Shiny, Happy People
by Rose and Katherine the Art Chick,

Disclaimer yadda yadda yadda, lyrics by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

With special thanks to Darth Perilous for the plaid.


Darth Maul woke amidst earth-toned serenity. He did not wince, curse or roll out of bed to find his clothes and slink home. There was no point, it was a waste of perfectly good self-disgust. No, this had become far too regular an occurrence for him to do more than give a leisurely stretch, then glance at the bedside clock and note the time: five-thirty in the morning. Obi-Wan did not have to be up for class until six.

Maul did not stop to think what it meant that he knew Kenobi's schedule so well, any more than he stopped to think what it meant that he now kept Guinness Stout in his beer 'fridge or that Obi-Wan had started stocking up on Pete's Wicked Ale. There were some things too frightening even for a Sith to contemplate. Besides, fear was the path to the Dark Side so Maul reasoned as long as he was well and truly freaked, he was doing just fine.

He considered turning over and going back to sleep but his bladder had other ideas. Grumbling, he rose from the bed and stumbled to the bathroom. After so many mornings he knew better than to flip on the lights lest he be blinded by the glare of the 40 megaton bulbs surrounding Obi-Wan's mirror. Privately, he suspected the thing had been stolen from the dressing room of a Hutt Vegas showgirl but was afraid to ask in case he was right.

As he washed his hands after finishing his business, he noted a series of bottles arranged neatly on the bathroom counter. It was the usual assortment of prescription and over the counter medication: Valium, Tylenol 4 with Prozac, Motrin in 900 mg strength... and one large, cheery yellow bottle Maul didn't recognize. As his brain slowly woke up--it generally took longer than the rest of him--it slowly dawned on him that he had seen the bottle before, just never paid attention to it because he'd assumed it was some kind of frou-frou Jedi multivitamin. Yet here it was with Obi-Wan's meds instead of out in the kitchen with the rest of the vitamins and dietary supplements the twit swallowed by the fistful in his quest to remain healthy and fit.

Curious, he picked up the bottle and looked at the label: Stepford Farms All Organic Mood Menders. Figures, he thought, and read the blurb on the back.

"Quiet your mind and soothe the strain of everyday life with this calming lullaby made from only the finest of natural ingredients."

Interesting. Maul opened the bottle and poured a few pills into the palm of his hand. They were small and yellow with a white "S" on them and looked suspiciously like Skittles. They did not, however, smell like Skittles. In fact, they didn't smell very organic at all.

The label contained multiple statements about the quality and purity of its product, but no actual list of ingredients. Maul began to get suspicious. Flipping on the light switch, he gave his eyes time to adjust to the overwhelming glare, then held up the bottle to take a closer look at the fine print:

Stepford Farms is a registered trademark of Happy Farms, Inc.

Well, shit.

Maul grabbed a piece of tissue and wrapped up his handful of pills for later study. If Happy Farms was messing with Obi-Wan's head, Maul wanted to know how. Not that he really cared if they were, of course. It was merely useful information to have.

He tip-toed back into the bedroom and tucked the cache of pills into the pocket of his jeans before pulling them on. The jeans fought back for a moment, then abruptly went limp and slid on without further protest. Maul took that as another sign he needed know what was in those pills.

On the bed, Obi-Wan stirred and mumbled softly in his sleep. Maul paused from dressing for a moment to watch him. Obi-Wan slept on, oblivious, one arm thrown out over Maul's now-empty side of the bed. Maul studied the padawan's graceful hand with its long, tapered fingers as it moved restlessly over the sheet, searching. He misses me, Maul realized suddenly. Even in his sleep, he misses me when I'm not there.

The thought disturbed him deeply and he rapidly finished dressing, not caring that he ripped a few new holes in his T-shirt while pulling it on over his horns. Grabbing his boots, he beat a hasty retreat and was safely ensconced in his own living room well before Obi-Wan's alarm went off.


Obi-Wan woke up with no-one's face buried in the back of his neck and sighed. No matter how good the sex was the night before, he woke up alone more often than not. It was really starting to get on his nerves. They'd been seeing each other steadily for months, you'd think that Maul would at least notice how much these little disappearing acts bothered him and--.

No, he told himself sternly. I am not going to think about that.

Obi-Wan rolled out of bed and headed for the bathroom. Opened his bottle of Mood Menders, shook out two pills and swallowed them with a mouthful of water from the sink. Paused. Took two more followed by a Valium chaser and sighed again.

"It will be all right," he said cheerfully as he ran water for his morning bath. "Everything will be perfectly all right."


The door to Maul's apartment flew open with a loud bang and Mary Sue walked in laden with shopping bags. "Hey, Maul!"

Must be a family trait, Maul thought sourly. "Mary Sue. How's life as the Merry Widow treating you?"

"Couldn't be better," Mary Sue said happily. "I just finished buying myself a whole new wardrobe at Salvation Armani."

Well, that explained the shopping bags and the near post-coital bliss radiating from Mary Sue's psyche. "Care to share the wealth?"

"Not particularly."

Definitely a family trait. "I'm glad you're here, I have a favor to ask." He held up a plastic baggie filled with the pills he'd swiped from Obi-Wan. "Can you tell me what these are?"

Mary Sue took the baggie from him and gave the contents a cursory examination. "They look like yellow Skittles."

Maul rolled his eyes. "I know they look like yellow Skittles, I want to know what's in them. You have the resources to find out. I don't."

"You want me to find out the recipe for Skittles?"

Maul scowled. "Mary Sue..."

"OK, OK. What am I supposed to look for?"

"Psychotropic properties," he replied.

"Skittles are psychotropic?"

"I'm warning you--"

"You have no sense of humor," she said with a disdainful sniff. "What's in it for me?"

He thought about telling her the pills were Obi-Wan's, decided to keep that to himself for the time being. "I'll owe you one," he said, knowing Mary Sue was mercenary enough to appreciate the idea that he owed her a favor.

