1. Luminara Unduli
Obi-Wan Kenobi pulls his blankets higher around his ears. His bed is big around him, and the room is dark and quiet, but Obi-Wan cannot sleep.
He was so happy when he was assigned a clan and a bed in a dorm, but now, only two months later he misses the toddlers’ room in the crèche. He misses the floor which was one big mattress, and the piles of soft blankets and softer pillows.
He misses falling asleep in a pile of warm sleepy bodies, curling close in the Force.
Oh, the younglings in the clans often sleep two or three to a bed, but Obi-Wan has slept alone for weeks now. The Crèche Masters have praised him for being so mature so young, but Obi-Wan knows the truth.
He doesn’t sleep alone by choice, but because no-one wants to curl up with the boy who has nightmares and leaks distress into the Force. Jedi don’t have nightmares, Obi-Wan knows, and Obi-Wan also knows he will be a Jedi, knows it with all the ferocity his four-year-old heart can muster, but the nightmares still come, and one by one his bedmates left to seek more peaceful nights.
His bed is big around him, and room is dark and quiet, and Obi-Wan Kenobi tries not to cry.
“Are you alright?”
There is a Mirialan girl standing beside his bed. She has green skin and big blue eyes and her hair is curled under a dark veil. He knows her, Luminara, who is the best in his beginners’ lightsaber classes even though she is only five.
Obi-Wan shakes his head.
“Can I sleep here tonight?” she asks.
“No,” Obi-Wan whispers, even though he wants nothing more than just that. “I have nightmares.” He tells her, ashamed.
“I learned something today,” she says, “can I show you?”
Obi-Wan sits up and scoots over in his bed. Luminara climbs up beside him and takes his hand. She closes her eyes and Obi-Wan can feel the Force swirl around her. It feels…calm.
Luminara grins, and the calm vanishes.
“See,” she says, “I can help!”
Obi-Wan smiles his own shy smile back at her, and they curl up beneath the blankets.
“Thank you,” Obi-Wan whispers as his eyes drift close.
Luminara just curls closer.
Obi-Wan sleeps. He doesn’t dream.
2. Qui-Gon Jinn
To say that Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon had had a rocky start to their relationship is perhaps understating the case.
Many times in that first year Obi-Wan had found himself wondering if Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan himself had made a terrible mistake.
But they have learned each other now, and Obi-Wan with the wisdom of his fourteen and a half years, is once again certain that he is meant to be walking this path, that Qui-Gon is meant to be guiding him down it and that at the end of it he will be the Jedi he has always known he is meant to be.
Such thoughts were the only thing that had sustained him during the last sleepless fortnight of slogging through a rank marsh, searching for a Senator’s beloved missing daughter after the pleasure cruiser she was on had crashed.
(“Well,” the daughter had said on the shuttle up the freighter that would convey them back to Coruscant, “I can’t deny that I desperately need a hot shower, but it was rather pleasant to spend some time away from Mother.”
Obi-Wan had giggled into his sleeve, and Qui-Gon had not even reprimanded him.)
The freighter was full of rescued cruise passengers, and after a brief turn in overloaded sonic freshers, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were nominally clean, and dressed in tunics and robes restored to the same level of cleanliness. Obi-Wan was nearly asleep on his feet, and Qui-Gon, for all he was a Jedi Master, felt not much better over the training bond between them.
They were shown to the room set aside for them, and Obi-Wan only just managed to bite back a gasp of dismay. The room was almost the same size as the closet in his rooms at the Temple. Over half of it was taken up by the ‘bed’ – really a thin bench that would barely fit Obi-Wan, let alone his overly tall master.
Ignoring Obi-Wan’s distress, Qui-Gon thanked the crewman escorting them and ushered Obi-Wan ahead of him.
“We’ve slept in worse places, Padawan,” he said gently once the door had closed behind them.
“Master, you won’t fit!”
Qui-Gon laughed and sat on the bench bracing booted feet against the wall. He held up one arm and raised an eyebrow at Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan sat on the bench, scooting over when Qui-Gon dropped his arm around Ob-Wan’s shoulders and pulled him close.
“Sleep, Obi-Wan,” Qui-Gon said, “it’s been a long two weeks.”
Obi-Wan twisted to look up at his Master dubiously, before letting his head fall against Qui-Gon’s shoulder. He was very tired, and if this wasn’t as comfortable as a bunk might have been, he was dry and warm, and his Master’s breathing was steady beside him.
Without thinking, Obi-Wan matched his breathing to that steady rhythm, and between one moment and the next, he was asleep.
