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The Force works in mysterious ways

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When Rey wakes up from the magic? Force powered? gesture performed after suffering the strain of that- that demon's uncouth method of 'scanning' through her brain she feels cold. The metallic restraining rig, angled upright answers why. Followed by that, the second unanswered feeling is a odd pain extending from thighs to femur. Or at least she thinks that part of the humanoid body is called a femur. She didn't have any references on the matter except outdated holo medical pads which predate the Clone Wars. 

She puts little attention to the foreign ache in her 'lady parts' as the old woman in Niima Station called them while explaining how periods worked once she saw Rey burning her undergarments and trying desperately not to 'die from blood loss'. This is only a minor discomfort, nowhere as bad as that time on the Badlands where she sewed her leg up to prevent her wound attracting wildlife. The strange smell in her clothing is no priority whatsoever.

What matters now is getting out of this prison-

The air freezes inside her lungs at the sight of Kylo Ren, mask in place. Standing there with his obsidian covered frame that seems embroidered by every small child's night terror. 

She'd never hated anyone in her brief yet mostly grim life. Not Unkar Plutt who never gave any scavenger fair trades, not the 'partners' who flew away from Jakku in the spacecraft they'd fixed together, not the family who sentenced her to an existence of blazing sands by day and torrid colds by night. Maybe it was too lenient of her, but Rey wanted to accept somebody into her life just as much as everyone wanted nothing to do with her.

Rey has no qualms making an exception for this with Kylo Ren, she already hates him with a fury that burns hotter than Mustafar, runs deeper than Kamino's supposedly planet-wide oceans. For motives unknown, her body yells at her to hide instead of fighting as is her usual fare.

Throughout their loth-cat and prairie mouse game Rey was sure of nothing save the pressing need to wear her own mask of defiance. She had no reason to believe Kylo Ren when he 'informed' her friends were safe. Any man who turned his back on Luke Skywalker, valiant and earnest and good in all the stories, was clearly not be trusted. (If her family had left her at Luke's orphanage/ Jedi school, then Rey would have died rather than betray so noble hearted a man). For she had no doubt he was the 'student' that turned to the dark side. Kylo's dull face indicated a youthful physique underneath the black, making him young enough to have lived through the massacre.

She couldn't understand how one moment she went from overwhelmed by the unthinkable power she'd somehow accessed to enter Kylo's head and mind-control the stormtrooper to battling sores all over while climbing out from inside the wall. Good thing Jakku taught her to efficiently suppress pain.


 

Finn is esctatic to see her, Rey's heart swells at the knowledge that she finally has a friend who cares enough to come back no matter how terrible the situation. Chewie lowers his eyes at her, shame of an origin she cannot decipher filling him as he measures her in before Han reminds them there's work to be done. The wookie's mood improves slightly once he tells Rey how the rescue was Finn's idea. Han looks worried about the implications of Chewbacca's behavior but is too short pressed for giving or answering questions. Just before Han separates from the group he gingerly hugs Rey, her mind squeals in joy at what is well and truly the closest thing she's ever had to a father's hug.

"It's going to be ok, kid. I'm gonna help you through this." He says in that gruff voice that makes her smile, though the tone betrays a sense of guilt. It doesn't matter: she's had two hugs in less than a hour, this is heaven for a girl like her.

Later, Kylo Ren's sickly red blade snatches Han Solo away from everything he loved. The questions for Han and Chewie's peculiar reaction on Starkiller Base turn to ashes in her mouth, replaced by the increased hatred for Ben Solo. The monster in human skin who's just killed a parent who was more affectionate to her, the lowly gutter rat with a knack for fixing things, in a week than half of Jakku's population was in fourteen years.

Slicing his pathetic face in half doesn't bring back all the lives this wannabe Sith has destroyed, the sorrow of losing Han continues to nip at her soul long after Doctor Kalonia stabilizes Finn. But she'd do it all over again a thousand times without question and smile.


 On D'Quar Rey notices strange bruising around her pelvic area, red and purple markings covering her thighs. They baffle her but she figures (wants desperately to believe) it's no big deal. The Resistance is already spreading tales about her and she wants to become the story they've created: the underdog scavenger who recovered the Millennium falcon. The girl who brought the great warrior Chewbacca (and for a quick, glorious moment General Solo, they whisper). The lonely orphan who turned out to be secretly force-sensitive and bested Kylo Ren in combat. 'Unscathed' is the term they use to describe her. As if Rey's skin wasn't dry from the desert sun and her fingers weren't calloused from all the metal scrapping. As if her hair wasn't thin and sloppily braided.

'Cracked' and 'Bruised' were the terms used to describe her in Jakku. The planet in which she cried and prayed and hoped for her family to return in vain and which she wants no comparisons. She doesn't need to tell anyone. The scavenger was smart enough to clean her old clothes before anyone really focused on her. When they arrived to interrogate her, Rey smelled of soap (Real Soap!!) and not sweat coupled with melted snow and whatever foul sticky substance left her pants so messy. Maz was right, whoever left her on that barren wasteland is never coming back, Rey can feel it in her bones. But her bones also scream that she can't allow anything to impede her recruiting Luke. The Last Jedi is important to her beyond a potential teacher, though she can't truly understand why. All she knows is General Organa might see her 'development' as a chance to withdraw her candidature for recruiting Luke Skywalker..

She ignores the way Chewie keeps looking at her strangely and doesn't let the young woman carry any heavy objects. Wookies are known to be irrational in their mourning periods, giving a once scavenger (future Jedi?) special attention is better than starting a revolution or tearing the arms off everyone in a cantina.


The island is chilly yet beautiful; never in all her wildest dreams did Rey dream there could be so much water in all the galaxy. In a moment of childlike joy she forgets the mission, cups some of the lovely liquid in her hands and presses it on her lips to drink. Awful saltiness floods her taste buds, she spits it out and asks herself why the universe would be cruel enough to create all this magnificent water but render it undrinkable. Chewie laughs at the whole thing and says Luke did the same thing on Yavin, only in the legendary Jedi Master's case mud was the unwelcome factor in the large water body. That boosts her spirits a bit, knowing she and Luke aren't so different, that he is not untouchable.

When he finds the figure whose story is both myth and galactic history Luke doesn't say anything at first. She'd imagined a god-like being, power radiating through him in crashing waves that stupefied upon contact. On Jakku they claimed Luke Skywalker could turn a man to dust by snapping his fingers, levitate entire Star Destroyers, even talk to the dead heroes of eons past. What she gets is an older man with eyes that seem very wise, very sweet and so inconsolably sad. The 'Man who blew up the Death Star' directs no words to her. No 'why are you here?' or 'who are you?'. Not even a grumpy 'Go away!!!'. (Though Poe had assured that last option was impossible, citing stories of a nice blonde man who let him sit on the X-wing and placed young Dameron on his knee as they cruised the skies together, Rey still had her doubts.) Carefully, tactfully she hands him the light-saber. For a brief instant dry, brittle hands touch an aged palm and its silver counterpart. The only way she knows how to describe it is electricity, yet that definition falls short too. Cause there's no hurtful shock coursing through her veins, not from her part at least. It's the sunrise in a bottle, warm and bright and peaceful. 

