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Saga - OT Spectre Seven / Rebels, post-finale SPOILERS FOR S4, FINALE

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: Spectre Seven
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Era: Saga, 1 BBY- 0 ABY
    Characters: Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, Zeb Orrelios, Chopper, other canon characters
    Genre: Drama
    Summary:
    In the aftermath of the Battle of Lothal, Hera copes with Kanan’s death and the knowledge that she’s pregnant with their child.

    Thank you to @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha for beta-reading. @};-

    Warning: This story contains major spoilers for Season 4 and the series finale of Rebels. If you haven’t seen them, and do not wish to be spoiled, stop now!
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    Still here? Okay...
    ———————

    “No. Oh, no.” Hera closed her eyes and shook her head, but the results of the mediscan were still the same when she opened them Still positive, just like the previous three scans had been. There was no doubt; she was pregnant.

    “No,” she whispered again. She slammed the lid of the mediscan’s case and pushed it away across the counter. This wasn’t what she wanted. No, if she was honest with herself, she had to admit this was what she wanted—what she’d always wanted—but not the way she’d wanted it, now that Kanan was gone. Hera sagged against the ‘fresher wall and closed her eyes again. She felt a tear slide down her cheek as she bowed her head.

    Kanan had asked her the day she’d returned to Yavin what kind of life she wanted when the war was over. She’d put him off, like she had so many times before, saying she’d never really thought about it. But that wasn’t true; he had to have known it wasn’t true. She’d thought about it so many times— a life with Kanan, a family of their own, a home-- and wanted it so badly. She’d dreamed of it, but she’d been afraid to let herself want it, even more afraid to ever say it out loud. There was still so much unrest in the Galaxy, so much strife. How could she think of that kind of life when there were still so many things that had to be put right? She’d never wanted her children to grow up the way she had, under the shadow of war, with parents whose attention was more on a cause than on them. With the chance that they’d lose a parent in the struggle.

    Hera swallowed a bitter laugh. And now...now, the irony was that was exactly the way their child would grow up, just like she had, living on a battlefield. But at least Hera had had some time with her mother before she’d been killed in the Clone Wars; their child would grow up never knowing a father.

    “I guess you never really thought about us,” Kanan had said that day. Hera wished she’d told him then that he was all she thought about. She wished she’d turned around and told someone else to take Ryder’s battered old ship back to Yavin. If she had, would he be here with her now, would they all be here? Would she be celebrating the news of their child with her family instead of crying alone in the ‘fresher?

    There was a knock at the ‘fresher’s door. “Hera?” The concern was evident in Sabine’s voice, even muffled through the door. “Are you all right?”

    Hera wiped the tears away with the back of her hand. She crumpled the flimsi printout of the mediscan’s results and jammed it into one of her coverall’s pockets. She took a deep breath and opened the door, arranging her features into what she hoped was a neutral expression.

    Sabine was in the hallway, with Chopper next to her and Zeb behind her. “I’m fine.” Hera tried to smile at them, but couldn’t quite manage it. “I guess dinner just didn’t agree with me. I think I’m going to lie down for awhile.”

    ————

    Sabine frowned as Hera edged her way past them; she did not for an instant believe that Hera was merely suffering from a bit of indigestion. She hadn’t eaten enough that night to make her sick, for one thing, and an upset stomach wouldn’t make her tearful eyes look so haunted.

    “Bwah…” Chopper whined softly and tugged at Sabine’s hand. He pointed to the cabin door that was sliding shut...Kanan’s door.

    “I know, Chop.” Sabine patted his dome. Since Kanan’s death, the astromech droid had become even more fiercely protective of Hera, always at her side. “Just let her go for now, okay?” Chopper gave another disconsolate whine. Sabine sympathized with him. After the battle on Lothal, Hera had insisted on returning to Yavin, and she’d thrown herself into analyzing intelligence and crafting strategy with a feverish energy, as if she planned to overthrow the Empire single-handedly. Sabine and Zeb had gone with her, of course. All of them were determined to make Kanan and Ezra’s sacrifices count and carry on what they’d begun. Lothal had shown that the Empire wasn’t invincible and even the toughest odds could be overcome with persistence and dedication. It only took one person to make the difference.

