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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:31) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate).
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Lady Drusilla Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

"Now when you're older I'm going to need your help. Folding clothes. Making me snacks. Light housekeeping ... uh ... moderate housekeeping," Lady Drusilla Rodney said, as she held her baby brother Bruce while sitting on the porch swing outside of the Rodney estate on Esseles. "But remember, I'll be a Princess then, so even though you'll be a Lord of Delaya it will not be beneath you to do these things," she continued, as she moved her hand across the sprouting blond hair upon his head. In the distance she could spot her adopted Squib sisters chasing after the ducks again as if they were playing some game. "You're already smarter than them," he said, as he smiled down at the little boy. In the distance she could see her parents shuttle returning, which was spoiling her run of the house. "Hmph," she muttered, as she would soon be relegated to child status again.

Sierra Rodney looked down upon their estate as the shuttle landed. She could see ducks flapping their wings wildly as they ran away from the girls. She was glad to see the ducks were outside again, and that Prince Pollix had seen to it that the front window was fixed. "Home again..." She spoke the words with relief. Claudius wanted time with his son, and that was exactly what she was going to give him. As Sierra rose, she offered Claudius both of her hands to help him rise in these hard times. All the way home, she found herself focusing on what had happened at the lakehouse. The panic attack had been a harsh bite from reality. Sierra needed to keep a better eye on her husband to avoid it happening again...or frequently. There were new wounds which Marcus had inflicted. She wanted to see that they healed and didn't leave eternal scars. She led him down the ramp where they could hear the ducks quacking. There was a single duck that was seated close to the porch swing. It appeared to be watching over Bruce and Drusilla. Sierra moved to them first. "Drusilla, thank you for watching Bruce." The boy appeared to be in a good mood. He only wore a onesie which gave him the freedom to move around. She offered her open hands to Dru to take over watching the baby. "I'll add a little something extra to your allowance this week." Sierra commented.

Claudius remained silent during most of the flight. He was glad to be home. He was even more glad to be reunited with his son. He was pleasantly surprised to see her taking a larger role in his life. "Yes, thank you, Drusilla," he said to his daughter, as he watched Bruce transferred into his wife's arms. He raised his eyebrows when Sierra increased her allowance, wondering if they could afford it, but she was the mother now and should be making such decisions. Into the estate they went and, escaping the bantha, they ascended the stairs not once, but twice, until they reached the level with the observatory. He did not want any interruptions.

Drusilla deserved a little raise. She treated her little brother incredibly well. Sierra held Bruce to her while she ascended the stairs twice over. The observatory was their haven in the estate. The doors closed, cutting them off from the rest of the family as well as the bantha, who was circling around at the base of the stairs trying to decide how to reach Bruce. Drawing Bruce away from her, she offered the bright eyed boy to his father. Bruce grew visibly happier when he saw Claudius. "I think this belongs to you." Sierra said playfully. The name of the game now was to take her husband's mind off of the current debacle in their lives.

"He belongs to us," Claudius said, as he reached out and take the boy, glad that they were three flights up from any of the creatures. "Are the preparations on the tea house complete?" he asked her, as he settled down with his son beside the giant telescope. "One day you'll be old enough to use this, but you'll never be able to tell your sisters that I let you," he said, as he began carrying on a conversation with his son. He had never let Ewwiekewwikkie near it, nor would he let Melickielickie near it either. He loved his daughters, but knew that they would likely destroy it if they ever got close. Keeping them out of the observatory was one of his most difficult and emotionally painful decisions.

"As far as I know, Captain Tailon is still working on it. He best hurry, or I will see that his next assignment involves cleaning the bantha." She stepped away from Claudius and their son briefly to remove her boots and socks. She was home, it was time to relax. She watched them interact with a smile on her face. It was easy to see the qualities of Claudius in their son. The boy stared, open mouthed, at the huge telescope. He reached out to it with his small hands, cooing like he was trying to share in the conversation. When his hand touched with the telescope, he stopped, looking back at his father as if he was making sure it was okay. Sierra joined her family, sitting with Bruce in between them. She leaned over, planting a kiss on Bruce's cheek. "Daddy will show you all of the planets." She told their young son.

"It's good to have an aid, isn't it?" Claudius said, with a smirk *and* a wink, as she was officially his aid. "Oh do it anyway. That thing is beginning to smell. Unfortunately, Ewwiekewwieikkie's attention span means a pet is never a good idea for her. When the ducks arrived she completely forgot the bantha. Tomorrow she will see something else and forget the ducks. It's her nature, the nature of all Squibs," he informed her, while smiling down at Bruce as if he were looking at him for the first time. "I hope that when he is old enough to use the telescope he will be gazing up at a galaxy free of war," he told her, as he leaned over, careful not to disrupt Bruce, to place a kiss upon Sierra as she joined them.

She snickered. "I admit, the other day, I made him go through all the datapads on my desk. It was.. nice. Remember, if anything goes wrong, it's *his* fault, not mine. I hear that's how delegating works." Claudius treated her well as his aid. She appreciated him giving her the chance to grow in her role by not limiting her. If anything, he enabled her. "I failed to think very far ahead when it came to getting the bantha. It may smell, but it's still kind of cute... When Bruce and our next child are older, we can hook a cart up to it and let the bantha take them around the estate." Captain Tailon's next task had been decided. Sierra had bathed the bantha a few times. Every time came with the same result: a clean Sierra and a bantha dirtier than when they started. "I have no doubt about that, Claudius. The Rebels have nothing compared to us. The Rebellion will eventually burn out and we'll be free to spend our days with the family." She painted a picture of a glorious future for them. She met him halfway to share in a sweet, loving kiss. Her hand ran over his face slowly. "It's only two more weeks," she teased him. "And then we'll know if we're having an Olivia ... or a Cupus." She smiled, nose nuzzling against his.

