The nerves and the terror and the excitement on the base was tangible. They’d just found out that the Empire has built a second Death Star and that the Emperor was going to be on it. In the frantic bustle that consumed Mon Motha’s ship Kallus missed that Hera had come over to talk to him until she tapped him on the shoulder.
“Would you mind watching him for a bit?” She asked, her breathe rising in a slight panic. She motioned to the young green haired boy who was tightly clasped her hand. It was far from the first time she’d asked this of him and it was always with the unspoken parting promise that he would keep looking after him if she didn’t come back. But even by their standards they knew full well that this mission was going to be harder than most.
“Of course.” Kallus answered. Hera nodded grateful before kneeling down so that she could look directly into her sons eyes for what they all hoped wasn’t the last time.
“Be good for Uncle Zeb and Uncle Kallus.” Hera said as she pulled Jacen fiercely against her chest.
Uncle. The title still felt strange to him. Kallus had never thought he’d have much in the way of family. His grandparents had died before he was born and he’d never had any siblings. His own parents had been decent but distant although after his defection he daoubted the only reason he’d ever see them again would he so that they could formally disown him.
“I will. Love you Mummy!” Jacen said his arms also held tighter around his mothers neck than usual. Perhaps the four year old could understand more about the situation than they’d thought. Or maybe he was reacting to his mothers fear. They had all subconsciously been on the look out for anything to suggest that the boy had inherited his father’s gifts but there had been nothing concrete to prove either way yet. And Hera had been keeping him away from Luke so that she wouldn’t know for certain. After what happened to Kanan and Ezra, Kallus couldn’t blame her.
With one long look over her shoulder Hera left to organise the air assault with General Calrissian.
Jacen lifted up his arms in Kallus’ direction in the universal declaration of “up!”
Kallus shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry my leg isn’t feeling very well today.”
It was the reason that he was staying in Mon Mother’s ship. His leg had never been the same since Bahyrn and after being tortured by Thrawn and years of fighting it had only gotten worse. He suspected that it would need to be amputated eventually.
“Come on lets go and find Uncle Zeb.” Kallus said distracting him.
“Yay ‘Eb!” At only four years d Jacen still hand quite mastered the art of pronouncing the letter ‘Z’. Kallus thought it was asorable.
Jacen happily took his hand as Kallus lead him around the ship. It was odd the have a child trust him with faithful innocence. Kallus dreaded the day that the young boy was old enough to understand the horrors that he’d committed.
“Can we do cooking?” Jacen asked excitably. Since Kallus was the only member of the Ghost crew capable of making food that was above the standard of being technically edible he’d become I charge of making most of the meals for them and half of the rebellion sometimes since the fuel they served in the mess Hall was almost bad enough to make people want to join the Empire. He usually let Jacen watch and sometimes even help even if it was just letting him stir or lick the spoon (that was probably the kids favourite part).
“Maybe later.” Kallus said hoping that when later came t was under a rebel’s victory.
He spotted Zeb as finished giving Captain -no Commander Rex a hug before the clone left to lead the ground assault with General Solo.
Kallus watched as Zeb looked forlornly after them. The lasat has to stay with him on Mon Mothma’s ship since a seven foot purple lasat wouldn’t exactly blend in with Endor’s green forests.
He brightened up though when he spotted Kallus and Jacen headed towards him.
“Hiya squirt.” Zeb said ruffling the kids hair.
“Uncle ‘Eb up!”
With an obviously exaggerated grown Zeb lifted the boy up so that he could sit on his shoulders. It was his favourite place to be besides with his mother on the Ghost. The boy stayed there for most of the Battle as Zeb and Kallus ordered troops around from the ship. After a few hours Jacen started to doze off. Zeb had forced Kallus had been forced to sit down since his leg was about to give way again after being stood up for so long.
“Don’t worry you can still boss people around from your chair.” Zeb resasured him with a chuckle before placing Jacen’s limp form beside him so that the boy’s head rested in his good leg. With the battle still raging strong there wasn’t any time for Kallus to argue. He spent the rest of it from his chair with one hand directing orders and the other gently stroking Jacen’s hair.
When the fighting stopped Kallus was so exhausted he was nearly ready to join Jacen in dream land. Kallus sensed it when Zeb came to stand behind them so that he could gaze down at the sight beneath him. Ever since Jacen had been born they’d thought about having one of their own and now that the war was over there was a chance of those dreams becoming a reality.
“Hera said something about stopping caninalism and getting Han Solo to give up his manhood before picking up Jacen.” Zeb told him. He then placed his hand on Kallus’ shoulder who felt the nerves radiating thriving his paw.
“After she picks him up there’s someplace I wanna take you. If you want to go that is. You don’t have to-“
“Garazeb Orrelios.” Kallus breathed, rolling his ‘R’s in the way that Zeb had taught him.
“You made me follow the answers to the questions that I had denied myself to ask for years. I then followed you to the rebellion. I’ll follow you wherever you go.” Kallus said placing a gentle kiss to the back of his hand.
Once they left Jacen in the arms of his mother Zeb took Kallus towards a new chapter in their life.