    But during the past few weeks, Hera had become listless. She poked at her food and left her caf half-finished in the mornings. She’d stopped playing dejarik with Chopper in the common area in the evenings, complaining that she was just too tired and wanted to turn in early.

    At first, Sabine hadn’t thought too much of it. There were days none of them really felt like doing much, when everything that had happened seemed to catch up with them all at once and it all felt too real. Days like that, it was easy to want to give up and crawl into your bunk just so you wouldn’t have to remember. Hera seemed to be having more and more of those days, though, and Sabine was beginning to think if it wasn’t just the memories affecting her. She stepped into the ‘fresher, glancing around to see if there might be some indication of what was really troubling Hera.

    “What’re you pokin’ around for?” Zeb peered in behind her. “Hera said she was fine.”

    “Really?” Sabine held up the mediscan unit that had been laying by the sink. “Wouldn’t have this out if she was fine.” The suspicion that had been forming in Sabine’s mind was getting stronger--the nausea and fatigue, the tears in her eyes when she’d left the ‘fresher after performing a mediscan on herself...

    Zeb’s brow ridges drew together in concern. He’d never say it out loud, but Sabine knew that he, too, was feeling especially protective of Hera now, appointing himself her unofficial guardian. He could be a big, purple mother avian at times, chivvying Hera back to the Ghost when she’d spent too much time at headquarters. “You think she’s really sick?”

    Sabine hesitated. Even if her suspicions were true, it wasn’t her place to tell Zeb. “No. No, I don’t think she’s sick...but I don’t think she’s fine, either.”
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  2. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Thanks for writing THIS after I watched the last episode with my husband! Thanks! @};-

    It feels good reading it.
     
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D=

    Ow, that was painful, the what-ifs and if-onlys of the last conversation and mission. :( What should be a joyous fantabulous cause for celebration is fraught with all kinds of uncertainty and loss.
    Sweet Zeb and Sabine are so caring and concerned. Sabine has her strong intuitions about what is up but she's not going to overstep and tell something that it's up to Hera to confide.

    Hera will definitely have a hard time of it but she will also have loving, loyal friends who will stand strong by her side.

    [face_love]
     
  4. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Very sweet; her 'family' don't know for sure themselves, but whatever it is, they will rally around. Poor Hera. Her dream will sort of come true, but bittersweet. And true to RL; so many war widows have had to raise children throughout history. At least she won't be alone.
     
  5. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 3, 2016
    This was bittersweet and moving, whatever happens the Ghost crew is a family, and Jacen is going to be loved, no matter what.
     
  6. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    I am not that into fanfiction usually, but this story was just amazing. I cannot wait to see how Jacen's future turns out. Hopefully, it is better than the Jacen of Legends. I might just read more of your work because this was just great.
     
  7. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Raissa, you are the queen of Rebels. This is so touching but so true to them. I can believe that Hera would throw herself into her work to distract herself from the overwhelming grief. And then to find out that she’s expecting —it just brings back all the missed opportunities to say what should have been said. There’s the wound that aches the most. The part where Sabine and Chopper glance toward Kanan’s closed door — =((

    And in a way, it’s symbolic of all the things they’ve had to leave behind them, the doors that have closed shut.

    Beautifully done. I’m sure Sabine and Zeb will be so supportive when they discover what’s going on (although I’m pretty sure Sabine has already figured it out).
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  8. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    I have nothing to say except [face_love]=(([face_love]=((
    Oh, Hera...[:D] You'll be okay...your family is there for you. Little Jacen is going to have a good 'aunt' and 'uncle' to help out.
     
  9. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Poor Hera.:_| Glad Zeb, Sabine and Chopper will be there for her and little Jacen. Wonderful writing. =D=
     
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    First of all, I apologise that I bailed out of beta when you had can't-wait-to-postitis. Life was pretty fun last week!

