Life Lessons at the Sith Academy, Part X:
The Annual Imperial Senate and Jedi Masters Drag Review
by Siubhan and Absimiliard
[Read Siubhan's author bio] [Read Absimiliard's author bio]
Thanks to Katherine the Art Chick for a continuity nudge, a good suggestion, and a few funny lines.
My Apprentice sprawled across the only bare spot on the wooden floor in Maul's apartment. The heat was oppressive and the traditional squalor of the apartment was not improving My Apprentice's mood. The small brown striped cat with the brilliant white belly debated what to do about it. She knew she could annoy Maul by tearing around the apartment or attacking his feet while he slept. The tactics worked best if she went racing into the bedroom while he was sleeping, leapt onto the bed, and mangled a foot. Every time, Maul would wake up and holler. She would then go tearing out of room, only to repeat her performance thirty seconds later. But Maul was already up and glued to his TV watching Darth Lara Croft shooting up Padawans in Jedi Temple Raider IXVII. The releases had been fast and furious recently.
Licking her paw, she reflected that in truth she didn't have to do anything to tick off Maul. Sooner or later his Master would show up. Then he would have to stop the video game. Palpatine/Sidious would give him some horrible or demeaning thing to do and then for days afterwards he would stomp around the apartment in the foulest of moods. An extremely fertile situation for My Apprentice since when Maul was in a foul mood he often would fail to notice the occasional Sith Mind Whammy for food, or catnip mice, or peacock feathers, or best of all, new cat furniture. She needed a new scratching post since all of Maul's furniture was already fully scratched up. Her ears perked up and swiveled towards the door. Beyond the door she heard Palpatine's voice: "Why yes Qui-Gon, I shall follow his career with great interest." My Apprentice got up and began to slowly walk toward the living room. Excellent, she thought, it is about to start.
Having finally gotten rid of that annoying Jedi Master, Palpatine paused, hand on hip, in front of Maul's door. Imagine Qui-Gon asking him, HIM, a Sith Lord, to act as Obi-Wan's manager at the local drag club. Oh it's just too delicious. A wave of his limp wrist unlocked the door. Opening it, he strode in.
The usual assault on Palpatine's senses took place. First his ears rang in protest at the volume of Maul's video game. Next to go was his sense of smell: it fled into the night at some unidentifiable odor that seemed to be emanating from the kitchen. His skin crawled as something dripped from the ceiling onto his arm, and his eyes were by now used to the view of Maul's apartment, though the initial sight always caused him to jump slightly. At least the bitch can cook, Palpatine thought as he strode toward the noises coming from the TV, otherwise I'd be clean out of working senses.
"Maul, my favorite apprentice." Maul looked up from his game at just the wrong moment. Several Jedi appeared and simultaneously speared Darth Lara Croft with lightsabers from different directions.
"Ahhhhh! My game!" Tossing the controller aside he sat up, straightened his ratty "Sith Lords Kick Ass" T-shirt and looked up at his master. "Yes, my master. What brings you here today? Wait, let me guess. You want me to take some totally menial job that will further degrade my self-esteem. No, you have somewhere for us to go where I can be abused and humiliated. Or …" Maul shuddered. "You want me to make pornographic holograms with my next door neighbor, the twit Jedi...again."
"Maul, you couldn't be more mistaken." Palpatine flushed from his brightly painted toenails to the tip top of his distinguished head at the thought of the most recent video he had made Maul do: Leather Apprentices VI: I Called Him Master was quite the hit on pay-per-porn this month. "We have to go out. Clearly you have forgotten what day it is."
Palpatine waved his hands around at the squalor surrounding him. "Now, I know you like to lay around this filthy place in your underwear and that T-shirt, but go put some pants on and get cleaned up." Palpatine shooed Maul into the bathroom. "We have to go to 'the Gray Side'. Tonight is a very important night. A night unlike any other."
Maul shuddered, wondering where this could possibly be leading.
"Tonight my apprentice, is the annual Imperial Senate and Jedi Master Drag Review Ball," announced Palpatine. "We're doing The Wizard of Oz again. Best of all is that I have been chosen to be Dorothy!" The Distinguished Senator from Naboo posed, arms wide apart, as if receiving an accolade, face shining with joy.
"But I thought you wanted to be Glinda the Good Witch of the North?" Maul questioned.
"Well yes, that would be better." Palpatine sighed, pursing his lips and putting a fingertip to them. "But since Qui-Gon Jinn already has that marvelous Glinda costume, the Review Steering Committee couldn't very well give it to me. Besides, being Dorothy means I get to be the star." His eyes widened in surprise, "Oooh, and it means I get to be Judy Garland." Palpatine visibly puffed up at this and fluffed his hair into place. "I'll be perfect. And you are not going to ruin it by being late. Now get dressed and meet me outside, I can't abide this apartment."
