"Then kill us now, my Master. Kill us both now." Kneeling, Qui-Gon bowed his head, offering himself in supplication. "I cannot live without Obi-Wan and he cannot remain a demon."
"These theatrics are not necessary, Qui-Gon." Mace Windu spoke coldly.
Choosing to ignore Mace and the rest of the Council, Qui-Gon addressed only Yoda. "Obi-Wan's physical strength is as great as my own. His weakness is his insanity, which has allowed me the only advantage. But I cannot control him forever. And we cannot allow him to escape."
The man in question growled, yanking at his chains. Though coated with the strongest metal alloy Fra-Zon could purchase, Qui-Gon knew the chains would not hold Obi-Wan indefinitely. The demon exhibited a basic animal cunning. His continual attempts to break the chains would eventually create weak spots. Once Qui-Gon was tired, he would snap them completely. The trip from Valon was hellish, aware that a single slip might free Obi-Wan, resulting in the slaughter of the crew, his mother and brother. Qui-Gon tried to convince them to stay on Valon with the auto-pilot running the ship so that he would only have his safety to concern him, but when his mother proved stubborn, his brother refused to abandon her.
Yoda spoke sadly, his green ears drooping as he considered the plight of two of the Jedi he most loved - his former padawan and his padawan's padawan. "Sure you cannot be, that bonding will save him. Destroy you both, it may."
"Yes, my Master. The Council must be prepared to kill us both, if necessary. I accept this. But give us this chance. Obi-Wan believed a soul bond would eliminate my jealous rages. I have to believe that I am strong enough to save his sanity."
Ever the pessimist, Windu spoke again. "You do not know if there is anything left of Obi-Wan to save."
"Agree we do with your request. Unbearable it would be to lose both of you. If bonding may work, bonding we must try." Yoda's firm pronouncement halted Mace's objection, though his lips firmed with disagreement. Glancing at the other Council members, Yoda saw only unenthusiastic acceptance. This session was a mere formality to discuss the issue; the decision was unavoidable. They had all read Qui-Gon's report while Fra-Zon's ship was en route from Valon. Only Qui-Gon's timely arrival and demonic strength allowed him to subdue Obi-Wan after his transformation long enough for Fra-Zon to chain him. Surprisingly, Obi-Wan's bestiality was the impetus that allowed Qui-Gon to control himself, his demonism repressed by his tremendous sense of guilt and responsibility for his padawan.
Only in a very small, hidden part of his mind did Qui-Gon acknowledge that perhaps his ability to discipline himself came from the triumphant satisfaction that now, no one else could ever have Obi-Wan. Not without risking death.
The report had been read, discussed, and debated, leading to the inevitable conclusion that Qui-Gon had been dangerous enough, requiring five Council members to stop him when he attacked Navar. If Obi-Wan got loose from Qui-Gon's control - or Qui-Gon's discipline wavered and they both become demonic - there would undoubtedly be blood shed.
Depa Billaba's gentle voice interrupted to ask, "Are you positive that your grandfather will not be able to help?"
Qui-Gon shuddered, remembering that moment on the streets of Valon, straddling the thrashing bound figure of Obi-Wan, Navar's blank eyes staring sightlessly at them, a cluster of frightened neighbors watching with a horrified but rapt awe. His grandfather's sudden question, "Where is Raz?" The others might have glanced around to look for the missing scientist, but Qui-Gon couldn't tell, unable to tear his eyes from Obi-Wan's tortured features and sharp fangs. Selona's startled scream came seconds after the deafening noise of an explosion within the house. Sprawling on the ground next to him, panting from the struggle to bind Obi-Wan, Fra-Zon had made the dry comment, "Well I guess we know where he went."
Qui-Gon's voice held even less patience than normal when answering Council questions that he deemed senseless. The Council had an annoying tendency to talk issues to death even when they knew only one logical alternative existed. "Taale's notes were completely destroyed in the chemical explosion he created in his lab. His research to create demons had veered too far from my grandfather's work to duplicate within any reasonable amount of time." Qui-Gon's grandfather stayed behind on Valon, searching in the destroyed remains of the house and through the papers left in Taale's lab at his government office, but the possibility of him finding a cure was slim, leaving only the extreme measure of a soul bond.
Killing them both would be the last option.
"Begin we will."
"A moment, please, my Master."
Yoda's ears twitched in surprise at Qui-Gon's request for a delay.
"I wish to have a few words with my family. In case - "
Yoda nodded with reluctance. "Speak to them. Meditate and await you we will."
"Come, Obi-Wan." Rising to his feet, Qui-Gon pulled at Obi-Wan's chains. The restraints Fra-Zon had purchased ended up being used, just not for the person Fra-Zon intended. A metal ring encircled the Padawan's neck, the chains originating from it attached to metal cuffs on his wrists and ankles. The length was short enough that Obi-Wan hobbled as he followed Qui-Gon from the room, snarling defiantly at the Council members.
