Title: Men Will Be boys
Rating: PG
Timeframe: Post-NJO
Characters: Luke, Han, Jacen, Lando, Wedge, Talon
Genre: AU...waaaaaay AU, Humor, Vignette
Summary: Luke plans a surprise Life Day party for Ben.
Notes: Just pretend that there are godchildren in the GFFA. ;)

Men Will Be Boys

"Are you sure about this, Luke?" Han Solo studied the box labeled cake as if it was some type of venomous insect. "I mean, there's got to be a easier way."

Standing on the opposite side of the food preparation area in his home on Ossus, Luke cast him an overly patient glance, "It can't be that hard, Han. It's just a cake."

"But, don't you usually just buy them?" Han blustered.

"Yes, but this is Ben's tenth Life Day and I want to surprise him. Look at the instructions."

Han pulled a face, "Fine. So what is this f-l-o-u-r?"

Luke looked up from his dataplanner. "Are you serious?" he asked flatly. "You've never cooked, have you?"

"I have!" the older man protested. "I grill a very fine nerf steak, for your information."

"All right," Luke sighed. "Why don't you go help with the decorations, then?"

Han cocked a grin, "Now that, I can do. Remember your stag party?"

"Yes, I do. And you can't use those as inflatables here!" he called after his retreating brother-in-law.

Han waved in acknowledgement and joined Lando Calrissian in the living area. His long-time friend was staring at a large, rather flimsy looking object and scratching his head, "What's a piñata?"

Han shrugged. "Does it have instructions?" he raised his voice toward Luke, who was busy making noise with some type of kitchen appliance.

Lando squinted at the small print, "It says: Fill with party treats." He looked at Han. "What kind of party treats?"

"I dunno. Whatever kind you want, I guess." A sudden hissing noise filled the room and Han turned to find Wedge Antilles spraying colorful lines of liquid streamer along one side of the room. Moving in an intricate pattern, Wedge covered an entire wall then moved on to the viewport.

"Hey, Dad?" Jacen emerged from the corridor off the common area carrying an armful of colorful orbs. "Where do I hang these?"

"See if they'll stick to whatever Antilles is constructing here," Han answered, waving toward the ever-growing maze of color coating the walls and viewport.

Luke emerged from the kitchen covered in a white powder and came to a halt at the sight of the wall. "It looks like crash webbing," he said after a pause.

Wedge rounded to face him. "You say that like it's a bad thing," he challenged.

"No-" Luke stalled. "It looks good…."

The door chime sounded and they all turned as Talon Karrde entered balancing a crate so large, he could barely carry it. Plopping it down in the middle of the room, he spread his palms on the top and grinned, "Gentlemen, I bring toys."

Luke's jaw dropped. "Talon. That's too-"

"Don't say it, Luke," he held up an admonishing hand. "Nothing is too much for my godson. Besides, I want you all to see the latest inventions in children's entertainment."

Prying open the top of the crate, he removed several shiny boxes.

Luke, Han, Lando, and Wedge gathered around. "Wha-?" they gaped.

Talon beamed. "They're called action figures. Miniature replicas of some of the more notable heroes and events in recent history. This," he lined the boxes up in front of them, "is the 'Battle of Endor' set. There's General Han Solo," he held each figure up in turn. "General Lando Calrissian, Rogue Squadron Lead Wedge Antilles, and Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker."

Four mouths hung open in disbelief as Jacen began to snicker in the background. Talon turned to Luke with an almost conciliatory tone, "There's also a 'Rebel Pilot Luke Skywalker', but it comes with a different set."

Luke nodded mutely.

"There's more," Talon continued, pulling smaller boxes from the crate. "Ewoks, stormtroopers, biker scouts, snowtroopers-"

"There weren't any snowtroopers on Endor," Luke said.

"Yeah," Talon frowned. "Must have been a mix-up with the 'Battle of Hoth' set."

"Ewoks," Han pulled a face. "Why would you want toy Ewoks? That's….creepy."

Talon shot him a look. "Moving on," he removed a larger box. "We have The Emperor-"

They all froze as the gnarled features of Palpatine appeared behind clear protective coating.

"Um…." Luke winced. "That might not be…a good thing…to have around my house. If you know what I mean?"

Talon's eyebrows shot up in understanding, "You're right. Bad idea." He stuffed the Emperor back into the crate and reached deeper, lifting a large box with a measure of pomp. "And now, a hard-to-find Exclusive," he said the last word as if it was something sacred, "Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith."

Everyone in the room took an involuntary step backward as the armored visage regarded them defiantly from his shiny box. Talon held up a single finger with a 'watch this' motion. Pressing a button on the front of the box, the menacing sound of mechanical breathing played from a hidden audio chip: Ho—PERRRRR.

"No - THAT," Lando said, "is creepy."

Jacen stepped up behind them, "Hey, Uncle Luke? Why is grandfather's box is so much bigger than yours?"

"He was taller," Luke retorted.

Jacen whistled. "That much taller? Did he marry a midget?" Han smacked him on the back of the head, "Ow!"

"Gentlemen!" Talon raised his voice over them. When he had everyone's attention, he smiled smoothly, "And - there are ships."

"Ships?" five voices echoed in awe.

Lifting the small replicas, he announced them in turn, "TIE-fighter, TIE-Interceptor, Star Destroyer, Super Star Destroyer, A-wing, X-wing," he stopped, holding the Rebel snub fighter up with another 'watch this' motion. Pressing a small button, the wings popped open and an electronic voice came from the cockpit: "Lock S-foils in attack position."

"Astral!" Wedge breathed, sounding suddenly very much like the ten-year old guest of honor.

"Last but not least," Talon looked at Han. "The famous Millennium Falcon."

Han had to sit down.

The room buzzed with chatter as the action figures were duly inspected.

Wedge turned the X-wing over: "Where are the proton torpedoes?"

"I never had a hairstyle like that," Lando protested.

Luke picked up the 'Luke Skywalker' figure, "Why is my cloak brown?"


All eyes turned to Han who was now holding the tiny quad-laser cannons from the Falcon in his hand.

"What? They're in the wrong place! Where's the sealant?"

Luke rolled his eyes, "Han!"

The Corellian pilot sported his best not-guilty face, "Tell Ben it's customized…by me!"

A loud chime from the kitchen snapped Luke's attention back to the party, "The cake!" He glanced at his chrono, "And Ben will be here any minute. Clean this up, guys!"

In a whirlwind of repacking, organizing, and final decorations, the room was ready just as the rest of the party attendants appeared outside the viewport. Luke looked around proudly. With the help of his friends and family, he had done it. He couldn't wait to see the look of surprise on Ben's face.

A steady dripping noise turned their attention to the piñata in the corner, which was looking rather soggy and moist at the bottom.

"Lando? What did you put in that?"

"Party treats," he answered. "Just like the instructions said."

Suspicious droplets began to descend from the piñata forming a puddle on the floor. "What kind of party treats?"

Lando looked affronted, "Bulbs from the liquor cabinet, of course. What else?"

The front door opened and Luke groaned as a chorus of voices exclaimed, "Surprise!"