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“That man,” Obi-Wan muses, studying the poor fellow on stage who’s drawn the role of supremely slutty bottom for tonight’s festivities, “is a very good actor.”

Anakin glances over, away from where he’s been frowning at Sebulba since the Dug showed up. Obi-Wan doesn’t blame him for his distraction — Sebulba’s got a human woman on each arm and the logistics of such a proposition are perplexing to say the least — but they’re supposed to be at this pre-race party on reconnaissance, so Anakin’s going to have to look around eventually. Not that Obi-Wan thinks there’s a high chance the slutty bottom is the Remnant spy they’re looking for, but still.

“How do you know he’s acting?” Anakin says absently, already looking back to his old rival.

Obi-Wan waves his drink — a bright pink cocktail made mostly with jawa juice — at the stage. “Well, he’s getting fucked, isn’t he? No one enjoys getting fucked that much.”

That gets Anakin’s attention back, for some reason. It might just be the pulsing red light in this blasted club, but for a moment it looks like he’s not sure what to feel, face morphing quickly between incredulity, fury, and a strange sort of wonder. His Force signature flickers hotly in a way Obi-Wan hasn’t felt in a while, since the war — it hits him somewhere low in the stomach, like a blaster bolt. That’s his old padawan. That’s the moody teenager who used to boil over like a kettle ten times a day. 

“I think,” Anakin says carefully, measuring his words in a way that Obi-Wan’s old padawan never did, “maybe no one’s ever fucked you right, Master.”

His eyes find Obi-Wan’s. They’re dark. 

Suddenly the room feels much closer than it did a moment ago, and much warmer. Obi-Wan swallows the rest of his drink in one go. “Perhaps it’s not for everyone,” he deflects.

“But you think it’s for you,” Anakin intuits. 

Unfortunately, Obi-Wan recognizes that tone of voice. It’s the same tone he gets whenever Obi-Wan contradicts his own teachings, or whenever Padmé lets slip a potentially juicy bit of Senate gossip, then tries to walk it back — like a dog sinking its teeth gleefully into a bone. He sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose, and blindly signals the droid bartender for another round. “We’re supposed to be working, Anakin.”

“I’m not the one who started this conversation,” Anakin fires back.

“You did a bit.” Obi-Wan gratefully accepts his third cocktail of the night, taking a big gulp immediately to dull the fact that he’s talking about this with his padawan. 

“Look, you just need to find the right guy,” Anakin barrels on, completely ignoring common decency and respect for his elders and the mission at hand. “The right partner, I mean. It should be someone you trust.”

“I can’t believe you’re giving me sex advice,” Obi-Wan laments, though he can. “What would you even know about it? You were married to a woman for ten years.”

Anakin gives him an arch look. “You know how it is on Naboo, Master. They’ve got looser sensibilities. You think me and Padmé were the only ones who were ever in our bed?”

Obi-Wan swallows the rest of his drink and gestures for a fourth. The droid bartender beeps something offensive about alcoholism and impotency and puts the whole bottle of jawa juice up on the bartop. Obi-Wan pours. 

“Plus,” Anakin says, and Obi-Wan can hear the grin in his voice, even though he’s not looking at him — he’s hyper-aware of the long, louche line of his body, where he’s leaning against the bar. “She pegged me a lot.”

If the Force wants this spy found tonight, it’s going to have to do it itself. Obi-Wan gives up pouring and drinks straight from the bottle. Things are starting to get fuzzy but they’re not fuzzy enough to get rid of the image of Anakin — Anakin — and that actor moaning like a one-credit whore on stage — Anakin’s long hair sweaty and stuck to the side of his face like it gets when they’re sparring, the bared muscular curve of his neck, his throat working, spread open on that bed back in Coruscant while Padmé moves above him, her hips rolling — 

Obi-Wan discontinues that line of thinking with extreme prejudice, clears his throat, and somehow manages to say, “That,  Anakin — like many things you’ve disclosed since your divorce — is far too much information.”

Anakin laughs, taking the bottle out of Obi-Wan’s hand to pour himself some jawa juice as well. “You didn’t want to talk about my ex-wife railing me into next week, you shouldn’t have said no one likes getting fucked.”

“Once again,” Obi-Wan says, tired, “your version of recent events diverges from reality.”

“I’m just saying,” Anakin continues, sounding remarkably unbothered for how his Force-signature still feels like a bag full of angry lothcats, “if you want someone to show you what you’ve been missing, I’m available.”