Fra-Zon and Selona waited outside, Fra-Zon staring out the large windows at the busy Coruscant traffic, Selona nervously twisting her hands as she sat on the couch. They both approached Qui-Gon but stopped at a distance away.
"Did they agree?" Fra-Zon clipped out.
"Yes. We will attempt the soul bond now. "
Nervously, Selona asked, "Are you sure this is the right thing to do?"
Though becoming increasingly weary of answering questions, Qui-Gon reassured her confidently, "Yes, mother. It will save both of us." This conversation had been repeated too many times on the long trip back from Valon but Qui-Gon understood Selona's difficulty in accepting his decision.
Reluctantly, she placed her hands on his chest, reaching up to kiss him on both cheeks. "You have my blessing and best wishes, Qui-Gon." She glanced at Obi-Wan and seemed to start toward him but stopped. "And you, Obi-Wan," she offered, though it was doubtful that the demon appreciated the sentiment.
Fra-Zon stepped close to hug Qui-Gon. "We'll wait out here."
"No. This may take a long time." Qui-Gon gestured to the Padawan who waited outside the chamber to act as the Council's messenger. "Please find my family some food and rooms to rest."
Selona protested, "But we wish - "
"Please, mother. This may take hours. I would rather you didn't stay."
She agreed unhappily and they departed, leaving Qui-Gon alone with Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon pulled on the chain, bringing Obi-Wan close to him. "Obi-Wan, I wanted to say - how sorry I am. Sorry for what you have been through for me, for what you have been reduced to for me. I can only trust that this is the Will of the Force and we will both be saved through the bonding."
The demon didn't answer other than to run his tongue along his lips, opening his mouth to let Qui-Gon watch as his tongue caressed his teeth and fangs. The demon was hungry, not interested in words of apology. He had rejected the blood protein Qui-Gon tried to feed him, and Qui-Gon wasn't foolish enough to offer his own neck.
Qui-Gon would have liked to touch Obi-Wan, to hold him close in a last hug, but other attempts at physical contact only demonstrated Obi-Wan's willingness to bite if given the opportunity. With a sigh, Qui-Gon turned back to the Council chamber, dragging the bound Obi-Wan forcibly behind him.
They would live or die together.
Sitting on the floor with his legs crossed in front of him, he pulled Obi-Wan into his lap. The demon resisted, his teeth flashing as he growled, but Qui-Gon held him firmly, arms wrapped around Obi-Wan's middle, one hand tucked under his chin to prevent Obi-Wan from digging his fangs into a convenient forearm. He glanced at Yoda, nodding once to signal his readiness.
The hum was almost audible as the powerful minds of the Council connected, forming one linked mind. With the ease of a Jedi Master, Qui-Gon blanked his mind, releasing cares and erasing doubts. Though he had often felt as if he lost touch with the Force after his transformation, he would trust in it now. He must. The linked mind touched his, gathered his mental energy to it, and together they reached out to Obi-Wan.
The demon within Obi-Wan's mind resisted, fighting against the intrusion, flinging primal feelings of hunger and mindless images of red blood and torn skin. It rejected the comforting touch, craving food and death. The linked mind held together against the attack, not allowing Obi-Wan to turn his mind into a battlefield. Rather than retaliating, the joined entity floated through the haze of pain and anger, seeking the Obi-Wan who was still Qui-Gon's Padawan, the Obi-Wan who cared, laughed, and loved.
Qui-Gon became the focal point in the search for that Obi-Wan. He found him first in the past, a stray memory of an insecure youth hoping to be chosen as an apprentice by the great Jedi Master. Qui-Gon latched onto the memory, holding it close to his heart, sharing his own admiration of Obi-Wan and the youth's bravery.
The demon raged, using not just its own animalistic passion but driving Obi-Wan's insecurity to the fore, tossing back at Qui-Gon every past rejection of Obi-Wan. The beast within Qui-Gon started to emerge in response to the attack, set to defend himself, but Yoda was there to stop the battle. In the mental landscape, physical bodies did not exist, allowing the wise and warm personality of Qui-Gon's Master to cradle the larger Jedi to him. [Love, my Padawan. Love. Love him no matter, you must.]
Qui-Gon sighed in his Master's invisible arms, acknowledging the wisdom, holding Obi-Wan even tighter in the physical world. He loved Obi-Wan, not the creature that had taken over his mind. He must find Obi-Wan to drive out his demon. Centering himself and supported by the Council, he mentally traveled forth again, intent on bonding with Obi-Wan, his Padawan, his love, his light.
