No Accounting for Taste
by Maul Moll
Thanks to Siubhan for creating the Sith Academy, allowing W.W.M.D. be my new mantra. A line from Andrea Evan's "Turnabout" got me thinking in this direction. Dartha Stewart was created by the Plaid Adder, Obi-Wan's lyrics, with slight modification, are from Lou Reed. Disclaimer: Mr. Lucas, sir, if you didn't put them through ILM's De-Sexing Machine we wouldn't have to do this. So thanks.
Maul awoke with a start. My Apprentice was nipping his toes. The usual routine of scratching was awful enough: this was torture. The cat sensed he was awake and hid from him. She'd lay in wait for him to fall back to sleep to renew her assault.
But Maul couldn't fall back to sleep this time. He shuddered trying to shake off the memory of a horrible dream. He was lying on soft green grass, in a field of daisies, sunshine streaming down on him and a litter of beige puppies clambering over each other, trying to lick his face. Eewww.
Then Obi-Wan's smiling face loomed over him, giggling in slow motion as he tickled Maul. The bright sun highlighted gold glints in his hair and made his white teeth dazzle. There was laughter--his own laughter Maul realized in horror. Sith do not like being tickled. It's in the handbook. But that last bit didn't qualify as a tickle exactly. It was more like a slow, sensuous, teasing caress as Obi-Wan's fingers played over Maul's lean torso while his head slipped down, out of Maul's range of vision. Oh that supple, inventive mouth was working its magic when Maul was so rudely awoken. My Apprentice nipped again. Hard. Maul looked down and noticed his toes were bleeding. You are history! he glared at her.
I can't resist! I'm a cat, you idiot!
But it wasn't blood, Maul remembered, it was the nail polish. Something to go with this overall color scheme, the dark red talons at the end of his toes looked Sithly indeed.
Sithly?--Hah! you are a mere cat toy! My Apprentice dive bombed his toes again but Maul swiftly curled his toes out of her range, causing her to lose her balance and tumble off the end of the bed. She slunk off nonchalantly, pretending she meant to do that.
Maul leaned back in bed, stretched languidly and admired his new look. Obi-Wan was right about Outer Rim Decay's "Sanguine" being the right shade. "Bloody 'ell" would have clashed with his tattoos. Obi understood these things, Maul had to admit. Obi-Wan had looked so sexy, deep in concentration, unaware that the tip of his tongue played at his slightly opened lips as he expertly applied the polish. Then the tantalizing way he blew on Maul's toes to dry them. Maul's morning glory was straining against the sheets at the memory of Obi-Wan sucking his toes after the polish had dried to a enticing glossy dark red. Damn, why did Obi-Wan have to be out of town now? How dare his Jedi duties interfere with Maul's sexual needs!
Maul looked down at his erection and wiggled his toes, recalling that night in great detail as he started to polish his lightsaber, knowing Obi-Wan wouldn't be back to satisfy him for a few more days. He would kill the cat if she dared to interrupt him again. Usually she ignored him while he was engaged in this activity. Maybe it actually squicked her, he thought. Good.
A few more moments lost in a blur of sexual memories had Maul screaming his orgasm and ejaculating a geyser of amber fluid. After a minute, his breathing returned to normal and he opened his eyes. Wow, I hit the ceiling, he marveled, open mouthed, just as a gob of the amber stuff dripped off the ceiling and into his mouth.
"AHHHHHUGGGGGGGGFUUUUUUPPPPP!!!" Maul instantly projectile vomited his stomach and small intestine contents across the room into a conveniently placed waiting pizza box. The odds of him hitting a waiting pizza box were very high actually, so it's misleading to say it was conveniently placed. What this Vesuvius of vomit did to the fledgling civilization that occupied it would be lost to history. Maul shivered in a cold sweat as tears welled in his eyes and he thought he might hurl again. He curled up into a ball, hugged the sheets around him, and rocked back and forth. He thanked the Handbook for the Sith do not do Sith rule, just in case this was something Sith had in common. There was wisdom in the ways of the Dark Side. He remembered his urine was mildly poisonous, perhaps his semen was as well. It tasted unspeakably horrible. He almost retched again trying to conjure up what he though it resembled. Nothing in the long list of edibles he had been forced to consume on the least civilized planets came close.
Perhaps it made sense, Maul reasoned. If his race was so rare, could this be a desperate evolutionary adaptation to lessen the chances of loosing any precious fertile fluid to sex acts not geared strictly to procreation. But of course that didn't preclude the event of sex with another species, let alone recreational non-procreative sex with a male of another species. Specifically sex with Obi-Wan. Very specifically, Force-driven blow job marathons with an extremely skilled and enthusiastic kilt wearing Obi-Wan.
