Marcus Rodney had locked
himself in a second floor room of his chalet in the
northernmost continent of his home planet of Delaya.
The room was near the master suite where he and his
wife resided, but was currently unoccupied. He was
stripped of much of his clothing and was covered in
a thick layer of perspiration, despite the intense
cold of the surrounding area. He was exhausted, he
was in great pain, and his head hurt tremendously.
All around him were a bunch of pieces of wood that
were somehow meant to intersect with one another.
Unfortunately for Marcus the included instructions
were only in Huttese. For the past hour a series of
loud noises and curses had escaped the room, despite
the locked door. He had asked Zara for privacy and
to relax while he prepared his little surprise, but
all he had to show for a day's work was bloody
knuckles. The man who was one of the most feared
bounty hunters in the galaxy had failed at the
simple task of assembling a crib.
Ooooh. What was he up
to?! An array of various noises had come from the
bedroom closest to theirs since Marcus had requested
some privacy. Of course, his request put Zara on the
edge of her seat. She wanted to know what he was up
to! For the first few hours, she was content with
laying in a big, comfy chair and reading. When she
needed to busy her hands, she browsed the holonet.
Eventually, she found herself way too deeply
involved in an episode of *Desperate House Hutts*.
There was something appealing about watching dolled
up female Hutts shout in Huttese at each other. It
was almost as good as a Spanish soap opera! She did
a good job of staying out of her husband's hair.
Eventually, she couldn't wait anymore. Zara rose to
her bare feet. At home, she wore a comfortable, yet
tight fitting, little dress. Her pregnancy was in
full swing. Instead of 'glowing' green, she just
glowed. There was cursing coming from the other
bedroom. Zara played dumb in the beginning, but she
was pretty sure she knew what he was up to.
*Knock, knock, knock*.
Zara didn't try to open the door. She simply offered
her words through the door. "Hi honey. Want some
company? I promise I'll close my eyes and pretend I
don't know what you're up to.." The smile was in her
Marcus rose from the
floor of the 'nursery' in a panic at her arrival. He
reached for a nearby painter's cloth that had been
brought in prior to the room being repainted, and
tossed it carelessly over the pieces of the crab.
The large blanket made a large, noticeable mound in
the corner of the room, with pieces sticking out
from underneath and causing the cloth at times to
rise into the air. That looked good enough for him.
He moved towards the door swiftly, and opened it
just a crack so that he could see her. "Is
everything alright?" he asked, sounding very much
like a young boy that had just been caught with his
hands in the cookie jar before dinner. His
beleaguered, bloody appearance did little to
convince anyone that things were 'alright' on his
Oooh. Busted. His voice
made it much more obvious that Zara had walked in on
something. She opted not to tease him when she saw
how bloody he was. "Umm... I think I should be asking
you that. What happened? You're bleeding... Like
everywhere." Strike three for Marcus getting a
helmet...or a Popemobile. Zara hadn't decided yet.
"Hold on..." She turned her back on him, darting to
the bathroom quickly. Though it wasn't for the
obvious reason that her bladder was slowly being
crushed. It was to grab the first aid kit that she
had learned to keep stocked all the time. Marcus was
prone to disaster more than anyone else she had
never known. She arrived back at the door. "Let me
in. I'll play nurse and keep you company. I'll even
act like I don't know what you're up to." She
winked, already prying at the door.
backed away from the door, allowing it to completely
open and her to enter. "It's really not *that* bad,"
he told her, as he raised his hands to reveal his
scraped, bloody knuckles. The embarrassment was
greater than the physical pain, and he hoped she
would not let him have it too hard. "Have you been
keeping yourself busy? Anything less scandalous on
the HoloNet?" he joked, as he moved back towards the
pile of debris. He shifted his foot to nudge some of
the support beams beneath the painter's cloth,
trying to be subtle, but was actually quite obvious
She scurried into the
room while she had the opportunity. It was hard not
to be nosey. She kept her eyes on him and his poor,
abused hands. Zara smiled, popping open the first
aid kit. "Of course. That's the best part of
humanity; they are always producing plenty of
scandalous news. 'Nude Zara' is still in the top
five most searched things. What I've learned is that
if we ever needed money, I could begin stripping for
a week and we'd be set for life." She laughed. She
was over the whole paparazzi mayhem. Frankly, she
had better things to think about. "I kept myself
busy though. I did some work and I watched some
horrible Huttese reality show. I was oh so
productive." Except not really. While she talked to
him, she began wiping his hands off with a cloth
that had bacta healing liquids embedded in it. "What
about you? You've been making such a ruckus in here.
