Disclaimer: The Star Wars Universe is not mine, nor do I have any plans to sneak in in the middle of the night and take it over. These characters are not mine. Quite frankly I think they'd yell, scream and shoot something if they knew they were owned by anyone but I'll let George Lucas deal with that because they and the rest of the Star Wars Universe are his.

Author's Note: This story is considerably more fluffy than most of what I write and Luke and Mara are both more overtly emotional than I generally portray them. I'm chalking it up to Mara's hormones being out of whack and Luke being an all too empathetic guy himself...besides, couldn't we all use someone we could act this way around?

I had fun writing it. I hope you have fun reading it.

*

Unexpected Expectations

Chapter 1

The last person Luke had expected to see that afternoon was Mara. Well, not the *last* person perhaps – there were several dead relatives and teachers who might have been more of a surprise - but considering the way they'd last parted, her appearance was unexpected. It was the sort of surprise which left a twisted knot in his stomach, as though he'd swallowed a pin cushion. Her arrival here on Yavin meant she'd either forgiven him or had decided to kill him after all.

*Skywalker!*

The mental call left him even more uncertain as he walked out to the landing pad. She was angry, that he could tell for sure. The emotion poured off her in waves that probably extended for kilometers. What surprised him was the fear that was also surging into space, and he had the sense that she wasn't aware of the fear either. Remarkable that he could sense emotions about her before she could.

As he drew nearer, he saw her standing beside her ship, red hair pulled back severely, poise and grace in her stance, and a look of murder in her eyes. He reached out to soothe the emotion and was thrown out with a violence that practically knocked him backwards off his feet.

"Stay out of my mind, Jedi," she hissed, stalking past him towards the temple.

"Where are we going," he blustered, jogging to catch up with her.

"Your office!" she snapped back.

He stopped dead in his tracks: "My office?"

"Yep," she growled, "You coming or not?" It wasn't until she found herself standing again in the room as Luke closed the door that Mara began to wonder if this had been such a good idea. She'd wanted this to be a formal, business meeting so she could keep emotion out of it. But, this room...She saw the look on his face as he turned slowly from the door and she averted her yese suddenly, feeling like a caged animal.

"What can I do for you, Mara?" Luke asked, his tone stiffly formal although he choked a bit over her name.

"Nothing," she said with more vehemence than was the normal response to such a vague pleasantry.

"Okay," he said, and when she hesitated further, he felt himself grow more nervous. Mara could deliver news of a planet's destruction without flinching in the least. What could make her hesitate like this?

"Why are you here?" he prompted.

"Can I sit down?" she asked, growing slightly pale. Now Luke was scared. He moved to help her to the small couch in the corner then hesitated when his skin prickled in memory and pulled out a stiff backed wooden chair instead. As she sat down, he retreated to the other side of the room.

She took a deep breath and let it out, closing her eyes for a moment.

He waited patiently.

"There's a problem here," she began, drawing herself up in her chair. "I..."

He kept silent.

"I don't see it as your problem...I mean, I can deal with it myself but I figured you deserved to know."

"Oh?" he said cluelessly.

"I'm pregnant." She stated quietly.

Luke found himself suddenly unable to breathe. Leaning against the wall, he gasped for air.

*Not in a million years would I have thought...* ran through his mind, and then *Well, why not you idiot? What did you think was different? How could you have? Irresponsible! Blast, you're 32 years old!*

"Yeah, my thoughts exactly, "Mara murmured quietly, a tiny wry smile at the corner of her lips as Luke found some sort of composure.

He pulled out his desk chair and half fell into it, his thoughts flying back five weeks to the last time Mara had been in this room. How had it gone from an argument about the academy to...well to what it had become?

"What do you want to do?" he asked finally.

She took another deep breath.

"It would be crazy for me to have a baby, Luke." She said, stunning both of them by using his first name.

After a moment, Luke's eyes narrowed.

"In what way?"

"In what way?!," she responded loudly, leaping to her feet. "I'm 32 years old. I'm single. I'm starting a business. A baby just doesn't fit the picture right now. In fact, I can't think of a time when one will. My life is complicated enough as it is."

"So you don't want this baby?" Luke didn't like where this conversation was going and he slowly realized with a sort of shaky shock that there wasn't much he wouldn't do to prevent Mara from carrying her idea to its conclusion.

