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Beyond - Legends Saga "The Look of Love", MMM Spoonfuls of Mush, Ensemble Cast

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mira_Jade , Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Title: "The Look of Love"
    Author: Mira_Jade

    Genre: Mush! (and everything else)
    Rating: PG
    Time Frame: Saga, Beyond - Legends (mostly)
    Characters: Ensemble Cast (check the index for individual entries)

    Summary: A collection of responses for the Monday Mush Mania: Spoonfuls of Mush drabble challenge.

    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words.

    she asked
    ‘you are in love
    what does love look like’
    to which i replied
    ‘like everything i’ve ever lost
    come back to me

    ~ Nayyirah Waheed​

    Index of Entries

    I. "A Definition of Self" | (Kanan/Hera | Zeb | Rex & Sabine)

    II. "Those Who Search Out Warmth" | (Anakin/Padmé | Ahsoka & Rex | Siri/Obi-Wan | Depa & Kanan | Bly/Aayla Secura)

    III. "Do Not Hesitate to Leap" | (Dewlanna & Han | Kam/Tionne | Luke/Mara | Shawnkyr & Jag | Leia & Jaina & Allana)

    IV. "Of the Blood" | (Breha & Padmé | Breha & Winter & Briant(OC) | Leia & Winter & Briant(OC) & Holdo | Winter & Briant(OC))

    V. "Under Our Vine and Fig Tree" | (Cut/Suu Lawquane & Shaeeah & Jak | Rex & Ahsoka)

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
    AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  2. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004

    I: "A Definition of Self"

    I. Surprise

    The feeling came upon him slowly, slipping past his defenses and laying siege to his heart before he even understood there was a battle to lose. Kanan only knew that one day, what was at first respect and affection and trust (and a sense of duty, of devotion, growing steady and strong) turned for something that was suddenly more – something that was warm and all-encompassing and dangerously essential to his being. He couldn’t explain the inception of his feelings any more than he consciously knew why his lungs drew in air or his eyes decided to blink; both simply were.

    II. Present

    One moment she was hunched over the controls of the Ghost, pushing a lek’ back over her shoulder with a shrug to plot their approach, and the next he was following the patterns of pale ocher against the sun-apple green of her skin. The whole of his life seemed to pool in the depth of her eyes when she flicked her gaze over to him.

    “Hey – the light’s on but no one’s home, love,” Hera teased. “If you don’t have an opinion about dinner, I’m going to choose Ithorian take-out again.”

    Oh, Kanan thought, struggling to find words . . .

    . . . oh no.

    III. Together

    In a way, he’d been blessed throughout his life. For years, Zeb was a son brother husband, and an Honor Guard above all. He knew himself through those roles. But later, after -

    . . . well, it was dangerous, allowing himself to sink into this tiny pack to find his place again. Dangerous, but nonetheless essential, he was beginning to see. Ignoring his reservations, he drew in the combined scents of his crew, taking comfort in the tangible proof that he wasn't alone - not anymore. They were all shards, broken and scattered, but together they could make a new whole, all their own.

    IV. Occasion

    The Mandalorian girl had a habit of staring, and it put Rex on edge. Both Satine’s ilk and the Death Watch were all too happy to exclude Jango Fett from their history, and they’d certainly never appreciated the few million men who used their language and carried their tenets at heart through the teachings of the last Mand’alor. Rex didn’t expect her to be any different.

    Until -

    “Su cuy’gar, ba’buir’verd,” Sabine’s expression was hesitant, but determined to greet him in the language of her birth. “I wanted to ask about your jaig eyes. They’re . . . they’re an honor awarded for bravery in battle.”

    V. Because

    “No one’s worn them since the Empire,” she rushed to continue, all at once. "No one's been worthy."

    “You're looking for war stories, verd’ika?” he didn't immediately understand.

    “Honor has long been missing from our stories,” Sabine admitted simply. “And we - I . . .” but she faltered, searching for words. Even so, Rex – nearly the last of his brothers and displaced from his own aliit, thought he could understand. This woman was very far from home, in more ways than one.

    So. “Back before General Skywalker – before I had my paint or even my name . . .”

    He shared his tale; avidly, Sabine listened.

    Su cuy’gar: Hello

    Ba’buir’verd: An honored term for an elder warrior - literally just me combining the words for 'grandpa' and 'soldier'

    Verd'ika: Little soldier

    Aliit: A broader term for family - both by blood and chosen

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    OH, OH, OH! The opening quote from Waheed :) [face_sigh] Beautiful poignancy with Zeb and connecting between Rex and Sabine :cool: But what took the prize was Hera/Kanan... SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
    I'm so chuffed to be reading these! =D= [face_dancing] [:D]
  4. teamhansolo

    teamhansolo Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 25, 2018
    Sabine speaking Mando'a with Rex!!!!
  5. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    Very nice set Mira. I think what I liked most about the Kanan Hera drabbles was the abstract nature of Love attraction loyalty dedication Etc.

    It was also quite a treat to see Zeb in a moment of sentimental reflection. And not sentimental in a negative sense; an emotional response to the new family he had formed in the wake of the one that he lost.

    Since I am not as familiar with the Rex Sabine dynamic it seemed that the connection was one long waited for, finally made.

    But what do I know? I know you are an excellent writer; one who is brilliant in her lyrical display of observations and perceptions.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh, so exciting to see you stepping up to these prompts! :D What a sweet set this is, exploring the burgeoning new connections among members of our favorite Rebel crew. Once again, you’ve got a real knack for encapsulating a character or relationship in drabble form, and we get all the sincerity and sweetness of Kanera in a few short sentences: a moment where Kanan realizes that his feelings for Hera really are a kind of “everything I’ve lost come back to me” (to quote your very cool epigraph uqote), and then one of those much-needed moments of alone time, unencumbered by any “kids,” even if it’s just spent eating Ithorian take-out! :D I absolutely adored Zeb’s reflections, of course—we don’t often get to see him in a reflective mood—and of course you can guess how I beamed at “son brother husband!” [face_love] And we get another one of your fantastic “likely-unlikely” meetings in the conversation between Rex and Sabine—a wonderful moment of connection between two different Mando (or quasi-Mando) warriors of two different generations, and true to Sabine’s artistic sensibilities it starts with her noticing his painted ornament of jaig eyes. Once again, you combine keen understanding of characters with a gorgeously lyrical writing style, bringing these “spoonfuls” off to a really sweet start—can’t wait to see more! @};-
  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    This story has such a positive vibe to it that Ny should consider to add it to the Star Peace index.

