So I was wondering what it would be like if Kanan ran into one of his ex-girlfriends, so I wrote it down.
It was a busy day in the streets of Lothal. Kanan, Hera, Zeb, Sabine and Ezra were in Capital City’s biggest market looking for some much needed supplies. They had been eating ration packs for the past few weeks and everyone was sick of it. Well, everyone except Hera. After all these years Kanan was still surprised at how delighted she would get when any type of food was put in front of her, even if it made the rest of them want to puke, and they were no strangers to hunger either.
Kanan scanned the different fruit and vegetable stands looking for the ingredients necessary for a stew he hadn’t had in years. For some reason, he was really craving it recently. It went back to his days as a bachelor, working on some diner in a backwater world. He wasn’t a bad cook. People seemed to really like his food and, hey, he liked it too.
He was going through the recipe in his head when Sabine’s voice interrupted his train of thought.
It came from behind him, turning around to look at her he found her staring at him with a strange pleading look in her eyes.
“Yeah?” he responded.
“There’s an art store there” she said, gesturing towards it, “Can I go check it out?”
Oh of course. Art supplies. As if she doesn’t have enough already, he thought musing to himself. But he was in a good mood, and Sabine was a good kid. She deserved it. “Sure”
“Can I go with her?” Ezra said.
“Yeah, sure. I’ll go with you guys. Zeb! Hera!” He called back “Keep looking for the supplies we’ll be right back” At Zeb’s grumbling response they went on their way.
The art store wasn’t much. It mostly had traditional paints used for Lothal folklore art (Kanan was surprised the Empire hadn’t cracked down on that yet). It also had drawing pencils, sketchbooks, water paints, etc… Pretty regular art store if you ask him, but, of course, Kanan was never much of an artist.
As soon as they got to the store, Sabine launched herself into the place. Her eyes glued to the different materials in the various shelves. While, Ezra mysteriously stayed at his side staring at the store from where they were both standing. Silent. Huh
“So…” Kanan ventured, raising an eyebrow.
“Aren’t you gonna go take a look?”
“Oh no…” He shrugged “I’m not much of an artist. Besides, I just wanted to get out of the streets. My hands get itchy when I’m around big crowds”
Kanan hummed and nodded in understanding. After years in the streets, pickpocketing was as natural to Ezra as breathing, he had needed it to survive. Shaking the habit must be tough, but he was still making the effort, which they all appreciated. The less attention drawn to themselves the better.
“You should still get something” Kanan insisted, “You could use a hobby”, which was true, Ezra was a busy kid. Between missions and training, Kanan wondered what he did whenever he did have time off.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean something to do in your spare time, you’re really busy. You could use something to help you cool off you know?”
“I already have hobbies”
Well, that was a lie if he’d ever heard one.
“Really?”, Kanan said, incredulously, “Like what?”
“Uhhhh… I clean the ship”
“That’s your hobby?”
“And you actually enjoy doing it?”
“Yes” Ezra said, with as much fake confidence as he could muster. Crossing his arms across his puffed chest.
“Then why do you whine every time Hera asks you to do it?”
“Uhhhh… it’s… you know…”
“Ezra” Kanan interrupted him, Ezra had clearly lost this battle “Go pick something, I’ve seen you doodle I know you like it”
“It’s fine, Kanan” He said, in an exasperated tone, “It’s money we could spend on something else”
Kanan sighed, So that’s what this is about then. The kid still had trouble letting other people take care of him, but this was an old argument. He pinched the bridge of his nose, took a deep breath and released it.
“Ezra”, Kanan said, slowly and patiently “We’ve talked about this. It’s no trouble”
Ezra sighed then looked up at him “Are you sure?”
“Yes!” He responded, chuckling slightly “Go!” he encouraged Ezra by pushing him slightly with his hand on his back.
Before Ezra went to explore he turned around “Hey Kanan?”
The made him smile “No problem, kid”
The minutes ticked by as the kids went through apparently every item this store had to offer, leaving Kanan alone. He rested his back against the wall and closed his eyes. Today was a good day. It was just him and the kids and no one was going to attack them. Today was a luxury.
He smiled to himself. They really were like a family. He did consider them his kids.
“Oh my gods! Kanan?” A familiar voice cut him out of his trance and made him open his eyes.
The sight was of a dark skinned woman with deep blue eyes and a curly long hair. One that he recognized.
Before he could say anything else a sharp pain struck him across the face. Yep, he was pretty sure he was gonna be walking around with a handprint on his face for the rest of the day. He instinctively reached up to grab it, trying to soothe it.
“Ok,ok” he muttered, putting his free palm up in defeat. “I deserved that”
He did. He really did.
“Yeah you certainly did” She said, as if echoing his thoughts. “After what you did to me I’d say you deserve more”
“What did he do?” Sabine’s voice came from behind him. He turned around to see her and Ezra standing right behind him, art supplies long forgotten. Great, he thought. Just perfect.
