title Girl Power
word count 8204
summary I've been calling this the "Girlakin" story.
notes For the Wild Space ("surprise sexswap") on my hc_bingo card. Makes slight reference to "so empty [here with(out) you]", but really is more of a reference to JQ Book 7. Also references the Clone Wars comics, specifically #5 "The Best Blades". Many thanks to citizenjess for the title. :)
warnings Genderswap, some graphic-ish sex.
word count 8204
summary I've been calling this the "Girlakin" story.
notes For the Wild Space ("surprise sexswap") on my hc_bingo card. Makes slight reference to "so empty [here with(out) you]", but really is more of a reference to JQ Book 7. Also references the Clone Wars comics, specifically #5 "The Best Blades". Many thanks to citizenjess for the title. :)
warnings Genderswap, some graphic-ish sex.
"I have a bad feeling about this." Obi-Wan Kenobi said it with the conviction of someone who really, truly, had a Very Bad Feeling.
However, after twelve years and hundreds of missions, Anakin Skywalker knew better. "You say that on every mission, Master," he commented, lifting his lightsaber a little higher to provide more visibility in the dark of the cave.
"And on every mission, I tend to be right," Obi-Wan pointed out smugly. Anakin rolled his eyes, glad he was behind his former Master so his exasperation wasn't noticed. "Stop rolling your eyes at me, former-Padawan-mine." Well, so much for that.
Anakin reached out with the Force, trying to determine if there were any living creatures they needed to be worried about. After two encounters with gundarks on Vanquor, he didn't take empty caves at face value anymore. Sure enough, there was a surge of the Force, the cold sting of the Dark Side. "Ventress," he growled, raising his lightsaber to a Djem So offensive stance. In front of him, Obi-Wan stopped suddenly, his own lightsaber called to his hand, settling into the opening stance of Soresu.
Laughter reverberated off the rocks, and Anakin saw two crimson blades cut through the darkness ahead of them. Obi-Wan moved out of the way to a more open location, allowing Anakin to charge ahead to land the first blows. Ventress cackled, whirling her twin lightsabers towards him. He deflected them all easily, and forced her to give ground. He grit his teeth and tightened his grip on his saber. Obi-Wan came up from behind and struck, but Ventress was easily able to defend herself against the both of them. Suddenly she combined the hilts of her lightsabers into one deadly double-ended 'saber, swapped it to one hand, and drew from her belt a weapon that looked suspiciously like a blaster. "I am very sorry to have to cut this so short," she cooed to Obi-Wan. "But my mission here is a simple one, and unfortunately I'm not to kill you. Today."
She leveled the blaster at Anakin and squeezed the trigger. Anakin tried to deflect the bolt with his lightsaber, but one did not come. Instead, it felt like his body was being fried from the inside out. He sank to his knees, realizing distantly that the scream he heard was his own.
Anakin opened his eyes to find himself in the Halls of Healing. He wasn't overly surprised; lots of missions ended that way. What did surprise him was a strange feeling throughout his body; something was off. He assumed it was because he'd been electrocuted, again, and his synapses still hadn't reset themselves. "Master?" he asked, blinking and looking around. His voice sounded odd, too, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.
Obi-Wan appeared at his side. "Don't worry, Anakin," he said, gripping Anakin's flesh hand and squeezing. "Just... we'll find a cure, don't worry."
A cure? Anakin narrowed his eyes. That did not bode well at all. He looked down at himself, saw a swell in the blankets where normally... there was nothing of the sort. "Do I have tits, Master?" he asked, peeking under the blanket at what had to be double-D's, at the least. A sudden panic gripped him, and he cast his gaze lower. "And what the kriff is THAT?" He knew, intellectually, what it was - it wasn't like he'd never seen a vagina before, after all. But he'd never expected to see one on him. He reached down tentatively to touch it, and was surprised at the spark of warmth that erupted between his legs. "Hey, that's... not so bad, actually."
He turned his gaze to Obi-Wan. "So is this like a full-body thing?" he asked. "I'm just, like, a chick now?" He was a little surprised he wasn't as upset about it as he would have expected to be. It just kind of... felt normal. Sure, he was pretty sad about losing his penis, which he'd long-considered to be the source of his power, but he had boobs now, nice ones too if the quick peek he'd taken had been any indication, and surely a vagina could be just as powerful as a penis if used correctly. Besides, Obi-Wan had said they'd find a cure. He'd just have to make the most of it until then. A sudden thought struck him. "Hey, ladies drink free at the Outlander on weeknights!" As far as he knew, it was a weeknight.
"Yes, I suppose they do," Obi-Wan sighed. "So... how do you feel about this?" Obi-Wan obviously had expected him to lose his mind, which kind of annoyed Anakin. It seemed as though his former Master expected him to freak out at the slightest provocation. He supposed that missing a vital body part and gaining a couple more was sufficient provocation, but he definitely wasn't "I think I'm going to kill some Younglings" angry about it or anything. Which was kind of weird, since he definitely would have expected himself to be. Oh well.
"Okay, I guess," he replied. "I mean, there's not a lot I can do about it until we figure out how to fix it, right?" The war wasn't going to stop just because he grew some tits, after all. "Can I leave now?"
Obi-Wan frowned slightly and ran his hand over his beard. "The Healers said you'd be good to go once you woke up, so I suppose you can."
