Written for everyone who believes that there aren't enough Anakin/Obi-Wan friendship fics on this site. Try reading it, I genuinely think that you won't be disappointed. Especially if you want to see a cameo from a certain OT character :)
To say that Mace Windu was not amused was an understatement.
It had been a simple mission, really: a routine, everyday journey to some insignificant planet in the Outer Rim at the whim of a paranoid leader who wanted the Jedi to witness the signing of some unimportant treaty. In fact, Upillina epitomised the colloquial term of a "backwater" planet -- Master Gallia had been shocked when a citizen had innocently asked her what year it was -- and all the Jedi had to do was stand over a fat politician's shoulder and look important while the agreement was signed, then shake a few hands and disappear into their ship and back to Coruscant and civilisation. It was child's play, really. A free holiday. Luxury time off.
It was, therefore, safe to assume that nothing could have gone wrong. But if anyone, Mace Windu reflected, anyone, could screw up as simple a task as this, Kenobi and Skywalker could. And now, we come back to our previous statement: that Jedi Master Mace Windu was definitely not amused.
"So …" He began in the deep voice that struck fear into the heart of the temple younglings and Masters alike, "I suppose I'd better let you explain this then."
Silence. Kenobi had long since fixed his gaze on the suddenly fascinating pattern of the temple floor, while Skywalker shifted uneasily from foot to foot. Neither showed any inclination to speak.
"Oh come now," Windu exclaimed after an embarrassing pause. "Surely you can give me a summary of your own actions … or are suffering from amnesia today?"
The only sound in the council chambers was the muted buzz of speeders flying past in the rush hour traffic. Skywalker was now shaking slightly; Windu recognised his actions as that of a person trying to hold back wild, uncontrollable laughter. Kenobi was faring little better, his lower lip whitening from the pressure his teeth were exerting on it.
With a barely audible sigh, Mace Windu steepled his fingers together, regarding both the Jedi with a cool glare. "Fine. Since the nexu seems to have got both your tongues, I shall read out the summary that I received from the Upillian Embassy, and you will merely confirm if the details are accurate. Agreed?" Two curt nods. "Very well …" Glancing down at the printout on the armrest of his chair, Mace Windu scanned the document. "So, let's see … official government of the system of Upillia … hmm, hmm … ah, yes, here we are." He cleared his throat. "The negotiations were meant to be short, and the government did not expect violence. However, due to the rash actions of the Jedi Padawan --"
"It was justified!" Skywalker burst out, before catching himself. Windu raised an eyebrow. "I mean …" the young man faltered, "nothing, Master. I spoke out of turn. Kindly continue." Kenobi was now biting his hand to stop sniggering.
With a soft sigh, the reading resumed. "… the rash actions of the Jedi Padawan, which led to riots in the city centre …"
"I'm tellin' you, Master, this place is so backward it makes Tatooine look like Coruscant!"
"The technological advancement of this planet does not affect our mission in any way, Padawan. You would do well not to focus on your surroundings …"
"… and to be more mindful of the Living Force, yadda yadda yadda-"
Obi-Wan Kenobi raised an eyebrow. "Are you mocking me, Anakin?"
"Uh, no Master, of course not!" Turning to face Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker gave him a big, fake smile. "Would I ever be disrespectful toward my kind, wonderful and completely perfect Master?"
"You wound me, Master, you really do!" Anakin cried, dramatically clutching his heart. "By the way, speaking of being wounded, we'd better get to the village soon, because my ankle isn't getting any better after the ship went down --"
"And if you hadn't been so stupid as to enter the atmosphere at about five times the acceptable speed, then we wouldn't have crashed the ship in the first place …"
"You crashed the ship?" Questioned Kit Fisto in surprise. "I thought that the King gave you his best ship as a gesture of goodwill after yours was, erm," he quickly consulted his notes, "'looted by migrating Jawas'?"
"But Jawas don't migrate …" Interjected Shaak Ti in confusion. She was exceptionally well read and considered herself to be an expert on almost every aspect of general knowledge. "They're desert dwelling!"
"No, I'm telling you, I saw one on Nar Shadda once!" Argued another Master.
