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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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"Happy birthday, sweetheart."

Jocasta Nu smiled as her bondmate Sifo-Dyas kissed her full on the lips. They were normally cautious about displays of semi-public affection - even the doorway of her apartment, where they stood now, could possibly attract the attention of someone within the Jedi Order, who frowned on such personal relationships. But for once, they threw such caution to the wind. It was Jocasta's twenty-fifth birthday, and they were going to celebrate.

Jocasta let Sifo-Dyas in; he had brought her a bouquet of flowers, and had a gift bag with him. Sifo-Dyas took off his boots as he watched Jocasta march to the kitchen to fill a vase with water for her flowers, and then she went right in the gift bag. There were a few packages inside; Jocasta opened the one on top, which contained a sexy lingerie ensemble that Sifo-Dyas was hoping she would wear sometime this weekend. She held it up to herself to tease. Sifo-Dyas hadn't closed the door behind him, as he was still removing his boots, and that was of course the moment when Dooku walked in.

Idis Dooku and Jocasta Nu were agemates, though he was three months Jocasta's senior; he had been first in his classes at the Academy and she was second, and they had become friends in that way overachievers often do, with a cordial rivalry. Jocasta had fancied Dooku when they were teenagers, but Dooku was patently uninterested in anything but The Force; he saw her as more of a little sister. Like a good big brother, Dooku watched out for her when other young men took interest, and by "watched out" we mean "polished his lightsaber and threatened to hurt them if Jocasta was not treated well". Eventually the young men stopped approaching Jocasta, afraid of her self-appointed guardian, and Jocasta and Dooku had a bit of a row about what was actually in her best interests. Dooku decided he needed to make a peace offering, and some days later introduced Jocasta to the only other person in the Jedi Order who he could consider a friend - Sifo-Dyas, a man from the Cassandran Worlds who was a few years younger than them. Jocasta found him quite attractive - tall but not as tall as Dooku, athletic build, brown skin, curly black hair and black eyes, big cute nose, and a subtle intensity about him not dissimilar to her former crush. Unlike Dooku, Sifo-Dyas was more talkative, and was quite the jokester. She could not remember laughing more in her life. Dooku had made a match, though he would get an earful from the Council if they found out; however, Dooku was well-used to getting an earful from the Council. Dooku was so used to it that Jocasta had a tradition of baking Dooku a CONGRATS ON PISSING OFF THE COUNCIL cake when it happened, and he'd had more than a few.

Sifo-Dyas and Jocasta had not wanted Dooku to feel left out, since Dooku had no partners nor any interest in such, and did not really have friends, and they worried about him spending so much time alone. Therefore, he came to have dinner with them once or twice a week, and occasionally accompanied them on outings. They had invited Dooku to celebrate Jocasta's birthday. In typical Dooku fashion he was early.

In typical Dooku fashion he was scandalized at the underwear, but too polite to say anything about it. Jocasta quickly balled up the underwear and shoved it in the bag, making Sifo-Dyas smile - she normally neatly folded everything; she frequently addressed Sifo-Dyas for haphazardly leaving clothes on the floor when he visited. She too seemed quite embarrassed that Dooku had seen something so... unmentionable.

"Stimcaf?" Jocasta offered.

"Yes, that would be splendid, thank you." Dooku proceeded to the armchair, and Sifo-Dyas went to the kitchen to help Jocasta get it ready.

When Jocasta brought the stimcaf to Dooku - he always took his black - she said, "What are you wearing?"

"...Clothing?" Dooku hoped this wasn't going to turn into a conversation about underwear, especially not his.

Jocasta snorted. "We told you that we wanted you to come here and celebrate."

Jocasta herself was wearing a little black dress, and her sandy brown hair was out of its usual hairsticked-bun and hanging down, with sparkling chandelier earrings - she looked elegant, too elegant for what Dooku had assumed was going to be cake and opening gifts. Sifo-Dyas was out of his usual brown Jedi robes and in black civilian clothes, with a fancy trim on the hem of his sleeves and pants. While Dooku's dark grey daily garb was much more elegant than typical Jedi fare - a cape over his tunics, and delicate embroidery work on his shirt - they were still obviously Jedi clothes.

