Maul Kills the Rabbit
by Tzigana firstname.lastname@example.org
and RebVe email@example.com
[Read Tzigana's author bio] [Read Rebve's author bio]
Disclaimer and credits etc: George owns all things Star Wars. We just buy his action figures and put them in interesting positions. George still gets all the money. Siubhan created the playground we call Sith Academy. Thanks to Perilous for spiny bloodfruit, Salana Mniall for the horror that is the Coruscant HMO, and various mothers for their assistance (albeit unknowing) in Maul's err...experience. No rabbits were harmed in the making of this tale.
Darth Sidious backed away, amazed at the sounds coming from his apprentice's bathroom. Maul must have really over done it at the Grey Side last night. He returned to the living room and proceeded inexplicably to scritch the cat.
Minutes later, Maul emerged from the bathroom. Sidious decided he looked a little bit pale under the tattoos.
"Good morning, my young apprentice. Feeling a little hung over?"
"Excuse me? I'm sure you don't mean to be rude to your master, do you?"
Maul stretched out on the couch, flung an arm over his eyes, and shrugged. Sidious stared in amazement.
Maul raised his head enough to look at his master. "How much did Mary Sue pay you?"
"What are you talking about? Are you still drunk?"
Maul suddenly sat up, eyes blazing. "PMS! How much did she pay you to stick it on me again?!?" As suddenly as the anger had come, it was gone, and he flopped back down.
Sidious considered. As much fun as it might be to play along, he had plans for his apprentice and this did not fit into those plans. "I didn't send you anyone's PMS. Is that why you're acting so strange? Snap out of it, Maul. You're not female, and you don't get PMS."
"Oh for Sith's sake, get over it. Go to the doctor and get some drugs. I suppose I can postpone my assignment until this evening. I'll expect you at my house at 7pm, ready to work." Sidious rose and swept out of the apartment.
Maul plopped down on a chair in the waiting room of the Jedi Academy Health Care Clinic. After his experiences with "Coruscant Republic Hospitals, Incorporated, a division of Jedi Health Care, Unlimited, a subsidiary of Galactic Health Care and Tire Service, itself under the jurisdiction of Freezle-bat-ugggh, Your Friendly HMO", he'd decided to try the Jedi Academy instead. They never seemed to be busy, so he wouldn't have to wait as long. Besides, they took walk-ins.
Maul amused himself by filling out the patient information forms. "Name: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Student Number: 4215497854335495544.5, Sex: often, Student Status: Padawan-Twit, Master's Name: Aging Hippie, Mother's Maiden Name: mother was never a maiden". As he expected, he only had to wait a few minutes before the nurse called "Mr. Kenobi" into an examination room. Unfortunately, the nurse immediately told him to take off all his clothes and put on a piece of paper that she insisted was a "robe".
"I have Kleenex bigger than this!"
"Sorry Mr. Kenobi, those are the rules," she chirped before returning to her desk.
Grumbling, Maul stripped and put on the piece of paper. Sitting on the examination table, he began to feel sleepy. It seemed like he was always taking naps lately. Maybe if he just shut his eyes for a minute..."Good afternoon. Your doctor am I. Dr. Yaddle you will call me."
Oh crap. Well, at least it wasn't Yoda.
After an examination that consisted of a few questions, poking a flashlight down Maul's throat, and a 'hands on' examination of his lymph nodes, (none of which was helping his intermittent nausea) the little green Jedi sat back on her stool. "Pregnant you are."
"Normal reaction, this is. Unsafe sex you have had?"
"Female I'm not!" Damn. He wished he could avoid talking like them whenever he was in their presence.
"Common misconception this is. Ha ha! Joke made I! Zabrakian you are?"
"No! I mean, I don't think so. I don't know my species."
"Hmph, then disagree with my diagnosis you will not. Pregnant you are. Or possibly Mono you have. But pretty sure I am that pregnant you are."
Maul would have stormed out of the room, but he was still only wearing a piece of paper. He tried to get up the energy to cut the little troll in half, but he was just so tired! He settled for shoving her out of the room with the Force, then threw his clothes back on and stormed out of the clinic.
"Mr. Kenobi! Don't forget your pre-natal care checklist!" chirped the nurse, but Maul ran quickly past her and out the door.
Maul stood in his bedroom stripped to the waist and pressed on his stomach. He turned sideways and looked at his reflection in the mirror. At least nothing was showing yet. His stomach muscles still rippled as usual in their common display of his manliness. At least, the common display when he'd been working out and avoiding the Ben & Jerry's. And he had been working out a lot lately. He posed a little, flexing his arm muscles for the mirror's benefit. He was hot shit.
And he was in deep shit.
If this pregnancy thing was true, and he still held strongly to the if (Yaddle's belief in her diagnosis notwithstanding), then there was only one man who could have done the deed. Maul's general choice for sex partners was women and of the few men he'd been with, only one had been allowed the superior position. And that was Kenobi.
