Anakin was late. Again.
Against his will, Obi-Wan found himself wondering what had detained Anakin, where he was, and worst of all, whom he was with. Because Anakin sure as hell wasn’t here, with him.
Obi-Wan tried not to answer these questions as he stood alone in their shared quarters, his arms tucked up into his robes, waiting. He gazed impassively out at the Coruscanti skyline, the picture of the serene Jedi Master he was on the outside in sharp contrast to the intense emotions that roiled through his insides.
Waiting, wondering, worrying. It was an all-too-familiar event that spoke volumes about their relationship; how he could put everything, every responsibility aside to sit and wait for Anakin. Never one to be mindful of time or consideration, Anakin had taken to basking in the public adoration that came with being “The Hero With No Fear.” He carelessly squandered his time—time that could be spent with Obi-Wan—lapping up gratitude, praise, and awe from the Chancellor, Jedi, and politicians alike, all the while knowing that Obi-Wan was just… waiting.
The thought that he might be with her made his stomach clench. He’d seen Anakin with the Senator, had seen how he flashed her his most charming smile, how she would casually trail her finely manicured fingers down his cheek or across his back, heard the low flirtatious voice he used as he leaned in close to her. The fact that she was young, beautiful, and powerful had not escaped Obi-Wan’s notice. He very much doubted it had escaped Anakin’s, either.
Obi-Wan squeezed his eyes shut, willing the thoughts, the endless mocking loop of anxieties, to be released into the Force, but to no avail. Though knew better, knew that it would not improve his mood at all, Obi-Wan could not resist reaching into the Force to locate Anakin. It was an action that did nothing but let loose a thousand terrible, jealous thoughts. Pleasure. Pleasure and satisfaction flowed freely from Anakin through their bond.
He did not want to know.
And yet he did. Part of him had to know.
Only now, when his affair with Anakin had gone so far beyond his control, did he understand why the Jedi preached against attachments. No good could ever come of it, despite the best of intentions and all the rationalizations. Love and passion had brought a seemingly innocuous and satisfying fulfillment to a life that was also desperately lonely. But that same love and passion also had a dark side of its own—possession and jealousy. Obsession and fear. Emotions Obi-Wan did not want to have and knew he could no longer control.
As his Master, Obi-Wan had always, to some degree, been in possession of Anakin. The Council could have intervened in Anakin’s training at any time. But for whatever reason, perhaps because of their reluctance to accept him in the first place, the Council had remained rather quietly aloof. They had trusted that Perfect Padawan Kenobi would become Perfect Master Kenobi to the Chosen One, deliberately overlooking the fact that Obi-Wan was too young to be a Master to a boy who was too old to be a Jedi. Perhaps out of deference to Qui-Gon’s memory, they blithely ignored thousands of years of Jedi precedence by catering to the wishes of a dying Master. Obi-Wan had lost Qui-Gon, Anakin had lost his mother, and that powerful sense of loss had created such an intimate bond between Master and Padawan that he had become Anakin’s world, and Anakin his.
It had been a critical error in judgment.
He had watched Anakin grow up, and grow into powers Obi-Wan himself would never, and could never acquire. It gnawed at him, deep down in a place he hid from even himself, that even if he was the Perfect Master, he would still be lacking. He would always remain in the shadow cast by Anakin, the Chosen One. It was an old wound, carved into his soul on the very day that Anakin had come into his life, from the moment Qui-Gon had chosen Anakin over him. He had willingly given Qui-Gon everything, his fidelity, his friendship, even his love, never doubting that his beloved Master felt the same way about him.
Until a desert slave boy had charmed his way into Qui-Gon’s heart, effectively cutting Obi-Wan out.
When Qui-Gon lay dying and had asked Obi-Wan to train Anakin, he’d blindly agreed, having no idea that his jealousy would explode into a passion that would overshadow his entire life. Inexplicably—and despite Obi-Wan’s best efforts to the contrary—Anakin had managed to charm his way into Obi-Wan’s heart, too.
In spite of his initial feelings towards the boy, Obi-Wan had soon found himself entranced by all things Anakin, utterly attracted to the raw power he exuded. It hadn’t helped that Anakin had grown from a clumsy, irritatingly needy boy into a confident, devastatingly attractive and darkly brooding young man. He always knew just what to say or do to frustrate—and eventually fluster—his Master. Anakin was reckless, hot-tempered, and possessive, all the things Obi-Wan had not been.
And that made him completely irresistible.