Anakin swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood, swaying for a moment to regain his equilibrium. Things were definitely not where they usually were. He and Obi-Wan went back to their apartment, and Anakin couldn't help but notice the odd looks they were getting from the other Jedi they passed.
Once safely in their living quarters, Anakin hurried to the full-length mirror in the hall and stood, mouth open slightly, as he inspected himself. Whatever had happened to him had fully changed his body. His face was softer, the slight cleft in his chin smoothed over, the angles of his jaw less noticeable, Adam's apple diminished. His hair fell in dirty-blond waves to just below his shoulders. He already knew about the breasts, but he was surprised at the odd change in how his muscles were distributed, the slight chiseling of his waist, a slight wideness of the hips that hadn't been there before. Altogether, he was a very attractive woman, he decided. "I'm hot!" he called to Obi-Wan, delighted.
Obi-Wan emerged into the hallway with a cup of tea just as Anakin was stripping out of his now ill-fitting tunic. "What did you - Anakin what are you doing?" He threw up a hand over his eyes. "Put your clothes back on!"
Anakin grinned and spread his arms. "Aw, come on Master," he replied, shimmying slightly. "You've seen tits before, haven't you?" Of course, he wouldn't be surprised if Obi-Wan hadn't, but he would have thought his old Master would have at least gotten a peek at Siri's at some point.
"That's not the point!" Obi-Wan sputtered. "It's highly inappropriate for you to walk around topless now!" He was doing his best not to look, Anakin noticed. He smirked and circled around his former Master, putting himself directly in the older man's line of sight. "ANAKIN!" Obi-Wan squawked.
"I need new clothes, Master," Anakin said, thumbing a nipple experimentally, much to Obi-Wan's obvious chagrin. "The ones I have won't fit right. And my glove keeps sagging." He grinned. "I'm hot and thin!"
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. "Your body mass has shifted, that's all," he pointed out. "And I must admit some disappointment about your fixation on your looks."
Anakin ran his hands over his belly. "Sorry, Master," he replied, not really very sorry at all. "But this is kind of a big deal, you know? And it's entirely related to my looks - I'm still the same guy inside." That felt strange, honestly. This body was a complete stranger to him, but he felt exactly the same.
Obi-Wan sighed. "I'm sorry," he said, finally. "I realize this must be difficult." He put out a hand, still averting his eyes. "Put something on and we'll go get you some new clothing."
Chortling, Anakin pulled his tunic back on, though it barely covered his new chest adornments. For his Master's sake, he put his robe on and held it closed with his hands. "Is that better?" he asked, quirking an eyebrow.
Obi-Wan ventured to peek. "Much," he said. "Thank you."
It took much longer to decide on new clothing than Anakin had expected it to. The Temple wardrobe master had been confused at first, and then tried to push long, flowing robes of the sort Shaak Tii wore. "No," Anakin said firmly, frowning as the voluminous skirt got caught in the dressing room door. "No skirts. No." He stripped out of the robes and stood in the middle of the wardrobe chamber, hands on his hips. "I need something I can move in. I'm not going to just sit around the Temple, you know." He wasn't going to let this minor inconvenience disrupt the war effort, after all. He was sure once he got used to the way his new body moved, he'd still be a formidable warrior.
"You also need... uh... proper undergarments," Obi-Wan said, once again covering his face to avoid accidentally making eye contact with Anakin's nipples.
The wardrobe master pushed another bundle of clothing at him, and Anakin looked through it, deciding it was definitely more promising than the rest of the movement-hindering dreck he'd been exposed to.
When he emerged from the dressing room again, he was beaming. He tossed his hair back and stood, wide-legged in front of the mirror, twisting and turning, bending at the waist, raising his arms over his head, executing a perfect roundhouse kick at nothing. "This'll do," he announced.
"But it's so..." Obi-Wan screwed up his face. "Tight."
Indeed it was, a black leather bodysuit that laced up the sides and zipped up the front. His utility belt hung snugly on his hips, lightsaber feeling familiar against his thigh. A newly-fitted hermetic glove covered his mechno, and black knee-high boots completed the ensemble. "Yeah," Anakin agreed with a shrug, "but I can move in it, and it provides better protection than something Aayla or Ahsoka would wear." He bit his lip, suddenly remembering his apprentice. "Uh, does Ahsoka know about this yet?" he asked, gathering a package with several variations of the same outfit from the wardrobe master.
As they walked out the chambers, Obi-Wan stroked his beard thoughtfully. "I don't think she has been informed," he said. "Nor," he added, "has Padme."
Anakin scowled, displeased his Master had to bring Padme up. He knew he'd eventually have to tell his wife, especially if this was going to be a long-term thing, but he hated when Obi-Wan got that 'I know more than I should' twinkle in his eye. Anakin was sure Obi-Wan didn't know the extent of his relationship with Padme, but the older man sure seemed to think he knew. "Thanks," he muttered, and took a deep breath. "Well, no time like the present, I guess. Do you want to come?"
Obi-Wan shook his head. "I need to meet with the Council about this," he said. "I told them you likely, er, wouldn't be available." Anakin felt a surge of gratitude - Council meetings were awful under normal circumstances, after all. He put his hands on Anakin's shoulders. "We'll find a cure for this," he promised. "Don't worry."
