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Saga - PT Snips and Snails and Bantha's Tails - OC Revolution Pet Challenge - Family of Scoundrels fic

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kit', Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman WIP Month Champion and Hostess Extraordinaire star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Caught up at last, and loving how everything is moving toward a gigantic moment of truth for all parties in these most recent chapters! Kit and her family are thiiiis close to being found out, Leona is about to have a monkey wrench thrown in her closely worked-out diplomatic plans, and as a backdrop to it all, poor little Quin is very soon going to be operated on very soon, as well—without the Council being 100% on board, if I understand things aright. I hope Nicco and F’kisi are all right—it seems no one can give Estra a straight answer about them yet! But through it all, I love what a pillar of stubborn strength Estra is being; I can see Kirsh and Leona both admire that in her, too. Fingers crossed—strength for Kit and her baby girl, reassurance for Estra, healing for the Big Boys, and a mutually satisfactory resolution of all the threads, Jedi and otherwise, now coming together! =D=
     
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  2. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    He has indeed. He and Nicco should band together in the "Fanfic Characters Against Author Abuse League" because both of them have caught quite a bit of angst recently. Things will be looking up for everyone soon - promise!

    Yeah, Mace and Kithera's dislike of each other goes back to the original USJS and then made worse in the 2010 iteration. He's not her biggest fan and therefore Kirsh may well cop it because she's involved. Tara is definitely the better person to see them, for reasons what will become clear quite soon :)

    Yes, quite soon in fact! ;) :p

    Yep, poor Leona who likes things to go smoothly and trusts Kirsh, is discovering that his friendship with Kit has meant many corners have been cut. Luckily she's a resourceful and plucky little healer who doesn't think twice about bending (but not breaking) rules.

    I have to admit that I put the Estra part in, especially her name meaning, just for you. Estra is already a formidable young woman and I'm looking forward to one day skipping ahead in time when all the Family's children are adults (and Halulu is a bit older) to see what a terrifyingly strong woman she's become.
     
  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    I have to admit to being a massive softy and maybe shedding a few tears while writing the last part of this. This scene was hard to write and took a couple of goes (reddit's concrit thread was invaluable for pointing out how to make the scene better. Hopefully it now works. I would recommend listing to this (goes for 5 minutes so depends on your reading speed and the whole chapter is 2600 words) as it kind of fits perfectly.

    Almost at the end of this arc - culminating chapter to go!

    *~*~*

    Journey to the Pet Shop – 27 BBY – (10 years and four days) - Part 7

    *~*~*


    “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” the Jedi said waving a hand, the shards of the cup swirled into the air for a second before they were deposited in a bin. Del was aware that behind him, Kithera had slowed to a walk. He saw Tara tilt her head slightly in a gesture from their youth, the one that she always used when she was testing someone with the Force. He knew that the tentative whisper of the Force would have met nothing. Rin had once described it that he was not so much innately and impenetrably shielded from the Force like Nicco and Estra, but ripped bodily from it as if he no longer existed. He knew that Rin would have her own shields up, but he didn’t risk a glance back towards her. In front of him, Tara’s face was calm but he could see how the muscles had tensed in her shoulders and the tiny hint of a frown between her eyes. She drew a deep breath and tried for a comforting smile.

    “I’m Master Tara Terindae of the Jedi Temple. Can I come in please?”

    “Why?” Del’s voice was far calmer than he felt.

    “I really think I should come inside.”

    “I would like to know why you’re here.” He didn’t know why he was being so stubborn. He wanted to reach out and touch her, to convince himself that she was really there, but the fear he’d surrounded himself with all these years grew tighter, strangling him until he could not move. In front of him Tara’s smile changed to puzzled bewilderment, as she frowned and blinked.

    “Have we met?” she asked quietly.

    “What happened to the children.” Del’s chest was tight and he swallowed hard to stop the rising coil of fear that was unfurling in his stomach.

    Tara exhaled audibly as if she did not like what she was about to do.
    “I’m afraid there has been an incident involving some of your children.”

    Del’s stomach lurched and for a brief instant the world spun.

    “Are they alright?” He could hear the unwanted quaver in his own voice. A hand rested on his shoulder and he glanced sideways to see Kithera’s face pale and drawn. He turned back to see Tara staring towards where Kithera stood, the previous slight frown deepening in suspicion.

    “Your two older boys were involved in an altercation with some Snivvian swoop gang members. They are being cared for at the Republic Medical Facility. Their injuries are not critical.”

    “How? How are you involved in this?” Rin’s interjection made Tara start. The Jedi, looking perplexed tilted her head on the side, as if trying to work something out.

