Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox - I'm just playing in it.
Title: Brotherly Advice
Timeframe: NJO AU
Characters: Anakin & Jacen Solo, Tahiri
Summary: Anakin asks Jacen for some love life advice.
Jacen Solo looked up from his holo-novel at the question from his doorway. "What's up, Anakin?"
Anakin Solo glanced over his shoulder before stepping into the room and tugging the door closed behind him. "Could I talk to you?"
Jacen shut down his novel and waved his brother to a chair. "Sounds serious. Are you okay?"
"Yeah." Anakin sat in the chair offered but squirmed, his hands fidgeting. "I'm fine. At least, I think I am."
Jacen surveyed the defensive posture Anakin took up without thinking and idly wondered what could be so important. "Nothing's happened between you and Tahiri, has it?"
Anakin was quick to shake his head, color flooding his cheeks. "Oh no! Nothing, nothing at all, we're doing good, just good."
Jacen chuckled. "Is that you're problem? You and Tahiri haven't been doing anything?"
Anakin ducked his head. He was seventeen; he knew the principals of procreation. He knew, logically what to expect, but his friend was tying him in knots. He hadn't been expecting the light-headedness, nor the desire - he hadn't been ready for the surge of protectiveness he felt towards Tahiri. He nodded, uncomfortable. "Yeah. I guess so."
"Either you know or you don't little brother."
Anakin's head snapped up. "Then I don't. I just... how do you handle it?"
Jacen blinked, caught off guard by the question. "What?"
Anakin waved his hand around, gesturing to the holo of Tenel Ka on Jacen's bed side. "How do you handle being so close to the woman you love without begging her to crawl into your bed?"
Jacen burst out laughing. "Anakin!"
Anakin stood, beginning to pace. "I know you and Tenel Ka are close, Jacen, but I don't understand how you can just control yourself."
"Maybe I don't."
Anakin turned, gaping at his older brother.
Jacen chuckled. "I can honestly say I understand what you're going through, Anakin."
"No you don't." The younger Solo sighed, dropping himself back into his chair dejectedly. "I'm getting these thoughts about Tahiri I never would have dreamed of thinking before! I'm picturing her naked. Naked!" He sounded aggrieved. "And I feel so guilty. Even her bare feet drive me to distraction and I keep wanting to touch her. Her! She's my best friend!"
Jacen reached over to place a hand on his brother's forearm. "Anakin." He waited until Anakin was looking at him. "That's a normal part of growing up. Tahiri's becoming a woman, and attractive young woman; wouldn't you feel worse if you weren't noticing how she's changing?"
Anakin shook his head violently. "Oh no! I'd feel a lot better. I'm afraid to go to sleep at night because I keep having these... these dreams." He stumbled over the words, his face filling with hot, guilty color. "I shouldn't be dreaming about Tahiri like that! What would she say if she ever found out, huh?"
"She might be flattered."
Anakin sank further into his chair with a sigh. "I can't even look at her anymore, Jacen, I'm in big trouble."
"So tell her how you feel."
"How I feel?" Anakin echoed the words uncertainly. "But, I don't know how I feel. I just know I shouldn't feel like this about her."
"Because... because..." Anakin sputtered, fighting to find the right words. "Because it's wrong! Tahiri's my best friend, I should be having uncomfortable dreams about her!"
Jacen cocked his head at his brother. "Why not? She's a girl, you're a guy. It was inevitable you'd notice her eventually."
"But I shouldn't." Anakin agonized, fighting against the logic of his brother's words. "She's... she's Tahiri." He said it as if that should explain it all.
Jacen rose to his feet and move to place both hands on his brother's shoulders. "So tell her you find her attractive, bare feet and all. If she thinks you're better off as friends, she'll tell you. Otherwise, she'll be flattered, and who knows, maybe some of those dreams of yours will come true." He winked at Anakin, his eyes sparkling. "Either way, you don't suffer the unknown."
"Is that what you did?"
"Nah." Jacen straightened. "Tenel Ka came after me. Go find Tahiri Anakin; I'd say the two of you need to have a talk."
A knock at the door brought them both around and Anakin's eyes widened. "It's her!"
Jacen moved to open the door, revealing the blonde imp who was tying his brother in knots, bare feet and all.
"Jacen, have you seen... Anakin!" A smile lit her face and she rushed in, grabbing his hand and dragging him to his feet, talking a mile a minute. "I've been looking all over for you, where've you been? Hiding here? Why? Come on, dummy, wipe that frown off your face, we're going to go swimming. What, you don't like swimming anymore? I thou-"
Jacen shook his head as his closing door shut off Tahiri's running commentary, a grin on his face. He only hoped Anakin would take his advice.
What he would have seen if he'd left his door open a few moments more, was Anakin grab Tahiri by the shoulders and slant his mouth across hers to shut her up.
Author's Note: Inspired by a rogue comment/scene in Inara's "Friends No More" - awesome fic, people should read it! The commentaries made by other readers is entertaining too :D