Palpatine's Dentures

Humorous AU. The Skywalkers get a little more than they bargained for when "great-uncle" Palpatine comes to visit for a week. Mishaps with the retired Sith lord's dentures aren't the half of it. Luke and Leia have plenty of shenanigans in store for their guest!

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So I just finished a dramatic/romantic SW story and needed a humorous interlude.

Expect dry humor. Expect bathroom humor – literally. Above all, brace yourselves. This is a HUGE departure from my usual style. If it scars/scandalizes you for life, I apologize. Try not to disown me or boycott my future work. :P

I promise this will be the one & only instance. I just… have to do this.

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Chapter 1 – Everyone's Favorite Uncle

Padmé Amidala's estate at Varykino, Naboo

Padmé whistled to herself as she rinsed the last of the dishes, letting her mind drift through the open window and across the lake. Along its shore splashed Luke and Leia, squealing and flinging sand at each other as the afternoon sun waned. She glanced at the clock. Just two more hours until he arrived for the week.

"Luke! Leia! Time to come inside and shower!"

The seven-year-old twins heard her and reluctantly trudged back toward the house, dragging their beach towels in protest. If you're in a bad mood now, just wait til your great uncle shows up, Padmé pursed her lips. Whatever possessed your father to invite him, I'll never know.

The twins had never met the retired Sith lord. Anakin played up the old man's visit for their benefit, but neither seemed entirely sold that a week with a gnarled, raspy-voiced grandpa was half as exciting as Anakin made it sound.

"Luke, did you finish moving your cot into Leia's room?" Padmé asked when they entered the kitchen.

"Not yet," Luke whined. "Why do I hafta move in with her? Can't I just sleep in the living room?"

"Your father explained this already. Great Uncle Palpatine often sleepwalks, and we don't want him stumbling into you in the middle of the night," Padmé said matter-of-factly. "You and your sister need to sleep behind a locked door. That's final."

"Why can't we just stick him behind a locked door?"

"Luke!" Padmé was going to admonish him to have respect for his elders, but suddenly realized the ludicrous irony. "He reacts… badly… to being trapped in confined spaces. So unless you want to clean up after his bedwetting, take your cot into Leia's room."

Sighing with exaggerated exasperation, Luke disappeared down the hall behind Leia, who stuck her tongue out at him in victory. Padmé wiped her hands and turned around to find Anakin walking in the door.

"Hello there," Anakin admired her frilly apron before kissing her. "My sweet little maid. Want to go upstairs and –"

"Shh, Anakin! The kids just came in," Padmé hushed. "Besides, it's already 1600 hours. I still have to get dressed and prepare dinner so it's ready when he gets here."

"Sith, is it that late already?" Anakin glared at the clock, then stole another kiss. "Fine then. It'll have to wait. But the twins will never get a new sibling at this rate."

Padmé put both hand on her hips. "You're the one who persuaded our guest to come! This was your idea, so it's your fault if we suffer a few inconveniences."

Anakin smiled sheepishly, accepting the blame. "He lives by himself, Padmé. He gets lonely."

"That's what he gets for trying to take over the galaxy!"

"Have a heart," Anakin begged. "It's just one week. You'll hardly know he's here."

"Fat chance!" Padmé snorted.

"Look, just focus on the preparations, and I'll take care of entertaining him, deal?"

Padmé rolled her eyes. It was too late to cancel this ill-fated reunion anyway. She'd just have to grit her teeth and endure it.

While the twins showered and Anakin prepared Luke's room, she daydreamed over dinner prep. She tried imagining the half-finished, dilapidated palace Anakin said Palpatine had inhabited for seven years. The Sith had it commissioned at the height of his rule, when resources were plenty and his future looked bright. But evidently, his Sith senses couldn't predict his own bankruptcy, which struck when his entire investment portfolio tanked near the Clone War's end. Down the drain went all his illustrious visions of power and conquest, closets full of velvet cloaks, and daily cappuccinos.

Times were lean for the Sith now. Living as a squatter, fending off local law enforcement with Sith lightning whenever they tried to extricate him, eating squirrels and other wildlife and drinking from puddle water… it was a sorry state for sure. And if it were anyone else, Padmé's heart would overflow with compassion. But try as she may, she couldn't muster one ounce for the old bag of bones. Why Anakin still felt some strange paternal connection to him, she'd never understand.

1800 hours came much too quickly for her liking. Setting the casserole dish on the table, she wrung her hands while the family sat and watched the clock. Just when the minute hand clicked into vertical position at the top, the doorbell rang.

And rang. And rang. And rang.

"Geez, once is enough!" Leia scowled, following her parents to the door. "Quit it already! We're coming!"