"Since when did you go on a mission to Nar Shadda?"
"Who died and made you Supreme Chancellor?"
As the Council entered into a heated debate as to whether Jawas did, indeed, migrate or not, the two solitary figures standing in the middle of the room entered into an equally fierce argument.
/Way to go, Master./ Anakin gave the equivalent of a mental hiss. /That was just such a great idea, wasn't it?/
/It was a perfectly plausible explanation, Padawan --/
/Oh, never mind that your Padawan actually lived on Tatooine, oh no, let's just invent biological impossibilities that the Council is in no way going to buy --/
/Well, they're doing a good job of "buying" it right now, aren't they?/
/Look here, you --/
"Order!" Mace Windu's shout quickly restored some semblance of calm to the squabbling Jedi. "Now," He began when silence had once more been restored, "let us first deal with these two, ah, miscreants, and then we can continue our discussion on the migratory habits or otherwise of the Jawas."
When the other eleven Jedi nodded their assent, he consulted the sheet of paper in front of him once more, before deciding that Kenobi and Skywalker's summary would be far, far more colourful, and, accordingly, far, far more interesting. "So, you, erm, crashed the ship on what you thought was an empty plain …"
"Master, I can't take this any more! We've been walking for around two hours, and the city is nowhere in sight!"
"Patience, Padawan. We will find the city in due course. Now, what does the map say we should do?"
"Erm … it says the city is over the next ridge …"
"You said that about the last ridge. And the one before that. And the one before that. And --"
"There have only been two ridges, Master."
"Right." Frustrated with the situation, Obi-Wan decided to take matters into his own hands. Making a grab for the map that his Padawan held in one hand, he forgot to watch where he was placing his feet. Just as his fingers closed around the paper, a tree root decided to make its presence known -- a second too late. Caught between a stationary Anakin Skywalker and a flailing Obi-Wan Kenobi, the map did what any self-respecting map would do in a situation such as this: it tore in half.
"Brilliant, Master, simply excellent!" Anakin snapped, his voice heavy with sarcasm. "Now we're definitely lost in the middle of nowhere with no comm. frequency, no ship, no food and no map --"
"Now, Padawan, if you stop your melodramatic whining, you'd notice that I can just about hold the pieces together. So, if Tyria is NNE of here --"
"No, no, Master, it's SSW!"
"No, it's -- hold on just a minute --"
It then dawned on Obi-Wan Kenobi what his young charge had been doing wrong the whole time. Turning to face Anakin, the older man snapped in a tone that he had only heard him use twice. "Anakin, you prat, you've been reading the map upside down!"
"Twice, you say?" Asked Aayla Secura with no small amount of interest. "What were the other two times?"
"Well …" Began Anakin after a moment's thought. "The first time was when we were on that mission to Utapau, and Master fell into that nest of Gundarks --"
"And the second," he continued with a positively evil grin, "was that time when we were celebrating Knight Eerin's birthday, and Master got so drunk that he --"
"Padawan!" Anakin suddenly felt his mouth slam shut against its will.
"Ahem!" Once again, Mace Windu desperately tried to regain order. "Kenobi, it would be beneficial if you could undo your Force-lock on Skywalker's jaw, as I believe we still hadn't finished listening to your summary of the mission and I don't think that either of us would want to have to deal with the legal work that would arise if you choked the boy." With a grimace, Obi-Wan complied; behind him, Anakin gasped for air like a man saved from drowning. "Now, I believe you were at the point where you realised that Skywalker has next to no navigational skills?"
"Um, yes." Kenobi stuttered, trying to ignore the heated glare that his Padawan was shooting at him. "And then …" He suddenly broke down into a fit of suspicious coughing, trying to keep his Jedi composure. "And then the natives arrived …"
There were about twenty of them at first. Armed with sharp spears, rocks and other crude forms of weaponry, they circled the still-arguing Jedi like nexu hunting their prey. Taking careful aim with a spear, one native let it fly from his hand --
"N-never mind, Anakin, it's merely a … a flesh wound …"
"Don't be stupid, Master, it's gone right through your shoulder!"
