Title: Tea For Two
Summary: Dormé has a tiny little crush on Obi-Wan. There is a slight possibility he reciprocates.
Rating: M, for the humor
Timeframe: Between AOTC and ROTS
Disclaimer: Star Wars is the property of George Lucas. No disrespect is intended with this story.
Notes: Just a silly little story set between AOTC and ROTS. I felt the need for something a bit...lighter after writing WAW. If anyone knows where the song Anakin sings originated, please tell me and I'll list it.
They were not in a relationship. Dormé kept reminding herself of that as she tried to decide what to wear. They were just friends. No, she amended quickly. Not friends. Acquaintances by knowing Padmé and Anakin. Really, they could call each other colleagues.
Well, if they stretched the truth a bit.
She pulled out her dark purple dress, then the red and finally the blue. He liked blue, didn't he? She tried to remember, ignoring Ellé and Moteé's teasing as best she could. They giggled merrily and continued making annoying references to mystery men.
"What is going on in here?" Padmé appeared in the doorway, a puzzled expression on her face.
"Dormé has a date," Ellé sing-songed.
"It's not a date," Dormé protested. "It's tea."
"Then why are you getting out your prettiest clothes," Moteé inquired with an arched brow.
"Can't I want to look pretty?" She chose the blue and put the other two away.
"Definitely a date," Moteé informed Padmé, who laughed and came into the room.
"Well, who is he? Anyone we know?" Padmé opened Dormé's jewelry box, that small box holding trinkets that had been gifts. She took out a silver pendant that had blue stones matching the trim on the dress. "Here, wear this too."
Should she tell? He'd said nothing about keeping their occasional afternoon teas a secret and yet... Dormé wanted to keep them to herself, to have a genteel mystery in her life. Nothing high drama, only a little harmless excitement. Dormé smiled. "He's a gentleman. Very kind. And he has a wicked sense of humor."
"We know him," Ellé said, carefully taking Dormé's dress from it's hanger and undoing the line of buttons that held it closed in back.
"Kind and has a sense of humor," Moteé mused thoughtfully. "It can't be Jeman from the seamstress shop. He's a sour, humorless kid. Cute, but has no sense of humor."
"It's not Jeman," Dormé confirmed with a wrinkle of her nose. Besides, Jeman only had eyes for Ellé. He mooned over her every time they went in, going all tongue tied and clumsy. No, her friend was not like that. Her friend was never tongue tied or clumsy. At least not that she'd ever noticed.
"Who else is there?" Bending, Moteé picked out the most uncomfortable shoes Dormé owned, a beaded and embroidered mule she'd picked up on sale and never worn because they pinched her toes after ten minutes. "Wear these. They match."
"I don't want to wear those, they pinch."
Padme sat on the bed, leaned back on her hands. "Take it from me, Dormé. Sometimes, beauty hurts."
"Oh! Oh! I know who it is!" Ellé took Dormé's robe from her while Moteé helped her into the dress despite her protests that she could dress herself. "It's Tepin from security. He's always been sweet on you and he fits the description. Gentleman. Kind. Sense of humor. It has to be Tepin. Besides, he's cute."
Dormé shook her head. "Nope. Not Tepin. But you are getting warmer in a way." The dress fit her well, being at once modest and provocative without being too much of either. She flushed. Would he like her dress? She thought he would.
"You're blushing." Brush in hand, Moteé urged her to sit. "Let me do your hair."
She snatched the brush away. Let Moteé have at her and she'd be suffering one of those intricate hairstyles Padmé usually wore. That was all fine for Padmé because her job required some elegance, but Dormé didn't need anything like that for tea. It was only tea. Nothing more. "I can do my own hair, thank you."
"Oh come on, Dormé. I've been dying to put your hair up properly for weeks."
"No, thank you, Moteé." She saw Moteé flinch as she tugged at a snarl with the brush and knew it was taking all of Moteé's self control not to yank the brush back and have at her.
Padmé chuckled again. "Word of advice: if you're meeting a man, then wear it down and loose. Men like that."
Moteé, Ellé and Dormé all looked at her.
"What," Padmé said, sitting up and shifting uncomfortably. "They do."
"Anakin does," Dormé said softly, sharing a glance with the other two handmaidens. They all knew how much Anakin liked Padmé's hair down. He got this silly little grin on his face and discretion seemed to leave him.
Padmé rolled her eyes. "I'm sure he's not the only one. That's beside the point. We're talking about Dormé's boyfriend, not my husband."
"I do not have a boyfriend. He's a friend, nothing more."
Now Padmé got up and came to her, bringing the necklace. "Careful, Dormé. I said those very words myself not too long ago."
"But in my case, it's true. I have no intention of marrying O--" Dormé's eyes went wide and she clapped a hand over her mouth, managing at the last second to keep from blurting out his name.
