The thing one
has to understand about pregnant women is that there
comes a time when the whole 'nesting' concept hits
them like a brick. For Sierra Rodney, that day had
arrived. Suddenly, it bothered her that there was
*nothing* ready for her son. In fact, she obsessed
about it all day long while reviewing boring datapad
after boring datapad. By the time she boarded the
Kwai to head home, she knew that this situation
needed to be rectified ... which is exactly why she
and her husband were spending the night out in New
Calamar instead of relaxing at home. Sierra, ever
the planner, had a datapad with a list of baby
necessities. She was silly to think that she could
walk into a nursery department store and actually
keep to the list. Regardless, she wasn't going home
until she felt like they were closer to being ready.
She pitied El-Nay, left at home to baby sit the
girls. There had been a disaster in the kitchen
involving Sierra's pudding and Ewwiekewwieikkie.
In order to
avoid interference, they both had dressed in
civilian clothing and broke away from the
Stormtroopers. Sierra wanted blissful peace while
they bonded over Bruce. As she moved towards the
baby store, she spotted a billboard that was lit
up... Pudding Pops. Auntie Mae had officially
discovered Sierra's craving. "Oh man... That woman's
tactics are better than an ISB agent." She frowned
as the Auntie Mae jingle suddenly got stuck in her
Stormtroopers behind, Claudius was nervous for the
wellbeing of his wife. He almost considered bringing
the Mandalorian along, if only because she had a
proven track record of being a human shield and
suitable distraction. Orange Mandalorian armor was
practically a blaster magnet. Baby shopping was not
something he had ever done before. When Jelena was
born the Clone Wars were raging and he was needed at
the front, and Drusilla's birth coincided with his
wife's death and drove him away from home. He had
servants at the castle who took care of this sort of
thing, but unless he was going to task junior
officers with this then it would be entirely up to
him and his wife. Sierra seemed to be the attentive
parent, rather than the absentee one he had been, so
he expected many sojourns like this as they neared
the big day. Auntie Mae was everywhere ... like a
plague of old spreading across the galaxy unchecked.
"The woman is a menace," he grumbled under his
breath, as he walked with her towards the baby
There was no
way she'd task any junior officers with this. If
Ensign Sheppard couldn't successfully deliver
dinner, then she surely wasn't up to the task of
picking out a crib or putting it together. With her
hand in his, she attempted to calm him. It was never
a good idea not to bring the Stormtroopers. As
annoying as they could be, they provided protection
and her and Claudius seemed to need it. However, her
thoughts had settled elsewhere for the time being.
She rolled her eyes. "I know. Her ice cream parlors
are everywhere now." She had even seen one at a port
in New Calamar. The woman was talented. Her ice
cream even sold like hotcakes on the planet Hoth.
"Here it is." She said, veering right into a store
that smelled like, well, baby powder. Sierra stood
just inside the doors, staring at a store that was
nearly as big as the estate. She felt overwhelmed as
she fumbled to grab her list from her purse. "Um.
Wow! This place is gigantic. I'm suddenly not so
sure I compiled a good list.. Where do we even st-"
She never finished the word because her eyes were
snatched up by the land of baby clothing in front of
her, particularly a very cute sleeper. She laughed
softly. "This is really happening, isn't it?" And
she was nothing but happy for the arrival of their
entered the store he was aghast by how large it was.
There were shelves stacked towards the roof and rows
that went back as far as the eye could see.
"Remember, I no longer have access to the Delayan
treasury," he said to her, quietly, as he began to
wonder how much they could actually afford. They
were going to need a baby shower to get *everything*
they wanted. He could have used his position as
Grand Moff to solicit bribes and seize assets to
gain personal wealth, but that went against his
personal code of honor. Colonel Zevrin, however, had
a made fortune in bribes and seized assets. "Yes.
It's happening. In a few months a new life is going
to emerge from you and drain our accounts for the
next two decades," he teased, as he followed behind
her, letting her lead the way.
anyone possibly need all the supplies sold in this
store? Sierra's list consisted of *immediate* needs,
like a bassinet, some clothing, bottles, and
blankets. That way, even if Bruce arrived really
early (which she didn't wish for), they'd be ready.
She intended to begin working on the mural for his
bedroom soon. Everything else would follow. She
nodded her head, smiling. "I remember. It's okay. I
looked at our budget." She never wanted him to
destroy his code of honor, especially not for money.
