Obi-Wan was conscious of every breath in his lungs, none of which would come or go steadily. His Master was gone, he reminded himself, and the Sith who wore his face would get no satisfaction from watching agony and heartbreak play across his face. He would present outer peace only, as he knelt in the council chamber, listening to the Sith in the hologram bargain with the council. He only had to do so for the space of the next breath, and the next, and the next.
Master Windu spoke. “Darth Serenus, you have not yet named your price for your cooperation and intel, nor have we agreed to pay it. Please, get round to the crux of the conversation.” Windu was forever the rocky shore on which many people had broken themselves, determined and sure. Obi-Wan was glad for him.
"My price?" Serenus cut his golden eyes over to Obi-Wan at last, covetous and hot. There was a time Obi-Wan had loved being the subject of that kind of look. No longer. “Him. I want him.”
Well, so much for peace. Obi-Wan’s jaw clenched and his fists knotted in his robe as he fought back a wave of sickened panic, the Force frustratingly slippery as he struggled to control it. He didn’t wait for Windu to respond. “No,” he snarled.
Serenus had the gall to look hurt. “Kithien,” he said, sounding disappointed. [*Term of endearment.]
“Don’t call me that.” No one could call him kithien anymore, not ever. He couldn’t stand to be called beloved by this man.
Serenus folded his hands inside the sleeves of his robes, and turned his attention back to Windu. “Well? The decision is not his alone.”
“No,” Yoda said.
Windu’s jaw worked. “You direct your demand to me because you think I’ll give up a Knight for information? If you’re telling the truth, which you almost certainly aren’t, because it’s you saying it, it would be valuable, yes. But not so valuable I’ll turn the code on its ear and betray one of our own. Especially when he’s already been subject to harm at your hands. The answer is no.” He ended the transmission.
Obi-Wan was relieved to hear him say it. He didn’t like the way his gut relaxed; there was a part of him that had been expecting Windu to accept. Not that Yoda, Fisto, Koon, or any of the others would have accepted.
But Windu might have. That crack in the foundation of trust was dangerous, and Obi-Wan resolved to address it.
That resolution lasted a very short time. It lasted until Windu passed Obi-Wan a data chip the next day. “Just so you know. It’s your right to know.” When he looked at it on a data pad, he found out exactly what the intel Serenus was offering would do. He found out how many lives it would save. He weighed them against his own.
Obi-Wan never did value himself highly enough.
The airlock doors opened, and Obi-Wan stepped from one life to another, from his small Jedi-owned shuttle to the comparatively large, lethal Sith-controlled ship. It felt like walking into an underworld, the Force moved so differently. The Dark was strong here, and he could feel the presence of the two Sith like large predators slicing through water. The airlock doors hissed closed behind him, and sealed. It felt like the seal of a tomb.
Darth Serenus moved from the shadowed hallway to the dimly lit airlock, a large and familiar shape he would have recognized by footfall alone. Behind him, Anakin — no, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan remembered — trailed in his wake, a man now but only just. Obi-Wan barely recognized the boy he had been. Especially with those Sith-yellow eyes.
“Hello kithien,” Serenus said, in that warm voice that Obi-Wan still heard in his dreams, and if not for those golden eyes, Obi-Wan would have wanted to leap into his arms. He felt Serenus' mind brush up against his own - not an attack, not even testing his defenses. It was a greeting. A painfully nostalgic greeting, as this was how Qui-Gon used to greet him. He had dimly realized even then that perhaps there was something possessive or dominating or inappropriate about it, like a mental grope. "Time and place," he'd once snapped at Qui-Gon when he'd interrupted Obi-Wan's concentration in public with the intimate gesture. (He had paid for that later.) Now, it was definitely inappropriate and dominating and possessive. He would do this, and Obi-Wan would let him, tolerate it, even respond to it.
Like hell. "None of that," Obi-Wan said, knocking him away with a mental snap. He could do that now. He had better shielding than most masters. Windu had made sure of that, after Serenus revealed himself.
"He's feisty," Vader said, and he smiled, all teeth. He moved away from Serenus to flank the Jedi.
"You've no idea," Serenus muttered. He kept his eyes on Obi-Wan. "Careful, Vader, don't underestimate him. You remember him as my Padawan, courageous and capable and green. But he's a Knight now, and has seen something of the realities of life. Pain tempers a man's spirit, so his is bound to be formidable."
"I'm not sure if that's a compliment," Obi-Wan said.
"Just reality," Serenus said. He opened his cloak, displaying an empty belt. "We are unarmed, Jedi. It would be dishonorable of you to strike us down." Under the black cloak, his tunic was dove gray linen, belted with a blue sash and lightsaber holster. It looked good on him. Vader, naturally, was in all black, and Obi-Wan thought to himself that the Sith apprentice must not yet be confident enough in his evil ways to reincorporate color into his wardrobe.
Vader shifted uneasily. "I still say it's foolish to let him keep his lightsaber."
"It is a small danger. He won't kill us if we don't offer him violence first. That means the power to control the situation is still in our hands." His carefully neutral expression softened into something like fondness. "I know this man better than I know anyone, even you, Vader. He won't kill us if he has any other option." Obi-Wan couldn’t even argue; it was correct. Serenus drew closer to him, moving slowly, like he was approaching a frightened animal. "And I intend to offer him … options."
That was interesting. "I'm listening," he said, and to his annoyance, his back and shoulders loosened, his body responding to the familiar Force signature brushing against his own, despite himself. He tried to keep his mind on the fact that this was not his master, this was a Sith, a monster, a murderer. Not the man he'd admired so deeply. Not his ex-lover. He had once longed for Qui-Gon’s approval and affection, had ached for it and grieved when it was withheld. Qui-Gon’s rejection of him, which had manifested over and over in their early years together, had been a source of howling misery. Obi-Wan wondered, not for the first time, if he would have opened his legs so readily had Qui-Gon been kinder, once he reached an age where that was what his master wanted. So starved for his master’s good opinion, he could hardly have said no.
He shook his head, reminding himself to stay in the present moment. He would not seek Serenus' approval. Just the opposite.
"All I asked for was your presence, and you have given that freely. Thank you." Serenus closed his eyes, listening to the living Force that surrounded and bound them. Feeling around Obi-Wan's defenses. "The Jedi council will get the information I have for them no matter how you behave now."
Obi-Wan scowled. There was a gentle, subtle rebuke in that, an expectation of misbehavior, like a parent with a difficult child. Obi-Wan was in the latter half of his 30s, and had not been a child for a very long time, but Qui-Gon had been an expert at making him feel like one. That wasn't happening with Serenus; he knew the game now. This was not an adult disappointed in a child, this was an adult trying to demean another adult. Obi-Wan wasn't playing.
"Do you really want accolades for holding up your end of a bargain you proposed?" he said, with a defiant tilt of his head. "You said something about options. Lay them out." Knowing, even as he said it, that there would be a trap in there somewhere.
Serenus dipped his head. "I did. Option one, you stay on board, meditate, do your katas, read, do as your please. Be a good little Jedi, but do not interfere with us, and we mostly leave you alone. We all respect each others' space."