She considered for a moment, then nodded. "It might take a while," she said as she rose from the sofa and headed for the door. "I'll have my service give you a ring when it's finished."

That stung, though he tried not to show it. So far, Mary Sue managed to resist his attempts at mind whammying her into giving him her new, unlisted phone number, using her status as CEO of the MacroStiff Corporation to hide behind a long line of receptionists and flunkies all designed to make contacting her as difficult as possible. These days he only ever saw her if she chose to let him.

So, what else is new? My Apprentice thought at him from her perch on top of the TV set.

Maul ignored her.


Several hours later, the fax machine beeped and began printing out the results of Mary Sue's findings. Maul grabbed a page and settled down to read.

Perkium (stepfordium perkium) Stepford Farms (chemical formula and drawing)

Indications: Depression, excessive aggression and hostility, other behavior problems or antisocial behavior.

Contraindications: Should not be combined with MAO inhibitors or excessive viewings of family sitcoms of the 1950s and 60s. Should not be administered during pregnancy.

Effects: Causes a reduction in aggression, hostility, and depression through an unknown mechanism.

Side Effects: Side effects noted in 46% of users included absent-mindedness, impaired reasoning ability and/or inconsistent behavior, codependency and pressured thought leading to excessive talkativeness. Only 3% of users found side effects disturbing enough to discontinue use. Not all users with side effects experienced all side effects.

Maul set the printout down. Picked it back up, looked at the list of side effects again and swore. Every single trait of Kenobi's that he hated was a side effect of the medication. He felt ill--literally. He craved a hamster death gulp desperately.

So, what was he going to do about it?

Half an hour later, he was in Kenobi's empty apartment with a giant bag of candy. My Apprentice had followed out of curiosity. She wound around his ankles as he flushed Obi-Wan's pills down the toilet and began refilling the medicine bottle with yellow Skittles. Deeeniiiiiaaaal, she thought at him.

Maul reflexively muttered something about "just sex," but stopped. He was actually curious to see what was beneath the perky, vapid chatterbox, but suspected he'd already had a few glimpses during sex, and when Kenobi stripped his car. Was he really looking forward to seeing punk Obi-Wan again? The almost painful tightening of his jeans implied he was.


Maul woke up the following morning with his face buried in the back of Kenobi's neck. He blinked and stretched. Obi-Wan blinked, groaned, and buried his face in the pillow.

"Hung over?" Maul asked.

"Sleepy," Obi-Wan answered. He sat up, scratched his head and yawned. "Pizza," he droned. "Pizza and beer. Order pizza." He flopped back down in the bed.

Well, Maul thought, he's certainly less perky. He stood and pulled on his jeans and went to order pizza. "Get dressed," he said.

"Urgh," Kenobi said. He didn't move.

"Get dressed," Maul repeated. "You're paying." He went to the phone and called in a pepperoni pizza.

Obi-Wan staggered to his dresser, pulled on a pair of sweatpants and his Jedi Phys Ed Dept T-shirt and lay back down.

"You're not getting sick, are you?" Maul asked, slightly worried. He knew lethargy was a symptom of depression. If the twit was getting depressed, he'd have to call Mary Sue and explain what he'd done.

"No," Obi-Wan said, brow furrowing. "I feel good, just--sleepy." He yawned again. "Need food."

A pizza and several bottles of Guinness later, Kenobi started talking about chocolate. Fortunately, he had a huge box in the refrigerator that had been a gift from Qui-Gon. "Wanna watch some telly?" Obi-Wan asked through a mouthful of expensive chocolate. He held the box out to Maul, who shook his head.

"Nothing on in the afternoon," Maul observed.

"We could watch a tape. Sid and Nancy? Pulp Fiction? Clerks? Bad Boys in Bondage?" He grinned mischievously.

Definitely not depressed, Maul thought. Must be detoxing.


Maul woke up with Obi-Wan's face buried in his neck and a craving for a shower. He pulled on his jeans and T-shirt and tiptoed next door to his own apartment.

Sometime later, Obi-Wan was awakened by the sounds of Guns 'N' Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" blaring through his neighbor's walls. Ugh. He got up and beat on the wall in protest. There was no response. Well, he'd just have to do something about that.

Clothes first. He rooted through his dresser. Beige this, cream that... he'd never realized before there were so many shades of 'off white.' More, he seemed to own examples of each and every one.

Next drawer. Worse and worse. He held up a shell-pink T-shirt, stared at it like he'd never seen it before. What the hell had ever possessed him to buy that? Shaking his head in disbelief, he tossed it over his shoulder and kept digging, becoming more and more desperate as time wore on. Was there anything in here that wasn't either earth-toned or pastel?

He ran to the closet. More pink. More beige. More, shudder, taupe.

"Where's my leather?" he moaned. "Where's my favorite Alien Sex Fiend T-shirt? Where's my fucking PLAID?"

Finally, he caught sight of the battered steamer trunk stuffed in the very back of the closet, half obscured beneath piles of shoes and the occasional feather boa. "There is a god," he muttered, and pulled it out.

It was locked and he couldn't remember the combination but that was no real obstacle. Five minutes and two hairpins later, the trunk opened revealing a motley assortment of clothes, boots and other accouterments collected in years past. With shaking fingers, he lifted out his precious "Who's Been Sleeping In My Head?" T-shirt (autographed by Nik Fiend himself, no less) and pulled it on. Added jeans that were held together in spots by safety pins and his Doc Marten's. Now he was ready to deal with Maul's exceptionally irritating taste in music.

He stepped outside, pulled another hairpin from his pocket and knelt in front of his neighbor's door. CLICK. The door swung open obediently. He walked in and looked around. No sign of Maul.

Heading for the stereo, he switched the music off and heard the shower running. With a grin, he pressed the eject button and removed the CD. Tossing the disk into the air, he ignited his lightsaber and cut it neatly in half. Whistling "Rudy Can't Fail" by the Clash, he shut the CD drawer, switched off his lightsaber, and stepped over the smoking, semi-molten CD halves on his way to the bathroom.

