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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:31) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate).
Ewwiekewwieikkie, Melickielickie, Callista Nilar, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

After a hectic arrival back in Esseles with Melickielickie, Ewwiekewwieikkie, Callista, and Bruce, Sierra Rodney had managed to get *everyone* into bed by a decent hour. She was very happy when she stepped in blue fur on the way back to her bedroom. It simply wasn't home without blue fur. As she turned into her bedroom, she eyed Bruce. He was passed out in his bassinet. He was so tired from meeting new people that he had even managed to stay inside of his baby burrito. Sierra was feeling extra happy. After a trip to Onderon, everyone would be back. Mug and Iyah's wedding had put her in a lovey mood...and who better to be lovey with then her husband? She veered into the refresher to start a bath for them, programming the water to shut off once it was full, then she headed out into the balcony off of their bedroom. The night had settled in some time ago over Esseles. To her surprise, she noticed that there were fireflies lingering around the balcony. It looked *beautiful*. She turned, sitting down on the bench swing. She waited for her husband to join her in a pre-bath snuggle session.

As Claudius debarked the shuttle he noticed that Sierra was back from New Alderaan already, which put a spring in his step. Not only would that mean Sierra was back, but it also meant that Ewwiekewwieikkie and Melickielickie were back also ... not to mention his son. As he entered the estate he was both glad and sad to see Sierra had already gotten the girls to bed. It would take a day for him to discover that Callista was back as well. He ascended the stairs carefully, before moving to his bedroom ... only no Sierra. He looked around carefully until he noticed her out on the balcony. He quickly made his way out to join her, moving to sit beside her on the swing. "I missed you. I always get nervous when you go to that Rebel world," he said, as he leaned into her. "If the Empire finds out you've been there they could execute you for treason. If the Rebels discover you they could charge you as a war criminal or use you against me," he said, as he worried, before noticing the fireflies. "Beautiful evening," he said to her, as he wrapped his arm around hers, trying to be more positive.

Sierra wore a smile on her face. She had hoped to be back from New Alderaan before bedtime. The thought of him sleeping in an empty bed did not please her. She was glad to be home, and happy that he was home. "I miss you too, my love." She scooted closer to him. She heard his worries and she showed she understood with a nod of her head. "I know, I know the risks. Callista is with us again, as is El-Nay. When the time comes to return her to her parents, El-Nay will go, not me." She tried to monetarily soothe his concerns while nuzzling herself close to him. "It is. I thought it would be nice to sit out here with you before we have forced relaxation time in the bath." She knew how stressed he was with everything going on. It was her top priority to make home a sanctuary from that. "I'm sorry I didn't come back sooner. When I arrived, Mug informed me that he was getting married and asked if I'd stay. You would have been so proud, Claudius. Jelena officiated and she did a beautiful job." She snickered. "I recorded that part so you can watch it. Don't tell."

"Callista and El-Nay are back too?" Claudius asked, realizing that once again the estate was positively overflowing. Suddenly the tea house seemed like a very good idea. The news that only El-Nay would be returning Callista did give him some relief. "A bath? What a lovely thought," he said to her, as he leaned his face in towards hers and placed a kiss upon her cheek. "Mug and Iyah got married? And Jelena performed the ceremony?!" he asked, sounding quite surprised. The Galactic Civil War had caused him to miss another family moment. "Who all was there?" he asked, suddenly sounding quite jealous, while he ... you guessed it ... pouted.

She nodded her head happily. "Yes. Callista even wore the tiara you gave her. Ewwiekewwieikkie ate some flowers and was acting strange... We'll need to keep an eye on her tomorrow." Sierra wondered if she should check on her during the night or not. "A lot of people were there. Marcus and Zara came. Doctor Tohan and Doctor Bailo too...he seems to be doing *much* better, by the way. I saw Kat, that old Alderaan guard... Ah, and Gaius and his child made a surprise appearance. He was blitzed out of his mind." She sighed. She rested her hand on his leg. "I'm sorry you couldn't be there, my love. I thought of you. The whole ordeal only made me want to race home that much more."

The chaotic, fast paced news coming in warmed his heart and made him smile. "Oh no," he said, but he could not help but laugh at everyone's plight. "Marcus? Zara? Pilaq?" he repeated, feeling as if *everyone* had been there but him. But when the news turned to Gaius he became utterly incensed. "Gaius is on New Alderaan? Alive? That monster murdered my father," he reminded her, as he snorted from his inflamed nostrils like a nerf. "Something must be done about that," he said, as his eyes drifted off into space. He wanted to fly there straight away and execute the fiend, but the Rebellion would not like that. "I'm glad you did race home," he finally revealed to her, as her presence helped to sooth him and calm him down.

