A/n: Fic-gift for KELIA over at the JCC forums. She requested:
1. A surprise
2. A mishap
3. A happy ending, and that there would be no sadness.
Just like everything else, Coruscant's climate was carefully controlled, usually kept at a steady warmth with little clouds covering her skies –they would be too inconvenient to the large number of people living at high altitudes.
On occasion, though, it would rain, and when it did, it was no light sprinkle. It might not always last all day, but in the hours when it fell it was a deluge of water pouring down, covering tiny gardens grown on porches, air-taxis and buildings, great skyscrapers reaching up to reap all benefits possible of the rain.
Siri Tachi usually loved the rain. It echoed all throughout the Temple, reminding them that the nature could be as powerful as the Force, and the only time that Coruscant's landscape looked more beautiful than when a storm was in progress was when the sun was setting, stretching its glorious rays out as it let in a night that was often as bright as the day.
Right now, though, she was in no mood for the storm. There had been enough rain on Felucia, and she didn't need to think back to that. And it was noisy, and not in the blissful white noise that she remembered. This was the type of pounding that kept her awake, and she was in no mood for that as she pulled a pillow over her head, muttering. "Why today? It must've been sunny all while I was gone; why does it have to be so karkin' miserable today?"
She didn't like going into a pity party, but she was tired, and this was the first time in months that she actually had a full day off. Sleeping was the only thing that she cared about at the moment –meditating wasn't of any importance; she had enough inner peace; kriff it!, and she was in no mood to spar, although if anyone interrupted her day off, than she just might consider dueling with them, regardless of whether they wasn't it or not.
And, with that thought in her mind, a sharp buzz echoed through her small living quarters, startling her from a state of groggy, sleepy annoyance to full awareness. Somebody was at the door.
"Well, that's just my luck, isn't it?" She stood up, well aware that nothing good could be coming out of the fact that she was talking to herself, and ran a hand through her short blonde hair, deciding that she was plenty presentable.
Whoever it was, they were certainly patient –if it were her standing at the door, she'd have pressed the buzzer a second and a third time by now.
"Hello?" At the touch of her hand the door slid open, revealing a single figure, clothed in the traditional Jedi robes, with a peaceful look that turned to amusement as he took in her messy hair, overlarge shirt, and ragged pants that she had long ago decided would never be seen by anyone other than herself.
"I'm sorry. Did I wake you up?" Obi-Wan looked her over and gave her that amused, half-smile of his, blue eyes sparkling. "I could come back at another time…"
"No, that's fine!" Yes, she certainly was awake now. "You're in? At the Temple, I mean, the last I heard you were still on Ryloth."
"I just got back last night. It's been a while since our schedules have coordinated, and so I thought that maybe we could see each other, but if you're busy, I could come back later."
"I wasn't busy. Come on in." She stepped aside, letting him pass by. "How have you been?"
"Fine, I suppose. As good as somebody can be right now. You?"
"The same." The war hadn't come as a surprise to her, since there had been darkness hanging in the Force ever since the Naboo blockade incident, but it was hard to prepare for such a dramatic shift in lifestyles. "Get yourself some tea or caff; you know where everything is. I just need to change into something more… day appropriate." She hurried off into her sleeping room, and changed as quickly as she could into her typical clothes; Jedi robes over a simple bodysuit. She doubted Obi-Wan's stay would last for long, and was determined to make the most of it.
He was sitting on her couch when she came out, and Siri noticed instantly that he wasn't holding any sort of drink. "Are you sure that you don't want something? Water, tea, or something stronger?"
Obi-Wan gave a small laugh at the last part. "It's ten-hundred hours, Siri. Hardly the right time, I'd say. And no, thank you. I don't need anything to drink right now. I just wanted to come in for a few minutes to catch up with you."
"Oh." She dropped down onto the couch next to Obi-Wan. "Well, there isn't much to get caught up on. I've been on missions, mostly. Lots of places; lots of people. You?"
"Exactly the same. I don't think I could keep track if I tried." He shook his head. "Anakin got knighted. That was something."
