“I would ask your assistance,” Ahsoka spoke as she took a seat beside him at the bar, waving the bartender away when he started to come over.
Ezra wasn’t surprised that she’d been able to track him down. It had taken years to make his way back from wild space to civilization and he’d come back to a galaxy changed for the better, but one he didn’t fit into nearly so neatly. Now the battles were being waged mostly with words, political maneuverings that made his head spin as the major players tried to rebuild some sort of a functional galactic government from the rubble the Empire had left behind. He had made his reunions with the people who were important to him, so it wasn’t as thought he was trying to hide, he’d just not let it become a big deal that he was still alive.
“I’ll admit I’m a little worried what kind of problem you might be dealing with that you need to come to me for help,” Ezra spoke easily, smiling a little. He wouldn’t want to go back to the way things were before, but he’d be lying if he tried to deny the thrill of anticipation.
“It’s not a dangerous one, or shouldn’t be. It’s just something I would prefer not to handle alone.” Ahsoka watched him, and Ezra suddenly got the impression she wasn’t being reticent out of a desire to keep him in the dark so much as… embarrassment? A reluctance to having to admit to needing help maybe? That sparked his curiosity more than anything.
“Then you’ve got my help,” Ezra finished off his beer, sliding a credit to the bartender. He didn’t drink much, but it was a chance to go out and be social and work on building a new sort of life where he didn’t stand out quite so much.
Ezra wouldn’t have guessed that the assistance Ahsoka needed seemed to just be moving in with him. At times he was tempted to ask if she’d only needed a place to stay, but after some thought he decided that didn’t make much sense. Her ship may not have been new and shiny enough to draw envy, but it was well maintained, and no matter how many connections might have been lost during the war against the Empire he was certain she could have gone to dozens of people who’d put her up in far more luxury than he could manage. Training and working with dydelphs wasn’t glamorous exactly, but it paid enough to support himself and he liked spending time with them. He also liked that the worst he ever had to ask of them was to deal with a scary piece of harmless equipment, the fuzzy quadrupeds were this planet’s beast of burden and transportation. They may not have been nearly as impressive as fathiers, but they were good natured, if stubborn, and being able to tell them exactly what he wanted them to do made things easy.
But Ahsoka hadn’t gone to any of the dozens of other people, she’d gone to him. They’d cleared out the tiny spare room he’d been halfway considering putting up shelves in for the knick knacks he manages to always acquire and she’d moved in and for the time that seemed to be it. Ezra was fairly certain it might be some test of patience, and so he didn’t press for answers no matter how much it annoyed him.
Ezra wasn’t sure what had awakened him and he lay quietly in his bed, blinking up at the ceiling. For a minute he wondered if he was just used to getting up early for work, and even with the opportunity to sleep in a bit he still ended up waking up not long after he’d usually be up and leaving. After a moment, thought, he heard a small sound from the ‘fresher and he rolled over, curiosity satisfied. Ahsoka was either asleep or unsocial most mornings and he didn’t see her before he left, which suited him just fine. He wasn’t exactly the best company in the mornings anyway, but no doubt the sound of someone else moving around had been enough to wake him up. He was just relaxing back to sleep when he heard noise again, muffled by the wall but unmistakably the sound of someone being sick.
That was enough to have Ezra sitting up, brushing his shaggy hair out of his eyes and then rubbing the sleep from them as he hauled himself out of the bed. He was halfway out of his room before he paused, his thoughts catching up with him. If Ahsoka needed his help she’d have woken him, right? He hesitated, waffling between if he should pretend he didn’t hear the sounds or if he should check on her before he decided to at least see if the ‘fresher door was locked.
The door opened at his touch and he wasn’t too surprised to see Ahsoka kneeling in front of the toilet, hunched miserably over it in the universal posture of someone waiting to see if things are going to continue or improve. Ezra stepped across the small space, reaching to put a hand on the small of her back, clear since her back lekku had shifted to the side. He didn’t know what to do really. It wasn’t as though he could offer to hold her hair back when she didn’t have any. Ahsoka gave him a wan smile anyway.