    And I like the endearing use of the Mandalorian language here. :D
  8. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Thank-you, everyone for the exceedingly kind words! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your replies. [face_love][:D]

    Ms. Waheed knows exactly how to put such large, wonderful emotions into a few succinct words. Of course I couldn't resist using her poem as inspiration here, and I had a feeling you'd enjoy it too. :D

    I am so glad you are enjoying these so far! It's a treat for me as a writer - I do enjoy my angst, but this is a much needed sunshine thread. I can't wait to see where the prompts lead me from here, and I'm happy to have you along for the ride, my friend, as always. [face_love] [:D]

    I WILL FOREVER BE SALTY THAT WE HAD NO SABINE AND REX INTERACTION IN REBELS. So, obviously, I had to fix that here. :p I'm glad that you enjoyed, and thank you so much for stopping in! :D

    It really is one of those complex feelings that are too big for words! But I loved trying to summarize it anyway, and I'm thrilled you enjoyed my result. [face_love]

    It's one of my favourite aspects of Zeb's character, honestly - he's this blunt and gruff character on the surface, but he defeinitely has some deep waters, and exploring that just brought me all sorts of joy as an author. [face_love]

    Honestly, there is no canon basis but for the fact that they were on the same team and have Mandalorian-ish roots, each in their own way. I wish that we could have seen them bonding over their shared culture! But, at the very least, I'd eat my own shoe if they didn't have a conversation about Rex's jaig eyes offscreen. It happened. So I had to show it, in part, here. :p

    Thanks for checking in, brodie! I am always so happy to read your thoughts. [:D]

    They are such wonderful prompts with so much potential! I am shocked that there are not a dozen threads answering them. (Speaking of, can we see your MMM spoonfuls thread going soon? I can think of a few characters I'd love to see featured. [face_batting] ;) [:D])

    Thank-you! Hera and Kanan really deserve all of these moments and more - especially since they didn't have enough time together in canon! And yes, the "everything I've lost come back to me" certainly fits them to a T. I couldn't resist sharing that absolutely beautiful little snippet. Ms. Waheed certainly has a way with words that I aspire to match! [face_love]

    That was, in every way, inspired by your and Raissa's series!! I can't see Zeb any other way now, your lore is officially the canon of my heart. (And, if the muse bites and I take more explicit inspiration than that vague reference I would actually love to borrow your characters, with your permission of course - but I would PM you guys about that for details and give credit where credit is due, if and when that happened. [face_love] So, heads up there. [face_mischief] [face_love][:D])

    Rex and Sabine!!! There was so much potential for a bond between them, but just not enough time or room in a show already featuring quite the extended ensemble. (And it doesn't matter that canon was determined to wipe away the Fett's Mandalorian roots, I will always and forever ignore that particular bit of bad writing. It was an awful move on Disney's part that I have decided to headcanon as Dutchess Satine and the Death Watch wanting a potential rival for their power out of the way - so of course they'd plug their ears and say Jango Fett wasn't one of them. :p) All that said, I just had to fill in and add what I am convinced happened between scenes. Obviously. There's too much of a connection to ignore otherwise! [face_love]

    And, once again, I have to thank you so much for your kind words! I always look forward to reading your thoughts, and you never disappoint. [face_love][:D]

    It really is refreshing to write a thread with 'mush' as a theme, isn't it? My UDC threads always had a nice dose of bitter to balance out the sweet, but here, happy feelings are a must! I am thrilled that you are enjoying them so far. :D

    Thank-you, everyone who left your thoughts! I'll have more to share with you in just a moment . . . [:D]

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  9. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Notes: So, I obviously had to do this set in honor of The Clone Wars finally getting its Season Seven. I am besides myself with joy, guys. I don't even have the words! [face_dancing] :D [face_love] (Only, ignore the Siri/Obi-Wan drabble that crept in there - Satine, who is she? I know her not. Shut-up, Disney!canon. [face_mischief] [face_whistling]) I also have to admit that these are somewhat sloppy drabbles, too - each one is three to ten words over the limit, which shames me. But I was done fiddling with them and overeager to share. So, here we are. :p I hope that you enjoy, regardless of my shortcomings as an author. ;) [:D]

    As always, I thank you all so much for reading and hope that you enjoy! :)

    "Those Who Search Out Warmth"
    VI. Warm

    Even years later, Anakin still had little tolerance for the cold.

    “I just don’t care for the cold, is all,” he muttered, darting a significant glance her way. “And space is cold.”

    Padmé felt her mouth quirk into a smile. After glancing over her shoulder to make sure they remained unobserved, she stepped closer and laced her fingers through his organic ones. If they were alone, she’d wrap her arms around him and hold him until he was warm.

    Yet they were not alone, and there was a war still to wage.

    “I know,” Anakin sighed, squeezing her hand. “But this is enough.”

    VII. Fuzzy

    Hair, simply put, was weird.

    Ahsoka didn’t understand: it served no biological purpose, required excess grooming, and it looked itchy. Sure, Padmé could pull off some amazing styles with hers updos, and she liked how the pale color of Rex’s hair set him apart, but -

    “ - huh,” Ahsoka hummed as Rex obediently bowed his head and let her run her hands over his scalp. He didn’t have much, but what hair he did have felt good against her fingertips - warm and soft and “it’s not itchy at all,” she delighted to realize. “It’s fuzzy.”

    Rex failed to don his helmet quickly enough to hide his blush.

    VIII. Sweet

    Their paths continued to cross during the war, for both the bitter and sweet.

    “You know,” Siri whispered, “I used to wonder why you never chose another apprentice. But I think I understand now.” Fondly, she watched as Obi-Wan covered both Anakin and Ahsoka with a blanket when the pair fell asleep at the tactical table. The sight twisted at her heart, but lifted it too – she was glad they never turned aside from their course. (Honest she was.) They would have lost more than they gained.

    Yet . . .

    “You’re as sweet as you are soft,” she teased. “But don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me.”

    IX. Cute

    There was a loth-cat afoot in their camp.

    “It won’t leave me alone,” Caleb sighed, sitting up and reaching over to push the cat off his sleeping roll - again. The cat, unperturbed, regrouped to snuggle by his feet. “I swear I’m not encouraging this, Master.”

    Really, the contented purrs of the little feline next to Caleb’s pouting, pursed face was too much. Together, they threatened even her own practiced serenity. Depa tucked away a grin, even as she knew -

    “ - never push away strays, my apprentice,” she obeyed the Force to counsel. “You’ll find that, someday, they’ll mean the world to you.”

    X. Snuggle

    Twi'Leks couldn’t regulate their own body temperatures. They needed warmth – sunlight, preferably. Although General Secura donned an all-weather poncho, she was still miserable for their detour to Opacchooine - not that she’d ever complain aloud.

    So. “General,” Bly sat down next to her and ignored the way she stiffened when he draped an arm across her shoulders, “unless you make it an order, I’m not moving.”

    “Bly,” Aalya fought a shiver to sigh, “you don’t have to take care of me.”

    It’s what I’m programmed to do – I was born for this. Even so, his heart skipped as she rested her head against his shoulder. “But I want to,” he whispered instead, and held her as close as he dared.

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Terrific nuggets of vulnerability and emotional connecting! =D=
  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Another wonderful bunch, and a fitting tribute to the return of Clone Wars! Love the unifying theme of seeking warmth and the many ways it's explored here. We have characters who are simply not used to the cold or who don't do well with it physiologically, like Anakin and Aayla—both of whom overcome the cold in a moment of closeness with someone they love. [face_love] We have one who's just starting to learn about a brand of warm fuzziness previously unfamiliar to her—Ahsoka as she feels Rex's hair for the first time. (And his blush at her remark is so adorable—I have to wonder if she saw? ;) ) We have Obi-Wan placing the blanket over the sleeping Anakin and Ahsoka in such a sweet, fatherly way—even as he reflects on his own softness in a tender moment with his own love. And we have a cute, cuddly critter just looking for something to cuddle up to—I too couldn't help but crack a smile as I too imagined Caleb's cute little pouty face next to that purring Loth-cat grin! :D And I love Depa's advice to him, of course—in the future he'll be taking in a very different stray who nevertheless, in his way, is a lot like that playful little kitty. :ezra: Once again, I am so glad to see you tackling these prompts—you have a real talent for thematically unifying your drabbles and exploring those themes to their fullest. Keep the spoonfuls coming! =D=