Anakin realized that he wasn't particularly worried, though he knew he should be. He wondered if his brain chemistry had been altered as well, a concern he voiced to Obi-Wan. "Ah, well, I will certainly bring that to the Council's attention." He looked distraught, moreso than Anakin felt. "Go find Ahsoka."
A pounding on her door roused Ahsoka Tano from a deep sleep. Rubbing her eyes, she made her way to the door. Pulling it open, she saw her Master... well, she thought it was her Master. Last time she checked, Anakin didn't have breasts, or curves like that in general. But it was definitely Anakin Skywalker, from the gloved right hand to the scarred eye. "So you're a girl now," she sighed, allowing him to enter her room.
"How did you know it was me?" Anakin asked, in a voice that almost sounded like his own. He crossed his arms over his now-ample chest and cocked a hip, pouting.
Ahsoka rolled her eyes. "Because it's obviously you," she replied. "Just... girl-you. Besides, you don't feel any different through our bond, so, uh, yeah." She was fairly non-plussed by the whole thing, if she were to be honest with herself. Weird stuff happened all the time, this was just... one more weird thing.
Anakin thrust out his lower lip. "But I'm hot and thin now," he groused, settling onto the edge of Ahsoka's bed, stretching out one long leg over the other.
"First of all, you weren't a Hutt before," she pointed out. "Second of all, not everybody thinks your particular look is a hallmark of beauty. It's a big galaxy, Master." She was a little surprised at her Master's vanity, but then again, she kind of wasn't. "How did this happen?" she asked, instead of commenting on it.
"Ventress had some weird blaster thing, is all I can guess," he replied with a shrug. "Obi-Wan's meeting with the Council right now, so we'll probably be sent to find a cure soon enough." He cleared his throat, flushing slightly. "Hey, can I ask you a question?"
Ahsoka nodded, a little worried about what he'd be asking. "Sure, anything."
"How, uh, how do girls go to the 'fresher?"
Ahsoka had only laughed at him a little bit before explaining some of the basics of female anatomy. He supposed it was all stuff he should have known, but it was a little hard to remember what to do when he'd never done it himself before. Once he'd finally relieved himself, he decided it was time to swallow his worry and talk to Padme. He'd invited Ahsoka to accompany him, but she'd declined, telling him that he had a feeling they needed some time alone.
Anakin bounced up and down on his toes as he waited outside Padme's apartment, hoping she was home. Hoping, too, that she would accept him in this new body for however long it took to find a cure. Surely she would, he told himself. But then again, what if she didn't feel satisfied by him anymore? What if she wasn't attracted to his female form? Anakin worried his lip until the door swung open. "I'm sorry, can I help you?" Padme asked, obviously not recognizing him right away. Then her eyes flicked to the scar, and down to his lightsaber, and she gasped. "Ani?"
Nodding, Anakin took a gulping breath. "Uh, surprise?" he offered, feeling stupid.
"What happened to you?" Padme asked, ushering him into the apartment, running her hands up and down his new body, exploring it, inspecting it.
Anakin shook his head. "Obi-Wan's working on how to find the cure," he said, "so it should just be temporary. But I..." He trailed off, brushed his hands down the small of Padme's back. "I just wanted to make sure that..."
She grabbed his face, pulling him down to her and kissed him firmly on the lips. "I will love you no matter what you look like," she informed him firmly. "Besides," and she gave him a flirty glance from beneath lowered lashes, "there's plenty of fun two women can have."
A rush of warmth trickled out from Anakin's belly to his crotch, a hot tingling sensation settling between his legs. He shifted slightly, and lifted Padme off her feet, kissing her deeply. "Thank you," he said, truthfully. A thought struck him. "Hey, we can be seen in public together! If I don't bring my lightsaber, nobody will know I'm a Jedi." A deep throbbing pleasure spread through him; he and Padme could be together, could go out on a real date, could hold hands in public without worrying about a scandal. True, the Jedi knew what Anakin's female form looked like, but the public didn't. They'd be safe. They could have a real relationship, not one hidden in the shadows.
Padme looked thoughtful. "I suppose you're right," she said carefully, smiling up at him. "Do you want to go out to dinner?"
Anakin nodded. "More than anything."
Anakin never thought he'd be sitting at one of the fanciest restaurants on Coruscant across from the woman he loved more than life itself, eating food he'd never even heard of, drinking wine that cost more than probably everything he'd ever owned put together. He felt out of his element, though, taken aback by an opulence he wasn't comfortable with. "Let's go somewhere fun after this," he suggested, trying to figure out which fork he was supposed to use on his stuffed nerf.
"This is fun," Padme replied, sipping her wine. "Aren't you having fun?"
Shaking his head quickly, Anakin held up a hand. "Oh, I'm having fun," he assured her. "But this isn't really my scene." He smiled shyly. "I like being able to see you in public, though."
Padme slid her foot up his leg. "Well, where do you suggest?" she asked, husking her voice slightly.
Anakin shrugged. "We could go to the Outlander." When he was on Coruscant and not at Padme's, he usually found himself at the lower-level nightclub, and it had become something of a fixture in his life. He wanted to share it with Padme as much as she'd wanted to share this place with him.
She looked thoughtful, and somewhat wary. "I don't know about that, Ani," she said. "That place isn't exactly..." She shrugged, took another sip of her wine. "Well, fine, let's go to the Outlander."
