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Saga - PT Dinner with the Orrelioses (pre-Siege of Lasan; family humor; Mods’ Time Trials)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , Aug 27, 2019.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Dinner with the Orrelioses
    Era: Saga—PT
    Characters: Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios (age about 20 or 21, as an Honor Guard cadet), Shulma Trilasha (OC), Herleva Orrelios (Zeb’s mother, OC borrowed from @Raissa Baiard), Shai Orrelios (Zeb’s little brother, OC borrowed from @Raissa Baiard), and Orrelios family members (OCs borrowed from @Raissa Baiard)
    Genre: One-shot, family humor, a little mush
    Summary: A young Zeb brings his girlfriend to dine with his family...
    Notes: Written for tier one (three prompts, 24 hours) of the Mods’ Time Trials challenge. The prompts I received were the following:
    1. Your TV trope is: Amazingly Embarrassing Parents
    2. Your recycled quote is: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” (Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan) – from the Victorian Quote Roulette
    3. Your image is:
    Also part of the Lasan Series, of course. Once again I thank Raissa Baiard for lending me her wonderful characters and for giving this a quick beta before posting. @};-

    A Lasan High Honor Guard cadet, his sideburns carefully trimmed and his armor impeccably polished, stood at the door of his massive, purple-gray stucc-stone family home, arm-in-arm with a Lasat girl in a long red cloak who wore the traditional shamanic ring-medallion in her long, dark hair. No sooner had he opened the door when—

    THERE YOU ARE, GARAZEB! AND THIS MUST BE SHULMA! SO GOOD TO MEET YOU!” The heavy wooden door had flown open to reveal a towering, strong-jawed Lasat woman of middle age. She engulfed the cadet in a hefty hug, then thumped the long-haired girl mightily on the back, causing her to gasp and jump slightly.

    “V-very pleased to meet you, too, C-captain Orr—”

    “Just Herleva, just Herleva!” Another thump. “This is fantastic!” And another. “Garazeb’s been telling us all about you! Hasn’t talked about anything else all week!

    Shulma purpled slightly, while Zeb sighed and rolled his eyes. “Ma—”

    “Come on in! Everything’s ready!” She led them down the main hallway to the dining room, shouting ahead of her as she went. “THEY’RE HE-ERE! Nerezeb, start carving up that spear-boar! Priska, you taken the nutbread out yet?!”

    “Yeah, Ma!” came a younger but equally raucous female voice from down the hallway.

    “Good! And Shai, you get over here and take the young lady’s cloak!”

    A Lasat youth with unruly dark hair appeared seemingly out of nowhere, scooped up Shulma’s cloak, pulled a face at Zeb, and skittered away back down the hall before Zeb could react.

    “Now come on, you two! Right this way!”

    Zeb and Shulma followed, Shulma gripping his arm closer as she looked up at him with nervous emerald eyes. “’Salright, ’salright,” he reassured her as best he could—but he couldn’t stifle a bit of a nervous feeling himself…

    * * *​

    End-of-week dinner at the Orrelios household was always quite the feast. Tonight’s centerpiece was a scrumptious whole spit-roasted spear-boar, thickly coated with Nerezeb Orrelios’s own secret-recipe spice rub and served with a lush, chunky autumn berry sauce, mixed steamed pot-liquor greens, and fragrant fresh-baked nutbread. In addition to kegs of dark ale, a large, ice-filled chiller bucket held several bottles of the finest seerflower wine-cordial—wine-cordial being a traditional beverage for the end-of-the-week dinner, and seerflower because, as Herleva remarked, “Garazeb picked it out for his own seerflower, heh heh.” (“Aw, Ma…” came the exasperated response.)

    But, most of all, there were Orrelioses. Orrelioses talking loudly, laughing loudly, eating loudly, drinking loudly. Parents, siblings, in-laws, an aunt and uncle or two, some cousins. Shoving, nagging, bickering, belching, but always making it back to talking and laughing. Zeb joined in, of course, as he always did—though he occasionally cast glances at Shulma, who sat quietly beside him at one corner of the table, timidly nibbling at her food and clearly a bit overwhelmed with it all. The young male couldn’t help but smile to himself. Aw, sweet darlin’, she’ll get used to us soon enough—not like this’ll be the last time...

    That, however, was before Captain Herleva Orrelios, Retired, began regaling that evening’s guest of honor with stories from her eldest son’s childhood.