Obi-Wan makes himself smile, because the only way he can say no to that is if it’s a joke. “What I want,” he says, “is for you to focus on the mission. Somewhere at this race, a Remnant spy is fixing to sell Republic defense codes to a bunch of Corellian extremists — remember?”

That self-satisfied little grin is still curving the corner of Anakin’s mouth. Obi-Wan has never, in his life, wanted to kiss his padawan before, and tonight is no different. Genuinely.

“I remember, Master,” Anakin drawls. There’s that dog with a bone again — blast. “I’m just surprised you do, with all that jawa juice you’ve been guzzling.”

“Shut it,” Obi-Wan gripes, ignoring Anakin’s sharp, golden laugh.

More often than not these days, the Council sends Obi-Wan and Anakin to the Outer Rim. It’s the last region in the galaxy where their faces aren’t instantly recognizable to large swathes of the population — all that Negotiator and Hero Without Fear bantha-shit propaganda that the Senate decided was so good for recruitment during the war has made it so that even six years after V-Day, they can’t take the sorts of assignments that they did before. They can’t go under deep cover on Naboo, or hunt assassins through the lower levels of Coruscant — not without attracting a lot of unwanted attention. So what they do, now, are the shit jobs in the ass-end of space. 

Granted, this is one they’re particularly well-suited for — infiltrating the professional podracing circuit in order to root out which of the drivers is moonlighting as a courier for the Remnant Separatists. But still, it’s a shit job — no matter how much Anakin is enjoying it. 

It’s always made perfect sense to Obi-Wan that his padawan should be a natural podracer, the only human in the galaxy capable of keeping up with a bunch of multi-limbed beings from the murky hodgepodge of unexplored space. Obi-Wan has long suspected that Anakin came shooting out of the womb at 900 kilometers per hour, and one of his great regrets in life is that he never got Shmi to confirm his suspicions while she was still alive. Training Anakin was more a question of keeping up with him than anything, never a question of getting him to slow down, and Obi-Wan has realized that the only reason he managed to keep up at all was because planetary vessels inside Republic space are capped at 300 kilometers per hour, and so Anakin was limited in how fast he could run away. 

Now, on Mon Gazza, Anakin’s pod blisters past the pit lane so fast it singes the skin on Obi-Wan’s face.

He’s neck in neck with Sebulba, engines nudging each other as they rip around the corner and out of sight — it still makes something in Obi-Wan’s throat tighten with concern, even after all these years of watching his padawan run right up to the edge and not fall over, to see him teetering so close to crashing. He can feel the delighted, citrus zinging of Anakin’s Force-presence, can picture the grin under that helmet, the bared teeth and the mashed sweaty hair and the stadium blurring past in a haze of red spice and neon lights, knuckles clenched tight over the throttle, Force-sense tuned to the track and the sneering Dug beside him. 

There is a part of him — a small part, but a part all the same — that worries Anakin won’t want to come back when this is all over. This is what he loves, what he’s always chasing, even as a jedi. The rush of adrenaline, the metallic fear on his tongue and the superior joy of wiggling his way past death, shooting through the narrow gap between this life and the next. Anakin of ten years ago — before the war, before Sidious, before Padmé and his children — would have been tempted to cut and run. 

Anakin of today, Obi-Wan knows — he trusts — is steadier than that. 

He ends up coming in third, mostly because the Council has ordered them not to win (the question of what to do with ill-got credits has always been a bit legally fuzzy, despite Obi-Wan’s late master’s habit of slipping them quietly into his own accounts), but also because Ebe Endocott pulls a mean trick on the back stretch that leaves Anakin’s left engine smoking, the millions of spectators crammed into the towering stands above Obi-Wan booing and cheering in equal measure, and Obi-Wan staring at the big screen above the pit with his heart in his throat. Anakin doesn’t do the smart thing, which would be to limp home penitently with hat in hands —  instead he manages to push his smoking, vibrating pod to nearly as fast as it was going before it was damaged, and shoots under the crackling electricity of the finish line mere inches ahead of Neva Kee, in fourth. 

Obi-Wan had warned the Council that tempering Anakin’s competitive spirit would be about the same as trying to ride a rancor, but — as usual when it comes to his padawan — they’d thought he was exaggerating.

“Fucking Triffian,” Anakin spits, when he finally gets out of the pod, spiking his helmet into the floor. “I had him. I could’ve pulled in front of Sebulba on the inside turn if it hadn’t been for those karking landmines—”

“You’d have had to let him win anyways,” Obi-Wan points out.

