The saber kissed his neck, humming, threatening.
Obi-Wan had his hands up, empty, and the air lay still except for Obi-Wan's own heavy breaths.
He'd been beaten.
They both had.
Qui-Gon lay, run through, nearby—
And Obi-Wan's lightsaber, shattered in the fight, had fallen down the bottomless shaft.
A large part of Obi-Wan, fueled by adrenaline and grief, wanted to force the Sith to kill him. To die rather than give in.
But Qui-Gon still breathed, and perhaps— perhaps Obi-Wan could ease his journey into the afterlife.
“I will surrender,” Obi-Wan forced his mouth to say. “Please let me sit with him as he dies.”
He wasn't expecting an assent, but he received one.
This wasn't the time to wonder about the reasons behind it, he had only moments left.
He cradled Qui-Gon's head, trying to still his own ragged breathing so he could hear Qui-Gon's.
“Obi-Wan, promise me you will train the boy.”
One last thing he could do for his master? He would have agreed to anything, so he nodded his head in oath though he knew he would die in moments.
“He is the Chosen One— he will bring Balance. Train him.”
Obi-Wan caught his hand, squeezing it tight. “Rest, Master. It's alright.”
“Did you— defeat—”
Fear filled Qui-Gon's eyes. “You need to run. He'll win if you don't.”
“He already has.”
Leather-gloved hands seized him, tearing him away.
“Master! Stop, you said I could stay with him—”
* * *
When sent to kill Jedi, he hadn't been warned that one would smell so damn good.
That he would smell necessary.
The scent made him hesitate—
And when the Padawan asked to hold his Master, Maul agreed. It would give him time to consider this baffling turn of events.
He's a Jedi. Jedi are for killing.
But something far more primal than the Sith code replied, He's a mate.
He's your mate.
The scent intensified, became worse—
A need that had him in pain—
Deciding he'd been nice enough, Maul dragged the creature away. It called the fallen one's saber.
Annoyed, Maul caught it in midair before the Padawan could, crushed it beneath his boot, and kicked the shards into the bottomless pit.
His mate seemed unwilling to submit.
Maul shoved him against the wall, hands tugging at his robes, trying to gain access to the Padawan's body—
He had the Jedi's hands pinned, so the damned light-user ignited Maul's own saber on Maul's belt with the Force. Light burns against his thigh had Maul growling in rage.
He'd meant to be gentle, but a mate who refused to submit must be made to submit.
He threw the Jedi on the floor, and the human lay stunned, eyes dazed—
Maul dropped on him like an avian of prey, the Force bringing pressure against the Jedi's windpipe.
Maul had yet to hear of someone who could use the Force without oxygen to the brain.
The older Jedi was begging, crying out to him, but it didn't matter.
Maul divested his mate of all clothing in order to demonstrate that he could do as he liked, and then claimed him with no preparation whatsoever.
* * *
Anakin had wrestled with the autopilot of the Naboo starfighter until R2 managed to switch it back to manual.
Knowing Qui-Gon was in trouble— he couldn't tell how he knew, he just did— he turned the ship around and landed in the hanger.
He ran through the giant doors and followed his feeling of dread, edging out over walkways that fell away into nothingness below.
His Mom would have said they needed handrails. He felt pretty sure he agreed with her.
Voices were crying out somewhere ahead. Anakin edged closer, but his progress was halted every little while by red shields.
He crept closer to the wall before the last one, peering out, trying to see—
Qui-Gon's friend lay on the floor, face turned in Anakin's direction, but without seeing him. Anakin couldn't see more than his head, but Obi-Wan's head was sliding across the floor, just a little, forward and back, his fingers curled helplessly against the smooth surface.
Something was dying in his eyes.
Grunts from someone else told the rest of the story.
Anakin cowered back, knowing.
He'd seen this before.
He felt Obi-Wan's soul shattering in the Force, and it dragged tears to Anakin's eyes as he hid his face in his knees.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I can't help— Mom said I have to hide— that when this happens I can't be seen—
* * *
Obi-Wan fought until he came, his body unable to deal with the unwelcome assault. It struggled to find a way to survive, and offered orgasm as a solution.
The flood of chemicals in his bloodstream did little to counter the terror, humiliation, and grief.
His master was dying over there, watching—
Stained by his own semen, Obi-Wan stopped struggling. He lay still and prayed for it to end.
