Oct. 20th, 2011 09:42 pm
ansketil: (palpatine - sith master)
[personal profile] ansketil
Title: Beholder
Disclaimer: I do not own Anakin, Palpatine, or Star Wars. Just having fun with them. Innocent fun!
Rating: G
Characters: Young!Anakin and Palpatine
Word Count: 330
Summary: Palpatine takes Anakin to a gallery. 
Author's Notes: Because Anakin needs culture. Just a little thing - a welcome back present for [livejournal.com profile] elegyforziggy. :)

The pitch maw yawned, teeth cut into vicious diamonds, chiselled with sharp glyphs. Fleshly tendrils fell away from its cheeks and its eyes were cruel crystals, amber facets glittering wickedly. It was a nasty thing, massive and meant to scare. Anakin stared up at it on its plinth. It roared silently down at him, raging against its static fury, rebelling against its ornamental pedestal and aching to bite down on the serene patrons who passed it by.

He read the plaque: 'Massassi Head: discovered in the Ziost System and at least one million, five-thousand years old, this stylised, black glazed head is believed to depict a warrior of the now-extinct Massassi race.' 

The head didn’t frighten Anakin, but he took a step back, his back hitting heavy velvet fabric, and a soft wing settled on the boy’s shoulder. “Beautiful, isn’t it? Exquisite workmanship.” came the cultured baritone behind him, as the other wing of stately robes rustled against Anakin, both of the Supreme Chancellor’s hands coming to rest on Anakin’s shoulders as the boy gazed up at the Massassi Head.

It wasn’t beautiful at all. Padmé – with her pale, luminant face and warm, dark hair – was beautiful. This was a terrifying, wild thing; a monster that snarled at the galaxy. Anakin wrinkled his nose and shook his head, but he didn’t move; he liked the smell of the Chancellor’s robes and the touches which were so rare in the Jedi Temple. He liked Chancellor Palpatine, who was nice enough to invite Anakin to the gallery – just like an adult! He wasn't confident enough to contradict the Head of the Republic, so he said nothing, both of them continuing to stare at the ancient sculpture.

Red shadows kept back the other beings. They pointed and chattered at a distance and bowed respectfully to Palpatine. Going to a gallery with the Supreme Chancellor was fun - although he felt a little guilty for everyone who had to wait behind the crimson wall of security. Every so often there would be the disconcerting flash of a camera, but Anakin didn't mind - the attention was inclusive, unlike at the Temple. 

“You disagree?” The Chancellor asked.

"It looks ugly to me, sir... sorry.” Anakin said slowly, with the splendid gravity of a ten year old.

“Perhaps it can be both. The Massassi were holy warriors who once served the ancient lords of the Horusnet and Ziost systems… this sculpture would have been placed above the gates of a city, a warning to anyone who dared think crossing under it with ill intent… a sacred guardian, a symbol of order and justice.” He let go of Anakin and stepped around him, reaching up to stroke the face of the furious, black sculpture, ignoring the politely worded ‘Please refrain from touching the art’ engraved at the base of the thick pedestal. The gallery staff were still smiling happily.

“Like the Jedi?” Anakin wouldn’t want to be a spy or a thief going under the gate.

“In a way, my boy,” Palpatine chuckled, drawing back from the Massassi head and ruffling the young padawan’s short hair, giving Anakin a small, conspiratorial smile and gliding into the next room. Anakin gave the ebony head one last curious glance before hurrying after the Supreme Chancellor. “Do you know,” Palpatine confided quietly once Anakin caught up with him, “I think I will acquire that piece – how do you think it might look over the doorway to my office... would it aid in negotiations, perhaps?”

Anakin laughed and took Palpatine's hand.
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