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Comfort in Wartime

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Obi-Wan leaned his forehead against the fresher and closed his eyes, focusing on the feeling of hot water running down his body. He regretted that it would be unforgivably rude to remain in Senator Amidala's fresher until her ship deposited him and Anakin back on Coruscant. After a week of running reconnaissance through what seemed like every filthy backwater bar in the outer rim, followed by another three weeks of wading through a swamp full of acid spraying insects the size of a speeder, the opportunity to be properly clean felt like a half remembered luxury from another life.

That Senator Amidala had appeared just as a swarm comprised of thousands of insects awoken by the explosion of the Separatist base descended upon him and Anakin had been a testament to the power of both the will of the force and the will of the Senator herself. Prying their last known location out of the Jedi council would have been no mean feat, and discovering the backwater outer rim planet they'd actually ended up on would have taken considerable detective work. That she had performed her well-timed rescue in a well-appointed Royal Cruiser had almost been enough to make Obi-Wan reconsider his stance on luck.

The war dragged on with no end in sight, every recent victory felt like scrabbling to avoid losing ground. Missions bled into each other. He felt worn out, a pervasive tiredness he could never seem to shake entirely bleeding all the way down to his bones. The thought of making polite conversation with Anakin and the Senator seemed like deeply unappealing alternative to simply remaining where he stood. He didn't want to think too closely about the reasoning behind his preference. Be in the moment, Master Yoda would say, and in the moment he was clean and warm and not noticing anything potentially inappropriate going on between his former apprentice and one of the leading voices in the Senate.

Surely, he reasoned, they would rather he stay in the fresher than subject all of them to inevitable awkwardness of the three of them trapped in a relatively small space while Anakin and Senator Amidala alternated between significant eye contact and deliberately staring at the walls behind their shoulders. A knock on the door broke his train of thought, and he heard Anakin's voice from the corridor.

“Master, are you all right in there? Your clothes are dry and the food is almost ready.”

He felt a sudden rush of fondness. At least Anakin was alive to alternatively stare at the Senator and the walls behind her while making hideously awkward small talk that wasn't fooling anyone. It was vastly preferable to Anakin dissolved in acidic venom, crushed underneath an exploding Separatist base, or mowed down by legions of droidkas.

“I'm fine, Anakin” he replied, stepping out of the fresher and wrapping himself in an absurdly soft and fluffy towel. He hit the switch beside the door to open it and let out a burst of laughter before he could stop himself. Anakin's eyes narrowed, and he gave Obi-Wan a look that might have been more threatening if he wasn't wearing what appeared to be one of the Senator's bathrobes. It was a lovely shade of blue, made out of something silky that looked soft to the touch and elaborately embroidered with what appeared to be a heavily stylized Naboo landscape. It was presumably longer on the Senator. He thrust out a bundle of clothing in Obi-Wan's direction.

“Most of your clothing survived,” he said. “You know, because I heroically jumped in front of you and took the blast of acidic venom that was headed for your face. You're welcome, by the way.” Anakin looked Obi-Wan over with a critical eye. “You're not hurt, are you?”

“I'm perfectly fine, Anakin,” Obi-Wan replied, “and if the venom was headed for my face, then you're not really responsible for saving my clothing are you?”

Anakin leaned back against the wall and crossed his legs, looking more amused than offended.

“Ingratitude. I see how it is. Anyway, Pa- Senator Amidala's catering droids have put together something for dinner. I don't know about you, but I was sick of ration bars two weeks ago”.

Obi-Wan's stomach growled and holing up in the fresher suddenly seemed slightly less attractive.

“Just give me a moment to change” he said, and Anakin nodded and turned to leave, his robe brushing against the tops of his thighs in a way that would have made the career of any member of the paparazzi that happened to be hiding away on the Senator's ship and pointing a holorecorder at them. He shuddered at the thought, and then somewhat sheepishly reached out through the force, searching for other life forms as he began to change.

He felt only Senator Amidala and Anakin. Anakin's familiar presence had taken on the extra brightness that always seemed to manifest when he was near her. He sighed. A problem for another time, or maybe never, force willing. Anakin could lack restraint, but he was fierce in his commitment to the Jedi. And Senator Amidala was a canny politician and devoted to the Republic. Surely they would be careful.

