Title: There's Always a Calm Before the Storm. Authors: @darthbernael and @Adalia-Durron Timeline: Five years after the Exegol battle. Genre: Romance/tension Characters: Zara and Tiber Ordwgal - Former Fighter pilots now settled down. Summary : Zara and Tiber married during the Resistance War and after the they settled on her homeworld of Bakura. Zara is adopted and a Twi'lek and Tiber is Luxrul and they'd long since accepted a family was out of reach, to the point of lying about what they want. She stared again in disbelief; it was positive. This was the third time she’d taken the test, and each time she’d gotten the same result. Sitting on the edge of their bed her mind was racing, spinning almost. ‘How was this possible?’ was the biggest question. The medical professionals had told her that the chances were extremely slim to none. Her being Twi’lek, him being Lexrul meant there was little or no chance they’d ever become parents naturally. Over the years Zara had grown to accept that fact, it’d hurt at first as they’d talked openly about a family. When they got the news, things changed. Over time he’d started saying how children would ruin their marriage, how they would cramp their unique style and how no one really wanted poop, vomit, sleepless nights and loss of independence. So how could she do this, how could she tell him. She was pregnant. Against all odds, against all belief, she’d missed two cycles and the tests, all three, were clear. Coupled with her mood swings and nausea it all made sense. He was due home any moment, and she was terrified. Would he want it gone? Would he want out? He had made it very clear in recent years that they were happy, why ruin it? Was she being irrational? The sound of the door opening and shutting behind him sounded through their home. In the distance she could hear him giving instructions to the house droid, his tone grumpy as he told it that his flight suit needed to be cleaned...again as a trainee pilot on their first flight had lost their lunch while being shown maneuvers by him. Footsteps sounded, getting closer to the bedroom. They paused at the closet by their room, the sound of him getting out of his uniform and into regular clothes occupied the next few minutes. That and more grumbles about not having gotten much other work done as every time he turned around the kids were into something else. Luckily, he'd had the crews locking their canopies, after last time... And then the latch turned on the bedroom door, it slowly opened and there he was, looking tired and worn from the day. Zara did not hear him come home, nor did she hear him do much else till his grumbling came from the closet. Jumping up she went to the pillows, shoving the test under them and standing up to bite her lip. "Bad day?" He looked up, sighing as he saw her, she still took his breath away. And then he leaned against the door frame, "I need to talk to your dad or someone about these kids they keep sending me for the Fighter Corps. That's the third one this week that threw up in the cockpit when I took the G-dampeners off and threw the trainer into a hard bank." He reached out with a foot, hooking a chair over and falling into it. "We were never that green, were we, Z? Most of these really are kids, no maturity at all." He looked up, really looking at her this time, seeing her lip tucked under her teeth. An eyebrow went up, "What's up, Z? You look like I caught you sneaking candy." She shook her head, behind her lekku twitched. "I'm fine. And they're learning, we all have to learn." She shrugged, "You and I were lucky we started really young and had our parents support. They are just learning....maybe you shouldn't be so hard on them. I mean taking off the G's was kinda cruel....don't you think?" In fact, she thought it torture, why would he go out of his way to do that? "I mean, why? To amuse you?" He shook his head, "They have to learn they're not always going to have all the fancy systems to keep themselves alive. Hell, the first few weeks of training we turn all the safety systems to the minimum so they learn the edges of what they can survive. If they can't they get shunted to the Transport Corps." His expression darkened, "I cannot use a fighter pilot that cannot survive without their upgrades. They have to be the best possible candidates to make it through the training." Zara remembered she had years to learn that. “So, the deep end is your only solution? Seriously? Did you learn that one over night? Or were you just born with perfection?” She was annoyed. “I got a chance to build up to that, pretty sure you did too! Kinda unfair if you ask me, they’re just kids.” Her tone was making him grumpy again. "After they learn the basics without, they slowly get reintroduced to them and then once they are good with the systems, they begin having them taken away again. Just because there is peace right now, mostly, doesn't mean that there aren't real threats out there that we have to be prepared for." He wiped his brow, "Plus they have to be able to see that their commander can do these things and isn't asking them to do things they cannot." "So, ....." she folded her arms. "You're showing off? Years of training and then combat experience and you want these kids to be in awe of you?" She shook her head. "I think you're being cruel; you've made it clear how you feel about kids." This was it; this was the point where his true feelings would tell her which way to go with her secret. He sighed; it was this old argument again. "Is this what this is truly about, having kids? It's not possible for us, we've tried. And our life is good, we're doing well just the two of us. Don't bring that into how I make sure the fighter pilots are trained." He hated this argument, it always made him feel bad. He'd never been able to give them a family. And so, he'd set aside his desire for that