“But at least then he’d know.” Anakin kicks his steaming boots off by the door to their pod bay, slipping his bright red feet — temperatures get dangerously high in the pods — into the Gungan sandals he carries around for when he’s not racing. “He’d know he only won because I let him.”

“Need I remind you, you beat him before? When you were a youngling, no less?”

Anakin does puff up a bit at that. “Yeah, well. I don’t want him to think I’m getting rusty.”

He’s got his hair tied up like he always does under the helmet, a dark, heat-curled bun on the back of his head. Under his black racing garb, his body is a hard, sinuous line — Obi-Wan watches him peel off his top layer, leaving his arms bare, tan skin glistening with sweat, his irritated, cranked Force-signature sizzling like sex on Obi-Wan’s tongue, and despite the fact that he spent most of the previous night meditating on the floor of their shared accommodations, building a thick and careful wall around the memory of Anakin saying no one’s ever fucked you right, Master, right now in this long, unbreaking moment, he feels each brick come tumbling down, until he is defenseless in the face of it. 

Suddenly he’s very aware of how few clothes he himself is wearing, compared to his usual jedi robes — just a pair of trousers and a flight jacket. Anakin could flatten his hand against Obi-Wan’s stomach, and he’d feel it through that single layer as if he were touching skin. The heat of it. Of the pod. Of him.

It is, Obi-Wan reminds himself, wrong. And even if it weren’t — even if it weren’t…

“You just placed third on the Galactic Podracing Circuit after more than two decades away,” he hears himself say, as if from a great distance. “I don’t think anyone’s going to accuse you of getting rusty.”

“If you’re not first, you’re last,” Anakin says wisely. “Qui-Gon told me that once.”

“He did not,” Obi-Wan says, disgruntled, snapping out of his funk.

“Did too,” Anakin counters. He wiggles onto a creeper and slides under the pod’s busted engine with a bunch of tools piled on his stomach, like he always does when he’s got to fix something. “He was such a cool guy, your old master. Why aren’t you a cool guy?”

Obi-Wan glowers. Anakin’s been throwing that one at him since he was sixteen and suddenly, all in one month, decided not to be scared of Obi-Wan anymore and also to crank the “little shit” aspect of his personality up to one billion percent. He’s never really found a good way to counter it, probably a result of the lasting psychological damage that the initial hit — delivered while Obi-Wan was hanging upside-down over the side of a walkway in the upper atmosphere of Cloud City, Anakin hauling him up by his feet and grumbling while he did it — had bashed into his young, stressed psyche. 

Now, though, he has fresh ammunition. “You seemed to think I was plenty cool when you were offering to fuck me last night.”

Anakin goes very still under the pod engine. Then he pushes himself out. 

His eyes are searing. Obi-Wan wishes he actually knew what he was doing, when it came to fixing a pod, so that he could have something to do other than stand here with his arms crossed under his padawan’s lustful scrutiny. 

“You’re not cool, Master,” Anakin tells him, voice level. “If you were, you wouldn’t be you, and if you weren’t you I wouldn’t have offered.”

Obi-Wan swallows, and watches Anakin’s eyes go to the motion of his throat. “It would just be once,” he says. 

“No it wouldn’t,” Anakin counters, without a lick of hesitation. 

“No,” Obi-Wan agrees after a moment, in spite of himself. “It wouldn’t.”

Their Force-bond pulls tight, like a wire. Obi-Wan has, he realizes, felt that before. Circling Anakin on the mat in the Temple, ’sabers set at training heat, both of them breathing hard and grinning like lothcats — the closest Obi-Wan has ever come to pure joy.

With a boisterous clattering of metal, Anakin shoves his tools onto the floor, and stands. Obi-Wan resists the urge to move, not sure which direction he’d go — back, away from this terrible decision he’s about to make, or forward into the reach of Anakin’s arms. 

“Anakin,” he says softly. Perhaps too softly to be heard over the noise from the pod bays around them, the other racers jeering and shouting and clanging away at their pods. 

But Anakin must hear, or he must feel what he was meant to hear, because he says, measured, “Master.”

“Obi-Wan,” Obi-Wan corrects roughly. “If we’re going to do this, you call me — ”

“Obi-Wan,” Anakin murmurs, with a fond smile. 

Then he takes his face in his hands — waiting a moment, searching his eyes, like he’s watching to make sure Obi-Wan really wants this — and kisses him. It’s like a blow to them both. They stagger back against the pod, Anakin pressed to Obi-Wan's front, his back against hot metal, the hovering cockpit lurching under their weight. 