He looked at his reflection in the mirror. His shirt had holes in it where the acid had spattered onto him, but his trousers were mostly intact. He fixed a smile on his face and prepared to enter the sarlac's pit that no doubt awaited him.

When Obi-Wan reached the ship's dining area Sentator Amidala and Anakin had their heads bent together, talking softly. There was an open bottle of Corelian brandy on the table in front of them, and they'd clearly both been drinking. Anakin sensed him coming through the door and looked up, a soft smile still on his face. Senator Amidala stood up and walked towards him, extending her hands. He clasped them in greeting.

“Obi-Wan,” she said, “You're looking much better”.

“I'm feeling much better” he replied “though I can't say the same for your fresher, Senator. I'm afraid I've washed half of that swamp down your drains.”

She smiled up at him and took his arm. She steered him towards a seat then sat down again, not as close to Anakin as she had been when he came in.

“I'm sure my fresher will survive.”

Anakin chimed in, still smiling “You didn't have to take so long. You could have admired it more after diner, you know.”

Obi-Wan paused to look him over and couldn't help smiling in return. Anakin looked ridiculous. His hair was a mess and the robe didn't close all the way over his chest. He was faintly flushed from the brandy, and he seemed as happy as Obi-Wan had ever seen him outside of a cockpit.

“What's on the menu for tonight?” Obi-Wan asked, turning to Padme.

“I actually don't know. Anakin was kind enough to program the droids. Anakin’s smile broaden into a grin. “Corelian Cruise.”

“Oh?” Obi-Wan said. “Doesn't that involve five courses from as many planets and a great deal of alcohol?

Anakin didn't even bother to look embarrassed. “I had it in a restaurant once, it was great. We don't have to drink everything.”

Padme laughed. “I think it's an excellent choice.” She turned to Obi-Wan “You wouldn't refuse my hospitality, would you? After I went all that way to pick you up?”

Obi-Wan considered his options. They were safe on a hyperspace bypass. It would take them at least a day to reach Coruscant. There was, for the moment, nothing to be done. Nothing that could be done. Anakin and the Senator were smiling and relaxed, rather than deliberately avoiding touching each other in a way that only made it obvious how much they wanted to. And the bottle of brandy looked excellent. He concluded that that there was really only one viable course of action.

“I wouldn't dream of it, My Lady”

She smiled at him conspiratorially and leaned over the table to pour him a generous glass of the brandy. It gleamed invitingly. “I've told you before to call me Padme. You're my personal guest, now. On the ship I commandeered for just this occasion. It would be terribly insulting if you didn't.”

Obi-Wan considers the Senator- Padme's determined expression, the glass in front of him, and Anakin lounging in his chair with a speculative expression on his face. He lifted the glass and drained it in a single swallow.

“My thanks, then, Padme.”

Her smile turned victorious and she filled his glass again.

Five courses and more than five bottles of alcohol from a variety of planets onwards, they had moved onto a bottle of remarkably nice Twi'lek liquor, and Obi-Wan felt essentially at peace with the situation. Watching Padme tease Anakin about his lost clothing and Anakin's increasingly indignant expression, he concluded that Padme and Anakin were much better company when intoxicated. They had all moved closer over the course of the evening, and he could admit they made a pretty picture together, her dark hair held up in an elaborate twist while his—. Obi-Wan halted that particular train of thought and took another sip of liquor.

“It's not like Obi-Wan hasn't lost his clothing in more embarrassing ways” Anakin said darkly “I remember one time, when...”

“Anakin” Obi-Wan cut in. “Before you regale the Senator- I'm sorry, Padme, with whatever undoubtedly delightful anecdote you have selected, I think.” He paused, gathering his thoughts. “I think you should consider what I know, and what you know, and what direction you want this evening to go. Do not begin a war you cannot win.”

Anakin scowled, and raised his glass to drink again. “Fine”.

“Why Ani,” Padme said, “Are you hiding things from me?” He grinned, suddenly, abandoning his sulk and pulled a face at her.

“Maybe. For all you know I'm very mysterious.”