"Look, Padawan, I'm sure that you can take them on --"
"Without my lightsabre? I lost it when the ship crashed. Alongside the emergency homing beacon and the emergency healing kit."
Anakin could almost hear Obi-Wan's exasperation. "Padawan, that weapon is your --"
"-life, I know, I know. But surely, Master," he added after a moment's pause, "if the weapon really was my life, then wouldn't I be dead by now?"
"Well, at the rate we're going, you are going to be dead in a minute!"
"By the natives' hand, or yours?"
"What do you think, Anakin?"
"Ah. That's what I was afraid of."
"So, how did you get to the city?" Windu had abandoned all semblance of annoyance at this point and was leaning in towards the two squirming Jedi.
"Well …" Skywalker began. "After they tied us by our wrists and ankles to stakes, they took us in the opposite direction to where we had been coming from, and we guessed that they were taking us to the king …"
"Um, Master, where do you think they're taking us?"
"Well, to the city, Padawan, where else?"
Silence. Then, "I guess that the King will be a little, erm, surprised to see us entering this way, don't you?"
"No, Padawan, it's probably customary for delegates to arrive at the palace in this manner."
"I thought you said that sarcasm was a tone of voice unbecoming of a Jedi." Anakin shot back. "Hey, Master -- okay, okay, I admit that I screwed up! But don't worry, I'm sure that they can see from our clothes that we're Jedi --"
"If they can get past the mud and the twigs in our hair and the spear sticking, rather painfully, might I add, out of my shoulder --"
"I got hurt as well, okay?"
"Twisting your ankle in a ship crash brought on by your own stupidity is not on the same level as getting attacked by natives."
"You didn't have to walk for two hours on a sprained ankle now, did you?"
"Now, Padawan, don't get started on the --"
"Oh, um, look Master, we're here."
The look on Obi-Wan Kenobi's face was so suffused with horror that Anakin had never wished so dearly for a camera as he had at that moment. Equal parts of disgust, terror, apprehension and embarrassment flitted across his features before he managed to paste a calm façade on his face. Beside him, Anakin did much the same.
/Hey, I think that décor was fashionable … about two centuries ago./
/I know, you're right. Maybe three./
/Padawan, now is not the time --/
Anakin followed Obi-Wan's gaze, recoiling in shock as a large man stalked towards them.
/Master, doesn't he look a bit --/
/And are they really going to --/
/Master, I have a bad feeling about --/
"So, they just randomly grabbed you and put you in chains?"
"Well … yes."
"You didn't, you know, say anything, did you?"
"So how did that lead to, let's see, "widescale revolting in the whole of the city?"" Mace Windu asked, regarding the duo with barely disguised incredulity -- and, if he was blatantly honest, a touch of admiration. After all, surely no ordinary Jedi could cause a simple meeting to descend into mass rioting. Surely.
"We-ell …" Skywalker managed to choke the word out before taking a few seconds to compose himself. "Y'see … "
"I do not like the way this is turning out, Master." Anakin complained, desperately trying to twist his bound wrists into a more comfortable position.
"Neither do I, Anakin."
"I mean, honestly, I'm going to lose all the feeling in my hands if this continues-"
"I thought you were complaining about our current situation."
"Our situation?" The younger Jedi asked in confusion. "We've been through worse, Master. We'll get out of it, somehow."
"Anakin, we're tied together, being led to the town square to be murdered in who only knows what manner with no weapons, no aid and without the use of the Force. I can't really see our situation getting any bleaker than this."
"Ah. See, I was sort of banking on the Force-inhibitors being out of date an only lasting for about an hour …"
"Mindless optimism is not the way of the Jedi, Padawan."
"Neither is pessimism."
Obi-Wan tried desperately to undo his bound ankles, but to no avail; the rope was thick and well made and the knots tightened whenever he moved. "Did they say why we were being taken here, anyway?"
"Um, no …" The sound of shouting suddenly became apparent to the two men. "But I think we're about to find out …"
The cart made its slow way to the centre of the town square, where the two Jedi were yanked upright and displayed for all the town to see. The jeering grew wild.