    “Jedi Master Windu and I came across the fight,” Tara said, her eyes narrowing. “The young adults were using make-shift weapons to fend off their attackers. Your son Nicco had already been injured. The other boy, F’kisi, took a blow to the head and went down. At that point Master Windu and I joined the fight and chased off the swoop gang who dropped Kei,” Tara smiled towards where the boy stood, handing on to Rin’s pant leg and continued, “and then we rendered aid.”

    “And? How badly are they injured?” Del felt like the world was spinning and it was only Rin’s hand on his shoulder that was keeping him from floating away. .

    “F’kisi has a contusion, probably concussion. Nicco…” she trailed away, and then rallied. “Nicco is in the bacta tank at the Coruscant Hospital. Broken collar bone, head contusions, concussion and blood loss.” Del groaned. “He will be fine though. Estra is with him and she’s perfectly well, not a scratch.” Tara said softly. “I can take you to him if you like.”

    Del closed his eyes, trying to push down on the warring emotions. He could hear Rin’s quiet voice.
    “We have to feed the kids first,” Kithera said quietly, “and clean them up. They’re filthy.”

    “Rin,” Del’s eyes opened slowly and he stared at her in disbelief. “Nicco…”
    “Nicco isn’t going anywhere. Tara says he’s safe. F’kisi is safe. Essie is probably terrorising the hospital staff to make sure they say so. We have to take Quin there this afternoon and I imagine that the kids didn’t get fed.”

    Del felt a surge of anger at Rin’s suggestion. She was prioritising the younger kids over the older ones. Putting her biological kids first.

    “No,” he said, “I can go without you. I need to make sure that they are safe.”

    “They are safe.”

    Her voice was infuriatingly calm. His hands clenched into angry fists and he went to open his mouth but she cut him off, addressing Tara directly.

    “Whose with them in the hospital?”

    “That would be Master Windu,” Tara replied, and then stared unseeingly at the ground as if trying to make sense of some sort of puzzle.

    Mace.

    Tara had said his name before, but it hadn’t really registered properly. Mace was with his children, his oldest friend was looking after his kids and he didn’t even know Del was alive. He bit back a sudden burst of hysterical laughter.

    “Master Tarindae bought us cake,” Kei announced loudly into the silence. Del glared at Tara who was blushing furiously.

    “We were near the cake shop that I was heading to. I figured they needed sugar to get their minds off what had happened while we waited for the med transport.”

    “So you took them for cake rather than bringing them back to their parents?” Del’s voice could have cut durasteel. Tara shook her head as if pushing away a thought and then stared at him.

    “It was fringi cake,” Taro added quickly, “it’s your favourite Da. I brought you back some.” His youngest son was pulling a lint covered and rather squashed piece of cake from his pockets. Del ignored him and looked at Kit.

    “I’ll go by myself if I have to.”

    “We’ll go together or not at all,” Kit shot back, “I’m not letting you face Mace alone.”

    “What do you mean?” Tara’s voice was a quiet interjection but they both ignored it.

    “You’re forgetting Nicco and Estra are your children too,” Del said and watched Rin roll her shoulders.

    “I’m not. You’re forgetting that Zallie, Kei, Taro and Quin are our children too.”

    “Please?” The plaintive cry from Zallie broke the tense standoff. Del looked down to see her, pale faced and tearful. “Don’t fight. I don’t want you to fight,” she sobbed. “There’s been too much fighting. Please Mama, please Da. No more fighting. Don’t be angry with each other. It’s my fault we got lost and it’s my fault that the swoop gang attacked us. You should...should be...angry...angry with me. Please-” She was sobbing by the last words. From the bedroom came a wail from Quin. Rin glared at him and then threw up her hands in defeat and stalked off towards the open door. Del closed his eyes again, relishing the few seconds of blackness to get his thoughts in order and then squatted down next to Zallie, gathering her into a hug.
    “You aren’t in trouble,” he said softly wiping the tears from her cheeks. “Mama and I are just worried about the others. Did you protect your brothers?” Zallie nodded in silent assent. “Good, that’s all you can do.”

    From behind him he heard Tara’s quiet voice.

    “I know you,” she was saying. “I know both your voices. I-”

    She was cut off by Kithera coming back through the door, holding a crying Quin.

    “You’ll at least have to wait until Quin is fed. The others will need new clothes and-”

    “Kitkit?”

    Tara’s voice was hesitant, a tentative probing to the possibilities. Kithera’s shoulders, so high and tense only a moment before, dropped.