Which meant that he was going to bear the twit's child. Of course, he hasn't been much of a twit lately. It's going to be really hard to break the habit of calling him that. Damn, this sucks.
If he were pregnant.
Maul shuddered at the thought and began to dress. He had to be at his master's in one hour and he really had to stop at the store on the way. For once, he was hungry.
"My apprentice, what are you eating?" said Sidious, in his Palpatine drag, as he greeted Maul at his front door.
Maul looked down at his hand. He knew it wasn't elegant, but was it that odd to dump cottage cheese and chunks of Mandalorian spiny bloodfruit into a bag of Fritos and eat it with a spoon? He had gotten a spoon, after all. He wouldn't want to be uncivilized.
"I call it a Curdbelly. You want some?" Maul asked, spitting bloodfruit spines into the potted plants around Sidious's door.
"No. That's quite all right, thank you. Come inside. I have a new assignment for you..."
Maul waltzed by Sidious and gagged at the overpowering smell of his master's cologne. Suddenly his Curdbelly wasn't so appetizing.
"Bathroom," he groaned and sped off into his master's fantastically marbled washroom. "HURRRRRRRRRRRRKKKKK!"
This was becoming tedious.
When he returned to the living room. Sidious pushed him down into a chair and stood over him. "What did the doctor say? It becomes very difficult to dominate you, my young apprentice, when you rush off to spew in bathrooms while I'm talking to you."
Maul scowled up at his master. "Did you really have to put on that much cologne?" he asked as tendrils of the scent drifted down to him and made him long for the bathroom again.
Sidious looked at him quizzically. "Maul, answer my question."
Maul sighed. He guessed it would come out eventually. Ha. Wasn't that the truth. "I went to the Jedi clinic and they said I'm pregnant. Congratulations, you're going to be a grandpa," he snarled.
The look on Sidious's face was almost worth it. His jaw dropped open, and his face turned a greenish yellow that could not be hidden behind the Palpatine makeup. Purple lightning sparked deep in his eyes and for a moment, Maul was actually a little afraid.
And then Sidious started to laugh.
And he kept laughing. Louder and louder as chuckles segued into belly laughs and zoomed on to become full-fledged guffaws.
And then Maul started to get pissed off. He rose to his feet and ignited his lightsaber. "Master, perhaps now that I'm going to spawn it is the right time to rise up and slay you!" He twirled his weapon in preparation. The twirling slowed and Maul sat back down on the couch, panting from the exertion. Maybe he'd just have a brief nap and then he'd slay his master.
Sidious stopped laughing, finally. Wiping his eyes, he said, "I'm sorry, Maul. It's too funny really. But I do look forward to my grandchild. Does Obi-Wan know yet?"
"I guess not. Well, take heart, my young apprentice. Pregnancy is sure to hone your rage."
Maul grunted dismally.
"And to think I was going to make you join the circus to hone your rage. This is much better than I could have come up with."
Maul's attention sparked. Join the circus? "I'll do it," he snapped.
"You'll do what?"
"I'll join the circus." Anything to keep his mind of his upcoming (fatherhood? motherhood?) parenthood. "I want to be a rancor-tamer."
"Oh, no, Maul. Since you seem to be interested in the idea, I have something much better arranged. You start tomorrow."
He should have known better than to agree to this. He'd thought the circus would be the perfect distraction from his current situation, but instead he was faced with the sight of hundreds of children of various species all clamoring and whining for various treats and jumping up and down at the sights to be seen. He glanced longingly into the rancor-ring. There was an occupation fit for a Sith Lord.
Maul took one step forward on his stilts and wobbled again. To his right, he heard a shrill childish giggle. Nearly ear piercing, to be exact. Up on his stilts, Maul's mind started to spin. He just couldn't do it. He wouldn't be able to handle having a kid. He wondered if he would be able to find a Zabrakian abortion clinic anywhere on Coruscant. Just then, in front of him one of children pointed up at him and laughed.
Maul hated to be laughed at. From his perch on the stilts he used the Force to get the kid's cotton candy matted into his hair. Or at least that's what he was aiming for. Between the floppy brimmed hat and the big foam rubber red nose, Maul's vision was obscured. He checked again. Actually, the kid's cotton candy was now a fetching wig on Mace Windu's bald head. And the kid was actually that other short Jedi Master, the one with the scar across his eye. Maul thought he saw a tear in the Master's good eye as he looked up at his lost cotton candy. The audience roared in appreciative laughter at this spectacle as Windu tried to scrape the sticky mass from his head.
Maul smiled in satisfaction. Even in bright green and orange striped pants and a red and white polka-dotted tie, he was still hot shit. Maybe this clowning thing had its advantages. He had in fact, scared two other children into peeing their pants in the meantime. He took another shaky step forward.
