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She wasn't present when Obi-Wan arrived – by his own design and with the Chancellor's aid. Padme Amidala, lately the most conniving, vicious, and effective of all the politicians in the Senate, had been called away from her apartment to tend to matters concerning the new regulations she was pushing through for the Jedi Order. She was sole author of the bill, its primary champion, and even her loyal allies were wary of moving forward with any changes to it without first consulting her.

Even at this late an hour, even with such a minor change to the wording.

Despite himself, Obi-Wan made note to thank the Chancellor for inspiring Senator Chuchi to move the punctuation around in the draft she sent to Padme. He hopped lightly from his Temple issue speeder onto the landing pad at the penthouse of 500 Republica, hand near his blade as he crept warily into the apartment.

Illumination turned on automatically as he entered, as did the rather gauche water feature in the central of the room. Obi-Wan eyed it with distaste as he made his way around the perimeter, avoiding the furniture and cleaving closely to the walls. Not that it mattered if he was visible on the security cameras.

Anakin had surely sensed him from the moment he arrived.

Obi-Wan paused before ascending the steps to the chambers on the second floor, cocking his head as he attenuated his senses. For a man so brilliantly luminous in the Force, Anakin had been rather difficult to sense of late. Amidala's doing, he was sure, convincing Anakin to weaken his ties with the Jedi Order so that she might more easily bend him to her will.

Rather than following their Force bond, Obi-Wan deferred to his own physical senses. And, he was quite thankful to note, they did not lead him to the bedroom, but to the kitchen where he found Anakin rattling around.

Anakin looked up as he entered and then back to the preservation unit. He withdrew a large bottle of blue milk and poured himself a generous measure before replacing it and shutting the door with his foot. He brushed past Obi-Wan without a word.

"I don't care for milk, no, thank you," Obi-Wan said to his back.

"I know," Anakin called. "That's why I didn't offer."

Anakin padded his way through the apartment, relaxed in a way Obi-Wan had rarely seen him. He felt a momentary pang as he followed Anakin to what was now his workshop; days earlier, Amidala had sent her own security to remove all of Anakin's remaining projects from the Temple, putting them on notice, as it were, as to precisely where Anakin belonged. All Obi-Wan had to do was remember the tight and angry look on Amidala's face when the Council attempted to protest the invasion to dismiss his momentary concern that, perhaps, Anakin truly was happy with this arrangement.

She was acting wildly out of character and had been since the incident with Mother Talzin. That Anakin apparently liked being treated roughly and possessively spoke only to Obi-Wan's own oversights in Anakin's education.

He'd thought that being cherished in the light of the Temple would be a way to mend the wounds of slavery. More the fool him.

Anakin caught the emotion underlying that thought and set his glass down with a hard clunk. His workspace was littered with fuses and wires, switches and half built servo assemblies. It'd grown since the last time Obi-Wan had seen it. He'd had time to work, it seemed, as Amidala's kept man.

Anakin leaned back against his workbench, arms crossed and chin lifted as he looked over at Obi-Wan.

"What did you come here for?"

"The hospitality."

The words were out of Obi-Wan's mouth before he could stop them. It was nothing that the Chancellor had counseled him to say when they discussed their plan to retrieve Anakin from Amidala's custody. Of course, he rationalized, Anakin would be somewhat suspicious if Obi-Wan were to act in a way that completely diverged from their previous relationship. Perhaps it would even set him at ease for Obi-Wan to continue playing the disapproving Jedi Master, just a moment more.

Anakin snorted and rolled his eyes.

"I am concerned for you, Anakin," Obi-Wan said. He gestured to the room, intending to encompass all of Amidala's opulence. "This is quite a change of pace, wouldn't you say?"

"Of course it is. But it's not a bad one."