He had kept drunken past mostly hidden from the kids. He wasn’t proud of it. It was a dark time in his life. And now his past was staring at him in the face, in the form of a very beautiful woman who he had slept with a few alcohol-fueled nights then left behind as soon as he could. Although, in his defense, he had thought that she was a little insane at the time.
“Well, for starters, he…”
“WOW WOW WOW”, he interrupted her as soon as she started speaking, he doubted anything she was going to say was appropriate for the kids. His breakup with Jadah (or, well, his leaving Jadah) was due to a horrible misunderstanding. One that he did not want to explain in front Sabine and Ezra, “They don’t need to hear it”
“They don’t need to hear WHAT, Kanan?!” She snapped “The fact that you propose to me then left without so much as a note?”
“Ugghh” he groaned. Rubbing his face with his hand. He really wished the kids weren’t here.
“Wow Kanan” Said Sabine behind him
“I didn’t propose” he muttered into his hands
“What?” Jadah said, clearly annoyed
“I didn’t propose!”
“Oh yeah right now you’re just denying it!”
“No, I am not!”
“Oh yeah? How was I supposed to interpret ‘I want to marry you?’ huh?”
“I said COULD, I COULD marry you!” then he leaned in a spoke between clenched teeth “And considering the situation we were in I wouldn’t have taken it very seriously”. They had been together three nights the ‘incident’ happened in the last one.
“Oh so you’re saying I’m the fool for thinking you loved me while I had my lips around your…”
“Can we PLEASE not do this in front of the kids?” He interrupted.
“WOW Kanan” Said Sabine again, this time there was a slight chuckle in her voice.
“Sabine!” He said warningly, shooting her a look. Ezra looked puzzled. She just looked amused
“Who are these kids anyway?” She questioned, frowning as she said it, “Are they yours?”
“Uhhhh….”He hesitated, looking back at them. They just shrugged “Kinda?”
“What? How old were you when you got her pregnant? 13?”
“I’m taking care of them.”
“Who’s dumb enough to entrust you with their kids?”
“I’m a different person now.”
“HA! Like I would believe that”
“Really? What sort of life changing decisions have you made since we last saw each other?”
“I quit drinking” Karabast, the kids would now know he was a drunk. Great. Just fantastic.
Jadah was taken aback, her eyebrows flew up in visible surprise “Wow” was all she could say. They hadn’t been together for that long, but she knew the type, the drunk drifter. Who spent all the money they won on booze. But she had given herself to him in hopes he would be different, she was thoroughly disappointed.
“Yeah” He said, grabbing his neck with one hand, looking down. “It became a real issue”
“Well what changed?
As if on cue Hera’s voice cut his response. “Kanan are you in here? What’s taking so long?,” As she saw the scene before her there was a slight pause and the she asked “What’s going on?”
Kanan sighed, then “She did”. Zeb was right behind her. Now everyone would see him humiliate himself. Great!
Hera walked over to Kanan’s side, put an arm around his waist and gave him a questioning look. He just gestured to Jadah in response, he was red. She then raised her free hand towards Jadah, inviting her to shake it. “Hey, I’m Hera”
“Jadah” She said, accepting the invitation.
“So… you and Kanan are… what exactly?” She said, a slow smirk tugging at the side of her lips.
Kanan turned to glare at her. Of course she knew what they were. She was probably enjoying this.
“Someone who he owes an apology to”
“Huh! I bet he does” She laughed and gave Kanan the do-this-or-no-sex-for-a-month look, at that point he didn’t have much of a choice.
“Listen, Jadah. I’m sorry, I really am. I was an asshole back then and you deserve to hate me. I am a different guy now. Hera and I have lived together for six years now and we have our own little family. I don’t deserve your forgiveness, I know, but… I’m still asking for it” He meant every word.
Hera’s arm tightened around his waist, she looked up at him and smiled. There was pride in her eyes. He smiled back.
“Wow, so you have changed.” Jadah said in disbelief.
“I have” He shrugged.
“Apology accepted.” She smiled.
He reached away from raise his arms in invitation for a hug. She accepted and hugged him then pulled back
“Have a nice life, Kanan”
And the she walked away.
They all watched her leave and then Kanan sighed and buried his head in his hands. That had been embarrassing and a reminder of the time of his life when he was wandering pointlessly around the galaxy hurting people in the process. It was not a nice reminder. The one thing that made it better was when Hera put her arms around his waist again and nestled by his side. “You did good” she whispered. Yes, he would always be grateful for her. Without her he’d probably be dead in a ditch somewhere. Death by alcohol. Or drugs. Or worse.
He leaned his head against Hera’s and their foreheads touched. He closed his eyes and focused on her presence, that always managed to calm him down. They were both enjoying the silence Sabine’s uncontrolled laughter broke it.
“YOU…” She said in between breaths “You… proposed…while… while… SHE WAS GIVING YOU A BLOWJOB?!” and now everyone was laughing. Even the store manager who, apparently, had been listening to the whole thing. Kanan wanted the ground to swallow him up, or a lighting to strike or really anything at this point.
Hera was doing her best to contain her laughter but some giggles slipped out. She gave him a sympathetic grin and said “Come on, luv. Let’s go home.”