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Saga - OT Star Crossed: Rebels/OC's--COMPLETE (5/21/2017)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    It's got to feel slightly unreal to suddenly to get the very thing you'd been hoping for, especially when you thought it was going to be a lot more difficult to achieve.

    Being a Rebel agent doesn't seem like the kind of profession that's conducive to meeting girls...besides Sabine, of course, who seems to have thoroughly friend-zoned Ezra. He's nothing if not persistent, though, and you never know, she might have changed her mind! The stormtrooper bit...their lack of skill with firearms seems to be the aurodium standard of failure in the GFFA (and partially YOUR FAULT for bringing up certain memes :p)

    And of course Mara goes for it! It's not everyday cute, Force-sensitive guys wander into your cantina. When even the Force tells you to go after him, it's too good an opportunity to pass up. (But don't go getting ahead yourself, Bridger!)
    Well, you know, "usual" is such a relative term. Ezra may be a Jedi, but he's still human...and male...:p

    Glad you enjoyed the fez :D I just had to put that in because, as Findswoman notes, Ezra in a fez (Fezra? ;)) would probably look a lot like a certain street-rat. Just give him a purple vest and some baggy pants. :p (Would Zeb and/or Chopper be his quirky sidekicks?)

    And yes, this is the continuation of the feud begun 'way back before Mara was born. Verraro is the type who neither forgives nor forgets. The Gamorrean-jowled thug who accosts her is Wilmot, Verraro's goon-in-chief who appears at the end of In the Cards.

    Isn't he, though? ;) (Memories of teenage awkwardness and saying exactly the wrong thing to the person you were trying to impress are apparently good inspiration once you've had 20 years or so to take the edge of mortification off :D)

    Glad you like the marketplace; it does seem like a fun place to spend a day...or a first date. ;) It owes something to the markets from Mos Eisley and Mos Espa, as well as the bazaar in Casablanca...and the marketplace in Agrabah. Which makes it an appropriate place for Space!Aladdin and his fez. He may think he looks silly, but it no doubt looks better on Ezra than the local trend setter, Verraro the Hutt. (Fun fact: someone put a fez on Jabba's head during the production of RotJ to make him look like the character of Signor Ferrari from Casablanca)

    Mara finishing that sentence ("...the Imperial Prefect.") could definitely have lead to some awkwardness. I guess that will just have to come up later. :D
    Thank you so much @};- Your advice and suggestions have helped a lot with this aspect.

    That warning came just a leeetle too late... It looks like trouble has a way of finding Mara, too. (Are we surprised?)
    Quick thinking will certainly be needed on both their parts!

    You don't have to wait much longer. :D
     
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  2. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks as always to my mah-velous betas, Ewok Poet and Findswoman. @};-

    Briannakin

    Part 6
    Mara’s face twisted into an expression of sheer loathing. “We were just leaving,” she snarled, twisting in his grip. The thug only laughed, pulling her closer. If he was a nek dog, then Mara was a cornered felinx, ready to bite and scratch, but overmatched by his bulk.

    Ezra felt her anger and fear rising, and his hands clenched into fists. No way was he going to stand there and let that big, ugly goon manhandle her; it wasn’t giving in to your anger if you were protecting someone, right? Telling the voice in the back of his mind that insisted what he was about to do was a Very Bad Idea to stuff it, he stepped between them, slapping the thug’s gundark-like hand off of Mara’s shoulder. “Hey! Leave her alone!”

    Around the cantina, the patrons started to take notice. Some glanced up from their drinks, only to suddenly find them incredibly interesting again, while others stared and nudged each other, grinning as if the floor show was starting. The thug’s beady eyes narrowed; his nostrils flared like an irate bantha’s. “Who d’you think you are, pedunkee?” he grunted, punctuating each word by jabbing a stubby index finger into Ezra’s chest.

    “I’m the guy who’s telling you to get some manners.” Ezra swatted away the cigarra-shaped digit. “Also a shower. Seriously, I’ve met Wookiees that smelled better than…ack!” His words choked off as the thug grabbed him by the collar and hauled him up off his feet, until they were nose to pulpy nose.

    “And you think you’re gonna teach me?”

    “I don’t know; I’ve never worked with Gamorreans before.”

    The thug bellowed incoherently, spraying flecks of tabac-stained saliva. Ezra was beginning to think he should have paid more attention to that annoying little voice in his head--or, at the very least, left off the crack about Wookiees

    And, just to prove his theory that no situation was so bad it couldn’t be made worse, the Trandoshans picked that moment to enter the cantina.

    “You!” the taller and darker green of the two bounty hunters snarled in gutturally accented Basic. “This one belongs to us.” He grabbed Ezra, claws digging into his shoulder. “You keep the girl if you want, but the boy is ours!”

    The thug yanked Ezra back, making him feel like a piece of jerba hide between two neks. “Kriff off, lizard! You can have what’s left of him when I’m done.”

    “He’s no good to us dead,” the second Trandoshan complained.

    *You certainly know how to show a girl a good time.* Mara’s voice cut into Ezra’s mental calculations of whether the Trandoshan was going to shoot him before or after the Hutt-thug punched him in the face. *But did you have any ideas for getting out of it alive?*

    Um...yeah…. The list of options was pitifully thin. Too many by-standers to use his blaster or his lightsaber. Between the bounty hunters and the thug, he was outnumbered and out-massed. He really needed a distraction; Ezra threw a hasty glance around for something to use-- customers, glasses, the ugly kroyie, bottles… *Okay, get ready to run on ‘one’. Three...two...one...* He reached out in the Force….

    The liquor bottles behind the bar exploded one by one, showering the hapless bartender with glass and booze. Above him, the kroyie shrieked, flapping its wings and pulling at its chains, sending a cloud of dull blue feathers everywhere. Customers exclaimed as they pulled their weapons or ducked under tables, and waitresses shrieked, dropping their trays.

    Amid the chaos, the Trandoshan reached for his blaster, letting go of Ezra’s shoulder, and the thug’s hold on his collar slackened. Ezra lunged forward, shouldering into the Gamorrean-faced goon with all his weight and Force, sending the thug crashing into the row of drunks at the bar. He rolled free of the tangle of flailing limbs just in time to see Mara slam the heel of her palm up under the second Trandoshan’s jaw and follow it up with a sharp elbow to his ribs. The bounty hunter doubled over with a grunt. Ezra gaped--was not expecting that!--and she grabbed his hand, pulling him up and into the roiling, panicky crowd.

    The Trandoshan leader had no compunction about using his blaster in close quarters, firing off several shots as he charged after them. Ezra threw up a hasty shield, and the shots scattered wildly, downing a scantily clad Theelin waitress and a Chagrian, and touching off another wave of chaos.

    Mara pulled him through the double door that led to kitchen, startling the Ortolan cooks as they sprinted towards the back door. “Stop them!” The Hutt-thug and the Trandoshans burst into the kitchen together, apparently having decided it didn’t matter which of them got first crack at Ezra...or Mara. “Stop them, or I’ll tan your fuzzy blue hides and hang them on the boss’s wall!” Ezra swerved around an Ortolan unconvincingly waving a soup ladle, only to find his way blocked by another brandishing the long skewer he’d been using to spear gorgs out of a tank. He skidded to a stop centimeters before being impaled, and thrust out a hand, pushing into the Force and shattering the gorg tank the way he had the liquor bottles in the bar. *You’re free,* he urged the frightened amphibians as they spilled out across the floor. *Run. Hop. Whatever…* The gorgs didn't need further convincing; they scattered and the Ortolan dropped his spear, wailing, “Noooo, Verraro’s going to kill me!” The others joined in, trumpeting alarm with their stubby trunks, and dropping their knives, spoons and ladles to chase the escaping amphibians. Mara added to the pandemonium by using the Force to overturn a soup pot of boiling hot green goop onto the thug’s feet. His howls echoed through the kitchen as she dashed into the alley behind Ezra, right ahead of the Trandoshans.

    Ezra pulled his DL-44 and blasted the door’s controls, locking it shut, just as the bounty hunters reached it. “That should hold them for a while.” Ezra turned to run...and found the alleyway blocked by a cargo speeder, half unloaded, and stack of barrels marked “boga noga” and “pickled sand maggots.”

    “Now what?” Mara asked. Behind her, the door shuddered in time with the pounding and angry shouts from inside.

    “Only one way to go: straight up.” Ezra climbed onto the barrel of sand maggots. She scrambled up beside him. He boosted her to the top of the speeder truck as the thumping from the cantina grew louder and more insistent. Though the durasteel door shook with the blows, it stayed shut...until one of the goons finally shot it and it juddered open a crack, wide enough for a scaly hand to emerge. Ezra clambered up onto the truck and jumped to the cantina’s roof, holding out a hand to Mara. “Let’s go!”

    She took it, and sprang to the roof next to him. “This way!” she said, tugging him

    Below, one of the Trandoshans wedged his shoulder into the gap and forced the door open. “Go on; I’m right behind you!” Ezra thumbed the setting of his blaster to stun, aimed, and fired. The bounty hunter crumpled into a heap, blocking the door. A string of impressive profanities in Huttese echoed from the cantina into the alley. Ezra grinned in satisfaction. One down… He turned to catch up with Mara...who was waiting for him with her own blaster drawn.

