Title: Duty
Author(s): JainaSolo15
Timeframe: Post AotC
Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sabe, Anakin Skywalker, Padme Nabierre
Genre: Vignette
Summary: Obi-Wan goes looking for his errant Padawan and finds something else instead.
Notes: This is sort of a companion piece to Jaya Solo's Ouch!, and written entirely with her permission...or maybe it was a curse. We just keep trading these sithly bunnies back and forth. Thank you, Jaya.

"What a surprise to find you here, Master Jedi," Sabe said smoothly.

Years of pretending to be the queen had given her the ability to lie smoothly and without the slightest physical tell. Lying to a Jedi Master was something a little different, though, and not anything that she did lightly. Hopefully Obi-Wan would be too distracted by his search for his errant Padawan to notice her lie. After all, she was only doing what her Lady had asked of her.

Obi-Wan Kenobi bowed to her with less grace than usual. "My Lady Sabe," he said formally, "I'm sorry to interrupt unannounced, but I was wondering if you had seen my Padawan. He mentioned that he had business in the Senate this morning."

Sabe stifled a giggle. She would hardly call it business in the Senate. Padme had barely been able to remember her own name earlier that morning, before Anakin arrived. And that was why Sabe would buy them every free moment that she could. Her friend had been forced to grow up at a very young age.

"Anakin Skywalker?" she questioned, assuming a thoughtful look, and then reconsidered. "Please come inside, Master Kenobi." She gestured to the elaborate gown, hairstyle and makeup that she worse. "As you can see, I'm the Senator today. It would arouse suspicions if I were seen talking to you in the hallway. Please come into my office."

The last sentence was spoken in a slight louder voice in case someone really did happen to be listening.

"Certainly, Senator Amidala. Thank you for sparing me a moment of your busy day," Obi-Wan played along.

The hint of mischief that Sabe saw in Obi-Wan's eyes as he stepped inside surprised her...and almost made her blush. His eyes were so very blue.

"M'lady?" Obi-Wan's voice was a bit concerned. "We were discussing my missing Padawan?"

Sabe regained her mental footing with the quick change of subject. "Have you tried his comm. link?" she suggested innocently.

For a moment, she thought he looked irritated, and then his features smoothed into the patient Jedi mask again. "I have, m'lady. He's not answering." The last was said with more than a little frustration.

"Ah, I see," she said tactfully. She paused and then added, "And please don't call me 'm'lady.' It makes me look over my shoulder for Padme," she said mischievously.

"I stand corrected," Obi-wan sketched a bow, "m'lady."

Sabe blinked. That certainly wasn't the response that she had expected from the proper Obi-Wan Kenobi. Perhaps he was enjoying his visit here to such for his Padawan as much as she was. Having a little bit of fun was not encouraged for handmaidens or Jedi, but it couldn't hurt.

She chose to ignore his comment and turned her back on him, walking further into the cavernous space that was the Senator's office on Coruscant. Sabe took a seat on one of the conformable hover couches.

"Do have a seat, Master Jedi."

"I'm afraid that I can't," he said softly. "My padawan..."

"Ah, yes, Anakin..."

Obi-Wan looked at her piercingly. "I take it from your silence that
you haven't seen my Padawan?"

Sabe blinked and decided that she had stalled Obi-Wan long enough. She couldn't risk delaying any longer and chance having Anakin and Padme return. "I haven't seen your Padawan this morning. If he does come by the Senator's offices, I'll be sure to comm. you and let you know."

Obi-Wan started to rise and then stopped in mid motion. "Respectfully, M'lady, I don't believe you."

Sabe looked at him steadily. Lying to a Jedi was no particular crime, but it had certainly made her heart start to race. She titled her head up at him.

"I have no idea what you are talking about, Master Kenobi."

"Your loyalty to your mistress is commendable, but it doesn't make Anakin's cloak lying over the Senator's chair any less visible."

Sabe felt her cheeks flush. She was an experienced handmaiden. It was a position she had served in for more than half of her young life. She shouldn't have been tripped up by such a little detail.

"As you know, Master Kenobi," she said bitingly, refusing to concede his point, "your padawan is a frequent visitor to the offices of many senators in his position as a Jedi Padawan. It is even rumored that he has the ear of the Chancellor. He could have forgotten it in this office at any time."

Obi-Wan was not deterred. "That still doesn't explain why the cloak is in a prominent position, lying over the Senator's chair."

Sabe looked down slightly, allowing a bit of chagrin to show in her demeanor. She gauged her act carefully. It wouldn't do to overplay her hand. "You know that Eirtaé has always had a bit of a crush on Anakin."

Obi-Wan looked at her, disbelief in his eyes. "I see," he said delicately. There was a hint of disapproval around his eyes, mostly reserved for his errant padawan, Sabe thought, but she could also see amusement there as well.

Obi-Wan knew that she was concealing the truth from him and he knew that she was aware that he didn't believe her. He could hardly find the situation anything but amusing.

He straightened and Sabe rose gracefully to join him. "I thank you for your help, Handmaiden Sabe. As usual, it has been a pleasure dealing with the office of the Senator from Naboo." He smiled, blue eyes glinting knowingly at her.

"It is always our honor to assist the Jedi, however we are able," Sabe replied formally. "We're just doing our duty."

Obi-Wan nodded. "As I must get back to mine," he said with a hint of regret. He turned and started towards the door. He paused as he reached to open it. "Perhaps some time when we both happen to be on Coruscant and have an available afternoon, we could meet to discuss 'duty'?"

Sabe tried to cover her surprise and find suitable words to respond. She wasn't sure what to make of what he had said. "Uh…I…" She collected herself, "Perhaps we could."

It was Obi-Wan's turn to look uncertain about what to say. Instead he just nodded again and disappeared out into the hallway.

Sabe stared after the Jedi Master who had always intrigued her. Padme had been the one who had admitted to having a crush on him years ago, but she had hardly been immune to his charm herself. She stared after him blankly for a moment. Surely he couldn't be proposing what she thought he was…

Sabe laughed at her own thoughts abruptly and stood, turning away from the door where Obi-Wan had exited. She mentally shook herself and walked away towards the office comm. unit.

Padme had asked not to be disturbed, but they should know that Anakin was being missed. It was time for all of them to return to their duty. She could dream of Obi-Wan's intriguing suggestion some other time.


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