Saga - OT I Don’t Know How She Does It |OTP Distant Beloved Challenge| Mara/Ezra

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard , Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Favorites of Fanfic Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: I Don’t Know How She Does It
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Genre: Introspection, mush
    Timeframe: Saga, 7 ABY
    Canonicity: AU, in the Marzra-verse series
    Characters: Ezra Bridger, Caleb Bridger (OC), mentions of Mara Jade (Blayne) Bridger

    Notes: written for the OTP “Distant Beloved” Challenge. My prompt was: Asleep (but not dead). This story is also a follow up to “Nothing’s More Important”.

    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading and encouragement[face_love]

    “I don’t know how your mom does this,” Ezra sighed, flinging open the waffle iron’s lid to reveal the smoking lump of charcoal within. Another ruined batch; this cooking stuff was not as easy as it seemed.

    His son, Caleb, a six-month-old with an unruly thatch of blue-black hair and jade green eyes, offered no comment. He did, however, take advantage to of Ezra’s momentary lapse of attention to grab the bowl of mealgrain cereal Ezra had been feeding him and smack one chubby hand into it with a gooey splat. He laughed delightedly at the way it squished through his fingers, and Ezra realized too late that he’d forgotten to put a bib on Caleb. Now there were flecks of mealgrain splattered all over his shirt. Ezra sighed again; this parenting stuff was frequently harder than it looked, too. He really didn’t know how Mara managed it all.

    Normally on a Benduday, she would be making breakfast and watching Caleb and probably ten other things besides, but today was Mother’s Festival—Mara’s first—and Ezra was determined to make it special for her. He’d missed her birthday and nearly flubbed their anniversary when he’d been spending all his time as the chairman of the Planetary Restoration Committee. He’d given up the position almost eight months ago, though, and he didn’t regret it. It meant that he’d been there to watch his son grow and change—sometimes seemingly overnight!—and it meant that he was at home this morning to make breakfast in bed for Mara.

    At least that had been the plan. It wasn’t working out quite the way Ezra had hoped. Wasn’t breakfast supposed to an easy meal to make? Eggs, bacon, space waffles (homemade!), Merkeshian-style caf and fresh jogan fruit had sounded simple enough, but he’d discovered that everything cooked at different rates and it all needed constant watching. Speaking of which, he’d also failed to factor in that if he let Mara sleep in, he’d have to take care of Caleb, too. By the time he’d changed Caleb and gotten him dressed, the eggs were scorched and the waffle iron was smoking.

    After he’d settled Caleb into his high chair with his bottle, Ezra had scraped the pan, chucked out the blackened waffles and started again.This time, he’d put the eggs on a lower heat and tried to keep an eye on them while he fed a recalcitrant Caleb his mealgrain cereal. Unfortunately, that meant he’d taken his eyes off the waffle maker again...

    Ezra rescued the bowl of cereal from Caleb’s sticky clutches, then realized he’d left the kitchen towel on the other side of the room next to the bowl of waffle batter. He snagged it with the Force and pulled it towards him. “Your mom makes this look so easy,” he told Caleb as he wiped the pasty goop off of his son’s hands. “But then, she makes everything look easy, doesn’t she?” Mara just seemed to ace everything she did, whether it was slicing the old Imperial database for New Republic Intelligence, teaching lightsaber skills at the Jedi Academy or keeping him and Caleb on track as a wife and mother. Some people would have dismissed that seeming ease as luck, just something she was born with, but Ezra knew how much work went into it. Mara never did anything halfway; her sense of duty and honor—and her Corellian stubborn—would never let her do less, and her love for her family was just as passionate.

    “We’re lucky we have her to take care of us, you know.” Ezra poured another ladleful of waffle batter into the iron; he’d get this right if it took all morning—and at this rate, it just might. He smiled wryly to himself as he stirred the eggs and flipped the bacon, neither of which, thank the Force, were burning yet. “Without your mom, I’d be living on ration bars and wearing the same tunic for a month, and you—” Ezra turned to Caleb, who was chewing vigorously on the handle of his spoon—“well, you probably would have eaten my lightsaber by now.”

    “Da!” Caleb agreed, looking up from his serious exploration of the spoon’s gustatory possibilities. He was in that phase where everything within reach had to be tasted and gnawed on. Now that he was starting to crawl and pull himself up, there had been several close calls which had only been averted by Mara’s uncanny maternal instincts and their Jedi reflexes. “Da ah, ah da,” Caleb elaborated, as he banged the spoon against his high chair tray; having completed his analysis of its composition, he was now on to physics experiments. Or music practice. Possibly both. “Da, da, da!” Caleb punctuated each “da” with another thwack of the spoon

    “Hey, shhh! We’re letting Mommy sleep in today, remember?” Ezra hastily disengaged the spoon from his son’s viselike grip, swapping it for the kitchen towel to forestall Caleb’s frown from turning into a wail. “The Force knows she needs it, the way you keep her on her toes, kiddo. I hate to say it, but you’ve been a cranky little Loth-cat lately. I think we’ll all be glad when that tooth comes in.”

    Caleb contemplated the towel, his lips pursed and his jade green eyes so serious that Ezra had to laugh. “You know, you look just like your mommy when you do that. Ack!” he threw up a hand as Caleb decided to continue his experiments by smacking the towel against his tray, sending bits of cereal flying. “Sometimes, it’s a good thing you’re cute, kid,” Ezra told him as he wiped a glob of cereal off his forehead. “Mommy, of course, is more than just cute, she’s beautiful.” Caleb paused his towel shaking to give Ezra a quizzical look, and he ruffled the boy’s fluffy hair with a grin. “Yeah, I know. Parents aren’t supposed to say things like that. When you get older, you can go ‘eww’ when I tell Mommy she’s gorgeous, but right now, you’re stuck with your old dad being mushy.”

