Welcome to yet another co-authored story! :) Each ficlet in this collection is the result of a story challenge; most are written by different authors, many of whom can be found under my "favorites" tab. We've got canon characters for something familiar, and OCs aplenty to mix it up, so sit back and enjoy!
Um...it's probably obvious, given the title, but the theme is "first kisses." ;) Many thanks to SerendipityAEY for the lovely cover art. :)
If you like the story, don't forget to leave a review and let that author know you enjoyed their work. Feedback is always appreciated. :)
First Kiss: Variations On A Theme
First Kiss, Found
Naboo, 32 BBY
"I found you."
The smiling face of Aala Naberrie appeared suddenly from behind a little, yellow-flowered tree and though Obi-Wan had sensed she was outside, still a flare of surprise coursed through him at the fact that they had stumbled upon each other so easily. The gardens that surrounded Theed Royal Palace were quiet as the day approached evening but the grounds were vast - and yet here they were. He had come across her path without even meaning too, and she had found him - again it seemed - effortlessly.
"Were you looking for me?" he asked, unable to keep his amusement from sounding in his voice. She was happy, much more so than what he'd seen in the three days he'd known her and though Obi-Wan still felt the sorrow of what had transpired on Naboo, he let her high spirits lift his own.
"Yes!" Aala grinned, taking a step toward him. "I mean, if you're not - busy," she added quickly.
A soft chuckle left him before he could stop himself, and he realized he had not laughed since...he couldn't remember when. It felt nice. "I'm not busy."
He had been meditating, but it seemed that was about all he'd done in the past few days and Obi-Wan found he did not mind the interruption in the least. When he'd sensed Aala nearby, he'd decided that perhaps he could use a break. He stood now, one hip canted, trying to look casual as he waited for her to explain why she'd been looking for him.
"Well, I - I wanted to go watch the sunset, actually. By the waterfall."
For a moment she looked down, and he noticed she was twisting her hands together in an anxious sort of gesture, though he hadn't noticed any nervousness in her expression. But when she looked up again, her cheeks were a little pink and she caught her lower lip between her teeth for a fraction of a second, before casting him a teasing smile.
"And I didn't want to leave the palace without notifying you."
"It's not safe." Obi-Wan raised one brow as he answered.
"Well, it's not exactly a battle zone, either," Aala retorted, and then he saw she was twisting her hands together again. "But I thought maybe...you could come with me? Sitting at the waterfall always makes me feel better. It might be nice..."
Obi-Wan paused for a moment, though he couldn't think of any reason to say no to something that would obviously make her so happy. "I suppose." He tried to make the words sound hesitant, but he knew she saw through him. "But just for a short time."
"Thank you," she smiled, her blue eyes lighting. "Come on, we should hurry, though. It's almost sundown."
Obi-Wan nodded, and Aala turned to lead the way but the image of the way that smile had lit her face and the effect that it had on him in turn, did not fade from his mind.
"And then she kissed me."
Aala laughed, tilting her head back as she did, and Obi-Wan could not help but smile as well.
"She said it was to thank me for saving her people but I had this unsettling sense that she might have had ulterior motives."
A warm, amused smile was shared between the two of them and then they fell quiet for a few minutes. Obi-Wan plucked a blade of grass from the ground where they were seated, and twirled it between his fingers before letting the wind catch it and carry it away. The sun had dipped below the horizon, casting the sky in shades of dusky pink and purple and the sound of the waterfall crashing to the water below was steady, soothing.
"Has anyone thanked you yet for - this?" Aala asked suddenly.
As he met her gaze, he noted at once the glint of humor and he thought he had never quite enjoyed someone's company as much as he was enjoying hers in this moment - no expectations, no pressures - just two people, spending time together.
"It was my duty," he answered, his voice soft. "No thank you necessary."
A light breeze lifted wisps of her blonde hair to flutter around her face for one moment before the loose strands settled again around her shoulders. "I insist."
Leaning on one hand, Aala tilted her head toward him and for an instant his breath caught.
Her eyelids fluttered closed, but he found he could not do the same, he could not take his gaze off of her,and then she pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek. Pulling back, her expression softened as she regarded him. "For saving Naboo."
And then she moved, leaning across his body to kiss his other cheek. "For saving my sister."
When she pulled back again, she caught his steady gaze and Obi-Wan found himself lost trying to discern the exact color of her eyes and the nature of the emotion within them. But before he could, they had closed again and then he felt her lips, so soft, brush across the very corner of his mouth.
It lasted only a second and then she smiled - so close he could feel the heat radiating from her skin, and she settled back in her spot on the grass without saying a word.
After a minute, he couldn't help himself and he asked, "What was that one for?"
"For me," she answered softly.
"I didn't save you."
"Oh," Aala grinned, "there's still plenty of time for that opportunity to arise, I assure you. I have a penchant for trouble."
Obi-Wan laughed, returning her smile. "I shall keep an eye out then, my dear."
It was teasing, nothing more than a silly jest, but Obi-Wan found he did not mind the thought of keeping his eye on Aala in the least.
AN: Thanks for reading! If you'd like to find out what happens with Obi-Wan and Aala from here please check out my story 'Fallen' :) It was a joy to finally get to imagine and write their 'first kiss.' A big thank you to laloga for taking a look at both this part and the second part; as always, the help is much appreciated.