    Everything in this story feels real and it's bittersweet, even at the most heartwarming points. Every single moment has some natural kind of slowness to it, as if ages and ages have passed since Kanan sacrificed himself and, at the same time, it's still a raw, open wound. Hera is not ready to believe her own mediscan, she is not ready to accept the kind of a life that is different than BOTH what she had and what she secretly hoped for.

    Furthermore, as somebody from a broken family, involved with somebody who never knew his family and living with beings only one of whom had a family, of course that she wanted her future child to have something that she did not experience and that she lost - two parents, a house instead of the one she had to blow up, a new Kalikori to carve for a very different kind of a heritage, something that she probably never hoped for.

    Focusing on Rebellion with such fervor is great. But it only delays the problem at hand, nothing else!

    I guess that we're close to Sabine's discovery now...

    Oh, and this. SO MUCH.
     
  11. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you so much! While the series finale wasn’t exactly what I would have chosen, I was so glad that they ended it on a hopeful note. I was pretty emotional afterwards, but in a good way, so it feels good to be writing this, too [face_love]
    Oh, my goodness, the circumstances of Kanan’s death were so painful, with everything that was unsaid or not said until it was nearly too late! :_| (You’re a cruel man, Dave Filoni!) Hera’s trying her best to cope with the new realities of her life, but the wounds are deep and still fresh, and yes, what should be happy news is tied up in all those regrets. Uncertainty and loss are definitely what Hera’s experiencing here, but she still has her family beside her, and thinking about how they would stand with Hera and support her through it all is one of the things that inspired this story. After all they’ve been through and the losses they’ve suffered, they’re still a family.
    It’s not the life she dreamed of, and it’s not the same as having Kanan there beside her, but Zeb and Sabine—and Chopper, too—will be there for her through it all. Hera’s been the strong heart of their family for so long, and now it’s their turn to take care of her.
    Thank you! Jacen will indeed be loved; his family may not be the traditional kind, but they have strong, loving ties to one another.
    Wow! Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I, too, hope whatever is officially in store for Jacen will be happier than his namesake’s fate! If nothing else, he and Hera looked so happy in that brief scene in the postscript of the finale. It’s reassuring to see that Hera finds some joy with her son, even if it might take a while to get there.
    [face_blush] [face blush] [face_blush] Awww....well, thank you! [:D] I love the characters so much; it’s like they’re my Space!Family, too, sometimes! I think Kanan’s (and Ezra’s) sacrifices have made Hera doubly determined to see the Rebellion through to the end, and yet she can’t help but think of what Kanan said to her about how much of herself she’s given to the cause. Finding out she’s pregnant intensifies those thoughts and the feelings of regret they bring. Sabine has a pretty fair idea of what’s happening; she won’t say anything until Hera is ready, but she is already standing with her in any way she can.
    Does Chopper count as an uncle, too? A much older, crankier brother? :) i think of the “Future of the Force” episode where Zeb and Chopper were so adorable taking care of the Force-sensitive babies [face_love] Jacen’s going to be surrounded by have a strong, loving family.
    Thank you so much! Their Space!Family may have changed, but the love remains.
    I like how you’ve phrase that about the slowness—that simultaneous feeling that it’s been forever since the universe changed for her and yet it feels like no time has passed at all. Depression and grieving can truly make things feel that way. It’s hard for her to accept this newest change because, as you say, it’s a huge departure not just from the life she’s known but the one she dreamed of.
    Hera hoped for all of those things for her future child, and knowing that he won’t have them, and will in fact have a life much like hers growing up is another cause for regret.
    Indeed, work can only distract her for so long. And Sabine is as sharp eyed and clever as a Mando can be, but she also respects Hera’s right to her privacy

    Once again [face_blush] Thank you! :hugs]
     
  12. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you to @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha for beta-reading @};-

    Part Two

    The next few days passed in a kind of surreal haze for Hera. Life at Massassi Station went on as usual, and she did her best to carry on as if nothing had changed, when it seemed to her like the Galaxy itself was a different place now. She buried herself in intelligence dispatches, sifting through reports troop movements and cargo shipments, teasing out vague rumors and rampant speculation to learn everything she could about the mysterious Stardust project, the Empire’s latest initiative since Thrawn’s TIE Defender Elite project had been disabled...since Kanan had given his life to ensure its destruction...to save their lives...her life. But no matter how hard she tried, she would find herself staring blankly at the reports, buried in memories and regrets, because every thought led her back down the same path.

