Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox, I'm simply destroying the sandcastles; Aala belongs to SerendipityAEY and is borrowed with permission
Author's Note: Big thanks to SerendipityAEY for the revision / edit work :D She did it without asking and added such oomph to it!
Title: Little Miracles
Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Aala Naberrie [OC]
Genre: Romance, Fluff, Family
Era: Post RotS [AU]
Summary: Miracles come in the smallest packages
Notes: Aala is an OC created by SerendipityAEY – see my "Favorite Author" section for her works to get acquainted with Padmé's older [middle] sister ;) She's been borrowed with permission for this vignette. Enjoy.
The sound of her name came to her on a whisper, passing through her dreams to mesh with the incorporeal. The garden she found herself in, next to a fountain she remembered from her childhood, suddenly seemed to speak to her in his voice; a voice she'd not heard in many long months.
The image of the sparkling fountain and its shimmering, laughing fall of water slowly disappeared as she was drawn from the dream, back to the waking nightmare that her life was becoming. The voice called again as she surged from the depths of the dream.
"Obi-Wan?" Her question was slightly confused, her brain dream addled and she felt the cool night breeze as she pushed up from the bed, having no recollection of throwing off the covers. Like in a waking dream, she moved from her bedroom, through the small corridor and out into the living area. Illuminated by starlight, the figure awaiting her on her couch was one she'd only seen in her dreams. "Obi-Wan?"
"Come here, Aala, darling," he coached softly in his beloved accent, the endearment sliding across her skin like a caress.
"You're not here." Even as she said the words she was moving, drawn to him like no one had ever drawn her before, yearning for his touch no matter that part of her mind told her this was nothing more than a dream. "You're... you're gone."
"I am very much here," he assured her, his tone still silky smooth. "I have someone who wishes to meet you."
"Someone?" she eased next to him, grasping the hand he extended towards her, the touch of his skin on hers making her shiver. A dream, she told her sleep fogged mind. A very detailed, very vivid dream.
Obi-Wan applied some pressure to her fingers and drew her down to the couch next to him, his thumb running across the backs of her fingers deliberately. "Someone I hope you'll forgive me for not bringing to you sooner."
His eyes were piercing in the darkness, as intense as she remembered and just as deep. She leaned into him and Obi-Wan put his arm around her shoulders, drawing her into a surprisingly warm embrace with one arm. The other, she finally saw, was curled close to his chest as if holding some kind of precious cargo or... or a...
Her dreams were certainly strange tonight. "Obi-Wan?"
"I called in a favor," he said instead, nodding to his immobile arm. "I hope you don't mind."
"Mind?" She inhaled his scent, drawing it deep into her lungs, an absent part of her mind noting that she never used to dream with all five senses. "Why would I mind?"
"Because some might say I've just sprung an unplanned parenthood on you, my dear," he gently pulled back the fabric of his robe to reveal a sleeping cherub with a thumb between its lips.
"Unplanned... You're a father?" Enough was enough, Aala rubbed her eyes, trying to wake up; she didn't want to be a part of this dream anymore, a crushing disappointment weighing down on her chest. "I don't believe you; why would you bring... what were you..."
His lips silenced her, drugging in the intensity and the first alarm bell went off in the back of her mind that this was all too real, too tactile, to be a dream. She didn't care; she clung to him for a brief moment, relishing the welcome, before Obi-Wan drew back, the baby between them.
"She's our daughter, Aala. Mine and yours."
There was a pregnant pause before she stiffened. "That... that's impossible Obi-Wan; you know I can't have... I would know if... you're not making sense."
His smile in the darkness was amused as he drew her back in. Miffed with him though she was, she was helpless against the need to be in his arms and she went, albeit reluctantly at first before melting against his side, unable to help her gaze from dropping to the sleeping bundle in his arms.
"I called in a favor," he stared by saying. "For all we Jedi have become persons non-grata, there are still those who honor old debts. The Kaminoans are one."
He nodded. "The cloners who built the army," his words were soft, pained before he shook himself. "They've an underground movement, those who would help the Jedi, or destroy the Empire. Shortly before the Republic fell, I had been speaking to one of these regarding your... our situation."
"Why would you..." her eyes widened, her processes catching up now that the fog of sleep was pulling back, the reality of the situation belatedly kicking in. "She's a clone."
"Not exactly." he nuzzled Aala's cheek, brushing his beard and lips over the curve of her cheek bone, seemingly unable to keep from touching her even as they talked. "She's... half a clone."
