SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE: Part 12
DISCLAIMER: Star Wars and all publicly recognisable characters, names and references, etc are the sole property of George Lucas, Lucasfilm Ltd, Lucasarts Inc and 20th Century Fox. This fan fiction was created solely for entertainment and no money was made from it. Also, no copyright or trademark infringement was intended. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. Any other characters, the storyline and the actual story are the property of the author.
One Day Before the Wedding:
Rabe opened her eyes lazily, and yawned. She glanced at her chronometer. Morning already. She glanced over, and realized she'd fallen asleep on Westerly. She sat up quickly, and shook his shoulder.
"Uhhn," he managed.
"Prince Westerly! Wake up!"
"I'm up, I'm up."
"It is? Can we go to bed, then?"
"Westerly, Jedi Kenobi never came back to his room last night!"
Westerly wrinkled his brow. "Well, he had to have slept somewhere."
Their eyes met in one moment of sheer, unbridled horror.
Obi-Wan blinked and stared up at the ceiling. Where am I, and where's the coffee? he wondered tiredly.
"Up an' at 'em, Jedi," Panaka said, throwing his clothes at him.
"I feel like bantha poodoo," Obi-Wan announced.
"You look like it. Did you sleep okay?"
"Yeah... I kept dreaming, though. Weird stuff."
"One of those Jedi-premonition dreams?"
"Nope. Just your run-of-the-mill bad dreams." He sat up and rubbed his face tiredly. "I don't suppose you've got any coffee around here?"
"Whole pot. Help yourself."
"You are my new best friend."
"So what's on the agenda for today?"
"Runnin' the boys through everything that could possibly go wrong at the wedding. Which reminds me. Would you mind doing a favor for me?"
"You gave me coffee. I'll kill a man for you."
"The Prince's kid sister is scheduled to arrive from Coruscant this morning. I was going to send one of the boys over to the landing pad to pick her up, but if you're not busy..."
"Sure, fine," Obi-Wan said, yawning. He blinked. "Westerly has a sister?"
Her Honorable Princess Frederica of Jocar smoothed the crisp skirt of her school uniform, scowling angrily. Stupid parents. Why would they possibly make her take off in the middle of FINALS, just to see her idiot brother get married? She'd never met the Queen of Naboo, but the woman couldn't possibly be too bright if she'd agreed to marry Westerly.
"M'lady, we've arrived," the pilot said politely.
Frederica grabbed her rucksack and flung it over her shoulder, raking back her short hair with the other hand. She'd gotten it cropped short, specifically because her mother had said the style was unbecoming of royalty. Screw royalty, Frederica had long ago decided. As soon as I get out of this stupid prep school, I'm learning to fly and becoming a smuggler. Or a bounty hunter. Or something where I get to drink a lot and shoot people.
"Can I get your bags, m'lady?" the pilot sniveled.
"This is it," she said, using the Princess voice. The one that just oozed sweetness and light.
"The Captain of the Guard has sent you an escort," the pilot continued.
"Wonderful," Frederica deadpanned. Great. More sycophantic toadies to buzz around her, trying to wipe her mouth all the time. Irritated, she stepped off the transport, and blinked in the bright sunshine. She looked around for some pathetic servant or guardsman. And then she saw Him.
He was the most breathtakingly handsome man she'd ever seen. The back of his roughly-cut reddish-brown hair had been wrestled back into a stubby ponytail, but in the front, it hung over kind, grey-blue eyes. Loose white robes that seemed just a little too white hung over a slender, but muscled frame. Frederica's throat went dry, and she felt her eyes widen.
"Hello," he said, voice tinged with an accent she couldn't quite place. "You must be Princess Frederica. My name is Obi-Wan Kenobi. I'm here to escort you to the palace."
Frederica felt a grin spread onto her face. Perhaps this trip wasn't going to be so bad, after all.
"Got it!" Spath announced, slamming the panel shut.
"Took you long enough," Anakin grumbled. "We're never going to make it on time."
"Oh, yes, we will," Spath said, his face stony with determination. He dashed up to the cockpit, past the surprised faces of Tare and the Jocarians. "Hold on to your hats, boys and girls. We have some time to make up."
Obi-Wan found himself pleasantly surprised. When Panaka had asked him to pick up the Jocarian princess, he'd expected a female version of Westerly-- stuffy, over-ceremonial, and definitely lacking in the brains department. Instead, Frederica, a small fourteen-year-old dressed in a schoolgirl's uniform, was scrappy, opinionated and quick-witted. Obi-Wan made a definite mental note to introduce her to Anakin after this whole mess got straightened out. He was sure they would get along together perfectly. Or fight like Tusken raiders. Either way, it should be fun to watch.
