Title: Unwelcome Houseguest
Rated: PG for mild swearing and completely unnecessary Obi angst. That's right.
Comments: Constructive criticism (though, um, maybe not for this particular fic) and kind reviews are always welcome and will be as adored and cherished as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and also much better treated.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I am not making any profit off of this fic (I know that's surprising considering the gripping plot). I write because I love to, and Obi-Wan is so delicious a subject matter.
The moral of this fic: Rear-ending a car waiting innocently at a stoplight not only turns the driver of said car into a crinkly paper doll, it also puts on hold serious stories the driver may have been working on because they're stored on the desktop and she's stuck in bed for awhile, and instead feeds the Muse stories with the theme of "I have to laugh or I'll start crying."
This completely ridiculous fic came about as I wondered briefly what might happen to Obi-Wan's carefully constructed routine if Anakin came to live on Coruscant. I imagine it would be pretty difficult to live with the "Chosen One." Why did I post it? I have no idea. My love for Obi-Wan makes me do strange things at times.
I also make no apologies for my unnatural dislike of Anakin. I can't be the only one who shortens TPM to the twenty-five minutes of Obi-Wan, can I?
Sunlight streamed in through the open slats of the windows in Obi-Wan Kenobi's bedroom, and the Padawan rolled away from the unwanted intrusion into his comfortable little nest, pulling his pillow with him and wedging it firmly over his head to ward off the encroaching day. He knew it would be futile in the end – he waged this same losing battle every morning, after all – but for now, for this exact moment, he fought for and successfully secured five more minutes of peace before the beginning of another hellish day in the Life of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
It hadn't always been this bad, he reflected from the safety of his little fortress as he covered a yawn with the back of his hand. There had been a time once when he'd almost – almost – looked forward to mornings and greeted the pre-dawn day with only a tiny snarl instead of hiding in his room. All that had changed a few months ago, however, when through circumstances that were entirely not Obi-Wan's fault, the Chosen One – da da da dadaaaadum (Obi-Wan always gave the title the mental drum roll it deserved) – Anakin Skywalker had come to live with the Jedi, and with Obi-Wan and his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, in particular.
I'm glad I'm not his Master, Obi-Wan thought churlishly. I'd wring that obnoxious little neck. Living with him is bad enough.
He consoled himself with the fact that his Trials for knighthood were only a few long weeks away, but it didn't make it any damned easier to roll out of bed in the morning and face that …. creature – that child, Obi-Wan corrected himself carefully. No sense in inviting more trouble; Qui-Gon had been quite clear as to the consequences of any under-the-breath mumblings about pathetic lifeforms, and Obi-Wan was fairly certain his Master would follow through on the "babysitting Anakin" threat. Obi-Wan had been through quite a lot in his twenty-five years, and reflecting on a long span of adventure, angst, and visits to various Healers' Wards, was still hard-pressed to imagine enduring anything more painfully horrific than being forced to spend time alone with the Chosen One (da da da dadaaaadum).
There was a rap at his door and Qui-Gon's familiar, "Get up, Padawan!"
Obi-Wan peeked one blue-grey eye out from beneath the blanket.
Make me, he thought.
"Don't try me," came Qui-Gon's reply. "I'll send Anakin in to get you up."
Damn it, again with the Anakin threats. In his personal opinion, the Chosen One (da da da dadaaaadum) could use a little discipline. Anakin had a fearsome temper, even at the ripe old age of nine. Obi-Wan conjured up a mental image of Anakin being whacked a few times by Master Yoda's gimmer stick, and was pleasantly comforted by it.
"Obi-Wan, stop that this instant," the threat was quietly spoken, but, Obi-Wan felt, all the more deadly because of it.
Obi-Wan blinked. He'd have to watch his shields if Qui-Gon was getting into the habit of eavesdropping. Damn.
"I heard that," Qui-Gon reprimanded, knocking on the door again. "Watch your mouth. You don't hear me scolding Anakinfor using such base language, do you?"
"I learned it from him!" Obi-Wan shot back. He sighed, slowly untangling himself from his little nest and rolling off his bed. He straightened his sleep pants and ran a hand through his short hair in a useless attempt to tame the scattered ginger spikes, but there would be no grace from that quarter this morning and his hair remained unfortunately disheveled and about as ready to face the day as he did.
He yawned again and stretched – was he getting old? It was becoming increasingly difficult to get started in the morning – maybe this is what having children around does to you, he mused. He almost gave himself a drum roll for finally getting up, but decided to reserve that honor solely for Anakin.
His only hope was to make it to the shower before being forced to start the day. Quickly Obi-Wan gathered up his clean clothing and opened the door fractionally, peering out into the hallway. No one there. He could hear Qui-Gon puttering around in the kitchen, probably trying to make breakfast – oatmeal again, Obi-Wan thought with a frown, because it was the only thing that his master could make successfully – and across the common room, Anakin's door – next to the fresher – was still closed.
I can make it, Obi-Wan thought, relieved. As long as I don't have to talk to anyone before I get a shower, I'll be fine.
Obi-Wan toed the door open fully and prepped himself for the trial ahead.
Ready … and … go!