As a man, Anakin had never felt particularly uncomfortable at the dance club. As a woman, he realized that it was a little different. By the time he and Padme had had a few drinks, they'd attracted the attention of several males in the vicinity. "Never seen you here before," one of them leered at Anakin. "Lemme buy you and your friend a drink."
Anakin waved his glass at the man. "I'm good, thanks," he replied, turning back to Padme.
The man persisted. "C'mon, sweetie," he mewled. "You look like you could use some fun." He ran a hand down Anakin's back, and Anakin tensed. Padme's eyes widened as Anakin lowered his head.
"Don't touch me," he snarled. When the man did not move his hand, Anakin decided that reacting on instinct was going to be his best bet if he planned on staying much longer. His elbow shot out, slamming the man in the Adam's apple, then grabbing the man's wrist with his mechanical hand, he pulled the man forward. "It doesn't matter what I'm wearing or what I'm drinking," he hissed in the man's ear, tightening his grip until he heard bones creaking beneath his fingers, "I'm not here to have sex with you. And if I see you here again, I'm not going to be as forgiving."
The man seemed to realize Anakin meant business, and pulled away with wide eyes. "Ani, you need to be careful," Padme cautioned, sipping her drink. "You don't want to get in trouble."
Anakin snorted, gulping his own drink. "I won't," he replied, signaling the bartender for another round.
The ladies' 'fresher was much more spacious than the men's, with enough room in the stalls for the two of them to tumble, lips pressed together, hands scrabbling on each others' bodies, through hair. Padme slid her knee between Anakin's legs, reaching up to unzip Anakin's body suit, slipping the black leather down his shoulders.
"More," Anakin gasped into Padme's mouth. Padme increased the pressure of her leg and began to run gentle circles over Anakin's breasts. She pushed him down so he was sitting on the edge of the toilet, and she opened the jumpsuit the rest of the way. She parted his soft folds and ducked her head, lapping at his wet mound with her tongue, reaching up and tweaking his nipples. Anakin moaned, fisted his hands in Padme's hair.
"Howsat?" Padme asked, still buried in Anakin's crotch, twirling her tongue around the sensitive nub of clitoris. Anakin found he could only nod helplessly, gasping. The warmth he'd felt earlier was building, so different from the way he felt before. His vision tunneled until it was just him, and Padme, and the warmth and then there was a peak of the warmth, a surge of heat, a shuddering of muscles. He quivered as Padme emerged, wiping her mouth. "Well?" she asked, blinking blearily as the alcohol and blood-rush from having her head down for a long period of time took their toll. "I told you we could have fun."
Anakin was having a good time exploring his new body's capabilities. He didn't seem to have lost any of his physical strength, though certain movements required some adjustment, and his usual Djem So form came perilously close to causing himself severe bodily harm when he didn't think about the fact he couldn't hold his lightsaber so close to his chest.
"You need to wear a bra," Ahsoka informed him as they sparred. "This is really uncomfortable for me." Anakin kicked her lightsaber out of her hand. "See, your massive tits distracted me!"
Anakin laughed, powering down his lightsaber. "That's the point," he replied. "Throwing you off-guard and all. Besides," he added, pulling his hair off the back of his neck and tying it in a knot, "bras are uncomfortable."
"Okay, first of all, you're going to ruin your hair if you do that," Ahsoka pointed out. "Second of all, you're going to be sorry when you end up with crippling back pain. You're carrying, like, fifteen pounds of extra weight up there or something."
"First of all," Anakin countered, "as soon as my body's back to normal it's not going to matter what I've done to my hair." He leaned forward, cracking his back. "And second of all, shut up, Snips."
She growled at him, but he could tell she was amused. "Am I interrupting?" Anakin turned to see Obi-Wan crossing the threshold of the training salle cautiously.
"No more than usual," Anakin informed him airily, calling a towel to himself with the force. "What's up?" He hadn't seen Obi-Wan in a few days, and had gotten the distinct impression his former Master had been avoiding him. While he'd had plenty to keep him occupied, with practicing his combat with his new body and nightly dates (in public!) with Padme, it still bothered him a little that Obi-Wan hadn't been around.
Obi-Wan crossed his arms over his chest and seemed to be doing his very best not to look directly at Anakin. "We may have a lead on a reversal of your... uh... condition," he said. Anakin resisted the urge to snort at Obi-Wan's obvious discomfort. "We'll be leaving in the morning."
"All of us?" Ahsoka asked, hopefully. Anakin didn't blame her; she'd been left behind at the Temple for the last few missions he'd been on, and he knew she was getting antsy.
"Of course," Obi-Wan said generously. "If your Master agrees."
Anakin shrugged. "I don't see why not," he replied. "Especially since she hasn't been ignoring me or anything." It was bitter, he knew, but Obi-Wan was supposed to be his best friend, and as well as Anakin had taken the whole situation, he still could have used some Masterly support.
Obi-Wan looked somewhat hurt, but quickly recovered, frowning. "I've been trying to find a solution to this dilemma," he said curtly, still not looking directly at Anakin. "And for all that's good in the universe, Anakin, put on a kriffing bra."
"Let's stay in tonight," Padme suggested when Anakin went to visit her that evening. "If you're leaving tomorrow, I want you all to myself." She wrapped her arms around him, nestling her face in his shoulder.
