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Decaying Orbits

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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.

Chapter Text

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.”

“Grudgingly.”

“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.”

“Not now.”

“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?”

“Exactly.”

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.”

Chapter Text

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.”

“Tell me.”

"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?”

“I’m fine.”

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.

It just.
Felt.
So.
Good.

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.

“Okay?”

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.

Chapter Text

Vader's red lightsaber flared to life, and Obi-Wan shook off a momentary swell of fear, remembering the last time he crossed blades with a Dark sider and a red blade. Vader circled him with a predator's eagerness in his Sith-yellow eyes, and potential violence shivered in his Force signature.

"Vader," Serenus said warningly, "don't underestimate him. You've had almost eleven years of training. He's had thirty."

Obi-Wan ignited his lightsaber. He held his body loose and ready, the lightsaber a more deadly extension of his own body. Or it would be, if it weren't on its lowest setting, suitable for training. The Force around him was calm, responsive, waiting, a warbeast listening for a trumpet.

Vader lunged towards him, Obi-Wan parried, and the fight was on. Vader was fast and brutal, but Obi-Wan was not taken in by the rush of terror that Vader sent crashing down upon him. It parted and slid away, not making even a dent in his shields. Vader switched his focus from Force to sabers, and forced Obi-Wan backwards with the sheer strength of his blows. The meadow was quiet except for the electric clash of sabers and the wind-creaking trees that flanked them, all other life forms having pulled away from the trio of strange predators and their whirling lights.

Vader brought a great blow swinging down upon Obi-Wan's saber, pushing him back. Then Vader blinked in surprise, because Obi-Wan's blade was at his throat.

"Yield," Obi-Wan said.

Vader switched off his blade and backed up. Frustration and aggression shone in his eyes, but he said, "How'd you do that?"

Obi-Wan waved him forward. "Here, take up that stance again. You put your weight into a downward arc. You were unbalanced. So I shifted to the side out of your trajectory, and … " He flicked his lightsaber on and off. "When I deactivated my saber, your momentum carried you forward, and I reignited the saber inside your guard."

Vader's anger receded. "That's … really clever. Frankly I didn't expect you to win so fast."

Obi-Wan shrugged. "Your basics are good, and you're blazing fast, but you fall out of form when you get overconfident. You need more control. … What?"

Serenus was chuckling. "Sorry, it's just that I've told him the same thing many times, almost verbatim."

Vader reignited his saber and swung it in lazy circles. "The Force pulls me through it. If I follow the Force, my form falls apart. But the Sith path to power is through passion."

Obi-Wan tried hard not to interpret his scowl as a pout. "It's a delicate balancing act, using the Force and following its flow without letting it spin out of control." Then as an afterthought, "It's probably a little different for Dark siders than Light siders."

"Not as different as you'd think," Serenus said, and stepped into the rocky meadow where he had chosen to train his apprentice that day. "From a certain point of view, the Dark side requires more control than the Light. It's easy to churn up a lot of raw power, but harder to keep it from overwhelming you. The Light slips away if you let it; the Dark will take you with it." He stepped back. "Again."

They crossed sabers over and over. Obi-Wan questioned his own wisdom at helping the Sith train, but he was also learning Vader's style, finding his weaknesses, getting a feel for how he wielded the Force. That might come in useful one day. (Also Serenus bribed him with a rare book he really wanted to read.) His biggest takeaway, as they wound down their exercises, was that Vader had more sheer power in the Force than any opponent he'd ever faced. In twenty years, maybe ten, Obi-Wan would be hard pressed to best him. He couldn't beat him even now relying on strength, speed, or Force power; he had only technique and control. Thankfully, those were his strengths.

Moving from lightsabers to unarmed combat brought that into sharp relief. Obi-Wan could twist around and use throws and holds and flips to pin Vader, but he couldn't match him blow for blow. Every time Vader managed to land a blow, it put Obi-Wan on the ground for a minute. He could already feel where he'd have bruises the next day, on his abdomen, his ribs, even on his arms where he'd blocked particularly powerful strikes.

And Vader was learning. He was just so damn fast. In the last round, he landed two lightning quick strikes to Obi-Wan's face, splitting his lip and blacking his eye. Vader twisted out of his grip and flipped him onto the ground. The impact knocked the breath out of him, and he lay gasping underneath Vader's weight. He tapped the ground, surrendering.

Vader grinned down at him, also with a bruise blossoming around his eye. "Got you that time," he said. He straddled Obi-Wan's hips and leaned down, pushing his weight onto Obi-Wan's shoulders. Obi-Wan nodded, but he couldn't speak yet. Vader looked down at him with a strange expression. The Dark side hung on him like a cloak, but there was something warm and covetous about it. He bent to whisper in Obi-Wan's ear. "I like you like this. Under control. Beneath me. I could stand to have you around this way."

Obi-Wan was getting his breath back. "And here I thought you didn't like me."

"If I could stick my cock in you I might be swayed."

Not bothering to whisper anymore, Obi-Wan said, "UGH, kriffing hells, Vader, your seduction technique is worse than a Hutt's. Get off me." From across the meadow, he saw Serenus just cross his arms, waiting to see how it played out.

Vader smiled, bit his lip, and rocked his hips to rub against him. "You don't get to give the orders here, Jedi. You're ours."

Obi-Wan was no longer amused. They were no longer training. So he no longer needed to rein in his strength in the Force. "You couldn't handle me, baby Dom." He picked Vader up bodily with a wave of his hand and tossed him to the side. He got up, dusted himself off and walked past them towards the ship. He cast a glare at them both, and said icily, "You're hardly the first Dark sider I've fought, Vader. Or have you forgotten?"

The venom faded from Vader's eyes, and he suddenly looked as young as he really was. "I haven't."

They let Obi-Wan withdraw to the ship.

 

#####

 

The doors opened. A man in black stood within, barring their way. A tattooed Zabrak, holding a lightsaber.

Qui-Gon sent the rest of their party a different way. Obi-Wan cast off his robe and drew his lightsaber; he was ready to fight. But Qui-Gon … didn’t. He glanced between his master and the Sith, whose powerful Force signature roiled with the Dark Side, with barely restrained destruction.

The Zabrak pushed back his hood and lifted his chin. “Darth Sidious summons you,” he said.

Qui-Gon answered. “What right has Sidious to summon me?”

“We have at last revealed ourselves. The Jedi will fall. You will not scamper about in their shadows like a rat any longer, Serenus.”

Obi-Wan edged towards Qui-Gon. “Master … I don’t understand, what’s he talking about?”

Obi-Wan's nightmares always started the same way, no matter the actual content. They began when he tried to turn on a light, and the light wouldn't switch on, or would immediately turn off again. A small thing, signaling the end of rational reality, an end to rules, to any horror being impossible. It was like his brain saying, now that we've established the rules don't apply, these other terrible things can happen, things you'd never have anticipated, things you cannot fight. Your sense of control was false, anyway, you gnat in a hurricane.

He thought, briefly, of lights going out.

Qui-Gon put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a grief-stricken look; his Force signature withdrew, shifted unrecognizably, and Obi-Wan felt cold, alone … abandoned. He reached out to his master, his lover, through their Force bond, and met only a wall.

“I must leave you behind now, Padawan, as I must go where you cannot follow. And Obi-Wan … do not attempt to follow.” His hand fell. He walked towards the Zabrak.

“Master!” Obi-Wan followed, despite instructions to the contrary. But Qui-Gon kept walking, ignoring Obi-Wan's pleas, then his demands. Finally, as they walked through another door to a hangar, Obi-Wan ran in front of them and ignited his lightsaber. Qui-Gon sighed irritably, and the Zabrak grinned.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m not giving you up without a fight!” Obi-Wan said; fear and anger and confusion, the Dark side, licked at the edges of his control like a rising tide. “Stay, or take me with you.” He reached for their Force bond again, throwing into it his desperate pleas. No no no, don't leave me, I love you.

“You have no idea what you’re asking.” Qui-Gon’s eyes shifted. They flashed, yellow and red, cruel and cold. Obi-Wan froze. Qui-Gon lifted a hand to his lightsaber, and Obi-Wan withdrew it rather than burn his master. Qui-Gon walked past him. He approached an unfamiliar ship.

Anakin appeared from another door and ran to him. “You called me!” he said, and clung to Qui-Gon’s robe. “What’s with your eyes?”

“I’ll explain later. Get on the ship, Anakin.”

“No!” Obi-Wan shouted. “You can’t take him to the Sith! He’s a child!”

Qui-Gon ignored him, and mounted the ramp. Anakin followed, but stopped at the top and looked back.

Obi-Wan took a step towards them, and the Zabrak — almost forgotten for a moment — ignited his lightsaber. A red, two-sided saber. He grinned at Obi-Wan. “If you’re looking for a fight, I’ll give you one.”

The duel was short. It was as much a battle of will, Light against Dark, as of skill. The Zabrak was stronger. Obi-Wan was faster. The Zabrak’s form was better, his mastery more complete, and he commanded the Force like a battering ram. But Obi-Wan threw himself into parts of the Force he’d never used before — a great, howling grief, pain and misery, and sheer desperation drove him like a madness through the flurry of lightsaber clashes, and the Force channeled through him like a flash flood, deep and dangerous.

He might have won. It was unlikely, but he might have. If Qui-Gon hadn’t flung them to either side of the hangar. If the Zabrak hadn’t given him a shallow bow and said, “I’ll have to wait for another chance to kill you, pup,” and went up the ramp to join Qui-Gon ... and a confused, wide-eyed Anakin. They looked at each other helplessly as the ramp closed.

He watched the ship until it disappeared through the Naboo cloud cover. His master was gone, and he would never quite be the same.

 

#####

 

“Obi-Wan? What do you want?”

Obi-Wan bowed his head. “Serenus desires me to make peace with you. I’ve come to find out how we can do that.”

Vader considered him coolly for a moment, then turned and let him into his quarters.

Vader’s quarters were not all that different from any other Padawan’s. Kind of a mess, smelled a bit like socks, a game loaded up on a data pad that Vader turned off. Obi-Wan delicately cleared himself a place on the couch free of laundry and electronics components. It had been a week since their planetside sparring session, and Serenus and Obi-Wan had been negotiating furiously in private. In public, Obi-Wan was calm. Internally, not so much. And Vader had not. Stopped. Leering at him.

He was leering at him now. Obi-Wan smiled mildly back. “Tell me, Vader. What bothers you most about my presence?”

Vader fidgeted where he stood, his expression turning clouded. “Before you, it was just me and my master, for over ten years. We were HAPPY. We were accomplishing things, accumulating power, taking what we wanted. Then … then he decided what he wanted was you. And I don't. Like. You being the center of attention.” He paced back and forth. “The intel he traded for you could have been traded for much more. The attention he’s spending on you could be better spent—“

"The same could be said for any of Serenus' obsessions. Has he talked to you about prophecy? What am I saying, of course he has. Have you spent much time in dusty archives digging up annotations on commentaries on footnotes on mystics' lost works?" Vader's expression confirmed that he had. "Then this is about more than resource allocation."

"You are a liability! Dangerous!"

"I seem to recall having had my lightsaber at your throat, and I didn't kill you. Both of you sleep on a ship that, frankly, has questionable internal security protocols. I've done you no harm. I even helped you train." He leaned into the looks Vader had been giving him all week. "Or did you not enjoy that in quite the same way I thought you did?"

Vader clenched the top of a chair, white-knuckled, called out. “I am glad for your help. I cannot deny you are a … good sparring partner. But from a long-term perspective, a Jedi on board is a terrible idea! You can worm your way into his mind, into mine —“

“Have I done any of that so far? I would hope to have earned at least a little trust by now. It's been months. Besides, I am in as much danger of that as you are. More so, even." He'd had this conversation a dozen times in his head, and was a bit surprised that Anakin wasn't doing quite as much in the way of mental gymnastics to cast Obi-Wan as the villain. It was possible, he admitted, that Serenus was right, and Vader wanted to like him.

Vader resumed pacing, as if he had to keep moving to power his brain. “You're still a Light sider. I don’t see how we can trust you, when you bring us into contact with the Light Side constantly. When you distract him like you do.”

“That is a question for your master. But I wonder, why so jealous of Serenus' attention? It's not like there's a shortage of his company here on the ship.”

Vader threw his hands up. “Because I want to get laid! And we're just going to places he wants to take you! Which usually aren't places I can hook up with someone!”

There it was. Obi-Wan suppressed a smile. “Right. You're quite young, a few months seems like a long time. No, I’m not making fun. Why don’t you take on a passenger who’s willing to be your bed companion?”

“It’s not that easy.”

“Didn’t say it was. So … you’re wary of my Force affiliations, jealous that Serenus has less time for you, but also jealous that he’s getting laid on a regular basis and you’re not.” He ticked the reasons off on his fingers.

“That’s right.” Vader crossed his arms and scowled. The look might be intimidating in ten years or so, but right now he was too young to look like anything more than a petulant brat.