A wave of smells hit him suddenly. Popcorn, bantha-poodoo, cotton candy and popsicles did not make the best of perfumes on any given day, but to the fragile balance of Maul's digestive system, it was a bit overwhelming. He looked around desperately for a place to hurl and tried moving forward as quickly as he could. He was just starting to overbalance when he saw something was blocking his path. Screeching to the best halt he could come up with on stilts, he looked down around his nose at what appeared to be a very pissed off Obi-Wan Kenobi. "Maul!" called the Padawan.
Maul cocked his head from left to right trying to get the best view around the nose and under the brim of the hat. Finally he yanked them both off and chucked them into the crowd, noticing that the nose bounced rather satisfyingly off the head of that overlarge Twi'lek senator. His two Twi'lek companions cooed over him. He turned his attention back to Kenobi who was still blocking his path with a very determined look on his face. "How did you know I was here?" Maul asked, trying to maintain his balance on the stilts.
"I saw you on the posters...what the hell is this shite? Are you going to come down from there and explain this or do I have to knock you over?" Kenobi asked, waving a piece of paper.
"Explain what?" Maul asked, just as one of the other clowns stuck his giant shoe into one of Maul's stilts. He tried desperately to maintain balance, but in the end, he toppled over onto Kenobi. The crowd roared with laughter.
"Gah!" said Maul, spitting Kenobi's braid out of his mouth. He could smell that aging hippie's cologne on Kenobi, who must have come directly from training with his annoying master. He wanted to hurl again, but he was too tangled up to do anything about it. Suddenly the paper was thrust in front of his face.
It was from the Jedi Clinic. "Dear Mr. Kenobi. We are pleased to congratulate you on your pregnancy. Our records are now corrected to reflect your Zabrakian heritage. Find enclosed your pre-natal package and a month's supply of vitamins." Maul stopped reading, mostly because the paper was suddenly replaced by Kenobi's angry face.
"Is it true?" he demanded.
"Errr..." Maul hesitated, still trying to disentangle his stilts from Kenobi's legs.
"I checked it out. Zabrakian men can, in rare cases, become pregnant. If you knew that, we should have taken more precautions," Kenobi continued, his vocal level rising.
"But I'm not Zabrakian!"
"When were you planning on telling me? I am the father, aren't I?"
"If anyone is the father, it's me," Maul snarled. "You can be the mother."
"But that's not the way it works. You bear the kid, you're the mother. Sorry, Maul."
"I will not be a mother. That is final. We can both be fathers." Maul couldn't believe he was discussing this with Obi-Wan on the floor of a circus ring.
"So it's true." Kenobi said, sitting up.
Maul sat up as well and nodded, peering at Kenobi's blue eyes closely. "You're angry."
Obi-Wan looked back at Maul. "Well, I was. I mean, for fook's sake, us parents?"
"And then?" Maul asked. He suddenly felt like crying. He hated that. He reached for the Dark Side inside him to stave off this emotional attack just as Kenobi wrapped his arms around him and placed a rather passionate kiss on his lips. Maul actually trembled.
Suddenly Obi-Wan broke off the kiss and glared at the audience. "What the fook are you looking at?" he called.
The audience applauded convincingly.
Maul returned from his workout to hear the mother of all fights going on in his neighbor's apartment. Of course, he had to give it a listen, not that he really had a choice, given the thinness of his apartment walls. Although now that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were no longer an "item" Maul actually got to listen to his television set most of the time.
He threw himself on the couch and settled in to catch what promised to be an entertaining row. The fights between them had always been better than the "lovemaking" anyway. Thank the Sith he'd been fired from the circus after that one performance. Humiliating himself was not how he wanted to spend his days. This was much more fun.
"I will not have you throwing away your future this way! You are still my Padawan and in that respect I have a say in your future."
Ah, Kenobi must have told his master about the baby then.
"You have not yet completed your Jedi training. How do you expect to become a Jedi Knight with a baby to take care of? I knew your relationship with that...that..."
"...tattooed freak would come to no good and now you've proven me right."
"Master, I can't believe you aren't even a little pleased. I'm going to be a father! You can be the Forcefather."
"Obi-Wan. I'll listen to no thought of you keeping this baby, it will ruin your life. You must persuade him to..."
"To what...get rid of it? I thought you didn't like the idea of abortion?" the Padawan snapped.
As if I hadn't already thought of that. Half of Coruscant's Planned Parenthoods hadn't even known that "Zabrakian" men could become pregnant and the other half wouldn't do it. They said they didn't know enough about the physiology or how far along the pregnancy might be.
And hadn't that given Maul a pause. What if he were going to have this baby tomorrow? What if Zabrakian male pregnancies only lasted two weeks?
And no one seemed interested in hearing that he wasn't Zabrakian. His rage was honed to a fine point. He turned his attention back to the argument.