Obi-Wan has, he’s surprised to discover, never imagined this part. For all the nights he’s spent since V-day, lying awake in his quarters in the Temple, trying not to think of what Anakin was doing across the city in the Senate building with his wife — the muffled sounds they would make, so used to having to hide, how she must feel to have Anakin inside her, his hands on her waist, his cock stretching her, the hot wet seal of his mouth on her breasts, her fingers twining in his hair, maybe pulling it, maybe brushing it away from his beloved face, the large virile muscle of his body moving between her legs, wholly dedicated to fucking — Obi-Wan has never thought to consider how Anakin’s hunger would translate to kissing.

His padawan makes an urgent, wanting noise against his mouth, grabbing a handful of his ass. When he draws back he doesn’t go far — he stays close enough that Obi-Wan can smell the sweat on his skin, that he can feel his heart beating against his chest — flesh hand sliding up under Obi-Wan’s shirt, over the curve of his lower back. 

“I want to wreck you,” Anakin tells him. “I want to see you lose it.”

Somewhere in the great beyond, Obi-Wan knows, Qui-Gon Jinn is laughing his ass off. 

“Fuck,” he says, and hauls Anakin back to his mouth.

Obi-Wan, being in his forties, has had plenty of sex. Plenty of good sex, even — perfectly serviceable sex with any number of genders and species that has been more than adequate to scratch the itch, when it arises. He likes to think of himself as adventurous, and — according to a number of bedmates, including Quinlan Vos and Anakin’s captain Rex — quite flexible. He’s just never enjoyed getting fucked, that’s all. 

It’s not something he’s had much occasion to think about, over the years. Other things have taken up most of his time — training Anakin and fighting the war, working tirelessly with the rest of the Council to rebuild the Order out of the shambles that were left when it was all over. But the first time he tried it — back when he was still Qui-Gon’s padawan, alone in a shitty Coruscant apartment with some anonymous older man he’d picked up in a club while he was out drinking with Quinlan and Bant, just drunk enough to take a look at that giant cock and want it in him — he’d theorized through his raging, nauseous hangover the morning after that it was probably less about how it felt than about how it made him feel. How vulnerable, how exposed. 

It’s too intimate. The thought of anyone seeing him like that makes him more nervous than aroused, probably for the same reason it’s always been difficult for him to trust people not to hurt him. Anakin, though. Anakin has had perhaps more opportunities to hurt him than anyone else in the galaxy, and he has never once done it — not in any way that matters. 

Not any way that matters in a bad way, at least — because now they’re here, in their extravagant blue-lit room in Mon Gazza, and Anakin has his enormous robotic hand wrapped around both of Obi-Wan’s wrists, palm like a dinner plate, fingers digging into bone, and it’s painful but it’s making Obi-Wan so hot he feels like he might just shoot off in his trousers. Also, he thinks he might be drooling a little. 

“Anakin,” he says, trying to swallow. 

Anakin licks into his mouth before he can, heavy body bearing him down against the mattress — into the sheets and the pillows that smell like him, like Obi-Wan’s padawan, so familiar and so beloved and so gloriously obscene in this context, with his cock hard against Anakin’s thigh, Anakin’s tongue fucking messily into his mouth. Obi-Wan doesn’t want to moan, but he moans anyways, like Anakin’s taken control of his whole body just by touching it, sound rumbling up out of his chest, vibrating through the other man’s searching fingers.

He’s always known that Anakin would be completely insatiable in bed, like a gravity well, a singularity, but even in his more sordid and shameful dreams he was always less practiced than this, less skilled. Padmé must have really taken him to school.

Anakin,” he gasps again, when his padawan releases his mouth. “Clothes.” He pushes him back gently with the Force. “Let me see you.”

Anakin makes a gutted noise and peels out of his shirt, still oil-stained from the pit, shimmying back off the bed to kick out of his trousers as well. He’s already barefoot, has been since they staggered back through the door like something out of those trashy holofilm Ahsoka likes. His robotic arm whirs softly as he comes back to bed, kneeing over to straddle Obi-Wan’s waist, completely naked, gorgeous.

Obi-Wan's wrists are throbbing from Anakin’s grip and his lips are throbbing from Anakin’s kiss, and he meets his eyes — Anakin braced above him, breathing hard, bare-chested — and it feels right. There hasn’t been much that’s felt right to Obi-Wan, since the war; when he first got back to Coruscant he didn’t remember how to order food or sleep more than two hours at a stretch or have conversations that didn’t involve battle plans, but he’s never forgotten Anakin. Anakin, to him, has always felt completely natural. 