"Padawan, I think I know what is going on."
"How could you possibly- oh. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no …" A now-terrified Anakin followed his Master's gaze to where a long wooden stake had been erected in the square, with forbidding metal chains encircling it. "They couldn't possibly ..."
"I think they could, my friend."
"Dear Force, I can just see it now." The Padawan continued, his voice suffused with horror. "Kenobi and Skywalker, the greatest Jedi of the Order, burned at the stake by mad jungle natives, who thought they were ..."
"Interesting, this is." Said Yoda. "Continue, you will."
"Well, Master, I think I've found the one positive aspect of this situation."
"The Temple won't have to pay the costs for our funeral pyres."
Obi-Wan could not even fathom a reply to that comment. The crier had since finished his speech, and two burly men began shackling the Jedi to the stake. Ash from previous burnings littered the surrounding area.
Blast, he thought in horror, I hope I'm not stepping on anyone.
"Yes, Padawan, what is it now?"
"I, um, I just wanted to say that even though we've had our differences at times, and even though I can't help the fact that you're sometimes more obtuse than an angry Hutt --"
"-I've … I've thoroughly enjoyed being your Padawan."
"The same sentiments to you, Anakin."
"You … you mean it? Really?"
"Yes, of course I mean it. Why wouldn't I?"
"Because I've been really disrespectful to you, and I called you fat that one time, and it was me that put the carpet cleanser in your shampoo?"
Oops. Anakin thought while sneaking a quick glance at Obi-Wan's face. The other Jedi had suddenly stiffened, before slowly turning to face him.
"Care to repeat that previous statement, Anakin?" The calm in his voice was an illusion. Anakin knew that from experience.
"Um, no, Master, nothing."
"Good, because I recall a certain incident when I washed my hair, only to find it all falling out … and that wouldn't have had anything to do with you, would it, perchance?"
"Um, well, y'see, the thing is-"
"As soon as this mess is over, Padawan, I am going to come back from the dead and kill you!"
"That's why Kenobi suddenly went bald a few months back, is it?" Asked Kit Fisto with a badly disguised grin. "And there we went, thinking that he had finally snapped and-"
"Interrupting the mission summary, you are!" Yoda's voice interjected. "Important, this is, for ties to Upillia to be re-established."
"I concur." Added Mace Windu. "So, Kenobi or Skywalker, I don't care which, if you would continue?"
Forgetting that he no longer had the use of the Force, Obi-Wan attempted to send a Force-shove in his apprentice's direction -- and was amazed when Anakin suddenly smashed against the pillar, as though an invisible hand had pushed him.
The duo twisted to face each other and grinned, their last argument temporarily forgotten. "They seem to have gone and raided the ship, for your lightsabre is on that table as well as mine, Padawan."
"Fitting, seeing as that weapon is my life."
"I knew that you would see sense someday."
"Okay, so on the count of three. One … two … two and a half … two and three quarters …"
"Fine, fine, three!"
In perfect synchronisation, the two Jedi used the Force to snap the manacles holding their wrists together and flipped forwards onto the square, summoning their sabres to their hands and igniting them. Anakin knew that they made quite an image.
And image of what, however, was slightly more debatable.
"I am Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, and this is my Padawan Anakin Skywalker. We have come to oversee the signing of a treaty between-"
"Jeeti?" An obese tribesman, presumably the King, waddled from his position in the crowds towards the Jedi. "Hew err Jeeti?"
"We have travelled directly from Coruscant." Behind Obi-Wan, Anakin rolled his eyes.
/I saw that, Padawan./
/What is that accent, anyway? Part Huttese, part Togrunta, part --/
/Enough. Let us see what this King has to say for himself./
"I so soori, Jeeti." The King apologised while leading the Jedi to the palace. "We nota knowin of the looksa of a Jeeti, and we be theenkin …"
Skywalker abruptly stopped speaking, turning an interesting shade of crimson.
"And they were thinking …" Windu prompted. When Skywalker remained silent, he turned his attention elsewhere. "Well, Kenobi, what happened then?"