"I am celebrating," Dooku said. "I'm very festive. See?" The gift bag he'd brought with him had balloons on it. Ridiculous, but it was what the store used once he'd said it was "a birthday present".

Sifo-Dyas snorted like it was the funniest thing he'd ever heard, and indeed, when Dooku said things like this he found it VERY amusing. "You look about as festive as dry toast," Sifo-Dyas said. "We're stopping at your apartment to get you changed."

"Why?"

"Because we're celebrating," Jocasta said. "We're going out drinking."

Dooku sighed. He was not exactly a stranger to going out and drinking, but the last time he'd done so, Yoda had to bail him out of a jail cell for getting into a barfight. He also had less tolerance for crowds and noise as the years went on - even as he shielded in the Force, picking up so many thoughts and feelings gave him a headache worse than any hangover. He didn't like doing it as part of his work as a Jedi, and he definitely did not like seeking it out in his recreational time.

"I heard that." Sifo-Dyas made a loud, exaggerated sigh to mock his best friend as he came to collect Dooku's empty cup. "So after cake and shooting the shit for awhile, you're going to go back and do what, exactly?"

"...Read."

"Reading? On a Saturday night? Really?"

Dooku raised his eyebrow at Sifo-Dyas. "Books are important."

"You and your dead trees." Sifo-Dyas shook his head and turned to Jocasta. "Can you believe this shit?"

"Well, Dooku has some points," Jocasta said. "But for once - " She turned to Dooku and wagged her finger. "You are going to have fun whether you want to or not."

"I do not have fun. I hate fun. I am an enemy of fun." If Dooku had a personal motto, this would be it.

"You're coming with us and that's that," Jocasta said.

"But -"

"No buts."

Sifo-Dyas patted Dooku on the shoulder. "Pretend you have a choice."

_

The club was smoky, noisy, crowded, smoky, noisy, filthy, and did we mention smoky and noisy? Dooku felt like he was going to vomit from a combination of noise in the Force and the smell of smoke, cheap alcohol, and cheap perfume. When Jocasta and Sifo-Dyas approached the bar, Dooku said, simply, "I will have a water."

Sifo-Dyas gave his friend a shove. "Heyyyyy!" He gestured to the bartender. "Don't listen to this assclown over here. Give him a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster."

"What did you just order me?"

"Something much better than reading on a Saturday night."

When the drink came, Sifo-Dyas gestured. "Drink up, my friend. Pretend you have a choice."

Dooku cursed in High Serennian and knocked back the shot of... whatever that was. It tasted horrible, and the intense burning in his sinuses and eyes that followed was equally awful. Jocasta grabbed one of Dooku's hands and Sifo-Dyas the other; they were dragging him out onto the dance floor.

"I have a bad feeling about this," Dooku said to no one in particular.

Dooku felt more ridiculous than he had in years, and being that he had been Yoda's padawan, this really said something. He truly hoped he didn't run into anyone else from the Order here. It wasn't forbidden for Jedi to go to these establishments on their off hours, but it was most out of character for Idis Dooku, and he would be teased rather mercilessly about it, especially if he imitated any of the dancing he was seeing. Especially the Twi'lek immediately ahead of him, who was shaking her derriere intensely in a most *vulgar* way.

Dooku stood around awkwardly as Jocasta and Sifo-Dyas "cut a rug", and finally, Jocasta took Dooku's hands and said, "All right, it's time for you to get down." She started... grinding up on him. He knew her intent wasn't sexual - she had long since stopped being interested in him - but it was uncomfortable just the same. He didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. She also wanted him to mimic what she was doing with her legs and hips, moving across the dance floor. It was quite a lot like Makashi. But with unfortunate pelvic thrusts.

"Why am I doing this for you?"

"Because you're my friend," Jocasta said, "and you want me to be happy."

"And subjecting me to this makes you happy."

Jocasta nodded, grinning fiendishly; she was trying to blink back the tears of laughter. "Very much." She didn't get to see Dooku make an ass of himself very often.

"This is enough to turn me to the Dark Side."

"I know." Jocasta gave him a squeezing hug.

