From A Night To (Almost) Remember
Excerpt by Jemmiah
|Qui-Gon squinted at the glass. It seemed to shudder and blur out of focus every now and again, as if it had a life of its own. Well, OK. The game had proved to be a little more difficult than he'd first anticipated, but so what? He was coping quite well.
"Iamcopingverywell." He mumbled as his eyes crossed in the middle and then back again.
"Sure you are, Master Jinn." Jemmiah said with an encouraging nod, all the time not taking her gaze from him.
Sith, the man was in a bad way and no mistake!
"Just maybe next time you should try and concentrate on getting the words and actions a bit more correct than they have been up until now."
"Were…were they not correct?" Qui-Gon tilted his head to one side in confusion.
"No, if they had been we'd…oh, nevermind." Jemmy shrugged. "Rela? Want to show him one last time?"
"Sure. Look Babyface, it's like this." She stood up. "You say…"
"I know, I know." Qui-Gon frowned, waving away the assistance. "Don't help me."
"Well, if you know it all how come your are sitting here getting as pissed as a newt?"
"I am not as nissed as a pewt." Qui-Gon insisted. "And there'ssssss no need to be vulgar. I know exactly what to ssssssay."
He shifted in his seat.
"Here'sss to the successssss of Va…Valorum. May he be honesssst and wissseand, er…?" Jinn stopped as he tried to recall the correct words. "something about fries, wasn't it?"
"Oh-oh-oh!" Rela tutted. "Guess what."
"Wrong?" Jinn pleaded against the decision with rounded eyes.
"'Fraid so." Rela scrunched up her nose as she watched a monster sigh rack the frame of the usually sober and straight-laced Jedi master.
"Doesssss this mean I have to…to…?" He pointed an unsteady hand at the glass of whisky.
"Yup." Jemmy smiled. "Drink it down, Master Jinn."
"Must I?" He turned the hurt expression on Jemmiah.
"Sorry." She clapped him on the shoulder. "Rules are rules. I would love to make an exception for you Master Jinn, but I'm afraid…"
"No." Qui-Gon shook his head. "If the rulessss ssssay I have to drink thissss then I have to…have to drink it. Thanksss, though." He turned to Rela. "I really like thissss one. She can be ssssuch a …sssssuch a…pain in the rear but she'ssss my little girl."
Jemmiah looked shocked.
"UGH!" She said. "Get him to drink that before he says anything else that might embarrass me in front of everyone!"
"It'ssss true." He nodded so hard that Rela expected his head to fall off his shoulders onto the tabletop. "I just can't believe how much she'sss grown up. Where…" He frowned at Rela, "Where did all the time go to, hmmm?"
"Who knows, Qui-Gon, who knows." Rela chuckled as she made little circular movements by the side of her head.
"You know, if I was only twenty yearssss younger…" He smiled glassily.
"Master!" Obi-Wan scolded.
"Oh, dear. I've offended the other half." Qui-Gon eyed his padawan. He leaned in so that Rela could hear what he had to say. "Between you and me, I'd say he'sssss a trifle intoxi…intox…drunk."
"Huh!" Kenobi would have pointed at him if his arms were unbandaged. "That's rich, master."
"They got married you know?" Jinn laughed. "Evie will kill 'em when she findsss out."
"We're not really married." Obi-Wan insisted. "Not properly."
"I still want a divorce." Jemmiah sniffed. "He says when he becomes a knight, the first thing he's going to do is grow a beard so he can be just like you. Well, I'm not kissing anything that resembles a man with a Vrelt stuck to his face."
"She really does love me." Obi-Wan assured Rela.
Jemmy eyed the long fingers playing with the glass.
"Stop stalling, Master Jinn. Drink it all down and have another go."
Qui-Gon took his courage, and his life, in his hands and drained the glass. "That wasssSith horrible!" He coughed. "Godssssthat'ssssssstrong! Whatcha got in here? Double'ssss or sssomethin'?"
Jemmy raised an eyebrow.
"Have another go, Qui-Gon." Rela smiled.
"Oh, basssssaladssss!" He swore.
"Hey," Jemmy frowned, "that's my favorite swear word. Find another one!"
"Maybe you're a bad influ…in…anfluence." Jinn propped his head in his hands. "I could sssswear you're trying to get me - Hic - drunk." He tapped his nose in a knowing fashion. "I know that little game, young lady. I usssed to play it on Yoda whenever I wanted to jump on my girlfriend."
"M-master!" Obi-Wan looked shocked. "I wouldn't…I mean I…"
"You are a rotten liar, young padawan." Jinn hiccuped.
"Did your little trick work on Yoda?" Jemmy asked.
Qui-Gon tittered. "Yeah. Why do you think I'msssso fond of Alderaani Rum?"
He looked round the bar. "There'sssssome here I wishhh I hadn't bothered trying it for. I mean, take Sssssal-Fina." He appraised her casually. "I have to sssssay that at the moment she looksss quite good. For a perssson of her extreme age. A bit wrinkly, perhapsss. Not asssssyoungasssssshewas. Ssssomewhat passsst her prime. But sssstill pretty attractive." Jinn leered. "But with thisss drink an' thisss light, even a Hutt would look pretty attractive."
Jemmiah howled with laughter.
"An' I'll tell you sssomething elsssse, shall I?" He beckoned Jemmiah forwards.
"What?" She wondered.
"That Healer Leona'ssss a bit of alright, don't you think?"
Jemmy's eyes gleamed. Success!
"You'd better snap her up before someone else does, hadn't you?" She whispered confidentially.
