A/N: This fic was written around midnight on Christmas eve under the influence of way too much sugar. My best friend, Kailla was there throughout and helped co-write it. Aria in this story is me and Leah is Kailla (note our major crushes on certain SW's characters) not that it makes any difference but you might have wanted to know. I'm posting this on behalf of both of us. Have fun!
Aria turned to Leah, an excited grin on her face. It was mirrored in her friend's face. In front of them sat a small, green edged box of eight delectable pieces of maple sugar candy. Aria looked from the box to Leah, to the box.
"There's eight pieces…"
"Four each." They said at the same time, still grinning happily. Each of them took a piece and went at it.
"You know," said Leah, "We've never had more than two pieces at once." She licked maple sugar off her finger. "This could be dangerous." Aria made a face; she was already starting her second piece.
"How? It's not like we're dancing on the edge of the Eiffel tower or something."
"Well, it's 3 o'clock AM. Things happen at three in the morning." Aria laughed.
"Oh well," she said, more engrossed in examining the perfect maple leaf shape her candy formed, than worrying about its effects on her body. They ate on in silence, grinning at each other whenever they looked up.
After finishing the third piece, it dawned on them that something was missing. They thought hard while liking their fingers. A cricket chirped.
"Music," Leah said, "We need music."
"Duel of the Fates," suggested Aria. Leah ginned evilly.
"The dance mix." Aria nodded enthusiastically. She got up and stood in the middle of the room, turning slowly to take it all in. The dresser to her left was piled high with Star Wars trading cards, widevision cards and various other memorabilia. Sandwiched on the side closest to the bed was a CD player.
The bedspread was covered with stars and topped with Qui-gon and Obi-wan pillows. Hanging from the bedposts were two Jedi cloaks. Handmade to boot. The desk nearby was covered in action figures of all sizes. They crowded around a couple of notebooks full of unfinished fanfic. The computer was covered in glow-in-the-dark stickies of the SW characters. Yoda sat on top of the monitor with a cardboard bubble saying, "Fear bad. Anger bad. Chocolate good." attached to him.
The bookcase nearby was full of SW books. Aria prided herself in owning them all. In front of the books were more action figures and some random knives. Next to the bookcase were two piece de resistance- two full sized cardboard cutouts of the Master and Padawan respectively. Seated on top of their shoulders were the plush versions of each Jedi.
The mirror next to them was cluttered with SW postcards and pictures, leaving only a small space to see yourself. Past the closet door was a small TV and VCR. In front of them were various tapes and a book entitled Ewan McGreggor: From Junkie to Jedi. The book topped a pile of every magazine that had ever featured SW: Episode I on its' cover.
On the walls were posters for every SW movie, postcards of the characters, a framed & signed picture by Liam Neeson and Ewan McGreggor and any other SW memorabilia that could be pinned to the walls. The ceiling was decorated in glow-in-the-dark stars, with planets labeled as Coruscant and Tatooine strategically placed. Aria ignored the SW extravaganza and tried to remember where the Duel of the Fates CD was.
"I know it's in the room…somewhere."
"Why don't you try near the CD player?"
Aria rolled her eyes. "Why would it be near the CD player?" she stated but nevertheless went to check, grabbing her fourth piece of maple candy on the way. She searched next to the CD player, knocking off a chocolate Yoda and R2-D2, which neither of them could bear to eat.
"Ooops," Aria muttered, sparing a glance at the chocolate. "I don't see it." Leah sighed, finishing her last piece of maple candy before she spoke. "What about in the CD player?"
Aria started to roll her eyes at that but stopped. "You know, that's a good idea." Leah shook her head at the stupidity of it all as Aria opened the CD player. "Oh look. There it is." She pressed play and set the song to repeat. On a whim, she picked up her lightsaber lying on the floor and assumed a standard starting position. Leah sighed but picked up hers as well. With a couple of years of martial arts under her belt and a sadistic teacher, Aria had a tendency to hit a little too hard. Bruises were better than severed limbs though…
They went at it to the pulsing beat of Duel of the Fates: the dance mix. Aria thrust forward with her lightsaber. Leah knocked it aside but Aria quickly brought it round and whacked her leg.
"Owww." Aria waited patiently for about two seconds.
"Technically you have no right leg now so you can't stand on it."