    Kanan was gone.

    She was having a baby, and Kanan was gone.

    Should she be happy that a part of him would live on in their child? Perhaps she should be, but deep in her heart, Hera wasn’t sure how she felt. She didn’t want to view their baby as some sort of consolation prize for losing Kanan. Nothing could ever fill the aching hole his death had ripped in her soul. In her worst moments, Hera feared she’d never be able to love this baby the way she should. How could she ever look at their child and not remember how closely tied his birth was with his father’s death? Would she resent him for it? Neglect him, throwing herself into her work to forget, the way her father had with her? Would he grow up resenting her, the way she had her father? Could Kanan, wherever he was, forgive her for having all these doubts? Would he understand that it wasn’t that she didn’t want their child, but that she felt so afraid and alone without him by her side?

    Keeping those thoughts at bay was a hundred times worse at night. Though Hera was bone-weary when she crawled into her bunk, she lay awake for hours, staring at the ceiling while the worries chased each other round in her mind, tangling back on themselves in impenetrable knots,

    Finally, unable to bear the emptiness and longing any more, Hera made her way to Kanan’s cabin once she was sure the others were asleep. She stood in the doorway for a moment; it was just as he’d left it, yet so orderly and austere it looked like it had been recently straightened. There was so little of Kanan’s left to her as mementos—some clothing, his armor, his holocron.

    His mask. It was laying in the center of Kanan’s bunk as if he might be coming back for it someday.

    She moved across the dreamlike stillness of the cabin slowly, hesitating at the edge of the bunk before she lay down. A trace of Kanan’s warm, masculine scent still lingered on his pillow; if she closed her eyes, she could imagine he was there. Hera curled herself around his mask and ran her fingers over the smooth metal, tracing the jaig eyes design Sabine had painted on it for him.

    “I wish I could see you.” She could hear Kanan’s voice as if it was only yesterday.

    “I wish I could see you, too, just once more” Hera whispered into the darkness. “Oh, Kanan, how am I going to do this without you?” Silent tears coursed down her cheeks until at last she fell into a dreamless, exhausted sleep.

    And if Sabine and Zeb noticed her coming out of the wrong cabin in the morning, neither of them said anything.

    -------
     
  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    This time not letting the time pass, though I'm positive that Ny will submit her comment before mine, even though there are none at the point I started this. OMG I BEAT NY!

    What I find especially interesting about this installment is that Hera could not utter the actual words out inside of her head and that, once she is ready to face Kanan's belongings, the mask that was left after him and his holocron, her inner monologue gets 100% clear. Pregnant with Kanan's child, point blank! And the little mention of his masculine scent lingering around the room was rawwwwr! So romantic. She can still remember him using each of her senses and even when that scent fades, she will be able to recall it. [face_love]

    I totally expected her to fall asleep among his belongings, to bathe in his scent, too. =((
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    @Raissa Baiard -- this is one of the most poignant things ever! The tumble of feelings and questions tangle together in a hopeless mess. The missing being most intense at night when everything is still ... :( Feeling adrift and an aching void ... definitely true to life.

    =D=
     
  15. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    =(( Hera, you're going to be a wonderful mom! [:D] I can't imagine the pain of losing one so close, and then knowing you're carrying their child. Not surprising at all that she's fall asleep in Kanan's bunk. And that mention of his smell still lingering...:_|

    Absolutely beautifully, tragically, wonderfully written! =D= But you *cannot* stop here...you must follow through to when Sabine and Zeb find out, and when Hera sees her sweet little boy for the first time and falls utterly and completely in love with him! Please? BIttersweet ending instead of flat-out sad? [face_praying]
     
  16. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Once again another great chapter and how you portray Hera and her sorrows about losing Kanan. I cannot wait for her to get to see little Jacen for her own eyes.
     
