Night time had settled over the lakehouse. Sierra
Rodney was making trips from the refresher to the
bedroom as she prepared a bath. Nea was running at her
ankles, nearly tripping her repeatedly. "Gah! Aren't
felinx supposed to be afraid of water?!" She said. Nea
fearlessly hopped up onto the edge of the bathtub. The
black and white felinx carefully balanced himself there.
"You're going to watch, aren't you?" She frowned,
rubbing underneath the felinx's chin. Her other hand
threw in far too much bubble solution. Sierra had
received the official sweepstakes information from
Auntie Mae's on her datapad. She figured that she and
Claudius could laugh at all the silly Gungan ceremony
options they'd been given while enjoying a bath.
Apparently Nea was going to be involved in it too. When
Sierra left the bathroom again, Nea jumped from the bath
and followed her again. She assumed the felinx would be
back on top of Claudius at its first opportunity. "Did
you rub some felinx nip on my ankles?" She asked
Claudius, glancing down at their new family pet.
"No, but now that you mention it, that could be an
effective strategy to employ to rid myself of Nea when
she's pinned to my chest. As my aide it's your job to
see that my wife does not learn of this felinx nip
plot," Claudius informed her, with a wink, as he
continued undressing himself in preparation for the
bubble bath. "You're the one that let him in," he
reminded her, as he knew that Bruce had become an animal
magnet. Fortunately, the sea monster on Delaya, nor the
sea cow or otters had made their way into their indoors
yet. "Don't get him wet," he said, as he finished
undressing and brushed past her into the bathroom. He
sat on the rim of the tub and allowed his arm to fall
into the water, testing the temperature before
submerging his entire body. "I don't like that he sees
me naked..." he said to Sierra, but his eyes were
fixated on the felinx.
Sierra laughed while shaking her head. "That's
playing dirty, *Governor*." She reached down to pet Nea.
"I let him in, but I know you enjoyed petting him the
other day!" She straightened up. Turning on her heel,
she headed into the bathroom. She could feel Nea's
absurdly fluffy tail rubbing against her legs as she
started to undress. "I don't like it either... I think
he's judging us.." Before Sierra finished undressing,
she collected Nea in her arms. She set him on the bed
and quickly escaped into the refresher behind a closed
door. She grabbed her datapad from near the sink only to
hazardously set it on the rim of the tub. She stripped
herself of her final pieces of clothing then sunk into
the warm waters. Her shoulders fell, as did her head. It
was so relaxing.
"Meeoooooowwwww! Meow! Meow! Meooowww!" The sounds of
scratching at the door were audible in the refresher.
Sierra looked towards the door. "We're not going to get
a single moment of privacy anymore, are we?" At least
the bantha is at the estate and not trying to join
"I wish the bantha would get a bath, honestly,"
Claudius said, as he looked at her burgeoning baby bump
as she disrobed. There was nothing as attractive as his
wife when she was glowing from pregnancy. "No. Privacy
is for those without children and pets," he explained to
her, as he adjusted his leg over the rim and slid into
the bath water himself. He gasped suddenly as the warm
water enveloped his old frame, still featuring bruised,
discolored ribs. The hot water did much to sooth him,
but the incessant scratching at the door was
distracting. "If only we had some jizz," he said,
referring to the loud music, which he hoped could drown
out the sound of the desperate felinx.
The bantha did smell. Sorbet smelled *all* the time
though. "Aahhh. I see. It all makes sense now. Well, I'd
say they are worth the sacrifice." She smiled brightly
at him. "Does the water feel okay?" She asked him. She
was aware that he was still healing. So far, she had
kept him from exerting himself. Everything seemed to be
healing properly. The scratching persisted, but it
slowly began less insistent. "I should have borrowed a
record from Dru. Maybe he'll stop scratching if he
thinks we aren't doing anything exciting in here." There
was a good chance Sierra would give up and let the
felinx in. For now, she reached towards her datapad and
scooted closer to her husband. "I received all the
information regarding our destination wedding." She
snickered at him. "I thought you might get a kick out of
looking at some of these options with me. Did you know
there's a Gunganese candy called 'nommi'?"
