Ayelet being artistic, it was something the kids could put all their creativity into.

    I borrowed the waterfall glen and the idea that the Force hums in approval of love from my other Marzra stories, where the Force hums when Ezra and Mara kiss for the first time (and at subsequent kisses, too [face_love])

    It was a challenge to figure out how Kanan experiences things now that he's bllind, but I figure that since Jedi able to sense emotions, it made sense that someone smiling would create some sort of positive change in their Force presence. And I think art--any creative endeavor, really--is a way to share yourself and hopefully make others smile, think and feel.

    Thank you! I'm hoping that I can finally finish this story in the very near future!
     
  21. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you to @Findswoman for beta-reading @};-
    ------

    Lothal, 10 ABY

    Ayelet had outdone herself on the next illustration; she’d broken out all her fancy glitter pens and metallic markers to draw her rendition of Hera and Kanan on their wedding day. She’d cut decorative flowered flimsi to represent the interwoven vines that were embroidered on the hem of Hera’s gown and used dark green felt for Kanan’s dress tunic. Shiny foil hearts and stars emanated from the happy couple as they clasped hands and leaned in for a kiss.

    Sabine would be quite proud of her young niece when she saw it, Hera thought. It was an impressive effort and not a bad likeness, if a touch sparkly. She read the text beneath it, written in gold marker in Jacen’s fanciest handwriting: “And at last the big day came!”

    —-

    Yavin, 0 BBY

    By the time the wedding day arrived, Hera almost wished she’d taken Kanan’s suggestion to find a justice to notarize their marriage. There were So. Many. Decisions. And that was after she’d managed to pare down Sabine’s ambitious wedding campaign by half

    On Ryloth, exchanging vows and adding beads to the families’ kalikori was done in an intimate ceremony. Sometimes it was performed in one of the Goddess’s temples, but just as often it was done in one of the families’ homes. The witnesses who stood with the bride and groom—one or at most two for each of them—were usually family members, and only the rest of the couple’s immediate family would attend.

    With some difficulty, Hera persuaded Sabine that they didn’t need to find a perfectly picturesque location for the ceremony. The Ghost was their home, and its common area was more than adequate to hold the six of them, her father and whatever officiant they could find. Ezra and Zeb would be Kanan’s witnesses, and Sabine would stand up with Hera; their crew was the only attendants and audience she and Kanan needed or wanted. (Chopper was extremely irritated to learn that droids were not permitted to serve as legal witnesses to a marriage. He was only mollified once Hera promised him that not only would he have a place of honor at her side, he’d have the important role of safeguarding the kalikori bead until she and Kanan needed it for the ceremony.)

    Of course, the corollary to the small ceremony was that the entire village would gather to celebrate afterwards, and the feasting and dancing could go on for some time. Sabine, still disappointed at the prospect of orchestrating an aesthetically pleasing ceremony in a room dominated by a dejarik table and various comm terminals, seized on this opportunity to make the reception the event of the millennium.

    Sabine had already enlisted anyone who could sew a straight hem to help with Hera’s gown and the men’s dress robes (she reserved the embellishment of the gown for herself), and she wasted no time in recruiting volunteers to assist with the wedding feast. While Dex was nominally still in charge of food preparation, Sabine put together teams to supplement the lackluster canned and dried goods that stocked his supply pantry. She assigned teams of foragers to collect octogave roots to be roasted and mashed, delicate fern heads to go in salads, and berries and scarlet pulp-fruit to be served with dessert. A group of Mon Cals and Quarren were appointed to catch bluefish and lizard-crabs, and a trio of Trandoshan scouts was given the task of hunting runyip to be smoked as the banquet’s centerpiece--whereupon help emerged from an unlikely quarter when Zeb appointed himself pit master.

    “Not lettin’ those overgrown lizards handle this,” he groused. “May be good hunters, but their idea of fine dining is ripping into a bloody haunch. ’Sides, you never had anything like my dad’s spice rub and Gran’s fire-pepper sauce….What? You think I can’t cook?” He poked Ezra in the chest with a claw-tipped finger at the young Jedi’s doubtful look.

    “Well, you don’t always do a great job making caf…”

    “Pfft,” Zeb snorted, waving away this trifling objection. “That’s different. This...I helped Gran with her sauce all the time. Had it at every family dinner for more’n twenty years. Even served it at my own wedding banquet. Kanan and Hera shouldn’t have any less.”

    Zeb had immediately begun raiding the supply pantry for the necessary spices while Sabine did some last minute wrangling to find a way to transport Hera’s father from Ryloth to Yavin IV. Since the moon was still under Imperial blockade, there were only so many ships that were capable of making the trip undetected. One of course, was the Ghost. However, Sabine insisted that she needed to be able to start making the necessary preparations for the ceremony days in advance, and Kanan was less than enthusiastic with the idea of Hera running the blockade now that she was pregnant. Which only left a few options, the best of which was Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon.