"O?" Padmé put the necklace on her, straightened the chain. "Who, ladies, do we know whose name begins with that letter?" As Ellé and Moteé ran through the surprisingly long list of men whose name began with 'O', Padmé stared at her, gauging her reaction to each one, that sharp gaze looking for any tiny reaction.
Dormé tried to brace herself for when his name eventually was mentioned.
"Orellis, Orin, Olenter, Obran, Obi-Wan..." Moteé continued on with the list, oblivious of Dormé.
Dormé couldn't help her blink and near grin at his name.
Padmé saw and smiled. "Okay, that is quite enough. Quit teasing for a bit. Go, find something else to do." It was a soft order with a bit of steel behind it. Good naturedly, the two left about other tasks.
"My lady," Dormé began, only to have Padmé shush her.
"He is an acceptable companion to spend an afternoon with." She picked up a plain comb, swept Dormé's hair up one side of her head and secured it, baring her ear and neck. "There. All pretty. Enjoy your tea, Dormé." Padmé followed Ellé and Moteé, leaving Dormé alone.
She looked at her reflection. A crush, she thought. Heavens. I have a crush on Obi-Wan Kenobi. When did this happen?
She pondered that all the way to the café they planned to meet at. There was not one single moment where she could remember deciding to entertain slightly romantic thoughts about him. It had simply happened, her mind conjuring forth his image to distract her at inopportune moments.
Oh, she had all the signs of an adolescent type crush too. She couldn't wait to see him and wanted to every day. She felt breathless after they spoke, as though she wasn't getting enough oxygen -- which could be true, since she'd caught herself holding her breath as he talked. Wouldn't that be lovely, to pass out in front of him? Of course, there could be an upside to that in that he might gather her into his arms and hold her...
She'd discovered herself doodling his name and had been imagining of late that they lived happily ever after. Of course, her rich fantasy life in that area was prodded greatly by Padmé and Anakin's romance. Dormé had wondered how many Jedi had married in secret like Anakin. It was terribly romantic.
She sighed, slowing her strides as she reached the street it was on. Her stomach clenched with spasms of nervousness. He would be waiting, she knew. He always arrived before she did, well before the appointed hour, so that there would be tea and pastries waiting her arrival. He would have ordered her favorite, a rich, cream filled pastry that he'd once declared far too sweet for his taste. He was thoughtful that way, remembering things like that. Her favorite pastry, favorite tea.
Dormé saw him and hurried across the courtyard.
He never should have mentioned he was meeting Dormé. At least, not to Anakin and not after he'd already met with her on other occasions. It was all quite innocent, but his Padawan took it as a chance to imply something sordid and tease him.
All morning long.
"I cannot get over this, Master."
"There's nothing to get over." Really, he should put a stop to this teasing, but the past few months since the beginning of the war had been so stressful that he knew he and Anakin both needed a light moment. He'd accept the teasing and simply find something to tease Anakin about later as payback. Something big. Something he could draw out like Anakin was milking this. Nothing immediately came to mind, but if he was patient, he was certain something would present itself. It always did.
"Of course there is. For years, you've cautioned me about attachments. Everyone cautioned me about them and then you turn right around and have these afternoon assignations with a pretty little handmaiden."
"Assignations? Delightful choice of words," he commented, checking his belt to make certain he had everything. "Building your vocabulary, are you?"
"Always, Master. I learn new words every day."
"As long as you don't use them," he said sternly.
Anakin picked up a glass, then set it right back down, humor in his voice "You know what they say, Master. Use any new word three to five times in a day to remember it properly."
"I'd just as soon you forget most of those words, not remember them." Was it his imagination, or was he getting gray hairs in his beard already? Ahh, the hazards of having Anakin for his Padawan.
"We were talking about Dormé, not my ever increasing, spectacular vocabulary."
"Correction, Anakin. You were talking about her, not I."
"Ahh, but you remarked that you were looking forward to seeing her again. That qualifies as part of a conversation. So, we were discussing her, the two of us."
Obi-Wan stared at his reflection, wondering if he should have gotten his hair cut. Did Dormé like the longer hair? And the gray. Did she see it as distinguished?
Blast it all, he thought. Why do I even care? It's my hair and my beard. I doubt she ever thinks of them. Why would she? We're friends. Nothing more. Never more.
"She is pretty, Master. Dark hair, dark eyes."
"Anakin." He found his Padawan in the mirror, saw Anakin watching him with a strange expression on his face, almost as though he was searching for something.
"What? I'm only pointing out what you've probably already noticed."
Time was moving quickly and he was going to be late if he didn't get moving. "Yes, she is pretty." He tried to recall her favorite tea, frowning when it wouldn't rise from memory. "Quite pretty as a matter of fact."