She laughed and said, “Oh, I'm sure of it,” as she leaned forward to kiss him on the cheek.

He gasped, startling her, and they both froze for a second, then turned to look at Obi-Wan. He sighed, raised his glass to them, then drained it. Padme laughed again.

“Your glass is empty. It reflects terribly on me as a host,” She leaned over and filled it.

“At some point,” Obi-Wan replied, “I presume the glasses have to be empty, or are dinners on Naboo entirely unending?”

“Indeed,” she said “But not until you've gone home or the evening has progressed beyond the meal. We take hospitality very seriously, on Naboo.”

“How does the evening progress, then? Because I would never want to insult your hospitality, but I do think I'm reaching my limit.”

Anakin made a chocked noise that half concealed a laugh. She glared at him with mock severity and made a hushing noise.

“There are a few ways, depending on the party. We could switch drinks, to something that would traditionally end the evening, or we could play a game, or we could.” She paused and looked at him slyly. “We could retire from the dining area.”

Anakin laughed again, and Padme shot him an exasperated look. “Of course, we could also just stop drinking.” Then she looked at her own half full glass, and at Anakin, who looked well on his way to falling off his chair, and started laughing too.

It was ridiculous, the two of them giggling like children. He couldn't imagine why he was laughing as well.

“Well,” she said, once she had recovered, her eyes gleaming with something Obi-Wan didn't entirely understand. She looked at Anakin for a long moment, trying to communicate or perhaps discern something, then leaned forward to kiss Obi-Wan square on the mouth. He was shocked by the warm press of her lips against his and by how very good it felt. She smelled clean and faintly spicy, and her mouth tasted like the liquor they'd all been drinking. He opened his mouth instinctively and deepened the kiss. Anakin let out a noise like he'd been punched, and they both startled and broke apart.

Anakin's eyes were wide, and his mouth was opened, slightly, spots of colour burning high on his cheeks.

“Ani” Padme said, going over to him and putting her hand to his face. He closed his eyes.

“Ani, it would be very inhospitable if I if did anything that made a guest uncomfortable. If I misread the situation, then I apologize.”

He leaned into her hand, then pulled back, looking at her. Whatever he saw in her expression must have reassured him, because he relaxed a little. Then she kissed him, and the tension seemed to leave his body entirely as he melted into her. Watching them made an ache he didn't care to understand build in Obi-Wan's chest. They pulled apart, and Anakin looked mollified, then suddenly mischievous.

“Well if you're going to kiss Obi-Wan,” he said, “then it only seems fair that I get to as well”.

Anakin leaned over and pressed their lips together like it was a dare. Obi-Wan felt stunned all over again and then outraged. How dare he, as though it was that easy, as though they could. Obi-Wan resolved to reach up and push Anakin away, then realized that he'd already grabbed Anakin's shoulders and pushed him back against his chair. Anakin cooperated for once in his life, angling his head back and wrapping his arms around Obi-Wan's neck, clinging sweetly and oh, it was that easy after all.

Padme was laughing again, a warm, delighted sound. They broke the kiss, breathing heavily. Obi-Wan felt a little as though he'd just come out of battle and there might still be droids lurking somewhere. Perhaps there were droids lurking somewhere, and he was experiencing a drug-induced hallucination in the bowels of a Separatist base they'd been sent to dismantle. But he didn't think he could have imagined the way it looked when Padme came up behind Anakin, wrapping her arms around him and kissing him behind his ear, or the way he relaxed back into her arms, staring at Obi-Wan with an almost shy smile pulling at the corners of his lips

“There's a bed, you know” Padme said, “It's very nice. Big, too,” She took Anakin's hand and began to pull him after her. Anakin reached forward and grabbed the collar of Obi-Wan's shirt, pulling him along with them. He looked hopeful and happy and a little bit dazed. The ridiculous, too small robe was hanging off one shoulder. Obi-Wan couldn't help but feel glad about it, the whole terrible mess they were apparently diving into together. He was drunk enough that it didn't bother him the way it should. He reached for Anakin and kissed him again, letting Padme pull them into the bedroom.