"I don't understand."
"How much do you know about cloning?"
A shiver raced through her frame and Obi-Wan drew her closer, using the hand about her shoulders to pluck his robe free and wrap her within its confines, flush against his side. His warmth soaked into her, draining any fight she might have still had from her muscles as she curled as close as she could, craving his touch after such a long absence. "Not much; just that they need a donor, a genetic template and then they copy it."
"At its truest form, yes; that is exactly how cloning works," he agreed, kissing her temple before leaning his head against hers. "There is, however, so much more that can be done if desired."
"You mean... the engineering?"
"The way it was explained to me was that any genome can be tampered with and altered," Obi-Wan's voice was soft, cascading over her like the fountain in her dream and lending the whole scene a sense of the surreal. Was this really happening? "A single donor is easy to manipulate, however, I was informed that two genetic codes can often be spliced together to generate a more cooperative unit."
"That's what the Kaminoans call the clones." Obi-Wan exhaled softly. "On my last visit before the end of the war, some of the strands of this magnificent mane," he tugged at her tangled tresses, "were left on my robes. I don't remember how we got on the topic, but I was offered a chance to clone you."
"Clone me?" She jerked back and he laughed softly, drawing her back down. "Why would you-"
"I declined, Aala," he assured her firmly. "And hush, you'll wake her."
"Her?" her gaze dropped back to the sleeping infant as Obi-Wan continued his tale.
"When I said I had no need to clone you, though perhaps I might help you regain an ability you'd lost, the option was put forth to create... her." Obi-Wan's smile was gentle as he looked down at the child in his arms. "I would normally have consulted you before taking such a drastic step, but time was of the essence and, as I wasn't supposed to be on Kamino, I had no way of doing so safely," he looked up to meet her gaze, his own solemn. "I thought... perhaps it better to ask your forgiveness rather than seek permission lest we lose the opportunity."
Aala's head was reeling as Obi-Wan continued.
"They combined the genetic material gleaned from your hair - which I am told was more than sufficient - and mine and she is what occurred. No growth hormones, no tampering with her genetic structure beyond a mixture of DNA; just pure genetic bonding."
"Then she's... she's..." Aala put one hand to her mouth as she realized what Obi-Wan was telling her, her throat closing before she could utter words she'd never thought to think let alone say.
He nodded, confirming it for her. "She's our daughter, Aala. Miracle Naberrie."
Tears flooded her eyes as she reached one trembling hand towards the infant, unable to think of a better name. For the little being in Obi-Wan's arms was a miracle; she never should have come to be. "Miracle."
Drawing her closer as Aala gently brushed her finger tips over their daughter's cheek, Obi-Wan's lips found her cheek. He sighed softly, nuzzling her gently with his face, his breath caressing her skin. "These last months have been torture without you, Aala," he murmured. "I've missed you so much."
His words were like a balm to her wounded soul as she leaned into his kiss, his touch, letting out a shuddering breath, her own admission barely a whisper, a testament to too many long nights spent alone. "I've missed you too, Obi-Wan."
They sat there for a long time, Aala's hand moving to cover his, their fingers twining together on Miracle's chest, her head on his shoulder, his free hand stroking Aala's hair.
It was that rhythm that lulled her back to sleep, content in his arms.
Waking the following morning was a near painful experience as Aala snapped into nearly full alertness with a rustle of fabric and a murmur that could have been her own. She sat bolt upright as the images of the previous evening inundated her, his name on her lips. "Obi-Wan!"
There was no answer to her call and she swallowed hard, looking around, unable to see him or... or... it was nearly a physically painful thing to think of that tiny, perfect baby. Had she dreamed it? Rubbing her hands over her face, she looked about and was startled to find herself back in her bed.
Quickly tossing the covers back, she practically sprang from the bed to dart, fleet of foot, down the hallway without pausing to fix her hair or grab her robe, and into the living room. The sight that greeted her drew her up short, relief flooding her as she realized she hadn't dreamt it; that last night had been real.
For Obi-Wan was walking across one bay of windows, dressed in a tunic and slacks she'd never before seen, a small, squirming bundle in his arm as he gently spoke to it.
"You don't want to wake your mother, do you Mir," he admonished softly, his love for the child evident in every syllable. "She was exhausted and needed her sleep. Yes she did. That's a good girl..."