Silence. Kenobi's face so now so red that he resembled a shurra fruit as opposed to a Jedi Knight.
"Come, surely it can't have been that bad!"
"N-no …" Stammered Skywalker. "It was worse."
"Look, we've all been mistaken as witches at some point in our careers," Depa Billaba calmly explained. "There's no shame in it."
"But … but we weren't mistaken as witches." Kenobi all but whispered, Skywalker now shaking uncontrollably behind him. "It was worse … much, much, worse …"
"… we be theenkin that yoo end yoorsa curious boyfrien ove dere be asleepin' togethe--"
Obi-Wan stopped dead in his tracks, Anakin crashing into him. His brain felt like it was short circuiting, and his mouth opened and closed a few times in silence. Over his mental connection with Anakin, he heard what sounded like the equivalent of mental spluttering.
"Boyfrien. Lover. Toy-boi, I tink you outerlanders call ita, huh?"
"Excuse me? Anakin is my Padawan, my apprentice -- how could you possibly assume that we --"
"Ooh?" The King looked slightly confused, before understanding. "Aah, yoo forgeef, yes? I so soori, but hee be callin yoosa "Master" end my men, they cann'ta help but theenkin …"
Ultimate silence reigned supreme in the Council chambers for all of ten seconds.
"S-so …" Shaak Ti managed to choke out, trying unsuccessfully to suppress a fit of laughter. "He thought that you were a-"
"Master Ti, please!" Interrupted Ki-Adi Mundi sternly. "You can continue after Kenobi and Skywalker finish speaking."
"We still haven't found out how you two started a mass riot in the city centre." Finished Master Windu.
"Honestly, Masters, there's nothing more to tell. Master Obi-Wan and I signed the treaty, borrowed a ship and came back here as fast as we possibly could -- isn't that so, Master?" Kenobi quickly nodded his assent.
"So we're to assume that the widescale rioting, warrants for your arrest and the fact that you were shot down over Corellia and had to return to Coruscant in the hold of a spice freighter was all imagined, shall we? Because if it was, then I'm afraid that I will have no option but to send the pair of you to a mind healer to check that you're not suffering from dementia -- which, incidentally, I should have done after your last mission together …"
"I have a bad feeling about this, Padawan."
"I'm damned sure that you do, Master! What, do the bullets being fired at us and the mob sprinting in our general direction have anything to do with it?"
"If only you hadn't been so impulsive, then we would have --"
"I'm sorry, okay? How was I meant to know that the guy spoke Huttese?"
"It's not like it's an uncommon language Padawan! And all the same, insulting one's host, irregardless of which language it is done in, is both rude and inappropriate and --"
"-not befitting of a Jedi, I know, I know!"
"So, then why did you do it?"
"He implied you were sleeping with me and while I am pretty good-looking, even if I do say so myself --"
"Do you know how offensive that is to someone from Tatooine?"
"All the same --"
"Come now, Master, don't be such a- oh, shit, shit, that's not good … hey, Master, c'mon Master, now's not the time to die on me --"
"And then what happened?" Adi Gallia asked.
"Well, I'm not exactly sure, but when I came to, we were both on a ship bound for Coruscant, only to have half the Upillian Navy following us." Kenobi explained. "Actually, Anakin, why don't you tell them what happened?"
"Master, I really don't think-"
"Do you want to have an extra four hours of meditation tonight?"
"Um, no, Master, of course not."
"Jeeti, I gifa yoo protection end how yoo treat this?"
"Look, your Maj, my Master's sort of shot in the stomach and dying, and I'd appreciate if we could, erm have a ship and that you would forget that all of this ever happened …"
"No, Jeeti, I will nota forget."
"Yes, you will forget." Anakin intoned, moving his hand across his chest like he'd seen Obi-Wan do before.
"No," replied the extremely irate monarch, "I will nota."
"Oh blast this," the Padawan cried in frustration. "You will forget!" He all but screamed, hurling all of the Force that he could muster behind the words at the overweight man, who reeled backwards as though he'd been involved in a head-on collision with a speeder.
Dazedly blinking at his surroundings, the King spoke again, finally managing to focus his gaze on Anakin. "Who … who am I?"