Obi-Wan took a deep breath. Serenus has suggested this, but he still wasn’t sure it was a good idea, still not entirely sure he would want to do it, when the moment came. “What if he … shared me? You seemed interested last week, during sparring.”

Vader waved a hand dismissively. “Ugh, no, you’re too old.” But a faint blush colored his cheeks and the tips of his ears, and he dropped his eyes away.

Fine, he'd escalate the stakes. “Have you ever had an experienced person blow you?”

He watched the gears work in Vader’s mind. “No.” Thoughts turned, and clicked into place. “What, now?”

A polite shrug of the shoulders. Keep it casual. “If you’d like.”

Vader considered a moment. But only a moment. He dropped into an armchair, let his knees fall open, and pointed to the ground in front of him. “Alright then, get on your knees, Jedi, if you're so eager.” Obi-Wan knelt in front of him, ignoring the gleeful look on his face. Vader undid his pants and brought himself to hardness in a few strokes. “Suck it. Show me why I should let you stay.”

Obi-Wan resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He might not be exactly enthusiastic about Vader, but he'd done worse for less. Besides, he liked doing this, and more to the point, he liked the effect it had on men. He leaned forward to lick a stripe up Vader’s cock, and swirled his tongue around the head before taking it into his mouth. He cast a look up at Vader, reached for Vader’s hand, and guided it to the back of his head.

“Oh fuck,” Vader gasped. He gripped Obi-Wan‘s hair and used it to guide his pace. Obi-Wan knew exactly what he was doing; he kept his teeth out of the way, hollowed his cheeks, and sought out the most sensitive spots with his tongue as Vader fucked his mouth. Within minutes, the young Sith’s hips began to buck, and he thrust up, gasping, coming down Obi-Wan’s throat, who had done this enough times to swallow around his gag reflex.

Vader sat panting in his chair, still gripping Obi-Wan’s hair. “Fuck,” he said. “Fuck.”

“Like I said,” Obi-Wan said. “Experience.”

Vader looked down at him with glinting eyes and a sharp grin. “Do it again.”

 

#####

 

“So it went well?”

Obi-Wan stretched his jaw until it popped, twice. “My jaw’s sore.”

Serenus grinned up at him from his couch, where he was reading a datapad. “Come here.”

Obi-Wan flopped gracefully onto the couch and laid his head on Serenus’ thigh. “Young men are insatiable.”

“Thank you,” Serenus purred and combed his fingers through Obi-Wan’s hair. “You’ve bought us some peace.”

Obi-Wan half shrugged. “I am adept at separating emotion from sex. It doesn’t have to mean anything. It's not like it meant anything to him either.”

Serenus was quiet, and Obi-Wan could practically hear him thinking. He closed his eyes, waiting, enjoying the sensation of nails scraping his scalp. Finally he said, “I don’t believe the Jedi tenant against attachments served you well.”

Obi-Wan chuckled. “You think?” He'd long been of that opinion, in spite of the mask he showed to other Jedi.

“I think you’ve been adrift, not knowing what to do with your great need for connection and no way to satisfy it.”

That hit a note wrong in Obi-Wan's heart. If he'd been adrift, if he'd needed connection or satisfaction, whose fault was that? He opened his eyes and scowled up at Serenus. “Your analysis is not welcome.”

“My apologies. Was Vader at least gentle with you?”

“I don’t think it occurred to him to be rough. I can handle Vader, don’t worry.”

Serenus’ touches moved to his neck and chest. He traced Obi-Wan’s collarbones, lingering on the fading hickeys and bruises. “It’s a necessary thing, a good compromise. But … I certainly don’t want Vader to get carried away. To start thinking he has some kind of claim to you. He gets to BORROW you, no more.”

Obi-Wan threw his hands into the air and opened his eyes. “I’m not an object. He doesn’t borrow me.” He turned over so he could glare more effectively at Serenus.

Serenus met his eyes with equanimity. “Do you now claim to not belong to me?” He mouth quirked in a way Obi-Wan didn’t care for. He gripped Obi-Wan‘s jaw suddenly, quick as a snake strike, almost hurting. He’d forgotten Serenus could do that, his hands were so big. “You should consider the benefits of allowing my possessiveness. One, I offer you protection from Vader, who might be tempted to overstep his bounds, even hurt you. As it stands, he will respect your boundaries because he respects mine. Two, it binds me closer to you, and Vader is right in one respect — you do limit my more destructive impulses.”

He kept ahold of Obi-Wan's jaw and pushed him slowly backwards onto the couch. “And three … it turns both of us on.”

Obi-Wan wanted to argue but they were all good points and he was suddenly very, very aroused by Serenus looming over him. Straddling him. His erection quite evident. Looking dangerous and predatory and full of lust, and Obi-Wan's submissive streak wanted to roll over and bare its neck in surrender.

“Will you tolerate my possessiveness, Obi-Wan? Or do I need to work on this, tying your pleasure to objectification?" He finally let go of Obi-Wan's jaw -- there would be little gray bruises later under his beard -- and gripped his throat instead, not choking, but enough to feel the pressure on his windpipe, enough to make Obi-Wan's eyes go wide and pleading. "How well trained ARE you? Do I need to put a collar on you to remind you of your place, your role? Can you remember what you are to me?"

"Y-yes Master," Obi-Wan said, swallowing against the hand on his throat.

Something in Serenus' expression broke. His eyes went wide … and blue-gray, just for a moment. Obi-Wan was sure of it. His heart seemed to explode in his chest. Was it real? He was sure it was real.

Serenus let go of his throat, and sat up. "Say it again."

Obi-Wan pushed up on his elbows. "Yes Master."

Serenus closed his eyes and let his mouth fall open, looking for all the world like a wave of pleasure had just washed over him. He fumbled with the closure on his pants, and Obi-Wan's, and needed help because his hands were shaking. He gasped and made desperate sounds in his throat that Obi-Wan wasn't sure he'd heard before, from either Serenus or Qui-Gon. Serenus batted away his hands and took both their cocks in one hand. He shoved Obi-Wan's shirt up to his sternum roughly.

"Say it again. Tell me I'm your master. Not Qui-Gon. Me."

"Serenus," Obi-Wan gasped, "My master."

Serenus came almost violently, loudly, on Obi-Wan's stomach, rocking the couch with the force of his thrusts. Obi-Wan was about to point out that Serenus was being a little too rough, this was starting to hurt, which was not sexy, when Serenus bulldozed his way into Obi-Wan's mind and dumped all his orgasmic pleasure into him. Obi-Wan saw white as he came, arching off the couch, screaming. This was unexpected, he couldn't quite get on top of it, it went on and on --

Then it slowed, and eventually stopped, and Obi-Wan managed to erect his shattered shields again. Serenus half-collapsed against the side of the couch, still panting for breath. Obi-Wan stared at the ceiling, wondering what the fuck just happened.

"Serenus," he said at last.

"Hmm."

"Warn me next time."

"I wasn't prepared for that myself."

"No, I mean the …" He cleared his throat and tapped his temple. "We haven't talked about what's okay and what's not with telepathy."

Serenus managed a half-smile. "Sure. Talk. Later."

A mental message came storming into both their heads, in Vader's voice. "ARE YOU OKAY? WHAT WAS THAT?"

Serenus laughed. "I must have spilled over everywhere."

Obi-Wan traced his finger through the cum on his stomach. "You certainly did."

"Come on. I'll clean you up, darling." He got up off of Obi-Wan and pulled him to his feet.

Obi-Wan brought Serenus' hand to his mouth, and kissed his knuckles. "Yes Master," he said with a smile.

“Ohhh,” Serenus said. “I am so putting a collar on you.”

Chapter Text

"No, Obi-Wan; what do you really want?"

Interestingly, it had been Vader that had posed that question to him a week ago, and who was therefore responsible for the shit they were currently in, from a certain point of view. He intended to twist it around that way if he could, anyway. Later. When they were not running for their lives.

More specifically, riding for their lives. Obi-Wan clung to his tauntaun's neck, having lost the reins the last time she'd gone down in the snow. Reins hardly mattered; she knew better than he did where they were going. She charged down the mountain, skittering around boulders and trees, her wide-splayed feet keeping her light in the snow where Obi-Wan would have just sunk in it. The rest of the riders were up ahead; Vader was in front, and Serenus was somewhere nearby. Or he hoped he was. Someone was going to have to deflect the blaster bolts that were surely about to start coming their way, and it wasn't going to be Obi-Wan, not when he was barely keeping himself on the tauntaun in the first place.

If I ever have to have a long term mount, he thought distantly, it's going to be four-legged. The jolting gait of bipeds was going to leave him a eunuch.

The tauntaun came to a skidding stop, almost throwing Obi-Wan up over her horned head. He straightened in the saddle, and finally, leaned forward enough to grab her reins. The other tauntauns were spread out before him, huddled in little groups, panting, ready to bolt. It was hard to say who was more afraid, the tauntauns or their riders. At least they'd finally stopped. The desperate race through the mountainous forest in the dark had hardly been the controlled escape they had planned.

Serenus pulled up alongside him. The tauntaun ram he rode grumbled angrily and tossed his head; Serenus stroked his neck and whispered softly to him, and the ram quieted. He made gurgling sounds to himself, still disgruntled but complacent. Obi-Wan thought, he's done the same to me before, to much the same effect.

"I want it noted," Serenus said, "that this was your idea."

"Yes but Vader was the one who suggested we all listen to me, so it's his fault, really."

"Serenus is the one who invited you aboard in the first place, so it's his fault," Vader said, coming up behind them.

"Agreed," Obi-Wan said. "It's your fault, Serenus."

Serenus was not focused on their banter, but on the distant rumble of engines. "They're coming up out of the ravine now, do you feel them?"

Obi-Wan felt for the Force, the steadying presence of all living things, and yes, there it was, something approaching. Gaining. They had been steadily gaining since the beginning of the chase, and now, their pursuers would catch them.

The three Force users focused on the crest they'd just descended from, the break in the trees where the snow was trampled by tauntaun feet. The whine of engines grew louder. Obi-Wan reached out to his tauntaun through the Force; he calmed her, held her in place, reassured her that if she just trusted him to lead the herd, they'd get through this alright. He turned her to the side, and drew his lightsaber.

When Vader had asked him what he really wanted, Obi-Wan had found himself saying that he wanted to help people. It was what he'd always wanted as a Jedi, to be a positive influence for change, for peace. But there was so much he couldn't do, because the Jedi Council was limited by their own rules and treaties. He couldn't go charging in to right some wrong if they didn't have clearance to do so.

But now? He wasn't bound by the council. He didn't represent anyone but himself. And he had two other powerful Force users to help him. He'd thought of all the good he could do, rights that needed to be wronged, and the biggest one had been slavery. Which is what had landed them on this Outer Rim moon, freeing slaves from a transport and escaping on tauntauns from the same transport. It had all been going so well, until the time came for the actual escape, and the slaver's reinforcements had arrived. Their cannon blasts had spooked the tauntauns, and it had been a wild stampede in the dark and the snow until now.

Three small transports rocketed over the ridgeline and barreled down towards them, blasters blazing. Many of the tauntauns behind them scattered, and Vader's mount squealed in terror and tried to spin around. Obi-Wan's ewe and Serenus' ram held steady. They deflected blaster fire as fast as it came, but of course they couldn't reach all the blasts; some of them went past, into the herd behind them. Someone screamed, and Obi-Wan couldn't tell if it was a human or a tauntaun.

Two of the transports went down, taken apart by the ricocheted blaster bolts. The third stopped firing and spun around. It would have made it back over the ridge, if Serenus hadn't wrenched a dead tree out of the ground and dropped it on the nose of the transport.

There were still people alive, crawling out of the ruined transports, calling into radios.

"Time to go," Obi-Wan said, and turned his ewe back to the herd. She followed his lead with confidence this time, having had her trust rewarded. She strode out in front, and the herd followed.

It was hours yet before they were safe, beyond the reach of the slavers. Obi-Wan took stock of their situation - several hundred people, several hundred more tauntauns, and not nearly enough distance between them and the slavers. But everyone was exhausted, Jedi and Sith and regular humans and tauntauns. They sheltered on the lee side of another ridge where the wind didn't hit them and they were rendered invisible by heavy tree cover above. Serenus and Vader walked among them, distributing field rations. Obi-Wan was glad he'd thought to liberate those as well, when they'd freed the slaves and the tauntauns.

He was almost asleep, curled up in his blanket, when the two Sith joined him in his nest of leaf litter. Serenus took up his usual post spooned up behind Obi-Wan, slotting comfortably against him and falling asleep almost immediately. But Vader laid down hesitantly in front of Obi-Wan and looked at him expectantly.

"Arrange yourself however you like," Obi-Wan said. "I'll protest if it's uncomfortable."