He opened the door, saw motion behind the shower curtain. "Hi, neighbor," he said pleasantly. "You still need better locks."

"What happened to my GNRs?" Maul asked.

Obi-Wan smiled. "Oh, that. I lightsabered the disk in half."

Maul stared around the shower curtain, water dripping from his face and horns. "YOU WHAT???"

"I lightsabered the disk in half," Obi-Wan repeated, smile not wavering. "It annoyed me. And the volume was very inconsiderate."

"I'm kicking your ass!" Maul announced, stepping out of the shower and dripping on the floor. Obi-Wan just leaned against the door frame and openly admired the view. "I mean it!" Maul said, a bit disconcerted by the reaction (or lack of same).

Obi-Wan's grin just broadened. "You're welcome to try," he said mildly. "But wouldn't you rather just fuck in the shower?"

Maul stopped short and thought about it. Obi-Wan's eyes sparkled mischievously. "If you don't like the shower idea, there's always the sink," he suggested. "Or the floor. Or up against the wall. We could even use the bed if you want to be passé."

Maul shoved Obi-Wan into the door, pressing his wet body up against the padawan as he moved in for a kiss. Obi-Wan pulled away long enough to tug off his damp Alien Sex Fiend T-shirt and drape it reverently over a towel rack, then kissed Maul into the wall with an audible thud.


Maul woke up draped over the side of the bathtub. That was amazing, he thought blearily.

Then it dawned on him he was alone.

Oh, shit. He hauled himself to his feet. "Kenobi?"

No answer.

He found a towel and wrapped it around his waist. The twit was probably raiding the 'fridge or sacked out on the sofa. That had to be it. Obi-Wan couldn't have, he wouldn't have just... left?

Would he?

A quick look around the apartment proved that Maul was indeed all by his lonesome. He found himself becoming angry. How dare the padawan just up and leave him like that? Never mind he'd done the same to Obi-Wan countless times before, this was the first time it had ever happened to him. He didn't like it. Nope, not a bit.

"Somebody's going to have to learn a lesson," he muttered, and reached for his leather pants.


Maul opened his balcony door and was immediately inundated with smoke and the overpowering stench of burning plastic. Waving a hand to disperse the smoke, he hopped across to Obi-Wan's balcony. There in a corner stood the charcoal grill, filled with the smoldering remains of... something pink? He peered closer, saw more pastel fragments and the twisted, melted husks of several CD jewel cases. The blistered, blackened remains of one was just barely legible. It read, "The Best of John Tesh."

He peered through the kitchen window, then tripped the lock to the sliding glass door with the Force, walked around the corner...

....and found Mary Sue standing in the living room.

"I just had the weirdest phone call from Obi," she said. "Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to stop by and see what was going on and find this." She gestured to the trashed apartment. "You wouldn't happen to know what's going on, would you?"

Maul swallowed. Mary Sue in Protective Sister Mode was nothing to mess around with. "I replaced your brother's medication with Skittles."

Mary Sue frowned. "Obi-Wan's medica--." Her face paled and her eyes grew round.

"Welcome to Clueville," Maul said, "population two."

"Maul," Mary Sue said with icy sweetness, "where is my brother?"

"I don't know."

"You lost him?" she asked.

"No, I..." He trailed off, not wanting to admit that Obi-Wan had screwed him and left without saying good-bye.

"You LOST him!"

"Yeah, and when I find him I'll--." His windpipe closed abruptly, cutting off the flow of air to his lungs. Eyes bulging, he clawed at the collar of his shirt. Mary Sue merely smiled. Purple lightning danced around her in an aura, centered around her fingertips.

"You," she said acidly, "have done enough damage. I will find him. And Maul, if anything bad happens to my brother as a result of your meddling, I swear by the Dark Side you'll become the latest sacrifice to Saint Loreena of the Shears. Understand?"

Maul nodded frantically. Mary Sue released the Force stranglehold, turned on the heel of her expensive pump and left.

No one in that family had a sense of humor, Maul decided, rubbing his neck. Grumbling, he grabbed a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby from Kenobi's 'fridge, found a spoon and headed back to his own place to drown his annoyance in the sweet solace of chocolate.


As Obi-Wan's twin, Mary Sue knew she should be able to find him. It might take a while, but she would succeed. Mary Sue was nothing if not determined. Damn these sisterly instincts, she groused to herself. I used to have no soft spots anywhere. Then I got BROTHERS, dammit!

Her feelings led her down into the seedier sublevels of Coruscant. The pull was definitely stronger here. A pair of drunks whistled at her as she passed by. She sent a shower of broken beer bottles and street trash spinning at them with the Force. An Ewok hooker tried to grab her ankle. She drop-kicked him into an alleyway, noting with satisfaction the way he bounced down the street to land with a thump and a muffled yub-yub by the feet of a scrawny punk toasting marshmallows over a fire in a trash can.

Wait. Stop. Back up.

She turned around, walked back to the alley. "Obi-Wan?"

He looked up, grinning. "Hi, sis!"

"What are you doing?"

"Toasting marshmallows. Want one?"

"No thanks." She approached him cautiously. "Are you feeling OK?"

"Never better. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, no reason. First you call me up about a shopping spree but when I show up at your place, you're gone and your apartment is trashed. Maul said you were acting strangely and didn't seem to be particularly happy about it, (not that I care if he is), and now I find you sharing marshmallows cooked over a trash fire with an Ewok prostitute. Silly me, I should have known there was no cause for alarm."

Obi-Wan gave her a big, doe-eyed look. "Awww, that's so sweet of you to get worried about me."

"You're completely nuts, you know that?"

"Runs in the family," he replied tartly. "Maul was worried?"

"Actually, he seemed more pissed off," she said.