(If he woke up later to Qui-Gon snoring gently into the top of his head, well, Obi-Wan would never dream of telling.
But it would remain a fond memory for many years to come.)
3. Satine Kryze
The room in the little house was small and rough and had definitely seen better days, but after almost a year of living moment to moment, dodging assassins and sleeping wherever they found themselves that offered safety, Obi-Wan was prepared to call it paradise.
Two beds per room, and vetted New Mandalorian loyalists on guard so Qui-Gon had said he could sleep the night through. They weren’t completely abandoning safety though, so Obi-Wan had been assigned to share rooms with Satine, as her last line of defence should the worst happen.
He was aware of Qui-Gon’s look of comingled concern and pride at this decision – concern at Obi-Wan’s attraction to Satine, attraction that was emotional as well as physical, and pride, that Obi-Wan had willingly chosen his duty to the Jedi over the chance for… well, for love.
Ironic that if either Satine or Obi-Wan had been less bound by duty they would have been less likely to feel the potential for emotion that threatened that duty.
Outside it started to rain, and Obi-Wan pushed aside his melancholy in favour of some well needed sleep.
In the bed beside him, Satine let loose a string of filthy Mandalorian.
Obi-Wan was sitting up in an instant, hand going for his lightsaber, though he hadn’t felt danger.
Satine laughed, though it was more exasperated than amused.
“The roof leaks.”
“Here,” he said, “take my bed.”
“Nonsense,” she said. Obi-Wan regretted that she was so resolutely practical even though it had been one of the qualities… he firmly quashed that train of thought.
Satine slipped into the bed beside him, and Obi-Wan instinctively curled around her. She was warm, and it was a cold night, and she seemed to fit against him in a way that spoke of comfort and home and all the things he’d forsworn as a Jedi.
“Obi-Wan?” Her voice was small. “Tell me again that duty is worth it?”
“You are the Duchess who is going to remake Mandalore as a peaceful world,” he said, “and I am the Jedi Padawan who serves the galaxy and not his own desires. It’s worth it.”
“Yes,” she said, “it’s worth it.”
But that night, curled around each other in sleep, it was possible to pretend things were different.
4. Anakin Skywalker
Taking a Padawan as a very young Knight had been a steeper learning curve than Obi-Wan could possibly have imagined.
Anakin was not Temple raised, and Obi-Wan’s earliest memories were all of the crèche and sometimes that gap felt insurmountable.
The Ithorian flu was working through the Temple as it periodically did, and the younglings who had caught it were listless in their dorms. It was an unpleasant illness, bringing fevers, chills and aching joints, but not dangerous.
Six months into his stay at the Jedi Temple, Anakin had still not caught up with the mandated vaccinations, and the healers still hounded Obi-Wan about the various supplements Anakin needed to take until his body overcame the deprivations of his childhood.
Anakin had caught the flu and Anakin had been really severely ill. Obi-Wan had hovered beside his bed like a mother bantha with a sick calf.
Anakin had seemed panicked, which Obi-Wan had not been able to understand, until in his delirium, Anakin had started begging them not to kill him, and promising that he could still be useful.
Obi-Wan had wrapped the boy’s hands in his and promised that Anakin would be fine until his own voice was hoarse.
He wished Qui-Gon was still alive. He would have been much better at providing Anakin what he needed than Obi-Wan was.
Anakin had been released from the healers’ halls, and perhaps a night in his own room would help him regain his equilibrium.
Obi-Wan wasn’t at all surprised when his door opened not long after his chrono showed midnight.
He didn’t sigh, didn’t speak, just raised the blankets in silent invitation.
Anakin was wriggling into place beside him in an instant. He was still too warm, though the healers all assured Obi-Wan that his fever would dissipate in the next day or two. He was also lying with such enforced stillness he was practically vibrating.
Obi-Wan did sigh, then. He rolled onto his side, pulling Anakin into his body and wrapping one arm firmly around him. Anakin squeaked, then burrowed closer. He pressed his face into Obi-Wan’s tunics.
“Best Master ever,” he whispered, and was asleep within seconds.
Obi-Wan stroked his back, feeling himself doze off. Perhaps their different pasts were not so insurmountable after all.
5. Asajj Ventress
To add to the injury that was fleeing Maul and his brother was the insult of their escape happening in the unheated cockpit of Maul’s ship.
Obi-Wan wasn’t too concerned because the navicomputer had been set with a brief hop to a neutral refuelling station where he could gain passage back to Coruscant. In the meantime, he could meditate through the growing chill.