"So, do you know this Queen Amidala?" Frederica asked.
"Quite well, actually."
"What's wrong with her?"
"I mean, she's marrying my brother. There's gotta be something wrong with her. Ugly? Stupid? Broke?"
"There's a planetary alliance riding on their union."
"Yeah, sure. I bet Wes got Mom and Dad to pay her off."
Obi-Wan shook his head. If nothing else, the girl was definitely amusing.
"So are you some kinda guard or palace guy or what?"
"I'm a Jedi Knight."
Frederica's jaw dropped. "No way! Like with the lightsabers and the Force and all that?"
"Wow! I've never seen one before. I mean, I know the Jedi Headquarters is on Coruscant, but you guys don't get out much, y'know?"
"You want to see a trick?"
Obi-Wan pulled out a Nubian coin. "Now you see it..." he swept his hands around. "Now you don't!"
Frederica scowled. "That was lame. That's just slight-of-hand stuff. Real hard for a guy whose sleeves go past his hands."
Obi-Wan frowned. "I didn't say it was a Jedi trick. I've been working on that for a long time."
"I'm sorry," Frederica said, giggling.
"As you should be. Um, I don't suppose you know where you're supposed to be going?"
Suddenly, a loud cry broke through the hallway.
"JEDI KENOBI! STOP WHERE YOU ARE!"
Obi-Wan winced, and turned to see Prince Westerly running at him full tilt, Rabe close at his heels.
"We must talk about your disgraceful beha--Frederica? What are you doing here?"
"I'm here for your damn wedding, doofus," Frederica replied.
Westerly looked back and forth between his sister and his archnemesis. And his overworked grey matter reached yet another conclusion. As usual, it was another wrong conclusion. "GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY SISTER, KENOBI!"
"I wasn't touching your sister," Obi-Wan said calmly.
"You were THINKING about it!"
"No, not really."
"And who cares if he was?" Frederica added.
"You stay away from this... this... Jedi!" Westerly announced, grabbing his sister by the arm. "You're coming with me, young lady!" With that, he proceeded to drag her, protesting and whining, down the hallway.
This, of course, left Obi-Wan and Rabe in the hall, staring at each other. Rabe narrowed her eyes.
"A fourteen-year-old. You pervert." Then she turned to follow the two royal siblings.
Obi-Wan just sighed. It was too early for this much strangeness.
"Jedi Kenobi! There you are!"
Obi-Wan turned to see Sabe approaching him from the opposite hallway. She smiled brightly.
"Your robes look so bright and shining," she said happily.
"Is that why you were looking for me?"
"No, I need a favor."
Yes, it was definitely too early for this much strangeness.
Sache sat on the little couch and bit her lip. Amidala had woken up in a foul mood, and it wasn't getting any better as the day wore on.
"I hate this stupid dress!" she announced.
The seamstress mumbled something about her salary and ungrateful wretches.
"M'lady, is there anything I can get for you?" Sache offered, hoping something would calm the Queen. Ordinarily, Amidala had a temper as smooth as a mirror and patience to match it. Unlike the number of other young monarchs Sache had met in her short tenure as handmaiden, Amidala was neither spoiled nor prone to tantrums. But she had her days.
"A blaster," Amidala mumbled.
"That wouldn't solve anything, now would it?" Sache said through gritted teeth.
"It might," Amidala replied. "You just aren't being imaginative enough." Yes, Amidala was definitely having one of her days.
"Let me get this straight... you want me to decorate?"
Sabe nodded eagerly. "Yes. Just put the ribbons and flowers and stuff around."
Obi-Wan just stared at her. "Sabe? I'm a Jedi Knight, not some kind of interior decorator!"
"That's okay," Sabe said. "I'm sure you'll do fine, anyway. I found you
Sabe couldn't really classify the funny choking sounds Obi-Wan seemed to be making, so she decided they must be grunts of contentment, or some sort of other happy noise. "Have fun!"
"Here's the plan-- Spath drops in low, Anakin, you jump out."
"You can tell them to delay, while we land... let's see..."
"Spath, can the 'Vardulia' make a water landing?"
"I dunno. Never tried it."
"Perhaps we should aim for the back lawn. Then--"
"Why doesn't Westerly just delay the wedding until we get there?" the Queen asked suspiciously.
"Perhaps you should ask him when we reach Naboo," Tare said, completely seriously. "Now, Anakin--"
"I AIN'T jumping out of the stupid ship, so stop it, Tare!"
"Anakin, you're being very selfish, here."
"We're gettin' there on time," Spath reassured.
