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New Fic: That's What Friends Are For

That's What Are Friends For
Fandom: Star Wars
Rated: PG
Category: Gen, angst.
Time Frame: Immediately post-ROTS/post-Kenobi (the book).
Spoilers: ROTS, Kenobi (EU/Legends book by John Jackson Miller).
Summary: Ben Kenobi needs a favor. On Alderaan. Good thing has one very special friend on Alderaan.

xxx

Bail Organa hated meetings like this.

Budgets and compromises just weren’t his thing, despite a long life in this work.

They were a necessary evil, though, so he was toughing this one out like he always did.

Right now, some weapons manufacturer was going on about how to improve planetary defenses, but Bail honestly wasn’t paying much attention. He’d decided five minutes into the presentation that he wasn’t interested in what this guy was selling, and nothing was going to change his mind.

So when his comm chimed, he breathed out a sigh of relief.

“Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “I’ve just received an important call. I won’t be a minute.”

Heads nodded around the table, and Bail excused himself, then scowled at his comm.

For while he was happy for the break, he was still irritated at being bothered during a meeting.

“This had better be important,” he grumbled.

Then he stepped into an empty office and thumbed his comm open as he leaned on the edge of a desk.

“Yes?” he said, as politely as possible.

There was only static for a moment, then an unmistakable voice floated out of the device.

“Organa?”

Bail stood up sharply.

“Ken…,” he started, then suddenly changed words. “Ben?”

A chuckle answered him.

“Yes, it’s me. Good catch.”

Now it was Bail’s turn to laugh. “Sorry. Old habits.”

“I understand,” said the voice on the comm.

Bail grew concerned. “Are you okay? The boy?”

“He’s fine,” said Ben. “And I will be.”

Bail’s eyebrows rose. “Will be?

Ben snorted a small laugh. “Are you near a HoloNet viewer? I’m not sure how long this transmitter will hold up, and…”

Organa interrupted him. “Yeah, sure. Let me get to one. Five minutes? Use the secure line?”

“Affirmative,” answered Ben, then disconnected.

Five minutes later, Bail Organa was in his office, having called an emergency stop to the meeting. The arms dealer was annoyed, but he didn’t care. This took precedence over some windbag trying to sell him something he wasn’t going to buy anyway.

So when his HoloNet flared to life, he hit the connect button immediately.

“Ben?”

A head appeared on emitter through a haze of static and it nodded.

“What’s wrong?” asked Organa. “You know we’re not supposed to communicate unless it’s an emergency.”

Ben sighed. “I know. And I’m sorry. But I need your help.”

“I’m listening.”

Ben took a deep breath, then let it out slowly. “Well, there’s this woman…”

Bail’s eyebrows hit his hairline for a moment, then lowered as he smirked. “Isn’t there always?”

“It’s not like that,” said Ben, shooting a glare through the monitor.

“Uh-huh. Sure,” answered Bail, giving Ben a disbelieving look right back.

Ben actually rolled his eyes, something Bail would have paid good money to see a year ago.

“She’s in trouble,” said Ben. “I need a favor.”

Bail leaned back in his chair and repeated his words from earlier.

“I’m listening.”

Ten minutes later, Ben had laid the whole thing out. How he’d met this woman and her family at some sort of oasis in the Tatooine desert. How he’d fought and then somehow befriended a band of Tusken Raiders and then managed to out a local swindler at the same time.

Bail’s head swam.

“I thought you were supposed to be keeping a low profile?”

Ben laughed out loud. “You and me both!”

“So what happened?”

Ben snorted. “Annileen happened.”

“Ah,” said Bail knowingly. “So that’s her name.”

“Would you stop it?” said Ben. “You know what I am. You know that’s not something we do.”

Bail raised his eyebrows.

“Tell that to my daughter.”

Ben winced, and Bail immediately regretted his words.

“Obi-Wan, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…”

“It’s fine,” said Ben, cutting him off with a wave of his hand. “And it’s Ben.”

“Ben. Right. But seriously, I didn’t mean...”

Ben cut him off again, an edge of annoyance in his voice. “I said it’s fine.”

Bail swallowed, knowing it was anything but, but knowing just as much that now was not the time to talk about it. “Right. Sorry. Ben. So, what do you need? I don’t have much pull on the Outer Rim, I’m afraid.”