    And your heads-up above is very happily noted! ;) @};-
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
  12. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    I have a warm and fuzzy feeling after reading this. ;)

    Therefore I will be sweet and snuggle with my husband for a while. And you did that to me, @Mira_Jade. :p
  13. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    “You’re as sweet as you are soft,” she teased. “But don’t worry - your secret’s safe with me.”
    Aww! [face_love]

    This collection of little moments and mush snap-shots are so sweet! I look forward to more.. ;)
  14. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Alrighty, after a few replies, I have more spoonfuls to share. :D [face_dancing]

    Thank-you so much, my friend! :D

    Thank you so much! It's a fun added challenge to tie all these odds and ends together with a common theme, but I 'm glad that they hit all the harder for their doing so! Especially with this set - I adore these characters so very much, and was gratified to read your wonderful thoughts in reply, as always. Thank you so much! [:D]

    Aww! I am happy to inspire. ;) [face_love]

    Thank you so much, and welcome! It's always wonderful to see a new-old face. :D [:D]

    More will be on the way in a moment! :D

    ~MJ @};-
  15. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Notes: So, I was all sorts of happy when the rules were loosened to include drabbles just longer than a hundred words. My muse, of course, took that inch and immediately decided to write double and triple drabbles. Yep. Because why not? o_O:oops: But, in the end, I decided against hacking all of these down a hundred words or so, and posted them as is. So, I hope you enjoy my very heaping mouthfuls of mush. :p [face_blush]

    This set, we are featuring Legends characters. And the Kam/Tionne snippet is a shout-out to dear @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, who reminded me of how much I adored them with her latest MMM entry. [face_love][:D]

    III: “Do Not Hesitate to Leap”
    XI. Cautious

    Truth be told, Dewlanna had very little reason to stay with the Corellian crew. With the death of her mate, she could return to the forests of her home and her birth-clan in the trees; Isshaddik’s exile had not extended to her. Rationally, she couldn’t explain why she hesitated. She’d already seen her cubs raised and grown, and their cubs too. She had no idea why the Great Hunters would return to her heart the urge to nurture and care -

    - but that all too familiar warmth was there, and its ember was poised to burn. No matter that she told herself that she was not this boy’s mother – all those aboard this ship lived fast, dangerous lives, after all - she couldn’t help her concern when Han’s head slumped over the textbook she’d made him download to his datapad. His eyes were bleary and his temperature was much too high for a Human, so much so that she felt fear - she feared in such a way that threw all her caution aside and swallowed her protestations like the root-realm of the Shadowland. When the captain shrugged and said that the price of a proper hospital was not one he was willing to pay for the child’s life, she refused to accept his decision. She refused, and – one stolen shuttle and moonlit trip to Coronet City later – she had a still sedated but healing and healthy child to see for her pains.

    In the end, the risk was worth it. How could it not be?

    [Sleep deep, little one] Dewlanna rumbled, watching as his small chest rose and fell with his breath. [I will be here when you wake.]

    XII. Hopeful

    For so long, Kam Solusar struggled to embrace the Light. The Dark had been all he’d known – all he was allowed to know, as a tool in the Emperor’s hands. But Tionne, Tionne -

    - no matter her faint talent, the Force sang to her; it sang like a rippling, half-heard melody she was always trying to complete. There was such a purity to her immersion in the Force, like an ocean cradling a child far and away from the blackness of its depths. Clearly, the Force cherished her.

    “Wait – it isn’t like that for you?” Tionne couldn’t understand his awe when they broke from their meditation – not initially.

    “Not nearly,” Kam answered. For him the Force was all blind murk and foreboding depth - but he knew that there was light, somewhere at the surface, if only he could figure out which way was up.

    “Well then,” her small hands were strong to grip his own. “That’s why we’ve all followed Master Skywalker, right? We're here to learn, and grow.”

    “Yeah,” Kam found himself distracted by the pearl shade of her eyes, and the simple, eager way they glowed. “Yeah . . . I suppose we are.”

    XIII. Attentive

    The process, in itself, was nothing new. She’d long been taught by her handlers how to paint her face and fix her hair. She knew what colors flattered her skin, and how to walk to catch the interest of a mark and keep it. Sometimes, the Emperor needed a quiet blade in the night; yet, oftentimes, she was deployed as a jeweled dagger in plain sight. Like some poisonous creature with alluring, brightly colored markings, she knew how to veil danger with temptation.

    But, that evening, she picked a simple, breezy dress because she liked the color and the fit as much as she knew it would look good on her. The color reminded her of Luke’s eyes, and shut-up, Farmboy, stay out of my mind until I’m ready. She wore her hair down, with hardly any cosmetics, you don’t need anything more, you know, you -

    “ - you look beautiful,” Luke finally said out loud, staring at her like he couldn’t tear his eyes away. Bizarrely, she felt her face flush. They may have been doing things out of order – an engagement and then a date. But Mara Jade could count on one hand the times when she’d gone out with a man like this, for herself. So, she tilted her head back and simply allowed herself to bask in the attention of her partner.

    XIV. Baffled

    The Human was an enigma to Shawnkyr, as most Humans were. His species had such a tendency for brashness and bravado, and they wore their every thought open upon their faces. They were just so . . . unusual and perplexing and alien.

    Yes, Jagged Fel was all those things. But he was also clever, even by the high standards of the Chiss. He had a courageous heart. Of all her fellow cadets, he was the one she trusted to follow into battle.


    “What are you doing?” Jag failed to understand why she took his hand in her own as they left the sims together. Firmly, she held on through his confusion.

    “I am holding your hand.” It was quite alright – sometimes, Humans needed redundant explanation. (Hopefully she wasn’t doing this wrong, she allowed only one moment of doubt – his cheeks were oddly flushed.) “This . . . this is a sign of closeness amongst Humans, is it not? I want others to know that you have an ally. You are not alone.” I am your friend, her heart said, well before her higher reason ever understood.

    “Well, you see, for Humans there’s different levels of friendship, and this is . . .” but his words faltered, and he stopped himself. “But, you know what? That’s exactly what it can mean for us. I . . . I’m happy to have an ally, Shawnkyr.” That, he mumbled, very quick and low. I’m glad to have a friend, her heart understood, even so, and they forged on from there.

    XV. Curious

    Sometimes, Allana had questions that Leia didn’t know how to answer. And, while there was much Leia couldn’t tell the girl, there were aspects of her curiosity she could assuage, at the very least.

    Her granddaughter had fallen asleep halfway through her second reading of the Little Lost Bantha Cub. Leia remained awake, running her hand through her hair and lost in thought.

    “That was always our favorite book,” Jaina said softly from the doorway. “Winter would read it to us every night.”

    Try as she might, Leia felt the words as a stabbing. Slowly, she exhaled.

    “No, not like that, Mom,” Jaina came into the room to say in a rush, looking abashed. “I’m sorry, that came out wrong.”

    But Winter had read bedtime stories and kissed scraped knees and reasoned through their childish squabbles. Leia knew that Jaina had inherited the worst of both her parents’ stubbornness, but she also had her mother’s tenacity of refusing to rely on others in spades; she always made her heart such an island, in order to stand so strong. From those earliest days, Leia had wanted to teach her daughter better than what she herself had known. But, in the blinking of an eye, her child had grown up without her. She’d missed so much.

    “No,” Leia whispered. “I understand. You don’t have to apologize.”

    “But that’s really not what I was trying to say.” It didn’t matter that Jaina was already a woman more than grown, she crawled into bed with her mother and niece anyway. “I always wished it was you . . . even when it wasn’t. Allana’s lucky to have you and Dad; she’s going to be okay.”