"Little is the operative word," Vader said. "I didn't remember him being so small."
"You were a child, all adults look big to children." Serenus took another few slow steps forward. "Option two, fight us. Defy me at every turn, keep your mental shields locked in place, thwart whatever you can. Take every opportunity to make my life difficult. Part of me would relish the challenge of breaking you." Though his tone was dark, his eyes glittered, as if excited at the prospect.
Obi-Wan backed up a step, and ran into the wall. He hadn't realized how far he'd backed up, or that Vader was mirroring Serenus' movements, closing his space. He was now backed into a corner with two Sith slowly closing in on him. With anyone else he would be cheerfully defiant, quick with a verbal spar. With Serenus, however … The threat of Serenus breaking him was too immediate even for him to make light of. If anyone could do it, Serenus could. The Sith knew his buttons and triggers. After all, he'd created them.
“Stop,” he said, holding up a hand. “That’s close enough.”
Serenus gestured to Vader, who took a couple of steps back, but Serenus took another couple of slow steps forward, seeing how far he could push Obi-Wan’s boundaries. “Third option,” he said, breathless now, “you join us.”
Obi-Wan tilted his head back and laughed, loud and long. Serenus waited.
“This was your idea, I want you to remember that,” Vader muttered, scowling. “I was perfectly fine as we were, but no, YOU wanted a pet Jedi.”
“Join us,” he continued. “Keep your Light, your pretty blue eyes, your lightsaber, your principles, if you feel better with them intact. I am not fool enough to think you would turn to the Dark Side, there isn’t enough of it in you. I don’t know that the Dark would even have you.” He sounded a little disappointed, but rallied. “Join me in my bed. Let me have you, and give you pleasure in return. Call me Master, do as I say, bare your throat to me, and you can have anything you want.”
“A dangerous promise,” Vader said.
Obi-Wan sighed. “Serenus, you can’t give me what I want.”
“And what’s that?”
His heart broke along the seams of old scars. “I want Qui-Gon back.”
Vader sighed and turned away. “I told you, Master. Jedi are never satisfied, nothing will ever be good enough.”
Serenus was too close. Obi-Wan could feel the presence of his bulk, the weight of his mind, and to his frustration, his body responded. He WANTED Serenus closer, wanted to feel the familiar weight holding him down, the heat of him, teeth in his throat and hands on his skin and — yes, he realized, he still wanted Qui-Gon’s cock inside him.
“Don’t touch me,” he said, but even to his ears it sounded strangled and uncertain.
Serenus raised a hand, and stopped pushing against’s Obi-Wan’s mind as he drew closer. It was an illusory tactic Obi-Wan knew well, to give the impression that a target had more room than they did. But he let Serenus cup his cheek, and stroke his beard fondly with a thumb.
“There,” he purred, “that’s not so hard, is it?”
He wanted to lean in to that touch, kiss it, fall to his knees looking for more. He closed his eyes, set his jaw, and leaned against the bulkhead, trying to stop shaking from both fear and desire. Serenus' Force signature curled around his, familiar and warm and tight. He so wanted to open to it, and let it seep into every corner of his mind.
“Let me in,” Serenus whispered, picking up on his surface thoughts. “Kithien, it’ll feel so good. How long has it been for you, since you laid with another?”
He couldn’t have asked for a more perfect opening to regain his composure and throw Serenus off. He opened his eyes and grinned with feral glee. “What time is it?”
Vader burst out laughing. “So much for your monk theory, Master!!” He stopped abruptly as Serenus backhanded him with a slap of the Force.
He turned back to Obi-Wan, and his eyes shone with menacing ferocity. He scraped his gaze up and down Obi-Wan’s body. “How many have had the pleasure?”
Another great opening to piss off Serenus. “I haven’t kept count,” he snarled, curling his lips back from his teeth.
Serenus grabbed him by his shirt, rammed him into the wall, and pinned him there with his own body, roaring in his face. It would have hurt if he hadn’t been practically up against the wall already. The sudden press of his old master’s body made his sing with arousal, it felt good, so good to be up against him, finally, after so long —
Which was completely at odds with Serenus’ rage, the trembling violence only barely in check. Obi-Wan wrenched aside his desires and matched Serenus’ rage with calm determination.
“Go on and hit me, if that’s what you’re going to do!” he said. “Beat me senseless! Run the galaxy short of bacta keeping me in one piece if you want! You show me exactly who you are, Serenus.” His heart wilted. “Because you’re. Not. Him. And I won’t love you as if you were.”
Serenus let go of him, and took a couple of steps backwards. He stared at Obi-Wan a long moment. “No. I’m not Qui-Gon. But that man was not a saint either, you realize.”
Obi-Wan laughed, choking on the bitterness. “No? The man who manipulated and groomed me from the time I was 13 to live in the perpetual shadow of his disappointment, so that when I was old enough at 17 — 17!!! — that he wanted me, I’d jump at the chance to please him? That man? That’s the man we’re talking about, right? Or did you think I never figured it out?”
Serenus retreated another couple of steps, shock and a strange sadness written on his face. This time Obi-Wan was the one advancing, and Serenus was the one who retreated. “The man who wielded power over me and used it for his own pleasure? The man who took my abandonment issues and expanded upon them exponentially? The man who tossed me aside for a more promising apprentice in front of the entire. Jedi. council, after twelve years of devotion, seven of which were spent in his bed? That man? Not a saint? Do tell!”
“You were ready —“
“No, Qui-Gon, I was never ready, for anything you did to me.” He closed his eyes and berated himself for the verbal slip. “Serenus.”
Vader’s voice cut through the thick grief of the room. “But you said you wanted your master back.”
“Yes I did.” Obi-Wan gave a great sigh of lifelong exhaustion. “Even with all that, I loved him. Just know that I didn’t worship him; I saw him for the immensely flawed human that he was, and I still loved him. And Serenus … you’re not him.”
Serenus turned to Vader. “Show him to his quarters.” He turned, and with a swish of his robes, walked heavily away.
How can a Jedi and two Sith coexist? They’re trying. Well. Vader is barely trying.
Vader was silent (verbally, anyway - mentally he grumbled like a tauntaun) as he walked Obi-Wan through the ship. It was all dark metal through the hallways, stripped down so far to its utilitarian frame that it went all the way around the aesthetics spectrum back to artful. He made note of the sparse layout - engine room, cockpit, kitchen and mess, armory (he wanted to look in there later). There were many closed doors that did not give away their secrets, and one that said "KEEP OUT" in red paint that was painfully obvious as Vader's quarters. Was the man 20 or 12?
Down a ladder to another floor of closed doors, and at the end, Vader opened a door with his palm print.
“Serenus set up a room for you months ago,” he said. “He’s been like a child promised a new pet.”
“A not entirely inappropriate analogy,” Obi-Wan muttered, and started to move past him.
“Jedi.” Vader stuck an arm in front of Obi-Wan to halt him, and looked down his nose with contempt. “You are important to him, but you are just a frustrating complication to me. Become too troublesome, and I’ll kill you.”
