Characters: Ben Kenobi, OC (Non Romance)
Summary: Before Luke, it was just life as usual. Even when you saw someone from your past. Two former jedi, a wizard and a barmaid meet again in Mos Eisley.
Notes: This is my RPG OC Lassa yeah and this is the story I've been trying to tell for forever. I dont think I've done it justice YET but...here it is. Inspiration for Lassa becoming a barmaid comes from KariKari who suggested in a crack chat long ago. I dont think she knew the impact it would have.
Life on Tatooine was tough, there was no denying that. But in the fifteen years, she'd been here, in the nearly nineteen years she'd been hiding, Lassa Gantriel had learned how to be tougher. If her master could see her now...but Lassa didn't like to dwell on Mace these days. She'd learned she couldn't all those years ago, learned survival was her only option and one that didn't involve looking back. She'd managed to learn to live with it, was so much better for having left that part of her life behind as Vader destroyed it. If she had not she would be dead.
If she did not she would be dead. After all, when you sometimes had to use the blaster buckled to your waist during a fight, or to escort rowdy patrons to the door, you needed to hone your senses, could live in nothing but the moment. That was how life was now, along with the dirty glasses you wiped down for lack of water, the suspicious glances of most regulars, the blood, the dust that clung to everything and lodged in the back of your throat as the sun bore down on you whenever you took your break...Tatooine was all these things, mixed in with gorgeous twin sunsets, blue velvety evening skies that made the little motions all seem clear, crimelords who you might just ally with and some other things the barmaid hadn't ever put her finger on before. Tatooine was something anyway, even if it happened to be all she had.
For all that it was the only thing she had, it wasn't so bad as all of that sometimes. True, nothing made much sense and Lassa doubted that it ever would now. Still, in the scheme of the galaxy, she did have more than most other beings here, and she was thankful for it. She'd not deny the gratitude if someone asked, of course. It just continued to be senseless, as it seemed was the planet's wont. But then, thirty years ago it would have made even less sense.
When she'd first come here it had not made sense either, but the outlawing of slavery had at least made some things more normal. Funny that in that one, she felt almost grateful to Darth Vader. Anakin Skywalker, had he not gone missing, probably dead in the time of crisis, would have thanked him too, she thought, and thinking of the boy she'd once known made Lassa smile, though there was no time to dwell on hours he'd spent tutoring her in physics, helping her plot a course to his master, daring her to peek through Obi-Wan's fresher door and so much else. He'd been a friend towards the end of that anyway, and the memory of that one was enough now to make her smile where here she had no one but the various beings to serve today. Good tippers at least, Lassa told herself as she wiped down a few glasses, preparing to set them up for...
"A decent Correlian whiskey if you have it." a man's voice interrupted the stream of thought and Lassa glanced up sharply, then drew back a little. while she did not know this man, and she was sure of it, there was something in the eyes that gave her pause, made her want to stare at him forever. For his own part, the old man stared back, and a small current moved throughout the force.
"Your eyes are singularly familiar." he spoke at last, seeking them out in ways that, while not horrible, were definitely not pleasant for her. Another beat, another moment of the same and Lassa knew this man. How could she not when for so many years, she'd cherished dreams so unbecoming of a jedi as they related to him?
"Kenobi." Lassa mouthed the name, scarce able to believe. "The years have changed you, haven't they?" she added, making the drink then passing it along.
"So they have. And you..." Kenobi's eyes flicked upward, getting a glance at her hair, and Lassa wanted to die inside a little. Here she was now, tired, grey, worn out, and beside her was...well silly crushes or not, she still had every faith in Kenobi's ability to take control of this situation. She hoped he would, she did not want to. "Windu's girl." he said instead simply, not betraying the other moments they had had, which really, Lassa thought, was to her benefit, seeing how embarrassing some of those would have turned out. "Well I'd not thought there was another here." he said simply, glancing out around the cantina space to make sure no one was paying too much attention to the events.
"Oh, I do what I can and here was as good a place as any." Lassa did not mention she had tried Correlia though the planet she'd been born on had never felt like home and she'd stayed only long enough to find a decent pawn shop where she'd left her saber. The dealer hadn't asked questions and she'd picked up a decent amount after being taunted that it would become a 'collector's item' in the future. That was all in the past now, and Lassa did not live there. She couldn't. Nor could she waste time talking when she could still sense a little that.