    When Allana stirred – she never did sleep very deeply, even these months later – Leia turned to the first page and started to read again. It wasn’t, wholly, for her granddaughter’s benefit.

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Beautiful! Hopeful was heartwarming and Cautious, I love that Han's mother of the heart threw that to the winds and took him in. :) And Attentive, well, you know what I felt about THAT! <3 [face_dancing] :) [face_sigh] L/M, they will be my OTP till the stars FADE! [face_laugh]
  17. Khalia Octa

    Khalia Octa Bringer of Truth to EUC star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jun 23, 2018
    Oh stars these were great!!!! =D==D==D= So heartwarming and mushy and ahhhhhhh!! Such a great read - the L/M one was a stand out for me (and everyone it seems!)!! [face_love]
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  18. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    You're really going to town with these spoonfuls! [face_dancing] Though I am not very familiar with most of the characters in this group, it doesn't matter, because thanks to your amazing characterization skills I can tell who all of them are and what they're all like. Once again, you've got a wonderful variety of different kinds of mush: friendship, romance, family both born and found. It was sweet to see a very young Han being "adopted" by Dewlanna (and she's Isshaddik's wife—yay! Point of familiarity! :D ); it looks like in Legends lore his connection with Wookiees goes back a long way, even before he ever meets Chewbacca. Always sweet to see both Kam and Tionne and Luke and Mara, and I love how the couples are marveling at each other in both: Kam at Tionne's unique and beautiful (and musical! :D ) connection to the Force, and Luke on "the way you look tonight" (though via the Force); in Mara's case it's an extra treat to see her dressing up just for herself, just for her own enjoyment, after all those years as someone else's Hand. Shawnkyr's Chiss awkwardness is just absolutely adorable, as is Jag's reaction; he's meeting her halfway by repurposing a Human gesture that often means a different kind of connection, and isn't meeting each other halfway often what friendship is all about? :D And finally, what a beautiful scene with three generations of Solo women; we don't often get to see Jaina connect in such a tender way with her mom like this, and it clearly means so much to both of them. Once again, you are such a whiz at getting characters' feelings and connections and interior states across in such a beautiful way—so do please keep on keeping on with these little gems! =D=
  19. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    You guys are absolute dears, leaving such wonderful feedback, as always! I can't thank you enough for doing so. [:D]

    No matter how many fandoms I join or how many OTPs burrow into my heart, L/M remains something special, you're only too right! I am thrilled you enjoyed this set, as always, my friend! [face_love][:D]

    Aw, thank-you! I'm so glad that you enjoyed! I really appreciate your commenting. :D

    That really means a lot to hear! Thank-you so much. [face_love] Would it help if I added more Legends notes in the future? I've come from a time on the boards where these were everyday names, but so much has changed, and I tend to forget that. :p I appreciate your following me down rabbit-holes, as always, at the very least!

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by the Solo movie, and I enjoyed watching it! But, the Han Solo trilogy will always be the canon of my heart - and that's greatly due to Dewlanna! She protects him and sees to his education and instills him with values that would eventualy shape the man he becomes. She's mom, basically, and Han's bond with her most definitely serves as one of the reasons he saved Chewie, and thus gets kicked out of the Imperial Navy for doing so! [face_love] There's a scene in Paradise Snare where Han has what seems to be appendicitis as a youngster, and Dewlanna did just what I related here with stealing a shuttle and finding medical help from her own savings when the captain wouldn't spare the credits. :rolleyes: It gets me every time, and I had to honor that. [face_love]

    Thank-you! Believe it or not, outright 'romantic' mush is just the hardest for me. So this is a good exercise for the muse. ;)

    Shawnkyr and Jag were one of the few good things to come out of the mess that was the NJO. Ignoring canon, I like to think that she supports Jag all the way to the Fel Empire and beyond, and that friendship had to start somewhere! She's just so very Chiss - and Jag is so very Corellian trying to be Chiss, and the resuting dynamic is just all sorts of fun as a result. :p

    As much as I am glad that Leia has her second chance with Allana, if I have to suffer through pro-fic post NJO I am at least going to plug my ears and say that she repaired her relationship with her daughter and console myself by thinking that at least these three ladies were eventually as happy as could be together and had a beautiful bond. I can't be convinced otherwise. So, it was a cathartic moment to write, in more than one way. [face_love]

    I thank you guys for reading! More will be up in just a few. :D


    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  20. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Notes: Just a brief heads up, or this set will make no sense at all: these heaping drabbles are set in my Song-verse - a canon divergent series where Anakin was not dumb and Sithy, and thus circumvented the events of the OT. I am also happily introducing a new character today! Details, if you're curious, can be found under the cut. :D

    At first, I hesitated to write this set without a proper introduction fic (what the Organa family is up to as a whole, and this OC in particular, were originally the subject of my Underrepresented Mod Challenge entry, which I never finished due to time and inspiration failing to work together :oops:), but then decided that eh, why not? And here I am now. :p

    In short: in this 'verse, Winter is the princess of Alderaan and Breha's heir. But the Organas also adopted a boy they named Briant. After the war, when visiting the cloning factories on Kamino and deciding what to do with all the soldiers they no longer needed, Bail came across a 'defective' clone child. This child had a mutated respiratory system, and was the only surviving member of his batch - he couldn't communicate with anyone verbally. He was an outsider from his brothers for being so different, yet the Kaminoans couldn't just recycle him with the new restrictions the Republic had finally managed to put in place. After some not too subtle coaxing by Shaak Ti, Bail left Kamino plus one. [face_mischief]

    And, that brings us here, to . . .

    : “Of the Blood”

    XVI. Learn

    It was hard to believe that Breha Organa had once resigned herself to never being a mother. Now, after the surprise her husband had brought home from Kamino (the little boy may have been dubbed defective stock by the cloners, but one look at his big dark eyes had her seconding her husband’s decision without question), and the untimely deaths of Ob and Sheltay Retrac leaving their daughter Winter in their care (Alderaan needed a princess, after all – but, what was more than that, Breha loved the darling girl for her own sake as much as she treasured the memory she had of her parents), she was now thrust into the deep end of parenting and left to sink or swim.

    Such as now.

    It was a shock to be interrupted from a meeting of her small council by a clearly distraught aide, telling her that the prince and princess -

    - well, Breha didn’t quite know how her children had even escaped the nursery, let alone gotten a hold of so many berry tarts before sneaking back in. (Bail and she were starting to suspect that Winter had quite the aptitude for memory, and Briant was clearly as clever and bold as any of his full-grown brothers.) There was sticky fruit staining their clothes and hair, as well as the floor and cushions and an alarming glob that dripped down from the ceiling. They must’ve turned to smearing the filling on each other after eating their full. Stars help her.

    XVII. Feel

    Breha only gaped at the two impish, purple grins that beamed back at her without shame. Feeling no small bit overwhelmed, she ordered the room cleaned in a thin voice. If her children were any older, she’d have them scrub the nursery themselves! Her offspring, she’d see to personally. Needless to say, her small council was officially dismissed.

    After a thorough scrubbing and no small tongue lashing – there’d be no treats for a month – she called her husband to vent her frustrations. Yet, from the chancellor's office on Coruscant there was unfortunately little Bail could do but lend a sympathetic ear.

    Padmé – the very actual celestial being made flesh her old friend was – had more practical advice after managing two ornery Skywalker youngsters, and now a third, for four years. Breha listened closely, even as Padmé smiled to admit that every parent and child was different. She’d find her own way.

