Anakin has about a minute on the landing platform of the cloning facilities of Kamino alone, getting soaked in the ever present rain, before he’s greeted by a very annoyed looking man.
“Uh, hi?” Anakin offers.
“You should have called,” the man grunts back. “Obi-Wan was worried.”
Obi-Wan, Anakin is pretty sure, is incapable of worry. Obi-Wan treats anxiety like a feeling that happens to other people, letting it slide straight off of him and into the Force. He’s tempted to say that, but the man looks annoyed enough that Anakin decides not to say anything.
“You know Obi-Wan?”
The man looks at him, and then down at himself, where he’s—
Anakin’s brain short-circuits.
He’s wearing Obi-Wan’s tabards.
Anakin’s pretty sure that Obi-Wan wears the exact same tabards as half of the Jedi Order, seeing as he gets them from the quartermaster and never asks for any particular customization. So he’s not entirely sure how he knows that this man is wearing Obi-Wan’s specific tabards, but he is.
“Right,” Anakin says, very smartly. “You know Obi-Wan.”
The man gives him a very nonplussed look. Anakin has the weird feeling that he’s being judged, which, given that they’ve literally just met and Anakin was being rained on, does not entirely feel fair.
They’ve just reached the building when Anakin hears Obi-Wan’s very distinct voice. “Jango,” Obi-Wan says, “You didn’t bring a towel with you… Oh. Anakin. You’re here! You should have called ahead.”
Anakin frowns. “You don’t sound very happy.”
“I am very pleased that you’re here,” Obi-Wan says, in the exact same tone, “but you’re supposed to be protecting Padme,” at that, he turns to the man, Jango, passes him the fluffy towel he was holding, and says, “I don’t suppose you’ll postpone the bounty-hunting until we get this settled?”
“Hm,” Jango says, which doesn’t sound like an agreement to Anakin.
“Wait,” Anakin says, because he’s capable of putting two and two together. “He’s the bounty hunter who tried to kill Padme? What are you doing? Why aren’t you arresting him?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Obi-Wan replies, very calmly, “I’m legally forbidden from arresting my husband.”
And Jango says, just as calmly, as he towels his hair dry, “Do we need to have another feast now that your son has joined us?”
“You told me you were married to the Force!” Anakin shouts.
“Really,” Obi-Wan says, in the same calm tones he used when he was first explaining to Anakin that no, he was not interested in going out with anybody, he was married, you see, to the Force. “I didn’t know that Jango was alive when I got married, and you know that all beings rejoin the Force when we die, so I really did believe that I was married to the Force.”
“I thought it was a metaphor! Like you were really into being a Jedi!”
Obi-Wan blinks, once, in polite befuddlement, and then he says, “Oh, no, I did mean it literally.”
“You mean you were married the whole time I knew you?”
Anakin subsides into open-jawed silence. Or it would be silence, if there wasn’t the sound of cooking going on in the kitchen. Jango has, apparently, decided that there needs to be another feast. Another, because according to Obi-Wan, they have had several feasts already. Jango is very determined to make up for many missed anniversaries.
“I really thought you knew,” Obi-Wan said, sounding a little disappointed. Which, truly, is unfair, given that how was Anakin supposed to know that married to the Force meant got married on a mission to a ghost who’s not actually dead. “I certainly never hid it.”
“Is that why you wear that arm thing?”
“It’s a vambrace,” Obi-Wan corrects, tapping it with what can only be described as affection, “and yes. It’s Jango’s.”
Anakin squints into the kitchen. “When did he get your tabards?”
“Oh, when I arrived. I burned my pair during the wedding ceremony for his ghost, so it’s really only right that he gets a proper pair now that we know he’s alive.”
Anakin gapes, fumbling for something to say. “But attachment!” he shouts.
“What about it?”
“You can’t get married! That’s attachment.”
“Anakin, you know that attachment is more than just marriage.”
“But yes, it really was much more simple when we thought Jango was dead,” Obi-Wan agrees. “There was no question about my priorities, since I was, essentially, married to the Force. But now that Jango is alive we’ll have to figure it out. Jango and I are still discussing the situation. We both have duties, you see. But all marriages are a negotiation, and I am confident that we can reach an accord.”
This type of reaction, Anakin decides, is why it’s impossible that Obi-Wan is ever worried. Obi-Wan will be smiling mildly even when the world ends. Jango might be married to Obi-Wan, but he clearly doesn’t know him at all.
“What about this feast?”
“Ah.” Obi-Wan smiles. “Family meals are very important in Mandalorian culture. Jango’s trying to make you feel welcome.”
“He said I was your son!”
“Family meals are very important,” Obi-Wan says, again. “And you are my Padawan.” He pats Anakin on the hand. “It’s a very big adjustment for Jango—he didn’t have years to get used to being married the way I did. He’s doing his best. Try to be patient with him.”
Nothing about this conversation is going the way Anakin thought it would. “Right. You’re married to a person. Actually married. Anything else I should know?”
“Ah.” There was a pause, and then Obi-Wan offered, “You’re an older brother?”
“This is Boba,” Obi-Wan said. “Boba, this is Anakin, my Padawan.”
Boba is a miniature version of Jango, who looks just as displeased to see Anakin as Jango was. It is somehow both less and more terrifying to see that expression on a much younger face.
“Hi,” Anakin says.
Boba scowls back.
Anakin is about to glare, but Obi-Wan continues, “You’re much older, so you’ll have to be a good influence on Boba.”
