For Brievel, who requested more information on the Silk twins
The Manarai Restaurant
3 years later
"Where is my emerald wine?"
Brilana Silk paused on her way to the kitchen and flashed the pudgy male Human a courteous smile, "I'm sorry, Sir. I'm not your wait person but I can check in the kitchen as soon as I have a moment."
The red fleshy face quivered in anger even as the man grabbed her hard by the arm, "Don't lie to me, girl. What, you're too lazy to do your work? You were just by here 3 minutes ago!"
Brilana took a deep, cleansing breath. It was the end of a long day and she'd been run off her feet, and now she had a belligerent customer to deal with.
"You have my twin sister as your waitperson," she explained courteously. "We're identical."
Clearly, it was time to cut the man's alcoholic intake off, as these words only provoked more anger, "What do you take me for, an idiot?"
"Krall," a blond woman murmured at his side, "calm down, Krall. There is no reason ..."
"By the Maw Cluster, there is every reason!" Krall Tronton yelled. "We pay top prices at this place and then this beesga dares ..."
"Sir, please lower your voice," Brilana interrupted, hanging with difficulty onto her patience. "And can you please let me go?"
"I'll let you go when you stop lying ..." Tronton began, then stopped abruptly as a tall, cloaked, hooded form suddenly hurtled into his personal space, reached out with one prosthetic hand, and grabbed the pudgy throat. A moment later, Krall Tronton, second in command of the Sunblaze Trading Company, found himself lifted and pushed against a nearby wall. The harsh fingers tightened, diminishing his air supply.
"Let him go!" his dimwitted but lovely companion screamed hysterically. "Guards! Someone! Help!"
"Tom!" Brilana said loudly. "Tom! Stop! Stop! This isn't necessary."
"It most definitely is necessary," Tom hissed. Krall's eyes were wide and his nostrils flared as he gazed into the scarred face and blue eyes of his mysterious assailant. "No one treats you that way, Brilana Antilles."
"Your Highness!" Bri yelped in frustration. "Luke and Leia won't like it."
There was a (too) long pause before the hand loosened and Krall dropped to the floor, gasping for breath. His female 'friend' stared wide eyed at the cloaked man, who had pushed his hood back to reveal the familiar bald head and face of Darth Vader, father of Empress Leia Organa Solo.
"Cloaks of Ransome Quiltratz," the woman finally squeaked. "It is you, isn't it? Lord Vader, can I please get your autograph?"
Vader opened his mouth angrily, then checked himself at a warning look from Brilana.
"Certainly," he replied resignedly, reaching out a hand. A genuine paper menu and real ink pen flew into his hands and he promptly signed his name with a flourish before handing it over to the woman.
Brilana took advantage of the distraction to kneel next to Tronton, who looked ready to throw up.
"If I were you," she whispered softly, "I'd sneak out the back entrance quickly. He's obviously in something of a temper."
Krall gulped, his eyes wide with terror, and crawled over to a side door before disappearing.
Brilana rose to her feet and glanced toward the staff entrance. Not surprisingly, her manager was scurrying toward them, his Twi'lek face even more green than usual.
Great. As if this day hadn't been exhausting enough.
The Antilles Apartment
High Towers West
4 hours late
"Honestly, Wedge," Brilana murmured with a sigh, "the man is feral sometimes. Feral!"
Wedge wrapped one arm around his wife and kissed her on the head, "If he has to be feral, I'm in favor of it being to defend you. That guy had no right!"
"I was entirely capable of handling it myself," his soulmate huffed indignantly. "I'm a former Emperor's Hand and a secret member of the Corellian Super Beings."
Wedge grabbed a bottle of moof juice from the side table and handed it to his wife before grabbing its companion container. Both Antilles took a few sips of the orange liquid and leaned further into the comfy couch.
"Yeah, I know, Bri," Wedge said seriously. "Thing is, you knew Vader was undercover and you weren't likely to rock the star skiff. I saw the bruise on your arm. That idiot was hurting you."
"I'm used to pain."
"Well, you shouldn't be," Antilles snapped indignantly. "No one should treat you like that."
Bri smiled a little, "That's what Vader said."
The woman sighed and took another drink before leaning further into her husband's warm embrace, "I'm surprised about it, for sure. I mean yeah, he'll go crazy defending the twins and their families, but I'm nobody really."
