Like many starships, the Ghost had a small laundry unit tucked into an alcove between the galley and the lounge. It was dual-purpose, cleaning and drying clothes using sonic energy, just like the shower in the refresher. It was terrible about generating static, however, and small articles of clothing often got stuck in the barrel and ended up coming out in the next load of clothes. Now and then Sabine would show up at Kanan’s cabin door with a sour look on her face as she held a pair of his tighty-whities at arm’s length. And if any of Zeb’s clothes got mixed in with the others’, no amount of detergent or fragrance sachets could eradicate the smell.
It was sometimes embarrassing, but they had been living and working together closely for a few years now and were practically family. There wasn’t much about each other’s dirty laundry that shocked them anymore.
At least until the day Kanan went to put on a clean pair of trousers and discovered a pair of delicate seashell-pink panties clinging to the inside of one leg. He pulled the lacy things free with a static snap and stared at them with wide eyes.
They were small. Very small. Too small for Hera. And they weren’t Sabine’s style. When it came to underwear, the Mandalorian was strictly—and literally—black and white. Function over form, comfort over appearances. She preferred to wear her colors on her sleeve, also literally. And she certainly had no interest in frilly, fragile lingerie such as this. So whose were they? Had they been bought as a gag? Or were they—
The doors to Kanan’s cabin, which he knew he had locked, suddenly whooshed open.
Ezra and Kanan jumped at the sight of each other. Ezra was caught red-handed, his lock-picking tool balanced between his fingers, and he had the most terrified look on his face that Kanan had ever seen.
“Kanan! Hi! Uh, sorry, I thought you were gone and I, I just needed to look for something and didn’t wanna bother y—” His eyes came to rest on the pink panties still clutched in Kanan’s fist, and before he could stop himself, he uttered, “Karabast.”
Kanan blinked, looked at the panties, then at Ezra. “Are these… your—”
Ezra darted into the cabin and snatched the underwear from Kanan’s grasp. His face was a blistering shade of red.
“Yeah. So what?” he declared, chin jutting out defensively, trying to look brave despite the humiliated tears threatening to spill from his eyes. “I could, I, I might have a girlfriend someday and she’ll want something pretty to wear, so I’m preparing in advance, okay?”
Kanan quirked an eyebrow. “You know what size your future girlfriend is going to be? Did you have another Force vision?”
It was a terrible joke and only succeeded in torquing Ezra’s face into an expression of desperate fury; not only were the panties truly his, Kanan realized, but he’d also caught him in a lie.
Kanan raised his hands. “It’s okay. I won’t tell anyone. We all have our… little quirks and kinks. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Ezra’s face said otherwise. He blinked and sent two tears rolling down his angry cheeks. “Look, I like how they feel, okay? They make me… feel good. Like, special. And pretty.”
“You don’t have to explain yourself, Ezra, or your reasons for liking them. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, and in any case, it doesn’t matter to me.” He offered up a reassuring smile. “All that matters is that you paid for them. Please tell me you did.”
“Yeah, I did,” Ezra muttered, tucking the panties into his pocket. “More than they’re worth, actually, but…” He ran out of words, sighed, and shrugged.
Kanan stepped forward and put a hand on Ezra’s shoulder. “We’re a family here. You know that, right?”
Ezra nodded glumly.
“And family means we love each other, warts and all.”
Ezra curled his lip. “You have warts?”
“It’s just an expression.”
“It means we love each other unconditionally. Regardless of each other’s flaws.”
Ezra nibbled his lip. “Is it… a flaw to wanna wear…”
“No. Not at all. Damn. I’m sorry if it sounded like that. But no, Ezra, it’s not bad or wrong to want to wear nice, pretty things, especially if they make us feel good. I was talking more about personal flaws. Anger, pride, vanity, those things. Not…” His eyes drifted down to the small bulge in Ezra’s pocket. “Not private matters.”
Ezra sucked his bottom lip. “Am I weird for liking girly underwear?”
“In this galaxy?” Kanan rolled his eyes and scoffed. “Hardly. It’s a very common thing.”
“More than you might think. And trust me, I’ve been around the Core a few times. A man with good taste in lace is pretty tame. Definitely not taboo, except in a few places.”
Ezra relaxed at that. His shoulders dropped from their tense position and he let out a grateful breath.
Kanan squeezed his shoulder. “You look like you could use a beer. A root beer, I mean. With an extra scoop of ice cream.”
Now it was Ezra’s turn to raise his eyebrow. “You got one in your pocket? ‘Cause I raided the pantry last night and we don’t have—”
“I was thinking of making a special trip to Jho’s. We can take the Phantom.” Kanan put his arm around Ezra’s shoulder and steered him out of his cabin.
Grinning, Ezra shook his head. “We’re gonna burn up all that fuel flying to Lothal just so you can buy me a root beer?”
“Not just that, no,” said Kanan defensively. “I’ve been meaning to ask Jho a few things about the situation on Lothal, and then I want to stop by a laundromat.”
“A laundromat? Why? We’ve got a washer right here in the ship.”
“I wanna get some anti-static sheets.” He gave Ezra a tight, long-suffering smile. “So this never, ever happens again.”