"It feels invigorating," Claudius shared with her, as
he allowed his head to briefly sink beneath the warm
water. A moment later he emerged from the surface of the
water, with streams running down over his face and
causing his hair to matte. "Dru is not the lending kind.
She would have charged you a rental fee," he said, with
a soft chuckle at his family's quirks. "Unfortunately,
this *is* where the excitement is," he said, as he
outstretched his leg and let his foot tease at her
submerged thigh. "Gunganese candy? Oh my. I suppose it's
now mass produced by Auntie Mae," he added, with a
smirk, as he allowed her to tell her more about their
That was the response she was looking for. Sierra
would do anything to make him feel better. "I don't
think I can afford her fees. Imagine if I returned it to
her late..." She laughed softly. Claudius was trying to
start trouble. Her cheeks reddened. As attracted as she
was to him, ever resisting him was difficult. One of her
hands dipped beneath the water to grab his foot and
begin massaging it slowly. "Claudius Rodney, you
initiator! You're my patient. You need to behave."
Sierra stuck her tongue out at him. They both knew it
wouldn't take much persuasion for Sierra to become a bad
nurse. "Isn't everything mass produced by Auntie Mae
now? I never imagined to use a pregnancy test that
looked like ice cream." She rolled her eyes. Her grin
grew. "Well, there are three 'sceneries' we can pick
from. There's a Naboo Abyss setting. Apparently it
features a real opee sea killer... Out of all the
animals I'll gladly take home, opee sea killer is on the
no-no list. There's a Otoh Gunga setting in which a
Rugor Nass impersonator will marry us.. In fine print,
the brochure comments to bring umbrellas. Apparently
he's a wet talker.. Finally, there's a Lake Paonga
setting. Frankly, it looks the safest. Wow. The Gungan
basic language in this brochure is intense. 'Disa placea
isa berry good'."
"There's something wild about you child that's so
contagious. Let's be outrageous. Let's misbehave,"
Claudius replied, before moving his foot away from her
so they could discuss their impending Gungan adventure.
"Well if there's going to be an opee sea killer we can't
allow Bruce anywhere near it. One violent sea monster is
enough for one child," he said, as he listened to all of
the options. "I think we can both deal without the
Gungan spit," he said, before reaching into the water
and pulled on one of her legs. He began rubbing her foot
intensely as he continued running through the brochure
for him. "Lake Paonga? Sounds lov-er-ly," he said,
before moving over towards her other foot to continue
"I feel quite sure un peu d'amour would be
attractive. While we're still active. Let's misbehave,"
Sierra snickered wide at her love as they recounted the
classic together. The noise Sierra made when Claudius
began massaging her foot was alike to the purr of their
felinx. Her eyes closed briefly. "Oh my gosh," she
sighed. "Lake Paonga it is.." She looked at him. Seeing
him doing so much better took a weight off of her
shoulder. She was extremely overprotective with
him...yet there had been nothing she could do to protect
him in the crash. "Yousas gonna luv it." She inflicted a
Gungan accent on her voice. "Oh my. You'll like this.
Apparently all the food is catered by someone named 'Doo
Doo Fast'. I'm not joking." She began giggling like she
was half her age. She turned the datapad towards him,
pointing out the name and the picture of Doo Doo Fast.
"I'll take note of that harbinger. We're going to bring
our own picnic. I don't want to have a repeat of our
wedding night sickness." Especially not since she had to
deal with the occasional morning sickness. She set the
datapad aside. "This is going to be pure insanity, you
know. I think we should just embrace it. There's a
Gungan Jug Band we can select to perform at the wedding.
Can you imagine?"