Can I hang around while you work?" She couldn't help
it. She wanted to see what he was doing! She did her
best to keep her eyes on his face, but ultimately
ended up looking down at the floor. The covered heap
in the corner was interesting... Hmmm...
"The Real Huttwives of
Nal Hutta? That's my favorite show..." Marcus
commented, sincerely, with a touch of disappointment
in his voice as he had missed another episode. He
stood there like a child while she nursed his aching
hands, gasping sharply as it stung at times. "I ...
uh ... um ... work better alone," Marcus stammered
in a reply, trying his best, which was not very
good, to get her away from his nursery room project.
His cheeks flushed red with nervousness, and he
found it difficult to maintain eye contact with her.
Before he knew it, he was even subconsciously
whistling a tune to further look less guilty.
"Welllll... I guess it's
probably a good thing I recorded it then." She
snickered. Psh, she was the missus now. It was her
job to know that her husband enjoyed the same kind
of ridiculous TV she did. "Wanna watch it later? I'm
not going to spoil anything, but there was a drag
queen Hutt. I kinda can't stop picturing it in my
head." She laughed. She didn't want him to feel
weird about anything. Her work was gentle, yet still
painful. When she had cleaned him, she began to put
little band-aids on his hands. "Awww. Why? I promise
I'll be good." Famous last words. Zara couldn't be
good ever. She leaned into him, pressing her lips
into his neck. "C'mon. I'll take my top off if you
let me stay." Breasts...what better bargaining chip?
She really didn't want him huddled up inside their
baby's room, injuring himself while Zara pointed and
laughed at drag queen Hutts.
"It's too late for that,
my dear. In fact, your breasts are the wallpaper on
my comlink!" Marcus teased, playfully, as she showed
a side of impishness. He placed a hand on each of
her hips and leaned down to meet her gaze. He
allowed his nose to connected with hers, and then
rubbed it teasing against hers. "Besides ... it's a
surprise," he said, as his hands squeezed against
her hips, drawing her warm body closer against his.
"I'll be finished ... eventually," he said, but he
was not necessarily sure he believed his words, and
he awkwardly shifted his weight from side to side as
he considered his way out of this.
Zara laughed. She tried
to act offended, but hey, if anyone had the right it
was him! He could snap a fresh picture whenever he
wanted. "You dirty old man." She inched closer to
him. Her nose nuzzled back against his sweetly. It's
little actions like that, that made Zara love him
that much more. It was also things like that which
made her want to haul him off to the bedroom where
they could be unproductive together. Controlling
herself, she made a smug look at him. "I'm summoning
my almighty powers as your wifey. I get to stay
*and* help. This is a dictatorship, Marcus. You get
no choice!" As if to demonstrate how determined the
petite woman was, she squirmed her way out of his
arms. She found the first clear place on the floor
and plopped down there. "You can't move me. I'm
pregnant and *fragile*. So, I guess you better get
to work." She made a motion with her hand like she
was cracking the whip.
"Blast!" Marcus cursed,
as she made her move, which was to say ... a lack of
a move. He now had two options ... reveal to her
exactly what he was up to or do something. A frown
curled upon his middle-aged face as he considered
his next course of action, realizing he had almost
certainly been denied the satisfaction of surprising
her. Eventually, like a defeated, sullen child he
marched dutifully towards the poorly covered pile.
"Tada!" he said, as he pulled the painter's cloth
off the pile, revealing a partially and poorly
constructed crib, with pieces fastened in the wrong
position, countless 'extra' pieces ... and, what was
worse, it was upside down. But he stood next to it,
beaming from ear to ear, as if he had just
constructed a skyscraper on Coruscant.
Her next step was to
cling to his leg so he couldn't move anymore.
