Disclaimer: George Lucas is the creator of Star Wars. Not I. Any planets or people not recognized in this piece to be of the Star Wars universe are mine.

Warning 1: Thou shall not steal. Plagiarism is a dastardly deed. Thank you.

Warning 2: No beta reader. Apologies for everything wrong in this short story. I've seen all six episodes but remain mostly ignorant of the Extended Universe, so please forgive any uncharacteristic actions and emotions.

Timeline: A year or two before Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

'words' – Individual's contained thoughts

The Drinker

By Jan J. (or P.J.P.), Little Sister's Keepress

He suppressed the frantic urge to groan out loud. 'Please don't let me lose my supper!'

This was his eighth—or, was it his tenth?—drink. The bitterness whipped at his taste buds relentlessly, and a weak cough escaped his lips. He quickly muffled it with his Jedi robe's sleeve, surreptitiously glancing around to see if anyone had noticed.

No faces had swiveled his way. 'Thank the Force!'

His eyes fled back to the cup's contents in front of him. His reflection floated on the burgundy surface. Before, it had been on an amber surface. His first (the third?) drink had presented an emerald surface. Idly, he wondered if he was somehow hallucinating or going color blind.

/Padawan, are you all right?/ a tranquil voice probed his mind.

/Master?/ Anakin miserably called out through the bond. He looked up, seeking out the elder Jedi's reassuring gaze but found Obi-Wan to be engaged in a quiet conversation across the table.

/I'm sorry, Master, but I think I'm going to be sick./

/Hmm, but, Anakin, I seem to recall a certain young apprentice who proclaimed that you weren't a man if you couldn't come out of this event in a stellar state. In fact, this same novice completely failed to listen to any of my lectures on the subject./

/But, Master, I can't even mix these drinks with anything. I have to take it all straight!/

/Patience, my young one. I do believe that we have precisely four more drinks to go./ Anakin felt tendrils of soothing serenity, courtesy of Obi-Wan, thread around his whole being.

The blond sighed. /How come you're not affected? You continuously sip from your cup as if it's nothing. Don't you want to add anything?/

Obi-Wan's gentle laugh echoed through their bond. /It is because I'm more experienced, Anakin. Do not worry; you will learn with time. As for the taste, I quite like it./

Anakin started with disbelief and awe at this confession. /Master, you're my hero!/

/Well, if this is all it takes to impress you . . ./ Obi-Wan's perplexed words flowed from the link. /But I have a feeling you will still disregard most of my orders in the future, Padawan./

/Don't think—/ Anakin bit on his lip as his mouth began to water unnaturally from the impending nausea. 'Calm. I must be calm. When will this end?' Obi-Wan mentally nudged him in concern but did not avert his attention from the discussion at hand.

Several moments later, the youth couldn't help but stagger up in relief when they both were dismissed and were bidden a most tedious good night by the Enolian Principal Chief.

"Anakin, you could have at least thanked the Chief," Obi-Wan admonished half-heartedly as they neared their quarters.

"But didn't you thank her on behalf of the two of us? And, anyway, I did bow," his charge huffed. Suddenly, he clutched his stomach. "Oh, Force!"

Obi-Wan hurriedly raced after his Padawan as the boy flew through the chamber's doors and flung himself into the refresher. He gingerly knelt beside the heaving Anakin and fondly brushed away the dangling braid so it would not get in the way.

"Remind me as soon as we get to Coruscant to refresh you on the finer points in the art of Enolian tea drinking." The retching sounds halted for a couple of seconds, and his apprentice slumped shakily against him. As an afterthought, Obi-Wan added, "And to teach you about all the other cultural tea ceremonies in the galaxy."

Blanching at the notion of being in the mere company of that diabolical liquid again, Anakin furiously swiped his mouth with the same unfortunate sleeve of his Jedi tunic. He cried out piteously, "Master, make it go away! Surely there's a cure for tea poisoning."

"I hardly think that you were poisoned, Padawan. You just need to learn how to hold your tea," the auburn-haired man replied amusedly. "However, perhaps there is something to treat your 'ailment.' Remain here. I shall go down to the kitchens to request it for you."

Anakin practically beamed with all the illumination of a bioluminescent cnidarian as Obi-Wan departed.

'Ugh,' he thought as he spotted the dismal condition of his sleeve and resumed his post on the refresher's floor.

"Anakin, rise and shine," a voice pierced through his haziness.

"Wha?" he muttered unintelligently as a figure towered over his sprawled form. "I didn't fall asleep."

"No, you were mediating while drooling on the floor most unbecomingly of a Jedi," Obi-Wan wryly remarked.

"Um, well, in that case, I may have taken a short nap. I thought I could sleep the vomiting away."

"Can you sit up?"

"Yes, Master. I also don't feel that queasy anymore."

"Good. Here you are. It's Enol's finest cocoa blended intricately with those marshmallows that you adore so."

Anakin stared reverently at the offered mug of divine goodness. Creamy swirls embraced a rich, chocolate hue. 'Finally, something sweet.' "I love you, Master!"

"Be mindful of your expressions, Anakin!" Obi-Wan rebuked, but he secretly smiled at the teenager's starry-eyed look, which was focused on the steaming concoction. "Now this, my Padawan, is what I call a bittersweet conclusion to our negotiations in Enol."

Anakin inwardly moaned. 'Obi-Wan's poor puns will be the death of me.'


Dedication: To all readers who feel that bottles of Whyren's Reserve and Earth's equivalents (or any liquor) are for the craven