Chapter 2

Luke rose quietly out of the bed trying not to wake his slumbering wife. He flinched slightly when he saw the cerulean eyes of his son watching him suspiciously from the bassinet where he lay. He dressed silently and looked back at Mara who thankfully was still asleep then lifted Anakin quietly and carried him out of the room.

So far they had been lucky – he was a remarkably easy going baby. But he was very attached to his mother and Luke was teased mercilessly by Han about this. Oddly enough even at a scant three months old Anakin had so many of their personality traits. He was definitely aware that his father was up to something and the expression on his face was completely Mara.

L'wren approached Luke and said, "Good morning Master Skywalker. May I?" Luke smiled – and handed Anakin off.

L'wren was Mara's former/current handmaiden. More or less. She'd sort of adopted them all after growing attached to Mara. She saw herself as Anakin's grandmother – and the rest of the family did too. She completely doted on his as only a grandmother could.

Luke smiled as L'wren cooed and rocked Anakin to his delight. He picked up his comm link where he had haphazardly discarded it on an end table late last night. He punched in the frequency and asked quietly, "Well?"

L'wren overheard a groggy yet curt retort and moved away lest she overhear what was clearly none of her business. Besides she didn't think that Anakin needed to hear that kind of language not this early anyhow!

Luke sighed rubbing his eyes, "Well I'm sorry! I'm just making sure everything is set. No of course I don't doubt you but I'm nervous all right!" Another rude comment flew out of the comm link and Luke started and replied, "Hey! You kiss my sister with that mouth?" He grimaced after a moment and exclaimed, "Gross! I didn't need to hear that Han! That's my sister for force sake! Gods preserve us! Ok! All right I do appreciate it. Thanks again."

He set the comm back down and looked at L'wren who eyed him questioningly and explained, "Anniversary. Well... sort of."

She smiled warmly, "I recall those days well Master Skywalker."

He smiled back at her and said stretching, "I just hope I can pull it off without her finding out about it. It would take a miracle. She's got such a sharp mind it's impossible to surprise her with anything but I am going to try!"

"If she thought for a moment you were hiding something she would be relentless!"

He nodded, "I know it too - which is why I'm hoping I have been stealthy enough. I really want to share this day with her in a special way. It means so much to the both of us."

It had been a year since their failed "engagement ball" the night that they had realized that there was more to their connection than merely the force.

So much had happened since then it was amazing that only a year had passed.

In that time, they'd gotten together, pregnant, kidnapped, tortured, married, hijacked, kidnapped AGAIN, gotten amnesia, gave birth etc. etc. etc! It was unbelievable that so much crammed into one standard year.

Recalling his memories was still a bit of a problem after the amnesia and the medications Palpatine had forced on him – he could recall most of them but some were still a bit foggy.

But he could remember that evening – he could remember the first time he saw vulnerability in Mara. He remembered the feeling more than anything it was like a wave the awakening in him – in both of them.

That was certainly something worth celebrating.

He asked L'wren pulling out of the stupor, "Are you all right to keep him for a while – I'd like to practice some lightsaber technique at the temple while everything is still quiet."

L'wren answered swaying easily with Anakin swaddled in her arms masterfully, "Of course Master Skywalker, I'd be happy to watch him. However, I think you're about as practiced as you're going to get."

"Well, you never know." He said clipping his lightsaber to his belt "Tomorrow someone better could come along."

L'wren chuckled, "Not likely!"

Obi Wan smiled as he saw Luke's form rushing into the training room and asked, "Trying to burn off your nervousness?"

Luke stopped in his tracks "How did you know about it?"

He replied, "Han told Leia, Leia told your mother, she told your father, he told me."

Luke sighed, "No one can keep a secret in this family!"

"Mara hasn't suspected?"

"If she has she hasn't let on to me, and I'm fairly certain that if my wife thought I was up to something and she didn't know about it that she would be tailing me everywhere I went until she found out."

Obi Wan smiled, 'How do you know she isn't?"

Luke laughed, "Hopefully I would sense her, but she's very skilled so who knows? Are you going to join me for saber exercise?"