    “Sometimes, I feel like the universe didn’t give me children for a reason,” Breha admitted – a terrible, nagging concern that had failed to wholly let her go since the first moment she held her son. “What if I mess this all up?”

    “Every parent feels that way at one point or another,” Padmé looked as if she’d reach through the holocall and take her hand in comfort, if she could. “But that worry is what keeps your love strong through the hard days. Your children are all too lucky to have you as a mother – just as you’re blessed to have them.”

    XVIII. Believe

    For the most part, Leia Amidala Skywalker enjoyed getting to know her peers at Chandrilla's Legislative Youth Camp. She’d met all sorts of young people from across the Republic, and was learning new thoughts and ideas even as she shared her own. She particularly excelled in the debate courses, as well as her interspecies diplomatic relations class.

    Of course, with privilege came those who abused their standing and looked down on others, just because they felt they were superior. It was the unfortunate way of the galaxy.

    And, sometimes, words just weren’t satisfying enough to silence those particular bullies. When Winter Organa actually punched the obnoxious Keev of Khavell, who was mocking both the artificial voice-box her brother used in public as well as his clone heritage – a reaction that had been building over the summer, truth be told – Leia was quick to jump in and protect her friend from the Kuati prince’s cronies. Briant Organa was right there at her side to enter the fray, of course, as was Amilyn Holdo – the girl with bizarrely colored hair from Gatalenta.

    In the end, they were all muddy and sore but satisfied, even as the headscholar scolded them and threatened further discipline before leaving to contact their parents. (Leia already knew what her mother would say – and, better yet, what Anakin Skywalker would say too. She could already feel her father’s exasperation and pride, even with stars between them.)

    Sitting there, left to await their fate, Amilyn grinned a sleepy sort of grin. “Can you teach me how to sign hello?” she looked at Briant to say. “I want to learn.”

    Leia already knew Standard Galactic Sign from her long friendship with the Organa siblings, and used it whenever she could. Amilyn, it seemed, didn’t want to be left out of something that bound their group together.

    Slowly, Briant blushed to make the sign, and Amilyn’s grin only sharpened to repeat it. That sign was the first of many they shared while waiting for their judgment together.

    From there on out, Leia believed that nothing would tear them apart.

    XIX. Watch

    Princess Winter Retrac Organa well knew her blessings – she knew how lucky she was that the Organas had taken her in as if she was their true daughter of blood, rather than merely the heart. Yet, with belonging to their family came all the expectations inherent of the Organa name. A crown and a queenship were to be hers, someday; she would not remain a princess forever.

    But she was getting ahead of herself. First, she had to get through this coming of age ceremony – declaring herself publicly before the queen and prince consort (they were not only Mom and Dad for this) and demanding to take her place as heir to Alderaan’s highest throne – then she could allow herself to think of her future. Anyone could oppose her claim today, and she’d have to prove herself worthy by ancient law. (And, as not a blood heir to that throne, there were many things the court cold voice in objection.)

    She felt an elbow knock playfully against her arm, and she looked over to see her brother, already bedecked in white robes similar to her own and waiting to take his place next to their parents. Briant was grinning a cheeky grin, however, and his posture was relaxed and confident in direct contrast to her own. When he saw that he had her eyes, he began signing, [Don’t mess this up, sis.]

    He was helpful, her brother.

    XX. Listen

    Darkly, Winter glowered. “It’s easy for you to say,” she let her hands fly to accompany her words. “You’re just lucky to be a boy,” she huffed. Though the Organas had technically adopted him first at the end of the Secession Crisis, during her father’s first term as chancellor, Briant had dodged the burden of the throne due to the outdated antiquity of Alderaan’s customs. That rule was one of the first things Winter was determined to change as queen. Obviously.

    [I’ll take the Galactic Senate over the Council of the Houses,] Briant was happy enough to gloat. As Alderaan's newest junior senator, Winter knew he meant that. [Getting the masses to agree and reform Republic policy is nothing compared to the bloodsuckers who are out there waiting for you. Countess Gorgona alone has been waiting for this chance for years, and they're lining up behind her.]

    “Thanks,” Winter rolled her eyes. “You always know just what to say.”

    At the very least, bickering with her brother helped unwind the ball of steel cords that had seemingly rooted in her chest. Briant, she thought, knew that. Softly, he smiled. [But you’re stronger than they know - you won't let them take what's rightfully yours,] his hands slowed to say. [Now, all you have to do is go out there and make sure your voice is heard.]

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    With each addition to this 'verse, I ADORE! it even more! =D= Full of pranks and affection, this entire set! :) :D
    Mira_Jade and Findswoman like this.
  22. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Your drabbles paint a very warm & friendly galaxy far, far away. With all the bantha poodoo going on in my life and at work it is like seeing a beam of hope. Thank you! @};-
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    What a joy to meet Briant! [face_love] Even as a youngster he’s so full of spirit and gumption, carrying on the best qualities of his bigger vode. The fact that he’s literally “without a voice” doesn’t stop him at all from being a strong and distinctive presence in the lives of his family and friends or from blessing them with his very presence, whether he's raiding the kitchen with big sis Winter (always a treat to see her), teaching a quirky friend-of-a-friend to sign (so much fun that you brought a young Amilyn into this!), or standing at his sister's side as she prepares to make her formal bid for successorship. And all with a distinctive combination of humor and matter-of-fact wisdom—that right there fits him right into the Organa family and the larger Organa-Skywalker ambitus! :cool:

    And what a perfect last piece of advice for Winter in "Listen": "make sure your voice is heard." Wow: that really takes on a special dimension coming from him. And in his role as junior senator, I'm sure he is quite an outspoken "voice"! (Incidentally, just to make sure I am understanding correctly: Briant can hear, right? Because he hears Amilyn asking him to show her a sign, right? Or is he both deaf and mute?)

    Finally, I have to say, even with just one youngling of my own who's relatively mellow, there are definitely days when sympathize with Breha's occasional feeling of not being cut out for this! :oops: Every parent experiences that at some point, but Padmé's absolutely right, of course. They feel your love all the time, and that's what matters. [face_love]

    Thanks once again for continuing with these wonderful gems! Looking forward to more, as always! =D=
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  24. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Thank-you!! I just adore this 'verse all too much, and I'm thrilled that you are enjoying it as it grows. [face_love][face_dancing][:D]

    Aw, thank-you! That really is the good thing about the Spoonfuls of Mush - there are nothing but smiles are to be found in here, and sometimes we need that with DRL on the other side of the screen! [:D][face_love]

    Aw, thank-you! :D It really felt special, increasing the radius of the Organa-Skywalker clan in this 'verse! Winter was one of my favourite characters in the EU, so having her and Amilyn and a happy Skywalker family plus another brother to love in Briant just became such a self-indulgent piece of writing. I couldn't resist, and I'm glad you enjoyed my little world too. [face_love]

    Oh, I had all sorts of fun playing with the theme of voices and listening - especially after touching on some of those themes in my Ahsoka diary. And yep! Briant can hear, he's only mute. Since he signs for communication - he's still not a fan of the voice-box - it's something his friends and family also learn for inclusion, even if its not exactly needed. I'd only known of sign-language for the deaf for this, so it was interesting to do some research and see what's the norm for this community too. I actually couldn't think of a mute character in media outside of The Little Mermaid, so that's a bit where inspiration for Briant came from. Representation is important! [face_thinking]

