The Family Tree is... a Disaster
Takes place in the TCW Leverage AU. It does contain a few deviations, namely that the narrative ended up shifting Plo's role in Ahsoka's life, and Ventress's role overall.
This is mostly just dialogue where I outline the fuckery that is the disaster lineage family tree, not actual fic. It stemmed from my incessant need to justify "25yo Obi-Wan somehow got custody of 9yo Anakin without Shmi dying."
Warnings for: canon character death (modernized), canon violence (modernized), and references to Nazis and white supremacists (Palpatine collects WWII weaponry as a parallel to his canon display of Sith artifacts in his office as chancellor, and Ahsoka thinks it's sketchy)
"Okay," Cody says, setting down a glass of whiskey as he drops into the seat across the table. "What the hell is your family tree like?"
Obi-Wan raises an eyebrow, and continues cleaning off the definitely-not-stolen crystal komodo dragon he'd won in today's job. "I beg your pardon?"
"You and Skywalker," Cody says, gesturing between Obi-Wan, who is just sitting there minding his own business, and Anakin, who is across the closed-for-tonight bar and doing something inadvisable on the pool table. "You've said he was your brother, and mentioned raising him, which, sure, I'm over twenty years older than my youngest brother, people take over parenting roles all the time. But you have different last names, have mentioned stepfamilies that the other doesn't have, reference things as 'your aunt, not mine,' and I am just getting... very confused. I figured it was personal and I could leave well enough alone, but considering your older brother almost shot us today--"
"Okay, Xanatos is not my brother," Obi-Wan immediately says. "Just. I just have to stop you right there. Xanatos was a student of my father's for a time, but I promise he's not family. Nobody except maybe Komari would consider him even close, and she doesn't count since she's in prison for life and the farthest thing from stable."
Cody gestures. "That, Obi-Wan. That's what I'm talking about. I don't even know who Komari is."
Obi-Wan purses his lips in a failed attempt to not smile. "Do you actually want the explanation? It's long and unnecessarily complicated."
"So's mine," Cody snorts. Obi-Wan waits, patient and pleasant, and is rewarded when Cody sighs. "Please."
"Of course, my dear. To answer your first question, though, Anakin is my half-brother." With a smile, Obi-Wan digs a piece of paper and a pen from his briefcase. "So, center of the chain: me, my father Qui-Gon, my grandfather Yan, and my great-grandfather Yoda. With me so far?"
"Easy enough. Do you have to go back that far?"
"Great-grandfather Yoda is still alive and regularly escaping the old folks' home to terrorize younger relatives, so yes," Obi-Wan says. "Given that you may just meet a tiny, meddling relative of mine when he's bored, we do in fact have to go back that far."
"...how old is he?"
"We don't know for sure. A hundred and eight-ish is the best guess." Obi-Wan shrugs. "It's not a huge deal, mostly he likes bothering Anakin these days. Anyway, grandfather. Yan Dooku. Inherited a minory duchy from his maternal grandfather decades back. Mostly hangs around there because he's on terrorist watchlists in the States."
Obi-Wan grins. "Trust me, it gets worse. Anyway, grandfather never actually married, but spent most of his time with his 'best friend' Sifo Dyas, who died about a decade back."
"Well, we know that now, but they got together in the seventies, and this was back when they were both working government jobs, so, you know. It happens."
"Good to know," Cody says. "So, Yoda's kid is Yan, who inherited a title and land from a maternal relative, and had a life partner but never married. With you so far."
"All of Yan's kids were adopted," Obi-Wan continues, sketching out the first branch away from the Yan/Sifo partnership. "Rael was actually grandfather's cousin, maternally, and ended up in his custody after getting orphaned at five. These days, he does most of the stewardship duties at the Serenno Duchy. His daughter Nim is teaching military history at a university in Germany."
Cody nods. "Uncle number one is named Rael, technically your dad's cousin, has a daughter. Got it."
