home on New Alderaan was more full than it had ever
been. Iyah's return had lead right into an insane
night. While she and Mug spend time in the medical
tent, Major Passik and her crew drew the other
Rebels into a night of wild partying and drinking
wayyyy more than anyone was willing to admit. Elayne
herself had passed out sometime during the wee hours
on the floor in front of Mug's couch. Even now, some
ridiculous amount of hours later, she was still
sleeping off a night of drinking. Her snores could
be heard throughout the otherwise quiet adobe.
Iyah had been
shocked when she finally returned home, for Mug had
built it up so much. She had been gone for *weeks*.
There was furniture now. Their belongings had been
moved in from the Blue Haven. The house simply
looked lived in, though she questioned how blue fur
had gotten *everywhere*. The Commander took part in
none of the celebrations, for the catastrophe in her
head was beginning to unfold. Callista wasn't there.
At the moment, Iyah wasn't sure she was ready to
bring her daughter back home. She feared letting
Callista see her like this.
And so, she
had slept and slept and slept. Sleeping made it
semi-possible to escape Governor Arundel's slow
torture. She had avoided seeing anyone except the
medics and Mug, maintaining this raw emotional
feeling which she only felt comfortable exposing Mug
to. Even now, she lay in her bed, listening to the
sound of Elayne Passik snoring. Her hazel eyes
looked tired despite all the sleep she had gotten.
She was having a hard time coming to terms with the
fact that it was *over*. Papius no longer had her.
Her head fell in her hands. "Callista is safe with
them ... isn't she?"
Mug Zoran did
not know how to react to this *new* Iyah. He loved
her, and he wanted to help her, but that did not
necessarily mean he knew how to help her. And so, he
did his best to support her, and not force her to go
further than she was willing to go in these early
stages. He knew it was going to be a process to
bring her back to the world. He did not try to wake
her, instead letting her get the rest she needed. In
his naive mind he imagined her just being able to
sleep away her problems, but he knew it would take
more than that. When she finally did speak of course
it was about the most important thing in their
lives. The little girl they held more dear than even
themselves. "Yes. She's safe. She was even on the
HoloNet for the coronation of my brother," he
explained, trying his best to calm her nerves. His
arm wrapped around her, holding her, but not too
tight. "As soon as you're ready I'll get her," he
promised, before kissing her on the back of her
had been crushed into a million tiny pieces. It
seemed like an impossible task to fix it all. Iyah
didn't know how to begin to talk about everything.
She knew she loved Mug very much...and she knew she
didn't want to hurt him, like Callista, like
everyone else. She sat up slowly as her hands fell
to the bed. Iyah felt pain in her chest. She was
suddenly reminded of how Papius had taunted her with
Callista. She leaned into him for support. Without
him, she wouldn't be able to make it through this
process. "I...I saw her after the coronation." She
began, staring into his face. "There was a wall I
could see through in my cell. Papius brought
her...he brought your other nieces too. He tormented
me with our daughter..." Her eyes felt hot. Several
tears slipped out before she could stop them. "He
has some.. Some sort of recording device in your
brother's home. I watched her playing there.
Sierra." She said, seemingly visibly hurt by the
name. "Sierra being a mother to her." More tears
came from Iyah's eyes. "She's a better mother than I
can ever be." She admitted to Mug one of the reasons
why she was so broken. Her love for Callista had
been played against her. Now she wasn't sure of her
abilities as a mother...what about as a wife? She
had been absent for what felt like centuries. She
closed her eyes but the tears wouldn't stop.
her?!" Mug exclaimed, as she had yet to open up
about the true nature of the horrors she had
sustained during her captivity. When he heard what
Papius did with Callista for the first time in his
life he was angry to the point where he wished to do
violence. He was such a sweet man, who had never
wanted to hurt anyone, but when his fiancé and
daughter were concerned he wanted blood. "I'll warn
them when I pick her up. It's the least I can do,"
he said, as his hands moved a little tighter around
her. "No. That's not true, Iyah. You're the only
mother for Callista," he said to her, as he brought
his hands up to wipe away the tears. "I love you.
Callista loves you. You're her mother," he
reiterated, trying his best to reassure her. It
pained him to see her like this, but he could not
let her know how it affected him.
her head slowly. She thought of how Papius had made
a show of it, asking Callista to wave, stealing hugs
from her sweet daughter. It brought life back into
her weak body. She wanted Papius gone forever. He
had taken things too far by using Callista. She was
unraveling in his arms now. As great as the love for
her daughter was, ultimately, she wanted the best
for a little girl who had already endured so much.
She didn't realize that between Mug and Callista,
she had the means to coming back from this. Iyah
cuddled close to him. The tears continued to escape
her eyes. She thought back to the very first time
that they had met Callista. She clung onto the
feeling that had formed inside of her; the one that
had made her want to welcome Callista into their
little family. "I missed you both so much." She
cried. She tried to open herself to Mug's words. He
was her fiancé. She trusted him to let her know if
she was doing anything wrong. Her head lifted.