It was hunger that woke Qui-Gon, the ravenous hunger of a stomach that had been empty for too many days. He could feel it on his tongue, taste it in the back of his throat, the overwhelming thirst for blood. Gradually waking up from the sensation, he realized that it wasn't his need, but Obi-Wan's.
His Padawan was in his arms and they were in his bed in his quarters at the Jedi temple. His body was stiff and sore from sleeping too heavily without moving. The Council members must have brought them there after the bonding, as he had no conscious memory of the trip.
The bonding. Had it been successful? It must have been for the Council to leave him alone and for him to be feeling Obi-Wan's hunger. Obi-Wan's head was cradled on his shoulder and he brushed a hand over his soft hair as Obi-Wan snapped awake, his eyes reddened.
"Master, I NEED - "
Despite the craving, Obi-Wan's words were coherent, relieving Qui-Gon's worries. "Take from me, Obi-Wan. Take from me."
Obi-Wan responded instantly to the permission, his fangs sinking into the soft flesh of Qui-Gon's throat. The shock of the dual piercing went straight through Qui-Gon's body and to his cock, making it begin to stiffen. Was that what Obi-Wan felt when Qui-Gon fed from him? This craving to feed and fuck simultaneously? He stroked Obi-Wan's hair as his padawan fed, experiencing both the eerie sensation of his blood flowing from his body and the echoing taste of that blood slipping down his own throat as he drank.
The bond was truly formed.
Qui-Gon let Obi-Wan feast as long as he dared before gathering the longer hair at the back of Obi-Wan's head into his fist and tugging. Obi-Wan didn't move away from Qui-Gon's throat, but he could feel the fangs pulled out of the wound, Obi-Wan's warm tongue licking up the remaining drops of blood.
When he looked up, Obi-Wan's eyes were no longer reddened, but a burning need was still reflected in his face. "Master, I need more."
"I know, Obi-Wan." He understood because he shared that same hunger.
They were both dressed in under tunics and short breeches, clothes designed to be durable under adverse conditions but quickly shredded by the joint efforts of their long nails and teeth, tatters of fabric tossed out of the bed and spread around their bodies, red blood welling on white skin from the cuts and nicks impossible to avoid in their frenzy. Then his legs were on Obi-Wan's shoulders, his Padawan's thighs tucked under his buttocks, leaving him spread and vulnerable to Obi-Wan's intrusion. It was even better than the feeding, the feeling of Obi-Wan penetrating him, his stiff cock coated with only the barest layer of saliva and pre-ejaculate. The haunting echo through the bond, as if he was the one pounding into Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan was anguished and beautiful in his passion, sweat and blood gleaming on his face and chest, his head arched, mouth open as he panted, exposing the gleaming fangs. Qui-Gon's hands were restless, impatient to feel all of Obi-Wan's skin, stroking everywhere he could reach, tugging at the hard pointed nipples, soothing over the small nicks, spreading the small drops of blood wider, winding the Padawan braid in one hand, reaching with the other to feel Obi-Wan's cock disappearing into his body. The tendons in Obi-Wan's neck strained as he held onto Qui-Gon's thighs, yanking at his Master's larger body to make it meet his own thrusts. The feelings of control and dominance intermingled with yielding and submission until Qui-Gon could not separate the two.
He grabbed at Obi-Wan's shoulders as brutally as his Padawan was holding onto his thighs, tugging until Obi-Wan was bent completely over Qui-Gon's body, Qui-Gon's legs rested on his own chest, their mouths locked together in a deep kiss, their breaths merged as the torrent of physical pleasure ripped through their bodies.
It was a long time later before Obi-Wan spoke, cradled again in Qui-Gon's arms and at peace. "I am sorry, Master."
"You have nothing to apologize for, Obi-Wan. I am the one who is sorry."
Obi-Wan propped himself on one elbow, looking down at Qui-Gon, their faces near enough that he could see the fine lines on Qui-Gon's face. "I can feel it," he said, wonderingly. "I could feel your pleasure, your willingness to let me take you. And now I can feel your regret."
"As I can feel you."
"We are bonded."
"Yes. The Council helped bond us. Do you remember?"
"Navar was on Valon and we were fighting. That's the last I recall." His throat bobbed as he swallowed before asking, "I -- I killed him, didn't I?"
"Only because he made you, Obi-Wan. Come into my mind and see."
Obi-Wan's eyelids fluttered and his eyes shut, his mind reaching out to Qui-Gon. Unaccustomed to such exchange, Qui-Gon spread out his entire life for his Padawan's inspection. The rush of memories and sensations made Obi-Wan dizzy. Sensing his mistake, Qui-Gon hastily retrenched, offering only the events of the last few days. Obi-Wan examined them, awed and humbled at Qui-Gon's determination to die rather than leave Obi-Wan a demon.
"Master, you shouldn't have risked your life."
"You are my life, Obi-Wan."
