That afternoon there was not a soul in the westernmost padawan dojo, so Anakin did not need to pester Obi-Wan into a duel – the fencing fanatic was brimming with energy and dying with boredom, which was a recipe for disaster in Anakin’s humble opinion. Ever since they returned, Obi-Wan did not set a foot in the training halls. His insecure status in the Order turned the boy, who had been until his betrayal a few months ago the council’s favourite, into a persona non-grata that could not show his face among the proper Jedi without attracting offended glares.
Anakin stuck to him like glue – Obi-Wan ostensibly did not appreciate his outstanding demonstrations of friendship and loyalty, mumbling some nonsense about personal space and bloody martyr idiots who should mind their own business. But he did not push him away, nor did he try to shake him off, which inevitably lead to Anakin’s belief that the feeble protests fell into the category of Kenobi’s traditional complains just for appearance’s sake. He was almost sure Obi-Wan enjoyed his company. Not that he could choose. But still. He got him.
When they arrived, and put the bags with towels and change of clothes away, Anakin seized two training sabres from the shelf. He threw one at Obi-Wan who caught the weapon in the air by the hilt with a mastered grace. Languidly, he positioned himself into the krayt guard, with one foot stepped forward and the sword held firmly at his left temple, the tip of the blade aiming straight at Anakin’s neck.
“Shall we?” he said. Anakin grinned, recognizing the velvety voice that hid the cutting steel. Obi-Wan would not go easy on him. Good.
Instead of a reply, Anakin charged.
He had longer limbs than Obi-Wan. His arms were thicker and stronger. Anakin wielded his sabre one-handed, making his attack quick and far-fetching. The wooden blade swished through the air from under, clashing with Obi-Wan’s parry.
The dance began.
Anakin could not stop grinning like a maniac. He loved the rush of a duel; ever since he came to the Temple, ever since his Master put a training sword into his hand for the very first time. It mattered not whether it was a simple spar or a fight for life or death; when he wielded the sabre, he felt whole. It was a language in a way. To not fence meant to be mute.
Master Obi-Wan used – spoke – Soresu. Everyone joked that his style subverted the intension of the form’s creator. Pure Soresu was meant to embody calmness. Utter stillness with the least amount of motion possible. Where Anakin’s Djem-So raged like a wildfire, the classical Soresu presented an impenetrable wall.
Master Kenobi took the philosophy of repose and turned it into the most insufferable passive aggression imaginable. Fighting against him was like fighting against a mocking mirror. Behind the rampart of Soresu was laid a layer behind a layer of traps and tricks. A combat with Master Kenobi was a never-ending stream of riddles. A challenge. A dialogue.
The moment he parried Anakin’s hit to his left he lunged forward like an avalanche, forcing Anakin to step back and quickly block the series of attacks. The Falling Swallow from above that fluidly transformed into the Sting that almost stabbed him by surprise. He jumped back. Ataru, Anakin realized. He risked a quick glance at Obi-Wan’s feet. He moved on tiptoes.
That was one of the style’s weakest points. While it allowed the fighter to change his position with graceful speed and sudden jumps, it also made them less stable.
Attacks rained on him from every direction. Obi-Wan could pull far more strength into his hits than Anakin as he held his sabre with both hands. Anakin’s initial advantage of wielding his sword single-handed was quickly lost; Obi-Wan pushed himself far too close to him.
And now they clashed. Anakin felt the cold surface of the wall pressing into his back. Obi-Wan did not let him escape. With a fast swipe, he aimed for his neck.
Anakin caught the blade with the base of his own.
Obi-Wan stood so close he could count the freckles dusting his nose. The gleam in his eyes made him shiver. The heat radiating from his body burned. He heard his – their – breath quicken from the sudden closeness.
Anakin never broke the eye-contact, when his left hand shot out to catch Obi-Wan’s wrist and twisted it. He kicked him in his stomach, forcing him to stumble back, right arm still trapped in Anakin’s grasp, left hand still holding the training sword.
“I’ve got you!” Anakin laughed and lunged.
“Have you?” Obi-Wan purred as he managed to deflect the hit.
And that was the last thing Anakin knew before that Force-thrice-damned runt jumped forward and tripped him up with a kick. Anakin fell on his back with a loud groan. The cold rattan blade touched his throat. Obi-Wan’s knee pressed into his belly.
“I’ve got you,” Obi-Wan echoed with a sing song voice. The asshole. Anakin risked a glance at him. His face was flushed. Eyes dark. A sheen of sweat covered his brow and throat, Anakin noticed. Obi-Wan grinned, the red tongue quickly wetting his lips. Anakin mirrored him.
“Solah,” he breathed out.
Something changed that moment. Like a cloud passing across the sun.
Obi-Wan’s smile. His thin light red lips. The predatory gleam written in his eyes that Anakin could not understand. Anakin gulped. Never in his life was he so aroused like now. Now. Now. Now. Hard as a rock, he could not find a bit of shame.
They let their swords clatter on the floor.
Anakin watched him, bewildered, as he sat beside him. Close, so close. The heat of their bodies seeped into each other. Their gazes locked, neither of them uttered a single word, as Obi-Wan’s fingers brushed Anakin’s palms covered in sweat. Nails bit into the soft flesh. Obi-Wan pinned him, stretched his arms wide, and Anakin never said a word.
Never in his life had anyone touched him like that. And he had never craved that touch like now. But this rush, the loss of control over his own body that was just screaming to take and be taken terrified him.
(He had never joined other padawans in their explorations. Anakin always stood on the brinks of everyone’s friend group, never felt entirely comfortable to go past a quick kiss on lips that left him flustered.)
It felt like he watched through a veil as the boy who would one day become the man he knew as his master leaned down. His breath tickled on his throat. His ear. His lips so soft. Teeth so sharp. His body so heavy. Torso on torso, they breathed in sync. He listened to the shuffle of their robes as Obi-Wan shifted his body and kissed him on the jaw and Anakin could not help himself but moan.
He nuzzled Anakin’s earlobe with an unexpected playfulness. At the same time – Anakin gasped in shock – he pressed his knee to his groin. A shudder of pleasure flooded him, from his loins to the tips of his toes. And in their embrace Anakin realized that Obi-Wan body responded to him with the same intensity. He licked the shell of his ear, slowly shifting his legs apart.
It was so good, so perfect, hot and intimate and far too much… Anakin panicked.
“Obi-Wan.” It sounded weak but Anakin did not care.
His master – his friend – this stranger looked at him, trying to read in his face what he tried to say.
When the realization hit him, Obi-Wan pulled away.
“I am… sorry. I misread you.” He straightened both their robes.
“That’s fine… just… didn’t expect it…”
Don’t run away from me, please, don’t don’t don’t.
“The first time?”
“Is it that obvious?”
“Only now,” Obi-Wan offered him a small smile. “I am truly sorry. I never meant to make you uncomfortable. It won’t happen again.”
And with that said, Obi-Wan fled to the showers.