"Would you rather I don't fight at all?"
"No." Aria said, pouting a little, "You can have your leg back."
"Oh. Thank you," said Leah sarcastically. They circled each other warily, keeping time to the music. Leah finally went for an overhead slash at Aria's head. Aria stepped lightly to the side, holding her lightsaber upside down near her head so that Leah's blow deflected off her lightsaber and to the side. Aria then moved in on Leah's unprotected side. Leah just barely blocked it.
"Why are we doing this again," she asked. Aria shrugged.
"You wanted a fight scene. Remember?"
"Mvvvrrrmmmmm. Mvvvrrrmmm. Clash! Thwack! Hey!"
"Sorry about that Leah. I didn't mean to hit your fingers."
"Yeah, I'm just glad their not real lightsabers."
"Oh yes. Then we'd have to clean blood off the carpet."
"No it would cauterize."
"Oh right." They continued circling each other. "That's not fair! Puddles of blood are much more satisfying."
"Not on a carpet."
"True." They had paused to finish the conversation but instead of resuming Aria walked over to Leah.
"Your stance is wrong."
"Oh." Leah had a what did I do now? look on her face. Aria pointed down.
"Your feet are wrong. Remember-90 degrees!"
"Too high your lightsaber is."
"Yes, I hadn't noticed that but it is."
"Umm, Aria. I didn't say that." Aria stood there puzzled then turned to Qui-gon's cardboard cut out.
"Did you say that Qui?" she said, meaning it to be a joke.
"Speak he did not." Leah, meanwhile, had been looking around the room.
"Aria. Yoda's missing." She sounded afraid, very afraid. Suddenly she yelped and rubbed her foot. On the floor stood a six-inch Yoda, complete with his cane and a conversation bubble attached to his head. A tiny but strong voice emanated from his mouth. Anything he said appeared in the cartoon bubble near his head.
"Pay attention you should. Wrong place your saber is." Leah lowered the saber very slowly (ignoring the fact that she was listening to a six inch muppet) until Yoda said, "Good that is." The lightsaber wavered slightly.
"A steady hand you should have," came Yoda's voice from behind her. Leah dropped the saber. It hovered in the air just above the floor. She had been concentrating so hard on her lightsaber that she hadn't noticed the miniscule Master's movement.
"Training you should have." Aria snatched the lightsaber out of the air and picked up Yoda by the edge of his robe with her other hand. Dangling him at eye level, she asked in an annoyed tone of voice, "Are you implying that my training is substandard?"
Yoda was unruffled by the ice in her tone and answered, "Yes." Aria stared at him for a moment, then shrugged.
"Oh well." She put him down.
"You shouldn't dismiss Master Yoda so lightly," came a voice at their side. It sounded amused. Aria and Leah froze. They knew that voice. Their eyes met and as one they turned to look at the cardboard cutouts. Aria decided it would be best for her health if she sat down at that point.
The cut outs had lowered their lightsabers and were standing leisurely against the wall.
"In fact you shouldn't dismiss Master Yoda at all." Obi-wan said with a lopsided grin. Leah sighed.
Master Qui-gon glanced at his apprentice them walked forward to gallantly offer a hand up to Aria. Leah burst out laughing. Although the Jedi were extremely accurate they were also…two-dimensional. It made for a rather comical look when they walked.
Aria looked at the two dimensional hand being offered her, wondering whether the cardboard would break but decided to risk it. It was Yoda who observed the obvious.
"Two dimensional you are." Obi-wan took offense.
"Yeah well you're…short," he finished lamely. Leah saved him.
"He means shorter than usual."
"Size matters not."
"Tell that to Keanu Reeves about his salary," quipped Aria. "Or the Emperor about his Death Star for that matter."
"Speaking of Death Stars, Aria," said Leah. "I believe the micro-machine X-wings are making a strafing run against your Knex moon model."
Obi-wan piped up. "That's no moon. It's a space station."
"Moon," said Leah.
Qui-gon cut in. "It's a moon that looks like a spacestation. Right Obi-wan?"
"Obi-wan," he said warningly.
"Yes, Master." He turned to Leah. "It's a very nice sp…moon."
"Actually," came a voice, "It's a very nice pile of dust." The two fanfic writers, cardboard Jedi and miniature Master turned to look at the foot tall, stuffed wampa that was speaking in a refined British accent. Behind them the knex model exploded.
