"That's it, Obi, you got it!"
Young Obi-Wan Skywalker frowned as he focused his attention on the cookie jar. He knew that his parents wouldn't be happy if they knew what he and his brother, Anakin, were up to; but that didn't stop him from doing it anyway. Obi had always had a sweet tooth, and the thought of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies was simply too much to pass up.
"Easy, easy," Anakin Junior said as he watched the cookie jar float down from the shelf. He could have done it himself, but wasn't willing to take the chance of getting caught. It seemed impossible to get away with anything when their father was home; having the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy as their father certainly had its disadvantages.
"Bingo" Ani said with a smile as the cookie jar landed easily in his hands. "You've done well, young one," he said in a perfect imitation of Yoda that made Obi burst out laughing.
Ani opened the jar and looked down into the jar and then up at his brother. "Dude, we've been had," he said.
Obi didn't know what he meant, and then looked down into the jar. It contained nothing but crumbs. "What happened? Mommy just made them this afternoon!"
Ani frowned. "I don't know, but I have a feeling that Qui-Gon had something do to with it."
Obi matched his brother's frown, determined to help Ani get revenge in whatever way he could.
"Come on, let's get back to bed before we get caught," Ani said, sending the empty cookie jar back onto the shelf. "Qui-Gon's not gonna get away with this, Obi."
Obi nodded, and followed his brother back upstairs, yawning mightily as he did so.
The boys sneaked into the room where fourteen-year-old Qui-Gon slept. Knowing that he was a sound sleeper, Ani peered around the room, which was eliminated only by the hall light.
"What are you looking for?" Obi whispered rather loudly.
"Be quiet!" Ani hissed. "What do you think, dummy? The cookies!"
Obi mouthed a silent Oh! Of understanding and helped his brother look around, not having a clue what to look for.
Ani, however, did, and smiled as he saw a neatly packed pile on Qui-Gon's desk. "What do we have here?" he asked as he floated the package over. Without taking the chance of awakening his elder brother, Ani left the room silently, motioning for his younger brother to follow. Obi-Wan did so, not really understanding what was going on.
Elsewhere that night
"I can't believe this- it's….it's so embarrassing."
"Anakin, it happens all the time. It's nothing to be embarrassed about."
"But I'm only forty-two years old!"
"Yes, well, I suppose that's part of growing older isn't it?"
"I'm too young for this."
Anakin stared down at his chest, scowling at the offending grey hair. "This really stinks," he sighed.
Padmé smiled. "Anakin, you're just as attractive, just as virile and just as desirable with one grey hair than you were without any."
Anakin looked up at her. "You're just saying that," he mumbled.
"No I'm not," she said, pushing him backwards onto the bed. "And I'll prove it to you," she added.
Anakin smiled. "I love it when you take charge like this," he said.
"I know," she replied, lowering herself to kiss him.
Suddenly she stopped and looked up. Anakin looked up at her questioningly.
"What is it?" he asked.
Padmé frowned. "I don't know," she said. "I just have the feeling that something is going on."
Anakin smiled. "Well something was about to go on," he teased.
"No I mean the kids," she said.
Anakin nodded, knowing that even without force sensitivity his wife was seldom wrong when it came to their children. Their mischief was the thing of legends, and, as much as he hated to admit it, an hereditary Skywalker trait.
"You want me to check on them?" he asked her.
Padmé waited a moment longer, the feeling gone. "No, I think it's okay," she said. "But I'm sure one of them was up to something."
Anakin smiled. "So what else is new?" he asked, pulling her down to him again.
The next morning
Breakfast was noisy, as it was every morning, as all of the Skywalker children assembled with their parents to start their day.
"Does anyone know why the cookie jar was down on the counter this morning?" Padmé asked as she poured some milk into her tea. She looked at her two youngest children, knowing that the odds were very high that they were involved.
"I don't know, Mommy," Shmi responded, looking pointedly at her two younger brothers. "But I did hear lots of noise coming from the kitchen last night."
Obi and Ani looked at one another conspiratorially.
"Is that so?" Padmé asked. "Does anyone know what might have been going on in the kitchen?"
"I know Mommy," Amidala spoke up. "But I promised Qui-Gon I wouldn't tell," she added.
"Ami!" Qui-Gon hissed, rolling his eyes.
"Let's have it," Anakin said at last. "What's going on?"
"I took them," Qui-Gon admitted finally.
"Why?" Anakin asked. "And why all the secrecy?"
"I wanted to give them to someone," Qui-Gon responded. "As a gift. Mom's cookies are so good, I …I know it's stupid, but.."
"It's not stupid at all, Qui-Gon," Leia spoke up, smiling at her younger brother. She knew exactly who he wanted to give them to, but wasn't about to betray his secret.
