"Here we are!" Leia announced unnecessarily.
"It's beautiful!" Luke exclaimed, immediately taken by the colour of the water, crystal blue, the reflection of the sunlight on it and the immensity of the ocean. He truly didn't know where to look.
Beside him, Anakin was just as smitten as his son. He'd only been on the beach three or four times in his life, none of them particularly unforgettable. He'd never been fond of the sand, but even he had to admit that the sight was incredible. Mesmerized by the beauty of the place he looked around, even at the almost white sand under his feet.
Han nodded to himself approvingly. It was indeed a paradise beach.
"Shall we start setting up our stuff?" Leia suggested, opening her folding chair and placing it facing the water. Next, she unfolded her towel and put it on the sand by the chair.
It took a while for Luke to snap out of the spell the seashore had on him, but when he did he set out to enjoy it to the fullest. He planted his chair next to his father's, who'd brought a deck chair, just like Han.
They set everything up in just a few minutes - chairs, towels and the huge sunshade. Breathing a satisfied sigh, the four members of the Skywalker clan sat down to relax and enjoy their first vacation together, far away from duties and responsibilities. Two weeks of peace and quiet on Carida, as the family they were.
Leia took out her robe, revealing a white bikini that flattered her figure. Han whistled appreciatively and she slapped him on the arm, making Luke and Anakin chuckle. They soon followed her example though, and took out their robes. Anakin wore a mid thigh dark blue swimsuit, Luke's was lush green and Han's was red/wine.
Leia watched them lying back and basking in the sun with a disbelieving look on her face. Reaching into her bag with a grumble, she produced three small bottles of sunscreen and threw them at them, startling them.
"You'd better smear that on your skin; especially you two blondies," she looked at her father and her brother, "if you don't want to sunburn like two Aquarian lobsters."
"Your wish is my command, your worship," Han obeyed, bowing his head exaggeratedly.
Leia made a mocking gesture with her mouth and started applying the cream to her own skin, starting on her legs.
All of a sudden, a seductive voice whispered into her ear.
"I'll do your back if you do mine," a soft kiss on her cheek followed.
A helpless smile crossed her features, and meeting her fiancé's impish eyes she shook her head, giving up.
Beside them, Luke and Anakin finished doing each other's backs.
"Wanna go for a swim, Father?" Luke asked eagerly.
"Can you swim?" Anakin's eyebrows arched, pleasantly surprised.
"The fact that I grew up on Tatooine doesn't mean I never learned," Luke replied with a grin.
"Yes, of course," Anakin realized how silly his question was. "I learned when I was ten years old, already on Coruscant. I almost drowned so many times that I stopped counting them."
Luke burst out laughing.
"Come on. Race you to the water!" he jumped out of his chair and set off running. "And I'm warning you!" he shouted, turning about and looking at his father, running backwards, "I'm a dunking master! Ho-Ho-Ho!"
Accepting the challenge, Anakin leapt to his feet and chased after his child.
"Patricide is a crime, you know?" he shouted back.
On the towel, Han and Leia watched the two Jedi jumping into the water and taking a few strokes, warming up. After that, they engaged in some shameless splashing, laughing and playing around like two kids. Kneeling behind her beloved, Leia's hands rested on his broad shoulders. Han reached up and took one of her hands in his own.
"They're quite a sight, aren't they?" he asked rhetorically.
"I never get tired of looking at them," Leia admitted proudly. "I don't think they know how beautiful they are, together. How... inspiring it is to see a father and his son being so happy and carefree together, especially after everything they've gone through. What they have is so rare and precious, leaving aside the Jedi thing..."
"And that happiness is contagious. I think my liver's going to explode with the sugar overdose."
Leia laughed out loud despite herself.
"You're a spoilsport, did you know that?"
"Naaah, I'm just handsome," Han declared arrogantly.
"Yes, you are," Leia agreed, dropping all pretense, leaning forward and kissing him full on the lips. Han turned his neck a little and returned her kiss enthusiastically.
Luke and Anakin alternated playing in the water with some serious swimming, parallel to the beach, moving in perfect tandem. By the time they came out of the water they were panting, but looking invigorated and with a definite glow about them.
"This is the part I hate," Anakin puffed, watching his feet and ankles get coated in sand.
"It is scratchy and uncomfortable," Luke agreed, grabbing his towel and drying his hair and upper body.
"Well, if you'll excuse us," Han rose to his feet and held out one hand to Leia, "I think it's our turn now."
Leia took the proffered hand and stood up.