    Aw! I loved that, thank-you. I don't have children of my own, but watching my sister with my niece has definitely given me some inspiration. There are some days when my eyes just boggle and I wonder how she - or any parent, for that matter, does it! But it's that love that carries every family through. [face_love]

    And I thank you for your wonderful thoughts! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your insight and kind words, just the same. [:D]

    Alrighty, more will be up soon! :D [face_dancing]

    ~MJ @};-
  25. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Author's Note: First of all - drabbles? What are they? I know them not. My muse is more of a stubborn mule than a moose who has no restraint when she finally decides that she does want to sit down and write something. I've given up trying to argue with her, and here we are. :p

    That said, all five of these prompts feature one of my favourite couples in The Clone Wars - Cut and Suu Lawquane. The extra ficlet at the end is a coda to the Deserter plot arc they featured in, from Rex's POV. The last piece was much too long to count as one of the 'spoonfuls', even a heaping one, but it's not developed enough to stand alone as a vignette, so I'm adding it here as a little bonus treat instead of letting it collect dust in my WIP folder. Call it the dessert round, more than a spoonful of mush! ;) [face_laugh] [face_love]

    Then, for those of you who haven't seen TCW and would like a bit more backstory, I included a little blurb about these characters behind the spoiler cut. For everyone else, enjoy! [:D]

    In short: Cut was a clone trooper whose transport came under Separatist attack shortly after the First Battle of Geonosis. His ship crash landed on Saleucami, and the droids picked off all the surviving members of his company but for Cut. There he met a local Twi'lek woman name Suu, and instead of returning to the war he chose to stay with her and her two children. They married and tended a farm together. There's a line about Old Man Cut in Aftermath, who put family first over conflict. That pretty much sums him up. [face_love]

    In the Deserter episodes of Season 2, the juxtaposition of Cut's choices next to what's expected of a clone soldier was a fantastic way to make Rex question just who he is and why he's fighting. Rex started the arc viewing Cut as a coward who deserted his brothers and their calling, only to end up understanding the draw of a family and a normal life throughout the progression of the story. He made his own choice not to turn Cut in, rather than following protocol, and lied about who helped him while separated from the rest of the 501st. In short, it's one of my favourite couple of episodes and I highly recommend it. It has some of the best Rex moments, and a great couple of scenes for Kix, too! I've wanted to write about Cut and Suu for a while now - and I'm still toying with the idea of dedicating a longer fic to tell their story, but romance is just so hard for me to write. Yikes, but it's embarrassing just how long I spent working on this set. Oi. [face_laugh] :oops: But hey, maybe it was good practice in the end. :p [face_mischief]

    . "Underneath Our Vine and Fig Tree"

    XXI. Breathe

    It still hurt like haran to breathe. Broken ribs were the worst to heal, that he’d already learned the hard way during live training, and he knew that his lungs were even worse off from what Leech had grumbled before things went completely upside down. The medic had used encouraging words like laceration and collapse and what a jari’eyc you stupid barve, but this isn’t going to be pretty! Cut had no idea if the triage patches would hold, but the pain meant that he was still alive, for what little that was worth; he wasn’t marching off with his brothers just yet. As far as he knew – and the woman who’d pulled him from the rubble of the battlefield confirmed – he was the last one standing. It was, she muttered, the work of the goddess. That, she could not turn away.

    Over the days that followed he couldn’t help but think that it may have been easier to drift off into the quiet peace of oblivion, but something held him back from that precipice each and every time. Clone troopers didn’t go down easy; they were bred from stubborn stock. Instead he muttered: Janad, Burn, Goore, Crank, Hawk, and Leech in a feverish haze, listing every man in the 262nd until he couldn’t anymore. Too few of them had names, hesitantly chosen after surviving the hot, sandy red nightmare that was Geonosis, and the plain numbers within his company were difficult to remember. He clung to them all the more: CT-4895, CT-1549, CT-9356, CC-3475, and CP-8885 and so on, using every trick he knew to keep them ordered in his mind. Most had come and gone too quickly, pieced together from other surviving units as they were, but someone had to remember them regardless and that someone was him. Maybe, that was the reason he was alive.

    Sometimes, he managed to focus long enough while he was conscious to see her, gazing down at him with an expression he couldn’t quite place. Sometimes, he thought that she was whispering the names along with him, her voice a soft, lilting cadence that followed him into dreams. He never asked her to stop; now, he looked at it pragmatically, if he didn’t make it there was someone else who’d remember his vod’e, at least. They wouldn’t be forgotten.

    It was a source of comfort, just barely of its own, knowing that someone out there would remember him too.

    XXII. Sigh

    In the end, the soldier lived.

    Suu Lawquane was practical (though not so much as she should have been, granted); she knew that his chances were slim (horrifically so, no matter how she thought to numb herself as she picked her way through the bodies for valuables). She didn’t hold much hope for his recovery, even as her heart became stupidly invested in his well-being. She wanted him to survive, she admitted to herself; she did not want to add his name to the litany of the dead he so continuously muttered. The galaxy was already full of black things aplenty, she prayed, there was no need for the After to swallow this man too.

    But his eventual survival presented so many questions that she, in her impulsiveness, had not first considered. Where would he stay? What would he eat? On some days she had little enough to feed her own children, and this season’s crop was already thin, even before Daku and his goons took their cut. On a larger scale, this man belonged to the Republic - even those in the Outer Rim knew of the war breaking out across the galaxy. But the second Republic ship had come and gone already, with the uniformed officers content to leave the mess of the battlefield behind after stripping it of what resources they could recover. For some reason she still could not explain she’d hesitated to flag them down and return their property. Something within her had recoiled when she realized they were leaving the organic bodies of the clones to rot in the field alongside the metal carcasses of the droids. It hadn’t felt right, and she’d bared her sharp teeth at the sky in impudent anger, knowing that she’d made the right choice even if she was baffled to consider her next move.

    (She’d never taken well to the concept of owning, after all. Her refusing to be a possession was why she’d left Ryloth in the first place.)

    Why did the goddess curse me with such a foolhardy daughter? she could still hear her mother’s voice sneering through her mind. When, just the same, her father’s exasperation never lost its sting, will enough be enough? If you refuse this course, you are no blood of mine.

    Stubbornly, Suu set her mouth in a thin line as her lekku arched in determination. “It was the right thing to do,” she finally explained her actions to her children. “We always help those in need.” No matter the consequences.

    Shaeeah and Jak didn’t hold their mother’s reservations, though, and they were all too curious about the stranger from the stars. For better or worse, Suu had turned her family down a path whose outcome even she couldn’t predict.

    XXIII. Gasp

    It was storming outside.

    The rain was a good thing, Shaeeah knew. The rain made the crops grow, and when the crops grew the worried expression her haoy usually tried to hide would smooth over, just barely. It helped too, now that the bad man was gone and they were able to keep all of what they harvested from the fields. Shaeeah may have been little, but she was old enough to understood that much.

    But that also meant that she was much too grown up to be scared of something as simple as thunder – especially for Jak’s sake. She was playing with her little brother on the floor by the fire while Mother and their chee'ron cleaned up after dinner, discussing their next trip into town for supplies. Jak was still too young for words, and he startled and looked up with wide eyes when another peal crackled and then boomed across the sky. Even while trying to be brave for him, Shaeeah couldn’t help herself: she gasped and clenched her eyes closed until the big, angry sound faded to a rumble and was then swallowed by the constant pitter-pattering of the rain. Her heartbeat seemed to pound in her ear-cones in its wake, galloping like their eopie in a panic, and she couldn’t immediately open her eyes.

