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The Right Time

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After a long day of meetings to set up secret codes and supply routes, Padmé was more than ready to enjoy the famous hot springs her local contact recommended. The youngest of the group led her and Obi-Wan to an enclosed pool of slightly sulfurous scented water, bowed, and withdrew.

Padmé glanced up at her companion, noting the lines of worry and fatigue. After the Empire had risen (and Padmé never let herself think of it any other way), Obi-Wan had attached himself to her. They had spent two months on Alderaan, watching Leia settle into her new family, and another month on Tatooine, making Owen and Beru uncomfortable before she accepted Luke was in excellent hands. After that, she had felt adrift and pointless, a dead ringer for a deceased former queen, with a fugitive Jedi at her side.

Bail had saved them from themselves. He sent her instructions and credits, coordinates and lists, and she and Obi-Wan made themselves less obviously heroes of the Clone Wars and started setting up the bones of the Rebellion. Hence the trip today, with its endless meetings, and more on the docket for tomorrow. Old politicians never die, Padmé thought, they just start committees on other topics.

Obi-Wan cleared his throat. “This isn’t one of those places where bathing together means we’re married, is it?” he asked, and Padmé laughed, harder than such a joke perhaps deserved.

“No,” she assured him, and he smiled at her. Her breath caught, just a touch, as it often did at such a sight. She and Obi-Wan had known each other since she was fourteen, and had been friends nearly that entire time. Their recent travels together had made them even closer, to Padmé’s mind, and if there were some topics they never discussed, they both understood why. And yet, lately, the fact that Obi-Wan was also one of the most handsome men she had ever met had been preying on Padmé’s mind.

She forced herself to breathe normally, and turned her back to Obi-Wan. Despite the lack of attendants in her life, she didn’t seem to be able to fully break herself of the habit of clothes that required help to get into and out of. “Can you-” she started to ask, but Obi-Wan was already unfastening the six buttons down her back, just as deft as when he fastened them for her in the morning. “Thank you,” she said, and kept her back to him as she untangled herself from the rest of her outfit. Behind her she could faintly hear Obi-Wan undressing as well, the thumps of his boots and the whispers his garments made as they slid to the floor. She folded her trousers and set them on a bench, and looked toward the pool, gently steaming in the fading light from the setting sun.

Out of the corner of her eye, Padmé could see Obi-Wan, just as naked as she was. It wasn’t that strange, she told herself. She had seen naked men before, ones she didn’t like nearly as much as him. And yet, despite having spent months on countless planets and a small ship, she hadn’t seen Obi-Wan naked before.

“Shall we?” Obi-Wan sounded as calm and collected as he usually did, and there was no indecent haste in the way he moved toward the pool. Padmé felt insulted, even though she knew she was being irrational. Obi-Wan, no matter that he had shaved his beard, cut his hair, stopped dressing in robes, and carried his lightsaber covertly, was still a Jedi. One notable exception in her experience aside, Jedi were generally chaste. If she had been struggling with the sexual attraction between them, she had been the only one.

He settled in the pool while Padmé fought her feelings back under control, and sighed as he leaned back against the far wall. Then his eyes slid open as Padmé waded into the bath to join him. She could almost feel the path his eyes took, starting at her collarbones and sliding down, lingering where the water lapped her thighs as she walked down the stone steps, before he snapped his gaze to her face. He closed his eyes in the next moment, and oh, it was like that, hm? Padmé couldn’t fully suppress a smile as she got closer to him. The bath was deeper in the middle than she had expected, or perhaps just built for the taller natives of this planet. It was up to her chin before she found the upward slope and joined Obi-Wan on the sunken bench.

She couldn’t suppress her own sigh- despite the smell, the hot water felt heavenly. Without really thinking about it, she let her hand drift until she found Obi-Wan’s, and tangled their fingers together. “You must have been bored stiff,” she said.

“I have done my share of negotiations,” Obi-Wan replied, and she glanced over at him, meeting his gaze with a wry half smile to match his own. Maybe, if things had been different, one of them could have made a joke about aggressive negotiations, a reference to another time and place. But things were not different, and they didn’t make jokes like that, not with the wounds still so fresh for them both.

“So I should let you take the lead tomorrow?” she said, instead of the joke she would not make, and he shuddered theatrically, breaking her out of her gloomy thoughts.

“I’d rather face those bird-lizard things again,” he told her, and it had been enough time that she laughed. The bird-lizards had lived on the third planet Bail had sent them to, and had started to make a nest of some kind using their ship while Padmé and Obi-Wan met with their contacts. They had been forced to fight them off in order to leave, and despite being both of them being crack shots with blasters (no matter how inelegant Obi-Wan found it), they had both been bitten and scratched before the creatures had admitted defeat.

“Even with the one who kept going for your pants?”

“Even with her,” he confirmed, and Padmé moved closer, letting her head rest on his shoulder. It had been a very long, boring day, and the water was soothing and hot, and Obi-Wan made her feel safe. The ends of her hair trailed in the water, and wrapped themselves around Obi-Wan’s arm. “Are you falling asleep on me, Ami?”

In public, she called herself Ami, claiming it was in memory of the Senator she looked like. Obi-Wan was Ben, and depending on where they found themselves they had been friends, partners, married, and envoy and guard. But it was still strange for her to hear.

“I might be,” she said, and let her eyes drift closed. She could sleep here, just like this, cradled in the bath with Obi-Wan as her pillow. But he had different plans.

