|The I.R.S comes to Coruscant
An-Paj stood and stared.
//I knew they were attached, but this is ridiculous. Every conceivable compound had been tried over the last few hours, and nothing had made a dent in the adhesive.//
So far, Obi-Wan had a rash on his arm from a tube a ointment, and Jemmiah had broken one of his fingers when she'd slammed it in the door. It was supposed to be payback for not turning his head when Miran had helped her into a hospital gown.
Miran typed in the last list of 'stuff' An-Paj had poured over the hands of his two patients before deciding that nothing could be done for them.
"You'll just have to live with it. The compound should break down in a day or so."
//I wish they wouldn't yell in unison.//
"You heard me. I'm sending you both home with Qui-Gon. You'll just have to learn to work together for the next 24 hours or so."
Just then the door opened and a well-bandaged and irate Qui-Gon stormed in.
"You have some explaining to do when we get home. Both of you."
Jemmiah smiled sweetly before saying, "But Master Jinn, I thought Yoda would have told you about the differences between boys and girls by now."
"And Master, first you get to explain the brothel."
<Wipe that smirk off your face padawan. It's not what it seems.>
<Well, neither was this.>
Giving up out of exhaustion, Qui-Gon dragged them both to his quarters.
//Now how to I keep them from actually sleeping together?//
Eyeing their joined hands, Qui-Gon pictured a very long night ahead of them.
"But I didn't know the adhesive was so strong!"
"You should have checked padawan."
"I was just doing what you said."
"Levitating an open container of glue and pouring it over them? When did I say to do that?"
Swallowing, Bant settled in for a lecture about 'doing what I mean and not what I say', from An-Paj.
//Accountants are evil.//
Obi-Wan struggled against his torturer.
//Please stop! I can't take much more of this!// He couldn't quite manage to form the words. It would just make things worse anyway.
It was worse watching it happen to someone else knowing what it felt like. //How can she withstand that without screaming? Maybe she is stronger than a Jedi.//
Flinching away at the quick ripping sound; Obi-Wan tried to focus on happy thoughts.
"Oh stop being a wimp Ben. I'll be done in a minute. I'm just waxing my legs."
"Jemmiah, how can you do that to yourself."
Giving him a 'did you hit your head a little to hard' look, Jemmiah resumed her task.
//Does he expect me to let myself go just because I'm stuck to him? I would have gone faster if he would have helped instead of cowering there.//
Qui-Gon looked in from the hallway. Leaving them alone hadn't been his first option, but with the memory of Jemmiah giving Obi-Wan and himself a full body wax still fresh in his mind, he too decided to avoid the situation.
//Now what am I going to do with them at bedtime?//
Obi-Wan wandered out into the living room, with Jemmiah over one shoulder, and a pillow over the other.
//Why does Qui-Gon insist we sleep out here? I have a perfectly good bed...//
"Ow! Don't kick me!"
"Then put me down you... you... scruffy looking Nerf herder!"
Something told him the longer he and Jemmiah were stuck together, the more bruises he would end up with.
Qui-Gon placed his pillow on the couch and lay down, as Obi-Wan dropped Jemmiah on the floor. What he hadn't counted on, was Jemmiah using their 'bond' to pull him down with her.
Rubbing his head, Obi-Wan wondered if he'd ever get rid of the bumps and bruises from the day. Grumbling as Jemmiah took his pillow and blanket, Obi-Wan tried to follow his Master's lead and go to sleep.
Unfortunately, the Force had other ideas.
The Council Chamber was full. Master Yoda sat in his usual seat, but he was the only Council member present. Three accountants sat with him, and a secretary operated a voice encryption holo tape.
But the majority of people in attendance were Healer's. Master An-Paj stood with Healer Leona. Behind them, a line of padawans had formed. Giana, Hrothar, Bant, Simeon, Dimallie, and Miran with the all-important list, were ready to testify for the accountants.
"Master Jedi, let me get this straight. This morning you claimed that a Master Jinn and a Padawan Kenobi were using up 75% of your budget. Do you have anything to prove this claim?"
"Yes, we do."
"Well, where is the evidence?"
"The first things I would like to show you are the pair's medical records, however, I hesitate to bring them in here."
"BRING THEM IN!"
Nodding towards the door, An-Paj watched as the padawans levitated the "Jinn/Kenobi Medical Library" through the doors... and onto the accountants.
Extricating themselves, the men looked at the healer as if he was a blue sith, rather than a Jedi Master.
"Is there anything else?"
"This is the list of medical supplies they have used today."
Miran produced the datapad, and handed it to the head accountant.
