Characters: Yané, Sabé, Rabé, Eirtaé, Dormé, Moteé, Ellé
mentioned: Typho, Saché, Padmé, Obi-Wan, Anakin
Pairing (if applicable): Jester/Yané, hints of Sobiwan
Rating/Warning(s): PG (for young adults having wine)
Summary: Yané invites all of the handmaidens and former handmaidens of Amidala to her birthday party. This takes place several years into the Clone Wars
Author's Note: This ficlet was inspired by the Clone Wars series and the posters they had in their bunker of the handmaidens posing in the flame gowns. _darthvader_ also mentioned the idea of writing a ficlet about it to me.
It was the first time in years that all of the handmaidens had been able to get together. Yané invited many of the old crew to come visit her on Coruscant for her twentieth birthday and with them, they brought memories of the antics they got up to when they were serving Amidala as queen.
Yané was the youngest of the old crew, but now that she had been serving Amidala for over ten years she was considered with the same prestige as the others she had always looked up to. Even after all of these years, whenever they got together, it was as if no time had passed at all. Eirtaé brought her little boy with her on this trip and it was the first time Yané had a chance to see him. It seemed like just yesterday when she attended Eirtaé’s wedding.
But even though everyone had grown up and changed, many things still remained the same such as their in-jokes and humour that Yané wanted the newer handmaidens to be a part of as well. This was one of the reasons she made it a special request to have the newer handmaidens get the night off.
They had dinner at one of the local restaurants before returning to Yané’s apartment. She still served Amidala, but was no longer a member of the security entourage due to an injury she received at the start of the clone wars. However, she was still a valuable asset to Amidala because of her knowledge of seven different languages and ten different dialects. Even though Amidala’s protocol droid was more efficient, it wasn’t the same as having a human being around. There were also times with C3PO wasn’t around and Amidala would request Yané’s assistance.
Yané’s apartment was within the same building as Amidala’s though on a lower floor which was far less expensive to rent. Though it was small, it was larger than the handmaidens’ common room area so it was better for having all of them over. Eirtaé and her son were staying in the guest bedroom which was now in disarray. Whenever Eirtaé was not on duty, she had a tendency to be quite a mess and a toddler didn’t help in such matters.
Though Saché and Sabé were only able to stop in for a little while because they were still on duty, even the youngest and newest recruits were having a grand time hearing about everything those they looked up to had gotten away with at the palace.
‘Oh no, that wasn’t me!’ Eirtaé attested, laughing at the memory. ‘We all know it was Saché.’
‘She always had a thing for men in uniform,’ Moteé added, wriggling her brow.
‘If she was here right now, she’d punch you for that,’ said Yané, though she too couldn’t resist giggling. ‘But replacing a blaster with your brother’s toy one isn’t nearly as bad as walking in on a Jedi when he’s trying to take a shower—’
‘That was an accident!’ Rabé swore. Her cheeks were the colour muja fruit.
‘I thought it was a dare! At least that’s what I heard,’ Moteé put in, eying Eirtaé, who had been there during that particular incident.
Rabé didn’t answer the question. Even after all of this time, just looking Master Kenobi in the eye made her embarrassed. He had been so kind about it, saying that there was no harm and that he knew it had been an accident. He hadn’t even brought it up again after that.
‘I admit,’ Eirtaé said, ‘all four of us, Sabé and Padmé included, thought he was very handsome and wanted to see some skin. ‘Don’t tell Atam about that!’ she said, referring to her husband, although she was kidding because he already knew about all of her adventures as a royal handmaiden. Eight years of service was enough for her and after Padmé became a senator, Eirtaé married and pursued her non-political interests.
As the newest handmaidens, Dormé and Ellé sat apart from the other young women, not saying anything as they watched on. It was Yané who noticed this and she wanted them to feel at home in her apartment. She asked if they would like something to drink and made sure that they were comfortable.
Dormé was more conversational after having a drink. She laughed as loud as Eirtaé and that was saying something.
When the topic turned to the pranks pulled on Captain Soren Typho, Dormé had quite a bit to say about that. ‘You should have seen the look on his face when he realised that his eye patch had a smiley face on it... He was asleep when we did it and Saché couldn’t stop giggling.’
Moteé chortled, ‘That was you?’ as some fizz from her drink nearly came out of her nose. ‘I had no idea! He was so furious!’
‘Brilliant!’ Ellé said. ‘I’ve got to come up with something now...but I have so much to live up to. You are professionals!’
‘Don’t worry, we’ll help,’ Dormé assured her, giving her a pat on the back.
Rabé rose from the couch to get something out of the bag of goodies she brought from the handmaidens’ quarters. ‘You know how we just got back from Naboo?’ she said. ‘Well, I’ve got something else that might stir up some old memories...’ She tossed a few brightly coloured gowns out of the bag at the young ladies in the room.