Ah. Well, it was nice to know where he stood with the young and unknown Sith. Obi-Wan bowed his head. “I understand, Lord Vader.”
Vader returned the nod, and left.
Obi-Wan flipped on the lights. He had almost hoped for a cell so he could accuse Serenus of being inhospitable, and maintain an air of superiority. But no, it was very nice, and exactly to his taste. He felt a spike of irritation that Serenus remembered enough about him. Understated, sparsely decorated and furnished but what was there was of high quality. The bed, set into an arching alcove, was large but simple. Large enough for more than one, he noted. He laid down on it, and scowled at the ceiling, because it was immensely comfortable.
The refresher was standard, but for a ship this size, having its own refresher was something of a luxury. He checked the stock - soaps and lotions, a combination of scents he liked and scents Serenus would like on him. He checked the wardrobe; mostly neutral colors, with a few blues and greens, natural fabrics; he had no doubt they would fit him well, and be flattering to his body. Serenus certainly knew THAT well enough.
He returned to the main room, where a couch and chairs sat around a table, and bookshelves lined the upper walls. He looked over the titles; philosophy treatises, a little poetry, classical literature, a selection of the admittedly terrible mystery stories he liked when he was younger. Fine, he still liked them.
Below the shelves were cabinets, a kind of kitchenette, which upon inspection had his favorite kinds of tea and snacks. He huffed petulantly; he was, in fact, a beloved pet. All the physical trappings of a habitat for an Obi-Wan were present and well thought out.
“It’s more complex than that,” he said aloud to the empty room. “Serenus, did you give as much thought to my emotional well-being? To the complexities of our history, to things like agency and purpose and respect? Somehow I doubt it.”
His irritation sank into sadness. He sat down in the middle of the room with his back straight and his hands held loose on his thighs. This situation was an unusual kind of difficult, but he could handle it. The heart of the emotion was not anger but grief. Facing it with acceptance and peace, moment to moment, was a better way to go about it. He was in control of himself, and his self was the only thing he could control.
Soon, his calm returned, like a pond returning to a smooth surface after having a Serenus-shaped boulder thrown into it. He laid down on the floor and began going through basic stretches while he thought. Serenus may not be all that different from Qui-Gon in some ways. The difference was in how they used the Force, which made all the difference, in the end. Qui-Gon looked for peace, for precision and deliberation, bringing the Force into himself and letting it guide him. Serenus dove headfirst into his emotions, and used them to fuel sheer power, wrenching the Force the way he wanted it to go. Immensely powerful, but at the eventual cost of your sanity, and the near-immediate cost of all your relationships.
Not that being a Jedi meant you were big on relationships.
Not permanent or distracting ones anyway, he thought, but enough for his purposes; and he smirked, concentrating momentarily on the faint soreness from last night’s activities. Qui-Gon’s teachings may have left some important things out, but he sure had taught him to enjoy sex.
“It’s 1400 hours,” Vader observed during dinner.
Obi-Wan looked up from what he begrudgingly admitted was a fantastic meal. A variety of delicate vegetables and grains with a slightly spicy, nutty sauce. “Sorry?”
Vader folded his hands, and leveled an intense gaze at him. “You asked earlier what time it was. You never got an answer. It’s 1400.”
Obi-Wan glanced at Serenus, who was attempting to look like he wasn’t paying attention. “Thank you?”
“So now you can answer Serenus’ question. How long’s it been?”
Ah. That was where this was going. Vader had found a bone to worry and wasn’t likely to let it go anytime soon. “I’m not sure that’s an appropriate topic for the din—“
“How long?” Vader interrupted.
Obi-Wan looked between Serenus and Vader. He considered continuing to demur, maybe even lie, if it felt dangerous to react honestly. The truth could be such a tricky thing. But Vader was young, and too direct to maneuver around. The best way out, he decided, was up. Escalation. “It's been sixteen hours,” he said.
Serenus scowled at his food, and in the corner of Obi-Wan's mind, he felt the Dark side uncurling, waking up.
Vader pushed back from the table, assessing. “Anyone we know?”
“Vader,” Serenus growled.
Time to involve the other party in the room. Obi-Wan looked at Serenus. “If you want to know, I will tell you. I'll not be secretive about my history or partners. But if you don’t want to know, I won’t force the knowledge on you.”
Something about that admission helped soothe Serenus’ anger smooth over a little. “Fine. Who?”
Obi-Wan picked up his fork and poked at his food. He didn't like being out-escalated; he had expected Serenus to leave it alone. Very well, the truth, then. “Master Fisto.”
Serenus turned to him fully, the dark in him retreated in the face of genuine bafflement. “Kit? How in the hells did that work? He’s not even a mammal.”
“Again, if you want to know, I will tell you.”
Serenus held up his hands. “You know what, I think I’m happy in my ignorance.” But he sure didn’t look happy. He was simmering. Obi-Wan was reminded uncomfortably of times as a padawan he'd angered Qui-Gon, and had to sit in his misery, watching his master fume, until he decided on an appropriate punishment. The waiting was the worst part. Except for the time Qui-Gon made him wear squeaky pink babyish slippers around the Temple for a week. But Obi-Wan was no padawan anymore, and he was not ashamed. Serenus could go on and be mad if he wanted.
Vader stood up. Obi-Wan extended his Force senses to him, hoping to anticipate him. He was interested to find less rage there than fear, a twisted-gut worry. “Master. This is exactly what I was talking about. He is capable of manipulating you, he knows you as well as you know him—“
“That’s enough, Vader.”
“He is a dangerous liability!”
“What do you suggest, my apprentice?” He bit off the last word sharply, reminding Vader of exactly what his role was.
Vader hesitated, then leaned forward, his knuckles white as he gripped the back of his chair. He reached for Serenus with the Dark side of the Force, an oily, pernicious feeling. “Break yourself of your fondness for him. Let him become an object to torment. Hurt him and debase him and break him, and then he will hold no more influence over you. Then hand him over to someone else to use. You will be truly free of him.”
Well he definitely didn't want to go that route. Obi-Wan sat back in his chair, feigning a casual air. “Now what would be the fun in that? Killing your emotions is a Jedi tennet, not a Sith one, and even Qui-Gon didn’t follow that very closely.” He countered the Dark chill in the air with his own Light, warm and calm.
Vader felt it. He jerked like he'd been stung. “Stop manipulating him!” Vader shouted, slamming his hands down on the table.
Time to change tactics. Obi-Wan stood up abruptly, his chair scraping backwards, and shouted right back. “BITE ME, SKYWALKER!”
Vader roared, and flung the Force at Obi-Wan. It tightened around his throat, intending to choke him, but Obi-Wan had been expecting it, and his shielding held. The Sith apprentice’s raw power faltered before the Jedi Knight’s steady control, enormous as it was. Obi-Wan pushed outward and down, and swept Vader’s feet out from under him. He face-planted in his food.