"And you caution me about becoming attached? Master, look at yourself."
"I am looking." Obi-Wan returned his gaze to his own reflection. "What am I supposed to be seeing?"
"You're becoming used to her. Attached."
He rolled his eyes. "I am not."
"Oh yes you are. Obi-Wan and Dormé sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g--"
"Where did you learn that appalling song?"
Anakin grinned, unrepentant and unenlightening his Master. "Would you like to hear the rest of it?"
"No. Act your age, Anakin."
"If I must, Master."
"You must. Please."
He crossed his arms. "Okay, Master. We were talking about your growing, and wholly understandable, attachment to the lovely Dormé."
Obi-Wan sighed, giving Anakin a good-natured lift of one brow. "I am not attached to her."
"Of course not. You've just seen her five times already in the past two months. That's five times in the two brief moments we've been back to Coruscant."
"I enjoy her company," he said, straightening his tunic.
There was something in Anakin's tone that made him pause, a cynicism, a knowledge. Had Anakin's own visits with Padmé and her ladies finally made him more at ease with women? Had he matured enough to fully realize the allure of the fairer sex? It certainly sounded like it. He turned his head, catching the tiny grin on Anakin's lips.
Yes, definitely knowledge there. Another sigh left him. He'd always dreaded the day when Anakin's hormones would send him into even more trouble than usual and been pleasantly surprised when that moment hadn't happened, deciding Anakin was just a late bloomer in that department.
Or had it taken place and he'd missed seeing it?
Now that was a disturbing thought. Anakin had always snuck out at night and now it belatedly occurred to Obi-Wan that perhaps he'd been sneaking out to meet girls. He swallowed hard, imagining little Anakins running around the galaxy asking the eternal 'why' as they caused chaos. Ridiculous. Wouldn't he know by now if there were any little Anakins running around Coruscant?
He tugged at his tunic.
I'm nervous. How bizarre is that? I'm nervous to see her.
"Don't be impertinent, Anakin. It's not like that."
"Oh?" Anakin straddled a chair, rested his arms on the back and his chin on his arms. "So what is it like?"
He had the irritating need to justify himself to his Padawan. "We're friends. Nothing more. There is not one hint of romantic nonsense between myself and Dormé."
Anakin watched him with an amused stare.
"Really. I mean it."
"I didn't say anything," Anakin protested.
"You were thinking it. How many times have I told you to be mindful of your thoughts?"
As a distraction, his reprimand worked slightly. Anakin frowned, grin fading. "I'm sorry, Master. I'll do better."
Of course he always said that. Obi-Wan put on his robe, adjusted it. "I'll be gone all afternoon and possibly part of the evening." Anticipating Anakin's response to that, he added," I will be available at all times should you require my immediate return for one reason or another."
"Enjoy your...tea, Master."
He felt like shaking his head. Incorrigible. Even now, Anakin was incorrigible. That emphasis on 'tea'... He strode to the door. "Please do something constructive while I'm gone."
"Of course, Master. I wouldn't dream of doing otherwise."
Oh, Obi-Wan didn't like the tone of that. It was rife with all sorts of mischief. Giving Anakin a last, and hopefully reproving enough glance to discourage the worst of his mischief, Obi-Wan left his quarters. If he hurried, he'd still get there before Dormé.
Constructive, Anakin decided as the door closed, was a relative term. His idea of what was constructive and Obi-Wan's idea rarely meshed. For example, Obi-Wan would hardly consider Anakin spending an afternoon all alone with Padmé to be constructive. Anakin, on the other hand, considered it very constructive, especially if it entailed no clothes and her rather large, comfortable bed, and decided he'd waited long enough to see her.
As a Padawan, sneaking out of the Temple was sometimes difficult and occasionally impossible. One never knew when Mace Windu would suddenly appear, demanding to know where the Padawan thought he was going by himself. He'd had that happen the last time they were on-planet. He'd ended up sneaking out in the middle of the night and accidentally scaring Padmé half to death when he'd crawled into bed with her. She'd given him quite a bruise.
Anakin had learned to be careful. He employed caution even as he entered the apartment, keeping an eye, ear and all senses alert for handmaidens, dignitaries and anyone else who might be visiting Padmé. Stepping into the living area, he found Threepio powered down and his beloved waiting for him.
"My lady," he began, still cautious though he detected no one.
She launched herself into his arms, nimble fingers working him out of his clothes. By this, he deduced there really was no one there besides them. "No one here. Get these off." She shoved his vest and tunic off his shoulders and down his arms without bothering to undo his belt.
"Right," he replied, taking care of his belt clasp with a blatant disregard for proper use of the Force. He couldn't keep his wife waiting, now could he? Even Obi-Wan couldn't argue with that logic.
Well, he could...
Padmé kissed him and he forgot all about Obi-Wan.