so he didn't hurt her by making her think he wanted kids. So much so that he almost...almost believed that he didn't. Which was possibly part of why he pushed the trainee pilots so much. “Are we though? Right now, I don’t see that.” She was being dismissed and did not like it. “Right now, my opinion is crap to you, so yeah, must be good for you.” Irrationality was creeping in; she was capable of it but mostly controlled it. Not today. “Glad you marrying a Princess and getting such a great gig handed to you makes ‘us’ doing well!” Her voice was raising, was this hormones? His head snapped up, "You know I didn't marry you because you're a Princess. Your opinion is crap? What in the seven hells do you mean by that? You've always told me you don't want them because we cannot have them." He threw himself back against the chair, the legs scooting over the floor slightly because of it. "Yes, I care how you feel, I always do but you're forcing two arguments into one. A 'great gig' that's a laugh, I'd rather it be you and I in our fighters, just us fighting the good fight than having to figure out how to keep these greenhorns from killing themselves just so they could possibly be as good as you someday." “So you torture them? You make sure they are turned off this path?” She walked around the bed to stand before him. “If you can’t have what you want, you’re gonna torture kids over it? Is that it?” Where was she going with this? She had no idea. “Just because I can’t have kids, you think you need to make others suffer? You sure its not me you want to hurt?” What was she saying? His head whipped up as though she'd just physically hit him. "No, never." he said quietly, his heart aching. "Why would I ever want to hurt you?" He sighed again, moisture in his eyes, "You haven't seen the dispatches, the reports, Z. Something is out there, hitting systems and fading away. I can't have you or our family hurt if they come for Bakura. And if that means being overly hard on the trainees so only the best, toughest, make it through then so be it." It was too late for him; her irrationality had set in and she was about to start talking verbal poodoo. She shook her head. “Nope…..no.” She turned away. “You just don’t want to be tied down anymore….I get it………..I’m not stupid!” She turned and walked to the window to look out to the distant mountains. “I won’t hold you here, if you want to be free…Off you go. Go find the war, go find the battle you need, if you say it’s out there better go find it.” The idiotic words pour from her mouth were not making sense anymore, but she couldn’t stop them. Tears were welling and she could feel her lekku twitching almost violently. The chair hit the wall as he stood suddenly. He could see her lekku twitching and knew something was up, something she wasn't telling him. "Why do you want me gone? Where have I said I want to leave or to end us?" he demanded. "Did I not just say I'm doing all of this to be sure we, you, are safe?" He walked across the room so he was in front of her, "What is this Z? Really, honestly, why are you acting this way, saying these things? Do you truly want me gone? I do not want that at all." He said quickly, fiercely. "You don't want kids." She said simply as a single tear escaped and ran down her cheek. This hurt. "We cannot have kids, that is not the same, Z. And I gave up that dream when we learned we couldn't. Because I didn't want to hurt you by making you think I wanted them." he said, very quietly Her lips trembled. "You've been lying?" His hand lifted, under her chin, lifting her face so their eyes met. "Zara, I wish we could share that joy. It would mean the galaxy to me to be able to give you that but I failed you in that so yes I've been lying about not wanting them because I hate seeing you hurting." Tears were now flowing down his cheeks. She didn’t hesitate and surged forward to wrap her arms around his neck, she began to cry hard now. “I’m….so…so..sorry. I didn’t….mean…….to be….so…. mean. I can't.....help......it." His arms wrapped around her without hesitation. "Zara, I'm sorry I lied about kids. I love you and hate seeing you in pain." he whispered. Something still felt incomplete, though. He kissed her cheek, felt the twitching of her lekku still, "What is it? I know there's more or you wouldn't be so hard on me." She looked down, this was the moment, her stomach was churning as what she was about to say would change their lives forever. She felt her hand shaking, why was she so scared now? He’d just told her he’d lied. She couldn’t find the words, or was it her voice that was gone? Looking up she placed a single finger on his lips and then pulled the hand back to hold it up to him in an indication to ‘wait’. He looked at her, there was something. Her finger on his lips, her movement, her hand shaking all told him that but she asked him to wait so he stood there, holding her in his arms, silent, just looking at her. She tried, but nothing came out, so with a shake of her head she broke free and returned to the bed and began searching under the pillows. His curiosity was raised now. Trailing after her his eyebrows went up as she searched under the pillows, what could she be looking for? "Z, what's going on?" he asked. She found it, wrapping both hands around it she pulled the test stick out to hold it to her chest for few heart beats before turning to him. Releasing one hand she wiped her tears away before extending her fist with the test firmly inside it. He reached out a hand, she'd found what she was looking for, and the shape seemed familiar. His heart began to pound in a hope he hadn't held in a long time as he waited for her to let him see. "Is...is it...really?" he asked, haltingly. She dropped it in his hand, feeling the colour in her cheeks flushing and her heart now racing as she withdrew her hand and waited. It landed in his