He came up screaming (and dripping sauce). Obi-Wan splashed him in the face with a glass of water, and surprised him just enough for his hold on the Dark to falter. Obi-Wan summoned up the Light and threw Vader on his ass, right out the door and down the hallway to clang into something metal and unforgiving.
Serenus watched the whole thing, and stirred his tea, unruffled. “Not bad. You’ve grown powerful with the Force, and adept at using non-Force skills to complement.”
“Throwing water at someone is hardly a skill.”
Vader came tearing in, screaming, a great black cloud of rage, Force control absolutely shot but ready to kill the Jedi with his bare hands if necessary. He appeared to have forgotten the lightsaber on his belt.
"Vader, stand down," Serenus said, calm and simple, an expectation of unhesitating obedience. Obi-Wan shook off the surge of nostalgia; he'd heard that exact tone so many times before, infuriating in its serenity.
“BUT HE —“
“Manipulated you into leaving openings in your defenses,” Serenus said. “Learn from this.”
“Lord Vader,” Obi-Wan said, his voice measured and cold. “You are important to Serenus, but you are just a frustrating complication to me. Become too troublesome, and I’ll kill you.”
Vader stared; his Force shields were back up, thick and strong. His expression was unreadable, carefully neutral. He was deciding something. He inclined his head. “I understand, Knight Kenobi.” He turned around and left.
Hm. This wasn't over, Obi-Wan thought. He had a long way to go with that one.
Serenus was smiling at him. “You’ve become a little frightening, kithien.”
“I wish you wouldn’t call me that.”
“Why? Because it was what I called you as Qui-Gon? You were dear to him, and you are equally dear to me.” He reached up to brush Obi-Wan‘s cheek, then the shell of his ear, down to his neck, a near reverence in his touch. “I do love you. Whether or not you want me to. Or believe me.”
Obi-Wan dropped his gaze. He couldn’t hold eye contact with the Sith lord who wore his master’s face. Especially not while the man was touching him so fondly, and the Dark in him had folded itself away like a resting arachnid.
“Am I allowed to go back to my quarters?”
“Yes of course. Do you like them?”
He hesitated. He was tempted to be defiant. But then, perhaps it was better to throw Serenus a bone, stay in his good graces, especially given the tension with Vader. “Yes, I like them very much. Thank you.”
Serenus smiled, and Obi-Wan could feel how pleased and warm he was about it. Especially the thank you. How strange it was, that the Sith wanted to make him happy. “I would have you join me in my quarters eventually, but you may keep your own space indefinitely.”
“I thank you again,” he said. “Good night.” He skipped right over acknowledging that Serenus wanted him sharing quarters. One day at a time. One hour at a time. One breath at a time. That was all.
“Alright, we’re planetside, are you going to tell me what’s going on or not?” Obi-Wan said as he followed Serenus down the ramp of the shuttle.
“Walk with me,” Serenus said, not bothering to look back.
Obi-Wan followed, a bit annoyed at his obedience being assumed. He wasn’t a Padawan anymore. Still, he followed, for lack of anything else to do. He was grudgingly glad he’d acquiesced to Serenus’ wardrobe suggestions; it would have been far too humid for his usual robes. The planet was beautiful, he had to admit, with green everywhere, even on the rocks and the trees and the buildings, like it couldn’t help but spring forth with life. The Force practically vibrated around them.
Serenus slowed and let him catch up. “I thought you would find the place interesting, as it has some of the densest and more variable life in the galaxy.” He handed Obi-Wan a datapad. “Here. I loaded it with information about the flora and fauna from Alderaan’s library. But apparently people make their entire careers out of studying the place, so it’s incomplete.”
Obi-Wan took the datapad and followed in Serenus’ wake down the stone-lines path between the trees, looking around with greater interest. “Why haven’t I been here before then?”
“It’s a peaceful planet. Not much of a population, so not much conflict, so not much call for peacekeepers. It’s controlled by a Hutt, who appears to get a kind of sadistic glee out of telling people they can’t use its natural resources. Its name, Duugafont, translates roughly to ‘look but don’t touch.’”
Obi-Wan looked over his shoulder at their shuttle. “We’re not doing something dangerous, are we?”
“Not a bit, dearest. I have a day permit.”
Well. At least Serenus wasn’t such a rule breaker that he’d go up against the Hutts for something trivial. Obi-Wan had a moment of nostalgia (or traumatic flashback?) for when he was a Padawan, tagging behind his master, who cheerfully walked right over the boundaries of countries, cultures, and individuals. Qui-Gon had been quiet chaos smiling at the storm that raged around him, and didn't pay it any mind. No matter that the storm frequently turned on his apprentice when it couldn't attack the master.
In retrospect, he suspected he'd been thrown under the bus more times than he knew.
The path descended sharply and worked its way down in short switchbacks. Here under the deepening canopy, sheltered from the sharp glare of the sun, the thick swaths of grasses and brambles gave way to more delicate, creeping mosses and colorful fungus. Obi-Wan paused here and there to admire a particularly pretty spot, then hurried after Serenus. He could always take a closer look on their way back.
They came around a stand of thick-trunked trees and the path flattened out. Obi-Wan came up short and stared, open-mouthed. A lagoon lay still and mirror-smooth ahead of them, the larger sea only barely visible through the lush vegetation of the wetland. The canopy-enclosed space was like a flora geode, a riot of color and form flourishing in the nutrient-drenched space. The living Force was so thick he could choke on it, binding all the life forces of the place together.
Serenus sat near the edge in the saltwater grasses. Obi-Wan moved around the lagoon like a pollinator, stopping at one small spot and another, giving intense scrutiny to one little bud, then expanding back to the entire place. There were snails and crabs with tiny, intricately constructed shells; invertebrates with frills and fronds and pulsing pieces. There were curious fish who came to nibble at his fingertips in the water, then flashed at him in a dazzling display of color before darting away. There was too much to see, too much to feel.
"Take your time," Serenus said softly. "You'll make yourself mad trying to see all of it at once."
They spend hours by the lagoon, Serenus quietly Jedi-adjacent, and Obi-Wan dizzy with fascination and joy and discovery. He sank into the Force, letting his signature mingle with that of the lagoon; it filled him and drew him in until he lost all sense of time and boundary. He was aware of Serenus’ Force signature mixed in with it too, with the Dark carefully in check. It felt so familiar, and so strange.
He dropped into the grass beside Serenus as the light overhead dimmed, having moved from one side of the horizon to the other, with Obi-Wan utterly unaware of its passage.
“I could lose myself in this place,” he said. “Dive into it and let go of my body and never resurface. Become compost for the mushrooms.”
“Yes, you could,” Serenus said, “though I hope you’ll remain corporeal for the time being.”
“I’ll take it.” Serenus threaded his fingers through Obi-Wan’s. “Can you feel the Dark side here?”
“Except for what you bring with you?” Obi-Wan shook his head. “No. Not the Light side either. Just the living Force, which doesn’t give a damn about Light or Dark. I can feel its cycle, slow and relentless and inevitable. As long as people don’t barge in and muck it up. Strange, to find myself grateful to a Hutt.” He thought about pulling his hand away, and found he didn’t want to.