"Can I get you anything?” Ezra finally offered. “Something to wash your mouth out maybe? I, uh, huh. I can’t remember if we have any anti-nausea meds. I could go out and get some though.”
“No, I don’t think medicine will be necessary. Some of the fizz in the fridge would be nice though, if you don’t mind,” Ahsoka sounded quiet, but composed, and Ezra rubbed a small circle on her back before he straightened up.
“Yeah, I can do that,” he said, glad to have at least something to do. It only took a minute to go to the fridge and select one of the bottles and bring it back, and in the short time Ahsoka had sat back up, looking tired but a little less miserable.
“Here,” Ezra offered her the bottle and she took it gratefully, taking small sips.
“I’m sorry if I woke you,” Ahsoka said softly, sighing. It was rather impressive that she still managed to look fairly dignified in the loose fitting shirt and pants that she wore as pajamas, sitting on the ‘fresher rug. It was still a lot more vulnerable than Ezra was used to seeing her, Ahsoka and vulnerable never seemed like they should go together and he found he didn’t like it too much.
“It’s fine, I’m usually up earlier than this anyway. Do you need any help back to bed? I, ah, I think I’ve got a clean bucket around here somewhere if you’re worried. At least you can be comfortable in your own bed if you’re sick?” Ezra asked, he knew if given the choice he’d rather not spend too long kneeling in the ‘fresher.
“No to the bucket, but yes to the other part if you don’t mind,” Ahsoka spoke with resignation, reaching up to him and after a beat Ezra belatedly took her hand, helping support her as she stood. “I should be well enough in a little while.”
“Are you sure?” Ezra couldn’t help but press. Ahsoka hadn’t eaten anything unusual that he knew of, and stomach bugs tended to be vicious things that rarely subsided after just one visit to the ‘fresher.
“You don’t need to worry about me, Ezra,” Ahsoka gave him a tired smile, but Ezra could feel some things starting to click into place.
That wasn’t the first bottle of fizz that had appeared in the fridge, they changed out fairly frequently even though Ezra never touched them and he never actually saw Ahsoka drink any of them. Ahsoka had been surprisingly subdued since she moved in, there was Jedi (or sort-of-Jedi) calm and then there was… he wouldn’t go so far to say listless but it was certainly off enough to be noted. That coupled with the sense of resignation at her current predicament was starting to add up in a way Ezra wasn’t sure he liked.
“You’re ill, aren’t you?” Ezra finally just came out and asked, as Ahsoka sat down on her bed. “I mean not like just a quick stomach bug or bad food, but something serious. That’s why you came to me for help, isn’t it?”
“I’m not ill, not exactly,” Ahsoka hedged, and Ezra didn’t think that sounded as firm a no as he would have liked. “What makes you say that?”
“You’ve been off since you moved in, you’re tired a lot more than I would expect, and you don’t really seem surprised at throwing up like this. Which would make sense if you’ve been using the fizz in the fridge as a home remedy for nausea all this time,” Ezra spoke slowly, the only question that still didn’t fit was why him? If it was something she was hoping they could use the Force to heal why hadn’t she said anything earlier? And if not, there were dozens of better places to get medical care. Unless she didn’t intend on getting medical care… “You’re not dying, are you?” Ezra asked, unable to keep the horror out of his voice.
“What? No!” That startled a soft laugh out of Ahsoka. “At least I hope not. I’m pregnant. I just hadn’t figured out the best way to explain things yet and I was putting it off. I knew I couldn’t put it off indefinetly, but...” She shrugged a little, and Ezra felt himself relax before it hit him and he blushed a little. Oh. Well.
