by The Brat Queen
All credit for Sith Academy goes to Siubhan. Star Wars belongs to George "Because I say so" Lucas. A nod of recognition goes to The Black Rose for the sabers.
Author's note: Scorecards! Get yer scorecards! Can't keep track of all the subreferences without yer scorecards!
"Obi-Wan, I am very displeased with you!"
Oh God, Maul thought as he turned up the volume on his PlayStation, Not again.
"B-b-but Master Qui-Gon!"
No. No crying! Maul focused intently on the form of Darth Lara Croft on his screen and firmly ignored all mental images of quivering Padawan lips.
"No 'buts'! You've been a very bad Padawan!"
Maul raised his eyebrows quizzically. Is it Tuesday already? I thought they only did the 'Stern Jedi Master and His Naughty Padawan' routine after the Tuesday Night Jedi Temple Pot Luck Supper and Bingo Tournament...
Maul paused, rethought what he last said to himself, then drew himself up straighter.
Not that I care.
My Apprentice looked up from her spot on the couch. De-nial.
Maul made a face at her. De-clawed.
With an innocent look, My Apprentice raised a paw and meowed.
Maul decided it would take less time to get My Apprentice some tuna than it would to argue with her about it. Either way it got him a bit further from the racket next door.
"Master Qui-Gon, you know that I love you!"
Putting the tuna down in front of My Apprentice, Maul studied the contents of the pizza box in front of him and wondered if it would be truly Sithly of him to vomit directly into it or wait for the lifeforms inside to put their truce flags down first.
"Be that as it may, Obi-Wan, you spend far too much time with your neighbor next door. Even more, it seems, after I have expressly forbidden you to. I cannot tolerate it."
Maul's ears perked up. Jealous, hippie? Maybe if you had something to offer your pathetic Padawan he wouldn't have to come knocking on my door for a real Force experience.
Maul rolled that over in his head a few times and decided he liked it. He resolved to use it on Qui-Gon the next time he saw him.
In the back of his head, Maul heard a sound that was suspiciously like a cat snickering. That or the life forms in the pizza box had formed a brass band and were now playing "Danny Boy."
"There's nothing wrong with Maul. And he's certainly been there for me more times than you have!"
Mental note - thank Darth Mary Sue for giving the Padawan a spine. Maul thought, remembering what Obi-Wan looked like when he got in touch with his darker side.
"There you go again! No, no more, Obi-Wan. I'm going to put a stop to this once and for all. You need someone else to focus on. Someone more proper. Someone who will remind you of what a respectful Padawan should be like."
"Ah, Maul, there you are," Sidious said, oiling into Maul's apartment with practiced ease. "I have a task for you."
"Not now, Master," Maul said, moving closer to the wall to listen better.
"Like who?" Obi-Wan was saying.
"I don't know," Qui-Gon replied, "but I mean to find out!"
"Maul," Sidious said, his voice dripping with disapproval, "you are surely not more interested in the goings-on of your boyfriend than you are with what I have to tell you?"
"He is not," Maul growled, pressing his ear up to the wall "my boyfriend."
"We are going to find someone more suitable for you at the Jedi Masked Ball tonight," Qui-Gon was saying, "or so help me, Obi-Wan, I will send you back to Happy Farms!"
Maul's lips curled in a snarl. Hippie freak!
"Well then, Maul," Sidious said with a smirk, "if you aren't interested then I have a new task for you."
"What?" Maul asked, absentmindedly. The voices next door had gotten quieter.
"Yes," Maul purred, stroking My Apprentice gracefully. "A new task. I was going to send you to the Jedi Masked Ball tonight to ensure that the Jedis had a miserable and far too sober time but since you're not interested - "
"I can go, my Master," Maul said, stepping away from the wall at once. "The Jedi will suffer under my hands, never fear."
"Since you're not interested," Sidious continued, smiling evilly, "instead you can stay home and do my laundry. Including all the outfits leftover from Saturday's bachelor party at the Grey Force."