    “Yes,” she said softly and Del saw her give the familiar twitch of dropping her mental shields. Tara gasped and then smiled.

    “Kithera. Oh. I thought...I thought I’d never see you again.” The words were a tumbled rush and then she practically ran across the room to envelop Rin in a hug. Del watched his partner’s body tense and then relax as Tara’s arms wrapped around her. Part of was happy that she had been so well received, but a deeper and far nastier part of him surged with jealousy. The same would not happen if his identity was revealed. He was responsible for Master Indoa’s death and the Jedi would seek retribution.

    He shook him self out of the thought as Tara let Rin go and held her at arms’ length as if studying her face. She smiled as she brushed her fingers over Kit’s cheeks.

    “You look well,” Tara said softly, almost sadly.

    “What do you mean? You can’t see the bags under my eyes,” Kithera teased, back.

    “You feel well,” Tara amended and then looked down. “So these are all your children?”

    “Yes, all of them.” Del could see the pride in his partner’s face and his hasty words of only a few seconds ago sat like stones in his belly.

    “All of them?” Tara repeated in surprise and then smiled. “I mean I should have guessed, your young lady used the Force-”
    “You used the Force?” Kithera rounded on Zallie who was clinging onto Del as if he could shield her from her mother’s ire.

    “I don’t think she had much choice, the swoop gang-” The breath caught in Del’s throat. Tara looked down at Zallie and smiled. “They weren’t fighting fair, were they?” she asked. Zallie shook her head.

    “Nope. Plus they had Taro and Kei.”

    “They didn’t have me for long,” Taro said pointedly, and then grinned at Del, “I bit’ed them. Kei just cried.”

    “I did not!” Kei said and shoved his brother hard. Taro scrambled to stay on his feet and went to shove his brother back.

    “No fighting.” Kithera’s voice was steel. The boys stood making faces. “Go get changed boys and wash your faces.”
    They scampered away, shoving each other gently as they ran. Del watched them go, still frozen by fear.

    “May I hold the baby?” Tara asked. Kithera proffered Quin gently and Tara took her, tracing the edge of her face with her fingers.

    “She’s gorgeous,” Tara smiled at Kit and then her face fell, “Oh.”

    The coil of worry drew tighter, strangling him. He watched Kithera bite her lower lip and then straighten her shoulders and try for a smile.
    “That’s why we’re here. She’s being operated on tomorrow.”
    “At the hospital? Why not the Temple? I’m sure An-Paj and Leona would only be too happy to help.”

    Del gave a bark of laughter before he could stop himself. Kithera frowned at him and then shook her head.

    “I’m sure they’d be only too happy to help,” Tara was explaining, “we have top-notch medical facilities. I’m sure they would have helped Kitkit. You just needed to ask.”

    “Ask?”

    “Del. No.”

    He ignored her. The coil of fear was turning into anger now, a steady beat that drove him. He’d battled the fear of coming back to Coruscant every step of the way, pushed away his concerns in talks with both Rin and Kirsh, hidden his terror at being found by the Temple, only for it to all come unstuck. All for it to end up with his children being hurt. For Jedi to arrive at his door and act like it was all fine because, for them at least, it always would be fine. Something about the way Tara had made the offer, like it all so simple had touched a nerve. He rose to his feet.

    “Like they would have been happy to help all the other times that Rin got into trouble? LIke they were happy to help when Zallie was born? Like they didn’t just throw her out onto the street like rubbish.”
    “Del, I chose to leave,” Kit’s voice was rising as she spoke.

    “I wasn’t there, I-” Tara started.

    “No, you weren’t. No-one ever is. Not when it gets really bad. Not when people’s actual lives are at stake. They are just forced to leave and then life goes on as normal, as if they never even existed.” The words were pouring out now. Tara was frowning, her breath quickening as he talked. Inside part of him was screaming that he should stop talking, that none of this was Tara’s fault, that he just needed to walk away, be calm, breathe, let his feelings- The final thought never finished as the coil of fear, now anger struck the thought down.

    “I’m sure that’s not how-” Kit started.

    “But it is, isn’t it. Mace and Yoda and the rest of the Council get to decide what happens, justifying that it is all the will of the Force when all it really is, is petty politics and personal feelings. The Jedi must always persist, isn’t that what they taught us? Isn’t that the creed? No matter the cost, no matter the hurt or the pain. No matter-”

    “Taeyn.” His old name, the one long discarded stopped him in his tracks. Tara was staring at him, head cocked to one side. “You are Taeyn aren’t you? You sound just like him, but he is dead.”