"That's exactly the point of having an aid. He *will* give us a tea house worthy of our stature, or he will pay dearly," Claudius said, ominously, as he channeled his emotions about everything that happened lately onto the unfortunate Captain. "The animals are very taken with Bruce. I'm sure when he is older he will have a good relationship with the bantha," he said, optimistically, as he looked to take something positive from all this. Of course, just as Bruce was old enough to appreciate the bantha it would be nearly time to take him to Mustafar. "Cupus? How did Cupus get so high on the list?" he said, before lowering his head and shaking it. "You'll never know how close you came to becoming Cupus Rodney," he said to Bruce, before lowering his head and placing a kiss upon his forehead.

"When you put it like that, I hope he fails so I can watch you come down on him." She laughed. "You know, when I spoke with him, he told me he had never eaten ice cream. I told him to leave after that. Clearly, the boy is broken, diseased, sickly... I don't know which." If there was someone who could take the heat for the most recent going ons of their family, it was Tailon. She felt a tinge of discomfort while they talked about Bruce's future. Lord Vader had determined the future of their son. There was *nothing* Sierra could do to stop it. "I can imagine him riding the bantha through the hallways..." Sierra forced herself to believe that *something* would happen to keep her baby safe. "Cupus got so high on the list because *you* haven't been thinking of any other names. I blame you... No, I blame Captain Tailon." She laughed. She reached forward, grabbing Bruce's bare feet. She tickled the boy softly, which caused him to erupt in laughter.

"That reminds me," Claudius said to Sierra, but all of his attention still was focused on his son. "I received a communiqué from Auntie Mae. She has offered to begin distributing her ice cream in all Imperial messdecks," he said, unsure of how she would react. "The crew *has* been complaining about the food lately," he informed her, but since Auntie Mae's was already *everywhere* he was hesitant to give her a foothold aboard Imperial warships also. "Do you think we can try to encourage him into the yard?" he said, as he finally looked up from Bruce to smile at Sierra. "I think we should let Mug and Iyah have the name Cupus should they have a son," he said, with a laugh, as nothing made a mood better than a baby. "Yes, indeed. Blame him, for this, that, and everything in between," he said, with a firm nod of his head.

Sierra released Bruce's foot, which caused him to unleash a round of happy kicks on his father. The boy wore a smile that was brighter than the sun. Sierra laughed while shaking her head. "I'd ask her if you were serious, but she has named ice creams after every one of us. Nothing is beyond Auntie Mae. My only worry is that we'll let her in the warships ... and everyone will instantly gain fifty pounds." Sierra giggled. "Okay, Mug and Iyah can have Cupus. We'll think of something better should we have another boy. Maybe Claudius Jr.. That way, when one of you is in trouble and I yell your name, you'll *both* think you're in trouble." She snuggled into his side happily. Everyone seemed to be decompressing. "Goodness. If I weren't married to you, I wouldn't have it easy, would I? I only hope that the aid stays out of the way of our 'special' meetings ... and naps." She ran her fingers through Bruce's soft hair slowly.

"Claudius was the name of the second Duke of Delaya. My parents chose the name to reference the past, at a better time in our planet's history, with the hope I'd be an inspiration," Claudius revealed, as he delved into his family history a bit. "I don't know if it is time to use the name again," he said, as he had never expected to have one son to name, let alone too. "Are there any names from the House of Dakkar that you would like to reuse?" he asked, feeling as if he did not want to name all of their children after only his family. "Since when have I ever been in trouble," he said, with a smirk, as he looked lovingly upon his wife. "Don't encode his cylinders with access to my office and then he can never get in. Whoever designed these things must have been up to something in their office too," he said, as he pulled out one of his rank code cylinders and offered it up to Bruce.

She frowned as Claudius revealed his namesake. The last thing she wanted to do was dredge up the past on Delaya even though Claudius had become an inspiration in his own way. She nodded her head, then began to consider his question. Her parents had put a bad taste in Sierra's mouth for her family. She knew some of the history, but not all of it. "Well, 'Rikka' is certainly out." She snorted "My great, great grandfather's name was 'Noah'. I've always liked that name." She suggested. "Since my father and mother are such terrible people, I've never delved much into my family history. I honestly didn't want to know if there were more skeletons in the House of Dakkar closet." Her eyebrows rose. "You, sir, are the definition of trouble." She giggled. All in all, Claudius never landed himself in hot water with her. He had somehow avoided her hormonal rampages during her first pregnancy.

"Oh, I didn't. He does have access to my office, so we need to contain ourselves. And I thought getting an aid would end our office hanky panky. You *are* trouble, Claudius." She watched Bruce reach out for the code cylinder. He grabbed at it several times before capturing it in his fist. "Do you think... Do you think our next child will be like Bruce too?" She asked, referring to Bruce's unique powers.

"Noah ... I like Noah too," Claudius said, as he smiled towards Sierra, and began to accept the name. "Very well, should we be blessed with another son, he shall be Noah," he said to her, before looking down at Bruce for approval. "What do you think, Bruce? Do you want a baby brother Noah someday?" he asked, as the subject again turned to safeguarding his office. "Nothing will end our hanky panky!" he declared, while simultaneously bringing his hands up to cover Bruce's ears. "Oh. I hadn't thought about that. I don't know how that works. I had never heard of a member of the House of Rodney becoming a Jedi," he said, as he wished he knew more about his family's history. "Was a Dakkar ever a Jedi, do you know? It could be genetic, or it could be random, or ... it could be the pudding!" he said, as he began laughing. Suddenly everything that had happened with his brother was out of his mind. Apparently Doctor Sierra had the right medicine after all.

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