"You are …" Anakin began, only to suddenly have a very, very mischievous idea enter his mind. He knew that he shouldn't do it and that it was unbecoming of a Jedi, but gods, it was so temping! And anyway, he needed to get help for his Master, and fast. "Your name," He told the confused King, "is of no importance, and you live in the ditch on the other side of this city."
"My name is of no importance and I live in the ditch on the other side of the city." The King repeated. "Do I have a job?"
"Erm … yes!" The Jedi said, spotting a hangar bay just behind the raging mob. "You own a ship in that hangar there, see? And you want to take me to it, right away, and tell all these people to move aside."
"Yes." Nodded the King. "I understand. Move aside for the Jedi, move aside …"
As the crowd parted like water for the King, Anakin was left dragging his Master's unconscious form towards the ship door.
/I don't know if anyone's ever told you this Master, but you have been overindulging on the doughnuts recently …/
"You did what?" Mace roared, banging his fist on the armrest of his chair. "Padawan Skywalker, do you know what the punishment is for abusing the powers that the Force has granted you?"
"Um, five hours of constant meditation followed by immediate cessation of sparring sessions?"
"No. Five hours of constant meditation followed by immediate expulsion from the Jedi Order."
"Ah." A pause. "Well, at least I got part of it right."
"No, Master, I've put some bacta on the shot, now don't move, not until we get to the Temple-"
Obi-Wan Kenobi felt his insides leave his injured stomach as the unwieldy fighter, an old model that he swore had seen action during the Jedi-Sith wars, executed a neat barrel roll in midair, before making a sharp dive for the atmosphere. "Anakin, what in the name of the Force are you doing?"
"Trying not to get us both kil- argh, e chu ta! I think I just lost the left stabiliser!" There was a loud crash, and the speeder tilted alarmingly to the right.
"My kidneys are merging with my spleen!"
"Oh stop being so melodramatic, Master. We'll be on Coruscant in … well, in the next millennium at this rate, because it looks like the hyperdrive just went …"
"… and then we had to make a landing on Corellia because we ran out of fuel --"
"You mean we had to make a crash landing on Corellia because a certain Padawan I know can't ever fly things at a decent speed --"
"Well, I'm sorry, why don't you try dealing with having to put up with an injured and melodramatic Master when you've got the entire Upillian Navy shooting at you-"
"And what about the prices on your heads?" Asked Plo Koon. "How did you deal with those?"
"Prices on our heads? There are prices on our heads?"
"Right Anakin, what do we do now?" Obi-Wan asked, glumly surveying the smouldering ruins of what had once been their ship.
"We go to Coronet and hope that someone is going to Coruscant."
"Actually," a baritone voice broke in from somewhere behind them, "I'm goin' to Coruscant and I'd be willin' to give you two a lift …" whirling around, the Jedi came face to face with a man not much older than Obi-Wan himself, wearing a tattered white blouse, a black waistcoat and black trousers. A blaster was strapped prominently across his chest.
/Padawan. I have a bad feeling about --/
"Sure," Anakin said warmly, clasping the man's proffered hand. "I'm Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker, and this here's my Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi."
"Name's Solo." The pilot said, before pointing at a scruffy, dark-haired child lounging on the boarding ramp of the ship, staring at the Jedi. "And that there's little Han."
"Pleasure to meet you, Han Solo." Anakin sing-songed, all but skipping into the ship.
"Are … are you a Jedi?"
"You bet I am. Tell you what, why don't you show me where the kitchen is, and I'll tell you all about some adventures me and my Master have had. He looks like a mean old fart right now, but he's alright once you get to know him …" Obi-Wan watched in horror as Anakin followed Han into the kitchen, leaving him alone with Solo.
/Padawan, don't you dare tell him about --/
Anakin sent back the equivalent of a mental grin and raised his voice for Obi-Wan's benefit as the kitchen door closed behind him and the ship blasted into hyperspace. "And then there was that one mission to Cato Neimodia, when …"
"And then we landed on Coruscant and came back here." The ending sounded lame to even his own ears, and Windu raised an eyebrow.