"About a decade after Rael, they adopted my father, Qui-Gon. He and grandfather fought, frequently, but they did care for each other. My father was a botanist, did bio-engineering. We'll get back to him later, because he's where things get complicated." Obi-Wan made sure to leave room around the name. "Just a few years older than me was--is--Komari Vosa. She is... serving a life sentence. I think she fought Jango once."
"She fought my father?"
"To the best of my knowledge, they both almost died, yes," Obi-Wan says. "She's in maximum security these days. She was an assassin. I'll get a call if she breaks out, and I'll let you know along with everyone else."
"Bad news auntie, got it."
"Last adoption, sort of, is Ventress," Obi-Wan finishes off. "A few years younger than me, is technically grandfather's personal assistant and does secretarial work and the like, but we all know he's planning to leave as much of the inheritance to her as he is to the rest of us. She's aggressive and unpleasant, but she takes care of him and hasn't actually threatened to kill any of us yet, so that's fine."
"How'd she join?" Cody asks.
"Ky Narec was a friend of Qui-Gon's; Ventress was his daughter. Ky died a few years after Qui-Gon did, and Ventress was a mess, after." Obi-Wan shrugs and scratches that connection into the little sketch of a family tree as well. "Grandfather offered her a job until she got herself back together, and then she just kind of... stuck around."
"Youngest aunt, more of a cousin." Cody summarizes. "Now we go back to your father?"
"Qui-Gon Jinn was a man of many skills," Obi-Wan says drily. "Adequate birth control was not one of them."
It's almost a pity that Cody wasn't drinking anything, because going by the way he chokes, Obi-Wan's pretty sure the spit take would have been spectacular.
"I'm sorry," Cody says. "Can you repeat that?"
"I was an accident," Obi-Wan says, not even bothering to hide his smile. "So was Anakin."
"So that sounds like... a story."
"It is," Obi-Wan confirms. "My biological mother has never been in the picture. They had a fling, she wasn't sure if she'd want to abort or give me up, just that she wasn't ready to be a parent, and Qui-Gon volunteered to take full custody so she could go back to her life after the birth. I've never met her, but I kept her family name. You can consider her irrelevant beyond that."
"So, when I was about a year old, Qui-Gon reconnects with an old flame, they get married two years later. Step-mother number one is Tahl. Lovely woman, I absolutely adored her, and she had a daughter, my stepsister, Bant Eerin."
"I met her, right?" Cody asks.
"Yes, she was the doctor who patched up my bullet wound a few months ago," Obi-Wan says. "With the giant glasses that make her look a little fish-eyed."
"She was nice."
"She is," Obi-Wan agrees. "At any rate, that was our family for a while, and then Tahl died when I was fourteen. Bant wanted to go to a magnet school for medical studies, and Qui-Gon's grief was... not optimal for taking care of multiple teenagers, shall we say, so Bant moved in with her paternal uncle, Kit Fisto, and Kit's son Nahdar. He's a marine biologist, incredibly friendly, and has no idea of any of the rest of my side of the family's questionable activities. If you ever meet him, you will pretend that we are a legal firm with a team of security consultants."
Cody raises a brow. Obi-Wan despairs. "Best you could do?"
"We're not that likely to run into him." Obi-Wan draws out a new line. "So, Qui-Gon deals poorly with grief. This is also around the time that Xanatos came around to ruin our lives a little. He was a very rich and unpleasant man, but he's dead as of four hours ago, so you don't have to worry about him. Or his son."
"Anakin handled that," Obi-Wan says. "Thoroughly. Granta Omega is no longer an issue. He's not dead, but... well. Anakin has his ways. Er--I should probably mention Feemor; he was my father's assistant at the university for a long time. Anakin and I still call him our uncle."
"Also a person to avoid mentioning criminal activity to?" Cody prompts.
"Well... no, but only because I don't think he'd care. The man is, forgive me, more of a 'walking sweatervest' than I am. He's a very bland and unassuming man. He once described himself as the background character of the soap opera that is my family's existence."
"Sounds like a charmer."
"Oh, he's very kind and clever, and witty as well. I adore him, and he really is family. He's just also very, very normal. Not boring, but..." Obi-Wan trails off and shrugs helplessly. "He's an editor for an agricultural research journal. Also not someone I anticipate us running into."