When Sierra informed him of the name of the caterer
he released his grip on her leg and dropped it back into
the bath water. "Doo-Doo Fast? You can't be serious..."
he said, as now he was sure that she was teasing him and
taking the Gungan thing a bit too far. But when she
showed him the name and the picture he was astonished,
but he supposed it meant something different in the
Gungan language. "Yes. A picnic. I don't want to get
food poisoning," he said, as he considered what they
were in store for. "We need to embrace it. We both need
to unwind after our last vacation," he informed her,
before reaching into the water and moving his hand up
from her foot to begin massaging her calf this time.
"Vacation? What last vacation?" She winked. "I'm
sorry that didn't all work out according to plan and
that you ended up getting hurt. This is going to be an
injury-free trip." She was sinking further into the
water. Her calf felt just as wondrous as her foot did.
Her body began releasing all the tension she'd been
holding onto. "Mmmm. That feels so good, Claudius." She
purred. Speaking of purring...she could no longer hear
the felinx scratching at the door. Instead, Nea had
curled himself up in Claudius' uniform on the floor
outside of the refresher. "If anyone tries to dry hump
me again, you better punch them in the face..."
"It went well until the Rebel attack," Claudius shot
back, with a wink, as he still had not gotten over it.
"Yes. It has to be. I'm too old for injuries," he
reminded her, as his hand worked its way up to the area
behind her knee. He began rubbing deeper, doing his best
to make her comfortable and relaxed, as he knew taking
care of him had been a difficult task. "If anyone tries
to do *that* again I'll punch them someplace else," he
said, with a bit of a sneer. "When do you want to make
this little trip?" he asked her, as he leaned back into
the soaking tub.
She groaned. "I intend to hunt down those damn
Rebels. I don't trust Governor Arundel to do anything
either than soak up the fact that you got hurt." She
wouldn't let him get hurt again. His chest was still
healing, still visibly showing all of his efforts to
keep her and their unborn twins safe. She didn't mind
taking care of him. She loved him so deeply. The only
difficult part was watching him suffer. She shook away
the unpleasant thoughts of the King of Skor II. Sierra
had learned a lesson: never go to Skor II without her
husband. Also, never agree to anything Squibbish until
one understands all the terms and conditions. "Um," she
reached towards the datapad again. She brought it to
life then quickly scrolled through at the details. "Doo
Doo Fast," she mumbled to herself with a shake of her
head. She checked the eligible dates, then lazily
dropped the datapad beside the tub. She departed from
her side of the tub. "Let's give you a few more days to
rest and then we'll go." Sierra gently sat in his lap.
She kept her weight off of his chest. Her bare hands ran
over it with the most gentle of caresses. "You're
certainly beginning to look better. You worried me, you
butt." She looked up at him. "I'm purchasing you a
"Careful, my love. Keep saying things like that and
you'll be accused of being an ISB agent," Claudius
teased her, as she showed a bit of menace in her comment
about the Rebels on Delaya. "Speaking of shields I
understand that the Gungans have quite an interesting
bit of shielding technology. There was a battle on Naboo
about a decade before the Clone Wars we studied to learn
about Separatist battle droids. Maybe you can get me one
of those," he suggested, as he wrapped his arms around
her. He leaned forward into her, brushing away her hair,
and placing gentle kisses upon her neck and shoulders.
"I love you," he whispered into her ear, between hot
breaths, as the kiss broke. Fortunately the felinx was
not here to see this.
"Nooo. Not that! Anything but *that*!" Sierra was the
worst ISB officer aboard the ship. She was lucky to have
Claudius to hide behind, least someone attempt to bring
her down from her branch. His comment about the Gungan
shields made her chuckle. "I wonder if they'll give me a
better deal if I buy some in bulk. Given Bruce's
genetics, I think he might need a shield too." It was
her turn to tease him. Sierra remained mindful of her
position. Her hands ran up his arms to settle at his
shoulder. She was gently pressed against him. The first
sign of pain that she saw would send her away. For the
moment, she basked in the loving affection of her
husband. Her heart skipped a beat between his kisses,
hot breaths, and his profession of love for her. Her
hand moved up into his wet hair. "I love you," she
whispered in response. "I missed you like crazy when I
was on Skor the other day. I couldn't stop thinking of
you." The happenings on Delaya had made an impact on her
love for him. "We've nearly been together for eight
months already. Eight months, and we've still got so
many more to look forward to."