  17. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Using this opportunity to say that it's totally awesome to have a new, avid reader of fanfics. :) Make sure you stick around!
     
  18. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Oh, as long good content is being made I will stick around.
     
  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Children are an enrichment in life. NOT because they give their kindergarten teachers a lot of interesting illnesses to deal with. (This is why I am on-line instead of inside the fitness centre. I would choke on my inflamed sinuses otherwise.)

    They are a sign of hope. Even in a "moloch" of a city like mine. Where everybody has a bad mood. On the bus, at the subway. To work with toddlers is, apart from the physical amount of work and stress for the ears, very deserving. They always have smiles and hugs for you.

    Hera will soon find out that a piece of Kanan has survived in unexpected ways. A person is never truly gone. Their foot prints of love stay behind in our life. No matter in what form.
     
  20. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Hera's been holding in all of those emotions, the doubts and fears, trying to stay strong and focused. Once she goes to Kanan's cabin, with his belongings, his scent and all the things that recall him to Hera, she finally lets go and admits those feelings, even if it's only to his memory.
    Thank you. Pregnancy is such an emotional time, and first time moms have so many doubts as it is (at least I know that I did!). When you add the feelings of loss and longing on top of the normal worries...it's no wonder Hera's staying up at night.
    She absolutely will be; she's been Space!Mom all along. No one could be more compassionate and loving. It's normal to wonder whether you'll be a good mom, but her past and Kanan's loss are clouding her feelings even further. And yes, I do plan to follow the story through Hera's pregnancy and Jacen's birth, and I hope that to give them a happy (or at least bittersweet) ending. Hera truly deserves it. (They all do, really [face_love] )
    Thank you so much. :) She will get her first glimpse of him soon-- even that smudgy first ultrasound image can be incredibly moving.
    I completely agree with you (especially about the diseases. My kid is a carrier who brings stuff home from school and passes it straight to me :p ) Children are a sign of hope, and Hera has always been one who can find and hold onto hope, in every situation. I love your phrase "the footprints of love"; that's such a beautiful way of putting it and so true [face_love]
     
  21. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and @Ewok Poet for beta-reading @};-

    --------
    Part Three

    The Ghost’s tiny galley had always been close quarters. Whenever all six Spectres came together for meals, it had been elbow-to-elbow. It shouldn’t have felt empty with the four of them still there, but it did. Without Kanan’s steady wisdom and Ezra’s youthful exuberance, it felt like they were missing the heart and soul of their family.

    Hera sat by herself in the dining alcove while Zeb and Sabine made breakfast with Chopper’s unsolicited help. As she did every morning, she closed her eyes and breathed a silent prayer to the Force that wherever Ezra was, he was safe and well. Hera prayed that the Force would bring him back to them soon, that his promise he’d return home hadn’t just been a way to keep them from following him. She prayed the path Ezra had chosen wasn’t the same as Kanan’s, that he hadn’t sacrificed himself to protect his family and the people of Lothal. They were all thin hopes, but Hera held tight to them. It seemed like hope was all she had right now.

    Zeb slid into the booth next to her, jostling her out of her thoughts, and set an oversized mug down on the table in front of him with a thud. The overwhelming aroma of fresh-brewed caf that wafted from it, simultaneously enticing and nauseating. Hera’s stomach lurched, and she swallowed queasily.

    “You doin’ alright this morning?” Zeb, of course, caught the tell-tale gulp and frowned at her over the rim of his caf. Since they’d returned to Yavin, he and Sabine always seemed to have a watchful eye on her. It was as if their roles in the family had reversed and now the “kids” felt they had to take care of her. Under other circumstances, Hera might have been amused; now, she was torn between being touched by their concern and bothered that they felt she was that fragile.

    “I’m fine,” Hera assured him with a smile that was as weak as her tarine tea that seemed to be all her constantly queasy stomach could handle. She knew she needed to tell him and Sabine the truth. They deserved to hear it from her before the passage of time made her condition impossible to hide. She’d tried a hundred times already, but the words just wouldn’t come. How could she tell them about the baby without breaking down? Without them seeing all her doubts and fears? Without reopening the wounds that losing Kanan left in her heart? She cupped her hands around her mug of tea and stared down into it.