Maul almost squicked himself thinking about Obi-Wan's ingestion of the stuff. Funny how Obi-Wan had never complained to Maul about it. Was that merely sexual etiquette or was the Jedi stronger than he imagined. His admiration for Obi-Wan rose. His admiration of Obi-Wan's fellatio skills rose. Damn, Maul's cock rose, as well. Why did he have to be away now? Touring a candy factory of all insipid things, Maul sulked.
Obi-Wan was off with Qui-Gon on an all expense paid trip to the Wookiee Wonka Candy Factory because their troop raised the most money in the Jedi Scouts Candy Drive. The Jedi were not fools when it came to making a buck. They had included the line of famous Wookiee Wonka candies in their drive since there was only so many Granola Goodies, Yoda Yogurt Yummies or Force Fudgies (Sugar Free! Now with Tofu!) one could sell outside the Temple. The 100,000 Credits Bar was the most popular, and other big sellers were Gun-Gun Pops, Tatooine Taffy, Naboo Nutterbutter, Coruscant Crunch.
Qui-Gon's troop, (Obi-Wan was their Den Mother), had never won before since Qui-Gon didn't really encourage the sale of candy. This year they had two factors that blew their nearest competition out of the water: Qui-Gon and Mace Windu's munchie habit reached an all time high around the time Qui and Obi broke up, and the fact that Obi-Wan and Maul demolished a gross case of Extra Dark Velvet Bars, a notorious hard sell to the Light Siders.
A week or two into the drive, Obi-Wan had finally taken to moving all the troop's candy stock to his place so Qui-Gon and Mace wouldn't eat it out from under them. Little did he expect the sophisticated Extra Dark Velvet Bars to be included in the stash. These were actually Belgiaan baking chocolate, Wookiee Wonka only acting as importer and distributor. They were popular around certain holidays for traditional baked goods but no one actually ingested the stuff in its pure, very bittersweet form. It was also very expensive. When she heard about it Mary Sue paid for the case of it, laughing and saying it was her contribution to a good cause.
So Maul and Obi-Wan were the main reason for the success of the candy drive, yet Maul hadn't a shot at going on the tour of the candy factory. Who was he kidding, he could never pass for a scout and he knew Sidious would never have allowed it, but he felt like sulking about it all the same.
Just as the name Sidious crossed his mind, the door flung open and Sidious swept into Maul's room.
"My young apprentice. I have a task for you." Sidious announced as he surveyed the maelstrom that was Maul's bedroom. "What is that stuff dripping from the ceiling?" he archly inquired, backing away.
"Oh, uh, stalactite formation? The archaeologist mentioned the conditions were right," Maul faked as he adjusted the sheets to cover himself. "What, Master, is the task at hand?" Maul said eagerly hoping Sidious would ignore the drip.
"Archaeologist? Isn't that more of a geological manifestation?"
"Well, he said this room was as stifling as a cave."
"How true," Sidious said. "Back to the task of honing your rage. It been a while since you accompanied me to an official function. Tonight is the Farmer's Festival featuring the Fromage and Fondue Fete. All the fromagers--that's cheese makers to you--bring their precious wares to be judged and I get to do the judging. As I detest cheese in all its forms you will aid me in this task."
"Cheese!" Maul nearly yelped. "Master, I know nothing about cheese. I think I'm allergic to it."
"Nonsense! You consume pizza at an alarming rate, and Tauntaun milk commands a high price for its richness according to the farmers who understand these things. You were raised on it after all!"
Maul couldn't argue with that. But cheese, real, stinky, how-do-they-get-it-past-their-nose-and-into-their-mouth cheese was another thing entirely. He was feeling like he might hurl again.
"Now, I... Do you ever feed this cat?" Sidious asked in exasperation as he swept out in the direction of the kitchen.
Hair will grow on your palms, My Apprentice sent Maul before heading for her tuna.
Not after all that electrolysis!
You will go blind!
Jealous because I can come and you can't? he sent back.
Don't be silly, My Apprentice countered. Obi tweaks my nipples when he pets my belly and gives me multiple orgasms.
TMI! TMI! Maul shot back. "That cat's one sick puppy," he shuddered to himself.
"Listen to me Maul," Sidious was back in Maul's room. "This an important demographic group. I can impress simple country folk as well as sophisticated big city food critics and all sorts of nouveau rich arrivistes with gourmet pretensions and big pockets, all in one easy appearance. Dress now and be presentable. We have to pick up Dartha Stewart in an hour."