    When she did, it was to see Cut kneeling down in front of her, a soft expression on his face.

    “You don’t like the thunder, ad’ika?”

    “ . . . no,” the single word was torn from her. She wanted to be brave, but sometimes it was just so hard. It helped, just slightly, when she wrapped her arms around her brother. It helped even more when Cut sat down on the floor next to her. Nothing could get to them when he was there, it felt like – not even the thunder. “I don’t like it when it storms.”

    “Did you know that on the planet I came from, it thundered every day?” Cut said. She looked up at him, wide-eyed for his words. “A day without rain was too quiet – but the sun in the rare moments we could see it, now that was amazing.”

    “I like the sun,” Shaeeah agreed. Her mother came to join them too, an odd expression on her face that she wore a lot lately. Her lekku flickered like she was looking for something, no matter how she tried to keep them still. “I want it to come back.”

    “Yeah, well that’s a good thing about the sun,” Cut smiled at her to assure, “it’s always there, even when you can’t see it. It’ll shine again.”

    In the meantime, she was safe with her mother and their soldier. Even then, before he was everything to their family, his expression said that he’d block out even the thunder from the sky if it meant her happiness. Shaeeah wasn’t so young that she didn’t already know that for a certainty.

    Well then, Shaeeah supposed she could be patient. It was easier when Mother started to sing a silly ditty in Ryl and Cut taught them all a Mandalorian marching song his brothers used to sing next. Their little house turned loud with laughter, so much so that Shaeeah didn’t even notice when the thunder went away. In the morning, the sun rose to take its place in the sky as if the storm never was.

    XXIV. Pant

    Suu had never grappled with her attraction to another being before.

    Usually, she found herself in the reverse quandary – like so many of her sisters, she’d grown adapt at fending off the unwanted attentions of all too many sentient species of men, especially since leaving Ryloth behind. She'd learned early on how to carry herself so as to not end up a victim; she insisted on her own will, and took measures to keep both her family and herself safe. With Vasco dead and his protection gone with him, she'd since devoted herself to raising their children, leaving no time or interest in anything - or anyone, more. So far the goddess had been with her, protecting and guiding her path.

    Even with the soldier, she was clear to set her boundaries from the beginning. “I sleep with a riffle,” had been her parting remarks one night early in his recovery, “and I’m an excellent shot.”

    “I’m glad to hear it, ma’am,” if Cut understood the full implications of her threat, he gave no indication. He nodded smartly, instead, as if he was satisfied that she had a weapon and was proficient in its use. She half suspected that if she wasn’t, he’d insist on her becoming so. Bemused, she’d gone to bed that night and slept deeply against her better judgment. She'd never once felt threatened in his presence.

    Since then, he seemed to give no indication that he even saw her as a woman – and a physically attractive woman of an overly sexualized species, at that. What had first been a comfort – that he kept his hands and eyes and words to himself – turned into a frustration as the months passed and his place in their lives became assumed and even anticipated. Her senses had already branded him as her mate: he’d long since turned into a provider and a protector and a confidant. He was her partner in almost every possible way. Her children loved him, and she too thought . . .

    At first, Suu worried that she yearned for something he couldn’t give. She knew that he’d been created for war – was he even capable of understanding and returning the depths of her emotions? She was ill with the idea that she was maybe pushing for something that wasn’t reciprocated – that couldn’t be reciprocated, even. She’d given him every unspoken signal, but still . . . nothing.

    XXV. Exhale

    In the end, maybe she really was the bocara chi’kan her father had once called her. Suu would defend herself by saying that she’d been inordinately, amazingly patient until the moment that she wasn’t.

    Farming on Saleucami was long, hard work – even if it was easier now, with two rather than one and Azaeal down the road taking the children for the day so they could both mind the harvest. After another good season they could maybe invest in a plow droid to help move things along – and perhaps a second field, after that. For the first time in a long time, Suu found herself with dreams and the means to pursue them.

    At first, Cut had no idea how to help tend the land. He’d never even held a spade before and he had a pitiable opinion as to what constituted good food, at that. But he learned fast, and he was built for the rigors of war. In the end, physical labor was still physical labor, and he adapted. (Only the goddess knew that she privately appreciated just how built he was on more than one occasion.) His already tanned skin had darkened even further underneath the bright sun after so many months freed from his faceless armor, and the hot days had led to less clothing on more than one occasion, leaving her with a beautifully unobstructed view of his musculature. It was . . . distracting.

    It was twilight when they ended their work, with streaks of deepening scarlet painting the fields and their barn full with bushels of sweetdew melons and black squash and cri-corn. They had a good yield to bring to the market, along with their usual nuna eggs and eopie milk and soft yellow cheeses. Suu felt happy for the results of their labor, content down to her very bones. She wanted to smile, she wanted to laugh, she wanted to sing, even - full as her heart felt then.

    Maybe that was why she was not as cautious as she usually was, and when they tripped over each other when putting the field equipment away, instead of politely stepping back from him she instead pressed herself closer and kissed him. His skin was still hot with the memory of the sun, and though he was at first completely still - blindsided, it would seem - underneath her touch, he hesitantly lifted his hands to rest on the curve of her waist a long moment later. She felt his fingers flex as he returned her kiss, unsure but clearly eager to follow her lead. Finally, though, she knew -

    “Ma’am?" he drew back from her, even so. "Suu?” there was a question in his gaze.

    Alright then, she decided: it was her turn to be brave. “I’ve wanted to do that for a very long time,” she admitted, throwing caution to the goddess. His eyes were as dark as the earth they had just tilled, and focused on her in a way that made her lekku ripple in anticipation. The broad hands spanning her waist were a reminder; she could not forget his strength, and for it - for him - something deep inside of her thrilled.

    “I think," he whispered, ". . . that I have too.”

    She let out a breath - feeling as if she exhaled away the long months this had been building between them, before standing up as tall as she could and kissing him again.




    The Deserter - Coda

    For some reason he couldn’t quite explain, this wound was slower to heal than others he'd endured. It wasn’t like he hadn’t been shot before – that was just part and parcel of his command, and Rex knew how lucky he was to still be standing where so many others had fallen. Kix had helpfully taken to reminding him just how lucky. This particular bolt had been a crucial few centimeters off target from his heart; a single twitch, and he’d be marching off towards eternity without anything the medic could do otherwise.

    “So please - for the love of everything good in the galaxy, Captain - stop trying to undo all of my hard work! Honestly, you’re just as bad as the general, only you do not have magical healing abilities.”

    But Rex was taking it slow, Kix didn't understand. He had yet to participate in drills with his men, and he certainly hadn’t returned to active duty in the field. He’d only just resumed light exercise a scant few days ago . . . okay, so maybe it was rigorous cardio and aerobic exercise, he’d give Kix, but still. Frustratingly, his track times weren’t anywhere near what they’d been prior to Saleucami, and he couldn’t understand just why everything was different. He'd keep at this until everything was the same as it was before. There was no other option.

    Alright then, what else are you running from? Cut’s imagined voice had that same gentle curiosity in his mind that it had in actuality - like he was patiently reasoning with one of his children. Rex couldn’t escape his brother’s words, no matter how he tried. It couldn’t be that you’re questioning things, are you, Captain? Do you think that the truth of your existence is something you can just ignore? Can you pretend that it means nothing, when, instead -

    “ - you’ve been pushing yourself too hard, Rexter. Don't think I haven't noticed.”

