Mine, immaculate dream
made breath and skin,
I’ve been waiting for you.
We’ll try to stay blind
to the hope and fear outside.
Hey, child, stay wilder than the wind
and blow me in to cry.
There are no forests on Lothal. Not anymore. But there is a forest here.
Ezra runs ahead of him, laughing and calling to him over his naked shoulder, singing teases. Leaping over fallen trees and rocks as nimbly as a fawn. His bare feet dance over the mossy ground, his slim brown legs a blur.
Kanan can smell him, can taste the air rushing after him. He pursues without thought, arms and legs pumping, chest heaving, panting, sprinting onward. Little by little he comes undone. Deeper into the green he runs. He throws off his shirt and his boots. He rips his hair free from its tie and lets it flow behind him. Long again. A trail of discarded clothing marks his wake until he has nothing left to take off. He is naked now, running between the trees with the wind kissing his exposed skin. Unhindered and wild.
For the first time in his life he is finally free. No past, no future. Only now, this infinite moment stretching out all around him, with Ezra’s sparkling laughter in his ears.
Sunlight slashes through the foliage overhead. Golden light pools on the forest floor, warm when his feet sink into it, thick enough to splash. The ground is soft and his feet move freely, toes spread, tendons stretching. Inky shadows race by him and with him, and ever before him is Ezra, his prey, his passion.
His heart thumps in his chest, his ears. Thrilled. His blood beats red in his veins. The air is fresh in his lungs, cool on his skin. He is alive. He hungers. He thirsts. He yearns for the fruit forbidden to him: sweet, ripe Ezra, leading him farther and farther into the forest. Away from—
Don’t think about that.
He chases him across clear chilly streams. Jewels of water explode into the air and catch the sunlight. Time slows, bending to Kanan’s will, and he can see each drop hanging in the air as he plunges through a rainbow of refracted light.
So this is love. This is joy.
It’s more beautiful than he ever imagined.
He gains on Ezra steadily and inexorably. At last he is within reach; he lunges and catches him around the waist. A surprised squeal followed by laughter, and then their bodies crash together, a collision of flesh and muscle. This feels so real. Their momentum carries them down to the earth. They sprawl onto a bed of ferns and moss and soft verdure. Immediately Ezra grabs Kanan’s head and pulls him down to his mouth. Their lips meet, their tongues lick out. Noses and cheeks mash together. Hands bury themselves into hair and mindlessly wander over naked skin. After a minute they break apart to suck in a breath, then come together again.
Ezra bends his knees and wraps his legs around Kanan’s waist. Their parts touch. Kanan feels a warm wetness against him. He adjusts his angle and pushes inside Ezra—just like that. There is no resistance; only Ezra’s soft gasp and a tight, clasping heat. Kanan begins to move in and out, spine turning serpentine as he rolls his hips. A groan of ecstasy vibrates in his throat. It feels so good. A relieving of terrible pressure, the satisfying scratch of an itch that had been relentless and maddening.
Ezra makes a soft noise. He lifts his pelvis in time with Kanan’s thrusts. Moist clicks and squelches rise from where they are joined, their fluids smacking wetly in the quiet between the trees. Ezra is tight and shallow, his cervix low. Kanan feels it each time he pushes all the way in. He is likely mid-cycle, at his most fertile. He nuzzles Ezra’s neck, nostrils flared.
Good. He wants this. He needs this. To prove that he is alive. To leave some part of him behind after he’s—
Don’t think about that.
Ezra. Yes, Ezra. Focus on him. His face. His hair. His body. His eyes. Kanan wants to dive into them and sink to the bottom and live there. He wants to live inside Ezra.
I will. I’ll make it happen. I’ll come back so he can keep loving me forever, just like I’ll love him forever.
The muscles in Kanan’s back ripple as he holds himself up and thrusts. Fingers and knees dig furrows in the damp moss. Birds sing above their heads. Ezra gasps beneath him and slips his hands between their bodies to stimulate himself. Kanan feels the motions reverberate through his own genitals.
He is close now. Very soon he is going to come and Ezra will come with him, and Ezra will take the seed that Kanan gives him and use it to make new life. He will remake Kanan inside him; he will grow him and bring him forth, and Kanan will live forever. Through Ezra. Because of his power. Because of who they are. Because there is no death—
No. No death. Only life. Only the Force.
Ezra cries out. Kanan can feel the contractions around him and plows hard, buries himself deep, and lets himself go. Comes undone.
It is finished.
The forest is growing warm now. The green cocoon around them wilts to red. The smell of fuel taints the pure air.
“I will come back,” says Kanan.
Ezra opens his eyes, pupils dilated fully, and nods, gasping for breath.
Kanan places his hand on Ezra’s belly and blinks the milky blindness from his eyes. Sees him for the first time in three years.
“I love you.”
Tears begin to pour from Ezra’s eyes. He shakes his head.
“Everything will be okay.”
“No,” Ezra sobs. Clings to him. “Not yet. I’m not ready.”
Kanan sighs and gently unlatches himself from Ezra’s arms. He pulls out, slick and warm with seed, and stands up. Ezra lies on the ground and weeps and reaches out to him.
“Take care of me, Ezra,” he says. Then he turns and walks away.
The forest tears itself open and becomes night, hot and black and red. Ezra screams his name. It’s the last thing he hears before the flames swallow him.
Pain, exquisite and purifying, splits through his flesh like a bolt of lightning. It is the longest and briefest moment of his life. The explosion consumes him, eats him alive. Hair, skin, blood, muscle, bone. And then he is suddenly free.
What now? Where am I supposed to go?
And he knows.
Suddenly he is there, truly there, and he’s sinking through Ezra’s flight suit and into his body.
Yes, he will sleep here for a little while. He will be safe here. His Padawan will protect him, and soon…
Ezra doubles over in the Imperial patrol gunship with his hand on his stomach. His sob lodges halfway in his throat.
Kanan is with him. He felt his presence just now. And there is something else. A cramping inside the place that only his Master ever knew about.
I will come back.