Now it was Obi Wan's turn to laugh, "No, council meeting I'm afraid. Dreadfully dull next to saber exercise I'm afraid but you're young and saber practice is a young man's game – the boring tasks fall to us elder Jedi."

Luke asked cautiously, "Obi Wan, do you think that the idea of a council made up of Jedi Masters sitting around talking about ideas and practices is a bit dated?"

"Undeniably so. We sit and talk about different events and news and how to handle them appropriately. However, there are some on the council that feel that the old ways are the best if not the only ways."

Luke scoffed, "That's not a good practice. In fact it could be a dangerous one. I would think that as force users we would want to be ever evolving ever learning. Moving forward rather than being stagnant."

Obi Wan smiled at Luke warmly – he felt a sincere kinship to this young man and not just because he had watched him grow up and looked after him from afar. Luke had a lot of similar ideas and though some were quite radical (no doubt the influence of his father!) he was very grounded.

He was also impressed with all Luke had been through that he could still feel the light and goodness in him. It took a remarkable amount strength and self-control to come back from such a thing. No one really liked to discuss it – Luke least of all who still felt responsible mostly for the two Jedi who were alive but mending slowly and had a very long road to recovery.

But Obi Wan liked that Luke would come to him with his ideas and questions in this particular case he was not wrong.

"I agree with you Son." He answered with warm familiarity "yet I am still only one voice amongst many. Unfortunately after so many years in hiding they're not as bold as they once were and Grand Master Yoda is unfortunately quite rigid. I imagine we would all be at 900 years old."

Luke nodded, "Of course, I'm just concerned. I don't want to be coerced into the ancient laws and bylaws of Jedi stuck glorifying the past. I want my life to evolve beyond that. I don't want my life as a force user to stop and be taken in by antediluvian practices."

Obi Wan looked at Luke with no small amount of pride "I don't see how it could be – you're already living a different life than Yoda would have chosen for you. He'd have seen you taken from your mother in early infancy and trained from then on and living a solitary life dedicated only to the Jedi. You are married, with a family not the usual practice of a Jedi. You – Luke Skywalker are responsible for your own destiny and no one can take that from you."

Luke was pensive for a moment, "Do you regret it Obi Wan? Becoming a Jedi?"

Obi Wan paused and answered, "Well, I have few memories before I was taken to the temple. Vague fleeting feelings of family before duty and selflessness was my creed. I have lived a long life and as a Jedi there are things that I could never have hoped to see on Stewjon. But I suppose at the end of one's life it isn't always the adventures you remember it's who you were with at the time. Anakin has always been my brother – even though I was fearful of his power when we first met and cautious. Yet it was as Yoda decreed that I had been influenced by Qui Gon's streak of defiance."

Luke knew something of defiance – for the last year it's all he knew.

Obi Wan continued, "I cannot consciously say that I openly regret becoming a Jedi but honestly Luke I was never given another option. Unlike you I was given no choice –I was born a force user and the only option was to become a Jedi. No other path but the singular one that lie before me. Do I think that maybe that was unfortunate? In my quiet moments – I'll admit to that. If I had had another choice to be anything else perhaps I could regret becoming a Jedi. But my life is at it is. I have a surrogate family now and that is enough for me."

Luke teased, "I'm sure there is a Jedi groupie or two out there who would gladly have your children Obi Wan."

The elder Master laughed heartily and put his hand on Luke's shoulder, "Oh my young one! Children are for the young and frankly so is the act creating said children. Neither of which my heart could handle anymore. That and I hear that women are somewhat complicated and confusing."

Luke nodded with a broad smile thinking of his own complicated and sometimes confusing woman, "That they are – yet completely worth it. But I don't want to hold you up any longer."

"Of course not – I'd better get to the meeting. Now that we have genuine elected officials from each star system if not planet our practices are going to have to change a bit."

Luke retorted, "Think they'll be okay with that?"

Obi Wan sighed, "Doubtful – but we all need to be mindful of the ever changing will of the force."

"Spoke like a true old timer!"