"No, I don't." She answered as though it were obvious, "what would I do with a baby?"

Her statement struck a deep and painful nerve in the lonely Jedi Master.

"Oh, I don't know," he answered hotly, "maybe love it, raise it, teach it right from wrong, give it someone to look up to and watch it take its place in life and in the Force. Something like that, Mara!"

Her eyes flashed dangerously.

"Spoken exactly like someone who wasn't raised by the personification of evil."

The fear was unshielded now.

"You're scared," he observed suddenly

"Bravo, Jedi insight," she scoffed, "What other great wisdom did you learn from your Obi-Wan Kenobi?"

"Fear is of the dark side, Mara" he said solemnly. "Stand here in my shoes and tell me that!"

She was trembling almost imperceptibly and her eyes were darting back and forth as she looked just past him, reliving moments of her childhood. Luke softened his voice.

"You'll be a great mother, Mara." He felt it in his heart.

She stared at him for a moment.

"Skywalker, you are the only person in the galaxy who would tell me that."

"Well, it's true."

She snorted, "I can make my own decisions, thank you very much."

"At least think about it for a bit," he pleaded. He had to change her mind. This was a child they were talking about...his child...their child.

"I don't owe you anything, Skywalker."

"Then consider it a favour on your part. I promise, I'll pay you back."

She sighed, feeling a little ill.

"Okay, but I'm leaving tomorrow one way or another. I've got a trade schedule to keep."

"Of course," he agreed, relieved that she wasn't going to blast off immediately and have an abortion at the nearest med centre.

After she left the room, he stared at the door for a long time, wonderingly. For years he'd wanted children of his own, and now, of all the people who could have brought him this miracle, it was Mara Jade.

Mara didn't want the baby though. He had to change her mind...and he had to do it soon. Although what they'd do then, he wasn't sure.

Dinner was quiet. Luke had taught a late class so it was just himself and those students in the dining hall. Despite the silence, their Force senses were tumultuous as they tried to absorb what they'd learned...Luke understood how they felt. Mara wasn't there either.

Later that night he was suddenly awakened from sleep by Mara's call

*What is it?*

*Luke,...Luke*

He soon realized it was unconscious on her part, like the fear he'd sensed earlier. Shunting his instant fear away, he stretched out with the Force and followed the pull to the fresher of her suite.

She was curled up, her head resting on the toilet. Her face was pale and sweat curled the hairs around her forehead. Luke immediately filled a cup with water and handed it to her as he sat down on the floor beside her.

"How are you feeling?" he asked as she rinsed out her mouth and sat up to lean back against the wall. Her eyes opened to slits.

"Like Hell, Skywalker."

Smiling sympathetically, he reached out and brushed tendrils of hair off her forehead.

"Leia felt better by four months," he said softly.

"I don't want this to last that long," she answered.

"How can you see it that way? Like this is all a big nuisance?" Luke was amazed and hurt by her treatment of this baby as an annoyance to be gotten rid of as soon as possible.

"And how am I supposed to see it as anything else?" she said, tearing pricking at the corners of her eyes.

"What am I supposed to tell this child if I go through with it? 'You were born because your mother was stupid one afternoon'." She snorted, "That's loving. Great mother I'd be."

"Is that how you see it? Stupidity? A mistake?" Luke was sure half of the academy had heard him, or sensed his flood of anger-rimmed pain. Mara reached out instinctively to shield the tiny life from the emotional tidal wave.

"I saw how you reacted this afternoon. What would you call it?" she snarled.

He looked at her in a new light as he realized just how hurt he was. Somewhere in the last few minutes - the last few years - he'd fallen in love with her. Perhaps the most amzing part of it was that he'd just figured it out now. And here it was, painfully obvious that she didn't feel the same.

"I thought it was something else," He murmured quietly and dejectedly.

She stared back at him, clearly stunned by his mutterings. He could see confusion in her expression as well as that fear which was so incongruous with his image of Mara Jade. She examined his expression for a moment. The she turned away from him and was sick again. When she was done, he sat down beside her on the floor and put his arm around her. Lulled by the soothing feelings that he sent and weakened by her exhaustion, Mara leaned into his embrace and soon fell asleep.

*

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