Anakin rested his chin on the top of her head. "Anything you want, Angel." While he truly loved being able to feel like a real couple, being able to move freely with her in public, he certainly didn't mind the private time they shared either; in fact, it made that time all the more precious.
She opened a bottle of blossomwine and they spread out on the sofa, nestled in each others' arms. Halfway through the bottle, a thought struck Anakin. "Hey," he said, nuzzling Padme's neck. "Ahsoka said I shouldn't tie my hair in a knot to get it off my neck. Is that true?"
Padme leaned back to get a look at him. "Well, yes," she replied. "It'll damage your hair. You can use a hair tie, or clip it up, but if you just tie the hair itself, it'll break it." She inspected his hair for a long moment. "You're not using conditioner, are you?" she accused.
Anakin blinked at her. "I didn't know I was supposed to," he admitted. "I'm still a guy, you know." But truth be told, he didn't really want to.. break anything... on his new body. He kind of liked it; it was interesting, and comfortable, and despite a general feeling of obligation to get back to his normal form, he didn't particularly mind it all that much.
Padme sighed, and stood. "Come on," she said, grabbing his hand and the wine. "I'm going to teach you how to actually groom yourself."
He didn't have a chance to protest before she pushed him towards the 'fresher.
Two bottles of wine later, Anakin was sitting on the stool in front of Padme's vanity mirror while his wife finished heat-drying his hair. "An' if you use a big, round brush it'll straighten out all those waves," Padme informed him, patting his shoulders and planting a sloppy kiss on his cheek. "Your skin's really dry," she commented, pulling back. "Here! Lemme try something!" She grabbed a container of something Anakin couldn't identify, but that, in her hands, was white and goopy.
"Where're you putting that stuff?" he asked, flinching away slightly. He was not in the habit of letting people smear his skin with unidentified goop, and he wasn't sure he wanted to start now.
Padme giggled. "It's just moisturizer," she scolded. "Hold still!"
Anakin decided he didn't really mind her hands on his face, so he closed his eyes and let it happen.
"An' then I tol' Bail tha' it looked like somethin' died on his shoulders," Padme crowed, leaning against Anakin and refilling their shot glasses. Moisturizing had turned into a makeover, which had turned into nail painting and a game Padme claimed she had invented called 'paint a nail, do a shot'. Her story hadn't been overly funny, but Anakin collapsed into giggles anyway, clutching her tightly.
"You're funny," he snorted into her shoulder, suddenly very aware of the way the liquor warmed his belly and other, lower places, the tingling between his legs, the way Padme felt in his arms. "Le's go to the be'room," he suggested huskily, stumbling up from the sofa, pulling her up with him. She seemed more than happy at the change of agenda and followed him, tumbling onto the bed and pulling him with her.
"I want to try something," she said, tossing her hair and reaching back to unzip her dress. "Get naked, now."
She didn't have to tell him twice. He shimmied out of the bodysuit and lay on the bed, legs spread slightly, resisting the urge to bury one hand between his thighs. Padme reached into her bedside table and pulled out a phallic-shaped cylinder. Twisting the end, it began to whir. She ghosted the tip of it over Anakin's breats and down his taut stomach, giggling as his nipples hardened and his back arched. She twirled the device around his clit several times, and Anakin threw his arm over his face, biting to stifle a moan. "Relax," Padme whispered. "This'll feel good."
Using her fingers, she parted his slit and little by little slid the device inside of him. This time, Anakin couldn't keep the moan from ripping from his throat at the feeling of fullness, the sensation of something inside of him. Padme began to rub her thumb over his clit as she worked the vibrator with her other hand. "How does that feel?" she asked, moving up slightly to tease a nipple with her teeth.
"Mmmmm," Anakin sighed, unable to coherently form words. Sex wasn't something he was unaccustomed to, and even sex in his current form was something he and Padme had explored over the past few days, but this was wholly foreign, different from anything he'd ever experienced. "More..."
She slid the vibrator deeper, increased the speed and pressure of her fingers, and Anakin writhed, tightening his muscles, holding his breath, anything to send him over the edge. And when that moment came, he let out a keening sigh, biting his forearm in the overwhelming sensations. He fell asleep soon after.
Ahsoka couldn't help but smirk as Anakin stumbled into the docking bay the next morning. For some reason he was wearing makeup, but it was somewhat smeared, and his hair was tangled - moreso than usual. He looked thoroughly miserable. "Rough night?" she asked, trying not to laugh outright.
"I have learned this body does not like tequila," Anakin grumbled, rubbing his eyes. "But other than that..." He looked around. "Obi-Wan here yet?"
Ahsoka wasn't about to pretend she hadn't noticed the tension between her Master and Obi-Wan. She hadn't addressed it specifically with either of them, but she had a feeling they weren't comfortable talking about Anakin's transformation with one another. Though Anakin seemed okay with it, Obi-Wan was decidedly going out of his way to avoid his protege, something Ahsoka was sure Anakin had figured out on his own. "He's on the ship," she replied and decided she couldn't let him get off without at least one barb. "You look so pretty."
"Shut up, Snips," Anakin grunted and made his way up the loading ramp. Ahsoka followed, unwilling to be left behind again, and not wanting to miss out on whatever was going to happen once Master Kenobi had no choice but to look at Anakin.