He lifted his head, turning to face her and she could see he held a small bottle to the greedy infant's lips. "Good morning, Aala; did you sleep well?"
His smile for her was as soft and just as heartfelt as it had been for their daughter. Their daughter. Tears flooded her eyes and she lifted her hands to her lips, struggling to hold them at bay as she approached him. Obi-Wan met her half way, understanding written in every line of his features. "Sit," he urged her softly, nodding to the couch, "You'll want to hold her."
"Please." Suddenly she wanted nothing more. "Oh please."
He nodded again to the couch where she promptly sat. Obi-Wan joined her and, as she angled her arms, gently transferred Miracle, bottle and all, to her mother. Aala's throat closed as Miracle waved twin fists in demand, gurgling as she fed, a smile appearing as she stared up at her parents.
"She knows you."
Obi-Wan, his hands now free, pulled a holo from his pocket and flipped it on, revealing her image. "I had the Kaminoans show her this while playing a recording of your voice through her growth periods; I didn't want her to spend a moment without you."
Touched, she blinked back more tears. "And you?"
"I visited while she was growing," he admitted. "Not often, but enough she knows my voice. Don't you, darling?"
Miracle gurgled again, latching on to one of Obi-Wan's fingers as he stroked her cheek and holding tight, making both adults laugh, sharing a smile, their heads close together over the baby.
"She's... she's so perfect, Obi-Wan." Bending, Aala brushed a gentle kiss over the baby's forehead. Mindful of the lessons learned while caring for Luke and Leia, she gently righted Miracle, accepting the cloth Obi-Wan handed her and placed it over her shoulder before gently rubbing the baby's back. Miracle squirmed a little before burping, a satisfied sound followed by an exhausted sigh that had her eyes closing as Aala drew her back into her arms.
"I know she's not traditionally-"
"She's our daughter," Aala cut in fiercely, "no matter how she came to be and you... I never dreamed... I didn't..."
"You didn't want children," he finished her sentence. "I know it's not very often a father has to spring an unplanned child on their mother. It's a lot to take in and, much as I wish otherwise, I will not be able to be here all the time. As I said last night, I had to make the decision on the spot." He paused, searching her expression. "If it's too much, if it's not what you want, I'm sure Bail would help-"
"Never," her arms tightened protectively about the baby, making her fuss until she loosened her grip, pushing to her feet to walk with her, Obi-Wan falling into step. "I was so young when I said that, I didn't know... No." she told him firmly, knowing tears were sparkling in her eyes and not caring. "To have this baby; our baby is..."
"Is a miracle." He agreed. They pulled up short and he lifted one hand to her cheek to brush away her tears. "You look... radiant, darling."
"Do I?" demurred Aala, rubbing her hand along Miracle's spine. She knew she was beaming, her heart already having completely accepted her daughter; their daughter. "It's your fault."
"A blame I will gladly shoulder," he cupped her face in his hand and gently brushed a kiss over her lips, Miracle between them as he slid an arm about her waist. "Motherhood agrees with you."
Their eyes locked and then, almost as one, dropped to the baby on her chest in time to see her little mouth open with a huge yawn. He chuckled softly as she sighed and murmured incoherently. "She's due for a nap now that she's eaten; her carrier is behind the chair. Wait here."
His hands slipped from her and Aala watched him walk towards the only chair in her sitting room. "We'll have to get a proper bassinet," she noted in an aside as Obi-Wan collected the carrier.
He flipped a few toggles and levers, transforming it into a bassinet that would do for now and Aala gently, reluctantly, placed the baby within. Now that she had her, she didn't want to let her go even to sleep.
Obi-Wan helped her fuss over Miracle's coverings, sharing a smile at another of her adorable little yawns. "She has her mother's lips." He teased gently.
"And her father's eyes."
"Thankfully your chin; but I say she must have Kenobi cheekbones."
"She couldn't be better blessed," Aala laughed softly. Picking up the bassinet, she moved it to minimize the disruptions to the child, carrying it to her chambers. Obi-Wan was on her heels, watching as she fussed and Aala found she didn't mind. This felt different, but right somehow.
Only when she straightened, did he approach, sliding his arms about her waist from behind to brush his lips across her cheek. His words were soft. "Happy life-day, Aala."
She turned in his embrace, reaching up to wrap her arms about his neck as she planted a long, lingering kiss on his lips. "And I have never," she told him huskily, her eyes shining as she pulled back to look up at him lovingly, "had a better one."