Royal Makeup vs. Padawan Hairstyle
by Valerie Vancollie
valeriev84 at hotmail dot com
Note: This story appeared in the general Star Wars fanzine I Don't Care What You Smell.
Also, while this fic is only just appearing here now, this is not the first that it has appeared online, that was over a decade ago but never made it here for some reason. I've only just realized this and so am posting it here as my Star Wars website that had it went down years ago. It was also written after only the 1st of the Prequel movies had come out.
Padawan Luke Skywalker smoothened the wrinkles out of his black Jedi uniform as he walked down the halls of the Theed Palace. Doing so, he gave silent thanks to the Knighthood for having a special uniform for festive occasions when Jedi and their apprentices couldn't wear their usual tunics and cloak. If this hadn't been the case then he was sure that his mother would have forced him to wear the fancy clothes he had worn before he had become a Padawan six years ago at the age of seven. It wasn't that he hated wearing all of those clothes; indeed, he loved the cool feel of the satin and silk on his skin. He simply couldn't stand the stiff, overly elaborate outfits that he'd been required to wear as the son of the queen of Naboo. It was only thanks to the fact that Jedi were so highly regarded and that it was a great honor to have one related to you or so close to the people that he got out of wearing the traditional clothing. While he respected the ancient traditions of his people, he thought that in some things, like the outfits for the family members of the elected monarch, things went a little too far. Luckily, his father agreed with him on the topic and would thus support him against his mother and sister about it in discussions.
Another thing Luke liked about the uniform he now wore, other than the fact that it was black and made not to restrict movement, was the fact that the masters and apprentices wore the same uniforms as their hairstyle clearly differentiated between the two. Touching his mandatory braid at the thought, he smiled. It had taken him a while to get used to the Padawan hairstyle, but he liked it as it was the only time his mother would allow him to have even part of his hair long.
Rounding a corner, Luke caught sight of Leia, who was standing before one of the various mirrors that adorned the colored marble hallway walls. Seeing the elaborate brown, pink, and dark green dress decorated with silver braid and embroidery that she was wearing, he shook his head. Ever since she had been elected a princess of Theed, Leia's clothing had become even more complicated than before. Along with the clothing upgrade, she was now also required to wear yellow face makeup with a blue dot on each cheek and a line on her forehead, as well as scarlet lipstick on her upper lip that spilt down over the middle of her lower lip. And, although as a princess of Theed she was not yet allowed to wear a headdress, Leia had her long hair pilled on top of her head in a complicated hairstyle with braids and curls.
"You're too vain," Luke said as he leaned against one of the marble columns in the hall.
"Luke!" Leia exclaimed, swinging around in surprise. "Will you quit sneaking up on me like that all the time?"
"I'm not sneaking up on you. You simply don't pay enough attention to your surroundings. If you'd do that instead of staring into the mirror all day, you'd be startled far less often."
"I'm not vain and I don't spend all my time looking into mirrors," Leia snapped back, glaring at her brother. "I was simply checking to make sure that my makeup hadn't smudged. I'm representing our people at this party, after all."
"Oh yes, and nobody would understand if there was even a tiny smudge in your makeup," Luke mocked her as he smiled. "You do realize, Sister dear, that you look like a clown in that yellow and blue get-up."
"This is the traditional face paint of the princes and princesses of Theed! How dare you laugh and poke fun at your own customs?" Leia demanded, even as she realized that her twin hadn't made mention of the Scar of Remembrance on her lips. How typical of him to honor only those traditions that had to do with the pain of the warriors from before the Great Time of Peace.
"No wonder there are so few candidates to become princes and princesses of Theed; nobody wants to look like a fool," Luke commented, enjoying the way he had managed to irk his sister. It was so easy to get her all worked up.
"At least it's better than your silly hairstyle," Leia countered, reaching over and flicking her brother's long braid. "You look like one of those cheap gangsters from a bad holovid with your braid and stupid ponytail."
"Hey!" Luke exclaimed indignantly as he straightened, knowing that he was slightly taller than his twin. It wasn't the first time that he wished that he had inherited his father's height and build. It would be very handy at times like this. But, as he had learned in practice duels with his father, who was also his master, his slender build did have its advantages if he used it properly. "At least this tradition is recognized throughout the entire galaxy, unlike yours. The moment people see my hairstyle they know that I'm a Jedi apprentice, while when they see your makeup they wouldn't have a clue as to what it stands for or who you are."
"At least mine is more or less unique," Leia needled. "You are one of many. I'm one of a few."
"So?" Luke retorted. "Laugh all you want now because, when I'm older and pass the trials, I will be able to get rid of this braid and ponytail. You, on the other hand, will always have to wear that makeup, so I'll have decades to laugh at you. Even if you somehow get elected queen, you'll still need to wear nearly the same face paint."
"What do you mean 'somehow?'" Leia questioned. "Mother has told me that I'd make a good queen. Already I'm neck deep in the politics of Naboo and Mother is showing me how she does everything. I'll have plenty of experience when the time comes."
'Luke,' Anakin sent over the Force bond they shared, effectively cutting off what his son was going to say. 'Come down here. And bring your sister. We will need to make our appearance soon.'
'Coming,' Luke replied before he spoke aloud. "Father wants us, now."
"How..." Leia began, but stopped as she realized the answer.
"The Force," Luke explained anyway, seeing another opportunity to tease her. "You know, that energy field you didn't have enough potential for to become a Jedi."