"Right," she threw a joyful smile at her father and brother and jogged after her fiancé. They dived together.
The two Jedi observed the playful antics of the couple for a while, grinning from ear to ear. Once dry, they sat down and applied more sunscreen to their skin, just in case.
Chatting noises reached their ears from the background. It seemed they had ceased to be the only ones on that beach. They didn't bother to look until the noises grew louder as they got closer and closer.
A group of about fifteen 16-17 year old girls were setting up their beach gear twenty metres to their left. A cacophony of shrill voices floated up to them, effectively disturbing the peace and quiet. Shrugging resignedly, Luke and Anakin lay back on their chairs, letting the sunrays warm their bodies.
Five minutes later Leia came out of the water and jogged back to their camp, her long plait that reached her waist swinging from side to side. She picked up her towel and began to dry her dripping body. She was almost finished when Han also came out of the water.
The relatively quiet scene was shattered by a collection of wolf whistles that made the four members of the Skywalker family turn their heads in the girls' direction. None of them bothered to look sheepish in their explicit praise of Han's musculature.
The Corellian rolled his eyes and shook his head, taking the towel that Leia handed him with a smirk. When he was dry, he took a seat next to his fiancée, stretching out his legs in front of him.
"I have a bad feeling about this, sweetheart," he said ominously.
"Just because they complimented your splendid physique?" Leia teased him.
"We'll be getting married next month, in case you have forgotten," Han reminded her.
"I haven't, but I have nothing against letting others admire what will never be theirs," Leia wriggled her eyebrows.
"Ah," Han smiled in mischievous understanding. "That's wicked, Princess."
"I have my moments," Leia retorted with feigned modesty, winking at him. "Luke," she addressed her brother next, "look at what I found," she reached over and handed him a round seashell, that shone with iridescent colours under the sunlight.
"It's beautiful!" Luke exclaimed, captivated by the changing colours.
"I've seen more of those, but that one is the biggest I found."
Luke gave her back the seashell.
"I'll go take a look," he said, rising and heading for the water. He stood ankle-deep in it, bending down every now and then, keeping some seashells and discarding others. Finally, he found one big enough and studied it curiously.
"Yummm, that's hot stuff, girl."
"Too short for me."
"But have you seen those biceps?"
"Keep his biceps. I'll take his pecs."
Dawning on him at last that they were talking about him, Luke's head snapped up and he looked around in a display of massive confusion.
Half a dozen girls stood ten metres away from him, flagrantly staring, some of them licking their lips or biting them in unconcealed desire.
Blushing to the roots of his hair, Luke cleared his throat and walked back to his family, as nonchalantly as he could manage.
"And those shapely legs. I think I'm in love..."
The young man all but collapsed in his chair, turning to the others.
"Where are these girls' parents or tutors, anyway?" he asked.
"In therapy," Han replied with his usual sardonic half-smile.
"Did you say anything about a bad feeling, love?" Leia nudged Han's arm with her elbow.
"A VERY bad feeling," Han amended his own words.
To complicate things further, Anakin chose that moment to make a fatal mistake. He stood up to remove the already dry sand from his lower legs.
Wolf whistling, tooting and downright howling rewarded the older Jedi's unconscious exhibition.
"Would you look at THAT?"
"What a HUNK!"
"He's old enough to be your dad!"
"Who cares? Look at that body!"
"Besides, older men have more... experience."
"I like them older. How sexy!"
"Bless you, Coral, for convincing us to come to the beach today!"
Anakin buried his face in his hand in sheer frustration and sat down again.
"Why didn't I bring my lightsaber?" he wondered in bitter regret.
"What about some simple Force-choking?" Han suggested.
"The idea has merit," Luke commended his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law. "But what would we do with the bodies?"
"I see your point," Han snapped his fingers.
"What about plain ignoring them?" Leia proposed.
"Try ignoring a nexu when it's going to attack," Anakin countered kindly.
With the mood thoroughly killed, the gang of four broke the circle and lay back on their respective chairs, trying to think of a way to get it back.
A couple minutes later, two girls in micro bikinis strolled past them, not troubling themselves to hide the fact that they were staring unashamedly. They giggled, whispered something to each other and continued walking.
"I feel like a piece of meat on display," Luke commented to the others, still looking straight ahead.
"I'm beginning to think that it wasn't a bad idea after all," Han muttered.
"What?" Leia asked.
"The nexu," Han clarified.
"True," Anakin nodded wholeheartedly.
"Or a wampa," Leia submitted.
