Fandom: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Character(s): Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, and the clones
Prompt: Anakin comes across the posters of handmaidens that the clones
have up in their barracks. He knows some of them.
Word Count: 1,053
Author's Notes: This was quite a challenge. I tried to make it more humorous at first but that was not working out. It also turned out to be more of an introspective piece than I originally planned.
Summary: It takes place right before "Storm Over Ryloth." The characters are too distracted to get any sleep and Anakin discovers what the clones picked up while they were on Naboo.
Anakin stood on the bridge of the Resolute, watching the stars streak by as they traveled through hyperspace. The kaleidoscope of white light didn’t help to distract his mind. Meditation didn’t help him anymore either. Sleep only brought nightmares.
The war was taking a toll on his mind, body and spirit. So was being away from Padmé. At least he left Naboo with the relief of knowing that the antidote cured not only his wife, but also all those affected by the Blue Shadow Virus.
After Padmé’s recovery they had a brief rendezvous before the Grand Army of the Republic was ready to ship out again. Anakin tightened his fists behind his back. One day they would win the war and he won’t have to be away from her indefinitely and uncertain if he’ll ever see her again.
Anakin felt his Padawan enter the bridge. Fully recovered from the virus Ahsoka was ready for their next mission. It would be her first time leading a squadron into battle. Anakin had no doubt her excitement was keeping her awake. It would be hypocritical of him to berate her for these feelings, yet he could hear Master Yoda’s lecture: A Jedi craves not these things.
“Shouldn’t you be catching up on sleep, Snips?” Anakin remarked playfully.
“I was about to ask you the same thing, Master.” Ahsoka approached the viewscreen where the Jedi stood, staring into space. She knew his lighthearted tone was a mask for the unease she felt in her master’s mood. “I don’t think I have seen you get any rest since before we left Naboo. We won’t reach Ryloth for another twenty-three hours. I hope you don’t plan to stand here the whole time. Even a Jedi needs sleep.”
No matter where Anakin spent his down time the same concerns plagued his mind. Only battle gave him focus. He would need to be focused tomorrow. With a sigh he gave in, “You’re right, Ahsoka. Getting through the Separatist blockade will be a most difficult challenge. We’re going to need everything we’ve got.”
As they walked to their cabins loud chatter and laughter could be heard echoing down the corridor. Anakin and Ahoska followed the sounds. As they passed by they stopped to peak into the room.
“I guess we aren’t the only ones who can’t get any sleep,” Anakin commented.
It was the cabin shared by Captain Rex, Axe, Slammer, and Kickback. They were sitting on each of their bunks: Rex was cleaning his blaster rifle, Axe was checking his gear, Slammer and Kickback were sitting back flipping through holozines. When they saw their superior officers they stood at attention.
“It’s not that late, General,” Rex replied. “And you can count on us to be alert and ready.”
“Good. As you were.” Anakin stepped inside. Not looking forward to being alone with his thoughts he decided to kill some time with his comrades. He sat besides Rex on his bunk, “Mind if I hang out here a while?”
“Not at all, sir.”
Ahsoka gave her master a look of disapproval. She wished he’d talk to someone about whatever was bothering him. Maybe if he opened up to her, or even to Master Obi-Wan, he wouldn’t be so restless.
Anakin avoided her scrutinizing gaze and turned his head the other way. He saw Kickback was standing on his bunk, his back to the room, and lining up a poster’s edge to the seam of the wall. The walls were already decorated with images of pin-up girls from around the galaxy. Having grown up as a slave on Tatooine, where female slaves were often sold to pleasure houses and objectified by their male owners, Anakin was not comfortable with the décor. However, he never said anything. The clones never had, and if he were being realistic, never would have a life outside of the Grand Army of the Republic. If displaying holos of women wearing bikinis gave them something to think about besides death and war then Anakin would not order them to take the posters down.
Kickback jumped off the bunk and stood back to admire the girls in the holo. His brothers looked up as well.
“That one’s my favorite,” Slammer said.
“They sure are beautiful,” Axe agreed.
The poster had not one, not two, but three pin-up girls, and not just any pin-up girls. Anakin couldn’t believe his eyes, not because of the content in the holo but who was in it. They were the handmaidens of Naboo dressed in provocative versions of their traditional garments that didn’t leave much to the imagination. Handmaidens he knew personally: Moteé, Dormé, and Ellé.
Posing for the unauthorized holozine could cost them their job. Obviously, the holo was a manipulation of their heads pasted onto other bodies. He could just imagine their embarrassment and their anger. If they were unaware of these posters in circulation he would make it a point to tell Padmé the next time he spoke to her. The people of Naboo would not tolerate the production and distribution of these falsified holos. Especially since they demoralized government employees.
Rex noticed Anakin’s gaze was fixed upon the poster. “Kickback, don’t be rude. Give the General a copy.”
Ahsoka crossed her arms. “Mater Anakin doesn’t need anymore distractions. He needs to get some sleep.”
“Excuse me, Padawan,” Anakin turned to her. “You’re not my mother.”
Ahsoka dropped her jaw. Had he not agreed with her up on the bridge? Now he mocks her in front of their troops. Fed up with trying to help her master she said, “Suit yourself, Sky Guy! Goodnight, boys.” The clones saluted to her as she stormed off. Anakin immediately felt guilty. He would let her cool off and then apologize for his behavior.
Kickback held out a holozine for Anakin to take, “I didn’t know Jedi were allowed such indulgences.”
Anakin held back a laugh, if they only knew about his forbidden marriage, and to a senator no less. “Contrary to what others may say the Jedi are not celibate. However,” with a wave of his hand he politely declined the holozine, “no thank you. They’re not my type.” With that he bid them a goodnight and headed to his cabin. He really did need to at least try to get some sleep.