The Sith's rhythm faltered as he came inside the Jedi, and as the zabrak's triumphant pleasure shattered through the Force, another bell tolled as well in Obi-Wan's mind.
Silent tears streaked down Obi-Wan's face as the Sith pulled out of him. The dark one pulled Obi-Wan up to kneel, Qui-Gon's killer behind him the while. When an arm slid over his throat, Obi-Wan's hands came up to rest on it, but he didn't fight the pressure brought to bear.
It was time to die now.
Death would receive no protest from Obi-Wan Kenobi, he was quite ready.
* * *
Maul stood, throwing the unconscious Jedi over his shoulder, and turned to go.
The red shields cycled through again, and Maul found a small boy cowering in the second segment, trying to escape to the third.
The child lit up the Force in a strange, bewildering way.
This had to be the boy the Jedi Master thought was Chosen.
Maul's hand snaked out and grabbed a tiny arm, towing the little one along behind him.
His ship had one confinement cell, so he put both of his captives in it and moved to the cockpit to observe them on the monitors.
Things were different now than they had been at the beginning of his mission.
For one, he wanted this Padawan.
Needed . Needed the Padawan.
He'd never felt this way before, but the small, frail creature was his.
It wasn't something he was sure he understood, but he did know that Sidious would use this against him. Either Sidious would demand Maul give the Padawan up and kill him, just to deepen Maul's hatred of him, or he would be allowed to keep the Padawan, and Sidious would find other ways to use the little Jedi against him.
I will not give him up.
So that left only one option.
According to the Rule of Two, Maul could only overthrow Sidious once he'd surpassed him. However, Sidious himself wasn't supposed to be training Maul as an apprentice. Sidious fully intended on working together with Maul to topple Plagueis, contrary to every tenet of the Sith ideal.
Maul wasn't anywhere near ready to overthrow Sidious, let alone Plagueis.
But if my master does not believe in the Rule of Two...
What should bind Maul to it?
Maul had the Chosen One in his grasp. Surely the Chosen One could overthrow the Sith'ari? Especially a Sith'ari who was no longer doing his job of embodying the Sith Code?
It would be years before the boy was ready...
But if Sidious had taught Maul one thing, it was how to play the long game.
It was time to tuck his prizes away in some secluded place.
* * *
Obi-Wan slowly came to, the first sense to return was the overwhelming impression of his own pain. Then came hearing, telling him he was in a moving ship. And then memory.
Why couldn't he just die?
He discovered he'd been covered by something. Dragging his eyes open, he found it was Anakin's shirt. Worried blue eyes stared down at his.
He saw me like this.
Shame and grief warred for supremacy.
No child should have to see this.
“You couldn't help it,” Anakin spoke up.
“I saw you fight. You couldn't help it.”
He saw me raped.
“I'm sorry,” Obi-Wan rasped, eyes falling shut again against it all.
Anakin sighed. “It's not the first time I've seen that happen.”
My shields must be nothing.
“Still.” Obi-Wan tried to prevent the tears that flooded his eyes from escaping. “I'm sorry.”
A small hand pet his hair.
A sob escaped Obi-Wan, and in moments, he found himself weeping, a little boy lying down beside him and holding him through the wracking tears.
* * *
They were blindfolded when moved from the ship.
Obi-Wan had no idea where they'd been taken, the extent of his knowledge confined to the small suite of rooms that were now his prison.
A bedroom, a sand-floored training room, a refresher, and a sitting-room that opened into a small kitchen, separated only by a dining table.
That was it.
The Sith didn't trust droids around them.
He didn't trust living creatures there either.
Any cooking, cleaning, and washing to be done would have to be done by the two imprisoned.
It was the only thing that got Obi-Wan out of bed the next morning, and each one following— the imperative deep in his soul to not force the scared, lonely child to take care of them both.
Months stretched after the Sith dropped them off, and the two found some sort of routine. Tending their home, tending themselves, spending time each day trying to find some weakness, some way to escape.
Obi-Wan seized hold of the opportunity to fulfill his promise to his master, the only thing that made sense to him anymore. Anakin was vastly powerful in the Force, and under Obi-Wan's teaching he began to be able to direct that power.
* * *
In the end, it was a simple thing to keep the Padawan in line.
Kenobi, he was called.
Maul made it abundantly clear— demonstrated, even— that when Kenobi stepped out of line, the child suffered... and Kenobi was locked away from it for months.