"Are you sure?"
"Um, yes, why wouldn't I --"
"Young Kenobi, hiding things, you are. Sense it, we can." Yoda said. "Tell us what you are omitting, you must."
Kenobi took a deep breath, trying to ignore the muffled choking coming from Skywalker's direction. "Well, we were in hyperspace when …"
Obi-Wan gulped. Anakin had left him to go ruin his reputation with little Han, while he was left alone in the cockpit with that Solo character, who looked more than a little suspicious. And now he had a really bad feeling about --
"So, how's you goin' about payin' for this favour?"
"I- I beg your pardon?"
"Don' do nothin' for free. Spacer's honour. So, I'm hopin' we can find some sorta payment for this lil' ride …"
"Um, well, you see-"
"Broke? Thought so." Solo gave a feral grin, before slowly trailing a dirty finger down Obi-Wan's arm. "Well … we can always … negotiate …"
By that point, both Skywalker and Kenobi were flushing various shades of red and the Council could barely hold back the tears of laughter. "So …" spluttered Mace Windu, barely able to hold back his own amusement, "so you, erm, paid for your trip, and then reached the Temple to give this briefing?"
Two curt nods. Skywalker was practically swaying on the spot in a desperate attempt to keep his self control. Mace Windu gave a theatrical sigh, leaning back in his chair.
"Kenobi … Skywalker … I worry about you two sometimes. You are, without a doubt, one of the best Master-Padawan teams in the order -- and yet, every mission, no matter how simple it is, ends up in violence, bloodshed and one of you in the healer's ward. Why, I don't know. And so, we are now giving you a mission that is so, so simple that not even you two bumbling idiots could mess it up."
"We- we thank you, Master Windu."
"You will be escorting the Queen of Hapes back to her homeworld in five standard days. When she reaches Hapes, you are permitted to return to Coruscant immediately. It is merely a bodyguard duty, no more, no less. Understood?"
"Ye-yes Master Windu."
"Very well. May the Force be with you."
The duo mumbled the ancient greeting in return and then left the Council Chambers as quickly as possible. The hem of Skywalker's cloak was just disappearing out the door, when Mace remembered something.
"Skywalker, a word."
Looking as though he was being summoned into his own execution, Skywalker entered the room, only to have two very soft objects thrown at him.
"Hapes is a matriarchy, so you might find these useful. Dismissed."
As the doors closed behind the Padawan, the Jedi High Council all collapsed into braying fits of laughter at the sight of Skywalker's face upon being handed the wigs.
"Annie Skywalker … it has a nice ring to it, you know." Mused Depa Billaba, while drying her eyes. The sentiment was echoed by the other eleven Jedi as the sun set low on the Coruscant skyline and anguished screams could be faintly heard from further down the corridor.
"I am Ben Kenobi, and we are looking for passage to Alderaan." The man said, eyeing Han up and down.
Kenobi … Kenobi … where had he heard that name before? The pirate racked his brains for a minute, before settling upon a dim memory from years ago. He had only been four or five at the time, and there had been that Jedi --
"I'm Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker, and this here's my Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Ah, now he remembered -- those two Jedi that his father had transported to Coruscant in their last flight together. And then Skywalker had proceeded to tell him tales that he still remembered over twenty years later. There had been one about crossdressing on Telos … falling into a rabid nest of Gundarks … and that very interesting mission to Cato Neimoidia …
This would be fun.
Allowing himself a slight grin, Han proffered his hand to the former Jedi Master.
"Han Solo, Captain of the Millennium Falcon."
And in that split second, he met Kenobi's eyes … and almost laughed at the reaction that he got from the old man. Ah, so Kenobi remembered too, did he?
However, the moment was ruined by some whiny, bratty farm kid who dared to ask questions about his beloved ship. The nerve! As Han made the arrangements with the duo, he realised that the kid's face seemed familiar too. Yes, there was the same high cheekbones … the same blue eyes … the same Outer Rim accent …
Kenobi and Skywalker. Kenobi and Skywalker. Kenobi and-
Could it be? Could it possibly-
Nah. 'Course not.