Title: Directionless Author: devilinthedetails Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi; Anakin Skywalker Genre: General; Humor; Mush; Friendship Timeline: Set between TPM and AOTC, but closer to AOTC in my head. Summary: Obi-Wan and Anakin struggle to navigate the skylanes of Coruscant. Much banter ensues. Author's Note: Written for Monday Mush Mania #9, the Hunting of the Snark. Directionless “The navigation application on my comlink says we should turn right onto the next skylane.” Obi-Wan kept his gaze glued to the yellow beacon that tracked their speeder’s progress along the perpetually congested skylanes of Coruscant. He was serving as Anakin’s co-pilot on this journey to a secure address to provide safe passage to the Senate for a Muun formerly affiliated with the Intergalactic Banking Clan who had agreed to testify before some Senate committee theoretically devoted to the ethical regulation of commerce. Over many harrowing years of serving as Anakin’s co-pilot, Obi-Wan had learned that it was best not to look at their surroundings as they flew as it only drew unneeded extra attention to the crazy stunts his reckless Padawan attempted on an all too frequent basis. The tight skylanes in this old district of Coruscant with lower than typical skytowers and not a superskytower in sight created by the fact that the skytowers had been built with less space between them only seemed likely to exacerbate Anakin’s tendency toward sharp, sudden maneuvers that left Obi-Wan’s poor stomach lurching. “Can’t.” Anakin surged past the very skylane Obi-Wan had told him to turn down, adding by way of explanation, “It’s closed for construction. Can’t you see the blaring holosign?” Obi-Wan couldn’t see the blaring holosign when he was frowning down at his comlink, which seemed to be equally unaware of any construction project blocking the skylane it had directed them to turn down to reach their destination. “The navigation application makes no mention of any construction down that skylane.” “Navigation applications never know where and when there are construction projects. It’s part of their standard disclaimer.” Anakin sped their speeder along the block after they should have turned off this particular skylane, making an entirely fair observation that made Obi-Wan pinch his forehead in mild frustration. “We’ll have to try to rely on the grid format of Coruscant’s skylanes rather than the navigation application then.” Obi-Wan swiped out of the navigation application that was now more of a hindrance than a help as it kept ordering them in increasingly louder and insistent tones to turn around and travel down the skylane it didn’t realize was closed for construction. Thank the Force that most of Coruscant’s skylanes were arranged in an orderly, predictable format to aid and simplify navigation for the trillions who traversed the planet’s crowded skylanes every day. The key and operative word, of course, was most as his Padawan appreciated, pointing out, “This is the old part of Coruscant, Master. There is no grid format in place here.” This was distressingly true as the skylanes of this particular district of Coruscant wound and twisted in a way that seemed entirely random and aimless beyond making Obi-Wan dizzy trying to understand their layout. “Turn right up ahead anyway,” Obi-Wan said as Anakin approached an intersection. “Perhaps that skylane runs parallel to the one the navigation application thought we should take.” “Unlikely.” Anakin continued down the skylane they were already on, pointing at another holosign Obi-Wan had missed that proclaimed the skylane Obi-Wan had wanted to turn down was in fact one way in the direction they didn’t want to go. This benighted section of Coruscant was brimming with one way skylanes because the skylanes were too narrow to accommodate traffic in two ways, and the one way they were going seldom seemed to be the direction Obi-Wan wished to go. It was as if this part of Coruscant had been designed centuries ago with the goal of irking him. “That’s a one way skylane, and it’s not headed in the direction we want to go.” “Of course it isn’t.” Obi-Wan took a deep breath, trying to inhale patience. Gesturing at the pedwalks that were almost as wide as the skylanes in this strange district and were bustling with beings of a thousand different species, he added, “Perhaps we could ask a local for directions instead of flying about haplessly?” “An excellent idea, Master,” Anakin answered too cheerily to mean anything good and a second later banked the speeder sharply to the left, causing Obi-Wan to jerk in his seat. “What are you doing?” Obi-Wan hoped his Padawan didn’t plan to pilot the speeder through the crowded pedway beside them but anything was possible when his apprentice was driving. “Asking for directions just like you suggested.” Anakin somehow managed to squeeze their speeder into a tight parking space in front of what appeared to be one of the millions of greasy spoon, hole-in-the-wall diners that were ubiquitous on Coruscant. While Obi-Wan remained in the speeder, massaging his throbbing temples in an effort to regain his nerves after another sanity-straining ride with his Padawan, Anakin hopped out of the vehicle and disappeared into the diner. Less than five minutes later (service was always quick at Coruscanti diners), he emerged clutching a fold-up map of the region in one hand and a grease-stained container of deep-fried wedges dipped in bright orange melted cheese substance in the other. “See if you can figure out where we should go.” Anakin tossed the map into Obi-Wan’s lap as he leaped into the pilot’s seat. He chomped away at the wedges that probably greatly increased his risk for cardiac arrest as Obi-Wan ran a finger along the map, plotting a course and commenting dryly, “You bought some wedges, I see.” “Would have been rude to ask for directions and not buy anything.” Apparently no longer concerned with proper etiquette, Anakin licked a stray drop of bright orange melted cheese substance from a finger. “My mother raised me to be polite.” “I found a route,” Obi-Wan announced when he had completed his study of the map. “We’ll want to take a right on the next skylane, which surprisingly is one way in the direction we want to travel.” As Anakin sent their speeder lurching into traffic once more, Obi-Wan deftly snatched the wedges from the hand that wasn’t holding the controls. “You stole my wedges.” Anakin shot Obi-Wan an accusing glare as they streamed, wind whipping at their faces, toward the next intersection. “You need to focus on steering.” Obi-Wan soaked in the delightful, deep-fried scent of the wedges that were as much a guilty pleasure of his as they were Anakin’s. He popped one of the remaining wedges in his mouth and smiled at the crunchiness of the wedge and the saltiness of the melted bright orange cheese substance that topped it. Melted bright orange cheese substance was wonderfully, shockingly decadent. Nobody made wedges as amazing as the ones Dex served daily in his diner, but these wedges were extremely satisfying to the tastebuds nonetheless. Not that he would ever offend Dex by sharing that notion. “I’ll focus on eating and navigation.” “Give me back my wedges.” Anakin made a grab for the container of wedges, but Obi-Wan deftly twisted away before his Padawan could snatch them. The speeder spun almost out of control with Anakin’s movements. “You’ll make us crash!” Obi-Wan snapped a warning as Anakin regained control of their speeder, and Obi-Wan breathed a sigh of relief at this aversion of another near-disaster with Anakin at the helm. “You’d better save me some wedges.” Anakin spared Obi-Wan a sour glance as he guided the speeder right down the skylane Obi-Wan had indicated earlier. “I’ll be as concerned with saving you some wedges as you were saving me some wedges when you were gobbling them up like oxygen before.” Serenely, Obi-Wan munched on another wedge coated in bright orange melted cheese substance.