Vader snuggled close on his back and Obi-Wan rearranged their blankets to cover them all. Vader pulled Obi-Wan's arm over his middle; Obi-Wan threw a leg over him, and smiled in the dark as Vader relaxed. It was almost warm, sandwiched between them. There was a hand on his hip and he didn't know whose it was. This, he thought, is perfect. Even if they all smelled like tauntauns.

Tomorrow, they would get up, and continue the hard trek south. They'd meet up with the transport that had agreed to take the slaves off world and to a Republic refugee asylum. One of the good ones. They'd turn the tauntauns loose, and watch the ewes and rams and lambs bucks and kick their way across the tundra. He'd revel in a job well done, a rescue he never could have enacted as a Jedi. He'd consider whether he would go back to the Jedi even if he had the option, when there was a lot of good he could do, apparently, without the order, without their restrictions, without direction from the council. The rules were there for a reason. But there were times to break the rules, and people who could break the rules. It turned out that three powerful Force users didn't have to care so much about Republic treaties.

But that was all tomorrow. Tonight Serenus was against his back, his large, powerful body as familiar as his own breath. Vader, young and breathtakingly beautiful and kind in a very unexpected way, lay pressed to his chest, and was so very pleased to be included with his master and his master's lover. Obi-Wan wasn't sure if he meant to be projecting quite so loudly; Vader had the simple happiness of a pup, an all-encompassing emotion. And there - what an interesting thought. Vader was reassured by Obi-Wan's acceptance, safe in his knowledge that he was still wanted, both by Obi-Wan and, in a different way, by Serenus. Obi-Wan had not considered how uncertain Vader may have felt, with Serenus' attention back on his old apprentice.

He'd worry about it tomorrow. Tonight he tangled his limbs with Serenus' and Vader's, drank in their warmth and the smell of their skin, and was warm.

 

#####

Obi-Wan stared at the datapad, frustrated. The incident with the slaves and the tauntauns was weeks behind them, and they were laying low, so he was catching up on correspondence. He was supposed to send letters to certain other Jedi so they could be assured he was being well treated, and the Jedi did not need to enact a daring rescue. He made a rude noise. “Dear Master Windu, things are fine here on Ship Dark Side, the food is good, I’m sucking a lot of Sith cock and most of the time it’s fun. Kriffing hells, what am I supposed to say?”

He ended up sending a rather short message that did not mention cocks anywhere, mostly consisting of “I’m fine, here’s a vague reference to let you know it’s really me, say hi to Yoda.”

He heard the kitchen door hiss open behind him, then a moment later, gloved fingers grazed his neck. “Good morning, Kenobi,” Vader said in his ear.

“Not now, I’m working,” he muttered.

“I didn’t ask for anything!”

Obi-Wan looked up and over his shoulder. “Fine. Good morning, Vader. Can I help you with something?”

Vader shifted his pants. “Well now that you offer …”

“No. It’s 900 hours, I haven’t even had caf.”

Vader harrumphed and went over to the caf pot. A minute later he put a cup down in front of Obi-Wan, and sat down with one of his own. Obi-Wan smiled genuinely at him and picked up the cup.

“What are you working on?” He folded his knees up to his chest and sipped his caf. It was an oddly youthful thing to do, casual and playful, and Obi-Wan found it charming. It occurred to him he might have judged Vader too harshly in the beginning. Or they had judged each other too harshly, each jealous of the other’s role in Serenus’ life.

“Just communications with the Jedi council.” Then, noticing the alarmed look from Vader, “You can read them if you like, they’re on the group channel. Just letting them know things are ok here and they don’t need to worry about me. … What? What is it?” Something in Vader’s expression shifted, and Obi-Wan had a glimpse of the boy he used to be. His heart gave a sharp pang. Things could have been so different.

“ARE you ok?”

Obi-Wan put the data pad down. "It's interesting that you ask. I didn't expect you to be concerned about my welfare. I mean. You're a Sith."

Vader made a face. "Uh huh, and I'm kinda sorta fucking you, so I'm asking how you are."

Obi-Wan conceded the point with a nod of his head. "I'm sorry, everything I know about the Sith comes from the Jedi. They are hardly an unbiased source. Serenus said something once about how serving yourself is only satisfying for so long, and then you start wanting to please someone else, which in turn pleases yourself, again."

"I guess that's part of it," Vader said with a shrug of his shoulders. "But look at it this way. The Dark side isn't, like, evil, is it? It's part of the Force. And the Force itself doesn't give much of a fuck about good or evil. Those are human ideas. The Dark and the Light, they’re just means to an end, and it’s what you do with it that matters.”

Obi-Wan considered him, and chose his next words carefully. "Tell me why you follow the Dark side."

Vader apparently needed to move for his brain to work, as he stood and paced back and forth as he talked, pausing now and then to take a drink and frown over his mug. "Obviously part of it is that Serenus raised me to be a Sith, I mean, can't get away from that. But take a look at the Sith code.
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me."

Vader stopped close to Obi-Wan, tugged off his glove, and tangled his fingers in copper-colored hair. "What's the end goal? Freedom. Freedom from what, is the question at the heart of all our philosophies. From the influence of others? From political oppression? From our own mortality? Every Sith answers that question for themselves."

Obi-Wan bit back the quip on the tip of his tongue, which was that he could almost hear Serenus' voice saying the exact same thing. Vader was quoting his master. "So you hone your passion, to gain power over what controls you."

"That's right. Which is why I initially thought that Serenus was being controlled by his emotions for you, and that’s a violation of all he taught me. But his passion for you is a strength. I can see that now. You push him to be more. You push ME to be more."

Obi-Wan was genuinely touched, and had to drop his eyes away from Vader’s intense stare.. "I … thank you. I need to process that. It's unexpected. I think, maybe, there are part of myself that benefit from you both, despite my griping about the Dark side. The serenity of the Light can certainly be lonely, and feels aimless, without the Order to steer me.”

“Plus, you’re getting laid regularly, and not by fucking half the galaxy, that's gotta be a benefit.”

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. “Oh get over it.”

Vader straightened up and let go of his hair. “Seriously, how many? Rough estimate.”

Obi-Wan waved his hand vaguely. “Depending on what you’re counting? Between 100 and 200.”

“KRIFFING HELLS!” Vader burst out laughing, which was one of the better reactions he could have gotten.

“Look, I had a good time, ok?”

“How did you not catch anything? You could’ve been a plague vector!”

Well it was embarrassing. But he may as well be honest. “I did, a couple of times. The healers at the temple are very adept, and I kept up with testing. I'm clean now, obviously.”

Vader shook his head, still chuckling. “What a slutty old Jedi.”

Obi-Wan finished his caf and stood up to rinse the cup and put it in the sink. “You do realize that promiscuity is a common response to sexual abuse, yes?”

Vader’s laughter ceased. “Oh.” A few minutes later, he said, “But you came back to him. So it must not have been that bad.”

“At the time, it was … well, I didn’t understand some of the power dynamics going on. It is only in hindsight I could see how unhealthy it was. But we’re not really the same people anymore. I am pleasantly surprised at how it's turned out so far.”

“Plus you’ve got me,” Vader said, sidling up to him and not even pretending to not be fishing for validation.

Obi-Wan smiled warmly and cupped his cheek. “Yes, and there’s you. Definitely a desirable addition to the dynamic. And a very pretty one.”

Vader positively glowed in the Force, and Obi-Wan resolves to praise him more.

Then Vader’s brain started turning again, and the little line of concentration appeared between his eyes. “How did you not turn to the Dark Side, anyway? After all he did to you? Why did he never try to turn you? He certainly had the opportunity to try to make a Sith apprentice out of you.”

Obi-Wan shrugged. “That might be a good question to pose to Serenus, actually.”

 

#####

 

Obi-Wan sat heavily on the couch. His world had just slid out from under him, like a crumbling bank that had looked solid enough, but now left him tumbling dangerously downward. And the day had started out so peacefully. “What?” he whispered, for lack of a better way to express his incredulity.

Serenus looked between him and Vader, whose wide, horrified eyes made him look younger than 20. “I thought you knew.”

Obi-Wan's hands knotted into fists as he struggled to form the words. “How could I have possibly known you were a Sith from the beginning?”

Serenus tried to waffle. “Well, ‘beginning’ is perhaps inaccurate, Dooku raised me as a Jedi, it was only later we both turned —“

“From the beginning of OUR association, Serenus!” he shouted. His voice cracked. He hardly ever shouted. And not like this. Not with his anger and grief slipping out of his control like water cupped in his hands.

Serenus shut his mouth with a clack. “Ah. I thought you would have figured it out.”

Obi-Wan felt sick. His entire apprenticeship, he'd been with a Sith. His first lover had been a Sith. Not turned, not later, from the beginning. The council had been right to suspect that he was tainted. “Then why … how did I end up still a Jedi? How did I not turn, when I was half raised by a Sith? Why did you not turn me, make me into a Sith apprentice?”

Serenus tried to reach out to him with the Force, and Obi-Wan mentally smacked him away. Serenus didn’t push or try again. Good thing, because Obi-Wan might have broken something lashing out at him. “You have to realize … once Dooku and Xanatos revealed themselves, I was very much in danger of being discovered. Suspicion was high on me. So, I took on a thoroughly Light sided Padawan, an impeccable Jedi. You. And it worked. You were exemplary. No one could doubt my allegiance to the light with a Padawan like you.”

His gut churned. This was worse. It just kept getting worse. Implications spread through his awareness, casting his memories in different lights, revealing context and connection he hadn't seen before. “I was part of your cover? So … the Qui-Gon that raised me, and seduced me … that man didn’t exist?” He felt the Dark Side’s rage-filled tendrils lapping at the corners of his mind, and didn’t care. “Having me in your bed wasn’t even the main goal of taking me on as a Padawan, was it? It was just a side benefit? After all, if you have to pretend to be someone you’re not, and use a child as a cover, why not also fuck him too, if you can?” There was so much anger clouding his mind. So much pain. The Dark called him like it rarely had before. He stood up, and his body shook with the urge to move. He held himself very still instead.

Serenus scowled. "I told you before, I didn't start out with the intention of bedding you. And I apologized for being so hard on you that --"

"Fuck your apologies!" Obi-Wan roared. He didn't think he'd ever shouted like that, at anyone. But now he couldn't stop. "You lied to me, for years, in ways I haven't even begun to understand! Why would I believe an apology, especially coming from Darth Serenus, a Sith, and not Qui-Gon the Jedi master?"

Serenus raised his hands, showing empty, and talked quietly, soothingly, in that deep, rumbling voice Obi-Wan knew so well. He was reminded of Serenus quieting the tauntaun ram. “Obi-Wan, please calm down, you're working yourself up." Obi-Wan didn't bother to note that telling someone to calm down never, ever, had the effect of actually calming them. Serenus touched his chest, and tried to school his expression into something like serenity. "Qui-Gon was an aspect of me. He wasn’t imaginary, he just wasn’t the full picture. It wasn’t Qui-Gon teaching you and loving you, in whatever flawed capacity; it was always me.”

For once, it was Vader who had the common sense. “For fuck’s sake, Serenus, stop talking,” he hissed.

Obi-Wan trembled in place. The Dark was eating at the edges of his mind like wildfire on a grassy plain, like the meadow they'd trained in, threatening to consume everything inside of it. He'd heard of Jedi falling to the Dark side out of rage, or fear. But the most compelling stories, the ones he could see himself in, had been the stories of Jedi falling into grief.

That's why they insist on no attachments, Obi-Wan thought distantly, in the academic, philosophical corner of his mind. Because loss is too painful. And everything, everything in the galaxy, is temporary, destined to be lost, inevitably. And pain … oh, the Dark side thrived in pain. From the stricken looks on their faces, the Sith could feel it in him too.

Obi-Wan spun on his heel and made for the door. Serenus moved to intercept him, and Obi-Wan did something he had never done before - he lashed out at Serenus. He reacted in anger and pain, and intent to hurt. He’d always heard that using the Dark Side was addictive and easy and felt good, but all he felt was a deep, howling pain in his soul when he shoved Serenus aside - or meant to. His control of the Dark was nonexistent, and he let loose with a wave of Force energy that churned in him like a retching stomach, and came out of him completely without his control. He was just along for the ride. He slammed Serenus into the far wall. The three of them stared at each other, stunned, before Obi-Wan bolted out the door.

But there was nowhere to go on a small ship. He had just left his own quarters, and he couldn't go to Serenus' quarters. He couldn’t go to the cockpit, or the kitchen; too public. There was really only one place left to go.

He went through the door that still had "Keep out" in large red letters on it. It hissed shut behind him. It was as much space as he could possibly get. He didn't bother turning on the lights. He knew where everything was. He curled up on Vader's bed in the dark (after kicking laundry and half a droid leg off of it), and tried to get on top of his feelings. But they churned and stung like stomach bile, and he sank into the grief, the pain of a new kind of betrayal, like quicksand.

Qui-Gon hadn’t existed. It had always been Serenus, lying to him and manipulating him.

He’d been a cover. Not really wanted as a Padawan after all — and that had been dicey anyway. He squeezed his fists, digging his nails into his palm and leaving red crescent-moon marks.