Luke stares at her, his (handsome) desert sky blue gazing so deep she thinks he might be glimpsing her soul. He remains quiet, lowering his eyes to the light saber she's just placed in his hands. A thousand scenarios rush through her head: him asking where she found the artifact/weapon, him saying that she's come for nothing and he'll never wield a laser sword again. One ludicrous scenario even has him tossing the object over the cliff. In reality he puts the weapon back in her satchel, not wanting it to touch his or her hands any longer. She sees his mouth open and awaits eagerly for the sound of his voice. (and for the next occasion his palms brush her).

"If you're smart then you'll break that saber in half. It's cursed, just like everything with the name Skywalker. It shall bring you nothing but pain."

He doesn't elaborate on what he means by that harrowing proclamation. But he takes off his crème colored cloak to place it on her back once he takes notice of the young woman shivering. Master Skywalker offers his arm to walk down her the stone steps, tells the funny looking fish creatures that she's their honored visitor (She's so grateful he didn't use 'guest') as are all who came with her.  When Rey asks if she's his long lost daughter to merit such attention he replies that if he had a daughter then she would be by his side. She tries to joke about it, get him out of his shell with what she believes to be a relatively harmless topic.

"All my children are dead." He says in a strangled voice, the melancholy so deep that she knows he cries not for the sole reason that he has no tears left to shed. His students were his children, she realizes. He has mourned as a father, as an uncle and as a brother for many long; trauma filled years. Yet he's still compassionate enough to bring her a blanket and slowly nod in acceptance when she asks if he'd like to see Chewie tomorrow.

 If that's how a 'cursed' individual behaves then she wishes half the galaxy was bewitched.

Chapter Text

For all his gentleness and all his careless magnificence that could convince the nine Corellian Hells that Luke Skywalker is perfection itself, Rey sees one unbearable flaw: he won't train her. Won't access the Force in even the slightest capacity. It's not cause he finds her lacking, the Jedi Grandmaster is quick to assure. Kind and supportive and selfless. In a complete abandonment of common sense Luke tells her the problem lies with himself, that he's susceptible to the dark. Did he lose his brain before or after the massacre?!?! How could Luke ever think he'd turn evil like Kylo Ren did? Couldn't he see how naturally compassionate he is? The Lanai see it, the Resistance sees it. Hell the First Order's absolute fear of him stems partially from the fact Skywalker is a living, breathing contradiction to their authoritarian regime that values fear over love.

"You won't turn to the Dark Master Skywalker: you're a good man." she tells him one night over a bowl of vegetable stew served next to warm caf that sends waves of nausea through her body. 

Luke traces the small scar on her left arm, cradling the trace of her hardships as if they made her pretty. "Just as bad men can find their way back to the light, good men can always walk into the abyss Rey. I'm still human underneath."

"But you're the Rebellion's hero, the Champion of Yavin, the Breaker of Tatooine's chains-."

"And my father was 'the hero with no fear'!!! Count Dooku was 'the gentleman Knight'!!! Past heroism doesn't guarantee salvation. The soul faces battle every day until it becomes one with the Force."

She doesn't have a good comeback for this argument. Or at least, not one that will convince Luke she's as altruistic as him, altruistic enough to become a Jedi. Master Skywalker has ripped himself away from all he loves in an act of pure sacrifice. He doesn't care if it tears him apart, so far as Luke is concerned all that matters is ensuring that the galaxy isn't subjected to both an evil nephew and the uncle. Could she do that? Rey's never given up anything before, survival on Jakku consisted of holding on to whatever means were available, not letting go what you cherished. Yes, she hadn't sold BB-8 but that was different. Beebee was a conscious, sentient organism. Helping him wasn't an act of selflessness so much as recognizing he couldn't be bought. Even the worst people abhor slavery (most of the time anyway). Master Skywalker bids her good night and bows in the way that makes her chest flutter. She tells herself tomorrow shall yield better results.


 

Rey's stayed in the island for five days in Outer Rim time but three weeks in Ach-Too cause apparently time flows quicker in this planet. Luke calls his sanctuary? exile? purgatory? a prettier version of Dagobah, speaking of swamps covered in fog and humid air that expelled all the water from your body. Rey never wants to visit that type of ecosystem, it sounds absolutely dreadful. Plus, she's not sure if she could adapt to it. Shortly after arriving here the young scavenger started experiencing stomach cramps and sore breast which are probably the result of her immune system adjusting itself to a non-desert environment. They might also be her body's psychosomatic method of getting Luke to make her tea in witches's hour instead of trashing in his sleep and begging forgiveness to people who may or may not be dead.

Chewie's meddling has gotten even worse but she's too ecstatic when Luke consents to 'preparing her' for Jedi training to be bothered. He teaches her how to properly position herself for meditation, her chest flutters again as their knees touch in a purely platonic manner. By the third day he's channeled what he calls 'a sliver' of his Force signature which is 'safe' to wield as he gives her a slight nudge while she's trying to levitate a fruit blindfolded. By the 2nd week Poe holos her to say Finn woke up, after that her giddiness at the brief lessons received every turns to impatience. Why is master Luke relegating her to lifting fruit and healing plant life when she could be learning how to use a lightsaber?!? Luke said he trusted her promise not to fail him as Kylo did so why isn't he preparing her for battle?!? Finn needs her, the Resistance needs Luke. What does she have to do for him to pick up the pace on her Jedi training?

She takes matters into her own hands and starts training with the training sabers provided by the Lanai at unseemly hours, blocking her Force signatures from him and swallowing the guilt every time she lies to a man who's only ever been kind to her. The first ten to twenty times she gets burned by the lesser version of the Jedi's signature weapon and runs out of breath until Master Skywalker teaches how to increase her stamina with the Force. It makes her thankful that Luke had given her 'Padawan clothing' with billowing sleeves and loose pants which concealed the marks from plain sight. To keep the robes from getting sliced Rey trains in the outfit she was wearing the day she met Luke. It feels snug today, most likely cause she's actually eating three days a day now and exercising constantly. Rey's secretly relieved she doesn't look skeleton-like under her robes anymore. There's no bones peaking out these days, her middle feels firm, compact muscle that looks much healthier now that the bruises are gone.


Her nightly 'sessions' last exactly eighteen days before Luke catches her in the act. She was training with his father's light saber when he found her. Truthfully it was for the best cause she hadn't gotten the hang of it yet, the training sabers were much lighter so she was still familiarizing herself with the weight of his weapon. (Maybe now he could teach her how to control her exhaustion at longer hours, after she switched from one nightly hour to four throwing up every morning was the norm.) Rey thought he'd be proud of her for keeping up with his teachings and furthering her training. Less for him to cover and all that. Instead he grabs his family heirloom with the Force and looks upon her with sadness? Why is he sad? 'I don't want you to be unhappy because of me. Tell me what I did wrong, tell me how to keep your eyes from getting glossy.'

"Master Luke... Have I disappointed you? I wasn't trying to break any rules, you never said I couldn't train at night."
 

He chuckles, half wistful joy and half melancholy. "You're right. I didn't say anything against it. Rey: I don't want you skipping any more sleep from now on."

Confused anger racks through her bones. "What!?!? Why?"

"A good padawan knows when to ask questions and when to obey a superior. No more running yourself tired, no more unsupervised sword practice and especially not with light sabers."

"When are you going to understand I don't have the time for the traditional Jedi route?"

"You must learn patience-"

"We don't have time for patience. The First Order's not going to wait for years!!! I need to know how to fight so the next time I face Ren he'll get his ass kicked without being shot first. Teach me to move like the Jedi in Clone Wars reels before they kill us both."