    “Did you really think I’d go off without you? Come on,” she said, waving her pistol away from the cantina and the marketplace. “The spaceport’s this way.” She took off across the flat roof at a sprint; when she reached the edge, she leapt with the grace of a bounding sabercat, landing neatly on the other side. Ezra stared. Dance lessons… he thought, incongruously… Mara turned around, the hint of a challenge in her eyes. “Coming?”

    “Right.” He ran and jumped across, landing cleanly, but with considerably less grace than she had. A scrabbling noise behind them alerted them to the second Trandoshan’s pursuit seconds before his blaster bolt sizzled past. Without another word, they ran.

    Running from bounty hunters and Hutt-thugs should not have been fun, but it was. It was exhilarating. Maybe it was the fact that, from up here, it felt exactly like all the years he’d spent running over the rooftops or Lothal. Maybe he was just running on sheer adrenaline. Or maybe it was having Mara running next to him, fleet as a gallaze, her red-gold braid flying after her like a shooting star. Ezra sensed a fierce elation in her presence that echoed his own crazy euphoria. They ran together in the Force, cutting a wild zig-zagging path around antennas and vents, chimneys and vaporators, vaulting across the gaps between the buildings without stopping.

    The thug from the cantina was neither fast nor nimble, and was soon clutching his sides, panting. Mara flipped him an impressively obscene Quarren gesture as they left him doubled over in the distance. The Trandoshan was in better shape, charging after them and taking potshots that dinged antennas and cracked vaporators, sending up plumes of steam, but he still was no match for a pair of reckless Force-powered Jedi. Ezra didn’t know exactly when the bounty hunter, too, fell behind, or even that he had, until Mara stopped. “We did it!” she shouted, throwing her hands up in triumph. “We made it to the spaceport!”

    The Merkesh City Spaceport wasn’t big, even by Outer Rim standards--just a couple dozen docking bays arranged in curving rows around the central hangar. Its grimy stuccoed walls were streaked with exhaust, topped with an electric force field, and guarded by one of the defense turrets that the Empire added to every port, no matter how sleepy and backrocket. From where they stood on top of the customs building, Ezra could just see one corner of the Ghost docked between a beat-up freighter and a Skip-ray blastboat that had been painted an obnoxious shade of green.

    He leapt down with a whoop, landing in a crouch, then turned to catch Mara as she jumped down after him. Still punchy from their wild run, Ezra swung her around, laughing. Mara’s green eyes sparkled and her laughter joined his, and he was suddenly aware of her warmth against him, her arms twined around his neck. He set her down with an awkward laugh, letting go…but Mara’s hands still rested on his shoulders. She smiled up at him, with the same devastating smile she’d given him that morning. Ezra’s heart was pounding with more than adrenaline. He leaned towards her.

    Their lips met.

    For that moment, the Galaxy was only the two of them, while the Force hummed around them.

    A nasty chuckle and the sound of a blaster's catch brought Ezra crashing back down to the ground. “Hands where I can see them, lovebirds!”
     
  3. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Great escape sequence. I love all the action!

    But awwwww!! The kiss of teenage love!

    However, things are never easy for these two are they?
     
  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    This started out quite...sensory. Ezra comparing the Gamorrean to a Wookiee, and that scent of tabac lingering on. Yet, the way he positions himself, finding a reason to play hero for Mara and being snarky enough to make that joke (because, of course, she's around) is hilarious - in both the funny ha-ha and "wow" sense.

    The action scene following it is superb - I can visualise Ezra and Mara passing by those chubby Ortolan cooks, the scene where Ezra breaks the tank and frees the gorgs using the Force (!), then blasting the keyfob in A New Hope Style, jumping on the barrel, then the truck, then the roof...totally an action duo, these two. :) There's this RPG-y feel to it, and you pulled it off effortlessly.

    Nice innuendos, of all kinds. ;)

    And that kiss scene was so, so cute. Shame that it was - well - followed by yet another cliffie!


    P.S.

    That's some extreme attention to detail. Is that what Verraro eats, btw?
     
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  5. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Really enjoyed all the chaos of the chase sequence -- you mentioned the marketplace in Disney's Aladdin, I think, and it does have that feeling to it. :D Can't wait to see what happens next, even as Mara's parents should be hearing a disturbance in the Force -- or rather their checkbooks, if anyone figures out whose kid was part of all that ruckus! [face_laugh]
     
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    And this is where the "street rat" proves himself a true "diamond in the rough"! :D

    I know I've commented a lot on Ezra and Mara's Force commonality, but in this chapter it very literally does turn out to be a lifesaver, allowing them to communicate and plan their escape without the knowledge of the boorish captors closing in from all sides. Their escape ends up being exhilarating and fun because it's the result of their acting in harmony:

    Just love that—"fleet as a gallaze" has very much that Song of Songs vibe to it (and given how often that comparison appears in the Song of Songs, I can't help but imagine that King Solomon, and whatever other authors there may have been, likely had that same feeling of exhilaration in mind). :cool: What a striking contrast to the surrounding chaos, so colorfully described with broken bottles, frightened beasties, panicky patrons, escaping gorgs, and questionable foodstuffs in barrels. Adrenaline, Force, love, synergy all come together and triumph here over wickedness and disorder—the climax being, of course, The Kiss. [face_love] I just love that the Force hums around them, reinforcing the theme of harmony and resonance. They are kind of like... two prongs of a tuning fork vibrating at the same frequency, helping create that hum. (Ooh, what a good one—I'll have to remember that! :p ;) ) Once again, I can only say that you're doing a spot-on job with the romantic aspects of this story and should in no wise sell yourself short. @};-

    Now, we just have to see how they get out of this next predicament. I think by now these two have gone from the frying pan to the fire to, I don't know, a pottery kiln! Courage, you two! :eek:
     
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  7. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you!
    After all they've been through, they deserve a moment...unfortunately, that's all they get. The course of true love (or even teenage crushes) never did run smooth, especially in fanfic. ;)
    It doesn't hurt that he gets to look good for Mara, but I think mostly it's just part of Ezra's character. He's not going to stand idly by and let someone be pushed around, particularly if it's someone he cares about. Likewise, the snarkiness even in the face of danger is all Ezra. I was recently re-watching an episode where he'd been captured by the Inquisitor, the Seventh Sister, and he smarted off to her constantly.

    Not effortlessly! ;) Action scenes are a challenge for me to choreograph (trying to figure out where everyone is in relationship,to each other...and if Ezra hits the thug, and Mara hits a Trandoshan, can they get away before the second Trandoshan shoots?) so I'm glad that it came out all right. Thank you also for the boldedthe part, because there was a definite temptation to give Mara more than her share of shebs-kicking moments. While she certainly can, it wouldn't have been fair or accurate to Ezra to turn it into Mara Saves the Day while Useless Boy Stands By. He's quite the action hero on Rebels, and that take charge (while making a few snappy one liners) attitude is something they share. And it wouldn't have impressed her very much if just stood back and let her do all the shebs kicking for him.

    ;)

    :* Thank you! Perhaps once they finally stop being chased by bounty hunters, Hutt thugs, and Imperial officers, they can find a quiet, interrupted moment to elaborate on it...or perhaps Disappointed Space!Parents will have something to say first.

    Yes, both of those...er...foodstuffs...were listed under "Hutt Cuisine" on Wookieepedia. Makes the Rebel Base mess hall seem positively gourmet!

    Hmm... now I'm re-reading that sequence mentally playing "One Step Ahead." You're right; it fits quite well.:) And, yep, they know exactly whose kid was involved...Mara's parents are both well known in Merkesh City, and so is she, by extension. Of course, Mara didn't do anything until after she and Ezra had been accosted by Verraro's goons...a fact which her parents may feel compelled to point out if the Hutt demands recompense. (And it's not like either of them actually broke the bottles or the gorg tank ;))

    :) Space!Aladdin :ezra:

    Thank you so much! I can't think of a higher compliment than to have something I wrote compared to one of the most famous and beautiful poems in history [face_blush] And thank you again for all your advice while I was writing this scene @};- There are so many tropes and cliches regarding romance, and I think that the "Force bond" is almost becoming one for Jedi romance, so I didn't want to lean to heavily on it, but I liked the idea of the Force humming, either in contentment or like well-oiled machinery--or perhaps both!--when all was right and perfectly aligned in the world. You expanded beautifully on the metaphor...a very good one, indeed!:D

    But hey, at least things can't any worse, right? ;)
     
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  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you to Ewok Poet and Findswoman, for beta-reading, suggestions, and support! @};-

    Briannakin

    Part 7

    The Imperial officer who had his blaster pointed lazily at them was one of the most disreputable-looking specimens of the breed Ezra had ever seen. His dingy gray uniform was rumpled and stained with something that could have been caf, gravy, tabac or a combination of all three, and his cap sat askew on his stringy hair. He looked like the kind of scruffy nerf-herder who had a 1700 shadow at noon.