"To think you could have been Queen of Skor II if you
had played your cards right," Claudius teased her,
before moving his face down to bite at her playfully.
The closeness they shared was like nothing he had ever
felt before. "Eight months and how many pets?" he teased
her, as he listened to the sound of the felinx, but
blissfully heard none. "It feels like these have been
the most eventful eight months of my life," he confessed
to her, as he looked back on everything that had
happened during that time. "My brother could benefit
from one of those shields as well. Perhaps a bulk
purchase is in order," he suggested, as it seemed the
male members of the family were injury prone.
"Gah!" She squeaked as he bit her. "A real missed
opportunity, huh?" Sierra rolled her eyes. She did *not*
want to be the Queen of Skor II. "One bantha, one felinx,
countless ducks and various birds, a Delayan sea cow, a
family of otters..." Sierra began to count on her
fingers. She lowered her hand back into his hair to
massage his scalp. "I'm not sure if I improved your life
or made it a hundred times more difficult." She giggled
as she leaned forward to kiss his forehead. "Do you
think they can make youth sized shields? Last year the
family had no male children, after the twins are born
there will be *three*." Sierra snickered at the mental
image of the male members of the family all having
Gungan shields to keep them safe. Doctor Tohan would be
"Improvement can be difficult. That's what makes it
worthwhile," Claudius reassured her, as he smiled across
the bath at her. "Mesa tinkin dey can do neting," he
said, mocking the Gungan accent, before giving her a
playful splash. He could not believe this destination
wedding was actually happening. Someone at the Auntie
Mae's marketing department was surely having a laugh at
this. "Are we bringing anyone with us?" he asked, as he
was not sure whether he should subject anyone else to
the Gungans and their idea of what a wedding was. In his
mind he could imagine no more toxic combination than
Gungans and Squibs.
The Gungan accent made Sierra laugh hard every time.
She brought her hands up to her face to defend herself
while he splashed her. She glared at him. "Mesa tink
yousa do dat a wittle too well..." She splashed him
back. The destination wedding was sure to bring stories
that they could tell their grandchildren...not that they
would ever allow any of their children to procreate.
"Should we bring anyone with us? I'm not supposed to be
lifting heavy weights, so you will need to carry
Drusilla onto the ship. As for the Squibs... I read in
the brochure that they serve a dessert that's so sweet,
a single bite is said to give you a sugar rush. I don't
know if we should expose Melickielickie and
Ewwiekewwieikkie to that... We should bring everyone."
She decided with a grin.
"Everyone?!" Claudius repeated, before dramatically
raising his forearm to his forehead and sighing. "Well.
It's your funer- err ... wedding," he replied, knowing
he was in trouble the moment he said it. "We're going to
really do a number on those poor Gungans with our
entourage, but I can't say I'm not looking forward to
it. After all, it is our win. We might as well take full
advantage," he said, as he leaned forward, across the
soapy water that separated, and placed a kiss upon his
wife. "But I'm not sure if we bring the pets," he said,
almost as soon as the kiss broke.
"Hey!" She poked his knee. "At least someone else
will clean up after we're done having our *funeral*."
Sierra stuck her tongue out at him. She really hoped
they had the chance to meet the Gungan named Doo Doo
Fast. If they did, she was going to get his autograph.
No one would believe her otherwise. "There you go!
That's the spirit." Her soapy hands cupped his face
while they kissed. During their kiss, the meowing began
again at the door. Nea was done with giving them
privacy. "Nope. Sea Betsy's coming. Arrange her
transportation!" She spoke in a bridezilla-like fashion.
