Fond Memories on Tatooine
A/N: Written for the Obi-Wan romance challenge. :) Thanks to everyone who liked it over there. ;) Inspired by Elli, who made the comment it's never the older Obi-Wan who's wearing the leather pants.
It was another day on
Tatooine. What more could be said?
The sun rose, burned everything in its wake, and merely scorched what lay in the shadows. Ben squinted in the brightening sunlight, slowly and carefully rising to his feet, his body sore and stiff regardless of the heat from his long meditation. He got up every morning before dawn, to do just that. It was wonderful, peaceful, and he never skipped it. Like most of Tatooine’s citizenry – or merely inhabitants, whichever – he got up early and stayed inside during the great heat of the afternoon. He wasn’t always able to rest, though, and he sometimes used that time to work inside, where it was cool. And sometimes, even more rarely, he would do neither of those things.
He would open his memory chest.
It carried what few things he had from his old life as Obi-Wan. He had been here nearly fourteen years, and he no longer opened the chest often, the past more inclined than ever to stay where it belonged.
Still, sometimes there were things that could be learned from the past, so it was best not to forget it entirely.
Thus, the memory chest. Or, if he were more honest with himself, sometimes he could get nostalgic. The chest carried both good memories and bad, but that seemed quite balanced to Ben. Was not life that way? At times people – himself more than included – would forget that happy things went along with bad ones. The memory chest would remind him of that. Anakin’s lightsaber and the river stone. Balance.
He went inside. It was immediately cooler, and he let loose another sigh, this one more grateful. He walked over to his memory chest, shoved against the wall in his small living space. He felt like he was teetering, stumbling, but he knew he really wasn’t; sometimes he just felt old. He knelt.
The wooden chest – beyond rare on Tatooine, nearly priceless – was smooth and cool beneath his fingers. He could feel faint grooves, left from the original cutting of the wood, but that was worn by years of touching, of use. It was a comfortable feeling, one that spoke of living things, and he smiled.
He carefully unlocked and opened it, the lid rising smoothly. The chest was full of objects – not just Anakin’s lightsaber, or the river stone, but datapads and instruction manuals, some for Luke if he ever needed them, and some just there because he couldn’t bear to destroy anything of the Jedi Order. A piece of cloth, from Qui-Gon’s robe. How he had managed to keep that over the years was something of a miracle. A lock from Anakin’s Padawan braid. A trick box given to him by Garen, which he had never figured out – but Anakin had within five minutes, to his private embarrassment.
His fingers touched something smooth and supple, and without another thought he took the item out.
A pair of black leather pants.
Ben closed his eyes.
“These are for you.” Siri’s voice was light with mischief and laughter. Obi-Wan held up his nineteenth birthday present, and looked at Siri in disbelief. She seemed delighted by his reaction.
Garen burst out laughing. “Leather pants?” he cackled, sitting back, tugging his Padawan braid in the absentminded manner that was becoming a habit.
Obi-Wan shot him a glare, then returned his attention to the main torturer. “Siri –”
“Aren’t they great?” Siri interrupted, mischief still dancing in her blue eyes. “I’m pretty sure I got the right size, though Jedi robes do make it hard to tell.”
Obi-Wan sighed deeply. “Thank you, Siri.” He mentally decided he was definitely going to have to hide this before Qui-Gon got home. They were on a rare stopover on Coruscant, and it was the first time Obi-Wan was actually at the Temple during his birthday – and it was a rare treat that Siri and Garen both happened to be there then, too.
Siri nodded. “So, are you going to try it on?”
“Uh, maybe later,” Obi-Wan said, with no intention whatsoever of doing any such thing.
Siri raised an eyebrow. “Come on, Obi-Wan, live a little! And you accuse me of being too rule-bound.”
“Leather pants are not included in any rules,” Obi-Wan pointed out.
Siri waved her hand. “It’s the wardrobe thing.”
Garen watched for a moment, and then added, “She’s got a point.”
“You’re not helping!” Obi-Wan snapped at Garen.
Siri laughed, then turned a fake pleading gaze on Obi-Wan. “Please, Obi-Wan? I got it for you.” And added, “And it wasn’t cheap. That stuff’ll last. Genuine Kerenth leather.”
“You think I’ll wear this more than once?” Obi-Wan said, aghast.
Siri clapped her hands. “Great! You’ve agreed to wear it.” She snatched the leather pants out of his hands, grabbed him by his tunic, and shoved him towards the refresher just off to the living area.
“I’ll never stop harassing you about it if you don’t, Obi-Wan,” Siri proclaimed with a grand gesture. She handed him the leather pants. He took it reluctantly.
“Can I put it on and not step out of the refresher?” Obi-Wan asked.
The refresher door shut.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Obi-Wan muttered. He looked at the pants for another long moment, and then proceeded to put them on. Getting off his Jedi clothing was easy, of course. The leather pants – well, didn’t have much give. He struggled with it for several moments, rising to his toes. And on it went. Then he looked at himself in the mirror.
“Obi-Wan? You done? Come on out, you can’t hide in there forever,” Siri’s voice called.
Obi-Wan was silently thankful that his Jedi tunics covered, well, at least part of . . . this. He felt naked. A little worse, actually, one time he and Qui-Gon had been stripped when they were sent to prison – well, the trial actually – stop thinking about that, Obi-Wan.
I can do this, Obi-Wan thought. I am a Jedi. I have composure.
He opened the refresher door, bracing himself.
Garen’s reaction was everything he expected. His best friend laughed and called out, “So, when are you going to the Outlander club, Obi-Wan?”
Siri didn’t say a word. She stood there, in her loose Jedi clothing, and simply smiled. There wasn’t a hint of mockery in it. Then she moved forward, “Come on, Obi-Wan, off with the robe, that’s not fair . . .” Then she stepped back proudly, his robe in her hands. “See? They fit!”
“If you say so,” Obi-Wan replied dryly. “Can I change now?” he asked plaintively, looking Siri in the eye.
A wicked gleam appeared for a moment, and Obi-Wan had visions of all his Jedi pants disappearing. Then she weakened. “Fine, have it your way,” she said, still smiling. “But . . .” She leaned forward, getting right up next to him. “I think this was my birthday present, too,” she whispered, looking him over.
Garen made a ribald comment.
Siri just smiled.
And Obi-Wan kept the leather pants.
Ben shook his head at the memory, nearly grinning now. It was a fond memory, no matter how embarrassing at the time. He and Siri had become even closer after that, strangely enough, until her mission as Zora. The teasing had continued, of course, though in a more mature way over the years, finally settling to a quiet contentment in their banter with one another. Things had never gone farther than that, and that was how it had to be. Ben did not truly regret it, either, because they had been loyal to their duty and taken what they could, and lived it to the utmost within the boundaries of the life they had chosen.
He would never forget, either, that she had taught him to live a little. He had never told her, nor Qui-Gon, but he had put on those pants again on time, and gone to a bar. He’d never been uncomfortable in a place like that since. If Qui-Gon had noticed the abrupt change in attitude he had towards such places – and he probably had noticed, being a Jedi Master – he never commented on it.
Siri was right, too. The leather had lasted.
His mouth quirked. He might be getting older, but who’s to say he couldn’t live a little? He wondered if those seams would give if he gave them a little help . . .