"Wanker," Obi-Wan noted. "It appears that horny boy can dish it out but he can't take it."

Mary Sue raised an eyebrow. "Do I need to kick his ass?"

"He's the one who won't admit that we're anything more than casual sex partners. Until he does I should treat him accordingly." He popped a toasted marshmallow in his mouth.

"Go Obi!" Mary Sue cheered. "I should dump him in solidarity."

"Sis?" Obi-Wan started cautiously. She raised an eyebrow. "Um, don't take this the wrong way or anything, but... stop screwing my boyfriend."

"I'm sorry, I thought you didn't mind!" Mary Sue exclaimed apologetically.

"Well, I didn't, but I must have been insane," he said. "Do you mind?"

"Barely," she admitted. "He'll mind more than I do, he keeps hoping we're going to be an item." She rolled her eyes. "You care. I don't. He's yours."

"Thanks," he said. His mood didn't appear to improve.

"You mad at me?" she asked.

"Nah," he said. "I'm just wondering what the hell I was thinking. About lots of things." He shuddered. "Like shell pink. And taupe."

A strange expression crossed Mary Sue's face. Obi-Wan looked at her curiously. "You know something, don't you."

She sighed. "Maul switched your pills."

"My what?"

"Your Mood Menders. They're really the drug Perkium. Maul switched them with Skittles."

"Well, that explains the sweeter taste." His brow furrowed. "Why'd he do it?"

"He thought you were having side effects."

"What side effects?" In answer, she handed him a copy of the printout she'd made for Maul. "Which ones?" he asked.

"All of them," she admitted. "And a propensity towards pastel and earth tone abuse, too."

Obi-Wan thought about it. "My wardrobe was kind of alarming," he said at last.

"You feel okay?" Mary Sue asked.

"I feel fine," Obi-Wan said.

"You don't look depressed," Mary Sue said.

"I'm not." He grinned. "You wanna go shopping?"

She blinked at the sudden topic shift. "Huh?"

"Shopping. You. Me. Salvation Armani."

She laughed. "Now I know you're crazy. There's no way in hell you can afford that place!"

"I can't," Obi-Wan said smugly, "but I know someone who can."

"Besides me?" she giggled. In answer, he tossed something at her. She caught it without thinking. It was a dark brown wallet with the words BAD MOTHERFUCKER stitched in red on the front. "What--?"

Obi-Wan sighed dramatically. "Poor Master Windu, he really should learn not to leave his wallet in the glove box of his car. It's a temptation to thieves."

Mary Sue smirked, against her will. "And just when did you have a chance to go through Master Windu's glove box?"

"That would have been after I stole his car," Obi-Wan replied thoughtfully.

"I see. And you stole his car because...?"

"I suppose it's an oversimplification to say that if it were not for Master Windu, Qui-Gon and I wouldn't have problems." He smiled beatifically. "But ruining his day just feels so good."

"They're going to figure out it was you," Mary Sue pointed out.

"Maybe. But not before you have a closet full of dresses and shoes by Coruscant's top designers, courtesy of the Jedi Council."

"You'll get in trouble."


"So, they'll put you back in Happy Farms and drug you until you LIKE Andy Griffith!" Mary Sue sighed. "Of course, they'll have to come through me to do it."

"It'll put a dent in that credit card bill of mine you paid," he said encouragingly.

"You don't owe me anything," Mary Sue insisted.

Obi-Wan turned up the adoring doe eyes to lethal cuteness volume. "I want to. It'll be fun."

"Aw, hell," Mary Sue said. "I'm not your mother. You can do whatever you want. I just don't want you to get in trouble and get drugged out of your mind again." She made a face and pondered the possibilities. "Of course, I own fucking MacroStiff, and armies of lawyers. If they arrest us I can always strike down upon them with the full fury of overpaid corporate lawyers and inexhaustible financial resources." She grinned evilly. "In fact, overpaid corporate lawyers are only a small part of my arsenal." She cast him a sidelong look to see if he was catching her drift. He gave her an odd, seeing-her-for-the-first-time look.

Mary Sue felt a new, strange, and uncomfortable sensation, and realized with significant horror that she was concerned about his reaction. Damned sister thing, she thought, and said, "Shopping."

"Shopping," he confirmed.

"Whatever you want." We can always burn the Light Side/Dark Side bridge when we come to it, she thought. "So, after shopping, do I need to kick Qui-Gon's ass?"

"Nah, I've had it with him," Obi-Wan grumbled darkly. He opened the hovercar door for Mary Sue, and she sat. "Force-damned hippie free love shite."

"Don't be shy, Obi, tell me what you think!" she said cheerfully.

"I think that I don't care HOW huge his cock is or HOW hot a lay he is, it's no reason to let that pot head, 'shroom-eating, 'give peace a chance', John Tesh-listening, dirty old hippie stomp all over my heart!" He slammed the door for emphasis. "I think I should call Ben-Wa right now and say that he can HAVE the self-righteous, new age love-bead wearing bastard!" He effortlessly hot-wired the hovercar. Over the purr of the engine, he said, "Wow. That felt good."

"Got any more?" Mary Sue said. "Let it out."

"I have an inexhaustible well of it," Obi-Wan answered. "Force-damned, Sith-licking, selfish, inconsiderate, smarmy BIMBO, off in the men's room with anything with two legs while telling me 'Jealousy leads to the Dark Side, padawan.' I'll show you the Dark Side!" He peeled out into traffic, causing several other drivers severe alarm. Mary Sue just grinned, and flipped one the bird. "And is there a single member of my family he HASN'T screwed? 'Cause I really want to know!"

"Me," Mary Sue volunteered. "And he didn't do much for Mom, either."

"Okay, is there a single MALE member of my family he hasn't screwed?"

"Mr. Kenobi?" she suggested.

Obi-Wan broke down into hysterical giggles. "Thanks. I needed that."