It would all work out...and if it didn't, apparently
Sierra could have a lucrative career in music. Since
the video of her performing with Max Rebo gained
attention, she had received offers for other
concerts. Right now, she simply wanted to survive
the Zevrin tour. Sierra laughed softly. "We mustn't
spoil him rotten. I don't think we can afford
Drusilla the Second." She smirked, guiding him
through a jungle of blues, greens, and various other
colored boy clothing. She decided to stay true to
her list and led him around the store until she
found the display with bassinets. Each one was so
darn cute and brought her closer to that
realization. In a few months, she would be a mother
to her own son. "What about this one?" She said,
pointing to a bassinet next to one clearly intended
for Gungan children. It looked more like an aquarium
than something to house a small child. Instead,
Sierra found a deep blue bassinet with a mobile
featuring various planets.
"I hate to
break it to you, my love, but we can't afford
Drusilla the First anymore!" Claudius said, as
credit signs appeared in his eyes as he looked at
every object on the shelves. Perhaps the store was
owned by a Rebel and they could seize it! "We need
to marry her off," he said, shrewdly, as it was one
way of fixing their financial situation. "Honey I
think that's for an aquatic lifeform, and our son
won't have gills unless there's something you want
to tell me," he said, with an accusatory glare, as
he folded his arms in front of his chest.
about asking her to sell some of her old dresses to
pay for her next shopping excursion. You know, the
ones we've only seen her wear for five minutes. The
more I thought about it, the more I realized that I
value my life and it's not worth it." Sierra
laughed. At least they were on the same page with
Drusilla. As much as they loved her, there was no
taming her. "If you can think of a way to make a
prince marry her, then that'll help." She nudged him
playfully. The idea of marrying Drusilla off was
scary. Could they really find someone who was
willing..? She laughed again at the way he glared at
her. She threw a smile back in his direction. "Ooh
yeah. With how active my night life is, anything is
possible." She laughed harder, leaning against him
so she could steal a kiss. " I *love* you ... and I
promise Bruce won't have gills." Suddenly, from
beneath the covered bottom of the bassinet, a head
poked out. It wasn't simply any ol' head. It was
blue, furry, and had bright yellow eyes. A tiny,
very young Squib. Sierra noticed it immediately. "Ohno!
You were right! Ewwiekewwieikkie *was* pregnant!" It
did resemble the one that they had left at home.
to ask her that? You're braver than I thought. I'll
alert the medics," Claudius teased, as they
continued their baby shopping. "Perhaps there's a
deaf Prince somewhere," he said, as he brought his
hand up to his chin to consider the option. The kiss
was much needed, and caused him to momentarily stop
complaining about his daughter. "I love you too. I'm
holding you to that!" he told her, with a smirk.
"Don't get any ideas. We already have one," he said,
as he attempted to get Sierra away from the Squib
infant before she attempted to claim it like the
otters at the lake.
"Love, I don't
think the medics can bring me back from that."
Drusilla would wreck her on the spot. She would have
to hold Max Rebo hostage and force him to play for
Dru in order to patch up their relationship after
that. Sierra couldn't stop laughing. "A deaf Prince?
You might be onto something there..." She stepped
back a few feet away from the Squib, but as she did,
the Squib's eyes filled with tears and it, a young
female, came running out from the basket of the
bassinet. Her little arms grasped Sierra by the leg.
"Mommy! Mommy! I want Mommy!" She cried. Something
shiny on Sierra's pants, likely sparkles leftover
from Callista's visit, attracted the little Squib.
She opened her mouth and began gnawing on Sierra's
J-Just think, they can play together..! Ow! Okay
fine, we can only have one." She bent down, running
her hand over the young Squib's head. "Hey, it's
okay. We'll help you find your mommy. Where did you
see her last?" Sierra looked up at Claudius. It
seemed their baby shopping would be briefly
Squib seemed lost and afraid, and as he looked down
upon her he was reminded of young Ewwiekewwieikkie
on Skor II. He frowned, as he bent down and took
hold of the excitable young Squib, and lifted her in
the air before placing her in their shopping cart.
As he looked down the massive aisles of the
oversized big box store he figured her parents could
be *anywhere*. "Maybe the store manager could make
an announcement?" he suggested, s suddenly
purchasing thousands of credits in baby products was
the least of their problems.
wiggled excitedly as she was picked up. She held her
arms up in a superman pose as she came to sit inside
of the shopping cart. Her little ears twitched. It
seemed she had no concept of 'don't talk to
strangers'. Try as she might, she couldn't remember
where her mother was. "I want Mommy!" She stated,
tears beginning to fill her big eyes.
totally forgotten why they had come into the store.