"But - my Master!" Maul began to protest then snapped his jaw shut as Sidious, using a remote control on his watch, brought forth droid after droid to dump laundry bags down on Maul's floor. Maul looked over the growing mound with increasing despair. There were easily twenty full bags in front of him and more still on the way!
And some of them were still kicking.
"Oh don't be such a spoilsport, Maul," Sidious said as he made his way out of the door. "Evil can't always be glamorous. You know that. But if you finish in time - and find something suitable to wear - I'll let you go to the Ball."
"And if I don't?" Maul asked as he watched the last of the bags scurry back to his bedroom.
Sidious smiled and let loose an energy bolt which hit Maul directly in his Sith-saber and spanked him on the ass besides. "I believe I've made my point?"
"Yes, Master," Maul hissed.
"Good. Enjoy your evening, Maul."
"May you be dropped down a steaming energy shaft by the urgings of a pipsqueak toe-headed Jedi wannabe, my Master."
"Did you say something, Maul?"
Maul smiled, showing all of his teeth. "Nothing, Master."
"Good." Maul's door hissed closed behind Sidious as he finally left.
DIE!!! Maul thought, throwing the pizza box at the closed door in his frustration. The box, for its part, squeaked terribly until it thudded against the doorframe at which point it became eerily quiet despite the immediate development of a nervous tic.
One of these days, Maul swore to himself as he tracked down the rampaging laundry bags, I will rise up against him. I will kill him slowly, using nail clippers, and I will laugh. Horribly.
Maul smiled, closing his eyes to think of this.
Which was a shame because that was just the moment when Sidious's bag of "Sunday Bests" leapt out from the coat closet and whacked Maul over the head.
Maul passed out instantly.
The laundry bag scuttled off to raid the fridge.
"Maul? Wake up, Maul. Maul?"
Maul groaned, rubbing his head and wondering if anyone knew the name of the Hutt that had decided to take up tap dancing classes inside of his skull.
"Maul? Come on, Maul. Be a good boy and wake up?"
Not just tap dances, Maul realized, but caber-tossing as well. Maul tried to picture Hutts wearing kilts and then found the world wasn't as pleasant a place to live in anymore.
"MAUL GET OFF OF YOUR ASS RIGHT NOW!!!"
The ceiling, Maul realized from his new position just a few inches away from it, really needed to be repainted.
After a moment Maul found he was able to relax his startled grip and drop down to the floor.
After a moment more Maul wondered if the effort was worthwhile.
His eyes, after taking it under advisement, finally agreed with him.
"Ah good, you're paying attention now."
It wasn't that Sidious was standing in front of him. And it wasn't that he was glowing a faint blue color. Nor was it the floor-length gown he was wearing, the wings that had sprouted from his back or the diamond tiara in his hair.
It was that Sidious was smiling.
"My... Master?" Maul asked carefully, wondering if perhaps his last batch of Pete's Wicked Ale hadn't been brewed properly.
"Yes, Maul," Sidious said, "I have come here for you."
Maul scanned his apartment quickly, wondering if there was any way he could 1. find out where his lightsaber had gone 2. get to it 3. turn it on and 4. defend himself before taking one last pain-ridden breath of life. "You've come to kill me, my Master?"
"No, no, no, Maul," Sidious said. With a start Maul realized Sidious was actually floating a few feet above the floor. My Apprentice, for her part, walked underneath him blithely on her way to her food bowl. "I am here for you. Here to do you a favor, in fact. Sort of like a fairy godmother, if you will."
"Fairy... oh! I get it. It's the drag review again, isn't it, Master? Because if it is I have this laundry I'm supposed to be doing and -"
"Not the drag review, Maul," Sidious said, "the Jedi Masked Ball. Or did you forget where your little Jedi lover is tonight? I'm here to make sure you go to the Ball just like you want to."
"He is not my - " Maul began to say but then stopped himself at once, the rest of what Sidious had said finally catching up with him. "The Ball, Master?"
"Yes, Maul," Sidious said, glowing an even deeper shade of blue. "The Ball where Qui-Gon Jinn is pimping his little Padawan even as speak. Unless," Sidious added with a grin, "you still don't want to go?"
