meanwhile, back in the ballroom
"Well, I just mean that the Jedi Temple party might have been, umm, slightly more entertaining?" I cocked my head to one side, applying the blue glitter nail polish I had fetched from my bag. It was getting hard to apply by candlelight.
"I suppose." Scootching closer to me, Luke squinted at what I was doing. "But honestly, I don't think I'd want to see Ben naked."
"Yeah, but 'Ben' isn't Padawan Kenobi." Quickly capping up the polish I leaned back and examined my work. Perfect. "There you go. Now, Obi-Wan would like how you look."
I stretched my legs carefully and stood up. Not too many people were left here, most were running about willy-nilly searching the castle. I, of course, had elected to defend the home front. That and Luke's costume needed a few additional touches. He stood up behind me and then touched my shoulder.
"Where exactly did you send Hobbie?" Luke scanned the room, obviously using heightened Jedi senses. Obviously. "I don't see him anywhere."
"Just to get some drinks. I was tired of him telling us what a bad feeling he had about this." I swear, for a much vaunted pilot, that boy has to have pantophobia or something. And a few drinks can make even the most haunted, knock your socks off (if you're wearing them, I happened to be barefoot) scary castle a little cheerier. Walking suits of armor? Pah. We have punch and glitter. "Let's go see if he found anything."
A hush had fallen over the room after the fiasco of Claire's arrival. Most people had settled back into their careful silence or low whispers, as if afraid some noise would only arouse more trouble. The soft slap of my bare feet on the ground contrasted oddly with the clack of Luke's boots as we walked toward the front of the room. Somewhere in the background, the steady sound of pelting rain could be heard. I spared a thought for the Turtle, pondering how every time it was in the vicinity of the boys it got rained on.
"Hey!! You two glittery blond people!!"
I stopped and grabbed Luke's wrist. Now, that was totally unfair. I'm not blond. I know for a fact that my hair is Aztec Amber. The box told me so. Turning, I saw Elizabeth sitting on a random couch with Wedge. She still looked vaguely upset, fingers twisting the skirt of her costume. Wedge, on the other hand, looked vaguely nonplussed. His eyes wandered toward us, settled on Luke, and widened in the dim candlelight.
"Holy son of a sith " His mouth dropped open a little.
You could pretty much follow the path of Wedge's eyes, from Luke's metal studded leather collar to his magenta snake-skin hipster flares and platform boots; from his kohl-ringed eyes to his delicate dusting of glitter to his luminescent nail varnish. Damn. I was proud of Farmboy. It really was a shame we couldn't go out and get him a piercing
"Doesn't he look great?" I squealed and showed off Luke's fingernails. "Not your grandmother's Farmboy, that's for sure!"
"Is everything okay? You both - wait a second." Luke broke off midsentence, dropped his hand from my grasp and lifted an eyebrow. "You weren't supposed to call me that tonight."
I frowned at him and opened my mouth to retort, but decided to keep it shut after Wedge gave us both a hard look. I was feeling very quelled.
"Where are you two headed?" Wedge asked, a sort of no-nonsense (not the pantyhose) tone in his voice.
"Actually, we were wondering if maybe you saw Hobbie?" One hand on his 'saber, Luke leaned against the arm of the couch. He looked around the room once more and then shrugged his shoulders.
"Maybe he went off to the Jedi Temple." I mused, visions of Luke-in-a-braid flitting through my mind. If he leaned back just a tad more
This time I got a Withering Glare from Wedge. Imagine that, being quelled and withering in the same night. I was starting to have a bad feeling about this whole she-bang.
"Oh, no, we would have seen him leave, I'm certain of that." Elizabeth stated. "I'm sure he's around, somewhere, I'm sure."
"Probably. Luke, could you check out the northeast corridor? I don't think we have anyone down there. And take Glimmer Girl here. Maybe you two will glow in the dark or something." Wedge flicked his comm-link on as it blared, interrupting his oh-so-complimentary injunction.
Ignoring the fact that I'd rather take the Northeast Corridor NJ transit line out of there, I flipped my nailpolish to Elizabeth and followed Luke out of the ballroom. Merry Robin Hood boy in tights there was getting a dip in the glitter bath if I stepped on something sharp and unhappy while gadding about the castle. I walked after Luke, his lightsaber humming softly as he used it to light our way.
His hair fell just to the nape of his neck. I decided perhaps a tattoo, then, not a piercing, would suit him.
"No, I don't think so." Luke said softly, looking over his shoulder and grinning.
"Don't think what? Oh, shut up! I hate when you do that Jedi mind reading thing."
[a/n Gods, I hate when peeps put that line in Jedi ABH 'fics. What, they think their thoughts are like NPR and that all the Jedi tune in or something?]
"Wait, hold on." He stopped next to a window. Heavy drapes shrouded the pane of glass as it rattled in the pane. A low, constant rumble as the rain and wind whipped against it.
"Are you using the Force, Luke?" I whispered.
"No." He grimaced. "Did you want to borrow it?"
Point taken. I'll only use lines from Episode One on him from now on. "Fine. But what?"
"I can sense something. Hmm, I've not met Syd, so I can't tell if it's her. And I don't think empty suits of armor would have a Force signature." With a thoughtful expression, he took a few steps. "No, too faint. It almost feels as if it's underneath us."
This time it was my turn to grimace. There was a light in his eyes, eager one might say, as the lightsaber created a halo of green around his glitter dusted hair. With a sigh, I trudged after him down the hallway and suppressed a comment about pathetic lifeforms. The floor jolted a bit, as if something did happen below us. He smiled a smile even more eager. I trudged. At least we looked good.
Continued after the Intermission