It made more sense, though, for a Sith to molest his apprentice than for a Jedi to do so.

But he’d enjoyed it, hadn’t he? He’d wanted Qui-Gon so badly. He’d loved being in his master’s bed. He hadn’t exactly resisted. How defenseless he’d felt, with his master touching him, and how much he’d loved it. Because Qui-Gon was happy with him, loved him, purring in his ear how good and beautiful and sexy and different and mature he was.

And it had never been Qui-Gon at all. It was always Serenus. And now, he was back in the man’s orbit, after having escaped for ten years.

No. After having been abandoned for ten years.

Why had Serenus wanted him back, anyway? He’d already left him behind. He didn’t need Obi-Wan. Or perhaps he just wanted a regular fuck toy. One he’d already conquered. One he could inflict pain upon, and would just … take it.

Some Jedi he was.

The door hissed open. “Obi-Wan? Hey. THERE you are.” He didn’t move at Vader’s voice. The door closed. Vader laid down behind him and pressed against his back. Vader said something softly into his comm to Serenus, then leaned over Obi-Wan. “It sucks, huh?”

“You could say that.”

“I’ve never felt so much Dark Side in you, Kenobi. So much pain and anger and grief.”

“It exists in all of us.”

Vader’s hand tangled in his hair, and gently pulled his head back so Vader could look at him. It was strangely comforting, being manhandled, and he relaxed minutely. They studied each other for long minutes, a Jedi in pain and a sympathetic Sith. Then, Vader kissed him.

A kiss shouldn’t have been so shocking, not when he’d been giving the man blow jobs for weeks. But Vader was young and a little clumsy and it was weirdly sweet and endearing. He started to open his mouth to protest, and Vader took it as an invitation. He pushed his tongue into Obi-Wan‘s mouth, and his hands began to wander. Obi-Wan found he didn’t care; like so many other times, the arousal in his body drowned out the pain in his mind, and he relaxed in Vader’s grip. It was blissful when his tumultuous mind went blank, and the whole universe seemed to narrow down to the pleasure in his body, and the pleasure he could give others. The Dark's grip on him eased, and he nearly cried out with relief, instead making some kind of wretched sound in the back of his throat.

“Is this good?” Vader asked against his mouth. "Okay?"

“Do you want to fuck me?” he responded.

“Escalate much?" Vader squeaked. "Yes. But Serenus explicitly said not to. Some time ago.”

Dammit. Letting Serenus’ apprentice fuck him would have felt vengeful. Though that was probably reason enough not to. He made a frustrated noise and pulled Vader down on top of him. The young Sith whimpered and rutted against his leg, then Obi-Wan maneuvered around until Vader was laying between his legs, each buck of his hips rubbing their clothed cocks together. He focused on friction and Vader’s wonderful weight on top of him, and the comforting vulnerability of another man between his legs.

No wonder he’d had so many partners, he thought distantly.

“I can’t,” Vader gasped against his mouth. “I wanna fuck you so bad, this is a terrible idea, I can’t I can’t I can’t —“

"You don't have to. Just … hold me down? I like … weight, and restraint, it lets me … let go." He wasn't making a whole lot of sense, but Vader found his wrists and gripped them tight.

"I've got you, baby. You don't have to worry about anything, just let me take care of you, okay?"

Obi-Wan choked on a sob, and pressed his cheek against Vader's. The young man smelled slightly sweet, like sugared tea. He kissed whatever skin he could reach, and Vader mouthed at him, too.

"Thank you," he finally managed to say. "I thought for a moment there the Dark side was going to eat me alive."

"Yeah, I can feel it receding in you. But wow, it was … " He nuzzled Obi-Wan's jaw. "You were really hurting. I mean, it's still there, I can feel it under the surface like a second skin on you. But it's not trying to take over, like it was." He pushed up enough to look down on Obi-Wan in the dark. "This … is why you fucked your way across the galaxy, isn't it? The Dark side doesn't get any traction on you, if you're focused on someone else."

"Yes." It should have been obvious to anyone. Probably was obvious to a lot of Jedi and they had been kind enough not to say anything. It was when he focused on his own pain that the Dark side reared its ugly head. Of course. He leaned up to kiss him, gentle brushing of dry lips. "Anakin … stay with me. Keep me from falling."

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

 

It had been four days since Obi-Wan had spoken to Serenus. That was not an easy thing to accomplish, on a small ship, but he had managed it so far. He had to. Every time he thought of trying to talk, the Dark flared to life in him, an oily, vicious anger and pain, and it was all he could do to keep it in check with meditations and with outright denial and avoidance. One of the droids had made it their special duty to bring his food to him, and was pretty excited that they got to do something new and important.

It was Vader who finally intervened. “You have to talk to him.”

Obi-Wan looked up from where he had been meditating (again), sitting cross-legged on Vader's floor. He had not left the room, as it seemed to be the only room on the ship Serenus wouldn't barge into. “Oh? Why? This is working fine.”

“The hell it is. Look; Serenus is a Dark Sider. He’s a Sith. This is not news to you. Yes, it sucks to have had some gaps filled in that make your trauma worse. But at least you KNOW now, and you can move forward better with it.”

Obi-Wan slumped, giving up on his meditation posture. “Yes, that’s true. It just … hurts. I don't know that I ever truly left that hangar bay on Naboo, when he left me, when I found out who he really was. Why in the world did he insist I join him again? Was it to exacerbate my pain, torment me? If he just wanted a bed partner, why me? ”

"You're doing a pretty good job of tormenting yourself, actually, you hardly need him to do it for you." Vader sat down in front of him with a huff. “When he took me with him, at age 9, I was scared shitless. I had been yanked up by my roots, and the man I thought I was following turned out to be very different from what I thought. It took awhile for him to turn me Sith. He was patient. But you know who he talked about all the damn time?” He poked a finger in Obi-Wan‘s chest. “You. Obi-Wan this, Obi-Wan that. He was an asshole, and a liar, and kinda evil, but he did love you, in whatever twisted way he could. Does love you.”

Obi-Wan took Vader’s hands. “Do you know what the difference is between liking someone and loving them?”

“I have a feeling you’re about to tell me, whether I want to hear it or not.”

“Correct. Liking someone else, is about yourself. It’s about what you get out of it. Your enjoyment. Loving someone … that’s about them. Their well-being, their happiness, their safety. Love is a verb, it’s expressed in action, not passivity. And it doesn't hurt.” He closed his eyes and shook his head. “Serenus likes me. But he does not love me.”

Vader waved around in almost comic frustration. “What’s he been doing? Your quarters, taking you all over the galaxy, freeing tauntauns for some damn reason —“

“Surely you know that was about the slaves and not the tauntauns.”

“Fine whatever. But he’s been doing everything he can to make you happy.”

Obi-Wan looked around sadly. “A gilt cage is still a cage.”

A line appeared between Vader's eyes as he thought. “Doesn’t it go the other way, too? Do you love him? Do you show him love?”

Obi-Wan considered this new point carefully. “I loved Qui-Gon … who I suppose is one facet of Serenus. I may forgive him, but it will take some time. Only after that can I really find out if I love him. And yes, I am aware that I am not acting in a loving manner to him at this time.”

Vader nodded. “That’s fair.” He ran his thumbs over Obi-Wan’s knuckles. “Look, you’re super hung up on your own pain right now. But no matter what happens now, you’d do mental gymnastics to twist it around so it would hurt you again. You’re so determined to define yourself by your pain that you’re actively looking for ways to exacerbate it, to make it grow and deepen. It's very self-centered. That is an exquisitely Dark Sider thing to do.”

Obi-Wan stared at Vader with shock. It was pointedly true. “Oh,” he managed to say. How had he managed to not see that? He felt like an initiate in the creche.

Vader bit his lip. “You might think about something Serenus could do to start winning your trust back. Think about what he's already done since you came aboard, instead of old stuff you've dredged up again to rehash.”

“I’ll think about it.” That was all he could promise, right now.

Vader nodded, and scooted close enough to practically be climbing into Obi-Wan's lap. He picked up Obi-Wan's hand and turned it, to kiss Obi-Wan's palm and wrist. "The Dark and the Light are in both of us. Each serves a purpose." He kept kissing, turned the hand over, moving worshipfully and slowly. "When you think about the past, I can feel the Dark in you. It hurts you. It feeds on your pain. And it stokes my own anger. But when you look for the good in me, which I can feel you doing by the way, it brings out the Light in both of us."

Obi-Wan couldn't help but laugh, his shoulders shaking in silent chuckles. "We're quite a pair. A Jedi who can't let go of his own pain and a Sith coaching him back to the light. How'd you learn so much about the Light side anyway?"

"Well … I've been reading your books."

"What? Why? When?"

"I got bored."

Obi-Wan laughed out loud, and leaned into Vader's space to nuzzle his cheek. "Oh Serenus will love that. Don't tell him you've been studying Jedi philosophy."

"I am not suicidal, so no."

Vader smelled like metal and leather and soap and something spicy. Obi-Wan leaned in closer to nip the soft spot at the hinge of his jaw, which got him a gasp from his young lover. "What else have you found in your studies?"

"Seriously? That's a turn-on for you?" Vader laughed; he tangled a hand in Obi-Wan's hair and pulled him forward, into his lap. "Fine. Weirdo. I read about predictive models and the nature of forgiveness. When we assess someone, especially their trustworthiness, it's like data points on a graph. Only in looking at all the data points together can we get an accurate picture of who we think they are, and predict future behavior. Forgiveness can only be complete when you discount a bad event as an irrelevant data point, and stop taking it into consideration in your predictive model."

Obi-Wan sat up enough to look down at Vader. "You've been reading Gestoro. That's a hard concept to really grasp. Well done. Have you gotten to the part about recompense and redemption? About how necessary it is for the aggrieved party to see the offender compensating for the harm they caused, and making steps to prevent it from happening again?"

"I started that chapter. I haven't finished it. SOMEONE interrupted my studying by having an explosive fight with my master and moving himself into my room." Vader's hands roamed everywhere, and Obi-Wan found he liked it, not just as a way to turn off his brain, but … because it was Vader touching him. He genuinely liked the young Sith, whose sharp mind and desire to please seemed as incongruous with what Obi-Wan knew of the Sith as Serenus' doting behavior. It didn't hurt that he was absolutely gorgeous.

"Sorry," Obi-Wan said, but his mind wasn't completely on the philosophic nature of forgiveness, and he wasn't especially sorry.

Vader kissed up his neck and mouthed at the underside of his jaw, at the edge of his beard. "So take what you know of Serenus, and think of what data points he'd need to add to shift your opinion."

He was really supposed to think this through while Vader was sucking his earlobe and palming his ass? "I suppose … he'd have to give me the option to leave." At Vader's growl, he clarified, "I don't know that I would exercise the option. But I want it to be my choice to stay."

"Stay," Vader said, and bit his collarbone.

"And I think … I would ask him to renounce the Sith."

Vader froze, and pulled back enough to look up at Obi-Wan. "That might be a bridge too far."

He shrugged. "Maybe. Maybe not. But you and I both have argued for a more balanced approach to the Force, with both Dark and Light. That's a possible path. We'd hardly be the first Grays." He felt a shadow in Vader's mind, a Dark tendril that was more fear and pain than rage. He stroked his young lover's hair and said, "What is it?"

"I … I know you don't love me. I mean, I don't love you either. This is too new for that, and I don't know if that would even be possible, or desirable. But … I want to matter to you. I want to be part of your equation, a factor in what you decide to do with your life."

Obi-Wan tipped his chin up, and pressed their mouths together, sweet and soft and yielding. "You are correct," he said between kisses, "that I should consider you more carefully. If this isn't just orgasms, if you want … more? I don't know what that will look like, but I'm not saying no. And Serenus' opinion of how close we "

Vader smiled against his mouth. “In the meantime, I have to admit I’m enjoying having you all to myself. Getting to sleep next to you. Waking up to you. Especially when you woke me up this morning with a blow job, you can feel free to do that every day for the rest of our lives.” He grinned wider. “I know what he sees in you now. Besides sex.”

“Oh? Do tell. I’m curious.”

“You’re funny. In an unexpected way. Smart. Your brain works in the strangest ways, you come up with stuff I wouldn’t have. You’re gentle and soft but you’re made of durasteel. … And ok I really like fucking you.”

Obi-Wan smiled. His chest felt warm and tight at the praise. “Thank you, Vader. That’s very kind."

Vader bit his lip. “Since we’re on the topic …”

“Oh here we go.”

“Serenus told me I could do anything with you that he doesn’t.”

“That is not a long list.”

“Well it’s more than just hand jobs and blow jobs.”

"Fair point." Vader's pupils were dilated, and Obi-Wan could feel the press of his erection through his trousers. "I take it you have something in mind?"

Vader bit his lip. "I … thought maybe … you could fuck me."

The request took Obi-Wan by surprise, and he straightened up. "Really?"