My Apprentice watched as Maul stomped around his bedroom searching for the last pair of clean socks. He had already nearly stopped breathing after strapping himself into his tightest pair of jeans. Now he was rummaging around sniffing dirty socks. She just couldn't understand why he seemed to hate it so much; after all she loved sniffing his dirty socks. Next to his susceptibility to her Mind Whammies, his stinky socks were her favorite thing about him. She turned and peered under the bed at the pair of socks currently cowering in the corner. Once he leaves, you're all mine, she purred with unholy glee.
At last Maul was dressed. As he walked out his front door he shuddered briefly at the thought of what was coming.
"Yes, my apprentice, we are going shopping!" Sidious announced with glee as he fed off of the waves of revulsion coming from Maul's direction. Yes, this shopping trip would be delicious.
A shell-shocked Maul walked into the club, fresh from his shopping experience. Lacing Sidious into his corset had been bad enough, but when he'd asked Maul's help in "hiding his package," Maul's years of experience of suppressing his gag reflex failed him entirely and he'd lost his lunch, his breakfast, last night's dinner, and probably a few other people's meals in the process.
He pushed his way through the throngs of drag queens and other flamboyant fans crowding the front of the club and made his way to the back, where padawans and senatorial aides cowered en masse. He snarled, and they parted obediently, letting Maul stride to the bar and demand, "Hamster Death Gulp Shooters. Now."
The bartender pulled out a pre-prepared row and plunked them down in front of the Sith. "Hey, here comes your boyfriend," he said helpfully.
"He's not my..."
"Hi Maul," Obi-Wan sighed as he settled down on the neighboring barstool. "What are you drinking?"
"Hamster Death Gulps."
"Your master's in the drag revue as well?"
"Bartender, I'll have what he's having."
The bartender whipped out another row of noxious pink drinks. "Good luck, boys. I've seen the rehearsal, I'm outta here." He pulled out two premixed jugs of Hamster Death Gulps and put them on the bar. "If you run out, there's a full keg back here. Knock yourselves out."
A couple of senatorial aides looked longingly at the drinks, but Maul's scowl sent them scuttling away, leaving a protective circle of emptiness around him and Obi-Wan that none dared to breach. The two apprentices sighed and popped back two shots each. "So, I hear Palpatine's going to be Dorothy," Obi-Wan said conversationally.
Maul shuddered and downed another shot. "And Qui-Gon is Glinda, again. Tell me, did he have you help dress him as well?"
Obi-Wan paled and popped back another shot. "Yeah. The 'hide the package' thing always makes me squeamish."
"You do realize that eventually, you'll have to go up there and do this perverted routine, don't you?"
Obi-Wan sighed and said, "You know, it kind of makes me wish that the Sith still existed. Maybe one of them could slay me before I reach the ranks of Jedi Master."
"That can be arranged," Maul sniggered under his breath.
"What was that?"
"Nothing. Wait, I thought you liked drag. What about that dress of yours from when we were on Fashion Emergency?"
"It's not the drag that bothers me. It's just that this show is so old school. I mean, it wouldn't be so bad if they did something that didn't suck as hard as The Wizard of Oz. Like Rocky Horror! You'd make a great Rocky." Maul tossed back a Hamster Death Gulp to blot out Kenobi's mental image of him in the traditional gold briefs.
"It would also help if a single one of them had talent," Maul observed with distaste.
"True," Obi-Wan sighed sadly.
The lights dimmed. "Oh fuck, it's starting."
Both men downed another three shots.
The music swelled, spotlights danced across the stage, and suddenly all the Senators and Jedi Masters swarmed out for the traditional opening number, "I Feel Pretty."
As the audience howled their appreciation, Maul and Obi-Wan abandoned the shot glasses and each grabbed a jug.
"That's an awfully bright Dorothy costume," Obi-Wan noted as his eyes fell on Palpatine's hot pink and lavender sequined gingham ensemble.
"You should have seen some of the other ones he tried on," Maul said with a shudder. "Qui-Gon's getting a little pudgy for that Glinda costume."
"I know, I keep trying to tell him that, but he never listens. He just tells me to tighten the corset, but I swear, one of these days, that's corset's gonna blow." Obi-Wan downed a huge gulp, then said, "Palpatine's pretty scary with those pigtails."
"Qui-Gon's ringlets aren't exactly hot either, especially since he's still got the beard. Couldn't convince him to shave?"
"I tried. I failed."
"And what's with Valorum's outfit? I thought he was playing..." Maul scanned the cast list "...the Wizard."
"He wanted to wear taffeta and a feather boa for the opening number."
"Just like the Nemoidian Senator, apparently."