Dartha. Maul knew that didn't bode well.
"Is she a judge too, Master?"
"No, she is there to introduce her line of wicker serving trays, cheese knives and crackers. It's a good thing. I mean it's a good thing she'll be there, she can give you some pointers on cheese tasting."
"We actually have to touch the stuff? Why can't we just fake it?"
"Don't be ridiculous. It has to look like I know what I'm doing."
"But my Master, we are Sith! They are farmers! How sophisticated can they be?"
"They know cheese. You will know cheese. Dartha will see to that."
Sidious drove while Dartha sat in the front seat, chatting pleasantly with him. Maul figured that Sidious wanted to drive to avoid having to sit alongside Dartha in the back seat, prey to the possibility of her mind-whammying him into a horizontal hetero encounter.
Maul was honing his boredom rather than his rage as he slunk in the back seat and stared out the window. His stomach was rebelling at the thought of ingesting so much cheese and he was glad he had hidden a bottle of the Pink Stuff in his robe.
He loved the Pink Stuff. The Pink Stuff led to Hamster Death Gulps. Hamster Death Gulps led to drunken Force-driven sex with Obi-Wan. Drunken Force-driven sex with Obi-Wan led to sober Force-driven sex with Obi- Wan. Sober Force-driven sex with Obi-Wan led to chocolate covered Force-driven sex with Obi-Wan.
Maul slipped into thinking about the way they polished off that Extra Dark on that weekend.
Maul had woke to the sounds of sirens. Hello darkness, my old friend, come to talk with me again Shit, he didn't think you could have Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster flashbacks. Note to self: Karaoke nights may cause permanent brain damage.
Wah-Wah-Wah, E-aw, E-aw, E-aw . The sirens were so close. What a Sithly way to start the day. Maul would have normally been annoyed at being awoken at such an early hour but anticipating mass destruction was better than coffee to get the day going.
Maul lay in bed for a few moments, imagining the carnage. A five alarm fire, a building collapse. Perhaps there was a particularly colorful suicide attempt splayed on the sidewalk 42 stories down. Maul got up and stepped out on the balcony. Everything seemed normal. Then he noticed part of the balcony railing was covered by long jagged icicles and some of Obi-Wan's plants were black and shriveled, covered in a fine white frost. Oddly, the plants right next to them were perfectly normal, bright green and even in bloom. Maul stepped closer to examine the situation and caught a blast of super chilled air. Puffs of white smoke, like dried ice, wafted off of him. He could feel the hairs in his nose freeze. Maul quickly went back inside.
Maul flopped on the couch and flipped on the TV. It was better than he could have imagined. A jackknifed transport-trailer from "Sperm R Us" had a spectacular midair collision with a Rydder VanCruiser right over the city. How I love the smell of liquid nitrogen in the morning. After the raging fireball, clouds of liquid nitrogen settled rather randomly over the city, flash freezing people, places and things.
All citizens of childbearing age within 5 kilometers of the city were advised to go to their clinic and receive the Morning After Pill. Those whose religious beliefs forbade them the use of this pill were advised to come in for prenatal counseling and Inter-Species adoption workshops. Of course the Jabba's Witnesses and the Normans would see a miraculous sign in the resulting baby boom.
The carnage was limited but the fall out was causing havoc all over the city. There was plenty of misery to soak up. Rumors of a terrorist plot were already brewing. Some buildings lost power, there were floods from pipes bursting, others were untouched. Roaming TV reporters interviewed witnesses and reported on the various snafus and snarl ups. It was random, messy and misery causing. Maul absorbed the mayhem, thriving on it. The best part was the endless replays of the remote cam surveillance video of the fiery collision itself. Maul made a game of getting it to play in a continuous loop by hitting the news channel buttons in succession.
Hours later he was still mindlessly channel surfing. Maul wondered why Sidious hadn't shown up with a new menial task for him. Maul was bored by the accident now, the misery and confusion was leveling off, replaced by heartwarming news reports of people helping each other in the crisis. He had no new challenge for PlayStation, and the hours of TV watching had lulled him into a zombiefied stupor, unable to click the damn thing off. Ugh. Another PBS pledge drive! Torture. They were always wrapped around a marathon showing of some sappy self-help show or pretentious Masterpiece Theatre. Ugh.
"And now, back to our Death by Chocolate Marathon."
