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That's Mine!

As the turbolift began its rapid climb, Mara Jade Skywalker wearily laid her head against her new husband's shoulder, relishing the feel of his warm embrace. Their honeymoon had been unbelievably wonderful, but she was looking forward to finally settling into an apartment of their own. The new furniture they'd picked out was to have been delivered while they were gone, along with items they'd each tagged from their old quarters.

Reaching the door, Luke set down their luggage and began keying in the entry code. He paused before punching the last number, his gaze drawn to Mara's sparkling eyes. "Well, this is it," he said, smiling.

"That's right, Farmboy," Mara returned, moving closer to him. "Honeymoon's over."

"Our life as an old married couple is about to commence," he continued, his head tilting down while his finger remained poised over the number pad.

"Watch the 'old' references," Mara whispered teasingly, her lips reaching for his. Any reply Luke might've been thinking was forgotten as he pressed her against the door, their kiss deepening with reckless abandon. That is, until his finger accidentally brushed against the keypad, triggering the front door to swish open. Mara fell back with a strangled cry, Luke following on top of her, just barely catching himself to keep his full weight from crushing her.

Mara couldn't help it; she uncharacteristically started giggling. "Does this feel familiar to you?" she choked out.

"Best rescue I ever had," he said, his nose affectionately rubbing against hers.

"So, you want to get off me, or are you just getting comfortable?"

"I think you know the answer to that." Luke squirmed playfully, laughing as Mara swatted at him.

"Luke! What if someone walks down the hallway and sees us?"

"They'll think, there's a man who's head over heels in love with his wife."

"And fell head over heels on top of her." Mara gave Luke a strong shove, rolling him to the side. "Get our bags so we can shut the door."

Luke obediently, and reluctantly, scrambled up and went out into the hallway to retrieve their luggage. Arms loaded down with bags, he had to turn sidewise to get through the doorway. His footsteps halted as he heard his name called. Or rather, screeched.

"Luke!" Mara stood with her hands on her hips, surveying the living room full of furniture. "Will you look at this? Can you believe those idiots dumped some piece of junk in here?" She glared as he slowly looked around the room, a confused frown on his face. "I'll bet this is Solo's idea of a joke. It'd be just like him." Mara stalked over to the object of her disgust - a faded, tattered conform lounger.

"Uh, Mara ..."

"Wait till I get my hands on him. He'll wish-"

"Sweetheart." Luke swallowed uncomfortably.

"What?"

"Uh, that's mine."

"Yours?!"

"Yes," Luke said. "From my apartment. I tagged it to be brought over."

"You're joking." Mara's emerald eyes widened in disbelief.

"It's just a chair." Luke bravely strolled over and plopped down. "I don't understand what the big deal is."

Mara raised her arms in exasperation. "It's hideous!"

"It's comfortable."

"It's outta here."

"No, it's mine. I like sitting in it," Luke returned stubbornly. "We agreed we could bring whatever pieces we wanted to our new place. Besides, who cares what our furniture looks like?"

Mara sent a glare that clearly showed that she cared a great deal. But she had agreed to their pre-marital possessions arrangement. And so had he.

"Fine," she said, turning abruptly and picking up one of the pieces of luggage, then heading for the bedroom.

Fearing they were having their first fight as a married couple, Luke quickly followed Mara down the hallway.

"Mara? Sweetheart?" Luke watched as Mara silently began putting her clothes into their new garment chest. "I'm sorry. I never imagined one chair would matter so-"

Mara held up a hand to stop him. "I said it was fine, Luke. You're right. You should be allowed to have whatever lounger you want." She smiled sweetly, then returned to her work.

Deciding to leave well enough alone, Luke got the rest of their bags and helped her unpack. When they finished putting everything away, Mara announced that she had a few more things to gather from her old apartment - a tiny two-room hole-in-the-wall that she rarely stayed at more than a few days in a row. She turned down Luke's offer to accompany her, sweeping out of their home with a passionate kiss goodbye.

~~~

Luke was in the kitchen, making a list of what foodstuffs they needed, when he heard Mara return. His wide grin froze when he saw her hanging a picture over the mantel - the ugliest picture he could ever remember seeing.

"That's an ... interesting picture," Luke said, squinting as he tried to make out what the red and orange swirls coming out of a green and purple circle were supposed to represent.

"It's a Be'klonger original," Mara announced, adjusting it so it would hang level.

"Oh." Luke's gaze shifted from the painting to his suspiciously smug-looking wife and back to the painting. It didn't look any better. "I don't remember seeing it at your apartment."

"You were hardly there," she replied flippantly. "You probably just didn't notice it."

A person would have to be blind not to notice that thing, Luke thought. Though apparently, Mara had overlooked his lounger sitting in his apartment. "Hmm, maybe it would look better in the uh, ... spare bedroom," he said carefully. Luke had to use the Force to keep from visibly flinching at the glare he received in return.

"It's mine, and I like it here, and that's where it's staying," Mara declared, daring him to disagree.

"Of course, of course," Luke readily said, mentally plotting how to angle his chair so he wouldn't have to look at the freakish monstrosity. It was beginning to remind him of a squashed bug on the ground with its insides spilling out.

Forcing an understanding smile on his face, Luke walked forward to slip an arm around Mara's waist. Han had warned him that it would take time to acclimate himself to married life, so he wasn't going to quibble over a picture. "How about we go out for dinner?"

"I thought we could order in," Mara said, running one hand up and down his chest.

"Whatever you like." Luke leaned in to kiss Mara lightly. He just hoped Mara wouldn't decide to move the painting to the dining room, or he'd surely lose his dinner.