    “Come on, come on!” He leered at them, a sickly smile that revealed several missing teeth. “Stop playing touchy-feely and put your hands up.”

    Mara tensed, her fingers spasming against Ezra’s shoulders, and her cheeks flaming. “It would have to be Donal, the slime-licking Hutt-toady,” she hissed, and sighed angrily as she lowered her hands. “We’d better do it. He’s the kind who shoots first and makes excuses later.”

    Somehow, during their kiss, Ezra’s arms had wound themselves around Mara’s waist, and though it seemed reluctant to move from that spot, he edged his right hand towards his blaster.

    *No.*Mara shook her head, laying a hand on top of his. *Let me handle it. I’ll get you out of this, I promise.

    *We’ll get out of it together, Ace.* He squeezed her hand.*I know you don’t need me to protect you, but don’t you go taking chances for me. We’ll handle it together.

    The smile she gave him was almost good as another kiss. *Don’t worry about me; I can take care of Imperials.* She gave his hand another squeeze and turned to face the Imp. She seemed to transform into a different person as she did. Mara stood straight and tall as a Grand Moff on Empire Day. Her green eyes no longer sparkled, they flashed, and there was something about the set of her mouth that reminded Ezra of Hera when she was General Syndulla, thank you very much. “Is there a problem, Lieutenant Donal?” she asked imperiously.

    “Not for me, little Mistress Blayne,” he chortled--Ezra didn’t think he’d ever actually heard anyone chortle before, but there was no other word for the lewd, snorting laugh. “Looks like I just hit the jackpot.” Donal took a step towards Mara, giving her salacious once-over. “Should’ve known you’d turn out just like your mother. You pretend to be such good little girls, but you’re really just a couple of schuttas.”

    Mara’s eyes narrowed. She looked like she would like very much to kick his shebs, and Ezra thought he would like very much to assist her with it. He eased closer to her, waiting for a chance to move.

    The Imp chortled again. “Try it, peedunkee,” he said swiveling his blaster to cover Ezra. “Give me a reason. No one’s going to care if I shoot a scum-sucking murderer like you, anyway.”

    “You’re barvy, Donal,” Mara shot back. “If you think I’d stand by while you shot an innocent…”

    “Innocent?” He tsk-ed and shook his head. “You mean your new boyfriend didn’t tell you he killed some off-world writer? Maybe you should ask a few more questions before you hook up next time.” He holstered his blaster, but before he Ezra could reach for his own weapon, the Imp seized Mara’s wrist and wrenched it behind her back. “Don’t make me hurt her,” he told Ezra. “No one cares what happens to you, but looks like you care what happens to her. Be a good boy and she’ll be fine...mostly.”

    Ezra seethed as the greasy Imp slapped binders onto Mara’s wrists, snapping them hard enough to make her wince, and then cuffed him in a similarly callous manner and took his blaster. This guy was as almost as bad as the one-eyed bounty hunter who’d tortured Blye. But he had a gray uniform and a tarnished rank bar to excuse whatever he did. When he got the chance, Ezra was going to enjoy dispensing a little Jedi justice to Lieutenant Donal. But right now… Donal grinned at him as he shoved Mara forward. Waving his blaster lazily, he herded them both into the back of a transport, slamming the door behind.

    “Someday,” Mara growled. “I’m going to shove my lightsaber up his left nostril while he’s sleeping. Let’s see Verraro the Hutt get him out of that.” She sighed in frustration. “But I will get you free, Ezra. Just...whatever happens...just trust me.”

    “Of course I trust you, Ace. How many times have saved my life today? The bodyguard position is still open, if you want it.”

    That surprised a smile out of her, and she seemed about to reply when the transport screeched to a halt, throwing them against the back wall. The door swung open, and greasy Donal had been joined by the mustached officer who’d been at the Oasis Inn. “Fine, take the boy to lock up, but she wants Mara in her office now,” Mustache said. He gave her a sympathetic smile and held out a hand to assist her in climbing out of the transport. “I really am sorry about this, dear.”

    “And I’m sorry, Captain,” Mara said as she stepped down. “But I’m not going anywhere without Ezra. You will take him with me.” Her right hand moved in as much of an arc as she could manage with her hands still cuffed behind her back, and Ezra felt the pull of her will, subtle but powerful. She was good at that, very good, because both officers’ eyes glazed over.

    “I should take him with us,” the captain agreed, and, surprisingly, offered a hand to steady Ezra as well. “Come along, then. Don’t want to keep the Prefect waiting.” He steered Ezra into the garrison with a firm hand, but without drawing his blaster. *I told you I could handle them.* Mara responded, smiling at Ezra’s incredulous glance. *They’re not all as bad as Donal.*

    The captain ushered them through the crowd common office. Imps in gray were gathered around the desks in clusters of twos and threes. They stopped their hushed conversations to look up and stare when Ezra and Mara passed, but he realized their attention was directed at her and not him. Ezra was, sadly, used to taking the walk of shame through various Imperial facilities, but Mara was clearly not. She walked stiffly, chin high, eyes forward, not looking at any of the officers. Her shields were up again, shutting out their mixed pity and smugness. With his hands cuffed and the captain between them, all Ezra could do was nudge her. *It’ll be okay. I’ve gotten out of worse scrapes than this. We’ll get out of it together, remember?* The ghost of a smile touched her lips, only to vanish as the door to the prefect’s office slid open.

    The woman sitting behind the polished oro-wood desk was not all that imposing; middle aged and average height, her auburn hair pulled back into a loose knot, she looked less like an Imperial prefect and more like someone’s disappointed mother. Mara squirmed beneath her frown and pulled her shields tighter as the captain ushered them in to stand in front of two straight-backed chairs.

    The prefect flicked a disdainful glance at Ezra. “What is he doing here?”

    The captain looked confused. “I thought I was supposed to bring him, too..”

    “Hmm...” She pursed her lips and leveled another flat look of disapproval at Mara. “Fine, if that’s the way you want it.. Take their binders off--yes, his too-- and both of you, sit.”

    The captain complied, patting Mara on the shoulder and whispering, “good luck” before he left. She sat stiffly on one of the wooden chairs--there was no other way to sit in the uncomfortably rigid seats, Ezra discovered--and stared at the prefect, her mouth set in a flat line. Now that his hands were free, Ezra reached over to Mara and took her hand and gave it a quick squeeze for moral support. Even if the chairs enforced perfect Imperial posture, there was something a little too tense in her presence, despite all her assurances that she could handle things.

    Like a hunting hawk-bat, the prefect noticed the small movement instantly. She skewered Ezra with a look that made him reconsider how intimidating she was. Her scowl deepened, and she exploded in noisy sigh of frustration. “Mara. Jade. Blayne. What in the Nine Corellian Hells do you think you’ve been doing?”

    “I can explain…”

    “Oh, you had better be able to explain.” She ticked off the offenses on her fingers. “Cutting work during the morning rush, getting into a bar fight at the Azure Kroyie, and…” Her mouth worked as if the phrase she was thinking of left a bad taste in her mouth. “…consorting in back alleys with a murder suspect.”

    This was not like any interrogation Ezra had ever experienced--no threats, no intimidation...no actual questions. The tone was a lot less investigation and a lot more lecture. “First, I’m not a murderer, and second, we weren’t consorting....”

    The prefect’s right hand slashed in an abrupt arc. “You will be quiet, young man. I’ll let you know if I want to hear from you.”

    Oh, shavit… Ezra rocked back in his seat, his mouth snapping shut in surprise. An Imperial Force-user... that was never good news. He hadn’t thought there were any left out there that hadn't already tried to kill him. And while Ezra couldn't sense any hatred or malice behind her command, the wrenching pull of her will was strong enough that it made Mara’s direction to the captain seem like the merest suggestion. It was a good thing Jedi mind tricks didn't work on Jedi, or he probably wouldn’t have said another word the entire day. He darted a glance at Mara, who had to have felt it as well. This was definitely going to complicate whatever she had planned.

    Strangely, Mara only rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Mom, stop…”

    “Mom?!?” Ezra jolted up, knocking the wooden chair to the floor with a clatter. “Your mom’s the prefect? You didn’t think you should mention that earlier?”

    Realizing that her Force-command hadn't had any effect on Ezra, the prefect stared. Now he could see the resemblance in the shape of their faces, the set of their mouths, even their hair, though Mara’s was flame-red while the prefect’s was dark. She regarded him speculatively and Ezra felt a subtle tendril of the Force reach toward him. Ezra pulled back, slamming up his mental shields against her. Her eyes flew wide and her jaw dropped.

    Mara sighed. “Okay, let’s all relax. Ezra, remember when I asked you to trust me? This is why. Meet my mother, Prefect Raissa Blayne--Mistress of Staves in the Array. Yes, she’s also a Jedi. Mom, this is Ezra, Spectre Six. And yes, he is, too. Now that we’re all friends, maybe we can try this again.”
     
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  9. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    [face_laugh] Okay, I laughed out loud. A lot. This was perfect! And that Ezra finds out by Mara calling her "Mom" in a moment of annoyance.
     
