A/N: This story is for the OC Revolution August 2014 challenge, it is set within my ongoing story Children of Mandalore: Red-Fang, but isn't actually canon to the storyline. The challenge just happened to touch upon a subject I mentioned briefly in one of the chapters and I thought would make a great one-shot. Thanks to SWpants for doing some beta reading. RESPITE Dramatis Personae: Aru Numeck: mercenary; wife of Tyran Numeck (female human) Ijaat Numeck: son of Tyran and Aru Numeck (male human) Jaya Numeck: Mandalorian mercenary; wife of Rixa Numeck (female human) Rixa Numeck: Mandalorian mercenary (male human) Tyran Numeck: mercenary (male human) RESPITE POINT, NORTH OF KUAT CITY, KUAT, 40 ABY The view from the hills over looking the lake were glorious at sunset. The rays of the dying sun turned the sky from dazzling blue to burnt oranges and reds and seemed to dye the shimmering waves of the lake into a deep purple. The wild birds began to sing their final songs of the day, the gentle twilight breeze carrying the soft tunes to the ears of the Numecks as they sat out amongst the blue-green grass just outside the small villa they had rented for the week. The air smelled so much cleaner up here in the hills than it did in the city. Which in of itself made it all the more easier for Tyran to relax. Vacationing wasn't really hat he did, he wasn't comfortable unless he had a blaster in his hand and a target lined up in the sights. But reconnecting with his brother seemed a worthwhile reason to break from his comfort zone. Rixa and Jaya Numeck were seated on a small bantha hide futon across from Tyran and his wife, the crackling flames of a dim fire burning in a pit was all that separated them. If anyone had deserved a vacation it was his little brother and his wife. Mandalore had fallen on hard times after the Yuuzhan Vong war and most of the planets population was still trying to rebuild even almost a decade later, and even though they hadn't sustained the most serious damage of the attack, the Numeck clan was no exception. It had been a few months since Tyran had seen Rixa but the last time they had spoken Rixa had informed him that he'd been out working the bounty hunting circuit for almost nine months. That was a long time to be away from your wife and by the way Jaya was holding onto Rixa, curled up in his arms on their futon with her eye closed and breathing heavily, it was obvious to Tyran that she was glad to have him back in the flesh. Tyran's own wife Aru was in a similar position on his left side, though Tyran had a second person clinging to him on his right. His ten year old son Ijaat was curled up in a ball and sleeping soundly in the warm light of the fire, worn out from the busy day he'd had. Aru was reaching across Tyran's large chest and stroking her son's jet-black hair and smiling fondly. Tyran couldn't describe how it made him feel to see his wife smile like, especially after the difficult year they'd had together. Their marriage had almost imploded in on itself as Tyran had dedicated too much of his time to his profession and not his family. Up until a few months ago, as sad as it was, Tyran hadn't anything that really resembled a relationship with his son. That had changed though after a huge blowout he'd had with Aru over missing another one of their son's school events. Tyran had left their apartment to go out and spend the next night and day drinking only to be pulled from it by Rixa, whom he had been estranged from since the end of the Yuuzhan Vong war. If it wasn't for Rixa, Tyran doubted that he would have ever been able to save his marriage and establish a real relationship with Ijaat. Tyran hoped that Rixa and Jaya had a child of their own someday, adopted or otherwise. Rixa may not have been the same caliber soldier that Tyran was but he certainly had it more together in the father-figure department than his big brother. Aru had hinted to him earlier that Rixa and Jaya were actively trying to start a family of their own now that Rixa had a high paying contract with the Galactic Alliance. Things were finally starting to look up for Rixa and Jaya. Tyran couldn't have been happier for them. The two of them had wanted to put in for some credits for the bill that the one week stay was going to rack up for Tyran and Aru, but Tyran wouldn't allow it. They worked a lot harder for their credits than he did and they deserved to keep them. Though the stay had cost Tyran thirty-thousand credits for the week, he would recoup his losses in a week or two with the salary he was drawing from the Kuati government. Tyran had even loaned his brother some extra cash to blow at the gambling stations that were littered around Respite Point and had told his younger brother to keep what ever profits he managed to turn. Rixa had turned one thousand credits into eight-thousand credits into almost twenty-thousand credits in one of the most intense game of sabacc that Tyran had ever seen. Jaya had earned a few hundred at the cred-coin slots, she wasn't much of a sabacc or dejarik player. Tyran grinned as he watched his little brother's head gently nestle on top of his dozing wife's cranium. It must have been a long time since Rixa had been able to sleep peacefully what with the worries of providing enough credits to not only sustain the Numeck Clan but also keep the maintenance to the aging