I was anxting about what to gift you all in this event. I even begged from help thrice from the higher power. What came out of it all was this, only several minutes before I tried anew, after several blocked attempts to write other stories… I hope you'll enjoy this; but don't hesitate from criticising me too if you think there's something wrong with it; I'm not familiar with Travis' works. :)
It's not an obviously Christmasy story (I don't think I can really do that, since my family don't celebrate Christmas specially), but I nonetheless felt it would be a fitting gift to mark the soul of Christmas, that is giving your all, your best, regardless of anything and everything or how small it is, for a loved one – or loved ones. (I was heavily inspired by the Christmas carol The Little Drummer Boy for this fic, I admit.) So, merry Christmas! Happy winter – or end of year – celebrations! :)
All That I Can Give
Little Boba has nothing, but he has a perfect present for Dad.
Dad is going to be… well, so old, in just three more days, I have just realised. He does not seem to care about it, however, although he has never failed to celebrate my own birth with lovely things like outings and new trainings. Maybe because I have only experienced this eight times, while he has experienced it more than thirty times?
Well, whatever the reason is, Dad is not going to spend his birthday just like any other day. I shall have to give him… something… at least.
Huh. What can I give him?
I look morosely into my chest of belongings. Huh, what a collection, all from Dad, all in my size: handheld pistol, spare powerpacks, clothes, shoes, boots, raingear, wintergear…
There is not any credchip to be found here. Even if there were, Dad is still out working anyway, in our only ship, so I cannot go anywhere to buy anything for him.
But maybe, someone – a grown-up, and not one of those clones – could help me? Dad did not forbid me from leaving our quarters to go anywhere round here, except to the waterfront. And even if he did, he would not know if I were sneaky about it, would he?
"You're learning Mando'a?" I cannot help being envious and even jealous, and neither can I help those emotions leaking into my accusing tone.
CT-something-something, whom I have just dubbed "Rex" so that my head will not hurt whenever I think of or refer to him, raises an eyebrow at me.
I flush scarlet. Shab, this is why I dislike interacting too much with the clones: He is looking like when Dad is both irritated and amused at me! Plus a "you little kid" vibe, too.
Hey, but Dad seems to like singing those songs in that language, including the lullaby I cannot admit that I like, with a sad but proud look no less whenever he does it…
I gulp, scowl at myself, scowl at the trooper for looking so smug as if he knows what I want to do next.
And then, "Can you teach me that?"
"Teach what, Bob'ika?" he grins, his eyes twinkling.
I grit my teeth, glower at him, bunch up my fists.
But he just lets loose a long, uncontrollable bout of giggles to my reaction.
"Co… pa-ani, mir-resh… mure… what?" I huff, scowl at one of my absurdly amused tutors, yet another trooper, whom I have dubbed Cody by the start of our Mando'a lessons yesterday morning. "It's too long!"
Still grinning like a loon, as he has been doing since the lessons started, he corrects me patiently, condescendingly, "Copaani mirshmure'cye, vod?"
I have gotten quite bored by yesterday afternoon by all the unfamiliar, not-so-easy-to-learn words, but then I have decided that my mastery of Mando'a – as little as it is – will be the perfect gift for Dad's birthday. I just did not know how tortured I would be, and not only by learning those words!
Dad returns home right on time for his birthday, as he promised, although he was quite amused about my insistence that day before he went out. I scamper across the hangar, right to the point where the far end of the ramp will rest.
He walks down the ramp with a tiny spring on each step, and a wide sunny grin even breaks out on his uncovered face when our eyes meet. His hunt must have been quite successful and… eh, what was the word he used for making lots of money? Lucrative?
I respond with a matching grin and rush up the ramp, yelling, "Buir!"
"Whoa! Ner Bob'ika," he blurts, shocked, even as he reflexively scoops me up into his arms, letting go of the helmet that is now rolling clanging down the ramp. His hug is much warmer and much tighter for it; I love it.
I love it too, secretly, that his usually tired and a bit empty eyes light up with wonderment and… something – something strong and warm and soft that is meant just for me.
I beam at him. "Happy birthday, Dad!"
He kisses my forehead and cheeks with much gusto, like I have never experienced before as far as I remember, smiling widely all the while.
I love it too. So, when I have found the perfect comfiest place and position in his arms regardless of all the armour pieces, I give him the second gift right away, which I have mastered just in time, hoping that… well, maybe Dad will get rid of these hard jabby pieces and play with me, preferably with the cannon blaster he has been promising to train me?
"Copaani mirshmure'cye, vod?"
Buir: parent (Mother/Father/Mum/Dad)
"Copaani mirshmure'cye, vod?": "Are you looking for a smack in the face, mate?"