"But Qui-Gon, with my Force abilities and Maul's the child will surely be Force-gifted and will be accepted by the temple after it's weaned. It will hardly interfere in my training in that way."
Weaned! Maul hadn't thought about that aspect. He looked down at his chest. No change yet. Tearing himself away from visions of himself with breasts, Maul's mind snapped to the other important detail of that last Kenobi utterance. My child, raised as a Jedi?
"Never!" he said aloud and stood, igniting his lightsaber on his way to the door, only to be nearly knocked over by Obi-Wan bursting through his door. Maul only barely managed not to impale him.
"Damnit, Maul, would you put that away? Like I wasn't just skewered by my master...no, not that way, verbally." said Obi-Wan, looking sincerely pissed off.
Maul shut off his lightsaber and put it down, returning to the couch. "I guess your master took the news much worse than mine...my...guardian," he muttered.
"Yeah, Qui-Gon suggested we get an abortion."
"No such luck. No one would do it."
Obi-Wan looked aghast. "Not with our child..."
"Anyway, forget it, we're keeping it," Obi-Wan sent Maul a quelling look when he started to protest. "So get used to the idea. And we'd better start working on names since 'Qui-Gon' is now officially out of the running as my choice."
"No child of mine will be named after that aging hippie."
"Have you been working out?" Obi-Wan said suddenly, giving close inspection to Maul's workout togs.
"Are you sure that's safe with the baby?"
"Uh, sure...Zabrakian male pregnancies are supposed to thrive on physical activity. In fact, they said it's best if you just ignore being pregnant altogether. Excuse me for a moment..."
Maul went off, hurked in the bathroom, and returned to continue with his thought, "Yeah, you're just supposed to continue living your normal life until the thing pops out...sometime...later."
Obi-Wan gave Maul a you don't really believe I'm buying any of that crap, do you? look and then said, "Come on, Maul, let's get to the bottom of this. We'll get on the net and get the truth about the Zabrakian male pregnancy. We can at least find out when 'later' is."
Dragging an extra chair with him, Obi-Wan crossed to the computer and switched it on. Maul snarled and joined him sulkily. Maybe they could find out about a definitive pregnancy test for Zabrakian males.
"You actually sound like you're enjoying this," Maul said.
Obi-Wan snickered a little. "Well, you've got to admit the idea of you pregnant is kind of amusing. And now that I'm used to the idea, I kind of like it. I don't know, maybe we can give the little bastard something that we missed out on."
Maul gave him a look.
Kenobi laughed out loud then. "I know. It's a bunch of shite. I'm scared to death."
After some searching, they found a site with a FAQ on Zabrakian male pregnancy.
"See here, Maul, look, it says that the male shows almost no outward physical change during pregnancy and the term is only two months so we really don't have much time..."
Maul continued reading the paragraph Obi-Wan was pointing out. "...after birth, the underdeveloped baby crawls into its bearer's pouch and dwells there until its horns are fully developed and it can fend for itself..."
"Awwww, Maul, you're a marsupial," said Obi-Wan with a snicker.
"You be quiet. See, this proves I'm not Zabrakian. You see any pouches on me? And I know you've given my entire body a complete and thorough examination..."
"You know, marsupials are commonly known as 'primitive' mammals, right there at the bottom of the mammal branch," Obi-Wan continued, stifling a laugh.
"I'm warning you, Padawan." threatened Maul.
"All right, all right I'm sorry. It's just, sort of...funny, that's all." Maul glowered at him. "Anyway, keep reading."
"Yeah, let's find out if I'm going to end up with breasts."
"I don't like breasts."
"I know, but I do. It could be fun."
Obi-Wan scanned the web page. "Well, it looks like you're out of luck. It says here that Zabrakian males feed their children by 'masticating food and feeding it to the offspring.' Yummy."
"Gah!" said Maul, springing out of the chair. "This sucks! Not only do I have to be pregnant, but I don't get my own personal pair of temporary breasts and then I have to chew food and feed it to the mewling brat I've spawned?" Maul's rage was approaching ice pick levels.
Obi-Wan was still fighting laughter. "When you put it that way, it doesn't sound very nice does it?" he countered.
"Fine, you get to feed it!"
"Err, sorry, but it says here that enzymes in the bearer's saliva are very important to establishing the offspring's immune system. Once again, you're out of luck, mommy-boy."
"Do NOT call me that!" Maul turned the full force of his Glare #242 on Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan looked chagrined. "I'm sorry, Maul. Really. It's just really hard to see you in this light. I'll try and stop laughing, okay? Let's read this bit about physical activity."
Maul looked slightly mollified and came back to sit down next to Kenobi. "What does it say," he asked dully.
"It says, 'moderate physical activity, including sexual activity, is acceptable up to one week before delivery.'"
"Including sexual activity?" Maul repeated.
"Ummm hmmmm," said Obi-Wan mildly. "You think you can manage not to puke for an hour or so?" His hand was already circling the horn on Maul's temple.