Leah's eyes widened a bit. "Valentine?"
"Yes. Actually," the little wampa said politely. "It is pronounced with a long 'I' at the end. A bit like the holiday."
Aria turned with a proud grin to her friend. "See I told you it was pronounced Valentine." Leah just rolled her eyes.
The conversation was cut off by Obi-wan's laughter.
"Something funny is there?" Obi-wan just kept laughing.
"What is it Obi-wan?"
"On…on…" Obi-wan tried to calm down. "On Master…" He started laughing again.
"Calm yourself, Padawan."
Qui-gon groaned. "Not again."
"I heard you could use the Force to cure hiccups," said Aria, trying not to snicker. Leah was looking puzzled. Obi-wan, hiccups, a miniature Yoda. It all sounded very familiar…
"Aria, could we be in a fanfic?"
"No. It's impossible."
"How do you know?"
"Because it's impossible."
"Oh. That makes sense." Leah turned back to Obi-wan. "What were you laughing or should I say, still laughing, about?"
"There'shic a littlehic stuffed Quihic gon onhic Master's shoulder." They all looked and sure enough, the little plush Qui-gon was sitting happily on Qui-gon's shoulder. As soon as it noticed it had everyone's attention, the mini Qui-gon launched into an impassioned speech on the living Force. Obi-wan attempted once again to control his laughter. Qui-gon fixed him with a fierce glare.
"I do NOT sound like that." Mini Qui-gon then started singing.
"I met him in a swamp down on Dagobah…" Obi-wan collapsed on the floor with laughter, which was a funny sight considering he was cardboard.
"Whoa!" said a tiny but familiar voice. Mini Qui-gon stopped singing abruptly. Obi-wan sobered immediately to stare in horror. Clinging to his shoulder with both his stuffed hands was a mini Obi-wan.
"It appears you have a little man clinging to your shoulder," stated Valentine helpfully. Obi-wan shot him an evil glare. Leah felt sorry for the little Obi-wan so she picked him off Obi-wan's shoulder and placed him on her own. Aria started laughing.
"You always did want Obi-wan to yourself." Leah stuck her tongue out at her.
"Hi. My names Obi-wan, "said the little plush toy. Cardboard Qui-gon and Aria both laughed, while the cardboard Obi-wan looked studiously anywhere but Leah's shoulder.
"Would you like me to sing?" he asked. Everyone shook his or her head no but Leah grinned and with a glance at cut out Obi-wan said, "Yes. Definitely yes." Everyone groaned. Mini Obi-wan took a big breath and started singing.
"A long, long time ago…" Valentine was ignoring the singing and looking surreptitiously under the bed. He had heard a noise.
"Excuse me gentlemen, ladies."
"Naboo was under an attack…" Nobody could hear him over wee Obi-wan's serenade. Aria looked over at the dresser. The trading cards were in the middle of a heated battle. Shmi Skyewalker took out a blaster and shot Darth Sidious between the eyes. Aria shook her head and turned back to the singing.
"To maybe, cutting them, a little slack…" Valentine looked again at the dark recess under the bed. He was sure he heard something, despite plush Obi-wan's singing.
"But their response it didn't thrill us… " Both Qui-gons had their hands over their ears and miniature Yoda tried to speak a famous maxim but couldn't be heard over the singing. Luckily, no one was close enough to read his conversation bubble.
"We took a bongo from the scene…" Valentine crept under the bed, while Leah stared fascinated at the Darth Vader and Boba Fett figurines can-can dancing on the bookshelf.
"We were singing…" Cardboard Qui-gon had finally had enough.
"Quiet!" he roared. The mini Obi-wan stopped singing for a second, then started up again in a slightly quieter voice. Qui-gon looked like he was going to cry. Aria walked over and patted his cardboard back in sympathy.
They heard a Rrrrrraaahhh from under the bed.
"Well did you know this junkyard slave…"
"A little quieter please, uh, Obi-wan," said cardboard Obi-wan. No other sound came from under the bed.
"I've got a bad feeling about this," said one of the Han Solo postcards on the wall.
"Oh, shut up!" Aria ordered.