    Okay, so maybe Kix was slightly right, Rex gave as he leaned over and tried to catch his breath. His wounds weren't nearly healed enough for this - not yet. His lungs burned as he struggled to gulp in one mouthful of air after another, and his skin felt clammy and hot and cold all at once. Reflexively, he caught the bottle of water Ahsoka tossed his way and flashed her a grateful look. Her answering smile was slow in return, however, and she crossed her arms to stand up as tall as she could. Ah, so this was going to be one of those talks.

    Kix, perhaps the tiniest bit vengefully, Rex looked forward to when his injuries would let him hit the sparring mats again, was fighting dirty.

    “I'm not pushing myself, sir - I just need to get back to top physical condition again as soon as possible. I won't be of any use to you and General Skywalker otherwise,” Rex dodged her observation before she could start in on him. “Laps are one of the few things Kix will allow me to do.”

    Kinda, anyway.

    “Yeah . . . I’m calling ronto-crap,” Ahsoka was unmoved. “You've been off-kilter for days now. C’mon – when are you going to tell me what happened down there?" But while her arms were still crossed her expression softened and she added, softly then, "You haven’t been the same since Saleucami, and I’m worried.”

    What happened on Saleucami? Wasn’t that the million credit question? So little had actually happened, when he looked back on it, and yet everything had changed. He’d met a clone who called himself a husband and father - a protector partner provider - instead of simply a brother and a soldier, and Rex still didn’t know what to make of that. His men were his family and his life’s meaning was wrapped up in his service to the Republic; he knew that as well as he knew the name he'd chosen for himself, yet . . .

    . . . he’d met a deserter, and his clear duty was to turn him in. Yet Rex was keeping this a secret, and in doing so betraying his commission and everything he thought he stood for. He was lying to his Jedi and the GAR by omission . . . but it was the right thing to do. He still couldn’t make sense of those two truths in his mind.

    Fleetingly, he wondered if Ahsoka would let this go if he told her that he didn’t want to talk. Even just a year ago the idea that he would be trying to avoid telling his Jedi the whole truth of a matter would have been anathema to his being. Technically, even still, if she made a command of her request, there was nothing he could keep from her. For a moment, that knowledge rankled.

    But Ahsoka was his friend as much as she was his Jedi, and he knew that she would never disregard his autonomy in such a careless fashion. She respected him as much as he respected her. In that regard, he knew he was lucky to be viewed as more human than clone by his commanding officers. She was asking as his friend . . . so, maybe he could answer her as such.

    Which was easier said than done, of course.

    “Do you ever imagine being something you’re not? Maybe something, or someone else?” he tried to take an idea too large for words and give his thoughts a voice. In some ways, he granted, Ahsoka was on a path parallel to his own: she’d never be a wife or mother, and she too found her life's fulfillment through service. The Jedi were her family, and, most likely as not, she’d die the same as he was fated to fall in this war. That was the simple truth of their existence, and thousands in the galaxy would be safer for what they were ready to sacrifice. Usually, that thought only brought him pride. Yet, a voice deep inside still whispered, it was her decision to be a Jedi, and if she wanted to walk away from the Order, she could. She was actively making a choice to stay and serve, each and every day. Rex, on the other hand . . .

    . . . was the pride he took in service to the Republic really something he felt, or was it something indoctrinated in him since infancy? Was this - all of this - really him? Was this what he would've chosen to be if he had the freedom to do so? It was a question that haunted his thoughts, and he couldn't let it go.

    Tell me, is that what you really think, Captain?
    Cut’s voice challenged him again. Or is that what you’ve been programmed to believe?

    Programmed. Like a droid. Sometimes, he worried that he was only a step removed from an inorganic being - there were certainly those enough in the galaxy who thought that he was exactly that, and in small, shameful moments, he doubted.

    But Rex set his jaw, and instead stared at his commander as if willing her to understand everything he couldn't find the words to say aloud.

    “I don't know . . . maybe?” Ahsoka gave him a curious look. The white markings above her eyes furrowed as she gave his words her honest attention. “I think that it’s natural for everyone to question who they are and where they belong in life,” she pondered before saying. “But, if I was anything else, then I wouldn’t have Anakin or Master Obi-Wan or Master Plo or Barriss or you, and then where would I be? Maybe,” she gave ruefully, "that's not the most Jedi way of looking at it . . . but it's the truth."


    . . . that was, Rex gave, a point of view he hadn't considered the last few days. Perhaps it was the only point that really mattered in the end, even. He'd always counted himself lucky with being assigned to General Skywalker - and to Ahsoka too as she crawled underneath his skin and made a unique place for herself right next to his heart. He didn't know who he'd be without Cody's friendship since losing his batch, and there were now Kix and Jesse and Fives and Echo and -

    - okay, he thought, seeing Cut's slow, soft smile when he looked down at Suu in his mind's eye all over again. Okay. This was different, sure, but in other respects it was completely and one hundred percent the same. He stayed with the GAR to fight for his aliit, as much as he served the greater good of the Republic. He stayed and fought for the chance of something more, for the idea of something better for those of his brothers who'd live to survive this conflict. Perhaps, that was all that any sentient could look for in life, and want.

    . . . for now, at least.

    "Did that help?" Ahsoka asked to make sure, biting her lip. He could feel her concern press in against him like a pressure on his skin, and something warm and full expanded in his chest. He was honored that she was his Jedi, really he was.

    "Yeah," Rex said, and meant it, "you did, verd'ika, thank-you."

    He felt, more than heard, the happy trill she gave for his answer, and the chevrons on her lekku flushed a deeper shade of blue. "Good," she approved, "because the next step was to let Kix sedate you until you were better healed to keep you still. We shouldn't have to take those precautions outside of Fives. You're better than that."

    That, he fought the urge to scowl, was a clear challenge. He and that thrice cursed ARC were made from different stock, clearly.

    "Yeah," in the end, he didn't have to say anything out loud. Ahsoka flashed her teeth in perfect understanding, "I thought so." She nodded her head smartly, satisfied that that was that.. "C'mon then, let's walk out a lap and then I'll help you file reports - the Force only knows Anakin isn't going to unless we bantha-prod him. Unfortunately, paperwork is all you're fit for until Kix has his say."

    Rex rolled his eyes, but fell into step besides his commander without protesting. It was the most natural place for him to be. "Aye, sir," he agreed. "We'll do it your way, then."

    "Good," Ahsoka grinned. She slipped her arm through his own, forcing him to walk next to her instead of a step behind. With a fond sigh, he humored her. "And, Rex . . . I'm glad you're okay," her voice softened to say. He knew that she meant her words in more ways than one.

    "Me too, verd'ika," he found his own words hushed to return. "Me too."

    The Ryl dictionary I found online was an aid for roleplaying, so I am not sure how canon it is, but it was still so much fun to explore! So here are my gleanings. :)

    Haoy - Mother
    Chee'on - Warrior
    Bocara chi'kan - Erm, idiotic deviant is putting it nicely (The first word literally means 'smart as a rock' and the second word describes someone who's corrupt/astray, especially in a sexual manner. So I can only imagine that it's probably a common insult for daughters who don't follow their father's arrangements. Twi'lek culture can be . . . interesting. [face_plain])

    Verd'ika - Little soldier
    Ad'ika - Little one
    Aliit - Family, of both blood and choice
    Haran - Hell, literally 'cosmic destruction'
    Jari’eyc - Ugly ruin, wreckage
    Vod'e - Sibling(s)

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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