Things made a little more sense as to why she might be seeking the help of someone who was currently on a backwater outer rim planet and wasn’t terribly social. If word got out she might be vulnerable to attack then it could put her in danger, and even if that wasn’t a concern considering how long she’d taken to get around to telling him it might not be the sort of thing she wanted to talk about or explain depending on how she ended up in that situation.
“That… ok, that explains a lot.” Ezra found himself smiling a little, even if he was still flushed with embarassment.
“I would prefer it wasn’t common knowledge,” Ahsoka said, and Ezra nodded.
“I kind of figured that part. It might get harder to hide from the locals, but I don’t think any of them really know who you are. I told the other workers at the ranch that you were an old friend of mine, and I think any conclusions they drew about who else you might be were not exactly ‘Ahsoka Tano, former Jedi and Rebellion Hero’ conclusions,” Ezra said matter of factly, which got him a tired chuckle in response.
“I’m sure. Former heroes should be spending their time doing something other than mucking out dydelph stalls?” Ahsoka gently teased.
“Thankfully most of the time I don’t have to do that part unless we’re shorthanded, but yeah,” Ezra said.
“If anything, that assumption isn’t too bad a cover,” Ahsoka said after a moment, sounding like she was thinking things over.
“We are thinking of the same assumption, right?” Ezra asked.
“If I’m assumed to be your lover or wife, then a pregnancy is hardly unusual. It’s worth thinking about.” Ahsoka shrugged a little, she was already sounding a good bit better, which Ezra was fairly sure made sense for morning sickness.
“Yeah. In the mean time now that I do know, you can tell me if you need anything like more fizz. Or... I don’t know. What do togrutas usually need during pregnancy?” Ezra said, mostly just thinking the last bit out loud.
That got a startled look from Ahsoka. “To tell the truth, I’m not entirely sure.”
“What do you mean you’re not sure?” Ezra blinked at her.
“I assumed it would go much like what I know of human pregnancy,” Ahsoka quietly admitted, caught off guard for the first time since Ezra had ever known her.
Ezra tried not to groan. “Alright, then the first thing I can do for you is to find out about togruta pregnancy.”
“That’s… probably a wise idea,” Ahsoka nodded a little, and Ezra reached out to pat her shoulder.
“Just leave it to me.”
Togruta pregnancies, Ezra quickly found out, required meat. A lot of it, and actual meat was better than even the best protein rations. That was likely even one of the reasons for the morning sickness, artificially constructed protein wasn’t as easy to digest for her, and once he started making sure she had better food the nausea stopped almost entirely. Ezra was grateful, and even more grateful that the planet had an abundance of animals raised for food, it wasn’t nearly as expensive as it would have been on a planet that had to import a lot of its foodstuff.
There were some other differences between human and togruta that he wouldn’t have suspected. Togruta, for example, were a lot more likely to lose a pregnancy when stressed. Ezra worried about that for about all of five minutes, then figured if regular people could handle it then someone with Jedi training wouldn’t have any problems keeping themselves calm.
Even knowing that Ahsoka was pregnant and having researched everything related to it until his eyes crossed, it still caught him by surprise the first time he noticed the slight curve of her normally flat belly. Up until that point it was almost a hypothetical, and somehow seeing the physical proof was an odd feeling.
He tried not to think about it too much, not when it might make things stranger between them. As it was they had settled into an easy sort of acquaintanceship that was sliding into a real friendship. It had been a while, he realized, since he could talk to someone who truly understood some of his more unusual stories, and he wondered if she felt the same.
She came out to watch him at work once, as he stood out in the corral with a small herd of juvenile dydelphs. He was halfway ready to tell off whoever had come to bother him, he had a reputation for not liking to be bothered when he was in with the animals, but the protest died in his throat when he saw who it was. It wasn’t like Ahsoka would comment on his more unusual looking training methods, and she was unlikely to be a negative distraction to them.