    “Garazeb always knew he wanted to be a Guardsman,” she said, taking a swig of ale. “Even when he was a tiny kit he was quite the little soldier. When he was just three dust seasons old he used to march around in his training skivvies trying to sing the Honor Guard hymn.”

    Zeb sighed gustily. Karabast, she’s not gonna start in with this stuff now, is she? “Ma…”

    But Herleva merely continued in a high-pitched childish singsong: “‘Keewah Lasonky WAH! You’re on a shell to FENDY! Toward DEE a rosy RAY! Toward DEE a boar I OBEY!’” She paused a moment for another sip of ale, and to let her family’s laughter and her own die down. “I think his father even got a holovid of him once.”

    “OOH, OOH, OOH! I wanna see! Can you show us, Dad, please?” the tousle-headed Shai burst out as his older brother hid his face in a large hand.

    “After dinner,” his father gently advised him through a mouthful of nutbread. “Not until after dinner.”

    “But the time I really knew Garazeb was cut out for the Guard,” Herleva continued as she gobbled a chunk of roast boar, “was when he was five and climbed up on my desk and took my bo-rifle down from its rack.”

    Karabast, karabast, karabast. The Honor Guard hymn story was enough; did she really have to tell this one, too? Zeb looked down at his plate, then over at Shulma; she was trying to maintain an attitude of polite attention, but the way her hands fidgeted with the napkin in her lap hinted that she felt some embarrassment, too. “Ma, is this really necessary?”

    “Oh, it’s just a little story from your kit years! So he pulled down the bo-rifle—that’s back when I had the AB-72,” she added, glancing over at Priska, who nodded in acknowledgment—“and he managed to unfold it almost all the way into staff mode before the barrel-end handle bar got stuck!”


    “And he just cried and cried his little eyes out! So for Life Day his father and I picked him up one of those MattleCo Blastin’ Action Bo-Rifles. He’s still got it.”

    Just then Shai spoke up. “Oh, is that that smushed brown plastoid stick thing in his closet? The one he accidentally ran over that time with the—”

    “SHUT IT, SHAI!” roared Zeb, pounding the table hard enough to make nearby dishware bounce. Everyone in the room went silent and all eyes turned toward him. Shulma placed a consolatory hand on his arm.

    “Er, sorry, sorry,” Zeb managed sheepishly after a moment. “I think I’m gonna have… some more wine-cordial now...”

    * * *​

    Later on, after the meal was over, while Zeb’s mother, sisters, and older cousins hobnobbed on the back porch with their tea and caf, and Nerezeb, Shai, and some younger cousins were cracking up over old family holovids down in the rec room, Zeb and Shulma sat together on the front porch. The chiller bucket with the last bottle of seerflower wine-cordial stood on a small table before them, along with two glasses. It was a pleasant evening in the cliff-country outside Lira Zel, Lasan’s capital; a gentle breeze blew, nocturnal insects sang, and silvery mists were beginning to descend.

    “May I?” Zeb took the bottle and began to tip it over one of the glasses.

    “Yes, please.”

    He poured one glass for Shulma and one for himself. They raised them, touched them together at the rims, and took a sip. After a few moments Zeb spoke again.

    “So, er, Shulma…”


    “Just wanna say, I’m really, er... sorry about all that.”

    “Sorry about what?” Her deep green eyes glinted questioningly as she cocked her head.

    “Oh, my Ma an’ Shai an’ all that. Bein’ all loud an’ forward an’ all, an’ tellin’ all those stories—” Zeb broke off and sighed deeply into his glass. “Aw, karabast, you probably think we’re all some kinda gutterspawn now.”

    “Oh Zeblove, of course not! Don’t talk like that!” Shulma put down her glass and reached over to place her hand on his. “And anyway, as the ancient poet wrote, ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.’ That means,” she continued, seeing his bewildered expression, “that we all start out small and low-down, but what matters is that we set our sights high.”

    “Heh, yeah, well, I definitely try.” Zeb gave a chuckle as he interlaced his fingers with hers. “All you can do, really,”

    “You do, Zeb, you certainly do. And that’s why that kit marching around singing at the top of his lungs is now one of the Royal Military Academy’s best cadets. That being said…”

    “Er, yeah?”

    Shulma leaned closer and whispered in his ear. “I’d be very curious to see that holovid sometime.”

