Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox, I'm simply wrecking the sandcastles.
Title: General Bubbles
Genre: 2011 TFN boards Dare Challenge fic - humor
Word Count – Fic Only: 2335
Timeframe: The Clone Wars
Summary: Some things a man never lives down...
Sometimes things happen for random reasons and sometimes, as Anakin Skywalker had discovered, things happened because they were planned. And not, always, in a good way.
His return to Coruscant had been one of those 'for a reason' deals.
General Grievous had been spotted with a separatist fleet in an outer rim system that had originally been his and Obi-Wan's responsibility; except that - by special order of the Chancellor - they'd been recalled to Coruscant. It hadn't been revealed until later just why, but it had started innocently enough, with Anakin taking a much needed bath to relax after weeks on the front lines...
Bubbles were his hidden vice, aside from Padmé. Both of which he intended to enjoy equally - the moment she arrived home to join him - and she would be there soon if the Senate session didn't run over long. Humming softly to himself, Anakin closed his eyes and tilted his head back. Drifting, he let his body float in the water, considering all of the different ways he could surprise her.
In bed; to have her walk in with me waiting for her in just a sheet? Wait - I did that last time, didn't I? And what a last time it had been.
A smirk he couldn't help crossed his lips at the memory. Padmé had almost been as excited to see him then as when he'd dropped in unexpectedly, literally to his everlasting discomfort, in the middle of one of her sensitive negotiations. Fortunately for her, he'd grasped her intentions the moment a collar had been strapped about his neck, his hands tied and then been put on display; showing her dominance over such a mere male had won her the trust of the people she'd been attempting to negotiate with.
His 'reward' had been out of this world and worth every humiliating, exhilarating moment.
A noise in the other room drew his head around, his imagination filling in the image of his wife without much prodding, and, as he was starting to lift himself from the bath, the door suddenly burst open and three troopers burst in, muzzles squarely leveled on him.
"Gotcha - don't move underworld scum!"
"What the... Rex!" Anakin reacted without thinking, extending his hands and sending the troopers back through the door. It slammed with a loud thunk and he was up and out of the bath in moments, not even thinking to wipe the bubbles from his body before wrapping the towel about his waist. With the pleasant daydreams of having Padmé join him shattered, there was little chance of him embarrassing himself that way before the men.
Pulling the plug with the wave of one hand, Anakin turned back to the door and marched out. "What's the meaning of this, Rex?"
"General Skywalker!" The clone Captain saluted with his helmet still on. "Sorry sir, we had the report of an infiltrator; the Chancellor asked us personally to investigate after the many attempts on the Senator's life."
Anakin would have crossed his arms over his chest, except the towel was slipping dangerously and he had to grasp it with one hand. Rubbing his other over his eyes, he shook his head and then pointed towards the exit. "Get out."
"I said get out Rex."
"Will you be joining us, sir?"
"I said no, Rex. Go. The Senator and I are... old friends. She won't mind me being here."
"If you say so, sir." Saluting smartly, the clone turned to leave with the two troops only to pause as they left. His grin was almost audible before he stepped through. "We'll see you back at the ship - General Bubbles."
Several hours later, Anakin's disposition not much improved after receiving the strangest transmission; one he'd not have minded if it had come from his wife except it hadn't come from Padmé and was disturbing on levels he couldn't begin to consider.
One of the three clones had taken a picture of him half submerged in bubbles, courtesy of the recorders in their helmets, and spread it around on the holonet. The message had reached him when he'd been called to attend an emergency session of the council, somehow having been put through to the Jedi Temple's main communication's center with a priority code.
Thinking nothing of it, he'd turned on the holo recording just as he was entering the chamber - and dropped the disk. It clattered to the floor but hadn't switched off, the image of the large, bulbous body adorned with different illegal trinkets as the voice he'd hoped never to hear again echoed through the room - in Hutteese.
Bile rose in the back of his throat as the words echoed through the room, immediately translating to basic inside his skull.