"Oh no!" Maul said at once, standing front-and-center. "I'll go, Master. I'll go and make them all pay. Never fear."
"Good," Sidious chuckled. There was a flash and a ticket appeared in Sidious's hand. He gave it to Maul. "There, my Apprentice. There is your invitation. Go and destroy them all!"
"Yes, my Master," Maul said, looking at the ticket with fierce glee. "I will be glad to. I will make them pay. I will make them weep. I will... HAVE TO DRESS FORMALLY?" He looked up at Sidious in utter distaste. "My Master, you must be joking."
"Oh yes," Sidious said, "that." Sidious pursed his lips thoughtfully. "Well, nothing for it I suppose. Stand still, Maul, this shouldn't hurt too terribly much."
Before Maul could second-guess any of this Sidious pulled a wand out of a place Maul truly didn't want to second-guess about and began to chant under his breath.
"My Master?" Maul said after a few moments of this.
"If you say 'bippity-boppity-boo' I will leave immediately for a life of chartered accountancy and never look back."
"Don't be absurd," Sidious said, making a face at him. "Do I look like some sort of Disney fairy queen?"
"Does my Master truly wish the answer to that?"
"Do you really want to go to the Ball?" Sidious replied. "Anyway, I wasn't saying a spell, just trying to memorize the phone number of that cute jock neighbor of yours from three doors down. Here -" Sidious brandished the wand. The wand gave off a ZART!, a puff of smoke, and suddenly Maul found himself dressed to the nines.
Moving quickly to look in the mirror, Maul had to admit the effect wasn't bad. It was a full-on Sith outfit, complete with the deep hooded robe, however key pieces of the normally woolen outfit had been replaced by skin-tight biker leather.
"A look which says 'rough, but not inaccessible'," Sidious said. "I knew you'd like it, Maul. Now then, how are you getting to the Ball? Oh yes, you lost your ride not too long ago didn't you? Alright then, let's see..." Sidious turned around in mid-air, tapping the wand against his lips thoughtfully. "Aha!" he said at last, his eyes settling on the PlayStation, "Just the thing!"
"NoooOOO -" Maul started to scream.
ZART! went the wand.
"-Gurk," said Maul as his PlayStation transformed itself into a 911ZX stretch Sith limo which waited patiently for him outside of his living room window.
"It's a bit small, I know," Sidious said, "but the best I could do on short notice. Now then, a driver... ah yes, this will do nicely." Sidious revved up the wand, aiming it towards the pizza box by the front door which had begun limping its way to the hospital that had been erected by the colonies that had formed in Maul's Chinese take away from two months ago. After waving the wand in an intricate and highly suggestive manner the box twitched, spasmed, then transformed into a chauffeur who sat, albeit a bit moistly, behind the wheel of the car.
"My Master -" Maul began.
"I know, I know," Sidious sighed, waving the wand airily. "But if you don't look at it directly it shouldn't be too bad. Bring some of that Pepto-Bismol along that you like so much. It should help with the instinctual queasiness. Finally," Sidious said, brandishing the wand again, "the piece de resistance. Your lightsaber!"
"But I lost my saber, Master," Maul said, holding out his empty hand to emphasize his point. Just at that moment there was another ZART!, a red glow, and then a saber appeared in Maul's waiting hand.
It was double-edged.
It was bigger than his first one.
It had radar tracking and fax/modem.
Smiling, Maul closed his hand around the saber handle. With a well-practiced flick of his thumb he turned the blades on.
He studied himself in the mirror again, slipping on a black mask that covered his face and remaining visible tattoos. The saber blades bathed him in a deep, Sithly red glow.
I. Am. Hot. SHIT!
With another flick of his hand the blades turned off and with one smooth motion Maul pocketed his ticket and leapt into the waiting limousine, whammying the driver to make sure he drove to the Jedi Masked Ball extra-fast.
The Jedis would never know what hit them.
