Special of the Day

by Tenshi

"Mornin', boys!" Dex rumbled, to the two Jedi that had appeared suddenly at the bar. They looked like he liked visitors to his establishment to look: hungry, and not like Sector 5 health inspectors. "You get tired of taking ration pills for breakfast?"

"Yeah," the taller of the two replied, shaking rain off his robe and squinting at the sprawling Huttese scrolling on the menu board. "We thought for a real luxury we'd like to chew something."

"Possibly for several hours, in some cases," Obi-Wan added, as a bowl of rubbery-looking grilled tentacles were delivered to the eager Mon Calamari patrons near the door.

Dex rumbled laughter over a platter of fresh Kashyyyk whistling grubs, and the robotic waitress was hard put to wheel the entree over to the customer without most of it crawling away off the tray. "I got something good for ya," he said, "something interesting. Get 'em a booth, Hermione."

"Not sure if I like my lunch to be 'interesting,'" Obi-Wan said, failing to get much of a rise out of the human waitress, who was busy memorizing the Jedi scenery settling into the humanoid-designed booth across from him. Anakin was perfectly oblivious to her attention, which was fine with Hermione Bagwa. Oblivious scenery was still scenery.

"Drinks, boys?" There was no formality at a place like Dex's: Chancellors, Jedi, criminals, or grease gremlins, anybeing and everybeing was universally addressed as "Boys," in the plural or in the singular, "Honey." Obi-Wan found it wonderfully honest after any amount of time spent in the company of senators. Being addressed as "Your Grace," particularly by Chancellor Palapatine, made him feel like something slimy and bloodsucking had crawled into his tunic and attached itself somewhere.

"The usual, I think," Obi-Wan said, managing to draw the waitress's gaze long enough to flash a smile. He might not have been as shiny as Anakin Skywalker, but she didn't hurry to look away as she ticked an order of Felucian blue tea in her datapad.

"Water." Anakin had never outgrown the drinking of all the unaltered H2O he wanted as the most profound luxury, indifferent to any other beverage. Obi-Wan had mentioned more than once that his companion was the most hydrated Jedi in the galaxy.

It made him a cheap date, anyway.

"Gotcha." The waitress' boots clicked back to the bar, where she rammed her rather decrepit datapad into the socket to upload the Jedi drink order.

"Let's hope this time whatever we get is actually willing to be eaten," Anakin said. "I'm not up to arguing with my meal two weekends in a row."

"I don't know," Obi-Wan returned, airily, "I thought it was rather witty for a potato."

"Here ya go," Dex rumbled, shooing the robotic waitress away and serving his favorite customers himself. "Funny little things, fresh up outta Antineen Beta, way on the Rim. Tell me what you think."

Obi-Wan looked at his plate, nonplussed. It was piled high with small, brightly colored, slightly translucent spheroids that were giving off a faint savory steam. He glanced at Anakin who, with the very faintest of shrugs, picked up his utensil.

Dex stood by, all four massive arms behind his back as he waited expectantly for the Jedi opinion on his latest delicacy.

"Hey, they're not bad," Anakin said, not even bothering to hide his surprise. Dex's standard foodboard sandwiches were the best to be had in the sector, but Skywalker and Kenobi had been served the special of the day too often to trust that it would always agree with humanoid tastes.

"Mmm," Obi-Wan agreed, finding that the spheroids had a pleasant, shellfish-like texture and a warm, mellow flavor. He supposed they were some form of sealife, knowing Antineen Beta was a watery planet famed for a profusion of fish. He was happy enough in this assumption, knowing better than to ever ask exactly what it was they were eating.

...Unfortunately, Anakin hadn't quite learned that lesson yet.

"What are they, anyway?" he asked, shoveling in another spoonful.

Dex rumbled with pleasure that his new dish had been so well-received. "Funny you should ask! They've got these lizards on Antineen B, ya see, great big ones, and their nose-holes are big enough for one of you to sit in."

"Anakin..." Obi-Wan warned, but it was too late, as Dex told them exactly what they were eating, and Anakin learned more than he ever, ever wanted to know about Antineen Burden Lizards and their particular kind of nasal fungus.

Obi-Wan choked and made a grab for his tea, while Anakin's face turned a strange blotchy color under his tan.

"I think we might need an order of the soup, Dex," Obi-Wan said, in a tone that would never have passed for diplomatic anyplace but a diner. Anakin didn't say anything at all.

"Oh, sure thing," Dex lumbered off to the kitchen, oblivious to his customers' sudden change of opinion. Anakin's robotic hand spasmed slightly in his glove, and Obi-Wan slid the cup of water within his reach.

"You have to admit," Obi-Wan said, dabbing demurely at his beard with his napkin, "The pickled Antiodia Worms were worse."

Anakin put his empty water cup down with a decisive thunk. "Only because you told me after I'd finished the entire bowl."


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