Finally, something good! After a mesmerizing ten minutes of watching the creation of a Dark Chocolate Soufflé, Maul was deep into a major chocolate jones. Maul tore himself away from the television and stalked into the kitchen, ravenous for chocolate. He opened all the cabinets and scoured the place without success. "Grrr." He knew Count Chocula wasn't going to cut it. Despite the selection of extracts and gourmet ingredients he had stocked up on in his ongoing effort to clog Sidious's arteries, there was no chocolate to be found. He was going to have to brave the deep freeze to feed his craving. Maul slammed the cabinet doors shut. He didn't hear Obi-Wan come in.
Maul turned around swiftly to see a smiling Obi-Wan doing a suggestive bump and grind clad only his kilt, enticingly holding two chocolate kisses over his nipples like some exotic pasties. Chocolate. Kilt. Sex. Now.
Maul dove at Obi-Wan, nearly biting his fingers off as he chomped the kiss into his chocolate starved mouth. One crunch between his molars and he swallowed it nearly whole and then he nibbled the other one, more slowly, licking it and Obi-Wan's nipple at the same time.
"Damn, if I knew you were home. You've been watching it too?" Maul panted.
"It's the only thing on," Obi-Wan moaned. "Classes were canceled early this morning, I've been home all day. If I knew you were home. I thought you had something to do with my Da today."
"Didn't show up. The Temple's frozen?" Maul was momentarily distracted by this happy thought.
"Worse. They had all the first year padawans meditating en mass to thaw the place out, but since their powers of concentration aren't that developed they blew a generator, shattered some windows and caused several flash fires. They sent us home to be on the safe side."
"Have any more chocolate?" Maul inquired.
"Well, now that you ask..."
Maul's eyes met Obi-Wan's imploringly.
"Extra Dark Velvet Bar?" Obi-Wan said in a near whisper.
"Aaahhhhummm," Maul drooled incoherently.
"There's only one way you'll get it," Obi-Wan teased, eyes mischievous.
Whore. Chocolate Whore My Apprentice seethed at him.
Obi-Wan pulled a heat-proof glass measuring cup from Maul's well stocked kitchen arsenal. He pulled a large Extra Dark Velvet Bar from the waistband of his kilt. He slowly ripped off the wrapping with his teeth and then snapped the bar into smaller pieces into the cup. Maul's mouth watered.
Using the Force, Obi-Wan had the chocolate melted in a moment. He stirred it with his index finger and then licked the chocolate off his finger right in front of Maul's face.
"Ahhh!" Maul made a lunge for him. Obi-Wan made a dash for his apartment, laughing and dropping his kilt in Maul's path. Maul slipped and stumbled on the kilt but kept going as fast as he could. He burst into Obi-Wan's bedroom like a madman and found Obi stretched out on the bed, naked, holding the cup of melted chocolate goodness high above his chest.
Obi-Wan met Maul's gaze and gave him a sultry smile as he poured the chocolate in a silky ribbon all over his pale torso. Maul pounced on Obi-Wan and started licking it off...
Several Force-melted chocolate bars later, Maul and Obi-Wan were temporarily sated both sexually and chocolate-wise. They had the TV on with the sound off, using the Death by Chocolate Marathon as background for later inspiration.
Obi-Wan was nearly dozing and Maul was absentmindedly writing in chocolate on Obi's back with his finger. 'Sith Lords Kick Ass'. Then he licked that off and wrote 'Sith Lords Lick Ass'. Yeah that's it. Maul was inspired, he went to the kitchen and got a very fine pastry brush and started writing 'Sith Lords Lick (Only Obi's) Ass' in all the languages he knew all over Obi's back and buttocks. Then he licked it all off one letter at a time. Obi-Wan purred, half asleep.
"And now you are obliged to sign your creation," Obi-Wan said drowsily.
"Oh, nothing, I was dreaming."
"Why don't you do that to me now?" Maul suggested, handing him the brush.
"I've had enough chocolate, I think," Obi-Wan said.
"There's always room for more."
"Yeah but it's not that satisfying anymore," Obi-Wan said as he turned over. "I want something more substantial. Let's make something. A cake or ganache, or one of those recipes with a crunchy coating that that Death by Chocolate guy does. Skin's too warm to set the chocolate."
Too bad I don't fit in the fridge Maul thought. Then he got a brainstorm.
"Be right back. Wait here," he said grabbing a few bars from the case.
Maul went into the living room and opened the balcony door. He Force melted some more Extra Dark Velvet Bars and imagining the pleasures to come, quickly becoming aroused. He poured the warm chocolate over his erect cock and stood out naked on the cold snapped part of the balcony. A mist of white clouds rolled off him, chilling him to the bone and quickly making a hard chocolate coating on his Sith popsicle. He kept the chocolate in the cup warm enough to pour using the Force and drizzled chocolate on his horns as well.