"Oh?" He stood up.
"Not now!" She tugged at his sleeve. "Later. Buy her a drink or something."
"Yeah. A drink." Qui-Gon agreed.
Rela and Jemmiah's eyes followed the line of Jedi along the table who were trying to recite their little Valorum speech. Cries of "Wrong!" were coming thick and fast.
"I think Lilith and Krelo have been cheating." Whispered Rela.
"Is that right?" Jemmy smirked. "I'll bear that in mind for later."
She looked down to see Qui-Gon struggling to keep his head from the tabletop.
"Wake up, Master Jinn. We're not finished with you yet!"
Qui-Gon muttered something into his arms.
"What was that?" Rela frowned.
"I dunno." Jemmy paused. "But it sounded like it had something to do with surgical stockings!"
"Is…is my tongue still there?" Dex asked with a huge and silly grin plastered across his face. "I can't feel it."
Krelo's eyes lit up. "Why don't we find out, huh?"
She grabbed the Corellian's head in both hands and promptly pulled him towards her with a strength that surprised him, even inspite of his inebriation. Lilith watched as Krelo worked hard to discover just how far to the limit he was drink-wise. It became apparent early on that his tongue was working on autopilot, and that the little grey cells were waving a white flag of surrender.
"Yup, the tongue still works, Dex. But I reckon that's probably about all."
"It doesn't matter." She grinned.
Obi-Wan pouted. He felt he wasn't getting all the attention that he required. After all, his planned night of passion had been curtailed in the cruelest of ways. Even when a male spider was fending off the amorous attentions of its mate it still had the use of its arms!
He sighed, and then realized that wasn't going to be enough so he upped it to a small groan.
"What's wrong, Ben?" Jemmy frowned, trying to keep an eye on an extremely smashed Qui-Gon.
"Hands hurt." He mumbled, trying to look sad and pathetic.
"Yeah?" She walked over and sat down beside him. "Poor baby. C'mere." She hugged his head hard against her chest.
If she could have seen the smug and contented expression on the padawan's face she might not have been in such a rush to offer succor, thought Captain Demodae.
"Here's a toast to Valurrrrrum." Mace snickered, standing up. " May he…may he…oh…no, that's not it…er, may he be honest and…and wise and…er, cover his, um…flies!"
"Have another drink, Mace!" Spider poured another finger of whisky.
"Well, what's wrong with that? Doesn't the guy have flies?" Windu took the glass hesitantly.
"I'll tell you what. Jemmy and I will make it our lifetime mission to find out." Spider grinned as the dark skinned master screwed up his eyes as the alcohol hit his throat.
"You do that." Mace nodded in earnest.
Rela watched as Qui-Gon stood unsteadily.
"I give you….Valorum! May the missssssserable vrelt roassst in hell for all eternity for what he'sssss jussst done to me!" Jinn declared happily as he swayed from side to side.
I am so glad this is going on holocam, Rela thought!
"That's wrong Qui-Gon, as you well know." Rela slid another glass over.
"Who givesssss a tossssssssss?"
"Pardon?!" Rela exclaimed.
"Weeeeeeell. If that'ssss not what it issss that'ssss what it should be. 'An you can tell 'im I ssssaid ssssso."
"I wish I had his money." Windu sighed.
"I wish I had his wife!" Dex smiled.
"She's dead, isn't she?" Griff joined in, lolling about listlessly on one elbow.
"Wouldn't bother him!" Qui-Gon nodded at Berlingside.
"Wouldn't bother Valorum either, from what I've heard." Griff snorted. "I can't see the attraction. I've heard he like's 'em young. Makes him feel he's doing all right for himself. But they're not. They're just after his wad."
"His what?" Mace frowned.
"Oh." Mace looked blank.
Qui-Gon bit back his revulsion and swallowed his ninth glass.
"Here's to Valorummm - Hic- and his teenage nymphets. I am so very jealous, you rotten swine." Qui-Gon smiled.
Obi-Wan's grin grew even bigger with every passing moment as Jemmy stroked his spiky hair in a soothing manner. He was quite impressed with the view as well…
"You OK down there?" Simeon asked in a bewildered tone.
"I'm fine, I'm absolutely fine." Kenobi's sigh was muffled.
"It's just I wouldn't want you to get lost in there or something."
"I don't care." He sighed.
"If you do, can I be in the advanced search and rescue party?" Cates asked.
"Right, OK." Simeon lurched away to annoy Meri.
"Don't get too comfortable." Jemmiah warned him. "We'll be going to the next cantina soon."
"But I like it here." He said rapturously. "It's a sight I'm hoping to get used to over the next few weeks."
Leona wandered over.
"Can he breathe in there?"
"So what if I can't, I'll die happy." Obi-Wan grinned.
Qui-Gon was making a last desperate attempt to get the whole thing right. Why couldn't he use the force to help him remember? What was wrong with him?
He cleared his throat.
"Here's a toast to Senator Marrot,
Whose privates were shaped like a…"
"QUI-GON!" Rela cut in. "DON'T!"
"Why?" He huffed.
"Just…don't." She insisted.
Jinn pouted like a small child. "Valorummm…here's a toast…to...er…look, jussssst give me the damned bottle!" He snatched the whisky away and drained the lot within a minute.
"There, you ssssssee?" He giggled. "Nothing to it. Jusssst like I said."
His chin hit the table with an enormous whump.
"Valorum, you've just made another young girl very happy!" Rela grinned as Qui-Gon fell to the floor.