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14 February 2011 @ 11:56 pm
Fic: ‘Known, and unknown, dangers.’  
Title: Known, and unknown, dangers.
Fandom: Star Wars
Rating: (G)
Time Period: Between tPM & AotC.
Summary: He beguiled the mind.

Author's Note: This is quick ‘n’ dirty (for definition see the F. A. Q.).

This is the first part of the Valentine’s Day story which begins at a masque ball and ends with the heroine going home.

We’ll see where this ends!

I’m also not promising the characters are completely in character – this was written for Valentine’s Day!

Part I of II.

Disclaimer
All characters contained herein are the intellectual property of Lucas; I am not affiliated with nor endorsed by him.


_______________________


Small talk could blunt edged weapons, wear down the soul and induce waking naps. It was a tool used to sneak secrets and perpetuate rumours. At social events, it was more effective than a kounhun in the hands of an assassin; guarded tongues were loosened by it, revealing more unintentionally than their sober counterparts, intentionally.

Her face ached from constant smiling, her neck from polite nods of acknowledgement. The mask hugged her skin; ebony, its gilted edges bounced the light from the globes in the floating chandelier. Reflections chattered and laughed by their real selves; mirrors on every wall and the ceiling showed every false laugh, every bored smile. With both people and their reflected selves pressing in on her, she felt small. Lost.

Alone.

Her chest tightened uncomfortably. It was difficult to breathe; there was no fresh air.

Suddenly spun away from the seething mass of Senators, their partners, lovers and aides into a press of swaying and gyrating bodies, she found herself pressed against a rough-spun chest. Twirled amongst the other dancers, she finally caught her breath and looked up into her partner’s eyes.

Through another half-mask; the accessory of the host’s choice for the masque that evening.

“I should thank you for the abrupt theft of myself from the conversation,” she smiled, a faint upturning of the corners of her lips, and felt the calluses on his hands. He was not a Senator nor one of the many aides; she knows (almost all of) them by sight but the mask obscures his features so she cannot be certain in her knowledge. But his hands set him apart; they are used, and often. She wished she knew more about what could have caused them.

“You looked in need of rescue.” A pair of dancers move and revealed is the Senator who had boxed her in with a Twi’lek lover. The fury on their face is palpable and she knows this rescue will cost at some other event.

“Indeed, I was.” She had no desired to discuss the latest reforms in the laws regarding individual planetary security protocols. “Why,” she glanced down then up, “a Jedi?”

“I might ask ‘why a bird?’,” he drily replied. “For me, a Jedi is what I am. You do not appear feathered or winged.

“Unless one would accept your hair as evidence.”

She laughed; a gentle quiet sound easily lost amid the voices and discordant music better suited for a nightclub below. His voice was familiar, she realised, but she could not place why, or when, she could’ve heard it. “My costume is representative of a twirrl,” she stepped back, to curtsey; the dance was finished.

“A twirrl?” He queried; he caught her hand and tugged her closer. The music had begun anew, this time a slower, softer song.

She landed with a soft umph against him. “They’re small avians,” she murmured against his shoulder. “Favoured by Naboo nobility.

“The Queen,” added almost as an aside.

As she turned away from him, he pulled her closer; she gasped upon collision with his body. Again. “A message for the ball?”

“But I don’t know if it sends the right one.”

His gaze was scanning the crowd; his voice was quietly intent upon her. “So much said and not always with words.”

Her head rested against his shoulder; the feathers from her headdress tickled the side of his nose. His closeness, his strength, his familiarity was a comfort against the cold event. “How would you prefer a message to be sent?”

His eyes narrowed, fixed on a distant point. “Simpler,” he glanced down.

Smiled.

Her cheeks flushed. “Simpler?” She repeated, her cheeks lessening in heat. She cleared her throat and leaned back, away, acutely aware of the eyes upon them and knew her actions to be part of the small talk circulating the room.

“One word instead of two and more,” he explained. “To sometimes allow clothes to be coverings of the body and not an entire communications system unto themselves.”

“I see,” she ventured to look up. “And this is the entirety of your opinion?”

An amused smile answered and then he half-bowed from the waist; an action that allowed him to lean closer. “Follow the directions of your security, Senator, and return home. It was,” he added as he stepped, once, back, “a pleasure, as always.” He released her hands except one; he kissed her palm before he vanished into the crowd. She lost sight of him as her security arrived and ushered her away.

Another assassination attempt, it was later explained; the Jedi had attended at the request of the host of the evening’s entertainment ... with the backing of the Chancellor. If she had known, she would’ve protested.

Which was why, she acceded to herself in the privacy of her thoughts, she had not been told. The Jedi, she was assured, had sent one of their best who had knowledge of both herself and the situation. The Jedi’s padawan, it had been added, had been at the Temple; it was not unknown for Master and padawan to be split on assignments like these.

In the back of the speeder headed back to her Senatorial apartment, she listened attentively but her mind wandered to the familiar Jedi (who had been a Jedi). How her hands had felt in his, the warmth of his closeness, the rakishness of his beard.

A twirrl on the arm of her Queen; that was the message she hoped she’d sent tonight but her mind erased the Queen and added a Jedi.

A twirrl on the arm of the rakish Jedi.

That felt more right. And her cheeks flushed, not calming until she arrived at her apartment.
 
 
Armchair DM: Matt's Cats: New Toy!armchairdm on February 15th, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
Ooooh! Pretty dancing! Who /was/ that masked man?
F. J.: Lantern & Candles: Warmmorethanacandle on February 15th, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
emiv: stock | *pounce*emiv on February 17th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
First off, so happy you went with Obidala for the V-day fic.

As always, this was beautifully written; it was so rich in description without being heavy or flowery. Everything felt lush, more than real. It also had kind of an Austenesque feel to it for me; I think it was the witty banter while dancing thing. The sexual tension between them is intense and subtle at the same time. Nicely done!
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on February 17th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
First off, so happy you went with Obidala for the V-day fic.
Thank you! It was a last minute decision, admittedly, and one not made until I was actually writing when I found myself writing kounhun in the first paragraph. I feel the Obidala worked better with what I had in mind – which is what I wrote!

it was so rich in description without being heavy or flowery. Everything felt lush, more than real.
That is such a relief to know; I was afraid of becoming flowery with the descriptions.

It also had kind of an Austenesque feel to it for me; I think it was the witty banter while dancing thing.
Oh wow. Blushing!

The sexual tension between them is intense and subtle at the same time. Nicely done!
And more blushing!

I’m really glad you enjoyed this half of the story. I wasn’t feeling very certain of it at all and I’m glad it worked outside my imagination. Thank you!