    “Bwah.” Chopper set a bowl in front of her and nudged it across the table until it touched her hand, then set a second bowl next to Zeb.

    “What’s this?” he grunted, as Sabine ladled a thick, slightly lumpy porridge into it. Zeb poked at the mushy substance with his spoon as if he thought it might crawl out of the bowl if he didn’t subdue it first.

    “Boiled mealgrain. Stop scowling.” Sabine scowled back, shaking the ladle at him an admonishingly. “It’s good for you--much better than that greasy bantha hash you’re always eating! There’s lots of protein and iron in it.” She dipped another serving out into Hera’s bowl.

    Her morning sickness—a charming misnomer for a condition that hadn’t ceased for weeks— heightened at the sight and smell of the porridge. Hera closed her eyes and slid the dish away before the nausea got worse and she had to run to the ‘fresher. “Thank you, but I’m not hungry.”

    “Hera, you have to eat something. You have to keep your strength up.”

    Sabine’s voice was uncharacteristically gentle. When Hera looked up and saw the look of apprehension shadowing her eyes and the worried frown that curved her lips, she knew Sabine wasn’t simply concerned that she was pushing herself too hard. Of, course, Hera thought ruefully, she should have known that the perceptive young woman would figure things out. “How long have you known?”

    Sabine’s eyes widened, then slid away from Hera’s. The normally poised warrior shifted on her feet uncertainly. “I...I didn’t know for sure, but I thought maybe…”

    “You’re right. I am.” Hera gave a short, despairing laugh as tears pricked at her eyes. This was not the way she’d wanted this conversation to go; another item to add to her list of regrets.

    “Oh, Hera!” The bowl of porridge Sabine had been holding clattered down onto the table so hard that the ladle went flying and splattered Chopper and Zeb with gloppy mealgrain. Sabine sank down onto the bench next to Hera and pulled her into an embrace. It wasn’t quite possible for Hera to bury her face in Sabine’s beskar pauldron, but somehow the cool metal of the armor was soothing beneath her hot tears.

    Zeb scowled at the women, swiping a lump of porridge off his cheek. “Will someone please tell me what the Bogan is going on here?”

    Hera looked up and wiped the tears from her own face. No use trying to hide it or deny it any longer. “I’m pregnant, Zeb.”

    “What?!” The Lasat’s yelp was echoed by a startled blat from Chopper. “Karabast!” Zeb’s brow ridges shot up and his mouth gaped, working furiously. “You…and Kanan? But... How? When?”

    “Of course Kanan…” Hera answered with a touch of asperity, stifling the urge to roll her eyes and sigh. She loved the big purple lug dearly, but honestly? Was he really that incapable of comprehending how these things happened? “And the usual way,” When was really none of his business, but she answered the question she thought he really meant to ask. “I’m six weeks along, and yes,” she added, seeing how his brow creased as he counted backwards, “That was right before I flew back to Yavin. Right before…” She let her words trail off before the tears started again.

    Sabine shot a quelling glance at Zeb, who raised his brows and spread his hands in a silent “what?”. She shook her head at him, and pulled Hera closer. “I think what Zeb is trying to say is ‘congratulations’. This is wonderful news!”

    “Is it?” Hera gave a hiccupy sob of a laugh that turned into a real sob as she realized how awful that must sound. What kind of mother would say something like that about her own child? “I’m sorry...that isn’t...it’s just without Kanan…” Her strength gave out and it was all Hera could do to whisper, “I don’t know how I can do this alone.”

    “O’course it’s good news.” Zeb moved closer to her on the bench and wrapped a strong, striped arm around her shoulders. “We’re gonna have a new little Spectre on the ship, what could be better news than that?”