Luke stays deadly quiet, she can barely hear him breathe. Oh stars she's acted like the worst Padawan in history. Master Skywalker won't train her anymore after this. She's too reckless, too emotionally attached. Perhaps she doesn't belong with the Jedi, perhaps she doesn't belong anywhere. If her own parents didn't think she was good enough how could she ever have thought the legendary Luke Skywalker would eem her worthy of carrying his mantle? Before she knows it, Rey's crying. Large, ugly sobs that definitely ruin her wish for Luke to see her as the ideal candidate for the first of the New Jedi.

Halfway through trying to hold back the tears she's pleasantly surprised by the feel of Luke's arms engulfing her. Shushing her in a comforting manner as he traces circles on Rey's back with his metallic palm. It feels like the home she's heard other people talk about but has never experienced. She sobs even harder. 

"Don't cry Rey. It's not good for the baby."

She practically jumps out of his arms after hearing that impossible sentence. Exile has scrambled his brain. There's no feasible way for her to be pregnant. Rey wasn't stupid enough to sell herself for food like those flimsy women on Niima station, she knew her worth. In the Resistance she didn't have the time to garner someone's trust deeply enough for that kind of intimacy. The only person she'd trust to take her maidenhood in the gentlest form possible is Finn and he's the little brother Rey always wanted. 

But she missed her blood last month and this time she wasn't malnourished or dehydrated. She's always struggling to keep her breakfast down, faltering in exhaustion over things she could have done easily less than a year ago. No, it's impossible. Rey's a virgin. She's never even been alone with a man- Her mind flashes back to the interrogation room where she'd woken up to him looming over like the fallen angel he was. 'You know I can take whatever I want' the monster had told her, smirking as if he'd just heard a funny joke. Han's troubled expression at the sight of her clothes's lower regions which must have been that demon's horrid sperm taking root in her. Infecting her with this abomination- Ok Rey calm down. Yes, he violated you but that doesn't mean his little parasite is growing inside you. Her next period's in three days, she'll bleed then and laugh with Luke over how silly he was to believe the Force was cruel enough to let Kylo Ren's poisoned seed rot her belly. It will be a funny story to tell years later when the war is won.


 

The Force is that cruel. Six days later her period still hasn't shown up, the firmness she'd been pleased with is soon broken by the strange and alien sensation of growing? breasts and a mockingly gentle curve in her stomach. Her old clothes are too small, too tight around the middle and nothing she can do makes them comfortable. Rey avoids Luke the way cargo cruisers avoid signs of the Festering Plague and punches Chewie for not telling the truth.

Her calculations show she's seven to eight weeks along with the little monster. It's barely the size of a button, she'll hardly feel a thing when it's purged from her womb. Part of her feels guilty about it, hadn't she always wanted a family? She stops that train of thought. The creature placed inside her by the kin slaying monster can't be her family. Kylo Ren couldn't love anybody, she doubts his clone will be any better. She wanted a family on her terms, her wishes, her decisions. Not this invasion of her body and mind, thrust upon her without the barest thought of her consent.

She can't go to the Lanai for herbs or elixirs to dislodge Ren's abomination. They're loyal to Luke foremost and Master Skywalker won't approve. She'll tell him it was all a figment of his imagination. There was nothing in her womb.

Rey combs through the library in search of the herb or potion capable of fixing this terrible mistake; this weight and responsibility that had been foisted upon her. Nine books later she gets her answer and brews a tea with tansy, wormwood and other plants that she'd remembered by image more than name. She falters as the solution finishes boiling to the right temperature and looks down to her belly, in which the possibility of both great darkness and great light lies. 'I'm sorry but Luke is right, the galaxy can't take another supernova powered dark sider. Please forgive me'. Her hand shakes as it lifts the cup holding the deceivingly plain beverage, raising it to her lips.

"Rey, please wait. Just for a moment. Please.”




Not surprisingly, the protesting voice comes from Luke. A nice, sweeping sensation blooms in the lower part of her abdomen when she sees him. The being within her is happy that Luke is here. The little vermin is invoking Jakku tradition-No, she's being dramatic. Babies can choose any time they like to start kicking. Oh shit she had thought of it as a baby, she acknowledged it's more than just Kylo's horrible seed taking root in her abdomen. No, she won't be weak. If Luke had killed Ben once he sensed the darkness in him then Han would still be alive and so would Luke's students. It falls to her to carry out what he was too noble to perform.

"I-I have to do this Luke. You can't understand-"

"Rey: I know. Chewie told me what Ren did to you." He takes the hand not holding the cup in his own, she feels the soft, worn leather of his glove and for a moment is calmed.

"Then you understand why I can't allow his clone to roam free."

"I understand you're angry. You have every right in the galaxy to be. You of all people should not have to bear this burden.” his eyes burn into hers, but not with righteous indignation or anger; his eyes burn with understanding, of comprehension of the rage she felt.

She closes her eyes, a cold feeling of sickness washing over her like a wave. His fingers tighten around hers.

“The life inside you is part Kylo’s, that’s true.” he says, low and comforting like the waves that lap the shore of the little island they inhabit. “It is also part you." 

Rey looks up at her Jedi Master, tears in her eyes.

“I also know you were not given the choice; this life, no matter how innocent, it is still a responsibility and a burden you did not ask for.”

"Luke:It's not an innocent, it's-it's..."

"A baby, your baby. He or she didn't ask for this anymore than you did.This baby is also your’s Rey. One half of the genetic material is yours."

"It's a literal Sith spawn. The putrid seed of a murderous traitor!!!"  the grief stricken cry is ripped from her in a sudden outburst of all the pain and agony caused by the monster who had thoughtlessly used her like an old rag.


"So am I." her Master says in a calm, soft voice.

Rey drops the cup in that moment and sinks to the ground in that moment, picturing that she's potentially ending the life of a child of Luke’s, or even Luke himself, instead of Kylo Ren's clone. Had Luke’s mother considered ending her children’s lives when she discovered the darkness that lay within their father? Stars, what is she going to do? What should she do? So much of her short life had been beyond her control. Left alone with no family, no guidance, no support.


 

 

Luke very carefully sits down on the floor and enfolds her in her arms.

“This is your choice, Rey.” he continues. “Know that whatever your decision, whatever you wish, you will be supported. You will be cared for.”

She sinks against him, taking comfort and drawing strength from him as she does. He is warm and he feels like safety, like home. Rey closes her eyes and centers herself the way he has taught her. She concentrates on the part of the child that is hers, the part of the child that has the potential for goodness. Like Luke, this child came from a union of perfect light and perfect darkness. Like Luke, this child had the potential to be good and kind in the same way. She shudders, what to do?

The baby flutters again when Luke's arms gently brush her midsection and there lies her answer. In Jakku the common superstition said that children know their true parents from conception, because of this they kick the most when both their parents are present. Supposedly the first kick is performed only when the baby hears the sound of his or her father's voice. Some mothers are said to spend the entire nine months without a kick if no father figure is found. Rey is a child of the desert, so is Luke. According to the sands's judgement Luke is her baby's father and that's what she'll adhere to. She'll chew out anyone who links their tiny human with the lousy kin slaying brat. Han's murderer forsook all blood ties when he thrust his blade through his welcoming father's heart. The baby knows it so he or she or them is choosing its own parent, one that won't turn around and display megalomaniac tendencies. The child she carried chose Luke.