Obi-Wan had always known that Anakin would not be his Padawan forever; that was the way of the Jedi. While he knew that he should feel perhaps pride, or even relief, that his charge would finally ascend to Knighthood, instead such knowledge conjured desperate feelings of loss in Obi-Wan. Anakin would fulfill his destiny and become a powerful Knight, one who would no longer have any need for his old Master, while Obi-Wan would no longer have free and open access to the boy— the man— whose very presence in Obi-Wan’s life had become an addiction. They would be reduced to nodded greetings, half-smiles that didn’t reach their eyes, and promises for a dinner together that would never come to pass. It had steadily eaten away at him, this dread of becoming obsolete, of having Anakin removed from his life after Anakin had been his life for so long.
The day had finally come, of course. At Praesytlin, having led a fierce campaign without Obi-Wan at his side, Anakin proved to the Council what his Master had known for some time and had tried, in his better moments, to ignore, and in his worst, to delay. Anakin was ready for Knighthood.
On the night Anakin’s braid was severed, Obi-Wan had returned to his quarters immediately after the ceremony, finding bittersweet consolation in a bottle of the finest Alderaanian ale. Then another. He’d had enough of the irritatingly festive atmosphere, the handshakes, smiles, and congratulatory words that celebrated Anakin’s independence. As though it should have been celebrated that Anakin would now be going off alone into danger, possibly death, without Obi-Wan by his side. He had downed the tart alcohol quickly, hoping to find some kind of numbness in each swallow, instead finding despair and loneliness threatening to overwhelm him. He had mourned the fact that he was no longer a Master; that he had lost his Anakin to the Order. That he was alone again, alone like he hadn’t been since before he had become a Padawan himself.
Anakin had come to him that night, worry etched across his face, the scar over his right eye crinkled with consternation. The ale had interfered with Obi-Wan’s near-impenetrable shields, laying his mind and all his emotions open for Anakin to access. Wordlessly, Anakin had turned Obi-Wan’s face up to his and reciprocated by opening his mind to Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan had been startled to see and feel Anakin’s love and longing and above all else, a fiery, desperate desire for him. The look in Anakin’s eyes was one of determination and… hunger, as though he wanted to consume Obi-Wan.
Anakin had taken him that night, and Obi-Wan had let him. Wanted him to.
Needed him to.
The first time he had been gentle, every touch a caress of love and adoration for his former Master, a mutual joining of both body and mind. They had whispered words of love to each other as they came together, their bodies clinging in a tight embrace as they danced soft kisses across noses, cheeks, and lips. They had dozed contentedly in the afterglow, hands slowly roaming over taut muscles and smooth skin.
But then Obi-Wan had felt it, that almost imperceptible shift in Anakin, one so reminiscent of the change Anakin made on the battlefield, from passive Jedi to aggressive warrior. With a feral look in his eyes, Anakin had grabbed Obi-Wan by the shoulders and forced him over on to his stomach. He took his former Master a second time, but gone was the sweet and gentle lover. He was rough, dominating, and possessive, as though he wanted to make sure Obi-Wan understood that he belonged to Anakin now, not the other way around.
Obi-Wan had not cared. Force help him, but he had even liked it. He had wanted to belong to Anakin, wanted Anakin to take him again and again, even if it was wrong. All that had mattered in that moment was that they were together.
They had continued their clandestine affair right under the noses of the Council, the same Council Obi-Wan sat on as a member. Obi-Wan had always thought Anakin took too much pleasure in defying the Council, but he made lying seem so… effortless.
Although guilt had churned in his gut, Obi-Wan had found that he’d do just about anything to be with Anakin; he was intoxicating and Obi-Wan had needed to be with him. Obi-Wan had become no better than the glitterstim addicts of Coruscant’s underbelly who would do anything to get them to their next fix.
If he told himself the truth, whenever he lied to the Council, there was an unmitigated thrill that lay underneath the nausea of each fabrication. The thrill that he, Obi-Wan Kenobi, could be just as depraved as anyone else. He didn’t have to always be the Perfect Master or the revered Council Member. He could lie and omit and feel. He could defy every tenet of the Order to which he had pledged his entire life.
And he could do it smiling.
He had known that Anakin had found a sick pleasure in this, too. With each success on the battlefield, he had seen Anakin’s arrogance and his appetite for power grow. Obi-Wan had not needed to look any further than their bed for evidence of Anakin’s desire to control and dominate. Fucking a Council Member and bending his Master’s morality to suit his needs had been yet another way to thumb his nose at the Council, a way to be in control.