    Zeb gasped, then burst into laughter and shoved her playfully in the upper arm. She shoved back, then he shoved back, and so on till he gathered her close and gave her a peck on her cheek. She nestled her head on his broad shoulder, and they sat looking out at the evening sky together till the stars began to peek through the mist. ¶

    “Keewah Lasonky WAH…”: A heavily mondegreened version of the Lasan Honor Guard Hymn that I introduced in chapter 3 of Stand Together on the High Places: “Keeraw, Lasan, keeraw! / Our honor shall defend thee, / For thee our roars we raise, / For thee our bo-rifles blaze. / Thy foes shall cringe in awe; / Keeraw, Lasan, keeraw!” (Herleva, and presumably also little!Zeb, only goes through the fourth line here.)

    “barrel-end handle bar”: Yes, according to the Star Wars Rebels Visual Guide, the two foldable levers (!) on Zeb’s bo-rifle are labeled “handle bars,” with the space and everything. Not my responsibility. :p I thank Raissa again for sending me some reference scans from the book.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Hilarious and universal kind of embarrassing situation where the proud parents tell the most "cringe worthy" stories which of course they find endearing but the person who did those things wants to crawl in a hole and pull it on top of them [face_rofl]

    Shulma doubtless was overwhelmed by the entire raucousness [face_mischief] but her reaction was all sweetness.

    The dinner sounded delicious, and Zeb & Shulma enjoying a private moment on the porch, yum!

    A fantabulous challenge response.
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  3. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    SQUEE! :D Aw, you know I always love seeing the Orrelios family in action and this story was just a perfect addition to the Lasan Series. :zeb: [face_love] So much fun to see Shulma get her first look at her future in-laws. She’s justifiably nervous, especially considering that Herleva is not just her beloved’s mother, she’s practically a force of nature! And I think this is actually the first time Nerezeb has appeared “on-screen”! Yeah, he’s a bit quiet compared to Herleva, isn’t he—but it sounds like he is a true master of his craft at roasting and barbecuing :)

    I totally feel for Zeb here, even as I was laughing over all the adorably embarrassing stories of his childhood. I can picture little Zebby in his training pants marching up and down and singing the Honor Guard hymn with a toddler’s seriousness. (And your mondegreen version reminds me of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona, who sang the Star-Spangled Banner as the “dawnzer lee light”). It’s a wonder Herleva didn’t break out the naked baby pictures—I guess she’s saving them for next time? I don’t blame Zeb for all his internal karabasting, groaning and hiding his face and even banging on the table. This is his girlfriend, he’s trying to impress her and look Manly and Strong and all that, and his Mom insists on bringing up Li’l Zebby’s Cutest Momemnts. Not exactly the impression he wants to give Shulma!

    But of course, she doesn’t mind because she loves him so much. And she sees that even these embarrassing anecdotes show how Zeb has always been working towards where he is now, as an Honor Guard. And how could she not find the stories sweet and want to see that holo-vid? (I would! And I can think of a certain padawan who would probably pay good credits to get his hands on a copy. Hey, Zeb....)

    Great entry to the challenge and wonderful use of the prompts! =D=
  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    First off, I have to admit that I was excited when I saw that you selected this set - I was hoping for some Lasan 'verse family goodness, and you most certainly did not disappoint! This was such a fun, endearing use of the prompts, and I enjoyed every word! [face_love] =D=

    SO IT BEGINS!!! [face_rofl] [face_dancing] [face_mischief]

    I love the instant juxtaposition between Herleva and Shulma - they are two opposite personalities, but they're united by their love for Zeb. It's telling that his family is already so warm and open around her. While they'd always be this boisterous to some degree, I have to imagine, that speaks volumes for Shulma too. [face_love]

    [face_rofl] Oh, Herleva is just the best here - though I suppose I can't begrudge Zeb all of his huffing and sighing and cringing and cursing. But, still - it's good for him. It builds character. :p

    The imagery here was just fantastic! Definitely a Bilbo Baggins invaded by Thorin's company kinda vibe, but with the added familiarity of family! From Shai scurrying about and Zeb's sisters rivaling his mother for their verve and Nerezeb's famous secret-recipe spice rub - these are the moments he's going to miss the most someday. They're memories Shulma too will cherish.

    Oh too precious!!! I get that Zeb is trying to play it cool, but that's the good stuff of getting to know someone. All of someone! Of course he was such an endearingly adorable little Guardsmen. Betcha Shulma wants to see holos of that! No matter how Zeb may protest! [face_laugh] [face_love]

    [face_laugh] [face_laugh]!

    [face_rofl] [face_rofl]!!!