Obi-Wan arrived back at his apartment considerably happier and laden with stacks of very expensive merchandise. Even though he had intended the spree as a thank-you to his sister, she had managed to talk him into purchasing a few items of his own, especially given the fact he had burned most of his old wardrobe. There was something vaguely obscene about spending 200 credits for a T-shirt but he had to admit it looked really damned good. So did the black leather trench, the skull-buckle boots and all the rest of his new clothes. Hell, he'd even found a proper kilt.

Best of all, there was not an earth-tone or pastel in the lot.

He grabbed a Guinness from the beer 'fridge and headed out to the balcony to kick back and relax. He spotted Maul on his own balcony doing arm curls with a rather hefty set of dumbbells. "Hey, neighbor," he said.

Maul ignored him.

Uh-oh, Obi-Wan thought gleefully. Somebody's grumpy. "Would you like a beer? I have some Pete's in the 'fridge."

"Fuck off," Maul snapped.

He bit back a giggle. "Who the hell pissed in your frosted flakes this morning?"

Maul dropped the dumbbells with a resounding clang. "You're an asshole," he snarled.

"Me? What did I do?"

"You left. We had sex and you left."

Obi-Wan considered this. "Yes," he said slowly, "I suppose I did."


"I had things to do." He took a long swig of beer.

"Things? What kind of things?"

"Shopping, actually."

"You left me to go SHOPPING?"

"Yes, with Mary Sue. Anyway, I don't see why you're so upset."

"Why I'm--. You left!" Maul howled. "We had sex. Not just any sex, GOOD sex. Hot, sweaty, FORCE-DRIVEN sex and you just LEFT me there, draped over the side of the bathtub like a used fucking TOWEL! OF COURSE I'M UPSET!!!!

Obi-Wan smiled. "Sucks, don't it," he said softly.

Maul opened his mouth. Shut it. Glowered darkly at Obi-Wan for a few moments then turned on his heel and stalked back into his apartment.

Obi-Wan laughed. Round One to the Jedi, he thought smugly and went inside to change clothes.


Maul threw himself on the sofa and seethed. "I am going to get him for that," he muttered. "I don't know how, I don't know when, but I will have my revenge."

My Apprentice jumped up in his lap and yawned into his face. Her breath stank of tuna fish. You deserved it, she observed.

"I did not."

I think that was the point, she replied cryptically.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

My Apprentice licked her butt.

Gah, stupid cat, trying to psyche him out by thinking in riddles. He dumped her off his lap and stalked into the kitchen in search of chocolate. A horrible, squalling noise leaked through the wall separating his apartment from Obi-Wan's. Maul winced. "I think he's taken up torturing your kind," he informed My Apprentice as she wound around his ankles in hopes of getting more fish.

Those are bagpipes.

"I know what they are, you moron. I was making a JOKE."

A few minutes later he heard the front door of Obi-Wan's apartment crash open followed by the inimitable bellow of Qui-Gon Jinn. "Padawan, what the HELL is that noise?"

"Bagpipes, Master," came Obi-Wan's reply.

"You know, Padawan, the Irish invented the bagpipes and gave them to the Scots; five hundred years later, they still haven't gotten the joke."

Maul snickered. Score one for the hippie!

Obi-Wan muttered something unintelligible and then the music ceased. With the noise gone, Maul could hear them much clearer. " the skirt," Qui-Gon was saying. "Up for a game of Naughty Schoolgirl?"

"It's a kilt, Master."

"Whatever. Let's go to bed."


Maul choked on a mouthful of Deep Chocolate Fudge ice cream. What did he just say?

"What did you just say?" Qui-Gon demanded.

"I said, no."

"Is there something wrong?" When Obi-Wan did not answer, the Jedi Master continued. "This isn't about my standing you up for dinner last week, is it? I said I was sorry, I even brought flowers!"

"Oh, yeah. Flowers." Maul winced at Obi-Wan's acid tone. "Silly me, I forgot about that. Never mind the fact that you're screwing your best friend behind my back, you gave me flowers so it's all OK now."

"I'm not screwing Mace behind your back! You certainly know all about it and remind me constantly."

"Oh, that makes it so much better."

"Maybe you should do some meditations on jealousy tonight."

"Maybe you should do some mediations on what constitutes a proper Master/Padawan relationship!"

Maul's jaw came unhinged. Obi-Wan was actually standing up for himself? To Qui-Gon?

The argument rose in pitch and fervor. Obi-Wan's anger was a palpable thing, radiating through the thin walls like a white-hot beacon, mixed liberally with the darker spikes of Qui-Gon's frustration and confusion. Maul basked in it, lay down on his back and let it wash over him like My Apprentice in a sunbeam. Yeah, he thought. Oh, yeah.

Finally, the emotions wound down and the voices quieted. Maul lay with his eyes half-closed, floating on a cloud of Jedi-angst. I don't care how loud the make-up sex is, he thought blissfully, that was just too good!

He heard Obi-Wan's front door creak open.

"Good-bye, Master," Obi-Wan said firmly.

The door shut with a bang.

The sound startled Maul out of his Dark Side stupor. "Did what I think just happened actually happen?" he wondered aloud, rushed to his front door and peered out the peephole.

Apparently so. There stood none other than Qui-Gon Jinn, staring mournfully at Obi-Wan's closed door. The Jedi Master let out a deep, heartfelt sigh, turned and headed for the elevator. Despair fairly leaked from his pores.

At this rate, Maul decided he was going to need a brace to keep his jaw from constantly unhinging. Obi-Wan just had a fight with his master and had not kissed and made up? More, he had actually thrown said master out on his ear?

"I gotta check this out," he muttered.

Moments later he stood in front of Obi-Wan's door. It was locked. He knocked. No answer. He pounded on the frame. Still no answer. Shrugging his shoulders, he kicked the door in.

He heard water running in the bathroom. "Kenobi?"

Out in a minute.

Maul jumped. "GAH! Don't do that!"

Do what?

"That! Talk inside my head."