‘Oh my goddess, Rabé, you didn’t!’ Yané gasped.
‘Goddess knows I can’t fit into those anymore,’ Eirtaé said, grinning as she shook her head in disbelief.
‘They’re gorgeous!’ Dormé gasped, feeling the fabric between her calloused hands.
Ellé and Moteé were eager to try them on and took turns in the refresher slipping the gowns on.
‘How do we look?’ Ellé modelled the orange-red gown, minus the hood.
‘You’re not wearing it properly,’ Yané said, giggling as she went to adjust the hood for both Ellé and Moteé.
‘Oh can’t forget that,’ Moteé said. ‘I have to say this thing is hideous.’ She was soon passing the gown to Sabé who just got off duty.
‘Smile!’ Yané said, taking a picture of the two girls with her new camera. She was so thrilled that everyone could make it and to celebrate her birthday that she wanted to test out the camera.
Eirtaé and Rabé were the only ones that didn’t want to goof around in their old handmaiden outfits, while the others thought it was quite fun. Sabé didn’t mind posing for a few pictures either, believing they would stay within the handmaiden sisterhood.
‘Birthday girl’s turn!’ Dormé said, after changing back into her own clothes.
Yané agreed and Sabé took her camera.
‘Strike a pose,’ Moteé suggested.
Sabé poked out her tongue.
Yané batted her eyelashes.
‘Oh that’s very come-hither,’ Rabé teased her when Yané made a sexy look at the camera.
‘One more, Sabé, only this time as though Master Kenobi was in the room,’ suggested Dormé knowingly.
Sabé blushed and decided she had had enough posing. She hardly thought such a thing would be appropriate or regarded as such by the formidable Jedi Master whom she had the pleasure of calling a friend.
Later that evening, Eirtaé went to get her son from his relative’s home and returned to see Dormé and Yané cleaning up after the party. There were empty bottles of blossom wine on the table and bags of crisps and snack items on the floor. ‘I take it the party took off after I left?’ she joked.
‘You missed Moteé standing on the desk, belting out some heavy isotope tune, although I’m not quite sure if it was in Basic or if it was in some other language,’ Yané informed her.
‘Couldn’t really understand it between the slurred words, but I think I recognised the song,’ Dormé admitted with a giggle.
Once the place was cleaned up, Dormé was about to head out the door when she remembered something. She stopped short and turned around. ‘I forgot to give this to you earlier,’ she said. ‘Anakin gave it to me, but he swore he didn’t watch it.’
Yané accepted the datachip curiously. ‘Thank you. Have a good night.’
‘See you tomorrow,’ Dormé replied before leaving.
When she was alone, Yané put the chip into her datapad. It was a message from one of the clone troopers.
‘I don’t know when we’ll be back, but I just wanted to leave you a message to let you know I erm—’
The trooper scratched the back of his neck before looking back into the projector again. ‘I would like to get to know you better. I’ve been thinking about you like mad ever since we left Coruscant a few weeks back. You probably think I’m crazy. Yané, I think you’re the most beautiful and sweetest women I’ve ever met. And that’s all I wanted to say.’
The trooper didn’t say anything for a little while and looked as though he were going to turn off the recording. ‘I know we all look alike in our uniforms, so—’ He chuckled before revealing his call sign to her. ‘But everyone just calls me Jester or Jes for short. I won’t take it personally if you don’t reply to this. I just wanted you to know.’ And with that, the message stopped.
In disbelief, Yané replayed the message again, trying to remember the clone trooper. She wished they didn’t have their helmets on so soften, but there was one man that she remembered meeting before, or rather, meeting his glance. It had to have been him. But why, out of all of the handmaidens had he picked her out? Was it because she hadn’t blended in? It was just a brief meeting, a security meeting before team Skywalker and Kenobi left for the frontlines once more, if she recalled, when he was there. There had been so many other people in the room...
Pondering this, Yané decided to reply to his message. Even if he, like so many other clone troopers, were to die on the battlefield, she wanted him to know that there was someone out there that cared for him. All of the clones were without families or loved ones to care for them. She couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be without a family or at least friends. She thought of Dormé and the fact that her parents or so-called family didn’t care about her, but that she had found a new family with her fellow handmaidens. She hoped Jester at least found refuse with his fellow comrades in arms. At the same time, that sort of camaraderie wasn’t the same as having someone who wanted to make sure that you did come home.
‘And I hope to see you soon, Jester,’ she replied at the end of her message. Along with the holo-recording, she attached a few pictures of herself that Sabé and one of the others had taken of her at her party. She smiled as she sent it off, wondering what the future would hold.
Yané had to admit that this birthday was by far the best one she had celebrated in her whole life.