“You invest your money in private banks, correct?” Hera’s question takes Kallus by surprise, considering he hadn’t noticed her in the dining room until then. Mentally, he chastises himself for being unable to sense her coming. Imperial Kallus would known she was there a minute before she spoke, but Rebel Kallus has had his senses dulled by loneliness as a direct result of avoidance of the Ghost crew.
He doesn’t know how to feel anymore. Not if there’s no one too feel.
Six months into the Rebellion, and not a soul from the Ghost had really spoken to him aside from Kanan (but he doesn’t count because he is a Jedi, and his life goal is to keep people together and happy. He only speaks to Kallus because he is obligated to). Ezra and Sabine he expects, he’s ruined most of their teenage years trying to kill them. Hera is too busy with the Rebellion and a six month old to speak to him.
And Zeb...well Zeb has his obvious reasons. Though it hurts, because Kallus expected Zeb to be the one to stand beside him (he had turned him into a rebel anyway). But that was a foolish sliver of hope to hang on to. He’d killed Zeb’s people, the Lasat owes him nothing ( not even the childlike skittering he does whenever Kallus enters the same room as him, or the soul piercing stares he directs towards the former agent when he believes Kallus isn’t looking).
“Pardon me?” How she knows about his personal assets, he hasn’t a clue. He suspects Mon Mothma may be at play. That, or Hera has done her extensive research. He is more inclined to believe the latter, considering how strenuous Mon Mothma is with exchanging info of her closer personnel.
“Yes...that is correct.” He admits, reluctantly, not entirely sure what he’s getting himself into. The questions are cryptic, and seemingly out of nowhere.
“And your family isn’t exactly on the poor side either,” adds the Twi’lek pilot, “And neither are you.”
Years of ISB training have given him the skills necessary to mask immediate shock, but Hera’s onslaught of personal questions give even Kallus a run for his money. It had been so long since he’d even thought of his economic situation, let alone his family.
“No, Captain,” Kallus responds, tensely, then asks: “What is all of this about?”
What confidence she had brought with her when she began her unofficial interrogation seems to waver, just slightly, as he demands an explanation from her. Her green eyes soften slightly, and she remains silent for a short while.
“I..I have a favor to ask of you.”
Kallus can’t imagine that it’s good, not with the conversation prior to this. Part of him is hurt, considering they know he’d do anything to make up for his past deeds, regardless of the task asked of him. He had liked to believe that they’d be partly sympathetic of him and not utilize him to the point of manipulation, but these were the people he’d terrorized for more than a year.
He wonders if Hera will ask for a new ship, or some sort of ridiculous funding. The last thing he wanted to do was to be taken advantage of due to his wealth (which is why he is so modest about it), but whatever Hera wants, he’ll have to give.
He nods stiffly, locking his honey eyes with hers.
“I need you to agree to be my daughter’s godfather.”
Kallus pales considerably, not sure if he is hearing her correctly.
“Pardon me?” He croaks.
Calmly, she repeats herself. “I need you to be ‘Thena’s godfather.”
“Why me?” Of course he knows why, at least a bit.. He has a more than generous income, and after he retires from the Rebellion, he’ll have a multitude of credits to fall back on for the rest of his life, and more than enough to share with another human being (sort of).
But aside from that, Kallus believes it to be an unspoken rule that he was to stay away from the child. Now Hera wanted him to watch her?
“Because, you have proven yourself as a loyal member to me and my crew more than once. I know you would do anything for the Rebellion, Kallus. Not only that, but I know you more than I know anyone on the base. I trust you more. I know it sounds strange, considering our complicated past together--”
a complete understatement,” Interrupts the captain.
“-but I’ve gotten to know--” She begins again.
“But you know Ze--”
Hera silences him with a raise of her hand. “Doesn’t have a credit to his name, Ezra is just a child, and Sabine will be preoccupied with Mandalore after all of this. If you don’t agree to it, if anything happens to Kanan and I, Athena will be alone.”
“Regardless, whoever wins, Athena would be safe, with you.”
Kallus shivers at her statement. Regardless of who won, what on Earth is she trying to say? She must read the confusion his face, for she hasten to clarify herself.
“Let’s say the Empire wins. You would naturally be pardoned if you claimed we controlled you--kinda believable with Kanan. Athena would grow up under the Imperial flag, but she’d grow up with a good man nonetheless.
Ahh, that’s it. Kallus partly understands, though he raises his eye at Hera’s lack of faith in the Rebellion.
“But the Empire may not--”
“We have to be realistic Kallus, if we don’t win, Athena would have a chance with you. And if the Rebellion does win, if Kanan and I are gone, Athena has a share of your wealth” she emphasizes, pleading, and sliding a data pad towards Kallus that he hadn’t seen before, “accept. It would mean the world to both me and Kanan. We’ll smooth out the attitudes of the rest of the crew later.”
Kallus’ response is without question, and it’s not like Hera would have taken no for an answer anyway.
With a sigh, he takes the data pad into his hand. “I accept.”
He signs his name, Alexsander Kallus. Doesn’t even read the terms.
Any feelings of regret or fear he experiences, he swallows down as he slides the data pad back towards her. If he allows himself to think about the potential of adopting one of his former enemies daughter, he may make himself sick to his stomach and may ask Hera for the pad back (not that she’d give it to him anyway).
“Thank you.” She breathes, closing her eyes in relief, “Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome,” he responds,, distant, the shock of signing the datapad still settling in, “ it’s the least I can do for you after all I’ve done.”
“Don’t let Kanan here you say that,” Hera warns, her own tone slightly disappointed, “You’ve already done enough for us, this is just a favor.”
“I suppose there’s no harm in raising a child, even if I am alone, at least I’ll have somebody with me” he admits somewhat hopefully, then adds, “I’d tell her about you and Kanan you know.”
“Not until she’s older,” Hera says, as she stands to her feet, “and...by the way Zeb’s been looking at you, I don’t think you’d be alone for as long as you think. Take my advice and go talk to him.”
Before he can nag her for further details, she calls around the corner, “Kanan, you can come out now. He said yes!”
“Looks like you’re officially apart of the family, Kallus,” jokes the Jedi , as he comes into view, then adds more seriously: “Not that you weren’t before. That said, you’ll need to get over your fear of Athena, you never know when she’ll be your responsibility. She’s in her room now, her diaper hasn’t been changed but she’s crying so it probably means its full. You should get some hands on experience. Obviously you’ve worked with kids before because the kids on the base can’t keep away from you…”
He only listens half heartedly, nodding as the words fly past him like the stars in hyperspace. He can’t concentrate, not on his goddaughter, not on Kanan’s monologue of instructions.
Not when the prospect of being alone suddenly starts to dissolve before his very eyes.
No, not when Zeb like’s him.