"You seem to like Serenus doing it to you. Isn't it enjoyable?"

"Well yes, very. But there's a large psychological component at play also, especially depending on what kind of culture one comes from. I didn't think you'd want to be so vulnerable with me." He had to admit, the idea of being the penetrative partner with Vader was an appealing one. He didn't let himself think of it in terms of being vengeful towards Serenus, fucking his apprentice. That was a Dark path of thought he wanted nothing to do with. "I wish I could offer to be the receptive partner in that regard, but … not with things with Serenus the way they are. I've no desire to make it worse."

Vader started undoing Obi-Wan's shirt. "Tell me what it's like."

"Well … I preferred to bottom, as opposed to topping, because my mind goes blissfully blank when I submit to someone else, let them make the decisions, let them have the control." He sighed, thinking it through. "I've heard it said that the submission partner has all the power, because the top's aim is to please them and make them enjoy it. There's an argument to be made for that.

"As for the actual sex part of it … It's very vulnerable, letting someone touch you that intimately. It can feel strange at first, but it shouldn't hurt. For many, anal sex can stimulate the prostate, which is extremely pleasurable. You have to go slow, though, especially the first time. And lube, lots and lots of lubricant. Don't let anyone tell you it's not necessary. And don't use weird stuff as lubricant."

Vader pushed the tunic off Obi-Wan's shoulders. "I want you to show me."

This time their kiss was deep and hot, with Obi-Wan leading, exploring him. It was dizzying to be on this side of the power dynamic, almost disorienting. He rose to his feet and pulled Vader with him, and they discarded clothing on the way to the bed.

All the times he'd gone down on Vader, they'd never been completely naked. He couldn't stop staring - the young Sith was breathtakingly beautiful, a combination of lean muscle and endearing softness, especially with those soft, dark blonde curls. Though Vader had said he wanted to be on the receiving end of sex, he still pushed Obi-Wan down on his back on the bed. Obi-Wan moaned at the feeling of weight on top of him, and Vader's tongue plunging into his mouth in a parody of sex.

Then Vader threw a leg over him, and straddled his hips. He fumbled a bottle of oil from the bedside cabinet, then hesitated and said, "Do we need to use a condom? We probably ought to use a condom."

Obi-Wan shrugged. "If you like. Serenus and I both tested clean two weeks ago."

Vader made a decision. "Condom. Easier cleanup anyway." He fished around in the cabinet again and came up with a condom.

Obi-Wan stilled him with a hand. "Easy there. This is your first time doing this, we're going to take our time. It would be easier for you to lay down, on your back or your stomach, and let me lead."

Vader sighed and rolled them over, in a display of grace and easy strength. Obi-Wan couldn't help but want him, now that Vader was splayed beneath him, and he could rock his hips, rubbing their lengths together. That pleased them both a good while, pleasuring each other with the friction of cocks and bellies and hands. But finally, Obi-Wan dipped a finger in the oil and reached behind Vader's balls to his entrance.

He was, predictably, far too tight, and Obi-Wan coached him into relaxing, telling him how good he was, how gorgeous, murmuring in his ear, until finally he had three fingers in him easily. That was as good as it was going to get.

But when he announced he thought Vader was ready, Vader wrapped his legs around Obi-Wan and flipped them over again. Vader put the condom on Obi-Wan and added more lubricant. He grinned as he stroked the shaft. "I can't wait to have this inside me," he breathed. He raised up, and Obi-Wan helped him maneuver. They both cried out when the head of Obi-Wan's cock breached him, and Vader had to freeze, trembling, for long moments before forcing himself to relax, and easing himself down, little by little, at Obi-Wan's careful coaching.

When he bottomed out, Obi-Wan thought he might just die right there. This was bliss. Sheathed inside his beautiful young lover, bringing him exquisite pleasure, both their minds blessedly blank.

Then Vader began to move, and Obi-Wan lost all rational thought.

Vader had been nervous at first, but now he had warmed to his subject, and was examining it thoroughly. He rocked up and down, back and forth, side to side, pushed down hard, then slow. Obi-Wan thought he might go mad from the sheer amount of sensation.

Then Vader thinned his shields. Their Force signatures entwined around each other, melding like pools of watercolor paint. It was different than the tangle-of-briars joining with Serenus. Smoother, more balanced. Something snapped into place that had nothing to do with their bodies. Obi-Wan arched up against Vader, gasping and moaning. “Yes,” he said, “yes, please yes, you can have me.” He reached out for the Force, and it answered him, all light and connectivity and peace. Love is a verb, he thought. Offering to share pleasure with another is a loving act. Showing trust to another is a loving act. Giving someone what they want and need is a loving act. Telling someone else they are desirable and beautiful is a loving act.

Vader stopped suddenly, and raised up to look down on him. “What are you doing?”

Obi-Wan arched up to kiss him. “Loving,” he said.

“That feels like Light Sider stuff.”

“You’re fucking a Jedi knight, Vader, did you expect anything else?”

Vader rocked his hips slowly, just enough to feel the slight burn as Obi-Wan dragged inside him. “It’s like … when you summoned it up … it’s like fucking the Light side of the Force. Or being fucked by it. However you want to verb this.” He shivered all over. “Sith hells, it just feels so good, I want to never stop fucking you.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” Obi-Wan said, barely able to keep up his breath. “I’ll let you pour the Dark Side into me, if you let me pour the Light into you.”

Vader sped up slightly, pushing down harder. “Why would you do that?”

“Because,” he gasped, “the Light wants a piece of you. Come on, Anakin. Let me in. Let me in and you can have me over and over and over.”

Vader’s shields faltered as he drove on, thrusting onto the Jedi beneath him. Obi-Wan could feel the conflict in his mind, being overridden by how good the sex felt, how much he wanted to secure that promise for more, more, more. He wrapped a hand around Vader’s cock and pumped it in time with Vader’s thrusts, which pushed Vader over the edge. As his climax began, he cried out, and his shields fell. He let Obi-Wan into his mind as he came.

Obi-Wan took all of the Light that had been building in him, all of the ideas of love he’d been gathering, and thrust them into Vader’s mind. Vader screamed, hips still bucking, holding down his Jedi lover, digging fingernails into his shoulders so hard he left slightly bloody marks. It went on and on, Vader’s mind whirling with feelings and sensations he had no names for. Just as he started to come down, he looked down at Obi-Wan.

Whose shields were also down.

With a renewed cry, he plunged into Obi-Wan’s vulnerable mind. He poured in his fear of rejection and loneliness, his anger at both Obi-Wan and Serenus for acting like asses, his newfound passion for this Jedi idiot that he didn’t understand, because it wasn’t just orgasms, it was creeping deeper into him like roots through cracked concrete. Obi-Wan took all of that darkness, and accepted it, let it roost inside him, because there was an answering dark inside him as well. He just hadn’t been acknowledging it for what it was. Wounds he hadn’t let heal, had allowed to fester and go septic. Wounds he kept reopening and deepening with self-pity and anger and grief, with the Dark side. No wonder Windu had been afraid he’d fall.

When they finally got on top of their mental chaos, and managed to extract themselves enough to speak, Vader pushed up off Obi-Wan, sweaty and shaky.

“I think,” he said with a cracking voice, “we should have negotiated that kink first.”

Obi-Wan managed a half chuckle. “You are right. I didn’t expect that. The Force is ineffable.”

“I can’t even spell that, much less use it in a sentence.” He moved reluctantly off Obi-Wan and collapsed beside him. “What WAS that?”

Obi-Wan turned on his side, and his breath caught in his throat looking at Vader. Was what he was looking at real? Bright blue eyes, with no hint of yellow or red? He reached out tentatively with the Force, and found a bright spark of something new between them, an unintentional bond that had sprung up spontaneously. “We … might have some explaining to do to Serenus.”

“What? Why? He said it was okay. He doesn't let you fuck him like that.”

Obi-Wan pointed to the mirror on the refresher wall. “Go have a look at yourself.”

He did. A moment later, “Oh fuck.”

Chapter Text

The very first assignment Obi-Wan was given by the council after his knighting was escorting a senator during delicate negotiations when a terrorist assassination was a possibility. Great, he thought; not only had he drawn an assignment normally given to old Jedi who would not retire quietly, but it was one that kept him on Coruscant. He’d even come back to the Temple at night. “Baby’s First Mission,” he thought, picturing the well-gnawed brightly colored board books in the Temple nursery. They may as well give him a speeder with training thrusters and a plastic lightsaber while they were at it. Was he a knight or not? He could handle himself just fine, thank you very much. He’d had numerous solo missions as a Padawan more dangerous than this.

It didn’t help that EVERYONE knew what had happened. There were no neutral looks from other Jedi anymore. There were looks full of pity, or suspicion, or fear, even a few angry looks, but no neutrality. The Sith had reappeared, and he’d been trained by one.

Not that anyone thought he was a Sith. Nope, because after the Rite of Remembrance with Windu, the Jedi council had released a full report on the Sith that included Qui-Gon by necessity and Obi-Wan by association, including what Windu had learned during the Rite. They could no more untangle him from his master than they could pull the blue and yellow out of a shade of green. They claimed that it was part of their attempt to reinforce Obi-Wan’s innocence when they revealed the exact nature of his relationship with his master. Obi-Wan did not agree with this. His opinion was noted.

“It’s also part of convincing the rest of the Order that this is real,” one of the healers had tried to explain to a (very upset) Obi-Wan. He’d still been in the Halls of Healing when he found out. Good thing; they’d have readmitted him, with the amount of coaching he needed to cope with this most recent blow. “They are more likely to believe that he really is evil if they know he sexually abused his Padawan.”

Obi-Wan threw up his hands. “Why does everyone want to phrase it that way? Yes, the age gap is enormous. Yes, the power difference between us is a serious issue. Yes, there’s a conflict between being lovers and being master and Padawan. We KNEW that. We dealt with problems as they arose. But he was not unkind, most of the time. It was only AFTER that I found out the depth of his deception. If a person is traumatized, shouldn’t they, you know, not have enjoyed it?” He sat heavily in one of the too-soft chairs that always made him feel like he was going to fall through it. “Why won’t anyone listen to me when I tell them he didn’t hurt me?”

The healer meant well enough, but even she looked like she was humoring him. “It’s possible you won’t understand until you’re older, the damage that grooming and manipulation can have.”

“A person can do shitty things and not be abusive. They may just be an asshole.” His usual polite decorum seemed to have taken a vacation. He barely recognized himself when he talked.

“The definition of abuse is misuse—“

“Is my consent valid or not?”

“What do you mean?”

He tried to release his anger to the Force, but the Force seemed to have had enough of his anger recently, thank you very much, and wouldn’t take it. “Age of consent is 18. Sure, I wasn’t quite 18 when it started. But we were together for seven years. So tell me, was my consent for seven years of love and sex valid? Or is the council retroactively renouncing the validity of my consent?”

She hadn’t known what to say to that. Obi-Wan still didn’t know how to feel about it.

He just wished they’d stop handling him with kid gloves now that he’d passed his trials. Let him WORK. He wanted to just be Knight Kenobi, not Knight Kenobi, That Guy Who Got Abused By a Sith, He Must Really Be Messed Up.

All of these recent memories and thoughts were simmering in his head when he went to go meet the senator for whom he would be playing bodyguard during the difficult negotiation. He wasn’t even there to be the mediator; no, that was another Jedi’s task. He tried to put them away as he approached the gardens adjacent to the Senate where he was meeting them.

All those thoughts disappeared like smoke in a high wind, and were replaced with very different ones, as soon as he was introduced to Bail Organa, who was, to his distress, smoking hot.

One of Bail’s aides looked Obi-Wan up and down. “They make Jedi in pocket size now?”

Obi-Wan had long learned to deflect these kinds of comments, and had been about to do so when Bail said, “Master Yoda would be the pocket sized version.” Obi-Wan would have been shocked - or as shocked as a Jedi got - if not for the conspiratorial grin Bail gave him, which was followed up by, “This one’s more of the svelte, sporty class.” Then the man winked at him. WINKED!

Obi-Wan wished he had the kind of control that would have kept the warmth from crawling up his neck to his cheeks and ears. While it was true Qui-Gon (Serenus? He didn’t know what to think of the man’s names now) had praised his looks, he’d never heard it from any other source, not when he believed it was sincere, and not just flattery to try to get on his good side. But Bail had no reason to flatter him. He hadn’t been expecting the attention.

And it had thrown him off guard for a second. He corrected course quickly, and bowed lightly to the assembled senators. “You may, of course, ask for an upgrade to a sedan style Jedi,” he said, with a slight smile. “But I think you’ll find you like how I handle.”

Bail laughed. It was a lovely sound, warm and open. “And give up a handsome young Jedi with a sense of humor? Not on your life! Come, let’s go to —“

But by then Obi-Wan had stopped processing, and the restaurant they eventually arrived at was therefore a surprise to him. Someone other than Qui-Gon had called him handsome. A very lovely someone. He was nearly giddy with the rush, and hoped his dazed expression staring out the window looked like a deadly serious guard hard at work looking for potential threats. He’d been told he had resting hardass face. He hoped so.