He pulled his hand free, and shifted, making the water lap against her neck. Padmé opened her eyes and saw him fetching a cloth and a bar of the local soap. “What are you doing?”

Obi-Wan gave her a small smile and wrapped the soap in the cloth. “Helping,” he said, and moved her until she was perched on his knees, lifting her breasts out of the water. His gaze fastened on them and he swallowed, then he lifted her right hand and started washing her.

Normally, Padmé would not have found being washed all that stimulating. But she hadn’t been touched in months, and though Obi-Wan was not touching her skin directly, she felt every drag of the cloth. He reached for her left arm once he was done with her right, then moved to her back, rubbing the soap both above and below the waterline. She made a noise when he touched a sore spot, and Obi-Wan set the cloth aside, massaging the tense muscles with strong fingers while Padmé fought to hold in further sounds that she was sure would make him stop. Her entire back felt alive with nerves, all of them connected to her clit. It was something of a relief for Obi-Wan to finish digging his thumbs into the base of her spine and move to pick the soap filled cloth up again.

Padmé could feel him take a deep breath, and then his hands were on her stomach, rubbing the lather onto her ribs as he slowly moved higher. She held her breath as he hesitated, then drew the cloth up over one breast, then the other. Her nipples were hard. Obi-Wan shifted under her weight, his hands moving back under the water to her hips, and Padmé was done waiting.

She twisted to face him, and caught the red staining his cheeks, the guilt in his blue eyes. With his beard gone, Obi-Wan looked very like the young Padawan she’d first met, now a naughty young man. “You know what I think?” Padmé didn’t wait for him to respond, pulling the cloth from his hand and tossing it over her shoulder. “I think you’re trying to seduce me, Ben.”

He was blushing even more now, but he managed to meet her gaze, and the guilt in his was fading. “Would that be wrong?”

“No,” she said, and meant it. Her husband was dead. They never, ever spoke of it, but Anakin was dead. The monster who had nearly choked her to death, who had fought Obi-Wan on Mustafar- that was not the man she had married. Padmé was a widow. Why should she be alone all her life?

“No,” she said again, and leaned in to kiss him, soft lips damp and warm against her own. “As long as it’s not wrong for you.”

Obi-Wan shook his head, and kissed her again, messy and unpracticed, but so sweet her breath caught. “I haven’t done this before, though,” as though she hadn’t already known that. For a moment Padmé considered suggesting they move this somewhere not as wet, somewhere with a bed, but she didn’t want to give him too much time to rethink this. Nor herself.

“I think we’ll manage,” she said, and Obi-Wan smiled at her, moved his hands to lift her hips so she could straddle him properly. He cupped her breasts, fingers pinching firmly on her nipples, and Padmé pulled him into a kiss, gasping into his mouth. For someone who was a novice, he was a quick learner.

He kept surprising her, pulling her down into the water to rinse the soap off her chest, and sliding her up to where he could reach her breasts. Obi-Wan bit gently at her nipple, and Padmé shivered, holding his head to her breast. She’d missed being touched more than she realized.

When he finished with her breasts, Obi-Wan started to move Padmé into position. She wrapped her hand around his cock to help guide him and realized at once he had gotten ahead of her. “Wait,” she gasped, and Obi-Wan stopped, looking confused. “Give me your hand.”

Padmé guided him into touching her correctly, and rewarded him with praise as coherent as she could manage when he got it right. “Now,” she said, when she was ready, and Obi-Wan helped her slide onto him, hissing out a breath. He was close, Padmé could tell that much, so she didn’t tease, rocking on him in a steady rhythm that made the water around them ripple. Obi-Wan held tight to her hips and thrust up to meet her downstroke. Padmé had just decided she would wait until they got to a bed to teach him how to finish her off when a thrumming started over her clit.

Both Obi-Wan’s hands were still clutching at her hips, so that meant- “Stars, Ben, are you touching me with the Force?”

He looked smug, and leaned in to kiss her neck. “No idea what you mean,” he said against her skin, and Padmé couldn’t help the keening sound she made. The vibration or Force-touch or whatever he was thinking of it as was exactly where she needed it, and her hips stuttered as she lost her rhythm, more intent on reaching her peak now. She felt Obi-Wan swell and pulse inside her just before the stroking sped up, and she tipped over the edge, shuddering and moaning through her climax.

They rested together for a long moment after that, until Obi-Wan stretched out a hand and the soapy washcloth floated back over to him, borne on a small wave. He washed her briskly this time, though Padmé still shivered when he swiped the cloth between her legs, bumping over her clit. She took the cloth from him and returned the favor, brisk but thorough, then they climbed out of the pool and wrapped themselves in the huge towels provided by their hosts.

“Why now?” she asked, not looking directly at him as she slowly worked a comb through her wet hair. Obi-Wan brushed her fingers aside and took over, patient and gentle. Padmé let her eyes drift shut. This, more than anything, was what she missed about having people to help her groom and dress.

“It seemed like the right time.” He lifted a particularly stubborn lock and untangled the knots with his fingers. “You mean a lot to me,” he said, and Padmé knew him well enough to read between the lines.

I love you, too, she thought, and let him finish combing her hair. “I think they assigned us a room,” she said, once he had used the comb on his own hair. “We should investigate.”

“Oh?” he said, and offered her a robe made of much the same material as the towels. Padmé belted it on, watching blatantly as he did the same.

“You don't think that’s all there is to sex, did you?” she asked, and grinned as his eyes lit up. She had a great deal to teach him, and wanted to get started.