"Why? Because it's disturbing, that's why!" He did not want Kenobi running around in his head!

Oh, please! We're both Force-users. Besides, I'm brushing my teeth.

"STOP THAT!" he shouted. "Bad enough we have sex all the time, I'm not about to...."

He trailed off as Kenobi walked out of the bathroom.

Oh. My. God. "Plaid," Maul said stupidly.

Kenobi grinned.

"Plaid," he said again. "You--plaid."

"It's called a kilt," Obi-Wan said cheerily.

He wanted to say that he knew damn well what a kilt was but couldn't make his mouth work properly. The padawan had really outdone himself this time. Doc Marten's, with a chain around the left ankle. White socks. They should have looked stupid. They didn't. They just drew the gaze higher to the bare knees. Then the kilt. Oh, the kilt. Blue, black and green plaid, it clung enticingly to the lean, well-muscled thighs and narrow hips. Black leather sporran slung low, right over Kenobi's crotch. Red braces, no shirt and a black leather jacket. Hair in artful disarray and begging to be mussed further. Tiny skull fetish beads carved from bone dangled from the padawan braid and small, silver hoops gleamed in each ear.


"Kilt," said Maul. "Plaid. Kilt. Sex. Now."

Obi-Wan laughed. "If I'd known that would be your reaction, I would have bought a new one sooner."

Maul drooled on his shoes. "Sex," he repeated. "Sex NOW."

Kenobi shook his head. "Dancing."

Maul gaped. "Dancing?!"

"Mm-hm. At the Grey Side. It's Old Wave night."


"Dancing," Kenobi said firmly.

He opened his mouth to argue, fully prepared to whammy Obi-Wan into submission if need be. But then the padawan turned and headed for the door. One look at that pert little ass moving seductively beneath the kilt and Maul knew he was lost.

"Just let me get my keys," he said.


The Grey Side was packed, even more so than usual. Almost no lights tonight and they had the smoke machine cranked up on high, filling the air with a smell like burnt Styrofoam. Over the sound system Ian McCulloch wailed about the Killing Moon.

"Want a drink?" Maul yelled over the music.

"No, thanks," Kenobi yelled back. "I want to dance." At the look on Maul's face, he added, "What?"

"You usually want a drink when you fight with Qui-Gon."

"We didn't fight."

Maul snorted. "I heard you."

"We broke up."

"WHAT?" Maul boggled.

"We broke up. To be more specific, I broke up with him." Obi-Wan sighed. "We reached an unresolvable logical impasse."

"'An unresolvable logical impasse,'" Maul repeated, his mind still not quite able to wrap around the concept of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon breaking up.

"He's still my Master and responsible for my training as a Jedi, but we both realized our expectations for a sexual relationship were incompatible." He sighed sadly. "Poor Qui-Gon. It was actually the best, most honest conversation we've ever had."

Maul stared stupidly. Then he noticed--


His horn. Make that horns. The shed horns he collected. Ten of them, tied into a black silk scarf hanging off the shoulder loop of the padawan's jacket. Noticing his gaze, Kenobi just gave him the same sweet smile he had given Maul when he announced he had destroyed the GNR CD.

"You took my horns," Maul said.

"Your hutch needs better locks," Obi-Wan said, sweet smile broadening.


He reached out, intending to snatch them off the padawan and storm off home. Kenobi caught Maul's hand and sucked one finger into his mouth, blue eyes wide and gleaming at toxic levels. Aw, shit, Maul thought as Obi-Wan sucked and nibbled on each finger in turn. "I get those back TONIGHT," he growled.

"Okay," the padawan mumbled around Maul's thumb.

"If you lose any--."

"I won't."

Maul grumbled. I don't know WHY I agreed, he thought.

It's a token. Like knights of old with their lovers' hankies tied to their sleeve.

"I told you to STOP that!" Maul snapped. He felt a sudden urge to change the subject. "I thought you wanted to dance, not talk." After all, it wasn't like he thought it was sweet, or anything. Which was good, because Sith hate sweet. It's in the handbook. So there.

A new song started, Siouxsie and the Banshees this time. "I love this song!" Obi-Wan said, grabbed Maul and dragged him forcably onto the dance floor.

Maul could see why. Hypnotic, rhythmic beat the same cadence as a good, slow fuck, Siouxsie Sioux's vocals a low, seductive purr: //Get your head down to the ground, shake it all around--a dirty sound. Put your knees up to your face and see if you can race--real slow.//

Yeah, this was a Good Thing. Maul growled low in his throat and ground up against Kenobi's hips from behind.

No underwear.


//It's a slowdive--when you die slow. Oh it's a low jive--do the slowdive.//

Obi-Wan let his head fall back on Maul's shoulder and reached back to grab Maul's ass with both hands, pulling him closer. Maul started trying desperately to figure out how to get his hands and various other body parts under that kilt.

All you have to do is ask.

We'll get thrown out of the Grey Side.

Obi-Wan laughed and turned around, grinding up against Maul and pulling him into a kiss.

DEFINITELY no underwear.

//Now you jump back like a hound, emit a howling sound, dig those limbs into the floor, and holler out for more.//

We could get out of here, Kenobi suggested.

Yes. Leave. Now. They headed for the door.

//And you revel in the dips when your backbone slips, taking honesuckle sips from your rolling hips. It shifts and shifts. It's a slowdive.//

Wait, where did Kenobi go? He looked around frantically, and saw him squatting down talking to Yoda. "No thank you, Master Yoda," he heard the padawan say. Gah, that horrid little muppet hitting on his date? He started towards them, intending to drop-kick the midget into the wall, but Obi-Wan stopped him. "Wait outside. I'll be right out."

Feh. Kenobi had better hurry.


Maul stood in the alley where they'd parked the stolen hovercar, impatiently waiting for Kenobi to return. He was--well, horny didn't quite cut it. He was well beyond horny at this point. His penis was so hard he could use it as a jackhammer. And if Kenobi didn't get back here real soon he was going to do just that.