By the end, Kenobi was on his knees begging to be allowed to return to his smaller companion.
After that, the misguided escape attempts stopped.
The reunion between the two was pathetic, the child flinging himself into the older's arms, both of them weeping and clinging to one another.
And when Maul tapped on the Padawan's shoulder and demanded he come to the bedroom, the Jedi gave no hint of protest.
It felt so good to take the Jedi's pain, to give himself pleasure surrounded by the Jedi's suffering...
To spill into him, mark him, force him to know he was nothing more than a possession now.
He would have to return more often.
Soon, it would be time to start the Chosen One's training.
Let the Jedi understand that the better he behaved...
I'll let you keep caring for the boy, the way your master asked.
* * *
It was a too-common occurrence now.
Maul arriving, taking Anakin away for a few hours, leaving Obi-Wan to pace their cage and fear for preteen.
The Sith training had begun.
Just as common was Anakin returning to their rooms, weeping over what he had been made to do, what he felt, the darkness.
The only thing Obi-Wan could do was comfort him like a mother.
He hated himself for bending so thoroughly to Maul's wishes, but he couldn't be separated from Anakin again. Especially not now, where he was Anakin's only solidarity in light.
Maul forced the boy to tap into the dark, to torture and kill small creatures he'd brought home specifically for the purpose.
Beat Anakin or burned him with his saber when the boy tried to refuse.
Threatened to hurt Obi-Wan more if he didn't comply.
So Anakin killed the animals. Anakin became acquainted with the dark.
And Anakin turned to Obi-Wan, horrified by what he was becoming.
Both of them fearing the day Maul would try to force him to kill a person.
* * *
Anakin was twelve the day that Maul flew into a rage in their rooms.
It had been a mistake. One Anakin had made before in his saber form in their cage's dojo, one he was trying very hard to cure, but Maul had no forgiveness, none —
Anakin thought for sure he was going to die.
He was more terrified that Obi-Wan would intervene, would die instead—
But his master, his true master, did something neither Anakin nor the Sith anticipated.
He let out a lascivious moan.
Maul's fist, pulled back to strike Anakin again, hesitated, and his head turned in bewilderment.
Sheer shock left him forgetting about Anakin.
Obi-Wan lay naked on the couch, fingers up his ass and around his cock.
Anakin looked away, hating it, hating himself—
Obi-Wan writhed, gasping—
Maul left Anakin to take Obi-Wan right there on the couch.
Anakin slunk into the bedroom, closing the door, trying to drown out the sounds of Maul's single-minded focus and Obi-Wan's pained cries.
Back against the far wall, knees drawn up, hands settled over his ears, Anakin shivered.
He felt so grateful for Obi-Wan's intervention, so relieved Maul had forgotten Anakin for the moment—
It disgusted him.
I should be out there fighting for Obi-Wan, protecting him.
Instead, I make mistakes, Maul gets angry, and Obi-Wan suffers.
He promised himself then that he would not make any more mistakes. He was going to please Maul to the best of his abilities, he was going to make this—
Obi-Wan screamed in agony—
—stop, and never happen again.
Tears rolled down his cheeks as he tried to block out the terrible twisting in the Force.
One day he was going to be powerful enough to kill Maul, and then he would take his Obi-Wan out of this hell.
We'll have a little house, and I'll take care of him until the end of his days.
And nothing will ever hurt him again.
* * *
Obi-Wan lay on the floor where he'd been left.
His desperate ploy had worked.
Now he couldn't move, wasn't sure he wanted to.
The door slid open, and soft footsteps pattered to his side.
Gentle fingers ran a damp cloth over his legs, cleaning away the signs of the most recent violation.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes and gave up.
This was his life.
It was becoming hard to resist the idea that this had always been his life.
Even more insidious, the third thought...
This would forever be his life.
* * *
Anakin had pushed too far.
The fifteen-year-old boy lay on his stomach, shivering in agony as Obi-Wan cleaned the gashes across his back, left by a merciless whip.
“Why did you attack him?” Obi-Wan asked, his voice barely more than a whisper.
Anakin buried his face in the bed's single pillow, wincing as the rag tugged at ragged skin. “He was taunting you with Qui-Gon's death, while he raped you. I just couldn't stand it anymore.”
His master's fingers didn't falter, but silence stretched long.
“Just take it off. The collar.”
