"Anakin, this is Andriya Delvee. Andriya, this is Anakin Skywalker, my Padawan."
"Hello," Anakin said, offering his hand. Andriya shook it a smiled slightly. She realized she didnít smile as much as she used to.
Anakin turned back to the circuitry heíd been working on as Andriya sat in a chair.
"Master, where are the transparisteel stabilizers?"
"You know theyíre in there," Obi-Wan said, clearly puzzled that heíd asked.
"I forgot," Anakin shrugged, standing and heading toward the indicated storage room.
"You canít get back into town tonight," Obi-Wan said.
"You can stay here."
"I think I know why youíre here."
Obi-Wan nodded. He left the room and returned with a thick volume, titled Advanced Lightsaber Techniques for Students, and handed it to Andriya.
"Sorry. I didnít mean to take it."
"A library book?" she asked.
"I was hoping you could intervene on my behalf--perhaps talk the late fines down a little."
"I donít know about that."
"Master!" Anakin called from the storage room. "I canít find those stabilizers!"
"Excuse me," Obi-Wan said as he walked into the room. He immediately went to and picked up a small box of transparisteel stabilizers. "Here they are," he said as he turned around.
Anakin had shut the door and was leaning against it. "So thatís the girl, huh?"
Obi-Wan attempted to look confused. "What girl?"
"Two years ago, Coruscant. Well, I was on Coruscant--you ran off with her."
"Oh. Yes, thatís her."
"She is cute."
"First of all, youíre not available."
"That doesnít mean I canít look."
"Sheís out of your league."
"Iíd say that of you first."
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes and handed Anakin the box. He passed a hand through his hair, exasperated with his Padawan. He didnít have the patience Qui-Gon had always shown with him. Almost always.
"Oh, and by the way," Anakin added, "grey doesnít make you look distinguished."
"By the way," Obi-Wan countered, "youíll have to sleep on the floor tonight."
"What, arenít you and Andriya going to sleep together?"
"No!" he exclaimed in reproach. "You watch yourself." As soon as I remember how to punish him. . . . The threat was empty and ineffective because he probably would never remember how to punish Anakin. Obi-Wan hit the button and the door slid open, ending the conversation.
"Problems?" Andriya asked.
"No, no problem," Anakin replied, dropping the stabilizers on the table.
"Why do you ask?" Obi-Wan finished for him, tossing a microfuser onto the table in front of Anakin with unnecessary clatter.
"No reason," she said, slamming the book on the table.
"Why did you do that?" Anakin asked.
"Well . . . everyone else was doing it. . . . I was just caught up in the moment," she mumbled lamely, then laughed.
"So youíre the one that Obi-Wan had a little fling with a few years ago?" Anakin said.
Andriya raised her eyebrows. "Thatís an interesting term for a Jedi mission." She looked to Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan nodded. It was fine that sheíd mentioned the Jedi. It was obvious she was a Jedi. Anakin occupied himself with the circuit he was working on, feeling left out at not being raised a Jedi. If he only knew how much in common we really have, Andriya thought.
"Iím sure they didnít really send you out here to collect truant books."
"No," she said, turning serious. "Weíre here to try and negotiate a peace treaty between Mirnka and Paqua."
"Good luck," Obi-Wan said sarcastically.
"Itís a little late for that. All the senators have done is throw things at us."
"When are reinforcements coming?"
"Are you free tomorrow?"
"What about Coruscant?"
"The Emperor has stopped all outgoing traffic and transmissions sometime after we left."
"You must be joking."
Andriya shook her head. "He claims that there was a massive escape from a prison on Coruscant and theyíre still recapturing the escapees."
"But . . . there arenít any prisons on Coruscant."
"Not any that the public have been informed of. There could still be some, or itís simply not the truth. Either way, Palpatine has been caught in a lie."
"And to think we. . . ." Obi-Wanís voice trailed off.
"Helped to get him elected Chancellor," Anakin finished. "If only weíd known."
"Weíd let the Trade Federation remain in control?" Obi-Wan asked. "Not that his election had anything to do with the victory on Naboo." Only with difficulty could Obi-Wan refer to the events on Naboo just after meeting Anakin a victory--it dredged up memories of the past that were, all too often, very painful.
"Personally, I donít know him very well, but I donít trust him even when heís in my sight."
"Itís nice to know the Jedi hold the government in such high regard," Obi-Wan said sarcastically.