Thankfully, he didn't let it go that far. She
patiently watched him reveal what was underneath the
painter's cloth. Zara knew what the object beneath
the cloth was supposed to be, but what Marcus showed
her didn't exactly look safe. She did give him an A
for effort, and she found his actions so sweet that
she got teary...damn hormones! She smiled brightly
at him. Since she was proving a point by not getting
up, she wrapped her arms around his knees. "Marcussss!"
She squeaked, hiding her face away from him so he
couldn't see her getting emotional. "I love it, I
really do, but there's only three legs on it and I
think there's supposed to be four." She giggled,
finally peering up at him. "Can we fix it together?
I wanted to talk to you about baby names anyway. I
want to be prepared for when the little guy gets
Marcus squirmed as his
pregnant wife grabbed at his legs, threatening to
topple over. "Fine. Fine. Just let me go," he
pleaded, as he did his best to move his legs from
her tightened grasp. "I'm sure together we can
figure it out. How hard could it be?" he said, as he
moved away from her and towards the massive bay
window that would allow for ample sunlight to
penetrate the nursery. On the horizon he could see
the clouds beginning to gray, and before too long a
light rain began to fall upon the chalet. The winds
slowly picked up, and as the temperature dropped the
light rain turned into more snowfall. Typical
weather for this time of year in the northern
hemisphere of Delaya.
Zara released her grasp
from his legs. It was probably for the better. If
she toppled him, he'd probably hurt his head pretty
bad. He may even take her out in the process. "If
Pachee (a particularly idiotic Hutt on their
favorite TV show) can do it, so can we!" She
proclaimed, inching a little closer to the crib. She
snagged the small novel that made up the directions
to the crib. Her eyes glanced over the manual.
"What?! This isn't even in basic? Oh no, no no..." She
rose to her feet with the book in her hand. She
pointed an accusing finger at Marcus. "If you lock
the door when I leave, I'll make sure you never see
that episode you missed." It was the best empty
threat came to mind. Her eyes settled just outside
the window, admiring how beautiful it was. She
really loved it here. Zara went wandering off into
their bedroom to gather a piece of technology so
that she might find a translation of the manual. She
came back, carrying what could only be described as
a hand-sized laptop. She sat down back on the floor
as holographic screens began to appear in front of
her. She playfully nudged Marcus with her foot while
she worked. "I love your face; you know that?"
There was a flash of
light at the window as the thundersnow rolled past
the chalet, followed shortly by a large *crackle* of
thunder that very nearly shook the structure. While
Zara tinkered with his masterpiece he exited the
room, and moved towards the lower level where the
kitchen lay. Once inside he began to work on the
machine that produced hot chocolate, but after not
placing the pod in correctly he found himself
blasted with scalding hot water. "Argh," he groaned,
as he began to painfully realize how much he had
always depended on his domestic servants. It took
some doing, but he eventually made two mugs full of
the hot, chocolatey deliciousness. Carrying both
mugs up the stair was another entirely difficult
task, and a couple of times he very nearly stumbled.
It was at this moment that he realized just how
underpaid the staff always was. Finally, at long
last, he returned to the room where he found that
she was making more progress than he ever had hoped.
He then placed one mug next to her on the floor,
before taking a step back to admire the work. "Hmm.
I did a pretty good job," he said, boastfully, as he
leaned up against the wall to take a sip of his hot
chocolate, leaving behind a brown mustache on his
It was so nice to be far
away from the city. Zara briefly watched the flashes
of light coming from outside. Rain was one of her
favorite gifts from mother nature. Snow followed as
a close second, only because she hadn't really
experienced snow until they lived here. It was still
new and beautiful. To her relief, she found a
translation of the crib manual and got to work with
adding the extra pieces. Marcus really had done a
good job. He'd done the labor intensive side of
things so all Zara had to do was all the other
stuff. Alone in the room, she quietly hummed to
herself while she worked. Having spent so much time
working as a mechanic, she had some skills that were
worthwhile here. She hadn't had nearly enough time
to tinker with the Nerf Herder so far. She was still
seated with a list of instructions hanging in the
air a few feet from her head. She could smell the
hot chocolate before he set it down. "Mmm..." Hot
chocolate was another wonderful part of cold
weather. You didn't drink hot chocolate on Tatooine.