    Though I suppose I understand that enough is far enough for poor Zeb here. He said it himself: this isn't the last time Shulma will be dining with them, and there's still lots of time left for embarrassing stories in the future - just perhaps more kindly spaced to let Zeb relax and remember to breathe. :p

    Oh! Of course Shulma makes Oscar Wilde's quote her own. She's spot on right - and she loves Zeb, all of Zeb. She may have been quiet taking it all in - even when the ruckus turned a bit overwhelming while she figured out her place - but this is where Zeb came from and what helped him grow into who he is today. There's a lot of love in his family, and Shulma sees that too. [face_love]

    [face_rofl] !!! Perfect ending is perfect - enough said. The last visual of them nestled together watching the night sky was just the cherry on top. A wonderfully soft conclusion after all of the . . . excitement. :p

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful additiion to the challenge. As always, it was wonderful to read more from this 'verse. Definite head and heart canon. [face_love] =D=
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Oh, there is no terror quite like meeting the family - for both the family member and the newcomer!

    Nothing quite like the Orrelioses. There's a reason Zeb is like he is. So many Orrelioses! And there's sweet Shulma, daintily nibbling away, while bedlam rains down around her. Great description here, too!

    He's so sure! Of course she'll fit right in. She'll be here all the time.:D

    Uh oh. Mom took out the baby pictures... :zeb:

    Awww. It doesn't matter where you started. All that matters is that today you are reaching for the stars. @};-

    Excellent response to the challenge!
  6. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Oh man! I don't know these OCs but there's something so universally relatable about this "embarrassing parents" trope, that I knew exactly what was going on. Poor Zeb. The embarrassment. But I love the image of just a large, welcoming family and Shulma is just so sweet!

    Bahaahaha. Shai is just my favourite. Typical younger sibling.
  7. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    The crew of the Ghost seems it would be tame and simple for Zeb after growing up in such a boisterous family. :p

    Great story! Everyone was so full of life that I could feel the energy from that home all the way here through my computer screen. It's obvious they all really care about each other and Zeb, and I liked that Shulma saw that in them. I also liked that they were all so open and willing to include Shulma as part of the family as well.

    I really want to see a picture of a little Zeb playing with a toy Bo-Rifle. I think it's sweet that he still has it. Though now I'm wondering what the rest of the story was with running it over with something, LOL.

    Excellent work!
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you so much, as always, Nyota! I'm so glad you enjoyed this little piece. The "embarrassing parent stories" trope really is a super universal one, and so fun to work with because it's so universal: we have literally all been there! I personally have been on both Zeb's end (having embarrassing stories told about me) and Shulma's (hearing such stories told about a prospective spouse), and with a Findsboy of my own who's rapidly approaching tweendom I will soon have the opportunity to be on Herleva's end (the teller of such stories)! :D After all that I definitely felt they deserved some sweet alone time, and as always I'm so glad you enjoyed that little mushy ending! :)

    Thank you so much! And her I have to give you credit for the wonderful family members you've created for Zeb—without them prompts like this wouldn't be half as much fun, and they're sincerely just been a joy to write about in any context. :) It was fun playing with the big personality contrast between Herleva and Shulma; Herleva might be a force of nature, but she's at least positively disposed force of nature! And it was fun to have a chance to bring Nerezeb into the picture; I hope my portrayal of him more or less fits with what you've imagined (as I see it, with a spouse like that I would think he would have to have a somewhat quieter, more get-along personality). <3

    My own in-law relationships were in no wise perfect, so the question of what makes a good one is something I'm interested in and curious to explore further in fic. (What would it actually be like to have in-laws that adore you? @};-)

    I have to say, Li'l Zebby's Cutest Moments were immensely fun to brainstorm and write, even if they did get our large hero more than a bit purple in the face! (Oh wait... :p ) In a way he's got a temperament that makes that kind of thing all the harder to hear, and of course the added fact that his girlfriend is there only exacerbates things. As to those baby pictures, I imagine they're coming out on the next visit... or two... because, as we know, she will be back, right? [face_praying]

    Exactly! None of these stories in any way diminish her opinion of him. (And it's early enough in their relationship that I could see where Zeb would worry that it would.) If anything, they raise him in her estimation, precisely because they show how hard he's worked to get to where is now. It all counts!