Obi-Wan let the comment stand without protest. He simply moved through the room, casually looking over Anakin's work. He pick up a flimsiplast draft of a starship design. New, from what he could tell. Entirely new. The specifications were annotated in tiny, sloppy Huttese handwriting – Anakin didn't intend for another to even look at the design yet. Caught up in his own thoughts, forgetting himself, that was the only time he wrote in Huttese rather than using Aurebesh.

As expected, the silence gnawed at Anakin.

"I'm not going back," he said suddenly. He rocked forward on his feet and crossed the room in a few paces to snatch the blueprint out of Obi-Wan's hands. Obi-Wan raised his eyebrows mildly at him, but Anakin refused to look remorseful. He set the blueprint back on the table and smoothed it free of creases, glaring down at it. "I like it here."

"I know."

Obi-Wan reached out cautiously to lay his hand on Anakin's back, receiving a burst of surprise across their Force bond – swiftly quelled, but distinct.

"Has it truly been that long, Padawan?" he asked softly. "That rare?"

Anakin didn't lift his gaze from his fingers where they were pressed against the drafting table. He spoke with difficulty, "You're not the most demonstrative master."

"Who is?" Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin twitched his head up at the odd question. He searched Obi-Wan's face, trying to discern if this was a joke or not.

"I don't know. Quin, I guess. I saw him hug Aayla once."

Obi-Wan smiled at him.

"Is that what you want?"

Anakin glared and Obi-Wan stepped closer. Chancellor Palpatine had recommended that he keep close contact with Anakin, advising light touches on his shoulder, arm. Praise of his deeds and character. Palpatine claimed he used both tactics to keep Anakin's regard intact despite many disagreements over the years, though he phrased it differently. As Obi-Wan saw it, the Chancellor had done so to make Anakin pliable to his manipulations, as all politicians were wont to do – including, it now seemed, Padme Amidala.

But it was precisely what he needed to do now. Unlike Palpatine or Amidala, he possessed advantages with Anakin already. Their bond in the Force, a decade in his company, feelings and attractions neither ever dared name.

"It's nothing to be ashamed of, Padawan," he said. He circled to stand in front of Anakin, hand sliding from Anakin's back to along his breastbone, just above his heart. "You are a Jedi, an excellent warrior and a fine Master to Ahsoka. If you have your own needs to see to, that is perfectly normal. And within the purview of the Jedi Code."

Anakin reached out to him in the Force, skimming over his intentions, all carefully shielded but for what Obi-Wan wanted him to see.

"What are you saying?"

Obi-Wan raised his eyebrows flirtatiously and took a gamble.

"Ani, I'm saying you needn't leave the Temple at all."

He leaned in and brushed his mouth across Anakin's, feeling his heart race under his hand. He raised his other hand to grip the back of Anakin's neck, thumb rubbing the hinge of his jaw, and pulled him in for a deep, full kiss.

Anakin lurched forward, a rough sound caught in the back of his throat as he kissed back. Suddenly, he pulled back, hands on Obi-Wan to pry him away.

"Wait, what did you just call me?" he asked, mild horror on his face. Obi-Wan took it as a victory that Anakin's only objection was to the nickname, rather than the kiss.

"It's what she calls you," Obi-Wan replied.

He turned his hand to graze his knuckles across Anakin's cheek, fascinated by the way Anakin turned into the touch. It was truly this easy. Anakin swallowed hard, reaction time slowed as Obi-Wan leaned in to kiss him again.

"I don't –" Anakin said breathlessly. His eyelashes fluttered against Obi-Wan's cheek. "Don't call me that."

Obi-Wan felt a flicker of annoyance.

"And why not?"

Anakin did not distance himself this time, relishing Obi-Wan's nearness. His own touch turned, for lack of a better word, companionable. He tapped the fingers of one hand against Obi-Wan's back as he furrowed his brow, looking for the words to explain why, apparently, his relationship with Amidala merited endearments but the one with Obi-Wan did not.

And yet the answer surprised Obi-Wan.