  10. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Lol! I love the reveal of Mom so much! I just love seeing Mara as an annoyed teenager being dragged in cuffs with a new boy to her mom!
     
  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Hah! An absolutely hilarious reveal! [face_laugh] This story has been full of moments both sidesplitting and hair-raising, but from the moment of Mara's roll-eyes "Mom, stop..." this absolutely takes the cake. I knew that a "meet the folks" moment was on its way at some point, whether Mara's folks or Ezra's Space!Folks, but I never expected it to be quite like this—hauled in in binders with New Boyfriend in tow. Of course we do get a little warning, in the form of the Full. Name. Of Doom, the litany of all the Things Done Wrong, and even the "disappointed mother" look—which is doubly hilarious, because that's come to be somewhat of a trope for describing Ezra's own Space!Parents! But hey, that's a good portent for later for Spectres One and Two eventually meet Mistress of Staves and Mr. Mistress of Staves, amirite? :D

    There are some very cool subtle hints and cues here. From her disapproving glance at her daughter once both youngsters are brought in, Raissa (as I think I can call her, though I think I'd be in for a shebs-kicking if she heard me :p ) seems to have figured out that her daughter mind-tricked the guards into bringing Ezra in, too (which of course she did). Also, there's the way both she and Ezra respond to each others' Force commands—Ezra's definitely bold to slam up his mental shields against her attempt to probe him, and I can see that it throws her for a loop! And this is not a lady who easily gets thrown for a loop—but given the scarcity of Beings Able to Do That in this Imperial era, I can see why she is. You of course have the Displeased Mom dynamic spot-on, and, well, I know you won't be offended if I say that I am not surprised—and I can say that precisely because I've been one of those myself. :p

    As in the previous chapter, wonderful job with the action scenes. That Donal is pretty much the Galaxy's premier sleazebag! :eek: It's definitely a good thing that "they're not all like that," and that the mustachioed officer turns out to be more of a helper to the younglings' cause than he ever could guess. And I just love how Ezra is so trusting of Mara to save his shebs even now as they're being herded into the back of a transport—of course, he has good reason! [face_love]

    Can't wait to see what will happen next, now that "we're all friends"! :D
     
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  12. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Now, would it be appropriate to say that the gamblers' spirit lives on in Mara and that there's no way her entire family can live with the Aces (pun, pun, purun-pun-puuuun) up their sleeves, gambits and the like. Card game-based tricks are their own deus ex machina. After all, Raissa - who totally saves the day here - learned the basics of the Force through cards. Who is to say that the Jedi have to be super-conventional and that the entire life is not gamble, from a certain point of view?

    And that slimeball Donal finding MARZRA in the Titanic-esque pose...the whole scene is priceless. He thinks he pwned them, but he absolutely and totally didn't. [hl=black]My guess is that he will have his revenge at some point, given everything that Mara shares in her second entry in Teenage Rebellion, though. Some sort of a revenge.[/hl]

    One thing that I wonder is if Ezra's ability to resist Raissa's powers would make her approach the whole crew of Ghost differently. After all, there are two, possibly three Force users and they can teach the Blaynes some, and Blaynes can show them some of their tricks.

    Last, but not the least...the best moment of the story so far! :D

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. LOL.
     
  13. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Don't you hate it when working on the sequels distracts you from the main story? :p

    Catching up.....

    Thank you all ! I had to do this, because it was the absolute worst possible way for Raissa to be introduced to her daughter's new flame. What better way to not impress Mom than to have him (and Mara, as a result of being with him ) brought in binders. And then the absolute worst way for Ezra to find out that, hey the Imperial officer staring you down is really your new girlfriend's mom...and she's a Jedi too! Surprise!

    I also couldn't resist the Disappointed Mom comparison, exactly because of that description of Kanan and Hera, who will get to meet the Mistress of Staves and Mr. Mistress of Staves :)laugh: at that, though Doran would take exception. He's Master of Flasks, thank you very much!) No doubt when they do get together, they can discussion their mutual disappointment in their respective younglings...though Doran being Doran, he may actually be proud of his little girl, out there kicking some shebs.

    Oh yes, Raissa's got her daughter's number and she's not very happy about it. :D (And yes, channeling a bit of my own Displeased Mom-ness into this scene, even though the Youngling has never done anything remotely this big:p) She and Ezra surprise each other with their use of the Force...it reminds me of one of the Youngling's favorite books when she was small, Another Monster at the End of This Book when Grover and Elmo sneak in from opposite sides of the book to see the "monster" and simultaneously freak each other out. AAAAH!

    Donal is a sleazebag, has always been a sleazebag and will always be a sleazebag. He's been sleazy since "Doran's Place" and has not improved (nor has he gotten a promotion) since then. Raissa would love to get rid of him, but can't because, as Mara implies, he's in Verraro the Hutt's pocket…if Hutts had pockets :p The mustachioed captain, on the other hand is One of the Good Ones. He's a character who's due to make an appearance in the next Raissa & Doran story (to be started once I finish some things [face_laugh]), although he is briefly mentioned in "Not Your Mother's Life Day," if you have sharp eyes.


    No one could ever accuse Doran of being risk-averse, and Mara takes after him in that regard. Life is a gamble--love is a gamble--and some risks are worth taking. And when the Force is on your side, everything will turn up Aces (pun pun pun ;))

    Donal isn't smart enough to enact a well thought out revenge, but he's willing and able to carry out a thousand petty little vengeances, like what you mention, and [hl="black"]the greatly exaggerated rumors about what Mara and Ezra were up to in that alley, and the rumor that she's being shipped off to the Imperial Academy because of it. [/hl]

    It should at least reassure her that Mara didn't pick up just any street-rat for her new boyfriend;) An exchange of ideas and stories would no doubt be beneficial to both sides, also the knowledge that they're not alone out there in their struggles. And the idea of a Jedi family might be of interest to some members of the Ghost's crew ;)
     
  14. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    " Don't you hate it when working on the sequels distracts you from the main story? :p"

    I HATE IT AND LOVE IT.

    Sent from my SM-T310 using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Part 8

    “Friends” was probably going a bit too far. Even after finding out they were all on the same side, Prefect Blayne continued to regard Ezra as with the same enthusiasm she might have shown a week-dead scurrier. But though she didn’t immediately release him, she proved more reasonable than any Imperial officer he’d encountered, actually listening to his account of events before making any decisions.

    Ezra owed his new status as a murder suspect to the bounty hunters he and Mara had left cuffed together behind the Oasis Inn. The Imperial officers investigating Blye’s death had found them there, still unconscious. They’d passed themselves off as innocent spacers who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. In their version, they’d run into Ezra fleeing the scene with a bloody vibroshiv and he’d stunned them to make his escape.

    “Actually, I’m the one that stunned them,” Mara said. The Prefect sucked in a deep breath, her eyebrows pinching together, and she rubbed her temples as if she were getting a headache. “What?” Mara protested, to her mother’s further dismay. “They were going to kill Ezra. They’d admitted they already killed once today. What did you want me to do? Isn’t this kind of thing that I’ve been training for?”

    Prefect Blayne sighed for the thirty-seventh time since they’d come into her office but declined to offer an opinion. “I don’t see any reason to hold you further,” she told Ezra at last. “Your whereabouts at the time of the murder can be corroborated by half a dozen people...besides my daughter.” She cocked an eyebrow at Mara, leveling another wry glance at her. “I’m going to have a few word with Lieutenant Donal for not investigating these bounty hunters’ stories more carefully. The odds they had a bounty on Mistress Blye are so low a Corellian wouldn’t bet on them. That kind of thing may play in the Core, but not on my watch.” Her vehemence surprised Ezra and he could sense a passion for justice burning just below the cool, businesslike surface. In that moment it was easy to see the Jedi behind the Imperial façade, and suddenly things on this placid little backrocket world--tidy marketplace, contented citizens, even polite officers--made a little more sense. Their eyes met for a second, and she almost smiled. “Come with me,” Prefect Blayne said, rising.

    She led him out to the common office to where the mustachioed captain sat in a cubicle, Ezra’s blaster on the desk in front of him, logging information on a datapad.

    “Yvon, please return this young man’s weapon. After further review, there’s insufficient evidence to hold him for Mistress Blye’s murder. He’s to be released, with the Merkesh Garrison’s sincere apologies.” Prefect Blayne looked out across the office and skewered the the greasy lieutenant with a look as piercing as a lightsaber. “Donal--my office. Now. And you, young lady,” she told Mara, who was hovering behind her, “are not going anywhere until your father can retrieve you, so don’t even think about it.”

    “Mom…”

    “Five minutes to say good-bye.” She turned to the captain as she marched off. “If she tries to leave, stun her.” Yvon chuckled until he realized that the prefect was not quite kidding, and his laugh trailed off uneasily.

    “Ahem...yes, well...your blaster.” He pulled the identification tag off of it, pushed it across his desk towards Ezra and stood. “And now, I find myself in dire need of a cup of caf. I’ll be back in, oh, five minutes.” He patted Mara on the shoulder and winked at her as he headed off.