“Kark, Master, look at you,” Anakin mutters, tight. His eyes can’t seem to decide where to look, roving over Obi-Wan’s flushed, freckled skin like a touch, over the soft pudge of his stomach where he’s started to let himself go a little, the shameless line of his cock in his trousers. “I want to do everything to you.”

“Do it, then,” Obi-Wan challenges.

Anakin gives him a look that he knows from experience means trouble, and ducks to suck a wet kiss to Obi-Wan’s navel. It’s so unexpected and completely nonsensical — his bellybutton, really? — that Obi-Wan feels like he’s just jumped out a window, the rush of cold air and the unexpected fall. He drops his head back against the pillows, breathing hard, trying to keep hold of himself. 

“Somehow you’ve fallen behind in the naked department,” Anakin murmurs, drawing back with his hands already tugging at the clasp of Obi-Wan’s trousers.

His touch is rough, presumptive and possessive in a way that makes Obi-Wan’s stomach turn to molten gold. He’s fairly certain he’s breathing with his tongue out. Anakin wrestles his trousers down his legs, tugging his boots off on the way, stopping on his way back up to bite a line of livid marks on the inside of Obi-Wan’s calf — his calf, and Obi-Wan has never considered the inside of his knee an erogenous zone but the feeling of Anakin’s teeth pressed flat to the knob of bone makes his cock jump against his stomach, leaking.

Anakin’s eyes catch it. He swallows, then says, his voice ragged, “Last night. I may have implied I feel more casually about this than I do.”

Obi-Wan’s heart turns over. 

“I have never,” he says, holding Anakin’s gaze, making sure he hears, “been casual about you, dear one. Now, if it’s not too much trouble, I’d like you inside me.”

Then he uses the Force to pull a tube of slick from his bag, and hands it over.

Anakin makes that sound again — low, punched out — and takes the tube from him with shaking fingers. Obi-Wan thinks he should feel more nervous about this than he does — not about the act itself but the danger of who he’s doing it with, the danger of messing with one of the only stable relationships in his life — but he doesn’t. If anything it makes him feel more solid, that it’s Anakin.

Fingertips cold with slick skim the bottom of his cock, making it twitch. Anakin trails his knuckles over the shaft, teasing, wet fingers circling behind Obi-Wan’s balls, over his perineum, and Obi-Wan doesn’t know how he knows what Anakin wants, but suddenly he does, with a shock of clarity — so he sinks a hand in Anakin’s hair and pulls, ordering, “Padawan.”

Anakin shudders under his touch, then tips down and finds his mouth again like he can’t help it. “I really meant to be more impressive than this,” he murmurs against Obi-Wan’s lips.

“I think you’re doing very well,” Obi-Wan assures him.

Anakin laughs, nuzzling into his beard, his fingers still pressed like brands between Obi-Wan’s legs. “Your version of events diverges from reality,” he teases, “once again.”

But then his fingers slide back where Obi-Wan wants them, slippery and obscene, and Anakin is suddenly doing so well that Obi-Wan can’t even speak. His legs fall open of their own accord, like Anakin’s found and pulled some sort of lever, and they’re covered in sweat and engine grease and slick, absolutely disgusting, but Obi-Wan is well beyond caring. He wants to rub his face all over Anakin’s glistening chest. He wants to lick his throat, the hollow behind his ear, wants to wrap his legs around Anakin’s waist and rut against his bare cock like a one-credit whore — he wants to be completely ruined, and he wants this man to see it. 

“Force, look at you,” Anakin breathes, braced over Obi-Wan’s cock. His fingers slide inexorably inside him, making every muscle in Obi-Wan’s body shake. “Gorgeous, Master.”

“Shut up,” Obi-Wan gasps, but he’s pretty sure the gasping undercuts the command.

He’s not as young as he once was, and it feels like a workout — his body parting for Anakin’s fingers, as if his insides are shifting to accommodate him. Just the thought of Anakin’s cock makes his face feel hot, makes his balls tighten. He’s seen his padawan naked before, of course, but not like this. Not flushed and aroused, hanging like a rod between his legs, getting ready to fuck him while his fingers stretch him open in preparation. He’s up to three now, it feels like his whole hand pumping into him slow and maddening, crooking to just barely brush Obi-Wan’s prostate, aborted fireworks sparking but not bursting behind his eyes. 

He doesn’t want to admit defeat this early — admit that Anakin was right, that he’s somehow made getting fucked fantastic in a way it’s never been — but then Anakin sinks his teeth over one of Obi-Wan’s nipples, fingers giving up teasing to press down on his prostate hard, and it shocks a sticky bead of precome out of Obi-Wan’s neglected cock, so good that he has to say, “Anakin, if you don’t fuck me right now — “

“Bossy in bed,” Anakin murmurs, with a self-satisfied grin. “I should’ve guessed.”