"Thank the Force for that," Leia lied as she brushed past her brother and made her way down the hall. Although at birth she had been declared unfit to become a Jedi despite her higher than normal midi-chlorian count, she had often dreamt, like nearly every child did, of being a great Jedi. The fact that her father was a Jedi and that her brother was well on his way to becoming one, didn't help much either. But then, she loved politics and knew that if she were a Padawan learner that she wouldn't have the time for that. Already her father and twin were gone on Coruscant at the Jedi Temple for long stretches of time. "Otherwise, I'd have to cut my hair to that dreadful style."
"Actually, it would be an improvement for you," Luke commented.
"I really don't care for your opinions," Leia declared. "Mother says that I have beautiful hair."
"Besides, better to have bad hair which, coincidentally, I don't think is the case, than having to hide your face," Luke simply continued, ignoring what his twin sister had said. "No one can see who you are. You are easily replaced, as Mother proves whenever she pretends she's Padmé for safety reasons."
Leia was about to reply when they entered the room where Anakin Skywalker was waiting.
"There you are. It's about time," Anakin said as he looked them both over. "At least you're ready. Amidala needs us in ten minutes."
"The sooner, the better," Leia quipped as she glared once more at her brother who made a face at her in return.
"Don't tell me you two are at it again?" Anakin moaned, sighing with exasperation as he found twin expressions of total innocence on his children's faces in response to his question. "You two aren't together all that often. Must you fight when you are?"
"It shows we're comfortable with each other," Luke stated with a smile. "We're not shy enough not to express our true opinions."
"Yes," Leia eagerly agreed as she eyed the short ponytail at the back of her brother's head.
Seeing her chance, Leia reached forward, grasped the ponytail, and gave it a good yank. Luke yelped in surprise even as his training and instincts kicked in. He spun around and knocked his twin's arm away while he moved his legs into position to wipe her off her feet. Breaking the by now reflex reaction, he reached up and traced his index finger down his sister's cheek instead.
"No!" Leia shrieked in horrified dismay as she jerked away, startled at the speed of her brother's reaction. It was beginning to rival that of their father's.
"Enough!" Anakin ordered as he sensed his daughter's intention to retaliate. At his voice, both of them froze, putting on their innocent expressions once more as they turned to face him. Suppressing the need to shake his head, he looked for the best place to start. "Leia, you know better than to do something like that to a Jedi or Padawan. What if Luke had gone for his lightsaber instead of moving to knock you out?" he questioned, indicating the slim, newly created weapon that hung from his son's belt.
Biting her lip, Leia lowered her eyes even as she saw her brother smirk while he wiped yellow and blue makeup from his finger. Why was it that she always got into trouble? He had started it with his insults upstairs. However, she knew that bringing that up with her father wouldn't get her anywhere. She'd only get a 'you should have ignored that' speech. Instead, she worried about her appearance. From the makeup on her twin's finger she knew that the smudge mark on her face ran over where the blue dot had been.
"Yes, Father," Leia replied softly, knowing that he was waiting for an answer.
"And as for you, Luke," Anakin began sternly, turning to his smirking apprentice. "You know better than to respond the way you did. Especially since your sister needs to appear before the representatives of Alderaan in less than five minutes."
"Yes, M- Father," Luke said, catching himself as he too lowered his eyes. Despite their relationship, he was required by the Jedi Code to address his father as 'master' during lessons, just as his father had to call him either 'Padawan' or 'apprentice' instead of son. The lecturing tone in his father's voice had nearly caused him to respond as he would in the Temple as it was during lessons that his father normally used that tone.
"Good," Anakin stated as he looked between the two of them, keeping his stern mask on for a few more seconds. It was at times like this that it was easy to see that they were twins. "You two really are impossible to handle. You do know that, right?" he questioned as he shook his head in mock exasperation, catching the relief coming from the two thirteen-year-olds before him. "Leia, go fix your makeup before you're needed."
Nodding her head, Leia gracefully left the room, leaving father and son alone together.
"You ready to spend a few hours among the politicians?" Anakin asked, changing the topic.
"No, not really," Luke responded, making a face. "But I don't have a choice, do I?"
"I'm afraid not," Anakin confirmed with a chuckle as he put an arm over his son's shoulders. "But it shouldn't be too bad this time. The Organas don't have any children, so you won't have to explain the Force a million times."
"Thank the Force for that," Luke commented, remembering the young boy last time who had wanted to play Jedi the whole time, but who hadn't grasped the concept of the Force and needed to be reminded of it every five minutes. And then there had been the boy's sister who had clung to his arm the whole time, batting her eyes at him in a vain and childish attempt to get him to like her. She had even kissed him on the cheek in front of everyone before she had left.
"Anakin, Luke," Amidala said as she entered the room, two handmaidens in tow. "Good, you two are ready. Where's Leia?"
"Touching up," Anakin informed his wife as he sent his son a look.
"I'm not even going to ask," Amidala stated, catching the look and seeing the guilty expression that appeared on her son's face as a result. "But will she be ready on time?"
"I'm here," Leia declared from the doorway to the room.
"Good," Amidala replied as she looked her daughter over, pleased. "Come, let's go."
"Luke, Leia," Anakin began and waited until he was sure that he had the twins' attention. "Behave now, this could be an important agreement between us and Alderaan."
"Yes, Father," they both replied in unison.