structure of the homestead up to date. Tyran knew had had lost a lot of sleep to those very same worries when he had been in charge of providing for the clan before leaving the Mandalorians behind and relocating to Kuat. Aru nestled her chin against his chest and looked up at him with her soft brown eyes, which were a little glassy after indulging in a few glasses of Balmorran wine. "What are you thinking about?" Her voice was heavy and husky and carried the barest hint of the fruity aroma of the wine. "Just how much things have changed in the last few months." Tyran said quietly to not disturb his sleeping son as well as his little brother and sister-in-law. "It just doesn't feel like all that stuff happened just a short while ago and it's like we're a family again." Aru groaned and nodded her head. "I know what you mean. I guess that's life for you, things can change from good to bad just as quick as you can blink." "I might have to glue my eyes open then." Tyran said with a sly grin. Aru smiled at him and gave a short laugh as she nestled her head into the bend in his neck and shut her eyes succumbing to the stupor brought on by the good food and the wine they had all had at dinner a few hours earlier. Soon even the melodic chirping of the wild birds faded away and all Tyran was left with was the gentle rush of the waves as they broke against the sand on the beach as it gleamed in the moonlight. A slight chill began to sweep in over them as the fire began to die down. Tyran didn't want to move though, he had no idea how long it would be until he experienced this amount of wholeness again. But Ijaat began to shiver slightly and Tyran knew he would have to break the moment or risk his son getting sick. Tyran slowly pried his wife off of his chest and leaned her gently against the far side of the futon they had been sitting on and then turned to his son and scooped the boy up in his arms and carried him into the house. It amazed him just how smart the boy was, he was like the holonet in flesh-and-blood form. If there was something he didn't know the answer to then he would spend the next week studying the subject to become an expert on it. He had spent the first day of his vacation learning how to play sabacc from his parents and aunt and uncle, swimming in the lake and learning how to fish with his bare hands, a skill that only Rixa could say he was a master of. It was the first time Tyran could say he had ever seen his son absolutely happy. His normal brooding facial expression had been replaced by a more lighthearted and carefree expression that Tyran hoped would remain there for quite some time afterward. Since they had started spending time together Tyran had noticed how his son had become less of a stickler when it came to following the rules to the absolute letter. That afternoon while Aru and Jaya had gone to the beach to work on their tans, Ijaat had taken advantage of his mother's absence and had talked Tyran into letting him have a sip of ale. Tyran had been hesitant at first but had decided that a small sip wasn't going to hurt him. Ijaat didn't care for the taste anyway after he had taken a sip. It had been almost identical to the time Tyran had talked his father into giving him his first sip of ale, even though Tyran had been a little younger and the drink had been something a little stronger than ale, it was a moment he imagined that all fathers and sons shared at one point or another. He tried not to think about all the moments he had missed as he set his son down on the bed inside his small room and pulled the blankets up over his shoulders. Tyran patted his son softly on the head and walked back outside to find his brother standing near the edge of the hill and looking out over the beach. Tyran walked over and stood next to him taking in the view as well. For long moments the brothers just stood there soaking up he tranquility that seemed to be radiating from the inky-blue sky and silver stars scattered amongst it. "This place is really something." Rixa said appreciatively. "I see why you came here." Tyran nodded his head. "Yeah. Kuat's got a regulated atmosphere so it's pretty comfortable all year around." "Certainly beats Mandalore in the summer...and the winter." Rixa laughed. "I really don't miss winters on Mandalore, the only thing they were good for was getting Aru to cling closer to me at night when it got too cold for the heating system to regulate the temperature." Rixa grunted in amusement. "Doesn't look like you need cold weather for that anymore." Tyran shook his head. "Sure don't, and I've got you to thank for it." "You'd have done the same for me." Rixa said dismissively. Tyran nodded his head and draped his arm around his little brother's shoulders. This may have been the first real vacation the two of them had ever had, and they may not have been the type of people who vacationed often, but if every vacation was a good as this one was turning out, Tyran decided that maybe he'd take one or two more every year. He had his brother, his sister-in-law, his wife and his son with him. There had been no arguments, no fists thrown, no bodies hurled through transparisteel viewscreens. There had been only laughter and a ton of good memories that Tyran planned on clinging to for the rest of his life. Vacations it turned out were not as pointless as he had thought they were.