Disclaimer: George Lucas owns Star Wars. This story is purely a work of fan fiction, and I am not making any profit from it.

Author's note: A longish while ago, What-Ansketil-Did-Next asked me to write a house party fic. I have no reason to suppose that this is what she had in mind, but it's what she's getting, anyway. (Sadly, not in time for her birthday … but then on the other hand, considering the fic, perhaps that's just as well.) Anyway. So here is a parody using a bunch of characters from the SW universe and a couple of others I just made up on the fly. Or stole back from other stories I'd already written. (Whatever.) Chapter title from the song "Crazy," by Gnarls Barkley. Adheres to my usual philosophy for humor: situations are funny, but characters are played for keeps. Set in no particular 'verse.

[A Parody of Manners]

Chapter One:

Even Your Emotions Have an Echo

"I fail to see how attending a highly politicized house party hosted by your ex-lover's secret wife's married sister is going to be anything less than a disaster," said Evinne.

Ryn looked up from folding clothes she could only sketchily identify into a suitcase that, in her considered opinion, was at least half as big as she was and definitely three times larger than it needed to be. "Anakin asked me to go," she said stubbornly. "I won't let him down."

"Let's review," said Evinne, not quite patiently. "Your ex-lover - very ex, Ryn, he married another woman - wants you to go to a house party with him and a bunch of people you don't know - oh, and his wife." Exasperation was rife in her tone. "What was he thinking? Unless he wants to bang you both, of course, in which case I don't think Padmé's the type."

"Not with him," said Ryn. "Padmé would never stand for that. He just ... wants me to be there."

"Uh-huh." Evinne's skepticism was clear. "Have you thought about why?"

"Doesn't matter," said Ryn forcefully. "He wants me there, so I'm going. Maybe he needs me to watch his back among all those politicians."

"Or maybe he needs a decoy to help him get into Padmé's bedroom." Evinne leaned forward, her blue eyes unusually earnest. "He's using you, Shorty."

Ryn bowed her head, looking down at the profusion of sept-silk and lace under her hands. "He can have me any way he wants me," she said, and snapped the case shut.

It was the social, and maybe the political, coup of the season. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine was attending her house party. Well, really Sola's house party, but since it was Padmé's idea and she had taken a hand in the planning, she felt a certain sense of ownership about it. Anyway, they couldn't have had it at Padmé's house, because Padmé was still (officially) unmarried and she didn't have a house.

She paused in her perusal of the R.S.V.P. list to glance out the window, but she wasn't really seeing the lush landscape of Sola's grounds. She was lost in a vision of some other life, in which she could be Anakin's wife not just in secret, but for real. She didn't feel like a wife, yet. Not when nobody knew her secret. Being married was supposed to change things.

Well ... Padmé bit back a giggle, blushing furiously as she remembered. Being married had changed some things. She'd had no idea her body could feel that way.

"Hurry, my love," she whispered, knowing she was being melodramatic and not caring. "I can't wait to feel you in my arms again."

Actually, that wasn't where she couldn't wait to feel him, but even a secretly-married woman could only be so bold. There were some things Padmé couldn't make herself say.

Anakin would hear them in her kisses anyway.

Obi-Wan Kenobi glanced down at the invitation again, not surprised exactly, but a little puzzled all the same. It wasn't strange for Padmé to invite him, but it was a little out of the ordinary. And for the Council to send him there, in the middle of the war ... well, it was certainly true that they needed to cultivate a more friendly relationship with the Senate, but it hardly seemed necessary to start with Padmé. She had been one of the Jedi's strongest supporters.

"Anakin," he said, looking up from the invitation to his erstwhile apprentice, who was completing their flight-check. "Are you sure you're ... up to this? If you felt that it was ... in any way hazardous to your ... serenity ... I'm sure the Council would -"

"Obi-Wan." The younger man waited until Obi-Wan was meeting his eyes. "I'll be fine, all right? It's just a party. And Ryn will be there."

"Er ... yes." Obi-Wan had a feeling his plan of distracting Anakin with Ryn a few months ago had gone rather less well than he would have liked; outwardly, at least, Anakin was his usual self, nothing different that couldn't be explained by the hardships of war, but Ryn was looking ... a little tireder, a little sadder. Even more desperate when she was around Anakin. "Well, I hope you both find some time to relax."

"I'm sure we will, Master."

Sly Moore handed Palpatine his briefcase and an extra datareader, just in case. "Don't forget, sir - I'll be checking in with you at -"

"At oh-nine-hundred every morning," Palpatine finished indulgently, smiling at his assistant. "Yes, I know. You're very punctual. Now do stop worrying, and try to relax for the flight."

Sly gave him a not-entirely-satisfied look. "Yes, sir. I'll see you on Naboo."

"I see we're the first to arrive," Bail Organa greeted Padmé, letting Sola's groomsman deliver their small transport to the private docking bay behind the house. "Not too early, I hope?"

"It's never too soon to see old friends," Padmé answered, smiling. The words were practiced, but the voice was warm; Padmé was one of the few people who could make the tired pleasantries of the galaxy's elite sound genuine again. "Breha, I'm so glad you could make it."

Bail's wife's smile rivaled Padmé's: truly, two of the few good women left in these dark times. "I wouldn't have missed it, Padmé." She leaned forward, moving a little gingerly still, and kissed the younger woman's cheek. "Is there anything we can do to help you prepare for the next arrivals?"

"No, no, everything is in hand." Something had her blushing, but Padmé shook it off. "Please. Come in and meet my sister."

And the party began.