    Solo was an interesting character, Hera thought. For someone who claimed he was only in it for the money, he certainly seemed to keep finding reasons to keep doing supply runs and other blockade busting missions for the Rebellion. He tended to avoid Hera, which she chalked up to the fact that she was a general and he was Corellian--and a smuggler to boot--until Mart Mattin informed her that there was a lively debate going between Phoenix Squadron and Red Squadron about which of them was the better pilot and whether the Ghost or Solo’s Falcon was the superior ship.

    Hera wasn’t quite sure how Sabine finally got Solo to agree to fly to Ryloth--whether it was the promised payment of a case of t’ssolok or Sabine’s particularly Mandalorian style of persuasion that did it. She suspected, though, that Solo’s cooperation owed a lot to the timely intervention of Princess Leia, the only Rebel leader that Solo would actually--occasionally--defer to. But whatever the Solo’s reasons, Hera was grateful that her father would be able to attend the wedding.

    Cham arrived aboard the Falcon arrived two days before the ceremony, bringing with him a cargo hold full of t’ssolok for toasting at the reception and several kilo bins of munch-fungus to be baked into the traditional Twi’lek bread. He also bore holographic greetings and small gifts from Gobi, Numa and other members of the Free Ryloth movement.

    And though planning had seemed like an interminable slog through a list of fiddly details that seem to multiply like kneebs whenever Hera wasn’t looking, at last the big day came...

    The completed gown was every bit as stunning as the sketches had been; Hera marveled at the wonders Sabine and her team had done with second hand dresses and an old para-foil. Princess Leia’s donated gown provided the gown’s base, but Sabine split the skirt up the middle and used its capacious, floor-length sleeves to create an embroidered underskirt beneath it. She used the X-wing’s foil to make vertical panels from bodice to skirt, and appliquéd and embroidered a pattern of twining leaves on them. A belt of the same gold fabric created a high waistline just above the slight but noticeable rounding of Hera’s abdomen. It was, quite simply, the most elegant, elaborate and beautiful thing that she’d ever owned. She could hardly believe that the image reflected in the tiny, square mirror above her dresser was really her, except that it ran its hands over its skirt when she did.

    “Hera, stop fidgeting; you look perfect,” Sabine told her, and Hera smiled to herself. Sabine was one to talk about fidgeting. She’d gone over every inch of the gown while helping Hera dress, trimming threads and reattaching beads, arranging and rearranging every fold until they lay just so. And for the last five minutes she’d alternated between polishing non-existent smudges off her gleaming beskar’gam and impatiently checking the chrono as they waited for the ceremony to begin.

    There was a tap at the cabin door. “Bwah,” Chopper informed them. “Bwah bwah.”

    “Oh!” Hera felt her pulse quicken This was it. Really it. The moment she’d never thought would come, that for so long she’d hardly let herself hope for.

    She’d known as long as she’d known Kanan that the Jedi didn’t allow attachments and discouraged emotional involvements. And she’d known as long as she’d known him that Kanan was capable of being so much more than the jack-of-all-trades he’d been when she met him. He had the heart of a true Jedi, and Hera had vowed that she would never be the thing that came between him and the will of the Force. So she’d pushed all her longing back to the farthest corners of her dreams, even though it hit her like a blow every time she watched him leave on another Jedi mission. While Kanan’s proposal was the fulfillment of all those long suppressed dreams, some small, insidious voice whispered that marriage was exactly the kind of entangling attachment the old Jedi Order had cautioned against.

    She’d confessed all her fears to Kanan late one night; he’d smiled and kissed her forehead. “Hera, what we have is much more than just an ‘attachment. The Force knew what it was doing when it crossed our paths on Gorse. You are the reason I’m a Jedi instead of an aimless drifter, and you could never come between me and the will of the Force, not when you’re the one who taught me how to listen to it again.”

    She held those words to her heart as she stepped into the corridor, smoothing her skirts again with shaking hands.

    “Bwop,” Chopper said softly, taking her hand in his grasper. Hera smiled; dear Chopper--her oldest friend. Today wouldn’t have been possible without him. She’d never embarrass him by saying so, but the cantankerous astromech had a heart of aurodium beneath his patched and mismatched exterior. He escorted her down the hallway, with Sabine following them.

