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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:4) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Medcenter).
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney and Commander Sierra Rodney.

Sierra Rodney had been busy over the last few days. It became impossible for her to remain in the medcenter at all times as she would have liked. She functioned as Claudius would, taking in his responsibilities while she searched Delaya for Rebels. When she was in the medcenter, she spent a majority of her time pouring over datapads and following a lead on the HoloNet forums. Earlier that day, Sierra had struck gold. By diving deeper and deeper into the HoloNet, she had uncovered a group of Rebels that indeed was working out of the city. They were conspiring against the Emperor and Governor Arundel. They were stupid enough to do it where an ISB officer could exploit them. Her proof against the group was growing. Using some less than classy methods, Sierra had gained the trust of the group. She had even been invited to a gathering the following day. Finally, good news had arrived.

Considering all that had happened, Sierra decided to take advantage of what day it was: the two month anniversary since their wedding. While it may have seemed irrational and silly, she opted to cast light on it. Those two months had been hard. They had weather storm after storm after storm. Besides, Claudius needed an injection of good in his life. She was going to administer it.

She had been gone since early that morning, first to be a Duchess, and second to be a wife, and third, to continue deceiving Rebels. As the sun began to set over the city, the door to Claudius' suite opened. She stood in the doorway holding a small square box and a bottle of sparkling cider. "Honey, I'm home!" She called out obnoxiously as she stepped into the suite. The days were wearing on her. Still as beautiful as ever, she looked exhausted. In all that had happened with Claudius, Drusilla had missed her concert, thus making the rift between them grow wide again. As much as she apologized profusely, she knew she was going to have to think of *another* way to make it up to her stepdaughter.

When Sierra arrived in his medical suite, Claudius Rodney was standing between two support railings, doing his daily exercises. His hands held tightly to the railings as he walked back and forth repeatedly, slowing regaining his strength and conditioning. "Sierra!" he cried out, almost too excitedly. He nearly slipped from his grasp and fell to the ground, but he caught himself at the last moment. "What goes on in the world beyond this medcenter?" he asked, before moving in the direction of his favorite chair by the window. He sat down in it, or rather collapsed down into it, with a thin layer of sweat covering his fatigued frame. This was proving to be an exhausting recovery process, but one he hoped was nearly over. As long as he kept pushing himself he felt like he could be 100-percent by the end of the week. It was remarkable that he had come as far as he had in such a short of time, but with all that was happening, he was determined to become himself again.

Her eyes brightened. Sierra had watched him, day by day, regain his strength. It was incredibly. It seemed like he was coming back so quickly. Sierra felt such pride for him, and awe at the strength which he possessed. Eek! She thought he was going to fall. Panicked, she raced closer to him but stopped. He had it covered. "It's so good to see you on your feet. You're doing amazing." She commented, staying close incase he needed her...but he didn't. He was able to make it to his chair all by himself. Sierra sat sideways at the unoccupied one beside his. "Wouldn't you like to know?" She teased as she sat the box in his lap. Inside was a small circular version of their wedding cake...including all of his favorite flavors. It was blue fur free. Sierra had worked hard to keep the cake away from Ewwie. "In ridiculous news, Auntie Mae is trying to open a shop directly beside Marcus' chalet. Our youngest is in full pout-mode because we missed her concert anddd..." She said, tapping the box in his lap. "It's our two month anniversary. Given all that's happened, we need a reason to celebrate."

Claudius was embarrassed that he had overlooked their anniversary given their hospitalization. When she planted the miniature version of their wedding cake upon his lap he began to tear up, as everything that had happened between them began to well up inside of him. "Thank you. It's wonderful," he said to her, before placing it aside so that he would not drop it in his weakened condition. He found the news about Auntie Mae's new location to be ridiculous, and the news concerning Drusilla to be expected. "Let us hope the next two months pass in peace and tranquility," he said to her, wishing he could have a glass of wine to celebrate, but it would react badly with his medication. "I think this is the perfect time to reveal to you the present from my father," he said to her, having almost forgotten it given his death that followed shortly thereafter.

Sierra wore a bright smile on her face. His reaction was just *perfect*. It was the same reaction she'd get after a year, five years, a decade, and so on. "Things are looking up. I don't want to get too much into it, but I've found a solid Rebel lead. I'm confident that I'll have Marcus and Zara freed before the sun sets tomorrow. Everything else will fall into place." She set the bottle of sparkling cider on a small table beside them. "Hmmm?" She, too, had nearly forgotten about all of that. "Oh. The statute of my uterus. Am I going to finally get a uterus appreciation week?" She smiled... but then she got impatient. "Show me!" She squeaked, sounding more like her age.

