Author: Findswoman Title: Child of Lasan—Child of Lira San (Triptych) Era: Saga–OT (2–5 ABY) Characters: Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, Shulma Trilasha Orrelios (OC), Ghost crew, other OCs Genre: One-shot in three parts/vignettes; baby; family; AU Summary: A momentous milestone for the reunited Zeb and Shulma, in three vignettes (all in one post). Notes: Part of the Lasan Series, of course. The outright AU material is in the third of the three vignettes. It’s taken me a long time to get to this milestone for both the series and these characters, and I am very excited to finally be here! Many thanks, as usual, to @Raissa Baiard for beta reading. 1. With Kit Yavin IV, 2 ABY When Shulma knew, she knew. She had not seen any of the medics. There had been no tests, no samples, no mediscans. Those would have done no good anyway; all the medical equipment at Massassi Base was calibrated for Humans and Near-Humans, whose hormones were, of course, completely different from hers. No, it had been just a matter of carefully observing her own patterns, noting the changes. That, and the one morning she had become strangely queasy from her customary queen’s heart and blumfruit tea tended to confirm her impressions. (Fortunately, she had managed to quell the feeling by helping herself to a few of the Mandalorian ginger cookies Sabine had given them—before Zeb came down to breakfast.) For weeks, perhaps even a few months, she kept it to herself, lest it was a false alarm, lest anything should go wrong. From day to day, she went about her usual work on the base: first her counseling rounds in the infirmary, then helping Lua with the alterations and textile repairs (of which there was no shortage on a base full of semi-ragtag Rebel soldiers). No one noticed any change in Shulma, for there was nothing for them to notice. There was only the tiny, mysterious secret that she alone knew. She thought about how, and when, she would tell Zeb. When was simple enough: she would wait until she could feel the child’s Ashla spark. (Whatever that might feel like; long ago, Wise Chava had only said that she would know it when she felt it.) But how was more difficult. She did not want him to worry about her, especially not now, in the middle of galaxy-wide civil war, and with all his responsibilities as the base’s chief of security. Her doughty warrior husband could be quite the mother avian when he felt so inclined. Then the morning came. It was early, just after sunrise. She was going upstairs to meditate on the rooftop deck of their bijou, human-sized villa in the Marble Ridge Heights residential complex (or Married Rebel Housing, as it was affectionately nicknamed) just outside the grounds of Massassi Base. Just as she sat down to begin, she felt it: a tiny electric tingle deep in her core. She began her meditation as usual to see what would happen—and it remained, sparking and pinging as regularly and rhythmically as a heartbeat. The spark—the child’s spark—the Ashla spark. Then, finally, when the sun was up in its fullest splendor, casting golden gleams on the leaves of the Yavin jungle, Zeb came upstairs in his plush purple bathrobe to enjoy his morning caf, as he always did. Just after he put his tempered-glass demitasse cup down on the arm of his lounge chair, but before he sat down, Shulma came up to kiss him as usual. Then wordlessly, smilingly, she took his large hand in her own and placed it gently on her belly. First Zeb’s leaf-green eyes bugged. Then they brightened. And then the woods and cliffs echoed with his “Aw, karabast!” 2. A Warrior, Her Child, and Their Fool Lira San, 3 ABY Zeb doesn’t get it. He’s used to being the biggest. So how could he have made something so tiny? Because karabast, she’s tiny. She barely comes up to his elbow. But it’s no trick, no dream. That little bitty Lasat-shaped thing with the funny grayish-greenish eyes and the thatchy tuft of purple-black hair? Making little gurgly and purry noises as she nuzzles up against his arm muscles? Yup, that’s his child. He’s used to being the warrior, the strongman. The exiled soldier who devoted his life to fighting the Empire and avenging his lost homeworld. But this time he barely did a thing. This time it was all her. He knew she was strong, but karabast—all those hours of exertion and exhaustion just to bring their first kit into the daylight! She fought hard, and she won. She was the true warrior here. All he did was sit there gawking like a fool. She’s sleeping now; she deserves it. Every good soldier does after battle. And he kind of feels like he’s about to nod off, too, with that little warm being snuggled up close to him. Funny how she’s the only one who doesn’t show any signs of tiring! Holding a new daughter on a new homeworld, reunited with the wife he thought he had lost—he never thought he’d live to see a day like this. Karabast, he never thought he’d want to live, period. ’Course, he has to enjoy it while he can, because in another month or two he’ll have to return and continue the fight. But for now, they’re all here together: a Warrior, her Child, and their Fool. Zeb gets it. 3. Family Reunion and Hello Lira San, 5 ABY (this one is the AU) Zeb takes a deep breath as approaches the hatch. He doesn’t want to