Title: Skybeard Author: Briannakin Timeframe: 30, 60 ABY Characters: Luke Skywalker, Ben Skywalker, Mara Jade Skywalker Notes: Written for the SJRS August Challenge: The 'Contractually Obligated Beard!' For this challenge you must write a fic in which Luke has a beard. It can be in any universe (D-canon, Legacy, or any AU). You MUST include: Mara's reaction/opinion, a razor (or whatever GFFA equivalent), and the word "obligated" (or any tense of the word you want). BONUS POINTS if you include the phrase "I don't shave for _______ _________" 30 ABY “Mommy, when’s Daddy coming home?” four-year-old Ben asked weakly from his mountain of pillows in the middle of his parent’s bed. Poor kid was suffering from a flu, not too bad to be anything serious, but Mara had spent most of the past three days up with him. “He’ll be home in a few hours. Just take some medicine and he’ll be here when you wake up,” Mara said holding a spoonful of kid’s cough syrup and a glass of blue milk. She honestly just wanted to knock him out so she could get some sleep. “No… It’s gross,” he whined. He then went into a coughing fit. “If you take the medicine, we can snuggle.” Ben begrudgingly opened his mouth and Mara spooned the medicine in, then handed him the milk and helped him drink. He pushed away the glass when he was done and wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his X-Wing pyjamas. “Can we snuggle now?” he asked rather pathetically. She crawled into bed and wrapped her arms around him. * * * Luke returned home in the middle of the night. He had just spent three months on some gross, backwater world. He knew he should probably have a shower, but he just wanted to crawl into bed with Mara and Ben and sleep. Quietly, he stripped to his undergarments and got into bed. When he moved to kiss Mara’s cheek, she woke suddenly and with a surprised gasp. “Luke! What the krell is on your face?” She turned on the light and stared. “What?” he asked. He was sporting a full beard he had at least trimmed on the way back; he wasn’t sure if he wanted to keep it. Ben was waking by now. “Daddy?” he asked rubbing his eyes. He then opened them and was startled. “Uhaaahrg.” He turned and hid in the folds of the fabric of Mara’s nightgown and began crying. “He’s just tired and drugged out. He needs his sleep, as do I.” Luke nodded. It wasn’t the welcome back he had expected. Now he regretted not picking up the vibro-razer before he came home. “Okay, well, I love you Ben. It’s good to see you and I want you to feel better,” Luke said, rubbing his son’s back. Without looking at Luke’s face, Ben rolled over and clung to his dad. Ben fell back asleep within a moment. Luke moved to give Mara another kiss, but found that she was asleep too so, holding Ben, he drifted off as well. * * * When Luke woke, he found Mara, with Ben in her lap, sitting at the foot of the bed. They were both staring at him. “What?” Luke asked. “I ‘donno, Mommy,” Ben said. “I’m not sure either,” Mara replied. “WHAT?” Luke demanded. “The beard,” Mara explained. “We don’t know if we like it.” “Well, it’s my face and my beard,” Luke said, his voice full of mirth. “Isn’t my facial hair my decision?” “No!” Ben said, laughing. He was obviously feeling better. “Well, I don’t shave for Ben Skywalker.” That made Ben go into fits of giggles. “Yes, but you are obligated to keep your wife happy,” Mara pointed out. “You know, because I do have the ability to turn you into some strange, old, bearded man in a hut on some desert planet.” “You really don’t like it, do you?” “Yes? No? I don’t know. It’s different.” After a few more moments, she spoke again. “I think I do like it, but the only problem is, I don’t like kissing wookiees.” Ben laughed more. “Fine, I’ll go shave,” Luke said with a resigned sigh. * * * 60 ABY Mara watched her aging husband as he read his data-pad in his lounger. He was looking very distinguished with his neatly trimmed beard. The front door then opened and four children burst in. Ajac was 8, MJ was 6, Hana was 5 and little Layla was 2. They were screaming “Grandpa! Grandpa!” as they swarmed him. Gone was the distinguished Jedi Master, replaced by a playful grandfather. Ben, also sporting a beard - though his was VERY red - walked in, beside him was his wife, Janna. “Hey Dad. I’m liking the beard.” Luke smiled. “Took you 30 years to decide.” It took Ben a moment, but then started laughing. Janna looked at her husband, then father-in-law quizzically. “When Ben was like, what, 4? I came home from a mission with a beard. At first he was scared, then he couldn’t decide if he liked it.” “Why haven’t you grown a beard since, Pa?” MJ asked. “Because your grandma didn’t like it,” Ben answered. “Oh no,” Luke corrected his son. “She liked it. She just didn’t like kissing me when I had it.” He then grabbed his granddaughter and kissed her all over her face. “THAT TICKLES!” MJ shrieked and laughed. “Are you sure you can handle these four for the week?” Janna asked. “Yes, you two go.” Luke ushered the parents out before getting out the buckets of toys and began to play with his grandchildren. Mara, as much as it pained her, knew she had to leave too, before she was spotted. She faded into the distance, taking comfort in the fact that Luke would join her, but not for a long time.