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Smoking Hot

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The First Time 

The first time someone describes Cody's general as smoking hot, it's entirely idiomatic. He is, metaphorically - thick auburn hair, neatly trimmed beard, eyes so blue they almost seem luminous. It's difficult to tell under voluminous layers, but he keeps up with the troops without issue, so odds are he's physically fit too.

Some of the men in the 212th can't get past his 'smoking hot' status. They get bashful and tongue-tied when not receiving a direct order from the general. The general, in turn, grows equally embarrassed when the crushes don't go away within a tenday or two. His embarrassment is of the quiet awkward kind that makes him keep to his quarters, or make use of the ship's gym only in the wee hours, when and where he's less likely to be accidentally-on-purpose ogled.

'Smoking hot' isn't how Cody thinks of him. He's noted General Kenobi's aesthetics, of course, but 'smoking hot' isn't quite right. The general's too ... modest? Intellectual? Gentle? Kind, is the adjective Cody settles on eventually. He's too kind to be described as merely 'hot'.. It's too sharp a word. Handsome might be closer to the mark, and it's what's on the list of mental bullet points that sum Kenobi up in his head. Since it's only one facet of the man, Cody soon stops thinking about or really even noticing it much. That puts the general at ease with his commander, and soon they've got a nice rapport going. It's a good working relationship that's worked out between battlefields and down-time, caf and tea, reports and sabacc.

Initially the general's intelligence had suggested he might be a dejarik player, but his strategic mind is basically playing a game of dejarik with real-life players every day of this stinking war. Sabacc must be a nice change of pace.

Some of the men think they've got Kenobi pegged with the sabacc too. Cody does, for a while. When he plays with the troops, it's for things like ration bars or moonshine or - one particularly exciting session - actual chocolate. The general wins some, but loses most. It makes him popular, almost as much as learning their names does; he's not indulging them, not pitying. Over cards they're all just people having a friendly game.

Until Ghost Company is improbably captured by pirates, and their leader decides to wager the clones' lives. The general asks the commander to accompany him for negotiations with the pirate in charge. They meet in an honest-to-gods saloon and find a Weequay with a too-wide smile and a trigger-happy crew.

Turns out Hondo Ohnaka irritates Cody more than anyone has ever irritated him in the course of his entire life.

Seeing that Ohnaka likes money more than anything else, General Kenobi agrees to a game of sabacc in exchange for Ghost.

"Perhaps you'd prefer to try fighting your way out, hmm, Master Jedi?" Ohnaka mocks. "Certain that this is the best way?"

Kenobi smiles, quiet and mild. Cody's seen that smile often. It spells almost certain doom for whoever it's directed at. Incongruous to see it here. "Quite sure."

"Well, if you insist. I'll give you a sporting chance, eh? One round per each of your men. Eight chances."

"How generous."

Ohnaka is going to cheat. Of course he is. Kenobi isn't good enough to guarantee a win even if a cheating pirate wasn't a factor. Cody feels a flicker of disappointment in his general - for the first time, he realises. The first time ever. He's willing to gamble their freedom and lives on a game he isn't-

"Before we begin," Kenobi says. He raises a hand and makes a small gesture. Four sabacc cards fly out of various pouches and pockets on Ohnaka's person. Kenobi uses the Force to float them into Cody's hand. His expression doesn't change, but Cody has the distinct impression he's just been winked at. "Now, Captain Ohnaka, shall we?"

Ohnaka laughs as boisterously as before. They start playing. General Kenobi has been holding out on them. He wins the first round - and Boil - quickly. The second round - Crys - with equal speed. Turns out the rueful, oh-well, you-win-some-you-lose-some face that Cody's used to seeing when they play onboard ship is just a wicked sabacc face. Longshot, Waxer and Wooley are all free before he's really processed how good Kenobi is at this game.

Ohnaka pushes away from the table. "Don't think you can cheat me, Kenobi!"

"Captain, I assure you I'm playing fairly."

Ohnaka scoffs. "No one plays fairly."

"I'm sorry that's been your experience, but I assure you I am not secreting spare cards about my person." When the pirates continue to look sceptical, Kebobi spreads his empty hands, the very picture of innocence. "It won't change the outcome, but I'm happy to play naked if you don't believe me."

Beside Cody, Crys makes a thick, involuntary sound that suggests he just choked on his own tongue.

Ohnaka leans forwards on his palms, leering. "Well that would be a very different game, Kenobi."