~~~

Yawning widely, Mara padded out to the kitchen the next morning where Luke was already sipping a cup of caf.

"Morning," she murmured, coming up behind him to nuzzle his neck. A second later she drew back, sniffing his hair.

Mara narrowed her eyes suspiciously as she leaned around to face him. "Have you been using my shampoo?"

"I don't know," Luke said, looking up from the morning holonews he was watching.

"The blue bottle with nitsie flowers on the front?"

Luke shrugged. "Whatever bottle was sitting on the shelf."

"That's my special conditioning shampoo!"

"So?"

"So? So, that's mine! I need it to keep from getting splint-ends."

"I'm sorry, I didn't know it made a difference," Luke said, his face a mask of apologetic innocence. He looked for the world like he didn't even know what a splint-end was. It made staying miffed way too hard.

"It's okay, Farmboy," Mara relented. "Surely we have another bottle of some kind here that you can use."

Scooting his chair back, Luke pulled her onto his lap. "I think what we could both use is some pre-breakfast loving, don't you?"

Yes, staying miffed was downright impossible sometimes.

~~~

It was some time later that Mara reluctantly excused herself to go take a shower. Luke volunteered to take another shower, just to keep her company, but Mara didn't think either one of them would ever get ready for the day that way.

Emerging from the refresher, Mara headed for the kitchen, shaking her head as she passed Luke, lying back in his old lounger, eyes closed in apparent meditation. Or asleep. Opening several cabinets in the food prep area, Mara finally selected a crispcuit pastry snack and popped it into the heater. Waiting for the snack to toast, Mara wandered out to the balcony with a mug of caf. It was a beautiful morning, cool with a slight breeze. She was thinking about what kind of potted plants would look good on their terrace when she heard the faint ting of the heater, signaling that her crispcuit was ready. Coming back into the kitchen, her good mood took a downward turn when she spotted her dear husband chowing down on her snack.

"Hey! That's mine!"

Luke paused mid-chew. "I thought you heated it up for me."

"What would make you think that?" Mara stalked over and held out one hand, waiting for Luke to return what was left of her breakfast.

"I'm sorry, sweetheart. Why don't I heat you up another one?"

"It was the last one," Mara growled, snatching the plate out of Luke's hand.

"Oh." Luke smiled weakly. "Then I'm doubly sor-" He glanced down at Mara's attire, frowning. "Isn't that my undertunic?"

"Yeah, so?" Mara settled down at their small kitchen table, peering at Luke's teeth marks on her snack, then dunking that end into her caf.

"Well, it's mine, and ..." Luke trailed off as Mara waved the stub of pastry in the air.

"It's comfortable," Mara drawled in a low voice, pointedly directing her gaze at Luke's lounger.

"Hmm, I know." Biting his lower lip, Luke refrained from making any further complaints. "I'm gonna go get dressed now."

Mara had just swallowed the last bite of her breakfast when Luke reappeared, waving his hairbrush in her face.

"Mara, have you been using my brush?"

"Maybe ... " Mara murmured, scooting back and standing. Did he have to hold that right over where they ate?

"There are long red hairs in it," Luke declared, pulling a few out as proof.

"So? You bury your nose in my hair on a daily basis, and now you're worrying because your precious hairbrush might've touched my head?"

Luke started to say more, then suddenly stopped, seeming to wilt before her eyes. "Mara, what are we doing? We can't persist in squabbling over every little thing."

"Things that don't even matter," Mara agreed, looking back at her empty plate.

"We have to learn to share," Luke said, letting the brush fall to the floor as he took her hands in his own.

"And compromise," she added. "Your sister and Mirax and Iella, they all reminded me before the wedding that compromise and sharing were big parts of a successful marriage."

"Along with love," Luke murmured, reaching up to stroke her cheek. "I'm so sorry for all my whining."

"I'm sorry for snapping at you," Mara returned, letting him lead her into the living room. They collapsed together into the old lounger with a soft whumpf.

"I really did use your shampoo by accident, and I really thought you made breakfast for me," Luke said, hugging her close. "And I didn't consider how much this chair would clash with our new furniture."

Mara snuggled closer to him. "And I haven't unpacked my hair brush yet, and I just grabbed the first tunic I saw when I came out of the shower." She leaned down to sniff the material. "It's soft, and it has your scent on it. I like it," she confessed quietly, letting a low 'ahhh' escape as the lounger conformed around to cushion her back. "And I'll concede that this is a comfortable chair." She glanced down to look at the worn covering. "Maybe we could have it recovered to match our other pieces."

"Good idea." Luke kissed the top of her head. He caught a glimpse of Mara's painting out of the corner of his eye. "And I'll try to ... appreciate your taste in artwork more."

Mara's shoulders started heaving in laughter. "Oh, Luke." She swiped at her eyes with a corner of his tunic. "I went out last night to find the ugliest thing I could, just to pay you back, and then I spotted that thing sticking out of a dumpster, and couldn't resist. I'm not sure I could stand it myself another day longer." She chuckled harder at the look of shock on his face. "I think I could use some levitation practice."

Extending one hand, Mara smiled in satisfaction as the painting lifted from its spot and slowly floated across the room. Luke contributed by using the Force to slide open the balcony doors, joining Mara in laughter as the detestable piece of art dropped over the edge of the railing.

"We do make a great team," Mara said, moaning as Luke pulled her into an amorous kiss.

The Skywalkers soon discovered the old lounger was even more comfortable when reclining in a horizontal position.


THE END

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