"Look at you, WOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Sifo-Dyas had gone back to the bar while Jocasta and Dooku danced; he'd come back with a drink in each hand, and passed the one in his lightsaber hand to Dooku. This was another one of those wretched Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters; Dooku felt like he could drink ten of them if this was how he was going to have to spend the evening. "Disco fever."

A faster song came on, and Jocasta took Dooku in one hand and Sifo-Dyas in the other and moved them towards the middle of the dance floor. Dooku danced despite himself; Jocasta looked so happy that he decided he would humor her. It was her birthday, after all. This pleased her even more, and it wasn't long before the two of them were dancing together to song after song while Sifo-Dyas stood off to the side drunkenly cheering them on, and a crowd had formed around them, watching and also cheering. For someone who couldn't dance when he arrived at the club, Dooku was a fast learner, and his Jedi conditioning and Force training gave him an impressive agility. When he did a split at the end of a song, the crowd went wild, and Jocasta jumped up and down, screaming.

Dooku came back to himself, realized what he had done, and heat flushed in his cheeks. He wished people would stop staring at him. Now the Twi'lek who had done the vulgar display with her buttocks was coming onto him, and he wished he could hide inside the wall. He went to the bar; she followed him there. But before he could come up with a polite excuse as to why he was not interested, people suddenly got quieter as a voice announced over a set of speakers: "PEOPLE OF VARIOUS SPECIES AND GENDERS, GIVE IT UP FOR MASTER YODAAAAAAAA! WORK THAT THANG!"

Dooku hoped he didn't just hear what he thought he heard, and hoped it was just a case of the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, "the really good shit", messing with his head.

It wasn't nearly good shit enough.

His former Jedi Master marched out to a part of the dance floor where there was a tall pole; a spotlight followed him, and in the bright light Dooku could see Yoda was wearing nothing but a pink feather boa and a matching thong. With lace and a bow on it.

Dooku needed more drinks. He had more drinks. There were not enough drinks on Coruscant. There were not enough drinks in the Galaxy. Yoda was dancing. In that... outfit. If it could be called an outfit.

A slower-tempo song with a heavy drum beat and an equally heavy bass, with a man singing falsetto about something sexual, started playing as Yoda used the Force to climb to the top of the pole, and then slid his way down, arriving before a waiting crowd who waved credits as Yoda began shaking his posterior in the same manner as the Twi'lek.

Dooku rushed into the crowd to find Jocasta and Sifo-Dyas; they were going home right now. When he found his friends, Jocasta, Sifo-Dyas, and Dooku all gave each other looks like they had stumbled across an unstoppable wave of fire ants. In Dooku's case it was much, much worse because not only was Yoda like a father to him, but during his apprenticeship to Yoda, they had developed a Force bond, and what Dooku could feel from Yoda in the Force just now was more than he ever wanted to know. It was bad enough he had to witness Yoda... dressed like that and doing that. This was the icing on the shit cake that had been Dooku "celebrating" Jocasta's birthday.

"We didn't know," Jocasta said, gesturing towards Yoda. "Believe me, we would have never. Ever."

Dooku nodded curtly. Nobody in their right mind would have ever, even as a prank.

"We should probably go home," Sifo-Dyas said. "I'll call the speeder cab service." They'd taken a speeder cab there, since nobody was going to stay sober enough to drive everyone back to the Temple housing complex. He headed off to the holos, and Jocasta and Dooku made their way out of the crowd.

"I think I will take one for the road," Dooku said, and approached the bar. At that moment, the alcohol hit its full effect - Dooku's mastery of the Force meant it took him longer to feel the full effects of substances, though the trade-off was that it usually hit him harder when it kicked in. He'd had just enough lack of inhibition to "get down" on the dance floor, as Jocasta had put it, but there was that and there was this. "I'd like a Gan Parplactic Parple Bastard."

Jocasta tittered. Dooku gave her a look. "What?"

"Go home, Dooku, you're drunk," said another Jedi who'd been hanging out at the bar, and had himself polished off several drinks since Yoda began to "work that thang".

"I am not drunk. I am inebriated. There's a difference." Dooku could hear himself slurring, and it made him laugh. The bartender hadn't begun pouring his drink yet. "You heard me, right? I want a Parp Lactation Barble Snarfer."