"You'll see them all soon, you know? From what I heard, it seems all of our family will be attending Marcus and Zara's ball next weekend." She tensed as the conversation turned to Gaius. She would never forget what he had done...*all* the things he had done. With all the babies at Mug and Iyah's wedding, she hadn't been able to take appropriate action. She became serious. "I will instruct El-Nay to return to New Alderaan immediately to find him and bring him here. Your father deserves justice. Gaius' list of crimes is incredibly long. I'd like to see him pay." She leaned into him to kiss his cheek. "I am too. I'm right where I belong now." She slowly rose from the swing. She could hear that the bath water had shut off. She offered him her hands, playfully helping him to stand. "Let me go order El-Nay around. Go get in the bath." She felt bad for not retrieving Gaius immediately. She wanted to right that wrong.

"Do we have to bring a gift?" Claudius asked, uncertain of the protocol for such an event. "It's alright. I know you couldn't do more. At least we know where he is," he said to her, as the fireflies danced around them. "El-Nay, huh? Maybe Kerrie..." he suggested, still not having complete competence in the Mandalorian. He rose from the swing, but not without uttering a grunt and an old man noise. "Yes, Major," he said, with a clumsy salute, before he moved towards the refresher and the waiting bath. As soon as he entered the refresher he began to strip, sliding his tired old frame into the luxuriously warm waters of the bath. As the warmth enveloped his body he let out a sigh of contentment, closing his eyes and relaxing. "Hurry up before I fall asleep!" he called to her, before allowing his body to turn to dead weight as he let go completely.

"Isn't our presence enough of a gift?" Sierra grinned. "No, no gift. They just want us to be there." Sending Kerrie along with El-Nay was a good idea. There was no way of telling how dangerous Gaius was these days. She snickered. "That's a messy salute, cadet. I hope I see better later!" She winked, playfully shaking her hips as she made her way back into their bedroom. She decided to leave the door to the balcony open. Several fireflies followed her into their room. Sierra stopped at her datapad, quickly drafting a message to both El-Nay and Kerrie about the Gaius situation. When the message was sent, she didn't waste time in hauling rear into the refresher. "No! Don't fall asleep!" She said, quickly stripping out of her civilian clothing.

Sierra sunk into the bathtub. The warm water moved all around her. "Oh my," she sighed in delight. She didn't know what it was about baths, but they made her *very* happy. It was made all the better by Claudius' presence. Sierra managed to keep to herself for *minutes* before she made her way towards him, then had him adjust until she was behind him. She started an affectionate, loving massage at the back of his neck. "What did I miss at work today?" She asked him.

"You did not miss a thing," Claudius informed her, as he watched her enter the tub. "The days tend to blend into one another up there. We weren't attacked ... so that's progress," he said to her, as he leaned into her massage. "Apparently I'm the one who missed everything today," he said, genuinely feeling left out. "Was Jelena well?" he asked, as he was still coming to terms with the fact that both his daughters were out of the house now. He missed them, particularly since, in their own way, they were taking great risks.

"Ah. A tidbit of good news. That makes me anticipated my morning meeting with Lieutenant Meham'ohoroiv'cloca much less." She could tell he was feeling left out. She kept him close to her while she considered waking up all the children to happy him up. In the morning, everyone would be happy to see him. Callista had been talking about how excited she was to see him all the way home. "Yes, she was well. It seems she has officially taken on her leadership role. Knowing her, I'm sure she'll excel at it." The massage came to a brief stop so Sierra could wrap her arms around Claudius tight. She could hardly wait for Zara and Marcus' ball. She'd specifically asked Jelena to go so that Claudius could see his daughter again. However, this was a surprise for her sweet husband and she wasn't going to tell him. "They miss you too, you know. When you sent me to New Alderaan to hide, Jelena was *very* concerned for your well being."

"Well, that's very nice for her then. After this past week it's beginning to look like she may have backed the winning side," a defeated Claudius confided to her. There was nothing better than an embrace from his wife, other than of course a naked embrace from his wife while submerged in hot water. "Well I am very concerned about her well being too," he informed her, before leaning down to place kisses upon the arms that were wrapped around him. "Don't tell the girls but a flock of ducks arrived today. The Stormtroopers nearly used them for target practice, but I put a stop to it," he said to her, as he recounted some other parts of his day to her.

The week had been *hard* for them. She saw how defeated she was. One way or another, she was going to get him on top again. She placed a kiss to his back between his shoulder blades. "It'll all work out." She whispered. She hoped to have better news for him after she and Meham sat down and devised a plan. Claudius needed some wins *now*. Sierra perked up as he told her the story about the flock of ducks. "What?! What *jerks*! Off with their heads!" She joked. It was so sweet that he cared about the ducks enough to stop the Stormtroopers from killing them one by one. "Where are they? I want to see... I think we still have a loaf of bread downstairs..." She was just as bad as the girls, which is exactly why she had a sea cow at her lakehouse, as well as a family of otters and all the creatures that already lived there. Sierra locked herself around him, adjusting until she could wrap her legs around him. He wasn't going anywhere for now.