“Much like this place, this planet, there is more to the Force than we can ever fully grasp. Having studied with both Sith and Jedi, the biggest lesson I learned is that no matter how much I learn, I still only understand a tiny shred of what there is to know.”
Obi-Wan stared up at the canopy, watching early evening insects buzz lazily overhead, flashing little lights at each other. “Why choose the Sith?” he asked, not liking how sad it sounded coming out.
Serenus stretched out beside him. His fingers touched Obi-Wan’s hair, gentle and affectionate. “Because there was more truth for me among the Sith than with the Jedi. We can discuss that at length if you like.”
“No, not now.” Serenus smiled down at him, and it was so much like Qui-Gon his heart ached.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes, and let himself feel the pain of loss, before letting it drift away in the current of the Force. “Why did you bring me here, Serenus?”
“Because I knew you would enjoy it.”
“Why would you care about my enjoyment? I thought the Sith only cared about themselves.”
Serenus sighed. “That’s the funny thing about being human. Pleasing yourself eventually ceases to be fulfilling. But pleasing others … pleasing those you love … ah, that is something greater.” He grinned. “Which feeds back into pleasing myself.”
“No true altruist?”
Obi-Wan stood up. “We’re losing the light. And the warmth.”
Serenus stood as well, and they started back up the path, reluctantly leaving the exquisite lagoon behind. The path up seemed heavy and dull, like walking into a dark building after a day in the sun. By the time they got to the shuttle, the color was leeching from the world, and the faint starlight washed everything in blue. Obi-Wan stopped at the ramp of the shuttle.
“What is it?” Serenus asked, coming up beside him.
“Thank you,” Obi-Wan said. “Whatever else this becomes later … thank you for this.” He held his arm out awkwardly, and Serenus moved carefully into his space, like he didn’t want to spook the Jedi. He folded Obi-Wan into a hug, and Obi-Wan tried not to bury his face in his former master’s chest and huff his scent.
Serenus let him pull back, and smiled. “You’re welcome.”
In which this story begins to earn its Explicit rating.
There IS a scene here with Obi-Wan at 17, though it's not the main point and not super explicit. I debated with myself on it. "Make Obi-Wan 18 so it's not even technically underage? Make him 17 to make Qui-Gon's behavior with his Padawan just that much more icky?" I went with icky. To be clear, I do not endorse middle-aged mentors having relationships with teenagers; hopefully Obi-Wan's later fucked-up-ed-ness and exposition on what had happened make that clear.
Serenus entered his quarters without announcing himself. Obi-Wan would have been more annoyed if he hadn’t been growing accustomed to such behavior, and now expected it. He’d been on the Sith ship for over a month now, and Serenus was nothing if not predictable in his supposed sublime chaos.
A month of pushing back against his own desire to fall back into bed with the (gorgeous, charismatic, compelling) man. A month of Vader and Obi-Wan warily circling each other like too-evenly-matched predators. A month of having the Dark side pressing against his senses like excessive humidity, like a constant grating background noise, like a rock in his shoe. His shields held. They would not hold indefinitely.
Also, a month of good food, a comfortable bed, time to read, and Serenus courting him via interesting places in the galaxy that he would never have had the leisure to indulge in as a Jedi. An extraordinary symphony on Alderaan. Observing the Kessel run from a respectful distance. Visiting a tauntaun farm with brand new babies, frolicking and headbutting everything while their mothers grumbled nearby. And all the while, Serenus drinking up Obi-Wan’s evident joy. Serenus being beautiful, graceful, powerful, and a strange kind of wise, even if his conclusions ran counter to Obi-Wan's. It was enough to make a man question what he really wanted.
He ignored Serenus until he’d finished his meditation, and opened his eyes. “Can I help you?”
Serenus leaned against one of the chairs. “I have a question for you.”
Obi-Wan stretched, stood up off the floor, stretched again. His joints popped. “Do tell.”
“Why so many partners?”
That wasn’t what he was expecting, not out of the blue. He walked (stalling) to the small window in his quarters, showing a star field at rest. They were in orbit around a small moon, and his quarters were to leeward of moon, planet, and sun, for the moment. Somehow it was comforting, staring into the great void of the universe. Nothing he could do would permanently fuck up the galaxy forever. “The healers at the temple said it was fairly typical for survivors of sexual abuse to be promiscuous, to varying degrees. Something about reclaiming agency, divorcing sex from emotion.”
The surprise in Serenus’ voice was evident as he stuttered, “What?! But — I didn’t! I didn’t sexually abuse you! I never forced you!”
Obi-Wan turned and gave him an incredulous look. How could Serenus be so ignorant of his own actions? Had they really never had this conversation? Maybe he'd just had the conversation so often in his own head that he had forgotten Serenus had never been present to hear it. “No, you never hurt me physically and you never forced me. But you were manipulative and coercive. There's a concept called grooming, where an older person manipulates a young person so that they will be more receptive to sexual advances later. And you definitely did that."
A stormy look clouded Serenus' face. "I know what grooming is. I cannot believe you're suggesting I looked at 13-year-old you and thought to myself, yes, I'll want to tap that when he's a little taller. That's disgusting, and that's coming from a Sith. You really think that's what happened?"
Obi-Wan tilted his head. He thought Qui-Gon couldn't surprise him anymore. He'd been wrong. "It's possible you weren't aware that your disapproval and high demands undermined my confidence so that I would be an easy conquest later. If it wasn't deliberate … that … makes it better, actually.” To his surprise, an old hurt, whose pain he had long ceased to notice, eased a little. “But it was still harmful. The harm was not in ignoring consent, it was in the vast difference in power. Don’t pretend you didn’t know the relationship was unhealthy.”
Serenus wilted, looking at his hands. “I suppose I didn’t consider it abusive.”
“Most abusers don’t. But Serenus, the very meaning of the word ‘abuse’ is ‘improper use to negative effect.’ You cannot say you didn’t know you were not meant to use your influence as a master over your Padawan to maneuver him into a sexual relationship.”
Serenus suddenly looked every bit his age. The lines in his face deepened, and he seemed to shrink in on himself. "Obi-Wan. I'm going to be very careful in this apology, so I apologize for the right thing. I am genuinely remorseful that I was so harsh. I had my own issues, and I took it out on you, and I regret it. I realize only now how that contributed to our sexual relationship. That was a terrible mistake on my part, and had I the opportunity to do it all again, I would make different choices.”
Obi-Wan stared at him, and it felt like the years stretched around them like entwining ropes. "I can't believe I actually got an apology," he said softly. "I never expected remorse from you."
Serenus lifted his gaze. "You will have noted, that I did not apologize for our relationship. Because I am not sorry that we were lovers, my kithien. I loved you very much, and I still do. I wish I had gone about it differently."
It was such a simple thing, an apology and a profession, and it felt like old walls crumbling at last into dust. Tangles of thorns in his mind, twisted around what his first love may or may not have done or thought or intended, dried up and withered away. How was this man, who had just admitted wrong and wished in vain that he had made different choices, because those choices had caused others pain … how was this man a Sith? Like so much about Serenus, it didn't track.