"Right, so, Qui-Gon dealing poorly with his grief didn't involve much drinking, but there were a few months of him trying to... lose himself in the pleasures of the flesh?" Obi-Wan tries, and then deflates at the look on Cody's face. "He was slagging around. Shmi got pregnant with Anakin, who was born when I was sixteen. Shared custody at first, Qui-Gon got him weekends and every other holiday, that sort of thing, and then they got married because they actually did like each other well enough, and it was easier on the taxes."
"So Shmi is stepmother number two."
"Shmi is stepmother number two, yes." Obi-Wan sketches in Anakin and Shmi. "About nine and a half years after Anakin was born, Shmi and Qui-Gon were in a car accident with... well, it later turned out it wasn't an accident, there was a hitman called Maul involved, he's actually Ventress's second cousin or something, I don't know. Grandfather handled most of that problem. Qui-Gon died, Shmi was in intensive care, and I got custody of Anakin as his nearest adult relative. We weren't very close before that, because I was off at university by the time he was old enough to form memories, but that changed once he started living with me. I more or less raised him as a single parent from that point."
"This is why he jokes that you're like a father to him."
"Precisely," Obi-Wan says. "Shmi took about a year to recover enough to move again, and grandfather covered the costs. She still had to live with a dedicated carer and attend daily physical therapy. At that physical therapy, she met Cliegg Lars, whose son Owen was also a patient there. They hit it off, and three years later, they married. When Anakin refers to his stepfamily he's talking about the Lars out in Nevada."
"They have a farm. A very, very normal one. We don't drag them into our activities, unless we have an at-risk person who needs a safe house." Obi-Wan pauses, and then decides this really needs to be stressed. "This is important to me and Anakin, that we don't get them involved unless there's absolutely no other choice. Shmi's been through a lot, and the Lars are busy enough running the farm."
"Works for me," Cody says. "We've got enough safe houses that it shouldn't be an issue. I'm guessing this story doesn't end there, though."
Obi-Wan grimaces. "My own love life has been... a bit of a mess."
"I already know about Kryze, at least."
There's that. "I was temporarily engaged to a friend, Siri Tachi, shortly after high school. We were in a relationship, but this was mostly something done to appease a relative of hers that was getting overbearing to the point of absurdity, and she couldn't just cut them off. We broke off the engagement after the relative passed, and we're still friends."
He notes that down, then adds the other embarrassment of his early years. "First marriage was actually a drunken joke between myself and my best friend when we were in college. We got it annulled a few months later because we just didn't have time to drop by the courthouse before then, and he's actually engaged to Asajj now."
"Asajj?" Cody asks, watching in fascination as Obi-Wan tries to mark in both his own short marriage and the newer, long-term engagement without crossing any lines. He settles for just writing the name twice and including an asterisk with 'this is the same person.'
"Ventress," Obi-Wan clarifies. "Yeah, Quinlan's a fun guy. His little sister, Aayla, treats Anakin like a beloved younger cousin."
"Are they also off-limits for criminal activity?"
"No, Aayla's the one that taught Ahsoka how to vent-crawl," Obi-Wan says. "And I'm pretty sure Quinlan has contacts in every major government branch, criminal organization, and Fortune 500 company on the planet. I reach out to them regularly."
Obi-Wan nods. "Some time later, I married Satine. We had a son; you've met Korkie. We split due to incompatibility a year and change before Qui-Gon's death. Satine doesn't engage in criminal activity, but Bo-Katan is..."
"I've met Bo-Katan. I know what she's like, Obi. You don't have to explain."
"She works with Maul sometimes."
"...the man who killed your father?"
"Yes. It's all very stupid and convoluted." Obi-Wan still writes her in. "So, that's them. Korkie goes to boarding school, and I try not to involve him in anything. Anakin and Ahsoka like to teach him self-defense and the like, but Satine is adamant that he stay unaware of my less legal dealings until he's an adult."