Back at the apartment, My Apprentice walked up to the blue form of Sidious and meowed an inquiry.
"Yes," Sidious admitted, "I probably should have told him about that midnight deadline. But just think of how it will hone his rage when he finds out."
The Jedi Masked Ball was in full-force by the time Maul arrived. Even still there was a line which wrapped around the block three times over. Ignoring the line of hopefuls, Maul marched right up to the door.
"What's the password?" one of the bouncers barked to a man dressed in a tuxedo and mask who was there ahead of him.
"Fidelio," the man said confidently.
"What do you think?" the first bouncer asked his partner.
"I dunno," the second bouncer grunted. "Seems weasely to me."
The first bouncer nodded. "Take him out back for the 'special'."
"What? NooooOOOOOooooo!" the man cried as a Wookiee appeared as though from nowhere and dragged him away.
"I never get tired of hearing that," the second bouncer said wistfully. Without looking he reached a hand out to stop Maul as he attempted to walk past. "Hey! Tall, dark and devious! Where do you think you're going?"
"Inside to the party," Maul said, throwing his ticket into the man's face.
"Oh yeah?" the first bouncer said, "what's the password?"
Maul lived for moments like this.
"Sith. Lords. Kick. ASS!!" he yelled as his saber hummed into life and made quick work of all the barriers. A cheer came up from the waiting crowd as they rushed the party, trampling the bouncers in their wake.
"NoooooOOOOOoooooo!" the bouncers cried.
"You know," Maul said as he stepped over them, "I never get tired of hearing that." With one last Sithly grin he kicked them while they were down and entered the party himself.
Whatever Maul had expected from the party wasn't nearly enough to prepare him for the view that assaulted him from the inside. After more nights at the Grey Force than he could count he thought he knew everything about how Jedis got down and cut loose. He could handle alcohol, loud music and multiple orgies. He even could have handled the "101 Uses for Brown" that was the Jedi's usual mode of decorating for when they had to be "official."
But lace was unexpected. White lace, tuxedos, petit fours and - Maul's stomach turned - waltzing.
There was no denying it. The Jedis had gone Republican.
So to speak.
As he stood at the entrance Maul debated whether he should Mind-Whammy the footman into announcing him as "Lord Maul, the All-Powerful Sith and Our Worst Nightmare Since Yoda Discovered Lipstick" but something distracted him first.
It was the sight of Obi-Wan in the middle of the dance floor.
To be certain, the pathetic Padawan was behind a mask like everyone else was but even still he was obvious. For starters he was dressed in his formal Padawan uniform. He was also dancing with Qui-Gon "Six foot four and blazingly obvious" Jinn.
He was also wearing a nametag and a far too familiar pout.
Maul told himself it was the nametag that had gotten his attention first.
Not the pout.
And definitely not the view of Obi-Wan from the backside.
Where Qui-Gon's hand was going.
Maul glared, then grinned. It was ass-kicking time.
Using a Force Push that would have done his Master proud and even shown My Apprentice a thing or two, Maul cleared a path through the dance floor, put his hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder and pulled him out of Qui-Gon's grasp.
"Hey!" Qui-Gon protested. "Who do you think you are?"
Maul readied his best Mind Whammy. "The best your Padawan's going to get. Now get out of our way, hippie, and let a real man handle this."
Qui-Gon, confused, stumbled into the crowd and disappeared.
Smiling, Maul turned back to Obi-Wan with yet another prepared quip on his lips. Whatever he was going to say was immediately forgotten by the look in Obi-Wan's enormous blue eyes and the feel of Obi-Wan's hand on a very delicate and appreciative spot.
"Gosh," Obi-Wan said. "That was awfully nice of you."
Sith are not nice, Maul thought, but decided to let it slide in the name of ruining a good party. He looked around and saw the Jedis staring at them - at least those Jedis who weren't chasing after the gate crashers with lightsabers or, barring that, pieces of fruit cocktail in hand. By the looks on their faces it was obvious that Qui-Gon had gone complaining about the interruption and had made it clear he didn't appreciate it.