Jocasta had to lean on Dooku to not fall over from laughing. "Idis, come on. No more drinks for you tonight."

"GODDAMMIT. I WANT A BARBLE LARCH PARP CANISTER." When Dooku got this drunk, he also got belligerent. He would never hit Jocasta, but Jocasta didn't want to be the one to bail him out if he hit the bartender. She used the Force to reach into his mind and calm him down.

However, Dooku was so receptive in his state of drunkenness that it worked a little too well, and Jocasta's stern face was the last thing he saw before he hit the floor.

_

Dooku came to in a place that was neither the Jedi Temple nor the bar-and-dancehall portion of the club. He was on a bench, with Sifo-Dyas and Jocasta standing over him, keeping watch.

"Where am I? What's happening?" He was still slurring his words, and he felt like he was covered in a sheet of plastic wrap, even though he wasn't.

"The speeder cab's on its way," Sifo-Dyas said, "and you're really, really, really shit-faced."

"There is no shit on my face. Better not be."

"Shit on your face, there is not, though much shit, you have had." Yoda was standing at Dooku's feet, still in that boa and thong, giving his former padawan a disapproving look.

"Dammit, Yoda. Man why you even got to do a thing." Dooku shook his head, and then wished he hadn't because it spun worse than before.

"Why not? Hrmm."

Dooku started shivering. It was like someone had turned down the temperature in the club quite considerably. Jocasta noticed, and she said, "Oh dear." She patted Dooku's face. "Are you all right?"

"It's cold."

"...Oh shit," Sifo-Dyas said. "I hope he doesn't have alcohol poisoning. He's gonna need to go to the infirmary."

"In the meantime, we should get him warm. See if there's a blanket anywhere around." Jocasta knew there most likely wouldn't be, but she wanted to try to use the Force to stabilize Dooku's condition and it would be harder to do that with her bondmate hovering, projecting his anxiety everywhere.

Yoda took off his boa, and wrapped it around Dooku's head and neck like a scarf. "Not much clothing do I have on," he said, "but this I will give you. Lost through the head, warmth is. Warming there is most important, yes."

The flow of warmth back into his ears and scalp, and then his face, made Dooku murmur approvingly as he drifted back off to sleep. The next time he woke up was to bright lights, and feeling like he'd fit his head in a vice.

"What is this sorcery?" Dooku growled at no one in particular.

One of the Jedi medics approached and gave him an injection of a medication that would provide instant headache relief. Dooku scowled when he saw he was in the Jedi infirmary. No doubt, he was going to get a lecture from someone on the Council about drinking to excess, and then he was going to have to explain to young Qui-Gon why the Council was pissed at him again. Qui-Gon was unruly enough without the sometimes-bad-example that Dooku set.

Much to his surprise, nobody from the Council was waiting for him when he was discharged, but he was given a small package, and when he opened it up, it contained a pink feather boa, and a small holo device.

While Dooku and his friends had waited for the speeder cab last night, Ms. Twi'lek found them on her way out of the club and expressed her concern for the young Jedi Knight by handing Jocasta a pot of glitter that she'd used for makeup and saying, "Have fun." Jocasta and Sifo-Dyas liberally applied sparkly glitter to Dooku's face and outfit - at one point he'd woken up and slurred, "Is that sand?"

"I don't know, is it?" Sifo-Dyas said, making Jocasta giggle.

"I don't like sand. It's rough and..." He passed out again.

The couple proceeded to take a series of holos of Dooku passed out - sometimes just awake enough to make a silly drunken grin for the holocamera - with Yoda's pink feather boa wrapped around his head and neck, covered in glitter. More than a few pictures had Jocasta and Sifo-Dyas making silly faces and/or obscene hand gestures, and two of the pictures had Yoda in the thong, one taken from the back where he was "working that thang" right next to Dooku's head, the other of Yoda holding up a sign that said "WITH STUPID, I AM" gesturing to his former padawan.

The holo had a note attached: This is lecture enough, yes? -Love, The Council

"More than enough," Dooku said, tossing the package into the trash, hoping nobody would ever find the incriminating pictures.