But other people HAD praised his looks, hadn’t they? He sifted back through years of memories, picking out threads here and there, and was surprised by what he found upon reflection. It wasn’t so rare that a flirty remark was tossed his way, a bit of bait to see if he felt like biting. But Qui-Gon had always shut them down, hadn’t he? Redirecting or discouraging. Of course he had, Qui-Gon had been both his master and his lover. (And a Sith.)

But he had explained to Obi-Wan later how that remark or other didn’t count, they didn’t mean it because of this and that and another reason. He was just looking out for Obi-Wan’s feelings, he’d say.

Obi-Wan scowled out the window. Without the true north of his trust in Qui-Gon, he wasn’t sure what to believe anymore. Maybe some people had meant it. Maybe Qui-Gon had his own reasons for swaying Obi-Wan away from faith in his own attractiveness.

He didn’t like that line of thought, but it tracked.

At the restaurant, Obi-Wan politely declined a meal, as he had already eaten, and stationed himself with an easy view of the area. Now he really did watch for threats. He also ran through a series of mental exercises to focus his mind where it needed to be. On guard, protecting, not swooning because a politician flattered him.

It’s just that it’s the first time after Qui-Gon that you were acknowledged as something other than a warrior and/or broken, he thought. Get over it.

He did.

But some weeks later, when the negotiations were complete and the threat of a terrorist intervention was gone, Obi-Wan found himself mournful that his association with Bail was drawing to a close. He comforted himself with the thought that he could report a good rapport with Bail to the council, and if something involving the senator came up again, maybe he’d pull the assignment. But he suspected even that small joy would not come his way.

A different joy came his way, one he was not at all expecting.

He and Bail has an easy back and forth, the tone set by their first interaction. A long term spar of wit, flirty and just shy of suggestive at times. Bail introduced him to Corellian brandy, which was fabulous, and Obi-Wan introduced him to a series of stretches that helped Bail’s back pain from sleeping on an unfamiliar mattress. Bail asked to see the stretches a couple of times more than necessary; he may have just liked watching Obi-Wan move.

He found out early on (ok, he looked it up) that Bail was married, to the queen of Alderaan, no less. He was spoken for, so there was a kind of harmlessness in their flirting; he knew Bail didn’t mean it, wouldn’t act on it, would not be getting ideas about acquiring a Jedi consort to take home as a souvenir. It was just fun repartee. That was all. Safe.

It should be noted that Obi-Wan had exactly zero experience with both flirting and with marriage.

So he was perhaps more shocked than he should have been when the time came from them to part, and the polite good-byes had been said. He was to go report to the council now, and hopefully get a more interesting assignment. But Bail caught him by the arm.

“Knight Kenobi. A moment?”

Away from the others, Bail stepped into his personal space and bent a little to speak in his ear.

“You owe me no justification if the answer is no; I will understand. There are ample reasons to say no.”

“Bail, you are defending my own answer against me before I have given it. What in the world is the question?”

“I am leaving tomorrow for Alderaan. If you desire to spend any of that short time with me, you will be most welcome.” The implication was clear.

Obi-Wan’s eyes flew wide. “Your wife—!” he said, and it came out a little squeaky.

He smiled. “Our marriage is different from most. We each take lovers from time to time, so long as there is the understanding it cannot be permanent or exclusive. But that goes well with the Jedi tenet of no attachments, right?”

“How do you know about that?”

“I looked it up.”

Oh. Bail had looked up information about the Jedi Order. Specifically to see what their position was on romantic and sexual relationships. Looked it up with the hope of inviting Obi-Wan into his bed. He felt the blush starting at the hinge of his jaw and traveling outward. Could he escape this with dignity? Probably not. He licked his lips. “I … I need to think,” he said.

“Of course.” Bail released him and smiled. “If I do not see you again, I have enjoyed your company, sir knight, and I do hope to see you again. Maybe … a LOT of you.” His eyes raked up and down Obi-Wan‘s body, indicating those robes would look good on his floor.

Obi-Wan couldn’t help the shy smile and dropped his gaze. “Maybe. It’s … not a no.”

“I’ll take ‘not a no.’ Good evening, Obi-Wan.” And Bail touched his face with such a gentle fondness that he wanted to collapse in an emotional heap into the man’s arms. But seeing as that would be an extremely un-Jedi-like thing to do in multiple ways, he simply said “Good evening, Bail,” and tried not to be too breathless about it.

He didn’t need to think long about it, as it turned out. He found himself outside Bail’s rooms a few hours later, and Bail let him in with a welcoming smile.

They didn’t sleep that night, though they fell into a happy doze in the early morning hours. Bail was so very different from Qui-Gon. There was a reverence in his touch, whereas with Qui-Gon it had been possessiveness. He was gentle where Qui-Gon was rough, and Obi-Wan let him think it was necessary to be so careful. Like Obi-Wan hadn’t been long used to sex that hurt before it felt good, that ended in applications of bacta and not being able to sit right the next day. Qui-Gon always said he was sorry for being too rough, but he never stopped doing it, either.

And Bail was surprised that the quiet, mostly-serious, all-deadly Jedi was open to bottoming. Was eager to do so, in fact. But when he found out that Obi-Wan had never topped, had only had one partner ever (“You broke up?” “Something like that.”), he was thrilled to show him the ropes. It was a very different kind of intimacy, and he found it incredibly pleasurable, though he suspected he would always prefer to be the one on his back with his legs spread.

He saw Bail numerous times over the years, and every time, he had an invitation, but he never assumed. He met Breha, by coincidence rather than intent. She looked him up and down, looked up at her husband, and said “Nice catch, darling, very well done indeed.” And they had grinned at each other with a radiance that made Obi-Wan clench his teeth to keep from saying anything about it out loud.

He harbored a handful of fantasies about it being more than it was. If he ever left the Order, for whatever unfathomable reason, he could live on Alderaan, in the palace, and he could be a third for them, a tidy triad of lovers. He’d be their consort. He’d be theirs, if they wanted him. He knew he liked being with Bail, and Bail had such a good opinion of Breha he was sure he’d like her too. Besides, they had shone so lovely in the Force. If the Jedi ever decided they were through with him … it would be a good idea to have a Plan B. At least a soft landing.

But Breha never gave any indication she was inclined towards him in more than a friendly manner, and Bail never so much as invited him to visit on Alderaan. The little fantasy he kept buried at the back of his mind, which he only brought out when he lay in bed at night and was safely alone and shielded, and never allowed to grow into something as dangerous as hope, slowly wilted and died. His infrequent meetings with Bail, the only other person he ever allowed himself to want more than sex from, became so infrequent as to be effectively over. When he found out that Bail had moved his rooms on Coruscant quite far from the Temple, it felt like a last nail in the coffin. He imagined it had not even occurred to Bail that it was moving him farther away from Obi-Wan. He hadn’t been a factor at all.

It was for the best, really.

 

#####

 

Vader and Obi-Wan locked the door, raised their Force shields, and shared a nervous, silent glance before sending a comm to Serenus. He answered it, and glared at them blearily. They’d woken him up. Not the best way to start. “What is it?”

Vader took a big breath. “Master, please don’t be mad.”

Serenus’ golden eyes narrowed. “I promise nothing. What’s going on? You’re shielding. Why are you masking your eyes like that?”

Vader tensed hard enough that Obi-Wan could feel it in the Force, like an idling. “Obi-Wan and I, uh, forged a Force bond. We didn’t mean to! I’m … not masking.”

Serenus stared hard at him, silent for long moments, then turned a slow look at Obi-Wan at his shoulder. “So. You’ve chosen to oppose me.” The comm clicked off, the screen black.

“Fuck.” Vader curled over himself. “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.”

“Get up, get your saber, you may have to fight.”

“I can’t fight my master!” Vader made a keening noise, and Obi-Wan left him to lose his shit in front of the console. Serenus was coming. He heard the man’s heavy boot falls coming towards the room, down the metal corridor. He held his lightsaber, inactive, in his hand, to the side of the door.

He felt Serenus on the other side of Vader’s door. The Sith master activated his lightsaber. Obi-Wan’s gut twisted. Without Vader, he knew he couldn’t take Serenus in a fight. The Dark side had too much sheer power behind it, especially in Serenus’ hands, especially in this mood.

“That’s close enough,” Obi-Wan said.

“Surrender my apprentice to me.”

“So you can kill him?”

“He’s mine to kill if I desire.”

“Not anymore. Go fuck yourself.”

Serenus paused for a long moment. “How crass.” He raised his lightsaber, and plunged it towards the door.

It never made contact. It turned off before it hit the wall, and Serenus stumbled, overcorrecting. He turned the saber back on. Obi-Wan concentrated on the crystal in the saber, almost as familiar to him as his own, and flicked it off again.

“I can do this all day,” he said to Serenus through the wall.”

“Ohhh, you obstinate, slithery, half-truthing, cock-sucking son of a bantha!” Serenus roared at the door. There came a flattering sound, and Obi-Wan knew Serenus had thrown his lightsaber back down the hallway.

“Who’s crass now?”

“I’ll draw and quarter the both of you when I get in there!”

“That doesn’t give us much incentive to cooperate, now does it?” Obi-Wan looked at Vader. The poor kid was sitting on the floor by the comm, knees drawn up to his chest, fear swallowing up everything else about him.

Great. Fear to his left, rage to his right. Obi-Wan leaned his forehead against the closed door and squeezed his eyes shut.

“What’s the difference between the Light and the Dark sides of the Force, Serenus?”

“Like you don’t know!”

“There is a point to this exercise.”

He felt Serenus pause in his rage, momentarily tempered by the cerebral question. “The Dark is passion, control of your own destiny, fueling your power with rage, feeding off the fear of others. It’s powerful, intoxicating, selfish.”

“And the Light?”

“The Light exists to bind others together, to serve the many instead of the one. It is peace and tranquility, protective and nurturing.”

Obi-Wan put his back to the door and slid down. “It sounds to me that if one is not living the Jedi code, or the Sith code … you need both.”

Oh that piqued Serenus’ interest. He considered a long moment, then said, “You’re talking about the Greys.”

“Yes I am. A Jedi on a Sith ship is not sustainable; the Light and the Dark don’t fight each other when we’re trying to cohabitate, especially,” he laughed, “especially when we’re fucking. Especially when … something like love gets involved. Then the Light and the Dark don’t fight, they BLEND. We’re in too close quarters, two extremes. The way I see it there’s two paths out of this.”

“Three,” Serenus said. “Option number one, I kill you, and possibly kill Vader for having turned from the Sith code.”

“Now that doesn’t sound like much fun for anyone. Do you really want to kill me, Serenus? After all you went through to get me? We both know a lightsaber is not what you want to spear me with.”

There were long moments while Serenus drew back from the Dark side enough to assess his thoughts. It was interesting, Obi-Wan thought, in an academic sense; like watching flood waters recede.

“No,” Serenus said at last. “I don’t want to kill you, kithien. Even though what you have done is a trespass I never imagined possible.”

Obi-Wan could hear the pain and grief in his voice. They were getting somewhere. “I didn’t think it was possible either, but for different reasons. It really was an accident, Vader and I Force bonding.”

There was a break in his voice as Serenus said, “Did you let him fuck you?”

Stars above, was that really what he was worried about, whose cock was in whose ass? “Rather the other way around. You did give him permission to do that, yes?”

“... Oh. Huh. I didn’t think he’d want to.”

Vader laughed, but it was a broken, bitter sound.

Obi-Wan

“Option two. You let me go. We disentangle the Light and the Dark, and I take the Light with me when I leave.” He met Vader’s stricken eyes and continued, “And you give Vader the opportunity to leave if he wants. If he wants to stay and return to the Sith, you let him do that. If he wants to leave with me, you let him do that. If he wants to fly off to the Outer Rim and take up stripping in a Hutt palace, you let him do that. You give him the choice. You don’t kill him.”

“I don’t like that option any more than I like option one.”

“Third option, then.” The door was cold against his back. Vader was watching him with eyes puffy and red from tears. He was so very young. “We all go Grey.”

Silence from both the Sith. Vader even stopped sniffling. Finally Serenus said, “Renounce both the Jedi and the Sith?”

“Yes.”

“You would … do that for me.” A wave of surprise and warmth emanated from the other side of the door.

“I’d do it for all our sakes. Yours, my own, and Vader’s.” Vader started crying again, but now it was just an overabundance of emotion that had no way out except tears. “I’d do it for the Force. I can’t be a true Jedi here anyway. I would renounce my vows, as much good as they do me now anyway. I couldn’t go back to the Jedi if I ever left you. Does that give you some measure of security? Some assurance of my sincerity?”

He could feel Serenus’ presence in the Force, heavy and confused but full of a great longing. “We’d rebuild our Force bond?”