Cody shrugs. "Makes sense. Is that every--wait, no, Skywalker's married."
Obi-Wan grins. "Yes, and Padme's got twins on the way."
"I was there when he told us," Cody says drily. "He was very loud about it. Okay, how does Ahsoka fit in?"
"Hold on, I forgot Beru," Obi-Wan mutters. "Owen's fiancee. Same rules as the Lars. Okay, you asked about Ahsoka. Right. So. Um."
He dithers. Cody waits for him, and then Obi-Wan just gives up. "Ahsoka, dear, would you like to explain how you joined the family, so to speak?"
Ahsoka looks up from whatever she and the boys are doing--there are multiple beer glasses and straws and duct tape involved, and Obi-Wan doesn't really want to know--and then flips off the table and over to Obi-Wan and Cody. She looks over the family tree chart, and then says, "Oooh, did you tell him about the cult?"
"You were in a cult?" Cody demands.
"No, Komari was. She was head priestess or something. I dunno, it's why she's in prison and stuff."
"I did not tell him about the cult," Obi-Wan mutters, already regretting this. "The Bando Gora aren't a problem anymore. I've already gotten to explaining how you and Anakin know each other."
Ahsoka rolls her eyes, steals his pen, and starts sketching in around Quinlan's name, over by Asajj since Obi-Wan's section is too crowded. "Okay, so, Quinlan's adopted. His dad is Tholme, and Tholme's dad is Plo Koon. Plo Koon is good friends with my Auntie, Shaak Ti, who raised me. They live next door to each other, out in the country, and I'd play in his yard a lot, because he had puppies, and he took me to visit his bees. Whenever Auntie needed a babysitter, she asked Quinlan or Aayla to do it since she knew and trusted them, and Aayla needed pocket money."
"This is so unnecessarily complicated," Cody mutters.
"It is!" Ahsoka chirps. Her grin is far too sharp. "So, this one time, Aayla was watching me when I was fourteen, and she was just helping me with my physics homework. BAM, the door slams open, and in stumbled Skyguy with his arm missing. I've never met him before, and my first introduction is him shortly after he's gotten an unplanned amputation."
Anakin, on the other side of the room, giggles. Obi-Wan just sighs. The Fett brothers appear to be in the land of 'horrified fascination.'
Ahsoka revels in it. "There's blood everywhere, I'm screaming, Aayla's panicking, Anakin's halfway to unconscious and insisting we can't call the hospital, and nobody can get Obi-Wan on the phone. Quinlan's in another country, and Auntie Shaak and Uncle Plo are at a movie, so they've both got their cellphones off. Tholme was faking his death at that point to get away from an incident with the Irish Mob, so we didn't even try him."
"What the actual fuck," Rex breathes.
Ahsoka continues with relish. "We get Bant to pick up, and she's there an hour later with Padme, because Padme knows how to drive the way Skyguy does, and the entire drive there is just Auntie Bant on speakerphone telling Aayla how to stop the bleeding and get him stabilized while Padme's screaming at traffic at the top of her lungs."
"I owe Aayla a fruit basket," Anakin muses aloud. "The anniversary of her saving my life is coming up, it's warranted."
"Five years, baby!" Ahsoka crows. She fist-pumps.
Obi-Wan just drops his head into his hands. "You're killing me, children."
Anakin shrugs, grinning. "You know, I think Fett Senior might have been involved in that fight."
"My shitty dad cut off your arm?" Rex demands.
"No, I think he was busy fighting the Interpol guy," Anakin says. "But he was definitely there. I think. Blood loss kinda got to me after a bit, but I'm pretty sure Jango Fett was there, and also Boba might've been hiding in the getaway car?"
"I need another glass," Cody mutters. He doesn't stand up, though.
"Wait," Rex says. "So who cut off your arm?"
Anakin shrugs with an unsure noise. "Someone tried to convince me it was Grandpa Yan, but he was in the middle of a court case in Italy for some kind of parole violation when it happened, so he had an alibi."
"...did he actually violate parole?" Cody asks, and Obi-Wan thinks he looks like he doesn't know if he actually wants an answer.
