Title: His Master's Blade Author: P_A Timeframe: JA Characters: OCs Galore, Q/O (but they're present in a way I can't explain) Genre: General, Musings Summary: An evening of relaxation turns out to be an eye-opener for several of Obi-Wan's age-mates. His Master's Blade "He hates it, I tell you," said Irja Him'Meth. "He's not really fond of these gatherings." "Why shouldn't he be, I ask you?" cut in Prendus Ge. "We're his age-mates. We've all practically grown up together. Why should we follow one path, and him another?" His tone was half curious, half irritated. "Besides, Jedi do not hate, Meth." He grinned. "If you ask me, the poor boy doesn't have a choice," came a low murmur from Adre Itdge, half slouching on a set a little further away, long legs crossed. "It isn't as though he's his own master. Under the thumb of the maverick, is our poor Obi-Wan, always." "And we're all free day-birds, I assume." A smile twisted the corner of Adre's mouth. "Free day-birds, yes. Some at night as well." Two or three snorts accompanied this grave statement. Four female padawans, who had sitting a table away, turned their attention towards them. "Ah, now we get to listen to the secrets." "The secret life of Adre Itdge?" asked Garen Muln, sauntering into the room. "I doubt we'd find that very interesting. He smiled as he looked around - old friends, all of them - and sat down in a chair that was nearest. The room was cool and inviting, with comfortable seats and tables, subdued lighting, and the promise of refreshments to come. One wall was a huge window embrasure, opening out onto the twinkling sky-lanes and night scene of Coruscant. "Forget secret lives. Why isn't the little Perfect Padawan with you? Has he decided that our company is a little too crass to indulge in? Or has the towering Master Jinn locked him up in his room?" Adre's voice could have an almost insulting edge to it, even when his face betrayed none of it, Garen mused. "He doesn't deserve to be talked about that way, you know," Garen replied, smiling. "Obi-Wan doesn't think anything of the kind." "You would say that, wouldn't you? You and your quartet. Never give each other away, do you?" drawled Prendus. "Very touching. Where's that flabby friend of yours, by the way? Has he eaten himself into the Force?" Garen's lips smiled, but there was a thin line between his forehead. "He's gone on a mission, as you well know. He left a week ago." "Ah, let him be, Prendus," came Ler's musical voice. "They've only been back for a week. And wonder of wonders, haven't come back in bits of flesh and bone. You ought to be thankful." "Why would I?" Prendus's face set into a near scowl. He hadn't been on a mission in three weeks, and his impatience rippled out like wave, through the Force. "Lucky kaft." He caught Irja's frown - Irja was something of a mentor to him, even if he was only a year older, and relaxed into a grin. "My idea of a joke. I grudge young Obi-Wan nothing." "Here's Bant Eerin," said Adre." Hello, my fishy friend." His tone was almost insolent, but Bant took no offence. The Mon Calamarian girl, like everyone else their age, was only too aware that Adre's insolence usually meant nothing. Not among friends, anyway. She gave a chortle, held her right hand up, and sat down. "Back at you, Adre," she sniffed, her silver eyes glowing. "Haven't you anything better to do?" "Nothing better than asking after your quartet's health. This is a relaxed gathering, Bant, and the mind and body must relax when necessary, as our masters are so quick to inform us." "Listening to your elders, are you?" "And moaning that Obi-Wan's considers us all beneath his notice," piped up Neira Bott. "That so, Eerin?" "Nothing of the sort. You know he could come if he were home. He has, before." "Once or twice. And the dratted boy's away for months on end." "High profile missions, my dear, require high profile padawans," murmured Adre. "We're small fry and donÃ¢??t matter."