“So this is what you do?” Ahsoka asked, leaning on the fence as the breeze tugged at her loose fitting clothing. She was still early enough along that the clothing she favored didn’t make things too obvious, but she didn’t seem to be makng any effort to hide things either. Several of the dydelphs clustered around the fence where she was, staying just out of arm’s reach but obviously curious about their visitor, stamping hooflike paws and switching their tufted tails.
“Part of it. These guys have been running wild with their mothers and herdmates and haven’t had much contact with people. I’ll be working with them to get them tamed down for a while,” Ezra explained, still moving around among the creatures. At the moment the only Force ability he needed was reading the herd, making sure nothing spooked them.
“I’m sure that goes quickly,” Ahsoka said with a smile, and Ezra grinned back.
“Not so quickly as to make people wonder, but I do have a knack for it.” He paused as one ruddy brown individual, a little bolder than the rest, came up to snuffle at his hair with its short snout. He moved slowly, stroking over its neck until it snorted and danced away, more affronted than upset.
“I’d be surprised if you didn’t,” Ahsoka said with a chuckle, and then her smile softened. “You’re happy like this.”
“I guess I am,” Ezra said, a little surprised to find it true. Animals were easier to deal with than people, but he had enough people to talk with that he didn’t get lonely even if he wasn’t coming home to Ahsoka every night. “You don’t exactly look like this is awful either.”
“So far it’s been more pleasant than I expected,” Ahsoka said lightly, still leaning on the fence.
She’s beautiful. The thought came unbidden, startling Ezra. Ahsoka wasn’t… he never really… She may have been aesthetically attractive, but that was different. She was a grown woman and he… well, even if he’d had to start shaving to keep from looking too scruffy he had trouble sometimes thinking of himself as grown. It didn’t help that he’d never be considered tall, even if he didn’t have to look up quite as far to meet Ahsoka’s eyes anymore. She’d always seemed a little remote, untouchable, except that wasn’t really the case anymore, was it? They’d come a long way from Fulcrum and Specter Six.
He was lost enough in thought that he didn’t even notice the dydelph who’d managed to sneak up behind him and bite down on his sleeve, giving it a yank to see if it was edible. Ezra cursed quietly, trying not to jerk and scare the animal as he tried to free his clothing. Ahsoka just laughed at his predicament.
“I think we might have to trade bedrooms,” Ezra spoke a little glumly, looking over the measurements one more time as if they might suddenly change to be more optimistic. The room Ahsoka had taken hadn’t been intended as a bedroom, but the narrow bunk had fit in without any issue. The only problem was, Ahsoka was reaching the point she wasn’t fitting the bunk.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t think this would be an issue,” Ahsoka apologized, resting a hand on the small of her back. She was doing that a lot more lately. Ezra didn’t want to bring attention to the fact he’s noticed, but as her belly grew Ahsoka was developing a whole list of little quirks that hinted as to things being more uncomfortable than she was willing to let on. “I don’t want to kick you out of your own bedroom.”
“I know, but a bigger bed’s not going to fit in here, and the one in my room’s huge,” Ezra pointed out. That was the one nice thing about living planetside in a place like this, space wasn’t quite such a premium. If he’d known he wasn’t going to be living alone he could have found a bigger place, but this was more than enough for just him. And having a bed large enough to sprawl out as far as he could without hitting a wall or dangling over the side had been an unexpectedly nice luxury. Well, he could survive a few months of slightly less luxury.
“Thank you,” Ahsoka sounded relieved as well as grateful and it was enough to make Ezra feel slightly guilty for his reluctance to give up his room.
“I can start moving your things over,” Ezra offered, to make up for it a little.
“I can help, I’m not exactly an invalid like this you know,” Ahsoka said, going to grab some of the pillows off the bed. It helped that there wasn’t a great deal to move. Other than a few changes of clothing and a few personal items she didn’t have much. They were both used to traveling light.