Ahsoka shrugs. So does Anakin. Obi-Wan carefully looks at a spot behind Cody, and doesn't explain anything about wine tastings used as covers for illicit arms deals.
"The arm?" Rex prompts, sounding a little desperate to get back to the question he likely thinks is the most important.
"I still say it was Skeevy Sheev," Ahsoka chimes in.
"It wasn't Palpatine," Anakin snaps.
"Your creepy older friend who took you to operas and gives you fancy gifts and knows way too much about swords who was conveniently there to talk to the police and cover for you so you didn't get arrested for getting in the middle of a gang war in the first place, yes," Ahsoka says, dropping into a chair and sighing dramatically. "The guy who definitely hasn't been trying to convince you for a year and change that your wife is cheating on you with your older brother."
"What? He is."
"Anakin," Rex says, "your life sounds like a trainwreck."
"I'm not going to assume a frail, elderly man cut my arm off!" Anakin protests. "Even if he wanted to, he doesn't exactly have the muscle for it!"
"Grandfather's older," Obi-Wan points out, even though he knows it won't help. "And he definitely still could."
"Ha!" Ahsoka shouts.
"He could have hired someone?" Cody suggests. "Doesn't need to do it himself, if he has enough money."
Obi-Wan has a sneaking suspicion that Cody is deliberately stirring the pot as revenge for Anakin sending him eighty-seven cat memes inside an hour during last night's dinner.
"You all suck," Anakin declares. "Also, what the hell do you mean 'knows way too much about swords,' Ahsoka? You know way too much about swords!"
"Yeah, but I'm like ninety-percent sure that his antiques are Prussian and mid-century German military officer dress uniform relics, and pairing that with the Nazi pistols he's got on display--"
"He's just a history buff! And his family's German, of course he prioritizes that region, it's not like he doesn't have Russian or French or English antiques in there too, it's all sides of the war and--"
"I'm just saying he's almost definitely sending me sketchy glances like he thinks I'm planning to steal the silver on the three occasions you've had me with you when you stop by, and I'm pretty sure it's got less to do with my criminal record and more to do with me being, you know, not white."
Anakin looks ready to blow, so Obi-Wan interrupts. "Ahsoka, you were explaining how Anakin passing out on Aayla and scaring us all half to death led to your friendship?"
Ahsoka blinks at him, and then sticks her tongue out at Anakin and turns back to the chart. "So basically, Skyguy had to recuperate in Uncle Plo's living room for a week or two, and I kept showing up to bother him because he was bored and nobody would give him a laptop for 'security reasons,' because he had to lay low and stuff. He made me help him sketch out designs for a prosthesis and do all the writing for the math he had to do for the 3D printer, and we got to chatting."
Ahsoka hops up and back onto a table, legs swinging below her. "I decided he was cool and started following him around while he was getting used to only having one hand, mostly because I was bored. He showed me how to hotwire a car, and explained the best places to put a bug if you were looking to make it sneaky, and he picked my pocket to show off so many times when he was walking around Uncle Plo's house that I made him teach me that, too. And, uh, then Aayla found out and they got into a shouting match about it and decided they both needed to teach me parkour so I could get out of any mess I got myself into, since I was obviously going to follow them into a life of crime."
"And you did," Anakin says, far too proudly. "You're the best thief in this half of the country."
"Only because Aayla moved out east."
Anakin rolls his eyes and pulls Ahsoka into his side, digging his knuckles into her skull. "Best thief! You are the best thief! Be proud of yourself!"
Obi-Wan sighed heavily and rubbed at his forehead. "Children, please."
"You're not my dad," Ahsoka growls out at him. "Skyguy, I'm going to bite you!"
"Good luck, the only arm you can access is the one that's going to break your teeth."
Ahsoka shrieks in outrage and stomps on Anakin's instep.
It's almost funny, for all that Obi-Wan's seen it play out a million times before, but the really interesting part is seeing Rex's look of fond dismay.