Padmé shot her daughter one last reproving look before Anakin opened the door. This week is such a mistake. We're doomed. Forcing a diplomatic smile – which ended up being a grimace – she prayed she'd be a gracious host to who waited outside.

And who was still ringing that blasted doorbell.

Even when the door opened in front of him, Palpatine was so neurotically obsessed with pressing the button that he didn't notice. He was grinning fiendishly, deriving far more enjoyment from the doorbell than anyone should. Luke and Leia looked at each other and twirled fingers around their ears.

"Palpatine…?" Anakin blinked. He received no response. "PALPATINE!"

"Hah? What?" the old man jumped back as if he'd been shocked by a spark of his own lightning. "Oh! Anakin… I… I need your bathroom… urgently…"

Before any of them could knit their brows in confusion, the Sith plowed his way through and made a beeline for the restroom. The four stared after him in mute surprise.

"How does he know where the bathroom is?" Luke asked after a stunned minute.

Anakin scratched his head. "Uh, Sith senses, I guess."

"I hope you're right Daddy, because none of the bedrooms are locked yet!" Leia raised her eyebrows.

Laughing nervously, Anakin exchanged a mildly panicked look with his wife before running after their guest. Relief washed over him when he found the bathroom door shut.

"Palpatine, are you all right in there?" he rapped on the door.

At first, flatulence and groaning were the only response. But then, barely audible, the Sith spoke.

"You wouldn't believe the inhumanity I suffered on my trip," he moaned. "Every intergalactic rest stop between Coruscant and Naboo was closed for repairs! Every… single… one!" he said while grunting. "How is that legal? Have they any idea what that does to an old man's colon?"

Anakin cringed. Padmé had cleaned the bathroom for nothing.

Which she seemed to grasp as she and the twins walked onto the scene.

"Sorry to hear that… do you need anything?" Anakin asked, gulping at Padmé's dark expression.

"Oooooh… Anakin…"

"He sounds like he's pooping bricks!" Luke giggled.

"Anakin… this toilet paper… it's so rough…"

"W-what…?" Anakin floundered.

"It chafes… oooh how it chafes…"

Anakin looked mortified, but the other three members of his family were in stitches. Tears were starting to trickle from Padmé's eyes as she shook with silent laughter.

"Go to the table and eat your dinner," Anakin ordered the children.

"We're not hungry anymore!" Leia laughed hysterically.

"Neither am I!" Padmé concurred.

"Anakin, please… help me…"

Padmé had to clap a hand over her mouth to keep from exploding. "Don't look at me!" she gasped at her bewildered husband. "It's all you! This was all your idea!"

So it was, he ran a hand through his hair. The consequences were his alone. Don't be a coward, Anakin Skywalker. You fought in the Clone Wars for three years. You've changed hundreds of dirty diapers. You can do this.

Drawing upon more courage than he felt, he did his best to ignore the squeals and breathless laughter behind him… and entered the bathroom.

"Oh, Sith!"

Beneath the door, Padmé saw Anakin's shadow stumble toward the fan switch.

"Haven't you ever heard of a ventilation fan?" he shouted in disgust.

"Anakin, please! I can't bear to wipe anymore, it's too painful!" Palpatine's voice cracked.

"What do you want me to do, wet a wad of tissues and wipe for you?"

The silence that followed spoke for itself.

"OH, NO!" Anakin yelled. "Not on your life! That's asking TOO much!"

"Take pity on an old invalid! My aching joints can barely reach back there!"

Fearing he might vomit, Anakin began tearing through the bathroom shelves and cabinets, searching desperately for a pair of gloves. He stumbled upon a caddy of old baby items: a rubber ducky, a half-empty bottle of shampoo, and a pair of washcloth mittens. Those would have to do. No sign of gloves anywhere else…

In another stroke of luck, what should he find beneath the mittens but a package of moist baby wipes?

They'd probably dried out over the years, but running them under the faucet would reconstitute them soon enough. It would work. It had to. He needed something tougher than regular tissue.

Only time would tell if these six-year-old wipes were up to the challenge he was about to subject them to. Pulling the pastel yellow mittens up to his wrists, a pair of cross-eyed embroidered ducks stared at him from the backs. He felt morally obligated to cover their eyes.

But neither he nor they would be shielded from the coming horror. Drawing a breath through his mouth, he gripped the tub of baby wipes and turned to the squatting Sith, wishing he was in a Rancor pit instead.

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So, so wrong. No need to tell me. The idea for the bathroom scene was entirely my husband's. You wouldn't believe the things he comes up with right before bed while brushing our teeth. He waits until my mouth is foaming with toothpaste to make me choke with laughter.