As if either one of them had ever been in control.
Obi-Wan had fallen madly, deeply in love with his former apprentice, a love and a passion that had consumed him completely. Everything became about Anakin; his life ceased to exist when Anakin was not with him. When together, his mind, body, and soul belonged to Anakin. When apart, Obi-Wan’s mind spun out endless reunion scenarios, his stomach tied in knots of anxiety. He agonized over when he would next see Anakin, when they would next be alone, when Anakin would touch him again and whisper everything Obi-Wan wanted to hear.
When Anakin was sent away on solo missions, Obi-Wan would become distracted and edgy, unable to concentrate on even the most meaningless of assignments. His work had begun to suffer, and more than once he had been on the receiving end of the Council’s ire for a fruitless negotiation or overlooked deadline. By the time Anakin returned, Obi-Wan would be frantic with fear and longing, needing to be in Anakin’s smothering embrace again, all doubts soothed away with fervent, possessive kisses.
Anakin was at his most dangerous, most daring, when he returned from a mission, as though he hadn’t quite shaken off the blood-lust of battle. This darkness in Anakin, his unquenchable need to conquer and possess, was futile to resist, and matched in intensity only by Obi-Wan’s desperate longing for contact. They would put on the public show of the two old friends happy to be reacquainted; he’d offer Anakin a firm handshake, Anakin would swing his arm over his Master’s shoulders in a gesture of camaraderie, their smiling faces barely containing the fury of need that passed between them.
Once away from prying eyes, Anakin would grab Obi-Wan aggressively, crushing his lips down in a bruising, dominating kiss, unable to hold back his dark desire. Often they hadn’t even made it to their quarters, instead ravaging each other in some darkened alcove in the Temple, a public ‘fresher stall, or even up against Anakin’s Delta-6, its plating still warm from reentry, the engines still humming on cooldown. It was dangerous and exciting and everything Anakin was and everything Obi-Wan wanted to be.
But it hadn’t been until Obi-Wan started skipping out on Council meetings to wait for Anakin to arrive that he knew he’d crossed the line from love to dangerous obsession. He would do anything for Anakin, anything to be with Anakin, and anything to remain with Anakin. He had fallen into the dark side of an intense love with an intense man. He had given himself over completely to Anakin, knowing it was wrong, and yet he could not— would not— stop himself. He had become unable to say no to Anakin, for Anakin knew all the things Obi-Wan wanted to hear him to say, wanted him to do, making it impossible for Obi-Wan to walk away. His mind craved Anakin, his body craved Anakin, and his soul craved Anakin.
It had been of no consequence to either of them that it was destroying Obi-Wan bit by bit.
He began to pace around the room, hands clenching and unclenching, one reaching up to rake through his hair. This could not go on, the obsession, the dishonesty, the desire, the sex… it could not last. Not this way. Even the stars die, he’d once told Anakin, and that’s what they were like together, a brilliant supernova, burning bright and hot but destined fade quickly into the void. They each had responsibilities and commitments to things far greater than their forbidden attachment to each other. Yes, this time, this time, he would end things, he told himself.
The door hissed open suddenly and there was Anakin, cavalier and arrogant as he swaggered into the room and over to Obi-Wan, his blue eyes darkened by lust and desire. Obi-Wan willed his body to move away, his mind begging him to say no this time. To just say no and walk away. Forever. Anakin’s eyes flashed as he sensed the conflict in Obi-Wan, his red lips drawing down into a slight frown that only accentuated their fullness. He brought his hand up to cup Obi-Wan’s cheek, his thumb ghosting his Master’s lips. Obi-Wan felt himself close his eyes and involuntarily lean into the caress, his lips pressing softly against the calloused thumb.
He had lost again. A single look, a single touch, and he was lost again. As had been the case every single other time, any resolutions Obi-Wan had made were quickly burned away by the intense need he felt coursing through his body. It did not matter where Anakin had been, or even whom he had been with, for Anakin was here, now, with him. He could not deny Anakin any more than he could deny breath to his lungs.
Neither uttered a word as lips crashed together, hands clawed for skin, and bodies ground together in a rising black tide of passion.
Anakin was back. They were together. That was all that mattered.
It didn’t matter if it was wrong.
It didn’t matter that they had lost control.
Years later, as he lay cold and alone in a secluded hut on the wastelands of Tatooine, hiding from Darth Vader and the Empire, Obi-Wan tried to console himself with those same words.
But it had mattered.