    Was it cliché to say that Mara was just as beautiful today as the day he’d met her? Maybe, but it was true—if not more beautiful. The years they’d been together had added a woman’s poise and grace to the spirited girl he’d first set eyes on in serving caf in her dad’s cantina, though that fiery spirit remained undimmed. It shone in the jade green eyes Ezra could still get lost in and sparked in the smile that still made his heart skip a beat. He loved everything about Mara: her eyes, her smile, the long, lustrous waves of her red-gold hair, with its cinnamon-spicy scent of…


    The smell of waffles broke Ezra out of his reverie. He sprang for the waffle iron and flung open its lid to reveal…

    Golden perfection, at last.

    “Yes!” Ezra slid the waffle onto a plate, dished out the eggs and bacon, garnished it all with slices of jogan fruit, fresh from their orchard, and stood back to admire his work.

    And noticed that while the space waffles were golden-brown, the eggs were fluffy and the bacon crisp, the kitchen was a sorry mess of dirty dishes, batter-dripped counters and mysterious chunks of burned foodstuffs. Meanwhile, Caleb now had mealgrain in his hair and on his nose as well as all over his shirt and was busily chewing on a dirty kitchen towel covered with spots of dubious origin. Ezra shook his head and smiled ruefully. Definitely not the way things looked when Mara was in charge; he really didn’t know how she did it.

    “Do you know how awesome your mom is, Caleb? Because I sure do.”

    Something trembled at the edge of the Force; Ezra caught the hint of a sigh, the flash of smile that hid tears of happiness. He reached out and found a wisp of Mara’s Force-presence, as if she was peeking in around a corner. *How long have you been listening?*

    *Long enough.* He felt Mara’s caress like a hand laid against his cheek. *I’ll be in in a minute—you’ve got your hands full without trying to carry everything in here.*

    *Love you, Ace.* No, Ezra didn’t know how she did it, but he thanked the Force everyday for her.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  2. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Oct 12, 2018
    Unfortunately, that meant he’d taken his eyes off the waffle maker again...

    And it goes round and round. [face_thinking] This doesn't sound like a great day for Ezra.

    And noticed that while the space waffles were golden-brown, the eggs were fluffy and the bacon crisp, the kitchen was a sorry mess of dirty dishes, batter-dripped counters and mysterious chunks of burned foodstuffs.

    Perfect breakfast = ruined kitchen. [face_dunno] Oh well, mommy can clean up after she's had her treat for the day. o_O

    This was very cute and well done. =D=
  3. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    So sweet! Little Caleb is giving daddy Ezra a run for his money. But it's worth it to show Mara how much he cares for her and appreciates the way she does this for them every day.

    Such a beautiful little family! Love the way Caleb is such a "cranky little Loth-cat" until he stops (finally!) teething. And of course, everything has to go through his hands and wind up in his mouth, because Baby.

    Very nice response to the challenge!
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] [face_dancing] Lovely! The delicious breakfast and even more delicious commentary about Mara's wonderful qualities, physical and otherwise. And Caleb is a cutie, and his sister will be a sweetie when she comes along as well. ;)

    A wonderful response to the challenge. :)
  5. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Great little story.

    Chock full of beautiful detail, to do with the baby, cooking, the environs, and how lovely and skilled Ezra finds Mara.

    As someone who has just come off a two week break, Ezra's thought that Mara was the only thing standing between him and wearing a shirt for a month, oh that resonated a bit!

    Great descriptions of Caleb's interactions with the world, hand splatting into mealgrain (great name, btw) cereal; chewing the spoon (yeah, I could see him doing that with a lightsabre).

    All great stuff. Well done.
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Favorites of Fanfic Hostess Extraordinaire star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Feb 27, 2014
    Another absolutely adorable Marzra moment! So sweet to see them with a real little family now—and it's really amazing how you manage to create such a lovely sense of family togetherness you manage to create even with only one family member doing any "talking" (in an intelligible way, of course :p ) and with another member—namely Mara, this family's heart—not present in person. As Ezra reflects, Mara has "added a woman’s poise and grace to the spirited girl he’d first set eyes on" (such an apt way to describe how she's grown that I didn't want to try to paraphrase), but we see here how much he has grown, too: from a cocky "street rat" boy into a loving, caring family man, without losing any of his energy or humor. All those familiar Ezra aspects come together in the way he throws himself into this breakfast-in-bed project. And I don't just mean fixing breakfast—I mean fixing all those different things for breakfast AND letting her sleep in AND reflecting on their relationship AND keeping an eye on Caleb all at the same time, which as a brand new dad is a multitasking combination that is still new to him! Even having been through that stage with my own Findsboy, I still don't know how I did it (or any other parent anywhere, for that matter). But Ezra does do it—because of his natural persistence, but also in a way because of the love that he's reflecting on at the moment—yes, my love, how I adore your long, lustrous waves of her red-gold hair, with its cinnamon-spicy scent of... waffles! :D :D [face_laugh]

    Little Caleb is super, super cute, of course, and as always you have a very naturalistic, experienced touch in writing the younger folks! Oh man, how I remember that "cranky Loth-cat" teething stage... :p (or, rather, =P~, since that was the result...) I agree that Ezra had definitely better take this time to kvell to his son about Mara before the "eww, dad!" stage sets in... because this is how that sort of thing will best stick! [face_love]

    Thanks so much for sharing this fun, sweet story and for bringing the inimitable Marzra into this challenge! =D=