Obi-Wan swats at him. 

Anakin dodges, laughing, squeezing an indecorous amount of lube into his palm so that he can slick himself up. Obi-Wan’s mouth waters, watching him, the thick head of his cock poking out of his own fist as he fucks it. For a moment he’s arrested by the line of his side, from his knee to his bare hip to his chest, smooth and tan and utterly perfect, and then Anakin pins him with his metal hand, sharp fingertips digging into his hip, hauls one of Obi-Wan’s legs around his waist, and fucks into him in one heavy, brutal thrust.

“Fuck,” Obi-Wan declares. 

He tries to reach up, to hold onto him, but Anakin grabs his hands and traps them again, robotic fingers holding his wrists above his head, too strong for Obi-Wan to fight against. He feels like a bird trapped in a lothcat’s paws, completely helpless. It makes his cock ache.

“Anakin,” he breathes.

“Yeah,” Anakin says, holding so still that Obi-Wan can feel the tidal heave of his breathing, his ribcage expanding and collapsing between his legs. 

Obi-Wan meets his eyes, steady. Reassuring. “Don’t hold back on my account.”

Anakin huffs, almost a laugh — a sound Obi-Wan’s heard him make a million times before, in the bloody melée of battle and on the training mat and in the library after hours, accompanied as always by that small warm loosening of relief in the Force. 

“Yeah,” he says again, “yeah, fuck, Obi-Wan — ” and starts to move. 

It’s strangely tender for what it is — essentially, fucking — but exactly as they both predicted, it is nowhere near the last time. 

From Mon Gazza they go to Andor Prime — icy, subzero, karking desolate — where Anakin wins some sort of mind game against Sebulba on the track and comes back to the pit so cranked with victory that he decides to continue his crusade by fucking Obi-Wan in the still-warm cockpit of his pod. There's only a thin curtain to shelter them from the next berth, barely enough room to maneuver, so Obi-Wan can do little more than sit on Anakin’s cock while he grinds up into him and jerks him off and murmurs absolute filth into the side of his neck. He comes for so long he worries for a moment he might get stuck that way, spurting thick white ropes over Anakin’s dark jacket, abs seizing as he curls forward over him in the seat, the head of Anakin’s cock nestled deep, right where he wants it. 

“Shhhh,” Anakin says meanly, smiling against his jaw, “wouldn’t want anyone else to hear you, would you, Master,” and Obi-Wan didn’t think it was possible, but that makes him come some more. 

He’s still sore, still with Anakin’s fingerprints bruised into his neck, when they have to run reconnaissance on the winner’s gala that night — though “gala” is a strong word for it, in Obi-Wan’s opinion. 

“You’re just being a snob,” Anakin accuses, but he’s slurping oon-doon with one hand and has the other on his blaster — a precaution against the fight that’s just broken out over by the hors d’oeuvres — so Obi-Wan feels confident in his initial assessment. 

"Ah, well," he says — and, vindictive, leans over to say quietly in Anakin's ear, "this snob still has your come dripping out of him, my dear."

Anakin chokes on his oon-doon.

That night, back in their quarters, rock-hewn and drifty, Obi-Wan’s too raw to take Anakin’s cock again, but they twine together warm under the covers, and while Obi-Wan tries to verbally organize a list of their suspects, Anakin fucks into him with greedy, searching fingers. The whole operation is slippery with slick and Anakin’s own come, and Obi-Wan loses the plot entirely sometime during an attempted summary of the evidence against Fud Sang — Anakin’s lips sealing like a vacuum over the head of his cock, Obi-Wan’s leg shooting out to kick his data pad onto the floor, mouth falling open in a silent shout.

Later, when Anakin’s sprawled out asleep in their bed, Obi-Wan retrieves his pad from the floor and pulls on a robe to go report back to the Jedi Council. Just as he’s about to return to bed, call terminated, he hesitates — prodding their bond to make sure Anakin’s still sleeping in the other room — then dials another number. 

Padmé answers on the fifth ring, rubbing sleep from her eyes. It’s morning on Coruscant, but not early — which means he’s interrupted one of her rare lie-ins. 

“Did I wake you?” he says, keeping his voice low. “I’m sorry — “

No, don’t be,” Padmé says, waving him away, gracious as always even in bedhead and a dressing gown. “I needed to get up, anyways. I’ve got about a hundred motions to read before the session starts tomorrow.”