On reflection, Cody decides that Ohnaka irritates him more than anyone has ever been irritated in the history of irritation.

"Then by all means, if your skills aren't up to sabacc," Kenobi responds. It's impossible to miss the undercurrent of flirtation, but given Cody's only ever seen him flirt with his enemies, it's not cause for concern. Not that he'd be concerned.

"I didn't say that," Ohnaka snaps. He sits back down and they resume sabacc, with no one removing any clothing, thankfully.

Kenobi wins the freedom of Dollface and Ringer. It's then that the tension returns because, well, pirates. Ohnaka remembers that the Seppies have a bounty on the general, and it all goes to shit. Kenobi is the only one armed, since apparently the Negotiator missed that detail. After they're safe back on the ship, Cody will remember he's grateful their general values their lives above all else, but it's difficult to do that when he's ducked behind the bar, blaster bolts slamming into the wall a few inches above his head, with no way to return fire.

"I can hear you mentally reprimanding me from over here, Cody," Kenobi comments as he deflects a blaster bolt. His mouth is serious but there's a definite twinkle in his blue eyes.

"Not at all, sir," Cody replies staunchly. "Would just be easier with my deecee in hand, that's all."

Most of a glass bottle lands at Cody's feet. There's a roar as one of the Weequay's decides to go for some hand to hand. He's wielding his blaster like a club and makes a swing for Cody's head. Cody grabs the jagged remains of the bottle as rolls to his feet. He dodges another swing from the blaster and jabs his first into Weequay's midsection, then he brings the bottle down on the pirate's head. They're naturally armoured of course, and the glass breaks on the horns before it gets nearer softer tissue. The punch has done its job though, and the pirate's grip on his blaster as wavered. Cody's able to wrestle it from him and slam the butt into his face. He goes down in a crumpled heap. He's then able to return fire, which helps with the annoyance of before.

Naturally, being pirates, Ohnaka's crew don't only cheat at cards. When it becomes clear that they a) can't take Kenobi and b) are losing to an unarmed Ghost Company, they start a fire and flee after blocking the entrance to the saloon. The room quickly fills up with heat, what little light there is coming from the flames, uneven and casting shadows on the billowing smoke. Still with his helmet on, Cody is the only one who's able to deal with it, since the filters will keep him from smoke poisoning for several minutes yet. Not so for his men or his Jedi. Kenobi's lightsaber is made magical in the smoke, a halo of blue that swirls and floats without any visible means of support. Cody can just about make him out; along with all the others, he's coughing heavily. He stands with his feet set firmly apart and makes a pushing motion with his hands. The front of the building blows out and air rushes in. With it, the flames billow and rage higher, but there's an exit now.

Cody grabs Kenobi and Dollface and shoves them towards the exit. Boil and Waxer follow closely, Waxer dragging Crys and Ringer too. It's not until they're away from the smoke and in the open air again that Cody realises they're down one. "Where's Wooley?"

"Saw him ... get hit ... leg ... went down ..." Boil gasps out, between coughs that rack his whole body. They all look a mess, eyes reddened and faces smudged grey with smoke.

"Stay here," both Cody and the general say at the same time.

"Sir-" Cody starts, but the general is already gone.

It's perhaps a minute and a half before the smoke parts and out he comes again, carrying Wooley over his shoulders. It's perhaps the most heroic he's ever looked, straight out of those trashy holodramas that Cody will occasionally put on for 'background noise'.

"Oh, that is so hot," Waxer groans.

Kenobi puts Wooley gently down. The young clone's left leg gives way beneath him, so Crys slings Wooley's arm around his shoulders to support him. "Alright, vod?"

Wooley nods, coughing his lungs out. "Thanks ... Gen- General, I re- really-"

"General, you're smoking," Cody says, spotting the grey fumes rising up from Kenobi. Thinking it's the cloak, he rips the long garment away from the Jedi's limbs and stamps on it. When he looks up, the general is still smoking, the smoke visibly rising from his hands and hair. Cody blinks. "Sir ..."

Kenobi pats himself down swiftly, and the smoke's gone. "No harm done, Commander. Tends to happen when one is in a burning building." He pats Cody's shoulder, offering a smile before turning to tend to the rest of Ghost and ordering a pick-up. If the smile is strained, no one else notices. 

Waxer elbows Boil and says in a low voice, "See?"

"Yeah, smoking hot, I get it. Stop gawping."

Cody continues gawping for a moment longer, though driven by puzzlement more than anything. Smoking hot indeed.