"I know, I heard. Congratulations! You survived your first Padawan. I would have talked to you earlier, but I wasn't in the Temple at the time." Where had she been, Ta'ryn? Probably.
"Thank you. It was... unexpected. I would have thought that the Council would give him at least another year of training, but I suppose they needed all of the knights they could get."
"Probably." She forced her mind away from her own failings as a Master, living in the present. "Still, it could have been due to your fantastic teaching. Anything could happen!"
"That's very true." The room fell into silence as she tried to think of a decent response.
Outside, the rain drummed on, the only noise. Siri knew that she was supposed to be above such minor discomforts as the repetitive drumming sound, but Force, this was irritating. Once you had been hopping from planet to planet for a few months, the rain lost the allure that it had held when she was a youngling, still fascinated by the smallest of occurrences. It was a trivial thing, but she wished she could recapture that joy, that surprise at nature's power.
"We should go outside."
Obi-Wan started and glanced up at her. "Outside? You mean, actually outdoors?"
She wasn't sure why she had said that, but it was starting to make sense to her now. "Yes. Just walk around outside the Temple a bit –not far. And not down to the planet's surface, of course! I'm not [i]that[/i] mad. Obi-Wan, we've both been to so many planets and fought so many things. Why not have a little fun in the rain?"
He looked skeptical. "It's pouring outside. I'm not sure…"
"Please," she pressed. "Come on, you're Obi-Wan Kenobi! Slayer of Sith! You're afraid of a bit of rain?"
He raised an eyebrow, a slow smile spreading across his face. "No, of course I'm not. Are you?"
"No." She stood from her seat, grinning, and crossed the room in a few short strides to pick up her robe. "Come on!" Coruscant's rains were intense but not necessarily long, and since this one had started late at night, there was no telling at what moment it would be finished. "We don't want it to dry out before we can enjoy it, now, do we?"
"I still think you're mad." Obi-Wan, like the gentleman that he was, stood back and let Siri walk out the door first, before quickly following her. "We're miles and miles up in the air."
"So? The Temple could collapse, and the results would be the same. Live a little!" She lifted her face to the rain -Force, it really [i]was[/i] pouring. It felt good, though, without the thick, clouded humidity that she had become used to on Felucia. "Come on. Let's just walk around to the east ziggurat. A short walk; it'll take fifteen minutes. We're not going to fall off of the Temple."
"I didn't say that we were. You're just crazy." Obi-Wan shook his head, droplets of water running off his hair and off his robes. "We shouldn't be doing this, Siri." Despite his words, there was no real protest in his voice. Over the years, he had come to accept that she was the risk taker of their small group of friends, just as Bant was the peacekeeper, Garen was the joker, Reeft was the hungry one, and Obi-Wan was the one with all the charm.
"We're hardly forbidden from walking around. Face it, we're doing nothing wrong! You're just too scared to admit that." She was taunting him now, a wicked grin on her face. "Come on, it isn't that high! Is your vertigo acting up?"
"Come now, Siri. I'm not as foolish as I used to be. Your teasing won't get you anywhere." He laughed, and began to stroll towards the east ziggurat. "The rain does feel good, I admit. It's a crazy idea, but not a bad one."
She gritted her teeth, and resolved to get a reaction out of him at some point. "It can be so nice up here. You can see for miles on a clear day."
"I agree. Coruscant might not be my favorite place to be, but the cityscape is beautiful in its own way. Of course, you can't see very well right now." She could barely make out his words over the pounding of the rain even though he was shouting.
"You can't hear very well, either!"
He turned and raised an eyebrow at her, grinning. "Indeed!"
She laughed as adrenaline pounded through her veins, seeming to move with the beat of the rain, and dashed to catch up with him. "We should race!"
"Race? That's mad." Obi-Wan shook his head, disrupting the steady flow of the water. "You can't be serious!"
"Why not?" She threw caution to the wind and started to increase her pace, passing Obi-Wan. "We can't have a little fun once in a while? Come on; just to the east ziggurat."
"It's slippery and we can hardly see a thing!" She ignored him, increasing speed. "Siri!"