Then he strode back into Obi-Wan's bedroom and revealed himself to the Jedi.
"MAUL!" Sidious's commanding voice pulled him from his daydream.
"Yes, my Master. What are we doing here?" Maul asked stepping out of the vehicle, looking around the parking lot of the Jedi Temple.
"The Jedi are allowing the event to be held here since it will promote good will for their diplomatic efforts and help them entertain a delegation of ambassadors here for Trade Negotiations. And they've probably figured out they can't throw a party for shit."
"I've had enough of the Beige Brigade!" Maul's eyes flashed in fury.
"Good, my apprentice, hone your anger! Soon you will be ready to rise up and strike me down. Seethe inwardly but be on your best behavior now. I will escort Dartha into the Temple, you will find parking. Meet me at Dartha's exhibit."
Maul parked the car and strode into the Banquet Hall of the Jedi Temple. He passed two hideous stalk eyed creatures rolling a huge wheel of cheese out of the place. The smell nearly made him pass out. Life hates me! he lamented.
Maul scanned the Hall, spotted Sidious and walked toward him. Just before he reached him, Sidious was intercepted by two young men dressed in identical far too cute "rustic" outfits. Gah! Yuppie Farmers! Surely it is a sign of the end times!
"Senator! It's wonderful to see you here," one of them gushed.
"Oh, yes, how nice to see you," Palpatine replied smoothly. Maul could feel him scanning his memory banks for the faces. He could tell they were just his type, so it was anyone's guess where he picked them up and in what debaucheries they engaged.
"You probably don't recognize us, but you dropped in for a visit once last year," said Yuppie Farmer number one.
"Dropped in's the word! " said Yuppie Farmer number two. "We found you dangling from the balcony!"
"Indeed, my cruiser was blind sided in that awful Liquid Nitrogen Tank explosion and you were so kind to help. I had a charming time."
So that's why he didn't show up all weekend. thought Maul.
"Oh you were delightful company, Senator. We're glad to see that you had no ill effects from being frozen," said Yuppie Farmer number two.
"Your hot tub and fireplace really thawed me out," Sidious stage whispered to them, eying them up and down. "But," he said looking at their rustic get ups, "I thought you were stockbrokers."
"Well that accident was the last straw! After that, that ... THING... exploded above our heads, well, we decided to leave the city and move to the country," said Yuppie Farmer number one.
"We just quit the Whomp Rat Race, we're Fromagers now, " Yuppie Farmer number two chimed in. "We've got a lovely cottage and a huge organic garden. You must come out and see our place."
"I bet you have a lovely spread," Sidious responded.
Maul shuddered at Sidious's all too obvious choice of words. Was he here to get votes or get laid. Note to self: Stupid question.
Maul wandered out of the range of the conversation until Sidious was finished flirting with the Yuppie Scum. Instead he watched Dartha. Dartha Stewart smoothly stepped into her role as cheese connoisseur and lifestyle accoutrements hawker. She was suggesting the proper crackers and accompaniments to the various cheeses to the interested crowd around her table.
Sidious finally sided up to Maul and handed him over to Dartha for his crash course. Then he took off to press more flesh.
Dartha Stewart robotically started her cheese spiel. Chèvre, Brie, Stilton, the names were all written on small signs at every plate.
"Sidious told me you were raised by Tauntauns," Dartha said.
"Why yes, I was, I don't see what that..."
"You'll love this Chèvre, then."
Dartha slathered the white half-creamy, half-crumbly stuff on a cracker and handed it to Maul.
Maul took a deep breath. I am Sith. Cheese does not scare me. He took a bite. The sour, salty tang was...pleasant. The smell was earthy, goaty. Suddenly Maul's eyes filled with tears as a wave of homesickness hit him. Mother.
"Oh, it's not that strong, Maul, is it?" Dartha inquired soothingly.
"Of course not," Maul sniffed. "Something else here is quite overpowering, however."
"Yes, there was an overripe Stilton that just didn't make the trip very well. They disposed of it, yet the stench lingers.
"Back to the Chèvre. Now that was a good example of a simple, unaged cheese. The freshness and quality of the ingredients is the primary source of its flavor." Dartha noticed the doubtful look on Maul's face. Well she thought it was a doubtful look, it was so hard to tell with that color scheme.
"Maul, you like cheese, don't you?"
"I like pizza, that's half cheese, isn't it?"