"If you'll excuse me." she glanced toward one of her tables. "There's about to be a brawl." she added, making sure the blaster at her hip was loaded and casually moving over, just in time to witness one of the patrons slugging the other as a third stood up to toss a glass in his face. A moment later, Lassa'd pulled the gun, held it to the instigator's head. One of their companions smirked at her and she rolled her eyes. Another of those then. Good start to the weekend, she thought dryly. "I'm going to suggest you leave." she cautioned, voice steady, and though she did not dare use the force to back it up, people tended to respect the barmaid regardless. "Before I have to truly end this party." her finger on the blaster twitched a little, to emphasize the point but still no one did anything.
"You don't want to be here." Kenobi interrupted, moving over to the scene, waving his hand in their faces. Blatant! Lassa thought, with some disgust. Didn't he know how easily this could be tracked, or did he simply not care in his old ages. Besides which, if he wasn't careful he'd end up sending... yes, those from the table over were getting up as well and heading out the door, along with this group. When they had gone she turned to him and glared.
"Maybe all of us don't live in..." she glanced Kenobi over and made a rough estimate based on the condition of his clothes. "The middle of nowhere. Some people are working for tips you know and they don't need your help. Or implication for that matter. If you've gotten me caught, so help me, all I ever thought I felt for you..."
"You yourself admit it was a harmless crush." Kenobi interrupted, those eyes dancing in the sort of amusement Lassa herself had never been privy to. "And well enough. You'd hardly like the sight of me in the 'fresher now, I do daresay."
“Don’t think you were so entertaining then.” Lassa tried, feeling that the comeback was a little lame. After all, it could not really be validated owing to the number of times back at the temple that she’d tried. “Well it was a long time ago. And...” she shook her head ruefully, pushing back a strand of hair. “We’ve neither of us aged so gracefully as that though.” she allowed him that statement, though he’d not yet made it about her, it was plain enough to see that it was true each morning when she looked in her mirror. She didn’t mind it truly. Again when you were here, you got used to not minding about what you once had been. Looking at him now, she wondered if Kenobi...then she watched the small smirk disappear.
“I hardly am.” he answered the unspoken question, doing it without trying to move inside her head one inch, Lassa noted, and she gave him a small smile at that. “It...I’m Ben now actually.” he continued, and here, Lassa felt her smile widen in spite of things.
“Ben.” she repeated, trying that one on for size. She’d not have seen it suiting him before, but now...”I take it you’re living somewhere close then. Unless what Anakin said about you and the seedy bars was true.”
“He...” Kenobi...Ben, drew himself up and looked away from her a moment, flinching a little, so it looked to Lassa’s eye and she wondered at that, but she did not question. A good jedi rarely did that, she’d learned. “There might be one or two of them in my past.” he allowed at last, pasting on a smile that was clearly there because he had nothing else to say besides that. “I admit I like Mos Eisley. Feels like home now.” he added with an ironic eyebrow quirk, though there was something so desperate about it...
Lassa found she didn’t quite know what to say, so settled for a little nod instead. “It’s never dull at least.” she found herself agreeing, though some days dull would be nice. “Here at least. The rest of it.” she shrugged. “I don’t suppose I’d really know.” and what did Kenobi know now, aged beyond his years, turned into someone he had never been, weather beaten, different, a bit of desert rock that had long ago eroded, leaving just the fossil, completely different from the man, not just in his physical nature.
The things she saw, the things she knew were no longer Obi-Wan now and Lassa found that she didn’t know Ben at all. It was...she did not know exactly what she felt, had not given herself to emotion in those many years she’d been here, but it was pathetic all the same that they be reduced to this. A master and a would be knight, now nothing more than dust already left behind and settled around the feet of an old man, a woman who barely went a week without pawning some thing or other, though there wasn’t much to pawn.
They’d gotten on, they’d get on still, but their lives held no more meaning to the other. There had been some before, shared by virtue of the force, by the presence of Anakin and a first deep crush she’d never acted on, but the man standing in front of her now was nothing like the man she once had known. Lassa herself was nothing like the girl she once had been. They were strangers now, or very nearly so and there was nothing to change that, she wouldn’t even bother wishing now.
Refilling Kenobi’s drink when she saw it empty, Lassa shrugged off payment for that one and returned to wiping down her glasses, shrugging off the credits when he tried to pay for it. “It’s for old times.” she told him simply, turning on and getting back to things at hand. Business now, as usual. That was just the way it worked here.