“Yes. Which is apparently possible; I didn’t think a bond was even possible between a Dark Sider and a Light Sider if one wasn’t actively shielding the other.”

“A gray bond, I suppose,” Serenus said. “They weren’t supposed to exist.”

“Not getting much out of ‘supposed to’ these days.”

“No, I suppose not.” Serenus pulled his presence back in himself, like a bird folding its wings. “I must reflect upon this. I will take us to a Gray temple. There, we can ask the Force for guidance.”

Maybe I can save us all with the power of my magical ass, Obi-Wan thought, and nearly laughed at himself and the absurdity of the situation.

Vader wiped his nose with his sleeve. “What if we all just, like, talked to each other?”

It sounded simple, didn’t it?

Chapter Text

“You can come out now,” Serenus said through the comm.

Obi-Wan left the window, where he had watched their descent through the atmosphere— the curving swell of the planet as they approached, the brightening light, the stars and the black of space fading like a rapid sunrise. They’d landed softly on a broad beach between rocky hills and a sandy shore. Lake or ocean? He couldn’t tell. He went to the door, his attention shifting from the external to the internal. He sensed no malice. He drew a deep, steadying breath, and opened the door.

Serenus stood at the end of the corridor, wearing a very somber expression. Obi-Wan left the relative safety of Vader’s quarters and approached him cautiously.

“You’re not going to try to kill us, are you?” He couldn’t keep all of the ice out of his voice. Just most of it.

Serenus heaved a great sigh. “No. I am deeply sorry for my reaction. I was wrong. I have been meditating upon the events of this morning; I acted out of my fear of betrayal. Liars expect to be lied to. Thieves expect others to steal from them. I do not pretend not to know why I fear betrayal and abandonment as I do.”

“Thank you,” Obi-Wan said, and a part of his gut unclenched. “I wasn’t sure if you cared about the betrayal part of our past.”

“I do. I had not realized how much.” He took a step forward, raising yellow and red eyes to see past Obi-Wan into Vader’s rooms.

“He’s almost certainly hiding,” Obi-Wan said.

“I’m not hiding,” Vader said, from his rooms, where he was hidden.

“Come out, Vader. You’ve nothing to fear from me right now. Truce.”

Vader cautiously edged into view. He held his lightsaber casually, like he wasn’t ready to swing into action with it. “What happens now?”

Serenus looked strangely wistful as he gazed upon his apprentice, sporting newly blue eyes. “I’ve never seen a Sith fall before. But then, there are so very few of us. Sidious, Maul, Vader, myself. A handful of others.”

Obi-Wan’s brow furrowed. “Where did the idea that there are only ever two Sith come from?”

Serenus rolled his eyes. “Oh that. The rule of two means we come in pairs, a master and an apprentice. Trios or more tend to become pairs shortly, with two of them ganging up to kill the third.”

Obi-Wan nodded. “That makes a lot more sense.” He cast a look back at Vader. “Is that part of what upset you about my presence? That if I fell to the Dark side, one of us would end up dead?”

“It crossed my mind,” Vader said.

To Serenus, “So … what’s happened? What does a … a fall to the Light side mean for him?”

Serenus folded his hands inside his sleeves, and if he’d been wearing linen and wool in shades of brown instead of gray and green silks, he would have looked exactly like the reflective Jedi master Obi-Wan remembered. “It means he has strayed far enough away from the Dark side to no longer have it channeling through him. The Light has quieted the Dark, making it more of a still pond than a swiftly moving river.”

“I have to concentrate to feel it,” Vader said. “Oh it’s so strange, is this what Jedi feel like all the time?”

Serenus gestured to the back of the ship, past Obi-Wan and Vader. “Let us go outside. It is too long since I was connected to a planet’s energy.”

It was evening of the same day as Vader’s fall for them, more or less, according to their artificial circadian rhythms, but it was morning planetside. Out the window, the light of the planet they’d landed on had a newly-minted look about it; the rain had just stopped, and in fact the storm could still be seen, moving down along the coastline in the distance. The sunlight was pale through the cloud cover but with occasional breakthroughs, here then gone again. One of Obi-Wan’s year mates in the crèche had called that “rainshine.” He wondered if this planet’s atmosphere allowed for rainbows.

“Where are we?”

“Erastine. It’s towards the Outer Rim, unpopulated.”

He frowned. “It has a very strange Force presence. Almost like …”

“Like the Light and Dark are more of a spectrum here than a binary,” Vader cut in, and his eyes lit up with excitement. “I’ve read some theories about it, Voronor from Alderaan wrote about it.”

“In ‘The Vastness of Being,’” Obi-Wan supplied. “It didn’t make him very popular with other Force scholars.” He was quietly impressed that Vader had gotten through Voronor, the man had taken ten pages to say what could have been a paragraph, and was as dry as a Tattooine summer. Vader lit up, and Obi-Wan realized Vader could feel his approval through their Force bond.

“What, academics don’t like being told they’re full of crap because our understanding of the nature of the universe is tiny and shoddy at best compared to the reality?” Vader grinned, a little feral looking. “DO TELL.” Despite the day of terror and uncertainty, Vader was now basking in the pride of having impressed his bondmate. If he had a tail, he’d have wagged it.

"Serenus, do you mind telling us where we're going?" Despite Serenus' apology earlier, he didn't like following the man blindly.

"Not far. There's a cave around that stand of rocks, and the ruins of a temple on the other side of the ridge. The cave ought to be dry."

Dry would be good, he thought; the wet sand underfoot was difficult to slog through. It wasn't so saturated as they walked higher, and by the time they got to the cave, Obi-Wan had just about gotten around to thinking it was a pleasant walk.

The cave itself was deep and narrow, and a whistling bit of wind coming from the back told them the cave went all the way through the hillside. Obi-Wan knew better than to want to go exploring; caves that seemed simple and straight-forward could often become treacherous, when passages narrowed and branched and dropped off unexpectedly. He had been in an underwater cave exactly twice in his life, once on Naboo and once as a knight on a mission, and one of his fondest hopes for the future was that there would never again be cause to go into an underwater cave.

Serenus sat cross-legged on the floor, careless of the dusty ground, and opened the bag he'd brought with him.

"Oh thank Force," Vader said when Serenus pulled out food and canteens, and plunked down. Obi-Wan sat beside him, unwilling to move very far away from him. The feeling of protectiveness was new; he’d never been inclined to shield Vader from Serenus before. But then, he’d not been bonded to him before.

After they'd eaten, Serenus reached a hand out to each of them, and they cautiously took it. "I have something to say. My darlings," he said. "I have wronged you. I have thought of you as my possessions, when you are my allies, and my partners. The Sith lifestyle has always been one of near-solitude, because of the selfish nature of the absolute freedom the code exemplifies." Rubbing his thumb over their knuckles, he said, "But I find as I grow older that a solitary life feels empty and without meaning. I have experienced my greatest joy with you two. The past months have been difficult, I am well aware, but with you, Vader, my immensely talented apprentice; and you, Obi-Wan, my lover … I have experienced a happiness and a contentment I have never felt before.

"I thought perhaps it was just the satisfaction of having what I wanted, having control of you both. That lack of control is why I flew into a rage earlier today. It is a weakness, needing control, and it is my burden to overcome it. But upon reflection, I think my contentment … does not require control. And in fact, may be better off without it."

Obi-Wan listened and thought. When it seemed Serenus had said his piece, he said, "I know I have not been easy to deal with. As Vader has observed, I take laps on old hurts, bringing them back to the fore without actually moving past them. I trace over them like a map of familiar country." Cutting his eyes over at Vader, he said, "Your apprentice has surprised me, Serenus. He's frighteningly clever. Young and sometimes a handful, but he has managed to work his way into my fond opinion."

"Oh, don't gush," Vader said with a curl of his lip.

Obi-Wan closed his eyes and huffed. "Alright, fine. He's beautiful and brilliant and observant even when I don't particularly want to be observed."

"Better." Vader looked mollified. "Of the three of us, I think I've been the most accommodating. I haven't tried to kill anyone. I haven't upset the balance of the Force. I have only ever been a diligent student and an astounding lover."

"I see you'll fill in the blanks yourself when you don't think I'm effusive enough."

"I'm setting the good example my much-elders apparently need." A pulse of affection went through their bond, and it felt like his heart swelled.

"ANYWAY," Serenus said, wrenching back control of the conversation, "I have been considering what Obi-Wan suggested, that we all become Grays. This is a murky path; with any spectrum-based Force philosophy, there is much more nuance and much less certainty. It's more of a lifelong search for intuitive truth than it is following a well-trodden path." He closed his eyes and squeezed their hands. "But I cannot imagine any path that I would want to follow if I did not have the two of you with me. What use power and control when you have nothing you care about to protect?"

"I was wrong," Obi-Wan said softly. "You're not so very different from Qui-Gon."

"I'd like the two of you to meditate with me here, where the Force is, itself, Gray. Where there is no true Dark or Light, only the Force, and any Dark or Light comes from within ourselves. There are some who say that is the truth of the Force, that when we speak of the Dark or the Light, we are only speaking of our own minds. Whatever the metaphysical truth of the matter, here it is easy to feel. Meditate with me here, and think to yourself … what do you want?"

 

#####

 

They woke with the dawn the next day. The previous day and night had been filled with meditations, talking, more talking, a little bit of sleep with someone’s head pillowed on someone else’s chest or thighs or arm, going back to the ship for more food, and then more talking. Now they found the Force sang through their bonds, content and in tune with each other. An old Light bond, broken but healing; a new Gray bond, like a tender shoot extending its first leaves and tendrils from the ground; and a Dark training bond, uncertain and strained.

When it was light enough, Serenus lead them the rest of the way over the ridge, to where an old temple stood. Green-gray walls rose around them as they entered, thick with moss. The roof had burned long ago, and now only a few petrified charred timbers were left to tell the story. Wind and time had swept the ash and wood from the floor of the temple, leaving a few remains clinging to the corners. It was quiet, except for the water’s endless churning beyond the ridge. The sky above was a dim sandy pink, a solid mass of clouds over most of the planet’s surface.

There was a stone slab of an altar at the back of the temple. There were alcoves all around with stands; perhaps they had once held statues. Now they were empty. Serenus put down his bag and draped a thick, soft cloth over the altar, then placed a stoppered blue bottle and a crinkly plastic package beside it. He shrugged off his cloak and draped it over the remains of a low wall.

“What’s all this?” Obi-Wan asked.

“This,” Serenus said, gesturing around, “was a Gray temple. There are catacombs of a sort through the hills, and not a single written word here or anywhere else to tell us about their lives. We come to the Force unencumbered with preconceived ideas about what should be, how things work.” He dropped his arm. “I thought it a good place to try something new.”

“And what would that new thing be?”

“Gray bonds. Balanced, neither Light nor Dark. Or both. One already exists. We need but turn the other two.”

Obi-Wan looked back at Vader. “Is that what happened? A Gray Force bond?”

“Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before; bonds tend to swing one direction or another. Only two as powerful and reckless as you could have accomplished by accident what many have attempted and failed to do deliberately.” Serenus smirked, and Obi-Wan could feel his amusement in the Force. “I intend to initiate a Gray Force bond with you both myself. No, Vader, don’t look like that, I am not going to be intimate with you.”

“You very well fucking will not!” Vader squeaked.

“With your consent, of course, Obi-Wan. Since intimacy was a factor in the creation of your bond, I’d like to recreate the circumstances as closely as possible for the bond between us.” He gestured to the altar. “If you’ll have me.”

Obi-Wan stared at Serenus. Renew his Force bond with this man who had caused him so much pain? He considered his options carefully. He could resist. He could refuse. But pitting himself against Serenus put Vader in the middle. And he had seen real change in him, could feel the shift —

“I can see you overthinking,” Vader said, and turned Obi-Wan towards him. “It doesn’t have to be so complex. Turn him Gray, and stay with us. Turn Gray yourself. The three of us can make it work. What was it you said, in the midst of our bonding? Love is a verb. If we keep choosing each other, keep loving … it can work. It can be good.” He dropped his forehead to Obi-Wan’s. “Can you love him?”

Obi-Wan squeezed his eyes shut against tears. He had loved Qui-Gon. But thinking of Serenus as who he really was, with his passion and intellect and the very shape of his mind, and all the shades of Qui-Gon that were still present in him …

“I do. Stars help me, I do.” He felt Serenus’ spirit sing beside him, overjoyed to hear it. He looked at Vader’s eyes, a few inches away. “But I can feel a love between us — just starting out, new and fresh. Can each of you share me with the other? Not grudgingly.”

Vader shrugged. “I’ve never had a long term lover before. I can’t promise to never be at all jealous, but I can promise to be honest about it, and talk it out.”

Obi-Wan looked over at Serenus. “And you? I am well aware of your possessiveness.”

Serenus felt calm and assured in the Force, not a bit as perturbed as Obi-Wan would have expected. “I am surprised at my own willingness to share you with him. I thought I would burn with jealousy, but I do not. It brings me a strange kind of joy to see you two bound to each other. I … think I like it.״

“This is all horribly unhealthy,” Obi-Wan muttered.

