Happy Life Day! A SW 2019 Winter Holiday Story Written by: Nehru_Amidala Author’s notes: Happy New Year, @Raissa Baird. I have never written a story these characters exclusively before, but I enjoyed the challenge. Raissa wanted the following in her story: Story set in the OT timeline Life Day presents exchanged “secret Santa” stlye Ugly holiday sweater(s) A Loth-cat in an unexpected place Ezra, Kanan and Hera No sexual innuendo and just Kanera ========= Looking for a place to hide Life Day presents on the Ghost was getting to a problem. Depending on how early you got your gift shipped from Garel or Alderaan, it could mean the difference between the best hiding places in the galley pantry, or at the worst the cargo hold. Finding lost gifts down there should be considered a prime sport for the Galaxy Olympics. Forget the medal ceremony, just have the qualifying divers jump into a swimming-pool sized cargo hold. The first three people to find the medals would be declared the winners! However, the ratings might be low for that event. Maybe if they added a time limit or booby traps, then that might spice things up a bit. Then again, it might not. Ezra Bridger was musing about this as he carried the neatly wrapped, if somewhat lumpy package in his arms. Like every year, Kanan and Hera had a theme for gift-giving for the annual Secret Santa exchange. This year, Ezra had drawn Kanan’s name and had been hard pressed to find an ugly sweater his blind master would enjoy. Finally finding one, he had ordered it gift-wrapped (to save time) and it had arrived this morning. Striding into the empty galley and whistling “Jingle Bells”, Ezra opened the cupboard door…and there was a brown and tan loth cat sitting in the ceramic mixing bowl! How is Moro’s* name did a loth cat get on board, much less the mixing bowl? Setting down the bowl, Ezra picked the cat up by the scruff of its neck. “How’d you get in here? No cream in there, shoo,” he scolded gently. The loth cat was too cute to scold harshly, and it meowed and purred contentedly. Seeing as it would not move, Ezra managed to get the sweater stowed, but when who should walk in but Kanan? Hearing the loth cat meow, Kanan asked, “Ezra, why is there a loth cat in the galley? Hera’s going to have a fit! Besides, I need a hiding space for my gift to her.” Ezra shrugged, “Found the little guy hiding out in the mixing bowl.” By now, the loth cat had grown board and left for parts unknown. Reaching into the cupboard, he found his present. Grinning, he hugged his adopted his son. “Happy Life Day, Ezra. Is it okay if I open my gift?” Ezra nodded eagerly, and he started laughing when Kanan put it on. Using their Force bond, Ezra showed Kanan was on the sweater. It was a neon yellow wool sweater with garishly neon-hued stormtroopers that danced the can-can. The troopers were felt, and their blasters were painted pasta noodles. The metal accents were tinfoil. Kanan could not help but break out laughing, how wonderfully tacky. Hera heard the laughter and poked her head in to see what was going on. “Hey, you two. Either of you know why there’s a loth cat on board?” “No idea, Hera. Found it in the mixing bowl a little while ago.” Ezra showed her where the critter had been earlier, so she decided to give Ezra his gift, as she had drawn his name for the secret Santa exchange. Ezra’s was pleased with his. The sweater was not ugly, but it was not attractive either. The color was dark blue*, darker blue than he was used to seeing. Felt loth-wolves with black glass eyes were running around the midsection, their jaws open with plastic teeth stitched in. The lead wolf was had unusual red triangles* under its eyes. If anything, the look was primitive arts meets arts class at any senior citizen group home. Ezra thought it was awesome. Now, it was Kanan’s turn to present his gift, and he was blushing. Ezra groaned, “Just give her the gift and kiss her!” Hera blushed when he said this, and shooed Ezra out of the galley. Ezra did leave, just not all the way. Slowly, she opened her package and grinned. Her’s was the best of all. It was day-glo green and red cotton, and it was covered in blinking lights that showed patterns and words. It also played music through the speakers sewn into the bottom hems.* Hera burst out laughing, “Now, this is an ugly sweater for the ages.” Leaning in, she kissed Kanan sweetly, and he returned the kiss. “Happy Life Day, Kanan. I love you.” “I know.” Thrilled with how everything turned out, Ezra left the couple alone. Fin ========= Notes: Moro, the patron diety of Lothal, is of course Moro from 1997’s anime film, Princess Mononoke. Dark blue is a reference to the color of Ohmu blood from both the anime and manga, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Both Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke are by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The sweater that lights up and plays music was inspired by a similar sweater from the comic strip “Cul de Sac” which used to run in my hometown newspaper, the Washington Post.