    Ezra met Mara’s eyes with an awkward glance. The captain might have been considerate enough to leave, but around the office, the other Imps were busy pretending they weren’t paying any attention to the prefect’s daughter and the guy who’d been brought in in binders with her. There was so much he wanted to say to her, and so many prying ears. “You’ve…got an interesting family,” he finally managed, as he holstered his DL-44.

    Mara laughed. “Just wait ’til you meet the rest of them.” Her smile faded out as quickly as it had blossomed..“If you still want to come, that is. I…I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Mom sooner, but…”

    “You were afraid I’d freak out,” Ezra said. “Which I kind of did.”

    “Yeah.” She looked away, and Ezra felt her pull her shields a little tighter, but a tiny spark of hope glimmered behind them. “So, tonight?”

    He didn’t even have to consider it. After all they’d been through today, how could he pass up the chance to see her again? “Wouldn’t miss it, Ace.”

    From the corner of his Ezra caught sight of the captain loitering at the next desk, flimsi cup of caf in hand. “I guess I’d better get back to the Ghost before my crew decides to come spring me,” he sighed, only half-kidding. Blowing up her garrison was unlikely to raise the prefect’s already low opinion of him. Partly to give all the busybody Imps something to talk about, and partly because...well, because…Ezra leaned over and kissed Mara on the cheek. “Until tonight.”

    The spark of hope in her Force-presence caught fire and flared into another breathtaking smile. “Tonight.”

    -----------------------------------------

    Leaving an Imperial detention center through the front door--without explosions or blaster fire--was a new experience for Ezra. He walked out with a spring in his step as if gravity were lighter. Sabine was across the street, apparently loitering by a second-hand droid parts stand. Her helmet was off, which was a good sign that no explosions were imminent. She did a double-take when she spotted him. Her eyes narrowed and she murmured something into her comlink.

    “So nice of you to join us,” she commented tartly as Ezra approached.

    Zeb appeared from around the corner, stuffing something back into his belt satchel. “I guess we don’t get to blow the place after all,” he grunted giving Ezra a sour look. “Looks like you’re the only one who got to have any fun today.”

    “Fun? I almost got killed….”

    “You might want to save your stories for Hera and Kanan,” Sabine cut in. “Because you’re definitely not going to be having any fun once they get done with you.”

    True to her prediction, Kanan and Hera were waiting for him in the Ghost’s common area, sitting at the dejarik table and wearing the Very Disappointed looks Ezra had come to know a little too well over the years. He wasn’t sure if they were acting as Very Disappointed Surrogate Parents or Very Disappointed Jedi Master and Rebel General this time. He suspected it was a little bit of both today. Zeb punched him on the shoulder before he and Sabine left Ezra to his fate. “ ’Luck.”

    “What part of ‘get back to the ship as soon as possible’ did you not understand?” Kanan began as soon as the door slid shut behind Zeb.

    “I came back as soon as I could,” Ezra protested. “Things got...complicated.”

    “So we heard,” Hera said coolly. “We’ve been following your exploits over the Imperial scanner frequencies. You racked quite an impressive set of accomplishments today.” She leaned forward across the table, and arched one eyebrow at him. “Tell me, did these complications have anything to with the girl they caught you with?”

    “Um…”

    Her lips pressed into a flat line and her lekku twitched. “And who exactly was she?”

    “She’s...uh, she’s the Ace of Sabers,” Ezra said. He doubted that this information was going to help his case much.

    That prediction turned out to be correct. “Our contact with the Idiot’s Array? Oh, Ezra…” Hera closed her eyes and shook her head, he expression nearly identical to the prefect’s when Mara had confessed to stunning the bounty hunters.

    “The one who’s ‘pretty handy with a blaster’? Now I see why you were so insistent you could handle things by yourself,” Kanan’s frown deepened into a scowl. He rose and started pacing, the better to get a full lecture going. “You were being pursued by bounty hunters and all you could think about was making time with a pretty girl? Please, tell me you two weren’t…”

    “No! Aw, Force, no…” He could tell where this was headed and it was not a conversation he wanted to have, especially not since Zeb and Sabine were probably eavesdropping in the hall. “It wasn’t like that!”

    “Ezra, you know better than this. Jedi can’t get emotionally involved. You can’t just…”

    “Oh, you’re gonna lecture me on attachments? Really?” That was priceless. How long had he and Hera been together now? At least five years now, ever since he’d known them, and probably before that.

    Hera pursed her lips, but there was a glint in her eyes that suggested she, too, couldn’t wait to hear how Kanan explained this one. The Jedi sighed in frustration. “This isn't an attachment. It’s an infatuation. What do you even know about this girl?”

    “For starters, her name is Mara, not this girl,” Ezra answered. He should have known Kanan would react be this way. So much for convincing him that that she was special, that she could be part of their team. “I know more about her than you think; the rest I can find out tonight when I go back to the Café. She invited me to meet the rest of her team, and I’m going.”

    “What? Oh, no!” Kanan crossed his arms over his chest with the Jedi-Master-putting-his-foot-down expression. “You’re not going anywhere.”

    “I wasn’t asking your permission.” Ezra shot back. “I’m…”

    “Kanan’s right,” Hera cut in, her voice softer than Kanan’s but just as firm. She never had to stomp when she put her foot down. “There were at least two teams of bounty hunters after Meryan. There may be more. No one’s leaving the Ghost tonight.” The flat line of her mouth softened into sympathy. “I’m sorry, Ezra. I understand how you must feel but…”

    “No. No, actually, you don’t understand how I feel.” Ezra's hands balled into helpless fists. How could he make her understand this wasn’t just some adolescent crush? Sure, Mara was beautiful and smart and totally kick-shebs, but more than that, he’d never connected with anyone the way he had with her. He’d never met anyone like her, and the odds were he never would again. “Mara…. she’s Force-sensitive, really strong in the Force, not just some amateur. She been training her whole life; she says her dad’s a Jedi, and I know her mom is, too…’

    Hera held up a hand, shaking her head.. “Wait, slow down. How do you know all this?”

    “Because I sensed her using the Force. I saw her using it. She moved objects, did mind tricks.” It had all been so easy for her, too; Ezra remembered how Mara had handled herself during their flight from the Azure Kroyie with a smile of admiration. He could still picture her dashing across the rooftops, feel the exhilaration of running with her...and…. Anyway…“Her mom, well, her mom is the Imperial Prefect at the garrison…she’s also the Mistress of Flasks in the Idiot’s Array,” Ezra hastened to add before their looks of shock and dismay could be translated into exclamations and from there into more lecturing on the mess he’d gotten himself into. “She, uh, tried to use Jedi mind tricks on me to make me be quiet.”

    “I can understand the temptation,” Kanan muttered. “But a Jedi as an Imperial officer? That’s…”

    “Look, I know what you're going to say, but they’re not Dark Siders.” Ezra headed off the argument he knew had to be coming. “Mara saved my life twice; her mom let me go. If they wanted to kill me they had plenty of chances. I didn’t sense any darkness in either of them when they used the Force.” Not a hint. Not a shadow. “I would have known,” he insisted. There hadn’t been any sense of coldness or evil in either of their presences, not even when the prefect had been angry. There hadn’t even been any of Maul’s insincere flattery and manipulation. When Mara had asked him to trust her, she’d justified that trust. She hadn’t asked anything of him, except to come back to the Café, and he trusted her now, that the meeting was just that--a meeting and not a trap.

    Hera’s lekku twitched pensively. “Is it possible that this…that Mara’s parents are Jedi?” she asked Kanan.

    “I suppose.” His expression was skeptical as he turned to Ezra...amazing how, despite being blind and wearing a mask, Kanan could still give him such a look, but all things were possible in the Force. “Unlikely and highly coincidental, but possible.”

    “And you don’t think it’s worth investigating?” Hera pressed. “If they really are Jedi, or even just Force-sensitive, wouldn’t that be good to know? It’s not like there are so many of you that we can afford to ignore this. They might have valuable knowledge.”

    “You’re not really suggesting we let him go back to see the girl?”

    Ezra hardly dared to hope, hardly dared to breathe, as he waited for Hera's response. He was going to the café one way or another, but life would be a lot more pleasant if he didn’t have to go against orders and get another epic lecture. If this one was anything to go by, the next one would probably blister the paint off the Ghost’s hull from the inside out.

    “No,” she said. “I’m suggesting we go meet with the Idiot’s Array, as one cell to another, on behalf of the Alliance.”

    “You’re not going without me,” Ezra informed her. Not a chance. “You know if you leave me here…”

    “Of course not. You’re our contact with the Array, after all.” She leaned across the dejarik table, and her voice sharpened from level, reasonable Hera into General Syndulla. “However, I expect you to act as a responsible member of this crew and not some lovesick teenager. And before you go anywhere, I expect you to clean the galley and the cargo hold and the ’fresher. Your young charges made quite a mess of things today since they didn’t have ‘Ezwa’ here to entertain them.”

    “Yes ma’am.” Ezra hid his grin as he tossed her a salute and dashed out of the common room before she could change her mind or Kanan could protest. The extra chores were nothing; for the chance to see Mara again, he’d clean the entire ship from top to bottom.