Claudius knew the bath would come to a swift ending once he revealed the arrival of nature's newest critters to the Rodney estate. "There's an entire flock wandering the grounds, quacking, and setting off all the alarms to the consternation of our security forces," he said to her, as he prepared himself for Sierra's swift departure. "You might as well feed them now, because when the girls wake up there won't be a morsel of food left to share. There'll also probably try to give 'ducky hugs' and scare them all away," he explained to her, with another laugh. The estate was returning to chaos and that was fine by him.

She giggled. "I can wait..." She said, sounding like she was trying to convince herself more than anyone else. She laughed. 'Ducky hugs' was right on the money with the three girls in their home. "I'll look forward to watching them chase the ducks in the morning. That's one way to make sure they're getting exercise, right?" She wanted to go see the ducks, but there was something else that drew her attention towards it. She could hear the sounds of Bruce cooing in his bassinet. Sierra began releasing her husband from the jaws of death. "There's your little man. He wasn't going to let you go to bed without saying goodnight ... or maybe he heard our ducky talk." She inched out behind him. Before she exited the back, she grasped his face and kissed his lips. "I love you. Come join us soon, okay?" She slowly made her way out of the bath and dried off. She slid lazily into a nightgown and proceeded into their bedroom to pick up Bruce from his bassinet. "Hi cutie." She nuzzled her nose against his cute button nose.

"Sure. You say that now, but when the tucks turn around and bite Melickielickie you'll be singing a different tune," Claudius teased her, as he allowed himself to linger in the bath a little longer. Eventually he relented and moved to unplug the drain before rising up to his feet. He began drying himself off whilst Sierra changed and attended their son. With Jelena and Drusilla both gone he realized he had lost his family, but as he looked into the bedroom where Sierra had Bruce he also realized he had new one. "Coming, dear," he said to her, as he hurried into the bedroom to join his wife and son.

Oh, she *would* be singing a different story if that happened! She realized she needed to teach the girls about 'duck danger' before setting them loose on the creatures. While she changed Bruce, she sung to him softly. "Wise men say 'only fools rush in', but I can't help falling in love with you." She finished buttoning up Bruce's sleeper and picked him up. Sierra came to settle with the baby on their bed. She lay him down on his back. "Who's mommy's cute boy?" She watched Bruce kicking his legs happily. She looked back at her husband, waiting for him to join the two of them. Sierra leaned over, playfully raspberrying Bruce's tummy. The boy let out a loud, happy shrill and smiled so bright that they could see he had inherited his mother's dimples. "Claudius, look what I found. Should I keep him?" She made a playful face at the boy.

His shrills caused a chain reaction inside of Ewwiekewwieikkie's room. First Melickielickie woke up, then Callista, and then both girls awoke Ewwiekewwieikkie. Melickielickie squeaked. "Daddy hommmmeeeee!" She declared, running out of bed so quickly that she face planted on the floor. "Eeeeee!!!" She resumed her run towards Claudius and Sierra's room. Melickielickie was the first to arrive on the bed. "*Daddy*!" She said by way of annoying herself. Callista was further behind. She was rubbing the sleep from her eyes and dragging a bantha plushie roughly the same weight of her body down the hallway. She, too, joined everyone on the bed. "Uncle! We're gonna have a tea party tomorrow! Auntie Zara got me a new, pretty dress to wear!"

Ewwiekewwieikkie came in after everyone else, still suffering from the effects of the medicinal flowers. "I'm home!" she announced, as she emerged from the hallway and burst forth into the bedroom. "Is there pie? I hope there's pie," she said, as she moved towards the bed to give hugs and licks to everyone. But then, she froze, and her pointy ears began to twitch. "Hmm," she said, as she brought her paw up to her chin. It was then that she burst forward from the bed and rushed onto the balcony. As she looked down at the ground. "Wow! Wow! Everyone!" she cried, as she began leaping up and down, causing the balcony to shake. She leaned forward over the balcony so much that she very nearly fell. Despite being on the second story she attempted to reach to the ground, but she was about fifteen feet too short. "Ducks!" she announced, as she wondered how she could get down to them. Where there were ducks there was food, she reasoned.

"We're definitely keeping him," Claudius told Sierra, before he heard a commotion down the hall. *Everyone* was awake denying him a much needed tender moment with his son, but with them gone so long he was glad to see everyone. "Thank you for the hugs," he told an out of sorts Ewwiekewwieikkie, before being bombarded by both Melickielickie and Callista. "And what a wonderful dress I'm sure it is," he told Callista, before Ewwiekewwieikkie went running towards the balcony. "Don't let her fall!" he cried out, as he tried to catch up with her. "You see!" he told Sierra, as his adopted Squib daughter nearly took a header trying to grab a duck on the ground from the second story. There had been a return to normalcy in the Rodney estate.

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