This little Squib *needed* them. As she began to
cry, Sierra reached into her purse and found a small
bag of Wookiee cookies. If nothing else, she thought
they might help calm the girl until they found her
family. "Here. These are my daughter's favorites. I
think you'll like them too." She said, but before
she could even open the bag the Squib girl had
snatched it and began biting down on the package.
Sierra preferred to sacrifice Ewwiekewwieikkie's
emergency stash of Wookiee cookies so her knee
didn't get bitten again. She looked at Claudius.
"Let's do it. This store is far too huge for us to
ever find her mother without help." Sierra replied
Squib grabbed a sleeper from the cart and held it
up. "Bawbby?" She said with a mouth full of
packaging. "Bawbbyyy!" She threw her arms out,
As the little
Squib girl embraced Claudius he could not help but
be transported to that dark day following the Battle
of Skor II when he found the young Ewwiekewwieikkie
amidst the ruins of Metrobig City with her dead
parents. A tear began to form in his eye and he
looked to Sierra, needing her more than she knew.
His war experience was relatively quiet compared to
many, but what he did see still stuck with him. "She
needs her parents," he said to Sierra, stating the
obvious. "I don't know how they could lose her. She
isn't exactly quiet," he said, with a smirk, as he
embraced the Squib back to be supportive. He could
only imagine what she was thinking.
concerned for the little Squib, who had to be even
younger than Callista. There was no leaving her
behind. They had to get her back to where she
belonged. Sierra's worried face met with that of her
husband's. She caught on that there was something
going on for him beneath the surface, though it
wasn't something they could bring up with a small,
scared Squib. To show her support, she wrapped an
arm around his waist and squeezed. "I don't know
either. It seems she's left a trail of fur." Sierra
pointed out a patch of blue fur sticking to a
display of crib bedding. As they rounded the corner,
Sierra heard a loud squeal followed by a tiny
version of the same squeal from the Squib. The
little Squib peered out from behind Claudius, her
eyes brightening. "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" She
kicked excitedly until Sierra helped her down from
the cart. Her mother, a *very* pregnant Squib who
had six other Squib children with her, looked
relieved to see her. The Squib woman embraced her
daughter, silently thanking Claudius and Sierra for
returning her daughter. As Sierra grabbed her
husband's hand and led him away, she could hear the
little Squib. "Oooooh, shiny..!"
into an aisle of nothing but blankets from floor to
ceiling. There, she embraced her love with both of
her arms. "Are you okay? I'll listen if you want to
pleasantly relieved to see the Squib returned to her
family, which was more than he could say for his
poor adopted daughter. "I'm okay," he said in a way
that made it transparent that he was not okay. "I
was just thinking back about the Battle of Skor II.
The little girl reminded me of Ewwiekewwieikkie when
she was young," he explained, as he began looking at
random baby items to take his mind off of it. "I'll
never get those images out of my mind," he said, as
he began looking at baby monitors. "I figure you can
just requisition an ISB monitoring device, yeah?" he
said, with a wink, as he put the baby monitor back
intertwined with him. She was certain she knew where
his mind had wandered off to. The Squib really did
look much alike to Ewwiekewwieikkie. She knew the
abridged, clean version of that story. She couldn't
begin to imagine what it was actually like for
Claudius. Ewwiekewwieikkie would never know about
the true fate of her parents, for that knowledge
threatened to destroy her innocence. She caught him
up in her arms in the aisle. "I'm sorry, Claudius. I
can't begin to understand what that was like. It
shows what kind of person you are that you saved
Ewwiekewwieikkie. Two decades later, she's laying
jewel eggs around the house and eating every sweet
that she sees. You gave her a life she wouldn't have
had otherwise." She wished she could stop the images
from tormenting him. Instead, she had to settle with
providing him an endless amount of support. His joke
earned him a smile, and a gentle slug in the arm.
"You're just trying to get in trouble today, aren't
you? C'mere." Hand back in his, she drug him further
through the aisle until they made it to a section
with holoprojectors. "I saw one of these on the
HoloNet, check it out." She poked the display model
of a certain holoprojector. It projected a huge,
starry-filled map of their sector. She stared at the
colorful planets, then looked up at Claudius. "We
should make Zevrin fund our future children
expenses." She said seriously. "That woman is always
stealing money. What else is she doing with it
besides buying whiskey?"
That's much better. A life full of gastrointestinal
problems," Claudius said with a snicker, as it
seemed just about every one of Ewwiekewwikkie's
orifices was having issues at the moment. "She's
getting pretty old. I wonder, will she marry and
leave us?" he asked, as he had never really given
any thought to her future. "...or will she be with
us long after our son has grown up and moved on?" he
said, as he was led towards the holoprojectors. When
she turned on the projector he was amazed by the
view of the galaxy it displayed. It was every bit as
technically sound as the one Meham'ohorovi'cloca
used to give him his briefings. "Oh. Now that's
hitting her where it'll hurt," he said, as he
brought his finger up to poke her in the cheek.