Obi-Wan thinks he might be adding a branch out to the Fetts soon. He's not actually sure if Rex is interested in Anakin or Ahsoka, and he's smack dab between them in age, so that's not a help either, but... well. The expression is familiar enough.
"Please tell me you don't match-make," Cody mutters to him.
"No, I plan to let the pieces fall where they will," Obi-Wan responds, just as low, and far more amused. "I'm simply trying to predict where those landings are to be."
Cody looks at him, and then back at the roughhousing trio, and sighs heavily. "You know, I really didn't think that you technically being minor royalty was going to be the least convoluted thing in your story, Obi-Wan."
He laughs, because it's true. "I'm first in line to inherit the title, since Rael denounced his claim. Nim isn't interested, and Qui-Gon's dead, so... I'm next."
Cody makes a face. "Delightful. I'm guessing that's not a connection we can safely make use of."
"No more than the Kryze or Naberries, I'm afraid." Obi-Wan claps him on the shoulder. "Chin up, I've plenty others in the metaphorical rolodex, all far less legitimate and far more amenable to work with our little outfit."
"Rolodex, really?" Cody snorts. "You're not that old."
Obi-Wan smiles winningly. "You don't know how old I am, Cody. All my IDs are fake."
"Anakin's twenty-four, and you're sixteen years older than him, going by the story you just told me," Cody points out. "I do know how to do basic math, Obi-Wan."
"I had to try," Obi-Wan admits. "I threw a lot of information at you all at once; I'd hoped you missed some of the ages in there."
"I have eight brothers," Cody scoffs. "And literally dozens of cousins, plus niblings, uncles, aunts, and so on. I have experience on this."
"If I asked you to list of the age of every single relative you have, you'd be able to do it?"
"Do you want me to draw a chart? I can draw a chart."
Obi-Wan can't help but laugh. "I'd be delighted, my dear."
Cody rolls his eyes, but Obi-Wan thinks--it's hard to tell in the dimmed lights of the closed bar--that there's a hint of a blush on the man's face. Obi-Wan lets himself slouch to the side, drops his head to rest on one fist, indolent debauchery in every line of his body. Cody does his best to ignore him, but Obi-Wan knows how to smile lazily and blink slowly and draw a man in.
(The whole 'indolent debauchery in every line of his body' phrasing is Anakin's, from back when he was a teenager trying to read highbrow literature to impress a cute girl... and to come up with new insults for his older brother.)
"So," Cody says, with a cough meant to somehow distract Obi-Wan from whatever's showing on the man's face. "Why, uh, why is your grandfather on terrorist watchlists?"
"Well, he didn't initially do anything," Obi-Wan says. "He was just a gay man who didn't hide it quite well enough, and had too much money and too white a face for someone to just call the cops on a faulty report. The Red Scare was technically over by that point, I think, but if a few people made suggestions that he was more loyal to the country that gave him a noble title than to the United States... he received a few warnings, of course, and it could have all blown over..."
"But my grandfather is not a man to do things by halves, and instead decided that if the government was to list him as a threat, then he would oblige and make himself a threat," Obi-Wan finishes. "Living up to their labels, rolling with the assumptions, whatever you'd like to call it. It all irked him, and so he made some incredibly questionable decisions to make the government's lives harder. Some weren't bad, like donating to anti-war foundations that were protesting the Gulf War and the interventions in Yugoslavia, that sort of thing, and some were... nobody really looks well on gunrunning, you know."
"For fuck's sake..."
"Indeed," Obi-Wan chuckles. "Ironically, he has minimal opinion on the optimal form of economics, for all that virulent xenophobia and the remnants of anti-communism were involved in the whole mess. He just wanted to create problems for the people that were causing him problems."
Cody shakes his head. "I want to judge that, but you've met my father."
"Jango Fett is, indeed, also not a man to do things by halves," Obi-Wan agrees, attempting to nod gravely but breaking into a smile at the end. "That man is absurd."
"At least he's not dragging Boba into it anymore," Cody mutters. He drags over the fresh sheet of paper and pen that Obi-Wan offers him. "Okay, right, let's start with Jaster..."
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