Maul shook his head. Sometimes it was so easy you almost felt sorry for them.
He sent a Whammy to the band leader. "Hit it!" he cried. The band leader immediately began a tango. A long, hot, sultry tango. With his best smile Maul turned back to Obi-Wan, pulled him close, and started to lead him in a dance that would have shut the Grey Force down.
"I didn't want to come," Obi-Wan gasped in his ear as he ground against Maul's leg. "Qui-Gon made me. Said I needed to find someone my own age who was 'more proper' for me."
"Uh-huh," Maul said, wondering what exactly about asking Obi-Wan to dance had sounded like "Tell me about your day."
"I don't know why he thought I'd find that here. Everyone here is boring and dull and old and wants to have sex with me."
News flash, Maul thought, rolling his eyes and stripping off a layer of Obi-Wan's clothes as he turned the Padawan around. Horny boring old bastards at the Jedi Temple. Film at Eleven.
"I don't want them," Obi-Wan said, looking up at Maul from underneath his long, thick, red-gold lashes. The expression on his face made it clear who Obi-Wan did want.
Right now, as a matter of fact.
"Wanna get out of here?" Obi-Wan asked. His hand slipped down again and did interesting and rather elaborate things to Maul's Sith-saber. "Maybe go back to my place?"
Where'd he get a feather and a roll of quarters? Maul wondered as Obi-Wan's hand did something particularly intricate and fluttering. As he bent Obi-Wan down in a dip he took a look at the party and decided they'd worn out their welcome. The gate crashers had been herded out somewhere unknown and the remaining Jedi were looking at them as though they were both pieces of meat.
And there was one Wookiee Maul didn't like the look of who was holding a particularly unattractive butcher knife.
Okay, Maul thought. Time to go. Give 'em one last bang and blow this joint. Obi-Wan leaned in and began sucking Maul's ear. Oh yeah. Time to go. Right now
"You say something?" Obi-Wan asked, curling against Maul's side.
"I said it's time to go," Maul said, pulling Obi-Wan towards the door.
*click, click, click, click, click*
Maul had never heard dozens of sabers being activated all at once. He decided that, on the whole, he found the sound wholly and utterly annoying.
He pushed Obi-Wan out of his arms (telling himself it was pure coincidence that he'd shoved the pitiful Padawan almost protectively behind him), put on his best Sith Glare and activated his saber.
Sith do not tolerate annoying Jedis.
"That's the one," Qui-Gon said. "Get him."
The Jedis, cheating bastards each and every one of them, came at him at once in one big rush.
"36 on one," Maul said to Obi-Wan as he braced himself. "Nice code you Jedis have for yourselves. Nothing like being ruled by the fair side of the Force."
Whatever Obi-Wan was about to say was lost in the sound of Maul giving out a battle cry and the sound of the grandfather clock in the middle of the Hall ringing out the hour.
With another battle cry Maul leapt forward and began to fight. The smell of smoke filled the air as sabers locked, clashed, then released.
Qui-Gon attempted to trip Maul and was rewarded with a boot in the groin. The Wookiee with the butcher knife found himself flying across the room and getting the knife stuck in the far wall.
An errant saber blade made its way for Maul's throat but was blocked at the last minute with a Force Push. Honing his rage Maul began using the Force to make the appetizers fly through the air and smack the Jedis in the face. Which, with the pigs in blankets, was particularly painful.
*BONG* *BONG* *BONG*
As Maul knocked even more Jedi out of his way a small part of him which still remembered his trip to the Magic Kingdom began to speak up.
Oh shit Maul thought as his mind began to frantically try to count how many times the clock had struck.
"Come on!" Obi-Wan was shouting. He grabbed Maul by the shoulder and began to drag him outside. "There's no telling what they'll do if they catch you!"
Sith do not run, Maul said to himself but decided, after seeing the number of Jedi increase tenfold, that this was a far better time to observe the more important Handbook Rule of "Sith do not let themselves be cut into tiny pieces the size of Smith Brothers' Cough Lozenges."
