AN: Another story kicked the dust . . . basically, this was an NJO tale involving Kyp Durron, some OCs, and a lot of wedding-inspired humour. But I didn't want to get involved with another long WIP, so I buried this tale and its corresponding plot bunnies under my bed.


-
Marriage is for Dummies
-


Kyp Durron paused outside the door to his apartment, and sagged against the lockplate as exhaustion finally took hold of his fatigued frame. The last few months' preparations had ended surprisingly well at Sernpidal, and yet he felt glum, downcast. He should have been rejoicing that he'd struck the Yuuzhan Vong another deadly blow, but he could still see Jaina's irate face and feel the burning imprint of her hand on his cheek.

He shook his head, and punched the code in. The door slid open, and Kyp staggered over to the couch in the room's shady corner. He was home…but that statement wasn't quite true. Home was a family's true and permanent dwelling-place, and his family had been ripped to shreds 23 years ago. For the first eight years of his life, home had been a house on Deyer with his dad and mom and older brother. But the Empire destroyed that dream, and Kyp spent the next eight years of his life on Kessel. Kessel was harsh; Kessel was dreary. Kessel wasn't home.

Neither was the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV. As the years dragged on and he agreed with Master Skywalker less and less, he found that the praxeum offered him no welcome. Old fogies like Kyle Katarn or Corran Horn were constantly berating his actions, and young Jedi were copying his every move. After a while, the combination of criticizing and idolizing began to wear on his nerves and he tried to spend as much time as possible away from the Jedi's sanctuary.

This apartment on Coruscant wasn't his home either, he decided as he glanced around at the bare walls and unfamiliar furniture. It merely reminded him of everything and everyone he had lost: his parents, Zeth, Dorsk 81, Milo, Wurth, his squadron's lost pilots . . . and now any regard that Jaina Solo might have fostered for him. As much as he tried to interpret it otherwise, if you were dying of thirst on Tatooine, I wouldn't even spit on you were not reassuring words. Stang.

Rolling onto his back, he noticed the comm center blinking every few seconds, a clear indication that he had messages. He guessed that at least one was from Mara Jade Skywalker, a virulent rant about how he used her niece to satisfy his own means and how much she would love to roast his spleen. He smirked. When she was upset, Luke Skywalker's wife was neither subtle nor gentle. Kyp rocked to his feet, shuffled over towards the unit, then asked for an overview of the messages and their senders. 114 total. Four were from Master Skywalker (not surprising), one from Mara (perfect, Durron), two from Octa Ramis, one from Jacen Solo (inactive little coward), two from Corran Horn (probably about Kyp's latest spout with Luke), 23 from various wanna-be Dozeners, 41 from actual Dozen members. He blinked in disbelief at the final figure. The station reported 40 messages from Lady Juliene ke Greso.

Kyp smiled as he continued to scroll through the data. Such a large number could mean one of several things: Adumar had been invaded by the Yuuzhan Vong, Jule's uncle had died and she was now the perator of Halbegardia, or Christen Bacherr had broken up with her. He doubted it was the first possibility, because if it were true he would have already spotted it on the news. Adumar might be on the edge of the Unknown Regions, but it wasn't backwater enough to be conquered without even a snippet appearing on the holos. The second idea was eliminated simply because he knew she wouldn't have called him so many times if she became perator. Jule would have been much too occupied to place two score calls to an absent Jedi Master.

That left his third thought. Despite Jule's protests that she and the pilot were "a perfect match," Kyp had always believed that their relationship would be like a fire you poured liquid nitrogen on; it would flare up fervid and warm, then die down to cold embers after a little time. An animated, unthinking social butterfly and a reserved, sarcastic introvert were such different creatures that similarities between the two must be close to nil.

He didn't dislike Chris; he actually thought quite highly of him. The man had been extremely kind when he allowed Kyp and some of his Dozen to hitch a ride on his freighter to Coruscant, and he respected the fact that Bacherr had quit his old job at Subpro Corporation to accept a commission with the New Republic Starfighter Command. He was generous, intelligent, and well mannered, but just not Jule's type. No, Chris Bacherr and Jule ke Greso might theoretically make a fine couple, but it would never work out in real life.

And maybe comforting his favorite Adumari lady would help push Jaina Solo to the deep recesses of his memory. Maybe.

He located the earliest message, one that dated from approximately two months ago, and called it up on the screen. Jule's face, a soft oval framed by bouncy gold ringlets and brightened by delicate features, dominated the image. Everything was as he expected, except for the absence of tears. Her hazel eyes twinkled, and try as he might Kyp couldn't see any suspect moisture hiding in those wide-set orbs. Maybe she was hiding her emotions so he wouldn't be concerned. Sinking into a nearby chair, he waited for it to begin.

"Kyp, I have some news for you. I'm hoping you'll consider them good ones, but you never know with those crazy Jedi Masters." She winked, then assumed a more serious expression. "I wanted to talk to you in person, but you're obviously not here, and when I tried to contact Master Skywalker at the number you gave me, he was very polite but wouldn't tell me a thing. Oh well. I'll have to settle for this impersonal form of communication."

He leaned forward. Sometimes, Jule's verbosity was just plain irritating. Why couldn't she be brief instead of dragging things on and on? Conciseness should be a virtue.

"Kyp, I just wanted you to be one of the first to know that…well, what I'm trying to say is . . ." She paused, and if she were there in person he would have smacked her. It was amazing that a 20-something dilettante had a comprehension of timing and suspense that put most holodrama directors to shame. Some people might have marveled at Jule's skills in that area, but Kyp was merely annoyed. Was the phrase "Chris broke up with me" too difficult to say? It was just five simple words. He would've had no problem uttering them, but it was quite clear that Jule couldn't accomplish such a task. She was a girl, after all. Females were odd creatures, with strange hormones and occasionally abrupt mood swings. Another reason why he found women so bizarre.

"I think this is the most wonderful news I could share with anyone. I feel so happy right now."

Kyp sat up straighter. By the Force, was she going to have a baby? He counted on his fingers, and discovered that "I think that I'm pregnant" was also a five-word sentence. Perhaps he was imagining things, but he would rather be prepared for all possibilities than hit from behind by a rogue idea. His anxiety grew.

"Well, I don't feel like keeping you in the dark much longer. You probably think that this message was specifically designed to internally torture you while I ramble on about nonsense. I'm sorry if it is. Although, I must say that I wish I could get a recording of your reactions at this time. They must be hilarious." Jule smiled, and dimples popped into her cheeks. "I'm getting married to Chris."

The revelation hit Kyp on his blindside like a turbolaser blast. Shavit. That certainly came out of nowhere. And coincidentally, it was another of those horrid five-word phrases. He would have thought there was a greater chance of Jule being pregnant than this. Independent Jule, getting married? She was too strong-willed, too unconventional, and too vivacious to let herself be tied down to any man by the commonplace bonds of marriage. And to kriffin' Chris Bacherr, no less.

He stumbled to the couch and threw himself back on it. He hated kriffin' weddings. Marriage was for asinine, insane, anile dummies. What was he to do?


AN: At which point I decided that I didn't want to write another story with Kyp and my OCs - because the prequel, "Juliene," evolved from a humorous short story into an 100+ plus page humorous action tale.

Vignettes can be so much more . . . easy and soothing sometimes.