He took off down the hallway, dashing through the common room, sprinting over the sofa, nearly there …
The door to Anakin's room opened and in a blur Anakin had rounded the corner and slammed the fresher door shut. Obi-Wan, just clearing the sofa, had time for a brief thought – another word he was sure his master wouldn't approve of, but one he hadn't learned from Anakin – and sent a quick command to his brain – Abort! Abort! – before smashing into the fresher door rather spectacularly and sliding to the floor in a heap. A second later, he heard Anakin start the shower.
Qui-Gon, entering the common room at that moment bearing a tray stacked with bowls of oatmeal, surveyed his crumpled apprentice with a long-suffering sigh.
"For Force's sake, Obi-Wan," he reproached sternly. "You could just wait on the couch like a normal human being."
Later, when Obi-Wan finally emerged from the fresher almost ready to start another day, he saw Anakin sitting in his usual chair at the common room table, happily slurping up his oatmeal – on which he'd poured a rather generous quantity of milk, Obi-Wan noted; it bothered him though he wasn't certain why. Qui-Gon was sitting at the opposite end of the table, nibbling on wheat toast as he perused the day's news reports and seemingly oblivious to the fact that the Pod-Racing Celebrity from Tatooine had pre-empted Obi-Wan's normal place at the table.
Obi-Wan scowled, first at Qui-Gon, who didn't notice, and then at Anakin, who did notice and offered a smirk in return, milk dribbling down his chin. Obi-Wan scowled harder and crossed the room to the refrigerator, yanking the door open harder than was really necessary. At that, Qui-Gon did look up.
"There's oatmeal, Padawan … " he began, but trailed off as he noticed that both of the bowls he'd set out were empty, and Anakin was sitting back in his chair with an extremely satisfied expression on his face. "Never mind," he finished mildly.
Grunting by way of reply, Obi-Wan scoured the fridge, picking through the leftovers of the week's dinners. Finding nothing even remotely appetizing, Obi-Wan's sharp eyes brightened when he noticed something extremely appealing on the top shelf. And, unlike anything else in the fridge, it was fresh.
Qui-Gon looked up as Obi-Wan crossed the room, balancing a full plate and a mug of hot tea. "Find something?"
"Mm," Obi-Wan murmured absently, lifting a hand by way of request. Qui-Gon, accustomed to his Padawan's morning monosyllabic behavior, obligingly tossed the data reader containing the news reports toward his Padawan. Anakin looked up, interested for the moment, but when he saw that any intervention on his part would be utterly unwelcome by Obi-Wan, he went back to spinning his bowl in circles on the tabletop. Obi-Wan caught the reader deftly and positioned himself cross-legged on the couch, settling his plate on his knee. Qui-Gon eyed it inquisitively for a moment.
"Something healthy, Padawan?"
"Mm?" Obi-Wan, already deep in his reading, looked up in confusion. "Healthy what?"
"What are you eating?" Qui-Gon clarified his statement.
"Oh. Cake." Obi-Wan returned to his reading, but Qui-Gon's curiosity was up.
"Cake? I can't recall having any cake … "
Obi-Wan's gaze lifted again, this time a little impatient, and Qui-Gon had to remind himself that it was still early morning yet and Obi-Wan hadn't quite settled into Perfect Mode. "Yes. In the fridge, Master."
Something was itching at Qui-Gon's brain, something he felt was important to remember, and it clicked when Anakin gave a loud gasp and darted to the refrigerator, throwing open the door and standing on his tiptoes to retrieve something from the top shelf.
"Obi-Wan!" he gasped in shocked horror, "You ate my birthday cake!"
"Huh?" Obi-Wan asked. "Birthday?"
Oh, Qui-Gon thought. Damn.
Tears welled in Anakin's large, innocent eyes as he sadly displayed the remains of his cake to the Jedi Master. Sure enough, the cake that had proudly proclaimed Anakin's birthday and a tiny icing picture of an R2 unit was missing a rather substantial chunk of the droid's small dome and now read, 'PPY BIRTHDAY, ANAKIN'
"Oh," Obi-Wan said contritely, eyeing the small portion of cake left on his plate, thinking it ironic but pretty damned amusing in an abstract sort of way that the word 'HA' was staring back at him, like he and the cake were sharing a private joke. "Ummm … "
"This is the worst birthday ever!" Anakin sniffed. "I hate it here! I wanna go home!"
Qui-Gon saw the hopeful look cross Obi-Wan's face, but he couldn't bring himself to chastise the Padawan for it. He'd had many a similar wish himself since they'd returned from Tatooine. He did, however, try to placate the boy.
"Anakin, I'm sure Obi-Wan just wasn't paying attention, and of course he didn't mean to eat your birthday cake. And I'm sure he's very sorry. Obi-Wan," the Jedi Master prodded, "don't you have something to say to Anakin?"
Anakin turned expectant eyes on the Padawan, greedy for a display of Obi-Wan's remorse. Obi-Wan shrugged.
"Life sucks, so suck it up?" he suggested. "Focus on the present? Use the Force?"
Qui-Gon sighed, dropping his head into his large palms. It was going to be a very long day.
I haven't decided if this is a one-shot or if the Muse is just getting started, but please drop a note to say hi …it'd be nice to hear from anyone brave enough to make it to the end of the story (or chapter, or whatever). Thanks!