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Sparring and Smack Talk

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There was a logic to setting up camp in an abandoned military base, Mace wasn't going to deny that for a moment. There were already suitable buildings for barracks and a mess hall, even if they were all built to a slightly larger scale than human standard, there was a command centre that was easy to upgrade, and the place was certainly defensible with lookout posts around the perimeter wall and gun placements rising above.

No, it had been an excellent decision to base themselves here for as long as the fighting had been going on. It was now that it was over and they were regrouping until reinforcements arrived to hold the hyperspace lane that the problems had started. Because along with all the useful facilities, there was an enormous, multi-level obstacle course and now that there was no fighting the clones had taken to it like it had been made for them.

Which, and this was important, it very literally had not been. It had been made for sentients who were significantly taller than the clones and who could glide for short distances, and some of the troops had taken to making up the difference with recklessness.

“So, Lacey, Tinhat and Roper are going to be fine,” Obi-Wan said, gliding over, his hands folded neatly in his robes. “According to Helix they're just going to have to spend some a few hours in bacta. Nothing to worry about.”

Except for the part where their men had fallen a hundred feet while attempting to make a jump that a Jedi might have thought twice about. “Ponds is going to make sure that the troopers know not to use the course unsupervised.”

“Good,” Obi-Wan nodded. “Hopefully that will put a stop to any of the more...interesting challenges. Or at least stop the shinies biting off more than they can chew.”

Mace glanced sideways at him. “Apparently this particular stunt was the 212th's idea.”

“Yes,” Obi-Wan said serenely. “I understand from Helix that the 187th had lost the last three challenges and unfortunately Tinhat and Lacey were getting bored of winning so easily.”

He nodded solemnly. “Patience is an important trait to cultivate.”

“Unfortunately my men are not used to sitting around planetside, waiting for help,” Obi-Wan said innocently. “It's a skill we haven't had a chance to learn.”

They paused, both looking up at the towering rope course above them. They were both dignified and respected Jedi Masters with nothing to prove...but the clones weren't the only ones with energy to burn.

“Master Kenobi, would you care to spar?”

“Certainly, Master Windu.”

They moved a little way apart, stretching, drawing lightsabres, and Mace watched as Obi-Wan shrugged off his cloak and outer robes and really, if he hated to fight in them so much, why did he still wear them?

“Let's lower the power settings, hmm?” Obi-Wan suggested. “It's been a long war.”

He nodded, adjusting his lightsabre accordingly. “I really don't want to have to explain any missing limbs to the medics,” he admitted. The clones all had their own distinct personalities, but somehow the medics were uniform in their intensity and their refusal to take any nonsense from their Jedi. As irritating as he occasionally found it, it was reassuring as Master of the Order to know that all of his more adventurous people were out there with a trained and armed medical team. Honestly, he was considering making it a rule that Kenobi not go anywhere without at least a squad of clones. He was certain that Commander Cody would support him. “Shall we?”

He attacked first, of course. They'd sparred regularly before - Obi-Wan was one of the few duellists in the Order who gave him a real challenge – and he knew that the other would stick to defence, working to wear him down. And that meant he should try for the unexpected – he jumped up a couple of levels, balancing on a thin metal beam and looking down at Obi-Wan, waiting.

Obi-Wan didn't immediately follow, instead leaning folding his arms casually, his lightsabre extinguished. “You know, if we both play this defensively, this is going to be a very long fight.”

“Isn't that one of the reasons why everyone agrees soresu is a weak form?” Mace called down with a grin.

He heard the soft intake of breath from around him, even as he saw Obi-Wan's lips twitch with amusement. Ah. It seemed as though their little sparring match had attracted some attention. He glanced quickly to the side, and saw a handful of troopers, both 187th and 212th, lining the catwalks, leaning forwards eagerly. For all the many differences there were between the Jedi and the clones both cultures loved sparring.

A warning rippled through the force, and he ducked to the side, narrowly avoiding a rope that had apparently untied itself and was swinging towards him like an aggravated, force-driven snake. He sliced through the rope, absently hoping that Kenobi had at least checked whether or not it was holding anything important together. And speaking of his fellow council member...he glanced back down to where he had been and wasn't surprised to find him disappeared.

He looked up, figuring that Obi-Wan would have tried to get the high ground, but this place was huge and there was no immediate sign of him. There were more clones watching now, with even more appearing. He could see the wide-eyes, the whispers, the occasional exchanging of credits. It reminded him of sparring in front of young padawans, there was the same energy – and the same decidedly unJedi-like desire to show off.

At a slight noise above him he leapt straight up and twisted around onto a narrow ledge, driving his lightsabre forwards only to have the blow blocked with a downward strike that lashed sideways and nearly made him lose his footing. He should have expected an ambush.

They struck back and forth for a few beats, and it was obvious that he wasn't going to be able to break through Obi-Wan's defence any time soon.

“I think Cody's watching,” he murmured innocently, leaning into his attack. “Do you want me to let you win?”

Flustered, Obi-Wan barely managed to dodge out of the way of his quick rebound strike, stumbling backwards as Mace pushed forwards, eagerly pressing his advantage. Just as he thought he might land the finishing blow though, Obi-Wan jumped back, land as he landed lightly, Mace noticed with dread the sharp smile on his face. “Why, Mace,” he purred. “I thought you wanted to spar. You should have said you wanted to fight.

Ah. It was possible his plan had backfired. “Don't you start flirting with me like I'm a Sith, Kenobi,” he warned, falling back into a defensive stance.

Really, my dear,” Obi-Wan said mildly, as a sheet of plastic came flying straight towards his head. “If I only flirted with Sith, I wouldn't have nearly so much practice.”

Somehow, Mace didn't doubt that. Evidently this was a fight now so, with a mental shrug, he reached out with the force and sent the platform they were standing on flying, to the cheering of the watching clones. Ah, well. Might as well keep this fun.