Obi-Wan's breath caught, not quite a gasp, but noticeable all the same.
“You could help me manage the pain, you could heal the worst of this. It's not like I really know how, and how can a teacher who can't touch the Force teach anything?”
The fingers stilled. “You want him to take me from you again?”
“I want you to fight back. ” Anakin turned his head to try to see Obi-Wan's face, and through a grieved blush, the man nodded.
“I know. But do you realize that when we were housed separately he still... I couldn't fend him off. I fought him. He still... every time.”
Anakin fell silent, his anger still there, but Obi-Wan was right.
I can't ask him to face that alone.
“At least here, we have each other,” Obi-Wan murmured, returning to his ministrations. “You help me through the worst of it, and I can help you.”
The anger vanished into pure despair. “Is that what we're going to do for the rest of our lives?”
“No. One of these days he's going to take you out of here completely. He's training you to overthrow his master. And Anakin, the more broken, the more content he thinks us, the more likely he is to underestimate us. To continue pushing him only keeps him high alert. We're going to need a little less scrutiny when we go to make our move.”
Anakin let out a growl. “That's
“Isn't it better to work for years on a plan that has a chance of succeeding, or is it better to beat our wings against the cage to prove to ourselves and our captor we're not weak? Being underestimated and despised as weak can be power in this situation, Anakin. It's our only power. That, and patience to match and surpass his. He's wiling to wait for years to make his move. There is little point in us failing because we aren't willing to do the same for freedom. Now, please... try to relieve your pain.”
“It's not easy, trying to go off your descriptions of how it's done, when you can't
“I know, I'm sorry.” Anakin could hear tears in that voice— “I have faith in you. You'll figure it out. Please try again.”
So he did.
* * *
It wasn't easy to watch Obi-Wan begin to feign affection for the Sith who enslaved them.
Obi-Wan had to endure Anakin screaming at him for nearly half an hour straight when Obi-Wan warned him this was what he intended to try.
It felt wrong. It felt like giving in.
The fact that Maul treated Obi-Wan a little bit better now... prepared him before coupling... that he hadn't hit him in a month...
Anakin felt torn between wanting to be relieved, and despising Obi-Wan for walking such a path.
“The more comfortable he is, the less on guard he becomes. We'll need that, Anakin. And if it's possible for him to love, if we can lure him into falling in love with me, it would make a universe of difference.”
You're wooing the man who rapes you.
It felt worse than wrong, it felt weak.
It feels like you've stopped fighting.
Obi-Wan seemed more alive now than before. Before, Anakin hadn't been sure Obi-Wan wouldn't just die on him. His only interest in life had been patching Anakin back together and protecting him as best as he could while trying to teach him something he could no longer touch.
There were moments Anakin feared Obi-Wan was falling for the Sith, his subtle performance was so convincing. It began with the smallest of changes. Nothing fast enough to make the Sith suspicious.
Less show of unwillingness to accept his advances. Less trying to stifle his response to the signals his body promised were pleasure when his mind knew they were something else entirely.
The day Maul paused before leaving in order to plant a rough kiss against Obi-Wan's lips was a day that Anakin felt sick, and he wasn't sure whether the flicker of crafty triumph in his master's eyes afterwards made it better or worse.
Instead of trying to negate his attractiveness to their captor, Obi-Wan weaponized it.
There came an evening when none of the noises from the bedroom included those induced by pain.
Anakin practiced his saber forms in the sand-strewn circular room with the harmless stick he was allowed to keep for the purpose, trying to drive the moans from his ears with the steady pound of his feet and the burn in his muscles.
Don't fall for him. Please don't fall for him.
It felt like a betrayal.
It's not. It's not, it's part of fighting back.
It's got him scheming, thinking, living again, to lay traps for Maul.
It's up to me to get strong, up to him to weaken Maul.
We'll get out of here. We'll survive this, get the hell out of here, and kill Maul and his master and anyone else who tries to touch us again.
Maul didn't leave that night.
Instead, he slept by Obi-Wan's side while Anakin took the couch.
Lying there in the dark, Anakin had to admit that Obi-Wan's strategy might have long-term effects, if he didn't take it too fast.
He's never slept in our presence before.
Anakin knew better than to think the Sith had truly relaxed his guard...
But he's taken a step towards that.
Obi-Wan's siren's song was apparently deadly.
Anakin just hoped he wouldn't succumb to his own hypnosis.