Sitting on the bed, the galaxy seemed to have tilted on its axis, rearranged it's component parts into a place where this assignation was not only possible but happening. Anakin kissed Padme again, and she climbed on top of him as he gripped her hips. It obviously wasn't the first time they'd kissed like that. It obviously wasn't a favour between friends, some casual comfort to hold the troubles of the galaxy at bay. Anakin kissed her like he raced, body and soul, with all of himself that had to give, and she returned his passion with an ease that spoke of long familiarity.

It was a betrayal, that Anakin could give himself to her like that, but Obi-Wan couldn't bring himself to begrudge them for it. Jedi shouldn't and couldn't give themselves over to passion, but Anakin did it easily, as though it was the most natural thing in the galaxy. Obi-Wan knew it was a weakness and a selfishness that he wouldn't change him if he could, but if Anakin was more of a Jedi then he wouldn't be Anakin. Obi-Wan in his most private thoughts could not imagine it would be an improvement.

They broke apart slowly, Anakin darting back in to kiss her on the nose, which made her laugh again.

Anakin turned to Obi-Wan, looking pleased with himself. “Kiss her again,” he said, “I want to watch”

Obi-Wan looked over at Padme, who turned her most regal expression of disdain on Anakin for all of three seconds before laughing again.

She turned towards him and held her arms out.

“Obi-Wan?” she asked

“It would be my pleasure” he replied.

He leaned in and kissed her, enjoying the feeling of her pressed up against him. He felt a tug at his waistband and realized that she was pulling off his shirt. He let her pull it over his head, and when he looked up saw Anakin undoing the complicated lacing in the back of her dress. Hairpins floated around her like a halo and soft curls tumbled down her back. He raised an eyebrow at Anakin, who shrugged.

“What? It takes forever to undo, otherwise.” He narrowed his eyes in concentration, and Obi-Wan felt his trousers begin to undo themselves and pull themselves down his legs. He could feel Anakin in the force pressing up around him, in a touch different but no less intimate than skin against skin. Anakin finished with Padme's dress, and she pulled it over her head and tossed it on the floor where it was quickly joined by her hairpins and Obi-Wan's clothing.

Unbelievably, Anakin was still half wearing the robe. Obi-Wan hesitated for a moment, then used the force to drag Anakin towards him. He looked startled for a second before his face broke out in a broad grin, and when Obi-Wan unbolted the robe and pushed it off of his shoulders, Anakin made a pleased noise and leaned in to kiss the place where Obi-Wan's neck met his shoulder.

Padme leaned in and kissed him, and then someone—Force, both of them wrapped their hands around his cock and Obi-Wan gasped and thrust his hips forward into the friction. Padme made a hungry noise and kissed him again, deeper then the last time, and then the bedroom seemed to spin and they landed on top of each other, Anakin up on his knees in to the side. Padme glared at him, and he produced an innocent expression that Obi-Wan couldn't imagine fooling anyone.

He forgot to be exasperated when Anakin started kissing his way down Padme's chest, stopping to bite at the underside of her breasts. She reached out and pulled him towards her, kissing him again. He let his hands wander lower to stroke Anakin's hair. She broke the kiss with a gasp in time for him to see Anakin draw teeth over her hip and then bury his face between her legs. She bit her lip and threw a leg over his shoulder, grinding down onto his face. He moaned and pressed two fingers up inside of her, and she threw her head back, then turned reached out to grab Obi-Wan's hand.

“I think you should fuck him,” she said, somewhat breathlessly, still moving her hips. “He'd love that. I'd love that, and oh, oh I have strong suspicions that you'd love that too, so you should really just.”

“Anakin?” Obi-Wan asked. Anakin used his free hand to make a combat signal: “all clear, go ahead,” and Obi-Wan shook his head. Well then.

“Under the bed” Padme said.

Obi-Wan looked to the side and saw a box already floating beside him.

“Anakin,” he said as he grabbed it from the air and pulled it towards him, “Honestly.” He rummaged through it, raising an eyebrow at some of the more exotic contents before finding the lube. “My compliments to the hospitality of the Naboo. It seems thorough.”

Padme acknowledged his comment with a graceful wave of her arm, which ended with her fingers tightening in Anakin's hair.