 

Well, little one at least we have the same tastes.

Chapter Text

By the tenth week of her 'condition' Rey is utterly convinced the baby is giving her such dreadful nausea bouts that happen on morning and sometimes mid-afternoon as punishment for trying to prevent its birth. No amount of apologies is enough to stop her from waking up in a scrambled rush to the bucket given by the Lanai who are giddy with her pregnancy and keep leaving her flower rings to 'celebrate'. How long is this awful symptom supposed to last?!? Rey wants to ask Master Skywalker or the Lanai but at the same time she feels embarrassed at her meager knowledge. Every woman is supposed to know about babies and she doesn't even know half of the things that are happening to her were possible. The highly covering boots worn by the scant pregnant women on Jakku hid the fact that one's ankles swelled and left your shoes feeling pinched.v

Luke is wonderful throughout those incidents. He gives her little rubs on her shoulders and ankles called massages. Prepares her tea when the vomiting fits grow particularly bad and sings to calm down the baby when he or she or them get restless around sleeping hours. Rey wants to ask the Jedi Master where he learned to tend pregnant women so nicely but refrains from doing so, afraid the answer will somehow be related to him, the creature haunting her nightmares with horrible scenarios which used to show a dead Finn and Resistance, but has since added a gruesome mental picture of Kylo Ren breaking a little bundle's neck because it's 'inferior', too strong in the light side for his purposes.

Most of those nights she wakes up trying to hold back the screams as Master Luke wakes her up and places a gentle hand on Rey's forehead, followed by the same action on the small curve of her belly. She finally understands why he called his earlier Force signature ‘a sliver’. His presence during those brief moments is kind and sweet but even her partially trained sensors could see this was a man powerful enough to lift up half of Coruscant. The nightmares usually stop after that, probably because she and the baby feel safe around the legendary Jedi Master. By the eleventh week she sneaks into Luke's room with a blanket and sleeps so peacefully she fails to notice Master Skywalker placing her on his bed and slumbering on the floor. Rey doesn't know what to make of someone giving up a luxury for her, the baby kicking softly below her heart seems to think she should go down and lie next to him but it feels like a poor way to thank someone for letting you sleep in their mattress.

The next day Chewie helps Rey move her tiny bed into Luke's hut. Rey pushes the mattresses together and very tightly hugs Master Skywalker once he starts screaming for people named Dak, Biggs and Nakari. Luke wakes up sobbing, surprised that she's here but not pushing her away. The Jedi Master snuggles into her left arm, trying not to take up space as they lay next to each other. Out of need for sleep, the pair agrees to keep the unforeseen sleeping arrangement. Neither she or Luke have any more nightmares again.


 

The more Master Luke attends to her needs, the less Rey understands why a man so naturally loving never had a child of his own. He must have wanted a wife and children at some point and Force knows he's far too handsome to be a 53 year old virgin. If the way he blushed that time when he accidentally caught her washing her hair is anything to go by he can be attracted to women. So why he didn't he settle down with some nice lady? Was it because of Darth Vader? If so, it was a sacrifice made in vain. Even if Luke didn't have an dark side child his nephew still became a fathomless creature of evil. How come Darth Vader got the good kids!?!? It's so painfully unfair that the Sith Lord got Luke Skywalker and Leia but Han Solo and General Organa got Kylo Ren. 

Chewie had left a few days ago on the Falcon so it's just her, Luke and the Lanai now. Rey wonders if the desire to kiss Luke on the lips can be considered wrong after he's established himself as her Master and friend. If this constant yearning to have his bearded face caress her naked back and see him smile at her in a non-platonic manner stems from pregnancy hormones or the very real possibility that she's falling hopelessly in love with him. 'Please be the first option, Master Luke would never think that way about me. If I told him about my feelings he'd be kind about it and that'd just make things worse to bear.' Regardless of how gentle he is, not even Master Skywalker would want damaged goods. Kylo ruined her for any other man, her fantasies never go below the waist anymore. If anything she hates any man touching her after the belly button, much to her never-ending shame. When Luke tried to give her an obstetrics check up using old textbooks from the Ach-Too library and surprisingly the Falcon, Rey had panicked despite him doing his best to ensure she was aware he wouldn't hurt her and shoved him off with the Force out of impulse. He'd claimed there was no harm done and promised he'd find a different way to check up on the baby; stroked her brown locks as she apologized for the incident and kissed her forehead. It's a wonderful sensation but it doesn't change the fact no one will ever stay in a romantic relationship with a woman who can't have sex.


Her waistline's started to thicken and Luke's consented to bettering her fighting using sticks when Master Skywalker calls her forward to herald Chewie's return. The faithful wookie comes back with news that someone named Admiral Holdo (whom Rey distrusts until proven otherwise based on the fact Luke groaned in displeasure upon hearing her name), tiny little capsules labeled 'pre-natal vitamins' and a baby blanket that he saw on the market which he thought Rey would like. Chewbacca's gift is a deep shade of blue, white glitters and a silver moon to imitate the sky on some planet. It's warm and pretty and nice to hold, it makes her ask the question she's avoided all this time.

"Chewie?"

{Yes Rey?}

"Why are you so nice to this baby? Its sire killed your best friend, you have every right to hate it."

{The baby didn't kill Han. Blaming it for Han's death would be like blaming Leia for Vader's freezing him in Carbonite at Bespin. People's sins are their own.}

A huge burden Rey was unaware she was carrying is lifted from her shoulders. "Thank you for this Chewie. It means a lot to me."

The wookie's swift embrace serves to eliminate the slight chill Rey'd been feeling. It's so nice that she gets to live with huggers now, when she and Finn are reunited Rey is going to hug her best friend every sunrise, Chewie every afternoon, BB-8 and R2-D2 every sunset and Luke every night. R2-D2 whoops in delight after hearing her idea and tells Rey that Master Luke likes a beverage called hot cocoa before sleeping. She adds it to her ever-growing 'foods to try' list and teases Luke when the aged Jedi Master asks the droid and pregnant Padawan what they were talking about. And nope she's not holding back the urge to run over and feel every wrinkle of her Master's comely face as Rey finally learns the sound of Luke's laughter once R2 answers he was telling Rey this so called BB-8 droid will replace him as the most loved robot on the Galaxy only after R2's been scraped into junk, absolutely not.


 

Rey's calculations say she's twelve weeks along when Luke takes a 'risk' and Force teleports with her to Naboo, keeping his promise to provide her with a more detailed check up than just checking her vital signs and weekly symptoms while arranging a nutritious diet. He jokes that she'd best grab him tightly to prevent her clothes from staying here while her body is transported to his mother's home world. She takes full advantage of his request and clutches his back, trying not to focus on his newly trimmed beard which he claims is a necessity to prevent the doctor he's trusted from dragging him to a hair stylist. Judging by the rows of neatly cut humanoid men and women with intricate braids, his words might not be an exaggeration. Her three buns seem sloppy compared to these elaborate hairdos but Rey comforts herself with the fact none of these soft-handed girls know how to survive the badlands like she does since childhood.

The young scavenger expects Luke to take her to a hospital with maximum security. Instead they arrive at a beautiful lakeside Villa that floods her with the scent of flowers, red and orange blossoms overwhelming her nose. Next to the flower pots a pretty, grey-haired woman around Luke's age smiles and greets them. Rey bites down the swell of jealousy when the older lady with fancy clothes kisses Luke on both cheeks and says she's missed him a lot. 'Stop it, there's nothing to be jealous of. Luke would have told me if he had a wife or lover right?' Master Skywalker breaks from the richly dressed woman and brings her closer to his jealous Padawan.