    The door slid open behind him, and Hera stepped into the hall. She laid a hand on his shoulder. “Ezra, whatever happens tonight, we’re leaving Merkesh tomorrow.” She shook her head as if she knew what he was thinking before he could suggest that one more day couldn’t hurt, could it? “We have a duty to the Alliance--you have a duty to the Alliance. And Mara has a family here.”

    Ezra stiffened, ready to shake off her hand. So now I have to stay unattached for the Rebellion, too? he wanted to snap. Well, thanks a lot, General. But when she caught his eye, there was only compassion there. She wasn’t wasn’t speaking as General or Captain, just Hera…because she cared, because they were family. He ducked his head, feeling a little stupid for getting so defensive. “I understand,” he said, his voice catching. He did understand...not that it made things any easier, but he did understand.

    She smiled a little sadly and squeezed his shoulder. “Go get to work. You've got a lot to do before we go.”
     
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  16. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    HA! I love Raissa. She is so Mara’s mother.

    Oh man! I’m surprised Ezra didn’t get smacked for this.

    Great update. I’m interested to see how this leads into the Ezra/Mara relationship we see in your diary.
     
  17. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I agree that this would be a, well, interesting interpretation of the word "friend". Raissa is not the one who would quickly let ANYBODY in her life, and while it's understandable given her position as the double agent, in this case, it gets very, very personal because IT'S HER LITTLE GIRL WE'RE TALKING ABOUT. And from the situation in Not Your Mother's Life Day, we can see that she can't quite get over it and that it will take a lot of persuasion and even more actual acts of kindness for her to warm up to the Lothal street rat. [face_dunno] And, as Briannakin says - she is so Mara's mother. A brilliant, brilliant character overall, but you know all this, right?

    Love the appearance of the number thirty-seven. Not sure if intentional or not, but I loved it.

    I wouldn't want to be Donal now. Then again, why would anybody want to be him, at any given point in time? :p

    Do be quiet, we awe hawing a mewty-mewt hewe! [face_love]

    And whoa, Ezra! I changed my mind. I did not want to be Dolan, but Ezra is the one who will get lectured TWICE, so it's kind of worse to be him. Hmmm... at the same time, he will learn something new from it, while Donal will return to being his old, slimeball self. Perhaps one can't be Better Than Ezra.

    The conversation with Kanan and Hera is great. One can see that not even the Great Jedi was prepared for this and that they had to go by their dominant thought processes - feelings. Hera trying to play hard and then going all Fairy Godmother was such a darling sight. And we know about HER, so...she's been discovered, mmmkay?

    Enjoyed this so much!
     
  18. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Wow! First of all I want to say thank you! I'm really humbled that this wild hare/plot bunny has been nominated for three Fan Fic awards:
    -Best Legends/New Canon Mash-up
    -Best Story in OT
    -Best Original Relationship for Mara and Ezra


    I really can't believe that something that started as an offhand comment has come this far! Thank you to all of you, especially Ewok Poet and Findswoman for their support and encouragement@};- MARZRA FOREVAH! ;) [face_love]


    Thank you! It makes my day to hear you say that, since Raissa was created with that in mind a good 15 years ago!
    He does have a point, though! According to the Rebels Visual Guide, Kanan and Hera were together for six years before Ezra met them on Lothal. So that whole non-attachment doctrine seems like more of a suggestion than an actual rule to Kanan. ;)
    Thanks again. :) The diary has kept me busy--I'm no good at keeping my OTP's lives in chronological order. Just ask Raissa and Doran, who jumped from being just friends in "In the Cards" to being married with kids here. [face_laugh]

    [face_blush] Thank you very much [face_blush] Raissa...what can I say about her? She is very reserved and protective of her family, partly because of their double lives, but partly that's just her nature. Where it comes to her little girl (cue Mara dying of mortification at this), she can't be too careful. Even if Ezra is a Rebel and a Jedi, he's just been brought in in binders...and worse, he's been smooching her daughter in alleyways! (And at this point Raissa's only heard Donal's account of things, which is not flattering to Mara and Ezra). And whatever else Raissa may be, she's still MOM, and would no doubt prefer Mara be involved with someone who doesn't have a lengthy rap sheet in the Imperial database (even 8if it's for his activities in the Rebellion).

    It was unintentional. (What's the significance of 37?)

    So true. Donal is Merkesh City's leading sleazebag. Verraro the Hutt may be the only being who likes him, if indeed the Hutt likes anyone.

    Mara seems to think not. ;) Ezra may get a double helping of Disappointed Space!Parents but nothing he does will ever be on the level of Donal.

    Kanan is pretty emotionally clueless sometimes; well, who wouldn't be, being raised in an environment like the Jedi Temple, never really learning to deal with all those pesky relationships mere mortals have to deal with. Hera might be disappointed mom, but a lot of that is because she does care so much. Like any mom, she's not going to let Ezra off the hook completely (no getting out of those chores, young man!) but she's got a lot of sympathy, too.
     
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  19. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Briannakin

    Part 9

    “Ezra! Some of us need to use the ‘fresher in this century!” Sabine banged on the door insistently to underscore her protest.

    “In a minute!” he yelled back, frowning at himself in the mirror above the sink. There was a shock of hair above his right eye that refused to stay in place no matter how many times he slicked it back. He wet it down and pushed it back for the hundredth time, only to have it stubbornly fall back in his face. Ezra blew out a disgusted sigh. If he’d known he was going to meet someone...and have to meet her parents!...he would have gotten his hair cut before leaving base.

    “We’re leaving.” Kanan informed him from the hallway. “You look fine.”

    Ezra gave up on the recalcitrant hair and toggled the door open. “Finally!” Sabine exclaimed, pushing him out into the hallway.

    “So, the Force lets you see through walls now?” Ezra asked Kanan as the door whisked shut behind him.

    “No, but you've been in there long enough that you ought to look fine. And,” he said, ushering Ezra down the hall, “you smell like hair gel and BarbaShave. Putting on a little extra polish for this meeting, are we?”

    He pushed the rogue hair back in place and shrugged off his Master’s arch tone. “Well, Hera said she wanted me to be a respectable member of the team.”

    “Right.”

    Hera was waiting for them in the gangway with Zeb and Chopper. “I want all the external sensors on and monitored at all times,” she instructed the droid. “No one gets within three meters of the Ghost unchallenged.” Chopper groaned and threw his graspers in the air, protesting what a tedious and demeaning chore he felt this was. “Being boarded by bounty hunters would be exciting, would you rather have that?” He muttered a sullen negative and Hera continued. “Zeb, keep your comlink on at all times and check in every hour.”

    “And if you miss check in?” Zeb raised an eyebrow at her and crossed his arms over his chest.

    “Then you lock down the Ghost and stay put. I’m serious Zeb,” Hera replied at his scowl. “Your job is to protect the Rangas. We can take care of ourselves. Got it?”

    “Yes ma’am,” he grumbled back.

    “Good.” She flipped the switch to the main access ramp; it lowered with a slow whir. “Any questions?”

    “Just one...when do the ankle-biters go to bed?”

    “Not for another three hours,” Ezra replied, following Hera and Kanan down the gangway. “If you're lucky.”

    “Aw, karabast!” Zeb muttered. “What am I supposed to do with ’em til then?”

    Ezra smirked. He didn’t know who he felt sorrier for, Zeb or the kids. He had a feeling they were all in for a long night, and he just hoped Zeb wouldn’t make good on his threat to lock them in the cargo hold--especially since he already spent more than an hour scrubbing their artwork off the walls in there. “There’s a deck of sabacc cards under the acceleration couch; they like card tricks.”

    “I don’t know any tricks!”

    “Ezra does them,” Kanan called back over his shoulder. “How hard can they be?”

    “Thanks a lot,” Ezra retorted at the same time as his cabin mate. Always nice to know he was appreciated.

    ------------------

    “This is not what I expected,” Hera remarked, as the brass-bound doors to the Café Alderaan swung open.

    It wasn’t exactly what Ezra was expecting, either. The lush greenery and ornate tile work still gave the café an exotic appearance, but the laid-back atmosphere from that morning was gone, the relaxed caf bar transformed into a busy, noisy club. A small bandstand had been set up in one corner, and the chubby Ortolan was pounding away at the keys of his organ with the same enthusiasm with which he’d attacked his pastries that morning. Behind him, a pair of Bith were swinging on their kloo-horns and a Theelin strummed her quetarra while a Chadra-fan kept time on drum set bigger than him.

    The music, which reminded Ezra of the quenk jazz that Sabine blared during her target practice, swirled and bounced its way through the crowded café. The tables were full of patrons of every species and walk of life. A pair of Wookiees drinking flame-outs sat next to a table of Imperials laughing over their lomin ale, but neither group was paying the slightest attention to the other. At the bar, a scruffy-looking spacer was trying to chat up a bored Twi’lek next to a Falleen in vine-silk robes and a Mrlssi with a gaudily jeweled topknot. The wait-staff, in their spotless white aprons, darted in and out among the tables like convoree, always in motion. Ezra searched for Mara among them, but didn’t see her. He did, however, spot the belligerent Toydarian maitrê’d, and, worse, the Toydarian spotted him.