"Hey, funbuns!"

Maul looked up and spotted a familiar plump shape heading in his direction. Aw, shit.

Cyn sidled up to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. "All by your lonesome? I can do something about that."

"I'm waiting for Kenobi," he said, and tried to disentangle himself from her grasp in order to put some distance between them. A few hundred lightyears would be sufficient.

"Well, I'll just keep you warm until he gets here."

Make that a few thousand, he thought as Cyn pressed against him even harder. "No thanks."

"And what do we have here, hm?"

Maul and Cyn both looked up sharply at the sound of Kenobi's voice. "Hey, there, cuz," Cyn said brightly. "Doesn't our boy look good tonight? I could just eat him up."

"Really," Obi-Wan said mildly.

Maul shivered. He knew that tone all too well, it meant the Jedi was well and truly pissed. He glanced down at Cyn, who chattered amiably on while doing her best to grope him surreptitiously, then looked back at Obi-Wan.

The padawan's smile did not waver but the look in his eyes begged the question. Shall I?

Maul inclined his head ever-so-slightly. Be my guest.

Obi-Wan draped a companionable arm across Cyn's shoulders. Still oblivious, she slipped an arm about his waist and pulled him closer. "Sandwiched between two studs," she sighed. "I've died and gone to heaven."

"I'm gay," Obi-Wan reminded her.

"Yeah, but a girl can dream, can't she?"

"As long as she understands the difference between reality and fantasy," Obi-Wan replied.

"Aw, c'mon, Ben. Lighten up. Fantasy's good for ya!"

Rather thick, isn't she? Maul thought at Kenobi

As a brick, Obi-Wan replied. "Cyn," he said aloud, "there's something I've been meaning to talk to you about."

"What's that?"

"You know that Maul and I are never going to sleep with you, right? Not even if you were the last compatible humanoid left in the galaxy?"

She blinked. "Well, yeah."

"So, don't you think this habit you have of throwing yourself at us is rather pathetic?"

Cyn stared at him. "What?"

"My, you really are dense, aren't you." Obi-Wan sighed. "All right, we'll try this once more and this time I'll use small words so I'm sure you understand." He leaned down and stared directly into Cyn's eyes. "Maul doesn't like you."


"Come to that, I don't like you, either. And if you don't stop hitting on my boyfriend--"

I am not your boyfriend!

"--I will cut you bald, bend you over backwards and shove your head up your ass." He smiled sweetly. "Is that clear enough for you?"

Cyn's eyes narrowed. "You don't have the balls."

Obi-Wan's smile widened. "Try me."

Maul had never heard that tone from the padawan before. To the untrained ear it might sound like amusement but there was true steel beneath, razor sharp and ready to slice. It was cold. Dangerous.

Unbelievably erotic.

Cyn, to do her credit, finally developed a small dose of common sense. "Well, fuck the both of you," she snapped, turned and stormed off.

"No, you won't, you daft cunt," Obi-Wan called after her retreating back. "That's the fucking point."

Maul snickered. "She really pissed you off."

Obi-Wan shrugged. "She irritates me. Besides, I don't like to share."

"You share me with Mary Sue," Maul pointed out.

Obi-Wan gave Maul a wide, predatory smile. "Not anymore," he growled.

Maul snorted. "Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah. Mary Sue and I reached an understanding today." Kenobi made a small flicking motion with his fingers and Maul suddenly found himself lifted up by the Force and deposited with a thump on the hood of the hovercar. Before he could get up again, Obi-Wan was there, pinning him down with those deceptively strong hands. "She understands that you're mine."


When he finally returned from the Ninth Tier of the Seventh Circle of Heaven on High (where he had been waited on by beautiful male houris who all bore a striking resemblance to a certain padawan of his acquaintance), Maul found himself staring blankly upwards into the night sky. Obi-Wan sat next to him looking vastly pleased with himself. "You're finally back," he said.

"..." Maul replied.

"Up for Round Two?"


"I'll take that as a yes."


Maul woke with Obi-Wan's face buried in the curve of his shoulder and a Toydarian police officer hovering over his head.

"Couldn't-a afford a motel, hmmm?" said the cop.

Life hates me, thought Maul.


An hour later he and Obi-Wan were at the police station, handcuffed and waiting their turn with the booking sergeant.

"This is all your fault," he grumbled at Obi-Wan. "If you'd just let me get my lightsaber--."

"Oh, right," said Obi-Wan. "My da can fix a lot of things, but cop-killing isn't one of them."

The Toydarian hovered nearby, keeping a wary eye on them. Maul glared at him. He glared back.

"Hey, Paunch!" called another officer from across the hall. "Looks like you picked up a real couple of freaks this time."

"Yesss," the Toydarian laughed, belly a-jiggle. "Gotta a tip, you know? Pair of the freaks making like-a rabbits outside-a the Grey Side. Turns out the boy is-a wanted for the larceny and grand-a theft auto. So, I get me the nice couple-a felons, very good bust, eh?"

Maul and Obi-Wan looked at each other.

"Tip?" said Maul.

"Cyn," said Obi-Wan.

"I want my phone call," said Maul.


Sidious answered his phone on the twelfth ring. "Do you have any idea what time it is?"

He winced. "Forgive the late hour, Master."

"Ah. Maul. What is it?"

Maul squirmed, mouth gone suddenly dry. "It seems... it seems I have been arrested."


"How very interesting," Sidious said mildly.

This is bad, Maul thought. Very bad.

"And just why were you arrested?"

Maul muttered under his breath.

"Speak up boy! Sith do not mumble!"

"Obi-Wan and I were caught having sex on top of a stolen car behind the Grey Side."

"Let me get this straight," Sidious purred into the phone. "You were arrested for screwing on the hood of a stolen car. During an election year."

"Yeah," Maul said. "Embarrassing, isn't it?" He immediately wished he hadn't; he thought he could hear purple lightning through the phone.