Obi-Wan coated his fingers in lube, then came up beside Anakin and pushed two fingers inside. Anakin jerked against the mattress, pushing down in between Padme's legs, making her twist and come with a shout, her whole body curving in on herself before settling back and idly stroking Anakin's hair. He panted for a moment pushing his hips back into Obi-Wan's hand, then dropped a kiss on her thigh before going back to work.

Padme groaned and tugged Anakin's hair back towards her, exposing his neck and making him moan against her. He shoved his hips back again and Obi-Wan couldn't help himself. He leaned in and bit down on the nape of his neck, sucking and biting in a way he knew would leave marks in the morning. He realized that he wanted to leave marks, to make sure there was evidence the next morning and make it harder to write it off as a drunken indiscretion. He looked up at Padme, and found that she was looking back at him, eyes half closed in pleasure and wearing a lazy smile that reminded him of a predator enjoying the hunt.

“You should- oh, you should fuck him, now.”

It seemed like a good plan. Obi-Wan grabbed Anakin's hips, looking down at him and hesitating for a moment, unaccountably feeling as though this crossed a barrier as of yet unbreached between them until Anakin twisted impatiently underneath him. He steadied his grip on his hips and pushed in. It was hot and tight and Anakin was clenching around him, and Obi-Wan realized that Anakin was beginning to come underneath him, his dick untouched. He gripped his hips harder at that, hard enough to bruise, and fucked him through it, through Padme coming again and pulling away from Anakin only to come back and pull up him up on his elbows so she could kiss him, and reach underneath him to stroke his dick back to hardness, though Anakin's chocked off moans that bled into sobs and then finally harsh, panting breaths.

He looked at Anakin, clinging to Padme’s arms while she held him up, came in a few final violent thrusts, then collapsed onto Anakin's back. Anakin slumped down, sprawled across Padme's stomach. Obi-Wan stayed that way for a few long moments, then forced him self to roll off to the side. Padme brushed the hair out of his eyes affectionately, and he didn't stop himself from leaning into the touch.

Anakin hadn't moved. Obi-Wan reached down for his shoulder and flipped him over, needing all of a sudden to see his face. He cheeks were flushed, his hair was damp and his mouth was swollen, his whole body trembling slightly. The rise and fall of his chest was entirely hypnotic, though Obi-Wan couldn't see why, when it was something that he'd seen so many times before.

“Oh,” said Obi-Wan “Anakin.”

Padme grinned, looking entirely delighted with herself.

“Watch this,” she said, her voice low and full of promise. She grabbed his cock and began to jerk him off slowly. He reached out and grabbed at the sheets, arching into her touch.

“Anakin,” she said “Anakin, you can come for me again, can't you? For us?”

He groaned and snapped his hips up into her fist. She climbed on top of him.

“Come on, love,” she said, and then leaned around to bite him on the back of his neck where Obi-Wan could see he'd already left a bruise. The word caught in Obi-Wan's mind for a second before it was pushed away by the sight of Anakin twisting and coming over her hand, pressing his face into her hair, his whole body turning into hers.

Padme pulled her head back and stared down at him with a soft expression on her face. Anakin seemed dazed but entirely content. She turned back to Obi-Wan and held out a hand. Anakin looked at him blearily and reached out for him, unselfconscious and exhausted, and Obi-Wan felt himself moving towards them automatically.

They held each other, and it was—pleasant. Obi-Wan could admit that it felt good. Still, they were a mess. He shifted away to grab some cloths from the box that had held the lube, but Padme gripped his wrist urgently and shook her head. He looked down to see Anakin pressed between them, seeming dead to the world in a way that Obi-Wan had never seen before. Going by the look of pleased astonishment on Padme's face, it was new to her as well.

“He never,” whispered Padme

“I,” relied Obi-Wan, then paused, not wanting to trip over any carefully unmentioned boundaries “I had hoped that he was sleeping somewhere.”

He looked down, again, at Anakin's face, relaxed for once in sleep and not twisted by nightmares or unforgotten worries, and then he smiled at her, helpless against the feeling of satisfied lassitude rising in his chest. She smiled black. He sighed, and then reached through the force to summon the cloths to them and dim the lights. What was done was done. He could worry in the morning.