"Thank you," Obi-Wan said at last. Afraid of his shields crumbling, he turned back to the window, his arms crossed defensively.
He heard Serenus cross the room to him, and could feel the Force signature of the man standing too close behind him. It felt too good, letting their Force signatures mingle. He was surprised it was still possible, with Serenus’ being so tinged with Dark.
“Why did you agree to come, if I damaged you so badly? Knowing I would want you.”
“Lives were at stake.”
“That’s not all. You’re self-sacrificing, but you’re not a fool. There’s more to it.”
Obi-Wan was quiet for long moments. “Why do you think? You’re not Qui-Gon, but you’re the closest thing that’s left. And I did love him.”
Serenus’ hands fell on his narrow shoulders. “You could learn to love me. You could have me, my darling.” Serenus was so close, inches away, close enough to feel his body heat, to smell his aftershave. His hands were like brands. “Obi-Wan … you can let go. You can have what you want, if you will only reach out to take it.”
Obi-Wan refused to give ground. His body hummed with excitement, and he knew Serenus could feel it rising in him. Serenus put a hand on his back, traced slowly down his spine, paused a long moment, then dipped lower. And Obi-Wan let him, gasping. The first signs Qui-Gon had once given that he was interested in Obi-Wan‘s body had been like this, hands venturing farther than he had been expecting, and Obi-Wan just … letting him. While he warred with himself, Serenus closed the space between them, pressed against his back, warm and solid and … hard. He wrapped his arms around Obi-Wan, and his hands wandered, over shoulders and chest and abdomen.
He wanted Serenus to stop. He didn’t want Serenus to stop. It felt so, so good.
“I can feel the conflict in you, kithien,” Serenus purred. “What’s the point of resisting? You’ll enjoy it. I will enjoy it. Let me show you love.”
“Love is not selfish. Can a Sith even love?”
“Love is an emotion,” Serenus countered. “Can a Jedi even love?” He nibbled along the shell of Obi-Wan‘s ear. “I want you so badly. Give yourself to me.” His hand slid downward, down, until he cupped Obi-Wan’s cock, palming him through his pants. “Your body certainly likes this,” Serenus purred.
“So does yours, evidently.”
“Yes.” He rocked his hips, hard. His mind brushed up against Obi-Wan’s, asking to be let in.
“I can’t,” Obi-Wan gasped.
“Can’t let me into your mind, or into your body?”
He keened at that, and leaned against Serenus, his body awash in excitement. Their Force signatures sang with pleasure, tying into each other, melding and binding, easily finding all the ways they used to fit together. “You’re a SITH. Letting you touch me even this much is dangerous enough. Letting you into my mind would be … beyond foolhardy.”
“I promised not to harm you. I stand by that.” He kissed Obi-Wan's neck, gentle, a little harder, then latched onto him and sucked. He’d leave a mark. That was intentional, of course - even as a Jedi, he’d loved to mark up his Padawan, where his clothes would cover them, and he would touch those bruised places as a gentle reminder to Obi-Wan - remember whose you are. Now that he could leave marks where others could see them, Obi-Wan feared for the state of his neck.
He liked it. He wanted those marks. Hardly believing himself, he tilted his head, bared his throat, and let the Sith suck and bite him, over and over.
Serenus buried his face against Obi-Wan’s shoulder and moaned, panting for breath. “You let me mark you,” he gasped.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes, equal parts excited and disappointed in himself. “Yes I did.”
Serenus gripped him tight and rocked his hips. “Come to bed with me. Now. I want to find out what else you’ll let me do.”
He went mostly limp, making Serenus take his weight - which was not hard at all for the enormous man, of course. He craned his head around to press his mouth to Serenus’ ear, and whispered what he used to say as a Padawan, to indicate that, yes, he wanted to do this, he wanted it rough and forceful. “Make me.”
Serenus spun him around, pushed him against the wall and crushed their mouths together, ferocious and claiming. Obi-Wan made the most desperate, needful noise as he kissed back; he opened his mouth and let Serenus plunge into him. Trapped between the wall and the Sith, he moaned, barely able to move and loving it. Serenus shoved a knee between his, then gave a hoarse cry when Obi-Wan maneuvered his legs to either side. Serenus palmed him roughly; Obi-Wan loved those huge hands, strong and forceful, and it felt so good to have one of those hands rubbing his cock again. He'd missed it so.
Serenus spun them around. He pushed Obi-Wan backward, across the room, onto the bed, falling with him, covering him, big and heavy and strong. He could feel Serenus trembling like a volcano preparing to erupt, his breath stuttering, his cock rock hard and pressing against Obi-Wan’s thigh. It felt so right for this man to press him down, to hold him still. He could no more say no now than he could have 18 years ago.
Once he had Obi-Wan pinned beneath him, he slowed, kissed him deeply, exploring his mouth. They had once known each others’ bodies well, but it had been ten years, and Obi-Wan had had some … experience since then, to say the least. He had a few new tricks.
Serenus left his mouth and kissed down his neck, peppering him with marks. “Mine,” he growled against Obi-Wan’s throat. “You’re mine.” He caught Obi-Wan's wrists and pinned them to the mattress. “Say it.”
Obi-Wan closed his eyes. That way Serenus wouldn’t catch the hint of resignation and defeat beneath the excitement. “I am yours.”
Serenus cried out at that, and quickly divested them of their clothes. He pushed Obi-Wan’s legs roughly apart, as if he hadn’t been about to spread them himself. Serenus summoned a bottle of oil to his hand. (Obi-Wan did not miss that his room had been stocked with it.) His prep was messy and rushed, and he pushed the head of his cock in too soon. Obi-Wan yelped, and to his credit, Serenus stopped, and backed up a step, and this time when he penetrated him, they both moaned in pleasure. This, this was what he wanted, what no one else he’d been with had quite been able to replace. Pinned to a bed, helpless, bested, his master’s cock pushing inside him.
He’s not your master, a voice in his head reminded him.
No, Obi-Wan thought. But I’ll take what I can get.
Serenus had him, fast and hard, and knew exactly how to angle so that he rubbed Obi-Wan’s prostate with every stroke. Serenus knew it was the fastest way to make him come, and he’d loved making his Padawan climax on just his cock. Serenus came inside him with a shout, and the mental image, the flood of wet warmth inside him, pushed Obi-Wan over the edge too.
Just as Obi-Wan was catching his breath, Serenus was, incredibly, hard again. He flipped Obi-Wan onto his stomach and had him again. He kept Obi-Wan pinned down, unable to move, knowing they both liked it. But Obi-Wan has learned how to tighten carefully and safely around a cock, to just this side of pain, and he was rewarded with Serenus moaning with every stroke, shaking with pleasure above and behind him.
“How are you doing that,” Serenus asked in an unsteady voice. He pushed slowly in.
“I have better muscular control now.”
“I’ll say. That - that is exquisite.” He pulled almost all the way back out, then in again. “But you’ll have to ease up when I want to go faster.”