"How do two people use this many supplies in 12 standards?"
"Well, you see," Leona jumped in, "So far they've been beaten by women, one in a brothel and the other by his girlfriend. One was injured by toddlers and the other fell down the stairs..."
"And don't forget Master Jinn set himself on fire."
"Ah yes, thank you for reminding me Hrothar."
"And there was that tray of syringes, Master."
The healer's eyed the fuming accountants. "We've seen enough. We will approve your expenses if..."
His reply was interrupted by a padawan screaming. "Why do I get a bad feeling about this?"
An-Paj stood in the doorway. He allowed himself to rationalize it as sparing Obi-Wan any more embarrassment for the day. The fact the he and Qui-Gon were screaming back and forth at each other didn't help to keep things quiet.
Jemmiah looked at him for help just as the two started to play tug of war for her. Armed with a pillow, she proceeded to smack both of them over the head. Feathers rained down.
Sighing An-Paj heard laughter and knew that the accountants that had trailed them downstairs were getting an eyeful right now.
Turning he motioned towards the scene in front of him. "Please meet Master Jinn and Padawan Kenobi."
Watching as the men exchanged looks he could almost hear them wonder if perhaps the question was one of sanity and not of budgets.
Suddenly realizing they had an audience, the two jedi stopped and stared at the crowd of bookkeepers and healers standing in their living room.
Breaking through the crowd with the help of his cane, Master Yoda glared at the two. "Explanation you have. Tell us you will."
Swallowing Qui-Gon wondered how his life could get any worse. Then Obi-Wan spoke.
"You see, Jemmiah and I were just trying to get some sleep when Qui-Gon picked me up and started yelling at me. I didn't do a thing, Jedi's honor."
"That's not true and you know it. I was just trying to be a kind, understanding Master, letting Obi-Wan and Jemmiah sleep out here since Obi-Wan's bed is so small, and I look down and see them on top of each other."
Jemmiah looked absolutely horrified at the implications. "Now look here. I may be Corellian, but I have some standards. I am not doing a thing in front of HIM." Pointing as Qui-Gon she added, "he was sleeping on the couch," for emphasis.
Obi-Wan controlled the blush spreading across his face, before regaining the power of speech. "I rolled over. That's it. What was I going to do with her? She even tried to torture me and...."
"Enough that is. Sleep you all will. Go we must."
The crowd bolted into the hall leaving the threesome alone. Collapsing into fits of giggles, Yoda had to say it.
"Feathers they look good in. Boas they should wear."
It was 10 minutes before they began to breathe again.
Obi-Wan rubbed his hand once more. <I never thought it would feel so good to get away from Jemmy.>
<Just don't let her know that, padawan. It might be hazardous to your health.>
The Master and Padawan entered the small conference room attached to the infirmary and tried not to wonder too loudly why they had been summoned.
Reining in their surprise at seeing Master Yoda and An-Paj teamed up; they seated themselves across the table after a brief bow.
"Reporting as requested, Masters."
"Problem we have. Audited we were. Expensive Healers are. Humph."
"What does that have to do with Obi-Wan and myself, Master?"
"Use too many supplies you do. Depleting the galaxy of bacta you are. Over budget they are."
An-Paj cleared his throat self-consciously.
//They look more unhappy every second. Once this is over, bolt.//
"Accountants last night you saw. Decision they reached. On a budget all field teams will be. 1,000,000 credits you each will have."
"I understand Master. It seems everything would be in order then. Why confer with us separately? Surely all the teams are affected."
"Difficult you two are. Hurt, sick, and shot you always seem to be. When budget gone, fundraise you will."
"Dismissed you are."
Rising they made their way out the door, missing the knowing looks Yoda and An-Paj exchanged.
//Master, how much bacta will a million credits buy anyway?//
//I don't know padawan, I just don't know.//
"Chancellor, there is only one option. The trade deficit between Bactaen and the Republic is simply too large."
"It seems so drastic. Surely there must be another way."
"I'm afraid not."
"The Republic will have to increase the cost of bacta, Chancellor."
"We all have agreed, sir. The increase is small enough to only affect those who use it in massive quantities."
"Alright. Bring me the treaty. I'll sign it."
Half a galaxy away...
"Look out Padawan!"
"Behind you Master!"
"Quick! On the shuttle!"
Slumping against the shuttle door, Qui-Gon eyed his apprentice.
//It hurts Master.//
//I know. Let's get you in a bunk and back to the healers.//
//Yes, Master... What about you Master?//
//Nothing a little bacta won't fix.//
//What would we do without bacta master?//
//Fall apart I suppose...//