“When am I ever not?” Anakin protests.
“Hm,” Obi-Wan replies, which is patently unfair, and made even worse by Boba’s dubious expression.
“I’m always a good influence,” he mutters.
Obi-Wan continues, as if Anakin didn’t say anything, “And, once we finish custody negotiations—I really thought the Temple lawyers would be here already—I’ll be counting on you to help with all of the rest of your brothers.”
Anakin’s brain, which is barely handling one brother, splutters to a halt. “What?”
“Ah, yes, it appears that I’ve married into a rather large family. Jango seems to have made several million sons.”
Several million. Several. Million. “What the—”
Obi-Wan clears his throat. “Mind your language,” he says, with a pointed look at Boba.
“I didn’t say anything.”
“You were about to,” Obi-Wan replies, calmly.
“You were about to say Kriff,” Boba adds, helpfully.
“Thank you, Boba,” Obi-Wan says kindly. “It’s good of you to inform us.”
Anakin gapes, indignant. “Why doesn’t he get a lecture about language?”
Obi-Wan studies Anakin in all his six-foot glory for a moment before turning. “Boba,” Obi-Wan says, to the very young child. “Mind your language in front of your older brother. You want to be a good influence on Anakin, after all.”
Anakin looks at the dishes on the table—all such a dark spicy red that they appear black—and says, weakly, “Is there anything that… isn’t spicy?”
“It all looks delicious, Jango, but Anakin’s spice tolerance is rather low,” Obi-Wan adds, mildly.
Anakin’s spice tolerance is not rather low, thank you very much. He scowls at Obi-Wan, and then gives Boba—snickering into his elbow—a glare for good measure. Anakin has a perfectly reasonable spice tolerance, which doesn’t include covering his food in a chili oil so concentrated as to appear black.
Jango’s eyes narrow, and then he stalks back to the kitchen.
Obi-Wan smiles back at Anakin. “Don’t worry,” he says to Anakin. “I let him know that you don’t like spicy food earlier, so he should have something ready.”
Anakin glares harder at Boba, whose snickers aren’t even trying to be subtle anymore.
Obi-Wan turns to Boba and says, “Don’t laugh at your brother, Boba, it’s rude.”
Boba smiles back, suddenly angelic, and chirps, “Yes, buir.”
If Anakin isn’t so certain this isn’t a dream, he would be convinced that this is absolutely a dream. “What the fuck,” he mouths.
Obi-Wan gives him a look that indicates he absolutely did know what Anakin would have said aloud if he didn’t have a small child next to him, and that he is not going to tolerate such behavior.
Jango, thankfully, emerges from the kitchen at that moment, carrying a plate of vegetables with a single chili pepper on it.
Anakin stares at it. “That’s… not-spicy food?”
Jango grunts. “Yes.”
“It has a chili pepper on it.”
Anakin mouths, “It has a chili pepper on it,” at Obi-Wan, who stares back at him with eyes that most distinctly say, “Try to be patient with him.” Anakin stares at it and says, “Uh. Thanks.”
Obi-Wan smiles brightly at Jango. “That’s very thoughtful of you.”
Anakin stares, still not convinced he isn’t in a dream. He picks up the chili pepper and moves it to the side.
Jango puts it back.
“Don’t be rude,” Obi-Wan says, mildly, as he serves himself from the other dishes. He doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that his food is completely black with chili oil. He smiles at Jango and pats Boba on the head. Jango and Boba both smile identical smiles back at Obi-Wan. It is extremely terrifying.
“I don’t want to have chili peppers in my food,” Anakin tries to convey to Obi-Wan entirely through his eyebrows. Unfortunately, he’s never picked up Obi-Wan’s eyebrow language. He suspects he’s saying something more along the lines of my sneakers are red and fly, given Obi-Wan’s completely unimpressed look.
Jango takes his plate. He nods at Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan pats him on the hand, friendly and affectionate. Obi-Wan gives Boba some of the very spicy stew, who doesn’t seem bothered at all by it.
Anakin pokes at the vegetables, which are spicy, given that there was a single chili pepper on them.
Not-spicy, his ass.
“So,” Anakin says, when Jango is off getting Boba ready for bed and he has a moment alone with Obi-Wan. There were demands for a bedtime story—on Obi-Wan’s end, who stared Jango down with a datapad in hand until Jango snatched it from Obi-Wan as he sulked out of the main room, shouting to Boba that he’d be reading a story.
There’s now a bedtime story being read aloud very deliberately, which to Anakin’s untrained ear sounds more like an instruction manual about bounty hunting being shouted at the door in an attempt to convince Obi-Wan that there is a story being read, and that Jango is absolutely not eavesdropping on the conversation the way Anakin would have done.
“I’m sure you have questions,” Obi-Wan says, with an understanding pat on the shoulder, ignoring the fact that Jango probably has his ear pressed against the door even as he shouts a lecture about hunting down tax-evaders with the full extent of one’s bounty hunting ability at the door.
Anakin has lots of questions. Obi-Wan’s probably expecting something along the lines of how there are so many clones, and what the plan is, and how to prevent a galactic war. Obi-Wan, after all, has spent decades getting used to being married. But fresh from Naboo, there’s really only one that matters.
“So, if you’re married to an actual person, does that mean I can marry Padme?”
Obi-Wan smiles, completely calm despite the slightly manic gleam in his eye, and like a total hypocrite, says, “Absolutely not.”