It was like a flood had been let loose in Hera; since the arrival of their daughter - and since the sheer panic and worry and ohfuckohfuckohfuck had worn off - Kanan learned something new about his captain every day. Stories she had never shared before, told in a lilting
whisper to the tiny bundle strapped to her chest as she finalised jump
points. All of her favourite little things on Ryloth, snatches of happy
memories that had been hidden for so long (save the rest for later, introduce her to the good before raising the bad). Hera’s r’s rolling that little more, her vowels elongating as her native accent overrode her acquired outer rim accent.
Never moreso than when she sang. Hera sings. She sings. All this time, and Kanan never knew. She had hummed, in frustration or absentmindedly or chasing a nightmare. Singing was an entirely new development. Smoky and low, the ryl words pouring out and wrapping around him, filling the cockpit with specters of a lost world.
Kanan held her extra close that night, legs around his waist as they sat on their bunk. Determinedly but gently tickling her neck with
his beard as he whispered for her to sing again, just for him. She will, but only if he’s the one to get up and see to the child when she wakes up in the night.
intel had gotten to them too late, the camp already under attack as
they sat, idly, waiting for the coordinates to be confirmed. Another
blow to the straggling remnants of Ryloth, free no longer.
As the crew picked through the smouldering remains, a tearing gasping breath came from under the
shredded remains of a crate. Hera scrabbled desperately, silently to
reveal a Twi’lek woman, more ash than flesh. Unknown to her, but
familiar mother cousin aunt. Taking care to avoid the
charred flesh, Hera took the dying woman’s head in her lap. Too far
gone, there was nothing that could be done. Gently stroking the base of
her lekku as the crew watched on, Hera began to hum softly, faltering
notes soon forming words soothing and sweet. A living piece of home in
an alien place of death; she sang a song passed on by her mother and by
Before the second verse was done, the woman let out a final sigh. Gone.
night, Kanan found Hera in the cockpit. Why should she sleep when there
was so much work to be done? Together they sat in silence for the
longest time, staring. Into the void of space, the silence deafening.
Until, so low he’s not sure he’s sensing it or hearing it, she started
to sing. The words sweeping and soothing, though he did not entirely
understand it. When she sang her last, Hera squeezed Kanan’s hand and
returned to sitting in comfortable, contemplative silence. Until the
morning yells came from Zeb and Ezra’s room.
Ripped from dreams of gunfire and death and run, Kanan woke up to hands gently carding through his hair and a lullaby in his ear. It was just a nightmare, he’s fine, everyone’s fine, Master Billaba - but no. The barely audible words were unknown to him; not basic - Ryl? Green hands soothing his aching head instead of brown.
was lying face down on the sofa in the Ghost’s lounge. He didn’t
remember getting there; he did remember a desperate need to drown the
past. It didn’t work. It never worked. Hera, sitting on the floor next
to him, met his eye with an understanding smile that didn’t reach her
eyes. Her fingers faltered but she didn’t drop a note, continuing her
song until he drifted back to an uneasy sleep.
They never spoke
of the incident, but that was the last time Kanan passed out in a
drunken stupour. (He would have taken Hera’s singing as a substitute to
keep the nightmares at bay, but that probably would have been a breach
of their agreement.)
(She sang for him again several years later.)
Peace and quiet reigned at last on the Ghost. Kanan had swept the rest of crew off to run errands, buy supplies. Hera had begged off, citing repairs that urgently needed her attention. Truthfully, she need to be alone. She loved her crew - her family - but there were times that she missed when the ship was her ship.
tanks were full, water was hot and no squabbling queue to use
the ‘fresher. She was going to indulge and luxuriate in a shower that
lasted longer than five minutes. Stepping into the deliciously scalding water, it wasn’t long before the tension was seeping out of her bones and a song bubbling out of her lungs. Strong and wilful, the Ryl rolling from the bottom of her belly as she let loose as she hadn’t let herself in so long, reverberating through the fresher.
Skin beginning to wrinkle and having sung through all of the loudest and most defiant songs that she could think of, she turned the cooling water off and stepped out of the stall. She must have nearly gone through the entire tank. Oops. Still humming - a bawdy cantina number that her father had once caught her singing and no she definitely didn’t know where she heard it or what it means honestly daddy - she moved to wrap a towel around herself. Brushing water from the length of her lekku, and coming face to face with a broadly grinning Jedi leaning against the ‘fresher door.
Before he could say whatever witty remark he had ready, she flung the damp towel at his face and retreated back into the shower stall, turning the water back on. Daring him to follow her into the cool water.