“I know you’re not, if you absolutely had to you could still probably kick my ass in a training spar, it’d just be a lot more uncomfortable for you,” Ezra said with absolute sincerity. Ahsoka was pregnant, but she was still a predatory species and a former Jedi.
“I hope we don’t have to put that to the test,” Ahsoka laughed softly as they both worked.
“There we go, now you’ve got plenty of room,” Ezra offered her help easing down onto the bed, pillows arranged to help support her comfortably.
“This is a lot nicer, thank you.” Ahsoka sighed, relaxing into the pillows. Her loose fitting shirt had ridden up as she got comfortable, and several inches of rounded orange belly showed. Ezra found himself looking over the strip of skin curiously.
Ahsoka followed his gaze, shifting a little. “You’ve never asked to touch,”
Ezra startled just a little, flushing before he realized what she was referring to. “It always seemed a little rude. Do people actually do that?”
“A surprising number of people do. Some don’t even ask, and they always look so insulted when I grab their wrists and stop them,” Ahsoka laughed softly at that.
“That’s ridiculous.” Ezra shook his head at that, trying to picture it and failing.
“You could if you wanted though.” Ahsoka settled her own hand at the top of the swell. “You’re obviously curious.”
“I… yeah,” Ezra couldn’t think of a good way to agree that didn’t sound even more awkward, so he moved instead. He leaned to cup his hand against the curve of her belly, on top of her shirt.
It shouldn’t have been any different from touching her anywhere, but he was surprised at the sudden intimacy of it, the rush of heat, and he started trailing his hand down over it, stroking his thumb over the exposed skin.
Ahsoka drew in a breath and Ezra abruptly realized what he was doing and that he had been far too mentally open for that. He knew better than that, it had just been too long since he was in physical contact with a person rather than an animal.
“Sorry, I’m sorry. Yeah, we can just pretend that didn’t happen?” Ezra’s face felt hot and he really should have known better.
“You want me, like this,” Ahsoka sounded surprised, but not angry or disgusted or any of the things Ezra feared, and he risked a glance at her face. She looked puzzled, and a little curious.
“I… I do. I’m sorry if that’s weird. You came to me for help with this, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.” The last thing Ezra wanted to do was to chase her off like this.
“You don’t make me uncomfortable. I believe… I would like it if you kept touching me,” Ahsoka sounded like she was thinking things through, but there was no real doubt in her voice and Ezra hesitated, then reached out again. This time he was a little bolder, sliding his hand under her shirt to touch over the expanse of warm skin.
“This is amazing, you’re amazing,” Ezra murmured, only half aware that he was talking. “You’re making ilfe like this. It’s beautiful.”
“A lot of people can do things like this,” Ahsoka pointed out softly, sounding distracted.
“But none of them are here, we are.” Ezra decided to keep going, leaning in to press a soft kiss to her belly. She made a soft sound at that, and tentatively he opened himself back up. He wasn’t sure what he expected to feel from her, but the low ache of desire was a welcome surprise. He tugged her shirt up, stroking over the lighter colored stretch marks on the side of her belly where she had grown out faster than her skin could accommodate. When he started touching up higher though she moved to take his hand. He froze, worried that he’d done something wrong.
“I’ve been, ah, sore,” Ahsoka said.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Ezra promised, leaning in to kiss her instead.
Ahsoka pressed into the kiss eagerly, her fangs scraping at his bottom lip in a way that sent a shiver down Ezra’s spine. There was a low undercurrent of need that teased at his awareness, too mixed to tell if it was him or her or both when they were close like this. He touched over her belly again, stroking and touching and then dipping his hand lower to the waistband of her pants. He broke the kiss then, flushing a little.
“I don’t, ah...” Ezra tried to think of a good way to explain.
“It’s fine, it’s not the sort of thing that gets covered in the usual Jedi teachings, but you’re a quick learner,” Ahsoka spoke teasingly as she reached to help him get her pants tugged down and off.