    The common area had been transformed. The lights had been dimmed, but clusters of glowing blue orchids and lights like twinkling lightbugs illuminated it. Gold buntings embroidered with a pattern of vines obscured the various instrument panels, and a tablecloth of the same material draped the dejarik table; the kalikori that Kanan had carved for her stood in its center

    To the left of this makeshift altar stood Zeb. His Honor Guard armor was as glossy as Sabine’s beskar’gam; the two had a more-or-less friendly wager going as to who could make their armor the shiniest. Next to him, Ezra, dressed in a cream colored tunic with an orange sash, smiled and winked at Hera. To the right of the dejarik table, Mara stood with Cham, who beamed fondly at his daughter.

    Behind the table, a diminutive Chadra-Fan wearing the white robes, red sash and crystal pendant of a minister of the Church of the Force stood on the acceleration couch’s seat. She was named Hestia, and she served as both a medic and chaplain at Massassi base. She’d been only too delighted when Sabine had approached about officiating the wedding. A cherubic smile wreathed her bat-like features and she bounced on her toes in anticipation.

    But Hera only noticed these things in passing, because she only had eyes for one man.

    She’d never seen Kanan dressed up before, Hera realized, but it suited him. She couldn’t help but think that he looked especially handsome in the forest-green, knee-length tunic that Sabine had tailored out of one of Amilyn Holdo’s bantha wool cloaks. He stood hands clasped behind his back, eyes half-closed as if meditating, but as Hera stepped into the room he looked up and his solemn expression melted into a look of joy and astonishment. He took a step towards her, holding out his hands, and it was all Hera could to keep her steps measured and not run to him dragging Chopper with her.

    Kanan clasped Hera’s hands as they stepped towards their impromptu altar. If he were a Twi’lek, they would have twined lekku as well Since the lekku were directly connected to a Twi’lek’s nervous system, the gesture was symbolic of the couple being joined in mind and spirit. There were some Twi’leks who decried interspecies relationships and insisted that one could never fully experience that sort of bond with a lek-less partner. But Hera didn’t need to join lekku to know that she and Kanan were united, mind and spirit. She could see it in his eyes and in his smile; she could feel it in the touch of his hands, the way he held hers as if he held the Galaxy’s greatest treasure. She could never belong to anyone else the way she did to Kanan, and today she would proclaim that to the Galaxy and the Force itself.

    The Chadra-Fan priest beamed at them and spread her hands wide. “Dear friends,” she said, her high, sweet voice only the tiniest bit squeaky. “We are here today to celebrate Kanan and Hera’s love and bear witness as they pledge their lives to one another.”

    A reverent hush fell over the cabin, broken only by what might have been a sniffle from Zeb’s direction (though he would later claim, to Ezra’s profound amusement, that it was due to “all those karking orchids”) as Hestia began the traditional terms of bonding. “In all the Galaxy, there is no greater force than true love. Love sustains, nourishes and protects. Without love, the galaxy would be cold and empty. Your bond lends fire to the stars, dissolving the darkness.”

    Her eyes twinkled and the tips of her flattened nose and oversized ears twitched in happiness as she turned to Hera. “Hera Chrysothrona Syndulla, do you take this man as your husband, to cherish for the rest of your days?”

    “I do.” Oh, yes....yes, she did, with all her heart and every part of her being. And she would cherish him, now and always, each moment of their lives together.

    “And you, Kanan Ildephonsus Jarrus, do you take this woman as your wife, to honor in word and deed?”

    Kanan smiled, his hands tightening around hers as he answered, “I do.” His proclamation was followed by another Lasat-sized sniffle, this time accompanied by a faint quavery “bwaaah”.

    And now Cham stepped forward to join Hestia behind the dejarik table for the dedication of the kalikori. On Ryloth, the blessing would have been given by one of the Goddess’s priests, but in the absence of any, it seemed fitting to Hera for her father to offer the blessing for this newest chapter in the Syndulla family’s history.

    He picked up the kalikori, a faint smile touching his lips as he ran a finger down the tapering column of carved blocks. Cham held it up for all the room to see, and Hera bowed her head as he spoke the invocation, “Goddess, who was at the beginning of all things, who is the beginning of all things, we dedicate this kalikori to you. Shape it in your image, through sorrow and joy, and be present in every new beginning that it marks.”

    Cham set the kalikori back down, and Chopper bustled forward, nudging Sabine aside with somewhat more force than required. He opened his storage compartment and drew out a rectangular bead carved with the parallel lines that denoted a marriage in kalikori symbolism. He presented the bead to Hera with a flourish and an officious “Bwop!”

    “Thank you, Chopper,” Hera told him, hiding a smile. She presented the bead to her father, who held it aloft as he had the kalikori.

    He addressed Hera and Kanan, “Today you are joined—hands, minds, and hearts. Let this token be a symbol of your bond for all generations to come.”