"Rey, this is my cousin Dr. Ryoo Naberrie. We can trust her."

"Unless you want me to hide any embarrassing family secrets, in that case I'm treacherous but if you're referring to the minor detail about the First Order placing you as Public Enemy #1 baby cousin, then my lips are sealed."

She's his cousin, of course he was so open with her. Normal people who don't get abandoned are openly affectionate with their relatives. Thank goodness I didn't make a fuss. Rey sighs in relief and nods in consent when Dr. Naberrie asks if she's comfortable with her doing the check-up inside the family house. She calls this a house? These rich people have a strange definition for house, Rey thinks the residence is nothing less than a palace. Dr. Naberrie gives her a hospital gown that she changes into quickly, sparing only a moment to take in the slight dissent on her midsection that doesn't go away anymore when she sucks in her gut. The older woman has the same smile as Luke, maybe that's not a good base on trusting people but it's not like she talked with folks much before leaving Jakku so Rey figures she can't be blamed for unorthodox methods.


 

The young expectant mother holds on tightly to Luke's hand when Ryoo performs what is probably the planet's most question filled gynecological? exam. She doesn't miss how the doctor spares a furtive glance to them after it's done. Everything is fine, the doctor claims but Rey needs to gain weight. Gain weight?!? Is she kidding, you don't grow fat to survive. Everyone knows the fatter animals always get eaten first. The doctor explains that her weight is for the baby's development and suddenly Rey understands why the flimsy women never wanted to be pregnant on Jakku. Luke's cousin places a sort of cold substance on her belly, the nearby holo screen shows an impossibly tiny human being that's bald and curling its toes. Is that really her little boy or girl? It looks so squishy. Just to be sure Rey gently prods her abdomen, the baby squirms in response. A deep feeling of absolute joy and love fills her because yes, this is her son or daughter. The first blood relative Rey will ever meet, someone who won't go away for at least ten years. This time her tears are gleeful but Luke still brushes her cheek to wipe them away.

"Hey, none of that Rey. It's going to be fine. I'll be there every step of the way, I promise."

"I'm not sad, except perhaps for how much water I've wasted lately."

"Expressing our emotions is not a waste. Sometimes you need to let things out."

"You barely let anything out Luke."

"What's that old phrase again? Do as I say and not as I do? Unless you wanna turn into a hermit, in which case I got an extra robe and a mug of tea waiting for you."

She mockingly 'hits' him in the chest, happy that she gets to see him so carefree. Rey wishes she could see him this way forever. No self-loathing comparison to Darth Vader, no looming shadow of evil, just her and Luke and the baby in this one moment that will be over quicker than she'd like. As predicted, the moment ends when Ryoo comes back with the small cell sample results and tells her them Rey is having a little girl. This time it's Luke who smiles in relief, probably because no girl in his family has ever fallen to the dark side. The smile morphs into complete shock when Ryoo gives congratulations 'to you and your wife or partner, I don't judge'. After that Luke just babbles for a few seconds until his cousin decides to leave them alone.

"Amazing Master Luke. You can transport us halfway across the galaxy without breaking a sweat but it's the idea of being married to me that leaves you speechless." She smooths out the wrinkles in her hospital gown, looks at her cracked hands, her still dry skin, her unruly hair. Halfway through her self-inspection Luke takes her hand and kisses it, so soft it feels as if he's trying to erase all her past tribulations with the gesture.

"I want you to be sure of something Rey: any man would be lucky to stand by your side. I reacted out of shock, not cause I think you're appalling. Honestly, I have no idea where she got the idea of us being together that way."

The words embolden Rey, convince her that maybe her previous statement was wrong as far as Luke's concerned. "We could you know, be together that way. If both of us wanted to."

He lets go of her hand, the smile is gone and in it's place is a weary visage drenched in sorrow. "What can be done seldom aligns with what should be done. You need to learn that distinction, for when the time comes."

"What would be wrong about us being together? As far as I'm concerned you're the only father this baby will ever have. We're going to raise a child together, we sleep in the same room, we trust each other and look to the other for comfort. Isn't that what couples do?"

 "You should change so we can go back to the island. They'll worry about us if we take too long here."

Luke's words are not an agreement but they're not a refusal either. None of the pity she'd envisioned in his lovely blue irises is present, though she does see a hint of doubt. Whether it's cast at himself or the situation as a whole Rey doesn't know. Maybe she should have waited longer? People wait longer to profess their love in the holo films-

Master Skywalker kisses her on the cheek, bright and peaceful and making her happy beyond belief. She vows to make him just as happy after (or during) the complicated means she'll have to perfect so Luke realizes he too is allowed happiness, even if it's not with her in a romantic fashion. 

Chapter Text

Luke doesn't know what to think of Rey's casually mentioned proposal. The bombshell she'd dropped in a manner so nonchalant the young lady could have talking about the weather instead of altering their relationship irreversibly. Was he ever so blind to the consequences at her age? Looking back, Luke can't recall a time in which he didn't know reality is never simple but the worst judge of action is often thine-self. What possessed her to believe he was a suitable partner? Rey is young and passionate and beautiful, a spring of hope which will herald a new age. What is he in comparison? A dry winter to a failed rebirth, old and tired and fearful of becoming the very thing he had sought to destroy. How could she ever look at him and think he deserved her? Was it the pregnancy hormones? Or did the events that placed thei- Rey's daughter leave her thinking she's barely fit for a stupid old man, let alone a better candidate? Luke's not sure of the answer, no shock there. It's been a long time since he's been 100% sure of anything.

When he leaves Rey to change, Luke goes to the room that serves as a balm and knife every time he enters the Naboo mansion: Padme Naberrie Amidala's unfinished nursery set by the gardens, where he and Leia would have spent the first years of their lives if fate had been kinder. His organic hand brushes over the soft alabaster cradle he never slept in, the moon and stars mobile he never played with as a child. For a second he considers bringing it to Rey but decides against it, not wanting her little girl to share the same luck that befell upon those it was intended for. His mother put so much love into this room, she must have been so eager to meet them. Aunt Sola told him and Leia they hadn't changed anything cause this room was perhaps the last thing she could remember Padme wanting for herself as a woman, not a Senator or philanthropist or Queen. (Aunt Sola who hugged him with tears in her eyes when as they finally met. Aunt Sola who said 'you have your mother's strength and her spirit' as he and Leia related their lives at 27. Aunt Sola who he killed by convincing her to speak out against the First Order's desire to settle on Naboo which led to her assassination, ensuring Pooja never talked to him again though she still contacts Leia.)

"Thought I'd find you here."

"Ryoo: Is Rey set to go now?"

"Yes, she's ready. But I don't see why you're mentally torturing yourself in this room when you could be with her."

"You're not still convinced we're a couple? I told you, Rey and I are Mentor and Student. Nothing more."

"So when you look at her like she's the morning and the evening star, it's a teacher's pride? That's what you tell yourself? You always were a shitty liar."

"It's the only type of love I can offer safely to them, Rey needs a teacher and her daughter needs a father figure. Romance and happy endings don't mix with Skywalkers."

She sighs. "Just promise me that if something does happen, you'll tell us instead of hiding it for 'safety reasons'. I don't want to lose you the same way I did aunt Padme."