"Obi-Wan!" Qui-Gon shouted, albeit at a bit of a higher range than he normally would have, as he appeared out of the mob and grabbed his Padawan. "Where do you think you're going?"
"Master Qui-Gon, I - " Obi-Wan said helplessly. His hand fell down and took a hold of Maul's saber as Qui-Gon shook him.
A quick and utterly hateful debate took place inside of Maul's mind. He reached a conclusion and decided not to think too much about it. "Let him go, hippie!"
"My Padawan stays here!" Qui-Gon said, pulling on Obi-Wan harder. Obi-Wan, in response, increased the strength of his grip on Maul's saber.
The Jedis pressed in closer, sabers ready.
Obi-Wan looked up at Maul. "Run" he mouthed.
Looking at the Jedis around them, Maul decided he needed no further encouragement. Keeping a firm hold of his saber he made a break for it, pulling hard enough to drag the pathetic Padawan with him.
As the last bell struck Maul felt himself become overcome by a wave of dizziness. The world seemed to blur and fade around him. He heard a SNAP and felt a jolt as his saber broke in two, then could have sworn that the next sound he heard was that of Obi-Wan shouting "NooooOOOOoooo! I never found out who he was!!"
Stupid Jedi Maul thought as the world turned to black. Wouldn't even know his own next-door neighbor if he bit him on the ass...
Which, Maul reflected as the last of his consciousness faded away, wasn't that bad of an idea.
Oh God, not again.
"Maul? Maul, are you there?"
Without any preamble Maul sat up, rolled over, and vomited copiously all over his pizza boxes. The boxes, for their part, gave a muffled scream.
Inside of his head, the caber-tossing, tap dancing Hutts had been joined by a herd of rampaging Gungan Amway salesmen, all of whom where knocking on his skull to get his attention.
After throwing up his lunch, his breakfast, last night's dinner and the contents of an old bag of Fritos that he'd consumed a few weeks prior Maul started to come to.
"Maul? Can you open the door please?"
As his eyes cleared and he looked around Maul realized that even though he was in his apartment things were somehow...different.
It was the laundry, he realized. There wasn't a single bag of Sidious's laundry in the entire place.
Sighing, Maul finally stood up and went to his front door to get rid of the pest.
"What?" he snarled as he opened the door, startling the still-knocking Obi-Wan in the process.
"Oh," Obi-Wan said, pulling back, startled. "Hi, neighbor."
Maul grunted by way of reply.
Undaunted, Obi-Wan continued. "Um, I don't mean to interrupt you or anything but after that crazy night last night I wanted to be sure you were OK."
Crazy night? Maul thought. He tried frantically to remember what, exactly, had happened last night.
"And, um, I wanted to show you this," Obi-Wan said. Before Maul could say anything he held up something in his hand.
Something that looked suspiciously familiar.
"I found this last night and I was looking all over the place to find out who it belonged to when I remembered that you had one just like it!" Obi-Wan said with disgusting cheerfulness. "So I thought I'd check to see if it was yours. Oh! I see you've got yours already!" Obi-Wan smiled. "Well that makes things easy, doesn't it?"
Maul stared at Obi-Wan, blinking stupidly, before looking down in the same direction that Obi-Wan was.
Only then did Maul realize that he was holding his lightsaber in his hand.
Or, specifically, one half of his lightsaber in his hand.
"Here we go," Obi-Wan said. He knelt down to get a better look - squinting in a rather attractive manner as he did so - as he took the saber handle in his own hand, manipulated it against Maul's, then attached them both together with a secure click. "There! A perfect fit!" Obi-Wan stood up again, his smile even more smarmy and satisfied than usual. "Funny how that works, huh? Anyway, I won't bother you anymore since you're not feeling well. Just give a knock on the wall if you need me. Bye!"
With that, Obi-Wan skipped back to his apartment.
Slowly, with deliberate carefulness, Maul went back into his apartment, closed the door, leaned his full weight against it, and stared at the fixed saber in his hand.
From somewhere in the back of the apartment, My Apprentice began to purr.
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