"Thank you!" She happily picked the cup up from the
floor. She didn't make a remark about the redness he
had from burning himself with hot water. After all,
if Zara had been tamer, they would still have
She blew on the hot
liquid before taking a little sip. "You really did!
You took care of all the hard stuff too. I just came
in all lazy-like and made it look like I did
something. That kinda sounds like the story of how
we conceived our son, huh?" Zara winked. As far as
their sex life went, she was an overachiever who
hoped to only put out A plus work. His new mustache
made her giggle. Now she knew what he'd look like
with some facial hair, not that she didn't massively
enjoy his shaved face. Setting down the cup, she got
back to work again. "So. What are we going to name
this little booger. Julius the Second?" Zara wasn't
able to keep a straight face when suggesting they
name their baby after one of her least favorite
people. She grinned wide.
"No!" Marcus hurriedly
exclaimed at the suggestion of naming their son
after his father ... that was the last thing he
wanted, "Hmm," he murmured, as his eyes gazed out
the window in deep contemplation. "It never occurred
to me that we'd have to name him. I always assumed
they just came with names..." he said, as he turned
to look down at her with a content smile upon his
face. He moved towards the datapad where he brought
up the history of Alderaan's great houses, and began
scanning the array of names that had been preferred
by the nobility for a millennia. "Ouch. Some of
these are terrible. I really dodged a slug," he
said, as he knelt down on the floor next to her,
which caused an audible strain in the muscles of his
back. Although she was working on the crib, he
offered her the other datapad with an assortment of
names ... some awful and some passable.
She giggled. She had no
doubt that he'd shoot down naming their baby after
the good ol' Duke. "We could be like those
hippie-folk who wait until their children are old
enough to name himself. Maybe he'll be named 'Hot
Chocolate'." Zara flashed a smile back at him. "Or
Mug. Mug Rodney has a special ring to it.." The sad
thing was that it was a growing trend these days.
People just couldn't be happy with normal names.
Look at Zara. A little known fact about Zara was
that her father's name was *Starcaster*. Yeah, Ta'em
were no good at naming each other. Too bad Zara was
about to break the trend while browsing the list of
Alderaan's great houses beside her husband. She had
stopped working briefly, distracted by some of the
godawful names appearing before her face. "Gez, you
really did. After looking at this, I'm glad my
parents went with Zara." Her eyes kept scanning down
the list until she stopped on one belonging to House
Alde. She pointed to the name with her finger,
showing Marcus. "What about this one? *Darrus*?
Darrus Alde was a good person." And the first king
of Alderaan. "Is it too much?" Naming a human was
difficult business. She'd thought about names
before, but then she thought about how all those
names could be twisted into horrible things. Darrus
was a solid name.
Marcus came upon behind
Zara, and wrapped his arms around her waist, placing
his hands on top of her stomach, where there unborn
child currently resided. He leaned forward, allowing
his chest to rest on her shoulder, while he too
scanned the list of names. "Darrus..?" he repeated,
slowly, allowing the name to float in the air as he
considered it. It was a name he did not recall the
family had used before, which was good as it marked
a break with tradition from the old family. On the
other hand, its connection to the kingdom of
Alderaan was a decided political statement with
complicated overtones regarding the future of the
Alderaan system. "Yes. We will call him Darrus..."
he finally said, definitively, as he turned his head
to place a tender kiss upon the side of her face.
Suddenly, she was
wrapped up in a pleasant, warm embrace. She pressed
her body back into his. One of her hands dropped
from the data pad and settled on top of his. Her
head tipped to the side to look him in the eyes.
"Darrus Rodney." It certainly sounded good when she
said it. The Rodney family history hadn't been
painted out for her yet. No joke, she needed a
family tree. She supposed that was one advantage of
being with her. Whatever Ta'ems were left certainly
weren't about to come out of the woodwork to embrace
it. They both seemed to mull over the name for
minutes until Marcus put the Daddy Seal of Approval
on it. A grin had begun to form on her lips when he
kissed her face, thus making her that much happier.
They had seen the boy. Now they were working on his
room together. He had a name! She took his head in
her hands to kiss him on the lips. Ah yes, life in
the chalet was good.