"So where are we going?" Anakin asked, settling into the co-pilot's seat beside Obi-Wan. He was a little irked Obi-Wan had been avoiding him so completely, to the point that he had no idea what kind of information his Master had uncovered about what had happened, and even less of an idea of where they were going. Anakin hated to be out of the loop, hated to be left out of plans. He knew he hadn't made himself overly available, but it wasn't as though Obi-Wan had gone out of his way to talk to him, either.
Obi-Wan's face was blank, and he didn't look over. "Rattatak," he replied. Anakin's stomach flip-flopped, and it had nothing to do with his hangover. "We pinpointed some instances where something similar had been happening to the locals, all centered around a new manufacturing plant." The ship lurched as Obi-Wan began launch preparations. "The plant is owned by Jenna Zan Arbor."
Anakin was definitely feeling sick now; Rattatak and Zan Arbor both specters from his apprenticeship he had no desire to revist, and he assumed Obi-Wan felt the same way. "You've got to be kidding." He pulled his knees to his chest. "I was kind of hoping, uh, anything but that."
"It is not for us to choose where the Force leads us," Obi-Wan reminded him. "We'll have to just... be mindful." Anakin knew he meant both of them. Obi-Wan had been held captive by Ventress on Rattatak, presumed dead, tortured, nearly killed. And Zan Arbor presented temptations to Anakin, ones he had thought he'd outgrown, moved past. The gentle tug in his stomach, the prickly nausea that accompanied the memory of addiction, meant it was still there.
Swallowing heavily, Anakin nodded. "Master..."
"You should go rest, Anakin," Obi-Wan replied tightly, and Anakin realized with dismay that the conversation was closed.
The trip to Rattatak was a long one, and Anakin was quickly growing weary of Obi-Wan's avoidance of him. While he had Ahsoka to talk to, and strategies to plan, he wasn't able to run his ideas by Obi-Wan, and his own reticence about facing Zan Arbor again made him uncomfortable. Then there was the constant aching desire that always accompanied his separation from Padme, all of which combined into making him patently miserable.
He ran into Obi-Wan in the galley, pretty much literally. Not watching where he was going, he collided with his former Master and nearly went sprawling to the floor before Obi-Wan's hand wrapped around his wrist and pulled him upright again.
"I need to talk to you," Anakin insisted, trying to lower his voice to some semblance of what it had once been, trying to sound more authoritative than he knew he now looked. He was tired of Obi-Wan ignoring him, tired of the discomfort that radiated off the older man in waves. "Why are you ignoring me?"
Obi-Wan looked at him mildly. "I'm not ignoring you," he replied. "I am merely trying to find a solution to this problem." He glanced at Anakin. "Which is more than I can say you've been doing."
Anger boiled up in Anakin's gut, and he clenched his fists. "Don't you dare put this back on me!" he exclaimed. "It's not you who woke up in a whole new body, Master! You're not the one who actually has to deal with this!"
"I am dealing with it, Anakin." Obi-Wan turned away, and Anakin grabbed his shoulder, whirling him back around. "Having a tantrum is not going to change anything."
Anakin wanted to hit something. He wanted to hit Obi-Wan. His anger was palpable, his frustration roiling around in him like something living. "I'm not having a tantrum! I'm trying to figure out why my best friend can't even look at me!" He wrapped his arms around his chest, still unused to the sensation of extra flesh. He felt like a child, eager for Obi-Wan's approval once more. Eager, perhaps, for more. He wasn't sure where the impulse came from, or why he acted on it. Then again, he never had been very good at thinking before he acted.
Obi-Wan let out a muffled protest as Anakin slammed their lips together. His beard tickled Anakin's lips as he probed with his tongue; Obi-Wan opened his mouth slightly and Anakin took the opportunity to grab the back of Obi-Wan's head and press them together tighter. Obi-Wan pulled away, panting. "What are you doing?" he demanded, aghast.
"Master, please..." He was angry, hurt, frustrated, and there wasn't anything else he could do. Nothing else he could even think of to do. "You need to pay attention to me!"
"What do you think I spend every moment of my life doing?" Obi-Wan snapped, straightening his robes and smoothing his hair. "It's all about you, Anakin! It's always been about you!" He let out a sharp breath. "This... situation... is no different. Just because I'm not holding your hand doesn't mean I haven't been spending every waking hour trying to help you."
Anakin felt angry tears sting his eyes. "That's not fair," he protested. "You're treating me differently now! You won't look at me, you'll hardly talk to me..." He sighed, shakily. "And it started after I... changed. Are you that uncomfortable around me now?" The thought hurt, the idea that Obi-Wan couldn't be comfortable around him as a woman, the idea that his former Master was somehow disgusted by him, now.
Obi-Wan turned away. "It's not that," he replied. "This is not something I want to discuss with you."
Anakin circled around the older man. "We have to discuss it!" He chewed on his lower lip. "Because this," he waved his hand in the space between them, "this isn't working." He opened his mouth to continue his tirade, hurt and anger making his tongue loose.
"Because you remind me of Siri!" Obi-Wan exploded, and Anakin fell silent. Siri Tachi, Obi-Wan's friend and, if Anakin's suspicions were correct, lover. Siri, who had died in battle. Siri, who Anakin had more in common with than probably any other Jedi, who had helped shape his time as a Padawan, who his Master went to for support and friendship when Anakin hadn't been able to provide it.