"...and since all of those credits were ill gotten
she cannot exactly complain either. I like the way
you think," he said, before picking up one of the
projectors and placing it in their cart.
laughed, hiding her face behind her hands. "Always
gotta find the crap lining to a silver cloud, huh?
You can't win 'em all, Claudius." She grinned at her
husband. The idea of marrying off Ewwiekewwieikkie
seemed foreign...but still..? "Squib culture is more
of your expertise than it is mine. How... How would
we even arrange that?" Maybe, in time, there would
be Squib grandchildren! With Jelena gone, it seemed
like it wouldn't be long until Drusilla left the
nest too. Claudius' first batch of children were
nearly fully grown while his second round was just
arriving. She simply couldn't imagine the house
empty, though, once she made it through two decades
of being a mother, she might enjoy that quiet.
"That's why you married me, isn't it? My brains ...
and my bum." It was her turn to tease him back. She
was happy to see that he liked the projector. She
thought that it would go perfectly in Bruce's
bedroom. "There's one other thing I want to pick up
before we go. Next time, we'll shop on Arden's tab."
It took a little searching around until she found
what she was looking for; baby carriers. She had
done some research online and already picked one out
that wrapped around one's torso and was supposed to
be extremely comfortable for babies. "How long of a
paternity leave are you going to take once Bruce
arrives? I was thinking about bringing him with us
when we return. He'll always be close and safe."
brains were as big as your bum we'd have already
solved Zevrin and won the war," Claudius teased,
finally solving the ageless riddle as to whether he
was a breast man or a butt man. As they walked
through the store he saw so many things that he
would have liked to have gotten if he were not on a
Governor's salary. Perhaps he was paid so low
because the Empire assumed he would be corrupt and
supplement his income. He was jealous of Marcus who
would be able to purchase whatever he wanted for his
children without even giving it a second thought ...
perhaps he could adopt Drusilla. "I don't know. I'll
have to ask Colonel Zevrin how long she'll give me,"
he said, half joking, but with an element of truth
beneath it. "Bringing him aboard the command ship?!"
he exclaimed, not sure if he wanted him around the
ISB. "Is this for you or me?" he asked, as he
examined it, already hearing the laughter of the
crew behind his back if he were to wear it.
and laughed. "Hey, my large bum has solved plenty of
other problems. Just ask the guy down below!" Now
she knew just how much he liked her butt. She could
remember a day where girls made fun of her in the
Academy... Well, that shows them! "Ugh, not her. You
better butter her up. I saw her gobbling up Ensign
Sheppard's cookies last time I was in her office.
Perhaps ask her parents to send a larger quantity
before you go talk to her." She held out the baby
wrap, smiling at him. "No... *This* one is for you."
She said, poking a flaming hot pink one on the
shelf. Sierra snickered. "It's for me, silly. What
are the options besides bringing him aboard? I'm not
going to let a stranger take care of him. Do you
*really* want El-Nay to care for our newborn?"
Sierra imagined her using her jetpack while holding
Bruce. No!! El-Nay was a good friend, but Sierra was
made to be an overprotective mother.
I still can't believe she let Ewwiekewwieikkie crash
the Retributor. She was fortunate she was *only*
demoted," Claudius said, showing off that he could
be quite the Imperial villain under the right
circumstances. "El-Nay? Never!" he said, shaking his
head at his wife's poor choice in friends. In his
mind she imagined her picking up his son and
accidentally crushing him from the weight of her
armor, or accidentally firing a rocket or activating
her flamethrower. "You're right. You're the only one
capable of watching our son," he said, as he
reluctantly took hold of the pink harness and placed
it in their suddenly full cart.
"I think she
feels like a buffoon at this point. We did let
Drusilla put her to work." Not to mention how
exhausted Bethany looked after a night babysitting
the Rodney children. Her imagination stopped working
out each horrible scenario involving El-Nay and
Bruce before she made herself upset. For now, the
boy was busily kicking inside of her. He was unaware
that they were shopping for him. With the cart
suddenly full, she figured it was a good idea to
escape the baby store while they still could. She
veered the cart towards the cash register. She
smiled at her love. "I can't wait." She squeezed his
arm. Sierra felt much more prepared now. Nineteen
more weeks, she thought to herself.