"Keep pilotin', flyboy," Tare growled. "Okay, new plan..."
Anakin sighed. Handmaidens.
"Meesa t'inkin' the white flowers goesa better with the gold ribbons. Whats yousa t'inkin'?"
"Meesa t'inkin' I DON'T CARE," Obi-Wan replied.
"Yousa still jalous over Amy-dala, right, Obiwun?"
"Yes, Jar Jar, that is exactly it. I am... 'jalous.' Furthermore, I am deeply troubled by the fact that my son will grow up with that bastard Westerly's name..."
Jar Jar raised one amphibian eyebrow. "Yousa kiddin', right-o, Obiwun?"
Obi-Wan sighed. "Yes, Jar Jar. I'm just kidding."
"Then yousa help with the decoratin' now?"
"Jar Jar, you've seen the way I dress. Do you think I know anything about aesthetics?"
"No, but Sabe be sayin' yousa should help."
Obi-Wan almost jumped out of his robes in surprise.
Princess Frederica walked in, surveying Jar Jar's handiwork. She had changed out of her uniform into a tank top and a pair of pants that looked like part of a Dornean military uniform, stuffed into heavy-soled spacer boots. "Decoratin' the chapel, huh?"
"Unfortunately," Obi-Wan said.
"Nice. Can I help?"
"Your brother isn't going to jump out of the woodwork and accuse me of being a pedophile again, is he?"
"I hope not. Who's your buddy?"
"Meesa Jar Jar Binks!"
"I'll just bet you are."
"Frederica, this is Jar Jar. He's a Gungan, they live on Naboo, too. Jar Jar, this is Princess Frederica, sister of the groom."
"Nice to meetcha," Jar Jar said, getting his fingers tangled up in another bow.
"Help would definitely be appreciated," Obi-Wan said.
"Cool. First off, are the yerknahs actually going to be in here?"
"I have no idea."
"We should find out. They would definitely put a cramp in the decoration plans."
"I'm glad the voice of experience has arrived."
"I'm sure you would have done just fine by yourself."
"Obiwun... Meesa needs some help!" Jar Jar had somehow managed to get one of his ears, one foot and his tongue wrapped up in the ribbon as well.
"Yeah," Obi-Wan agreed. "Just fine..."
"I don't see why we need a rehearsal dinner. I understand rehearsal, but why a dinner to celebrate it? Or do we have to give Westerly a treat for not screwing up?" Amidala paced the room angrily.
"M'lady..." Sache begged.
"I'm tired of all this ceremonial crap! Sick of it!"
"M'lady, er... that's what a wedding is. Ceremonial crap."
"And whose idea was that? Certainly not mine."
Sache sighed. "What's wrong, Amidala? I thought you agreed to go through with this? Why the sudden bitterness?"
"I'm not bitter!" Amidala said, glaring at her handmaiden. Unfortunately, she didn't stop pacing, and ran into the little table that sat in the middle of the room. "OW!" She knelt down to rub it, and her fingers encountered the bandage from when she'd scraped her leg the day before. "Dammit," she swore, sitting down on the floor.
Sache knelt beside her, and put her arm around Amidala. "It's okay."
"It's not okay. I'm getting married tomorrow, and I'm scared."
"I'm scared, okay?" Amidala repeated.
The Queen's shoulders began to heave slightly, and tears rolled down her face.
"It's okay... it's okay..." Sache kept repeating comfortingly. She knew it wasn't much, but she just didn't know what else to say.
Those bows were harder to tie than they looked.
Obi-Wan had currently tied his own fingers up in one. Granted, it wasn't the kind of disaster Jar Jar had been generating, but it was a little embarrassing. Frederica yanked it off, and retied it expertly.
"So what'd you do to get my big bro so pissed at you, anyway?"
"I didn't do anything to him," Obi-Wan said truthfully.
"Well, you've got him all riled up over something. He kept ranting about what a slimy pervert you are and why I should stay away from you. So what'd you do?" Her eyes shone with anticipation.
"I swear I didn't do anything! He probably got that pervert idea from that handmaiden he's always hanging out with."
"What'd you do to her?" Frederica pressed.
"It's not for young ears!"
"NO WAY! You guys got it on?" Frederica grinned lecherously.
"NO! She turned at an inopportune moment and I bumped her in the... uh... chest, and--"
He was cut off by Frederica's laughter. "Come on. That's not perverted."
"Tell her that."
"So you're just one of those clean-cut good boys, huh?"
"Is that a problem?"
"Nope," Frederica replied. It just meant that he was going to be a challenge. And if there was one thing Frederica liked, it was a challenge.