palm and he rolled it until the test strip was face up. He lifted it closer to his face and suddenly the test was tossed back on the bed and he yelled in sheer joy "Really???? Positive!!!!" And then wrapped her up tightly and lifted her in a big hug. "Oh Zara, we're going to be parents." he said, tears of joy now dripping down his face as he hugged her. She squealed as he lifted her, before letting out a gulp of relief. “Yes.” She whispered as she buried her face into his neck, her whole body was now trembling. She was happy, excited, trepidatious and scared. “We are.” And then he set her down, "Ohhh, oops, better not do that. Need to keep you both safe and healthy. And call the doctor and start shopping for baby stuff and babyproof the house and..." he was babbling now but it was because of how happy he was. He reached up, cupping her face, "Zara, we'll figure this out as we go through it. Yes, I know you have more to do than I but I'll be here through it all." She nodded quickly and closed her eyes, this was the most important thing that was ever going to happen to them, and the chances of a second miracle were slim to none so she knew she had to savour every moment of this. She did have concerns and wanted them addressed right away. Slowly she opened her eyes as she bit her lip. "You realise this is going to be rough.....but rougher for...." She did it for the first time, placed her hands over her lower stomach. "Him or her." He nodded, "This isn't going to be easy for you or them." He thought for a moment, hooked a leg over to the door handle and managed to get it open. "Droid, get in here." When it rolled in "Secure protocol, only accessible to you, me, and Zara for now. Contact the family doctor, have them assign one team solely for monitoring Zara and have an appointment booked today. Now go, do it." He stated. Turning back to her, "I'm sorry but I may be a helicopter dad to be, worried every time you have even the slightest twinge. Just so you know ahead of time." She watched in disbelief. "NO!!" Turning to the droid. "Ignore everything he just said!" She looked back and couldn't help but smile. "That's not what I meant!" Reaching her hand up she ran her fingers over the side of his head. "You're really cute when you worry, but you're wrong about what I was getting at." The right words were needed. "This child will be...........a hybrid. No one knows how this will work out, there is even a chance it won't. We need to know that." It was a downer but before he'd come home these thoughts had all gone through her mind. He leaned his head into the movement of her fingers. "We were more than lucky that it even happened. And yes, I know it could mean trouble throughout the pregnancy. Hence me wanting you checked out right away." he said softly as one hand drifted down and lightly pressed against her abdomen. "He or she needs our care and attention both during the pregnancy and after. Life won't always be kind to them but they will grow up in a home filled with love and care." He smiled slightly, "Oh, and consider yourself officially grounded until the doctors say it's safe for you to fly. That's an order, not risking either of you." Zara allowed soft smile. "I want to keep this quiet for a while. I promise I will see my physician; I promise I will get the appropriate care............" a chuckle, "And I reluctantly promise I won't fly." She shrugged. "I was home-schooled, my brothers and sister were too, we managed and we got to follow our dreams." She brought hand back to his cheek, "and find them. I'm so sorry I put you though that. I was having so many doubts, I was scared and I guess.....my hormones took over. I could hear what I was saying but couldn't stop my mouth moving." He smiled, rubbing his cheek over her hand. "I'm sorry I got worked up too. I didn't realize at first where you were going in the discussion. And I'm really sorry I made you worry I wouldn't be overjoyed at this." He leaned in kissing her softly before moving his head back. "Home-schooling is not bad. But," he chuckled "they're not allowed near the flightline unless one of us is there too. They'll be a mix of us and I know how I was when I was younger and have a feeling you were much the same." He grinned and laughed at that. She smirked, "My mother went grey early, those side bits above her ears? All me.” He wrapped her in a more delicate hug, laughing as she spoke. "I think my parents would have microchipped me if they could have gotten away with it." He admitted. She looked down at her flat belly. "Can we do that?" He looked down too, a smile on his face, "Do you honestly think a child of ours would hold still long enough to do so, no matter their age?" "No." She giggled before looking back to him. "I love you, honest I do." She placed her hand on his chest and the other on her now unborn child. "This is the best way to show you how much." His eyes locked on hers, he mimicked her hand position, "I love you, Zara. And I love our unborn too, already. Our home will be whole with our child in it, the greatest gift our love can bring forth." he said, softly. Leaning forward she put her forehead on his and true to form, her wayward lekku wiggled forward and curled over his shoulder and around his neck. She merely smiled at the involuntary act. He felt her wrap herself around him, her lekku doing as they always did, demonstrating just how much they meant to each other. He sighed happily, content to be in her arms, happier than he'd thought he could be. A rumble was heard from outside and Zara looked out the window. “There’s a storm coming.” Bernael and I love to explore our characters and while doing that, this just kinda started as an idea and developed into a quick story. Please don't judge our grammar and stuff, we do this just for fun and nothing more. Its just a small part of the world we created for these two.