"Though he's just nine and she's fourteen…" Cardboard Qui-gon bent down to look under the bed. Mini Qui-gon hung onto the side of his head while he did so.
"I don't sense ennathing." Aria started giggling. Cardboard Qui-gon looked at her.
"What?" Aria shook her head. There was no way she was explaining that.
"I sense…"Leah hit cardboard Obi-wan.
"Don't say it."
"You know what."
"No. I don't."
"Oh, well, neither do I." Obi-wan frowned at her.
"So we made a wager or twoooooo…"
"What about Valentine?" said a Qui-gon lollipop on the dresser. Aria turned to glare at it.
"Don't you start, Lollipop Head!"
"Well I knew we'd win first place…"
"Right he is. Help Valentine we should."
"And I thought Master Qui-gon liked pathetic lifeforms," came the sardonic comment from cut out Obi-wan. Cut out Qui-gon smacked him on the side of his head.
"Don't mock the Master." Obi-wan made a face.
"Now you sound like Master Windu."
"Heaven forbid," piped up an action figure of Mace Windu.
"May be Vader someday later…" Leah shot a glance at the plush Obi-wan.
"You'd think he'd run out of breath."
"Good breathing control are Jedi taught."
"Yes. First year they are…Hey." Cardboard Qui glared at Yoda.
"Now we finally got to Coruscant…"
"I love Coruscant."
"I love it when they say Coruscant." Cardboard Obi-wan spoke up.
"Shouldn't we go after Valentine?"
"A good idea my Padawan. You go first."
"How his midichlorians were off the scale…" A blaster fight broke out between the stormtrooper cards on one wall and the queen's forces on the other.
"Let's get under cover!" yelled Leah, diving under the bed. One by one, they crawled, bent or just plain walked, under the bed. There, they each discovered an amazing thing about the dark recess, under the bed in Aria's room. There was an even darker hole in the dark recess, under the bed in Aria's room!
"Could he bring baaallancc-umph to the Force?" Mini Obi-wan kept right on singing while the others looked around.
"Where are we?"
"Said it should be, 'We are where?'" Aria looked annoyed.
"Don't correct my grammar, Mini Master."
"Backwards you are."
"Humph. Look in a mirror." The others ignored the argument and looked around or rather tried to look around. It was rather, well, dark.
"Okay. Somebody ignite their lightsaber." Snap-hiss! The Jedi ignited their lightsabers and Aria ignited hers and Leah's.
"Here take this." Leah accepted the lightsaber. Even mini Qui-gon had a lightsaber. Aria thought he looked adorable.
"Just stick it in your pointy ear…"
"Hey!" Plush Obi-wan stopped singing for a moment.
"Sorry Master Yoda. I would never say that to you." He started singing again.
"I would." Yoda looked around, trying to figure out who said it but finally settled for muttering under his breath.
"Now he's just small fry…" Everybody continued looking around until finally cardboard Qui decided to take charge.
"Okay everyone. Let's split up. Each person with a lightsaber go in a different direction." They all looked at each other. Everyone had a lightsaber.
There was a moment of confusion as they each tried to choose a direction but they finally worked it out and headed off.
"Cause Queen Amidala wanted too."
"Where is she anyway?" wondered Aria outloud. Someone close to her answered.
"Do you really want to know?"
"Qui-gon are you alright?"
"The other Qui-gon it was."
"Oh. You mean mini Qui."
"It came from this direction." A lightsaber pointed the way. They all headed in the proper direction.
"Little hotshot flew his plane and saved the day…" They crept slowly to the edge of a sharp drop of about a foot. Below them in a heap was mini Qui-gon and even further beyond him was a curious sight.
"Stop it! The narrator already said that."
"Some ships blew up and some pilots fried…" The Darth Maul action figure, Emperor Palpatine's action figure and the evil doppelganger of Qui-gon's action figure sat around a small table drinking tea.
The group descended the cliff or stepped down, whichever was easier so that they could hear better. They saw a squirming shape against the wall. It took them a moment to realize that it was Valentine, hung, tied and gagged by an old shoelace.
"Hey. I lost that shoelace two months ago."
"Well now you found it."
"I already bought a new one."
"I didn't know you could buy just one shoelace."
"Oh yes at…" Qui-gon interrupted. "Excuse me ladies. Can we get back to the task at hand?" As soon as he looked away, Aria stuck her tongue out at him.