Maul grinned and pulled Kenobi in for a kiss, his thoughts of checking the website for Zabrakian pregnancy tests replaced with thoughts of extremely unmoderate physical activity.
"Maul?" Obi-Wan called as he entered the apartment.
"Over here," Maul called from the couch. He was engrossed in a t.v. show.
"Hi Honey!" Obi-Wan leaned over to kiss Maul. Maul growled, and he backed off.
"I told you to cut that out. Our relationship has not changed. I am NOT your honey."
"Sweetie, then..." Obi-Wan substituted wickedly. Maul's growl got louder. "Fine, fine...whatever you want...mommy." Obi-Wan said the last word and dodged quickly as Maul threw the remote control at him.
He returned to the vicinity of the couch with the grocery bag. "I got more Ben & Jerry's and the pickled Gungan you asked for. Are you sure you should be eating this stuff?" Kenobi was cut off as Maul surged up off the couch and snatched the bag from his hands. "That's artificial Gungan you know."
"What are you watching?"
"It's a documentary about wild sand panthers."
Obi-Wan watched as a sand panther ran down a small animal, tore off shreds of flesh while the animal was still struggling, and gulped it down. When her cubs tried to share the meat, the panther swatted them out of the way until she was finished. Obi-Wan heard a sniffle next to him.
"Aren't they wonderful?" Maul mumbled around a mouthful of fake-Gungan. He gave the padawan a suspiciously teary smile.
"Uh, sure," Obi-Wan replied. Maul's mood swings were getting harder to deal with. Time for a distraction. "I thought we could pick out decorations for the nursery."
He received a sideways look. "You're joking."
"No, really, it's never too early to plan these things. I thought we could use that second bedroom you never use."
"Why not? What's in there anyway?"
"It doesn't matter. I don't need a nursery. It can sleep in my room."
"He or She is not going to sleep in your room, Maul. I don't even want to sleep in your room most times!"
"I was looking for some wallpaper in plaid but mostly they just had bunnies or teddy bears. A few with ballerinas, but I when I looked at those I kept thinking of Qui-Gon dressed as Glinda the Good Witch."
Maul steadfastly refused to acknowledge Obi-Wan's presence.
"Oh come on, ignoring it isn't going to make it go away."
Maul finally gave him another look. "Do they make any wallpaper with rancors?"
Obi-Wan laughed. "SOL, Maul. It's bunnies or teddy bears."
"I think the morning sickness is coming back. Stop talking about the nursery or I'm going to redecorate your tunic."
Maul woke from one of his sudden and uncontrollable catnaps to find Obi-Wan planting a kiss on his stomach and saying, "I love you to the Outer Rim...and back."
He sat up suddenly, fighting the usual barfing urge. "What are you doing?"
Obi-Wan looked really sheepish. He whipped a book under the folds of his kilt and said, "Nothing."
Maul paused a moment to wonder that his "Kilt. Sex. Now." reflex had not overcome his sleepiness. His hormones MUST be messing things up. He looked back at the Jedi and narrowed his eyes at him. "You can do a lot of criminal things, Kenobi, but a good liar you're not. Now what were you doing?"
Obi-Wan still looked reluctant. He reached for his cigarettes and lit one up. Maul snatched it out of his mouth and ground it out in a nearby pizza box, immolating a burgeoning civilization. "Not around the baby! Now, out with it."
And then the story came out in a rush. "While you were asleep, I went to the Barnes & Yaddle to get some books on parenting and this one written by this pointed eared guy named Spock said you should read to the baby, even before it's born, to let it know it's loved and to promote language acquisition."
"Feh," Maul snorted. "Give me the book."
Obi-Wan clamped his knees together. "No way."
"Do not make me come in there and get it."
"Why not? 'Sexual activity is acceptable up to two weeks before delivery.'" Obi-Wan quoted.
"Hmmmm, maybe you're right," Maul said, leaning over as if to kiss Obi-Wan. When the padawan closed his eyes, Maul quickly reached into the kilt and seized the book, retreating quickly to the other side of the couch.
"Hey!" said an outraged Obi-Wan. "Cheater."
Maul examined the book. Guess How Much I Love You? "These are Ewoks."
"Ewoks are cute."
"These particular Ewoks have been drawn so as to appear even more cute than I thought possible."
"The point, Maul."
"My child will not be inundated by cute in the womb!"
"Your child? What about our child?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Don't push me, Kenobi."
"Well, fine then, here's one I got that I thought might be more your speed. You can read to your child, too."
Maul looked at the book. The Diggingest Dug. He flipped through it. Mayhem. Destruction. Wanton disobedience of rules. It looked good until the final pages when the crazy Dug had to rebuild the Malastarean market that he destroyed. The ending reminded Maul a bit too much of a certain experience he had with a gym nearby.