"Or the Sarlaac," Luke joined in.
"It would spew them," Han observed.
Three more girls walked past, whistling lewdly.
"Two acklays," Anakin raised the bet.
"Stomped to pulp by a herd of reeks," Han let his imagination fly.
Two more girls walked past them VERY slowly, crossing the two girls who'd walked past them first and were coming back now. The four gathered together giggling and laughing loudly.
"Hey, sister! Greedy, aren't ya? Three hunks all to yourself!" Someone's voice came from the little group, triggering a chorus of guffaws.
"The Rancor," Luke didn't hesitate, looking daggers at them.
Something in Luke's indignant and protective tone of voice tickled Leia's funny bone and she sputtered, quickly reaching for her towel to cover her mouth.
"Do you find this amusing?" Luke sounded offended.
"I'm sorry! I'm really sorry," Leia apologized, wiping her eyes. "But I can't help but think that they're absolutely right. You're all VERY hot."
"I'm speaking from a totally objective and platonic point of view. You're gorgeous," Leia shrugged. "So I can see where they're coming from."
"Hey, Blondie!" another voice cried out. "What's your... shoe size?"
Luke cast a tired look at the others, and they all agreed that they'd had enough. It was obvious they weren't going to be left alone, so there was no point in staying.
As one, they rose to their feet and efficiently packed their stuff, to a concert of disappointed moaning and groaning.
When they began to walk away, Anakin lagged behind intentionally, pricking up his ears.
"Gotta be on the lookout in the next few days, and see if they come back to the beach."
"They have to. I so wanna hit that!"
"Yeah, all three."
"And at the same time!"
"My uncle's a representative of the Tourist Office. Maybe I could find out where they're staying so we could, you know... sneak in."
"Oh, that would be sensational, Johannah!"
"Yes! I want Blondie's swimming trunks hanging on my board."
Impulsively, Anakin turned about.
Feeling it, Luke spun around.
'No Force-choking, Dad!' he yelled mentally.
Without interrupting his brisk pace, Anakin turned around to look at his son, winked at him with a smile, and completed the graceful 360º turn, heading for the girls with an affable look on his face.
Encouraged by this, the girls started urging him to come closer, coupled with come hither hand gestures.
Han and Leia walked up to Luke.
"What is he up to?" Leia asked her brother.
Luke shrugged and shook his head.
"I have no idea."
"Maybe he's going to try Chewie's arm-ripping hobby," Han speculated. "Pity he decided to go sightseeing today with Lando. He'd LOVE putting those peabrained stalkers in their place!"
The three friends watched in complete fascination how Anakin finally joined the dozen girls goading him in, a small part of them actually worried about the mighty Jedi's personal safety.
Anakin leaned conspiratorially closer to the group, a broad smile on his face, whispering something to them. Then, he pointed his finger at something in the not-so-far distance.
Leia, Han and Luke turned their heads simultaneously in the direction Anakin was indicating. There was nothing out of the ordinary on the promenade, just people walking back and forth, including a lonely security guard.
"Is he threatening to report them to that guard?" Leia wondered sceptically. The notion seemed anything but threatening.
"I hope not. That prospect wouldn't frighten a five year-old," Han fervently wished.
What happened next left them with their mouths hanging open in amazement. All the girls seemed to pale in unison, drew back a step, and their attitude towards Anakin metamorphosed in a matter of seconds, turning guarded and subdued. In contrast, Anakin's friendly smile only grew bigger, paternal even. He whispered something else to them that was received with curt nods. The older Jedi nodded back, waved goodbye to them and looking pleased as punch, walked back up to his family.
"What did you do?" Leia asked her father as soon as he joined them.
"What did you say to them?" Luke was dying to know.
"You didn't threaten to report them to that guard, did you?" Han asked incredulously.
Anakin's eyes turned to Han, genuinely surprised.
"As a matter of fact, yes," he said.
"Are you kidding?" Han exclaimed. "The guy would bust a gut in our faces!"
"I didn't threaten to report *them* to the guard," Anakin explained, "but the booty of death sticks they had in their bags."
"What?" Luke's eyes bulged open.
"How did you know they had death sticks in their bags?" Leia asked, flabbergasted.
"I didn't," Anakin shrugged casually, readjusting his deck chair under his arm. "But their reaction to my words was conclusive evidence." He tilted his head to one side, lost in thought for a minute. "And I have the feeling that some of them are about to rethink their lives." Chuckling roguishly to himself, the Jedi master walked past his stunned family, a slight swagger to his step.