A/N: This story is a sequel. while you could read it as a standalone, it will make a lot more sense if you read Island in a Sea of Sand first. Special thanks to my lovely beta reader Jedi1952 for fixing all my errors and making this fic readable. Most of the militia members in this story are taken from John Jackson Miller's novel Kenobi. It really tickles me that someone else thought there would be a militia on Tatooine. I wrote about the militia in Island in a Sea of Sand before the novel was published—great minds think alike, I guess!
There was a child went for the every day,
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became,
And that object became part; of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.
His own parents, he that had father'd him and she that had
conceiv'd him in her womb and birth'd him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that,
They gave him afterward every day, they became part of him.
There Was a Child Went Forth (stanzas 1 and 4) by Walt Whitman
Today is Luke's fifth birthday. The suns have not yet reached their zenith and the Lars home is already filled with people. Huff Darklighter, Mr. Martrap and Mr. Sunber are sitting at the table arguing over water prices. Their wives are cooking lunch in the kitchen that Obi-Wan had been unceremoniously kicked out of several hours ago. He is sitting with his senior militia members, laughing as Jabe Calwell regales the group with the tale of how he shot the bounty hunter Boba Fett two weeks ago.
"We know, Jabe. We were there, remember?" his stepsister Veeka Gault says, while rolling her eyes.
"Wish I was," Kallie Calwell, who is four year younger than her stepsister, mutters.
Her stepfather Orrin Gault, who at fifty-five is the militia's oldest member, sighs and gives Obi-Wan a commiserating look.
"It's just bad luck you weren't on duty. I promise you will get first go at the next bounty hunter that wants to kill Ben Lars."
This set them all to laughing and Obi-Wan asks wryly, "Do I get a say in this?"
"No!" Varan Gault, Veeka's twin brother, says at the same that Mullen Gault, the eldest of the five siblings, says "Yes."
"I'd like a go at a bounty hunter too," Jula Darklighter, Huff Darklighter's younger brother and newest senior militia member says.
"No you don't!" his wife Silya yells from across the room where she is talking with Annileen Gault.
Jula's reply is lost when six younglings storm into the room. The two older boys Janek Sunber and Biggs Darklighter are being chased by Luke, Windy Marstrap and Rasca Darklighter, whom is Jula's eldest daughter.
"Food is ready," Mrs. Sunber calls from the kitchen.
The children groan.
"Can't we play just a little bit longer?" Luke asks.
"Nope, I'm hungry," Kallie says, standing up. "Besides, after we eat you get to open your presents."
"I don't need to open yours. You and Veeka always get me clothes," Luke makes a face.
"Luke," Obi-Wan says. You should be grateful, Padawan, for any gift you receive, he chastises the boy through their bond.
Veeka responds by lifting Luke into the air and then holding him upside down by the ankles. Kallie then tickles him while he squirms and protests.
"Dad, help!" he cries.
"You got yourself into this, you should get yourself out," Obi-Wan says, chuckling.
He heads with the others to the table, listening to Luke explain how he really does like the clothes the girls make for him. He sits down at the crowded table that is loaded with food and laughter. It reminds him of something his Master once said: To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.