"Perhaps you should cool your heels for a few hours, while I think of an appropriate punishment," Sidious said mildly and hung up.

Well, shit.

Maul walked back to the bench. "Will he come get us?" Kenobi asked.

"He's mad," Maul said.

"But he's bailing us out, right?" Maul's only answer was silence. "You should have called Mary Sue."

"Yeah, and her service would give her the message in a week," Maul retorted.

"I have her direct number," Obi-Wan said.

Of COURSE he does, Maul thought bitterly.

"Excuse me, officer," Obi-Wan said politely. "May I have my phone call now?"

"No, now-a you go through processing. After processing, you get phone call, eh?"


"Well, she says she's on her way," Obi-Wan said. Maul stared at something behind him. "What?"

"You-a, kid?" the officer said. Obi-Wan turned around.

The Toydarian officer had a straightjacket. And reinforcements. "You-a, you-a not going to fight me, eh?"

"My sister is on her way to bail me out."

"We-a called the Jedi Temple," Officer Paunch said. "They-a legally responsible for you. They say-a you not right in the head, need psychiatric evaluation. Hmmm?"

"I'm just fine," Obi-Wan protested.

"You-a steal car, steal credit card, have sex in public and you-a call this fine?"

"No, I shouldn't have done that, but it doesn't mean I'm crazy."

"Eh, you-a no argue with me no more, put straightjacket on like-a good little padawan, hmm?"

With a sigh, Obi-Wan let himself be laced into the straightjacket. "This ISN'T necessary," Obi-Wan said.

"You-a have a history of-a threatening to kill police officers," Officer Paunch retorted. "Better safe than sorry, no? Happy Farms be-a here to pick you up soon, if you-a 'just fine' they let you go."


Mary Sue swept into the police station with a large entourage of lawyers. "Mary Sue Stewart, here to bail out Obi-Wan Kenobi and Maul."

"Eh, well, Maul you can have, after he-a sees a judge for arraignment and his-a bail is set, but Kenobi, you-a can't have. I-a just put him on-a a transport to-a Happy Farms."

"You, you, and you," Mary Sue pointed. "Go to Happy Farms and start working on them."

"But legally, there's no..." one lawyer objected.

"NOW!" The attorneys scrambled out Mary Sue turned back to the Toydarian police officer. "Were you the arresting officer?" she asked with a flirtatious smile.

"Why-a, yes, yes I was," the Toydarian said. Toydarians may be unwhammyable, but even they can't resist that smile, she thought triumphantly.

"So, you were the one who read them their rights."

"Yes, of-a course."

"Did you read Maul his rights in Zabrak? He's Zabrakian."

I am not!

Don't say a WORD.

"Ehhhh, no."

"How do you know he understood them if you didn't read them in Zabrak?" Mary Sue asked sweetly.

Paunch suddenly realized he'd been had. "I-a want the department attorney!"

"Did you know that public sex is an important part of Zabrakian culture?" Mary Sue continued. "I may have to call the Coruscant Civil Liberties Union." She smiled sweetly at the Toydarian officer.

"You-a an attorney?"

"No," Mary Sue said pleasantly, handing him her business card.

Mary Sue Stewart Chief Executive Officer MacroStiff Corporation

"Ahhh, shit," the Toydarian said.


"We-a drop all charges against the Zabrakian freak," the Toydarian department attorney said. "He's-a free to go."

"What about my brother," Mary Sue said stubbornly.

"Maul, he-a just charged with-a Indecent Exposure and-a Lewd and Lascivious Conduct. Your-a brother, he-a was also charged with Grand Theft Auto and Grand Larceny. You going to tell me HE-a Zabrakian, too?" Paunch laughed, and the attorney joined in.

Mary Sue's lower lip trembled. A single, perfect tear welled up in one eye. "What would I have to do in order to free him?" she asked.

Damn, Mary Sue's laying it on thick, Maul thought.

"Eh, I no going to say first thing I-a thought of, I-a get in big trouble, eh?" He laughed. "First-a, you have to convince person who-a make the charges to drop them. Then, you-a have to convince Jedi he-a no crazy. Then, you-a pay fine when he-a convicted of Indecent Exposure and Lewd and Lascivious behavior."

"Thank you," she said. "You've been very helpful."

"Hey-a, no problem. You-a give me your phone number?"

"Are you sexually harassing my distraught client?" one of the attorneys asked.

"No, no! I-a just asked..."

"I think you were. Is there some sort of review board for your conduct?"

Mary Sue walked back over to Maul, ignoring the baying pack of wolves falling on the hapless Toydarian. "They dropped the charges, you're free. Go home."

"What about Kenobi?"

"So good of you to be concerned," she said acidly, "seeing how this is ALL YOUR FAULT."

Maul rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Can you get him out of Happy Farms or not?"

She sighed and shook her head. "I don't have a legal leg to stand on where Obi's concerned."


"There is nothing I can do." She pulled a large bill out of her purse. "Cab fare. Go home. I mean it," she added when Maul didn't move. "Go!"


Maul locked the door to his apartment, walked to the living room and threw himself wearily on the sofa. Well, he thought, it was fun while it lasted.

There was no telling what shape Kenobi would be in when he got back from Happy Farms this time. Not that he cared, of course.

SERIOUS denial! My Apprentice thought at him.

Maul threw an old, wadded up napkin at her.

The door flew open with a bang. "MAUL!"

He winced. Figures. "Yes, my master?"

"I think it is time we discussed your punishment for this little escapade of yours."

Maul sighed. "Yes, my master," he said wearily.

"Community service should be just the thing." Sidious chuckled nastily and rubbed his hands together with glee. "Are you familiar with an organization called Habitat for Non-Humanity? They're starting a new branch on Endor and are in great need of volunteers..."


[To read the more serious bits about Qui-Gon springing Obi-Wan from the Happy Farm, click here.]




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