"Oh, no, pish tosh, That 'cheese'," Dartha said, making little quote marks in the air with her fingers, "is dead. Real cheese is alive. The key to good cheese is using fresh raw milk."
Dead? Raw? This was getting interesting.
"Unpasteurized, of course. In order for the cheese to develop its full flavor, the milk, whether sheep's, goat's, cow's, Tauntaun's, whatever, must be able to cultivate molds. After all, cheese is a living thing."
Wow, that's cooler than sushi or dead puppies. Maul wanted to know if it was killed by chewing or died in your stomach but he had a feeling Dartha's expertise didn't extend to this topic.
"It's good to start with a mild goat cheese, then try some semi-soft cheeses before moving on to the more aggressive cheeses."
"Did you say aggressive cheese?" Maul asked, fingering the handle of his lightsaber.
"Oh yes, quite aggressive. Some, you might say, assault your palate."
Maul was intrigued now and hung on Dartha's every word. "Here are the more complex aged cheeses..." Dartha continued.
Maul listened and learned. Tasted and compared. Sniffed and snooped. What happened to milk in the process of becoming cheese was kinky, almost perverse. Maul found himself savoring all the varieties, especially after the dull as dishwater fare of the usual Jedi Temple gathering. Most of the beige bathrobe wearers steered clear of the tasting table, too polite to hold their noses, and headed toward the "LacToo! The All Natural Organic Salt-Free, Sugar-Free, Lactose-Free Tofu Based Cheese Food Substitute" display. The idea that cheese was squicking the Jedi made Maul more enthusiastic about his job.
Maul stared at a wrinkled disk oozing blue-green mold. Amazing. How the hell do they know when it goes bad? He was becoming enchanted. Cheese was actually Sithly! There were things here that made the life forms in his old pizza boxes look embryonic. Molds of every color. Cheese that was given a daily beer bath. Cheese with worms. It couldn't be, but Maul looked closer and saw them wriggling.
"Are you supposed to eat the worms?" he asked Dartha, intrigued at the idea of devouring two distinct life forms at once.
"Of course," Dartha said in her unflappable manner, "they are the best part."
Maul was impressed. Impressed with cheese and even rather grudgingly, with Dartha.
Oh it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you.
Obi-Wan was miserable, horny and bored. If he was still on Perkium this would be great. The scouts were high on a sugar rush. You'd never know they were intelligent, highly disciplined and well trained Jedi apprentices since they sounded for all the universe like a bunch of four year olds at the end of a very long birthday party. Sugar was not a part of their regular diet and they were hopped up bad and headed for a crash.
I'm waiting for my man, 26 credits in my hand Wookiee Wonka himself made an appearance. Of course it would turn out that he would be an old hippie pal of Qui-Gon's, Obi-Wan smirked. Qui-Gon was now reminiscing with the vocally impaired fur ball about the communal kitchen that baked the first legendary batch of Hashy Stashy Brownies, putting Wookiee Wonka's Candy Factory in business.
Here he comes, he's all dressed in black, red tattoos and a big straw hat
Obi-Wan was grateful he didn't catch the part of the conversation that seemed to be the Wookiee and Qui-Gon reminiscing about the aphrodisiac properties of said brownies. TMI! TMI! Then the Wookiee said something about Qui-Gon and him sharing his own private stash in Wonka office. Hippie slut
He's never early, he's always late, first thing you learn is that you always gotta wait
Obi-Wan Wan used the excuse to be bathroom trip monitor during the part of the tour about chocolate, wanting to keep his Extra Dark Velvet memories of Maul at bay. It wasn't working. Obi-Wan Wan kept seeing things that reminded him of Maul everywhere he looked. Black licorice whips, Red Hots, Pixie Stix.
You just keep me hangin' on, you just keep me hanging on.
"Isn't this wizard!" a young twit padawan squealed.
"Yeah," Obi-Wan Wan lied.
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man, When I put a spike into my vein, And I tell you things aren't quite the same
Whoa! What was all that singing in his head? He didn't think you could get heroin flashbacks. It wasn't as bad as all that. But it did seem unfair that everyone around him was getting high except him.
He glumly pulled the wrapper off a Gun-Gun Pop and shoved it into his mouth. Immediately Obi-Wan was overwhelmed by the sweet and salty deliciousness of it. "Finally! That's what he reminds me of! I've always had it on the tip of my tongue." He laughed until he almost cried.
Maul was nearing the end of Dartha's Cheese 101. He was surprised that he enjoyed himself. He was here to help Sidious, not specifically to hone his rage, so he guessed it was all right. If Sidious had any problem with that Maul could rightfully declare that Cheese was Sithly.