    “You again?” he demanded, buzzing up like a bloated hummer. “What, you didn’t get enough of an eyeful of the waitresses this morning?”

    “Heh.” Ezra gave an awkward laugh. He didn’t have to look at Hera to know that she’d raised an eyebrow at him.

    The Toydarian noticed her then. His buzzing wings faltered, and he rocked back, paddling his webbed feet to right himself. “Well, hello there!” His eyebrows wriggled like a pair of dancing caterpillars. Apparently, his prohibition against ogling only applied to the customers. “I didn’t realize this fine youngling was with you, Mistress! I can clear a table by the bandstand for you, give me just a minute to get rid some of these losers...I mean clean it up!” He fluttered closer to Hera, giving her snaggle-toothed grin and ignoring the way she leaned away, her lips curling in distaste. “And if you wanna ditch these two, there’s a bottle of House Organa ‘65 with our names on it!”

    “Blind, not deaf,” Kanan informed the Toydarian, taking a step closer to Hera.

    “Haaz.” A new voice cut in. A man dressed in a grayish-brown tunic and brownish gray pants stepped out from behind a nearby screen of ch’hala trees. He was middle aged--somewhat older than Kanan, Ezra judged--his non-descript brown hair sprinkled with gray. The crinkling lines around his hazel eyes suggested he didn’t take much in the Galaxy seriously, but his voice was authoritative enough to make the Toydarian stop leering at Hera and come to attention. “I’ll take care of this. You...go check on something. Anything. Now.”

    “Yes, Boss,” Haaz muttered sullenly, glaring at Ezra as if this was somehow his fault.

    The man shook his head and sighed as the Toydarian buzzed off toward the bar. “Sorry about that. Haaz is...well, Haaz. And you must be Ezra.” He extended a hand and a smile. “My daughter told me about you.”

    This was Mara’s dad? Ezra straightened, pushing the hair out of his eyes…again. “Yeah, um, I mean, yes. I’m Ezra. Ezra Bridger. Sir.” He shook the man’s hand firmly--but not too firmly--hoping that his palms weren’t sweating. Now that he looked closer, there was definitely something of Mara in the man’s eyes and in his smile…or rather, he supposed, something of him in her smile...aaand he was still shaking hands. He let go. “And...uh, this is Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus. My, um, teammates. Team leaders.”

    The man’s smile quirked up on the edges. “Nice to meet you. I’m Doran Blayne; my card.” He held out a small rectangle of flimsi-plast to Hera, not a business card, a sabacc card--the Master of Flasks.

    “Pleased to meet you, too, Master Blayne,” she answered, handing the card back.

    “Doran, please.” He waved the formality away. “No one calls me Master Blayne unless they’re trying to sell me something. My wife suggested that, given what we have to discuss, we might want to go someplace more private. We live next door, and we’d be honored if you’d join us there.”

    Ezra sensed Kanan and Hera’s hesitation and their wariness. Getting them away from the crowded café--and all the potential witnesses--would be the perfect way to spring an ambush on them. He knew what their answer was going to be, so he answered for them. “Sure; we’d love to come, Master...Doran. Thanks.”

    *What are you doing?* Kanan’s rebuke came right on cue. *We don’t know anything about this man. You’re taking an awfully big risk…*

    *And he doesn’t know anything about us, but he’s willing to invite us to his home,* Ezra pointed out. *Come on, Kanan. Some risks are worth taking. Please?*

    Hera and Doran were both watching them, seeming to realize that, as Mara had put it, the comlinks in their minds had gone off. Kanan sighed another I’m-going-to-regret-this sigh--did he practice those in his spare time?--but rearranged his frown into an almost smile. “Of course we’d be honored. Please, lead the way.”

    ------------------------------
    Note: BarbaShave was created by Findswoman for her story The Prodigal Knight and the Tragic Cupcake "
     
  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, oh, catch-up time for Finds! I'm really sorry to fall so behind on this, especially given that your chapter 8 is one that I had really been looking forward to ever since you first told me your plans for it. So, then, here goes:

    8: I knew this was going to be THE "Disappointed Space!Parents" chapter (see this Pinterest post for how this whole joke started :p ), but what I wasn't expecting was that we would get such a wonderful double (or, well, one-and-a-half-times) dose of disappointed parenthood! Which is exactly what you did by making this dovetail with the meeting with the Disappointed Imperial!Prefect!Parent. I don't envy the "you're not going anywhere, young lady" position that she's put Mara in right now (though something tells me that Doran, once he shows up, will see where his daughter's coming from on this), but it's immensely reassuring that Raissa sees it's only fair to let Ezra go—as well as a testimony to the fact that she's ultimately reasonable and fair, even when she's stern (perhaps a sort of Space!MacGonagall). By the same token, Donal will undoubtedly get what's coming to him, eftsoons and right speedily. And how sweet of that other officer to decide to go off and get his cup of caf at that moment, giving our two lovebirds a moment to engage in a fond farewell. [face_love]

    And this was just one of many moments I loved:

    Being honest with the one you love is a good and important thing! :D Yet another sign that these two are off to a good start. <3

    But that's not the end... and awwwwww, this Disappointed!Space!Parents scene did not disappoint in the least. It's absolutely, positively spot on for the characters and situation (and hey they're even sitting at the dejarik table, just like in one of the photos in the Pinterest link above! :D ). Being away from the ship too long, being caught with "this girl," and especially being caught with "this girl" who also happens to be the Ace of Sabers... yep, Ezra's in The Doghouse now for sure. But you really have to admire the way the li'l fellow stands his ground, though, especially once Kanan starts in with the emotional attachments business:

    It takes no small quantity of gumption to say something like that to your Jedi Master! :eek: :p But Ezra can precisely because Kanan is also his surrogate Space!Dad. And this bit was just perfect:

    [face_laugh]

    And this bit was a heartwrencher:
    That's rough, to be getting that message not only from the Jedi side, where it is expected, but also from the Rebellion side, where it wasn't necessarily. :(

    But in the end these Space!Parents, too, show their more reasonable side, because after all they do come to realize that this Ace isn't just any common card—she's got Jedi skills and connections, and thus is someone they'd do well to get to know as a Rebellion contact. So Ezra will get to go after all—but not without his whole big crazy Space!Family along with him, and not till he finishes his chores! :p Can't wait for the two families (one in scare quotes, one not) to meet. :D

    9: Aww, Ezra's so cute, primping for his Evening-Meeting-that-will-really-be-a-Meet-The-Fam! :D And ohmigosh—BarbaShave and hair gel—he is using the exact same combination attributed elsewhere to a Certain Sad-Eyed Republic Soldier! And ohmigosh—he has the exact same issue with locks of hair that won't stay put even when gelled—absolute squeeage there. [face_love] Poor Zeb and Chopper, having to stay behind and babysit those ankle-biting Ranga kiddies with nothing but a sabacc deck to keep them occupied... the mental image is a plot wild hare (wonderful image) in and of itself. [face_laugh]

    Of course, every family has its bit of baggage, and so naturally the first person the Spectres meet at the Café Alderaan is Haaz, who of course who of course is spouting off in typical Haaz fashion. :p Good thing Doran steps in when he does, and I love that he addresses Ezra first rather than the two more "adult" members of the group. Though, as Hera notes in the previous chapter, he is after all the contact with that particular cell—and yes, that's precisely why you should trust him about going off to the Blaynes' house, Kanan! :p

    Can't wait to see how the rest of this "meet the parents" will go—I am guessing Raissa will be there too, and possibly Mara's younger brother and sister, and it will be so much fun to see how they all get on with the Spectres on this first meeting! :D
     
  21. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    HA! Have you been in my mother's house before one of my brothers has a date? Because this is pretty much the exact scene!

    Great update. I loved how Doran introduced his code name. Very creative.
     
  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    LOL, love Ezra's grooming here. He's like a crazy horny male bird, except that he's not old enough to be quite horny just yet. :) And it seems like he's been in that 'fresher since the Revan era or something! *snort* Sabine is wrong when she's referring to centuries only. But it's a cool kind of a meta joke, since a new century will start soon, unexpectedly. :D

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. A blind man seeing, like this. Kanan, stop messing with Ezra's lovey dovey mind...

    ...because he will find a way to get out of it, despite how lovey dovey he may be. :D

    Leaving Zeb and Chopper with the kids is a bit cruel, especially knowing that Zebspresso does not have the ability to perform those card tricks that Ezra does. Like, LOL, one needs the Force for that. :p

    TYPICAL Ezra and Zeb. Loving it!

    ...

    The description of what the cafe is like at night somehow fits those who run it - they have split personalities as well: honourable Imperials and a family of Jedi. I see what you did there. I totally do.

    Loving the fact that both the bored Twi'lek and Hera get unwanted attention. And Haaz, seriously, what the kriff? Loved how Doran handled this.
     