"You could have asked," Padmé pointed out. "I would have been happy to help you wrap them up."
"I wrapped them for him," Amidala spoke up. "But promised not to tell," she added, looking at Qui-Gon.
Anakin smiled. "Who is she, son?" he asked Qui-Gon.
Qui-Gon's face turned red. "Nobody," he mumbled, tired of being the center of attention. "Just a girl in one of my classes."
Luke and Leia exchanged a look, each of them knowing exactly who it was.
"Girls are gross," Ani declared. "What a waste of cookies."
"You're such a baby, Ani," Amidala sighed.
"Dad!" Ani complained.
"Come on, let's get going," Anakin said to his brood. He bent and gave Padmé a kiss. "It would be nice if just for once we weren't late."
All of the children but Leia stood up.
"Leia? You coming?" Luke asked her, knowing she usually rode in with him.
"Uh, no," Leia replied. "I'm getting a ride with someone else."
Anakin stopped in his tracks and turned around. "Who?" he asked.
Leia frowned. "Does it matter?" she asked.
"I wouldn't ask otherwise," Anakin replied.
"It's Han," Leia replied, trying to appear cool. "He's picking me up. Okay? No big deal."
Anakin frowned, getting the feeling that it was indeed a big deal. "Very well," he said. "We'll see you there."
Padmé watched them leave and then turned to Leia. "You're going to have to tell him sooner or later, Leia," she said.
"I know," Leia sighed. "I'd just as soon it was later rather than sooner."
Padmé smiled. "He'll figure it out if you don't tell him," she pointed out. "And if that happens.."
"I know I know," Leia replied, standing up. "He'll be ticked off. I'll tell him today, Mom. I promise."
"Good," Padmé replied. "Have a good day, sweetie."
"Thanks Mom," Leia replied. "You too."
Anakin drove along with his three younger sons, the girls having gone with Luke in his speeder. Anakin looked sideways at Qui-Gon who sat beside him, eyeing the parcel on the boy's lap.
"You're a little young to be giving gifts to a girl, aren't you?" Anakin asked finally.
Qui-Gon shrugged and looked out the window. "It's just cookies," he replied defensively. "I had some at school last week and I let her have one. She liked it so I said I'd bring more. What's the big deal?"
Anakin frowned. "The big deal is that when boys give things to girls there is usually some level of affection implied," he pointed out. "Is that your intention?"
Qui-Gon's frown matched his father's as he pondered this, and then an idea came to him. "How old were you when you gave Mom that necklace she wears?" he countered.
"Nine," Anakin replied. "But that was completely different."
"Why? How?" Qui-Gon responded.
Anakin's frown deepened. "It just was," he replied. "Besides, you're avoiding my question."
Qui-Gon's face reddened slightly. "I guess I kind of like her," he admitted. "Kinda."
Anakin couldn't help but smile. "And you thought this gesture would make her return those feelings?"
"No…well- I don't know," the boy replied, playing nervously with the ribbon on the package. He frowned as he focused on the package, sensing that something was different, something was wrong.
He looked back at the two young boys who were trying desperately not to laugh, and immediately became suspicious. Remembering how his sister had heard someone in the kitchen the previous night, Qui-Gon began to grow suspicious of his two brothers.
"What is it?" Anakin asked, sensing Qui-Gon's change of focus.
Qui-Gon didn't respond, but he felt the package, feeling through the then wrapping. It wasn't cookies that he felt, however. It was soft, squishy…
"What the…?" Qui-Gon said, and then ripped off the paper. Ani and Obi burst out laughing at this point when Qui-Gon found a neatly folded pair of briefs rather than the cookies that Amidala had so painstakingly wrapped.
"You idiots!" Qui-Gon shouted, firing the offending garment at the two boys, who were by now almost hysterical with laughter.
"That was a very cruel trick," Anakin said at last. The boys began to calm down, the tone of their father's voice taking the hilarity from the situation. "You should both be ashamed of yourselves."
Ani and Obi looked at one another, and then down at the floor of the speeder, the picture of contrition.
"You both owe your brother an apology," Anakin continued.
"Sorry Qui-Gon," they chorused.
"And as punishment for what you did," Anakin added, "you can do Qui-Gon's chores for the next week."
Obi and Ani both opened their mouths in an identical manner as though they were about to protest, but then thought better of it.
"It was Ani's idea," Obi mumbled dejectedly.
"Yeah, but it was your skid-marked underwear," Ani pointed out.
"Your underwear has more skid marks then mine!" Obi retorted.
"ENOUGH!" Anakin shouted. "No one wants to know about your underwear! Not another word, do you hear me? Not one more word."
The boys nodded and glared at one another in silent rage.
Anakin looked at Qui-Gon briefly. "Tomorrow, Luke takes them," he said with a sigh.