Author's Note: Hello all! Queen here, for the moment. Welcome to another co-authored story! Each ficlet in this collection is the result of a story challenge. So though they all share the same theme, they're all a little different from each other.

Each ficlet is written by a different author. Check under the individual ficlet title to see which Star Wars: The Clone Wars author wrote that particular story.

The challenge was: Warmth. It's cold outside in the GFFA. Get your character/s of choice to warm up!



Baby, It's Cold Outside

Only Hope

(by: laloga)

It was cold in space.

There was nothing in his field of vision but black, empty void, and the weight of the entire galaxy pressed upon his heart. Obi-Wan Kenobi stood at the viewport of the shuttle that he'd hired for this task and watched the sandy-colored planet as it grew larger and larger; he knew that within a few minutes he'd be dirtside again, and his mission – his last mission, his most important mission – would begin in earnest.

For now he had nothing to do but wait.

The shuttle was an older model, ill-equipped for the rigors of hyperspace travel, and as such the environmental controls did not work as they should, which accounted for the omnipresent, overwhelming cold of the passenger cabin. The vessel's pilot, a thick-furred Talz, wasn't overly concerned about the temperature, but Obi-Wan had been unable to stop shivering for the last hour or so of the journey, and a part of him was actually glad that he was headed to a desert planet with two suns.

But he had hardly given himself a thought, not really. Not when he held something so precious in his arms. Looking down, he smiled as Luke's head turned, his pink rosebud lips slightly pursed, as if the infant was in deep contemplation.

Unraveling the mysteries of the universe, little one?

Obi-Wan didn't speak the words; he'd hardly spoken at all since-

Blinking, he glanced out of the viewport again. Tatooine drew closer, but the shuttle was slow and he knew that it would be a few minutes before they arrived. He sighed and looked back at the baby in his arms, whose eyes were still closed even as his tiny face had turned completely towards Obi-Wan's tunic.

As the Jedi watched, Luke's face scrunched in the manner it did when he was about to cry, and Obi-Wan was instantly on alert, running through a mental checklist of the baby's needs in order to figure out what was wrong. Luke had eaten not long ago, and his diaper – from what Obi-Wan could tell – was still fresh.

With the more obvious concerns accounted for, Obi-Wan took a breath and reached into the Force, thankful for the ability to discern Luke's moods and emotions in this way; he had no idea how "normal" people handled these situations, but intended to make the most of the resources available to him while he could. It only took an instant before he realized what was troubling the infant.

Even wrapped in a soft, cream-colored blanket and resting in the Jedi's arms, Luke was cold.

It was such an obvious problem that Obi-Wan almost felt chagrin for not thinking of it immediately, though in retrospect he knew he had many other matters that were vying for his mental energy right now. In any case, as soon as he registered the fact, he did what felt right.

Carefully holding the baby with one, secure arm, Obi-Wan unfolded his own robe and parted the fabric of his outer tunic before slipping Luke gently between the layers; once he made sure the infant could breathe, he wrapped the outer tunic, then his robe, then his own arms, over the tiny body, so Luke was pressed against the undertunic that covered his chest. Within moments, the inchoate cry of the baby ebbed, then stopped altogether, and Obi-Wan exhaled in relief, his breath fluttering the downy-soft hair on Luke's head. One thing was right, anyway. One thing was good.

Thankful for this, Obi-Wan inhaled Luke's warm, new-baby scent, then glanced up, out the viewport, as Tatooine came nearer; the dark swell of space that had been so present on this journey was receding in the wake of the bright, sandy-colored planet.

His gaze was pulled away again when Luke made a gurgling, baby-sound that could have easily been a request for food as one for attention, but Obi-Wan knew it was the latter of the two. His arms tightened around the infant, the silent gesture conveying what he knew words would not: I am here for you, little one. I will always be here for you.

In his arms, Luke made another noise, a quiet hmm as if in acknowledgment, and he rested his cheek against Obi-Wan's chest, above the place that sheltered the Jedi's heavy heart.

Oddly enough, with the addition of that new burden on his body, some of the heaviness lifted and he was flooded with warmth.

There was hope.

In addition to the existing parameters of the challenge, I wanted to write a ficlet that contained space, a bond that was not romantic, and a character that I've never written before. I know the setting is not quite TCW era, but hopefully within a few days of the end of the Clone Wars is close enough. ;)

Thanks for reading!