  23. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Okay. I am finally all caught up. This is great. This is brilliant. This is awesome, I'm officially addicted (you cannot imagine how many times I squeed out loud!) and I'll be here waiting for more =D=
     
  24. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Doran being the more impulsive and emotionally driven of Mara's parents, he's almost certain to sympathize with her more than Raissa. Raissa, is however, all about justice and fairness; even if she's annoyed with Ezra for leading her daughter into bar brawls and consorting in alleys, would never jail someone without just cause. Donal, however, richly deserves whatever she'll dish out to him. The mustachioed officer is [hl="black"]a family friend; Yvon, who is mentioned in "Not Your Mother's Life Day"[/hl]

    Ezra get his version of the List of Things Done Wrong (at least no Full Name O'Doom or "young man" for him :p), with the added fun of "how could you jeopardize our contact" and Jedi non-attachment doctrine. Kanan could be saying "do as I say and not as I do" but he could equally well be trying to keep Ezra from getting hurt...he is after all, Space!Dad.

    Kanan's said words to that effect several times on Rebels. I'm sure Raissa has probably had similar thoughts about her daughter, too. (I know I've wished I could use mind-tricks on the Youngling at times…)

    Hera doesn't mean it harshly--that Ezra must stay "unattached"--but she's thinking more clearly than he is. They can't just stay on Merkesh on a whim, their duty to the Rebellion comes before considerations of the heart. And Mara, at age 17, certainly can't pack up and go with them, Ezra's idle speculations of her bunking with Sabine notwithstanding.

    And once again Hera is seeing more clearly than the men-folk--seeing the big picture both for the Rebellion and her Space!Family. The Blaynes' knowledge and experience make them too valuable to both to simply walk away.

    Ezra's preening was certainly inspired by said Cupcake (and the fact that he apparently discovered hair product sometime between Season Two and Three :p) Zeb and Chopper (and Sabine, once she gets out of the 'fresher) are in for a fun evening (bunny alert!) Let's hope Ezra doesn't have to spend too long cleaning up after them this time!

    Good old Haaz has not improved a bit over the years, still has his mind in the gutter. Doran is quite interested to meet the young man his daughter's described to him. And yes, the whole family will be present, since even the younger siblings are considered "part of the team".
    [face_laugh] I'm glad it rings true! It works with sisters, too, and I have no doubt that at that moment a similar situation is playing out at the Blayne household as well!

    Well, he is nineteen here, so… Good thing I'm not writing that kind of story;)

    Blindness hasn't slowed Kanan down, and all things are possible with the Force, but in this case, he's just Space!Dad riding herd on a youngling...and Ezra knows it. ;)


    I imagine Ezra knows some mundane sleight of hand tricks as well. It seems like the kind of thing a street rat enterprising youngster might do to earn money (keep your eye on the Ace ;) ) However, Zeb probably about as likely to do those as he is the Force assisted kind. :D

    More than one side to the Café and to the Blaynes, but unfortunately only one side to Haaz :p Doran's been putting up with him for a long time.
    Thank you so much:) I am so glad you're enjoying it, and I should have more very soon.
     
  25. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to Ewok Poet and Findswoman, for suggestions, support and betas @};-

    Briannakin
    ---------------------

    The two-story house was the same impeccably white washed stucco as the Café; its smaller, but no less ornate, brass-bound door was flanked by a pair of flowering shrubs in painted urns. Inside, the floor tiles and the the dark woodwork were polished to a gloss, and it smelled enticingly of freshly brewed caf and just-baked cookies. If Master Blayne--Doran--was leading them into a trap, it was the coziest trap they’d ever been in.

    He ushered Ezra, Kanan and Hera into the conversation circle. Mara’s mother was already seated on the semi-circular leather couch. Even though she was wearing civilian clothes, fussing with a stack of mugs sitting on the caf table next to a gleaming silver caf pot, it was hard to think of her as Mistress Blayne and not Prefect.

    Sitting next to her were a little girl and a teenage boy, which momentarily surprised Ezra. Somehow, even when Mara mentioned meeting the rest of her family, he hadn’t expected there to be kids in the Array. And he definitely wouldn’t have expected one--Mara’s sister!--to be the kind of youngling who wore sparkly pink tunics. Were they both Force-sensitive, too? Did it run in families? Neither of his parents had been, as far as he knew, so maybe it was random?

    Before he had much time to ponder the questions, the door on the opposite side of the conversation circle slid open. A strange looking creature--it seemed to be half pig, half dog--trotted in in front of Mara, looking up hopefully at the platter she was holding. “Okay, the Wookiee cookies are ready, and no, Annina, you can not have any until….” Mara stopped short, her eyes locking onto Ezra’s, nearly tripped over the pig-dog, fumbled the plate but caught it before the cookies spilled. Her cheeks were pink as she set the plate on the caf table next to the mugs; she smoothed a nonexistent wrinkle out of her tunic as she straightened. “Ezra…hi.”

    “Hi, Ace…Mara.” Ezra’s heart thumped. He pushed the hair out of his eyes again, really glad now that he’d put the extra effort into his appearance. She looked beautiful. Even more beautiful. Mara had traded her simple blue-gray tunic from that morning for one that was soft and clingy, just the right shade of green to bring out her eyes. Her hair fell in loose waves around her shoulders, pulled back from her face with a silver clip. He wondered what it would be like to run his fingers through those silky curls, and felt his face start heating up. Everyone in the room was watching them.

    Doran’s mouth quirked into a half-smile. “Allow me to introduce my family,” he said. “My wife, Raissa, Mistress of Staves, and our children, Annina, the Star…” The girl giggled like a lizard monkey, her light brown ringlets bobbing around her face, and favored Ezra with an impish smile. “Domnic, Balance…” He was maybe fifteen, with rusty hair and the prefect’s serious features in male. “And of course, Mara, the Ace of Sabers.”

    Ezra sat down as the adults finished their introductions, handshakes, and “nice-to-meet-yous”. Unfortunately, he was sitting as far from Mara as possible--no way to accidentally touch her hand or bump shoulders with a million kilometers of family members stretching between them. But, at least being Jedi, they could still exchange a private word. *So, how much trouble did you get in?*

    *I’m grounded approximately forever.* Mara managed to roll her eyes without changing expression. *Mom just about hit the roof when she found out I invited you over tonight. Good thing Dad was able to talk her down. You?*

    Ezra shrugged. *I got the usual epic lecture.* He reached out in the Force, the way he wished he could reach out to her across the distance between them and brush her hand, her cheek. *But it was worth it.*

    *Definitely.* He felt the warmth of her smile all the way across the room.

    “Ezra?” Hera nudged him, bringing his attention back with a jolt.

    “Huh?” The prefect was standing in front of him, caf pot poised over a mug. Something about her carefully arranged smile suggested that she knew exactly where his thoughts had been, but there was no way she was going to be a less than perfect hostess. “Oh...um, yeah.. Thanks.” He accepted the cup and a plate of cookies from her with what he hoped was an appropriately innocent expression.

    “Whumff?” The pig-dog creature, which had been sitting at Mara’s feet, came over with a stiff-gaited walk and nudged Ezra’s leg inquisitively with its broad, jowly muzzle. *Share?* it suggested. Ezra nearly dropped his caf in his lap. He’d connected with a lot of different creatures in the Force--everything from Loth-cats to purrgils--but he’d never had one reach out to him first. *Share?* It nudged him again. Slowly, still not quite believing what he was hearing, Ezra broke his cookie in half and gave part of it to the pig-dog. The creature snapped it up, licking every last crumb off its jowls. It--no, he--sighed rapturously, and laid down, resting his muzzle across Ezra’s feet. He felt its satisfaction; he’d decided he liked Ezra, liked the way he…smelled? Thought? Felt? The concepts seemed to be mixed up in the creature’s thoughts.

    “I think Frugly likes you,” Mara commented, smirking. There was a triumphant gleam in her eyes and a corresponding annoyed expression in the prefect’s. *He’s Mom’s roba, but he’s more than a pet. They have kind of a Force-bond. I think she pays more attention to his opinion than she does mine.*

    Force-bonding with an animal? That was a possibility Kanan had never mentioned. Ezra had been able sense creatures’ emotions, communicate with them, even get them to do what he asked them to...but find one to bond with? It sounded intriguing, if a little strange. Another thing they could learn from the Blaynes, if only…

    “Would you like to see the rest of the house when you’re done, Ezra? Give the grown-ups a chance to talk.” Mara shot a glance at her mother. *About us. And give us a chance to talk, too.*

    Had he just imagined a slight pause before the word “talk”? Not that he didn’t want to talk to Mara, but he wouldn’t exactly object to picking up where they’d been before that slimeball Donal interrupted… Frugly whuffed in surprise as Ezra hastily stood up, dislodging the roba from his feet. “Um, sure. I mean, that’d be nice.” He set his cup and plate on the table with a clatter.

    All four parental figures turned to scrutinize them. Doran raised an eyebrow, looking vaguely amused. Kanan gave an exasperated shake of his head, Hera pursed her lips, and the prefect…smiled? “I think that’s an excellent idea. Annina, Nick, go with your sister.” She continued to smile sweetly at Mara’s furious glare. “You said you wanted to give the grown-ups a chance to talk.”
     
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