    “And you won’t be alone.” Sabine leaned towards Hera, tightening her embrace, while Chopper murmured his agreement, reaching a grasper across the table to take her hand. “We’re here for you, all of us; we’re a family, remember? I know it’s not the same as having Kanan here, but we’ll do everything we can for you.”

    “I… thank you…” The words seemed so inadequate, but they were all she could say. The tears slid down her cheeks again, but this time it was almost a relief to let them flow, here in the shelter of their loving arms. How could she ever have doubted them? “You really are my family and I love you… yes, you too, Chopper.” She smiled at the droid— her faithful companion—as he muttered that it wasn’t fair that the organics weren’t including him in all this hugging.

    “So let’s see,” Zeb’s expression turned thoughtful. “Guess if he’s gonna be part of this crew, the little guy’s gonna need his own number.”

    “What makes you so sure it’s a boy?” Sabine scoffed, planting her hands on her hips. “But you’re right—she’ll need a number. I guess that would make her Spectre….” She glanced from one to the other of them, and Hera saw the flicker of uncertainty and pain in her eyes, wondering if their callsigns were still the same after their losses.

    “Seven.” Hera answered softly. “We’ll always have Spectre One and Spectre Six, so the baby would be Spectre Seven.”

    Sabine nodded and smiled, squeezing Hera’s hand. “Spectre Seven. I can’t wait to meet her.”

    “Him.”

    “Whatever, Zeb. But you really do need to eat something, because if she’s anything like either of her parents, pretty soon she’s going to be kicking your shebs from the inside out.” Sabine pulled the bowl of mealgrain back across the table and put the spoon into Hera’s hand. “And you need to go to the med center for a check up.”

    Hera put down the spoon and shook her head. “I'm fine, it’s just a little morning sickness, that’s all. I don’t need…

    “Nope.” Zeb’s tone brooked no arguments. His brows drew down into the “quit being a stubborn moof-milker” expression he’d so often used on Ezra. “Sabine’s right. You gotta take care of yourself and the little Spectre.” He leaned over and tapped Hera sternly on the shoulder with a claw-tipped finger. “Don’t make me throw you over my shoulder and carry you to the med center like a sack of topatoes.”

    She laughed for what felt like the first time in forever. “You’d do it, wouldn’t you?”

    “‘Course I would.” Zeb broke into a toothy grin and hugged her. “What’s family for?”
     
  22. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    I wonder if I will be the first to post this time?

    Anyway a very good and emotional chapter. This might be more so then the first two because Hera has to finally tell them. I really liked that you brought the word shebs into the story. Helps with the connectivity. I love how rediculse Zeb was acting. Although if I were in his shoes I would probably do the same thing.

    Another lovely chapter!

    Can’t wait to read the next.
     
  23. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Yay! So now Sabine and Zeb know, and of course they're so supportive. Zeb's right, what is family for? And good man, Zeb, reinforcing Hera's need to go see a medic and stay healthy. :D

    This whole chapter was like a great big group hug! I love it! Can't wait to read more! [:D]
     
  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Gorgeously nurturing and supportive. @};- =D= Lovely solidarity from Sabine and Zeb. :)
     
  25. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Aaand now everybody knows! [face_love][face_love][face_love]

    Not only that we get to see the side of Hera that we have never seen before in this chapter, but we also get to see the sweeter side of Zeb, the one that rarely emerges due to all the pain he's been hiding due to his past. And both of these are delightful, not overplayed and in no way making Zeb weaker or "chickifying" Hera.

    Sabine's emotional growth shines here as well. You know that she is my favourite character in Rebels and that I always believed that there was a whole avalanche of emotions behind the tomboyish and tough exterior. And here, you are showing the readers that she can still be a sucker for babies and ready to help a pregnant woman, even though she's perceived as a designated lesbian of the show (just look at tumblr...smh...she's obviously not lesbian...not that I would have anything against lesbians) and the type that wouldn't have the feelings for anything unrelated to the sense of duty.

    In fact, I waited for precisely the above paragraph stuff to show up. I never wanted to influence your writing, so I stayed away from hinting anything like that, but you did it, you did it! :sabine::hera::zeb:

    Now I'm hungry for more!