Anakin cleared his throat, suddenly feeling guilty. "I'm not Siri," he said softly. "I'm still Anakin, and I still need you." He wove his mechanical fingers through Obi-Wan's. "Please, Master." He leaned in, the kiss gentler this time, less frantic. Obi-Wan seemed to soften, his resolve slipping. "Let me show you how different I am," Anakin implored.
"I'm sorry," Obi-Wan breathed against Anakin's lips. "I know you're still Anakin, I know that... You just, there's so much about you now that reminds me of her, and I..." He shook his head. "I have not been acting in a manner befitting of a Jedi."
"Welcome to my world." Anakin pulled his teeth across Obi-Wan's lower lip. "Come on," he said, grabbing the front of the older man's tunic.
There was a crash of lips, a crush of bodies, a frantic tumbling down of robes and tunics and clumsy unlacing. Anakin stood in front of Obi-Wan, naked, and for the first time since the transformation, Obi-Wan looked at him. Anakin worried his lower lip, suddenly feeling much more modest than he usually was. "Well?" he asked.
"Well," Obi-Wan echoed. He seemed to be unable to speak otherwise, and simply nodded as he undressed himself. "Are you sure about this?" he asked after a long moment.
Of all the people in the galaxy, Anakin didn't think there was anyone else he would rather be with in that moment. He loved Padme more than life itself, but Obi-Wan was his constant, his companion and friend and everything keeping him grounded. Unsure if Obi-Wan would want to be intimate with him in his male form, he knew he had to take advantage of the situation. "I'm sure," he said, crossing the room, putting his hands on Obi-Wan's shoulders and leading him to the bed.
They kissed again, tongues probing, hands roaming, mingling together in the Force. Anakin had never been so intimately connected to someone through the Force before, and the feeling was intoxicating.
"Here," he rasped, pushing Obi-Wan down and dropping to his knees. He slid his hand up Obi-Wan's erection, thumbing the weeping slit gently. Obi-Wan was obviously struggling not to moan, and Anakin took that as an invitation to slide his former Master's entire length into his mouth.
"An - Anakin," Obi-Wan gasped, fisting his hands in Anakin's hair.
Anakin determined Obi-Wan was ready, and stood, straddling the older man's lap. He reached down and guided Obi-Wan's hardness into him, letting out a gasping moan as he felt filled, sitting on Obi-Wan's lap and rocking forward and back. He wrapped his arms around Obi-Wan's shoulders, buried his face in his neck. Obi-Wan, too, embraced him, bucked his hips. Obi-Wan reached out with the Force, wrapping his signature around Anakin's, and the galaxy exploded.
Ahsoka wasn't stupid, by any stretch of the imagination. She'd noticed the tension between her Master and Obi-Wan, and now she had noticed that tension disappearing. They were back to normal, it seemed - whatever normal was for those two, anyway - and perhaps closer than before. She had her own suspicions about what had happened, but she kept them to herself. No need to rock the ship, as it were.
Despite their apparent reconciliation, Anakin didn't seem to be in any better spirits. In fact, he was downright unpleasant to be around and, two days out from Rattatak, it meant she had that much longer to have to deal with him. Obi-Wan seemed to be taking Anakin's bad mood in stride, but she supposed he had more practice. She, on the other hand, was bearing the brunt of Anakin's temper.
"Stop!" Anakin exclaimed as she tried to go through the introductory katas of Jar'Kai, to give her more practice with her second blade. Anakin had demonstrated them for her, but Jar'Kai wasn't his area of focus and, Obi-Wan had intimated to her, her Master was actually comparatively bad at the control-focused form. Still, he wanted her to master it, and so she took what instruction she could get.
She powered down her blades and glared, hands on her hips; this was the fourth time he'd interrupted her. "What is it now?" she asked, not even bothering to mask her annoyance.
"You have to assume you're gonna come up against Ventress or Dooku eventually. Your focus is everywhere." He winced and ran a hand through his hair, other arm wrapping protectively around his lower midsection. "You're opening yourself up too much on your left side," he added. "You gotta be careful you're not letting someone knock your shota out of your hand."
"Well," Ahsoka countered, "why don't you spar with me? Practical application and all that." She settled her fists on her hips.
Anakin shook his head, his hand clutching his lower abdomen tightening its grip. "Not today," he said, and suddenly Ahsoka had a feeling she knew what was going on.
"Ohhhh..." she said, latching her 'sabers to her belt. "Are you having cramps, Master?" She wanted to laugh, but decided that would be cruel. She knew how difficult intensive movement could be when on one's menstrual cycle.
Anakin narrowed his eyes at her. "Maybe," he hedged. "Why?"
Ahsoka bit her lip to keep from chortling. "I have something that might help," she offered. After the first time getting caught off-guard on a mission, she didn't leave the Temple without a period-emergency kit handy. She held out her hand. "Come on."
The descent to the surface of Rattatak was uncomfortably silent. Anakin kept glancing at Obi-Wan, wishing his former Master would admit he was as worried about this mission as Anakin, that he was having just as hard of a time dealing with the myriad memories that were cropping up. He knew Obi-Wan would admit no such thing, of course, since obi-Wan probably wasn't having the same kind of trouble. Anakin was glad for Ahsoka's remedies - he didn't think he would have been able to deal with the task ahead the way he'd been feeling.