“Right.” Ezra smiled at that and stroked over the exposed swell of her hip, and the started getting his own clothes off. It was harder with an audience, and he was acutely aware of her watching him fumble and tug, but there wasn’t any sense of mockery. It was entirely his own self-consciousness and once he finally got his own pants off he was settling onto the bed beside her, leaning in to kiss her again.
That part was easy, soft lips and sharp fangs and the slick wet heat of her tongue as she moaned low in her throat. She took his hand, guiding it back to between her legs and he touched tentatively, lightly stroking over her smooth slit. She squirmed then, unable to really rock up against him and put her hand over his to press more firmly. He took the hint, letting her guide him to explore her soft folds with her fingertip, pressing and rubbing in a way that had her jerking her hips and biting back a curse in a much better way.
“I’m sensitive like this,” Ahsoka murmured, a little breathless, breaking Ezra’s focus for a moment.
“I remember skimming those parts when I was looking things up, but it seemed a little… um, disrespectful to think about at the time?” Ezra gave her a smile and got a please huff of laughter.
“It’s not disrespectful now, don’t stop,” Ahsoka urged him when he realized he’d stopped rubbing with the distraction.
He kept going, watching her face and taking in each and every breathless sound she made, feeling how slick she was getting as she got more frantic. It caught them both by surprise when she suddenly stiffened, trembling and toes curling as she sucked in a breath, caught up in waves of pleasure.
“You’re beautiful like this,” Ezra said, still watching her and trying to ignore how hard he was and how much he ached.
Ahsoka pulled him close for another kiss, lazier this time and Ezra tried not to moan against her lips. “I want you to fuck me.”
“Are you sure? You kind of already...” Ezra waved a hand, aware he was probably being an idiot for protesting, but he didn’t want Ahsoka insisting on it if she wasn’t going to enjoy it.
“I’m sure, the second time just takes a little longer, but it’s worth it,” Ahsoka stroked down his back with just the hint of nails and Ezra shivered.
It took a little careful positioning with her belly in the way, but when Ezra was finally able to ease into her it took everything he had not to just slam in to the hilt.
“Ah.. Ahsoka, feels...” Ezra couldn’t even properly articulate it, but he knew she’d get the gist from the faint Force connection between them. Hot and snug around him and perfect as he rocked in with a low moan. He braced over her, her belly pressed lightly against his as he moved, losing himself in the sensations. He wanted it to last for hours, and he didn’t think he could stand it for very long at the same time. It was too much and not quite enough and he panted for breath, not able to stop the whimpers he made with each thrust.
He could feel the buildup this time, almost unbearably slow and far too much to stand and then he was biting back a cry as she tightened around him and he came hard, buried deep inside her.
Ezra came down from it slowly, trembling and remembering to flop in the bed beside her instead of onto her. It still felt hard to think, but in a pleasurable way. He felt blown, shaky, and he pressed his cheek to her shoulder without thinking about it.
“I guess you don’t have to feel guilty about kicking me out of my bed if we end up sharing it?” Ezra finally managed after a long minute of silence. He held his breath, waiting on the answer. If this was just a one time thing, blowing off some tension, he’d be disappointed but he wouldn’t press the issue.
“I think there’s enough room for all of us,” Ahsoka replied without needing more than a moment to think about it, and Ezra grinned.
They fell asleep like that, exhausted and tucked close. Much later Ezra finally stirred, Ahsoka had turned towards him in her sleep and one of her long lekku was draped over his chest. He stroked over it idly, just petting and feeling the suede-textured skin under his fingers. There were still a lot of questions that didn’t have answers, like what was going to happen. He’d never asked how long she was staying, or what she was planning to do when the baby came, or if she even wanted this kind of life. He wasn’t sure if she decided to take off again if he’d be welcome to tag along, or if he’d even want to.
But until then this was perfect, he was happy, and a crib would probably fit into the storage room even better than a bunk had.