"Will you tell me who taught you that?"
"Do you really want to know?"
"... Maybe later."
Time seemed to disappear in the blissful haze of sex, sex that he had wanted for years and hadn’t been able to replicate. Because it hadn’t been HIM. It was a long time before Serenus whispered to him to relax more, so he could fuck him faster, harder, until he was pounding into him. He hadn’t been fucked quite like that in so, so long.
Serenus finally came again, deep inside him, and collapsed on top of him, gasping. Obi-Wan wasn’t sure how long they laid there; his sense of time was shot. It was a great relief when Serenus finally pulled out of him and flopped to one side. For one thing, it was easier to breathe.
Serenus traced lazy patterns over him, loving and gentle. “Oh, my kithien,” he said in a shaky voice, “I really thought I would never get to have you again.”
“You could have forced me,” Obi-Wan said through post-coital haze.
“Now where’s the fun in that? What does it for me is seeing you want it. Seeing you submit to me. Even — no, especially being a Sith and a Jedi.”
“We’re quite a pair.” Obi-Wan turned onto his side and snuggled up under Serenus’ chin. He liked his master’s chest hair; unlike so many others, it was straight and soft and pleasing to touch. There was more gray than brown now, and Serenus had a little more padding around the middle than he’d had ten years ago, but then, so did Obi-Wan.
He had a thought then, and it bothered him. He wasn’t going to be able to let it go once it got its hooks in him; better to ask now. “Have you bedded Vader?”
Serenus made a rude noise. “That child? No.”
“I was younger than he was when you started with me.”
“Yes but … that was different.”
“Was it? I was your apprentice as well.”
Serenus stroked him gently, thinking, and kissed the top of his head. “Obi-Wan, I genuinely regret this: I chose you specifically because you were a good little Jedi. All by the books. And … that was part of why I found I wanted you, eventually.”
He’d never heard it confirmed, though he’d suspected as much. “That’s what Windu said.”
“What happened when you told them?”
“If you really want to know, I’ll tell you.”
“I really do want to know. But wait a moment.”
Serenus got up, and came back a few moments later with a warm, damp towel and a dry one, a glass of water, and a tube of bacta. He wiped Obi-Wan down, which felt lovely, got him to drink some water, and pressed bacta inside him. It was cooling and soothing, and immediately felt better.
“Thank you,” he said. “I don’t mind being sex-sore the next day, but that was genuinely going to hurt.”
“I was too rough with you.”
“Not like I didn’t ask you to be. That’s what bacta is for.”
Serenus finished cleaning them up, got Obi-Wan under the blankets, and laid back down beside him. “Now. The council.”
Obi-Wan stroked his face, gazing without fear into those golden eyes shot through with red. Where to even start? “Windu cried.”
Serenus was taken aback. “He what?”
“When you disappeared with Anakin after revealing yourself, the Council naturally suspected me of being corrupt or compromised as well. I hadn’t yet taken the trials, as you recall, so I was a masterless Padawan. Windu enacted the Rite of Remembrance.”
Serenus’ golden eyes flew wide, stricken. “Oh. Oh Obi-Wan, no.”
“Yes. I didn’t know at the time how deliberate and manipulative your training had been. I still took you on good faith. Neither he nor I had any idea what he was signing up for to relive the last twelve years with me in a matter of hours. You see, he was mind-bound with me during the ritual.”
Serenus closed his eyes and pressed his forehead to Obi-Wan’s. “I’m so sorry you had to go through that.”
Obi-Wan gave a halfhearted, defeated laugh. “Not about that, you’re not! If you had it all to do again, you’d do the same thing, leaving the Jedi for the Sith. Wishing something had turned out differently is not the same thing as regret.”
Serenus didn’t have a comeback for that one.
“Anyway, when the rite was over, I opened my eyes and Windu’s face was streaked with tears. He just said, ‘Kenobi’s not a Sith” and walked away. He assigned me to a healer. I’ve been … working on things.”
“I should have treated you better.”
Obi-Wan pressed close to him, entangling their limbs. “Well, here’s your chance.”
“You’ve got to be kriffing kidding me.”
Obi-Wan woke up to see Vader standing at the end of the bed, fuming. “Oh. Hello there.” He grinned and stretched.
“Vader, go fetch caf,” Serenus muttered.
“Get your own caf. You’re fucking him now?”
“You sound jealous. Do you want to join us?” Obi-Wan said lightly.
Vader looked horrified. “Ew no, you’re both OLD.”
Obi-Wan laughed. “I suppose to a 20 year old, 36 is indeed old. You’re in your 60s now, aren’t you, Serenus?”
Serenus growled into his pillow. “64.”
“THAT’S SO GROSS.”
Obi-Wan sat up, keeping the blankets bunched at his waist. He grinned wickedly. “Oh, but consider this: I was 17 when Qui-Gon was 45, which was when he first —“
“Keep your obscene details to yourself!” Vader made a rude noise and left with a dramatic whirl of his cape, with Obi-Wan laughing behind him.
Serenus pulled Obi-Wan back down and tugged him close. “You enjoy needling him.”
“He makes it very easy.”
“I like that you’re small,” he muttered, nearly crushing Obi-Wan with the strength of his arms. “I can push you around easier.”
“I like that you’re big, because I like being pushed around,” Obi-Wan answered, and smiled against his chest. “But you knew that.” It was warm up next to Serenus, and the bed was so comfortable, and their Force signatures were all mixed up in each other, light and dark. It didn’t seem so important, right that moment, to be a good Jedi. Not when everything felt so good and happy. Especially if it pissed Vader off.
He was on the verge of drifting off to sleep again when Serenus rolled over on top of him, and began kissing him, long and slow. He pushed between his legs and rutted almost lazily against him until they came, almost at the same time. How many times, over the years, had he woken to something like this? He'd loved waking to his master groping him, pushing his legs apart, and taking his pleasure, in one way or another. It felt so much like old days.
Old days, Obi-Wan reminded himself, when he had no idea just how much dark lay in his master’s heart. When he thought it was okay to be so young, in a relationship with a man almost 30 years his elder, wielding immense power over him. He knew now it had been very wrong of Qui-Gon to have done it, and wrong of Serenus to all but force the dynamic back on him now.
Well, Obi-Wan thought, you’re not stopping him, are you?
No. Because he liked it way too much.
It had been a very difficult day for Qui-Gon and his Padawan, Obi-Wan, who was just shy of 18. While Obi-Wan was a legal adult on some planets, he didn’t feel like one yet. Maybe when he became a Knight it would feel different.
His Master lay half-sprawled on the couch that folded out into his bed in their shared temporary quarters. Obi-Wan slept on the bunk above. He approached Qui-Gon with trepidation and a pot of tea.
“Master? I made tea if you want some.” He’d been told before, if he could think of nothing else useful to do, to make tea. It had served him well.