    “I..I…” he stammered. Beside him Rin was staring at both of them with a tight-lipped smile. She reached over and took the suddenly quiet Quin out of Tara’s arms. The voices that had been so angry and loud in his head only a second ago were suddenly silenced. He looked to Kithera who had tears in her eyes.

    “No more secrets, no more lies,” she said quietly, just to him. “No more hiding. She knows Del, and as soon as you saw Mace he would know too. Make a decision here and now. Make the right one.”

    Tara was still staring at him, perplexed.

    Del clenched his fists, feeling the tightness of his chest and the way his vision was narrowing. This was his choice, right here. He looked at Rin again, wishing that they were alone.

    “I can’t. I can’ t go back. They’d punish me for what I did.”
    “You didn’t kill him,” Rin said quietly, “Muldeen did that. They won’t punish you Del, I’ve been telling you that for years. You built it all up in your head. Tara wants this to be you. I can hear it in the Force. Give her what she wants, Del. Please.”

    Del turned back to Tara who had gone pale.

    “It is you, isn’t it,” she said quietly, her hand going to her mouth. Del tried for a smile and failed. The world was spinning, and he felt like he couldn’t draw breath. The next word would seal his fate, one-way or the other. This was his choice.

    “No more secrets,” Rin said softly.

    “Yes.” It was a whisper but in the silence it sounded like a shout.

    There was a strange, garbled sob from Tara and she took two steps towards him, hands outstretched. Her fingers touched his shoulders and then his face where they traced the outline of his cheek-bones, his nose, ran lightly across his eyebrows and then down to his chin. Del stood, unmoving, watching Tara intently as tears tracked down his cheeks.

    “You,” Tara breathed after a moment, “we thought you were dead. Why didn’t you come back to us? Namia thought...we thought...I...you were...I…” she stammered into silence.

    “I”m sorry,” Del said quietly, “I’m so sorry. I can explain-”

    There was a knock at the door.

     
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Marvelous rollercoaster of emotions and the final bit... superlatively heartwarming. Tara's gladness at reuniting with both Kithera and Del is great to read, and beyond their wildest expectations I'm sure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman WIP Month Champion and Hostess Extraordinaire star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh ho, now, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time, a long time! :eek: I know I have seen that name Taeyn before...
    Particularly in (romantic) connection to Namia...
    ... so it looks like Del’s past really has caught up with him at last, in a big way! Especially if the knock at the door is who I suspect it is... But knowing Tara, I know that she really does care here and want to help the Family as best she can. The Jedi really are here to help now—I think in a way even Kit can see that, even if Del (very understandably) can’t just yet.

    I also liked the way liked you brought the (sometimes fraught) Family dynamics into play here, with the tension between Kit and Del’s concern for “their” respective children; given what a “Brady Bunch” situation this is, I’ve often wondered how that dynamic might play out.

    (And yes! I did notice, and smile a big smile, at the very familiar meaning of Estra’s name! :D And it’s got more than one meaning, too, of course: “star,” too, which she also is. [face_love] )

    Okay, now, hurry up and show us who that other knock at the door is! :D Keep up the great work, as always! =D=
     
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  6. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    It's a grim letdown whenever a being figures that out ... :(

    So good to see Leona again.

    Only trust GPS ... and the Force!

    Booze helps everything go better

    He's indescribable and mysterious and I can see why people wouldn't like him.

    Hee! :)

    Excellent description of the range of the Force and one person's perception of it.

    Completely immersive [face_nail_biting]
     
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  7. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Del has lots of 'splainin to do, or feels he has. [face_good_luck] Good luck to him.
     
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  8. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Journey to the Pet Shop – 27 BBY – (10 years and four days) - Part 1:

    What a great start!

    I love this opening line. Because this whole scene is a quiet moment between Kit and Del but it feels like there's a lot going on beneath the surface, and this line just really sets the scene.

    Oh, no wonder they're so anxious!

    And this sounds ominous!

    Again, a wonderful start and I look forward to catching up on the rest. =D=
     
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  9. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Just caught up reading this story. Great characters
     
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  10. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2003
    All caught up! Wonderful job on this. I loved Tara and Mace in Part 4, they have such a great rapport with each other. Your writing in Part 5 was so powerful. Using Nicco's POV here, while he's injured and in pain, made this scene so intense. Del and Kit's conversation in Part 6 was just as intense. And then, finally, the reunion with Tara!

    I really loved this bit.

    This is such a great story, and I look forward to reading more when and if you continue it! =D=[face_love]
     
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