The sincerity of that statement demanded a kiss as a response and the two cuddled, gently stroking each other, love in every touch.
Looking to the future, Obi-Wan asked, "What happens now?"
"Now we spend time on Coruscant, adjusting to the bond and reassuring the Council that we are still fit to be Jedi."
"Can't you feel that we are?"
And Obi-Wan could feel it, Qui-Gon's confidence and calm, his knowledge that bound together, the two would an even greater force for good. Perhaps some day Qui-Gon's grandfather would find a physical cure but most importantly, Qui-Gon's rage and anger, his sense of being a knife's-edge away from exploding into mindless destruction at the slightest provocation, was completely gone. "But the physical limitations?"
"It won't be easy, but many Jedi have dietary limitations or sensitivities to certain environments. Our physical strength will help counteract our weakness and I predict that our mental powers will grow as we adapt to the bond. The Council may even appreciate having one team who will never protest assignments dealing with nocturnal species."
Though Qui-Gon spoke lightly, Obi-Wan could sense both the truth and concern behind his words. They would have a long struggle to convince the Council of their trustworthiness, and the adjustments would be difficult. But Qui-Gon was right, the physical problems could be overcome now that their emotions were stable. "We can never be separated now."
Qui-Gon's arms clenched hard around Obi-Wan. "No. Never."
Speaking lightly enough to be teasing, but with an emphatic undertone, Obi-Wan said, "I'm not going to be the one always drinking the blood protein."
Qui-Gon's tone hinted at more pleasures to come as he said, "We can take turns - drinking the protein and drinking from each other." Dark erotic thoughts flashed through his mind and into Obi-Wan's before he added more seriously, "But we can never risk sex or feasting from someone else until we learn how Taale made the disease transmittable."
It was Obi-Wan's turn to respond, "No. Never." The possessiveness originated from both of them, the satisfaction that they were now a unique entity. "We should get out of bed and see your family. They must be worried."
"In a little bit," Qui-Gon said sleepily. They couldn't hide out here forever, and Qui-Gon did wish to spend time with his mother. He'd seen the guilt in her eyes, guilt that wasn't rightfully hers. He wanted to help her accept what had happened and repair his relationship with his brother. Time and energy for mending souls hadn't existed on the trip back as he worried about Obi-Wan, but family seemed less strange and more important now that they were bonded forever. He and Obi-Wan were truly a family now, a couple mated for life, giving him the desire and stability to expand his family. "But first I need to hold you in my arms for a while. The Council would have reassured them that the bonding worked."
Obi-Wan agreed with a happy murmur, scooting even closer to Qui-Gon, their legs and arms interlaced. "Yes, hold me, my love."
They found her in the formal gardens, one of the Jedi's very carefully maintained havens of greenery in this overbuilt world. Like the first time they saw her, she was wearing a long, flowing gown, clipping carefully at flowers, her beloved cella roses. As she turned to them, the only difference was the long streaks of pure white hair emanating from her temples.
"Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan." Selona dropped the clippers and they hugged, all three holding each other tightly. With a last squeeze, they let go and settled on one of the white benches dotting the gardens. She sat between them, holding a hand in each of hers, the physical touch reassuring her that they were both alive. They looked superb, dressed in full Jedi uniforms, only lacking their cloaks. "You are well?"
"We are well, mother. All is right."
"But you are - "
"Yes," Obi-Wan said gently, as if the truth came better from him. "We are demons. We may always be. But it no longer matters. We will be together."
Qui-Gon explained, "The healers are confident that we pose no danger to others. We will not infect any else. And together - together we are emotionally stable."
Selona could see the truth of Qui-Gon's last assertion. Their smiles were truly open for the first time of her short acquaintance with them, all the shadows hiding dark thoughts dispersed by their union. "But the blood, the night?"
"There are many Jedi with physical limitations, mother. Those who need a special atmosphere or diet. Obi-Wan and I will simply be another variation. Our missions may change but in some ways, we are even more powerful than before."
"You'll never catch us on a desert planet," Obi-Wan jested to keep the mood light. "No more tans."
"No," Qui-Gon mock shuddered, trying to convince Selona that all would work as the Force willed. Her grip was tense in his hand, but the longer he talked, the more it relaxed. "Planets with too much sunlight will be our last option. But most negotiations take place in buildings. We can still be effective."
"If you are sure," she said hesitantly, wanting to be convinced that her child could live with the demons caused by her past.
"We are," they replied as one, then smiled, genuine laughter from the union of their words and thoughts relaxing their faces.
"Then I should finish clipping these roses. Your gardeners do not pay them enough attention," she scolded gently, rising to resume her task.
Unable to resist, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan scooted together, their bodies as united as their minds, fangs clicking together as their lips met in a tender kiss.
~ The End ~