"Because that's not who I am with you," Anakin said eventually. He cocked his head to the side and nodded to himself, meeting Obi-Wan's gaze with confidence. "I've never introduced myself that way, not to anyone. But it's who I was on Tatooine when Padme met me. When she met my mother."

"And I never met your mother."

Anakin's mouth twisted. It was no kind of smile.

"No, you didn't," he said.

Anger lanced through Obi-Wan at the words, the accusation. He'd been nothing less than he was meant to be, as Anakin's mentor and friend, but this one thing stood between them.

"Two things," Anakin contradicted his thoughts, voice even and quiet, eyes mild as he gazed back at Obi-Wan.

"I shall not lose you," Obi-Wan said. "Not to this."

"To what? To the woman I love? Who loves me?"

They had not moved apart, Anakin's hands were still on Obi-Wan, touch idle though hardly soothing, while Obi-Wan had dropped his own hand to Anakin's hip. Inappropriate beyond measure. Nothing he had ever done in his life and ill suited to this conversation about all that Obi-Wan wasn't to Anakin. Yet the Chancellor was a consummate politician and his advice was never to concede ground seized in any arena, physical or political. That Anakin spoke to Obi-Wan rather than tossing him from the apartment balcony was already an accomplishment. That he allowed a kiss, Obi-Wan's hands pressed to his body, ensured the endgame before Anakin even knew it.

Obi-Wan consciously let go of the impulse to censure Anakin for his words. He let Anakin feel him banish the feeling in the Force and Anakin's breath caught as he traced the wisps of anger as they spiraled away into nothingness.

"To things you seek," Obi-Wan said, "though you already possess them."

Anakin's eyes searched his.

"Prove it."

The corner of Obi-Wan's mouth lift in a smile.

"I do intend to, Padawan."

And that endearment was enough to make Anakin shiver under his hands, to make him bite his lip, eyes widening in surprise as Obi-Wan dropped to his knees.

"Obi-Wan, don't. I don't think this is a good idea. Kissing is one thing –" He broke off as Obi-Wan pushed aside his tunics, laying his hand flat along the prominent ridge of Anakin's erection. He licked his lips hurriedly. "But I can't do this. I won't cheat on her."

The problem with this position, Obi-Wan decided, was that it was significantly harder to parlay companionable or affectionate touches into compliance. Though he wouldn't say Anakin now had the power in the situation, it was quite clear that the sheer obviousness of Obi-Wan's intent had forced Anakin's hesitance to the fore instead of doing the reverse.

Obi-Wan toyed with the fastening of Anakin's trousers, waiting to be pushed away. He cocked an eyebrow when Anakin did nothing, abashed expression coming over him, even as he repeated himself.

"I won't cheat."

"You already have," Obi-Wan asserted calmly. Anakin's reaction was immediately defensive and he opened his mouth to argue the point, but Obi-Wan gave him a light smack of opprobrium through the Force, enough to quiet him. "Your commitment was to the Order first, Anakin. To your Master. To me.

"You cheated on me with her. You are faithless, Padawan. If there is anyone who must prove himself, I'm afraid it is you."

Regardless of the vicious words, the hurt emanating from Anakin in the Force, he was still himself enough to look down at Obi-Wan skeptically.

"By letting you... blow me?"

Obi-Wan took that as permission to unlaced Anakin's trousers, easing them down with fingers skimming the exposed skin of his thighs. Anakin hard cock jutted out inches from his face and he looking at it appraisingly, feeling Anakin shift uncertainly in front of him.

"Really?" Anakin complained.

"Impatient for one so opposed to this," Obi-Wan said lightly. He smiled up at Anakin and took his length in his hand, enjoying the feel of warm flesh against his own. Anakin sighed as Obi-Wan stroked him. "That wasn't so difficult, was it?"

"I don't see what you're proving."

"That you remain a Jedi."

"And here I thought I was the faithless one."