admit it, but he’s a little nervous. Scratch that—a lot nervous. Has it really been two whole Standard years? How many dust seasons would that have been? (Or wait, sorry, sunstorm seasons, as they say here. He’ll get used to it, eventually.) There’s no good reason for him to be nervous. The war’s over now, as hard as that is to believe, and he’s coming home. Really home, to a wife and child and everything. To his own kind, the Lasat (or Lira’sat, as many of them call themselves here—he’s still getting used to that, too). Proof, living proof, too long in coming, that the Empire didn’t win—but even after all these years it still boggles his mind. Zeb wonders: will there be a crowd of gold, green, and amber-red eyes watching him now, the way there had been when he first set foot on Lira San? He’ll settle for just two pairs of emerald green this time. But the main reason he doesn’t need to be nervous is simply that he’s not alone. His best friends, his faithful Spectre family are here with him, surrounding him. Hera and Kanan holding Jacen (karabast, he’s getting so big!), who is fairly bouncing with excitement after having been told he’s finally going to meet his new little cousin today. Sabine with her armor painted in iridescent nebular orange-gold and her cropped hair dyed rich purple. And if he didn’t know this bunch as well as he did, he would barely recognize the strapping young man beside her, with dark hair in a topknot and a scruffily gallant goatee, as none other than his one-time little-space-bro Ezra, because, karabast, he’s grown, too. Even old Chop is there, with a new paint job and an oil bath. Yes, they’re all together again, after those two standard years and more. All together for him, for this moment, for his beautiful new home, where they will be joyfully welcomed. Pretty amazing. Pretty staggering. But, yeah, shouldn’t he be happy, for Bogan’s sake? Well… he is. He’s just nervous, too. Because it seems every time something happy has come up these last several years, there’s always been something, well, not so happy right behind it. The finding of Lira San—followed by the rise of Thrawn and the Empire’s discovery of not one but two Rebellion bases. The miraculous recovery of Kanan after the fuel depot explosion, the incredible liberation of Lothal—followed by Ezra’s sudden and unexpected journey into parts unknown. (They went after him, of course, and eventually found him, but it wasn’t easy.) And of course the birth of Jacen—amid war and destruction and uncertainty. So, what’ll it be this time, Zeb wonders, now that he’s finally home and the Alliance has finally won? Some remnant of the Empire pops up in some far corner of the Galaxy like an overcooked space waffle and starts wreaking havoc? And somehow makes it to Lira San? And Lasan happens all over again? And this time— (He and Ezra had talked about this on the journey here. Of course, Ezra had told him he shouldn’t worry about it, to just enjoy the good things happening right now and not get all bothered about the future. Ezra’s been right sometimes and wrong sometimes. But it was just so good to talk to him, just like they did so often in the old times, that Zeb leans toward believing him this time.) Needless to say, with all this going through his head, it feels like a karabasting eternity standing there in front of that hatch. Zeb figures he’d better take another deep breath. And how about that—as if on cue, the hatch opens. The others cluster close around. Zeb doesn’t have to be an Ashla shaman (or adept, or priest, or mystagogue, or whatever they call it here) to feel it. Eyes bulge in awe—yes, he can almost feel that, too. Oohs and aahs and gasps go up, as does an excited yelp from Jacen, who by now is bouncing so much Hera can barely hold him... Shulma stands there: her strong, graceful stature, her lush, cascading dark hair, her deep emerald eyes, and those swirling arm-stripes he has always loved. It’s like their reunion on the cliffs of Khorassan all over again—but this time with a bonus. For there, in her arms, transformed from the infant of a few years ago into a lovely girl-kit, is his little Honor: Honor Yokhevleva, kh’s’yai’-Shulma-yi-Garazeb-na, Orrelios. She has her mother’s bright, deep emerald eyes, and they widen with wonder as she asks, “That Da?” “Yes, Honorlove,” her mother answers. “That is, indeed, Da.” And Zeb, Garazeb Orrelios, the Child of Lasan, the Returned One, runs to them and engulfs them in strong arms and covers them both with kisses and tears of joy, and stays there. And sure, very soon it will be time for introductions, greetings, idle pleasantries, official check-ins, and tours. (The springapple trees are casting their petals and their fragrance on the central promenade; Sabine will love the ancient whitestone statues, Ezra the nine-lined treescamps.) But right now, nothing exists except the hugs, the kisses, the tears, and a very soft “Aw, karabast!” the end Spoiler: Notes Marble Ridge Heights (Married Rebel Housing) is first mentioned in A Steamy Vengeance. For Zeb and Shulma’s reunion on the cliffs of Khorassan, see Stand Together on the High Places. And, finally, everything having to do with Lira San and its scenery, customs, language, flora, fauna, etc. is, of course, my own fanon.