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On Buns and Ovens (working title)

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Kix opened the message curiously. It was from Rex’s birth-squad-mate, Lingo. It wasn’t like they weren’t friends, but keeping in touch wasn’t something they normally did. Especially since Lingo was Coruscant Guard rather than on ‘active’ duty, having earned the position by virtue of being a polyglot. Someone in their wisdom had decided that skill would be more useful in the capital rather than in battle.

(Truthfully, as much as he hated to admit it, being in the Guard did suit Lingo a lot more than being on a battlefield ever would. He could shoot just fine, but he wasn’t quite wired the same way as the majority of their vod’e.)

From: CT-7560

To: CT-7567; CT-6116

I’ve just rotated back onto Senate duty and thought you’d want to know your senator is sick. She’s skipped a few sessions but there’s no news that she’s seen a doctor.

K’oyacyi

That was strange, and Lingo was absolutely right in that they would want to know if Senator Amidala was ill. However, stuck on the Outer Rim, there wasn’t a lot either he or Rex would be able to do. In fact, the most helpful thing would be to keep General Skywalker so busy that he didn’t notice something was wrong.

Fortunately, Rex seemed to have the same thought, because a message came through from him before Kix could even begin to compose something himself.

From: CT-7567

To: CT-6116

I’ll deal with Skywalker; you investigate what you can so you’re prepared.

Investigate. Well, that… Actually, he could do something about that, because Senator Amidala spent a lot of time in the spotlight. She would have appeared on vid feeds he could access on the net, to see if there was anything obvious he could pick up on.

And, since they were in transit between one disaster and the next, the only thing Kix had to worry about at the moment was injuries picked up by his vod’e doing something stupid.

With a sigh, he accessed the Senate records, and looked at how many sessions the senator had actually attended recently. There wasn’t much of a pattern, but there were a lot of missed sessions, or only half-days attended, over the last month or so. And when he went through the footage, it was curious – there were days where she seemed to be absolutely fine, and others where she looked completely exhausted, and/or nauseous. The days she looked worst were generally those where she was debating, or there was something he knew she would deem to be important going on.

At first, he chalked it up to stress – those were symptoms he was used to seeing in shinies before their first couple of battles, or from older vod’e who had just seen too much. It had been the 501st’s default setting after Umbara because of the nightmares most of them suffered with, and the three months or so since then hadn’t completely alleviated it.

But then he wondered, because their senator was tough: she had been in battle with them and acquitted herself well. She was as tough as any jetii, and the Senate was nothing compared to some of the things she had been through in the field.

And, aliit though she may be, Amidala was not a vod. Not a jagyc’vod, anyway – she was a dalyc’vod. It was a distinction that wasn’t normally made, but had to be taken into account when thinking in terms of medicine. Did human women react to stress the same way as the men?

A quick flick through his medical reference threw up that yes, women did react to stress like that (as well as the various emotional indicators that appeared among the vod’e too), but there was something else bothering him too.

He went back to the Senate feeds; yeah, he was right. Even when she didn’t look sick, she appeared to be uncomfortable, and there was something wrong about her… her…

Three months. Three months since Umbara and their extended down-time. Nausea, exhaustion, discomfort, enlarged breasts. Well, overlooking something like that was the kind of idiocy was what you got for not learning enough about women.

Kenobi had given the vod’e of the 212th and 501st a lecture a few days after they had come to Coruscant, after Geonosis. Surely he had given it to Skywalker too? He must have.

Even on the off-chance he hadn’t, surely their senator was sensible enough to have an implant? Because the relationship was supposedly a secret, and a pregnancy was a little unsubtle in that regard.

This couldn’t end well – this was going to get noticed by someone else eventually. He knew that natural-borns weren’t as big as clones when they… emerged, but they weren’t tiny either. Surely people could tell that a woman was expecting?

A quick search of the net suggested that yes, women changed pretty dramatically later on in a pregnancy, in a way that was going to be impossible to hide.

Skywalker was going to be a wreck. He was already overly-protective when it came to the senator, but the senator and his ik’aad? Even Kenobi might struggle to keep him in line when he found out.

Jesse was going to go nuts – he loved younglings. And Ahsoka too; she would love it too. This kid was going to have so many bavodu’e when word got round, even if the vast majority of them didn’t actually know what to do with a natural-born ik’aad.