"Remember when you went crazy over Brad-Ling?" asked Obi-Wan, seemingly innocently.
"Unfortunately, yes." Maul looked up at Obi-Wan and held up the book. "Yes, this one looks like more my style."
"I thought so," said Obi-Wan. "Now, onto business."
"Sometimes I don't think you're taking this very seriously."
"I'm not. I still don't quite believe that it's actually true. In fact, I keep meaning to go back to the clinic for a second opinion, except I'm always so tired..." As if on cue, Maul's eyes started to drift closed.
Obi-Wan got up, put on a Lords of Acid CD at close to full volume and sat back down.
When the beats kicked in Maul sat up straight again, "Okay, okay, I'm awake, now turn it down!" he shouted.
Obi-Wan smiled and lowered the volume. "I'm serious, Maul. I'm not leaving here until we have at least four names picked out."
Maul growled deep in his throat.
My Apprentice trotted out of the bedroom. Any chance of a cat getting any attention around here?
You can try it, Maul thought back.
The cat began head-butting Obi-Wan's leg. "Look, your cat's feeling neglected and the baby hasn't even arrived yet." Obi-Wan picked up the cat and commenced scritching. His gaze remained fixed on Maul.
"How about Lara?" Maul suggested, recognizing the determined set of Kenobi's jaw. It was a new expression, but it was one Maul had become fond of. It was emblematic of Kenobi's newly acquired backbone.
Obi-Wan laughed. "Lara. Well, I guess it's not so bad. As female role models go, she'll do. I was thinking of Benedict. In honor of my brother."
"Ben? You really...you weren't."
Obi-Wan just laughed. "Okay, how about Luke? or Leia?"
"Eww. Isn't Lara enough on the 'L' names? How about Fury or maybe Storm." Now those, were good, solid Sith names, he thought.
"Uh, Maul, the child's going to be half Jedi, you know. Fury is something we're supposed to avoid."
"You can't argue with Storm, though."
"No, it's not so bad. Storms can be nice. So, so far we have for girls: Lara and Leia. Hey! Maybe you'll have twins! It runs in the family, you know. And for boys: Luke and Storm."
"Not Luke. 'Luuuuuuuuuke', too whiney. And I was thinking of Storm for the girl."
Obi-Wan ignored him. "There's always Iggy," Obi-Wan said slyly. "In honor of one of our earliest encounters. Or Sid, after Sid Vicious."
"Why not? You love the Sex Pistols."
"Just not Sid," Maul insisted, trying to hide the shudder he'd been unable to suppress.
"Anyway, we could also think of doing something like combining our names. Like Maul-Wan."
"Gah. That sounds awful," Maul said, wincing. Shit. They were picking out names. He supposed he'd seriously better start thinking of this as a reality. "Mobi?"
"There's an idea."
The parenting class at the Jedi Clinic was in full swing by the time Obi-Wan managed to get Maul there. These bouts of sleepiness were becoming as tedious as the barfing.
Immediately inside the door, a Wookiee candystriper thrust a baby doll into Maul's hands. The doll, enhanced with sensory and vocal capabilities, began screaming as Maul dangled it out in front of him. Recoiling in horror at the sudden noise, Maul dropped the toy, which landed with a sickening thud on the floor and resumed wailing with increased vigor.
The whole class turned to look at the new arrivals.
Obi-Wan reached down and picked up the baby doll, just as Maul was about to crush it with his boot. "Uhhh, Maul. I think we're supposed to pretend the doll is our new baby," he said.
"It is a toy," Maul said, watching Kenobi hold the doll with natural ease. The Jedi gently rocked the doll until the crying stopped. "How did you do that?" he demanded.
"Oh, you know there's always plenty of babies to take care of in Jedi Academy," he said, looking up from the now cooing baby doll. "They made us take turns in the nursery when we were younger." Obi-Wan made a face at this. "All those diapers! We used to hate it. But really, it's not that hard, here, give it a try..."Ignoring Maul's protestations, Obi-Wan then proceeded to transfer the doll into Maul's arms. Unsure of himself, Maul stood stiffly with the baby doll held slightly away from his body. "No, no, Maul, you've got to sort of cuddle it in and rock it, see..." Obi-Wan said. He moved to a position behind Maul and encircled him with his arms, pulling Maul's arms in. "Like this," he continued, showing Maul how to gently hold and rock the baby. "Pretend it's me, after lovemaking," he whispered huskily into Maul's ear.
"I do not cuddle you," Maul said automatically. He could feel the rightness of the rocking motion, and the rightness of having Obi-Wan's arms around him. Must be the hormones.
Obi-Wan sighed heavily, breathing into Maul's ear. "Haven't we been over this before? Anyway, just give it a try."
Maul was about to forget the child, drop the toy and have his way with Kenobi when the instructor suddenly called the class to attention. "Caught up with the rest of us, you have. Move on, we will," said Yaddle from the front of the room. Maul groaned, wishing he could pound the gnome into oblivion, seeing as how she had started all this. But he didn't want to disturb the baby. Gah! He could tell already it was not going to be easy to be a Sith and be a parent.