Ben shook himself a little, then spoke in the calm voice Bail was used to once again.

“Good thing I need someone with strings to pull on Alderaan.”

Once more Bail was surprised. What could a lone Jedi on Tatooine need on Alderaan?

“Go on,” he said.

And so Ben did. He explained that he needed to get three people off world and that one of them was highly qualified for a University of Alderaan program.

When he was finished, Bail just blinked at the screen for a moment.

“You want me to get someone into school?”

Ben nodded. “Yes.”

Bail blinked again. “I have to tell you, this wasn’t the type of favor I was expecting.”

“I know,” said Ben. “But can you do it?”

“It’s important to you, isn’t it?”

Ben nodded again. He met Bail’s eyes as he did, and despite Bail’s years with the Jedi making him thoroughly aware that they felt as much (if not more) than everyone else, Bail was taken aback at the emotion he saw. He suddenly felt bad for his initial teasing. Ben did have feelings for this woman. What they were exactly was anyone’s guess, but they compelled him to break radio silence and beg a favor from a friend he wasn’t even supposed to have, and right now, Ben couldn’t have denied them if he tried.

Bail was silent for a moment. He was trying to think of who he knew who could help when Ben spoke again.

“I assure you she’s well qualified,” he said, like he was trying convince Bail of Annileen’s attributes.

“Oh, of that I have no doubt,” said Bail. “If you vouch for her, I’ll do the same. Shouldn’t be a problem.”

Ben sighed. “Thank you.”

Bail nodded back. “It’s no problem, but Ben?”

“Yes?”

“You know we can’t talk like this again. Not for a long while, anyway.”

“I know,” said Ben. “I should probably go, actually. These kids are getting impatient.”

“Kids?”

“Long story.”

“Wish I could hear it.”

“Another time, perhaps. Suffice to say I’m holed up in some teenage hot spot, where pirated communications aren’t exactly rare. It’s good cover, and the best comms this side of the city. The kids call it Tosche Station, but it’s more of a hut in the desert.”

Bail laughed. “Ah, Tatooine.”

“Exactly,” said Ben.

“So, back on topic, when can I contact you with the details?” asked Bail.

“I can contact you again in twelve hours,” answered Ben.

Bail nodded. “Okay.”

“Thank you again,” said Ben, moving to disconnect the signal.

Bail held up a hand, causing Ben to pause his action.

“Organa?” he asked.

Bail sighed. “It’s just… before you go, can I ask you one thing?”

Ben nodded and Bail took a deep breath before speaking.

“You’re sure about this? Things are different now. You could…”

“No,” Ben interrupted, sighing and closing his eyes.

A moment passed in silence, then Ben met Bail’s eyes again.

“I’m sure,” he said, quietly and with conviction.

Bail nodded sadly.

“Then consider it done.”

Ben swallowed thickly and disconnected the call without another word.

And two days later, done it was. Annileen Calwell and her children blinked out of Ben Kenobi’s life in a flash of light in the night sky while he sat in the dark on the cold desert sand and watched over his dead best friend’s son.

As far as Ben was concerned, that was fine. Annileen had been a distraction, and he couldn’t afford that. The mission came first, and this mission was too important to allow distractions to influence him. So it was as it should be. It was the will of the Force.

But if he occasionally kept tabs on a different Annie and her brood when watching over Anakin’s son, well, he didn’t think the Force would mind that much.

A/N: My personal headcanon is that Tosche Station has existed for a long time. It’s one of those places high school kids hang out, like the mall – only on Tatooine. It changes some through the years, but mostly stays the same. It’s where the geeks go to play with their electronics away from the prying eyes of the jocks. It just has that feel to me in the one deleted scene where we get to see it. As such, it’s the place where a little off-the-record communication can be done.A/N: My personal headcanon is that Tosche Station has existed for a long time. It’s one of those places high school kids hang out, like the mall – only on Tatooine. It changes some through the years, but mostly stays the same. It’s where the geeks go to play with their electronics away from the prying eyes of the jocks. It just has that feel to me in the one deleted scene where we get to see it. As such, it’s the place where a little off-the-record communication can be done.

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