You sounded like Obi-Wan Kenobi, cousin. "Agreed."

He nods in respect to Ryoo and leaves the room before his Padawan enters, anxious to prevent her inquiring on matters best left unsaid if Rey's bond is to remain platonic. The Jedi Master holds silence as he teleports them back to the island, hoping the words were more of a joke than any serious request on her part. 


Artoo is furious he was left behind and makes sure to let everyone know it. Chewie sets out bigger portions for their young ward during meals so she can gain the needed weight for the trimester. Rey in turn seems to think that Luke is in need of a large positive energy inflow. At least that's what he infers from her hugging him every time his now slightly reclaimed Force Signature droops a bit from the daily bouts of melancholy he's prone to. He's absolutely not filled with butterflies in the stomach every time she holds him tight and shares some of her natural cheer unto his old and weathered heart. He definitely doesn't look forward to her sweet embrace and repress the urge to ask if maybe she could hold him just a little longer. Absolutely not. 

Chewie laughs when he says those words out loud, declaring all his human friends are lovable idiots. Luke really can't disagree with that statement. The Lanai's response is that his children with Rey would have a beautiful imprint on the Force, no doubt referring to how Rey's daughter has constantly sent forth calming emotions to her mother since it felt her guilt and fearful aura when she almost purged what is technically his grandniece but Rey insists is his daughter. The sweeping sensations Rey calls her baby 'kicking' with a beautiful smile that increases his feeling of being a 'disgusting old man' .

He is startled when Rey cries out early one morning in the middle of her 12th week as he's cooking breakfast. She giggles at the sight of him with a spatula as a weapon but it's not like she gave him a lot of time to find something to fend off a possible attack!! Fortunately, there's no real danger and Rey's outburst was due to her waking with a larger bump that erases any doubt of her expectancy. She describes it as having a halved Rebel Helmet in her belly, the woman who compares At-57 and X-Wing engines with him on a good day has never heard of a playing ball. Luke bites down the pity that won't help any of them at the reminder of how Rey had no real childhood. Her offer rings in the back of his head as he's surprised by the sudden desire to tell Rey he admires her and loves her and her baby both. Thankfully, Rey doesn't perceive the moment of unstable emotional weakness. The baby does, a tiny voice that says 'I love you too'. Rey ends up hugging him as he cries, never asking him to explain. Her baby keeps trying to bond with him, recognizing the blood connection and mistakenly presuming he's her father. How can he explain to either of these girls that he can't be truly bonded with anyone? How do you tell someone they'll die or suffer needlessly if they grow to love you? The answer evades him, the wretched desire to kiss Rey every time she smiles at him. The desire to press his haggard lips along the curve of her belly in which Rey's little girl is living grows.


He feels another signature shielding Rey and her baby by sheer accident, the foreign imprint brushing against them both turning visible as he meditates to cleanse himself of these impure thoughts and yearnings on Rey's 14th week. The improper desire that surged through him again after he and Rey heard the baby's heartbeat care of the machine Ryoo gave them. At first he's afraid but after a brief search, the identity of his gir- his Padawan and her child’s protector is annoyingly obvious. Luke breaks his meditative trance and addresses the person to whom he owes life and death in equal shares.

"Father,.. Father."

The cerulean visage of Anakin Skywalker is younger than him: a progenitor paradoxically fresher-faced than his child. In spite of that's all happened in these long, harrowing years after the deceivingly warm glow of Endor which promised a happy ending but only heralded the end of a new hope, Luke's first reaction upon seeing the man who was once Darth Vader is to smile and out-stretch his arms. Anakin's large frame envelops him, his father's touch not quite tangible yet realer than anything as the redeemed Sith lovingly caresses his son's grey hair. 

"I have missed you so much, my son."

“I missed you too, but I couldn't risk your destiny becoming mine own."

"I know."

His father's gaze is boundless in affection yet also uncertain, holding back all they haven't said to each other these years. Positive and negative alike.

"So, I see you've opened yourself to the Force again. What brought on this most welcome change?"

Luke’s mind presents him with images of Rey. Rey from nowhere, Rey of the wondrous hazel eyes, Rey and her little star who make him want far more than he could possibly merit.

"My duty to the galaxy, and to the Jedi, could no longer supersede my fear."

His father sends him an amused smirk that tells Luke he knows just how much his child is leaving unsaid. Anakin Skywalker chooses not to comment on the carefully selected phrasing of his son's declaration. He just stares at the older visage of his eldest child, phantom fingers brushing over the beard Luke's grown during their separation.

Father, there's so much I owe you yet also much that you've taken from me as well.


 

"Luke? There's a blue-thing touching your face."

"No need for concern Padawan.” Luke says comfortingly. “Rey, I would like you to meet my father: Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker."

In hindsight, Luke should have expected that Rey and his father wouldn't necessarily get along. His padawan and all her generation knew of Darth Vader's atrocities, not the heroics of Anakin Skywalker that had given him hope that the man behind those stories wasn't wholly gone. Truthfully, the Jedi Master wasn't sure what to expect but the sight of his normally cheerful and persistent student putting a blaster mark where his father's chest would be if he were solid exceeded any grim scenario he'd concocted.

The ugly curl in his father's face and the swirling negative aura that threatens to engulf his father? Entirely expected and completely in accord to what Luke Skywalker imagined would take place. He focuses on inter-corporeal tangibility and holds his father, calming the ghost down for his sake as well as Rey and her baby's. Anakin's force imprint brightens once more, the shroud of Darth Vader has passed. That was far closer to an 'incident' than Luke would like to admit.

"Are you calm now Father?"

"Yes, thank you. Son: teach your girlfriend some manners."

Oh not you too. "She's not my girlfriend!!!"

"You spent too much time with Obi-Wan."

"Father, excuse me for a moment."


 

Perhaps going after Rey when he hasn't seen his father in years makes him a horrible son but it probably doesn't matter. After failing as a Jedi, Uncle and Brother, to fail as a a son is the least harmful of situations. Father's long gone, Luke can't do any more to help him than he already has. Rey is all too alive and still in need of support. When he finds her, Rey is sitting in the library tree's roots. One hand softly caressing her little one and the other ripping off blades of grass from the earth with a grip betraying her emotions. Upon noticing Luke's presence, his Padawan stares at him in confusion, as if she doesn't know him anymore. It hurts more than it should.

"Rey? What's troubling you?"

He feels nineteen years old again, trapped under the weight of Rey's 'I can't believe you're capable of such imbecility' that's just as strong, if not stronger than Leia's at Hoth. She stands, Luke has a semi-bad feeling about this.

"You stood there, happy as Kylo Ren's idol touched you and then you have the gall to ask what's troubling me?!?"

"Rey, I won't ask you to sing my father's praises but I do wish that you not compare him to Kylo."

"How can I not? They both fell to the dark side, they both killed their family-"

"My father committed many great wrongs, I'll not deny this. But he never would have done to his mother what Ren did to Han and he wouldn't have forced what Ren did upon you in his worst enemy, much less my mother. He lived for his family, by blood and chosen. Anakin Skywalker brought down the Emperor and saved me, at the cost of his own life."

Her stare goes from anger to confusion. "If he loved so deeply how he did fall to the dark side?"