“I don’t think our group does ‘healthy’,” Vader muttered back.

Obi-Wan stepped back from Vader. “Alright. Gray bonds all around. I’m ready.”

Serenus lead Obi-Wan to the altar; he wrapped his arms around him from behind. He splayed large hands over chest and abdomen and shoulders and sides, and Obi-Wan could feel his Force signature opening up, inviting him. “I’m going to take you here, where the spectrum of the Force is at its peak, and let you into my mind. Let me into yours as well, kithien. Let me bind you to me, as I will be bound to you.” As he spoke he pulled Obi-Wan’s tunic off of him, slowly, reverently, sliding it down his shoulders and kissing his back as skin was exposed.

Serenus pushed him against the altar and bent him over it roughly. Obi-Wan was thankful for the cloth, which made the stone edges bearable. Serenus slid his pants down, then knelt and removed them completely, along with his boots. Obi-Wan shivered, both from the cold and the heightened awareness of being naked with his two clothed lovers. He felt Serenus’ fingers slide along the cleft of his ass, spreading oil, and blood rushed to his groin, then all Obi-Wan could think about was how much he wanted Serenus inside him. In his mind. Claiming him. He canted his hips up, and Serenus groaned.

“I love it when you invite me in like that,” he said, and leaned over him, breath hot and quick against his ear. “I wish I could plunge directly into you. But I have no desire to hurt you.” Serenus gestured Vader over. “Here. You take him first. Open him up, physically and mentally. Open your bond. Let me see it in all its glory.”

“This is a little fucked up,” Vader whispered in a high tone to himself, but when Serenus moved away, he took his place at the altar. Obi-Wan heard his pants unzip. There was something about being bent over and hearing a fly unzip behind him that flushed his body with arousal. It felt so vulnerable, so anticipatory.

Vader pressed the tip of his oiled against Obi-Wan‘s ass. Obi-Wan concentrated on relaxing, opening those muscles to allow the intrusion, and opened up his mind too, letting his shields melt away. Vader opened their bond, which was still growing and strengthening, as head of his cock popped past the tight ring of muscle.

“Oh Force,” he said, “I could just … stay right here forever. That feels so good. Oh gods I've wanted to fuck you, I am not gonna last super long today.”

“Then you can fuck me more than once,” Obi-Wan breathed. The burn was fading already as Vader pushed further inside, penetrating him bit by bit. He opened his end of the bond to Vader, and sensation poured into him. It would be easy to get lost in the feedback loop - he could feel what it was like for Vader, to be inside him, and Vader could feel what it felt like to be on the receiving end. Obi-Wan wrestled control of it before they were both overwhelmed by sensation. There - the Force flowed through them, giving a sharp note of power every time Vader thrust forward, slowly, carefully.

Then Serenus was in front of him, touching his mouth. Obi-Wan looked up, and found himself looking at Serenus’ cock, inches away. He put his cock against Obi-Wan’s lower lip, and Obi-Wan sank over it, drawing the tip into his mouth. Seventeen years ago, he’d been nervous to do as his master asked, and use his mouth. Qui-Gon has been patient, instructing him, encouraging him, and he’d taught his Padawan how to suck cock like a pro. A skill that many in the galaxy had come to appreciate, Obi-Wan thought. But this particular cock … this was the one he had learned on, and still wanted.

His jaw ached already at opening wide enough to take Serenus’ girth. His hands were busy trying to keep his balance with Vader thrusting into his ass. Serenus grabbed his hair and controlled how deep he went, at what pace. He felt Serenus prodding at his mind; he opened his shabby, half-broken bond to Serenus, and fed the Force through it like opening a dam.

He would have screamed if his mouth hadn’t been full of cock. The intensity of emotion overwhelmed him. Yes, Serenus was possessive and had done horrible things to him, but the Light he poured into Serenus reshaped those desires, recentered them, from taking to giving. Serenus cried out, too, his very soul morphing to let the bond take root deep inside him. He bent over Obi-Wan, scratching up his back as he scrambled for purchase. Behind him, Vader sped up, pistoning hard into him now, and gripping his hips, drawing Obi-Wan back onto his cock with every thrust.

They both felt Vader climax, rocking inside him, sharing his ecstasy with them. It pushed Obi-Wan over the edge, and he came untouched, moaning around the cock in his mouth.

Which was suddenly gone. Serenus walked around the altar, then oh Force, Vader pulled out of him, and Serenus was behind him, he could hear the slick sound of oil being spread over a cock, then a much larger pressure at his ass, and Serenus entered him.

“YES,” Obi-Wan yelled, “yes, please, fuck me —“ He trailed off in incoherent statements of approval. He loved taking a big cock - but then, that was what his first experience had been, he’d been conditioned to it. The bond was wide open between them, and Serenus used it to maximize Obi-Wan‘s pleasure, reading through the bond what felt best. He had Obi-Wan climaxing again within minutes, and just … kept going, fucking him through it.

Vader appeared in front of him, freshly cleaned cock in hand and hardening again. So that was what the crinkly package had been — sterilization wipes. Obi-Wan eagerly took Vader into his mouth, sucking hard. He tasted faintly medicinal at first, then it faded. Vader grabbed his hair and fucked his mouth, and Obi-Wan thought he’d never been fucked like this, not with two Force bonds open in him, pouring pleasure into him, they felt so good in his body, so good in his mind. Serenus reached around and grabbed his cock, pumped it in time with his thrusts. They worked in him, over and over, each pump of their cocks like a heartbeat, and it just went on and on, building. Just as he got to where he wondered how long he could keep going, before the ache in his jaw and the burn in his ass became too much, Vader pushed roughly down his throat, breath hitching. Obi-Wan swallowed around him; he felt the strength of Vader’s orgasm in his own mind, and came over Serenus' fist. Vader pulled out, and Serenus flipped him effortlessly onto his back; he covered Obi-Wan, bent his knees to his chest, entered him again, and fucked him as hard and fast as Obi-Wan could take it. He felt Serenus climax in him, hot and wet, and pushed it into Obi-Wan's mind through their bond, making him come again.

He had lost count of how many times he’d climaxed by the time his exhausted lover finally pulled out, spent, and collapsed onto the altar beside him. Obi-Wan lay there, body shaking uncontrollably, even the faint wind feeling like too much stimulation. He stared at the sky, his mind blessedly blank.

Finally Serenus hauled himself up. He wiped Obi-Wan down, all over, taking away the very soiled mat they’d lain on. He gave both him and Vader bottles of water, which they downed. The Force hummed among them, bright and full of power. Obi-Wan reached out to try to settle it, to absolutely no effect.

“I think we’re just going to have to wait for the bonds to calm down,” Serenus said. “Right now they’re like open wounds in our minds, and we’re bleeding into each other. They will stabilize, but only with time.”

It was amazing, feeling both the Light and the Dark and not being able to tell one from the other, not struggling against each other but augmenting each other. But Obi-Wan hoped it calmed soon; it echoed his overstimulation.

Serenus got Obi-Wan back into his clothes. It was a long, slow walk to the ship, and Obi-Wan was going to be amazingly sore tomorrow. It would be awhile before he wanted to do something like that again. He needed food. And a shower. And so much sleep, hopefully touching both his lovers.

Serenus turned to him and smiled, having caught the thought. “We’ll all sleep in my bed tonight, it’s the largest. No worries, kithien, we won’t leave you alone after that.”

“So long as he’s in the middle,” Vader piped up.

Serenus sighed. “Yes, we know, I will not be touching you, Vader. And you also will refrain from touching me.”

Obi-Wan smiled wide. Not because of what Serenus has said, but because his eyes were no longer the gold of a Sith. They had returned to their familiar gray. He was so beautiful, Obi-Wan thought, with the Light and Dark flowing through him. Vader as well, who had caught up to them, and almost shyly laced his fingers through Obi-Wan‘s. He was still a little afraid for his place, unsure. Obi-Wan sent reassuring waves of Force to him, and the young man brightened. With the Light and Dark in him, he was a supernova waiting to happen. Obi-Wan looked forward to seeing what he’d become.

This was going to be difficult to explain to Yoda. Since he’d turned Gray himself, they’d certainly never let him back into the Jedi, should something happen to his Gray companions. But that was alright. There was truth to be found in this new aspect of the Force, good to be done, freedom to roam the galaxy.

And two dicks to satisfy. Well, he liked a challenge

Chapter Text

“And that’s how I got them to renounce the Sith and become Grays with me.” Obi-Wan smiled brightly, as if the story he had just related was normal and reasonable and fine, just fine, everything was fine.

The Jedi council stared at Obi-Wan through the comm link. Yoda was trying not to laugh.

Vader (who had PROMISED to stay quiet, it was the condition of him being allowed to stay in the room) leaned over his shoulder and said “Are you explaining how you weaponized sex to fight evil?”

Obi-Wan rubbed his forehead. “I am just about over the slut shaming, Vader.”

“I’m not shaming you! You should be PROUD! The power of your ass turned our souls to the light!”

Obi-Wan punched a button and muted his side of the conversation. “Do you mind? I’m talking to — well you know very well who I’m talking to, that’s WHY you’re doing this. Get lost.”

“Obi-Wan,” Yoda called, “Obi-Wan! Hear we cannot.” He didn’t even try to hide his laughter.

“I’ll be good,” Vader said, and backed away.

Obi-Wan scowled, turned back to the screen, and unmuted. “So. I wrote up a treatise on the Gray bonds. If you want to have some of the Jedi look at the bonds in the Force, I think I could convince Serenus and Vader to allow it. For academic purposes.”

Vader, grinning and out of view of the camera, said over their bond, ‘They should examine your sexiness for academic purposes.’ Obi-Wan studiously ignored him.

“What is your intention going forward, Kenobi?” Windu said, leaning forward on his knees. “What role can three Force bound Grays play in the grand scheme of things?”

“I admit that I don’t know. That is part of what we are figuring out. But in the event there are injustices that the council cannot fight, because their hands are tied …” He shrugged, all mock innocence. “I can see how that information might make its way to us."

"Like the rumors we've heard of three Force users with lightsabers liberating a fleet of slaves on the Outer Rim? Or how the richest Canto Bight casino owner was suddenly motivated to donate a huge chunk of his wealth to an Alderaanian orphanage? Or the destruction of the Hutt drug shipment near Naboo? Or the destruction of the terrorist base on Mandalore?"

"That last one was not us," Obi-Wan said.

"Useful it would be, knowing powerful free agents," Yoda observed.

"I guarantee nothing," Windu said.

"Nor do I, Master Windu." Obi-Wan leaned his chin on his hand. "But I have a copy of 'The Vastness of Being' if you'd like to feel even less sure."

"Thank you, Kenobi, we have a library." He looked around the council room. "While I cannot say I am happy with having lost a Jedi knight, it sounds like it was a net win, given how few Sith there are in the galaxy. I'm going to count it as a win, anyway."

"A pity, it is," Yoda said, studying his gimer stick, "that recreated, your methods for turning cannot be."

He was pretty sure Yoda was kidding, but he answered him seriously. "I don't know that that's true, Master Yoda," Obi-Wan said. "Loving someone in spite of their flaws and mistakes, in spite of your own fear and anger, is difficult but not impossible. It's two -- uh, or in this case three -- people doing so at the same time, for each other, that makes us so improbable. I am convinced now it takes both the Light and the Dark to love, because love without passion is inert.”

Yoda's smile spread across his whole broad, green face. "Look forward to reading your writing, I do, Gray Kenobi. May the Force be with you. All of the Force. For all three of you."

Obi-Wan inclined his head. It was certainly more of a nod of respect from the grandmaster than he had ever expected. "Thank you, Master Yoda. I'll be in touch." He switched off the comm and looked over the screen at Vader with a huff. "Was that necessary?"

"Oh. It was super necessary. You'd have spent all day discussing Force philosophy if I hadn't needled you into speeding it up."

"You're not wrong. You're just an asshole."

"You ADORE my asshole." Vader came around to loop his arms around Obi-Wan, and brushed their minds against each other. Obi-Wan remembered sharply that Serenus had done the same thing to him when he had first boarded the ship, but from Vader, the gesture was affectionate and kind, with none of the presumption and possessiveness. He reflected that Serenus had not done it again since Obi-Wan had told him not to. Maybe the time had come to let go of that boundary. Vader hummed and kissed his ear, breaking into his thoughts. "You were going to teach me how to suck cock today. Remember? Since Serenus is off doing some meditation-on-the-mountain thing?"

"Of course I remember. I will teach you, as my master taught me."

Vader stood up. "Ugh, that still weirds me out a little. I'll get over it, but it's like sharing a lover with my dad."

Obi-Wan stood up. "Lucky for you, none of us have fathers, what would we know about them?" He pulled Vader in for a kiss, and it turned long and soft. Finally he broke away, unable to stop smiling. "Come on then, Skywalker. I do so love being your teacher."