Maul liked making notes about the cheeses on his clipboard. Words like sharp, biting, piquant, acerbic came to mind. He admired their remarkably ugly, pocked exteriors while anticipating what new pungent flavor would assault his palate. Sometimes they looked like open wounds on a leper but then surprised him with a buttery sweetness. And then something smooth, yellow and bland looking would make his toes curl. The smell of some of the cheeses was occasionally overpowering, often belying a mellowness of taste. Maul had conquered gourmet cooking in an effort to clog Sidious's arteries. Perhaps converting him to cheese was the next step.
"Maul, to review," Dartha was winding up, "when tasting, always start with the freshest cheese, leading up to the most aged and therefore most complex. This will hone your taste buds to gather the subtleties of the cheese. Here is what is considered by some the King of Cheeses. The mighty Stilton."
Maul accepted Dartha's proffered cracker slathered with the sickly yellow-beige blue marbled stuff. By now Maul was ready for anything. He got it past his nose and into this mouth and savored it. Creamy. Rich. Salty. A little funky, but not unpleasantly so. Almost bitter. Leaves a bit of a coating on the teeth. A very faint scent of chlorine. Hmmm. Reminded him of something.
"Well Maul, I think you've done Senator Palpatine proud," Dartha was beaming. Well, what counted as beaming for her. More than three face lifts and you may as well send up smoke signals when you try to convey anything using facial muscles.
"Now Sid--I mean Senator Palpatine will walk with you along the judging tables. He will pretend to nibble on each sample and dictate his responses, which you will write on the ballot. You, however, must judge the cheese on whether it meets the criteria I have explained to you."
"Dartha, not that I haven't enjoyed this and learned a lot, but why can't Sid--I mean Senator Palpatine just write in anything. Does he care who wins?"
"Not really, but he's not the only judge, if he veered wildly from what all the others voted for he would seem uninformed and out of touch. And you know a politician can never afford to be uninformed and out of touch."
Maul weighed the benefits of helping Sidious versus the pleasure of making him appear uninformed and out of touch. On one hand he would earn points and even a good word from Dartha, which couldn't hurt. On the other hand, he could embarrass him big time. Hmmmm. He wondered if Sidious didn't have an ulterior motive in making him judge the cheese.
"Why not just a whammy?" Maul suggested to Dartha under his breath, looking around.
"Of course that would work on the judges, but oddly, it curdles the cheese."
So his task was as simple as it seemed. But to use his new found knowledge to help or hinder? It would be enjoyable to see Sidious look like a fool. But then Maul would look like he didn't know what he was doing, as well. Damn it, he knew cheese. The cheese had actually sated him and made him feel a mellow benevolence toward Sidious. Maul decided to bide his time and rise up against him when the time was right.
The civilizing power of cheese Dartha noted.
Sidious strode over to Dartha and Maul. "I thank you, Dartha, dear. I believe you are prepared, Maul. The judging is now. Here, wear this name tag." Maul didn't even scowl at that as he normally would. All the cheese were wearing name tags, after all, it did help sort things out.
"As my assistant you will fill in the ballot." Sidious handed him a long form. Maul snapped it to his clipboard with a flourish. Sidious stared at him. "Enjoying this are we, Maul?"
"I have discovered the Sithly properties of cheese, my Master."
"And what are they, my apprentice?"
"Raw. Alive. Rotten."
"Excellent. Now show me what you know."
Sidious and Maul made their way through the judging tables. They had to judge each cheese on it's own merits and then choose a Best in Category. Maul realized why Sidious was wearing one of his more flamboyantly cuffed Palpatine jackets. The ostentatious, frilly, yet somewhat military looking cuffs hid his mouth as he pretended to taste the cheese. Maul marked the ballots and sent a few choice words for Palpatine to use as complements.
"Tangy." Palpatine toned with authority.
"Perfectly ripe," he smiled at the proud fromager standing behind his wares. The cheese maker beamed, tears starting to form. Count another vote for Palpatine, Sidious gloated.
A poem? Isn't that going a little too far, Maul?
The farmer lunged across the table and kissed Palpatine on both cheeks. Count him, his wife, his mother and father, and brothers and sisters, her mother and father, and her brothers and sisters, and all their kids for Palpatine Maul tossed off.
Excellent my apprentice. Continue.