"H-how did you even manage to save me?" She asked
suddenly, recalling hearing Papius talk about how
difficult it would be for anyone to reach her in the
cellblock. "I was so scared you died trying to get
to me. I thought you were gone."
believe me if I told you," Mug responded, as he
decided how to best explain to her what had
happened. "Jelena convinced Sierra to help, who in
turn convinced Marcus to help," he began, explaining
the overly complicated series of events that led to
this. "They failed, obviously, and Marcus was badly
hurt, but they did manage to hack their system and
get a map of the garrison," he continued, as his
hand moved more tightly around her. He was so glad
to have her back. "Then Major Passik had the idea to
attack the garrison while myself, Kat, Ash, and
other Rebels from New Alderaan infiltrated the base
and rescued you," he said, as he again started
kissing at the back of her neck to calm her. "Jelena
wanted to come, but we all agreed it was not safe,"
he added, as he listened to her talk about the fear
of his death. "I'm fine. You're fine. Callista is
fine. We're all fine," he said, trying to reassure
It was a hard
pill to swallow. It was wild to think that Sierra,
an ISB officer, had any part in her eventual
rescue...and Marcus Rodney too? He was now the Duke.
She hadn't seen the coronation, but immediately felt
bad that he had been seriously hurt. Iyah closed her
eyes to process everything. Mug was beginning to
draw her back to reality with his affection and his
kind words. Her heart slowly fell back into her
chest where it belonged. She *did* want her daughter
back. Her eyes opened once more so she could
continue to embrace him. She looked upwards at him
with red, puffy eyes. "You were amazing out there."
She brought her hand up, running it down the side of
his face. "I'm going to have you promoted, Mug. What
you did to save me, what you did once we were
together...you're a true leader." She was so proud
of him for staying strong and never giving up on her
throughout everything. Even now, he was ready to
navigate through her shell-shocked mind to bring her
back. Her hands took his, squeezing them. "I believe
you. I... I feel bad that your brother was injured
badly... " She wondered to what extent Marcus had
been injured. It was widely known that his wife was
pregnant. She felt bad for the sacrifices their
family had made for her. "I...I want to go back and
see him." Iyah stated, sounding insane.
think I had it in me, but I just couldn't bare to
see you locked up any longer. I couldn't just let
you stay there. I would have come by myself if it
came to it," Mug told her, as he slowly turned her
so that he could look her in the eyes. "Me?
Promoted? I'm no leader, Iyah," he told her,
embarrassed by the compliments she was raining down
upon him. "All I wanted was you back," he told her,
as his hand moved towards her dark hair, brushing it
away from her face. "He seemed alright at the
coronation footage I saw. He must be better," he
informed her, as he, like all, fell for Zara's
exoskeleton ruse. "You want to go back?!" he
shouted, his jaw dropping, and his eyes going wide.
"We don't have a very good luck on that planet," he
said, with a smirk, before moving his face forward
to place a kiss upon her lips for the first time
Her body moved
with him. Something inside of her sparked happiness.
All she wanted was to be back. She had often thought
of Mug, terrified that they would never be reunited
again. Her tears had stopped. For the moment, her
head began to clear. The torture really was over.
Iyah knew, firsthand, that Claudius and his wife
were not mistreating Callista. Everything was
*okay*. A smile lit up her face for the first time
since being reunited. She kissed him, naturally
capable of being passionate with him in a way she'd
never share with anyone else. She loved him so much.
Her arms moved around his neck. Tonight, all she
wanted to do was rekindle what had been briefly put
on hold by the Imperial Governor. When the kiss
ended, Iyah chuckled. "Au contraire. I have the
*best* luck on Delaya because that's where I found
you. It's where we found our baby girl." She pressed
her nose against his, affectionately giving him
Eskimo kisses. "Those things outweigh everything bad
that's ever happened on Delaya. I can't imagine life
without either one of you. I want to go back,
formally thank Marcus and offer him the Rebel's
assistance... After that, I want us to go get our
girl back. You've made the house so lovely for all
of us..." She said, becoming teary eyed once more
out of happiness. "...It's time for us to live in it
Mug buried his
face in her bosom when she revealed her plan to go
back to Delaya. He did not want her to see his face,
which betrayed how fearful he was about the idea. He
had changed too, becoming increasingly
overprotective since getting her back. "Alright.
Alright," he said, realizing that at the end of the
day she outranked him and there was nothing he could
do to dissuade her. All he could do was accompany
her, and do the best job he could to protect her.
"I'm coming too. I'll protect you," he vowed, as he
raised his head and locked his eyes on her in a
serious stare. "I won't let anything happen to you
again," he added, holding onto her for dear life.
The time separated from her was anguished ... he
could not go through it again.
Her hand ran
through his hair slowly. There was no going alone.
After what she had endured, he'd need to get used to
her being incredibly clingy. Even the prior evening,
when she was exhausted and only want to sleep, she
could only find peace when he was near. Her eyes
stared into his. She believed him. Mug wouldn't let
her endure a third time in captivity. Her arms
locked around him tightly. "I know.." She whispered,
placing a kiss on the top of his head. "This isn't
going to be an extended stay. I don't want to be
there for very long. I want to reunite our family
and live *our* life." She sighed, laughing softly.
"I still have to marry you, Mug. When Callista is
home, we'll do it. I can't wait anymore." No. Mug
was the only man in the world she wanted to spend
her life with. All the trials of their recent lives
only confirmed it all over again. She wondered if
she could ask Jelena to help throw together a
ceremony for them. She wanted it to be small, but
she wanted it done right. She was only going to
marry the man of her dreams once.