“Ah,” Obi-Wan says. “It never ends, does it?”

No it does not,” Padmé agrees, with a smile — which fades once she seems to realize who’s calling her, and at what hour. “Is everything alright? Anakin’s not hurt, is he?”

“Everything’s fine,” Obi-Wan assures her quickly. He feels guilty, all of a sudden, for calling, but when he casts around for a better excuse than the truth, nothing comes to mind. So he admits, “I was hoping I could talk to the twins, actually.” 

Padmé’s eyes soften, amused. “Of course. Assuming I can wrangle them. Some mornings it’s like herding lothcats. Wait here a minute, would you?”

Obi-Wan agrees, and Padmé puts him on hold, back a few minutes later with her wild children. 

The galaxy seems brighter just to see them, like it always does. He wasn’t there when they were born — a week after V-day he’d still been busy mopping up the mess that Sidious had made — but he was there in the sleep-deprived, maddening days after, taking the twins off their parents’ hands when they reached their limits and needed to crash, bouncing around Padmé’s apartments with a baby on each hip, humming lullabies from the créche. It had felt like watching fresh green sprout in a charred forest, to be around them — to be allowed to be around them, as mired in blood and death and suffering as he had become. He’d loved them instantly, irrevocably, with all the reckless dedication of a fanatic. They were pieces of Anakin — his padawan, his partner, his best friend. Of course he loved them.

Now they’re little devils, of course — all Force-sensitive children are — but Obi-Wan loves them all the same. He tries to get them to talk about their classes at the Jedi Temple, but they find floating rocks very boring and — according to Leia, who soaks up words like a sponge but cannot for the life of her hang onto the meanings — “inconspicuous,” so after a while he gives up, Padmé laughing at him while she makes her morning caf, and lets them tell him about the mouse droid they’ve rescued from salvage and named Uncle Obi-Wan.

“It’s a compliment,” Anakin says, as they run off to retrieve the droid. Obi-Wan didn’t feel him get up, too focused on the children, but now he’s here, barefoot on the cold stone floor, his face soft. “It means they miss you. Last year when Padmé had to go back to Naboo, they named their lothkitten Mommy.

“It’s true,” Padmé says, tired but fond. 

Anakin comes across the room and slides a hand over Obi-Wan’s chest, dropping a kiss on the top of his head. Obi-Wan tenses, aware of who’s watching them, but Anakin just laughs against his hair and says, “You’re wearing my robe, babe, I think she already knows.”

Obi-Wan looks down. He is, in fact, wearing Anakin’s robe. “Kark,” he says. 

“Kark!” Leia announces happily somewhere off-screen, and Padmé snorts into her caf. 

They go back to bed, and wake up again in the pale white hours of the morning, snow falling silently outside. Obi-Wan rolls on top of Anakin, both of them still loose and comfortable with sleep, and they grind together lazily like teenagers, coming in a warm mess between them.

“Obi-Wan,” Anakin starts to say, after. But when Obi-Wan turns to him, he just kisses him again.

In the underwater tunnels of Aquilaris, Anakin crashes during his final lap. His right engine snaps away from the pod, sending him careening, wild and unbalanced with just one — he’d have gone up in flames if it weren’t for the engine smashing a hole in the tunnel wall, inundating the whole place with a billion gallons of seawater.

Obi-Wan finds him on the rescue barge, after, fighting his way through the crowd under the sails with their Force-bond as a guide, a tether yanking him straight to his padawan. Anakin’s singed and bruised and sopping wet, he looks like someone’s just force-fed him a lemon, but he’s alive, and Obi-Wan’s not sure what comes over him — they’ve had death nipping at their heels before, they’ve come much closer than this, even, and he’s never lost his propriety before — but he suddenly can’t help it. He hauls Anakin up by the jacket and kisses him. 

No one pays them so much as a second glance. No one knows who they are, here, beyond a podracer and his pit manager, so no one’s watching when Anakin makes a startled sound against his mouth and seizes him back. 

“You’re not allowed to die like that,” Obi-Wan says, when they break apart. His lips are warm and wet with Anakin, now, instead of cold and wet with seawater, but still he feels strangely — desperate, and wrongfooted. “Not like that, Anakin.”

It doesn’t make sense to him, what he’s feeling — like all their lives they’ve been building a house, and he can’t let Anakin die for something as stupid as podrace because it won’t have been worth it, if they don't get to live in it together. It makes him furious, the thought of having to live in it alone, having to spend the rest of his life as half of a met gaze, half of a shared joke, half of a hair-brained plan — he won’t do it, he won’t, and none of that comes across in what he says but it must come across in the bond, because Anakin says, “Yeah. Pfassk, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to,” and he gets it. Obi-Wan knows he does. 

