Title: School Daze
Author: Jade Pilot
Timeframe: Post NJO
"Stop it," hissed Mara Jade Skywalker as she stood behind her five year old son, Ben.
"What?" asked Luke. "All I said was I had a bad feeling about this."
Mara took both Skywalker boys by the hand and marched them into the kindergarten classroom. It was brightly decorated in primary colors with pictures of animals on the walls. "It's going to be hard enough having him attend a regular school without your attitude adding to the situation."
Luke huffed and shoved his hands into the pockets of his pants. "He shouldn't be here in the first place. He should be at the temple school and not some kindergarten for non-Force users."
"Look, Dad," said Ben looking up into eyes just like his own. "My name is on the door."
Luke smiled as if trying very hard not to roll his eyes. "Uh…yeah, isn't that special?"
"I'm warning you, Luke…if Ben wants to go to regular school, then regular school he will go to," said Mara, eyes glaring. This really needed to work. Since Ben was able to speak he had refused anything to do with the Force no matter who had tried to coax him to do otherwise. Mara only hoped that he would outgrow this and eventually join them at the Jedi Academy here on Ossus. But in the meantime…
"Mr. and Mrs. Skywalker," said a very pretty Twilek with a name tag reading Miss Bouva. "It's a pleasure to meet you." She extended her hand in greeting.
I feel my temperature rising… Mara's head jerked toward her husband as she inadvertently picked up on his thoughts through their Force bond.
"Thank you and it's Master…Master Skywalker and Master Jade Skywalker," corrected Mara taking the teacher's hand in her own.
"Mo-om," whispered Ben between clenched teeth, his face pinking up.
Miss Bouva smile nervously. "I'm terribly sorry. It's just that we don't get many Jedi children here, but I'm sure Ben will have a wonderful time here at Happy Acres."
"Wonderful!" agreed Luke grinning from ear to ear. "And you can call me Luke."
"Why thank you," said Miss Bouva smiling even brighter. "Ben, would you like to join the other children in the various centers?"
Ben nodded eagerly and walked with her toward the blocks, chatting the entire way.
Mara sighed and threaded her arm through Luke's. "See? He's happy to be here. This is going to be a great experience for him."
"Great," mimicked Luke.
"Will you stop it?" Mara said. "It's what he wants. Just give him some time and he'll come around to accepting his abilities in the Force—" Mara immediately stopped as she noticed the sparkle in her husband's eye. Looking up she saw Ben's teacher approaching.
"Well, Ben seems very enthusiastic about school," said Miss Bouva smiling brightly.
Luke nodded returning her smile. "He gets that from me."
Mara's jaw dropped open. "Well, I'm sure you're ready for us to get out of your way," started Mara pulling Luke by the arm.
Of course she had heard all the rumors about her husband's escapades before they were married; especially the ones about his predilection for Twilek females. She watched him from under lowered lashes and tried to touch his thoughts which were now stubbornly shielded from her.
Miss Bouva shook her head. "Actually, the first day we allow the parents to stay and observe for the first hour, so feel free to walk about the room and if you have any questions—"
"I do," said Luke, pulling out of his wife's grasp. "I was hoping you could explain the concept of centers."
Miss Bouva flushed. "I'd be happy to…Luke. If you'll just follow me…"
Mara watched as her husband and son's teacher wandered around the room talking animatedly to one another. Shaking her head she walked aimlessly for a bit and then came upon her son with a few other children building with the wooden blocks. Shielding herself from his view she listened in.
"I'm verbose," said a young dark haired boy stacking a large block on top of their structure.
"No—it's what my preschool teacher used to say about me," explained the boy. "I think it means I talk too much. Or use too many big words…I forget which. Where did you go to preschool?"
Ben looked away for a moment. "I didn't go to preschool."
"You didn't?" asked the boy. "Gee...is there something wrong with you?"
Mara immediately wanted to jump in and defend her young son, but held back hoping he would stand up for himself. It was one of the hardest things she ever had to do.
"Your socks don't match."
"Huh?" muttered Ben as he looked up into the face of a young Twilek girl.
"Your socks," she began pointing at Ben's feet. "You have one blue one and one black one.