"The trauma endured in slavery and in the Clone wars, fear of losing what he loved most and the Old Order's stagnated doctrine forbidding attachment left him dependent on Master Kenobi and Palpatine for guidance since childhood. He confided only with them and my mother, trusting three when he could only trust in two. The Emperor ill-used this trust to feed Anakin's paranoia and drove him to the brink of madness, swarmed him with his pestilence and sent Kenobi away so he couldn't counter effect his plans. By the time my father realized the extent of Palpatine's manipulations it was too late: my mother was dead, he'd lost Obi-Wan and he believed his child never drew breath. Intense self-loathing over what happened caused him to bury Anakin and let Darth Vader rise. He let the past die, and with it prevented the good in him resurfacing for twenty-three years."

Rey's hand moves to her stomach. "If anyone tries to manipulate our daughter the way Emperor Palpatine did your father, I'll shove my staff through his or her heart and feed it to the Porgs."

Luke Skywalker knows what the correct answer for a proper Jedi Master would be: gentle chastisement in regards to her violent declaration, laced with a hint of approval to show it is her methods he disapproves not the emotions behind her 'excessive' methodology. Parent-like, providing the fatherly support unfairly denied to this angel. But Luke can't quite bring himself to lie and act fatherly towards Rey after she said 'our daughter'. So he shakes his head amusedly and promises to assist in the beating instead. Rey laughs, granting him a kiss on the cheek. 'Don't think about her eyes sparkle, don't you dare think about how her face is blushing or how nice it feels to see her smile.' He's still telling himself to ignore traits of Rey when she presses her soft lips on his gaunt, weather-beaten mouth.

Chapter Text

Rey's not quite certain kissing Luke was a good idea. Perhaps it was cause part of her was tired of restraint in this physical action when she and Luke were so intimate in others. Maybe it was cause Rey had figured that if Darth Vader could kiss someone lovingly and deserve it then she could deserve a nice man who has her absolute trust's kiss. Or mayhap it was both those things combined with how Anakin's assumption meant family approval. It's not her worst idea per say. Keeping the strange egg found on a wrecked cargo shuttle which turned out to be a fire-breathing creature whose species she never found out holds that title. But locking lips with a Jedi Master won't fall into the 'logical course of action' category of known Star Systems for sure.

The recipient of her questionable kiss seems to like it. Master Luke reciprocates Rey's uncoordinated peck with a deep caress which sets the young woman's blood on fire. His silver appendage pulls Rey closer, ending the distance between them. The expectant Padawan almost moans in pleasure as Luke's shield diminish, letting her feel his doubts about whether or not his legacy was one of blood or hope, his joy at the thought of watching Rey's little girl grow up safe and sound, his love for them both- Everything that came before or will come after has somehow turned brighter at the unexpected revelation of knowing for a fact somebody loves her.

' Luke loves me and not in the same selfless way he loves the whole Galaxy. He's in love with me and wants us all to be a family-'

Rey's happy thoughts are cut short by Master Skywalker's abruptly ending what she thinks was probably the best experience in the whole universe. Kind cerulean irises gaze in sadness at her, the stare of a repentant criminal looking upon his most horrifying misdeed.

She's still trying to figure out what to say when Luke runs, using his dexterity with the Force to go faster than her.


 

It takes Rey an hour and a half to find her Master, the baby's (Stars, she has to name her soon. Rey can't keep calling her daughter 'baby' in adulthood) frantic kicking calms down when she spots Master Skywalker's hiding place. Luke had gone to the Millennium Falcon, opening a compartment in the floor Rey had never noticed before. She definitely wouldn't have found him there if he'd chosen to break his connection to the Force again. Thank goodness for little mercies.

Tentatively, Rey goes down to the hidden storage units? in the Falcon. She takes care not to hurt the baby whilst descending to Luke's hideout. Seconds after sitting Rey mentally curses herself for craving a warm glass of milk whilst trying to get her words right. There's no milk on the island, she first drank it on Naboo so why can't her brain compute that it's not a good request for the moment?!? 'Forget about the weird stomach fetishes and focus on Master Luke. Say something smart, something that won't work against him seeing me as a competent human being- Oh bugger that, I just want Luke to be all right'.

"Master Skywalker, is there any way I can help you?" 

"Not unless you can go back in time and kill me as a boy or better yet kill me in Polis Massa inside my hospital crib."

'Oh dear, it's that bad.' Rey lov-respects her Master, really she does but when those Ashla-Forsaken melancholy bouts seize control of him and make him say the stupidest things it takes a great deal of will power to stop herself from giving Luke a bash on the head. Cautiously, Rey reaches her hand out to his organic palm. Wanting to silence the depression that changes Luke's Force signature in a way she can't quite explain. (He doesn't let her palm touch his, it hurts more than she thought It would.)

Master Skywalker's not tinged in the dark, not cold or terrifying the way Kylo Ren is. The Master of the Knights of Ren is best described as a biting blizzard stabbing people with long shards of ice and painfully freezing her blood. If Rey had to choose any comparison to how Luke's melancholy bouts feel she'd probably describe it as a storm cloud inside of her Master, fogging his reason and sending lightning bolt thoughts of self-loathing. The baby squirms inside her, the young lady hears someone crying. Immediately after that Rey senses Luke push the storm cloud deep within and cut himself off from the force. Rey may not know much about psychology but even she can see that's an unhealthy way to deal with depression. The young woman tells herself she'll just take it for now if only so she can talk to him without suggestions of murder. Whatever caused the weeping sensation is gone. To Rey's surprise Luke turns his sorrowful gaze to her direction.

"I'm sorry."

'Sorry for what Master Luke? Sorry for not stopping Kylo Ren? Sorry for not saving Han? For not saving the universe? The burdens you place on yourself are too much for any man, Jedi or not.'

"There's nothing to apologize for, at least not to me and the little angel."

"Yes there is. I made her cry."


 

'Of course my daughter's strong in the Force. Why didn't I consider it before?' Rey makes a mental note to research Force Sensitive babies, wondering if half of Luke's insistence she stay on the island is due to the fact Ach-Too naturally cloaks Light siders against their dark counterparts. If so, Rey thinks that's very sweet of him but sooner or later fate will bid they leave to join the fight for freedom across the galaxy. The young Padawan's ears catch a voice giggling yet they do not perceive the mysterious laughter's source. It can't be coming from anyone here unless- In a tentative manner Rey gently presses a palm to her firm but small bump that really looks more like she's gained a little weight rather than having a baby with these clothes Rey will have to change soon. (She mentally laughs at the thought of Finn telling her to go on a diet, her best friend is a good man but he's just as clueless as her in most things). Two months ago she definitely would have jumped upon hearing a child's voice say 'hello' but after meeting Han Solo, dueling a dark sider and being teleported to another star system by the last Jedi Rey just accepts it as part of whatever counts for normal in the Skywalker family. With that mystery solved Rey decides to show Luke he didn't upset the baby too much.

"She's all right. Feel for yourself."

Rey grabs Luke's natural hand and plants it on her steadily growing stomach. Her Master's lovely blue eyes grow moist but no tears trail down his face. Rey watches his cerulean orbs trace the corner of her mouth and for a glorious moment she thinks Luke will kiss her on the mouth. Instead he decides to contend himself with quietly kneeling down to the swell of Rey's belly, tapping his fingers to the beat of the still unnamed little girl's heart seems therapeutic for him. The baby says she wants 'Papa' to kiss her pretty please. She touches the Jedi's hair with affection, summoning the courage to grant her daughter's request.