They landed the ship and made their way to the factory in the middle of the village. "We should split up," Anakin suggested, before he could think about what he was saying. The pull to find Zan Arbor was overwhelming.
Obi-Wan looked concerned. "You and Ahsoka can go together," he corrected gently. "You head in the south entrance, and I will enter in the north. We're looking for the laboratory." He gave Anakin a long, meaningful look. "Given Zan Arbor's proclivities, be careful not to lose your focus."
Anakin nodded tightly, and put a hand on Ahsoka's back. "C'mon, Snips," he said. "May the Force be with you, Master."
Obi-Wan gave half a bow and brushed his fingers down Anakin's cheek. "Be. Careful," he intoned. "I don't want you to... I don't want to lose you to Zan Arbor again."
Swallowing heavily, Anakin looked away. "You be careful too, Master," he managed to grind out, and began to stride towards the South entrance.
"So, uh, what was that all about?" Ahsoka asked as she jogged to keep up.
Anakin ground his teeth. He didn't want to talk about what had happened with Zan Arbor when he'd been a Padawan, didn't want to revisit the Zone of Self-Containment or the subsequent fall-out. He hated that it was Zan Arbor who was responsible for his current form, hated that he had to put his apprentice at risk. Hated, more, that he couldn't just give in to temptation. He had grown up since the last time, matured, gained mastery over at least some of his emotions. He knew he could overcome this. "It was a long time ago," he replied after a long moment. "Nothing to worry about."
Ahsoka seemed doubtful, but she followed him into the factory anyway.
The factory seemed almost deserted, which Anakin knew meant it was a trap. He was okay with that; springing traps was something he and obi-Wan excelled at, and he wasn't about to start avoiding obvious traps now. "Come on," he hissed at Ahsoka, crouching down and peering around a corner. Still, nothing. He reached out with the Force and sensed several beings besides Ahsoka and Obi-Wan in the factory; one of them felt very familiar, slippery. "The lab must be this way," he said, pointing. It helped that there were directional signs at each corridor crossing.
At first, the hissing was unnoticeable, but then his vision began to swim and his still-somewhat-unfamiliar limbs felt heavy and sluggish. "Rebreather. Use your rebreather," he slurred to Ahsoka, but it was too late, she was already down, half a meter behind him. Anakin dropped to his knees. "Not again," he moaned. He didn't lose consciousness, but he could no longer move; he saw booted feet, and then felt somebody grab his wrists and drag him down the corridor. Saw Ahsoka being treated the same way. Anger surged through him, but he couldn't work up the strength to break through the barrier.
He watched Ahsoka as she was tossed unceremoniously into the corner of what had to be the laboratory, felt hands on his body, removing his clothing and depositing him onto a cold metal table. "Unbelievable," came a voice above him and the face of Jenna Zan Arbor came into focus above him. "Anakin Skywalker." She smiled, and Anakin struggled to blink. "The transformation is perfect." She caught a glimpse of his half-open eyes and smiled wider. "Still a fighter, I see," she said. "Well, we can fix that."
With a mild gesture, an assistant in a black rubber smock came over, handing her a syringe. "We don't want you to feel any pain when we vivisect you, after all," she cooed, lowering the needle to Anakin's flesh arm.
Through the sedative haze, Anakin decided he really didn't want to be vivisected, at all. He reached out desperately to Obi-Wan, not caring how disappointed his former Master was going to be for getting drugged and captured - again.
As Zan Arbor sank the needle into his arm and depressed the plunger, Anakin heard the snap-hiss of a lightsaber igniting, and felt Obi-Wan's presence like a beacon. He felt safe.
When Anakin woke again, he found himself in the Halls of Healing. He supposed he should probably get used to that, because it had been happening a great deal lately. He looked down at himself, suddenly very aware that things felt different. "Hey, my tits are gone," he exclaimed, peeking under the blanket to make sure they'd been replaced by what was supposed to be between his legs. To his relief, everything seemed to be back where it was supposed to be, though he had to admit a certain level of disappointment; he hadn't hated being female, after all, but he definitely was not a woman. He was glad to have his penis back, in any case.
"Hello there," came a voice from his right side. "How are you feeling?" Obi-Wan put a hand around his, and Anakin squeezed his former master's fingers gently.
"What happened?" he asked, somewhat annoyed he'd missed out on the battle.
Obi-Wan shruged. "Zan Arbor is in custody. She gave up the formula to the cure and Vokara Che managed to synthesize a dose." He held up a hand as Anakin opened his mouth. "Ahsoka is fine, she's teaching a 'saber class right now." He brushed Anakin's hair out of his eyes. "I'm glad you have you back," he said, truthfully.
Anakin gave a slight smile. "Glad to be back," he replied, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. "Can we get out of here?" He needed to check on Ahsoka himself, had to reunite with Padme, had to make sure Obi-Wan still felt the same way he had days prior.
Obi-Wan nodded. "Of course." He clapped Anakin on the back and helped him to his feet. Anakin took a few experimental steps, marveling at how used to his female body he'd gotten. This one felt over-sized and clumsy, though Anakin knew he just needed a little more practice.
"I want to get some more conditioner first," Anakin announced, catching a glimpse of his tangled hair in the highly-polished door they walked through.
Obi-Wan gave him a funny look. "Conditioner?" he asked, incredulous.
Anakin shrugged. "It's a girl thing, Master," he announced, "you wouldn't understand."