A wildly-dressed Malistarian audience member hooted, "You go, Miss Palpatine! Sashay, chantay!"
A similarly glitzy-looking Corellian countered, "I've seen Jawas with better legs!"
"Ah, the traditional heckling," Maul said with a grin. "Now this I like."
Obi-Wan suddenly paled. "Now that's something I never needed to see."
Maul followed his eyes. "Wookiee drag?" His tattoos paled to a light pink and gray. Apparently, Wookiee cross-dressing consisted of strategically placed fruit and Ewoks.
"No, I was looking at the Hutt next to him," Obi-Wan groaned as he pointed off to the corner of the stage.
Maul paled even further. The things that giant slug was doing with tassels made his earlier ordeal with Sidious seem like a walk in the park. Never mind the swarm of chittering creatures crawling in and out of its nether regions...
"Shake that thang, Jabba baby!" another audience member cried, and as Jabba happily complied, the seismic shock sent huge chunks of ceiling plaster crashing down on the audience. A few of the higher-strung senatorial aides rushed to stand under the closest doorframe while one particularly jumpy padawan ignited his lightsaber and started smashing the chunks into powder.
The two men watched in growing horror as the parade of singing and prancing Masters and Senators reached the song's climax, then sighed in relief, along with the rest of aides and padawans in the back of the club, as they all took a bow and went off stage. The audience was screaming in delight.
"Is the view really that different from back here?" an incredulous Obi-Wan asked.
"There's no accounting for taste," Maul seethed back.
The lights dimmed, then came back up to show the Nemoidian Senator standing alone on stage, dressed head to ankles in black.
The two apprentices jumped sky-high as a house fell on the Nemoidian, squashing him flat.
"Well, that was a bold start," Obi-Wan said as he polished off his jug and hopped over the bar to find the keg.
"Nice and violent," Maul agreed appreciatively. "However, I fear it shall all go downhill from here."
Obi-Wan tapped the keg and refilled their pitchers. "Bottom's up," he said. "I think Palpatine's about to come on stage."
By Larkzen. Click to see larger image.
Palpatine skipped merrily out of the house, R2-D2 at his heels, and gasped in mock horror at the ruby-slippered feet sticking out from under his house. Suddenly, a globe of light appeared in the sky, and Qui-Gon descended, trilling, "I am Glinda, Good Witch of the North."
Both apprentices downed their pitchers in one smooth gulp as the audience howled.
"Fuck, I'm not drunk enough yet," Obi-Wan groused. "I can still see the stage."
"Forget the Hamster Death Gulps," Maul commanded. "Single malt whisky. Straight up." He reached out with the Force, levitated two bottles over, and the two men started guzzling.
"Lollipop kids we are!"
The apprentices turned in ever-growing horror to the stage, where Yoda and Yaddle were cross-dressed as Munchkins, each holding a lollipop bigger than their heads.
Yoda continued merrily singing, "Lollipop kids we are! Lollipop kids we are!"
Yaddle scowled and bitch-slapped him upside his head with her lollipop. "Stupid ass idea this is! Leaving I am!" and stormed off the stage.
Someone in the audience cried, "You go girl!"
Yoda continued singing as if nothing had happened.
"Okay, that was mildly amusing," Obi-Wan noted, and Maul nodded his head in agreement.
Suddenly, they heard an unearthly screech and Mace Windu flew onto the stage in black robes, a pointed hat, and green face paint. "I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, and I'm gonna get medieval on your little dog's ass too!" he cackled.
"Fweep!" whistled R2-D2, hiding behind Palpatine's crinolines.
The alcohol was finally starting to work its magic on Maul, and the stage was beginning to blur before his eyes, which was a good thing. His hearing, alas, seemed to have remained intact. His sadistic prick of a master had just launched into "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," and he could feel his insides scrambling to escape. "I can't take it anymore!" he screamed and launched himself toward the door.
Unfortunately, he was so drunk that all he managed to launch himself at was the floor. Ah, blessed unconsciousness, he thought with a smile as the room grew black...
...and as it slowly swam back into focus, he realized he was coming to somewhere else. Somewhere soft. Somewhere earth-toned. Somewhere where he wasn't alone.
Oh shit. He'd slept with Obi-Wan Kenobi again.
Well, it had been Friday night at the Gray Side of the Force after all. This was pretty much traditional at this point. He felt Obi-Wan's breathing on the back of his neck and sighed in resignation.
It was better than sitting through the drag review by a long shot.
Obi-Wan stirred and murmured, "Oh shit, our masters are gonna kill us for skipping out on the show."
Maul turned over to face a very hung-over looking padawan and said, "Look on the bright side. Dead Jedi don't participate in the drag revue."
"Good point," Obi-Wan conceded.
Gaze in horror at Maya's R-rated drawing of the "Hiding the Package" scene!
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