Sierra began rising from the bath. The water wasn't as
warm as it once was. Nea had won the battle. She tossed
a smile towards her husband. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
All the animals will stay at home. Our son is bound to
attract the natives while we're there anyway." She
offered him her hands to help him out of the tub. "Nea
is waiting for you."
"Don't worry. Doo Doo can't afford to upset the
Auntie Mae's sweepstakes winner," Claudius said, as he
stepped out of the bath tub and began the process of
drying himself. "Sea Betsy ... coming?" he said, so
shocked and concerned that he dropped the towel.
Fortunately she was joking, which prompted him to resume
drying himself. "Nea can keep waiting," he insisted, as
he placed an extra hand down in front of his crotch just
in case the felinx attempted to jump. "You must protect
me," he begged of her, as he slipped into his bathrobe
and began moving past the felinx towards the bed.
Sierra dried herself off as the felinx' meows grew
louder. She hung up her towel then slid into her robe.
"Don't worry, I will." Sierra shooed Nea off. No one
wanted an incident with one's crotch and sharp felinx
claws. When she arrived at the bed, she stripped out of
her robe and crawled beneath the sheets. No sooner had
she gotten comfortable did she feel a gentle weight on
the bed. She glanced down. Nea had already joined them
and was looking expectantly at Claudius. "I will never
have you to myself ever again, love." The felinx was
already beginning to creep up the bed with a smile on
its silly, cute face.
Claudius was moving towards the bed when Nea
predicted his movements and preoccupied his indentation
in the bed. "Blast," he cursed, as he stood at the edge
of the bed, separated from his wife by the felinx. He
folded his arms in front of his chest and glared at the
felinx, but of course it did not move. "Sierra..." he
whined, sounding like one of the children. He moved
cautiously towards the bed, placing his palms on the
mattress and slowly climbing on it. Instantly Nea moved
towards him, rubbing its face in his, and preventing him
from getting comfortable. "Sierra..." he whined again,
making it clear that Drusilla learned more from him than
one might have thought.
She had to laugh at the situation. The felinx had
chosen his person, and that person was Claudius. She
could hear the rumble of its purr, thus displaying how
pleased Nea was that his owners had returned. "This is
going to be a nightly fight, isn't it? Thank goodness
the bantha didn't take to you as much as this one did."
She reached across the bed and picked up Nea. The felinx
resisted for a moment but once Sierra began petting Nea
behind the ears, he embraced it. "Hurry! Get in bed!"
She placed Nea at the end of the bed. "Stay here," she
said, petting the felinx until it laid down. She
thought, for a single moment, that Nea would stay. As
soon as Claudius was on his side of the bed, Sierra
leaned forward to kiss him deeply. Her body nudged up
closely with his.
As soon as Sierra moved Nea, Claudius dove into bed
like a pilot trying to get through a shield. "Phew," he
said, as he climbed under the sheets and settled into
bed. He was glad that Sierra was kissing him, but then
suddenly he felt something. Of course it was Nea moving
up the bed, walking up his body, until moving its face
into their kiss for some threeway action. "Oh Nea!" he
cried, as their kiss broke, but unfortunately *any*
conversation was good conversation to the felinx.
Instead of setting down for the night, it simply sat
down, and began staring intently into his face, with its
tail occasionally flicking back and forth.
There he was. Nea's dark eyes were *staring* at them
as if he was looking into their very souls. "Oh gez!" He
had moved up the bed so gently that she didn't feel it.
Now he wanted kisses too. "Nea.." She ran her hand down
the length of the felinx's body. "Okay, okay, I'll
behave and go to bed. I don't want you to watch." She
leaned forward to place a single kiss on the top of
Nea's head. She wondered if Claudius would bring Nea
aboard the ship...or if Nea would simply make his way
aboard the Retributor and that would be that. "You need
to get your sleep anyway," she said, now referring to
her husband. "You're going to need all your energy for
our insane Gungan wedding." Her head turned towards his.
Her nose nuzzled against his. "Mesa luv you berry much!"