"I saw that." Aria ignored him and helped the little Qui-gon off the floor.
"And the Jedi I admire most. Met up with Darth Maul and now he's toast…"
"I did not die!" said both Qui-gon's at once.
"What do we do?" Leah asked.
"About Valentine? We rescue him." Obi-wan thought it was obvious.
"I thought we were supposed to find him, not rescue him?"
"No. Clearly states the Jedi Code does. Creatures in need we must rescue." Leah sighed and threw up her hands.
"Okay. Fine. Let's. How?"
"Hmmm. How about…no…what about…nah…"
"Uh, Obi-wan," said Aria.
"I hate to interrupt but why don't we just walk up and ask for him back? We have the size advantage." She gestured at the taller members of their group.
"Shut up! We get the point."
"I guess I'll train this boy…" Obi-wan looked at Qui-gon, who shrugged. They all walked up to the tea table.
"Why, hello," said Darth Maul, "Is that illustrious wampa on the wall yours?"
"Yes actually," replied Qui-gon. "We'd like him back if at all possible." The three bad guys exchanged glances.
"Well…Give us a second." They all put their heads together and whispered furiously.
"He left his home…" Leah checked her watch. "You guys done yet?" Palaptine looked up.
"One moment." He whispered one last thing and they all high fived. Maul addressed the group.
"Okay. So we'll give you the wampa. We really don't want him; it's just that bad guys have to tie up good guys. You understand." They all nodded.
"Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi." Plush Obi-wan finished his song and Leah clamped her hand over his mouth so he didn't start again.
"So if you give us something in exchange, say a crumpet or Anakin Skyewalker, we'll let the wampa go." The group looked at each other. Nobody wanted to give a perfectly good crumpet to them.
"Wait," Aria said, holding up her hand. They all watched as she reached in her pocket and pulled out a squirming Anakin.
"Let me go!" She looked at the squirming action figure in distaste.
"I put him in my pocket in the hopes he'd go away." She placed him next to their table. "Here you are. One Anakin Skyewalker." Darth Maul ignited his lightsaber, as did the doppelganger Qui-gon to trap the kid. Plush Qui-gon walked over and untied Valentine. Darth Maul spoke up.
"I there any chance you could tie and more importantly gag Anakin too?"
"No way, Babyface. We're just glad you didn't ask for Jar-Jar," said Aria. Evil Doppelganger Qui-gon looked curious.
"Because I burned his action figure." Silence reigned as everyone contemplated the demise of Jar-Jar. One by one a smile spread across each face.
"Well. I guess that's it."
"Cheerio," said Darth Maul. Evil Doppelganger Qui-gon and Emperor Palpatine waved goodbye. They all headed back to the dark hole in the dark recess, under the bed in Aria's room. A whinny voice followed them out.
"But I want to be a Jedi. Not a Sith…" They followed the light up out of the hole, in the dark recess, under the bed, in Aria's room.
"Hey," exclaimed cardboard Obi-wan, "You have dust bunnies under here!"
"Those aren't dust bunnies, they're…"
"Plot bunnies!" said Aria and Leah together. Cardboard Qui-gon picked one up.
"It says 'angst'."
"Kill it!" Aria and Leah looked at each other, each coming to the same realization.
"We are in a fanfic," said Leah.
"Well…we should end it then. It's getting too long." Aria looked around mournfully.
"Yeah. I guess your right."
"So if it's the end of the fic that means were all going to disappear into oblivion. Right?"
"I guess so. Say goodbye everyone." A chorus of good-byes followed.
"Goodbye you guys. Goodbye Master Yoda. Oh yeah," Leah turned to the screen, "Goodbye dear reader. You've made our lives worthwhile."
"Sure…what she said."
"Hey. The stories over. What are you still doing here? Stop staring at the screen! They're not leaving Aria."
"Don't worry I have an idea. Watch."
Disclaimer: We don't own the Star Wars universe, Lucas does. Though we do own the cardboard cutouts…"Yoda" and "The Saga Begins" both belong to Weird Al. (Yeah for Al!)
(btw. The not again comment (referring to the hiccups. etc) comes from a story that sort of inspired us called Choclately Dreams by Mairoh and Son of Kenobi on the Qui-Gon Discussion List)