She heard him mutter something under him breath –probably cursing her to the hells—and then he was right next to her, matching her speed. "I hope you realize how dangerous this is!"
A laugh bubbled out of her mouth, leaving her breathless as her feet pounded into the puddles of water on the durasteel platform that they were on. "We did worse things when we were Padawans!"
"We're Masters!" Despite his protests, he was beating her now by several paces. "Aren't we supposed to be above such foolishness?"
"No!" From within her she found a final burst of speed and pulled forwards, now running perfectly in synch with Obi-Wan. Her feet slammed against the ground in the same seconds that his did; her breath made identical clouds in the air, which was probably the coldest that she had ever known Coruscant to have. "As long as we're alive we're fools! We might as well take advantage of it!"
"Advantage? Siri, how you ever made it to- Siri!"
She wasn't too sure how it had happened, but one moment she was running, overtaken by the blood pounding in time with her footsteps, laughing as she left behind her weariness and her heavy thoughts, and the next moment she took a wrong step and lost her balance; twisted around and let out a small yelp of surprise as she fell and slipped dangerously close to the edge of the ziggurat they were on. "Obi-Wan!" She felt her feet slip over the edge and reached out into the air, looking for something to grab on to.
Obi-Wan was there in half a second, leaning down next to her, his hand grasping her wrist. "I've got you." She could barely hear his calm words, although that was mostly because of the blood pounding in her head now, not the rain.
His hands firm, he carefully pulled her up until she felt the solid ground beneath her feet, when he finally let go of her, and she breathed again, great gulps of air filling her lungs.
"Are you okay? That was close; you could be hurt. Can you walk?"
Siri glanced up at Obi-Wan and saw the worry in his eyes, and got the most bizarre urge to laugh. She tried to quench it down, knowing how serious this was –she had almost died, for Force's sake!—but she couldn't help the first small laugh, and, well, that one broke the dam, and soon she was breathless again, desperately trying to regain control of herself.
"Siri? You're making me worried. Can you stand? We need to get you inside."
Somehow, the look on his face just added to the hilarity of the situation, but she managed to nod and say between laughs, "Yeah. I can stand, Obi-Wan; I'm fine. It's just…" actually, she really wasn't sure. "…five months of fighting out on some Force-forgotten planet, and I come home fine, and then a bit of rain almost makes me fall to my death. Rain can defeat me when everything else can't; rain, of all things!"
Obi-Wan shook his head and, placing a hand onto her elbow, helped her to her feet. "You are mad. You almost got yourself killed, and you're laughing? Come on." Despite the rebuke, she could hear the amusement in his voice, and she knew he was restraining laughter of his own as they walked the rest of the way to the east ziggurat, and entered back into the Temple.
Thankfully, the foyer into which they walked was empty. It occurred to her then that if they had been caught, both she and Obi-Wan could have gotten into serious trouble for their behavior. The Temple wasn't as strict a place as most outsiders seemed to think, but taking a stroll on the rooftop in the middle of a storm usually wasn't a good idea, and that they were both knights, plenty old enough to know better, probably wouldn't help their cases.
Apparently, Obi-Wan had been thinking the same thought. "You realize that we both could have been restrained at the Temple for months if someone had seen us?"
"Yes. And no, before you ask, I don't regret it." She tossed her hair and smirked at him. "Come on, wasn't that worth it?"
"You almost dying, both of us risking the Council's wrath, and all for a bit of excitement?" He glanced down at her as they turned a corner into the hall where her apartment was, and shook his head. "I want to say that you're mad again, but I agree. Yes, Siri, that was worth it." He laughed, quietly at first, and then louder as she joined in. "That was worth it, indeed."
"Ha!" Siri slid her identity card through the lock and opened the door into her apartments, shrugging off her cloak as she did so, and tossing it into a wet pile. "You finally admit that I'm not crazy, then?"
"Oh, no. Not at all. I just think that I'm equally as mad as you." His eyes danced teasingly as he leaned in and kissed her on the cheek.
She returned the kiss, gently cupping his chin with her hand. "That's fine with me."