"You're married to one of my best friends and you are a member of the Corellian Super Beings," Luke Skywalker stated, walking into the room. "You're part of our clan, Bri."
"Kor Vella," Wedge groaned aloud. "What kind of apartment complex is this when any old riff raff can just walk in?"
Luke chuckled even as he collapsed on a nearby seat, "Can I have some moof juice too?"
"Help yourself," Wedge said lazily, then watched with outward boredom and inward awe as a bottle floated from the kitchen into Skywalker's hand. It hadn't been that long since Luke Skywalker had been a floppy haired, naïve farmboy from the back end of nowhere. Now he was brother to the Empress and a bona fide Jedi Knight. Amazing.
"So, the mission?" Bri asked worriedly. "Is it blown?"
"Not at all, Bri," Luke replied reassuringly. "Father says they had 90% of what they needed already and he got the remaining 10% from the owner of the Manarai."
Brilana's eyes widened, "Your father ..."
"No, no," Luke said hastily. "No torture. I was with him and made sure he didn't do anything too unpleasant. No, we just asked him a few questions and the owner rolled immediately on the higher ups in charge of the weapons smuggling operation."
The former Hand nodded courteously and managed a weak smile. She wasn't surprised that the owner had given up all he knew. Vader was terrifying and Skywalker was almost worse in his own way. He looked so innocent, so gentle, but then he did crazy things. Just two months ago, he had stopped a rampaging Anoatian pit beast which had escaped its containment habitat at the Coruscanti zoo. The Jedi had lifted the creature in the air until it could be sedated, all before the wondering eyes of more than a thousand residents and at least a hundred holocams.
"So what about my job?" she demanded irritably. "Do I have one anymore after that crazy mess your father made? The manager today didn't know whether to cry or faint or yell at me. Of course, the latter wasn't an option with your father breathing down his neck menacingly."
"No, you don't have a job," Aralina commented, walking through the door with her husband and fellow Corellian Super Being, Vess Kogo. Bri jumped slightly and then shook her head. She and her twin made a point of not being in constant Force contact (since both were married, there were times when privacy was essential) but she must be more tired than she thought to have missed Ara's proximity.
"The Manarai is being shut down," Kogo explained even as he wandered into the kitchen, "Ara, honey, do you want some ... er ... moof juice? Blue milk?"
"Blue milk, please!" Ara called to her husband. "Thanks!"
"So yes," she continued briskly, her eyes on her sister. "Turns out a lot of people in upper management at the Manarai were mixed up in this illegal weapons syndicate. For now, the place is being closed while we sort out details."
"Well, bantha poodoo," Bri said sullenly.
"You know you don't have to work," Wedge murmured softly. "I make enough to support us, plus you have your Super Beings income."
"I like serving people," his wife pouted. "I mean, not when they are drunk and attack me, but usually. Ara, you should have cut that guy off way earlier today. He was completely soused!"
"I'm sorry, Bri," her twin responded apologetically. "I'm not really trained for high end serving. Usually I do Ok undercover, but that is a hard job."
"It's all right. As long as the mission wasn't blown ..."
"It wasn't. It was perfect."
"All right, then."
"You'd have had to give up your job in less than a year anyway," Aralina pointed out. "Just think of it as an early vacation."
Wedge sat up a little, "Why would she have to give up her job in less than a year?"
Ara's eyes widened in horror, "Er, oh. I'm sorry ..."
Brilana frowned, "What are you talking about, Ara?"
The blond woman bit her lip and winced openly, "Well, you're pregnant."
"What?" Wedge demanded.
"I am not pregnant!" Bri said indignantly.
"Yes, you are," Ara replied firmly. "You got pregnant like, um, 17 days ago ..."
"Stop!" her twin yelped indignantly. She looked down at her own torso and focused her Force powers on herself and ...
"She's right! Wedge, she's right! I'm ... I'm pregnant! We're going to have a baby!"
The couple threw their arms around each other, cooing loving nothings into one another's ears. Vess Kogo took a deep draught of blue milk and stared at his wife.
"Ara, this is weird. How did you know and she didn't?"
"I think it is a twin thing," Skywalker said with a smile. "I knew Leia was pregnant this last time before she did. And I did exactly the same thing, blurted it out."
"How is your sister?" Kogo asked curiously.
Luke sighed, "Frustrated. She's Ok, but this pregnancy has been hard."