"S'okay…at least you're not verbose," said the Twilek smiling and gesturing toward the dark haired boy. "I'm Vela and he's Lak. We went to the same preschool."
"But now our moms decided to matriculate us here at Happy Acres," said Lak.
Ben looked up at the girl and frowned. "I didn't go to preschool."
"Lucky you," said Vela with a wink. "Come on let's go over to the water center before all the water ends up on the floor."
"Okay," said Ben smiling at his new friend and following her toward the back of the room.
Just like his father…thought Mara to herself. Speaking of which where was that husband of hers? She ambled around the reading center and found him chatting near the computers with Miss Sunshine.
"No!" gasped Miss Bouva. "You defeated that Rancor all by yourself?"
Luke smiled, his posture improving with each exclamation from Ben's teacher.
"Oh Honey!" called Mara, straining to keep a smile on her face. "I think it's time we let Miss Bouva get on with her morning routine, don't you?"
"Already?" asked Luke looking at his chrono.
"Yes, dear…say goodbye to the nice teacher."
Luke flushed. "Well it has certainly been a pleasure…"
"Oh, the pleasure is all mine Luke. Miss Bouva beamed. "Please come again soon for a visit."
"I'll do that—what?" groaned Luke as he received a jab to the ribs from Mara. She pulled Luke's arm and herded him to the door. "Don't you want to say good-bye to Ben?"
"Don't worry about Ben," Mara huffed. "He's fine. He's got his own little Twilek to play with."
They headed toward the parking area, Mara steaming the entire way.
"I don't understand what's gotten into you, Mara." Luke opened the door to the speeder as she got into the passenger side. "I thought you'd be happy with me changing my mind about Ben going to a regular school." He walked around to the other side and got into the driver's seat.
Mara snorted. "It's not Ben's school that I mind you taking an interest in…it's his teacher."
"Ilia?" asked Luke meeting turning to face Mara "You think I'm interested in Ben's teacher?"
"Are you calling her by her first name now?" Mara's eyes were wide with shock. "I cannot believe this!"
"She asked me to, seeing as how we're going to be working so closely together and all."
"What in the Seven Bowels of Boreli are you talking about, Luke?"
He hesitated, fumbling with the ignition. "I…agreed to..uh… be the room mom."
"WHAT?" Mara shouted.
"Well, someone needed to help out with field trips and birthday parties, so each kindergarten class has their own room mom…only it can be a dad, Ilia said."
They drove in silence, the tension thick as Hutt soup. Pulling into the parking area Luke turned off the ignition and looked at Mara. "I was only trying to help Ben make the adjustment to school by showing my support."
Mara thought frantically. Maybe this was not such a good idea after all. Maybe she should have insisted that Ben go to the Jedi Academy with other Force users. Yes, that's exactly what she should do…will do. Today when she picked Ben up from school she would just tell him that it was all for the best and that tomorrow he would go with them to the Temple. He'd adjust, sure he would… and they'd never have to see that pretty Twilek trollop ever again.
Mara took a breath, ready to tell Luke that he'd been right all along when she noticed a slight curve at the corner of his lips. Suddenly it all fell into place…that no-good dirty rotten…"SON OF A SITH!" she cried.
"What?" said Luke rearing back.
Mara shook her head. "You planned this whole thing, didn't you? Made me think you were attracted to Ben's teacher and that you were ready to embrace his decision to go to regular school."
Luke closed his eyes and breathed deeply.
"Well, it didn't work, Farmboy!" she said, shoving a finger in his chest. "I will say you almost got away with it, but you should know by now that you can't fool me. I saw that little smirk you tried so hard to control." She smiled and crossed her arms. "You weren't attracted to her at all, were you?"
"And you still don't want him going to Happy Acres, do you?"
"You aren't even the room mom are you?"
"No," he muttered miserably.
Mara cocked her head. "Ha! You don't even know who the room mom is, do you?"
"As a matter of fact…I do know who the room mom is."
"Oh, really…and just who is the room mom in Ben's class?" asked Mara smugly.
Luke smiled and looked up with a glint in his blue eyes. "You are, dear."