“Alright,” Obi-Wan says, that odd sideways feeling slotting back into place. “Alright.”

They don’t quite make it back to their room — Obi-Wan hauls Anakin into a ’fresher on the barge and sinks to his knees right there. Maybe it says bad things about his psyche, but it makes Obi-Wan feel better almost immediately to have Anakin’s cock in his mouth, to feel the weight of him, the fluttering pulse of blood on his tongue, to have Anakin’s thighs tensing under his hands and Anakin’s nails digging into his scalp, his padawan hissing, “Master, shit, Master — ” as he comes down his throat. 

When they make it to a room with a bed, Obi-Wan strips Anakin down and makes him lie still while he opens himself on his own fingers, then rides him until they’re both slick with sweat, shuddering from exertion. Anakin slides a hand over Obi-Wan’s stomach, his chest — with a vicious twist to his nipple, and it’s upsetting how quickly Obi-Wan comes after that.  

He keeps riding Anakin through it, because he wants to make him come, he wants to wring it out of him. It starts in Anakin’s fingers and toes, like it always does, that spasmodic clenching, then the knees, and finally the hips bucking underneath him like an unruly mount, Anakin’s whole spine bowing off the mattress as he comes endlessly into Obi-Wan’s body. Obi-Wan puts a hand flat on his chest and feels the drumbeat of his heart, feverish and labored — then bends to suck a kiss to the sweaty hollow of his throat. 

Anakin makes a wondering, scandalized sound, sinking his fingers in Obi-Wan’s hair again. “You know,” he muses, “two weeks ago you didn’t even like getting fucked.”

“You convinced me,” Obi-Wan says. 

“Maybe they should’ve called me the Negotiator,” Anakin teases, smiling.

Obi-Wan raises an eyebrow. “You’re only good because you learned from the best.”

“Padmé,” Anakin says, deadpan. 

Obi-Wan snorts and swats at him, mood effectively killed. 

Later, when the sunlight spearing through the water outside has waned and the bioluminescent lanterns hanging from the ceiling have come on, Anakin says, “Hey, Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan hums, not looking up from his data pad. They’ve had their work cut out for them with this spy so far, and with the pod destroyed and Anakin disqualified from the Circuit they’re going to have to figure out how to find them before the whole bloody circus leaves Aquilaris in two days’ time — 

“Obi-Wan,” Anakin says again, and he sounds oddly serious, so this time Obi-Wan does look up. He finds Anakin watching him with a look on his face like the night before an uneven battle — when they knew they were going to lose men but they didn’t know how many, yet. 

Feeling abruptly ill, he puts his data pad down. “What is it?”

Anakin swallows. He’s nervous enough that Obi-Wan can feel it through their bond, a wobbly queasiness in his own stomach, but he steels himself and says, “I couldn’t give Padmé what she wanted. I wasn’t enough.”

Oh, Obi-Wan thinks. Oh, Anakin.

He reaches out and puts a hand on the side of Anakin’s face, firm and bracing, like he used to when they were young and his padawan woke from a nightmare. “I think,” he says, “that she and I want very different things. And that she couldn’t give you what you wanted, either.”

Anakin’s jaw works. Obi-Wan can feel him wrestling with his anger, fighting not to lash out. “And what’s that?” he shoots back. “What do you think I want?”

“You want someone to be yours,” Obi-Wan answers easily. “Body and soul. You want to be someone's entire world.”

Anakin doesn’t look at him. He stares at the dark water beyond the window, tensed, like he’s waiting for a blow. “And you?” he asks, after a long minute. “What do you want, Obi-Wan?”

Obi-Wan’s instinct is to tease him. If this were two weeks ago, he’d have done it — said I want you to stop driving like a karking madman, or I want you to quit losing your lightsaber every time I turn my back, you dolt. 

But he knows Anakin differently now, so instead he says, “You’ve been my entire world for a long time. And I’ve never belonged to anyone before, but I’ve discovered I quite like it.” He clears his throat, realizing he may have overstepped, and adds, “If you’re amenable, that is.”

“If I’m amenable,” Anakin echoes, incredulous. He looks at him then, frowning. “What part of anything I have ever done would make you think I wasn’t amenable?”

“Well,” Obi-Wan begins, but he doesn’t get to finish, because Anakin interrupts by tackling him back into the destroyed sheets. And a great many things seem more important than talking, after that.