"I hope Bri does better," Aralina said worriedly.
"Well, she probably isn't carrying twins. That's partly why Leia is struggling so much."
Empress Leia Organa Solo's private receiving room
"It's going well," Mon Mothma stated with a smile. "Tatooine is close enough to Naboo that exchanging resources is relatively easy. For all that Tatooine is..."
"A blasted planet in the middle of nowhere, full of sand, rough, coarse and irritating ...," Leia commented
"Precisely," Mon continued with a smile. "Your father has expressed his displeasure with Tatooine on many occasions. However, Tatooine does have mineral resources that Naboo needs, and of course Naboo has foodstuffs. It is working, Leia."
"What about Ryloth?" Leia asked, rolling slightly to one side. She was never comfortable these days. Never.
"We're working on incorporating Ryloth into the trade routes more inclusively. Thanks to the Corellian Super Beings, Jabba is long dead and the Hutt clans are profoundly weaker."
"That's good. It's really good."
Mon lifted one elegant eyebrow, "You don't sound happy, Leia. Do you think the trade agreement is unwise because the slave trade is still active in that sector? There are still slavery issues but we are trying to stamp them out, and thanks to the Super Beings, we're making great progress."
"No, no, that's not it," Leia replied quickly.
"Then what is it?"
Leia sighed and closed her eyes, "It's stupid."
Tears leaked out of her closed eyes and she clenched her fists, "I hate bed rest, Mon. I hate it. I feel so useless, and bored, and stupid, and weak. I hate it! And I just feel terrible, especially today. I've been contracting for weeks but today is especially bad and I'm just so tired of it."
She felt her old friend's hand on her right shoulder and she opened her eyes, ashamed of her tears.
"Go ahead and cry, Leia," Mon said compassionately. "I can't imagine how hard this has been for you, being stuck in bed or the couch for, what has it been?"
"15 standard weeks," Leia said with a groan, calling a hand towel to herself and wiping her eyes. "I mean, I know I'm mostly just a figurehead but still, being stuck here when there is so much going on, so much that needs done, makes me crazy."
"Leia, that is absurd. You are not just a figurehead as Empress. You are vitally important. You are knowledgeable, patient, and highly intelligent. But you are also pregnant with twins and if they come too early — well, if they had come 15 weeks ago …"
"They would have died," Leia replied steadily. "I know. It's just that I feel so useless. And poor Breha is only 2 and a half and she doesn't understand why Mommy can't play with her. Han is a fantastic father, and Luke and Chewie pitch in, and Mara is able to watch her a lot along with their son Owen but that almost makes it worse. I mean, Mara is 23 weeks pregnant and chugging along, watching two little kids, and glowing beautifully. And I look like a wreck."
"You look gorgeous, Leia," a new voice stated firmly from the doorway.
"Han," she replied, managing a watery smile. "I'm just weeping on Mon's shoulder."
"Are sad, Mama?" Breha Organa Solo asked worriedly, running into the room dragging her Jabba the Hutt plushie by the tail.
"I'm fine, Breha darling," Leia replied, reaching out her arm and embracing her daughter. Breha took after her uncle with dark blond hair and blue eyes, though she was tall for her age.
"Babies coming," Breha stated.
"Yes, my dear, probably within two weeks."
The little girl reached out her spare hand and touched her mother's swollen abdomen, her face taking on the otherwordly gaze that always slightly freaked out her father.
"No, Mommy, now."
"Now?" Leia asked with a frown. "Not now, darling. Soon …"
A massive, sudden contraction gripped her uterus and she groaned aloud, her hand suddenly grasping and digging into her husband's arm.
"Or maybe now …" she said in surprise.
"How far along are you specifically, Leia?" Mon asked worriedly.
"35 weeks 6 days. We wanted to make it to 36 weeks…"
"I'd say you are close enough," Mon said with a smile. "Shall I call the med droid?"
Leia gasped in pain, perspiration beading her forehead, "Yes, I think that would be wise."
Imperial Holonet Studio
10 hours later
"Cray Shifton here. We have a breaking news story. Empress Leia Organa Solo delivered twin boys an hour ago. While information is scant, Palace Staff inform us that both mother and babies are doing well …"
Author Note: So there are lots of babies. Sue me! :-)
Author request: If you are not from the United States (which is where I am), please leave a comment with where you live and something going on in your country right now. This is just for fun. Thx!