"If I'd known you were going to grow up to be such an accommodating dish, Skywalker, I'd never have wagered and lost you to Jabba. I'd love to get all wet with you, maybe have you join me in such a state? I shiver just thinking about it. Such potential - all those rippling muscles... just thinking about it makes me want to-"
There was dead silence in the room as Anakin stared in horror at what could only have been described a 'love letter' - from Durga the Hutt. He was going to be sick. Bolting from the council chamber, he barely remembered to snag the data disc, needing to turn back to do so, and had caught sight of Mace Windu's amused expression - as if the Jedi Master was having trouble keeping his mirth inside.
Embarrassed and humiliated by the message, he didn't make the 'fresher and instead turned to one of the potted plants outside the council chamber. With a heave, his stomach emptied its contents into the tin.
"You know," said a soft voice behind him. "That's Master Plo's favorite orchid."
"I think Master Plo will understand after... after..." Anakin shuddered, his robotic fist clenching about the data recorder and crushing it with the whine and scream of collapsing metal. He heaved into the pot again.
Obi-Wan place a hand on Anakin's shoulder. "I don't think the council will be needed us for this session, my friend; what do you say we get something to drink? You look like you need it."
"What I need is a mind wipe to forget the last day - or better yet a way to fold space and time to avoid it completely. I'm going to have nightmares for weeks."
With a chuckle, Obi-Wan handed Anakin a handkerchief and he wiped his mouth. "All the more reason for a drink. Come on; they won't miss us."
"Are you really advocating playing hooky to a council meeting?"
"This is a special circumstance."
His good humor was starting to reassert itself as he teased his old Master. "Who are you and what have you done with Obi-Wan?"
"It's not every day a Jedi gets propositioned by a Hutt." Anakin shuddered, his mirth dispersing and Obi-Wan pushed him towards the lift. "Come on; let's get that drink."
Obi-Wan led him away from the Temple, taking him a twenty minute speeder ride away and down a dozen levels into the underbelly of Coruscant. The Jedi Master selected a bar where they would likely be left to their own devices, passing the bouncer with a quick mind trick and seating Anakin and himself at the bar.
The bartender came over and took their order and Obi-Wan, to Anakin's surprise, ordered a drink known as a Tatooine Sunrise for them both. He was familiar with it, mostly because he'd learned to avoid it; the liqueurs involved were a potent mix and had downed many a Jedi.
"Rough day, Master?"
"Not as rough as yours." Obi-Wan thanked the bartender and slid one over Anakin's way with a wink. "Besides, I'm not a cheap date."
Anakin groaned. "Has everyone seen that picture?"
"Picture? It's a vid Anakin. I must say; bubbles? Not the look the Jedi are trying to portray. It doesn't really go with your 'Hero with no fear' image, does it?"
Groaning and tossing back the drink with one, long swallow, Anakin slammed the glass back on the table. "Another."
The bartender obliged as Obi-Wan laughed softly. "I thought you objected to the selection."
"If it drowns out your drivel, Master, I'll cope."
As so it went back and forth, with Anakin downing the alcoholic time bombs in quick succession. The night began to blur as his senses were pleasantly fogged. The music thrumming in the background called to him and he spun out to the dance floor, pleasantly surprised when Obi-Wan joined him and too far gone in the alcohol to realize that it was more to protect the people around him than himself.
Rex showed up about half way through the song with his two companions - no doubt the same two that had found Anakin in the tub - and Anakin's restraint was gone. He approached the clones who were out of uniform.
"You!" He pointed a finger at Rex, wavering slightly.
"Anakin," Obi-Wan placed a hand on his shoulder, his tone cautionary - and was shaken off.
"You!" Anakin clenched his fist and pulled back towards himself, drawing the three clones to him all at once. "I've got a bone to pick with you!"
Anakin threw the first punch, missing Rex and putting one of the two other clones through a wall and destroying the public 'fresher unit and its accompanying fixtures. Water sprayed as someone let out a whoop, calling attention to the scene. The other clone was sent the other way, through the wall into the street outside.
"This is your mess, Rex; I hold you responsible!" At least, that was what Anakin had attempted to say. His world had begun to spin, the words coming out more like: "Tis ish yur messssh, Rex; eeeye hodsh yu reshponshibal."