"Master, could you get me those nefolaurithalic resistors?" Anakin interrupted.
"Why donít you get them?"
"Because you put them away two days ago and I havenít seen them since."
"Fine," Obi-Wan said, rising from the table.
"So," Anakin said once Obi-Wan was gone, "you were involved with Obi-Wan?"
"Iím not sure what youíd call involved."
"You do know heís much older than you."
"Yes, I know. Why would you care?"
"Oh, no reason."
"I hear youíve got Ďfriendsí in high places."
"Not here," he replied.
"What are you implying?"
"Oh, nothing, nothing."
Andriya didnít continue, but she was thinking. My brother can take him. And, if Iím not mistaken, heís failed his test.
Obi-Wan finally returned with two resistors. "Ani, I must say Iím disappointed."
Andriya stood as Obi-Wan continued. "May I introduce Jedi Master Andriya Delvee, member of the Jedi Council for over two years."
Anakinís eyes widened. He scrambled to his feet and bowed quickly. "I am so sorry, Master Andriya. Please forgive me, I . . . I. . . ."
"Iím sorry you didnít pass. I hope youíve learned."
"I have--Iím not the only one with Ďfriendsí in high places."
"Interesting moral," Obi-Wan remarked.
"I think I was supposed to learn that you canít judge a book by looking at its cover."
Andriya looked down at Advanced Lightsaber Techniques for Students. "I donít know about that."
"Ani, go ahead and pack up."
"Oh, you just want to be alone with her."
"Obey your master, Padawan," Andriya instructed firmly.
Trying not to grumble vocally, Anakin gathered up the circuitry including the unused transparisteel stabilizers and nefolaurithalic resistors and carried them into the storage room.
"So what do you really think is happening on Coruscant?" Obi-Wan said when Anakin left.
"I have no idea. All I have are a couple newsholos Depa Billiba was able to get out to me."
"How did she do that?"
"I contacted her and she transmitted a group of files."
"What did she send with the newsholos?"
"Your records. Anakinís."
"Why did you come out here alone?"
"I didnít. Myndex and Halsten are with me."
"I meant other councilors."
"Oh. They said I needed the experience. I havenít done much in the way of solo missions."
"I couldíve stayed if you were just going to talk business," Anakin said as he returned.
"Assuming we wanted you here," Andriya smirked.
"That was harsh, Councilor."
She smiled, but it didnít take the edge off her insult.
The next morning, Andriya was the first one awake. She sat up in the bed--which she remembered was Obi-Wanís--and looked around. Another bed on the other side of the room held the still-sleeping Jedi Knight. His Padawan was stretched out on the floor.
Turning her back to the eerily silent bedroom, Andriya faced the wall to redo her hair.
"Morning," Obi-Wan said as she was finishing.
Andriya jumped slightly. She secured the last braid in her hair and turned around. "Morning," she whispered.
Obi-Wan was still laying on the other bed, his hands behind his head. "Itís nice to see you again," he stated.
Andriya smiled slightly. "Itís good to see you, too." She knew Obi-Wan was just being friendly. In her mind, there was no possibility that he was attracted to her--Obi-Wan was ten years older than her, and probably had much better things to do and people to be with than someone her age. Not that she didnít hope--a futile hope. But she couldnít get rid of it--sheíd tried drowning it in reason and asphyxiating it with fact, but it was far too much like the Jedi it had taken root in.
"Excuse me," someone interrupted.
Obi-Wan and Andriya looked at the still-sleeping Anakin in surprise, partially because he was asleep and partially because it didnít sound like Anakin at all.
"Over here," said the man walking through the door to the main room.
"What are you doing here?" Andriya and Obi-Wan said in unison, a little louder than they meant to.
"Pardon me, but Iím in the next scene, and I was hoping you could hurry this one up a little bit. Iím a busy tomorrow in another story, so if you donít get to my scene in a page or two, I donít know if Iíll be able to be in the story."
Andriya and Obi-Wan gaped at him. "Weíll do what we can," Andriya said.
"Thank you. See you later."
The two Jedi nodded slowly as the man left the room. They looked at one another, looked at the door, and back at one another. Finally, they decided not to say anything. Obi-Wan got up and walked into the main room.
Coruscant Main Office | Tatooine Branch Office | The Mirnka/Paqua Problem: Part Four