They made the rounds of cheeses, the semi-softs, the blues, the aged crumbly ones. Chèvre, Brie, Camembert, Fribourg, Gorgonzola, Cheddar. It was going so perfectly. Then they were at the final cheese. The King of Cheeses, the Mighty Stilton.
A cheese of character. Maul sent.
"A cheese of character," Sidious stated and the complement was accepted graciously.
A masterpiece of the cheese maker's art.
"A masterpiece of the cheese maker's art." Sidious said to an ancient, ruddy faced woman who must have spent half her life making cheese.
Akk Yuppie Scum! They're not trying to pass themselves off as cheese makers! They will die writhing in agony!
"Senator, may we present our first Stilton," Yuppie Farmer Number One earnestly intoned.
It will be your last!
"I am at a lost for words."
Try Tainted, Rank, Fetid, Putrid, Lame, Maul glared.
They have to win Sidious commanded.
Over my dead body will this Yuppie Scum excuse for cheese win. And whammies don't work, they curdle the cheese.
Sidious was now really at a loss for words. He stood there for a moment, his mouth slightly opened, on the verge of speaking.
"Here, when in doubt, try another taste," Yuppie Farmer Number Two said as he shoved a chunk of the mottled stuff into Sidious's mouth.
Maul's eyes widened. Sidious nearly turned purple. Maul held his breath. Sidious did as he must, in his best Palpatine mode he swallowed the cheese and smiled. Not that bad actually. Then he wondered why Qui-Gon suddenly popped to mind.
"Well, I am overwhelmed. May I suggest that this cheese wins a special award of merit for the best newcomer, Le Meilleur Nouveau Fromager Award." Palpatine declared.
A.k.a. the Miss Congeniality Prize. Fine, that's all they deserve.
The Yuppie Farmers were delighted. Sidious was suggesting a little private celebration with them.
Maul was vindicated when the ancient, ruddy-faced woman rightly won the judging.
"My apprentice, you did well," Sidious said to Maul. "I am impressed at your discovery of the Sithly properties of cheese. Escort Dartha home and I will grant you the weekend to do as you please."
"Yes, my Master, thank you." Maul didn't even care that Sidious only gave him the time off because he'd be off in the Yuppies' hot hub all weekend. All in all, it was a very successful night.
"Oh, Oh, Ah, yes, yes, yes, don't stop, oh, oh, ahhhhhhhhhh," Maul's horns were shredding the pillow and gouging the headboard once again.
"Wow, Damn, Fuck. You're amazing," Maul said, trying to catch his breath. "How can you stand to do that?" he blurted out. He didn't want to know but he had to say something after that horrible projectile vomiting episode.
"What? I always do that, don't I, silly?" a lust addled Obi-Wan Wan teased. "Damn, I missed you."
"Yeah, me too. I mean, uh, you know, uh, how do you swallow it?"
"Your lightsaber?" Obi-Wan winked. "Well it took a lot of practice, meditation and judicious use of the Force. I learned how to deep throat because Qui-Gon liked it but mostly to avoid having to taste him going down. Spit or swallow, what's the difference if you have to taste it, right?" Obi-Wan rolled his eyes.
Uhhhnn. A little too much information, thought Maul, but he had asked for it.
"Qui-Gon tastes that bad?" Maul queried.
"Yikes, and when he's had some 'shrooms, it's unbearable. He's like an overripe Stilton."
Maul froze. "An overripe Stilton?"
"Ewww, I can't even think about it. Cheese squicks me."
"What about a perfectly ripe Stilton?"
"Dunno, maybe that's okay."
"I happen to think a perfectly ripe Stilton is one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted and it reminds me of you."
"Really, Maul? That's kind of romantic."
Maul ignored the last remark and continued, "You're a little Brie-ish after drinking Guinness. Yeastier."
"Funny how you should mention this now. I finally figured out what you taste like."
Maul was taken aback, "Oh, really?" Here it comes. A tearful speech about how disgusting the whole thing was. How he had to see the Healers to fix the holes it burned in his stomach. But Maul was curious. What in the universe could taste as vile as his Sithly seed?
Obi-Wan laughed as he bent over the side of the bed and reached into the pockets of his robe. "It was so silly. I knew your boy juice reminded me of something but I just couldn't place it. And it's one of my all time favorite flavors!" he said happily as he shoved a Butterscotch Gun-Gun Pop into Maul's mouth.
Mauls eyes opened wide in shock and disbelief, "NooooOOOOoooo! AHHHHHUGGGGGGGGFUUUUUUPPPPP!!!"
"NooooOOOOoooo!!" Obi-Wan's voice wailed after him as he unsuccessfully tried to duck the spray.
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