That was the plan, anyway, but the Force nudged at him, and he turned to Asajj – and it was strange to think of her as an ally, and not as his foe Ventress – and realised her teeth were chattering.
Of course Dooku would have tutored her in the use of a lightsaber and none of the other skills the Jedi utilised the Force for.
“Cold, my dear?” he asked, and was not all surprised when she snarled at him.
He was abruptly tired of the game – tired in general, and the anger and grief that always accompanied the sight of Maul were like a wound on his soul, and would be until he could release them into the Force.
“We need to keep warm,” he said, instead of the comment he had been about to make. “It’s twelve hours to the station, and there is a Force meditation that will allow us to retain our warmth until then. Unfortunately, it’s taught through physical contact, so…”
He waited, aware that pushing her would be counterproductive.
Warily, she moved towards him, sitting so her back her was pressed against his chest.
“I know you’ve been dying for this chance, my dear Obi-Wan,” she purred, but he could tell her heart wasn’t in it.
She picked up the technique quickly, and the cockpit was silent but for their even breaths.
With both of them so tired, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that they fell asleep, only waking when the navicomputer beeped to signal they were dropping out of hyperspace, but somehow it was.
They’d slipped onto their sides, and Obi-Wan’s face was pressed between Asajj’s shoulder blades, his arms wrapped around her stomach.
Obi-Wan was still too tired to even blush that he’d been clinging to Asajj as if she were a stuffed Wookiee.
“If anyone hears about this they will never find your body,” she said as they disembarked, but she sounded positively mellow – for Asajj – so he didn’t think there was much of a threat.
Well, and hopefully he’d be back on Coruscant before she realised he’d drooled on the back of her tunics.
The first time Obi-Wan had met Rex, the brand new Captain of the brand new Torrent Company of the brand new 501st Legion, Obi-Wan had been reading over battle plans in the Negotiator ’s forward viewing room, the unspoken signal he and Cody had worked out which meant he was free for officers to approach with concerns.
He had expected those officers to be 212th though, so when the clone in blue striped armour, his hair a startling blond in the regulation cut, had knocked on the door with a quiet “excuse me, sir” he had been surprised, but had made sure to put his datapad aside.
“General Skywalker said you were his former Master, sir,” said the clone, and Obi-Wan had winced inwardly at the rigidity implied in that ramrod straight posture.
“I am,” Obi-Wan answered, “Captain…?”
“Rex, sir,” said the clone, and his posture relaxed just slightly. “I had a question, and Commander Cody said this was the time to ask?”
Obi-Wan gestured for him to come in, though inwardly he was wincing. He had seen what happened to clones who couldn’t bend when confronted with Jedi flexibility – they tended to shatter under pressure, and it was always messy – and Anakin, who had been given the 501st almost the moment he was knighted, was much more flexible than most other Jedi in the field.
He would have to tread carefully, and see if this clone might not be better reassigned to a more by the book General, like Luminara or Master Even Piell.
Then the clone – Rex – sat down, and placed his helmet on the table between them, and Obi-Wan saw that it had been emblazoned with Jaig eyes. So Captain Rex was good enough to earn those, and cocky enough to wear them front and centre. Perhaps something to work with after all.
Obi-Wan had never been sure how that initial meeting had become a regular catch up every time the 212th and 501st had been assigned to a joint mission. He couldn’t have told anyone when the meetings stopped being about swapping Anakin Skywalker survival tips, and started being about telling tales of their respective childhoods and training.
He didn’t know which of them started bringing alcohol, or who had been the first to stop talking about the past and start talking, tentatively, about after the war.
All he knew was that he was tired of pretending that it didn’t mean more than two brothers-in-arms drinking and swapping war stories.
He was tired. He was tired of the war, and tired of death, and tired of killing, and tired of seeing pieces of the Code chipped off discarded in the name of victories that seemed hollower the further along the war got.
Adi Gallia had died not a week ago, and he was so damned tired of losing friends.
He knew that he had known, once, why the Jedi forbade attachments, but kriff if he could remember any of those reasons now. He’d meditated, trying to find equilibrium. The Force had been clouded for years, or had felt mournful and uncomfortable at some of the decisions the Council had made due to the exigencies of war, but when he had considered this action all he had gotten was a feeling like the ringing of triumphant bells, the sensation of a cool hand passing over his brow and what he would swear up and down and sideways was approval.
He was a Jedi, and forced to choose between the Code and the Force he would choose the Force every time.