The rest of the class was no better. When they learned how to diaper, the baby doll peed in his face. When he tried to feed it, it spit everything back up, resulting in mashed peas all over the front of Maul's favorite t-shirt. The dratted doll apparently preferred Kenobi, since it would manage to scream and cry only when Maul was holding it. He did enjoy the huge belches the doll emitted after he finally managed to give it a bottle, but it was only a small victory. The doll must have sensed his enjoyment, since it immediately spit up on the back of his shirt. Maul was beginning to wonder if Sidious had programmed this instrument of torture. By the time class ended, Kenobi was in charge of the baby and Maul was sulking in a corner. His suggestion that they remove the doll's vocal circuits hadn't gone over very well. Yaddle had given instructions that the "Zabrakian" and his partner were not allowed back for the birthing class.
The Toys-R-Us/Babies-R-Us loomed in front of Maul like a deathtrap. "I'm not going in there."
Obi-Wan didn't look any more enthusiastic than Maul. Mary Sue grabbed one of each of their arms and starting pulling them forward. "It won't be that bad. Besides, it's my credit card," said Mary Sue.
"We do need baby furniture, clothes, and toys..." admitted Obi-Wan grudgingly.
"I will go on one condition, I get a new PlayStation game out of this," said Maul, planting his heels.
"Shite. Two babies," muttered Obi-Wan. "I'm going to have two babies."
"Fine, you win. But we buy stuff for my little niece/nephew first," said Mary Sue.
And in they went.
The auditory and visual cacophony almost sent Maul back out the door, PlayStation game or no PlayStation game. He turned around and headed for the entrance only to be confronted by a child who took one look at Maul and started shrieking its head off. Maul turned and headed back toward Obi-Wan and Mary Sue, who had watched the whole thing.
"What if our baby screams when it looks at me?" Maul asked forlornly, stroking one of his horns. His emotions were still apt to be somewhat unruly.
"It won't," reassured Kenobi. "Come on, let's pick out a stuffed animal."
Maul surveyed the selection. "There are no sand panthers. Or tauntauns."
"Look at this cute kaadu," said Mary Sue, holding up one of the two-legged creatures from Naboo.
"I suppose it's better than an Ewok," muttered Maul.
"Into the cart with it!" exclaimed Obi-Wan as he playfully picked up his sister and dropped her, kaadu and all, into the cart. He gave it a running push and jumped on, careening down an aisle. He glanced back to see if Maul was still with them, or was showing any signs of improved mood.
Half way down the aisle, Maul had stopped to pick up a toy blaster. "Hey, this could be fun!" he called to them as he aimed at the toy target.
"Maul, I don't know about the kid being around weapons, even toy ones," Kenobi protested, turning the cart around and pushing Mary Sue back to where Maul was standing.
"Oh and I suppose that's an electric toothpick you're wearing?" Maul snapped back. "Don't tell me Jedi brats don't play with sabers."
"Good point," Mary Sue interjected, trying to simultaneously climb out of the cart and head off another quarrel. "Anyway, that toy's too advanced for a baby. You can have the toy weapons argument when it's older."
Next stop was the baby clothes department. Obi-Wan and Mary Sue immediately began searching the department, pausing over various fluffy dresses, teeny tiny overalls and even a miniature set of Padawan clothing. Kenobi was insisting loudly that they would have to make the child something in the right plaid, but should it be the MacGregor or the Stewart? Maul wandered off to find a helpful sales attendant.
"Help you I can. Find your friend," came a familiar voice.
"I'm not looking for a friend," replied Maul. "I'm looking for your selection of black baby clothing." Maul was proud of himself for managing two sentences without falling into Yoda's annoying syntax.
"Black clothing we have not for babies. Baby Gap you will try?"
"Work there do you, also?" Maul asked sardonically.
"Funny you are not. Standards I have."
Maul headed back to the siblings who were now choosing itsy bitsy socks. "Maul," Obi-Wan said brightly, throwing an arm around him. "I found a pair of Docs for the kid. Can you believe it? I mean, it will be awhile before he'll get to the 10-eye boots, but it's a start."
Maul looked at the tiny pair of Doc Marten's and felt a twinge in his stomach that had nothing to do with morning sickness.
"They have no black baby clothes. I'm out of here," said Maul, stalking away toward the entrance hoping to get away from Kenobi before that twinge became some sort of emotional outburst.
"Hey, we still need a crib," said Obi-Wan.
"What about your PlayStation game?" asked Mary Sue, staring after Maul's retreating form.
"He's been down lately, it could be hormones, but I don't think he's really accepted this whole pregnancy thing. You think I should go after him?" Obi-Wan said to her.