Qui-Gon opened his eyes. “Thank you, kithien,” he said, and sat up to take the cup he was offered. Obi-Wan preened internally; he loved it when Qui-Gon called him by the endearment. He'd explained it during a particularly close and affectionate moment. The Jedi were once more spread out, organized in small groups over many planets called kiths. Kithien was a term of endearment from those long-ago ancient times, indicating they shared closely-bound lives, ideals, and great affection. Packmate. Family. Beloved. Precious. It was still rare for Qui-Gon to use it, and only when he was feeling particularly well disposed towards his sometimes frustrating Padawan.
Qui-Gon pulled the young man, who was barely more than a boy, close to him. “You’re such a comfort to me. So kind.” He played with Obi-Wan’s braid, and they sat quietly, drinking tea, thinking about the day’s events. A peacekeeping mission had gone suddenly sour when a series of bombs went off in the embassy, and the two Jedi had barely gotten the ambassadors of the warring nations to safety before the building collapsed. Now it was very late, and they were very tired, but sleep was unlikely to come soon.
Especially with his master touching him like that. Obi-Wan’s body had been reacting in very inconvenient ways to touch the past couple of years. Perhaps it was that no one but Qui-Gon ever touched him. Perhaps it was just his age. But when Qui-Gon traced fingers up his neck, rubbed his shoulders, put his hands on Obi-Wan‘s thighs, the blood rushed to his groin and he had to frantically suppress the urge to … do … SOMETHING. Kiss him? Touch him? He wasn’t sure.
Now Qui-Gon had relaxed into a half-recline, and pulled Obi-Wan with him, so their sides pressed together and Qui-Gon’s hand lay on his chest, tracing lazy circles on the bare skin betrayed by his loose tunic. He wasn’t sure Qui-Gon even realized his hand had slid under the fabric. That he was occasionally grazing his fingertips over Obi-Wan’s nipple. That happened sometimes; Qui-Gon would be distracted, and not seem to notice that his touch had wandered from safe to … not safe. A hand slipping under a layer of clothes, or too low at the small of his back, or too high on his thigh. He didn’t want to point it out when that happened. He didn’t want it to stop. He wanted more. He wanted his master’s hands on his skin, on the more sensitive parts of his body, and he wanted to touch in return.
But Qui-Gon didn’t want him like that. Qui-Gon barely wanted him as a Padawan.
“Obi-Wan? Are you quite alright? Your Force signature is agitated.”
“Nothing, Master,” Obi-Wan said, sitting up quickly and pulling his tunic closed.
“It’s not nothing. Be still.” Obi-Wan did as he was told, hoping Qui-Gon wouldn’t notice the slight tent in his pants. Qui-Gon looked into his face, running the pads of his thumbs over cheekbones, jaw, brow, ears. “You’re very warm. Are you feeling well?”
Something in Qui-Gon’s expression changed. “I hadn’t noticed. You’ve … become quite a handsome young man.” He smiled. “One I’m very proud of.”
Obi-Wan couldn’t believe his ears. His heart sang with joy. Two compliments inside of a minute? Handsome? Proud? He pressed his face against Qui-Gon’s hand. “Thank you, Master,” he said softly.
Qui-Gon touched him, and touched him, slow and careful caresses, face and throat and chest, and Obi-Wan‘s blood raced with an excitement he’d never felt, and which he was sure he would be chastised for if it were known. He wasn’t supposed to want his master. He needed to be GOOD —
“Obi-Wan,” Qui-Gon said, his voice soft and thick, “may I have your permission to try something? And if you want me to stop, say the word and I’ll stop.”
“Yes Master. Of course.” He’d have granted Qui-Gon anything he wanted in that moment.
Qui-Gon leaned slowly forward, slowly, giving him a chance to lean away. Obi-Wan realized quite late what was about to happen. He didn’t say no. Qui-Gon’s lips touched his, then again, then more fervently, Qui-Gon was KISSING HIM, kissing him on the mouth, how was this reality? It occurred to him late that he ought to kiss back, and Qui-Gon moaned against him when he felt Obi-Wan respond. His body catalogued what was happening in sensation - his master’s prickly beard, which he wasn’t sure if he liked or not. One large hand on the back of his neck. The other on his thigh, stroking up and down. His cock hard and his balls tight, threatening to orgasm right then, which would have been immensely embarrassing. Qui-Gon opening his mouth, Obi-Wan mirroring him, and Qui-Gon making the most wonderfully obscene noise as he plunged his tongue into his Padawan’s mouth. Obi-Wan was making some … noises … of his own, he couldn’t stop, it felt so good to be kissed like this. He’d had a couple of sloppy first kisses before becoming a Padawan, little pecks from fellow younglings, but nothing like THIS, not remotely THIS.
He noticed, distantly, that their Force signatures were all tangled up with each other. Was that supposed to happen? It must be, or Qui-Gon would put a stop to it. So he let it happen.
He was still surprised when Qui-Gon pushed him onto his back. Obi-Wan’s body flooded with pleasure, every thought in his head turning to yes yes yes. His master was a large man, and Obi-Wan wouldn’t be even average size when he was finished growing, which he had not yet done. He was heavy. The weight felt GOOD on him. He hadn’t realized that would be part of what felt good. That and the body warmth seeping through their robes into each other. He surely could tell now that Obi-Wan was hard. Was Qui-Gon? He thought maybe yes, but they were at a weird angle and that could also be his light saber digging into Obi-Wan’s thigh.
Qui-Gon sat up abruptly, panting for breath. “Wait, wait,” he said, and covered his face with his hands. “I can’t do this to you.”
“What? Why not? Master, I didn’t say no.”
“You’re too young.”
“I’m only a few months from 18. I’m old enough.” He was painfully aware that Real Adults didn’t have to say things like ‘I’m old enough.’
“You’re my Padawan.”
Obi-Wan pressed against him, up on his knees on the couch. “And you’re my master. I want very much to please you.” And to get off, this was uncomfortable. “There’s no one else in the galaxy I care more about. Regardless of how we’re supposed to handle attachment.”
Qui-Gon’s hands shook as he traced them down Obi-Wan’s back, then lower. Obi-Wan couldn’t help the broken noise that escaped him at the entirely new sensation of his master’s large hands squeezing his buttocks, his hamstrings, feeling the cleft along his ass, fingers rubbing him through fabric.
“I want you,” he said. “Force help me, I want you. I can not deny it any longer.”
Obi-Wan swallowed. “Okay,” he said.
He pressed his forehead to Qui-Gon’s. “Anything you want.”
“Be sure you mean that when you say it.”
“I do. I … I want you too.”
Qui-Gon’s eyes flashed golden for a moment as he looked up. It must have been a trick of the light. “Give me your hand.”
Qui-Gon taught him that night how to bring him to climax with just his hand. Then he returned the favor to Obi-Wan, who had never had another human touch him there before. It took only a few strokes, which his master assured him was very normal. Several weeks later, Qui-Gon taught him how to use his mouth, which was faster but made his jaw hurt, and some months after that, took him to bed fully. It was thoroughly against Jedi codes. But his master was thrilled with him, for the first time ever, and touched him so much, and it felt so, so good. He couldn’t have been happier.