Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; George Lucas owns "Star Wars" and related characters; I own nothing.~*~*~
Anakin and Buffy were plotting something. Obi-Wan didn’t have any duracrete proof, but they had been acting oddly the last few days, raising his suspicions. They would sneak off together whenever he was occupied, and if Obi-Wan found them talking, they would change topics as soon as they realized he was in the room. As the days went on and there was no prank, no sign of what they were working on, Obi-Wan began to worry. The last time there had been such a lapse between the initial planning and the implementation, it had started a minor prank war between the 501st and his own 212th. That was something he didn’t want a repetition of under any circumstances.
He was pondering just what they were getting themselves into when he heard footsteps running to catch up to him.
“Master Kenobi!” a young, female voice called out.
Turning around, he smiled when he saw the source. Although there were times that he doubted the wisdom of giving Anakin a padawan so similar to himself in temperament, Ahsoka Tano had proven herself to be more than a fair match for her master.
“Yes, Ahsoka?” he asked, tucking his hands into his sleeves and waiting for the young Togrutan to reach him.
“Master Skywalker was looking for you,” Ahsoka said, her face serious. “Something about new intelligence on Grievous.”
“We shouldn’t keep him waiting then,” Obi-Wan answered, a frown crossing his face. “Why didn’t he use his comlink to reach me?”
Ahsoka shrugged as they began making their way to the briefing room on the Jedi Cruiser they were currently using while the Relentless was undergoing some much needed repairs. “You’ll have to ask him,” she replied, a little too nonchalantly for Obi-Wan’s peace of mind.
They quickly reached the briefing room, and Obi-Wan felt somewhat relieved to sense that there were people already in the briefing room. If this were some kind of trick that Anakin and Buffy were planning, they wouldn’t have brought so many people into it. The prank war did have some positive benefits in that respect.
That sense of foreboding returned, however, when when Ahsoka steered him to the smaller room adjacent to the briefing room. He entered to see only Anakin and Buffy innocently studying a star chart. They only looked like that when they were about to do something that was bound to cause the maximum chaos possible.
“You said there was new intelligence about Grievous,” Obi-Wan said with a sigh, going to stand between them.
“We did?” Buffy asked, looking over at Anakin who shrugged.
“I had to say something to get his attention,” he explained. He walked over to Obi-Wan and slung his arm around Obi-Wan’s shoulder. “Come on, we have something to show you.”
“Is this ‘something’ going to cause another breakout in hostilities between the 501st and the 212th?” Obi-Wan replied, only partially in jest.
“You’ll see,” Buffy said, walking to his free side and linking her arm through his. Ahsoka brought up the rear as Anakin and Buffy lead Obi-Wan to the door that lead to the briefing room.
“Surprise!” they shouted as the door slid open to reveal the room decorated in bright colors, a table in the center with a cake on top. A small crowd surrounded the table, consisting of Commander Cody, Captain Rex, Admiral Yularen, and several Jedi whom Obi-Wan counted as close friends.
“Happy birthday, Obi-Wan!” Buffy told him happily, using that odd colloquialism of hers for life-day.
Obi-Wan looked around before turning his attention back on Anakin and Buffy. “How did you manage this?” he asked, as Ahsoka went to join the group around the table.
The two co-conspirators exchanged a smug look. “A magician never reveals his secrets, Master,” Anakin answered. “Let’s just say that planning this took a lot of time and effort and a good dose of misdirection.”
“Efforts that would have been more useful in the war,” Obi-Wan admonished gently before wincing as Buffy elbowed him.
“Stop being a party-pooper and enjoy your birthday,” she ordered. “Mine’s the only birthday that’s destined to end in disaster and being locked up with Broody McJedi over there because he started a bar fight.”
“When you put it that way, how can I not?” Obi-Wan answered dryly before Anakin could protest Buffy’s not-so thinly veiled accusation. It had been months, and they were still fighting over whose fault it was for that night they had spent in a local jail.
Despite his hesitations, the party turned out to be a success. There were no crises, no calls for reinforcements from those engaged in battle, which allowed for everybody to enjoy a brief respite from the war. Although Obi-Wan regretted the absence of far too many friends, he didn’t dwell on them. By the end when his fellow Jedi took their leave, he felt more relaxed than he had in far too long.
“So what did you think?” Anakin asked as he leaned back in one of the chairs. It was only the four of them now, as everybody else had left to return to their posts.
“It was better than I expected,” Obi-Wan admitted. “I was concerned you two were planning on reigniting what you started before Christophsis when I noticed the two of you planning this.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Buffy said, all offended innocence that Obi-Wan didn’t believe for a second.
“What are you talking about?” Ahsoka asked, looking between three adults with curiosity on her face.
“Something which is never to be repeated,” Obi-Wan answered sternly, looking at both Anakin and Buffy.
“Sure,” Anakin said blandly.
“Whatever you say, Ben,” Buffy agreed, getting to her feet. “You shoo. We’ll handle clean up. It’s your birthday, after all.”
With much trepidation, Obi-Wan left the room, recognizing a losing battle when he saw one. As soon as the door closed behind him, he heard three voices start to whisper excitedly. He had a bad feeling about this.