"You are only faithless if your commitment is to Amidala rather than the Force. If you possess her, and she possesses you. And plainly that is not so."

Obi-Wan punctuated his point by taking Anakin fully into his mouth. Anakin's reaction was immediate, hands moving to wind into Obi-Wan's hair – painfully, he might add, though he was somewhat distracted, both by the weight and taste of Anakin and the stutter of shock and pleasure he felt from Anakin in the Force. Anakin was saying something, and when Obi-Wan took the moment to focus, pulling off for a breath, Anakin swore.

"Never thought – I always wanted you, but I didn't think you'd ever..."

Obi-Wan did recall as much. Anakin had been hit rather hard by hormones as a young teen, awkward and lanky, full of too many emotions he didn't know how to express and, somewhat unfortunately, his interest had turned to Obi-Wan. He'd successfully pretended not to notice, but nonetheless, it was why he'd thought this gambit would be successful.

"It would have been quite inappropriate at the time, Padawan."

Anakin nodded shakily.

"Though I'd prefer not to think of you as you were then," Obi-Wan added.

"Not so attractive?" Anakin asked.

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. Anakin did not tend toward vanity, which was a minor miracle given both his talents and his looks, but if he thought that it was merely the comparison of him then as opposed to now – all grace and long, muscled limbs, brilliant smile and hair that had never once seen a comb – that gave Obi-Wan pause, then he was even more troubled than Obi-Wan had thought.

Obi-Wan let the disquiet pass. More reason for Anakin to return to the Order.

He put himself back to his task, kissing the tip of Anakin's cock and sliding his tongue around it before once more engulfing it, sucking his length with dedication.

Anakin made the most amazing sounds above him, low and breathy, just this side of desperate as he tried to stop himself from thrusting into Obi-Wan's mouth. His shields were lowered, emotions almost dazzling in their intensity. Obi-Wan sent a silent wave of approval in the Force and abruptly, Anakin was coming in his mouth, salty and hot on his tongue.

He started to apologize and Obi-Wan waved him off, pulling away from Anakin. He was panting and flush, sweat beaded just above his upper lip. Obi-Wan decided to lick it off. He rose back to his feet and pushed into Anakin's arms, kissing him and sharing the flavor of Anakin's come.

Anakin shoved him back, sputtering. He wiped at his mouth, eyes squinting and face contorted.

"Obi-Wan!" he protested. "What made you think I'd like that?"

"I take it she doesn't do that?" Obi-Wan asked.

"What? No!"

Obi-Wan made a thoughtful noise and brushed his thumb over his upper lip, catching the come that had spattered there after Anakin's reaction. He sucked it off and then shrugged.

"I do not see the problem at all, Padawan."

Anakin glowered but didn't try to explain himself.

"Are you saying that's just something I'll have to get used to?"

"No," Obi-Wan replied immediately. Disappointment flashed over Anakin's features – followed swiftly be anger. "I would never press something on you that you didn't want, after all."

"What are you saying?"

He was fully aware of the parameters of his little experiment, equally aware that he was contradicting them right here, in this moment. If Anakin was to be a Jedi, he could not belong to a single person; he belonged to the Force alone.

Palpatine's advice, Obi-Wan told himself. Anakin wanted to belong to someone. His upbringing, Palpatine had said, pity in his eyes. But to say anything else now would be to merely push Anakin back into Amidala's arms, into a life of commitment and love.

"Merely that there are many things you will have to get used to, Anakin." He kissed Anakin softly and met his eyes sincerely. "But the worst of it will be how narrow Temple beds suddenly seem when they are shared."

Anakin melted happily against him and Obi-Wan felt a thrill of victory. Until Mother Talzin's magic could be reversed, Anakin needed to be well away from Padme, safe with him. And once they had fixed whatever was so badly affecting the Senator – well, surely there would be no problem at all. She and Anakin were merely friends when she had her head about her.

And now Anakin had him.