Anakin blinks at the data-rod thrust into his hands; Padme, standing beside him, echoes his confusion. “There must be some error.” His wife - his beautiful, glorious, legally-wed wife - smiles graciously at the blue-and-red Mon Calamari tapping his fingers on a data-slate.
Said courier simply looks bored. “Are you the legal spouses of one - “ he checks his data-slate “-Obi-Wan Kenobi?”
Padme frowned. “Well, yes - “
“Both of you?”
“Yes, but I don’t see - “
“Then one Xanatos of Telos left that to you in his last Will and Testament.” The Mon Calamari nods at them before turning on his heel and striding away.
Xanatos of Telos.
Anakin knows the name. He felt Padme’s hand tighten in his as she registered just who had left them the data-rod he’s currently clutching like a life-line. Telos, under Xanatos, was the first planet in the galaxy to pass anti-discrimination and equal rights laws for Change-children. Outworld, under the legendary CEO, employed more Changechildren and at better salaries then literally anywhere else; practically every Changeling Equal Rights group is either inspired by or can trace its roots directly back to the efforts set in motion by one Xanatos of Telos, Xanatos du Crion.
They have a personal message from Xanatos of Telos.
It doesn’t take long to load the message. Anakin sits backward, Padme at his side, as the well-known profile shimmers into existence. Xanatos du Crion is - was - a darkly handsome man, the pale, almost milky skin of his face marred by a single scar; he’s dressed in elegant, understated robes as his signature smile - polite, genial, and somehow managing to give the impression that he’s laughing at a private joke - twists across his face.
“So.” The voice is - was - as darkly compelling as the man himself; the holo-image smirks at them. “You’re the being - or beings - who married my little brother.”
Anakin is so busy choking on thin air that he nearly misses the next sentence.
“I’m guessing that he didn’t tell you.” Xanatos’ holo-image is idly inspecting the fingernails of one hand. “So, to clarify a few matters - yes, Obi-Wan Kenobi is my younger brother, and yes, the boy is one of the most closed-mouthed, reticent beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.” He rolls his eyes. “I’ll give it a moment to sink in.”
The holo waits a polite span of seconds before continuing. “If you’re getting this, I’m dead. Otherwise, I would have had you kidnapped, and interrogated you on your intentions towards the brat.” Xanatos smiles cheerfully at them. “He’s the most stubborn, annoying, thick-headed, smart-mouthed, idiotic, self-sacrificing youngling I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting. I care for him quite deeply, and if you ever manage to hurt him, I will drag myself back from the underworld by my fingernails and tear your still-beating heart from your chest.”
“Gods.” Anakin mutters, impressed in spite of himself at the sheer menace radiating from the holo.
“So!” Xanatos’ image claps his hands together. “No doubt you know some - or all - of what I am about to tell you. But here are a few things that you need to know about my little brother - verify whatever he’s told you about his past, preferably from an independent source. His childhood was - not the best.” The imagine flickers momentarily - or perhaps that’s just a shadow passing across du Crion’s face. “But it’s Obi-Wan. He would tell you that he’s just fine even after having both legs amputated by blaster-fire.”
“I was practically the only positive influence in his life as an adolescent, and even then, he had to keep my involvement in his life a secret from the Jedi - and especially one Qui-Gon Jinn.” Xanatos sneered at the name. “He’ll tell you that Jinn was a dutiful Master. A good man. He wasn’t, but you’d never get the brat to admit that under torture.”
The image sighs. “I guess what I’m trying to say is - take care of the brat. When he loves someone, he loves them with his whole heart - he’s a gullible optimist who only thinks the worst of himself - “ And, well, that does sound like Obi-Wan “ - when he’s one of the best people I’ve ever known. Too many people have hurt him.”
“You’re now the legal owner of a bunch of jewelry that’s currently rotting in one of my vaults. It belonged to my mother - part of her dowry, I believe, from when she married my father. It’s been in the family for ten generations, but if worst comes to worst, don’t hesitate to sell it - Obi-Wan’s far more valuable then dead metal and cold gems.” Xanatos winks at them. “Welcome to the family.”
“And by the way - “ The now-familiar smirk heralding a shocking revelation once more snakes across that familiar face. “You might want to ask Obi-Wan what I left him in my will.”
The image splutters and dies, leaving only silence in its wake for a long, timeless moment.
Padme is the first one to speak. Each word is chosen with care and deliberation.
“We’re going to pin Obi-Wan to the bed when he comes home and interrogate him within an inch of his life.”