Which was all well and good, but having made the decision didn’t make him feel any less like he was going to throw up from nerves.
Ridiculous. He was the High General of the Grand Army of the Republic. He didn’t get nervous.
He was also a Jedi Master, and therefore above lying to himself.
He was standing in the sitting room of his on-ship quarters (and when had their meetings stopped taking place in the public spaces of the ship? Force, how blind had he been?), pinching his nose between two fingers, when the door slid open, and he felt Rex’s concern wash over him.
(When had he gotten so attuned to the man’s Force signature?)
“Are you alright?”
“Do you know,” said Obi-Wan, feeling like he was about to have a seizure, “that you are the only being in the galaxy with the power to make me feel nervous?”
Rex stepped fully into the room, the door sliding closed behind him. Obi-Wan couldn’t look at him. Force, the feelings coming off him! Concern, and disbelief warring with hope, and affection and something warmer…
“Sir?” And that one word was like cold water.
“Not in this room,” Obi-Wan said, and he could look at Rex now, had to look at him to make sure he understood. “Rex, if you’re uncomfortable with… If you’re doing this out of concern, or because I outrank you… I can’t be your superior officer in this room. I shouldn’t be asking this…”
Just his name, and the hint of a smile, and the accompanying emotions that rose up to flood the Force. Acceptance and relief and affection and joy and that warmer feeling that he dared not name. Obi-Wan had to close his eyes, dizzy, because how could all of this be for him, how could Rex be feeling all of this for him?
A warm hand on his cheek, and Rex leaned in.
“Obi-Wan.” So close Obi-Wan felt his breath across his lips. “I want this.”
Obi-Wan was entirely unable to control the shudder that tore through him.
Obi-Wan opened his eyes, and Rex was right there and his eyes were warm and Obi-Wan couldn’t remember why they hadn’t done this sooner, and he leaned in and they were kissing and it was that easy after all.
When he’d let himself think about this, which was more than he should have, he’d assumed that it would be desperate, a moment of breaking, grasping at life after a battle.
It was gentle, and full of so much tenderness that Obi-Wan whimpered and melted against Rex, feeling him shift to take Obi-Wan’s weight.
One kiss turned into two, into three, and Obi-Wan had to pull away and gasp, had to bury his face in Rex’s neck and just breath. He felt warm all over, and as giddy as if he’d downed the bottle of Corellian brandy he’d bought for tonight all in one shot. It helped that Rex’s breathing was unsteady, and that Rex was murmuring Obi-Wan’s name over and over as if he wasn’t aware he was doing it.
It helped more that one of Rex’s arms was tight across the small of Obi-Wan’s back, pressing them together, and that his other hand was threaded through Obi-Wan’s hair.
Obi-Wan realised that both his own hands were fisted in the material of the officer’s greys that Rex was wearing. He managed to disentangle one of them, and reached up to trace the back of Rex’s head. Rex’s close cropped hair was soft against his palm, and the action pulled a bitten off groan from him.
Obi-Wan grinned, and lifted his head, feeling slightly more in control.
That lasted as long as it took to meet Rex’s eyes and realise his pupils were so dilated that they had nearly swallowed his iris.
Obi-Wan bit his lip, and then they were kissing again, and, oh, there was the desperation, and Obi-Wan pressed forward, steering them through his cabin, until he could fumble at the wall and hit the controls for his bedroom door.
After, they lay tangled together in Obi-Wan’s narrow bed, Obi-Wan sprawled almost entirely on top of Rex. He’d tried to move, and Rex had actually growled at him, which was a sound Obi-Wan was determined to hear again.
Rex was running one hand up and down Obi-Wan’s bare back which was far too distracting and should never be allowed to stop.
Obi-Wan was dozing pleasantly, feeling lighter than he had since the beginning of this thrice damned war. Something dangerously like happiness, like hope, was thrumming through him, and the Force was singing like he hadn’t heard in years.
“You know you’re broadcasting?” And oh, it was so interesting to feel Rex’s chest rumble and hear him speak at the same time.
“Oh?” He was, he realised, sharing everything he felt, everything he was still too Jedi to say. He raised his eyes in apology, and saw Rex’s smile.
The clones were made for the Jedi, and he understood.
Obi-Wan twined his Force presence tighter around Rex, feeling Rex react and clumsily reach back.
And it was comfort, and trust, and potential, and sharing and an impossible gap bridged and Obi-Wan pressed his drowsy smile against Rex's shoulder.
Curled close in the bed, and closer in the Force, Jedi and Captain drifted to sleep.