    “May it be as strong and enduring as the Massassi tree from which it came,” Kanan answered as Cham handed the bead to him

    “And may the Goddess bless and watch over us as we begin our new life together,” Hera said, completing the traditional response. She laid her hand over Kanan’s and together they attached the bead to its place hanging from the kalikori’s left arm. It wasn’t as easy as it sounded; the dowel had a mind of its own and shifted every time they touched it even slightly and there seemed to be an excess of fingers in the way. But after a bit of fumbling, she and Kanan managed to affix the bead in its new home. For a moment the crystal set into the kalikori’s base sparked with a brilliant white light, and Hera thought she heard a chord of music humming faintly, as if in the distance.

    Cham nodded and Hestia’s smile grew even more beatific. She held up her hands in benediction. “May your love transcend time, distance and all barriers between. And may the love that binds the stars be with you. You may now kiss!"

    And they did, to the cheers and applause of their family--a kiss full of hope and promises, a kiss of new beginnings and dreams come true. A kiss to fire the stars and dissolve the darkness.

    ******

    Notes:

    -The ceremony that Hestia performs is from Terms of Bonding, though Cham’s invocation of the Twi’lek goddess and dedication of the kalikori are my own invention.

    -Zeb’s Gran’s fire pepper sauce is fanon. It was first featured in The Beginning of Honor and was indeed on the menu at his wedding.

    -Kanan and Hera’s middle names: credit for Kanan’s middle name goes to @Findswoman, in Caleb Dume’s Foofiest, Messiest, AWESOMEST LIFE DAY EVER! Hera’s is one of the epithets of the Greek goddess Hera and translates as “golden throned”.

    -“And may the love that binds the stars be with you.”: borrowed with much gratitude from @Findswoman’s The Jewels of...WHAT?!
     
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Splendid and joyous joining of hearts and lives! =D=
     
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  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    YAYYYYY SQUEEEEEEEE it's here it's here IT'S HERE!1! [face_dancing] [face_love] :kanan: :hera: [face_love] [face_dancing]

    OK, ahem...

    So, so, SO happy to see this chapter at last! I've been looking forward to it for a while now, and just... chef's kiss! If this isn't the most perfect imaginable wedding ceremony for these two, I don't know what is—a quietly beautiful ceremony that combines Rylothian and galactic-ecumenical traditions, surrounded by their beloved found family (and Hera's own dear old dad!) on their beloved ship, a new bead added to a new kalikori that is now theirs... and from all those scrumptious food preparations, I bet the party afterward is going to be one for the ages! [face_dancing] (And oh yes, can Zeb cook... they will not regret having him in the capacity of pitmaster! :D ) I know you were concerned about getting the ceremony just right and achieving a right balance in terms of the familiar and the alien, and wow, I have to say you succeeded in spades; the invocations surrounding the kalikori ritual were particularly gorgeous and very true to the Twi'lek spirit. Be really proud of this! =D=

    Once again, I love how everyone present looks their absolute best for the day, whether it's assiduous armor-polishing or going all out in designing the perfect dress for Hera and putting together a handsome formal ensemble for Kanan—I can just picture how stunning they both look and how nirvanic Kanan's face must look as she steps into the room. Hestia is a wonderful addition; I love that the Rebellion has chaplains like her among its ranks (and it's heartening to see the Church of the Force going strong even at this fraught period of Galactic history), and of course I grinned ear to ear to see the "love that binds the stars" greeting/blessing from the Khorassani Days of Love and Light incorporated in her final benediction. Plus CHOP AS BASICALLY RINGBEARER (or equivalent)—PERFECTION! :D And of course the whole thing not only melts the heart of even the toughest Honor Guard and the snarkiest droid present, but also produces a glowing hum in the Force so strong as to be audible even to those who aren't Force-attuned. Because that's just how strong Kanan and Hera's love is—it really is the kind that binds and fires the stars, and no one writes their love the way you do! [face_love] @};-

    HUGE congratulations on a real triumph—for bringing us this stunningly lovely scene and for giving Kanera the wedding they more than deserve! =D=
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  24. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    This was so, so beautiful and I'm smiling in real life!

    There's so much love and warmth in this chapter - not just between Kanan and Hera, but with all of their friends and family as well, and it just made me so happy to read.

    The whole feast sounds delicious, and it sounds like such a special gift for Zeb to share with them. [face_love]

    I adore the description of Hera's dress, it sounds just stunning, and it's clear that Sabine put in a lot of effort to make it so beautiful for her.

    Such a beautiful description!

    And then the actual ceremony - I loved every word. Just gorgeous. [face_love]

    [face_love]

    Once again, this was really beautiful, and you did an amazing job! =D=
     
  25. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Such beautiful descriptions of the clothes and the ceremony. Just lovely at bringing it all to life. So enjoyable from start to finish.