"Master Luke? Could you please kiss my stomach? I know you're cut off from the Force right now so you can't tell but I was able to hear her voice and she wants you to give her a kiss. Please?"

His smile is a sad but kind wisp of a thing as he stands up. "You're progressing quicker than I thought if you can hear her. Pretty soon you won't need me any more."

Rey's expression is aghast. "But I do need you!!! We need you!! Are you saying that as a test? Or some puzzle I need to solve? I haven't trained as long as your other students."
 
"I promised I'd help through this and I will as a friend, and a confidant should you need one. But as your Master there's no denying you're a prodigy even if your Makashi skills are, shall we say in need of improvement?."
 

"Mark my words Luke Skywalker: when this little one's out and I don't have to train with all those extra rules you set for her sake, your ass is promptly kicked."
 
He raises an eyebrow, a hint of amusement released on the sliver of his Force signature slowly returning. "If you do manage to beat me, I'm going to ask my father how to hit a force ghost with his own cane. Master Yoda's teaching me to lift rocks standing with one arm is officially inexcusable should I fall under a Padawan after 30 years of training based on his methods."

I 'm glad you're joking in a non-self flagellating way again. You're so much better than you think.


 

They don't talk about Luke's suicidal request later that day or about the kiss. Rey's not willing to forget how Luke implied the galaxy would have somehow been a brighter place without him or how good it felt when his more experienced lips brushed with hers. But Luke is of the opposite mentality, their lesson transpires with no mention of what took place and dinner follows suit in that regard. If all man are this infuriating then Rey's glad her baby is a girl.

She tells Chewie about the kiss, the wookie tells her a story about a woman named Nakari whom Luke had loved as young man and how she'd died in his arms. Chewbacca then tells another story about an Inquisitor named Shira Brie who'd seduced 'the baby Jedi' in a failed mission to kill Master Skywalker before he could become a fully fledged warrior. The Inquisitor died under the light saber constructed by Anakin Skywalker when Luke killed her to save Han and Leia. Captain Solo comforted Rey's then painfully young Master as he closed Shira's eyes. Knowing a fraction of Luke's tumultuous love life helps Rey understand her Master's apprehension towards any romantic attachments. Why does all the bad stuff happen to good people foremost?

 


 

Usually Rey had been a deep sleeper in her shared hut with Luke. Tonight rest escapes her, despite her brain clamoring the baby needs her body to rest. Of course, the baby doesn't help much either. She keeps jerking her organs just above her pelvic bone and below her belly button. At one point Rey swears to Luke she flipped in her stomach, he answers that he believes her but is too tired for a longer response.

Around three hours later than usual Rey finally achieves slumber. An unknown amount of time later she wakes up with a craving for pears broadcast-ed strongly enough to wake up her poor Master who is probably going to dislike sleeping with her from now on. Luke rubs his eyes as she tries to step out of bed as quietly as possible but failing to prevent slight dizziness. 

"None of that Rey. Go back to sleep, I'll get whatever you want for you."

"I didn't mean to wake you up Master Luke."

"Trust me Rey, since you've arrived waking up is nicer. And also, you're much less cranky than Leia when she was this far along so it's no trouble. What are you craving?"

"Those lovely pears in the kitchen. Are you sure you want to get them? It's rather late."

"Nonsense, it's only-" He presses an old chrome watch set to the island's timezone. "Two in the morning. Guess I better hurry back. Anything else you want?"

Hot and heavy kisses from you placed all over my neck. The contrast of your warm organic hand and its silver counterpart as they each trail my arms passionately. "Not unless you know where they're hiding the milk on this planet."

He grimaces but says he'll get her a glass. Rey suddenly has a mental image of Luke in some grocery store on another planet and tells him not to teleport now that's he's half asleep. From the looks of the warm container which is made from the same glass crafted by the Lanai, Luke followed her advice. The milk he brought her tastes yummy but it's not the same she tasted in Naboo which raises an entirely different question. 

"Master Luke: where did this milk come from?"

"Rey: there are many things I don't tell you because they're too painful and there are other which I refuse to say because they're embarrassing. This is the latter."

"Why was it green?" 

"Good night Rey."


 

She's too tired to tease him so Rey simply wolfs her treat and sleeps. Her rest goes much smoother once Luke assists her in diluting their daughter's presence so Rey's not bombarded with questions by a child who's just discovered it can talk to its mother. Master Skywalker says that people's signatures are stronger before they're born and because of this women in the pre-Ruusan reformation developed the technique for the same reason. Since Rey's training is incomplete she can't perform the second part of the technique which allows her to keep her own signature vibrant. Because of this Luke can't notice when she's pretending to sleep, a habit she picks up after realizing Master Skywalker touches her stomach saying 'Sweet dreams little star' once he thinks she's resting. 

On her 16th week Rey senses a cold texture touch her belly around midnight, the young woman quickly relaxes once she's discerned the tell-tale pattern of Luke's silver fingertips. She almost gives herself away by creeping closer to him but refrains from doing so in the last moment. Her eyes close, relishing the pure bliss found by his contact. Luke's beard tickles as he gets a bit closer to her. She feels a slight trickle of the baby's presence swirling around Master Skywalker, indicating a conversation must be taking place. Master Luke's voice is little more than a whisper.

"I do love you little star, even worse I love your mother too. That's why I can never be with her the way she wants."

{Why?} I am currently a human submarine's holo board, how did my life get so weird beyond belief?

"Because to love a Skywalker is to sign your own tragic death sentence."

{You're being silly Papa.}

"Don't believe me? Ask Cliegg Lars, ask Padme Amidala, ask-ask Han Solo." Oh Luke..

{I think Mommy's waking up, I can feel her more.} Note to self: do not call out for other people when hosting life until shields have improved. 

"Then go to sleep little star. Try not to kick too hardly, you made her wince yesterday."


 

Luke serves her a fresh custard that morning and asks if she slept well, Rey tells Master Luke it's the hormones making her weep. (It's only half a lie). He delicately brushes the tears from her face and reassures his Padawan everything will be fine, pulling her as close as he can. 

"Better?"

"For now, yes. We're a mess, aren't we Master Luke?"

"You a little, me a lot. But when I think about it, all the best people I've met had some sort of issue. Except Beru Whitesun, bless her soul. If she had any flaw it was only that she was too kind for her own good. Uncle Owen would even her out though, so no problem there."

Beru, that sounds pretty. Prettier than half the names in that baby holopad Ryoo gave me. And I can hear the love he has for her in his voice, despite her dying so long ago. "What does her name mean?"

"It's a flower, grows under the desert moonlight. Back when my aunt and uncle were housing escaped slaves they'd send me to collect it so she could make a healing oil with it's petals."

She notices his eyes go far away so she talks to him before he sails leagues without stepping a foot outside this kitchen."

"What it is?"

"Oh, it's nothing bad. Just remembering something."

"What are you remembering?"

"That when I was your age, I wanted to name a daughter after my aunt." 

"We can name the baby after her now if you want. Besides it will help people think you sired her if you give her a name that means so much to you."

His eyes widen. "Oh stars, my sister's gonna kill me!"

"No she won't, I'll protect you." She touches her bump. "And so will Beru."

"Promise even when she tries to castrate me?"

"Promise."

Luke's real smile is a wonderful thing to behold, warm and bright and leaving you fuzzy in places you'd thought would always stay cold. Rey hopes the baby inherits that smile, if nothing else.