Not quite the intimidating image he was going for.
Rex laughed, struggling to find his composure. "Sir?"
"Ignore him, Rex," Obi-Wan suggested, one restraining hand on Anakin's shoulder, his fingers bloodless from the pressure he was exerting. "He's not himself."
"I can see that, sir."
Obi-Wan motioned for the Captain to move and began steering Anakin towards the exit. Anakin stumbled, nearly going down, but for Obi-Wan's grip on him and he began to ramble. "Such a good friend, Obi-Wan; always there to pick me up when I fall."
"Or help in that fall apparently. I'm sorry, Anakin; I didn't realize it would hit you this hard this fast."
But Anakin wasn't paying him any attention as he stumbled forward and out of his grasp, somehow managing not to strike the wall beside the exit but get through it. Behind him, Rex stepped up to Obi-Wan, his voice pitched low.
"I... don't think Master Windu had this in mind when he suggested a lesson, General. I've never seen him like this."
Anakin was spinning in a drunken circle, raving about the stars - which couldn't be seen from their locale.
"I don't think so either. Let's get him home."
The next few minutes would be fuzzy later. Anakin wasn't sure exactly how it happened, but somehow his arm connected with Rex's chest, sending the clone staggering backwards and over the railing that led to the next level. Obi-Wan had been too slow to catch the clone with the Force before he disappeared and Anakin could only remember laughing as if it were the greatest joke on the planet. He also remembered lopping his arms around the Jedi Master and planting a wet, sloppy kiss on his cheek.
"You're the best date ever Obi-Wan!"
He remembered nothing after that.
The following morning, Anakin woke with a massive headache and a clarity of purpose that was surprising - once he visited the 'fresher. Rex's words had come back to him full force as soon as he'd purged the poisons from his system; something about Master Windu teaching him a lesson. Which meant that Mace Windu was about to get one on the folly of messing with Jedi who hadn't been traditionally trained.
Before the rest of the temple woke - it was really quite early - Anakin snuck up to the council chamber and pried open the back of Mace Windu's chair. Working quickly, he rigged the pressure seat and crossed two of the wires on the display console before programming in the holonet location of a Tripple X sites he's once seen one of the clones looking at. After Master Windu had used the chair for a week - or rather, fifty transmissions of any kind, the next time he attempted to bring up anything other than a simple voice transmission, this would pop up instead.
Satisfied with his revenge, something that would be both surprising and entertaining and he hoped he'd get to see, Anakin replaced the cover and exited the hall stealthily. He then erased all vid footage of himself in the chamber before returning to his quarters - and stopped short.
Standing outside was a clone he was certain he'd seen the last of in a foggy, drunken haze.
"Good morning, General. How's the head?"
For all the clone's were identical, no one spoke to him that way except his Captain. "Rex! Wait a second; you died, didn't you? You fell over the rail into the under city."
"Yes sir," Rex grinned. "Several crate's worth. I knew when I came to the club that the chances of you knocking me off were pretty good, so I took precautions. If you don't mind me saying so, sir, I'd like to serve you for a long time yet. There's never a dull moment."
Laughing, Anakin clasped Rex on the shoulder. "The feeling's mutual. Just... no more surprising me in the 'fresher, okay? What happens there, stays there."
"Of course; General Bubbles."
This was the Dare I received to write:
-Era would be The Clone Wars
-We have to have a walk in on somebody in a bathtub. (Not appreciated)
-Obi-Wan and Anakin go on a date. (No slash or anything like that.)
-Somebody destroys a public toilet.
-Somebody falls off a cliff but lives to tell the tale as he had placed pillows on the bottom.
-A mysterious love letter comes to somebody but the sender is someone totally unexpected
-Mace Windu's council seat has to be rigged so that something happens.
This was surprisingly fun; I got my challenge and though "Uh oh" for the first ten seconds and then decided to see if I could turn it into something fun. It started out titled "Best Served Cold" and then I started writing it and couldn't resist changing the title to something a little more fun. And it worked :D