"If he were alive he would cast your uterus in gold and build a monument to it in the heart of the city," Claudius said, remembering his father fondly with an only slightly true joke. "I, of course, am a more modest man and thus the monument will instead be cast in bronze," he joked, needing a laugh at a time like this. But when the laughter stopped he became infinitely more serious as his attention turned to the true nature of the gift. "My father's last act before his death was to make our future son a Count with all the rights and privileges associated," he said, moving his hand to his right eye to wipe away a tear. "I am certain Drusilla will be *quite* devastated," he said to her, as he thought both of the past in terms of his father, and the future in terms of his son. It was a powerful moment for him.

She laughed and laughed. "Gee golly, Claudius. *Bronze*. My uterus is gold-rate." Sierra teased him. It was quite relieving that there would *never* be a golden uterus monument in the middle of the city. She was also glad to be laughing again, and to hear her husband laugh too. Soon, it died down and a more serious tone took over. After all, she really did want to know what Julius' gift was. When Claudius revealed it to her, she, too, became teary. It was kind of the old man, who she had come to view as a father-figure, to name Bruce a Count. It felt infinitely more special that Julius had done that in his dying days. Like everyone else, he wanted to ensure that the family continued to hold onto the Duchy. Sierra hugged her husband tightly, crying softly into his shoulder. "I-It's the best gift he could have given us." She sniffled. Slowly, she pulled her head back just enough to kiss him. It had been *so* hard over the last few months. Losing Jelena. Gaining Jelena. Losing Julius. Gaining Bruce. The rollercoaster of their life was one insane ride, yet they had each other to get through it. While they shared an emotional moment, there was an importune knock at the door. The kiss came to a sudden end. "Ah, I thought you might like to see Bruce, Count of Leiliani. Do you?" She teased him. She was still teary eyed and touched. Julius had left the world on a high note.

The range of emotions they had experienced were enough to make them feel as if they suffered from bi-polar disorder. One moment they were incredibly happy, and the next they were desperately sad. Each day brought either a wondrous or woeful development to each of their lives, and he wondered what this day would bring. The kiss was wonderful, and the thought of being able to see their son was an incredibly joyous one for him. When there was a knock at the door he wondered what shoe was about to drop next. It was a doctor, but not one of his. "What's this?" he asked, arching an eyebrow, as he looked between Sierra and the doctor, and back again. "Yes. Yes I would very much," he said, as he became very excited, which caused his heart rate monitor to beep excessively.

It really did seem that way. Sierra's emotions heightened at his excitement to see their son. She wanted to make sure he had a new video to watch, especially during the hard recovery. She smiled brightly. "Then you shall." The young woman stood from her seat. Each week put them one step closer to Bruce. She was still only eleven weeks along. Her swollen stomach was becoming more evident and would only keep growing. She greeted the doctor happily. "Thank you for seeing us on such short notice." The doctor had her lay in Claudius' bed. The ultrasound equipment was already in the room, simply hidden away. While Sierra adjusted her top to expose her bump, the doctor set everything up. She had already explained the situation to the man; they simply couldn't go see her prenatal doctor right now. The man was happy to conduct her monthly exam himself, including taking a peek at the little man to check his developments.

Sierra felt anxious as the doctor applied some strange, warm goop to her stomach. Her worries moved through her head at full speed: was Bruce okay? What if something was wrong? She had been careless in the way she went after the girl assassin. Her hand was shaking. She was scared until the doctor pressed the doppler against her stomach. First came the rapid beating of the baby's heart. A second later, the monitor was on. Bruce looked much more baby-like now than last time. The definition in his legs and arms had become clearer. He even had tiny ears! Sierra was crying *again*. What a day! She looked towards her love proudly, as if silently asking him *are you seeing this?!* "Our baby..." Sniffle.

Claudius attempted to rise politely for the doctor, but he got about an inch off his seat before he decided this was a bad idea. As the doctor set to work he anxiously watched, wondering what they would find. He was equal parts excited and nervous before the image of their son danced to life upon the screen. He reached for his wife, clutching her with all of his might, as he watched his son's heart beat. The tears began to flow again as he could not hold back, nor maintain the stiff upper lip his people were known for. "Of course I'm seeing this..." he said to her, before inhaling sharply in a valiant, but ultimately futile, effort to suck the tears back in. "We have a son!" he cried out for all the room, all the planet, and indeed all the galaxy to hear.

She clung to him. The sight of Bruce always impacted her strongly. Each time she blinked, she could imagine cuddling their little boy in their new home. She thought about teaching him how to walk and introducing him to all the best parts of Delaya. Claudius' reaction made her so happy. The heart monitor was going crazy with his excitement. His tears were so real and sweet. Best of all, his exclamation of their son warranted a cheer from his young wife. The doctor couldn't help but smile while he checked measurements on the fetus. "Your son is very healthy. He's right on track with his growth and developments. You both should be very proud."

And they were. Sierra shamelessly kissed anywhere she could reach on Claudius. "Twenty-nine more weeks." She said with a grin. "That's all we have left to wait until our boy arrives." Sierra was a proud peacock! Their two month anniversary had lit the fire inside of her once more. Watch out, Governor! Sierra Rodney was coming!

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