She shrugged. "Who knows with Maul. He'd just as soon slice you in half some days as say hello. Let him go. Let's go pick out a changing table," she said, linking arms with her brother. "I'm going to make a good rich auntie, aren't I?"
Obi-Wan took one last look at Maul over his shoulder. "Oh forget it," he said. "I'm not going to let Maul's moods piss me off anymore. Let's go spend more of your money."
Maul wandered about for what seemed like days. And then he finally made it out of Toys-R-Us. He stood in the Coruscant sun for a moment and then headed determinedly for the Jedi Clinic. It was time for that second opinion.
Maul stomped into the clinic, past the empty chairs and went right up to the desk. "I will see a doctor now."
The nurse got a glazed look in his eyes and said "Yes sir, please follow me."
"And I will not wear paper!"
"And you will not wear paper."
The nurse put him in a room, skipped the paper robe, and backed quickly out the door. "Master Koth will be with you in a minute."
True to his word, the door opened a minute later and a Jedi Master entered. "Good afternoon. I'm Dr. Eeth Koth. What seems to be the problem?"
"I was here a few weeks ago and 'Doctor' Yaddle said I was pregnant. I want a second opinion," Maul sneered.
"Pregnant? Hmm, well, I could see she might have been confused by the horns, but you're definitely not Zabrakian."
"That's what I've been saying but no one will listen! At least you believe me."
"Oh of course. I'm familiar with all forms of my species, and your horns are too large and malformed to be Zabrakian. I suppose you could be a mutation or a cross-breed, but I doubt it. I don't know of any genetic combination that could produce that color skin."
Maul started to feel his anger build. His horns were not 'malformed'! Was this Zabrakian snob insinuating that there was something wrong with his skin color?
"I don't seem to have your paperwork. Did Dr. Yaddle do any tests?" Koth continued.
"She poked me a lot, but she didn't take any blood or anything."
"Well, a simple blood test will check for Zabrakian heritage and also confirm or deny the pregnancy. Do you need a sedative so I can take blood?"
Maul snarled. "I do not. Do you?"
Master Koth was briefly startled out of his Jedi calm. "Uh, no. Well then, please stick out your arm..."
Obi-Wan was painting his second bedroom plaid when Maul returned to the apartments. Since Maul flatly refused to discuss a nursery, Kenobi had packed up the remainder of Qui-Gon's stuff and emptied his own second bedroom. "Damn that man had a lot of frilly costumes. And why the hell did I agree to wear a tutu for him?" he mused as he went out to the living room to grab a Guinness. He sat down on the couch to rest for a minute, his gaze drifting to the baby clothes folded neatly on the coffee table. They were waiting for the assembly of the chest of drawers they'd picked up at Ikea for the baby room.
The clothes were so little. Obi-Wan took another huge gulp of his beer. What had he and Maul gotten themselves into? He was still a little unreasonably pissed that Maul hadn't known about the possibility of pregnancy.
Maul kicked open the door and headed straight for the fridge. "Got any real beer?" he asked, looking pointedly at Obi-Wan's Guinness.
"Yeah, but you can't have any."
"Yes I can," Maul answered smugly, popping open a Pete's and raising it in a toast. "No baby."
Obi-Wan choked on his beer and stared at Maul. "What?"
"Nope. Turns out I had Mono. I went back to the clinic and forced them to do a test. They don't know what I am, but I'm not Zabrakian, and definitely not pregnant. Gave me a shot and cleared it right up!"
"Well, shite," was all Obi-Wan could say.
"Yeah. Guess that means no more Ewoks and bunny rabbits," Maul gleefully replied. "Hey, wanna fuck?"
"No, not right now." Kenobi was not taking this as well as Maul had.
"Oh come on. Don't tell me you really wanted a baby around?"
"Well, it could have been fun. A little boy with my eyes and your horns. Or a little girl with your eyes and my hair," Obi-Wan mused wistfully, tugging on his braid.
For a half-second, Maul could see it. A son or daughter to train in his own image, and one day help him slay that queeny bastard he called Master. Then he imagined a little Maul, screaming and destroying his PlayStation with a toy lightsaber. Or a little Kenobi trying to put dresses on My Apprentice and flinging toys around the apartment with the Force. He didn't even want to think of that little Kenobi when he turned sixteen. He shuddered. "Or not."
"Yeah." Judging from the mildly horrified look on Kenobi's face, he was thinking along the same lines. "Wow. Would we even be able to control an offspring of ours?"
"Maybe it's better we never find out."
"Maybe." Kenobi stared into space for another moment, then shrugged. "I should have known when you said you went to the Jedi Clinic. They never get anything right the first time. Why do you think we avoid the place?" He gave Maul a wicked smile. "So, Mono? I guess I need to go get checked out too."
Maul grinned a Sithly grin. "No need, I have your shot right here," he said, holding up a hypo. "Bend over and drop 'em!"
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