    Oh, I would, too! And oh, the bunnies you've awakened there... :ezra: :p

    Thank you so much—and once again, I can't thank you enough for creating this wonderful group of family members to begin with! =D=

    Thank you so much! I was really excited to get the "Embarrassing Parents" prompt—and the Lasan 'verse and Zeb's family did indeed come to mind immediately! And I'd been wanting to do "meet the family" stories for Zeb and Shulma for a while, so this was a perfect opportunity!

    Force of nature, for sure! And of course she starts in with the child-embarrassing immediately, doesn't she! :p

    Thanks! Like I said, it was very fun to play those two off each other with their very different temperaments, and to experiment with the whole idea of the very-different-but-still-adoring (potential) in-law. This is something that took me a long time to realize with my own in-law family: that just being themselves around the relatively new person in the family actually is a way of showing love.

    Yeah, he's strong, he'll live through it! He's an Honor Guard—he can run from Lira Zel to the Northern Plateaus and back with a concussion, a gut wound, and a broken ankle, so what's a bit of ribbing from Ma? :p

    Thanks! Here I'm really just trying to do my best to fit with the lore Raissa's already established about this family, and they always did seem to have that boisterous streak—just as Zeb himself does! And both Zeb and Shulma will indeed come to cherish these times more than anything, even if at this point they don't yet know it. @};-

    Oh, of course she would love to! Because, after all, that was when her love was getting an early start at what would later become his lifelong calling. She can see it right away even in those embarrassing old stories, even if Zeb is going a little extra-purple in the face! :D

    Oh, dear Zeb, don't you know that when it rains it pours! :D

    Yes, the poor dear really has reached his limit at this point—but I do like to think his mother and the others take the hint and let up. They too probably know that she'll be back and that future opportunities for further stories will abound! ;)

    I will admit that the quote was the most difficult of the three prompts for me to work in, but even then I was almost 100% I would give it to Shulma. :D

    One thing she loves so much about Zeb is the way he sets his sights high and always has—and from these stories she's learned both that (a) he has been like that from pretty much day one, and that (b) his family always encourage that in him. I could see that making her love him all the more! [face_love]

    Aw, thanks so much! After all that raucous, bustling family excitement I felt they deserved a soft moment together. And one not without a little laughter, too, given everything! :D

    As always, you are most welcome—so glad you are enjoying both this story and this 'verse as a whole, because I certainly love them quite a bit myself! :)

    Oh, for sure... been there, experienced that!

    Thank you so much! Yes, the apple meiloorun definitely doesn't fall far from the tree, does it? :D Every family's got its own set of dynamics that shapes each member in it—and for Shulma, having just come across a set of dynamics very different from the ones she knows (which is a story I hope to write sometime), it's a lot to take.

    Right, of course! :D His wishful thinking will eventually come true, though at this early stage there is definitely a lot of "[face_praying]" involved.

    Dun dun dun, indeed! And it just keeps going and going, too, with even little bro getting in on the act! :D

    Right on! And, again, that's exactly what Zeb has been doing from his earliest years, and Shulma can tell, and it makes her love him all the more. <3

    Thank you so much! As always, I appreciate so much your reading and commenting and enjoying. :)

    Thanks so much, Bri! I really appreciate your coming by to read and take a chance on these OCs and this 'verse, and I am so glad you enjoyed the story and characters. :) This particular trope is a galactic universal, I'm pretty sure—part of why I had such a ball writing it! :D

    Isn't he something? :D I just love him, too, and have ever since Raissa first introduced him—and he's the kind of character who, when given half the chance, loves to steal the show!

    Thanks so much once again for coming by to read and comment; I really appreciate it! :)

    Oh yes, for sure—that's always been my thinking, too! (And I'm going to guess it's Raissa's, too, as the ultimate creator of many of these OCs; in a way I'm just playing in the sandbox she built.)

    Thanks so much, and I really appreciate your coming by to read and comment! :) Even if Shulma is a bit overwhelmed at first by such a boisterous family dynamic and by all the stories, she definitely can tell how much love there is between Zeb and his family members, and, again, she knows that it's a sign of welcoming and acceptance that they're comfortable "being themselves" around her.

    Oh, I wish I had any sort of drawing talent so that I could draw that too! I bet it was one of his favorite toys—at least while it was in working condition. :p As to the story of it being run over... ah, well, good question! I will have to think more about that (bunnies, bunnies, bunnies)... could really have been anything from a tricycle-type-thing to a bicycle-type-thing to a lawn tractor or similar, but whatever it was, I knew I loved the image! :D

    Thanks again! So glad you enjoyed this, and always great to see you around here! :)